"Littering and, littering and, littering and... smokin' the reefer"


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This was originally going to be a reply, but then I decided not to risk hijacking someone else's thread. Also, a few people might disagree with me, and this is generally directed towards the (fairly large) marijuana using population on the boards.

I would also like to note my biases towards marijuana: I do not condone the use of it, regardless of factors. I don't smoke weed, never have, and in all probabilities, never will. However, if an individual chooses to use such a substance, then I do not feel that it is my place (or responsibility) to infringe upon their decision, whether I agree or not, so long as they aren't putting me or others in danger.

With that being said, I think that marijuana should most certainly remain illegal in the United States. I don't think that many people consider that, regardless of their views towards marijuana, too many Americans aren't responsible enough to use that or any other drug in an intelligent manner. Though not so dangerous to adult brains (just like alcohol), excessive marijuana use can permanently damage brain development in adolescents. Too many kids have free access to drugs and alcohol as it is; making pot legal not only makes it even more obtainable, but will also give kids the green light to say, "If the government allows it, it must be safe!" This is the same mentality that has plagued alcohol abusers in the 12 to 17 age bracket who have no idea about how heavy and regular drinking disrupts their brain's development, while it may only take out a couple of brain cells in a fully grown adult of 21 or more years of age.

Also, if you already have the stuff, and you can get it reasonably priced, why in the world would you want to turn the production and sales of it over to big businesses that would create further mark-up, not to mention the heavy United States "sin taxes" that would be applied to it? Or, better yet, what if it became marketed as a general over the counter health/medical solution? Pharmaceutical subsidiaries would dominate the market, and I think we all know what tends to happen to prices when that occurs.

If you've already got it, and you know how to easily get it, why is it a big deal to so many of you? Judging from many of the posts I've read on this board, a great deal of you view the United States government to be full of corrupt and unintelligible bureaucrats that you couldn't care less about... so what does it matter if these people view your actions as "illegal" or "immoral"? Other than drug screenings and the (slim and generally light) chance of being charged with possession, the worry of creating legality for the drug seems, for the most part, a superfluous concern. Legalizing the drug probably wouldn't change a lot of users' habits anyways, seeing as it would follow many of the same laws of alcohol and tobacco use. No smoking on the job, no going on the job intoxicated, no being high in public, no smoking in a vehicle, no smoking in bars or restaurants, no driving while intoxicated, etc. You are once again confined to using marijuana from within the safety of your own home.

Would legalizing marijuana really create any sort of positive change within this country? And for those who smoke and think it should be legalized, do you really actually care if "the machine" gives you green light to go ahead and do what you've already been doing for years? I hardly see any reason as to why the answers to either of these questions should be anything but a rhetorical "No."
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I used to smoke a moderate amount of pot in high school and during the first year of college, but not anymore. It's been a good two years since I've had a puff. I still really want to have it sometimes, but I don't, and the reason really only has to do with its legality. My old connections are gone, I don't want to play the dangerous game of building new ones where I live, and if I get caught, it might be detrimental to my life. I'm almost out of college at 22, and I don't want to chance it.

So there are people who would like to enjoy marijuana but don't because of the law, first of all. When it comes to why the drug should be decriminalized, though, the real argument is simply that it's the wrong reason to throw people in jail. It would be one thing if they only confiscated it and gave you a big fine when they busted you. However, there are people out there whose lives have been seriously fucked by by the law just for getting high.
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> So there are people who would like to enjoy marijuana but
> don't because of the law

I would consider such people to be wise in making that decision. As I said, I don't think it should be legal, and I think that the pros of legalization out weigh the cons. If people want to get high enough that they're will to take the risk, then that's their choice. I would agree that jail time is too harsh for possession charges, unless the individual has been dealing; it would be much more cost effective to simply implement high fines.

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Your argument reads like something out of the Vietnam era:

Hippies smoke pot.
Implicit: being a hippie is bad.
If you smoke pot, you will turn into a hippie.
I don't want to be a hippie, therefore I won't smoke pot.

Deconstructing the argument further, we essentially find:
If we make marijuana legal for adults (18/21, take your pick) then kids will think it's ok!
That would be a bad thing.
Therefore it should be illegal to do it for everyone just so kids won't.

This isn't a valid argument. So many things in our society (the right to drive, own weapons, go to war, buy porn, even the right to hold a job) are available only to those above a certain age. Many of those things could be "dangerous" (physically or psychologically) to children, but that doesn't stop them from being totally legal for adults who (presumably) understand the consequences and are responsible for their actions.

In addition, your argument does nothing to explain why marijuana's benefits to society and its users are nullified by its negative consequences. In fact, you don't even mention a single benefit in your entire argument. An effective argument, in many cases, reads like one of those "Pro-Con" papers you probably wrote in high school.

In addition, the lack of outside evidence or sources for your claim that it can permanently damage brain development is upsetting. Regardless of whether it's true or not, you still have to attempt to prove it to us.

Lastly, don't feel like I'm singling your argument out. I'm not. I could do this for almost all of the arguments in this forum right now. It's just that I'm taking the LSAT in a few months and felt like doing some argument deconstruction practice that wasn't out of a textbook.
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I don't know. The people I've met in my jobs that had never smoked it were usually the most unsocial and emotionally crippled workaholics I have ever met. I think smoking pot a little at least some time in your life is a good thing. Hell from what I've seen of the world in my 43 years I would say alcohol is far far more damaging to lives than pot could ever be and not just to the user but to the people that have to put up with the user where with pot all you have to worry about is the sound of someone getting the munchies at midnight.

Pot being illegal is stupid, and when I see the programmed elected officials that act like it's the same as doing meth or something I just want to grab them and force them to try it before they open their mouths spouting statistics that usually been madeup or manipulated to make it look much worse than it is.

Now as for the part about kids doing it. You're 100% right. I think no one should use it before 16 and 18 is better. Sure pot doesn't really damage the brain permanently of an adult but from the age or 10 or 12 to age 16 there is a lot of emotional growing going on in a child and marijuana I believe could very well skew the growth in that area a lot or cause them to take longer to mature since they would possibly not mature emotionally as fast as a non user. Though after 18 I think moderate use is fine as long as they don't start skipping work and other responsibilities.

Oh yeah if made legal then it would probably be legal to grow your own and the argument about corporate pricing is moot and even if you couldn't grow your own I can't see the average oz of weed going for $150 like I pay and I get a good price. I know people that pay over $280 / oz normally and that is because there are usually between 3 and 5 middlemen between them and the source each making a nice profit but I only have the dealer who is a good good friend for almost my whole life who makes like $5 of my bags and the grower himself. I think if legal pot would run for regular cheap sinc about $75 - $100 an ounce since if priced higher home grower would just undercut them and if legal I don't think the police will be searching to hard for them since it'll probably just be a fine and sezure of the product and growing equipment if caught.

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> Lastly, don't feel like I'm singling your argument out. I'm
> not. I could do this for almost all of the arguments in
> this forum right now. It's just that I'm taking the LSAT in
> a few months and felt like doing some argument
> deconstruction practice that wasn't out of a textbook.

Haha, well, nice work. I certainly didn't intend this to be particularly well written or strong (seriously, I wrote this at like 10am over spring break), but I was hoping that it would facilitate some discussion. I'm not trying to tear down marijuana users or anything, I'm just saying that I think it should remain illegal; in a perfect society, alcohol would also be illegal (seriously, not that I never drink, but the stuff is just dangerous), but we've seen how well attempting to take that away from the public works out.

However, I would like to note a few things about your argument.

Your implied hippie argument just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If I had any sort of half-baked thing here for your tear apart, it should be the idea that users of pot should not care about what the government thinks about it. If I had used generalizations or made any sort of attack on people who use weed, your hippie argument would probably be fine, but to my knowledge I don't think that I really did (though I could be wrong... too lazy to look back). I just don't think that there is sufficient evidence to draw a "hippie" argument in this.

I obviously didn't go much (or at all) into why I think marijuana use by adults can be negative, so your second argument is legitimate.

Your third paragraph here, however, is not very good, in my opinion. I don't think that you can really compare driving, going to war, and having a job to smoking pot. None of these are drugs. You could draw a comparison to alcohol or something here if you wanted, but just because these things are based on age doesn't mean that they are inherently similar.

I clearly did not bother to note the other side of things, so yeah, easy point to make. (Though in truth, I do think that weed helps a decent number of adults in their lives, though too many people become dependent on it. I don't think it will ever become freely legal, but I do think that there's a good chance that marijuana will eventually become available in small doses via prescription for anxiety, depression, etc. Just because I don't personally agree with its does not mean that I would necessarily vote against it for these purposes; there is a line between what I believe in and what people have a right to decide on for themselves.)

I thought about actually citing a source and using a visual for this... but that would require too much additional work for 10am. ;)

Anywho, hopefully I remember my argument well enough that my thinking back all makes sense. I once again just got out of bed like 30 minutes ago so I apologize if I screwed anything up here. Regardless, please feel free to rip apart my rebuttal if you think that my points are invalid or if it will serve as any sort of good practice for you. <img src=smilies/thumb.gif>
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> Oh yeah if made legal then it would probably be legal to
> grow your own and the argument about corporate pricing is
> moot and even if you couldn't grow your own I can't see the
> average oz of weed going for $150 like I pay

I'm pretty sure that, if legalized, the government would continue to treat it as a drug. You'd need a "growers license" and "sellers license" most likely, so that the government would be able to turn some sort of profit from its sales, as well as attempting to use it to boost the economy.

Also, that is a freaking lot of money for weed. Good God. I didn't even consider how much cheaper the stuff here in Oregon is. <img src=smilies/laff.gif>
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> Also, that is a freaking lot of money for weed. Good God. I
> didn't even consider how much cheaper the stuff here in
> Oregon is.

That is for an ounce not a quarter, that is cheap. They have high tech, and blonde, and all kind of other stuff that will stomp your brain for hrs off a single puff and that stuff is like $60 - $80 an 1/8th depending on what you want and who you get it from. I saw a program on pot in Amsterdam once, it was really well done to and they had a display in one scene and a single gram was like $35, that's $245 a 1/4 or $980 an ounce. Suprisingly I'm just out of work, a bit stoned already and I did that math in my head. <img src=smilies/magbiggrin.gif>

Very good topic though and well presented also.
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i choose pot over prozac. i don't want to go to jail (which i have been for being a simple user). it grows in nature. corporate businesses (or drug dealers for that matter) shouldn't be making money off something so simple in nature and history.

dumbasses will always make something into a bad thing or a problem. that's society for you.

but as an adult, i demand my right to govern my personal life. that's freedom. i'm sick of every stupid asshole's behavior being the justification for one more bureaucratic hoop i must jump through.

if it was up to me, i wouldn't waste money on car insurance, for example. i have a 15 year accident-free driving record. this includes crazy instances where i had to do super manuvers to avoid the other driver coming head-on into my lane @ 55mph (i was high at the time). but how am i rewarded for being a great driver? i am forced to pay for insurance like everyone else. if i am pulled over without it, they run me through even more regulation and fees.

yeah, i know life isn't fair. but neither is making everything under the sun illegal because society is replete with stupid fucks, or because big brother wants to expand the control.

pot was never illegal to begin with. it was arbitrarily made so. all the talk of science this and safe public policy that is really no more than bullshit spun into a substantial issue.

lets stop killing people. there's a legit issue.
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also just so you don't think life's a piece of cake for the average pot smoker. 2 facts which make the plight of the pot smoking adult a dangerous one in america:

1) shady cops
2) even if you are simply a user, the law will peg you as a dealer if they can and RUIN your life. far more than any amount of pot smoking could do. how so? well, lets say you had a bag of weed and it came with some seeds as low grade stuff often will. if you are found in possession of pot seeds, that's instant dealer status. from there we are talking doing serious time, often even on "first offense". and a record that will keep you hounded by american police indefinitely.

a friend of mine who's in the army giving his life to protect this worthless country, his family house was raided by the cops on an anonymous tip that his brother was dealing. they ripped the house to shreds to finally uncover a pot seed. whoopdie fucking do. my buddy in the army was dragged out of his bed in his sleep, handcufffed, and they tossed his room. broke his PS2. thrashed his extensive comic book collection. he said they even remarked with satisfaction that they "fucked that room up".

no, its not a simple happy day for the average pot smoker in america. even the innocent bystanders can become casualties of a gay-ass war on nothing.

fuck cops. fuck americans that think they have the right to tell people what they can and cannot do in their homes.

there's 2 kinds of crimes: crimes against humanity - (violence/murder/rape/theft); crimes against bureaucracy - (you did something without hurting anyone and now big brother's going to make sure you pay, by wasting tax dollars and your time).

crimes against bureaucracy do not matter in the grand scheme.
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