Points for the Legalization of Marijuana

I am linking you to the post where Mr. Vaughn’s article is posted, all of the material there is his own work.

I do realize that it is a relatively old article, but I believe that he illustrates points that are shared by many citizens, and thus I respond to those concerns and points. (Albeit in a slightly sarcastic way at times, by which I mean no offense to Mr. Vaughn)

Mr. Vaughn, I am very saddened by your lack of information on Cannabis and its legalization. I’m not telling you that you are wrong, as everyone is entitled to their opinion. I simply believe that your opinion is malformed from misleading, and incorrect information that was published decades ago. I am also irritated by the examples (or lack-there-of) you list for keeping cannabis illegal.

You mention that cigarettes are so bad for you because of the chemicals and processes that tobacco corporations add to the plant. This is an argument that should promote the banning of tobacco, not one that supports your topic at hand (Marijuana and its legalization, in case you forgot).

And if you plan on arguing that if cannabis is legalized, then the tobacco industry will take over the production and distribution of cannabis, you sir, are wrong, as nobody has ever said that it would be a “corporate” affair, instead, when (yes, when, not if) cannabis is legalized, it will be grown by small farmers in local communities, similar to how it is grown in Amsterdam. (and by the way, in Amsterdam, marijuana is NOT decriminalized, it is full on LEGALIZED, a simple google search is all that it takes to find that information out)

You say that you “are in agreement that smoking marijuana can, and does cause an increased likelihood that young adults might try harder drugs…” Give me one solid study conducted in the past 15 years that proves this. Go ahead, look it up, I’ll wait…. what’s that? You couldn’t find one? I am shocked! That is because this is again, a marijuana MYTH. Simply because hard drug users have tried marijuana in the past doesn’t mean that marijuana caused them to smoke. Using that “argument” is like me saying that because 100% of alcoholics have consumed apple juice at some point in their lives, then apple juice drove them to try alcohol, and thus, apple juice should be prohibited.

Again, you “agree that marijuana can cause serious motivational problems and can be an impediment to learning capabilities”. Again, please show me one conclusive and expansive clinical study, conducted in the past 15 years that proves this… again, you can’t. Do you know what substances DO cause “serious motivational problems”? Alcohol and pain killers. As for being an “impediment to learning capabilities”, yes this is true, marijuana can impede you from learning in class… if you are high as a kite during that class, just as if you were drunk or doped up on meds.

(Even medications that are supposed to “help” you learn, like methylphenidate (ritalin/concerta), which by the way is an amphetamine that is almost identical to methamphetamine and can produce effects similar to cocaine (how safe right?), can be very detrimental to learning capabilities) Marijuana does not kill brain cells, contrary to what 1970’s anti-hemp propaganda might have you believe, in fact certain studies that have recently been conducted suggest that marijuana may actually PROMOTE brain cell growth. Again, your point has failed.
(also, you spelled methamphetamine wrong, there is no space in it)

Legalization status of cannabis in the US

You also say that if marijuana is legalized, so will cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. Sorry to inform you but all three of these substances were legal at one point and were all banned. And again, you use a Reductio ad Absurdum to “prove” your (non-existent) point. You say that if one substance is legalized, ALL substances will be legalized, simply illogical, isn’t it?

You advocate the decriminalization (not legalization) of marijuana. This is not SUCH a horrible idea, but it fails to address the main problems that marijuana (as an illegal substance) causes, and that is, that until marijuana is regulated and taxed by government, organized crime will be a part of its trafficking. Decriminalizing makes it legal to own and smoke it, but not to sell or grow it, so where does the marijuana come from?

Does it fall from the sky? Or does it magically appear out of thin air? No.

You also mention that the “billions of dollars wasted on incarcerating tens of thousands of people for simple possession could be spent on standardizing health care in America…” well, so could the tax revenue that is generated by legalizing (and thus taxing marijuana), and that is on top of what would be saved from criminal processions and law enforcement, so while your point there is valid, the one for legalizing is just better.

(Just so you get an idea, California is considering legalizing marijuana and estimates that taxes alone could GENERATE (not only save, but generate) over $1.3 Billion per year.)

You also mention that the savings from decriminalizing could be spent on alternative fuels, well it just so happens that the cannabis plant (also known as hemp) is able to produce a very high volume of 100% clean bio-fuels from the fermentation process of the leaves and stalks, as well as fiber that exceeds the amount produced in a similar area of trees, so not only would it generate bio-fuels, but also save the cutting down of millions or billions of trees annually. That is what is called “killing two birds with one stone” is it not?

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Perception of Marijuana Finally Turning Around

After 72 years of prohibition, cannabis, more commonly known as “marijuana,” may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The utter failure of the war on drugs by our government has brought the spotlight onto the most abused illegal substance in the United States. With the Marijuana Policy Project reporting over 872,000 arrests for use and/or possession of this naturally grown plant within the previous year, concerns have been raised as to the improvement of the current federal policies on cannabis.

Currently, cannabis is placed on the highest tier of illegal substances ranked by the Drug Enforcement Agency (Schedule I drugs); heroin, LSD, and MDMA (Ecstasy) are a few other well known illegal drugs placed in this same category, while cocaine and methamphetamines are ranked as Schedule 2 drugs. DrugWarFacts.org states that tobacco and alcohol related deaths resulted in the combined total of over 500,000 Americans in 2000.

That same year-and also in every other year-there were 0 confirmed deaths from marijuana consumption. The paradoxical status of marijuana in our federal system is based more on fear than on actual facts since there are very few studies refuting the medicinal benefits of marijuana on the body.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, appearing on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, stated that cannabis could be used for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to stimulate a patient’s appetite, to treat “neuropathic pain” resulting from a trauma or injury or to help treat patients with Multiple Sclerosis suffering from tremors.

Dr. Gupta also mentioned that addiction rates of cannabis were fairly low (5-9%) compared to other drugs in the same or lower schedule such as heroin (23%) and cocaine (17%), further adding the confusion of marijuana’s position in Schedule I.

Perception of Marijuana

According to Rob Kampia of the MPP, the U.S. government has spent billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars on disinformation and ad campaigns that have attempted to discredit such purported medical benefits. Kampia also reports that in recent polls, over half of Americans would rather tax and regulate marijuana, which highlights the failure of government attempts at prohibition.

Thirteen states including California and Rhode Island currently have laws that protect and support patients that are prescribed medical marijuana for their ailments; that is more than 25% of all the states. Increasing awareness has also led multiple bills to be introduced to state and federal legislators to allow for personal possession of marijuana in small quantities.

One such bill, H.R. 2943 Personal Use of Marijuana By Responsible Adults Act of 2009, currently awaits deliberation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. If this bill were to pass, federal penalties for possession and use of marijuana would be eliminated, leaving it to the state to decide; this no doubt would be a major step forward in the legalization process.

According to the MPP, the result of taxing and regulating cannabis would result in estimated tax revenues and savings of approximately $10-$14 billion; this is all money that would leave the pockets of drug dealers and cartels. In addition, the government would save approximately $40 billion by ending marijuana prohibition.

Police officers would also have more time to pursue more pressing criminal offenses such as murders and kidnappings. Although legalization is far off, the possible benefits to our society and economy are helping the movement gain momentum. The light is at the end of the tunnel.

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