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)
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?