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Old 03-11-10, 11:15 AM   #1
unixpro
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OT (kind of): Marijuana legalization in Washington State

We've had medical marijuana in Washington State for a number of years and it seems to be working well, as far as I can tell. This year we had legislators propose a marijuana decriminalization and outright legalization, both or which didn't get out of committee. There is now, however, a citizens initiative gaining signatures that would, if passed by voters, completely legalize marijuana for adults over 21.

I've got a friend using medical marijuana for arthritis. She's over 50, has always been pretty active, and had pretty serious arthritis in both her knees, her back, and her right elbow. It was painful to watch her try to move around much. With the medical marijuana, she's gotten quite a bit of her range of motion back and isn't in anywhere near the amount of pain she was. She pointed me to some studies and it seems that marijuana contains things that are very beneficial to people with arthritis, including a natural anti-inflammatory and a much better pain inhibitor than the Celebrex (among other drugs) that she was on. Her joints feel much better, the swelling has all but gone away, and she's got a pretty full range of motion now. Further, it doesn't cause any of the side-effects that the prescription drugs did. When she was taking Celebrex, she also had to take Azor to counteract the high blood pressure that was a side-effect of the Celebrex.

Now I'm probably like most of the people here. I'm a boomer (tail end, though) who had experiences when I was younger, then stopped when I had the kids. I don't drink more than a couple of glasses of wine or beer a year. I don't see much if any distinction between marijuana and alcohol, so I'm inclined to be in favor of the initiative, especially given the potential beneficial uses of marijuana. I don't see any corresponding beneficial uses for alcohol.

Before I run off and sign the initiative, however, I'd like to know what others think. I'm not interested in scare tactics or fear-mongering. If you can't support your opinion with facts and citations, then please don't present it as anything other than your opinion.

This might be interesting
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Old 03-11-10, 11:31 AM   #2
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I'd support it. It's a stupid prohibition designed to make money for police, courts and prisons and serves no other purpose as far as I can see.
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Old 03-11-10, 12:38 PM   #3
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It would mean more pie rides.
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Old 03-11-10, 12:55 PM   #4
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I'd support it. It's a stupid prohibition designed to make money for police, courts and prisons and serves no other purpose as far as I can see.
+1

I see no rational public need to criminalize drugs, however I believe that we are far too lenient when it comes to operating motor vehicles under the influence of drugs - legal and otherwise.
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Old 03-11-10, 01:29 PM   #5
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wait, what did you say?
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Old 03-11-10, 01:40 PM   #6
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We ought to lealize it for several reasons;

1) It's here and ubiquitous anyway. States could bring in a lot of tax money on this.

2) Legalization would put the money into legal hands, instead of criminal gangs. Gangs have taken over production on federal and state lands here in California. It would be nice to get rid of them.

3) Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton have all smoked. Why should anyone get arrested, fined and forced to undergo urine testing during probation for it anymore.

It is time for law enforcement to get off this one. Their time is better spent doing other things. bk
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Old 03-11-10, 01:46 PM   #7
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Eddying in the wake of the persuasive argument for legalization of marijuana and a listing of its genuine medical benefits for people in need are some equally undeniable concerns.

I teach kids in a neighborhood where lots of parents are stoned, drunk, and otherwise pathetic shadows who can't care for themselves let alone their kids. Drug abuse, including marijuana, is often at the root of this dysfunctionality. Screwed up kids climbing the walls or staring blankly at the rest of their lives or neglected or abused or adrift are pretty common. In fact, too common to be complacent or just a little concerned about the contribution made by pathological drug use. My systemically inefficient school and the Christian outreach next door sometimes seem like a sort of Ft. Apache in the wilderness. Too many former students are replicating their parents' lost lives and creating new generations like themselves.

Nonmedical use of currently illegal drugs isn't the lone cause, but it is a chief cause of a lot of human waste and misery I see.

Anyway, a tough issue with no really satisfying position to take....no matter which side, troubling concerns for ultimate effects on some group of people will arise.

Last edited by '47; 03-11-10 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 03-11-10, 02:04 PM   #8
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would do nothing for the state budget. the governor would still have huge state deficits. only difference is - fewer people would care cuz they'd be ... you know ... munching out or SLEEPING!
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Old 03-11-10, 02:08 PM   #9
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maybe folks should apply for a permit to smoke. you have to be smart enough and financially successful enough etc to get a permit to buy and smoke. hmmm ... then there would be a big criminal market for fake pot permits ... OK never mind. wait what did you say?
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Old 03-11-10, 02:31 PM   #10
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Inhaling smoke just doesn't seem like a good idea. That said, I certainly favor legalization.

Here in Colorado we have recently permitted medical MJ and I have my usual reaction: States are stupid anachronisms. The problem of the actual methods to regulate & license have been solved already. Why do we need to make our own mistakes?? It is just as stupid as having local school curricula because intermediate algebra or 19th century European history in Colorado is different from those same subjects in Connecticut.
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Old 03-11-10, 02:45 PM   #11
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I'm not in favor of smoking dope, but I also don't believe people belong in jail for using or selling it. There was a report on Current TV(satellite) that is also on HULU about a jail somewhere in Georgia that is over crowded with women who obtained pain killers legally in Florida.

As far as the report could gather, none of the doctors have even been investigated.
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Old 03-11-10, 02:59 PM   #12
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Oh, let's keep it illegal so nobody will use it. Fail. The stuff is already everywhere and we can't get rid of it. So leagalize and tax it. bk
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Old 03-11-10, 03:02 PM   #13
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I can't get rid of the raccoons - doesn't mean I'm gonna feed them
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Old 03-11-10, 03:32 PM   #14
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Is this a feel-good post or what? I already worry about being run over by a booze-swilling Lortab-popping Seroquel-sucking driver, and now we're going to toss Wednesday weed into the brew.

Some day the Lefties and Libertarians are going to be the death of us all.
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Old 03-11-10, 03:51 PM   #15
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Then again, it's obvious that gangs and their anti-social puke behavior would all disappear if there was no ban on drugs and we could just stop at WalMart for a kilo. Well, maybe.

And just 'cuz some pointy knucklehead accuses us of being moral cowards, or finding some cynical expediency in makin' some tax dollars off a now legal drug transaction. Why, hell, boy, that drug zonked mother would have not-fed, not-taken-to-the-doctor, not-parented that little kid anyway-- whether we legally approve it or not. At least that extra tax money will be used carefully and conscientiously fer bridges, and skunk studies, and luxury jets, and butterfly habitats, and such. Well, maybe.

Why, shet, this here is gonna be a real boon to our economy-- if you look at it the right way. Well, maybe.

I shet you not!
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Old 03-11-10, 03:54 PM   #16
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Considering it was the Booze Barons that lobbied to have it made illegal despite it being one of America's early cash crops.... I'd support it too. Never see a couple stoners pounding each other silly over who's pool game is next, that's soley for drunk wankers.
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Old 03-11-10, 04:43 PM   #17
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I teach kids in a neighborhood where lots of parents are stoned, drunk, and otherwise pathetic shadows who can't care for themselves let alone their kids. Drug abuse, including marijuana, is often at the root of this dysfunctionality. Screwed up kids climbing the walls or staring blankly at the rest of their lives or neglected or abused or adrift are pretty common. In fact, too common to be complacent or just a little concerned about the contribution made by pathological drug use. My systemically inefficient school and the Christian outreach next door sometimes seem like a sort of Ft. Apache in the wilderness. Too many former students are replicating their parents' lost lives and creating new generations like themselves.
Making them criminals for smoking marijuana certainly doesn't help their situation (altho if they're underage they could still get an MIP or something). Also, legalization has the benefit of removing MJ from the product list of those who sell other, more dangerous drugs. If it's legal, it would be obtainable without the need of associating with these people. Criminalization of MJ undermines the credibility arguing that other "recreational" drug use is bad.

Dan
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Old 03-11-10, 04:52 PM   #18
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Sign it.
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Old 03-11-10, 05:31 PM   #19
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Few users in my described above neighborhood are arrested. There aren't enough jails nor foster homes for their kids. Dealers, especially "wholesalers" who sell to teenage "retailers" are mostly looked for. Assuming there's a legal age limit for legal MJ purchase, what about those below the limit-- under 21, under 18, under 16, whatever. Do they have it illegally supplied by their older friends and siblings, or go illegally to the local dealer? Surely we don't do a wink-and-a-nod to a 13 year old smoking dope? Or his older sister giving it to him. We can always advise his mom not to leave her baggie on the kitchen table.

There is still plenty of research to suggest MJ is a gateway drug to more undesirable stuff. Merely anecdotal, but in front of our school last year a meth driven freak emptied a .38 revolver into a Pinto that had his daughter and girlfriend in the back seat. Baby had a slight shoulder wound, mom was hit in the leg. Lots of blood. He was 18. I knew him and his parents. Drugs, including MJ, a big part of their lives. Then there's John, 13. Often came to school "high". Didn't make it one morning. Crossing a busy street on his skateboard got hit by a truck.

Anyway, there is always tension between "rights", social obligations, moral imperatives, practical considerations, and expediency. But to blithefully suggest "Hey, legalize it" cuz it sounds good ignores some counter-arguments.
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Old 03-11-10, 05:36 PM   #20
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Like any recreational substance, apply age limits similar to drinking.
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Old 03-11-10, 06:44 PM   #21
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maybe folks should apply for a permit to smoke. you have to be smart enough and financially successful enough etc to get a permit to buy and smoke.
Aren't you allowed to carry guns openly in WA without a permit?

Seems like the key is for these two movements to combine forces....
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Old 03-11-10, 08:15 PM   #22
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No doubt there are problems with it being illegal, but I'm against making it more accessible and/or socially acceptable. Pot is too easily integrated into a person's life. I work in a high school and I can tell you we don't need more stoned teenagers running around.
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Old 03-11-10, 10:03 PM   #23
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Legalize it. Then we can worry about far worse things, like meth.
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Old 03-11-10, 10:40 PM   #24
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If it's legalized...where's the fun in hiding it from the cops?
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Old 03-11-10, 11:10 PM   #25
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No doubt there are problems with it being illegal, but I'm against making it more accessible and/or socially acceptable. Pot is too easily integrated into a person's life. I work in a high school and I can tell you we don't need more stoned teenagers running around.
Isn't that what suspensions are for? If I can get suspended for the dumbest thing ever I'm sure it wouldn't be hard getting them.
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