Beware: Marijuana (in Off-topic)
I hope this doesn't become non-pg but I feel I have to vent somewhere.
I've been smoking marijuana every day for the last six years. When it became legal in my state (Washington) for medical reasons, I lined up to get my MM card. I suffer from chronic back pain from an industrial injury.
Now I've always been for the full legalization of Marijuana, always argued the point with friends. Always stood up for it.
This last week, for the first time in six years my eyes have been opened.
I decided to stop smoking for awhile, take a small break and pick it back up again when I feel like it (After all it's perfectly legal for me to have/use it)
I've never been more sick in my life.
I've never heard of THC withdrawals until my friend joked about how sick I was. So I googled it and read/read/read/read and wow everything I'm experiencing is linked directly to THC.
I've been really sick, my body basically just stopped working yesterday. I was fine one minute, then the next minute I'm having such sever body aches that I wont even move to kiss my girlfriend. My eyes twitch randomly, uncontrollably. I have splitting headaches, sudden temper flares, I've always been calm and collected but lately I'm so volatile I don't even want to be around anyone because I'm afraid I might explode over something completely stupid. I'm suffering from extreme anxiety, body chills, neck/back pain, having trouble focusing, depression, insomnia, nausea, nightmares, last night I was laying down with 4 heating pads on my neck/back/arms and in 5 blankets freezing. I was shivering so bad that I cracked a tooth.
It's not worth it guys, after 4 hours of shivering in bed I finally fell asleep only to wake up 2 hours later puking everywhere. After finally cleaning up and getting back to sleep, I woke up again a few hours later from a horrible nightmare, only to have sleep paralysis. I hurt so bad and couldn't move or talk, so for about a half hour I lay in bed only able to move my eyes, which were pouring tears.
It's just not worth it guys, and I never knew. No one ever told me this could happen. The last three days have been the worst in my entire life and I feel like I'm dying.
So if you're doing it (Legal or not) I suggest you kick the habbit.
This warning brought to you by Jir!
(Hope I haven't crossed any pg lines)
Hmmm, I have smoked it off and on for about 6 years now with the longest continues use being about 3 years. I don't remember going through withdrawals like that per say but I do remember going from a happy person that got along with everyone, to a mean inconsiderate cantankerous person.
Oh and yes, I need to quit again. I am in the middle of doing so now, and have stopped for about a week now. I am having extreme chest pain, so much so that I think I broke ribs again, and I know I haven't.
are you sure you didn't get married while you were stoned, much of that sounds like the symptoms of marriage as well! ; )
lol, that made me laugh hard dudemus. I just hope people can realize that it CAN happen to them. Granted the last few months I've been smoking upwards of 4 grams a day to myself. :( I'm wondering it I can get an attorney and sue the state of Washington for all of this suffering, because this was supposed to help my pain (which it did) but they never warned of this... :(
March 5 2009 12:12 PM EST
I have a question regarding your chronic pains: are they gone now or are you just accepting them to be there always? Otherwise this sounds to me like a bad trade-off from a medical point of view...
But imho you are quite brave and strong for doing what you did :)
The pain by itself is always there, it's like if I moved my back I would get sharp shooting pain so sever it would instantly stop me from moving another inch. While 'medicating' via marijuana the pain was lessened dramatically. Going from sharp shooting pains to dull aches, and sometimes (depending on the amount of marijuana) almost non-existent.
So from my point of view I DO believe that marijuana is the best pain medication available. I've had most of the "bigs", Morphine, Oxy, Hydro; but marijuana works the best for pain. Up until this last week I have no complaints. In fact I'm positive I'll pick it back up again once the pain in my back becomes unbearable, I'll just make sure I'm not dependent on it.
I think the lesson here is to not let your body become dependent on a chemical. Regardless of what it is or does for you.
March 5 2009 12:21 PM EST
yo dude, men take this off your mind will ya, even if your symptom are really about the fact that you quit smoking, you're probably making it a lot bigger in your head, so you are sure to suffer one way or another. Sure your 6 years of addiction must have transform you in a way you probably dont even realize yet and from which you'll surely never completly recover, but what's done is done so get on with your life and stop focusing about your sickness and concentrate on all the new opportunities that life can offer ya, while you still have it.
''The last three days have been the worst in my entire life and I feel like I'm dying.
So if you're doing it (Legal or not) I suggest you kick the habbit. ''
we are all dying slowly but feeling it is another story....and great suggestion : kick the rabbit aahhmm i mean kill the habbit.. :)
by the way congrats for stoping
March 5 2009 12:30 PM EST
yo dude, men take this off your mind will ya,
imo this is a good way of dealing with it. I've also known someone who had literally tried everything except for 1. He quit it all and has been clean now for 4 years without even wanting to go back to the feelings he had then.
March 5 2009 12:33 PM EST
Gratz on quiting!
I have never heard of physical withdrawal from marijuana only a mental withdrawal, but you take a inherit risk of withdrawal with any drug whether it be perscription or recreational. You are putting a foreign chemical in your body and over time your body gets used to it. Then when all of the sudden you stop your body is like what the heck and starts to tweak out in one form or another.
Just dont give up the fight of making it legal :)
March 5 2009 12:42 PM EST
New Jersey might be the next state to legalize it for medical purposes. Except I'm at the point where I want to quit. Bad timing, I guess. I've quit for periods of weeks at a time before and the most I've ever felt was that I was going crazy with boredom.
OMG I abused the heck out of a substance and now I don't feel good...
Blaming the substance is stupid, that attitude is the reason we are in half the messes we are in. Personal responsibility is dead.
March 5 2009 1:00 PM EST
Grats on quitting.
However, do you not think that smoking everyday for 6 years is a bit excessive?
THC is a narcotic, hence it being a schedule I drug according to the DEA.
In the same class as heroin, PCP, cocaine, etc...
Drug that have no "medical" use.
The government used to override states rights to legalize THC, however, the new administration is taking steps to reverse Bush's course. One of the few things I think they are doing correctly.
But all of the schedule type drugs, including valium, codeine, etc.. are addictive and one will get a withdrawl type of syndrome if one abruptly stops using it.
But I know of people who recreationally use THC and they never described what you did.
The key word is moderation. What you were describing seemed to be to be abuse.
Vanilla Spice, all the best for you during your withdrawal.
On a somewhat related note, if there's anyone here suffering from withdrawal symptoms from opioids, take a look at this article:
March 5 2009 1:41 PM EST
I agree with Ranger, dosage seems to be the critical issue here.
My understanding is that marajuana is not physiologically addictive in the same way as, say, heroin. Kind of more like alcohol in that sense. That said, having bottle of scotch every day for 6 yrs is likely to produce withdrawal issues too.
I'm curious as to whether or not medical exemptions provide dosage levels?
...of course there are also issues of purity and quality control that come with the legal/illegal status that may impact users.
Ah well, I'm in favour of decriminalization (though ironically I don't touch the stuff)...
Either way, be well and take care.
March 5 2009 1:54 PM EST
hope you get better soon! I have never understood those who are in favour of decriminalizing such a substance. I smoke on occcasion but I have seen what pot smoking does to people (mainly my roomates) and as far as I'm concerned it hold absolutely no benefit to society.
March 5 2009 1:55 PM EST
... kind of like alcohol eh?
March 5 2009 1:59 PM EST
except alcohol is controlled and has how many decades of infrastructure behind it? Alcohol has a rather linear effect on people each additional beer makes a person more drunk however how do you make smoking weed have such a small impact on people? Also would legalizing such a substance be worth the cost to regulate it?
the cost of regulation would come from taxes on the substance much like alcohol and nicotine today. a portion of the money would also likely be set aside for substance abuse education as well.
i think that is the main reason many support legalization, especially non-users. rather than filling up prisons for minor drug violations and releasing much more dangerous criminals to make room for these non-violent offenders, the government would tax the stuff, set up regulations for quality control as well as using money for education and rehabilitation.
many also think that if you take the criminal out of the picture then the violence that goes along with the drug trade would also disappear perhaps through much of central and south as well as north america.
March 5 2009 2:15 PM EST
.. there are also benefits from agricultural hemp for clothing, paper, food (seeds), etc
as to my last post,
I was referring to:
"as far as I'm concerned it hold absolutely no benefit to society."
Your response failed to indicate how alcohol benefits society... other than helping white boys dance...
*there has never been a recorded fatal OD due to pot... alcohol has sadly quite a few
you kinda can't OD on pot, you can however smoke yourself sober...
sucks when it happens but, you learn how much your body can take.
I'm with dude and Loch on this one.
March 5 2009 2:53 PM EST
having to fight for legalization of personal rights. gotta love our government.
Since when do you have a "right" to smoke pot? Although, it does seem like a viable source of income for the gov't, if they tax it...
March 5 2009 4:06 PM EST
"Also would legalizing such a substance be worth the cost to regulate it?"
What about tobacco ? It's legal too. And it's smoked too.
Except that it doesn't have any real medical benefits.
And the government is MAKING money off it.
Legalizing marijuana would mean:
* serious income from taxing it, more than regulating it would cost
* cheaper marijuana for those who want to use it, and less likely to resort to other illegal drugs
* a whole lot less burden on the judicial and penal system, so a lot of money saved there too
Is marijuana abuse good ? Certainly not. But then again, abuse of just about anything isn't good.
Is use of marijuana in small recreational doses harmful ? Quite doubtful, some would say it's even less damaging than smoking tobacco.
Is the use of marijuana for medical purposes helpful ? Even the OP agrees that yes, he'll probably use it again, since it works best out of all available alternatives.
All in all, legalizing, regularizing and taxing marijuana would be one of the best moves for the country since the abolition of the prohibition.
March 5 2009 4:09 PM EST
Since when do you have a "right" to smoke pot?
Since forever. The government has no business interfering with what we put into our bodies, regardless of if it is destructive and addictive. I would NEVER do heroin, but I hate this stupid double standard we have going regarding drugs vs. alcohol.
Alcohol is one of the most destructive substances I have ever encountered, yet it is legal. My proposition has always been, either the "hardcore" drugs are legalized, or ALL drugs are illegal. Including alcohol and tobacco.
March 5 2009 4:11 PM EST
On the other hand:
Why stop with pot?
Why not legalize heroin, cocaine or LSD?
The gov't can tax it all and lower the price. Thereby making it easier for all the scum of the earth to afford their daily fix.
Just another point of view. One I have heard many times when I take the side of legalizing mary jane.
Personally I have seen its therapeudic effects, which at times can be considerable. And I agree it should be legalized.
My mother had end stage cancer and it was the only thing to allow her to keep any food down. Even the most powerful anti-emetics could not.
It still does not mean it isn't a constitutional right.
March 5 2009 4:15 PM EST
Government has right to control what you put into your body? No.
Government has right to control what substances cross the borders and are labeled as illegal substances? Yes.
Don't misinterpret what "right" you are claiming.
March 5 2009 4:16 PM EST
Okay OB... So we grow it all here then. What's the difference?
March 5 2009 4:18 PM EST
"and are labeled as illegal substances"
It's sort of like saying anthrax is legal so long as it is created in the US.
March 5 2009 4:19 PM EST
Alcohol is pretty much the worse drug going. It gets abused yet the government don't make it illegal. At the end of the day if all these silly drugs were legalised and taxed the world would probably be a better place. At least it could be regulated. The prices of the drug would fall dramatically, meaning less drug related crime. I think most thing's in moderation are fine. Thousands of people are dead due to alcohol abuse, this includes the innocent people. One guy smokes some pot and thinks he can fly off a building... Who cares? His friend gets paranoid schizophrenia. Who cares? They choose their own fate. At least they didn't get into an alcohol fueled fight and beat someone to death.
March 5 2009 4:19 PM EST
Anyway, back the the point of the thread:
Jir, I've been through some periods where I used pot pretty heavily and while I didn't experience side effects NEARLY as severe as you, I did feel some definite physical changes, mostly with my sleep. I stopped dreaming entirely and no longer felt refreshed at all when I woke up, regardless of whether I was stoned when I went to bed. It kind of sucked.
March 5 2009 4:21 PM EST
It's sort of like saying anthrax is legal so long as it is created in the US.
Yeah, it's sort of like that, and then again it's sort of not at all like that in any way. Comparing marijuana to anthrax is like comparing cotton to anthrax.
March 5 2009 4:27 PM EST
I'm comparing legality, I'm not comparing the effects of the substances.
You can also say apples are fruits and oranges are fruits, but then you're comparing apples to oranges, and the comparison is invalid, right? /eyeroll
I wonder how much he did to get hooked.
Know restrained jeesz.
March 5 2009 4:30 PM EST
In September and October, I smoked 8-10 times a day, everyday.
March 5 2009 4:36 PM EST
OB, I see what you're saying. Hopefully, I've understood you correctly. And I DO believe that the government absolutely has the right to regulate what comes into this country and what leaves this country, and also what is an illegal substance.
I simply believe they made a bad decision in deciding that marijuana, and indeed all recreational drugs, are illegal substances.
Anthrax is still not cool.
March 5 2009 4:38 PM EST
Oh, I do agree there. I am absolutely for the legalization of marijuana (though I'm not entirely certain about other 'recreational' drugs that have more severe effects) but I simply wanted to clarify this "right" that the government is apparently violating about what substances we put in our bodies.
March 5 2009 6:00 PM EST
"Alcohol is pretty much the worse drug going. It gets abused yet the government don't make it illegal."
Believe me there are people out there who wish they could make it illegal. Problem is, we tried this little thing called Prohibition, and you see how that turned out.
I really didn't want to turn this into a debate, I wanted to warn people who smoke about what could happen. I smoked every day(ish) for 6 years because it was part of my daily routine. It wasn't a situation of "Oh man I've really got the jones!!! GOTTA HAVE MY POT!!!" no It was a situation where I wake up and cringe from pain and smoke to relieve said pain.
As far as legalization is concerned just look at the Netherlands, Heroin, Opiates, (pretty much all drugs) are legal there. Now that being said they have one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
Obama is for legalization which is the first step our country needs...
Just don't abuse it like I did. Thanks for the words of encouragement.
The funny thing about these "withdrawals" is that I have absolutely no desire to smoke... with most hard drugs // additives the person in withdrawals is sick and needs their fix. This is more of a "well I guess I could smoke to make myself feel better" though I wont.
i have a suggestion Jir, you are kinda describing the symptoms of the flu. have you been checked out yet?
March 5 2009 7:12 PM EST
"As far as legalization is concerned just look at the Netherlands, Heroin, Opiates, (pretty much all drugs) are legal there. Now that being said they have one of the lowest crime rates in the world. "
Yes, you can go to Amsterdam and smoke marijuana in the Coffee Shops. But not with tobacco. That's been banned in public places.
"It still does not mean it isn't a constitutional right."
Rights are not granted us by the constitution, but simply protected by it. Misdirected, albeit constitutional, legislation doesn't take away our rights.
I know, but Chaosal was saying that it was a constitutional right, unless I misunderstood...
March 5 2009 7:58 PM EST
March 5 2009 8:00 PM EST
all i was saying was that legislation of morality should be complete or nonexistent. from seat belt laws to suicide, your body is your own.
as for the point of the thread, overindulgence is wrong, mkay?
"Obama is for legalization which is the first step our country needs... "
Umm... I'm all for legalization (duh?), and I like Obama, but I think there are other steps that should likely take precedence given our current situation... :P
I'm against legalizing it, principle-wise. But what does the opinion of a 13 year old matter, anyway?
March 5 2009 8:11 PM EST
legalize means new farms, new mills, new factories, possibly new retail outlet. equals allot of new jobs.
allot more you can use tha plant for then just smoking.
March 5 2009 8:22 PM EST
This is not an Obama priority.
However, when cases are in the courts right now RE: Raids on legalized California stores, things have to be done now.
I simply meant on topic, obviously the current job market and health care situation is more "important" then the legalization of marijuana. Although legalization would create a LOT of jobs...
March 5 2009 8:32 PM EST
yeah in the beginning, its something like every U.S. citizen had the obligation to have one or two plants to help with the war effort (North vs South) in making clothing with it... after i think it was the newspaper and forestry bussiness which push for it to be illegal since it can make people sick(we have a good example here..) and they would do more money cutting trees with their giant paper industry instead of exploiting a potentially dangerous natural plant, now that we dont have much trees, i guess it will legalize faster... :)
does this make sense ?
dude, i know... was just poking fun at the quote out of context ^_^
March 5 2009 8:57 PM EST
"On the other hand: Why stop with pot? Why not legalize heroin, cocaine or LSD? "
Actually, I would like to hear the answer as to why we shouldn't legalize those too.
It's not like people who use them can't get them, we're spending an awful lot of money trying to combat a problem that won't go away, and having such drugs be illegal and therefore unregulated (and therefore of questionable quality and also quite expensive) raises crime rates where no actual crime would exist, increases risks of accidental overdoses and so on and so forth.
Everything you decide to pump into your body out of your own free will should be legal. On the other hand, you SHOULD be held responsible for each and every act you commit under the influence of any drugs you chose to take.
Part of the money raised by taxing every one of those drugs (and money saved on not wasting it on an useless "war on drugs" nobody can win) should be spent on awareness campaigns against the effects and side-effects of drugs on the market. Now, if you're stupid enough to still use them, go right ahead, do it, NOBODY will stop you.
March 5 2009 8:57 PM EST
On the other hand, you SHOULD be held responsible for each and every act you commit under the influence of any drugs you chose to take.
March 5 2009 9:35 PM EST
Well, I'm 16 now and in the past 5 years I've smoked most of them, Yes, i started very early. Anyways, Before those years I was a happy kid, full of energy, enjoying every minute of life, I bought some weed when I was 11, just out of curiosity and knowing these people for a long time. I tried it like they said, kept getting more because it was so much fun for me. I was never really addicted, nor did withdrawls happen. Then as I got older and smoked more, they gave me a little higher grade, and higher, until when I was 13 they gave me some coke. I did the coke and got hooked, I wasn't even buying a lot of weed anymore, just kept getting coke unless I had extra. I started to get Ecstacy, LSD, and shrooms, doing those, I went till I was just turned 15. Then I got locked up for assault on my dad and brother. I did 10months in DJJ (Basically a juvinile prison, it's mostly young gang bangers. Where I did do a lot of things to climb through ranks to make it out including stealing, and fighting, after I got out I did 8 months of parole, during that time I did shrooms often, and salvia, after getting off parole (I've been off since January 24th, I got off parole, I smoked weed with a friend, I've been doing it on and off since, but, I've never really had any bad experiences from weed, LSD, or X pills, but, Shrooms and salvia i've had some bad trips, and coke, I don't want to risk the addiction again, after you have left it, you start to notice that drugs are all different.
I do believe in keeping some drugs illegal (crack, cocaine, other hard drugs) but, Marijuana and such, I think are fine, under controlled amounts (basically put the same laws as alcohol to them?)
Sorry if I went off topic in some areas of this lol, Can't help myself when writing/typing. :P
March 6 2009 4:44 AM EST
idiotz, no offence, but I am seriously having problems accepting what you just said as true.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not calling you a liar...
I'm just saying I find it nearly unbelievable for this to be a representative story... or in other words that so many people could have possibly gotten in such deep **** at such a young age in today's world that it would be unavoidable one of them can sit here in the CB forums talking about their problems with so many different drugs... while many others around echo with "yeah, I know".
Seriously, at 16, you have BIG problems getting tobacco and alcohool (which are quite legal above 21, or even 18 in other countries), and you're telling me you've sampled (and been addicted to, don't try to say you aren't, that's just the denial phase) pretty much everything you can for the past 5 years, so since you were 11 years old ?
This right here then is one of the best arguments FOR LEGALISATION AND REGULARISATION of all drugs, including the stronger ones.
"I'm just saying I find it nearly unbelievable for this to be a representative story..."
Guess it depends where you grow up then... I've seen plenty of people go through that cycle myself... Some grew up and got on with their lives, while others allowed drugs and the like to consume what was left of their lives... Most from the latter are still technically "alive" (they got a pulse and can breathe), but even calling them "lost causes" would be an understatement on the same scale as calling an ocean "wet"...
March 6 2009 11:32 AM EST
Sick, I'm 40 now and growing up - in London - my friends and I could get hold of pretty much everything. By the time I was 17, 18 I'd tried most things and seen three people, including one very good friend, die of overdose. Substances have a way of finding those people who are going to use and abuse them.
I've known of 12 year old kids who are addicted to meth, so it's not like it doesn't happen. :(
I think anything under 14 is the parents fault, and anything 15 and over is 100% that persons choice.
March 6 2009 2:45 PM EST
Never smoked pot, never want to, and I'd prefer to keep it illegal. Then again I believe we should also be de-legalizing alcohol and cigarettes. I'm unsure how I feel about regular tobacco (pipe tobacco, namely). My black-and-white morality tells me to outlaw that as well. We should outlaw masturbation and liking bad pop music while we're at it.
March 6 2009 3:12 PM EST
Masturbation makes you go blind. You begin to have trouble reading very large text.
March 6 2009 3:24 PM EST
Goodfish, you have to remember our country's history with prohibition. The reason it was repealed is it just made everything about alcohol more dangerous, but didn't abate it. And to quote Homer Simpson, "At first, I thought prohibition was a good thing. People were drinking more and having a lot more fun. But, without beer, prohibition doesn't work!"
I can't see hard drugs being legalized, but marijuana likely should be legalized. If simply by the fact that it's so prevalent, it seems ridiculous to have it criminalized.
Now for a mediocre analogy. Imagine if something not good for you (Hamburgers) were made illegal. As for it's prevalence being compared to Hamburgers, the estimated amount of money spent on pot in the US is 36 billion dollars per year, while McDonald's annual revenue for 2007 is 22 billion dollars per year. You would have a lot of the population breaking the law once in a while. The end result when you have something that prevalent illegal is that it's still prevalent. But if you need to get someone in trouble, you can trap any one you want under the law (bit of an exaggeration) for no particular reason but that they were doing what everyone else was doing. In theory allowing political prisoners and police suppression (obviously this is at the extremes).
Sidenote: Neat fact I just read on wikipedia, they cited a book, but apparently in the 40's the Office of Strategic Services found Marijuana to be the most effective truth serum they had at the time.
Not that I think it makes a difference, but if it gives me anymore credibility, I've only had pot once and didn't like it anyway; thus, never again.
March 6 2009 4:14 PM EST
Sickone -- the Illegal drugs are the easiest to get in most of the U.S. now for teens these days. It is harder for me to get cigarettes and alcohol but I can depending on which stores I go to.
March 6 2009 10:04 PM EST
But... how the heck do kids this young get enough money to buy those drugs in the first place ?
And don't the parents realize their kids are on some sort of drugs ?
March 6 2009 10:24 PM EST
Jobs sickone, jobs. Or, they just smoke some of someone else's at a party.
March 6 2009 10:27 PM EST
Also, older teens and even adults often give very young children drugs because they do them themselves and want to get others hooked, either because they want to sell to them or they think they're doing them a favor.
March 6 2009 11:04 PM EST
I love how no one commented about QBJohnnyWas' post. lol!
nobody's come up with the C+P solution yet :P
i was just planning on stopping somewhere between 16 & 18 point!
Everyone just assumes that making marijuana legal is cheaper for the government when trying to find an excuse to smoke or market the stuff without getting into trouble.
Yet no one has actually put together an evaluation of the current cost versus the cost of the regulation of the drug. This includes not only the overhead of all the regulatory activities, but the cost of cleaning up the mess of useless idiots.
Alcohol is a fantastic example of something that costs a heck of a lot more post-prohibition than during. The cost of wiping up body parts from the road after a drunk driving accident, the spike in healtcare costs of abusers, the rehabilitation costs for people that use it and mess themselves up but don't pay for healthcare. The list is endless for costs derived directly from the fact that now the government is obligated to deal with the fallout of stuff that's legal.
There's also the negative consequences applied to other people. If you are near a smoker, regardless of what they are smoking, you get screwed because they're jerks. How many times have you walked down the street where somebody is having a marijuana-inspired party? The air is thick with contaminants that spread for a large radius. What's the cost of dealing with that, now that it's "allowed"? What's the cost of all of the fights between people that get tossed into oourt and further bogging down our court system?
There's a lot more to the story than just "The war on drugs doesn't work, sotp it and save that money for something else". That's the kind of stupid broke thinking that gets most people in the poorhouse when managing their own finances.
Honestly, if substance abuse is so important to you to have a meaningful life, then move to a country where it's allowed. That solves everyone's problem -- you get out of my backyard, and you're allowed to destroy yourself however you see fit. I'll even buy you the one-way plane ticket outta here.
March 7 2009 10:06 AM EST
Never have I found such an abundance of people who don't understand...
hmm, broad generalizations are rarely accurate and erroneous assumptions help your arguments very little. i do not use it and likely never will, even if it were made legal. why would i exactly want to move to a country where it is legal when i do not plan to use it?
in your cost analysis you also need to take into account the current cost of law-breakers in our penal system, the cost of increased law enforcement as well as the increased border surveillance.
my main reason for wanting it decriminalized is the fact that as a father of a teenage girl i have to regularly check the sex offender database to make sure no rapists have moved nearby due to the fact that many are released early to make room for a non-violent drug offender. i am not saying that all violent criminals get released before their time to make room for non-violent drug offenders, but it does happen often enough in texas to be a problem. it is especially problematic when we are lacking in war and thus create one against drugs.
"Masturbation makes you go blind. You begin to have trouble reading very large text."
I guess I'm not doing it enough?
March 7 2009 10:12 AM EST
Good post NS.
Personally, I've never smoked anything, nor taken any kind of illegal drug and I completely fail to see the point. I believe that I will never do so. I drink a lot, but that's as far as I'm willing to allow myself to fall. If people enjoy doing it, good for them. Legalising it wont help any of the problems I have with it, but hey.
To continue from NSes post, legalising alcohol has a lot of problems, specifically the cost to the government. Most of the money they make from alcohol taxes goes on anti-drink driving ad campaigns, etc. Imagine how much more they'd have to spend on anti-Pot campaigns, and going back to earlier posts, post-marijuana afflicted people who are now debilitated because of it. And to people who are unemployed because they are too busy being high, etc etc etc. I suppose my government may give out more money (per head, of course) than the US government does, though.
The other fact is that if they legalised Marijuana, then people would ask why drug X isn't legal. It would be a stepping stone for more and more rediculous legalisation petitions.
but money is already being spent on trying to control as well as deter marijuana use by our governments, including federal, state and local. think of a marijuana tax as more of a way to recoup some of that existing cost.
just like if alcohol was made illegal again or if tobacco was banned. there would be increased costs due to enforcing the ban as well as programs helping those who used it illegally.
March 7 2009 12:06 PM EST
Wait, nobody here seriously things the 'war on drugs' is working right?
As for cost/benefit analysis,
I think it would be exceedingly difficult to to get a realistic picture of the economics of legalization... best case you could expect is a reasonable expectation as to whether it would cost more, or less, than the current approach. Personally, I think it would cost less.
Alcohol can provide a good reference point for this but there are a few significant differences. First, overdose deaths / trips to the ER.. sadly common with alcohol yet almost physically impossible with marajuana.
Second, and more importantly, there are legitimate industrial and farming benefits for decriminalization. Hemp grown for fiber makes better clothing than cotton (with far less pesticides) and paper as good wood (and doesn't involve chopping trees).
Perhaps a middle ground approach wherein personal supplies, if discovered, are seized and a ticket (like speeding tickets) is issued...
Nonetheless, this is an issue which does tend to be polarizing. Personally, I have noticed that many of the people complain of 'government' interfering with their rights (like bearing arms) also vehemently oppose decriminalization/legalization. I find this funny.
... and just because I don't get this one NS:
"The air is thick with contaminants that spread for a large radius. What's the cost of dealing with that, now that it's "allowed"?"
What costs are we talking about? The chances of a 2nd hand high are almost nil, ditto for any real harm to your lungs. Smell maybe? Cigarettes/cigars are just as bad, do you consider them a problem too?
I dunno, maybe it's me...
March 7 2009 12:10 PM EST
The other fact is that if they legalised Marijuana, then people would ask why drug X isn't legal. It would be a stepping stone for more and more rediculous legalisation petitions.
Exactly, Daz. That's why I'm saying, it's either ALL legal, or NONE of it is. It's the only logical thing to do, in my opinion.
I think tobacco is 1000x more destructive than marijuana. Alcohol is even higher.
In a "recent" interview with the CEO of (I think it was) Marlboro, he said there are already factories in place 100% ready to roll their own brand of joints. The day marijuana becomes legal, you will have the option to smoke Marlboro joints. I thought this was funny.
March 10 2009 5:15 AM EDT
humans have been using marijauna for thousands of years for all kinds of cures, remedies, religious ceremonies, recreation etc etc etc....Im just come back and Im going to refrain from telling you what I think your problem is
did cube just said if hamburger/drugs is illegal, they can trap anyone with a criminal offense? I personally do have a few drinks every now and then, but does not have an addiction. If they ban alcohol (some council bylaw bans alcohol in some public facility anyway) completely, I would simply stop drinking alcohol. You will NOT be able to catch me drinking illegally. Keeping pot illegal would be enough to keep some people off it, someone is more likely to take a substance if it is readily available.
March 10 2009 11:14 AM EDT
Yeah, but there's also a certain threshold where something is more appealing just because it's illegal. My Criminology called it the "Forbidden Fruit" theory.
"someone is more likely to take a substance if it is readily available"
In my experience, it is readily available. The government's efforts to change that have been ineffective, as far as I can tell.
I think the part that prevents people from taking substances is most often a lack of desire to try them, rather than an inability to procure them. And we should continue with education, and allow people to make crappy choices, if that is our policy. However, if the only harm caused is to the user himself, it is not the government's job to arrest people for having something or other.
March 10 2009 12:14 PM EDT
Educating people in the dangers of drugs actually has been seen to have the opposite effect intended. Because what you find is that alchol and cigarettes cause more harm than many of the illegal drugs.
For instance ecstacy (MDMA) has about 50 related deaths a year in the UK, compared to an average of about 10000 alcohol related deaths. And those alcohol related deaths are only those where alcohol actually directly led to the death, not any through drunk driving or violence.
And then there is the other fact that people enjoy drugs, be they legal or illegal. It isn't simply about the forbidden fruit factor....
March 10 2009 12:31 PM EDT
Way to completely disregard the facts.
Illicit drugs do less arm per capita than illegal ones?
OH MY GOD, BREAKING NEWS
Or MAYBE, just maybe, less people are able to get a hold of illicit drugs than people are able to get a hold of illicit ones. Maybe its the alcohol talking right now, but as I know it, its easier to obtain (AND THEREFORE ABUSE) alcohol than any other drug. Or maybe I'm just dumb. Enlighten me?
March 10 2009 12:33 PM EDT
"Or MAYBE, just maybe, less people are able to get a hold of illicit drugs than people are able to get a hold of illicit ones."
That was the alcohol talking.
Less people able to get a hold of illicit drugs than legal ones. But I guess you presumed that.
Without alcohol no business would get done in the uk ;)
If you're under 21, and you have made casual acquaintance with anyone who's ever worked in a pizza shop, it's easier to obtain weed than alcohol in the United States.
March 10 2009 1:04 PM EDT
Hmm. In the United States.
Here, at 21, I've been able to buy Alcohol for 5 year. 3 (and a lovely half) of those years legally. I have absolutely no idea (nor urge) of how to buy weed (or anything else).
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