Friday, November 03, 2006

Legalize Marijuana In Las Vegas?

A new radio spot on the Las Vegas airways argues that there are 5,000 Marijuana related arrests annually in Nevada and there are also 10,000 unsolved violent crimes annually. They conclude that the crime rate is already worsening and that legalizing Marijuana would free law enforcement's already overburdened resources to catch the really bad guys. Can't argue the main point, but I wonder how many so called Marijuana possession arrests involved people engaging in other criminal activities at the time, what attracted law enforcement to them ? For example, if they were driving a motor vehicle, then they obviously should be prosecuted.

This is an issue that separates the conservatives from the liberals, like abortion and gun control. Nevada has already gone a long way toward decriminalizing Marijuana use when the state took away the felony stigma on the possession of Marijuana ( first offense ).

I personally tend to want the government out of our lives as much as possible, yet bow to the necessity for government to protect the people from all adversaries, domestic and foreign. This includes protecting us from others, but not necessarily from ourselves.

Is smoking Marijuana a privacy issue or a public safety issue? If the government's job isn't necessarily to protect people from themselves, then Marijuana smoking in the privacy of one's home could be reduced to a public health issue, like alcohol consumption. As long as you are not operating heavy equipment or a motor vehicle (as the warning label states on my prescription sleep medication) are you free to ingest anything you want into your body? Marijuana is safer than alcohol, so the proponents claim - this proposition has yet to be proven scientifically. There are more poisons and carcinogenics in Marijuana smoke than in cigarette smoke, and this is a proven study. Another study shows evidence that smoking Marijuana is a "gateway" drug that leads to use of more dangerous recreational drugs like amphetamines and cocaine and ultimately the opiates like heroine. Although Marijuana is thought to be "merely" psychologically (as opposed to physically) additive, the long term effects of Marijuana smoking on brain function, particularly memory loss, are beginning to be suspected.

But there might be an argument for limited legalization for those like cancer patients who get relief from the side affects (like nausea) of chemotherapy. Using San Francisco, California, as a model, this has led to some major abuses, and the government has every right to clamp down on the abusers. Mostly, the government tends to look the other way when large numbers of people in society begin to act like a particular law does not exist. Witness the abolution of prohibition. Witness the lack of enforcement on the illegal alien issues.

But before I make a final decision on Question Seven ---Somebody from Amsterdam --- please comment here and let me know how legalization of Marijuana has affected society in general in Holland?



Disclaimer: This is obviously all my opinion - I am not writing here as an expert by any means, just an observer of society. If some of my assumptions or conclusions are erroneous then I apologize up front. I welcome any corrections or elaborations on this subject.




MercurialMike

14 comments:

rastaman said...

well as the great robert nesta marley said, marijuana is a plant put on this earth by God, how can man say the work of God is illegal. Are you saying that god is a criminal, if marijuana was not great and good to be smoked God would have never put it on this earth. Love your fellow man and respect their right to do what they want you commie.

Michael Leonard Fisher said...

It seems that somebody out there is very protective over their Marijuana habit. And it is really is psychologically addictive and most likely physically harmful to you.

If you want to smoke Marijuana in the privacy of your home, that's really your business. You called me a "commie" but I am more a social libertarian than that which you give me credit. All society asks is that you keep your Marijuana habit to yourself and not jeopardise other's safety by smoking and then driving your car. And please don't offer a joint to my kids!

Why do you hide behind your Anonymous name, "rastaman"?

Poison ivy is also "from nature", but I don't ever, ever touch it if I can avoid it. Cocaine and heroin are also from "nature" but I don't consider them gifts from God to misuse.

On the positive side, at least somebody out there is reading my blog!

Lenny McHugh said...

Mike,
I absolutely agree with you. I have a brother who experimented with drugs and now is in a personal care home. He now blames his problems on the drugs and he started with marijuana. Being a product of the 60's I am glad that I never went that way. Yes, I must admit to indulging in some beer and Thunderbird wine.
Lenny McHugh
http://www.geocities.com/lenny_mchugh/

JIMMY LIMO said...

ONE REASON WHY MARIJUANA IS CONSIDERED A GATEWAY DRUG IS BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL, AND THE PEOPLE THAT SELL IT ALSO MAY BE SELLING COCAINE, METH OR WORSE. IF MARIJUANA WERE LEGALLY GROWN, HEAVILY TAXED AND SOLD LIKE LIQUOR, IT WOULD TAKE IT OUT OF THE HANDS OF THESE "CRIMINAL" SALESMEN, AND WOULDN'T EXPOSE SMOKERS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF THESE HARDER AND MORE DANGEROUS DRUGS. ANOTHER ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF POT IS THE "VIOLENCE" FACTOR. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU SEEN A BELLIGERENT DRUNK, EVEN BEATING UP SOMEONE THEY LOVE ? OFTEN !!! HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I SEEN SOMEONE STONED GET VIOLENT ? NEVER !!! THEY MIGHT GET THE MUNCHIES SO BAD THEY'LL BITE YOUR FINGER, MISTAKING IT FOR A TWINKIE, BUT THAT'S IT. DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE CANNOT BE CONDONED, BUT I'D RATHER DRIVE WITH SOMEONE STONED ON POT, THAN DRUNK ON TEQUILA. WITH AN EVER-INTRUSIVE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SLOWLY ERODING OUR RIGHT TO PRIVACY, WE HAVE TO DRAW THE LINE AND DE-CRIMINALIZE THE PRIVATE USE OF MARIJUANA. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO OUR FOREFATHER'S GUARANTEE IN THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF "LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS". IF THAT PURSUIT SHOULD BE THE RIGHT OF A CITIZEN TO SMOKE A FATTY WHEN HE GETS HOME FROM A HARD DAY'S WORK OF BEING EXPLOITED BY THE MAN, THEN JUST REMEMBER THAT CITIZENS OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY... "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...". IN A WORLD FILLED WITH HATE, VIOLENCE, AND GREED, THE LAST THING WE SHOULD BE LEGISLATING AGAINST IS AN INNOCUOUS HERB THAT MAKES PEOPLE MELLOW AND GENTLE... JEEZ !!!-
JIMMY LIMO IN VEGAS

Michael Leonard Fisher said...

"If you can remember anything about the sixties, you weren't really there."
- Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane)

Kind of sums it up for me. :-)
But maybe he was talking about LSD, right?

"Like every great religion of the past we seek to find the divinity within and to express this revelation in a life of glorification and the worship of God. These ancient goals we define in the metaphor of the present — turn on, tune in, drop out."
- Timothy Leary

Dr. Drillman (NWL-728@hotmail.com) said...

Doubt this will get read but here's my .02.

First off, Marijuana is NOT a gateway drug, what is is the misdirected education of marijuana. When we advertise weed to students and the uneducated as an totally illeagle, bad for you, mess you up drug all we are doing is lieing and degrading the trust between your child, students, or whoever you are telling these fabrications to. What happens is a youth will hear these things about marijuana, and when (if) they eventually try it they will realize that it is not a bad drug,that it is a funtioning drug where you can still contain your right mind. When they realize that their parents or teachers have been lieing to them about pot, they will get curious about cocaine, heroin, meth thinking, "if they lied to me about weed, why should I trust them on crack or ecstacy." Thuse the gateway is open. It has nothing to do with the drug being addictive. Is it addictive? I dont believe so, I can't go an hour with out a cigarette. However I smoke marijuana all day everyday and I feel no addiction or cravings when I dont have it. Not to mention that I can funtion, take care of my family, go to school, work my job, and be a good person.

Drugs (even the hardest) are not excuses for people giving up on life. If you know someone who dropped out of college, lost a job, lost a marriage or anything and blames those things on drugs, slap them. You are reponsible for yourself. If YOU decided that you would rather do drugs and then do nothing with your life that is not the drugs fault. Drugs dont have personality or thought to make you lose your job, or ruin a relationship. Just the same way guns dont kill people, when was the last time you saw a gun with a finger to pull the trigger? Drugs (Yes even harder man-made drugs, which I certainly dont agree with)can be used in moderation. I use marijuana as an enhancement. I helps me concentrate, when I went back to college marijuana gave me a drive for knowledge that I didnt have 2 years early when I dropped out (When my vice of choice was alcohol). I started smokeing marijuana and it mellowed me out and calmed my nerves. However, marijuana didnt make my grades go up or my work life better, I DID. Just like drugs didnt ruin your brothers life... he did.

Marley was somewhat right. I'm not sure about bringing God into a political argument, however marijuana is a plant and it does come from the earth. This is a system, we (humans) are not the top dogs, we can't make ALL the rules, especially when you are making something natural illeagle. I understand its the smoking or marijuana that becomes an illeagle issue, however mearly ingesting the plant, or brewing it (JUST LIKE NATURAL TEA LEAVES) remains lleagle. This doesnt make sense, I can eat sugar an be hyped, these are natural reactions to these natural items. However our society can make funny commercials and totally condone alcohol which (other than wine) is mostly man made. Whereas alcohol is the most pointless, poisnious, mind altering drug available, and we make it readily available. It was easier for me when I was 15 years old to find a way to get alcohol than weed. And beleive me, if I could go back to highschool and smoke more weed and drink less alcohol, I would in a heartbeat. I have the experience of both and I can tell you which one make me feel less livley (alcohol).

Just to answer your question, I dont live there but I have visited Amsterdam and it is the most peacefull place I have been to. I felt so safe there that I didnt want to come back to the states.

I just guess I'm tired of living in a country that has not only haulted the evolution of society but is now bring it back. America is so behind not just in the times, but for life.

Anonymous said...

1) no one has ever overdosed on pot
2) it's not addicitive, so the 'gateway' drug theory is bunk.
people need to distinguish the facts about the drugs rather than the drug culture of tolerance and experimentation of other drugs which are addictive.
3) we need to go after the other criminal offenders which are negatively impacting society with their activities instead of 'protecting people from themselves'.
4) as a hospice health care worker I've noticed the improvement in quality of life for patients who use pot instead of morophine firsthand.
5) I don't smoke but have many friends who do. Usually when they're pot smokers they despise drinking and the use of other drugs. 90% of these folks know what they're doing and imo their personalities are much more pleasant to deal with than the drinkers and the meth. abusers I've known.
:)

Anonymous said...

Weed really doesn't harm you. It should be legalized. I know ppl that do it, and their report card had nothing but As and Bs. It doesn't make you retarded, if you were to start making worse grades in school it's because they just don't care. I know sober ppl that don't smoke weed and still make bad grades, it's just cuz teens now days just don't care, it's not the weed. Another thing is I don't think it kills brain cells. In my opinion it just numbs them for a while, and it definately does not affect memory because I remember when I use to do it, I remembered everything, I can still remember things from when I was 3 years old. Ppl say it's bad for your lungs, well, then bake it in brownies or something, plus it would decrease crimes and deaths because a lot of ppl have drive to friends houses to do it. That's why there are deaths, if they didn't have to drive home and could purchase this around the age of 18 or w/e, then we could smoke it at home and less parents wouldn't care because it would be legal. You say it's bad for driving, so is drinking and driving, but alcohol is still legal. It makes you a "bit" lazy, not super lazy to where you can't walk, it's like sex or masturbation, it will wear you out a bit for the next day, but not enough to effect your life. Plus it would be better for ppl w/ slow reactions. Weed slows everything down a bit, not like super super slow, but a bit so your reactions are faster.

Anonymous said...

Weed is not a gateway drug. I would know, either you're one of the ppl who will wanna do drugs or not, I know ppl that do drugs, and I know ppl who smoke weed. There's a difference, you're either one of the ppl who wanna do everything or just one of the ppl that wanna do all. I know enough druggies to understand their mind and weed wasn't the reason they started other drugs. I haven't done Cocaine, but I wanna do it cuz I think it looks cool, it's not cuz I've smoked weed and I don't have any effects from it. So I think it should be legalized, another thing, 2nd hand smoke doesn't affect anyone. I've been in a room full of weed smoke before. You get a bit light headed that's the maximum affect of what could go on.

Anonymous said...

Another reason weed should be legal is if we buy it from stores we don't have to worry about anything. They should see the pot and the seeds in the stores. Buying it from dealers they could lace it. Granted 99% of them don't. But someone sometimes does if he gets pissed. If it were legal in the stores. Those 1% of ppl wouldn't have to worry about their weed being laced w/ some shit that could either, fuck you up, come close to killing your, or actually kill you.

Anonymous said...

This drug should be legal! Drugs are used either way so might as well just legalize it so that kids don't get in trouble..even God gives us free will to do w/e. People don't do drugs because weed is a gateway drugs, they do them b/c they wonder what they're like. When I started weed I didn't do it because of Peer pressure or to be cool, I just wanted to see what it felt like. I can honestly say that teenagers don't care about anti-drug commercials either, we don't listen, teens are rebellious and we don't do it just to be rebellious, we do it b/c we like it and it makes us feel good. And since I had to quit, I got onto cigarettes. is that really better? Seriously it's worse, I wanted something to calm me down a bit when I got pissed off and I just wanted to smoke cuz I liked it so I picked up cigs and that's a lot worse than weed.

MercurialMike said...

Thanks for all the thought provoking comments!

Anonymous said...

Honestly I know that weed is thought about being legalized for ppl of 21+ and they can't even bare that much. But that'll only help out half as much as it should, if you look at who's smoking it's around the time when ppl get into high school, same w/ cigarettes, so in my opinion they should just make the laws like cigs, and make it legal to buy at 18+ but legal to smoke it at 16+

Anonymous said...

we spend over thousands of dollars and waste so much money a year to keep drugs illegal, and over hundreds of thousands of ppl keep doing them and more are being introduced each year, it really just makes no since to me, plus since mroe ppl are starting, some ppl don't know how to get away w/ it and they might be walking/driving around high being retarded trying to act cool and if a lot more ppl get caught then eventually we won't have any room in the jails or prisons and they'll have no room for rapists, killers, thiefs, kidnappers, ppl who do things like burn down buildings or ppl who jump ppl and get into fights, or anyone else that's worse than drugs, plus it doesn't even matter really, idc if someone does heroine or something, i personally wouldn't, not even if it was legal, but it's their choice, who am i to say wha they should or shouldn't do? i just think it's their choice, it's their life/their body, not mine, why should i control them? i am no better than them to be their leader..just do what you want, and let ppl do what they want...as long as it's not hurting anyone else

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