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House votes to decriminalize marijuana, but Senate fate dim

24 Comments
By KEVIN FREKING

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24 Comments
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Most US states have "under the influence" laws which apply to any medications, illegal drugs, and alcohol. If you are impaired and operating any vehicle on public roads, in the sky or on water, then you can be arrested. And no minor (18 in most states, 19 in NE) is allowed to have tobacco, alcohol or unprescribed medications, ever. Most US states have 21 yr old alcohol age limit. I'd expect the age limit for marijuana to be the same as for alcohol.

Of course, you are free to fly your own helicopter/plane over your own ranch/farm as impaired as you like. And you can shoot many animals on your property out in the boonies too. This would be limited by any city, county, or state laws, but in the boonies, surrounded by 10 miles of all your own land, nobody would hear the gun shot or come looking for a hunting license.

Voters should get laws they support for the most part, provided they don't infringe on a minority group. There are laws for both. The harder ones to understand is that "majority rule" isn't the only answer. There are a number of caveats around that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“I have not seen…” Autocorrect is the devil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rules should always apply in operating any vehicle.

It was legalized where I am now and I have seem any difference, except pot smokers are far less belligerent.

I have a medical certificate and don’t have to pay the added tax recreational users must pay. Relaxes me with no hangover and I use it a few times per week in my home only.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Election vote pandering.

How dare they encourage the people to vote for them by trying to create laws that the people support. Has there ever been anything more disgusting in the entire history of America? These people deserve to be strung up by their toenails for daring to do what the American people want them to. It’s extremely unAmerican. They should be acting in the interests of a tiny minority like trump and his republicans.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

While I believe that Marijuana should be decriminalized in terms of individual recreational use and posession of minor quantities, and production regulated and taxed

You just describe legalization, not decriminalization. Decriminalization is removing of penalties, once you start regulating and taxing it, it’s legalization. Which, for the record, I fully support.

also believe that simultaneously, the use or posession in occupations where a machine or vehicle operator is responsible for the lives and welfare of other people should be severely criminalized

Of course, just like alcohol.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

dagon, those who were arrested and convicted of criminal offenses related to alcohol did not have their sentences reversed nor their records expunged after the 21st Ammendment was ratified. And the repeal of Alcohol Prohibition did not affect every jurisdiction immediately. There are still quite a few jurisdictions that are "dry".

But a crucial distinction between alcohol and marijuana usage is that alcohol has a long history of common acceptance and consumption in many cultures whereas marijuana has less acceptance.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Agreed, OA. Good point. With just a fraction of the money saved from not prosecuting and locking people up, we could ramp up the effectiveness of substance screening and testing for safety-sensitive positions.

I also believe that simultaneously, the use or posession in occupations where a machine or vehicle operator is responsible for the lives and welfare of other people should be severely criminalized. I'm talking about airline pilots, ship captains, boat operators, bus drivers, train conductors, taxi/uber drivers, etc. The same at least as would apply for alchohol.

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While I believe that Marijuana should be decriminalized in terms of individual recreational use and posession of minor quantities, and production regulated and taxed, I also believe that simultaneously, the use or posession in occupations where a machine or vehicle operator is responsible for the lives and welfare of other people should be severely criminalized. I'm talking about airline pilots, ship captains, boat operators, bus drivers, train conductors, taxi/uber drivers, etc. The same at least as would apply for alchohol. As for arguing for decriminalization based on a "race issue" sorry but I don't buy it and I think that's a silly reason.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It should never have been criminalized to begin with, but as with Alcohol Prohibition, that only served to create a massive black market operated by thugs, then and now.

So in the case of alcohol Prohibition..the solution was to keep it an imprisonable offense and keep a large cohort of people in for profit prisons where they are schooled in criminality?

Because that has been the solution as regards to prohibited substances for all the previous administrations.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If it becomes legal imagine the jump in Frito-Lay's stock prices. Doritos and Slurpies for everyone!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree with Desert Tortoise.

It should never have been criminalized to begin with, but as with Alcohol Prohibition, that only served to create a massive black market operated by thugs, then and now.

To make matters much worse is the current Resident's maladministration of literally every single thing. The lunatics are running the asylum.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 It’s better to tax it rather than fine or imprison.

The taxation and licensing part has acted to bring in more bad actors than were present before legalization. It is an unexpected thing, but once pot became legal in places like Oklahoma, Oregon and California, the number of unlicensed bootleg grows run by South American drug cartels exploded. The big deal is these grows steal water, often in places where legitimate farmers are already struggling with water shortages due to drought, steal electricity, they pollute streams with all kinds of pesticides and herbicides, plus their trash, and they threaten neighbors at gunpoint. It is easier now for them to sell bootleg pot because it is legal to have. Many buyers only care about price and being untaxed and unlicensed they tend to undercut the legitimate businesses. We never had pot grows, at least not noticeable ones, in our valley before legalization but we sure as heck have them now and it is a real problem. We have a badly overdrawn aquifer, many existing farmers are going to have to stop farming and these pot grows are stealing our water. Please do some research on this. There might be a way to legalize pot and not have these problems but so far no state has done so.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I look forward to legally walking to the corner store, getting a pack, walking home, lighting up on the way. Because of where I live, that's 20 yrs away, but at least during vacations, I'll be able to do that in other states.

I haven't partaken since college, btw. Mainly because my jobs have all required drug testing - not because I was working with machinery, but because it was a "trustworthy" checkbox by someone in some contract office somewhere - or on clearance paperwork. I understand the new strains are much stronger. Looking forward to it.

Marijuana isn't physically addictive, so provided we use it recreationally, say weekends only, there won't be issues with addition.

But for anyone who travels, they'll need to pay attention to what's in their bags and leave any smoking tools at home.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They also said the pot sold today is far more potent than what was sold decades ago, leading to greater impairment for those who use it.

All the more reason to legalize it. I've patronized marijuana dispensaries in California and was pleasantly surprised with the deep knowledge of the staff. Describe the type of buzz you want and they'll point you to the right product. It's not like on the street, where one must take whatever is available.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It’s not rocket science. Probably fifty percent of Americans have smoked a some time, even if they say they didn’t inhale. It’s better to tax it rather than fine or imprison.

I do understand UChoosePoorlys point though, private prisons pay 10cents an hour to inmates.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Democrats said the nation's federal prohibition on marijuana has had particularly devastating consequences for minority communities.

Yes even the name "marijuana" was chosen for Its Mexican association and the racist demonization continued with jazz and African-Americans.

The Republicans on the wrong side of the American people and racial justice again.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

All I have to say is be careful what you ask for. You might get it. Please take the time to read about the experience of the state of Oklahoma, aka "Tokelahoma" and the results of their legalization of marijuana. It has been more of a nightmare than a blessing. California has had a similar but less dire experience, as has Oregon. Legalization did not eliminate illegal pot grows and distribution. Instead it seemed to greatly exacerbate those problems. Pot farms often make for very bad neighbors even when they follow the law. There is probably a way to do it right but that way is not yet clear.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

The alcohol lobby has to be working overtime to kill this.

I can't imagine the private prison industry is a big fan either.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

The alcohol lobby has to be working overtime to kill this.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Election vote pandering.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Let it go let it go….

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Reefer madness.

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The arguments by the "small government", "states' rights" republicans are baffling or not when you know how self-serving they are.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Pay close attention to how your representatives vote on this and remember it when it's time to go to the polls.

Marijuana should never have been designated Schedule I.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

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