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U.S. drug policy fuels push for legal pot worldwide

43 Comments
By GENE JOHNSON

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43 Comments
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Its about time.. what about Japan? I remember McCartney getting busted.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Legalized marijuana may peasant more problems as we see in CO, USA. This is only a start. Auto accident death rates may increase dramatically due to irresponsible use, the baked good can and will be misused, and so much more. How about obesity!

I am certainly on the side of decriminalization, lets face it the "war on drugs" was no success.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Back to the Cowboy days when pot was legal but so was Cocaine ;

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Ah sure why don't we just decriminalise all drugs eh? Ease up regulations on cigarettes and alcohol? Because it would be a step in the wrong direction. Ilegalising cannabis is just populist nonsense and in my opinion we don't need more drugs on the market but less.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

MarkG: People will drive under the influence of pot whether legal or not so I'm not so sure there'll be a spike in accidents.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Dylan.....in a perfect world less drugs. Reality, it costs billions without real control.

Paul.....increased use = increased incidents.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Colorado is the only state openly selling that poison to stoners (fortunately, Washginton is still on the fence about legally selling it to drug addicts). So, one state out of 50 does make for a national mandate. Those who think it does are delusional.

RR

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Rather than say "let them eat cake", we can say "let them smoke pot". Kind of reminds me of the old IJA's practice of distributing opium to keep the masses addled, while controlling the supply (in essence, taxing) to provide the IJA with the profits. Talk about killing two birds with a single stone, the people can stay high, and care even less about what their "leaders" are doing, and the leaders get to collect even more tax to squander on pork projects. It's a politician's dream.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Hemp fiber would be nice to have readily available. Potheads will be a nuisance. Occasional users will be no problem.

Fact- their is quite a bit of debate on the health effects of marijuana. Both pro and con.

I disagree with Obama (surprise) and will say a glass of wine or two a day is safer than a few hits a day. Potheads are mostly non violent while some drunks are bitter and combative. Alcohol IS addictive. Marijuana some "research experts" say it is also. Some do not.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ah sure why don't we just decriminalise all drugs eh? Ease up regulations on cigarettes and alcohol? Because it would be a step in the wrong direction.

It's a step that the Netherlands took a long, long time ago, when no one else was doing it.

That aside, many drugs are already decriminalized, or more accurately, legal. This is why you can, with a prescription, get hold of some extremely potent drugs that will have all kinds of effects, including psychoactive. Then there's over the counter medication, and some of those are also widely abused.

It would be more sensible if you were able to consider drugs not as a single, illegal group of substances, because they aren't. What is legal in one country may be very much illegal in another.

Each substance really needs to be considered in its own right. It would be ridiculous to say that marijuana should be illegal because methamphetamine or heroin destroy lives, yet that's the level of thought that appears to have gone into your sarcastic question.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Remember the Marijuana Madness campaigns of the 50s and 60s, the BS that was propagated by those not in the know ? Pot should never have been criminalised, it should be legal to consume and grow for personal use, drug driving laws should apply and the same for work, you don't normally go to work drunk do you?

Time the world woke up and realised the folly of its ignorance.

As for the legalising of marijuana it is not a populist decision, the gay debate was populist this is common sense.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If you are impaired by marijuana it is more difficult to detect. If you are drunk, quite simple.

If at work I have a drink with lunch, no problem. Can the same be said for a factory worker getting high at anytime through the workday?

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Dylan: Ah sure why don't we just decriminalise all drugs eh? Ease up regulations on cigarettes and alcohol? Because it would be a step in the wrong direction. Ilegalising cannabis is just populist nonsense and in my opinion we don't need more drugs on the market but less.

And in a world of infinite resources, maybe you'd get your way. But the question is how much time and money we want our police and justice system and jails dealing with people who smoke joints. Why keep draining resources for a drug that is less harmful than alcohol?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Superlib....is it safer? Heavy use? Moderate use? Light use? Please elaborate.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@MarkG: Light use for normal work or school days, Moderate use for when you are under stress and Heavy use for the Weekends and Music Concerts.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

U.S. drug policy fuels push for legal pot worldwide

Its more like the U.S. no longer has even one leg to stand on in pressuring the globe directly and indirectly through control of the U.N. not to decriminalize this recreational drug that is more harmless than alcohol.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kind of reminds me of the old IJA's practice of distributing opium to keep the masses addled, while controlling the supply (in essence, taxing) to provide the IJA with the profits...

Surely this was trick they learned from the British during the deplorable opium wars no?

Drugs won the war on drugs and there's a huge economic benefit to decriminalizing pot. Any crop that helps small farmers in developing countries seems to be a good thing to me.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Not quite sure if developing counties will benefit much. The stuff grows like a weed. Potency engineered would not happen in developing nations.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It amazes me when the proponets for legalization say it will cut crime rates. Maybe it will diminish violent crime rates among outlaw criminal gangs, fighting for territory, but the petty crimes like robbery will not stop.

Where do addicts who are addicted to drugs (I will include alcohol too just to be fair) who don't work get their money? They hustle and rob and steal. So making drugs legal will not diminish those types of crimes. It only means that criminals are now paying a "tax" on their ill gotten gains when they buy legal drugs.

As far as the drug gang violence, one just needs to look back on the history of the mafia when they fought for control of the legal unions. Can anyone tell me where Jimmy Hoffa is? He was a union mob man, doing "legal" business and he was the victim of criminal violence, so what makes one believe that the cartels are going to willing give up their money peacefully.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

People around the world are beginning to realize that freedom works. This is not about drugs or marijuana, this is about the freedom of personal choice.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not quite sure if developing counties will benefit much. The stuff grows like a weed. Potency engineered would not happen in developing nations.

@MarkG

I don't know that potency would necessarily be diminished, but I'm not sure if you mean increased potency to make it a desirable product to smokers as opposed to use in medicines or therapeutic products. In which case I would have thought that the use of hybrid strains would be available on an open market through the sale of seeds, as in other types of farming.

I would assume the uses for a cannabis crop would be varied, and there seems to be anecdotal evidence that farmers in North Korea plant it near train tracks so that the roots support the ground under the tracks.

in terms of potency in terms of product for recreational use, Morocco seems to have the means to produce high grade hashish under black market conditions, so I can't imagine developing countries would have a lot of trouble doing something similar.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-abuse/how-does-marijuana-use-affect-your-brain-body

Change of heart I guess.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

For those against legalisation, I fully understand your disdain, however what has been wrong about prohibition is that it is collectivism forcing their wishes on the entire population, making many criminals, just because you disapprove of a substance. Why not also prohibit coffee or chocolate, then? How about just MYOB?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Angus- From what I understand numerous grades of cannabis are available in CO. Potency and types of high. Domestically US produces some good quality product. Domestically it can be engineered to....??? USA grows just about everything and first class weed should be no problem other than crop thieves. That said perhaps imported may dominate as the "crop thieves" are not children or privateers skimming the farmers hard work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And about those auto accident deaths. It's usually the case of drunk young people driving at absurd high speeds. Somehow I doubt most young people high on pot will have the same tendencies. Confused maybe, but not being a lunatic behind the wheel.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

More accidents in Colorado? Maybe. But that will have more to do with out-of-state people flocking there for legal pot. And while there may be more accidents, if the cause is being high, they probably won't be fatal accidents. As paulinusa asserts, its drunk people that drive at absurdly high speeds, not pot smokers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As for pot being addictive, that is not the case for most people. Most people have terrible trouble quitting cigarettes and drinking, but the withdrawal from pot is no where near as severe. I base this on what I have seen and experienced all the way back to the 1960's. None of the people I have known in my long lifetime ever became addicted to pot or experienced the severe withdrawal symptoms of other drugs and drinking and smoking, so this is a "no-brainer".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yogizuna.

I rather take the advise and knowledge over people that studied it and work in drug rehab clinics.

And thgery say depending on amount smoked it can be more addictive than alcohol and nicotine, they see their fair share of those cases and harmful effects.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

That is simply not the case if you do your research properly. There are many clinics for alcohol and nicotine addiction, very few for pot. I wonder why? Marijuana produces dependence less readily than most other drugs and tobacco and alcohol, and that is a fact.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I did my research.

My mother us a certified PhD at a drug rehab clinic. To some more research yourself.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Four points I would pose to the anti-legalization crowd:

One: Can you please explain why nations like Uruguay and the Netherlands (where small purchases of cannabis is legalized) actually have a LOWER rate of use among their citizens than countries that still maintain the ban?

Two: Please compare the number of deaths directly caused by alcohol each year (not just traffic accidents, mind you, but also medical ailments caused by alcohol abuse) with the number of people directly killed each year due to marijuana use. Do they even come close??

Three: There is an ongoing crisis in California and other US states due to overcrowding of their prison system. Why? The number of drug related convictions that are completely absent of any violent element, but are mandated under the "war on drugs" sentencing statues. Are you in favor of throwing people into jail for choosing to use a controlled substance, and if so, where do you propose putting them (and please explain who should foot the $50K-plus bill for each of your prisoners while you're at it.)

And four: what happened in the US when a minority but very vocal coalition of anti-alcohol crusaders finally criminalized alcohol through the passage of the 18th Amendment? Was there compliance, or widespread defiance? Less crime and violence, or more? And did the tyranny of a minority work against the majority, or did it fail after a mere 13 years? Finally, what happened to organized criminal activity connected to the illegal production of alcohol-did it continue to grow, or rather dramatically decline?

I could go on and on, but of course my point is simple. You don't have the facts on your side. You don't have the resources to back up your will. You wish to lump all drugs together in a sadly misinformed and willfully misinforming attempt to maintain the dubious status-duo, but it's failing. And you don't have the support of a majority of voters in an increasingly growing number of countries around the world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't think there would be a big spike in traffic accidents if pot were legalized. Probably more people driving too slow, being overly careful at intersections and sitting at stop signs waiting for the light to change to green.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

With the legalization of marijuana and the increased flow of it from Mexico will also increase the stepped up flow of a nation of poor and a corrupt government sending millions of squatters into the country increasing crime and lawlessness at the expense of hard working american tax payers

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If it legalizes, there will be no reason for it to come from Mexico at all - they will be able to grow it domestically. So at that point your argument falls apart. But if you want to go a little further:

increase the stepped up flow of a nation of poor and a corrupt government sending millions of squatters into the country increasing crime and lawlessness at the expense of hard working american tax payers

What? Is that supposed to have some connection to the real world? What does this have to do with the legalization of marijuana?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The war on (some) drugs is a complete failure and kills more people than it saves lives. Even drugs like cocaine and heroine are available all over the world, including in Japan, are of better quality and cost less than 30 years ago. Prohibition fuels criminal organizations and cost the tax payers billions to fight those criminal organizations. The war on drugs is like a dog high on meth chasing its own tail.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

" The war on drugs is like a dog high on meth chasing its own tail."

Nice analogy! Is that a rabid, non-denominational pug?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Marijuana smokers can become obsessively suspicious resulting in behavior that may negatively affect society which can become victim of continuous spying and this may end up in spying scandals and manipulative repairs to restore good image of the weed smoker.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Smoking cigarettes in public places and alcohol abuse are much worse for the body and the spirit than someone who takes a few hits off a bowl chilling out at home. I have never heard of violent behavior associated with smoking weed... no one has smoked a joint and gone in and shot up a McDonald's... there is no debate.. it has been ongoing since Reefer Madness which was a ploy by the cotton lobby to kill off Hemp as a competitor .. this is as important an issue than someone growing a few plants on their balcony... saving them money, not having to hide buying or smoking or eating a gift of the gods.. medically it is a wonderful plant and I wish everyone who has cancer would take it immediately to counter the effects of radiation poisoning... it can chill out athletes after a hard workout with no ill effects... after a while it is like smoking a cigarette and you smoke less because you never smoke a whole joint... at worst you fall asleep and are lazy which may be a good thing for a country of stressed out drunk salarymen and bored housewives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If we are going to talk about the legal status of cannabis in the US, I think it is important that we look at the reason it was made illegal in the first place. What was going on in 1930s America?

For one you had the “Great Depression” and all the baggage that came with that. Plus you had an American society where bigotry was worn on many a sleeve, and “Jim Crow” was the law of the land throughout the south. You had a situation in America where white men were standing in soup lines in Chicago, for lack of work; while immigrant Mexican farm laborers were working full time for the big farms and ranches in the US southwest. For many that just wasn't right. The way they saw it, those Mexicans were stealing those jobs from a white man. The idea of that, made a lot of white men real angry.

Now imagine you’re the governor of say, New Mexico. Your primary constituency is made up of angry white men, and your primary duty is to do exactly what they want you to do. In this case, what they want is for you to figure out a way of getting rid of all these Mexicans. So you get together with your fellow southwestern statesmen and head on over to Washington (DC not the state) and once there, you start knocking on doors and looking for allies. You don’t have to look very far because most of the politicians in Washington are angry white men themselves. So the ball starts rolling; federal bureaus are created, commissioners are named, strategies are devised. Somewhere along the line, the fact that Mexicans seem to have a real affection for smoking marijuana comes to light and that morphs into a plan to make weed illegal as a means to “legally” oppress the Mexican communities. Given the climate of the times, the plan finds a lot of traction gets moving along nicely. None other than William Randolph Hearst dives into the fray and uses his media empire to expose the horror of those dirty rotten Mexicans and their killer devil weed. He regales his readers with chilling tales of murderous, drug fueled orgies of mayhem and of course, the worst of all, the crazed raping of pure white women by weed addled peons from over the border. Things are going so good that other bigots jump on and add their favorite minority to the list. Urban blacks up north and in the mid-west, Caribbean blacks down south, jazz musicians, communists, homosexuals even those evil Filipinos. In the end, you get what your constituents wanted, all the hype has done its job and most white Americans are all aboard on coming down hard on all those disgusting hop head lowlifes. Marijuana is made illegal and you can go home and tell your sheriffs, it’s time to get busy getting down on the wet backs.

And that is pretty much the reason why cannabis was made illegal in America. Not because it was harmful, not because it was a gateway drug, not because it was addictive, not any of that. Those are all examples of attempts to justify the prohibition, but are not the reason for it. Marijuana was made illegal to give the white power elite just another way to control and suppress minorities that they deemed worthy of their scorn. The reason the laws are still on the books is because they do exactly what they were intended to do, just look at the demographics of the American prison population.

The scary thing is that the history of America’s marijuana policy is a matter of public record, its right out there for everyone to see. How anyone can defend a policy that is so clearly rooted in racist ideology is beyond me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yup! We're goin'to Hell in a Hand Basket!- Duhhh,,, pass the pipe, puleeeeeze!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

baked good can and will be misused

Noooooo. No the baked goods!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

MarkGFeb. 16, 2014 - 07:58AM JST

Legalized marijuana may peasant more problems as we see in CO, USA. This is only a start. Auto accident death rates may increase dramatically due to irresponsible use, the baked good can and will be misused, and so much more. How about obesity!

I am certainly on the side of decriminalization, lets face it the "war on drugs" was no success.

Mark," Legalized marijuana may peasant more problems as we see in CO, USA" is a biggest lie. You do not even live here to know what's going on. I am not a pot smoker, but I cannot stand people who lies, PERIOD. Colorado is doing just fine. Get yourself a "Reality Check", and DO NOT LIE.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I really do not get where people get the idea that only Mexicans and South Americans are addicted to the drug.

For one thing, there are Mexicans and South Americans who are white (hell, there are even a few South American countries which are dominately white).

And another thing, it is not just them who are addicted to the stuff (see European countries). They just happen to be the suppliers due to harder economic mobility over there and thus want to make a quick buck, but not everyone is overly thrill over the drug.

My family is from Mexico and a small village where the majority of the people either not very interested or hardly touch the stuff.

And third of all, I am all full decriminalization just so the black market takes a hit and possibly weaken the organized crime with weed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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