One Out of Two Americans (Almost) Agree: Legalize It!

|

A Zogby poll commissioned by NORML finds that almost half of Americans (46 percent) think the federal government should "let states legally regulate and tax marijuana the way they do liquor and gambling." NORML says majorities on the East and West Coasts (53 percent and 55 percent, respectively) favored this policy, which presumably means it was decisively rejected in the middle of the country.

Repealing the federal marijuana ban was especially popular among Jews (70 percent), nonreligious people (60 percent), and Democrats (59 percent). Oddly, only 85 percent of Libertarians were in favor; maybe the remaining 15 percent objected to the taxing and regulating part of the proposal.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

138 responses to “One Out of Two Americans (Almost) Agree: Legalize It!

  1. Jews (70 percent), nonreligious people (60 percent), and Democrats (59 percent). Oddly, only 85 percent of Libertarians were in favor

    In other words, all the people who don’t matter politically. You might as well throw in gay couples and illegal immigrants while you are at it.

  2. Jews don’t matter politically? I’d say that on a per capita basis, they probably matter more than any other group. But why would they support pot? Is it kosher?

  3. I’m with mk. They don’t have the voters that they need. Maybe we could write a children’s book and get the crucial voting block of 6 year olds to support this too.

    And prison inmates who can’t vote. Get them behind this.

    Shit, we could get everybody behind this except the majority that votes Republican!

    I’m cynical this morning.

  4. Oddly, only 85 percent of Libertarians were in favor; maybe the remaining 15 percent objected to taxing and regulating part of the proposal.

    The conservatarians strike again?

  5. I would like to have a word with any of those 15% Libertarians who are totally harshing my mellow.

    Even if the state DID tax the hell out of it, it would still be far below black market prices. It’s a total win-win, goddamn it.

  6. Mike,
    I guess you are right. Still, I bet the red-staters will start chanting “It’s the JOOOS!” and negate any support they might offer.

    I’m feeling a bit cynical as well Dr. T.

  7. the federal government should “let states legally regulate and tax marijuana the way they do liquor and gambling.”

    Yeah, in other words, over-regulate and over-tax. But of course that would still be better than the current state of affairs.

  8. This suggests that they found at least 20 Libertarians in their sample. Huh.

  9. If you don’t think one or two out of every ten libertarians would say no to that Zogby poll question because of the taxing and regulation part of it, you haven’t been reading the comments here.

  10. Well, after all, it’s Just a Plant.

    LOL, that’s great. I love how it’s suddenly Halloween on page 4. The illustrator must have been stoned…

  11. If you don’t think one or two out of every ten libertarians would say no to that Zogby poll question because of the taxing and regulation part of it, you haven’t been reading the comments here.

    Taxing and regulating the heck out of it is an enormous leap forward from banning it. I’d be surprised to hear any legalization advocate, including those who haunt these forums, vote against it when forced to choose between that or the current horrific regime.

  12. “Taxing and regulating the heck out of it is an enormous leap forward from banning it. I’d be surprised to hear any legalization advocate, including those who haunt these forums, vote against it when forced to choose between that or the current horrific regime.”

    I wouldn’t.

    Hewing to idealogical purity in the face of political realities is something that a huge segment of libertarians are phenomenal at.

  13. We have to distinguish between what the commenters would do in the privacy of their own voting booth and what they would say when confronted by somebody less pure than themselves.

  14. Real libertarians always let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  15. I wouldn’t.

    Why? If A is better than B, which is better than C, but you could only choose between B and C, why would any rational person choose C? Not voting for B is implicity choosing C, since C is the policy in force.

  16. MP:

    What was that middle part again??

  17. The pharmies, prison industry, police inductry, lawyers, etc, would never let pot be legal. It’s not even a partisan thing.

    JMJ

  18. Why? If A is better than B, which is better than C, but you could only choose between B and C, why would any rational person choose C?

    We’re not talking about rational people here; we’re talking about fundamentalist libertarians. Fundamentalists are never rational.

    I know a guy who told me he would never, ever vote for anything less than one-hundred-percent legal, fully unregulated marijuana. Any attempt to simply treat marijuana like alcohol–taxed and regulated, forbidden to young people but otherwise legal for adults–he’d vote down.

  19. Hewing to idealogical purity in the face of political realities is something that a huge segment of libertarians are phenomenal at.

    and

    Real libertarians always let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    You said it, Brother (and Sister)!

    Libertarians have the unique talent of taking a position on an issue that might appeal to the general public and making it so seem so extreme and loopy that no self-respecting politician would ever associate himself with it, even if it made perfect sense.

  20. Well, one has to remember that these people are self-identifying as libertarians, which is quite problematic.

    Of course, even if these 15% did oppose it for the reason the write-up posits, that’s a far lower number than many would suspect of us supposedly largely “purist” libertarians.

  21. Why? If A is better than B, which is better than C, but you could only choose between B and C, why would any rational person choose C? Not voting for B is implicity choosing C, since C is the policy in force

    That requires that people have transitive preferences. That’s pretty often not the case.

  22. Real libertarians make no distinction between ‘compromise’ and ‘selling out.’

  23. Why? If A is better than B, which is better than C, but you could only choose between B and C, why would any rational person choose C? Not voting for B is implicity choosing C, since C is the policy in force.

    Ah, but maybr they feel that by choosing B, they’ll never get A, and would rather have the “moral high ground” of arguing for A against C rather than the weaker argument of A vs B. For some reason, the concept of incremental gain is lost on fanatics.

  24. Jennifer: True dat. Bloody wankers.

  25. I know a guy who told me he would never, ever vote for anything less than one-hundred-percent legal, fully unregulated marijuana. Any attempt to simply treat marijuana like alcohol–taxed and regulated, forbidden to young people but otherwise legal for adults–he’d vote down.

    This is commonly encountered in the debate over concealed weapons.

    About 11 years ago, when the Utah Legislature was debating the current “shall issue” law, the bill was openly opposed by more libertarian gun activists because it required a permit and a background check. Apparently, those were considered to be “unacceptable infringements” on the Second Amendment, even though the new law was far better than the current one.

  26. In all seriousness, there have been posters here who said they oppose gay marriage, not because they want to discriminate against gay people but because they said the government has no business handling marriage anyway. I agree the government should stay out of marriage, but since that won’t happen in my lifetime I figure if the government will give certain benefits to straight couples it should give the same benefits to gays who want it. But certain purists will say “no, the government shouldn’t let gays get married because the government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all.”

    These same fundie libertarians, forty years ago, would have opposed making interracial marriages legal for the same reason.

    And they’re likely the libertarians who oppose the legalization of marijuana, too.

  27. I think we should split off and form a small “l” libertarian party.

    And then focus on selling ourselves as a floating “spoiler” block. In close elections, we can force some politicians to see things our way.

    I think thoreau came up with this idea.

  28. What was that middle part again??

    Does it matter?

    That requires that people have transitive preferences. That’s pretty often not the case.

    I don’t see how. A > B > C, as I presented it, is a holistic evalutation of preferences based on all of the items that each evaluation point represents.

  29. Apparently, those were considered to be “unacceptable infringements” on the Second Amendment, even though the new law was far better than the current one.

    Like I said–some people see no distinction between compromise and selling out, and furthermore they disagree with the old saying “half a loaf is better than none.”

    Real libertarians would rather go hungry than accept merely half a loaf.

  30. Real libertarians make no distinction between ‘compromise’ and ‘selling out.’

    “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

  31. “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

    When the only alternative to “extreme liberty” is “no liberty at all”, then extremism is indeed a vice.

    Real libertarians don’t mind cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

  32. Well, apparently “real” libertarians only make up about 15% of the population of liberatarians in the U.S., which makes one wonder whether the bashing of libertarians as “purists” has any merit.

  33. Indeed, it appears that we’re a much more nuanced group of folks than people like joe, Jennifer, thoreau, etc. would like to admit.

  34. Indeed, it appears that we’re a much more nuanced group of folks than people like joe, Jennifer, thoreau, etc. would like to admit.

  35. Again I say, prohibition is the Libertarian issue. The WOD is way out of hand. Legalizing (even as taxed and regulated as alcohol) would reap tremendous benefits. In the political field, only the Libertarians are openly advocating legalization. All libertarians should support ending prohibition (Boo hiss! on the 15%). The more people associate libertarians with pot the better. One day pot prohibition will be seen as even more wrong-headed, damaging, and just plain anti-American as alcohol prohibition was. We need people to remember that Libertarians stood alone against tyranny.

  36. And here I was about to say that I might oppose this on the basis that it’s merely limited to marijuana, and I don’t buy the argument that if pot is decriminalized that a lot of other drugs currently scheduled will shortly thereafter be decriminalized. I suspect that when the legalization activists get their drug of choice (pot) legalized they will stop agitating, and people will still end up rotting in the penal system for doing things that hurt no one but themselves, especially if the end results of usage run counter to the things that the pot smokers value.

    Now I imagine someone is going to call me stupid for typing all that.

    Whatever.

  37. When the only alternative to “extreme liberty” is “no liberty at all”

    “Extreme liberty”?
    “Extreme” is superfluous, Jennifer, unless you believe one can have too much liberty.

  38. I might oppose this on the basis that it’s merely limited to marijuana, and I don’t buy the argument that if pot is decriminalized that a lot of other drugs currently scheduled will shortly thereafter be decriminalized. I suspect that when the legalization activists get their drug of choice (pot) legalized they will stop agitating, and people will still end up rotting in the penal system for doing things that hurt no one but themselves

    But nostradumbass, even legalizing marijuana will at least bring about a huge reduction in the number of people currently rotting in jail. Your attitude, as it plays in the real world, strikes me as “if some non-alcoholic drug users have to rot in jail, then by God ALL non-alcoholic drug users have to rot in jail.”

    Isn’t half a loaf better than none?

  39. Increasing government coffers by taxing marijuana is the strongest argument against legalization. I think this negative is outweighed by the arguments in favor, however.

  40. Is it realy pig-headed to refuse a compromise? Or is it foresighted?

    Look at alcohol. Suppose marijuana were regulated and taxed. How long do you think before the random road stops would include pot?

    Would it suddenly disappear from drug tests?

    Would the power of the state diminish or increase? Two new sources of funding. The taxes and the money not spent on enforcement. You think they won’t find a use for all that money?

    How about an empire of public health campaigns to combat pot use?

    And this is only a few minutes of thought. Give them a few years, I’m sure they’ll come up with some goodies.

  41. Barry, if the government offered to treat marijuana exactly like alcohol, would you vote in favor of it, or would you take the extremist position and vote against it because it doesn’t go far enough?

  42. Jennifer-
    Well, in all honesty, I am torn, and probably would support this because it’s the right thing to do, but if I have to risk life and limb and freedom for my drug of choice while watching the ‘legalize it’ movement turn their collective backs on all the non-pot smokers… well. Certainly, it hasn’t happened this way yet, but I don’t have high hopes that overall freedom for all will increase. That’s all.

  43. jeffiek,

    The long-term effects of a thing are always important to consider. Jennifer is infected with the Keynesian notion that in the long-term we’ll all be dead. Which is why she has such a problem understanding the long-term concerns of libertarians such as yourself.

  44. Another thing to consider: our legal system is big on precedent. Legalizing just one currently illegal drug will thus establish precedents that could eventually be used in favor of other currently illegal drugs.

  45. Well, one has to remember that these people are self-identifying as libertarians, which is quite problematic.

    Very problematic. Other self-identifying libertarians:

    Bill Maher
    Instapundit
    James Glassman

    (I forget the others that keep pissing me off by tainting libertarian purity by self-associating w/ us.)

  46. Or is it foresighted?

    If you project that a policy choice will have long term unavoidable negative consequences, then you are making a rational choice in voting against that policy choice.

    But then, one is left open to debate in regards to the validity of their projections. I’m optimistic in that I don’t think jeffiek’s pessimism is fully warranted.

  47. libertarian purity?! What are we supposed to be, the master ideology? The vestal virgins of politics?

    I guess what we need are libertarian wahabi madrassas teaching the gospel according to Hayek and the prophet Ludwig?

    nuts

  48. The problem might be that the 15% makes up the majority of big L’s.

  49. JeffieK–

    If you went back in time to the 1920s, would you use those same arguments to say that Prohibition should not be replaced with our current system of taxed and regulated alcohol? Our current alcohol laws are far from perfect, but I think they’re a damned sight better than what Prohibition had to offer the country.

  50. Jennifer,

    If you’re using the term in any proper legal sense, then you’re confusing statutory law with the common law. Statutory law dominates our legal system today. If by precedent you merely mean mere prior analagous examples, well, that’s true of the civil law and the common law equally.

    theOneState,

    I thought this was a big tent. πŸ™‚

  51. “Isn’t half a loaf better than none?”

    But to get that half a loaf, you have to ask for the whole loaf. It’s like any other negotiation; you never start with your best offer.

    Let others make the inevitable compromises. If libertarians won’t stand up for what the real principle is, who will?

  52. tomWright,

    Hayek would cringe at such.

    MP,

    The problem is that people simply dismiss out of hand such concerns. If anyone is lacking in nuance here it appears to be people like that.

  53. But to get that half a loaf, you have to ask for the whole loaf. It’s like any other negotiation; you never start with your best offer.

    Right–so ask for full, unregulated legalization, and settle for heavily taxed and regulated alcohol-style legalization.

    Like I said already–our current alcohol laws, for all their flaws, are a damned sight better than Prohibition ever was. And if the “legalize alcohol” movement had been led by fundamentalist libertarians, Prohibition would probably still be in effect today. “What? We’ll have to pay taxes on alcohol? We won’t be able to buy it on Sundays? Kids won’t be allowed to drink? Fuck that–I’d rather keep our current system and see large numbers of people rot in jail over a drink.”

  54. Well, one has to remember that these people are self-identifying as libertarians, which is quite problematic.

    The Gubmint should impose some standards.

    Of course, even if these 15% did oppose it for the reason the write-up posits, that’s a far lower number than many would suspect of us supposedly largely “purist” libertarians.

    I favor this sort of bill completely, even in its half-assery.

    What I don’t like is legislation which provides special rights or perks for one group of people while denying them to others; equality under the law is far more important than fairly trivial ideas (fads, really) like homosexual marriage, the latest birth control method or racial sameness.

    How many of you would support legalizing pot just for men? Or just for white folks?

  55. “Another thing to consider: our legal system is big on precedent. Legalizing just one currently illegal drug will thus establish precedents that could eventually be used in favor of other currently illegal drugs.”

    I hope you’re right. It’s a valid point. Just shows how difficult it is to predict the future.

    “I’m optimistic in that I don’t think jeffiek’s pessimism is fully warranted.”

    I hope you’re right.

    “If you went back in time to the 1920s,”

    If I could go back in time, I would go back before Prohibition were enacted and fight it. But since you stuck me in the ’20s, are you sure that a refusal to compromise wouldn’t have succeeded?

  56. I suspect that when the legalization activists get their drug of choice (pot) legalized they will stop agitating

    They might, but others….seeing the success of the pot legalization movement might start agitating.

    I’m sure there are a lot of other potential consequences to legalizing pot (like the roadblocks and such stated above) but all of those are still better then the potential to be thrown in jail for merely possesing MJ.

    I also tend to believe that if pot were to be legalized, and people started to see that the world didn’t end, I think more and more people wont see drugs in general as such an inherent evil

  57. But since you stuck me in the ’20s, are you sure that a refusal to compromise wouldn’t have succeeded?

    Are you willing to gamble with the lives of the people imprisoned over booze?

    For that matter, what aspects of twentieth-century American history make you think that the government would choose unregulated legalization over regulated legalization?

  58. Well, in all honesty, I am torn, and probably would support this because it’s the right thing to do,…

    I think the medical marijuana movement is a sham, as I think it reinforces the concept of recreational drug use being evil. I don’t think legalizing medical marijuana would make a noticeable dent in the drug war. Based on those two things, I typically vote against those proposals.

    But that is because I’m making an overall “Better” vs. “Worse” judgement call. It is not simply because the proposal isn’t perfect.

    Although I disagree with jeffiek’s projections, I can certainly understand why someone who holds those beliefs would vote against certain types of legalization proposals. It is those who say “I won’t vote for anything that doesn’t perfectly fit my policy preferences” that I don’t understand.

    I’m still curious where mediageek falls? Is he a purist, or just nervous about the long term consequences of this policy choice?

  59. “(I forget the others that keep pissing me off by tainting libertarian purity by self-associating w/ us.)”

    Mancow Muller

    Thomas Sowell perhaps?

  60. jeffiek,

    I hope you’re right. It’s a valid point.

    It isn’t a valid point.

    Just shows how difficult it is to predict the future.

    Which is why the laissez-faire approach works best.

  61. (I forget the others that keep pissing me off by tainting libertarian purity by self-associating w/ us.)

    I’m hurt.

  62. Maybe we should just jump the shark and declare libertarianism a religion. That way the majority of us could treat it the way most folks treat real religions.

    Go to church on holidays, or at most once a week, nod politely at the preacher, and then get back to the sinning as soon as we hit the door on the way out.

  63. “If libertarians won’t stand up for what the real principle is, who will?”

    Reason #447765212897652-AA1AA41992-098, Section Z why libertarians are a fucking joke in the public sphere. not to mention the very name makes it sound like a gang of superheroes, or rather, a bunch of larp’ers pretending to be superheroes. not good strategy.

    i mean, fuck “the real principles” – the issue is that until a larger number of people see drug use as either not worth the time and money, or an incredible injustice, or otherwise see the drug war in a more negative light than drug use itself, nothing will change. which means more jail, more militarized police, and all the other bad, bad, bad fucking things we often discuss on thishere blog.

    the real deal is this:
    this is an issue of marketing and marketing alone.

    that’s the true principle which makes the world actually turn.

    so, this is an issue of marketing and marketing alone; and a nearly impossible one, since i don’t know if you’ve ever been close to a pot rally, but they’re generally not a marketable bunch. and once sativex takes off, the truly marketable side – i.e. people in wheelchairs having jackbooted thugs pointing guns at them – is probably going to be heavily marginalized, or disappear entirely.

    which leaves an army of stoners as the public face of pot legalization.

    not fucking good.

    i mean, marc emery shouldn’t be in jail, or extradited, or anything like that, but even on 60 minutes he came across as permanently baked out of his skull. i’ve interstated more commerce than jesus in my time, but for fuck’s sake even i feel like an asshole when dealing with potheads. imagine how harry mcwhitebread feels looking at these douchebags. we can’t shoot the stoners and use them for fuel (and replacing them with MBA-looking wall street wannabe types) but maybe we can start a fund where we dress them like someone who holds down a job, rather than the tail end of a couch.

    bigger problem being that all the professional, normal, non-stupid hippie fuckface types i know who smoke pot are not very interested in having their lives ruined or otherwise impinged upon. so where now?

  64. Maybe we should just jump the shark and declare libertarianism a religion. That way the majority of us could treat it the way most folks treat real religions.

    Go to church on holidays, or at most once a week, nod politely at the preacher, and then get back to the sinning as soon as we hit the door on the way out.

    I’m curious: Just how would a devout Libertarian “sin”?

    Listening to NPR? Applying for a government grant? πŸ™‚

  65. “For that matter, what aspects of twentieth-century American history make you think that the government would choose unregulated legalization over regulated legalization? ”

    Nothing. Governments don’t choose to give in. They’re forced to.

    My point was that it’s just as difficult to predict what would have happened as it is to predict what will happen.

    Very often the difference between success and failure is that last attempt. Regarding Prohibition, the government compromised. Just how little extra would it have taken to get them to cave totally? The compromise eliminated that last attempt by those against Prohibition.

    I’ve never said which way I’ld pull the lever if legalizing pot ever did come up for a vote. Don’t really know. Don’t spend much time in voting booths. It simply validates the idea they have any right at all to exercise power.

  66. “Right–so ask for full, unregulated legalization, and settle for heavily taxed and regulated alcohol-style legalization.”

    Okay, then I’m not sure what you’re complaint is. That’s exactly what the purist libertarians are doing — asking for full, unregulated legalization.

  67. this is an issue of marketing and marketing alone.

    Funny you should say this, dhex–just last night, on my local (Connecticut) news, there was a story about a guy in Winsted or Wolcott or some “W” town who got busted for growing pot a few months ago, so he painted the words “Hemp” and various marijuana leaves on the outside of his house.

    And when the local news went out to interview this guy, he was wearing love beads, and a stocking cap pulled down to his eyebrows, and his face was dirty, and looked like the type of guy that ANY parent, even a pot-smoking one, would want to keep the hell away from their kids.

    Why the hell can’t NORML and other organizations find a normal-looking person to represent them? A person with basic standards of hygiene, a person who can speak without saying “like” or “ya know” every third syllable–in other words, the kind of person who lends credence to the idea that smoking pot doesn’t automatically make you an unemployable zombie?

  68. Okay, then I’m not sure what you’re complaint is. That’s exactly what the purist libertarians are doing — asking for full, unregulated legalization.

    But they’re not willing to settle for regulated legalization. They don’t see that their all-or-nothing attitude will leave them with nothing.

  69. It’s–ya know–it’s like natural, man. Ya know what I’m saying? It’s like, a plant, and like, man made liquor but God made pot, ya know, and God is perfect but man is not, and–hey, are you gonna eat those nachos? Wow. I’m like, one with nature, and in harmony with the universe, man. Legalize it. Bob Marley lives!

  70. “They don’t see that their all-or-nothing attitude will leave them with nothing.”

    Doesn’t this attitude mean libertarians should never vote for the LP and should instead vote for one of the two parties (D,R), seeing as how one of the two has to be more “libertarian” than the other? Therefore libertarians should just settle?

  71. Doesn’t this attitude mean libertarians should never vote for the LP and should instead vote for one of the two parties (D,R), seeing as how one of the two has to be more “libertarian” than the other?

    Only if you think “never vote for the LP” is analogous to “voting for a drug-legalization scheme that falls short of the ideal but is still better than what we have now.”

  72. How long do you think before the random road stops would include pot?

    I think they already do. If I get pulled over and there is an unopened 12 pack of Fosters in the back seat I have no worries as long as I haven’t been drinking. If that same cop notices an unsmoked joint in my center console, I’m hosed.

  73. MNG-

    I’m pretty sure I’m not the first to have that idea.

    theOneState-

    Good point. We don’t know if the 15% were purists, or people who say “I’m libertarian but…”

  74. a more pithy explanation of the problem at hand is this:

    for legalization to live, the pothead must die

  75. “Only if you think “never vote for the LP” is analogous to “voting for a drug-legalization scheme that falls short of the ideal but is still better than what we have now.””

    Right. Isn’t that always the case? A vote for a R or a D, depending on whose running and their platform, is going to fall short of being a libertarian ideal candidate but will be nonetheless better than the other candidate who will be less libertarian. So shouldn’t all libertarians under your logic vote D or R?

  76. “Only if you think “never vote for the LP” is analogous to “voting for a drug-legalization scheme that falls short of the ideal but is still better than what we have now.””

    Right. Isn’t that always the case? A vote for a R or a D, depending on whose running and their platform, is going to fall short of being a libertarian ideal candidate but will be nonetheless better than the other candidate who will be less libertarian. So shouldn’t all libertarians under your logic vote D or R?

  77. Compromise is always a net loss for principled people and a net gain for unprincipled pragmatists. Who wants to live in a world in which freedoms have been surrendered for a guarantee of being half-free? That’s the debate for the “define the libertarian” bunch.

  78. “Only if you think “never vote for the LP” is analogous to “voting for a drug-legalization scheme that falls short of the ideal but is still better than what we have now.””

    Right. Isn’t that always the case though? A vote for a R or a D, depending on whose running and their platform, is going to fall short of being a libertarian ideal candidate but will be nonetheless better than the other candidate who will be less libertarian. So shouldn’t all libertarians under your logic vote D or R?

  79. So shouldn’t all libertarians under your logic vote D or R?

    Do you not see the difference between voting for a president versus voting for a discrete though imperfect legalization proposal?

  80. Heh…try to get over 85% of libertarians to agree on anything, huh?

  81. another reason for the high profile of the moron pothead is because it’s the morons who get caught more often.

  82. Compromise is always a net loss for principled people

    Really? If tomorrow the government implemented a compromise solution in which marijuana was treated exactly like alcohol but other drugs remained illegal, what would the principled people have lost?

  83. “Do you not see the difference between voting for a president versus voting for a discrete though imperfect legalization proposal?”

    Of course.

    One is voting for a malevolent item, people under its influence lose the ability to behave rationally, resulting in innumerable heinous acts.

    The other is voting for a plant.

  84. “If tomorrow the government implemented a compromise solution in which marijuana was treated exactly like alcohol but other drugs remained illegal, what would the principled people have lost? ”

    95% of the support for the campaign to legalize other drugs?

    How about this – let’s compromise on the ID issue, because the only people it’s really going to affect are dunderhead fundamentalists anyway. Meanwhile, maybe through this coalition we can get some support for repeal of Sarbanes Oxley, or maybe the Patriot Act? Would you support my decision to make that compromise?

    There is no easy answer. Many have tried, but it just can’t be done. As I’ve said before, the answer has to be a personal one, and any compromise you make you should let it be known that it is a compromise, not your ideal. And don’t pretend to be speaking for libertarians in general when you make the compromise (such as calling yourself a libertarian party or a party with libertarian ideals). That’s only going to turn off people who do a cursory examination and determine that because of your party, libertarians are just as big hypocrites as Ds and Rs.

  85. dhex:

    You’re hitting bulls-eyes here, man. t and I were talking about this a couple weeks ago, and he posited putting together a group of clean-cut, mainstream professionals who happen to, um, partake. And such effort would put a new face on the casual user.

    But I was thinking to myself “Shit, I would be risking EVERYTHING.”

    The couch-dwelling loser has, by definition, nothing to lose. So of course he would be on the front line. And this is what the public sees.

    Fucked up.

  86. I haven’t seen the actual poll question, but the summary in the article says

    amending federal law “to let states legally regulate and tax marijuana the way they do liquor and gambling,”

    I’m not a Libertarian party member, but I probably wouldn’t support such an amendment, because states can already legally regulate and tax marijuana. People who are asking about repeal of prohibition are talking about the passing of the 21st amendment, which was needed to repeal the 18th. The Constitution was never amended to prohibit marijuana.

  87. MNG-

    I don’t partake.

  88. If tomorrow the government implemented a compromise solution in which marijuana was treated exactly like alcohol but other drugs remained illegal

    Instead of engaging in fanciful hypotheticals I simply choose not to compromise my principles and let the chips fall where they may. I’d rather continue to smoke pot illegally than sanction the government’s “right” to regulate it.

  89. Being principled does not necessarily exclude being pragmatic so long as you announce that you are being pragmatic. I would love to see all drugs freely available, no tax, minimal (if any) government, guns openly visible and the right to kill myself in anyway I see fit. I am willing to work in baby steps to get there instead of waiting for the whole shebang to drop at once. My principals haven’t changed but step by step is the only way to see ALL of them realized.

    Now, that having been said, when you have secured your freedoms by damn you’d better stick to your principals to keep them. There is no compromise to be had when you are giving freedoms away. People not holding onto thier freedoms is how we got in the mess we are in.

  90. the only people who can afford to never compromise and still participate in politics are the permanently marginalized and dictatorships.

    mr. nice guy – IF THAT IS YOUR REAL NAME – you’re right. same here, really. though i do have hope for the drug policy alliance executive types. which is part of why i’m getting this stupid master’s degree.

    in contrast, norml should be disbanded at gunpoint.

  91. “Again I say, prohibition is the Libertarian issue.”

    Yeah, because look at how awesome it’s been working so far!

  92. “Compromise is always a net loss for principled people.”

    Only if they actually have something. Negotiations only take place between parties deemed relevant to the topic.

  93. I would imagine that the 15% is more represented by the “Now I’m a libertarian, but I cant stomach the thought of that poison being sold to our precious children” type.

  94. 95% of the support for the campaign to legalize other drugs? How about this – let’s compromise on the ID issue, because the only people it’s really going to affect are dunderhead fundamentalists anyway.

    The reason I don’t buy this analogy is that in legalizing marijuana, there would be definite gains, in the form of tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of Americans who will no longer be in prison or facing arrest on drug charges. What are the similar gains we could expect by putting religious doctrine in the schools? How many people would be freed from our hellhole prisons?

    For that matter, how do you know you’d lose supposrt for other forms of legalization? You could just as easily say “Hey, the government used to say pot was a boogeyman, but since it’s been legalized we haven’t seen society fall apart. Perhaps the same holds true for the other drugs currently illegal.”

  95. BTW, I wouldn’t have problems with an amendment to the Constitution that explicitly gave people the right to grow, buy, sell and use marijuana, even if it didn’t give people any rights to do the same for other drugs. I’m not opposed to a half step. It’s just that taking something that is a state issue and making it a federal issue is a step in the wrong direction.

  96. I probably wouldn’t support such an amendment, because states can already legally regulate and tax marijuana. People who are asking about repeal of prohibition are talking about the passing of the 21st amendment, which was needed to repeal the 18th. The Constitution was never amended to prohibit marijuana.

    The Constitution doesn’t prohibit marijuana? Awesome! That means the hundreds of thousands of people imprisoned on pot charges are going to be freed any second now!

    In reality, this has as much real-world application as those people who insist that paying income taxes is voluntary because the amendment wasn’t properly ratified–it might help you score points in a game of Trivial Pursuit, but it hasn’t kept a single soul out of jail.

  97. “Hey, the government used to say pot was a boogeyman, but since it’s been legalized we haven’t seen society fall apart. Perhaps the same holds true for the other drugs currently illegal.”

    Exactly. It would be nice if the slippery slope worked for libertarians occasionally.

  98. How many of you would support legalizing pot just for men? Or just for white folks?

    I think valium should be mandatory for all over-involved parents…

  99. Let me just say that I bow to no one in my libertarian purity.

    I don’t have any libertarian difficulties with the way alcohol is treated under the law. Or at any rate under federal law which is where my most serious libertarian difficulties reside. I would LOVE to live in a society that treated all drugs like alcohol is treated today. Even if only marijuana was legalized, and even if it was as taxed and regulated as alcohol is now, that would still be one HUGE step forward.

    Do I think that booze is overtaxed and over-regulated? Of course I do. But it isn’t as if the state should be prohibited from taxing and regulating at all. What a near perfect world it would be, if the optimum tax rate on a gallon of tequila were a political issue of sufficient magnitude to warrant attention and effort. Similarly, while some states are especially egregious in imposing a rent-seeking regulatory regime (unpalatable to even the most casual libertarian) the situation is not unique to alcohol. Indeed, mortuaries, taxies, and hair stylists are similarly saddled with onerous restrictions of trade. Fighting against this type of corruption is absolutely a part of the libertarian agenda, but it should be fought broadly and distinctly from prohibition. There is no question to my mind that a legal market in recreational drugs, even one as hobbled as alcohol, is decidedly preferable to prohibition in general and especially to the present reality of the WOD. My only serious problem with alcohol regulation is random roadblocks. Random roadblocks are a strait up fourth amendment violation, and as such represent a more dire infringement of the people’s liberty than does say licensed distribution.

    Libertarians are not anarchists, we do cede some powers to the state, taxation and regulation among them. The post-prohibition federal approach to alcohol does not offend my libertarian sensibilities. That the policies of many states do, underscores the (libertarian friendly) federalist nature of alcohol laws. I can not help but conclude that moving marijuana into such a regime, whatever it’s defects, would result in a far more libertarian environment, and therefore should be supported by all true libertarians.

  100. Jennifer,

    We’re discussing a survey that talks about changing the federal laws to allow (not require) the states to regulate marijuana as they do alcohol. The state(s) that would chose to do this are probably the states with the lightest sentences for marijuana currently. I doubt there are thousands of people in jail in such states for purely marijuana crimes. I’ll bet you a joint that you can’t produce such numbers.

  101. I simply choose not to compromise my principles and let the chips fall where they may. I’d rather continue to smoke pot illegally than sanction the government’s “right” to regulate it.

    In that case, you’ll be smoking pot illegally for the rest of your life, unless you get caught, in which case you’ll spend a good chunk of your life getting raped in the prison shower. Your ass may be violated, but your principles will remain intact.

    And the other people in prison on drug charges will no doubt be very grateful to you. “Thank God Ed didn’t relax his principles long enough to let us out of jail,” they’ll all say.

  102. Jennifer,

    I agree with you in general, but you’re going a bit overboard. Going to jail for simply smoking marijuana isn’t all that common anymore. That fact that it happens at all is a terrible thing, though.

  103. Going to jail for simply smoking marijuana isn’t all that common anymore.

    That depends on how much you have on you when you’re caught, and whether or not it is a first offense.

  104. Jennifer keeps saying negative things starting with, “Real libertarians…”

    For instance” Real libertarians make no distinction between ‘compromise’ and ‘selling out.'”

    That’s as may be, but “True” libertarians seek to increase the net amount of liberty in the world. The choices given them, unfortunately, are always a mixed bag. “We’ll give you what looks like more liberty with THIS hand, as long as you look the other way while we steal back an equivalent amount of liberty AND MORE with the OTHER hand.”

    For example, a typical “compromise” would “legalize” and tax pot, as long as this is seen as a privilege granted to the people, which need not be extended for other drugs, and which may be revoked at any time, as opposed to the government’s acknowledgement of the people’s right to individually determine what goes in (or doesn’t go in) their bodies. The latter would be a true libertarian victory, and of course we can’t possibly have that, can we?

    When you go to negotiate for gold, you hope that the result of the transaction will be that you end up with a little gold. But when the other party only offers brass as if it were gold, tell me: if you take the brass, are you compromising or surrendering?

    Speaking as a libertarian, I am happy to compromise when I can get a little of what I actually want. But when the other side runs a bait-and-switch operation, offering only cheap, flimsy knockoffs of what I came to get, though claiming them as genuine, why belittle me for seeing through the con and having none of it?

    A real compromise would be to establish marijuana as a specific and permanent exception to the Controlled Substances Act, and to guarantee that there would be no special regulation or taxation of it: treat it as a regular commodity, as if it were cotton, soybeans, or pig iron, or as a food supplement, ala kelp extract, lecithin, or vitamin C. This would leave untouched the government’s basic (arrogated!) authority, as well as the rest of the schedules of controlled substances. Knock yourselves out with what remains, drug warriors. That situation would be far from ideal for libertarians, but it would at least increase the net amount of liberty in the country. I’d vote for that. Is a true compromise on the table? Will it ever be?

  105. Why the hell can’t NORML and other organizations find a normal-looking person to represent them?

    Because most normal looking people work hard to avoid being persecuted by the police state.

  106. “the real deal is this:
    this is an issue of marketing and marketing alone.”

    That’s true for most issues. Libertarians need to do more pursuading of the electorate and less raging against the gov’t for taking their freedoms.

    They need to stop viewing gov’t in the U.S. as a Godzilla that kicks down the front door and start viewing it as a Dracula that is invited in. No progress until you convince enough other people to stop inviting it in.

  107. The Real Bill,

    When it comes to something which Jennifer won’t compromise on we’ll have to hammer her for her purity. πŸ™‚

  108. “Thank God Ed didn’t relax his principles long enough to let us out of jail,”

    Wow!!! I didn’t know Ed was so all powerful. His principles alone can keep the government from changing (and yet be curiously weak enough to prevent imprisonment).

    Ed: Should I bow in your presence?

  109. I’d be happy if it was legal to grow and smoke your own. I don’t think that there’d be much of a market for marijuana. It’s so easy to grow. They don’t call it weed for nothin’.

  110. Libertarians are not anarchists, we do cede some powers to the state, taxation and regulation among them.

    The hell says you!!!

    Seriously, I agree that prohibition is itself a separate war from taxation however both are wars that should be fought.

    So, as libertarians, do we fight the taxation war or the prohibtion war first or do we sit on the high ground telling everyone else what they should be fighting for. I am quite sure the USMJ Party will fight for pot but not the other drugs and doesn’t give a rat’s ass about taxes. The Greens will fight for pot and a fully taxed nanny state to go with it. The Constitutionalists will fight against taxes but at the expense of free markets and civil liberties. We already know where the Repubs and Dems sit on the fences. What is the ideal course of action?

  111. Jennifer keeps saying negative things starting with, “Real libertarians…”

    James cannot recognize a parody of posters who have in fact made rules stating who is an is not a real libertarian.

    As for your suggestion that the government treat marijuana no differently from cotton or pig iron–yes, I’d love that. But since even alcohol doesn’t have that status, what seriously makes you think marijuana will ever get it?

    A lot of people here seem to think the choice is between treating pot like alcohol or treating it like any other commodity. But in reality, if we were given a choice it would be between treating marijuana like alcohol or keeping it illegal.

    When you go to negotiate for gold, you hope that the result of the transaction will be that you end up with a little gold. But when the other party only offers brass as if it were gold, tell me: if you take the brass, are you compromising or surrendering?

    I’d say that legalizing even one currently illegal drug, and thus reducing the number of people in jail because of it, is far more valuable than mere brass. Maybe a better analogy wouldn’t be gold-for-brass, but “Would you settle for 14-karat gold in place of 24-karat gold?” I would.

  112. I don’t think that there’d be much of a market for marijuana. It’s so easy to grow.
    Wine is pretty damn easy to make too (I just finished up a 5gallon batch of blackberry) but I still buy it in the store on occasion. Tobacco is pretty easy to grow in the Southeast but I don’t think that Altria has lost sales in Georgia. If cannabis were legal the vast majority of people(especially city dwellers) would rather spend the money to buy it from a regulated dealer (pot store) than set up all the equipment, time and hassle to grow it. Same reason people buy beer, wine and tomatoes from the store and hire a maid to clean the house.

    And will somebody give the Server Squirrels thier daily does of methadrine?

  113. The Constitutionalists will fight against taxes but at the expense of free markets and civil liberties.

    Don’t confuse Federal taxes with all taxes. A libertarian who is against all forms of taxation is an anarchist.

  114. And the other people in prison on drug charges will no doubt be very grateful to you. “Thank God Ed didn’t relax his principles long enough to let us out of jail,” they’ll all say.

    Ed did not put them there.
    Ed only pawn in game of life.

  115. Kwix,

    I didn’t say that there’d be no market. Also, it doesn’t take a bunch of equipment to grow enough for yourself. Anyone without a “brown thumb” can do it.

  116. Jennifer says, “James cannot recognize a parody of posters who have in fact made rules stating who is an is not a real libertarian.”

    Oh, my vision is pretty good. But Jennifer has posted so many of these negative things that, whether or not anyone thinks SHE is serious about them, they might still be taken seriously by the virtue of their sheer numbers. When one parodies the purists by enumerating the criticisms of the purists, who is to judge the result as parody or direct criticism?

    My point, with which Jennifer apparently agreed, was that the option libertarians will be “given” will NOT a compromise. Indeed, Libertarians rarely get to make compromises. Their choices are either to knuckle under and suck it up or not. So to criticize them for being unwilling to compromise is literally adding insult to injury.

    As far as mj being treated as a commodity or herbal supplement, why is it inevitable that mj will be treated in the same league as alcohol, instead of as in the same league as caffeine? By treating mj as if it were like alcohol, instead of like tea or coffee, the government would be doing what I mentioned earlier: offering a false liberty on the one hand while taking as much or more true liberty away with the other.

    And yes, Jennifer, I often settle for 14K and even 10K gold. But you must understand that, metaphorically speaking, the “gold” I seek is not government permission to do anything, much less the confirmation that government has the authority to require me to ask permission. That’s not real liberty. It’s brass! Rather, I seek government withdrawal from some aspect of life. Treating mj as another commodity would accomplish SOME of that goal. Treating mj as a special (and heavily regulated or taxed) privilege would not. As another poster asked earlier, how long would it be before the retained authority to handle mj specially would lead government to put us right back in the same old soup again?

    Another example of a such a faux-“compromise” is what happened with the USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization. Opponents sought to uphold civil rights with fairly tame reforms, which, for the most part, were completely rejected in the final conference report. Not only was the opponents’ goal thwarted, but once temporary provisions became permanent, AND new provisions (such as the anti-meth language that forces ordinary people’s names onto government lists for purchasing over-the-counter — now, BEHIND the counter — cold-medicine) were added.

    When all is said and done, is the government getting more control over the people or taking more of their property? If so, we’re not talking compromise, we’re talking capitulation.

  117. A libertarian who is against all forms of taxation is an anarchist.

    Not an anarchist but an anarcho-capitalist there is a big difference.

  118. But Jennifer has posted so many of these negative things that, whether or not anyone thinks SHE is serious about them, they might still be taken seriously by the virtue of their sheer numbers

    Maybe by a complete idiot. But why cater to the lowest common denominator?

    metaphorically speaking, the “gold” I seek is not government permission to do anything, much less the confirmation that government has the authority to require me to ask permission. . . .Rather, I seek government withdrawal from some aspect of life. Treating mj as another commodity would accomplish SOME of that goal. Treating mj as a special (and heavily regulated or taxed) privilege would not.

    Yeah, I agree. But the problem is, what’s the chance of that happening anytime soon? It’s like I said before–we can’t even get alcohol treated as “just another commodity”, so what real chance do we have of getting other drugs treated that way?

    As another poster asked earlier, how long would it be before the retained authority to handle mj specially would lead government to put us right back in the same old soup again?

    I don’t know, but alcohol has been a special case for longer than twice my lifetime, yet I don’t see us heading back to the days of Prohibition.

  119. “I don’t know, but alcohol has been a special case for longer than twice my lifetime, yet I don’t see us heading back to the days of Prohibition.”

    Look again. Sure it won’t take on the same form. You’ll be allowed to use it in the privacy of your own home.

    Look at the dropping BAC’s that constitute “drunk”. How long before they drop to zero? The nannies will intimidate all but the boldest (and the drunks). The bars will go out of business or be zoned into oblivion. Drinking ages have gone up to 21 and proposals are being entertained to raise it to 25. How long before they succeed?

    The “anti’s” are getting smarter. They’ll wrap it up in “but it’s for your own good” or “it’s for the children”. Direct frontal assaults like the old Prohibition are passe. The new ones are harder to see.

  120. So, Jeffiek, do you think an outright ban on alcohol a la Prohibition would be an improvement? Do you think we’d have a better chance of getting rid of those loathsome drunk checkpoints if alcohol were illegal?

  121. “I seek government withdrawal from some aspect of life.”

    Anyone who doesn’t recognize that the regulation/taxation scheme is a withdrawal from millions of people’s lives is too far removed from the WOD’s true impact to criticize …

  122. Well, I might point out that there are no pot checkpoints. There are no heroin checkpoints.
    Yes, if you’re caught in the alcohol checkpoint with those things – you’re busted. But that’s not what the checkpoint is there for. It’s there for the legal drug.

  123. And another dumb argument doesn’t cut it:

    Taxation/Regulation doesn’t have to be an end game. Alcohol has been stuck in this rut for a while, but many other formerly-controlled substances have been steadily made more available with less intrusion as safety fears subsided (or the world didn’t end).

  124. Yet another dumb argument:

    You only lose 95% of the legalization crowd with marijuana decriminalization if they were never on your side to begin with. And I’m afraid your fear is probably correct – they are not on your side. But you are on theirs, and you should vote that way.

  125. But the dumbest one:

    “I’d rather continue to smoke pot illegally than sanction the government’s “right” to regulate it.”

    Well, it is past time to wake up and realize it’s not your sole decision to sanction it. It’s been sanctioned that the government can do much more than this. Stand up and be counted on the side of more freedom.

  126. Well, I might point out that there are no pot checkpoints. There are no heroin checkpoints.
    Yes, if you’re caught in the alcohol checkpoint with those things – you’re busted. But that’s not what the checkpoint is there for. It’s there for the legal drug.

    And you think they wouldn’t be there if the drug were illegal?

  127. You’ll be allowed to use it in the privacy of your own home.

    If drugs were legal, but only in the privacy of one’s own home, that would still be a huge improvement over what we have now.

  128. “And you think they wouldn’t be there if the drug were illegal?”

    I make observations. I don’t predict the future.

    “If drugs were legal, but only in the privacy of one’s own home, that would still be a huge improvement over what we have now.”

    I was talking about alcohol, not drugs.

  129. I was talking about alcohol, not drugs.

    And yet, if you’re not talking to yourself about a topic that exists solely in your head, the assumption is that your discussion of alcohol laws relates to why anything less than libertarian perfection in regards to the drug war would be a bad idea.

  130. Look again. Sure it won’t take on the same form. You’ll be allowed to use it in the privacy of your own home.

    You need to look again. During prohibition, possession of alcohol *remained* legal; manufacture, sale, and transport were criminalised.

  131. daksya,
    The way cannabis is here in AK. You can possess up to 4oz, in your house, for personal use. How it gets into your house is a complete mystery because cultivation, distribution, sale and anything over 4oz is illegal and a felony. What a crock.

  132. If anyone is still checking this post, regarding the scruffy look of NORML spokesheads: can you tell me what happened to Kevin Zeese – the former head of NORML? He was about as square looking as you could want in a pot-legalization spokesman.

  133. I doubt there are thousands of people in jail in such states for purely marijuana crimes.

    Which states are the “such” states? California?

    http://www.justicepolicy.org/article.php?id=537
    California
    In 2003, California arrested people for marijuana at rate of 171 per 100,000. … In that same year marijuana arrests comprised 22 percent of total drug arrests (60,652 out of 273,229 total arrests). California currently has 1,189 people in prison for marijuana as the controlling offense.

    About the same as Texas.

    “The FBI reported Saturday that the number of arrests for violations of the marijuana laws hit an all-time high of 755,186 in 2003.”
    – diff website –
    Adjusting for the June 30, 1998 prisoner counts yields estimates of 17,600 state prisoners and 10,000 federal prisoners incarcerated for offenses involving only marijuana, for a total of 27,600 “marijuana only” prisoners.

    BJS officials also estimated that 42% of state “marijuana only” prisoners and 23% of federal “marijuana only” prisoners were incarcerated for possession, not “trafficking.”

    And they estimate another 9,900 to 16,800 people in local jails for “marijuana only.” Comes out to about 1,000 per state.

    [URLs redacted because the server doesn’t seem to like them: google [marijuana arrests] ].

  134. I said, “But Jennifer has posted so many of these negative things that, whether or not anyone thinks SHE is serious about them, they might still be taken seriously by the virtue of their sheer numbers…” Jennifer replied, “Maybe by a complete idiot. But why cater to the lowest common denominator?”

    Oh, come now. Anyone who is new to these threads could reasonably be unsure as to whether you are kidding or not. Without benefit of prior experience with your opinions and sense of humor, it is hard to tell some of your postings in the “Real libertarians…” vein from the “libertarians are losers” posts that others make seriously. I’m just sayin’.

    Jennifer said, “It’s like I said before–we can’t even get alcohol treated as ‘just another commodity,’ so what real chance do we have of getting other drugs treated that way?” I’ll admit that the struggle is steeply uphill. Still, marijuana is a plant. It will respond to horticultural methods, but will also grow wild. Alcoholic beverages are essentially man-made. You can’t plant a beer can and get a beer patch, a wine bottle and get a wine grove, or a flask of JD and get a whiskey bush. Marijuana is as much of an agricultural commodity as coffee and tea — mood-altering items that are nevertheless treated as commodities. Hashish and marinol may be drugs, but the weed itself is not. So there is a pretty coherent rationale behind my suggestion. Greed, power-lust, and ignorance may get in the way of implementing it, I freely admit, but let’s not make the task harder by analogizing mj to something like alcohol, to which it is arguably dissimilar in so many important ways.

    Jennifer said, “I don’t know, but alcohol has been a special case for longer than twice my lifetime, yet I don’t see us heading back to the days of Prohibition.”

    Really? With legal BAC levels coming down to the point that one cannot take even one drink and be sure that he won’t run afoul of a sobriety checkpoint? With serious proposals afoot to raise the legal drinking age beyond 21? With numerous public relations crusades to discourage people — especially students — from drinking? No, Carrie Nation won’t be on your doorstep tomorrow morning, but prohibitionist sentiment runs in cycles, and my spidey sense is detecting the early signs of a run-up. We have already established that the meme “prohibition doesn’t work” has utterly failed to protect us from the drug war. So all that is necessary is for someone to paint alcohol (or some trendy new forms of it) as an irresistible demon, especially to the CHILDREN, and then claim that their own brand of neo-prohibition will work where “old fashioned prohibition” failed.

    The rubes will eat it up. Mark my words.

  135. I’d love to have mj classified as alcohol. Is it perfect -no , but I would take it as it is more freedom.
    So I feel I can still hang onto my libertarian card as it’s a vote toward freedom.

    Voting for actual politicians-I will only vote libertarian.
    First of all-I can’t decide if I hate D or R more, so I can’t vote the” less evil”.

  136. Mr.F.LeMur,

    Why in hell would you pick California or Texas? The NORML press release specifically says

    support amending federal law “to let states legally regulate and tax marijuana the way they do liquor and gambling,”

    but looking at NORML’s own site, California, although listed as decriminalized can put you in jail for more than 28.5g. Texas isn’t even listed as decriminalized. If AK already has no penalty for less than 4 oz. in your residence, but CA and TX don’t, what makes you think CA would suddenly choose to legalize marijuana if they haven’t already done as much as AK (which still can put you in jail for 90 days for 4oz. – 8 oz.)?

    My point was that according to the U.S. Constitution, states already have the ability to regulate and tax marijuana the way they do liquor and gambling. The differences in state marijuana laws show that some states are more lenient than others, but none have attempted to legalize marijuana. I think people must be smoking something if they think that having the feds saying “OK, we’ll let you make the rules” will suddenly cause states to legalize marijuana and release all the marijuana prisoners.

    Of course if you let the feds decide what laws the states can have, then in the best case scenario you have states having the ability to legalize (but it looks like currently no state would choose to). The worst case scenario is just what you’d expect. The feds say “nevermind” and no state is allowed. So much for the states as laboratories of democracy.

    And just in case anyone thinks I’m not aware of Raich, I am. I’m also aware of Dred Scott, another bogus decision as well as Lopez, an example of what good might eventually come.

    I don’t like Bush and the current Congress. I don’t want to give them more power. Passing unconstitutional legislation that “lets” the states decide marijuana laws for themselves does one of two things. If it’s recognized as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, then it does nothing. If it’s not, then it strengthens the power of Congress to decide what the states can and can’t do with respect to drug policy. Just because the hypothetical Congress of the poll question allows the states to legalize marijuana doesn’t mean that they won’t be voted out on their asses by the same folks that elected today’s Congress.

  137. No tax. No regulation. I don’t even like the stuff. Maybe I’ll grow a plant for fun and let someone else smoke it or just put it in the window.

    Can’t God just beam-up the religious ones like He promised already?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.