Drug Policy

'Is the Government Going to Hand Out Free Marijuana to Those Who Can't Afford It?'

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On Friday the New York Times Freakonomics blog ran a debate about marijuana legalization featuring NORML's Paul Armentano, Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, former pot smuggler Robert Platshorn, former DEA Assistant Administrator Mike Braun, and Joel Hay, a professor of pharmaceutical economics and policy at the University of Southern California. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I'm encouraged by the predictable lameness of the arguments against repealing marijuana prohibition.

Sounding like Clinton drug czar Barry McCaffrey circa 1996, Hay declares, "There isn't a shred of scientific evidence that marijuana is safe and effective for any medical condition." Hay says this just before noting that "THC, the active ingredient of pot, has been approved by the FDA and on the market in capsule form since 1985." Even if we ignore thousands of years of experience with marijuana as a medicine, along with recent studies of raw cannabis and cannabis extracts, FDA approval of the plant's main active ingredient as a safe and effective treatment for AIDS wasting syndrome and the side effects of cancer chemotherapy, based on double-blind clinical trials, does seem to count as at least a few shreds of evidence. You could argue that smoking marijuana introduces hazards by exposing patients to combustion products, but epidemiological studies of pot smokers are mostly reassuring on that score. Furthermore, vaporization addresses this concern by releasing THC without burning the plant matter. You also could argue that smoked or vaporized marijuana has no meaningful advantages over Marinol, the synthetic THC capsule, although many patients would disagree, noting that marijuana takes effect right away, offers much easier dosage control, has less disturbing psychoactive effects, and does not require swallowing and keeping down a capsule (a challenge for people suffering from severe nausea). You could even say that raw plant matter is not an appropriate medication in this day and age, when every drug must be approved by the government in isolated form after rigorous testing. The one thing you cannot honestly say is that "there isn't a shred of scientific evidence that marijuana is safe and effective for any medical condition." 

Braun, for his part, offers what he considers a devastating series of hypotheticals (featuring the usual stoned airline pilots and school bus drivers) and rhetorical questions:

Is the government going to hand out free marijuana to those who can't afford it? If so, who pays for that? Is it O.K. with you if the government or corporate America opens a marijuana distribution center in your neighborhood, or should they only establish them in the economically depressed areas of town? Which government agency will be responsible for rigorous testing to ensure that marijuana sold in the marketplace meets the strictest of consumer standards and is free of pesticides and drugs such as LSD and PCP? Which government agency is going to be responsible for taxing your next-door neighbor when he starts growing marijuana in his back yard, adjacent to your prized roses, of course? What happens when the taxes on marijuana become so excessive from covering all the ancillary costs of legalization that the vast majority of users simply grow the product themselves? Then who will pay for all of this? 

Is this the best prohibitionists can do? Maybe not. It's not hard to come up with better arguments against legalization. But for decades drug warriors have felt no pressing need to do so, because they were confident there was no real threat to the status quo. If public opinion is in fact becoming more favorable toward reform, they may soon find that the usual vacuous litany does not do the trick anymore.

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  1. “Is the Government Going to Hand Out Free Marijuana to Those Who Can’t Afford It?”

    I was chagrinned and disappointed that no location for free pot was given in the article, no information on one’s income to qualify for the free pot, etcetera.
    Please, Please, Please, if you announce free pot, have the free pot to give away!

  2. when he starts growing marijuana in his back yard, adjacent to your prized roses, of course?

    Are we supposed to be afraid that our neighbor’s marijuana plants will be a bad influence on our prized roses? That our prized roses will begin running with a bad crowd, hanging out by the dumpsters getting high?

  3. Is this the best prohibitionists can do?

    Well, this, and they always win.

    But other than that, this.

  4. Which government agency will be responsible for rigorous testing to ensure that marijuana sold in the marketplace meets the strictest of consumer standards and is free of pesticides and drugs such as LSD and PCP?

    The same one that makes sure that Jack Daniels won’t make you go blind? Oh wait, that’s not a government agency, that’s the company itself wanting to…keep its reputation. Damn that market forces thing!

  5. You put your finger right on it Jacob. The drug warriors have be making jaw dropping lame arguments for decades. And so far they’ve won the day with them.

    I see some hope in the ballot initiatives over the past several years. But Med MJ doesn’t do it for me. Pot needs to be legalized like alcohol.

    If it’s true that “the vacuous litany does not do the trick anymore”, they can start using a slightly less vacuous litany. As you say, it’s not hard to come up with better (yet still faulty) arguments. And always there is there is the opportunity to grandstand whenever something bad happens to someone who smoked pot.

    I’ll go as far as being encouraged, but I’m still cynical.

  6. “Is it O.K. with you if the government or corporate America opens a marijuana distribution center in your neighborhood,

    Fuck yes it is.

  7. The great thing about rhetorical questions is you don’t have to answer them:

    What if someone rubs it in your eyes? Who is going to make sure it doesn’t become self-aware and take over completely? Is it okay with you if your neighbor starts driving a VW bus? Why not just make it mandatory to smoke it? Who am I, really? What if the taxes are pretty good, but not enough to save the teachers’ retirement system?

  8. opium is still being prescribed and that is plant matter. they still use it in the forms of opium tincture (what used to be called laudanum), paregoric, pantopon, and papaveretum.
    if medical opium is legal then there is no reason why cannabis tinctures or vaporized cannabis should be illegal.

  9. Fuck, now I’m pissed that there isn’t a weed store in my neighborhood. Come on, Ohio, hurry up and legalize the shit.

  10. oh and isn’t GW Pharmaceuticals doing trials to get Sativex, a special tincture made from whole cannabis but only contains THC and CBD, it is already available in Canada, UK, and Europe. if it gets approved in the US they will have to change cannabis to at least schedule II. that is unless of course they just reformulate for the American market by getting CBD rescheduled and make the US sativex from synthetic CBD and dronabinol.

  11. Are we supposed to be afraid that our neighbor’s marijuana plants will be a bad influence on our prized roses?

    Yup, and next thing you know, Biollante.

  12. The Extispicator,

    ROFL Thanks, I needed that.

  13. Who invented liquid soap, and why?

  14. The Extispicator | May 27, 2009, 1:09pm | #

    Lol. But true, so true.

  15. Which government agency is going to be responsible for taxing your next-door neighbor when he starts growing marijuana in his back yard, adjacent to your prized roses, of course?

    Um, the same one that regulates and taxes my homebrew, my herbs and my flowers?

  16. The Chad,

    “Then why did you pick me up, SHITBRAINS?”

  17. Is it ok if my dog shits on your roses?

  18. “Oh, it’s a weed wonderland, Nancy. It’s like Amsterdam, only better, because you don’t have to visit the Anne Frank house and pretend to be all sad and stuff.”

  19. Which government agency will be responsible for rigorous testing to ensure that marijuana sold in the marketplace meets the strictest of consumer standards and is free of pesticides and drugs such as LSD and PCP?

    Yes, if only there were some sort of government Administration in charge of Food and Drug safety. I guess we’ll have to set up a whole new government bureaucracy just to deal with marijuana…

    (Obligatory Libertarian Disclaimer: Of course, there shouldn’t be an FDA, either, but since it already exists, the question is rather disingenuous.)

  20. “Is it O.K. with you if the government or corporate America opens a marijuana distribution center in your neighborhood, or should they only establish them in the economically depressed areas of town?”

    False dilemma: open them in any area of town which can sustain the business economically

    Why is this concept so difficult?

  21. And, why why why WHY must this be about taxes and tax revenue? I mean shouldn’t it be about, oh I don’t know, liberty?

  22. This guy insults my intelligence. Why would plant matter be contaminated with lsd? You can’t smoke lsd! You can’t even expose it to light! The argument that pot is at all dangerous because someone would contaminate it with another drug is flat-out silly.

  23. It is funny that the pot laced with PCP thing still comes up. The LSD laced pot idea is a new one and especially silly for reasons stated above.

    And what the fuck was he on about with users all growing for themselves? Wouldn’t that solve nearly all of the problems and costs he talked about above?

  24. Oh, and since he talks about free handouts where do I go to get my free bottle of Thunderbird?

  25. The other anti-cannabis propagandist is a “pharmaceutical economist”.

    If it isn’t apparent, this is like a spokesman for the Saudi government arguing against solar energy.

    Legal cannabis would affect drug-company to some extent. There are countless reports of people with chronic conditions who are able to go from an expensive laundry list of harmful prescription drugs to a simple cannabis regimen.

    Medical marijuana is one of the most effective treatments for nausea relief, pain relief, and appetite stimulation. It also has generally much lower contraindications than the drugs typically prescribed in those situations.

  26. What if a former DEA assistant administrator asked a series of hypothetical questions so stupid that even he was overcome with shame?

  27. What if a former DEA assistant administrator asked a series of hypothetical questions so stupid that even he was overcome with shame?

    Impossible. When you work for the DEA, your sense of shame is removed at the same time they lobotomize you.

  28. What if it becomes socially acceptable for people to start shooting at revenuers with shotguns again?

  29. If you live in California and favor legalizing marijuana, YOU can make it happen. Tell your representatives to support California Assembly Bill 390. It’s easy. Visit yes390.org

  30. “Oh, it’s a weed wonderland, Nancy. It’s like Amsterdam, only better, because you don’t have to visit the Anne Frank house and pretend to be all sad and stuff.”

    New season out soon!

  31. ‘Is the Government Going to Hand Out Free Marijuana to Those Who Can’t Afford It?’

    Hey, at least then we’d be getting something back for all those taxes. Didn’t the Japanese government of California do something like that in The Man in the High Castle to keep the population pacified?

  32. I think one of the most compelling arguments on this issue is that, first, people who want to get high via pot aren’t going to wait for the government to legalize it, even under the context of medical use.

    Secondly, pot is not nearly as addictive, if at all, vs. alcohol, nor does it cause nearly the amount of auto accidents each year.

    I’m not surprised to hear about people who want to legalize it for purposes of taxation. But I’m not sure how they plan to enforce such taxation when so many people grow it underground, in their homes, etc.

  33. “Ted, why do you look so sad? Your cannabis plantation is blooming, so to speak.”
    “I know, Bill, but, you know, the thrill, the daring is gone now that’s it’s legal. ”
    “You know what we could do? Something really, really evil!!! We could contaminate your crop? with LSD! It’s still illegal so you’ll get the thrill, though granted now that pot is legal it will be traced back to you, but, still, evil!”
    “Hooray for evil!!!”

    Honestly, do you have to be a dumbass to shill for the DEA?

  34. I say again, unless marijuana grows on leftover food in the refrigerator, single men will buy it.

    BTW, growing the plant is easy. Growing one that you’d like to smoke actually requires effort and agriculteral knowledge. If anyone can grow tomatoes, why does the corner grocery always carry them?

  35. yup yup Jsub

    Truthfully, its about as difficult to grow decent pot as just about any garden vegetable. Pretty much just follow the instructions (thanks internet!) But how many people grow vegetables, people typically don’t/won’t want to wait months for a plant to grow. No matter how easy something is to grow their will be market for it.

  36. What gets so tiresome is that the drug warriors act as if prohibition has no costs or negative externalities. They can’t win on the merits so it’s on to the scare tactics. Pathetic.

  37. The vast majority of smokers won’t grow their own if it is legalized, for one reason:

    It takes too long to go from seed to bud.

    Even those that do grow their own will still be buying it retail, for another reason:

    Their friends will smoke up their home-grown stash.

  38. Let’s kill two birds with one stone. We can sign contracts with the farmers in Afghanistan to grow marijuana for medical use instead of opium poppies. We will then have an unlimited supply at a reasonable cost, while improving our relations with the locals in Afghanistan.

  39. any regular smoker (recreational or medicinal) would probably grow some plants at home but the majority of what they smoke will be purchased from dispensaries or dealers. it takes 4-5 months to get good bud so obviously you need something to smoke before harvest.
    you don’t see many alcoholics making homebrew as their main source of alcohol, its easier just to go out and buy a sixpack.

  40. I am not asking the following just to be contentious but how would most of you feel if drug use were decriminalized but that the selling and manufacture were to be a state run monopoly.

    In essence taking the state run liquor store concept one step further.

    Also in “these troubled times” with capitalism in some low repute (among some) taking the profit motive out of drugs.

    Where would these state run Dispensaries be located?

    Additionally if illegal drugs were “medicalized” and required a doctor’s prescription for your soma?

  41. and by the way, the farmers in Afghanistan are already growing cannabis, they rotate their crops between poppies and cannabis in the same fields.

  42. how would most of you feel if drug use were decriminalized but that the selling and manufacture were to be a state run monopoly.

    It would be a major improvement. Not Libertopia (spit), but a lot better than what we have.

  43. In what ways can marijuana decriminalization be done poorly by the states?

    Is there any fear that decriminalization of marijuana could in the short term actually make the drug war _ worse_?

    In that the resources applied to fighting marijuana would then be reassigned to fighting the harder drugs.

  44. Not A Libertarian But You Might Have A Point There,

    I have a bizarre fascination with a “marijuana legal, but nothing else” scenario. I’d like to see it confirm the rather common sense observation that cops pick on marijuana users because they are so likely to be non-violent (or at least poorly armed.) With the low-hanging fruit gone, I somehow doubt that the cops will suddenly become more brave.

    And the medicalization of drugs is at least 4/5s as bad as the current situation. How am I going to get a doctor to give me a script for magic mushrooms when I can’t even get some goddamn Vicodin out of the asshole?

  45. I can’t even get some goddamn Vicodin out of the asshole

    most people take it orally

  46. phalkor,

    I’ll take what I can get at this point.

  47. Which government agency is going to be responsible for taxing your next-door neighbor when he starts growing marijuana in his back yard, adjacent to your prized roses, of course? What happens when the taxes on marijuana become so excessive from covering all the ancillary costs of legalization that the vast majority of users simply grow the product themselves? Then who will pay for all of this?

    Send Nick Gillespie the bill!

  48. “Is it O.K. with you if the government or corporate America opens a marijuana distribution center in your neighborhood, or should they only establish them in the economically depressed areas of town?’

    I guess this guy has never heard of Oaksterdam. A whole slew of dispensaries opened in a poor neighborhood and has become one of the most economically vital areas in the city.

  49. It seems to me that the answer to every hypothetical on legalizing marijuana is:

    “We’ll handle it just like we do alcohol.”

    Is the government going to hand out free marijuana to those who can’t afford it?

    No. We don’t hand out free booze to anyone; why would we do that for marijuana?

    If so, who pays for that?

    Nobody.

    Is it O.K. with you if the government or corporate America opens a marijuana distribution center in your neighborhood, or should they only establish them in the economically depressed areas of town?

    The state or liquor stores can add pot to their inventory if they want, and can open pot ‘n’ liquor stores where zoning allows.

    Which government agency will be responsible for rigorous testing to ensure that marijuana sold in the marketplace meets the strictest of consumer standards and is free of pesticides and drugs such as LSD and PCP?

    The same one that oversees the quality and purity of booze.

    Which government agency is going to be responsible for taxing your next-door neighbor when he starts growing marijuana in his back yard, adjacent to your prized roses, of course?

    The same one that imposes and collects taxes on homebrewers. Oh, you say homebrewers aren’t taxed on what they make? Then why should home growers be taxed?

    What happens when the taxes on marijuana become so excessive from covering all the ancillary costs of legalization that the vast majority of users simply grow the product themselves?

    What ancillary costs?

    Then who will pay for all of this?

    Pay for all what? Just how much marginal cost is treating marijuana like hard liquor going to add?

  50. New song on peso.com

    Let Grandma smoke marijuana
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    Let Grandma smoke marijuana
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    She’s happy and free
    Living in her means.
    Don’t need your medicare candy.

    Like Prozac(R) and Lexaprol(R)
    Turn Grandma into a zombie.
    Some Zoloft(R)and Rapiflux(R)
    Pushed by the medicare lobby.

    Get liver disease
    For enourmous medical fees.
    Instead of smoking a weed.

    The Cartels in Mexico
    Want Grandma to pay to be happy.
    With violence and gun control
    Profits go out of the country.

    She’s happy and free
    Living in her means.
    Don’t need your medicare candy.

    Oh Grandma
    Oh Grandma

    She’s happy and free

    Let Grandma smoke marijuana
    Happy alone in her garden.
    Let Grandma smoke marijuana
    Peacefully live in the jungle.

    She’s happy and free
    Living in her means.
    Don’t need your medicare candy.

    Oh Grandma
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    Grandma

  51. Legalize it. Treat it like alcohol plain and simple.

    I’m so sick of the Gateway Drug Argument. Alcohol is the ULTIMATE GATEWAY DRUG. It’s probably 90% of people’s first buzz. And if they like it, the want more. None of my successful friends that smoke got into heavy drugs like coke.

    Once it’s legal it will be exciting for the first 3 months. After that, the people who smoke now, will probably smoke the same amount. And the people who won’t, simply won’t. Not much will change.

    And if treated like alcohol. Kids will have as much access to it as a 6 pack of beer. So legalize it.

    And to the folks that say NO and that have never done it, what right do they have to judge it?

  52. I guess the fact of the matter is that there is not a winnable argument against marijuana’s legalization. What’s scary to me is how large a chunk of our society is still brainwashed to the point of upholding marijuana’s demonized status next to heroin in the rankings.

    To me, this prohibition is a real threat to our freedom and all Americans should be completely outraged by the situation.

    Everyone should recall that ‘Legalization’ is not the same as ‘Advocation.’ This question should be answered instead: Would you want your kids sent to PRISON for having a plant? Why? What are the pros and cons of this terrible situation?

  53. , a professor of pharmaceutical economics and policy

    So, he’s not a physician, I take it?

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d take the first-hand testimony of any cancer patient who’s gained a benefit from marijuana over his any day of the week.

    -jcr

  54. Well, the real reason cannabis isn’t legal is because certain established companies don’t want to compete with industrial hemp. Think of all the food, fuel and fiber industries that would take a hit if hemp was legal. The timber for paper industry, gone. The cotton industry, severely reduced. The crude oil for whatever industry, reduced. And so on, and so on,and so on.

  55. Who invented liquid soap, and why?

    Dr. Bronner didn’t exactly invent it, but he did see a market for sanitary dispensing of soap in shared washrooms.

  56. IceTrey:

    The anti-corporation hemp argument is kind of lame, not based in reality, and not particularly helpful. Not that hemp isn’t a useful crop that ought to be legal, but there really is no evidence of some concerted effort by corporations to keep marijuana illegal because they are afraid of competition from hemp, or competition from marijuana. Hemp is legal in most industrialized nations now. There is a worldwide hemp market. Some European countries even subsidize hemp growing. Some countries that grow hemp have actually cut production because it wasn’t nearly as profitable as they thought it would be. The hemp industry is not exactly setting the world on fire. There is a very limited market for hemp. Mostly it is used in overpriced novelty products that people buy just because they think it’s cool to by products with hemp in them. Hemp fiber is too expensive to produce and use and fiber production is limited to countries where they have super cheap labor costs. In a place like Canada where labor costs are higher they grow hemp pretty much exclusively for seed and waste the fiber. No doubt there are many potential uses for hemp, but usually there is something better and/or much cheaper to use. For instance you said hemp would reduce our dependance on oil, but of course we don’t see hemp being used for commercial production of biodiesel or ethanol anywhere because there are better feedstocks that have much higher per acre biofuel yields. Again, I think our farmers should be able to grow it because as long as they don’t overproduce and flood the limited market they could make some money from it, but it is not the wonderplant many paint it out to be, and it certainly doesn’t have big corporations shaking in their boots. If it was the wonderplant many paint it out to be we’d have corporations lobbying like crazy to make it legal so they could make money from it.

  57. Wow free pot? I like that idea! Where does the line form?

    RT
    http://www.whos-watching.mirrorz.com

  58. quote “The hemp industry is not exactly setting the world on fire.”

    Correct you are sir. It is the world that seeks to set the hemp industry on fire.

    *snicker*

  59. Which government agency will be responsible for rigorous testing to ensure that marijuana sold in the marketplace meets the strictest of consumer standards and is free of pesticides and drugs such as LSD and PCP?

    Yea because Lsd and Pcp grows on trees. That stuff costs money moron. If they did this they would charge extra. You sir are a genius.

  60. Medical Marijuana has been the single most effective treatment for my fiancees Post Traumatic Stress and my Panic Attacks.

    @ IceTrey: Oaksterdam is definitely a bright spot in Oakland.
    Most dispensaries have heavy security to make sure that only patients with valid picture ID of their status (MediCann, etc) can get inside, let alone get any pot! Every dispensary I’ve been to has been clean, friendly, well-run and *constantly busy*.
    I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what a dispensary is and what goes on there.

  61. “What happens when the taxes on marijuana become so excessive from covering all the ancillary costs of legalization that the vast majority of users simply grow the product themselves? Then who will pay for all of this?”

    Probably the same people who pay for the “War on Drugs”.

  62. My personal belief regarding why it is not legal is because of the DUI topic — There is no easy test to determine if someone is currently under the influence of MJ (besides seeing if they can have just 1 cheetos), meaning no way to test if a driver is currently high… They can do blood tests to confirm Blood Alcohol Content for someone driving poorly, but you can’t prove someone’s high (only that there is THC in their system – but that could have been from days prior)… Anyone else agree that this is a fear keeping people from making it legal? How would the Gov’t handle this question?

  63. The only way to end the mafia’s iron grip on law enforcement is to legalize all drugs.
    Our police forces and politics have been infested to the point that no “good cop” or straight politician is safe until drugs are legal.

  64. i used to make butter from the duff and let it sit for a couple a days, and my buddy wanted a spoonful. i gave him a fat spoonfull figureing i would crush him and it did nothing. when he had a cookie that had only a fraction of the butter in it but was mixed with other ingredients he got high as **** so just because the pharm co says they have a stupid lil pill doesnt mean it delivers the same to everyone. get a panal of users to do your tests, and no do not give it for free. is the gov giving out free meds to aids patients or any other pharm to sick people?

  65. “There isn’t a shred of scientific evidence that marijuana is safe and effective for any medical condition.”

    Not true. when i get my period and i get horrible craps, i smoke a joint and then i seriously feel better. Also a good thing for severe PMS, if your a girl and a stoner you would know why . Think about it ha

  66. “Is the government going to hand out free marijuana to those who can’t afford it? If so, who pays for that?”

    marijuana is called ‘weed’ because it is one. and if we know anything about weeds we know that they grow quickly, anywhere, and is mass quantity. there should be no worry about ‘who’s going to pay for it.’

  67. Jon says:

    “My personal belief regarding why it is not legal is because of the DUI topic — ”

    I agree that a lot of people are concerned about that, but it’s a stupid reason not to legalize marijuana. Alcohol is really the only drug for which we have a simple test that determines whether someone is over the legal limit. It doesn’t prove someone is impaired to the point he is a danger to persons or property, only that he is over the legal limit.

    Alcohol is not the only drug people use today though. There are prescription medications, pain meds, anti-anxiety meds like Xanax, etc., and there is no legal limit for those. I’ a lawyer and we see DWI cases coming through the courts all the time where people were obviously wasted on prescription meds. The police will do urine tests, but the presence of these drugs in urine is not enough for a conviction. The have to prove that these people were impaired, which usually isn’t that difficult.

    Most of the time they have dashboard camera video to back up their testimony. They do various field sobriety tests. When they determine that a person is intoxicated but not from alcohol they’ll generally have a Drug Recognition Expert (“DRE) do some additional field sobriety tests. The DRE will be another officer or even the officer that made the stop who has been trained to recognize the effects of all sorts of different drugs. Usually they can tell pretty much which particular drug someone is on or which class of drugs.

    When they go to court they’ll testify, show the tapes, submit the drug test results, and they get convictions most every time they file charges. In fact, most of the time people plead guilty without a trial.

    They do the same thing for illegal drugs, including marijuana. This is not that big of a deal. And the fact is that most people who want to smoke pot are already smoking it and if they are going to drive stoned they are already doing it.

  68. Which government agency will be responsible for rigorous testing to ensure that marijuana sold in the marketplace meets the strictest of consumer standards and is free of pesticides and drugs such as LSD and PCP?

    I think they could set up a division of government that would work for free, sample a little out of each batch to make sure it was ok, and then put a seal of approval on it. I’m pretty sure that they could find millions of people that would like to volunteer their time to make sure that this would be the only branch of government that spent 0 dollars on salaries for “inspectors”.

  69. Thanks Eddie! Valid points; Law Enforcement has to deal with this issue today, you’re right… I guess it’s just a reaction to the increased sensitivity to the potential harm that individuals’ recreations put bystanders in… Gotta win over public opinion (non-users) before the gov’t is going to seriously consider. So thinking of what the average citizen’s qualms would be. Thx again!

  70. Did we not learn anything from alcohol prohibition?
    Marijuana prohibition has been an indisputable failure. Legalize it and take the money out of the black market. Marijuana is less dangerous than either alcohol or tobacco yet both of those substances are legal (and should be). Every year our prison system releases violent offenders to make room for non-violent pot smokers. That is just plain insanity. Think of how better society would be served if our law enforcement efforts were directed more towards dealing with violent individuals. We would also save BILLIONS of dollars on prosecution costs and jail expenses every year.
    There is also substantial evidence indicating marijuana has numerous medical uses as well.
    We need to look at this issue using nothing more than basic common sense. Isn’t it time to drop the “Reefer Madness” stupidity?

  71. Arguments against legalization appear to come from individuals acting like angry children. Is this really the best they can come up with?

  72. I just love these lil articles. And the ignorance of people. I have a long list of medical conditions including heart diease and chronic pain! For which I was prescribed a regime of pills. Including Oxycoton, so our government is basically saying Oxycoton is safer then cannibus? Am I the only person that see’s there’s a problem here. How many teenagers and people in general are going to loose their lives to Oxycoton or other such drugs in the same class. How many people that you know of who have died or overdosed on Cannibus??

  73. Please explain to me, how is it that alcohol is leagal and it kills people everyday, but you can’t get even a joint from someone without worring about who is going to come arrest you. And there is no record or any death by just smoking weed. It does make you want to eat and sleep and happy. So what is the big deal. Just tax it and make it leagal already.

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