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Nirek On July - 19 - 2014

Medical_Marijuana_crop._University_of_Mississippi._Oxford

Would making pot legal take the drug dealer off the street?

I do not know much about pot.  Where to get it ?  How much it costs?

In Vermont the government is studying whether legalizing pot is a good idea or not.

http://vtdigger.org/2014/07/18/rand-officials-visit-state-next-week-discuss-pot-study/

I have always thought that legal pot would stop people from buying from a dealer who could be adding other drugs to it for some nefarious reason.  Making it legal could help some people who would like to try it for a medical reason. I know that some people can get relief from the effects of their disease. Some with chronic back pain, or eye disease, or other ailments can find some relief. But Doctors do not prescribe pot because of the legal issue. I could be wrong, but I have heard that pot is not as bad as tobacco or alcohol for the users health.

Another reason to make it legal is the tax issue. You have to be careful not to over tax it so the guy selling it on the corner is put out of business.  Colorado and Washington have legalized it and are finding some problems and some big profits for the state. Vermont is having a study done to find a way to make it work. If Vermont gets an outcome from the study that tells them it would not be good to make it legal it may never be done here.

I wonder if there could be lots of jobs created with legal pot? Farmers could have a new cash crop. Manufacturing would have a new product to make and package. Businesses would have new products to sell. States would be able to tax all the above and hire inspectors to be sure there are safety regulations being followed.

Lets talk about this. You folks always teach me so much. I start with a question and that leads to more questions. I enjoy reading comments from all my friends here at the Planet. How do you feel about legalizing pot?

Written by Nirek

Proud progressive Vietnam Vet against WAR! Can't stomach chickenhawks.

46 Responses so far.

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  1. Nirek says:

    The NY times is calling for MJ legalization. They make the point that the war on pot is costing too much.

  2. Pete Geller says:

    We are supposed to be a ‘free’ country. Adult decisions that don’t affect anyone else should not be the business of our government. Additionally prohibition has always been a failed policy which increases violence and black market profit. The so called ‘War on Drugs’ has always been based on fear, lies. control and profit. We have made our prison system for profit and we have more people incarcerated than any other country. We have turned our police departments into a militarized Law Enforcement Industrial Complex. There is no valid reason or science behind prohibition if you are trying to protect society. And criminalizing health issues is inhumane and a failure to society. If the powers that be are so ‘concerned’ about drugs why are they only concerned about the 250,000 deaths worldwide from illegal drugs and not the 780,000 plus deaths just in the US by prescription drugs??? Maybe we’ve been fighting the wrong ‘war’ although I believe if you proclaim war on inanimate objects, ideals and other fears you have already lost. The so called ‘War on Terror’ is another prime example of this but I digress…..
    Hope this gives you some insight Nirek and thanks for the article!

  3. funksands says:

    State and Federal governments have spent almost $30 billion on the “War on Drugs”.
    48.3% of all drug-related arrests last year in the US were for simple possession of marijuana

    It’s estimate that the real drug emergency in the US is abuse of prescription pain-killers. Americans now make up 82% of the prescription opioid consumption on earth.

    It’s estimated that 1 in14 Kentuckians regularly abuse prescription painkillers.

    Militarized Police Forces are funded by the war on drugs
    Drug Cartels are funded by the war on drugs
    Prisons are funded by the war on drugs
    Big Pharma is funded by the war on drugs

    Taking the Marijuana leg out of that stool could bring the whole thing crashing down, allowing society to finally put something together that is smarter, cheaper and infinitely more humane.

    Imagine if we could lay off 25% of our police force and train them instead to be counselors and therapists.

    Humans are always going to pursue mind-altering substances. Legalizing a drug that is significantly less harmful than alcohol or tobacco seems to be a pretty tame step to take.

  4. NirekJunior says:

    I don’t have any issue with pot being legalized. I think all the reasons are clear from your post and the various comments. I have plenty of friends and acquaintances who smoke it, and though I’ve never tried it (no desire to, and randomly drug tested by the FRA -- seem like reason enough not to go there) I’ve never had any problem with friends that do. They’ve offered and I’ve politely declined. They have even offered to go smoke it outside when I was at one of their houses.

    I will say I’m not a fan of the smell -- makes me kinda queasy. :)

    I think most folks who smoke it already do so, and legalizing it wouldn’t create a huge flood of omg-it’s-legal-I-can-finally-try-it types.

    I think Vermont will legalize it soon -- we’re a pretty progressive state on the whole.

    • Nirek says:

      All true statements, NJ.
      I’m wondering if it would help your mother with her problems? We are going to discuss it with her Dr. next time she sees him.

  5. Harleigh says:

    Marijuana legalization would be a huge gubmint problem! First think about all the hundreds of thousands of drug related police and their activities at the local, state and federal levels that would be out of work. Then all the MJ only prisoners could be released and the ensuing consolidation would put thousands of prison workers onto unemployment. Then the courts would be unclogged and actually have to work again. Is this what we really want fer Merika just so everybody can smoke a harmless/beneficial substance that would create millions of jobs in dozens of new industries generating billions in revenues? I think not… way to smart for merika.

    • Nirek says:

      Harleigh, you make more sense than the “gubmint” !
      I think America needs to learn that prohibition has not worked. Clogging the courts and prisons. Making criminals out of folks using MJ, who otherwise would be productive citizens. These are excellent reasons to make MJ legal!

      Thanks for the input.

  6. jjgravitas says:

    I think pot should be legalized and regulated the same way we regulate alcoholic beverages. The main reason for my position is to get it out of the hands of criminal drug dealers, so that its quality can be regulated as can its price. I personally think the stuff is poison, but keeping it illegal is not wise as it makes it appear to be on the same level as other illegal drugs out there which are all much more poisonous, much more destructive. Keeping it illegal doesn’t solve anything.

    • jj, poison? Far from it. MJ is NON_TOXIC. It does no damage to any of the body’s organs.

      I’m not sure, exactly what you meant by “poison?”

      Do you know what IS poison, literally? Alcohol, nicotine, meth, heroin, cocaine, prescription drugs, aspirin, Tylenol….etc. All of these substance can be fatal and/or do great harm to the mind and/or body.

      MJ is one of the most benign substances on the planet!

    • Nirek says:

      JJ, alcohol is actually worse and so is tobacco. If they are legal pot should be too. Your points are valid. Thanks for the reply.

  7. Miles Long says:

    Should pot be legal or not?

    The short, complete answer is: Yes.

    The ONLY people against legalization of recreational Marijuana are:

    1. The ignorant,
    2. Big Pharma,
    3. The Alcohol Lobby,
    4. The Private prison industry.

    Miles “Cut To The Chase” Long

  8. kevinbr38 says:

    Like many from my generation, (born in ’57), I smoked weed pretty regularly in the ’70’s.
    Sometime during the mid-80’s, I kind of out-grew the practice. I would still take a puff now and then if it was offered to me, but I didn’t keep a stash anymore.
    Fast forward to 2005…
    My partner and I had returned to live in his country of birth, The Netherlands (which turned out to be a very good decision for several reasons).
    I was diagnosed with cancer.
    My treatment involved radiation 5 days a week for 7 weeks, and chemo-therapy twice a week during that same period.
    I felt very fortunate to be in the Netherlands because of their health care system.
    (That is obviously for another post).
    I did meditative yoga to get me through the various treatments which did wonders for my mind, but about two weeks into the treatments, my body started reacting.
    The worst was the total lack of appetite and the nausea.
    I started dropping pounds rapidly, which was obviously not a good thing because those pounds were my body’s reserves to fight both the disease as well as the treatments.
    As fate would have it, (and this having taken place in Amsterdam), directly across the street from my pharmacy was a “Coffee Shop”.
    I had a light-bulb moment, went in and emerged with a little packet of ‘mild’ weed.
    Yes, they have a menu, so one can choose.
    I went for the mild stuff because I hadn’t smoked for a while.
    I’ll now cut to the chase…
    The results were instantaneous.
    Appetite returned and the nausea all but disappeared.
    So, I added weed to my yoga to get me through my ordeal both physically as well as mentally.
    It is now 10 years later, and I have been cancer-free for the last 8.
    As reported elsewhere, marijuana [obviously] has other medicinal benefits as well.
    Most of the drugs big-phrma puts out are derived from plants.
    Of course the pharmaceutical lobby doesn’t want marijuana legalized as they won’t make a profit on it.
    It is beyond cruel to me to make such a substance illegal for those who could benefit from it’s use in such a clear and provable way.
    As to the recreational use, also as pointed out elsewhere, with plenty of literature available on the subject…
    Marijuana does no harm to the body, is not addictive, and is certainly not a “Gateway Drug” as some would have us believe.
    There is ZERO REASON for it to still be criminalized.
    And btw,
    While I don’t smoke it everyday any longer, I do partake a couple of times week from the teensey crop I grow myself….
    It elevates Ben and Jerry’s to a whole new level :)>
    My riff on the subject…

    • Nirek says:

      Kevin, thanks for sharing your experience. You and KT have me sold on the fact that is is not harmful. I’m glad to hear that you are free of cancer now, too.

  9. Oh boy, a subject close to my heart. I have used MJ off and on for over 40 years. I am in very good health considering my age. My last physical was near perfect.

    Let’s talk first, about alcohol and tobacco in comparison to MJ. Let’s start with alcohol. Alcohol is actually poisonous to the human body. It slowly corrodes the body’s major organs like the liver, kidneys, pancreas, the esophagus, and the stomach lining. Alcohol is also an anesthetic. It slowly shuts down brain function with each consecutive drink, whether it be whiskey, wine or beer. Alcohol seriously disturbs motor functions making the user stagger, stumble, fall down. Alcohol is extremely dangerous to drive on, or operate machinery. For millions of people around the world, alcohol is very addictive. Alcohol addiction is one of the hardest addictions to break. Cold turkey withdrawal from alcohol can sometimes be fatal, if one has been addicted for long periods of time.

    Tobacco is not a good thing either. It is very addictive, harmful to the lungs and mouth, and just a dirty, smelly habit. Millions of people develop lung cancer from prolonged use of tobacco.

    OK, now lets talk about MJ. First let me say, that any substance we put in our bodies should be used with moderation. MJ is NOT physically addictive. MJ is a non-toxic substance, meaning it does not damage the body’s organs or tissues. Smoking it isn’t great for the lungs, but it does not cause cancer. MJ can be vaporized, meaning that the vegetable material is not burned and no smoke is created. When vaporized, the active ingredients in MJ are heated to a temperature (below burning temp) that releases a vapor that contains the active compounds in MJ. Vapor does no harm to the lungs. It is much healthier to vaporize MJ than it is to smoke it.

    MJ can be used in baked goods, like brownies, cookies, cakes…etc. Eating MJ gives one a more intense and longer lasting high than smoking or vaping it. People need to use caution when consuming edibles. It very easy to eat too much and get an unpleasant high.

    It’s impossible to overdose on MJ. People may do too much, but the only thing that would happen is they get too high and sometimes paranoid or have mild psychotic episodes. This goes away after a few hours and no lasting damage is done.

    MJ has many medical benefits. It helps reduce blood pressure in the eyes of glaucoma patients. It is a wonder treatment for nausea, insomnia, poor appetite, mild to moderate pain, seizures, and it’s been reported, by many, many people to actually slow the growth of cancerous tumors.
    MJ is a godsend for thousands of people with debilitating illnesses.

    As far as recreational use goes, it’s just a lot of fun and allows people to feel good. Great after a hard day’s work to just sit back and feel the stress of the rat race slowly fade away. It’s very refreshing.

    As to the legality of MJ, YES it should be legal, and regulated, just like alcohol. You should have to be 21 years of age or older to purchase MJ. It should be illegal to drive while using MJ. Legalization is an issue of liberty, as well as a public safety issue. MJ harms nobody and there is no good reason to criminalize it. A person should be free to use MJ, just as we are free to use alcohol or tobacco. It’s time for the government to stop arresting and jailing people for using a substance that is not harmful to the individual or the public.

    • pinkpantheroz says:

      KT, I’m 100% with you on all your post, except for one niggle only. MJ SMELLS! To me, it’s worse than tobacco smoke. Of course, those who smoke it I’m sure they’re used to it, but, man…….

      • 😆 Personally, I love the smell of good bud. When it’s vaporized and not smoked, there is hardly any smell at all, because there is no smoke.

        Good bud has all sort of aromas. Dirt weed smells the worst, when it’s smoked. As I’ve said though, it doesn’t have to be smoked.

    • Nirek says:

      KT, I knew you would have some facts and a good comment. Thanks. You make it sound like a wonder drug. I guess it is in a way.

      • It truly is. It can be used to alleviate many, many nasty symptoms that result from many different illness. It’s not a cure all, but what it can do IS a wonder.

        Watch the video below.

        • Nirek says:

          How does one who never used it get some to try?

          • funksands says:

            Nirek, may I make a suggestion? KT’s suggestion is the simplest way. If you don’t want to pay the risk premium,(though in Vermont, I’d think that would be pretty small) there are a couple other options.

            First, Vermont’s medical marijuana laws are pretty flexible. As long as your wife has an established relationship with a physician, that physician can recommend marijuana as a medical treatment and give you a referral to a legal dispensary.

            Option 2? Get you and your wife a cheap plane ticket to Denver and go on a fact-finding trip.

            It might be worth the expense to find out if marijuana is going to be helpful to her, and if so, what kind and in what delivery method.

            Just a suggestion.

            WA is not ready for you yet. But CO is a good bet.

          • Ask your son to have one of his friends get you some. Keep in mind though, that that is still illegal.

            I haven’t used MJ since 2008. I’d have somewhat of a problem getting it myself now.

            I haven’t quit forever. I really enjoy it and plan to use it again. I just figured it would be good to go without for a while.

            If you do try it, I would be interested in reading about your experience.

            • Nirek says:

              KT, I want some for my wife. She has back pain, anxiety, and depression. Also I may try it if we can get some.

  10. Beatlex says:

    Booze has done far more damage than pot could ever Nirek.Legalize it,tax it.There are also a lot of uses for hemp,clothing,containers,and many other uses that could compete with man made fibers

    • Nirek says:

      Beatlex, I see no reason to keep pot or hemp illegal. I am hoping that the states all make it legal for those over 21 just like alcohol and tobacco.

  11. zenith1959 says:

    I live in Washington and voted for legalizing, so you can guess I’m in favor. Retail stores just opened, and although I haven’t been in one, seems the rules are a bit stricter than in Colorado. A friend checked a store out and said he was surprised at how knowledgeable the staff was, he got information about the type of fertilizer used and was able to get a sativa instead of an indica, which provides a less stony buzz.

    • Nirek says:

      Zenith, thanks for the reply. Although I have no idea what a sativa or an indica is. I am interested because I don’t think prohibition has worked very well.

  12. antmousie says:

    There are many reasons to keep it illegal, just none, as far as I’m concerned, that are legitimate. The industries that are likely to lose profits, and be sad, are pharmaceutical, textile and lumber. People can have pain relief without those nasty side effects. It would likely help relieve anxiety and/or depression that often accompany pain. Paper can be manufactured without cutting down all those trees. Hemp requires less water than cotton, to grow. It is more resistant to pests, so less, if any, pesticides needed. It produces more, and stronger, fibers than cotton, for longer lasting clothing. Personally, I would use it for pain relief. I wouldn’t smoke it for fear of harming my lungs, but would use the edibles. The munchies are problematic, but probably most prevalent in those of us prone to overeating already, and the current anti-depressant/anti-anxiety drugs tend to increase appetite anyway. It is not a gateway to anything, except to the fridge (as the joke goes). Much safer than alcohol, in my opinion.

    • Nirek says:

      Antmousie, I value your opinion. Hemp is related to pot but does not give you a high if smoked from what I know. Farmers could have a great cash crop with hemp and pot. Both will grow in much of this nation. Used as an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medicine it makes sense to me that there would be fewer side effects.

  13. SmotPoker says:

    Never heard of the stuff….

  14. This is one of the issues tailor-made for Jury Nullification. If every person busted for pot demanded a jury trial and won, the system would self-destruct.

    I am not a user, but many of my friends are. They will not get busted because they are not persons of color or young. imho the drug war has always been about mass incarceration of the poor. Legalize it or start busting people in proportion to use. Don’t use pot as a means of criminalizing minorities.

    • Nirek says:

      MBX, it is hard to find anything in your post to argue with. Thanks for your input.

    • sillylittleme says:

      But then what would the war on drugs be for? THE CIA has long used it to finance their doings around the world. Buying from brown to dump it in black neighborhoods…

      • antmousie says:

        Thank you. I forgot about those law enforcement industries that would lose profits by “seizing” (turning over part, and selling the rest)drugs. Then there’s the prison industrial complex. It’s another way for the powers that be, to keep us focused on “shiny objects”, while they allow the 1% to run roughshod, with the help of churches, who keep us scared.


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