Afternoon everyone! So apparently cottage cheese is a great ricotta substitute in lasagna! AWESOME…thank you guys! I will definitely try that next time around!
Okay…I am doing it. I am going to discuss a political topic that carries opinions from all sides: moral, ethical, religious and economic. I want talk about the issue that is going to likely pop up on California’s ballot this November: Legalizing Marijuana.
According to Time, the U.S. is, by far, the most “criminal” country in the world, with 5% of the world’s population and 25% of its prisoners. We spend $68 billion per year on corrections, and one-third of those being corrected are serving time for nonviolent drug crimes. We spend about $150 billion on policing and courts, and 47.5% of all drug arrests are marijuana-related. That is an awful lot of money, most of it nonfederal, that could be spent on better schools or infrastructure — or simply returned to the public.
The drug generally isn’t more harmful than alcohol or tobacco if used in moderation.
Limiting the use of the drug intrudes on personal freedom.
Legalization would mean a lower price; thus, related crimes (like theft) would be reduced.
There are medical benefits such as the those for cancer patients.
Street justice related to drug disputes would be reduced.
It could be a source of additional tax revenues.
Police and court resources would be freed up for more serious crimes.
Drug dealers (including some terrorists) would lose most or all of their business.
Border/transportation officials & related resources could focus on immigration enforcement and protecting against terrorism.
The FDA or others could regulate the quality and safety of drugs.
Like sex, alcohol, or cigarettes, marijuana is one of life’s little pleasures for some people.
Drug busts often trap young people in a flawed system that turns them into lifelong criminals.
Marijuana is often used as a stepping-stone drug, leading to heroin, cocaine, or other harder drugs.
Stoned driving and other dangers would be increased.
Some consider use of the drug as morally wrong.
Legalization would increase the chances of the drug falling into the hands of kids.
Because of drug-related arrests, people who have committed or are likely to commit more serious crimes can be taken off the streets.
Physical damage would be done to users that abuse the drug.
More widespread use would increase the dangers of secondhand smoke-damage to bystanders.
I’ll be honest, I currently am not sure what I think. I can truly see both sides of the argument and makes cases both “for” and “against.” But I do think it will be interesting to see what happens with this issue. Instead of straight up asking for your opinion (unless you WANT to give it) I will do an anonymous poll:
I think most people know people that smoke pot and recognize they aren’t hard criminals or even people with drug habits. I’ll be honest and say I know a lot of people that smoke marijuana (I wasn’t in college too long ago and It is semi-legal in Colorado after all). Sure SOME might smoke way more than they should, but some people drink way more than they should, too. Frankly the people that smoke all the time seem way less erratic and out of control than those that drink a lot. I really doubt that legalizing it won’t change a thing, except that it could be regulated (which might eliminate the stuff that’s laced and truly dangerous) and taxed! Maybe a few more people will try it if it’s legal, but for the most part people that smoke it will do so regardless of the law.
I’ve never understood why alcohol is legal when marijuana isn’t. Not that I would know…. but alcohol has a much stronger influence on people than marijuana, in my opinion.
Not that I’m out there going “yeaaaaah! Let’s go smoke some weeeeed” but seriously, isn’t that hypocritical that alcohol is fine, yet marijuana isn’t?
Of course, there should be an age limit on marijuana to help keep it out of the hands of younger citizens. The thing is, if people are going to do it, they’re most likely going to do it whether it’s legal or not. It’s actually harder for underage kids to get alcohol than it is to get marijuana. Legalizing marijuana, but having an age limit on it, may actually help reduce the amount of younger people doing it. maybe not, but it’s possible.
I think we put way too big of an emphasis on cracking down on marijuana users. There’s a lot more good that authority figures could be doing if they weren’t so busy finding the kids that are out there smoking marijuana. Like the child abusers, murderers, thieves, etc.
I’m torn on this issue as well. Although I do think I go more along the lines of it being okay to legalize. However, I have never done it and never will. I would hope it would take some of the appeal away from it as well. But that could be bad if it makes the appeal lean towards the harder stuff then. Such a tough balance.
I liked how you put the chart in, it’s the teacher in me 🙂 I am a bit undecided but think I lean towards the no side. I missed you birthday yesterday because I didn’t read any blogs, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I loved reading 29 things about you 🙂
I want to preface this by saying I’ve never smoked pot and have no intentions of doing it. That said, I believe our Constitution gives us the rights to every personal freedom, not just the ones I take advantage of. Just as I don’t think the government should dictate whether I eat too much salt, I don’t think it should dictate to people whether or not they can use pot—especially since alcohol is legal. It’s hard for me to say that because I think, Where do you draw the line? Why not legalize cocaine and heroin while we’re talking about personal freedom?And that’s a tricky retort I don’t know how to answer. But I do know I’d rather be free than do whatever a government that doesn’t know me personally tells me to do.
I was undecided until I looked at that chart. I disagree with nearly everything on the no side. It isn’t always a gateway drug (I tried it, even liked it, don’t do it anymore, never done anything else), #2,3, 4, 6 can all apply to alcohol just as easily, second hand smoke from cigarettes is just as bad, and the jails are already filled to capacity in most places. Really, the thing that tipped my opinion though, was the bit about trapping young people into a life of crime. I agree completely with this, and a friend of mine who works with young girls says she has seen this happen to so many young promising ladies. So sad.
Yet another great post Kelly! Must be that extra year of wisdom! 😀
I say legalize it…people are doing it now, illegally and it;’s causing a lot of issues. I agree with what someone said about alcohol and pot–ive smoked pot before and alcohol has a MUCH worse effect on me!
I don’t do either anymore at all, so it wouldnt affect me!
I will never smoke or drink in my life, because I want to be at my healthiest (and booze tastes gross to me… I hope my parents realize what a good child I am :P). However, I support the legalization of marijuana because I have no right to intrude on anything that anyone else wants to do, provided that it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Who am I to tell someone what they can and can not do if it’s not hurting anyone? (Ask me about gay marriage and prostitution and I’ll tell you the same thing.) Obviously second-hand smoke hurts people, but more people smoke tobacco than marijuana, and the people who want to smoke marijuana badly enough already smoke it. I would try to warn people close to me, out of concern, about the health risk involved with, you know, inhaling smoke, but if they’re adults then they can think for themselves, and whether or not I approve of their decision, it’s neither my business nor decision.
And like the alluded to, crime would go down, and LEOs would have more time to solve actual crimes, like theft and murder and rape, and even drunk driving. Sometimes I wonder if the cops making silly drug busts ever wish they were out solving murders instead. Certainly more interesting. AND the murders that do occur because of drugs is because it’s such a risky business and money is a big issue. Marijuana being illegal puts money in the hands of criminals.
If I were ever to try marijuana, I’d totally put them in brownies. Yes yes yes. 😀
I’ve never smoked marijuana or cigarettes…but, as someone submerged in the practical effects of MJ being illegal, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY SUPPORT THE LEGALIZATION. The amount of time, money, jail space wasted on minor mj arrests is not worth it. It’s not worth it and it doesn’t work.
Regulate the heck out of it. Fine. That’s ok. Put some great taxes on it. You’ll gain revenue just like with cigarettes.
Jenny, it’s illegal to drive drunk. If they can legislate that, they can legislate driving while stoned (pretty sure that’s already illegal by default…). Unless you think drinking alcohol should be illegal too.
Hmm…I wasn’t sure what to think, but I think Jenny brings up a good point. I would imagine a ton of people would drive stoned, including a lot of people that would never drive drunk. Very interesting to think about..
I am for it. I think it is much safer than alcohol especially if it is regulated in a controlled way. I think that the arresting people for doing something in the privacy of their own home which only affects them is ridiculous. I think it should be treated like alcohol – you should be a certain age to buy it and you shouldn’t be able to operate a vehicle under the influence without penalty. I could go on and on about this, but I’ll spare ya!
Legalize it with some rules that you have to do it in your house or sitting down on a bench or something LOL You cant be tokin’ while driving. Honestly, I would much prefer a pothead to loud (unruly, violent) drunks. Pot is not a gateway drug and more so than Sugar is a gateway drug to HFCS. Maybe if we paid more attn to the Twinkies being marketed to our kids we could free up a little natl income that wasnt spent on treating the obesity/health epidemic. Pot is not a biggie to me. At all. Great question!