Marijuana: to legalize or not

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by rachaelski, Aug 8, 2009.

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Should marijuana be legalized?

  1. Yes, but only for medical use

    11 vote(s)
    21.2%
  2. Yes, for general use-- like cigarettes and alcohol

    25 vote(s)
    48.1%
  3. No

    16 vote(s)
    30.8%
  1. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    I visited my uncle last week, who has a medical marijuana license and owns a dispensary that dispenses medical marijuana. His experience and his business opened my eyes to a big upcoming issue in the US: to legalize or not.

    I am pretty laid back about marijuana, I cannot tell you the number of people I know who do it on a regular basis. My joke is that my act of teenage defiance was not to ever smoke pot. However, I do not see anything wrong with it, especially since all the medical benefits are coming to light (pain relief, anxiety, and even CANCER treatment).

    What do you think????
     
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  3. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I say that the world might be a happier place overall if they legalize it. :)
     
  4. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    Was in San Francisco visiting DD. They have home delivery of medicinal pot!! I think Oakland just voted 80% to tax their medicinal pot stores. One of our former teacher's son has a medicinal pot farm in CA and makes double what she does teaching! Good source of taxes!
     
  5. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I've seen it ruin a few people's lives, so I would not want it to be legalized.
     
  6. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    It's amazing taxes for the state! My uncle said that one person pays the state over 10,000 a month in taxes, and it's in a town that has 6 other dispensaries!
     
  7. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    I think you have to keep it to an oz. or less. Not growing or having large amounts.
     
  8. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Those I know who use only marijuana are fine. They seem to be more stress free with no hangovers or other side effects. With that said...

    I know WAY MANY MORE who became so confident in using it that they became addicts to alcohol, crack, or prescriptions.

    If one needs it for pain, anxiety, or cancer, great! why not leave it as a prescription?
     
  9. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    The only reasons I don't think it should be legalized is that the smell is a huge migraine trigger for me. I can't stand to be around it.

    Other than that, I don't think there is much difference in alcohol, and it is probably safer for you than cigarettes.
     
  10. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I lived in the Netherlands for 3 years, on a college campus with a bunch of guys, no less. I *never* saw anyone impaired through drugs or alcohol. They used them, but the overall cultural philosophy was to "enjoy" so a small joint (really rare though, most had a been there/done that attitude) or one bottle of beer around a table after dinner. Switch to what I've seen in the US: kids in classes almost bragging about their DUIs, talking about blackouts, coming to class badly hungover, etc etc.

    I might have tried pot at some point while I was in NL, but I'm not into any of that and nobody felt it was any big deal, so I actually never did!

    I am mostly for legalizing, but I think there needs to be a BIG cultural shift here in regards to moderation of things. I know so many kids who get to college and go nuts with alcohol because it is some "forbidden" thing. Get rid of the whole uptight factor and teach/model how to enjoy these things in moderation.

    I also know a vet who deals with the ambiguous "Gulf War syndrome." The *only* thing he has found that works for his is marijuana, but the same government he went and fought for tells him he needs to take scary cocktails of stuff that don't work or risk going to jail. It's not right.
     
  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I vote no.
     
  12. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    I think it's a slippery slope that I don't think we should stand on the edge of.
     
  13. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    MollyDoll - I agree with you. In France, the culture is simply that alcohol is THERE, so teenagers don't binge drink the way North American kids do.

    As for the idea that marijuana is a gateway drug - its not. Alcohol is the gateway drug. Kids use that long before they try anything else. The 1930's and the current drug wars in Mexico already prove to us that prohibition is ineffective. Legalize it. Tax it. Use the money to help with education (not just about drugs).

    I just wish we would all stop being such prudes. Clearly its done us (and our young people) not one bit of good.
     
  14. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    mollydoll, that was an excellent post. There really needs to be a culture shift in North America. We are far too used to living in excess, and that's what caused the current economuc "slump" that we're in... people want a new car every year, they need a new computer, the latest cell phone, the new iPod, a nicer house, a better everything... they want more food, bigger plates, bigger drinks, supersized, more, more, more, more...

    Unfortunately, while I agree that parents need to teach their children moderation, it's difficult when the parents (and in some cases the grandparents) haven't learned moderation themselves.
     
  15. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    I think legal or not, people will do it anyway. It doesn't really matter what we do legally -- many people use and will continue to use marijuana recreationally.

    Whether someone's life is ruined or not by it has to do with amount, not the drug itself. That is the choice of the user and keeping the drug illegal won't stop those people from make those choices.
     
  16. kalli007

    kalli007 Companion

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    I know quite a few people that have been using MJ for 30+ yrs, and they are all normal, successful people. In fact, I dont know anyone that has ever had their lives "ruined" or otherwise negatively affected by the use of mj. Alcohol, however, is a whole 'nother story!

    I cannot fathom how people think that MJ should be outlawed, but not alcohol. Dont get me wrong - I dont think alcohol should be outlawed either - but do not understand criminalizing one vs the other.
     
  17. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    So has alcohol and smoking, and those are legal. ????

    :clap:

    I agree! I was actually thinking of this a few days ago and was thinking about starting a post, but was afraid of where it would lead to.

    You guys have pretty much already stated the reasons that I was thinking of too, so I can't really add anymore that hasn't already been said. I know many people who have done marijuana, I know people who smoke, and I know people who drink. Seems to me that it's the people who smoke and drink have more issues that the ones who do marijuana. I stand behind legalizing it 100% (BTW: I do not care for drugs AT ALL!)
     
  18. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    This is a great discussion! I am excited to hear other people's opinions. My family and friends are pretty one-sided (for legalizing) on the issue.
     
  19. kalli007

    kalli007 Companion

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    Why?

    Fear of more people using if it is legal? Doubt it, it is easier for a kid to get weed than alcohol.

    Less $$$ being spent in the criminal justice system, plus the added benefit of regulating and taxing the stuff.
     
  20. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    On a lighter note: once, when I stayed at the Grand Kras in Dam Square A'dam, directly behind the hotel is a little street with a famous "coffee shop" and on the corner the most wonderful bakery in the world. Both were open 24 hours and there was the funniest steady stream of people from coffee shop to bakery back to coffee shop all night. (the coffee shops don't really sell much).
     
  21. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    I have been thinking about this more and more. I spent a lot of time around semi-pro and professional athletes. My ex goes on a bender as soon as the season is over - he's not sober for a good week (if they made it deep in the playoffs) or more - sometimes as long as three weeks. I spend a good week drunk at the end of the school year before I sober up.

    Alcohol was forbidden. We were BAD cause we drank. Then when everyone else drank we were BAD cause we experimented with marijuana and other drugs. We did these things to be cool. Then it became a lifestyle. Now its just how we do it. Still. 12 years later. We still do it this way, though the drugs aren't there anymore... at least not the illegal ones for most of us (though NHL players are notorious for coke - and yes, I've witnessed that first hand), but the alcohol and for many, the sex, is still there.

    We live in a culture of excess. At an Italian restaurant, I get FOUR portions of pasta in a single order. Not to mention bread before the meal. As a North American culture, we need to reevaluate our priorities.
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I have never once tried smoking or drinking anything...not a cigarette, not a joint, not a swig of beer, not a sip of wine. And I never will. That said, I would actually prefer that weed be legalized over alcohol. How many innocent people are killed due to someone's negligent use of alcohol each year? Compare that number to how many innocents die because of "improper" use of weed each year. Clearly weed is the lesser of two evils, so to speak. I'm certainly not promoting the use of weed, as I shy away from even legal drugs.
     
  23. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    I think you can look at this a different way. When I was younger, I would eat fast food everyday if able. I would go to college parties in high school and drink Jack Daniel Coolers until I was stupid. I drove faster than the speed limit and got tickets. I chalk it up to the whole teen rebellion thing.

    Today, I cannot tell you the last time I had fast food, it was so long ago. I just had a couple beers to unwind after a long day. I never speed, it's not worth the risk of getting a ticket or higher insurance rate.

    Me drinking a couple beers after a long day is equivalent to a couple bong hits or smoking a joint. Do I sometimes drink to the point of getting drunk and silly? Of course! Come to a family holiday event in my family and follow the continuous cloud of smoke, and you will find most of my family smoking themselves silly. Do they do this everyday? No.

    There is definitely a problem of excess in the US. No doubt. However, I am not sure if excessive pot smoking is our biggest fear.
     
  24. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Good point!
     
  25. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    But for many of us (myself included) we don't have a Friday night without drinks. If my hockey players have a weekend off, they get drunk. Some of them use cocaine. I blow off steam on school breaks by drinking, because its become a lifestyle. All of my friends do it too.

    This is behaviour we learned in high school. I don't know ANYONE who doesn't do this, except my friends in Europe. I have to ask why.
     
  26. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Binge drinking is a HUGE problem in the UK these days. Ireland has it's share of problems too. I think it does go back to modeled behaviors--there is sadly a lot of problem with alcoholism in Ireland (there are political and historical reasons for this). I just saw statistics recently about the high number of alcohol related deaths in Russia. Germany, France and the Netherlands mostly seem to have it more together on this issue. But, avoid certain parts of A'dam after football games. :eek:
     
  27. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Molly doll - my friends in Europe live in France, the Netherlands and Germany - thus explaining why no one I know in Europe does what my NA friends and I do. Its not healthy. Its not right, but its what we learned.

    If we would stop being such prudes about boozes and drugs and even sex, I think things would be better, instead of worse.
     
  28. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    The only problems any of my friends have ever had related to using marijuana are when they bought from a new source or their source bought from a new source and they ended up with something laced in it. If it were legal, it could be regulated, and something that thousands of people are going to do anyway would be safer. And certainly be more profitable!
     
  29. ahsila

    ahsila Companion

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    My opinion is that we legalize it, but put restrictions on it (so I would say do it more like sinus medication, when you can only obtain a specific amount... not cigarettes or alcohol where it is only an age restriction). Yes, there will be people who abuse it, but there are people who abuse alcohol and cigarettes also so do we punish the people who can use it responsibly and make those illegal?
    My reasons for saying legalize it aren't what most of you have said - I figure that marijuana being illegal isn't keeping people from using it... and even if someone is charged with having it/using it the penalties are so mild most of the time that there might as well be no penalty.
    My other reason is one I hope you can appreciate (especially during the budget crunch) - if it is legal, it can be taxed. If marijuana were taxed at the same level as cigarettes in most states, the taxes alone would be a boost to the economy. (Which is also why I say prostitution should be legal in all states - can you imagine the money the combination would generate in taxes?) Also, if marijuana is legal AND REGULATED any street thugs who try to sell it could potentially face tougher penalties than they do now.
     
  30. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Call be a prude a thousand times over, that's fine...but legalizing prostitution? Sure, the taxes from this would be beneficial to the economy as you suggested, but not everything is about money. Or at least it shouldn't be.
     
  31. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Prostitution is the world's oldest job - women and men (in many cultures) have always sold their bodies for sex. You legalize it (in certain places - Amsterdam comes to mind) you're able to regulate it and protect both the prostitutes (from violence, robbery, STDs and rape) and their customers (from violence, robbery and STDs). Personally it makes sense to me, especially having taught child prostitutes - we're talking as young as 10 years old.
     
  32. MathManTim

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    Oddly enough, knowing that smoking marijuana is illegal is exactly why I have never smoked marijuana, or used any other illegal substance. It's also why I never drive when I'm anything remotely close to being buzzed.

    G-Minus 7 days, 21 hours

    MathManTim
     
  33. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I just don't want to smell it. Our darling neighbor likes to smoke constantly on their porch, and every once in a while they throw in a joint. If the cigarette smoke wasn't bad enough, the joint smoke is UNBEARABLE!! It makes me want to throw up. Every once in a while I'll walk down the streets of San Franciscio and get hit with a cloud-against, instant throw-upiness comes upon me.

    Once it starts intruding into my life, it's gone too far. But if people want to smoke it in their homes, and keep it from leaking out of their vents and their windows and their doors, then fine.

    I feel this way about cigarette smoke, and I feel this way about drunken antics. I don't want to have to suffer because of other people's choices, and unfortunately, that's become our life in this condo.
     
  34. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    While I am not a user and not a proponent of habitual use, I can see moderated recreational use as a private citizen's right to pursuit of happiness.

    It is mentioned over and over, legalize it and tax it. Money, money, money. True, there is a humongous industry all ready to go. Let's add on a release of non-violent narcotics (marijuana use) offenders from prison. Imagine the added savings. A great deal of good people get caught up in the nets because they have an illegal pleasure. These people will return to society as paying members rather than encumbering members. They'll go out, get jobs, and spend money. More stimulus. That's a 'some' statement, not an 'all' statement.
     
  35. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Athletes or Europeans or Candians or Americans- there is responsible use of alcohol and there is over-indulgence and irresponsibility. You may have learned it in high school, but you should have learned responsible adult behaviors at home.
    'All my friends do it' is the kind of excuse my kids used when they were adolescents. I didn't go for it then either.:2cents:
     
  36. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Sorry to say, I'm not surprised by your judgmental behaviour. At this point I expect it from you. Yes, all my friends do it. My Mom does it. My grandparents did it - and for all of us, it was behaviour we learned at a young age. Now, of course, you'll call my Mom out for being a single parent with four kids by four fathers. My grandparents for giving into an arranged marriages, and my great-grandparents for being dirty unwashed immigrants, except on my biological father's side, where, my ancestors are French and First Nations, and my own government worked to develop dependence in my ancestors. Which of course, is their own fault.

    I am a responsible adult during the school year. I work my butt off and do a good job. Thanksgiving though? I go and get drunk with friends, who go get drunk. Christmas? No one in my family is sober, its the only way my Mom and her sisters can be in the same room at the same time. February break? Groups of TEACHERS take off to warmer locals to get drunk at all-inclusive resorts. Easter? Family time again, woo-hoo. Summer vacation? We all blow off steam.

    This overindulgence is a learned behaviour, passed down through generations, and its more than a habit. It's a way of life. I recognize it, but I don't have the will power to change it, and I'm not afraid to admit it. Way the continued judgement? I've never claimed to be anything more than I am. I live my life, the best I can, and I know I have failings.

    As long as I have a peer group who lives their lives the same way that I do, I won't be afraid to continue to live my life the way I do, because in my cross section of humanity- its the norm. That's the problem with all these cross sections of humanity. What is acceptable and normal for one group is looked down on by another.

    I don't look down on anyone who chooses not to drink or smoke or whatever. Do what makes you happy, but at the same time, don't judge me for drinking.

    It doesn't make me unhappy to drink, but I am smart enough to recognize a learned pattern of behaviour when I see it, and I've seen friends get their stomachs pumped in high school and university, and I know how destructive it CAN be. I also recognize that we would all be better off if it was a pattern we didn't learn as young people. However, in my family, its not about to change.
     
  37. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I agree.
     
  38. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Clearly experience, or lack of in some cases, helps us to form our opinions. My parents are total stoners (think my stepdad comes home from work to have a lunch time smoke, he works near home). However, they are very productive citizens. You would never guess in a million years that my mom smokes more pot than the average college student. They've made it work.

    Me, their offspring, I never had any interest in it. I don't think it's a big deal, but I never had any interest in it. I saw it all my life, it wasn't illicit and exciting for me.

    I totally agree with the poster who said that alcohol is a much more dangerous drug (to the user and others) than pot. The same can be said for cigarettes.

    With so many state legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, and with the state reaping tax benefits, I don't think it is going to be more than 10 years before it is legalized for general use.
     
  39. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    However, if it were legalized I wouldn't be opposed to trying it. It would be like drinking a glass of wine or a couple beers on the weekend.
     
  40. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    You can always say "No!"...and not conform to those around you. Not a hard choice really... :rolleyes:

    I vote to legalize, and tax it. No, I don't smoke
    marijuana...or anything.
     
  41. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    :agreed:
     

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