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Should more illegal drugs be legalized?

March 24th, 2010
01:47 PM ET

Canada's tough stance towards illegal drugs is only increasing levels of violence in the country and isn't doing anything to stop the supply of drugs, according to a new study released by the University of British Columbia.

Should illegal drugs be legalized?
Should illegal drugs be legalized?

The report found that 87 percent of studies linked tough drug-law enforcement to increasing levels of drug-related violence.

"The gun violence that we've seen in B.C., as in Mexico and the U.S., appears to be directly attributable to drug prohibition," co-author Dr Evans Wood told the "Province Newspaper".

Prohibition "drives up the value of drugs astronomically, thereby creating lucrative markets exploited by organized crime."

Vancouver has seen a huge spike in drug-related violence since the national government launched its National Anti-Drug Strategy last year.

Woods notes that the violence can be attributed to a "power vacuum created by the removal of key players from the illicit-drug market by law enforcement".

We want to know what you think.

Do you think that certain kinds of drugs should be legalized? Are the Netherlands making a good case for the legalization of certain types of drugs?

Please leave your comments below and remember to tell us where you're writing from.


Filed under:  General
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. Glenn

    I feel that if you took the crime element out of the drug market you would no longer have the violence, the financial criminality, or the the general stigma attached to the user. If we look at Holland's drug policy, while not perfect, it does show that decriminialization does deter the criminal element from becoming involved in the trade.

    Also, by either legalization or decriminalization with taxation it would provide a legitimate and steady revenue stream for local and state governments.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  2. Janet

    I wholeheartedly agree with Glenn. The so called "war on drugs" is the problem, not the solution.

    I once watched an interview with a leader of a large drug cartel. He stated that the worst thing that could happen to his business would be the legalization or decriminalization of drugs. Enough said.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  3. Chuck

    A civil, evolving society cannot legalize drugs.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  4. Jake

    If we are going to stop the violence and the "criminal element" the only way is to give the people what they want. Decriminalizing is the first step with marijuana, taxation would not be frowned at ether. As a no one in the USA I can tell you people are just getting use to be told what to do and others like me who don't want to hurt anyone but are getting tired of being pushed around this would make our already amazing country better.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  5. Robert

    There are three primary arguments for legalization.

    The first is that the government does not have a right to regulate what I can put in my body. If I want to smoke pot, they have no legal recourse to stop me, as my body, my choice.

    The second is that a policy of keeping cannabis illegal is inconsistent with other drug policies. Marijuana is a schedule one substance, along with heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, and other such substances. The problem with this is that cannabis is no more harmful, and in many cases, less harmful, than legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco.

    Consider that cannabis is not physically addictive, unlike both alcohol and tobacco; it is not possible to overdose on cannabis (to do so, one would have to smoke 1500 pounds in 15 minutes), and the health effects of cannabis smoking are highly disputed. Some studies claim it drastically reduces intelligence, others that is cures or prevents cancer.

    The third argument is that keeping cannabis illegal is costing this country billions of dollars and fueling gang activity. About half of all prisoners in this country are in prison for drug related offenses, and the vast majority of those are there for marijuana related offenses. For each one of those prisoners, we must spend many thousands of dollars keeping them fed and housed, we must pay to prosecute them, not to mention to billions of dollars the DEA spends enforcing prohibition laws.

    Yet despite all this, marijuana is the largest cash crop in this country, to the tune of $35.8 billion a year, more than cotton, corn, or tobacco. The majority of this money goes to gang related activity. If we were to legalize and tax marijuana, not only would we cut off a major source of money for gangs, we could also benefit from billions in new economic activity, plus we could cut billions more from our state and federal budgets.

    So in short, cannabis prohibition does not work, it costly to enforce, and there really isn't a good reason for it to exist in the first place, as marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol and tobacco.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  6. Jeff

    I agree, while it is a touchy subject and I would certainly not legalize all drugs there is room for change with the US drug policy. As is stated in the article on here about K2 or Spice, when you produce drugs in an unregulated environment you are playing "Russian Roulette" and may end up causing more harm than the drug initially would have caused. Not to mention the intense ripple effect that it would have throughout some poorer communities in Latin America who grow a large amount of our drug crops.

    We could focus monies on harsher drugs like heroine, methanphetamines, and cocaine which would – hopefully – eradicate the drug problem in Latin America, or at least make it less profitable and less stable of a business.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  7. Steven

    They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result well that's exactly what American drug policy is. Ever since Nixon started the 'War On Drugs' we have thrown money hand over fist to 'fight drugs' and for what? We have destabilized Mexico to the point of a drug civil war. We have made a very few, obviously dangerous and psychotic people, very, VERY rich. And all the while we thrown our own citizen in prison ,some for life, for possessing drugs. That is INSANITY! And until we legalize all drugs we will remain so.
    Just take the DEA for example even it's name doesn't make sense: Drug Enforcement Agency. They enforce drug laws not drugs they should be called the DLEA. And if ANY other agency did so poorly at what they do they would be disbanded. Of all illegal drugs these cartels smuggle into our country 98% get through. 98%!!! That means the DEA has a 2% success rate and the have had such for thirty some years... and that's with the help of every other federal police agency. They should be disbanded the DEA has failed completely at it's task and it needs to be terminated as a police agency

    Humans have used mind altering substances since they realized you didn't have to go through life with the same perception and that certain plants can change it. They have cave paintings in the Algerian desert that show a drawing of a human on a cave wall surrounded by mushrooms, obviously psychedelic mushrooms, because the picture is trippy and was drawn by someone on mushrooms. But this cave painting is in the middle of a desert in Algeria mushrooms don't grow in the desert they grow where there is water. Well it turns out that Algeria was once covered in a Rain Forest about 10,000 years ago. So if humans were tripping 10,000 years ago what is to stop them from tripping now? The cat has been out of the bag for a long time when it comes to drugs and humans will continue to use mind altering substances until we die out. Most of us think life is too boring without it and it is. So we should legalize, regulate and treat drug addiction the way it should be treated as a medical condition not a criminal one. With the wave of a pen the US could legalize all drugs, end the enormous profits for these cartels and finally put a stop to the insanity that is the 'War On Drugs ......... Until then we will remain an insane nation and Mexico could very well tear itself apart. The United States State Department lists two countries that are on the brink of immediate collapse one is Pakistan and one is Mexico.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  8. Martin Cusack

    Legelize it, I understand the desire to tell people what they should and shouldnt do as a saftey mesure but to criminalize people for what they do on their own time is a redicoulous idea, if you dont like it dont do it but thats up to you! now i would also like to see taxing applied to this market no reason the black market should be reaping the benifits of this while the rest of the econamy is hurting for a method of stimulation.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  9. tim

    i'd be happy with cannabis being decriminalized so if i get caught with a joint i don't have to get locked up with a bunch of violent drunks and pay outrageous fines as if i was hurting anyone

    March 24, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  10. bob

    it's a known fact that human beings like to get out of their head–why should drinking alcoholic beverages (a poison) be the only way?

    March 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  11. Emily

    I believe people are going to use drugs, whether there legal or not. its mean going on for years now

    March 24, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  12. Steven

    Why can a civil evolving society not legalize drugs Chuck? I live in Florida pain killer capital of the USA. They dispense so many opiates out here it's unreal and they are all legal. They are also highly addictive, dangerous and can ruin your life yet they give them out like candy here. My question to you Chuck is what drugs should be legal and which ones should not. And who should decide which ones should be legal/illegal. Do you drink alcohol Chuck? What happens if you're epileptic like me and you can't drink? What can I use to relax if I can't take the only legal one? I challenge you to put forth evidence that says a civil society cannot use drugs because they are everywhere Chuck just walk into a Walgreens or a CVS pharmacy...or go online!

    March 24, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  13. Bill

    Making everything illegal has stopped nothing over the last 90 years so why would it work now? In the 1920's they made alcohol illegal and it did nothing but make people like Al Capone millionaires and led to insane amounts of violence in the streets, people were being gunned down in record numbers all for the purpose of alcohol distribution. Years later alcohol is made legal and amazingly the violence slowed almost overnight. I am not condoning use of drugs or alcohol but history has proven that no matter what the law states about drugs and alcohol people will still use them as they please.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  14. Commander Mota

    -- SUPPORT MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION JOIN NORMAL AND END - –THE PROHIBITION OF MARIJUANA. FREE THE HERB FOR US ALL!!!! –

    March 24, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  15. Stilleto Stoner

    Anyone who says marijuana is the gateway drug is clearly someone who has fallen under the spell of the media and government. With the invention of the internet, we can educate ourselves and therefore, people would know, marijuana is probably the most safe drug there is. Alcohol is a leading cause of death and to be honest, people get out of control when they're drunk...usually violent! I've seen the streets of my downtown when the bars let out! It's a joke that getting drunk is legal, but smoking a joint is not! Weed actually calms me after a stressful day at work and I can tell you I would be a lot grumpier without it! I have MANY lady friends who are the same!

    No drug is a gateway to anything. It's who you are and your character that decides what you're going to do with your life. I smoke weed daily and have a very good job and I am a responsible, productive member of society with no urge to move on to harsher drugs. Proof is in the pudding people....start thinking for yourself PLEASE! Start educating yourself of the side effects of perscription drugs....start reading what CHEMICALS they are putting in our food to preserve them. We've allowed the government and their corporate corruption to continually feed us bullshit as we continue to eat it all up!

    LEGALIZE IT ALREADY!! TO my fellow peers, start reading and watching documentaries by REAL people and you will learn the truth about how much wool has been pulled over your eyes.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  16. Stilleto Stoner

    I should also mention...I only smoke when I know I am home for the night and I never do before work! Just as we would expect someone to behave with alcohol...you don't go to work drunk, it just isn't logical!!

    ...our world is not OUR world...a select few (CEO's, government) are the one's controlling what information is fed to us and what laws get passed...we should put all major laws to a vote from SOCIETY...with the internet this should not be a problem! WE should be making the decisions, not these corrupt morons in office!

    March 24, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  17. David from Ohio

    Its very simple, the biggest weapon against cartels is legalizing marijuana. Sure they will find other sources of revenue EVENTUALLY but they always have and always will! How could the cartels recover from suddenly losing 30 millions customers? Cut the Cartels down at the knees! Re-legalize, tax and regulate!

    March 24, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  18. paul

    Obviously we did not learn anything from prohibition in this country back in th 1920's. Legalize, tax, and regulate distribution is the solution – repeal removed the financial incentive back then - and the associated violence - legalization of drugs would do the same today. As POGO use to say "we have found the enemy and he is us." We can prohibit legal use of alcoholic beverages and drugs, but not prevent the use of them, just make them attractive and profitable for the criminal element.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  19. Julie

    This past summer I bought a 3 gram pack of K-2 From a local Smoke Shop. I had been smoking Marijuana prior for the past 2 months for pain relief. So someone told me about K-2 and went on about how it was legal and it did not show up in a urine test. Before I smoked it I went online to the FDA website and I didn't find anything bad about it. I have to say , it did mimic THC and it only last about an hour. When I smoked the K-2 , I smoked it using a bowl, and after I hit it the last time I looked down it the bowl and a small grown mushroom was sticking out of my bowl. For 2 day I looked at it and showed it to my husband , everyone I had showed it to said it looked like a small mushroom. With that being said , I through out the pack of K-2 and said it is not worth smoking for pain relief. I don't think there is anything wrong with smoking good old marijuana in moderation. I strongley feel our goverment should legalize Mariuana. The drug has alot of great purposes when used in moderation , just like anything else. Our Country was founded on Marijuna , The Constitution hanging in the White House is made of Hemp Paper , there was a day in our country when they used Hemp for many things. I have not smoked any Marijuana for pain in 2 months , because of my situation may require a Urine Sample. So I am having to take Narcotic Pain Pills given to me by my PCP. I hate feeling drugged , but can't be in cronic pain. YES ,OUR GOVERMENT rather see us DRUGGED on PERSCIPTION NARCOTIC then LEGALIZE MARIJUANA ! ! I'll tell you why , if they made Marijuana leagal , look at all the drug compaines, they make mass production Narcotics, it would kill them. Lets Take Vicoden for an example , manufactured by WATSON . I say there production would be down , there stock would drop and people would be out of work. Just using that as an example . All and all I say banned THE K-2 and all that crap and just make Good Old Mary Jane Legal.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  20. Chris

    YES! I am in favore of the legalization of marijuana and cocain. I believe that both drugs, when properly regulated, will be no more dangerous than alcohol and tobacco; additionally the legalization of these two drugs would have a dramatic effect on the rate and nature of crime in both the US and Mexico. I live in El Paso Texas and have first-hand knowledge of the violence accuring just accross the border in Ciudad Juarez. This violence would be dramatically reduced by the US legalizing these two drugs.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  21. Gina

    I am from Houston, Texas and first of all, I just want to say that I have never been a drug user nor am I one now. I will say that pot is the one drug that I have always felt should be legal. Look at the statistics, how many have been people have been in an accident and killed someone due to alcohol and then look at how many due to pot......

    March 24, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  22. Sie

    i think legalizing marijuana would help our economy. in my opinion, alcohol is a more powerful drug than marijuana. the government is spending too much time on a problem that is not a real problem. Look at how many deaths there are by drunk drivers compared to how many accidents there are due to the inluence of marijuana.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  23. Allen Pickel

    As long as there is demand for drugs and the drugs are illegal the drug war is unwinnable and violence will continue, costing us lives and dollars. The only way to beat the cartels is to make drug use legal and regulated. A beneficial side effect will be increased revenue for government.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  24. Ron From Mi

    Seems contraditory, the Republicans are up in arms because the Government is mandating that everyone has health care because they say it is unconstitutional to tell people what to do but it is illegal to use pot? Life , liberty and the persuit of happiness, What happened to that?

    March 24, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  25. fishcreekbob

    Prohibition creates the crime You want to end the crime deaths End prohibition Want to fight real crime Hemp laws are the foundation of control of the economy and treason against the republic Cannibis has been proven to be safe and beneficial even if abused Relieves suffering shrinks cancer cells etc

    March 24, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  26. Corey

    Im from Iowa , An i think Cannabis should be out right legalized because Science has already proved its benefits for the human body not to mention the Tax dollars that could be made.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  27. Corey

    Its a win ,win situation

    March 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  28. tony

    David makes a good point about cannabis. RELEGALIZE it. Until about 1940, it was legal, taxed and distributed freely (in drug stores, saloons and elsehwere) in the US. It was driven to illegality by Drug and Medical Companies, brewing and distillery companies (due to competition) as well as racist and xenophobic representatives who warned of the "Lazy Mexican diseaase".

    morally, politically, financially, physically there are NO good reasons to keep it illegal.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  29. Bob

    Having been a paramedic for 25 years, marijuana was never a problem for health care and the 911 system. I never heard of someone that smoked a joint and beat up a spouse or became violent. The problem was and still is alcohol and drugs made in labs, that's the problem.
    Lets stop the crime involved in black market sales, get rid of the drug wars at our borders, put the cartels out of business and tax marijuana to pay for our health care system. It's a win win win situation. Why is that so hard to figure out? Legalize it now, not just decriminalize it for medical use.Pharmacutical companies charge $5000 per month for pill form marijuana that is too sedating and not at all useful. Come on America speak up and lets really go green!

    March 24, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  30. SArcher

    Yes all recreational drugs should be legalized. Only surefire way to kill the cartels. Require ID, disallow driving while high, and don't allow the use of drugs in public, like is done with alcohol. Restrict marketing like what is done for cigarettes. End the war on drugs.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  31. Tom

    Drugs are already legal...
    Alcohol, caffeine, pain medication, anti-depressants, etc.
    Prescription drugs cause more deaths than illegal drugs.
    The legal system does not always align with what is morally/ethically correct.
    You just need a strong lobby and anything can be 'legal'.

    In a free country and a free market, there is no room for such blatantly discriminatory prohibition.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  32. Napoleon

    I do not believe that all drugs should be legalized. Drugs such as Cocaine, Meth, Heroin are DEADLY. Cannabis however is not deadly, is not dangerous, and it is ridiculous that it is illegal. Stiletto Stoner is dead on, the only time I smoked was when I knew I was in for the night, and I WOULD NEVER do it before I go to work. With the debt that our nation is currently facing and with the huge amount of debt we will soon be facing due to the health care bill, legalizing marijuana is the simplest and cheapest solution to fight that debt. I beleive the government should be the primary provider and producer of marijuana, since the government could produce the crop at almost zero cost. Also for stores to be able to sell marijuana cigarettes, they should have to purchase a license, and everyone buying should have to pay a tax. If the government maintains a low cost, all drug dealers will be driven out of the market. In addition, I do stand behind criminalizing the sell of marijuana without a license. This can be done safely and successfully. Can they say same for alcohol and tobacco?

    March 24, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  33. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello CNN friends,

    The United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and
    the World Health Organization (WHO) should Firmly Investigate
    which kinds of drugs should be legalized,
    in order to adjust the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

    The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is an international treaty to
    prohibit production and supply of specific (nominally narcotic) drugs
    and of drugs with similar effects except under licence for specific purposes,
    such as medical treatment and research.

    Advice
    Let us Now Connect to make our world
    a Better Healthier and Beautiful World
    for You and for Me!

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname
    Latin-American

    March 24, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  34. Phil

    Marijuana is the only drug that should be legalized. From my experience marijuana is nowhere as addicting as alcohol, though at the end of the day that can very between people. The amount of money the government can possibly make off of taxing marijuana is insane (don't know numbers off the top of my head).

    The other drugs like cocaine, meth and heroin should never be considered for legalization. These drugs are horrible. I personally believe that anyone who wants drugs like cocaine and heroin legalized are lunatics.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  35. Gatlin

    Look i have been an advid pot smoker for the better half of my life and i for one am fine with that now see in this perspective you can look at me and say oh hes just another drug addict.....or you can read between the lines and break down what really is me im going to school im doing my best in life i support my family friends and on top of it all i try to stay above this immature and unesesary force the government throws at me every single day.
    Wheather it be while im in school or the B.S. propoganda the shove in our mouth everyday the government throw innocent people in jail everyday because of what smoking a plant and relaxing and when they get out the government gives them random pee test to make sure the dont smoke well what that gonna do i cant smoke my weed so now i guess imma do something harder to relax thats not how it should be. now i rarely drink and i quit smoking cigerettes because it has caused damage to my lungs but you cant take the only things that has kept me sane all these years........

    March 24, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  36. David

    Maybe Chuck has a point regarding civil society. Maybe that's why we are not civil and not evolving. The so-called civil societies of ancient times had no problems with a lot of thing in society. Does that mean they were lesser or just more evolved to allow things that we as a society question today or maybe it is just religion. pot can be controlled, just like the masses are. Everything has it down sides, just like alcohol. People still drink and drive, even though it is illegal. But I am sure it is less than the rate we would have if we still had prohibition. Look at all the killings and mobs that existed through prohibition. Took that away and things eventually leveled out. Bottom line, legalizing and taxation of pot would solve a lot of problem this country faces.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  37. Dwight-Moose Jaw

    There is a drug on the market right know that has been leagal for years, & years.
    It is called:
    "ALCOHOL".
    Anything that altters a persons way of natural thinking, or causes one to do things they would not normally do is a drug.
    As a matter of fact I have done way more stuipd things when using alcohol than I ever did while smoking pot.
    I get a chuckle when I here the term used, ALCOHOL & DRUG COMMISION.
    ALCOHOL IS A DRUG, so what does the government start addmitting to that.
    If the government ever admitted that alcohol was a drug, they would have to make it illegal, & have to stop selling same.
    That will never happen as the gov makes way to much tax on alcohol to make mit an illegal drug.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  38. Annie

    Marijuana should be legalized in all 50 states. Government should regulate and tax the industry – from growing to selling, to pay off state and federal deficits. The drug addicts 5 % of the population who use it regularly, much less than alcohol or cigarettes, both legal substances. Additionally, the release of NON-VIOLENT criminals from penitentiaries around the country will free up room in prisons for violent offenders and reduce crowding problems in prisons. Also, the government regulation of the production and sale of the product will remove it out from the realm of organized crime control and the violence that is associated with it. People are going to smoke marijuana whether it is legal or not – and, and this article shows, even if the prohibitions and fines are strict. As for other illicit drugs, I have no other easy solution, but the one on marijuana seems like an easy proposition. Health related problems stemming from use of marijuana have been shown to be no worse than that of cigarette smoking or alcohol use.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  39. Andrew

    A large problem in the U.S. is the incarceration of non violent drug user. The millions of dollars spent on these individuals a year is an unnecessary cost to the tax payer. The judical system should be used to persecute individuals who impede or destroy the rights of others, such as violent crimes and theft. If Johnny Twoneedles (Joe Sixpack's cousin) Wants to shoot up in a dingy corner of his run down apartment that's his business. I don't have a problem with it. Sure people often act irrationally on drugs and commit other crimes, such as theft. Charge them for that crime and dangerous individuals will still be brought to justice, whether they are drug users or not.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  40. Anthony

    The 40 billion spent by the DEA on burning pot fields in Kentucky and other places is a clear waste of tax dollars, and should be spent trying to prevent worse drugs from entering our country. Legalizing pot, and strains of pot used to make hemp products could produce thousands of farming jobs, manufacturing jobs, produce millions of dollars in tax revenue, decrease violence, and also cause an explosion in the snack food industry right here in America! LEGALIZE IT!

    March 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  41. Cody, from SLC Utah

    CNN has made dozens of these articles speculating about legalizing marijuana just to get more traffic they don't actually do anything to help legalization.

    What can we do to actually make it happen? The majority wants it legalized. What we need to have is a government ran vote on if it should be legalized or not. Let the people decide. WHO THE HELL SHOULD WE VOICE OUR OPINION TO? Certainly not a CNN comment board on some obscure article.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  42. jayebird

    "A civil, evolving society cannot legalize drugs." ummm....wasn't alcohol illegal at one time?? How's that for evolution?? People can't die from smoking too much pot!...the worst that could happen is you get the munchies and pass out! Legalization would put drug cartels out of business and generate a ridiculous amount of money for local, state, and nation wide communities............put that in your pipe and smoke it Chuck.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  43. lynn gonzales

    Hemp can save our old forests, makes great paper, et cetra. medical pot is amazing, saves my stomach! Taxation is profitable, decriminalization saves prison time,and South American counties from total destruction Pot was made illegal by liquor and wood product companies!

    March 24, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  44. Christine

    Robert: two things:

    First, marijuana is indeed a Schedule 1 drug; however, the other drugs you listed are in a harder, more serious category, Schedule 2. Be careful lumping marijuana in with heroin – I think we can all agree that marijuana is not nearly as dangerous. The argument has long been that marijuana does not fit the Schedule 1 criteria, yet it's listed.

    Second, saying that the government shouldn't have the right to tell you what to put in your body negates the things they regulate for good reason (i.e. medications, food safety, etc.)

    That being said, I believe that the continued prohibition of marijuana – and the legality of, say, alcohol or tobacco, which are both significantly worse for your body – is ridiculous. Tax it like either of those substances, and everyone wins. Seems simple enough to me.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  45. Kevin Jones

    LEGALIZE Choice!!

    I strongly believe that consumption of anything by individuals should be a personal choice. Besides, you just can't stop it. The illegal positioning of many drugs produces a dark area in education where truth lacks and fear is presumed to reign. The problem is the truth. When individuals learn that any drug is being used in familiar circumstances the fear drains and the questions begin. Even the most anti-drug person will often ask "what does it feel like" and so many other questions when they know they are in the presence of an honest user. "Why do you do it, and what do you get out of it?" are also common.

    Money is the primary addiction that creates problems, not experimentation. And, though experimentation may lead to "addiction" it statistically does not. And, whereas "addiction" does occur in small numbers of those who try drugs, prohibition does not provide a safe comfortable way to deal with such a situation for an individual who feels they have the "addiction" problem.

    I find a high level of humor in that such controlling authorities fail to see that without legalization there jobs become impossible to accomplish. Regulation and education can be easily accomplished with laws, but making something completely illegal truly destroys all access to regulation by authorities. With regulation society is generally deputized as informal enforcement in that those legally working within such regulations have no appreciation for those rogue elements attempting to compete, so they use the law to assist them. In the black market they use violence and other illegal tactics simply because those are their only options that may accomplish a favorable end.

    Legalize all drugs!! Our world will be a better place and those who need help will seek it freely. Love your neighbors enough to recognize that most will make the right choice. Compassion works far better than neglecting the truth, and the truth is drugs aren't going away just because they are illegal. In fact they may be more prevalent only because of the profit margin. Fines, jail time, and loss of life, are simply calculated by large drug organizations as "cost of doing business". In any business, those costs effect the product pricing.

    Peace and wisdom to all.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  46. Brent in KY

    Its simple, the Swiss had major heroin issues, for years, they decriminalized it gave all addicts a dr to visit or clinic and through supervised use and education they now have lowered their heroin use by 3/4 of what it was, in turn they have cleaned up the streets and turned addicts that would be criminals in our system in to a controlled group that they led into treatment.

    The Netherlands have seen the same for crime, in fact they had to close 8 prisons in the last 2 years due to lack of arrests. Take the crime out of drugs, control it regulate it tax it and keep these folks that use it out of the street and into treatment where they should be. On top of the crime being down there teen use of all drugs is half what ours is in the US, since we keep our failed drug policy going simply due to kids safety you would think we would rather have a lower usage rate and control of the drugs over what we have now.

    Its repeated over and over, in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Turkey all have decriminalized and have save lives and money doing it. Why must we in the USA feel we cant even try a different way of doing things even when the proof is right there for all to see.

    As for marijuana well its been lies and misinformation that has led to its prohibition, once education about the true nature of cannabis is wide spread its only a matter of time and it will be regulated like tobacco or alcohol, should be since its safer and less harmful than both tobacco and alcohol!

    Oh and for a Drug Free world or being an advanced society not having drugs, its not possible. We have been at War with drugs for 73 years + and still today on any street in the USA you can find just about anything you would want and at a cheaper price than ever before. The money that has been wasted over this failed War could have paid for everyones education in this country their healthcare and retirement for all, simply by regulating and controlling we can cut teen usage down by half and even do a better job of decreasing adult usage too!

    Lets see, we lived through prohibition once before it created crime and violence corruption and greed, we learned from it and ended it, yet stepped right back into it 2 years later for drugs. It may have taken a long time for the heavy violence this time to hit home, but just look at the Mexican border today, its not going to be much longer and it will be in everyones back yard. The biggest question is, what are we going to do about it?

    Right now, more of the same is the plan, so I wish them all the luck knowing that next year we will be in the same boat as we have been for 73 years+, yet just keep doing the same thing, arrest more of our own citizens create a prison state and soon 50% of us will have all the job security we need, going to work daily guarding the other 50% locked up for drugs. So what can you do, write a letter to your legislators, state and federal, demand they reform our failed drug polices and end prohibition!

    March 24, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  47. Dwight-Moose Jaw

    I have been on many. many different kinds of pain killers for chronic back pain(11 surgeries) since 1972.
    I have been told by specialists, & general practioners that due to having been on precription pain medications that I have taken 5>10 years off my life.
    Do I want to take these "LEGAL DRUGS"," NO I DON'T", but in order to live a half normal life, I/E/–getting out of bed, I have to.
    I have smoked marijuana many times instead of taking the meds prescribed for me, & have had much, much better results.
    The only reason I take the prescribed medications is that they are paid for, & on my income, I can't afford to buy marijuana very often.
    The Medicinal Marijuana isn't the real stuff, as there are chemicals added to it. As far as a pain killer goes the real thing works much better. The way the law is now, I have to buy my pot, & hope that I don't get stopped by the poilce on the way home!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The law lables me a criminal, when I am not one.
    Just think of the amount of $,s the government woud get off the taxes on the sale of marijuana.
    Alcohol,& tobacco are drugs that are legal, so why not make marijuana legal as well??????????????????
    I say "LEAGLIZE MARIJUANA"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 24, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  48. marty

    its not even a question of "if" anymore, its when and how shoud drugs be regulated and decriminalized.

    March 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  49. Tomaz

    (Some) Drugs are already legal, like tabaco, aspirine, alcool, etc. Moral issues make thc and other drugs ilegal. Stop prohibition as soon as possible. Don't you, americans, see wath happend when alcool was prohibited???

    March 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  50. Marty

    Schedule 1 is defined as a drug without medical value, Schedule 2 is defined as a drug with medical value. You can get prescribed methamphetamine (brand name Desoxyn), and while heroin isn't legal, several opiates that can get you just as high are (on Schedule 2.) You should either legalize them all or leave it as is. The problem with these so called more dangerous drugs is the lengths that addicts will go to get them. You will never eliminate them, so why encourage addicts to commit crime to raise money to pay for vastly overinflated, diluted, dirty drugs? The negative societal impact for continuing drug prohibition – especially harder drugs – is far worse (crime, homelessness, joblessness, stigmatization, the health impacts of dirty drugs and reused needles) than the impacts of drug legalization.

    March 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  51. Phil

    Btw, whoever said the constitution was written on hemp paper: stop lying to people. The constitution was written on parchment, dried animal skin.

    March 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  52. John B

    Look at Prohibition,it failed, this is the same thing it is failing also,look at the jails have the government tax it most f the problems will go away.

    March 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  53. Brian

    See there is this substance that has been used medicinally, and recreationally since before 2000 B.C.E. thats over 4000 years ago for those of you that cant count. It has been used as paper, clothing, ropes, sails, and whose seeds are in many organic foods. Im talking about the wonder plant that is Marijuana. Now dont think of me just as some pot head, because I DO NOT USE marijuana. BUT I do believe in turning this plant into a deficit eating industrial monster. that could effectively put an end to the FEDERAL deficit in a little under 10 YEARS. Just through legalization, and taxation. A system that is raking in HUGE profits for the State of California, and the citizens there-of.

    Do you know how many deaths are attributed to marijuana per year? Anyone care to guess? A million? Ten million?

    Nope. the answer is Zero. ZERO DEATHS due to marijuana.

    And how many due to Drunk drivers? or lung disease from tobacco? I think its somewhere in the millions.

    Drugs like tobacco and alcohol are sold everyday almost in every store and they are all taxed and regulated, and no one cares because its a part of being an american.. apparently like being 16 and pregnant, or getting alcohol poisoning before your 18. Both cases i have seen first hand and BOTH of them were alcohol related. (that and stupid people trying to teach there kids abstinence only Sex-ed but that a topic for another time)

    SO anyways. YES legalize Marijuana and put a stop to outlandish debt totals that are STILL RISING EVERY DAY.

    March 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  54. Jane

    I am actually tired of reading news stories about celebrities using marijuana or an increasing number of teens smoking pot. I think we need to step back and look at the larger picture. Rather than demonizing marijuana, we should look at whether it is worth our time, effort, and money to do so. Marijuana, from what I know medically (full disclosure: I am no medical export, but I have talked to several nurses, doctors, and people with more expertise than I who agree) is not a dangerous drug. Two legal substances, cigarettes and alcohol, are far more lethal. I have never heard of anyone dying from smoking pot (alone, not in conjunction with cigarettes or alcohol abuse). (I invite a correction if I am mistaken.) From what I know, the reason cannabis was outlawed in the first place was because hemp was a superior and cheap material for paper production, but timber lobbyists won out in governmental regulation. I think it is appropriate to review (and abandon) this outdated policy and legalize marijuana. Beyond the false health scares, if the government were to regulate it, we could (1) tax it as we do cigarettes (any any government revenue would be helpful right now, to work us out of the deficit, and keep taxes down while maintaining the public service we are accustomed to), and (2) the violence in Central America due to the drug trade would dissipate. It might be initially politically unpopular, but bring up these issues and I think the public and popular media might begin to see the issue differently.

    March 24, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  55. Brian

    OH I almost forgot to mention how BEN FRANKLIN used to habitually smoke and advocate for hemp/marijuana. And the constitution WAS written on hemp due to Benny Frank's advocation for the material. George Washington, our first president and Thomas Jefferson, our third president used to GROW HEMP for industrial reasons.

    One of the main reasons hemp was outlawed is because the SLAVE TRADE and the COTTON INDUSTRY were walking hand in hand way back when and they realized there was more money to be made trading slaves to cotton farmers then there was in growing a plant that just grows and doesnt need real work to harvest it!

    March 24, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  56. Anthony

    Oh man, I say legalize, dude. Cheap and legal weed would be so totally awsome.

    March 24, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  57. tommy

    No more illegal drugs shouldn't be legalized. Just pot!

    March 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  58. william urbany

    yes i think if u make it legel it stops more of the violints that we have and it has been proven that weed is less like to heart u then alcohal and ciggarets so for one there has been more deathes to alcohal and tobaco prodoucts then weed has never killed enyone so yes i think it will help the econime to stop the violents

    March 24, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  59. Shawn

    Phil, you and I both know the person was wrong. I believe the person was trying to say that the first copies of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper (The Union:The Business Behind Getting High).

    March 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  60. Mike

    Legalize it. Regulate it. Tax it.

    As a nation, we'll see an inevitable, if not immediate, tip in the economic balance. Instead of costing us lives and $billions, we can actually make a profit and positively impact our GNP.

    Does anyone know why it was criminalized in the first place?

    March 24, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  61. Mike

    End the insanity! Legalize, tax, and regulate it!

    March 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  62. Christian

    Plenty of reasons are stated above why pot should obviously be legalized. But also, how about the public fight against obesity? I know a lot filters into this one, but if people were to smoke pot (0 calories) instead of drinking a 12 pack of light beer (120 cals EACH).. Well, you do the math. Just saying, it wouldn't hurt to get rid of thousands of calories from one's diet just to try and get messed up.

    March 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  63. Anthony

    Christian,
    Although smoking weed is 0 calories, you still have to contend with the inevitable munchies that follow soon after. That can be very calorie intense.

    March 24, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  64. Derick

    It makes me so mad that I live in a country that tells me what I can and cannot put in my body, I don't smoke marijuana but think is should be legal, I do however take psilocybin mushrooms that are less toxic than asprin. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS NOW! Its the only way to stop all the violence!

    March 24, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  65. Torgny Peterson

    Sorry Glenn but the Dutch cannabis trade is extremely violent with several murders and assaults taking place each year.

    The Dutch police is now working very hard to seize large-scale cannabis cultivations. By the way, cannabis is NOT legalized in the Netherlands.

    Torgny Peterson

    March 24, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  66. Bob

    With all the problems out there today (as it has been in the past) people seem to need to "forget" their problems. I worked for a drug/alcohol rehab for quite a few years. Saw quite a few ruined life's from legal and illegal drugs. It saddens me to think some are allowed to be and some drugs make you a criminal. You can "over do" anything that alters your perception legal or not. I did notice I never once in many years see anyone in rehab for pot. but it is still as illegal as cocaine. I think we should re-evaluate our drug laws to say the least.

    March 24, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  67. Patricio

    Why Does Cnn not show the AMERICAN part of the problem? Considering the drugs are going into the US for American Consumption. And let not even get started on the Weapon trade between the US and Drug cartels.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  68. Adam

    I've been to Amsterdam, and let me tell you, they know what they are doing when it comes to drugs. Instead of wasting millions of $ like we are trying to control a lost cause, they provide safe-havens and education about the drugs. It's no coincidence that ever since pot was 'legalized' there, that the number of users decreased. History has shown us that REGULATION IS BETTER THAN PROHIBITION!!

    March 24, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  69. Linda

    As a health care professional, I think that many banned substances should be legalized. As it stands, most patients will not admit to illegal drug use to their practioner. This can negatively affect their medical care (and has).

    March 24, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  70. Tara

    I believe that marijuana should be legalized. It would remove a lot of drug related crimes being committed. Although, I am former marijuana user who started smoking entirely too much. I lost weight (45 pounds), went into depression, began having major stomach problems, headaches, and numerous other health isssues. After quitting, I lost hair resulting in two major bald spots. Marijuana is not harmless. If it is legalized, it should have very strict regulations. I believe a person should choose what to put in their bodies, however some people make the wrong choice when determining when and how much to consume.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  71. Jason (historian)

    Marijuana was deemed illegal under false pretenses. Propaganda funded by the oil companies were too lucrative for legislators to pass up in the 1930's.

    Legalization would not only cause use to go down, as seen in Amsterdam, but taxation would eventually balance the budget and shrink the national debt.

    Heres a fun fact
    Henry ford's first car was made completely of hemp, and was designed to run on a hemp fuel. The first picture of a Henry Ford's model was in front of a Hemp field.

    In the 17th century, in the US, it was ILLEGAL NOT to grow hemp. The multiple uses of this god-given plant were necessary for colony life.

    Legalization of Marijuana. Change I can believe in.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:53 am | Reply
  72. Keira

    I say legalize marijuana and tax it! It's been said that doing so would cut a major chunk of the deficit in a state like California. IIf it's going to help, tax it! Not to mention it'll free the police from arresting the college student smoking pot & focus their energies on other, more serious crimes! Be bold! Go for it! :)

    Keira
    NY

    March 25, 2010 at 5:28 am | Reply
  73. Sophia Boris

    I think crystal meth should be legalized. It's cheap, easy to use, and useful. Plus it's long lasting.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:51 am | Reply
  74. Steve V.

    I think All drugs should be made legal and regulated like alcohol. Prohibition puts all the money into the hands of the gangs and drug cartels. Without drugs to sell, gangs become nothing but a bunch of bums standing on the corner begging for a handout. I can't believe the American people can't see this! Go to LEAP.com (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) and you"ll find lots of data to back what I'm saying. This is the only way to take back our streets and end the violence. Not only here, but in Mexico also. Who do you think buys the majority of the drugs from the Mexican drug cartels? All that money would then stay in the United States and could be used to treat people who want it. Alcohol is one of the most destructive drugs there is and it's legal but regulated and taxed. Lets take back our streets from the gangs and end the violence.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  75. Steve Hartlep

    As a past smoker (both tobacco and pot) I say legalize the weed! All one has to do is study the statistics and on will see that weed has very little to condemn it and much to commend it.

    Mexican drug cartel wars? What do we think is driving the killing? Alcohol? Yeah...right!

    Wake up America! The national debt could be drastically reduced if pot was taxed and controlled.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  76. joja

    I would rather our government be in control of drugs and the money that goes with it than the drug cartels that are cutting off peoples heads!!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  77. Stilleto Stoner

    To Sofia Boris....crystal meth??!! Are you kidding me! Have you seen the photos of what that crap does to you!

    Keep it home grown.....like Kat Williams says...I don't take anything that requires a recipe to make it!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  78. oldsaxmxman

    I,ve spent my adult life woking in the field of mental health and addictions. In my experience, cannabis is less destrucyive than alcohol. Cannabis clearly has it's consequences but it dosen't seem cause anyone to be more violent at least when used on it's own. Someone is more likley to be violent when thet're drinking. It's not physically addictive,alcohol is. While respiretory issues are a concern,alcohol can cause severe medical issues such as cirrhosis.If thereare pre-existing mental health issues,both alcohol and marajuana are bad for you. There are many drugs that need to be ept away from the public as much as possible,but marajuana isn't one of them. I think we should legalize it, tax it, and use that money to fight the war on truly destructive drugs.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  79. oldsaxmxman

    I just read over my comment. I shouldhave used spell check. I' m sorry for all the errors. I assure you I can spell but I type really badly.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  80. Tanner

    Marijuana is not harmful, many other drugs are. The problem with the legalization of drugs is that some people are just far to ignorant to realize that legalizing it would help our country out, if anyone has noticed the economy these days suck, there are so many gang problems related to drugs, watch gang lands alot of the gangs deal with drugs. Im not saying we should legalize all drugs but we should look to legalize marijuana for sure, it can only help

    March 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  81. Gooliamo

    A civil, evolving society should not render legal or illicit any activities of its members. Governments should regulate whatever social activities are being conducted. If 0.05 percent of a population is engaged in an activity, it should be regulated, not judged good or bad. The line should be drawn only at human rights as when innocent victims might be involved. Something like pedophilia or slave trade should be illegal.
    I don't use alcohol or drugs (did smoke pot in the past) but would not mind seeing all substance use made legal/decriminalized and taxed.

    March 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  82. Steve V.

    Does anyone realize all the uses for marijuana. Besides the medicinal uses it would save millions of trees. It can be used for paper, clothing, rope and many other things. What a cash crop. What a boost to the economy. Please people lets take that big step into the 21st century. Before 1920 all drugs were legal. There was cocaine in Coke Cola! Then they decided to make thing illegal and the violence started. I as an adult should be allowed to put whatever I want into MY body. Alcohol and cigarettes are legal and kill millions every year. THINK ABOUT IT!!! Alcohol tears thousands of families apart every year at what cost to our society. Cigarettes cause cancer and emphysema and how many other medical problems but they are both legal at what price to our health care system which we all pay for. Marijuana helps with chemo treatments, migraines, constipation, glaucoma and yes it even helps with asthma. Many athletes smoke pot before working out because it open the lungs airways. We have to get this done and legalize all drugs with regulation and taxation. Yes, I said all drugs... except those made from stuff under your sink. End the violence in our streets for our children and grandchildren.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  83. Jerry

    YES, I think marijuania should be leaglized ; but this is the only drug I agree with: I agree with nearly all the Posted comments I have read.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  84. MSteve

    I have yet to hear a compelling argument against legalization and really, truly want to hear one so I can at least rationalize the nonsense. What saddens me is that there hasn't been any sort of organized national movement to change this policy (and please don't say that's because anyone who would want to organize it are lazy stoners). The system is set up in such a way that most people (and certainly, politicians) wouldn't dare put their neck on the line by publicly campaigning for legalization. Put a pot bumper stick on my car? No, thanks. So, contrary to how I thought I'd feel after reading comment after comment in support of legalization, I just feel hopeless because its pretty clear that the "votes" are there but no one wants to go to the ballot box.

    March 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  85. danny

    doesnt this mean the drug dealers are winning?

    March 25, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  86. KENT

    Let's look at prohibition in the U.S.. The criminal element which was centered around alcohol was thriving as long as liquor was illegal. Now alcohol is the most dangerous drug in the world, yet it is widely accepted, taxxed and regulated. If a person smokes weed and then drives, police can usually spot the overly stoned driver by their over cautiousness and slowness of driving. Drunk drivers can be spotted for their wrecklessness and risk-taking. If alcohol were once again made illegal then crime involving the sale and distribution would no doubt follow in a huge way, Judgement says not to legalize all drugs, but common sense says to legalize non-dangerous drugs like marijuana.

    March 25, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  87. Steve

    Yes, legalize marijuana. It's time to stop the maddness in this country.
    I believe more lives are ruined by individuals loosing jobs or unable to gain employment due to positive drug test for marijuana. As long as it is not used on the job and not causing problems with others, what a person does in there own time should be there business.

    March 25, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  88. dsley

    Alcohol was legal and we decided it should be illegal. Prohibition began but didn't work so it was repealed 10 years later. Maybe we need to try this in reverse with marijuana. It's illegal now so we make it legal and see if it works. If legal pot doesn't work then repeal the legalization. I don't believe that anything stronger than marijuana should be lealized.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:18 am | Reply
  89. Jason

    I think the criminalization of marijuana is just simply ridiculous period. It's as natural of a high as you get and there is nothing else added to get the base effect from it. I understand the criminalization of cocaine because there are a lot of processes to obtain the substance at hand. If they deregulated the laws as far as being sentenced to jail or prison on marijuana I really believe crime would drop in the area of marijuana.

    Tax it, regulate it with a federal and state tax and reap the benefits off of the money drawn. If someone doesn't want to smoke it that is fine. There right but for those that do I think home use not being illegal is my constitutional right of freedom of choice. I'm not harming anyone else and i'm not pushing it upon anyone else.

    I have been clean for sometime but I still think a lot of financial rewards could happen for the taxation and help fix the national debt faster then raising tax's ever could. Just regulate it like nicotine and be done with the whole debate.

    Alcohol has more proven results as well as cigarettes to killing faster then someone smoking a little marijuana ever would. Where are the statistics if there has ever been any recorded that says marijuana has killed.....show me those stats if you want to preach how it kills.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:41 am | Reply
  90. Jason

    Chuck,

    How would legalizing marijuana stop the evolving aspect of society. Some of the smartest minds in the world either experimented or still use marijuana on a daily basis in small quantities.

    I smoked marijuana for years. It didn't change who I was or how I did the things necessary to survive or live. Marijuana doesn't make you go out and make a decision to kill people let alone want to jump off a bridge it simply relaxes the ambition. It doesn't kill the want to succeed.

    They say it causes possible mental changes with prolonged use but tell me one legal drug or even some foods that don't cause some sort of medical issue with long time use. Society has plagued a natural substance illegal because they don't like it but society has no right stopping the use by one's who use it in there homes.

    My home your home, johns home down the street is his domain and what goes on inside that home is suppose to be protected from illegal search and seizure. Now I understand if someone is running a sex house or shooting up or running child porn through there home yest lock them up but marijuana is such a minor drug on the scale of what is out there now.

    Did any of you read the article a few months back where the federal government stated they were no longer seeking prosecution on marijuana charges and the states were left up to decide how they punished people. You know why because we have bigger issue's at hand....heroine, opium, lsd, cocaine, crack cocaine, ectasy, pcp.... these are all drugs that can have profound effects on the body from one single use..these drugs can cause madness, instability, death immediately and lead to violent crimes.

    Marijuana has no dependency issues. You can stop use at any point and never get the dependency issues of withdrawals like with every other drug out there and you can't overdose on marijuana the last time I checked. Once your high you can't get any higher.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:54 am | Reply
  91. Robby W.

    WOW! I have read approximately 30 of the previous comments and only one was totally against the legalization of marijuana. Time has changed things, maybe. I would dare say this isn't a very accurate polling, if it were a poll. Those against legalization would definately be putting in their two cents worth if they were to stumble onto this debate. Most of the arguments made here are good. I agree marijuana should be legalized and taxed. It would end that particular war on "drugs". I also agree other drugs such as cocaine or meth or other "recreational drugs" should remain illegal. They actually do more harm than good, either way, in my opinion. What really needs to be regulated and possibly illegalized are many of the prescription drugs that are on the market today. I see my loved ones on six to a dozen or more different drugs that they take on a daily basis, just to deal with whatever ails them. Along with that comes the deterioration of their bodies such as swollen mid-sections, joints and circulatory systems and other hideous side-effects. They seem to be getting sicker and it breaks my heart to see that. Add to all this heartache the monetary costs to them or the tax payers and it is completelely insane. It just doesn't make sense to me. Prescription drugs are petroleun based products. It's like eating crude oil, for crying out loud! I don't drink alcohol on a regular basis. I may consume some wine from time to time (a gallon in a year). I just don't like the way it makes me feel. I don't drink beer at all. I just don't like the way it tastes. I do smoke marijuana on occasion. I have spent maybe $80 on it within the last two years but I do enjoy it. But that's as far as I go with drugs. I rarely take anything for a headache because I rarely get one. But let me make my point. Our government needs to get their shit together, stop catering to these pharmaceutical companies because their drugs are killing more people than marijuana could ever do. Health care costs would take an immediate tumble. Tax revenue would would be an immediate windfall. Above all, lives would be saved and isn't that what our governmant is supposed to be protecting in the first place?

    March 26, 2010 at 4:31 am | Reply
  92. Rick

    Buy American. Let the govt. tax American Grown, and run the Mexican drug cartels out of business. Use the Tax money to secure our borders against guns and drugs going back and forth from Mexico into the US.
    That would solve all the problems.
    What are people so afraid of? Are hey afraid that people who already smoke pot are going to continue to do so?
    Making marijuana legal will not encourage those who do not use the drug to begin using, no more than tobacco ads off the air broke the tobacco companies.
    It's all around you people, wake up and smell the ganga.

    March 26, 2010 at 4:37 am | Reply
  93. James Rainforth

    If leagalization of pot, cocain and heroin were passed you would strip the profit margin of a trillion $$ trade by 95%. One of which is a plant with an equalivant value to a caktis being purchased in the north east mid atlantic states. The other two are simple extracts of a plant.
    What I am trying to say that, if you legalize just those three a $ trillion $ industry would be without value. Leagalizing the aforementioned would be similar to what moonshine and beer were during prohibition and what number runners were before lotto and when they were legalized, moonshiner runners = NASCAR , Number Runners = Rackets ( The Mob ) lost a multi million doller industry. Oh and the actual " Number runner " who occasionally held the numbers on his own on the side to glom ( steal ) lived longer, no more bodies in the rivers ...
    Legalize them and we will save our youth from being corrupted and used by drug dealers for big profit because they are juvenile and face minimum penalties. If no violence was incurred then minimize the jail time because they correct nothing in our correctional institutes and raise the fines commondeer what they purchased with the profits.
    The Price ! How do you price a worthless item ?
    Here's how, A typical user of pot injests 1/8 of an ounce per week at $50.00 per 1/8. Now that ounce of pot is worth as much as coffe because it's legal, about $1.00 per ounce. The charge could be say $12.00 per 1/8 of an ounce with $0.25 for the product, $1.75 per going to the pharmacy and $10.00 to be devided for drug rehab,drug education and last but not least TAXED. It will never go away, it would be harder to get legally dou to store hours of operation the the common drug dealer on the corner or in the local bar,diner,service station. Someone must be brave enough to speak the truth. It doesn't matter where you live, City, Urban, Suburban or Rural these drugs are readily available within 10 minuts of traval at best . Stop the next pandemic GANGS. James E Rainforth . Retired Policeman

    March 26, 2010 at 4:58 am | Reply
  94. Moose

    Our country needs to progress from beyond the 1920's and legalize marijuana....ASAP. In addition, "drug testing" for cannabis before employment is preventing many well qualified people from fulfilling the needs of many struggling US corporations.

    March 26, 2010 at 6:37 am | Reply
  95. Jonathan L. Sweeney

    Amen Moose!

    March 26, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  96. Hootiemomma

    So much to say. Where do I start?!!?!?!?

    First of all marijuana is the ONLY "drug" you can find in nature and take in its natural form to obtain a "high". Not alcohol, not cigarettes, not K2, not cocaine, heroine, or anything else. ONLY MARIJUANA.

    I am a Christian, a Mom, and a legal professional. I think it is absurd to make a plant illegal and allow alcohol to continue to be legal. Far more people suffer via the effects of alcohol than that of marijuana. Drunk drivers and domestic abuse are just the tip of the ice burg with regard to the alcohol problem.

    It clearly states in Genesis 1:11 Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it was so. God made marijuana. Not man. Man makes alcohol.

    And now, man makes K2. It is ridiculous that we have to make a synthetic version of a natural plant.

    Legalize and profitize. That's all I have to say.

    March 26, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  97. Chad

    I find it amusing when talking to a conservative about the topic of legalization. Colorado has been in the news lately with the number of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries which have opened up in the state and many more conservative-leaning counties and cities have cried to the federal government for enforcement. This is ridiculous.

    Listen conservatives out there – you can't have it both ways. The 10th Amendment is to give the states the ability to regulate a product produced and sold in that state.

    Listen soccer moms – your kids are going to do it whether it's legal or not. The patients that used to live in fear of arrest for easing their pain are rejoicing.

    Marijuana has NO KNOWN TOXICITY LEVEL. There has never been a recorded case of an overdose. Can you say the same thing about aspirin? Can you say the same thing about Xanax? About Oxycontin? About water?

    Common sense policy forces us to admit and submit to the hard data. What are you so afraid of? Pot smokers are all around you. You know them, you trust them. Perhaps if you're so opposed, you just need to eat a brownie and relax. There's no stopping it now.

    March 26, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  98. vonwolfen

    I dont like the idea of pure legalization. Legalization is a trap. It allows promotion of use by big business..Look into decriminalization not legalization...you pot smokers should really look into this...do you want Marlboro taking over the pot industry? No really think about it...only one type of indica or sativa? No true competition from smaller growers or breeders...No progress with new strains? No true OG, or Kush, or Sativa...
    Drug addiction is a chemical process..Like Bi-polar disorder, or schizophrenia...Do we really need to put people into prison for a psychiatric/chemical disorder problem?..

    March 26, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Reply
  99. free

    I'm high right now.

    Cannabis should be legalized and regulated. If the drug is so dangerous, then why shouldn't it be regulated?

    It's as simple as this: Cannabis is a "soft drug", and its consumption hurts no one. Prohibition hurts many, and benefits few. Decisions can only be made for oneself, for one's own life. Decisions should not be made for someone else, nor should they be made by someone else.

    I hope you chose to read beyond the first sentence.

    Peace.

    March 26, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  100. Adrian

    Up until the time Reagan drastically escalated the “War on Drugs”, decriminalization of marijuana had been a very real possibility and an active conversation in Washington. Americans were happy smoking weed grown in Mexico. After the escalated “war” dried up supply, good old American ingenuity kicked in! As the Mexican plant didn’t grow well up North, American stoners set about the business of developing the best marijuana hybrids and the most sophisticated indoor growing methods the world had ever known. Because of the Reagans we have the smoothest, hardiest, most potent and productive marijuana ever grown, all created right here over the last 30 years by hard working Americans!

    As the war on drugs has been an enormous failure, costing hundreds of billions of dollars, creating a huge criminal enterprise, swelling our prisons, increasing violent crime and crapping all over the Constitution, it’s nice to see a silver lining.

    Who knows, maybe if the U.S. ever pulls its head out of its rear and marijuana is decriminalized, the government could start getting some tax revenue from all those hard working Americans and their enormous and thriving business. Could help make up for his other big failure: Reaganomics. Regardless of the fact that history has shown time and time again that Reaganomics doesn’t work, its policies seems to stick in the mind of contemporary Republicans like, well, a weed.

    March 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Reply
  101. Jules

    I believe that marijuana should be legalized, taxed, regulated, & checked to verify purity & lack of contaminants such as pesticides, & chemical additives, such as other drugs.
    It would eliminate black market sales & lessen the amount of fighting between drug cartels.
    Produced by & distributed by the government, it would guarantee purity & CREATE JOBS! It would also dramatically reduce the amount of tax dollars spent to feed, house, provide medical care for, & guard prisoners. The prohibition era proves the point that when you make something that MANY people use illegal, it will INCREASE the crime rate & make the drug more dangerous as there is no consumer protection for purity & additives.
    Marijuana is non-addictive, has no 'hangover effect', & is MUCH LESS dangerous than most drugs on the market. Some say it will make you 'less intelligent'. But this would happen only if you used it right before a class or before work. THEN you will pick up less needed info. But the same can be said for MANY other legal drugs, esp. alcohol.
    The Netherlands is a good example of how NOT arresting users & suppliers has lowered the crime rate & even has reduced usage by teens.
    Right now as a nation we DESPERATELY need to help our economy. The tax dollars ALONE would raise billions per yr & perhaps also SAVE us that much too by NOT spending tax dollars to enforce laws pertaining to marijuana. We also desperately need the jobs it would create & the tax dollars it would bring in. NO law enforcement jobs would be lost. Rather their man hours could then be spent on dealing with violent crimes & other things they need to do to protect society.
    Yet we seem to have this STUPID need to 'protect' society from what I would call a victimless crime.

    March 27, 2010 at 1:03 am | Reply
  102. MM

    March 24th, 2010 1422 GMT

    A civil, evolving society cannot legalize drugs

    No you are wrong, a civil evolving society cannot make drugs illiegal. We tried it with alcohol in this country and we saw where that got us.... Al Capone ring a bell anyone. Same thing is happening today with the drug cartels, pretty simple to stop, just stop prohibition

    March 27, 2010 at 1:12 am | Reply
  103. Josh-Wa

    I'm in Silver Spring, Maryland. Personally, I don't believe prohibition ever works. We can look to the rise of the Mafia during prohibition in the United States in the 30s, and we can see now how the war on drugs has provided the major cartels more money to spend keeping their business alive than entire governments can commit to stopping them.

    It's a double-edged sword. It's naive to think we can just stop the demand, so there is only way to diminish their power. In order to take away the power of these gangs and cartels, you have to take out the illegal aspect that makes it so lucrative. If you could go to 7-11 to buy marijuana, who would deal with cartels smuggling it illegally and much higher costs than if it were legal.

    On the same side, I believe opponents and advocates of decriminalizing drugs can agree that just unleashing a flurry of dangerous and synthetic drugs on the American public could have very serious consequences. Decriminalizing drugs doesn't just mean marijuana, but cocaine is also a significant money and power generator of these groups as well. While many may feel marijuana isn't as serious as the other drugs, what happens when these other drugs are legalized along with marijuana? This is something that needs to be addressed before it becomes an issue if drugs are legalized.

    Having thought about both viewpoints for quite some time, I believe that drugs can be regulated much like the drugs we already have legalized. We have prescription drugs that are regulated and tested by the Government. I believe that other synthetic drugs could also be regulated in this same manner.

    As for marijuana, I compare it to alcohol. I would say put the same restrictions on it. If you drive under the influence of marijuana, you will face serious penalties, much in the same way as if you are driving under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, don't sell to anyone under 21. I don't see any reason why this would not be acceptable.

    When taking all of this into account, you have to weigh the positives vs. the negatives. Is it worth the potential detrimental effects to communities from drug addiction in order to strip the resources from powerful gangs that are currently destroying many of our communities through violence and intimidation?

    I, for one, believe that these gangs are far too powerful, and that there are more positives to legalizing the drugs and stripping the power of these gangs as opposed to keeping things as they are now, with cartels making enough money to outspend governments and reach any person or community they want. If we as a nation were to stop this war on drugs because drugs would be legal, we would save a ton of money no longer being thrown at the drug war. Additionally, the government can the sale of these drugs at a high percentage, and it would still be worth it because the cost would be lower for people than it is when the drugs are illegal. These is a huge swing in funds and may even enable us as a nation to do what we all want, and that is to lower our taxes.

    As a nation, I think we also have the responsibility to try to ensure that we have ample treatment facilities in place for those who wants to fight their addictions. If we take some of these saved funds to attempt to help people that can't just use these drugs recreationally in their homes and become addicted, we can try to combat the potentially detrimental affects on the people as a whole.

    Once again, it comes down to weighing the pros and the cons. Is it worth have a ton of extra money to put into things like schools, infrastructure, or towards resolving the national deficit? The money is out there to grab without raising taxes on individuals, and this is one way to divert funds to pump more money into our economy.

    I for one think it is worth giving it a shot, as these archaic policies and naive assumptions that we can stop everyone from trying to find a way to get high are proving more and more expensive, deadly and fruitless. At the very least, start with just legalizing marijuana so we can study the effects of a drug being legalized, as well as try out ideas on combating the potentially detrimental effects. If we as a society decide that we like it better legalized than illegal, then we can try extending it to other drugs, such as cocaine or heroin.

    After all, it is claimed that many of these terrorist organizations are able to accumulate so much money based on their poppy crops. If this was legal and regulated in the U.S., we would be fighting terrorism as well.

    Just some things to think about.

    March 27, 2010 at 1:22 am | Reply
  104. Steve

    As far as alcohol and marijuana go in regards to health and violence, this country sure does have things backwards.
    What is harmless is illegal, what is harmful (in many ways), is legal....Go figure? The human brain is meant to produce logic.....where is the logic?

    March 27, 2010 at 1:46 am | Reply
  105. My2Cents66

    Chuck – Your civil evolving society needs funding, and I suggest we use your money – not mine.

    March 27, 2010 at 3:01 am | Reply
  106. Dave

    I did not smoke pot until I was 18 years old and in college. That was in 1968. It did change me, I began questioning the goverment who said it was a dangerous drug. I began wondering what else the goverment was not telling the truth about. It changed my views about law enforcement, right and wrong, lies by my country and its goverment. I was a Police Science Major in college, and it caused me not to pursue a career in that field. Pot did change my life. It opened my eyes and made me a better person. 42 years later I still don't regret smoking it.

    March 27, 2010 at 3:20 am | Reply
  107. Char

    It's time for the real revolution, my friends. Instead of voicing our opinions on keyboards, we need to get together 'enforce', like the Californians, and put it on the ballot, do marches, etc.. The US government is going to decriminalize eventually, and sooner I think than later, especially if we FIRE THEM ALL. But it will be for the states to decide. That is where the problems really are. I have conservatives trying to run my life here in Florida because good-old-boys with the most money win. I would love to fire them all, too.

    March 27, 2010 at 3:34 am | Reply
  108. Zach

    A civil evolving society can always evolve with or without the use of drugs. Some would argue that society evolves faster with the use of drugs.

    Typically what it always comes down to is self restraint and the understanding of 'responsible' use vs 'irresponsible'. I feel like dad trying to explain something to his child.

    Take alcohol for example. If abused, alcohol leads to blackouts, loss of memory, liver shutdown, increased chance of ulcers. On the other hand, how many of the most elderly people in the world have never had a drink of an alcoholic beverage...Same goes for PhD's and Professors worldwide.

    March 27, 2010 at 7:22 am | Reply
  109. Andy

    The 'war on drugs' is a big problem in the United States. It is costing hundreds of millions every year and the drugs are still getting through, making the drug cartels rich. Violence at the US/Mexico border is at an all time high, likely because the drug cartels are striking back at the US for the busts we have made. Imagine how much money we could save, just in law enforcement if marijuana use in the US was legal? Imagine the revenue that state and local governments could bring in from taxation? Some of that revenue could be used to research ways of beating our other drug problems, like Meth.

    I have no doubt that legalizing marijuana would not increase crime, but would likely decrease it in many ways. People who now commit crimes to pay for their marijuana habits would no longer have to do that. Citizens who use marijuana would not have to worry about getting laced pot; it would all be controlled by the government and could be grown in controlled conditions resulting in very predictable highs.

    I think our country has strong momentum brewing to finally see marijuana legalized, but I'd be really surprised it it happens in the next 5 years. It will be interesting to see how the vote in California plays out in November. I think the government would be surprised to see just how many voters actually support it.

    March 27, 2010 at 7:53 am | Reply
  110. mark j

    President Barak Obama admitted selling it during high school. Maybe he will decriminalize it on his last day in office. One can only hope.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:27 am | Reply
  111. mark j

    also dope can lead uncontrolable laughter. My face cheeks close my eyes when that happens. So I never smoke before driving a car.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:38 am | Reply
  112. M.E.

    Marijuana isn't the innocent drug people make it out to be. It can & is abused & in those instances it is just as bad as the blackouts, etc. of alcohol. I work with addicts & my heavy marijuana users tend to lack any ambition. They just want to smoke pot. There are also health issues no one ever talks about such as the study last year linking it to testicular cancer or older studies linking it to schizophrenia.
    My issue with it being on the ballot this November is with alcohol the general rule is 2 beers in 1 hour means one shouldn't drive. How are they going to regulate driving & marijuana? It doesn't burn out of the body as fast as alcohol so can we trust people not to drive under the influence? Whatever you do in your home is your business so long as it isn't illegal, but I don't want the crash caused by some idiot driving impared. It's not fair to your employer for you to report to work under the influence if it will affect your work.

    March 27, 2010 at 10:39 am | Reply
  113. Mark Moschello

    The only people who are really upset at the idea of leagalizing marijuana are big pharma drug companies,
    prison and police union lobbyists.
    Of course marijuana should be legal. It's a natural plant that is far less toxic than alcahol or tobacco. It has so many benificial uses that out weigh all poorly constructed arguements for prohabition.
    Criminalizing it is just plain ignorant and dangerous for everyone.
    Grow it and tax the heck out of it!

    March 27, 2010 at 10:54 am | Reply
  114. Average Joe

    I tend to look at issues such as this on a Constitutional basis. What right does anyone have to tell us what we can or cannot do with our own bodies as long as we do not infringe upon someone else's rights?
    I do not think that the Federal Government will ever legalize any drugs that cannot be patented by there buddies in Big Pharma...it's all about kickbacks....because marijuana cannot be patented....Big Pharma can't make a profit and on top of it, they would lose sales of other drugs if marijuana was legalized.
    I firmly believe that the only way we will ever get it truly legalized, we as a people need to start nullifying the laws. In other words...as a juror we need to stop convicting non-violent drug offenders....just one not guilty vote can hang a jury and let the defendant go... just say "NOT GUILTY!

    I suggest going to this site: http://www.famguardian.org/Publications/CitRulebook/rulebook.htm and reading up on how to take back both our LAW and our Government. You are more powerful than the POTUS while on a jury....

    March 27, 2010 at 11:38 am | Reply
  115. Average Joe

    US Patent 6630507 – Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants
    US Patent Issued on October 7, 2003
    Estimated Patent Expiration Date: Icon_subject February 2, 2021Estimated Expiration Date is calculated based on simple USPTO term provisions.
    This patent was issued to the U.S. Government....can anyone say...Hypocrisy?

    The patent claims that "Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia."
    The patent was obtained in October of 2003. ..
    no medical use ....I see......schedule one narcotic.......the Federal Government is truly laughable in their quest for honesty and moral fiber.....and let's not forget...Transparency...yes...we can now see right through you now!

    March 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  116. Mike from CA

    I feel this ridiculus war on drugs or "Prohibition" on drugs is a loosing battle. Come on people how many years have we been wasting money locking up people for getting high ?..you will never stop it, I dont care how many laws there are , marijuana is a natural weed that grows from the earth and humans have been smoking it for hundreds , maybe thousands of years. ..Just legalize it and focus our recourses towards more productive uses !

    I'm 45 years old and been smoking for 30 years now, I still enjoy a joint over hard alcohol anyday !

    Ca will do it this year..Hopefully I'll be voting for it !!

    March 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  117. malcolm kyle

    Prohibition is a sickening horror and the ocean of human wreckage it has left in its wake is almost endless.

    Prohibition has decimated generations and criminalized millions for a behavior which is entwined in human existence, and for what other purpose than to uphold the defunct and corrupt thinking of a minority of misguided, self-righteous Neo-Puritans and degenerate demagogues who wish nothing but unadulterated destruction on the rest of us.

    Based on the unalterable proviso that drug use is essentially an unstoppable and ongoing human behavior which has been with us since the dawn of time, any serious reading on the subject of past attempts at any form of drug prohibition would point most normal thinking people in the direction of sensible regulation.

    By its very nature prohibition cannot fail but create a vast increase in criminal activity, and rather than preventing society from descending into anarchy, it actually fosters an anarchic business model – the international Drug Trade. Any decisions concerning quality, quantity, distribution and availability are then left in the hands of unregulated, anonymous, ruthless drug dealers, who are interested only in the huge profits involved.

    Many of us have now finally wised up to the fact that the best avenue towards realistically dealing with drug use and addiction is through proper regulation, which is what we already do with alcohol & tobacco –two of our most dangerous mood altering substances. But for those of you whose ignorant and irrational minds traverse a fantasy plane of existence, you will no doubt remain sorely upset with any type of solution that does not seem to lead to the absurd and unattainable utopia of a drug free society.

    There is an irrefutable connection between drug prohibition and the crime, corruption, disease and death it causes. If you are not capable of understanding this connection, then maybe you're using something far stronger than the rest of us. Anybody 'halfway bright' and who's not psychologically challenged, should be capable of understanding, that it is not simply the demand for drugs that creates the mayhem; it is our refusal to allow legal businesses to meet that demand.

    No amount of money, police powers, weaponry, diminution of rights and liberties, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safer; only an end to prohibition can do that. How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

    If you still support the kool aid mass suicide cult of prohibition, and erroneously believe that you can win a war without logic and practical solutions, then prepare yourself for even more death, corruption, terrorism, sickness, imprisonment, unemployment, foreclosed homes, and the complete loss of the rule of law and the Bill of Rights.

    "A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
    Abraham Lincoln

    The only thing prohibition successfully does is prohibit regulation & taxation while ceding control to the cartels and terrorists, regulation would mean the opposite!

    March 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  118. E Kent

    Just to settle a minor point:

    The Constitution was drafted on hemp paper. The final version is on parchment. There is no absolute evidence Washington, Franklin or any of the Founding Fathers smoked the stuff. However, Washington made a point of nurturing the female plants, which wouldn't have been the best policy if he were only looking to make rope and paper.

    March 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  119. Nate

    The only problem with drug testing is that it doesn't prove that you're under the influnce. It just shows that residuals of said drug are still in your system. If you smoke marijuana in your home and the next morning you drive to work, you still have it in your system and it will show up on a drug test. But it doesn't mean you're under the influnce. Alcohol, on the other hand has been scientifically proven to leave the body at a certain speed and they can tell if your still under the influence.

    March 27, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  120. RLP

    It's a plant. Perhaps we should make illegal the dirt that it grows in, or the water that it's roots absorb. Actually, why not have to have a tax stamp to plant an oak tree, or keep a grass lawn.

    March 27, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  121. Ace

    Of course the cops are against legalization, the have a lot depending it, like job security and pesions.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  122. Bookwerm

    A civil, evolving society MUST legalize drugs.

    Step back, don't be a kneejerk, and see what comparison shows.

    What we have now:
    criminalizing it and enforcing that costs huge sums of money we simply cannot afford. It costs over 100K/year for prison, huge sums to enforce, huge sums of money flowing to the black market and organized crime.

    What we could have:
    contrast that with legal or decriminalized. You make money taxing it, that tax money can pay or even MORE than pay for treatment/counseling for drug abuse. NOT drug use.. drug abuse/addiction, which is very different, and is where due to mental or social impact help for user is needed. There would be NO law enforcement costs, NO money flowing to organized crime. NO money going to prisons.

    We simply can't afford what we are doing, what we are doing isn't working ANYWAY, and is just plain stupid.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  123. HeyChuck!!!

    @Chuck: You have it completely backwards. A "civil, evolving society" has the obligation to change what does NOT work for its citizens.

    The WAR ON DRUGS has claimed our nation's common sense as its greatest victim. This is a HEALTH CRISIS, and should be approached as such.

    In many western cultures where soft drugs are tolerated or legal, FEWER people per capita have tried them – and fewer still are incarcerated.

    GROW UP !!! It's time to abandon the pseudo-moral stance of those in charge of the Drug War. The utter hypocrisy of the first drug Czar, Bill Bennett is a great example. He is a drunk who has admitted to LOSING SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS in casinos this fiscal year alone.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  124. Larry

    OK people.... we're all in agreement here. Enough ranting online. WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT? Write your state representatives! Write your local government officials! DO SOMETHING instead of complaining. Get involved and become part of the solution.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  125. Mike Lawson

    Chuck, a civil, evolving society learns from its mistakes like prohibition and uses those errors and lessons learned in order to evolve. Prohibition has created a nightmare for society, from prison sentences breaking apart families for a rather benign reasons like a parent possessing a small amount of pot while celebrating and taxing the sale of alcohol to that same parent, to the costs of enforcement, coupled with the massive loss of tax revenues that could raise millions for each state. Legalization is failure.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  126. Joel

    i like to think something like this belongs to the eye of the beholder, basically you can't really have someone who has never tried marijuana or any drug for that matter on stage or t.v. blasting something they know nothing about. every body is different only you know your body,style,and your limit . Scare tactics and subliminal messages do nothing but confuse people in particular the youth. Its time sonething got done although given how violence is winning the war i don't see anything happening anytime soon. Until all of us accecpt this it will be a never ending war, that will turn are society into two sectors those who belive this can be fixed and want it to and those who will stop at nothing to make sure violence sloves everything.

    March 27, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  127. marc

    As someone wh has always been a proponent towards the legalization of marijuana it does me proud to see states finally waking up and allowing the voters to choose. Now if only the gederal government will stop tramping on people's rights when they do vote for marijuana to be legalized bigger reform will take place. I find it disgusting that someone with cancer with only a limited time left to live, and most times in excruciating pain, are being charged outrageus fortunes from big drug companies for medications. 3/4 of all prescription medication have more dangerous side effects than one marijuana plant. Stop the madness and tell drug companies and the government to start listening to the people that they supposedly are there to help when it comes to this issue.

    March 27, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  128. sean

    I honestly dont see any negatives to legalizing marijuana in every economic and social standpoint. Reduce Crime, Prison populations, increase taxes, increase even jobs, and saves a bunch of money that is spent on the war on drugs. They can then focus that big budget on other harder drugs or on poverty or a seeminly endless list of things.

    The biggest problem is the connotation it has when people say the world "drug" and marijuana is listed with crack cocaine, heroin, opium, etc. All marijuana does is make you hungary and makes you laugh. Pharmacuticals are wosre than the mary jane.

    March 27, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  129. Alexander

    MM you are 100% correct. I'll use marijuana as an example. Drinking alcohol (which most people consider perfectly fine) causes an unbelievable amount of problems, whether its a driving accident or bar fights. All substances have negative side effects, but drinking is a far greater problem that pot. If anyone disagrees, they are either just ignorant or an idiot.

    March 27, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  130. ron

    I think whatever you want to do in your own time is your right and abhor the idea of the state having a say in what I can or can't do to yourself. As long as there is no victim, how is there a crime? How can I be my own victim?
    I would not recommend cocaine but in it's natural state as the leaf it is the amongst the most nutrient rich plants on the planet and a great gift of nature. The extract is poison. Ayahuasca, san pedro, peyotl, psylocybes, amanita, Kratom, Khat, coca, kola, ... what better `drugs' are there? Sacraments more like; things that bring you closer to your higher self and all eaten or taken as tea unadulterated and in their natural form.
    However the greater battle is to keep our medicinal and food plants for our health from being taken from us by the biggest cartel on the planet – the sickness industry. Codex alimentarius and big agrobiz and big pharma cannot be trusted. Proven corrupt and corrupting.
    The bible (the foundation of law) says we have the plants god gave us as a natural right and why should this be violated by the state. "trust me god made mistakes creating these plants, I've never tried it so I know." If you want to try chems be it at your own risk, mother nature made the plants, man made the drugs, who do you trust?
    By the way don't trust any white powders, least of all sugar and dead flour; the biggest drug problems of all. You are what you eat and every atom was once in a plant, that is what created the complexity that allows consciousness. The less it's been tampered with the better.

    March 28, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  131. rob

    face it even if 99.99999% of the people wanted it legal it would not happen
    why
    because the private prison industry would lose tons of money
    the government has not worked for we the people for a very long time
    it works only for those who can bribe politicians
    with welfare retirement jobs and political contributions

    March 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  132. kevin

    Sadly as Americans we are told we live in a free country. We are told the government bans substances because sometimes the people need to be protected from themselves. Are you kidding me? I've read and watched many different documentaries and scientific papers about the dangers or lack there of associated with drug use. Why is it doctors and all these keep america drug free people are trying to tell us what we can put in our bodies?
    I can understand a drug like cocaine,or meth being banned because they don't just possibly hurt the user. Cocaine and meth can cause the user to be extremely violent or even psychotic and assualtive. I challenge a doctor or researcher to show evidence an insane hyper pothead. I used to smoke when i was younger but have been in law enforcement for 15 years. What I do remember from my younger days after smoking a joint I wanted to eat and chill out. I was definately not looking to go and get in trouble.
    All that said the same people who tell us we need to maintain a ban on pot have no problem keeping 2 extremely dangerous and addictive drugs legal. Nicotine is said to be more addictive than heroine yet it is legal and it leads to cancer and other health issues. Wait the people who say drugs like marijuana must remain illegal cause they are dangerous to our health. To the people who spout that crap stop lieing about your motives for keeping marijuana illegal. If you gave a darn about my health you have made sure cigarettes and alcohol (also very dangerous for your health) we're illegal.
    Legalize marijuana and reap the benefits of the tax dollars coming in instead of dumping billions of dollars a year fighting a 'war' you wil NEVER win.

    March 29, 2010 at 7:49 am | Reply
  133. LouBob

    Yes, legalize it. Then the sky will open up, birds will start chirping, peace will break out over the world, and all will be well in North America...

    Tra la la.

    Actually the opposite is true.

    As soon as we decriminalize marijuana, then the potheads will be calling for the legalization of "harmless" heroin, and "optimum" opium. We'll have to hear about Queen Victoria, and how she took opium to cure her ills in the 1870s. Marcel Proust, the French author, imbibed heroin, to cure what ails him. It must be okay.

    Legalized gambling for example.

    Since gambling was made completely legal at Native American casinos across the MidWest USA, gambling-related bankruptcies have gone up 350%.

    So, are there any other people out there except for the pothead crowd.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  134. Mercedes

    By keeping Marajuana illegal the government is forcing those who want to smoke, to do it illegally. Last year while I was in Amsterdam I found it to be so casual, and such a breath of fresh air that people didn't have to hide it. If the government allowed Americans to smoke in regulated areas, like Amsterdam has there would be less friction between the people and the law.

    March 30, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  135. Paula

    I agree with commander Mota I support to Legalize Marijuana. I think if Marijuana was legal there would be less people in jail for having it with them. It ain't like we cant tax Marijuana the government n the state will make more money, look at the Marijuana that they take from all the dealers that try to sell it they get busted and go to jail or prison. I think that the people of the world need to think real hard on this. I think that if God put it here then we can use it to what we want.

    LEGALIZE MARJUANA ITS THE ONLY DRUG THAT SHOULD!!!!!

    March 30, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  136. james

    If you can drink alcahol and smoke cigarettes.....well than so should marijuana!!! Alcahol is worse than marijuana it gives you liver failure and cigarettes gives you lung cancer. Let us live our Lives and do what makes us happy and have to be controlled by people when its suppose to be a FREE WORLD!!! And it would put sellers away and guns off the streets and it would be smart that all the weed that cops and CIA took from people in the past and sell it and tax it and make money. I dont smoke but its just obvious it should be LEGAL!!!!!

    March 31, 2010 at 8:15 am | Reply
  137. Jimbo

    Well Im glad you all know what needs to be done, now lets act upon it if the oh so great obama can't do it for us then we shall ourselves!!! (World domination type laughter)

    April 1, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  138. JEFF

    i NOW declare all plants and trees ILLEGAL dont even look at them until one of the most beneficial, cannabis, has been LEGALIZED, then we'll start from there and maybe....just maybe you can have the oranges and tomato trees back. now that makes about as much sense as our laws now so go ahead, join the crowd lets all drink a few beers and drive home legally, maybe smoke a couple cancer sticks on the way and grab some preserved fruit to kill us more when we wake up ...this is what the government wants its easy population control so why would they legalize, oh ya its the smart thing to do but we all know by now that obama and our government are a cpl fries short of a happy meal.

    April 1, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  139. tony martini

    i think marijuana should become legal. it wont just make everybody happier, it would help the economy get back on it's feet. i also think that if it was to become legal, the violance rate around marijuana would also drop.

    August 26, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  140. Tokin' Tom

    marijuana should be legal. as a medical user i get perks of being able to smoke whenever i so please, its a joke that i can legally smoke as much dope as want as noone else can.
    LEGALIZE IT!

    December 2, 2010 at 1:52 am | Reply
  141. Lucas

    I agree, marijuana should legalized, i mean it's obvious that's where it's heading anyways, it's only a matter of time. People will benefit from a drug that they can use without negative side-effects. Marijuana has been the only drug that i can use would feeling uncomfortable and out of place. I'd say in three years of smoking with no bad effects only confirms to me all the studies that prove marijuana is safe for consumption. Many points people bring are valid. Legalization will bring money to the government, decrease violence, protect rights,blah blah blah, there is too many benefits to name right now, as I am not keen on writing an essay in a comment. It is very well possible, I can write for hours on why to legalize marijuana, i mean there's just too many benefits to consider in an argument. Cocaine I feel can also be properly. I am not fully informed on it's negative side effects, but I have read up on it and tried and it does seem that the drug can be regulated and legalized. It has many benefits as well. There are safer ways to use it and potency is very high right now. Many people suggest that by just decreasing the potency of cocaine and selling it legally will almost reduce all negative effects. Also I almost forgot that prohibition isn't working, can someone please tell the government. I mean come on, I want to see some debates about this, sadly no one politically important enough addresses this issue at all. So maybe we all need form our own party to address it, I don't see what the current marijuana party is doing. Even one national debate would inform the nation. So even if it wasn't legalized people would at least no it is safe and not look down on pot smokers. Also prohibition started this K2 or Spice products. Personally they may be valid drugs are their own, but they are not entirely safe (as far as anyone knows). And the thing I hate as they are marketed as marijuana substitutes, marijuana doesn't need one as it already safe and wouldn't need one if it weren't illegal. Plus many people report that cannabis is much better and safer anyways, with too many reports of bad experiences from the drug, unlike cannabis.

    January 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  142. Danny

    There is probably no reason for me to say this cuz there are so many others for legalization but every1 know cannabis should be legalized infact like in porchigo (i duno if i spelled that right) we should treat drugs as a medical issue not criminalanywase western government wont legalize anythung till they can controle it or tax it we should be allowed to grow our own breed our own strains and share them with friends and the government shouldnt be the only one allowed to sell it i stopped drinking alcahol because you gota buy it from the government id rather support small time criminals the mom and pop operations in bc or even gangs atleast their honest about how bad they are rather than the government or corperations ( bigtime criminals who pretend to be the good guy) and there should b no restrictions on growroom size and until then people need to disobey a law that infringes on our freedom to persue happyness grow your own illegaly overgrow the government they cant arrest 75% of the population and if they try to make an example of someone make your own example get some seeds anx grow food in your backyard and stop working dont pay mortgage and refuse to leave your home now this will b useless unless the majority of the population does it at the same time or a bunch of people will just go to jail theres a fine line anywase whoever comments on my spelling or grammer way to change the subject as long as people get the message im happy

    March 16, 2011 at 1:43 am | Reply

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