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Why is Marijuana Illegal?

Marijuana poses less of a threat than cigarettes do... So.... Why is it illegal?

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    Sep 29 2012: Because Big Pharma hate the thought of people being relaxed and happy using a naturally occurring herb, when they would much rather we spend our meagre earnings on their hugely profitable (but poorly researched**) chemical happy pills.

  • Sep 27 2012: Its a drug, now the thing is not making marijuana legal or illegal, alcohol kills and wrecks more lives than marijuana. tobacco also causes havoc in many lives of individuals and families. From my optics if Marijuana is illegal, then alcohol and tobacco should also be illegal.
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    Oct 19 2012: From my understanding, it wasn't even made illegal at first, it was just taxed so it was unaffordable to grow. I believe that law was passed in 1914. Prior to that, Dupont held the patent for wood paper pulp, then a patent for hemp paper pulp came out a few years after this, 1916, and then due to pressure from the family/company... mj became more heavily taxed, then eventually propagandized to the point of Reefer Madness etc... illegalization... I did a quick search

    this looked ok info-wise (as far as my memory from college haha) though there are no notations on where the info came from :/ which I don't like.
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    Sep 29 2012: When something is Legal or Illegal, its because its financially beneficial (for a select few)to be so,
    Reason and logic don't come into it.

    As its already been said, a legalization of Marijuana would vastly effect:
    Big Pharma
    Private Prisons
    among others, and all of which have Lobbyists to make sure it won't be legalized.
    • Oct 3 2012: Do you have any sources on this, I am currently searching for strong sources proving that these companies find it in their advantage to lobby against legalization?
      • Mats K

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        Oct 11 2012: The only source you really need is to look into and to get familiar with our current socioeconomic system. The monetary system requires cyclical consumption and this, naturally, incentivize corporations and companies to limit or even eliminate natural resources such as hemp, which historically was abundant, to keep price up on inefficient materials which they have a private interest in. And because hemp can be used to so many things like making plastic, building houses and cure illness, there is private interests to diminish that in order to gain profit for their own product.

        If there is an abundance of something, people will not pay for it and that's bad news for corporations and our monetary system in general.
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    Sep 27 2012: One of the factors in the US is the gradual privatization of the penitentiary system and the political influence of their lobbies on this issue. Private jails always need more ''criminals'' to stay financially viable and they are logically less inclined to favor rehabilitation into society over successive re-incarceration, regardless what the committed crimes are. In that perspective, it isn't hard to understand that marijuana smokers/dealers became a gold mine for their business and that it is for their own economic interests to lobby against the legalization of marijuana and for the strengthening of drug laws.

    It's a $70 billion worth industry that keeps growing each year to the point it's becoming an insult to reality, reason and justice. According to the Rutherford Institute, ''despite the fact that violent crime in America has been on the decline, the nation's incarceration rate as tripled since 1980''. A study from the Federal Bureau of Prisons concludes : '' the majority of those being held in federal prisons are convicted of drug offenses—namely, marijuana. Presently, one out of every 100 Americans is serving time behind bars ''.

    I also strongly suggest you read this:
    • Sep 27 2012: " '' the majority of those being held in federal prisons are convicted of drug offenses—namely, marijuana."

      Sounds cute, but is nonsense. If you want, you could check any federal states law and see what is needed to go to jail because of marijuana posession or use. And a drug offense is most times much more than just using a drug, it is in most cases connected with trade, gun possesion, other related crimes.

      This is no argument, otherwise it could be used for anything that is leading the charts-if the majority of inmates would be mass muderers with a fetish for rape, should we think about legalising this? I mean, if just the number of inmates is the reason to think about justice and law in general, than it would be a very infantile view on the subject.

      "Private jails always need more ''criminals'' to stay financially viable and they are logically less inclined to favor rehabilitation into society over successive re-incarceration, regardless what the committed crimes are."

      That is true and nonsense together. Of course a jail needs a "full house" to be in economic balance, but this is no matter of private or not, a jail run by state has the same problem. And, the state would have no reason to increase his costs by sending more inmates, he would simply not care if these private jails make a profit or not.

      ''despite the fact that violent crime in America has been on the decline, the nation's incarceration rate as tripled since 1980''

      Probably because most of the bad guys and girls is behind bars? Nah, that would be too easy, this can't be, no way....
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        Sep 28 2012: I don't see a single argument or accurate fact in this whole reply, only unnecessary personal attacks (which are of no importance to the subject) and misunderstandings on your part. Let me explain...

        1. Of course, a lot of drug related cases are connected with other types of crimes. But I don't see where this is refuted in the related quote so your first paragraph is pointless.

        2. The number of inmates is not the reason this debate exists. Saying that it amounts to legalizing murder/rape simply because the majority of the prison population has been found guilty of it is nonsense and tells me more about your imagination than about the subject.

        3. Private corporations don't run jails with the same intents that the government (on behalf of the society) does. Sure, both try to be as cost-effective as they can in the present circumstances and cut here and there, that is not the question, but they simply don't get their revenues or profits the same way. It costed $44,563 to incarcerate a prisoner for a year (2011) in California, nearly the same price as a year at Harvard University with room and board. So obviously, the state is inclined to reduce its spending by investing time and efforts in preventing crimes and rehabilitating those who can be, realistically.

        Private corporations like CCA and GEO Group, on the contrary, strive when there's more convicts to take care of. They used their lobbies to buy the states and the federal government into guaranteeing that their super-sized, demographically unrealistic and mismanaged jails will be filled to a minimum of 90% of their capacity. They don't care about rehabilitation or preventing crime, they just need a constant flow of new inmates to make their money.

        4. I don't think you understand what incarceration rate meant in that sentence. It's not the percentage of convicts within the population of the country. It's the number of new convicts on a given year (2011) compared to the previous or any other given one (1980).
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    Sep 28 2012: Because it is too sensible environmentally, economically, and civilly..

    While hemp can provide a great deal of green products, those corporations whom make billions on non-green products have lobby in government to protect their interest by lies and propaganda. As well as alcohol companies and pharmaceuticals.

    Example: When California was trying to past their prop. two weeks before voting big alcohol companies advertised antimarijuana campaigns.

    Also prisons are another massive industry whom purchase from a lot of companies as well as create jobs ... To legalize marijuana would put a lot of people out of work..

    This is not the first conversation to exist about the topic of marijuana, go search for the others for more opinions.
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      Sep 28 2012: The main culprit is the plastics industry. As long as they have oil, they will continue to make plastic rope. It's one of the biggest lobbies chummed up with the Oil industry passing money around in the congress today. They are the only thing standing in the way, Take them out of the equation and Hemp will make the biggest come back you ever saw.

      And smoking by default.

      I assure you during the days of hemp growing, the hemp farmers were a very happy lot.
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        Sep 29 2012: Alcohol would suffer, cigarettes... Two major consumables.

        Paper and cotton alternative products, ethanol fuel, sugar extracts.

        Plenty of economies and demographics (marco and micro) will change
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          Sep 29 2012: Yeah, that's some off to the side effects.

          The real wall that no one will be able to get over is the plastics industry. They have plenty of bucks to shoot down anything a state law does. The only way to overcome it is through Federal legislation, which won't happen because of the lobby bucks.

          You will have to either move to a different country or wait until the oil runs out. :)
  • Sep 28 2012: Marihuana smoking poses as much risks as cigarettes do. Actually, as cannabis burns at a lower temperature than tobacco, marihuana smoke is heavier and contains more carcinogenic chemicals and more tar. It contains also more particles.

    This has theoretically two effects :
    1) just like cigarette smoke, smoking marihuana definitely increases the risk of lung cancer
    2) even more than cigarette smoke, smoking marihuana is likely to increase the risk on lung emphysema due to damage to the lungs.

    I'm not going to do a complete meta analysis on all conducted studies, but a recent talk by Ben Goldacre gives you a good idea about why your claim is absolute excrement of a male cow. On the other hand, you can eat marihuana in a cake.

    This said, Marihuana is illegal because the governement said so. The question is not why marihuana is illegal, but why alcohol isn't. The same arguments used for marihuana go for alcohol:
    - it is addictive
    - it is bad for both mental and physical health if abused
    - it causes a lot of social problems

    Reason why alcohol isn't illegal : because making it illegal would make the problem bigger: there would be a complete black market, the quality of alcohol cannot be guaranteed any longer (think about methanol), the governement would lose a lot of taxes, and especially the whole underground moving of alcohol would make it a whole lot more difficult to find and treat the problem cases.

    Exactly for that reason, it makes sense to make marihuana legal:
    - you can control additives, percentage of THC and general quality of the sold marihuana
    - you take away a major source of income for criminals
    - you make it more easy to find and treat problematic use
    - you can raise taxes on it, and do something useful with that money
    - you can use a whole lot of money that's now wasted on hunting down marihuana for some bigger problems.

    In short: you ask the wrong question, and look for the wrong answer.
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    Sep 28 2012: I read somewhere that a "ban" was placed on the cultivation of hemp - at the urging of "cotton-growers" who objected to the "competition." PS: apparently, while alcohol and cigarettes cause cancer, an active ingredient in hemp (or marijuana) cures it.
  • Sep 27 2012: "Marijuana poses less of a threat than cigarettes do"

    That is wrong. Any smoked tobacco is at least same harmful to you like any other thing you burn and smoke. Smoke damages your lungs, and so on, and the risk of cancer is given too.

    Beyond that, marijuana can cause the outbreak of a psychosis in people.

    "Why is it illegal?"

    There a lots of reasons. A better question would be, why it should be legalised? Just that other way less harmfull substances are allowed (which are in most nations just "two", cigarettes and alcohol, or better just one, as cigarettes do not affect your mind) would be a really weak point to start a debate.
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      Sep 27 2012: "There is a lot of unfounded rhetoric that states smoking pot can cause lung cancer because your inhaling smoke, like cigarettes. This simply isn’t true. Cigarette smoke causes cancer because the tobacco is radiated whereas marijuana isn’t. In fact, the American Association for Cancer Research has found the marijuana actually works to slow down tumor growth in the lungs, breasts, and brain considerably."

      For the list of hundreds of medical organizations which support legallization

      Marijuana is only illegal, to keep hemp illegal, because hemp is a wonder crop which would put cotton and oil out of business.
      • Sep 27 2012: That is funny, so the marijuana plant is probably the only plant in the world who is unaffected by radiation? Why are we afraid of nuclear weapons? We simply need to wrap ourselves in marijuana leaves and thats it...

        Of course marijuana is sameway radiated like any other plant that is growing outside. If you think that the marijuana from greenhouses is better, well, you could also raise tobacco in greenhouses...

        It might slow down the growth of some tumors, but it also speeds up the growth of other tumors, as already researched.

        "Medical organizations", well, how trustful are they? Is Glaxo, Pfizer etc, not a "medical organization"? You could also say "someone supports ...", but that does not give it that special shine of supposed authority, right? Because hemp huggers are cute, pill manufacturers are evil...
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          Sep 28 2012: Glaxo and Pfizer are both against legal marijuana because it effects their bottom line. Cancer and AIDS researchers almost universally support legalization, because the drug helps people suffering from cancer and AIDS... It's really that simple.

          Also, you don't have to smoke marijuana, and if it were legal, far more people would choose to eat it. Ingesting marijuana in food, is 10 times healthier a vice than alcohol or tobacco.

          Hemp huggers are people who study science, biology, and industrial applications of Hemp products... their cuteness is unimportant. Their credentials are.
      • Sep 28 2012: "Glaxo and Pfizer are both against legal marijuana because it effects their bottom line. "
        Yes, but that was not my point. My point was, why someones bottom line is more trustworthy than someone elses? Hemp does not cure cancer, nor aids, nor anything else. So do many medications from Glaxo and Co..

        But, do we really need another medication without true benefit for the patient? There are lots of things who ease suffering already, this is not the true problem someone with cancer deals with. The real problem is heavy pain, mental dysfunctions and that they gonna die.

        For pain issues hemp does not help, mental dysfunctions get even worse through hemp, and death is not prevented either. If there was at least one thing hemp could do better than what already exists, then there would be no debate, it would be in use. But it is not better, just diffrent. The negative sides of a legalisation do not outweigh the very small sides that can be considered positive.

        Hemp is researched, this can be done already-no legalisation is needed insofar.

        " Ingesting marijuana in food, is 10 times healthier a vice than alcohol or tobacco.."
        Neither alcohol, nor tobacco is "healthy". Marijuana is also not "healthy". Something that is not healthy in general can not be healthier than something else-it remains unhealthy.

        By the way, nobody ingests tobacco in food, and alcohol only in sweets, i would not know any meal which receipt says you have to ingest pure alcohol. Might be that you add some alcoholic beverage for flavor, but the alcohol is not the ingridient needed.

        "Hemp huggers are people who study science, biology, and industrial applications of Hemp products... their cuteness is unimportant. Their credentials are."

        Their credentials are not better than those of people working at Glaxo and others. That you like one side more than the other does not say something about how trustworthy or good the argument of a side is.
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          Sep 28 2012: Notice how your statements have no relevant links associated with them? That's because they're mostly lies and misrepresentations.

          One vice can certainly be healthier than another. Alcohol, is a much healthier vice than crack cocaine.

          Alcohol is only ingested... If you ingest marijuana instead of smoking it... It is far less harmful than alcohol but still povides the same self medicating effect. Why would one be legal and the other not, if there weren't alterior motives involved.

          The American Association for Cancer Research, doesn't have a bottom line. It has nothing to gain from legalization save a new tool in the tool box. Marijuana, actually cures cancer, and stops the growth of new cancer cells better than almost anything else on the market. It is especially effictive in oil form, for treating skin cancer.

          Harvard study... again... The bottom line is knowledge...

          PS. Proving the cause of a mental illness is virtually impossible. Often the correlation between marijuana use and psychosis, is used to suggest that marijuana causes the disoder. In fact, this is an obvious distortion, as psychosis is just as much more common in alcoholics, as it is in marijuana users. Psychotics self medicate, marijuana is one option.
  • Sep 27 2012: "Why is Marijuana Illegal?"

    Because, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine were culturally accepted in the Western world before the first drug laws were enacted, but marijuana was not.
  • Sep 27 2012: IMO, it is about the marvelous uses of hemp, such as textiles and rope. It makes the best rope that was ever available. When I was a small child, you could get hemp rope at the local hardware store, in lengths up to a hundred feet (30.48 m).

    I became curious about this exact question when I was in high school in the 1960's. I tried to write a research paper on marijuana. I found that I could not because there were NO sources available. Marijuana was made illegal before anyone had done any research on its physiological effects. The law made it illegal to do ANY research on the plant. This was very irregular. When other substances were made illegal, there was usually language in the law to allow a legal way to obtain small quantities of the substance for research. The ban on hemp was absolute. That meant that there was no way to scientifically demonstrate that marijuana was either harmful or (perhaps more importantly) harmless.

    Where I grew up, we say situations like this smell fishy. Congress banned a substance, supposedly because of the negative effects of smoking it, when there was no research to show that there were any negative effects. IMO, there were other, much more important reasons for banning hemp.
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      Sep 27 2012: Congress actually did one study on all schedule 1 drugs, during the Nixon administration. It came back conclusive that cocaine, and the other schedule one druds deserved their place on the list... Marijuana, did not, so said the official study. It was less damaging, in all real terms, than alcohol and tobacco. Nixon threw the study out and literally is recorded blaming "the Jews" in congress... lol... wild, wild stuff.

      Marijuana is illegal because the cotton lobby, wants hemp illegal... That is all. Also soy bean lobbies want hemp illegal, because hemp heart protein is one of the most digestable and healthy on the planet... It's also a great biofuel... it's a weed... it was Jeffersons dream crop, and yes, he grew lots of it, as did many of our founding fathers. It's bad for ya... but it's illegal for very different reasons.
  • Sep 26 2012: Sadly it is really far more prosaic than that. It was mostly about the hemp and cotton markets and which states controlled which. The drug issues were a handy distraction from the real issues of the textile markets. After the civil war and the textile markets had shifted dramatically the focus on the drug issues became part of the moral crusades of the temperance movement. During the 20s and30s it was sold in little tins of pressed leaf that you would light like incense, blow out and then you'd hold a towel over your head and breath in the smoke to deal with -gosh - all kinds of issues!! It was favored for "women's complaints!" That one always made me laugh.

    Now, it is mostly because the prison industrial complex has to keep some very popular behaviors illegal in order to keep the prisons full..... There are some amazing history books on the subject out there.
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      Sep 27 2012: While I don't disagree with your analysis, you missed the point of my post.

      If the entire population of the country showed up on the lawn of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., pulled out a joint, and lit it up...what do you think would happen? Everyone would get arrested and placed in prison? There aren't enough jail cells.

      Society could reverse every reason you presented for marijuana being illegal today if enough of the society "demanded" it. They did it with the Prohibition restriction against alcohol. They are doing it "in reverse" with cigarettes by rallying against second hand smoke (which allows the government to also raise the taxes on the continued sales of cigarettes without any significant backlash from doing it). Caffeine? It's a drug that has been proven to be addictive...but society is so hooked on it, it will never be outlawed.

      Marijuana is not legal because the current majority of society doesn't want it to be legal. If society ever presented a rebellion large enough in favor of it becoming legal (like society did against Prohibition), the lawmakers would be forced to accomodate the decision. Of course, marijuana would become a legal commodity then, just like alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine. So it would be obvious to expect it to become a marketable good, and the sale of it would be handled by businesses just like the alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine industries (for the consumers who didn't want to grow their own...people currently can make their own beer, grow their own tobacco plants, and could grow their own coffee plants if they wanted to).

      And the "prison industrial complex" would have to find different "criminals" to support their industry (if that theory is actually factual to begin with).
      • Sep 28 2012: "Marijuana is not legal because the current majority of society doesn't want it to be legal."

        If you are talking about society in the USA, the government has very effectively brainwashed the majority into believing that marijuana is the "killer weed." I certainly do not believe that marijuana is harmless, but everything has a positive and negative side. We accept 35,000 fatalities a year from auto accidents and far more are killed in hospitals by mistakes. When you view marijuana in the larger context, any objective analysis would conclude that it would do more good than harm to legalize it and make hemp available for textiles, rope and other uses.

        There are very powerful corporations that are intent on keeping hemp off the market, and they do not care how many people are denied the good that the plant can do. Lies are their primary weapon, and they are very good at using them.
  • Oct 19 2012: First of all it is not illegal all over the world, there are countries where it is illegal to sell, buy, and consume it. Other countries where it is legal to consume it and buy it but not to sell it. There are also cases of countries where it is illegal to buy or sell the drug but it is legal to consume it. At my school it is openly discussed if the drug should be illegal and even though I don´t understand what the medical, social or political reasons for it being illegal are I can tell you this: It is a drug, and even though some people may say that it is not harmful IT IS, you can easily tell the difference between someone before he starts smoking and after. The drug does make your brain understand less and think "worse" . Governments are supposed to protect people from harmful situations there for it is governments obligations to protect people from harmful drugs, specially when their use is not controlled by someone with the knowledge to make its use "safe". if there are other reasons why it is illegal i don´t care, but that one is enough for me.
  • Oct 3 2012: Marijuana is illegal in the US, but there are other countries that use has been decriminalised. Holland and Portugal are two examples, and you could look into why it is so there. The US seems to me as a very conservative country that things like that are rejected but I only base that on my own feeling.
    • Oct 3 2012: i think but im not possitive that canada still grows hemp for paper also. which in this modern and eccogical minded world we should do so that we can stop deforestation so that we have paper to wright on. we need trees more that we need paper for some magizene to look at or something to wright on right?
  • Sep 29 2012: There is also some things that your overlooking one of which is the logging industry. At the turn of the last century it was the logging industry that pushed to make “hemp” illegal because the surplus of timber. They coulden't compete with hemp for making paper because hemp has 10 times the pulp that wood has. But if hemp is legal its a open market for the loggers and still is!.

    Also “hemp” is made from the male of the species which has no THC or next to none

    also deaths from cigarettes is not near as many as it is reported that there is. Death from cigarettes is a category that they use in the morgue. If someone dies from cancer or lung problems and it is reported that they ever smoked then they categorize it as death due to smoking forgetting the maybe that he worked with insulation or had asbestos in his house that was under high power lines.
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    Sep 29 2012: The reason cannabis was made illegal was to dumb down the military. A small number of THIRD-PARTY (not actual US Government) folk are moving opium though hospitals and war zones TO THIS DAY. This is a conflict of interest that was not conceived, but here's the actual historical flow:
    1. The villains made cannabis illegal the very same day they made THEIR opium illegal AND THEN
    2. They created the FBI with a rule that no agent is ever to have used cannabis (someone at DEA had to fight tooth and nail to get cannabis labeled a hypnotic because it awakens the mind's eye) AND THEN
    3. They ran Manchurian Candidate Project on the US Marine Corps to frighten an uneducated public so they could get policies in place so neither police nor military could use these best innate abilities AND THEN
    4. They created the US Department of Education to set hypnosis only to the most Ph.D. levels of study in psychology, never revealing that it is a COMMUNICATIONS FIELD through and through AND THEN
    5. They ran Stargate in the 80's to make remote viewing look like a NEW discovery.

    THIS IS COMPUTER GAME DESIGN LOGISTICS IN SPACE-TIME. I am an expert in this stuff, and these are not conducive logistics for the PROTECTION OF THE UNITED STATES.

    Please check out my profile for more data.
    (Edited from original as I was informed original violated Terms of Use ")
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    Sep 28 2012: Because the plastic rope industry could not compete with cheap Hemp. So...... they made it illegal and had almost no interference doing so.

    You see, back then it was not illegal to smoke pot. Hemp was a major source of cloth, oil, etc.

    They could have made it illegal to smoke pot but that would not make it illegal to grow it. So they made it illegal to smoke it and by default it became illegal to grow it. It took a few more court cases to establish the illegal to grow part.

    The major growers were paid to quit growing it and the small time growers were put in prison. Hemp is still a major product in other parts of the world and, of course, it is smoked as well.
  • Sep 28 2012: 1. If you want to support your idea with quotes, then this went terribly wrong. When you want to express that private jails have an interest in "creating" new inmates and quote that there is a majority of inmates which are connected to marijuana offenses, and if you were able to understand that it needs more than "just" marijuana use or posess to end in jail, you would know that this quote is useless. Because the number of inmates will not change when marijuana is legalised (remember, that was the topic...), because the people would be in jail anyways for the other things that led to their conviction.

    2. You show large problems in text understanding and writing, but want to read peoples mind? Can this work out, be serious! :)

    3. Prisons do not prevent crimes, they stop criminals from commiting more crimes. You seem to have misunderstood this simple fact. Its not a prisons job to "prevent" crimes, how could they, would it mean that everybody has to be imprisoned before he or she commited a crime, so that the prison can prevent something, what is luckily not happening.

    Again, remember the topic you mistakenly answered to. Marijuana is not illegal because of private jails lobbyism, it was already illegal.

    4. I understood that, but you do not seem to understand the quotes you choosen? When you compare something, think about why you compare it. The quote says that crime rates go down, imprisonments gone up. That does not say it is unnecessary to imprison people, it says the opposite. It says that prison works and these are needed.

    Your argue like "deaths in car accidents decreased in the last decade, but number of seat belts increased-seat belt manufacturers want more deadly car accidents."
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    Sep 28 2012: This documentary is great, it covers a large number of topics relative to cannabis. From the benefits weed being illegal has on the pharmaceutics companies to private prison systems and the oil industry. It honestly had a huge impact on my understanding of why the drug is illegal, i previously believed it was going to be legalised, now I'm not nearly as confident it will be!
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    Sep 27 2012: The whole story...
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    Sep 26 2012: Simple answer? Society hasn't forced the legislatures to make it legal.

    Marijuana is a drug (or more precisely, the plant contains a drug...something that alters human physiology). In that regard, it's no different then nicotine (cigarettes), alcohol (pick your beverage), or caffeine (coffee, tea, and the pleathora of "energy drinks") that are legally available to the public now. All drugs are legislated, but in different ways.

    Society would go nuts if the legislators made nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol illegal tomorrow. There's be a rebellion, and most citizens would disregard the new laws anyhow (remember Prohibition?).

    Society hasn't reached that point yet about "weed". Enough of society still views marijuana use as "bad", so they aren't concerned that it is not legal. OR, on the other hand, if someone thinks marijuana is SO bad, they will vehemently fight against it even being legalized for supervised medical use. Take your pick.

    Which is strange to me, but it reflects how society can control legislatures and laws using irrational and illogical judgements. Most of society doesn't care that they have to share the roads every day with people driving cars who are under the influence of alcohol. But the same people in the society would scream bloody murder if they had to legally share the roads with drivers under the influence of marijuana.

    I'm not advocating marijuana be made legal. Just examining the irrational and illogical reasons some things happen and some things don't happen.
  • Sep 26 2012: It is not profitable to the current markets.
  • Sep 26 2012: The threat to health may be considerably less destructive than that which is a direct result of smoking cigarettes, although I have not seen any studies which examine the effects of smoking marijuana (other than the obvious ones) instead of smoking cigarettes. The act of inhaling smoke into the lungs is probably damaging, whatever substance is being smoked.

    The people I have seen after they have smoked dope, tend not to be very active. They appear to want to relax and listen to music while high on cannabis. Herein lies one of the principle objections to cannabis use... it apparently takes away the desire or the need to work and our developed societies would likely cease to function if everyone was lying around stoned after using a legalised form of the drug.

    Some people subscribe to the view that cannabis is a gateway drug (to the use of injectable opiates) and the criminal conduct which must ensue if users are to get enough of the drug to support their addicted habit. My acid test for whether an act is generally acceptable is would I permit my newly teenaged son to engage in the same behaviour.

    In the case of recreational drug use, I would emphatically say no! I acknowledge that being thirteen years of age is different to being an adult. My concern would be that my son would become distracted from his school work and potentially set himself on a pathway that is a poor lifestyle choice, the consequences of which might remain with him for life.

    By the same yardstick, it is probable that some adults may make poor lifestyle choices because of the demotivating effect which appears to accompany regular cannabis use. Society would be the poorer because of the potential loss of a person who did work, to say nothing of people who may choose to drive while stoned.

    On balance, while not wishing to remove the right of people to choose how they live, a stoned society is likely to result in harm for all.
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    Sep 26 2012: I don't know the history (someone here surely will), but I believe at one time people feared that use of marijuana would lead to use of quite dangerous and addictive drugs.