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russell lester

Orchardist, Grange

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Debate: Washington state's legalization of marijuana

Yesterday in WA state I-502 was passed. What are the pros and cons as you see them of this act? What should the federal government do?

In plain language, here is what Initiative 502 will do:

This law legalizes the possession of marijuana for adults age 21 and older. The only marijuana that would be legal to sell in this state would be grown by specially-licensed Washington farmers and sold in standalone, marijuana-only stores operated by private Washington businesses licensed and regulated by the state. There would be a 25% sales tax, with 40% of the new revenues going to the state general fund and local budgets, and the remainder dedicated to substance-abuse prevention, research, education and health care. Advertising would be restricted. A new marijuana DUI standard that operates like the alcohol DUI standard would be established.


Closing Statement from russell lester

So far the biggest change I have personally seen is that their are more people open about their use of pot, and to tell the truth a general improvement in mood and communication. Some of my friends have reacted with a powerful pro democracy sentiment that was absent in them prior to the passage by this state of legal recreational pot use and gay marriage, a strong identification with Washington State and unprecedented loyalty to the state. There remains a lot of curiosity as to the Federal response and to the longer term effects. What if for example this has the unintended consequence of affecting the federal supremacy of law? I am very grateful to all who contributed and read this conversation thank you.

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    Nov 9 2012: A signicant victory for state's rights and for societal disintegration.
    • Nov 9 2012: State's rights? How on earth?? Apart from more taxes for the state. Societal disintegration? I must invite you to the Netherlands or even any country in Western Europe -- getting some is never a problem. The countries are far more civilized than the US -- by any secular measure.

      How about this being a victory for individual rights? Before this, the state said "no", and the sheeple had to follow.
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        Nov 9 2012: You don't see how state's rights enters in to this issue? Each state is a sovereign entity whose residents pledge allegiance to the Republic which is the federal government. The feds should not dictate to states in matters outside the rights granted to them by the Constitution. Washington and Colorado have exercised their rights as sovereign states. Bravo for them!
        However, the particular issue they chose is potentially most unfortunate. Data from the Netherlands and Portugal does not prove this new law will have the same effect in the USA. It is not valid to say because it worked there it will work here. The truth is we do not know what the overall impact will be. Based upon the effects of drug use I have personally observed I believe the end effect could well be negative.
        • Nov 9 2012: Ah... you meant US State... I had interpreted the term as "nation state". So, I agree with you on that.

          "Data from the Netherlands and Portugal does not prove this new law will have the same effect in the USA."
          Not just those two countries. It is fairly easy to get it in most of Western Europe. In the country I live in, which shall go unspecified, it is still illegal, but when the police catch users, (for example, when the party is to noisy) they typically do nothing. As for societies dealing with access, well... all these (including the US) are countries where the law enforcement is fairly effective (compared to most African or Asian countries). The people have reacted in fairly similar manners to similar circumstances, be it opening up everything or be it communism.
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        Nov 9 2012: I agree that the available evidence, however scant, supports the conclusion that legalization does not increase use, abuse or crime. However, good logic says we must allow for the same cause to have a different effect under different circumstances. That is all I'm saying based on my consistently negative experiences with dopers throughout the last 50 years. I just don't see how the legalization of recreational use will change that. Thanks!
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      Nov 9 2012: Edward

      It might do you some good to take up dope smoking in fighting Alzheimer s

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        Nov 9 2012: I am not opposed to legitimate medical use of drugs. If I detect the onset of dementia I will look into weed. Also, if I detect the onset of dementia I will look into weed. By the way, fyi, if I detect the onset. . .
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          Nov 9 2012: Oh yea what were we talking about again..

          Ironic that a drug notorious for causing short term memory loss is supposed to be a cure for Alzheimer
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      Nov 10 2012: tell that to the mexican mob they are going out of 80% of the biz now we can get the ice and coke dealers
      if you thought about the 40 million smokers and the 50000 dead i think you would call a truce in this war
      taxes are going down revenue up
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        Nov 11 2012: Sorry Mr. Goldstein, I do not get your point. Can you dumb it down for me?

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