David Hubbard

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What changes do you think will result from the legalisation of Marijuana.

Cash strapped governments are looking at a new revenue stream; taxation on the legal sale of Marijuana. Washington and Colorado have lead the way. More are sure to follow. How do you think this will affect society?

  • Mar 10 2013: It means people have very good education to pay attention to their health,to know well what is good and what is bad not only in the defintions but also in real life doing.We don't have to build legislation to limite it anymore
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      Mar 10 2013: I suspect that the legislation is there for fear of the bad.
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    Mar 9 2013: More tax income.
    Less tax going out for jailing pot smokers.
    The criminals will find something else to sell.
    Maybe a some more people will try it.
    Maybe some more people will smoke a bit more.
    Maybe a few more stoned drivers.
    Maybe a few more people get addicted or a strong habit, neurological damage etc
    More people losing their motivation and eating pizza.
    I'm not sure why it is treated so differently to alcohol.
    Family guy suggested it was about outlawing hemp as a competitor material.
    It's not particularly hard to get today.
    Personally I don't like it much but no issue with others.
  • Mar 9 2013: The illegal drug business is destroying some of our neighboring countries. Just because I am not in favor of its use without medical reasons, doesn't mean that I really care. Why provide a market niche for criminals if we are not serious about stopping the business?
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    Mar 9 2013: It depends of the maturity of the society and the Government. Healthwise, Marijuana is better compared to tobacco and alcohol and it has both good and bad effects. If it's health effets are made widely know to everybody and if Government can control profit oriented hypes that market economy indulges in for sale of any product, it is after all an adult choice.
    Politically, for US Governments, legalization can save huge loss of revenue, law and order situations involving drug lords and a 'childlike' declaration of war against drug that has cost the country a lot for decades and achieved practically nothing. Marijuana is still among the top three drugs Americans use.
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      Mar 10 2013: The biggest promoter of Marijuana was Uncle Sam, himself. Everybody wanted to try the "devil weed"
  • Mar 9 2013: I have seen people who smoke marijuana and still manage to do well in multiple facets of their life.

    That being said, I have also seen individuals who smoke marijuana and completely lose control of their lives. They aren't able to hold down jobs, acquire criminal records, get introduced to other drugs, etc. Some may argue that this is due to the nature of the individual, and not the actual drug. While this may be partially true, I definitely think that the current availability of marijuana is what makes this sort of deterioration possible.

    If we take the current availability of marijuana in areas where it is illegal and amp it up by legalizing it, I can only imagine that the number of individuals suffering from the negative effects of marijuana will increase. For every person that can maintain a decent life while smoking marijuana, there will be a handful of people who cannot. And it is because of these people that will suffer from the bad aspects of marijuana, that I think it is the government's responsibility to try and minimize these negative effects as much as possible - by keeping marijuana illegal. But then we have to ask...does this reasoning apply to alcohol or cigarettes? Why would or why wouldn't it?

    As far as the economic aspect of this ordeal - governments have found ways to revive the economy without legalizing drugs. There must be another productive way to balance budgets and repay debts besides legalizing & taxing marijuana.
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    Mar 8 2013: Spread of drug addiction in society.

    This will lead to the loss of community
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      Mar 8 2013: Nowhere that has already decriminalized or legalized this substance has that happened. Hanging on to the willful misrepresentation of facts about this and most other drugs will only serve to make them more dangerous.
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          Mar 9 2013: You have just made the very same assumption and assertion used by the government that any use of an illicit substance is considered, as well as reported as, abuse…..and you have characterized it as addiction. My point is that most, at least 80% or more of the people who use drugs are NOT addicted or otherwise detrimentally affected by their use and yet are characterized as addicts or abusers, often jailed at an enormous expense to the rest of us and basically thrown away. Furthermore I see in your main contribution to this conversation you indicated that "less sideways criminality" like gang assassinations should also be expected if prohibition is lifted. Seriously? Your language wreaks of an agenda based on ideology on the side of prohibition, is based on ignorance and is a position we know is false and unsubstantiated. And I see you've played the "parent, children" card…. how typical. This mentality is best characterized by the expenditure of 100s of billions of dollars in a " war on drugs" resulting in little to no positive effect. It's high time, pun intended, to look carefully and respectfully at this situation and reform accordingly.
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          Mar 10 2013: Then would not education be better at prevention than deceit?
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    Mar 8 2013: What will happen is that RJ Reynolds and Phillip Morris will mass produce marijuana cigarettes at prices the local dealer can't touch, putting to local guy out of business. Then those that want them will buy their marijuana cigarettes down the block at the 7-11.
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      Mar 8 2013: Probably so, although I expect they will be administered like alcohol, with kids left out.
    • Mar 8 2013: Isn't it a good idea to put local/national gangs and dealers out of business?
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    Mar 11 2013: Legalisation of marijuana is the only sensible way to "deal" with the use of this plant (excuse the pun).

    All of the "negative effects" of marijuana use that are inevitably raised by the knee-jerk element in society are best dealt with through the legalisation of it.

    I don't believe that the legal status of a drug deters or encourages that many people.
  • Mar 11 2013: I believe that legalizing marijuana would have a number of fairly beneficial upsides and also a few drawbacks worth considering as well. I think the legalization would stimulate the economy to some extent. The government could tax it and make money of off people who will continue to smoke whether it is legal or not. Also, costs for punishing people charged with possession will be eliminated. Despite this, one cannot overlook the health problems this could create. Also, people high on marijuana could cause more public disturbances and car accidents. It is difficult to predict the outcome, but I believe overall it would be more beneficial than harmful. I believe marijuana would come to be treated the same way as alcohol. Some people would abuse it, but for many people, it wouldn't be a problem.
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      Mar 11 2013: Protect your children by providing them with real information about those things you believe they need be protected from….ultimately they will have to decide for themselves what risks are worth taking and how best to deal with the consequences….
  • Mar 8 2013: I hope and think that this can be a positive development. If the government can regulate Marijuana to ensure that it is relatively safe and not accessible to minors then perhaps we can lower crime rate and income of local and international gangs?

    My only concern is whether some individuals will switch to hard drugs afterwards which is the real problem for society.
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      Mar 8 2013: Like marijuana, the real societal problems stem from black market control of these substances. When legitimate manufacturers fill the market demand, all drug use will cease to be a crime and abuse can be adressed as a health care problem, which it is.
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      Mar 9 2013: I think the idea that there is a tendency to move from marijuana to more serious drugs has been discredited, though I am not sufficiently acquainted with this area to provide a citation.
      • Mar 9 2013: It would be interesting to see some serious scientific studies.

        What if kids will not be able to distinguish between soft and hard drugs and get hooked on cocaine etc? I think it will be important for the government to ensure kids are adequately protected. Also general public will need to be educated.

        ZX Style has an interesting post in this thread...
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    Mar 8 2013: There may be different effects immediately than after the novelty has worn off.

    Yesterday as I walked up from the school bus I passed a high school boy smoking marijuana on the way to school at 7:30AM, which might have an effect on his school performance in first period.

    But what is impossible to know is whether prior to legalization of marijuana, he would have finished it at home rather than in public.

    There may be no effect on the extent of use but only on location.
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      Mar 8 2013: Do you think that there will be miore people using it when it is no longerer a crime?
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        Mar 8 2013: In theory one might predict that. In practice, in the sixties and seventies when marijuana was illegal, I have a feeling it was much more widely used than now. And I think in most places, even where it is illegal "on the books," it has been very low priority for law enforcement.
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          Mar 8 2013: I suspect that the users from the 60's and 70's will get into it again when it's redily available
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        Mar 8 2013: I checked on wikipedia, which summarized studies of the impact of decriminalization. There doesn't seem to be clearevidence of impact. Of people surveyed in one study as to why they do not use marijuana, only 4% included as a factor that it was illegal.
  • Mar 8 2013: Population increases in each of the states..
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    Mar 8 2013: police will have harder time locking up young black people with no good reason
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      Mar 8 2013: Is that still happening?
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        Gail .

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        Mar 9 2013: Absolutely yes - in the USA. Though marijuana use is about equal among the races, our prison population for non-violent drug-related offenses is mostly black. (Hispanics are the next highest proportion). With the privatization of prisons, these prisoners become tacit slaves of the states- with their labor being sold for profit to big corporations who also profit from. Private prisons are a mega business unto themselves. They spend millions lobbing in each state for harsher laws and sentencing laws.

        "The American prison and jail system is defined by an entrenched racial
        disparity in the population of incarcerated people. The national
        incarceration rate for whites is 412 per 100,000 residents, compared to 2,290
        for African Americans, and 742 for Hispanics.9 These figures mean that 2.3%
        of all African Americans are incarcerated, compared to 0.4% of whites and
        0.7% of Hispanics." (The Sentencing Project)

        Arrests for drugs is highest among blacks. Traffic stops are equal, but searches after a traffic stop are exceedingly high for blacks and exceeding low for whites.

        Most of America's prison population (60%) is for non-violent drug offenses where no guns were used.
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    Mar 8 2013: I anticipate diminished energy levels and increased snack food sales. Also, probably, some effort on the part of the long- established suppliers to protect their very lucrative income base.
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      Mar 8 2013: The black market will surely take a hit.