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Who thinks it's time for TED to get behind the marijuana legalization movement?

Marijuana prohibition has been an utter failure. You know it, I know it, and I have to assume TED knows it. From a financial and social perspective, there isn't a better time to drop the 72 years of pointless social stigma attached to this plant and legalize it!

Perhaps a few talks from smart people demonstrating how insanely rational it is to end this war at a highly regarded conference such as TED would be enough to convince DC. Your thoughts?

  • Apr 23 2011: Yes, Ted Talks and Marijuana are two of my favorite things and I'm sure that if they joined forces it would only yield positive results. It's time to bring the discussion to the masses. This prohibition has gone on long enough!
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      Apr 23 2011: David Owens you are a new idol of mine
      • Apr 27 2011: Apologies for the absence, I've been enjoying my Easter break. You say gambling is legal? Yes it is, but only if you go to a casino. The government sees the need to regulate it, undoubtedly to restrict unpleasant activities like loan sharking. Gambling is also, I'm sorry to say, highly addictive to certain people. Nobody, ever died from gambling...but does gambling have consequences? Obviously, it can ruin your life, even if it is not fatal per se.
        Now I don't want to pursue the line of a logical fallacy-- that pot is a lesser evil, therefore we should legalise it. That's a topic for debate, to say the least. I also dispute that its OK because it is NATURAL, opium is natural too, and while opium is obviously much more dangerous, I think nobody would even dream about legalising it. Gold-top mushrooms are natural too...have you ever spoken to a "mushroom casualty"?
        I said earlier that there probably no link between pot and schizophrenia, however a former very heavy smoker I spoke to a few days ago corrected me. He says he knows of people in his circle who have become schizophrenic as a result of smoking excess pot. Personally I can't comment, but if we even begin to accept what he says, then, that's another factor that needs to be considered in the debate.
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          Apr 27 2011: now, should this be done with laws , or by clinics and community ?
        • May 5 2011: I disagree Michael - I think it's more about protecting tax revenues by keeping it above ground.

          And these casualties you speak about - anyone that goes unprepared into a psychadelic experience is in for a rough time. This lack of understanding is what contributes to paranoia - usually rooted in the feeling that this is never going to end.

          The law doesn't change the way these things act on the brain, so seeing as they are freely available - they do grow out of the ground after all - wouldn't it be better to give proper education about them so people can reap the benefits?

          In the mountains of Northern India, marijuana plants grow literally like weeds. Through the cracks in the pavements, at the side of the road. Everywhere. You can slap peoples wrists as many times as you like, but you can't get rid of it, so we had better all wise up and learn how to use it for beneficial needs.

          A great example, in the UK we had a lot of very poor quality, dangerous doctored cannabis. Crystal removed and replaced with ground glass and such. The government refused to put out a public warning about it, denying safety to those people that were using it, because it couldn't acknowledge that it was happening and couldn't involve itself by condoning what is a criminal act. Does this sound like a sensible approach to a problem?
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    May 6 2011: legalize 2011!
  • May 1 2011: Marijuana was made illegal because of racism against blacks and hispanics. Should we not right that wrong just to begin with!
    No one has ever died from the use of marijuana in its 10,000 year history.
    Police do not go to domestic disputes because of marijuana.
    When people like George Bush are against it, then we know the law is wrong.
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    Apr 29 2011: Legalize it and tax the hell out of it.
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      Apr 29 2011: Say what?

      I agree, cigarettes are 8.50 in N.J and 12.00 in NY a pack.

      I think they can get away with that same crime with marijuana.
  • Apr 28 2011: Dear Colin MacAskill:

    A couple of decades back I would have agreed with you; unfortunately, marijuana has been hybridized in order to hold a much higher THC level than the marijuana plants we smoked in the 70's and 80's. There are ever increasing numbers of young people becoming psychotic from the potency of marijuana today. This is not documented enough. It is no longer the pleasant laugh a minute drug it once was. It is a mind altering drug with unfortunate effects on the mind, especially with young people.
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      Apr 28 2011: sources? seems like you just dont agree with poeple smoking it. have you had the weed of today?
    • Apr 29 2011: Elizabeth, are you the only one apart from me who has encountered evidence of this? The difficulty with proving that pot causes psychosis is that it is not clear which came first, the psychosis or the pot. This is the standard " chicken and the egg" problem that a great deal of research has. Once again, "no concrete proof therefore it is OK" constitutes an argument from ignorance. Note, "no concrete proof" does not equal "no cause for concern".
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        Apr 29 2011: so what do you think we should do? keep it illegal? honest question.
        • May 2 2011: I guess the answer to your question would be "Yes".
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      Apr 29 2011: You know she is right,

      today weed is more of a drug than ever before.

      THC levels are fives time there original natural levels today.

      HOWEVER the medical uses, the green products, the good it has done, the good it can do, and it's potential far outweigh the problems in which is can produce.

      I already when over how it would be much better to just legalize it so the government would get the money and not some low life drug dealer. Who would not just sell pot but guns, hard drugs, and even fake drugs that can harm people.

      Moderation is key but so should communal/family influence.

      I don't deny weed having long term damages, however they are mild compared to long term damages of legal and other illegal drugs. Alcohol is the most dangerous drug in the world and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong, because while it may not hurt your memory it still damages your brain, nay your whole system.

      I know the argument isn't great but the fact weed is the less evil of all drugs with its benefits surpassing the others for medical usage. The fact is illegal says alcohol and cigarette lobbies don't want to share the wealth nor does our leaders want us to be free in thought.
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        Apr 29 2011: The new generation is 5 times more able to handle the potency too..
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          Apr 29 2011: Exactly,

          A lot of psychology studies are saying "the more intelligent = the more drugs"

          Seriously depression only effects 2 percent of the world yet it is still claimed to be a serious issue. But that is only because Americans are the most depressed people, lol how does that make sense?

          Well when you live life you are reflective to those who surround you even they are strangers. If you go on a bus and everyone is sad, quiet, and/or unexcited that will it difficult for you to not be one of those three. Now imagine all the office workers, teachers, and other average joe jobs that make our lives in America go. Must suck to be on a running wheel feeling life is circling in on you.


          Pot would solve all depression no question. I put depression with ADD and ADHD as a crappy excuse sickness to avoid what really is the problem. There is no depth in our culture. No one thinks beyond what they need to on average in society. That goes for a lot of places. (opinion)

          This is why art is so important also, everyone loves music yet puts down what inspires the musicians. Art is a tool of self expression if that is not a practice of everyone they become trapped by themselves with no outlet for self expression besides conversations.

          Drugs = good (but somehow they have to kill your liver for them to be legal)
        • May 5 2011: hear hear. Every advanced civilisation has had mind altering substances at the root of it's culture, and in fact driving it's culture forwards. We live in sterile times, in a cultural vacuum. The dark ages we are in now are being illuminated by the blinking LED's and flickering TFTs, not by anything with any real meaning or substance. Our literature and our music are the stuff of production lines, our art now so devoid of artistic merit that we have to attach deeper concepts to it to give it value, to disguise the fact that in truth, it's just a messed up bed or a pile of bricks.

          'Drugs' are such a polarising subject that there can never be sensible debate about it in my opinion. And the sad thing is that people are routinely denied the benefits of many excellent substances in favour of less effective, more lucrative pharmaceuticals.

          I defy anyone to look at the effects of Ibogaine for example, a synthesised version of Iboga and tell me that it has no medical benefit, and yet it is classed an hallucinogen and legislated against as such. We spend millions of pounds poorly treating addiction with expensive licensed drugs, while denying people in real need what appears to be a magic bullet.

          Sadly, I think that cannabis would go a long way to treating depression effectively, but they wouldn't sell much prozac, and that is what I suspect is at the root of this argument.
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        Apr 29 2011: have there not been very recent studys sugesting little to no evidence of brain damage in long term users?
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          Apr 29 2011: Yes, but why suggest it is good if people are so bent on it being bad?

          Keeping it in perspective still makes it just as good.
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        Apr 29 2011: i wouldnt sugest it. i would just say that, in refrenece to overall health pysically and mentally, it is safe, as evidence suggest.
    • Apr 30 2011: "There are ever increasing numbers of young people becoming psychotic from the potency of marijuana today"

      evidence. PLEASE?
    • May 1 2011: Putting someone in jail is pretty mind altering. There was plenty of good pot back in the 70's. I certainly don't see kids becoming psychotic except the ones on prescription antidepressants that go and commit a Columbine.
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    Apr 28 2011: No drug should be illegal. The government should make the risks of substance abuse plainly apparent, but have no right to judge what an individual choses to do with their own body and/or mind.

    Those who want illegal substances can get them anyway -- in the case of underaged kids, even easier than alcohol.

    The argument that legalization promotes more users is flawed. The stats speak against it -- both Holland and Portugal have seen significant decreases in marijuana usage since decriminalization.

    Legalization would start investing income in your own government and stop supporting terrorists in Columbia or Afghanistan. Legalize it all and bankrupt the illegal drug trade.
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    Apr 29 2011: I don't think that any one source will convince people who are vested in maintaining the status quo. Not only are the political forces stuck in a quagmire where admitting that the drug laws have failed would make them out to be fools (which, IMHO, they are), but it would directly impact the huge prison industrial complex. Since most of the people in jail are in for drugs or drug-related crimes, all those extra prisons that we've built to house druggies (rather than getting them help) would no longer be needed. Small towns across the country would lose taxes and employment opportunities. Law officers would be freed up to do other work, but without federal revenues for drug fighting would likely face layoffs. DEA people would also have to find other things to do.
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      Apr 30 2011: Have them all grow pot.

      No way can I argue.

      I will add,

      In addition with the companies that build prisons and those who supply materials for prisons (whom all have lobbies) there are also; alcohol lobbies, tobacco lobbies, a "war on drugs" (supplying many jobs), pharmaceutical lobbies, and police/security officers (more jobs). Legalizing marijuana will cut profit from all of these, do you think corporate America likes that idea?

      Documentries: "The 1 Percent" "Capitalism: A love story"

      Scenario: Those prisons could be used to house those who have no houses, maintenance would be a concern, perhaps the people staying in the housing as payment? Remember there are going to be a lot of people losing jobs, seems only fair give them a place to stay until they find something. Oh yeah, not too many jobs? We'll marijuana business is about to boom and I do not see a machine able to delicately handle marijuana cultivation as a person can, so... yeah there is going to be a huge job market open. Not just the plant, but clothes, medicines, and a lot of bio-safe/recyclable products (favorite example: paper [1 ton of trees = .5 ton of paper // Hemp grows in a few months and dies anyways, trees are good, trust me.]). Not the most profitable market though, too green... perhaps a reason for original legalizing or lack of legalization?

      You know there is profit in waste.

      Police situation should be reverted to volunteering programs, police have too much power as of now, they can get away with rape by giving up their badge (yes, it happened). Volunteer program: all the perks of being a cop, not nearly as many hours, maybe even semi-pay or pay based on location crime rates, scholarship programs, and the power of cops would be more distributed into communities. To volunteer would be the same criteria as a normal cop, except you can take a toke. Possibly less cops seeking the "rush". [opinionated].

      Vote green x2.
  • Apr 19 2011: As touchy as this subject is I think it needs to be spoken about in it's true light and not just an anti-drug campaign. People need to look at the benefits as well as the negative aspects to come to a decision about it. With the amount of prescription drugs the government pumps out and feeds to the public, it's quite odd to me that that are so against something that has been proven to help in so many ways.

    You cannot put marijuana in the same category as any man made drug (alcohol, heroin, lsd, etc), it just doesn't match up. It is a plant that was found to have many benefits that help people, and with most things in life, if you are over excessive you are going to have to deal with the consequences. People need to learn self control and look at themselves before they start to blame substance's of ruining society in some way or another.
  • Apr 17 2011: Good start, Colin. I believe TED should support a discussion on evidence-based therapeutic use of cannabis, but more importantly there needs to be a discussion about the emerging science on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Beginning in 1988 researchers discovered cannabinoid receptors (CB1) in the human brain, then in 1992 an endogenous cannabinoid (anandamide) was discovered, in 1993 cannabinoid receptors were found in the immune system (CB2), then a second endocannabinoid (2-AG) was discovered. Research is exploding in this area - a newly discovered molecular-based system that is essential to life and helps us maintain balance and stay healthy. Practicing health care professionals do not know about this system and it is not yet being taught in medical or nursing schools. Cannabis is the ONLY plant with phyto-cannabinoids similar to our endocannabinoids. The discovery of the ECS is very important and helps us understand how and why cannabis is so safe and beneficial for such a wide array of indications. Our "marijuana" prohibition is based on lies, greed and racism. We are preventing the growth of this very beneficial plant - all humans suffer from this prohibition and the misinformation campaign on marijuana.
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    Apr 9 2011: drug laws are so stupid.
  • Al De

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    Apr 8 2011: I think the current documentary series My Strange Addiction proves that anyone can be addicted to anything (couch cushions, chalk, toilet paper, etc). Marijuana users can become addicted psychologically as well but the dangers of physical addictions as in the case of heroin, alcohol and cocaine are nearly non-existent even after everyday use of pot for years. Psychological dependence is a serious problem but it is a factor of the user and not the substance. This is why marijuana should not be lumped in with other drugs and alcohol.

    Marijuana prohibition has spurred drug lords and related deaths, and has caused division between youths and adults for decades in America. There is just no good reason for it to be illegal. Yes, there are reasons for it to be illegal, but they are not good reasons, they don't hold up. Illegality is not an effective deterrent and its clogging up the jails with non-violent otherwise law-abiding good people. Anyone who is not advocating for its liberation is just a coward in my opinion... afraid to do what's right for fear of reputation or judgment. Humans would never evolve if cowards always got their way.

    If you are a cowardly American just please move to one of the hundreds of countries where you can blindly follow everyone else and never stand up for what's right. This is one of the few places on earth where you shouldn't be able to stand by and do nothing.
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    Apr 7 2011: This movement definitely goes under a lot of other movements, really all drugs should be legal.

    To make a non-violent act that only affects oneself illegal is immoral, it limits your options.

    With legalization comes restrictions to making the drugs, which will make them all cleaner, safer, and overall better. Also with legalization there comes education about drugs. Like alcohol and how their are lectures about consumption levels, the same can go for any drug.

    However if marijuana was legal I can see the need for many other drugs (well beside psychedelics) to not be as popular. Especially alcohol, which is by far more of a drug than pot.

    The movement for marijuana is in place, just need people to keep pushing, "Refer Madness" is NOT a reference just a scare tactic by our lovely government to inflict their views on the public. Like Donald Duck selling war bonds.

    Love would be easier to spread if everyone was high, because than we could laugh together at how small down our older thoughts were!
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      Apr 7 2011: What I'm questioning is how addictive it is...if you (not you, Nick) had 24hrs access and social acceptance would you light one in the morning? and if so how much would you accomplish in that day?
      • Apr 7 2011: There's lots of debate on whether it's addictive, I think it depends on the individual. But whether it is or not, should the government be permitted to tell an adult what he or she can put in their own body in the privacy of their own home? I thought a government's job was to govern, not babysit!

        Also, I don't believe legalization and social acceptance have to go hand in hand. Unfortunately that is the case with alcohol, which is why our television and billboards are flooded with alcohol ads telling you to drink. And people wonder why our society has an alcohol problem! Legal or not, no drug - alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or whatever - should be advertised.. at least not as aggressively as most goods.

        And well said Nick, I agree.
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    Apr 6 2011: I don't think you'll get much support on this one. It's too touchy for most people to talk about in public unless they're on the side of righteousness.
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      Apr 6 2011: Yeah, what Lynn said!
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        Apr 7 2011: Jimmy, shame on you, I expect better from a free thinker like yourself. Punishment beyond fines for non-violent crimes is never acceptable and always deserve a fight!
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          Apr 7 2011: We are just saying that the support for this discussion on TED will probably not be that high...

          I will be following this discussion though, since i find it an interesting topic and can't quite make up my mind on legalization..
    • Apr 7 2011: I completely agree that it's a touchy subject, but if we refrain from discussing it for that reason how will it become an un-touchy subject? We need to change our attitudes towards this issue, simply ignoring the drug war isn't getting us anywhere.
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      Apr 6 2011: Because it's profitable ;)
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          Apr 6 2011: I was being sarcastic and regardless of how high the health bill is, it still makes money and the people on the top care about nothing more then that.
    • Apr 7 2011: Perhaps you don't recall what happened last time alcohol was prohibited?
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        Apr 8 2011: As cold as this may sound, all these problems occur because of no self discipline!
  • May 5 2011: I have been baffled by our approach to drug legislation for years, especially in the UK (I don't know what it's like in the US, but I hear it's even worse). The War on drugs was lost years ago, but like a soldier lost in the jungle, the fight goes on while everyone else just gets on with life.

    I appreciate that some of the Marijuana of today is a stronger hybrid variety than it has been in the past, but for most casual or even regular smokers I know, they do it like others drink. If you want to go out and get drunk, you can do so with alcohol many times stronger than you would drink if you were having dinner with friends and a glass of wine. People develop drug problems in the same way people develop drink or gambling problems, but can we really say that to save the few that can't cope responsibly with it it must be stopped altogether? The US must know better than anyone the problems with prohibition, where organised crime steps in to fill the void and provide for those people that just want to get off.

    We are financially screwed in the UK now, and the government will be taking more and more of our hard earned to pay for the mistakes and the theft of the banks and bankers. If the government were to relax it's laws and control the supply, like they do with tobacco and alcohol, the tax revenues alone would be enough to drag us out of the red, let alone the savings associated with not prosecuting and jailing people for their choice of mind altering substance.

    The truth is that anyone who smokes that I know doesn't really care whether it's legal or not. Sure, I can't go and enjoy one in the park in the sun, which is a great shame, but other than that it's business as usual. Seeing as this is the case, surely it behooves a sensible government to cash in on it rather than waste money trying to eradicate it.
  • May 2 2011: Alcohol is a source of cirrhosis, heart disease, road accidents, pub brawls, bad marriages, and the list goes on. Obviously we can't ban alcohol, it is culturally entrenched (at least in the West), and most people wouldn't want to anyway (t-bone just wouldn't be the same without a glass of red). Banning alcohol, like world-wide vegetarianism, while arguably beneficial, is not going to happen anytime soon.
    So do we need another legal drug? Legalising it is almost certainly going to make it more easily available and therefore cheaper "An analysis of cannabis markets shows that low prices coincide with high levels of abuse, and vice versa" (the World Health Organisation 2011).
    For those who keep saying its harmless (not you Nicholas) this is also from the WHO (nothing to do with Pete Townsend):
    # selective impairment of cognitive functioning which include the organization and integration of complex information involving various mechanisms of attention and memory processes;
    # prolonged use may lead to greater impairment, which may not recover with cessation of use, and which could affect daily life functions;
    development of a cannabis dependence syndrome characterized by a loss of control over cannabis use is likely in chronic users;
    #cannabis use can exacerbate schizophrenia in affected individuals;
    (the WHO 2011)
  • Apr 28 2011: If my habit/pastime is detrimental to 1% of the population, does that make it OK simply because I really like to do it? Don't put self-gratification ahead of the well-being of others!
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      Apr 28 2011: Too bad marijuana problems aren't even that high.

      I already suggest legalizing it would solve problems. The Cartels wouldn't be killing, enslaving, and terrorizing Mexicans as often as they do. They make billions a year, and we spend millions not winning the "war on drugs". Legalize the planet dude, vote green.

      Truly I say all drugs, because again the legal ones kill far more people than the illegal ones.
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          Apr 29 2011: www.erowid.com

          Meth is not an easy drug to move around on, let alone drive.

          With legalization would come education of products with those nice warning stickers on them people tend to ignore anyways. The cigarette ones are really accurate.
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          Apr 30 2011: people assume if its legal more people will use it, well this will be true with MJ, i highly doubt it will be for meth and H and stuff like that, the people who are going to do it already do. i doubt theres a group out there who thinks" if only meth was legal, then i would do it"
        • May 5 2011: I think it's crazy to suggest that just because I am allowed to do something, means that I will do it. I have to go to work every day, and I can't do it stoned or drunk. If you legalised heroin tomorrow, I suspect that those that used it would carry on using it, but I would do the same thing I did yesterday.
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      Apr 28 2011: lol where is the facts behind this crap?
      • Apr 29 2011: Note the use of the word "if". I wasn't presenting anything as a "fact". If you look at your country's drug administration website, I'm sure you'll find all the facts there.
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          Apr 29 2011: That would be a joke, right?

          I would offer the suggestion that while you may find facts on drug policy there, you won't find an unbiased look at drug use and its impact on society. Facts without proper context mean nothing.
    • May 1 2011: Who gives a dam what someone else does if its harmless. Learn to mind your own business. Pharmaceutical drugs taken in the prescribed manner kill over 300,000 in the United states alone. Speak out against real issues.
  • Apr 27 2011: i think at least mushrooms can give a person a better sense of humour, a clear head, and a good time (not to mention no lung disease). marijuana just makes people braindead and paranoid. why not push for mushrooms instead, ted?
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      Apr 28 2011: a lot of opinions here....i have seen the reverse as well. moderation is key
  • Apr 21 2011: Hallo what do you thing about my Idea, why cannabis is illegal?

    What is the most proactive time in your life, the time the government earns the most money? It the time between school and the time you take pension. Before and after that time you are more or less an expense to the government. To clarify, I taking about the average person and not about a TEDster.

    So in other words, you would be the most profitable citizen for the government if you died on your last day as a worker. In Sweden there I live you go into pension by the age of 65. After that you are a huge expense, but the government can’t kill you right, but they can offer you alcohol and cigarettes that’s dramatically lower your life expectancy. Even of cancer and other bad things cost money you can’t really compeer to the cost of 20 or more years with pension.
    If you legalisms cannabis you will offer a drug that do not lower your life expectancy and offer an alternative to alcohol and cigarettes. The implications of such policy are too great and that’s why I am ageist making cannabis legal. You need to fix the depths problems before you try to make cannabis legal. The raise the pension level to that extent you need to do will not win any votes and the massive negative opinion of the masses can do real harm to the country, lock at Greece.
  • Apr 21 2011: Nicholas,I know you probably won't die from pot abuse, you'll end your days on the couch ODing on peanut butter sandwiches and m & ms (sorry, I'm being flippant). But seriously, I think that the results of the abuse are not in the least bit attractive (go to a government fact sheet (yes, I said the g-word) and have a look). That said, having looked further down the thread to Harald, i think what he says makes quite a lot of sense. I think we shouldn't legalise it, but decriminalising it is perhaps the distinction we need to make here.
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      Apr 21 2011: No sir, legalizing any personal choice is wrong, plain and simple. By making it illegal we are restricting personal freedoms. Marijuana does far less damage with far better outcomes than alcohol and cigarettes. I read the government findings and that is how I know THC levels have increased over time making marijuana more and more of a drug but I also said that was from the lack of the original consider involving the substance.

      If you want to restrict personal choices that are damaging, okay, make being obese a crime (another top 5 cause of death in the states) leads to over 16 diseases. Make gambling a crime, it is one of the most addictive non-substances out there. There are PLENTY of worse things in the word to be concerned about than pot. A natural plant ..."that just goes like that and if you so happen to set fire to it.... there are some side effects" - Kat Williams

      Anything that should be MY choice should not be a crime, legalizing it would give the profit to the nation and not to the drug dealers who also sell harder drugs, guns, and unsafe drugs. So I say legalize it and screw the criminals who kill over drugs, take profit away from them.
  • Apr 21 2011: Nicholas, thanks for the compliment, and I'd like to return it, but I still don't agree with you! You'll be happy to know though that I did some research on the link between psychosis and marijuana, and there is no verifiable link between the two, for the record. The evidence is hazy at best.
    That said, I am not North American, I am Australian, and in certain territories (Canberrra & the Northern Territory) they have allowed people to grow it for personal use (don't get me wrong, if you get caught with a back yard full of it, you get sent to jail). I think you're limited to 5 plants (?), and it is still illegal to smoke it outside your home. i don't really think its a good idea, but no, I must admit these places have not collapsed into civil disorder as a result.
    I assume proposition 19 was there to legalise marijuana? Interesting, because a relative I had who worked in the tobacco industry told me that they were ready to cash in (at least here) the moment marijuana became legal. Thing is, do we really need to have another legal drug? Alcohol and cigarettes do plenty of damage already.
    So you make a distinction between grass and weed based on their THC content? Yes, that's another point. What the hippies in the 70s smoked, and the nasty horrible s*** that they grow now is an excellent point you made, but I think it strengthens my argument, not yours!
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      Apr 21 2011: Marijuana would do a percentage of damage compared to what alcohol and cigarettes are doing to people. Alcohol is proclaimed the most dangerous drug in the world as of a recent study, if i find it I will post it.

      Marijuana if it was so dangerous, why has no one ever died from it? EVER!

      Alcohol and cigarettes are made drugs that are legal marijuana is a grown drug that isn't, there is a problem here. (also in the top 5 leading causes of death in the world)

      there are little studies because no one wants to fund drug testing unless it isn't on the list of unapproved drugs.

      Now in America they are selling synthetic marijuana substitutes that have NO study on what they do in the long wrong, but are legal because they do not contain THC but a THC-like based chemical. It is ignorance on a staggering level my friend. Please support the legalization of a plant not chemicals as a drug!
  • Apr 20 2011: I lived with pot heads when I did my thesis -- they lost the rent money on more than one occasion, or most likely smoked it and forgot about it. One was a suit who used to break into a sweat if she didn't have her" brekky cone" (breakfast toke for those across the Pacific). The other was a successful artist who "couldn't function without it". Somehow they not only held down jobs, they excelled. Personally, having lived with them, I think this was besides the point entirely.
    They were weed-dependent, either physically or psychologically, it doesn't matter. Their evening conversations were frequently lachrymose or paranoid ramblings, they had no motivation to do anything around the house, they seemed to eat nothing but desserts, and they smoked hundreds of dollars worth of weed. So no, I don't think it should be made legal.
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      Apr 20 2011: That is completely short sighted and a problem with the human condition. You see TWO examples as being a general example. I know pot-heads that are lawyers, doctors, and professors in college. The jobs which require a great amount of work. So now my examples do not have an artist and a "suit" they have people that I could argue do things for society as a benefit. Do I determine it is good or bad by them? No, I did research.

      Any abuse of any substance and even non-substance is dangerous. Gambling, video games, sex, working out, anything without moderation is dangerous. However pot is by far the least damaging substance that exist.

      Abuse of marijuana may make you sleepy, lazy, hungry, stupid, and unmotivated. Now do me a favor and look up what alcohol and cigarettes does to you in the long run, and they are completely legal as being a choice of self destruction. I consider mental damage far more better than body damage. Without any thought you can still clean up a school at night, be a cashier, farm, and the list goes on. Without a body, you can't do S***.

      What about the green products that come from hemp? (A lot) Or the medicinal advantages (just now been proven to half cancer cells)? Seriously, look past what you see and do research before you declare what shouldn't be allowed on a personal choice level.
      • Apr 20 2011: {Addiction} a problem related to the human condition?Absolutely. I also agree that many talented people smoke, like the ones I just mentioned. I also know of one barrister who is a heavy user. Yes, I gave only two examples, but I think they have considerable qualitative if not necessarily quantitative value ( I could've cited quite a few more, but that's not the point). The point I was making is that pot is not harmless, at least from what I've seen. I also find it curious that you need to say that "mental damage is better than physical damage." I thought pot was, in your words, the "the least damaging substance that exists".
        Yes alcohol and cigarettes damage you too, but I wasn't talking about them (just because they're legal, doesn't make them good, right? do we really need another recreational drug?). I was just, once again, making the the point that pot is not as harmless as some would lead you to believe.
        Green hemp products, yes I agree they are fantastic. However, I'd like to point out that industrial hemp is very different to say, class A skunk. It is bred for the strength of its fibres, not for its THC content. It is so low in THC the amount you would have to smoke is ridiculous ( a kilo or something stupid).
        You also mention that I need to read more research. Fair enough, but it all depends on who did the research, doesn't it? I've read scientifically credible sources that state that marijuana smoke is highly carcinogenic, even more so than tobacco.
        I also think that it is a bit harsh to say artists and suits don't benefit society, they do. Anyone who works and pays tax, (arguably I might add) does that. Commercial dope growers and the criminal syndicates that employ them do not. That said, if it becomes legal then these crooks will have to pay tax, and will probably have to run the risk of going broke like everyone else running a business.
        Nicholas, what do you think of the old "pot may cause schizophrenia/depression" argument?
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          Apr 21 2011: Michael I find it very incredible such a well rounded person could ever think to continue make something that is a matter of personal choice illegal.

          Tobacco isn't the problem, that is also natural the problem would be cigarettes which are created using chemicals not just tobacco. Tobacco may cause less carcinogenic than weed but not cigarettes that is a huge misconception.

          If weed was legal the government could regulated it and tax it and make a huge profit and take it away from gang families like the Cartels.

          "what do you think of the old "pot may cause schizophrenia/depression" argument?"

          I don't know I am no doctor or have really done research in it, however building off of my prior argument. You can fix a thought processes, it is vastly more difficult to fix a body. The mind if attuned correctly can conquer anything, a body cannot come back from terrible damages like smoking 2 packs a day for 10 years. The damage is done.

          To deny weed is to deny a freedom, not just a drug, I think all drugs should be legal than they all could be cleaner, safer, and education upon better. instead of ignorant scare tactics.

          Proposition 19 in California would have done WONDERS for this nation, but you know what... Big alcohol and tobacco lobbies payed for commercials the entire two weeks before the vote would take place. It is all about money. Pot isn't bad for you dude, some people cannot handle it, fine, moderate drinking and still join the party. Marijuana is a natural plant, today because of it's rebellion roots it has become a drug because instead of 5 percent THC its like 25 30 percent. But that is because it was the symbol of a rebellion for ages, if it was legal not nearly as many people today would be a pothead. The drug of the rebel would probably be acid still as it was in the 50's and 60's. Weed is the longest runner of the position. Which is far more risky than smoking grass dude.
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    Apr 19 2011: http://www.erowid.org/

    This is a website where people record their experiences with drugs. What they took, how much they took and their experience are recorded. Pick the drug(s) you are interested in to study, for curiosity, or before you experiment, this website will help you shed light on what drugs really do to the human mind.

    Remember education and awareness of reality can only help build your actuality. This site is for the experiences of drugs beyond the users opinion of them. Don't claim something is bad before you experience it or know fully what it is you are claiming bad.
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      Apr 12 2011: we shouldnt have to protect people from themseleves. those FAMILYS you speak of need to be the ones who help. not the goverment.
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        Apr 20 2011: Exactly. Kudos Sargis and Tim
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          Apr 22 2011: and they dont! why? mostly two reasons 1. the legal taboo keeps it out of conversation and 2. the shear amount of misinformation out there is crazy. the 80's killed whatever actual information exsisted in the 60's and before then. that and everyone likes to think, oh no one in my family does drugs, but i promise you atleast one of them does. learn everything you can about them so you can actually help someone. can not be said enough http://www.erowid.org/
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        Apr 22 2011: Seriously do people even realize how many people were inspired by the beatniks of the beat generation??? And I posted that link first! But thumbs up for backing up a great site for education!
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          Apr 22 2011: i visit that site weekely just to read the experince reports and brush up on things as i come across them. imo, EROWID is very similar to ted in ways.
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        Apr 22 2011: LOL yes, yes it is. It supports education and awareness.
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    Apr 9 2011: I think it's not TED's job to get behind any kind of movement. So, Colin, if you want to push that, you are probably wasting your time.
    That said, although I'm not a marihuana consumer, I think it would be in the public interest to legalize it. Especially, since there are already lots of positive experiences from European countries that legalized it already years ago.
    When the alcohol prohibition was lifted, a whole crime industry related to it went down with it (although some diversified into other areas).
    However, I would draw the line at marihuana and actually increase penalties for possession and trade of heavier drugs.
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      Apr 8 2011: NO ONE comments on obamas comments on legalization and DEA raids on MMJ shops. just today i saw a article on how they plan to step up efforts on raids.
      this year AT LEAST $23.44 billion will be spent on the war. but we rather cut education and medicare first. lol
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    Apr 8 2011: NO matter how rational it seems, drug legalization will be one of the hardest battles we face. SO many interest are involved. but i say please dont just stop at weed.
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    Apr 7 2011: Whatever gets you through the night - John Lennon.

    10/10 doctors recommend drugs - Me.
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    Apr 7 2011: its just a plant that grows wild in many places and should be free to consume, especially with its medially benefits.
  • Apr 7 2011: I Think, that is properly becouse of the deaths caused of Narcotraffic every year, also (we all know) the medicinal uses, but i can't forget how many teenagers Smoke, drink and got drug, so..if the government can't fight against the alcohol, will it against the Weed? The Cocaine? LSD? I don't think so
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    Apr 6 2011: Hi Colin, With all of the major issues facing the world, you would think that the only thing in the world young Canadians are worried about is the legalization of marijuana.
    • Apr 6 2011: Yes, you would think :P although that isn't the case at all, I've witnessed plenty of young Canadians committed to helping resolve many issues, you'd be surprised! I felt the need to put this particular issue up for discussion because although it may adhere to the stereotypical "Legalize it" mentality, it is nonetheless very important.

      And with all the major issues in the world, we could only expect the US to keep spending their money mingling in the affairs of foreign nations across the planet - especially when there's a war taking place at their border! Looking at the number of lives ruined by the drug war next to the pointlessness of it all really is astonishing, and I think it's time for people to start reflecting on these policies rationally.
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        Apr 6 2011: Colin, I am a Canadian mother of 5 young adults.
        • Apr 7 2011: Yes, and I am a young Canadian.. I think you may have missed my point? I'm not denying the the lenient attitudes most young Canadians have towards marijuana, but it's certainly not the only issue we're concerned with.
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        Apr 7 2011: Ok Colin, I have to admit that you are completely right about that. Thanks for holding me accountable.