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Can someone explain to me why Marijuana is illegal in many countries including the United States?

I'm not looking for the, "because the law says so..." kind of answer. I am looking for root reasons. In the US a few days ago we nearly experienced a shut down in government over budget issues. We spend billions every year in the US dealing with marijuana, is it worth it?

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    Apr 14 2011: Because of the potential impact it may have on the rest of society, and the younger generation. If money is not spent, and attention is not given to the issue, there will no longer be any stigma attached to its usage. Without controlling violence/drugs, society will reach a state of chaos pushing issues well beyond budgetary control in the long-run.

    I agree that it may sound foolish to spend billions on this issue, but I believe it is warranted considering the impact a society not bent on substance abuse could achieve in the future. It's a tough, and highly controversial topic.

    Consider self-interest vs. social-interest.
  • P C

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    Apr 14 2011: Most anti-drug laws in the West are a result of tea. That's right tea. Most western imperialistic nations that colonized other countries, but especially had dealings in Asia had a big demand for tea. The most famous example of course is the British East India Company which developed a trading triangle between the UK, India, and China.

    The UK produced manufacturing equipment and sent it to India. India grew poppies, and the British East India Company and the British Navy often smuggled it into China, and China exchanged tea for opium. As tea became popular in the UK, increasing numbers of Chinese were getting hooked on opium. The opium addiction epidemic got so bad that the society began to collapse and basic economic functions weren't being fulfilled. When China began to aggressively ban and attack opium merchants, the British Empire declared war and fought several "Opium Wars." To add insult to injury, the UK even forced China to sign a treaty where it gave up some territory for 150 years. It's what you know as Hong Kong.

    The addiction problem wasn't being overlooked by western governments when it began to develop in our own societies. Opium addiction began to take root here and a "new" aspirin medicine that began to resolve headaches started to reveal addictive properties. It's what we now call cocaine. Western governments, the religious establishment, and the emerging class of social welfare professionals started to see the beginning of a new epidemic, and eventually most western societies agreed to make addictive substances illegal. The same movement made alcohol illegal.

    Marijuana, which has addictive properties and can be further concentrated into hashish, and both of which deteriorates economic productivity was also included in this list of banned substances. When substances wear off within a short-period of time and don't have medium to long-term effects, like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol they're more likely to be legalized.
  • Greg S

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    Apr 13 2011: Some people smoke responsibly (to knock the edge off) and some smoke to get….shall we say “wrecked”. Those who don’t know the difference only see the “wrecked” just as those who don’t drink only see the “drunk”.
    The issue can never really be resolved other than to say that at this point in time the cost to incarcerate a pot smoker(quantity of pot yet undefined depending upon the state) is probably not dollar wise worth the effort…but…I will leave you with this. Sometimes a law is in place to give discernment…a suggestion of what you should consider in your decision making process…much like the speed limit on your local road.

    The previous 2 comments prove my point....very nice....

    great question..
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      Apr 14 2011: Interesting that you should say a law is in place as a suggestion . . . . as in I can go 49 in a 45 mph zone without fear of a ticket. Does this mean it's O.K. to smoke but don't inhale?
  • May 4 2011: Wow . It is illegal because Dupont wanted to use oil to make plastic products instead of Hemp, which actually is safer and more productive. Dupont was friends with Aslinger who created proganda and it soon became illegal..


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    Apr 13 2011: This is a really intriguing question once it's deeply influenced by prejudices, for both sides.
    And not only that, it's really difficult to rise the outlay for dealing with it and so the opposite, the outlay for legalizing it.
    Many people try to simplify this to a few outcomes, but for both sides there is much more related outlays for policing, crime, public health and so on, to a question like this have a based on statistics answer.
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    Apr 13 2011: IS it? NOPE! why? becuase goverment generally is stupid, generally does not care and generally likes control in general.
    • Apr 13 2011: If you didn't vote in the last election I wouldn't be surprised.