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Old 20 Apr 2010, 03:19   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Marijuana

It's been over a year since the last debate; I'm sure at least some of us have new things to say on the subject. With 4/20† (April 20th for you Europeans who go DD/MM instead of MM/DD) only an hour away where I am when I write this, I figure it's as good a time as any to re-open the debate. On one hand, it's incredibly difficult to overdose on THC (the active drug in marijuana) which leaves just the smoke to cause real lasting damage, yet cigarettes are legal in most nations. On the other hand, THC is fat soluble, meaning it stays in your system for quite some time. With repeated usage of marijuana, the THC can build up in your system and slow down the nervous system turning a normal human into the "pot head" stereotype we are all familiar with. Such individuals are drastically less productive than someone without a constant stream of THC in their system, which is of course bad for society. There is also the issue of people driving while under the influence of THC; if it were legalized it is reasonable to assume this would increase (THC severely impairs one's ability to operate heavy machinery). Currently marijuana is illegal in most countries, yet (at least where I live) there seems to be a policy of salutary neglect regarding actual enforcement of anti-marijuana laws where the government is aware of the widespread usage and ease of accessibility but does little to stop it. (In some cases they do more harm than good; DARE has been proven to actually increase the rate at which children abuse drugs.) Is this the only realistic solution? Should the government take more serious action, better enforce anti-marijuana laws, and eradicate this scourge from our society? Or should it be legalized in hopes that some sort of special "marijuana sales tax" would offset the decrease in productivity?

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Old 20 Apr 2010, 03:58   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Marijuana

I'm in the boat of not outright legalizing it... which may be different from where I stood the last time we had this debate. Of course the last time we had this debate I had a roommate with a $600 bong. 0

I am in the boat of lowering the charges associated with it. Marijuana should not equal jail time. And medical should be 100% legal. Fine people, and leave it at that. Eventually I would be ok with legal, but the country isn't going to get their overnight, it needs a babystep.

I believe the drug war is failing because they spend so much time on marijuana. It makes people less productive... ok, well people will steal & kill for crack so go bust those guys. I think if we took all our resources dedicated to marijuana and put those resources to work against meth, coke, and heroin we could get some real progress against the real problem drugs.

Fun marijuana fact: George Washington... you know, that not so important guy we named a state and the capital after... grew it on his plantation :funny:.

And I think incredibility difficult is a vast understatement. Almost impossible is a better use of words. If memory serves you have to consume 1/3 of your own bodyweight in the stuff... kind of hard to do. And last time I checked fatalities from marijuana overdose worldwide were 0.


Quote:
(In some cases they do more harm than good; DARE has been proven to actually increase the rate at which children abuse drugs.) Is this the only realistic solution?
I went through it and I can tell you why. Before DARE I thought drugs were extremely rare and only really bad people did them... I was also 8. DARE informed me that 14% of middle school students did drugs... Dare also explained what all the drugs did, how they worked, what the 'street' names were for many of them, etc. And then later on you find out DARE lied about certain things concerning marijuana and people assume they lied about everything.

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Old 20 Apr 2010, 04:24   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marijuana

So.... to sound like a paranoid anti-government stoner, or a realist: Marijuana is waaay too easy to grow. If it were legalized, people would grow their own, and the government would be unablre to tax it. As it stands they get money from fines, then get to sell confiscated marijuana and other drugs to other countries. It really is a brilliant system they have going, and it's never going to change.
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Old 20 Apr 2010, 07:11   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marijuana

The law needs changing, calling it a Class B drug (on par with Coke IIRC) is just retarded.

If they spent less time bitching about it being a "gateway" drug and spent more time stopping the actually damaging drugs, it would be better.
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Old 20 Apr 2010, 07:19   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marijuana

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon Zraeth
So.... to sound like a paranoid anti-government stoner, or a realist: Marijuana is waaay too easy to grow. If it were legalized, people would grow their own, and the government would be unablre to tax it. As it stands they get money from fines, then get to sell confiscated marijuana and other drugs to other countries. It really is a brilliant system they have going, and it's never going to change.
This is a good point. It is much easier than growing tobacco, and much easier than home-brewing. Marijuana grows almost everywhere with little effort. It isn't going to be a money-maker for anyone if legalized. I am a little skeptical hat there is a lot of reselling going on for similar reasons, although I could believe it for more expensive narcotics.

I think drug policy should reflect the threat a substance poses. I am not convinced that Marijuana is any more dangerous than tobacco or alcohol, although I certainly won't touch the stuff. I do think companies have a right to drug testing if they think it will inhibit performance on the job. It does stay in the system for a long time, but in that respect I find it hard to drum up much sympathy for users.
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Old 20 Apr 2010, 07:37   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Marijuana

I'm all for legalizing it. I'm sure there would be some bumps in the road, but I think the government spends too much money and time on a drug, I feel to be on par with alcohol. Let all the pot dealers out of prison, and arrest some real criminals, tax it, and treat it just like alcohol; with a legal age and the same type of driving while intoxicated laws.

While the number of home growers might increase I doubt it would cut into tax profits. You can legally make beer and liquor at home, but what percentage of people do you think actually do it? I know its probably easier to just grow a plant, but I'm sure there's more to maintaining a crop than just watering the plants. I tried to grow a garden last year and only got some tiny carrots, lettuce, and herbs.

That's a tough call with the testing though, since it stays in your system for so long. If it was legal I can't see someone being fired for having smoked two weeks prior, but there's no good way, I know of, to test if someone is currently high. I don't think you should be able to be high at work, just like being drunk is usually an automatic termination.

I wonder what would happen to all the traffickers that bring it in from other countries. Would they just start bringing in harder drugs, would there even be a market to sustain them?
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Old 20 Apr 2010, 07:50   #7 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Marijuana

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoutfox
That's a tough call with the testing though, since it stays in your system for so long. If it was legal I can't see someone being fired for having smoked two weeks prior, but there's no good way, I know of, to test if someone is currently high. I don't think you should be able to be high at work, just like being drunk is usually an automatic termination.
I think on that level it becomes an issue of behavior. If you're acting blazed out of your mind, or just sitting there not doing work looking at your hands, it shouldn't matter whether or not you are on weed or not. You are wasting the company's time and money, and deserve a serious reprimand if not a pink slip (P45 for you brits).
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Old 20 Apr 2010, 15:15   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Marijuana

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon Zraeth
So.... to sound like a paranoid anti-government stoner, or a realist: Marijuana is waaay too easy to grow. If it were legalized, people would grow their own, and the government would be unablre to tax it. As it stands they get money from fines, then get to sell confiscated marijuana and other drugs to other countries. It really is a brilliant system they have going, and it's never going to change.

Well what it would really come down to is cost. If it was expensive of course people would grow their own. If it was cheap I doubt it, and I imagine the price would go down a lot with some economies of scale. Look at bottled water, people actually spend over $1 on something that comes out of the faucet for almost nothing.... don't give me the argument its cleaner.. buy a water filter. If people will actually buy bottled water they will buy marijuana.
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Old 20 Apr 2010, 15:19   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marijuana

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironwinds
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon Zraeth
So.... to sound like a paranoid anti-government stoner, or a realist: Marijuana is waaay too easy to grow. If it were legalized, people would grow their own, and the government would be unablre to tax it. As it stands they get money from fines, then get to sell confiscated marijuana and other drugs to other countries. It really is a brilliant system they have going, and it's never going to change.

Well what it would really come down to is cost. If it was expensive of course people would grow their own. If it was cheap I doubt it, and I imagine the price would go down a lot with some economies of scale. Look at bottled water, people actually spend over $1 on something that comes out of the faucet for almost nothing.... don't give me the argument its cleaner.. buy a water filter. If people will actually buy bottled water they will buy marijuana.
Aye, but look at the price of cigarettes. The taxes on drugs are outrageous, which makes the price go way up.
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Old 20 Apr 2010, 15:31   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marijuana

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon Zraeth
Aye, but look at the price of cigarettes. The taxes on drugs are outrageous, which makes the price go way up.
For the record, there is a large problem with black market tobacco products because of the high taxes. If the underground dealings and smugglings wouldn't get any better with legalizing marijuana, why would they bother?
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