Thursday, September 16

Pot for Thought

        With this post I am not so much providing food for thought as I am promoting pot for thought (or recreational use)      
        This is one topic which (for the most part) I think people have become much more open to recently. In fact, in California, there is a proposition on the ballot this November for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. I am a firm believer in the legalization of marijuana, and I hope to convey some of my ideas. The debate on this topic is certainly not very new, and the arguments are really not original anymore. But I will repeat them just the same in order to get the conversation started.
        First a little bit of background info. The earliest evidence of the smoking/inhalation of marijuana has been dated to the bronze age (or some 5000 years ago). Hemp used for rope and various other applications has been dated back 10,000 years. It has been illegal for only 1% of the time that it has been used by man. In fact, between 1763 and 1767 you could be jailed in Virginia for not growing hemp. It was a huge cash crop for the early colonies, and it was legal throughout American history until the early to mid 1900s. At this point William Randolph Hearst ran a smear campaign against marijuana in order to get it declared illegal by congress. What were his motivations you may ask. The answer is not what you may think; it wasn't for public health or safety, in fact the best interests of the public weren't even in question. No; his motivation was simply this: profit. Hearst had tons of money invested in timber, the material used to make all of his newspapers and publications. At the time hemp was poised to replace timber as the main material for printing. Hearst stood to lose a fortune, and as a result he fought for a bill to be passed making marijuana illegal. This brings us to modern day.
        There are hundreds of conflicting studies, some government sanctioned, others not, begging the question: Who is right? Well if you subscribe to my point of view, for the most part marijuana is harmless and should not be illegal. Many opponents argue that marijuana is addictive. This is simply untrue. Marijuana has no chance of physical addiction. Sure, it may be habit forming, but this is true with almost everything. It is so much cleaner than tobacco and cigarettes, and it carries almost no risk of long term harm if used with a vaporizer. The only real danger that has been conclusively proven to be linked to marijuana is smoke inhalation. This can be avoided in a variety of ways. Alcohol is more toxic than marijuana. In fact, as we have seen in recent years, marijuana is very effective for medicinal purposes. And there's even more benefits in the legalization of pot; millions of dollars in taxes could be collected from the sale and growth of marijuana. This money could be used to balance the crumbling state budget, and it would be a major boost for the economy. Not to mention, the legalization would allow actual corporations to grow and distribute marijuana, leading to a decrease in gang violence and the destruction of much organized crime; the marijuana drug cartels would practically go out of business. There would be no need for black market pot when it could be sold legally at the store. This would solve so many problems in today's society. And finally there's quality control; government could set standards preventing toxic chemicals from being added, as well as preventing the insertion of addictive substances. Why haven't we legalized it yet? It's an interesting question, and hopefully in November it won't need to be asked any longer. And finally, on a related note, please vote YES on California proposition 19.



  1. Well, quite personally I disagree with you, but that's just me. You do back your statements up well though.
    You're very right about the smoke inhalation part. I know someone who smoked pot a lot when he was young, stopped for about 30 years, and then died of lung cancer 7 months ago, even though he never smoked anything else.
    While its legalization MIGHT help the economy, would it really be good to have people going around high all the time? Society already has enough problems with things like drunk driving, high driving would also be a nightmare. If people feel the need to smoke pot, then they seriously need a better source of comfort/security than drugs. Think of it like a crutch for a broken leg. If you turn to the crutch too much, your leg will atrophy and you'll never get better.
    Plus pot is just lame anyway.

  2. I respectfully submit that it actually would not cause the undesired side affects you claim. Right now, if one feels the need to smoke pot, they can; it's so decriminalized here in California that already you can get pot quite easily. So instead of letting gangs etc set the prices, it should be determined by the free market. I also didn't bring up the point that government has no business sticking its nose in peoples personal lives. And finally, legalizing it would not encourage people to do it. People who want to already do, and people who don't would not feel the need to just because it was legal.

  3. Eh, maybe so. Unfortunately I will be 8 months too young to vote this November, so it doesn't matter too much. But some people who normally wouldn't do pot would then not feel as reluctant to smoke it if it were to be legalized.

  4. they also have hound medical uses for ecstasy but i doubt that there gonna legalize that. Oddly enough though pot growers don't want legal marijuana because corporate entities would form and put them out of business.

    all in all, cool blog sam

  5. Sorry Ashley, I gotta agree with Sam here.
    Pot is so socially decriminalized, as he said, that I don't think the number of people who smoke will change significantly. The greater availability will balance out with its demystification.
    People who want to smoke pot are gonna find a way to smoke pot. If something is gonna be happening no matter what you do/want, why not get the most benefits possible from it? Honestly, Prop 19's main purpose seems to me to just make it more *convenient* for recreational users, or people who use it for mild medical conditions, to have access to something they're gonna do anyways. (And to actually maybe get some money into our government.)
    Also, it's not like marijuana will now be legal for anyone to be as stoned as they want, anytime, anywhere. The restrictions are going to still be pretty intense in terms of legal age, quantity of pot allowed on one's person, etc.

    Hope I didn't come off too harsh. I just think that it's important to consider that, while it's totally fine by me to believe that pot *should* be illegal, its use is going to happen anyways and as a society we should exploit that to our benefit. :)

  6. i would just like to add 2 things to sam's post:
    1)marijuana was also prohibited because it was a perfect scapegoat drug for Nixon's "War on Drugs" before then, the plant was legal to grow, and the use of any part of the cannabis plant as a drug was barely punishable
    2)not only would legalizing marijuana generate massive tax revenues, it would also save the government tons of money due to the fact that police would not need to deal with marijuana sales, possession, and distribution. This would have two further effects:
    1)there would be a smaller prison population because marijuana arrests makeup over half of all drug arrests (
    2)police could focus on much more serious crimes, like cocaine and heroin distribution

  7. Savage brings up a good point. According to some sources, per inmate in California the state spends approximately $40,000 every year. Legalizing marijuana would be a huge relief for the police force and would also cut down on the inmate population, which is already grown larger than most prisons can handle.

  8. Agreeing with the legalize marijuana side. For almost all the reasons set forward.
    Let me add: with illegal Marijuana, there may be increased chance of lacing with addictive drugs, because it is not regulated. With legalized and regulated marijuana, this risk is reduced.

  9. Love your blog! Keep up the good work!