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Legalizing Marijuana: Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Hat, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. The Hat

    The HatExperienced Member Experienced member


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    In the U.S. quite a few states have legalized Marijuana for recreational purposes, while some have only legalized it for medicinal purposes.

    The fact remains that, in spite of the action of these states, on a FEDERAL level, Marijuana still remains ILLEGAL, no matter where you're from, what state you live in, or your medical/health situation.

    However, Cannabidiol (Or CBD) which is derived from the hemp plant is federally legal in all 50 states, since it is NOT Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol. (Or THC, which is the active ingredient in pot that gets you "High")

    While I am for the legalization of Marijuana across the board, there are some concerns that has arisen.

    How would be distributed? How would it be regulated? Would an individual be allowed to grow their own, or would they be forced to by from a store?

    Would people of color benefit from legalization? (Keep in mind, that in the U.S., while the majority of people who smoke pot are white, it is mostly people of color who are serving hard time for Marijuana, weather they were smoking it, selling it, or possessing it, health status notwithstanding)

    Would people who were busted and incarcerated only for pot laws violations have their records wiped cleaned and no longer be burdoned with a criminal record?

    What are YOUR thoughts on the matter?
     

  2. ungovernable

    ungovernableAutonome Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    Aug 21, 2009
    Male, 32 years old
    Canada Canada
    I've been a cannabis activist for the last 15 years. I had experience in the black market and now in the legal market. I have a prescription for medical cannabis and a ACMPR license to legally grow my own cannabis. I've been following the science researches for years and the different licensed producers involved.

    I recently wrote an article about cannabis legalization on Libertaire.net, a French-speaking forum. The target audience was Europeans but there's a lot of valid arguments for other countries. Here's a link to the translation: Google Translate

    This is a VERY important point. People of color have been disproportionately arrested and imprisoned due to drugs laws, when comparing to white people

    I have a criminal record and after Canada legalized the government announced they will wipe out records. However the USA keeps track of everything and since it's still a federal crime, I am not allowed to enter the USA. This is so stupid.
     
  3. The Hat

    The HatExperienced Member Experienced member


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    [/QUOTE]
    I have a criminal record and after Canada legalized the government announced they will wipe out records. However the USA keeps track of everything and since it's still a federal crime, I am not allowed to enter the USA. This is so stupid.[/QUOTE]
    Illinois legalized pot this year at the beginning of June, but the law doesn't take effect until the new year. Governor J.B. Pritzker has promised that people who were arrested for small amounts of possession while have their records cleared of that charge. Hopefully, when the day comes that it is legalized in the U.S. on a federal level, all criminal records regarding possession will be wiped clean. (Let's hope we can elect a president who will be on board for this.)

    The federal pot laws were passed only because Harry J. Anslinger was first cousins with Andrew Mellon, and The Mellon Bank did business with DuPont, and Hearst publishing, and the reasoning behind passing those laws were outright racist.

    I would encourage anybody reading/participating in this thread to find a copy of The Emperor Wears No Clothes by the late Jack Herer. It explains, in detail, the history of the hemp plant, the role it played in the building of the U.S., and why it was outlawed in 1937.
     
  4. 1xAntifa

    1xAntifaExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Nov 22, 2019
    Victoria, Australia Australia
    here in oz it is flat out illegal. Whilst you can get CBD legally, finding a doctor who is willing and able to negotiate the maze of legislation makes it more theoretical than practical. I've been a smoker for 40 years and have recently had to give it up due to heart problems. My view is that if its legal to grow our own that would be sweet. However the government is more likely to use legalisation to boost tax revenues then I'll pass on that. We don't have the same race/dope nexus here so I can't comment on that. As for wiping criminal records, the Victorian state government apologised for its anti-gay laws but I don't think they expunged the criminal records. So I doubt they'd do it for minor drug offences either. We can try to get our criminal histories erased if we have been good little citizens after 15 years or so at the cops discretion. I haven't bothered.
     
  5. The Hat

    The HatExperienced Member Experienced member


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    I live in a state in the U.S. where they have legalized pot for recreational purposes. The law goes into effect January first of 2020. We've had legalization of medicinal marijuana for five years, and my state has the toughest laws on the books. Of course a lot of those regulations have been relaxed, or outright been eliminated due to legalization. President Obama legalized Hemp for the sole purpose of CBD studies in 2014, and CBD is legal in all fifty states, no prescription required. The only drawback is that it's such a new industry that there are virtually no regulations on it, so you could be getting sold snake oil. You make a very good point about the government stepping in and regulating it. Chances are the stuff you bought when it was outlawed will be better than the government approved strain, that's why I'm saving what little I have left for special occasions. There's a reason why people in my country search out moonshine instead of buying whiskey at the liquor store. Of course they're going to tax it, that's what happens when the government gets involved. No surprises here. On the other hand, where I live, taxes are so high that people are moving out of my state in droves, and my state is virtually bankrupt. Taxing pot might lower state taxes a bit, so that's a plus although it's a band aid solution. Anyway, this is all on a state level, and not federal level, meaning If I stay where I am, I'll be fine, but if I have to travel, and go to a state that hasn't legalized it, I could get in big trouble. Also it means that poor people who live in public housing could still get kicked out because public housing regulations still operate under FEDERAL laws, not local/state laws.

    As for the race/dope nexus, the only white people who get busted for it are people aligned with the countercultture. (Punks, hippies, etc.) funny thing is, unless they are know to be vocally anti authoritarian, they usually get a slap on the wrist, while people of color tend to serve the maximum sentence allowed by law. Also, statistically speaking, white people smoke pot more than people of color, but yet the prison population in the U.S. are people of color mostly incarcerated for non violent drug offenses, and usually first time offenders as well. This is not only unjust, and unbalanced, it speaks volumes of the racism engrained in our so called "Justice" system. (Again, speaking only from a U.S. perspective)

    Anyway, I'd be a bit surprised if there weren't people working for legalization in your part of the world, or at least one organization who has made it their main cause.

    Are they still trying to convince the children that they will become full blown junkies strung out on heroin if they try pot just once, by next year? I hope not.

    Anyway, thanks for responding.
     
  6. 1xAntifa

    1xAntifaExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Nov 22, 2019
    Victoria, Australia Australia
    There used to be a NORML chapter here but they've been moribund for years. Now that CBD is legal, the wind has kind of dissipated regarding legalisation. One territory here has recently passed legalisation legislation but the Feds have come down hard on that and will probably override that law. Most jurisdictions here basically confiscate your weed and fine you so as not to clog up the courts. They're far more worried about meth to go out of their way to hassle smokers.

    We also have a race/justice problem here also. 1st nation peeps are jailed at a much higher rate than the average, mainly due to public disorder offences like drinking in the park. They're also far more likely to be shot by cops and horrific numbers are being removed from their families under the guise of child protection. They also have far higher rates of deaths in custody as well. As I write they've got SWAT teams patrolling a city after the most recent police killing of a 1st nations teenager.

    The main drug issues here at the moment are meth usage and pill testing at music festivals. Cops are strip searching underage girls and guesstimating the weight of drugs found rather than using scales. The pollies are going down the testing equals permissiveness route rather than the proven harm minmisation track. This is despite a recent coronial inquest that found the cop presence, strip searching and sniffer dogs are ineffective and counter-productive.

    Whilst they're not trotting out the gateway argument anymore, one pollie refused to increase unemployment payments [which haven't increased in 15 years or so] because the extra $nwould go into the pockets of drug dealers. You have to wonder what planet they inhabit with this sort of bs.
     
  7. The Hat

    The HatExperienced Member Experienced member


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    People have gotten so bent out of shape over meth in the U.S. that not only do stores watch and keep tabs on how much antihistamine one buys, the outlawed the Ma Huang plant. Even though it's not federal policy, in the states where pot is still against the law, most cops just take your weed, and send you on your way. Like you said, it's a question about clogging up the courts and prisons. We haven't gotten to the point of shooting drunks in the park and putting their children in "Protective" custody yet, although there have been cases where that has happened. I suppose I should be thankful I'm not in the Philippines where cops will just shoot a pot smoker on site. The death while incarcerated scenario is nothing new in the U.S. In fact, it seems to happen with too much regularity.

    Many times, when people are taken in for drug offenses (Again, that U.S. spell check) people of color are strip searched, and most white people aren't. (And gawd help you if you're male. nothing more painful then having something shoved up your urethra. Makes an anal cavity search seem quite pleasant. Sorry if that made you feel uncomfortable)

    Sometimes when cops are in a "Hurry" (I.e. they don't want to be bothered) they try to guess the weight by "Eyeing" it, and usually overestimate the weight.

    Of course if anybody got strip searched at a concert or music festival in the U.S. lawsuits would be filed against all parties concerned, weather or not the person in question was carrying anything. People who run festivals in the U.S. usually hire their own private security firms, and only involve the police when something serious happens. Most of the times at festivals, the security confiscates the drugs, and then it's up to their discretion on weather or not to kick out the person carrying them. (Also depends on what festival it is and who's putting it on)

    It far more profitable to put people in prison, and force a "Just say NO" policy down our children's throat than it is to properly educate people about harm reduction.
     
  8. 1xAntifa

    1xAntifaExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Nov 22, 2019
    Victoria, Australia Australia
    You cannot sue cops here and win. The law is stacked against you. You would'nt make it to court in the first place. We had a spate of deaths at festivals that sparked a moral panic. They happened just as atrial of harm minimisation/pill testing wound up. The trial offered testing by qualified medico's who advised you on the potential problems of substance use and ten proceeded to test your shit, A green light meant the pill was what it proported to be, orange meant there was some unidentified contaminant and red meant it contained a poison. The overwhelming majority of orange results and all red ones wound up being thrown into the garbage by the potential user.
     
  9. The Hat

    The HatExperienced Member Experienced member


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    I guess the legal/justice system in the U.S. is set up a bit different. Here, the cops wouldn't be the only ones getting sued. People putting on the festivals would get sued. Also if more than one person got harassed in such a manor of fashion, especially if it was somebody under eighteen, a class action suit could be filed. Maybe people filing the suit wouldn't win, but it would get a lot of media coverage, and public opinion would most likely be on the plaintiff's side.

    As I said, I admit my ignorance on how things work in Australia, but the system is stacked against people anywhere you go.
     

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