Monday, April 20, 2015

Forum: Should Federal Laws On Marijuana Be Changed?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Should Federal Laws On Marijuana Be Changed?

 GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD : Certainly there is some kinda way to decriminalize weed without legalizing. As best understood, a first marijuana-possession offense is punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both. Considered as a serious misdemeanor.

Some reform ideas include that if a cat possess five or fewer grams, they would only be liable for 30 days in jail, a fine from $65 to $625, or both. It would also be classified as a simple misdemeanor.

Perhaps the best thing would be to confiscate the weed and give a ticket not unlike a traffic violation. Sans jail time (after all the courts are jammed up beyond repair with way more serious chiz than ppl having a laugh and getting all groovy).

If busted while operating a vehicle - the auto insurance corp in question could be notified granting higher rates for cats that dig smoking rides.

Bookworm Room : I hate marijuana. I hate the way it smells. And I hate the way it makes people boring and unambitious. Having said that, I don't think we've done much good treating it as a criminal enterprise over the past many decades. The result is that it's become a romantic outlaw drug that most young people think is harmless, when it should have been subject to the same degree of opprobrium as cigarettes.  After all, in both cases, people are sucking damaging carcinogens into their bodies.

If it were up to me, I'd subject it to the same legal restrictions as alcohol and cigarettes, and then I'd work hard to educate people about its myriad downsides. I'd also allow science to study carefully whether it really does have upsides in pain and disease management or whether those upsides are just part of the same romantic outlaw mythology. If marijuana really does have medicinal virtues, they should be encouraged as part of the range of choices available to people with health problems.

JoshuaPundit : It all depends on what your objective is. The fact is that for the most part prohibition doesn't really work unless people elect to to do it themselves. That's particularly true for marijuana, and there are some important reasons why.

First, pot is not only easy to obtain (easier than alcohol in a lot of places for those under a certain age), but it's an aphrodisiac.

I myself preferred other drugs for the same reason I never smoked cigarettes. I simply didn't like the feeling of smoke going into my lungs. But I frequently had marijuana around simply because a lot of  girls really liked it, especially as a prelude to other activities. Faced with prohibition versus hormones, which do you think people are going to choose? Not only that, but almost everybody thinks they're indestructible at eighteen, no? So much for any lectures about health considerations.

Second, selling narcotics is a business, and that includes the new legal 'medicinal ' weed too. In California, one of the few growing pieces of the economy is small 'clinics' where you can buy marijuana provided you have a prescription.They're almost as common as McDonald's.  L.A. Weekly has pages of ads from doctors offering the prescriptions. They'll prompt  their customers on what to say about their 'symptoms,'  generate a prescription and for a going rate of about $35, you have a pass to buy weed legally. And the state, city and county get nifty licensing fees, business taxes and sales taxes.So money talks, which is why changing Federal law is meaningless one way or the other.

Selling illegal narcotics is a big business too. And the same thing applies.

Hezbollah, Islamic State, the Taliban and Hamas all use the profits on illegal narcotics to fund their  operations, just like other criminal groups like the Mafia,  the Triads, the Mexican Cartels, The Union Corse, the Hell's Angels and other similar groups do. The profits from illegal narcotics also fund other lucrative activities like human trafficking, sex slavery, kidnapping, murder for hire and protection rackets as well as Islamist terrorism for the usual suspects. There's a good reason Hezbollah has its headquarters in  Lebanon's Bek'aa Valley, one of the prime drug growing regions in the world.

Some of you might recall what happened to Bill Clinton's Surgeon General Jocelyn Elder .  Like most of Clinton's appointees she was looney tunes, but she manged to get this one right,All she had to do was merely suggest we should at least look at the logistics of legalizing  all narcotics and providing them free in detox clinics versus the billions we were spending on the War on Drugs, the cost of crime  and the huge, swollen criminal justice and law enforcement  monolith we erected as a byproduct.

I guarantee you the phone calls went out that night, not from some guy in named Guido in a sharp suit with a pinky ring but from legitimate donors who got a call from someone who got a call from someone else whom  knew and owed Guido. The  Democrat-dominated congress erupted and got her slapped down hard in a matter of days.

Like I said, big business and it's all part of a chain.

Your friendly local dealer is usually part of the chain too. Unless he's dealing in very minute volumes and goes unnoticed, sooner or later  he gets a visit from the marketing reps of whomever owns the territory he's in. And after things are properly explained to him, he's allowed to continue operating provided he kicks a percentage back upstairs. That's also why most independent dealers also know exactly where to get whatever other adult refreshment you might want beyond weed.

But if the idea is reducing drug consumption, we see a way that self-prohibition could work, By educating young consumers in graphic detail on exactly what their guilty thrill is paying for and whatits supporting, complete with pictures, there's an even chance of cutting down the consumption of illegal drugs making buying them uncool and socially unacceptable to those budding lil' social justice warriors.

The Glittering Eye :I'm of mixed minds. I think the advantages of legalization are being tremendously over-estimated and the downside risks even more tremendously under-estimated.

However, I also think that legalization is inevitable so we'd be better off devoting our energies to trying to figure out what the societal implications of legalization will be rather than to fighting it.

 Well, there you have it!

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