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Great article, thanks for actually putting this into proper prospective. A ridiculous number of people still like to claim that getting rid of our failed prohibition would be bad for the economy, but exactly the opposite is true. If we ever hope to get out of this depression caused by lack of sustainable industry--it will require the development of sustainable industries that are good for both the community and environment. Cannabis is the most sustainable and versatile crop in the world, and it's high time our government started treating it as such.
Hey "regulate it",
I can also find studies which are intended to prove that cigarettes do not cause cancer--but that doesn't mean these studies are accurate or unbiased. In case you haven't noticed, "science" can be bought and sold in this world very easily--how else do you explain all of the people who falsely believe that E85 is good for the environment?
Once again, what you are peddling is called propaganda; if you intend to prove to me that cannabis is anywhere close to as dangerous as alcohol, it simply will not happen. I have seen what both drugs can do to people, and just like most cops will tell you: there is absolutely no comparison. Alcohol makes people do stupid and violent things without thought; cannabis makes you get the muchies, and tends to make people more introspective (something which is severely lacking in our culture these days...)
"recent use puts you at twice the crash risk found in someone at the 0.08 alcohol limit." Please give me a link to verify this information, as it goes directly counter to ALL of the studies which I have found comparing the effects of cannabis versus alcohol. While you're at it, can you explain why many of the most highly-respected scientists on the U.K.'s board of drug policy advisers have resigned out of disgust and in solidarity with Professor David Nutt (formerly the government's chief drug adviser, who was fired after explaining that science has proven cannabis, LSD and even MDMA--ecstasy--to be far safer than both alcohol and tobacco.)
I'm not saying you should go smoke a bunch of cannabis and then drive around (impaired driving is already illegal), but the effects of cannabis relative to, say, Oxycontin or codeine are minimal--and people are popping these pills all day long, with a simple precaution stated on the label. As an example, here's a precaution from a drug used to help people quite drinking:
"Acamprosate may impair judgement, thinking, or motor skills. Do not operate hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until you are reasonably certain that acamprosate does not affect your ability to engage in such activities."
It's a strange concept, isn't it: trusting people to make their own decisions..
Admit harm and regulate,
While its nice to see that you have realized prohibition is an extremely destructive policy, it is sad to note that your conditioning via drug war propaganda still apparently impairs your judgment. My argument is not that cannabis makes you a safer driver (even though most actual studies do indicate this.) My point would be, rather, that drugs such as tobacco and caffeine routinely cause more accidents than 'marijuana' ever will--because these drugs often leave the user: feeling twitchy and anxious, lacking concentration and/or easily agitated. Far from the pothead who may be serenely cruising around at EXACTLY the speed limit; these drug addicts (yes, caffeine is very addictive) are the people most likely to instigate the "road rage" we have all come to fear. But these drugs go largely unnoticed and unstudied, at least by those who still falsely assume that all of the truly dangerous drugs are illegal.
alright, can somebody answer this one for me: the state of California (along with fourteen others, if you include D.C.) has recognized the legitimate use of cannabis as medicine; and yet, federal law--in the form of the Controlled Substances Act--specifically states that no legitimately useful and doctor-recommended substance can be considered a "schedule I narcotic", like cannabis currently is. This is probably at least part of the reason why the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians have both demanded that Congress reschedule 'marijuana' according to their own laws... So why don't our local and state legislators simply join in this demand, until finally the issue must be faced by the federal government.
Even if the proposed legislation passes, there is still an epic battle left to fight against the few remaining prohibitionists within our federal government. In my opinion, the bigger problem here is the lack of accountability and transparency in and surrounding our federal government today. Were these not two of Obama's campaign talking points? And hasn't the end of marijuana prohibition topped both attempts by the current administration to find out what "change" they actually want from our federal government? How do we hold our President and/or Congress accountable for their actions or lack thereof? That's what I'd like to know, because as far as I can tell their laws are already contradicting themselves and easily proven to be counterproductive--to put it mildly. Who knows, maybe the answer really is as simple as using one's right to vote wisely..
Why does everybody seem so content letting the government control how much MEDICINE I have in my possession?! Are we not adults trusted to play around with other much more dangerous substances and technologies (such as guns and alcohol) despite a long history of very bad consequences--if only because we discovered some seventy-five years ago that prohibiting a substance only makes things worse... How much more of this insanity must we endure before these horribly racist and misguided laws are taken off the books? We don't need more laws, amendments or propositions; we need judges willing to enforce the Bill of Rights, and people to inform them so they can do so.
Not allowing me to use 'drugs' considered sacred by various religions and groups of people is in direct violation of the first amendment, and the "compelling interest" which our government has consistently cited in their defense of this injustice is a bloody war waged directly against our own citizens without EVER having achieved a single long-term or significant strategic victory. All we do is make sure that terrorist organizations and CIA "black ops" have nearly unlimited funding on the black market..
Trillions of dollars can also be generated by the industrial hemp plant alone--it is an incredibly versatile, sustainable crop which will employ tons of farmers and supply manufacturers across a number of different industries. If there is anyone out there who still believes the drug war is being fought in our best interests, I would love to hear their rationale for keeping this plant illegal. And if you plan on saying it could be used to conceal the other cannabis plant, I'd suggest doing a bit of research first (look up cross-pollination..)
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