I just finished watching a documentary, "The Union, the business behind getting high", on Netflix (Netflix is my addiction).  Damning as far as setting forth an argument against prohibition, showing the societal costs of prohibition as opposed to lack of known negatives.  To be transparent about my own situation, I used as a teenager, thought better of it after getting some heroin-tainted product (which was too amazing), and never used again.  Didn't like getting high anyway.  I don't smoke, almost never drink, and it took a major disc problem before I was willing to take vicodin, and then only very briefly.  I really hate what oxycodone has done to our medical system and to management of pain in the susceptible, addictive-prone populations.  Purdue-Pharma has destroyed many lives, and made megabux, on oxycontin.  But I certainly don't care if other people use marijuana. 


The documentary set forth arguments for medical benefits in certain settings.  In some ways, they sound like "cure-all" benefits of other herbs, vitamins, and "natural products".  The costs of prohibition are significant, including infrastructure, outlays for employment of enforcing personnel, adding to distrust of government, and restriction of individual freedoms for little reason.



Costs of prohibition:

High incarceration rate.

Diversion of resources from other needs.

Miseducation of the public.

Deprives citizens of a generally safe product for entertainment and palliation.


Benefits of prohibition:

Certain industries benefit - private prisons, employment of prison guards, pharmaceutical industries.

Certain politicians benefit.  Plus, they're afraid that if they support repeal of prohibition, they'll lose the next election.

Parents get to have a soothing, false sense of security that their kids aren't using weed.  Just ocycontin and heroin.



It bothers me that marijuana is promoted as medicinal.  Even with certain benefits, the doctor is currently put in the impossible position of either being a 'go-to' person for "marijuana cards" - potentially putting their license at risk, and swamping their practice with people who want it for their 'headaches', 'back pain', and other real or not-real symptoms.  In addition, with increasing issues of oxycodone and other narcotic diversion, the DEA requires drug testing of some pain patients and if marijuana is present, their legal narcotic prescriptions must sometimes be cancelled.  With no quality control, safety regulation, dose management, it's impossible for the doctor to know what they are prescribing, or if it is safe or effective.  Not to mention, there is no training in use of marijuana and it doesnt come with long, lawyer-written disclaimers about the zillions of potential side effects that you get with, say, your cholesterol or blood pressure pills.


Really, medical marijuana seems like a 'back-door' route to  legalization.  But it's no more honest than people who want it illegal to "limit use", since it certainly hasn't eliminated use.



The primary use of marijuana is and should be recreational.  As for actual scientific trials of marijuana - I'm not sure there are any, or many, good clinical trials.  If someone wants to use it "medicinally", it should be in the same category as naturopathy or herbalism, unless controlled trials are able to demonstrate specific benefits in specific medical scenarios.  What is so bad about people having some fun?  It's safer than booze.  It's already illegal to drive while intoxicated, wehther with ethanol or marijuana.


What would happen if we eliminated the prohibition?



1 - Monsanto would make genetically engineered marijuana, and drive small players out of the market.  The Monsanto product would be Roundup-Ready, contain B. thuringensis as a pesticide, and contain zero (as opposed to almost zero) THC.  This would be a better renewable product than some of our other fiber and paper products.  (That being said, most of the hemp clothes that I have seen are really scratchy - maybe Ive just seen the wrond ones).  The tobacco companies, with existing manufacturing and marketing infrastructure, might dominate the market.


2 - Large scale use of hemp as an agricultural commodity, for fabric, fiber, and other uses, would make available billions of acres of plant material, and swamp the market with fake marijuana, resulting in sales of non-intoxicating hemp as bogus marijuana.  The only way for people to be sure that their weed is good, will be development of brand name products. 


3 - Companies like Marboro would get into the recreational marijuana industry, developing trusted brand names so that people could be reassured that they are buying "the real deal" instead of hemp intended for T-shirt manufacture or paper.  Some people would grow their own.  The plants do look pretty. 


Where is the nonsense in discussion of marijuana?

-claiming It's incredibly harmful.

-claiming Dire consequences would occur if prohibition ended.

-claiming It's a cure-all for anything that ails you.

-claiming It's a medicinal product and should be treated as medicine.


So that's my 2¢

Views: 982

Replies to This Discussion

What would happen if we eliminated the prohibition?

What happened in the Netherlands even though marihuana is still not strictly legal is quite positive.

- Teenagers smoke less marijuana and at a later age
- Less violent crime between criminal organizations
- Tax money in stead of drugs money

So Legalize It!.

Where is the nonsense in discussion of marijuana?
-claiming It's incredibly harmful.
-claiming Dire consequences would occur if prohibition ended.
-claiming It's a cure-all for anything that ails you.
-claiming It's a medicinal product and should be treated as medicine.

Well said!
Has not too many been damaged by using it?

Not as far as I know.
What kind of damage are you talking about?
Many of the users of Hash in Sweden got damaged in their heads.

Wikipedia "........a 2007 meta-analysis estimated that cannabis use is statistically associated, in a dose-dependent manner, to an increased risk in the development of psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.[68] No causal mechanism has been proven, however, and the meaning of the correlation and its direction is a subject of debate that has not been resolved in the scientific community."

I personally have seen many people use marijuana in very different circumstances, quantities and such. I have never seen anybody go into a psychiatric hospital because of smoking marijuana. Although I have been informed, that smoking marijuana might be detrimental to mental health, especially if a person is susceptible for schizophrenia.

Prohibition does not decrease the number of people using it, ergo for the potential problem of mental health, prohibition is not a solution. In fact, legalization and regulation can decrease the number of people smoking marijuana and increase the age at which people first use it.

Prohibition causes the market to be run by criminals who do not care about the quality of the product (adulterants) or the age of the buyer. If you legalize you can control both at least to some degree.

Unwanted consequences of substance use are not a valid reason for prohibition to me. I am convinced that my mind (brain) is my own property since it is the core of who and what I am. Therefor I should be free to do whatever I want with my own brain/mind, it seems to me to be a very elementary right to do so.

My actions should only have (legal) consequences when they infringe upon other people's liberties.
Not sure if anyone has said this but can we all just smoke some and chill? LOL!! I'm at work, so I can't read though all the comments right now...
4:20 happens more than twice! Each __:20 is a 4:20 to me (gotta love those different time zones).
Who the fuck would wake up at 4:20AM to get stoned? Not a lotta stoner drill sergeants running around. And don't tell me they're still awake from the night before. They got stoned at 4:20PM.
You only need to spark up at 4:20AM if you're still awake at that time. I can stay up until then, but I don't do it just for the benefits of getting stoned waaay too early in the morning, I do it because..well...I probably can't get to sleep if I'm up then so... =)
I wish I could tell you I was, but I don't know what other House you're talking about lol. And doing a google/wiki search didn't help either.
Oh my non-existent deity nooo not this music! *runs away*
Hey, what's wrong with House? It's funny and well-written and has an outspoken atheist protagonist (well, antagonist, but that's part of his charm). How many other shows are like that? OK, Bones, but that atheist protagonist is balanced by a Catholic love interest.
I didn't knock it, Bill did. I prefer that House to his House...*cries from headache*
Yeah, BMW, I was replying to Bill. I should have said. I wish Ning/A|N's thread nesting was easier to see and use.




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