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¢

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Replies to This Discussion

Sounds like you have a bad case of the reefer madness!
In truth, prohibition of alcohol was pretty effective. It resulted in decreased domestic violence, decreased alcohol related health problems and decreased alcohol use... also HUGE increases in organized crime!

Marijuana is such a different kind of drug than alcohol. Alcohol is a toxin that invades every cell in the human body. It causes decreased inhibitions... so increased violent and inappropriate behaviors. Alcohol also exacerbates depression and other mental disorders.

Health and social ills wise, marijuana and alcohol are not in the same universe. Marijuana decreases aggression, has no toxic effects (if ingested) and has self correcting mechanisms for addiction.
That would be The Law Of Unintended Consequences at work, right?
Plug up one hole and ten more appear! Humans operate under the Law of Reverse Midas... everything we touch turns to shit...
One would think it would be in big brother's best interest to have everyone passive.

I have a friend who works at a prison. He said that the staff does everything they can to catch any contraband that is being slipped in.... but they turn their heads to the weed, because it keeps the inmates mellow!
Living next to a bar and hearing drunks outside, I wonder what it would be like if it were a pot bar instead. There would probably be fewer fights. The talk would probably be even stupider, but possibly funnier.
In more current events, states want to release prison inmates due to budget constraints.

kentucky, for example, wants to release 2,000 nonviolent felons. I wonder how many nonviolent felons are in prison for tax evasion?
LA - "no place to house them"
Varous states.

The US has the highest incarcaration rate in the world.

Rhode Island estimates a savings of $11 million if they decriminalized marijuana. And Rhode Island is small - it's just the size of Rhode Island. " by forgoing the arrest of about 1,000 people annually on marijuana charges, and as much as $40.5 million by legalizing the drug. His estimates, which did not even take into account the expense of prosecuting and jailing offenders, assumed each arrest cost more than $10,000"

I don't know how much of the data is accurate from proponents of decriminalization - one group states $7 billion annually.

In times of recession, I suppose that jailing people is a way to feed and house them, but I would rather see the money spent on infrastructure and other jobs.

It seems to me that our legislators could garner support for stepwise deciminalization, on the way to repeal of absolute prohibition. They would only need the testicular fortitude of a chihuahua - states have to cut their budgets somehow. Let's see - let's close schools? let's not fix roads and bridges? let's raise taxes?
Yeah, the SRA was insane. Taunts of "soft on crime" ratcheted up to this insanity where judges no longer have the discretion to let harmless junkies avoid jail time.

And I think all reporting on states should begin with something like, "Rhode Island, a state the size of Rhode Island, etc..." It would make things so much clearer.
I always thought "Rhode Island" was a unit of measurement, sort of like Stones and Palms (or is it spans?). Except for big things, like icebergs, or asteroids. Plus, it's way more accurate than saying, "Rhode Island, a state the size of Delaware".
Well, that statement is reasonably accurate, for very small values of Delaware. The funny thing is that there are only fifty states, but apparently all large things are comparable in size to one or another of them.

And I think horses are measured in hands, if that's what you were thinking of. Personally, I try to measure as many things as possible in oxgangs per svedberg, including weights and volumes. Man, I love Wikipedia.
I had no idea. It will be really useful to know that an acre is a furlong by 4 rods. Which is great for outdoor-raised hemp. With most marijuana being hydroponic, proper the unit of measurement would be the Sherriff, that being the amount that an officer of the law can carry out of a basement in a day.




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