2.22.2013

Legalized Marijuana?



I attended a drug and alcohol seminar for kids moving up to the high school with my son last night (disappointingly, there were less than 40 kids from his class of 300 in attendance) hosted by the Pittsburgh Drug Alliance

As a little aside, this program was excellent and showed a video of several kids and their parents who died from drug overdoses all within 10 miles of my home.  Very powerful to recognize names and places from the video.  Yes, I cried through most of it, embarrassing my 14 year old.

There was a panel of recovering addicts who were interviewed in the front of the room and the closing question for each was "Do you support legalizing recreational marijuana?"

I felt really stupid when I realized I didn't know this has been proposed.  But learned, this bill has passed in some western states like Colorado and Washington.  I really need to read the paper more...

So, it's Feedback Friday...

What do you think of legalizing recreational marijuana?

8 comments :

  1. I have mixed emotions. I think it is probably a lot healthier than prescription pain meds and their many side effects since marijuana is a lot more natural. I don't see it as being any worse than cigarettes or alcohol. For people in pain, it seems like a good thing but if it would mean a lot more teenagers getting hooked on another drug, that would be a bad thing although I am sure they can get it easily even if it is against the law.

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  2. Yes. That does not mean that I approve of regular use. Rather, I think that we all need to acknowledge that prohibition is not effective! In my community (and elsewhere, I know) a LOT of taxpayer money is spent each August/September on helicopters flying low over cornfields, etc., looking for marijuana plants. In the meantime, meth and perscription drug abuse is rampant. Again, I don't necessarily approve of its use- but I really don't care if my next door neighbors smoke marijuana. I know that people can still do this AND be functioning members of society. However, I do care if they abuse these other dangerous drugs.

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  3. This is a tough one for me - while I knew plenty of kids in college who occasionally got high and still did fine in school, I also saw the consequences of some of their decisions (car accidents, pregnancy, dropping out of school). All of those can be consequences of alcohol abuse too. I can support the 'not being worse than alcohol', but comparing it to cigarettes is ridiculous (and I am an avid anti-smoker). I guess I would need to know more about the proposed bills - I'm guessing there would still be strong laws against DWI/DUI and other vehicular regulations. I would hope there would also be some workplace regulations as well. I don't know - sometimes making things legal makes them less of a temptation to teens, but the thought still scares me. See - totally undecided ;op

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  4. I am conflicted as well. I certainly don't want my kids smoking it, but wonder if the amount of resources devoted to stopping it are worth it. I think states considering legalizing it should wait and see how Colorado and Washington fair, before making any decisions. I've spent some time in the Netherlands and legalized drugs don't really seem to be doing the country any favors.

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  5. Bring it on.
    I don´t smoke pot, but I also never drink any alcohol, for the exact same reasons - both blurs my mind, and I don´t like that. Yet one drug is legal, even more, socially completely accepted, while the other one counts as a dangerous gateway drug - hey, and alcohol isn´t?
    I see a clear double standard here that I´d like to see removed: Either ban both, or legalize both, since the effects are pretty much the same.
    And I´d rather not have it banned, because, though I personally might not like the state of chemical induced oblivion for myself, a lot of others seem to enjoy it, and those people will do it, anyway. Prohibition would just lead to crime.
    Would I like to see my kids smoke it?
    Well, I smoked it as a teen. As did most people I know, at some point in their lives. I wouldn´t mind them trying one joint, or two. What I´d certainly mind is if they went completely overboard with it and went to excessive consumption, but I wouldn´t want to see this with any other thing, either.
    If people get addicted to drugs - or chocolate, or legal medicamentation, or whatever they pick - I think there are usually a lot of issues behind it that cause this desire to shut the world out. I´m more in favour of attending those issues, in families, in society - through communication and open eyes and open hearts than for banishing drugs.

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  6. It's scary how you never know who has a problem. I can't tell you how many emergency calls happen in the "nice" neighborhoods...mainly heroine and meth though... Legalizing marijuana, ehhh. There really are so many worse drugs out there than pot...most of them are in your med cabinet or under your sink. If a person has a problem and wants to get high, they'll find a way legal or not.

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  7. Even Morgan Freeman is for decriminalizing. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/morgan-freeman-marijuana-legalization-weed_n_1683905.html
    "Marijuana! Heavens, oh yeah. It’s just the stupidest law possible, given history. You don’t stop people from doing what they want to do, so forget about making it unlawful. You’re just making criminals out of people who aren’t engaged in criminal activity. And we’re spending zillions of dollars trying to fight a war we can’t win! We could make zillions, just legalize it and tax it like we do liquor. It’s stupid. "

    By decriminalizing we take the money and the back door deals out of the hands of criminals, and into the light. We get tax money for anyone that wants it. I believe that in the states that legalized marijuana that you have to be of age to buy it, and you have the same punishments for DUI.

    And you cannot OD from marijuana.In order for a human to consume enough marijuana to be fatal, they would have to consume nearly 40,000 times the amount of THC required to intoxicate them, or about 1/3 of your body weight. In contrast, it only requires about 5 to 10 times the amount of alcohol required to intoxicate, to be fatal. For example, if it requires 3 beers to intoxicate you, it only requires 15 to 30 beers to kill you. However, if it takes you 3 'hits' of marijuana to intoxicate you, it would require 120,000 hits to kill you. Thus, it is virtually impossible to die of a marijuana overdose.

    Not to mention the side effects of prescription drugs. They even warn you about them on TV. "May cause: diarrhea, sleeplessness, night awakening, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath. Do not allow pregnant women or children to touch. In rare cases people have died." These are all the things that they know can and have happened and they still approve of the general public using those drugs. I think you could compare using marijuana to using Ambien, but without the sleep walking.

    What we really need is to teach our kids responsibility and be parents to them instead of their friends. Addiction is a real problem, but you will never know or see it if you aren't in your kids face teaching them.

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  8. I have been sober for 13 years (on May 12, 2013). I was a severe alcoholic and it had a HUGE (bad) impact on my life. One of the things I have learned through my journey is there are people who can enjoy these things in moderation, function and be a valuable member of society and there are those of us who cannot. I am still a barfly :-) I just drink a lot of coffee and/or water when I go out. I have had many friends over the years who smoke pot and were never combative, suicidal or hateful when they were high. Worse thing I've seen those friends do is mow their way through tons of munchies :-) I would love to see pot legalized and taxed and become an income for the US.

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