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Reader Comments on Marijuana Legalization Issue

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ROGER M:

Put me in the "No" column for legalization of marijuana for the following reasons:

 
1)  Marijuana is a gateway drug but because the THC content which averages of 10% and ranges as high as 37%, it is no longer a "soft drug."  At Harborside in Oakland, biggest retail pot shop in the world, the THC range is 10% to 21%.  Skunk (i.e. pot) in the UK that ranged from 12% to 18% caused so many ER visits and such an increase in mental illness, that they went from decriminaliztion to recriminalization in two years.  The same is already happening in America.
 
2)  The human brain isn't fully developed until the mid twenties, and until it is, it is much more vulnerable to harm and addiction, particularly with adolescents.  The two age groups with highest consumption are 18 to 25 in first place, followed by 12 to 17.  Not good!
 
3)  Recent brain scan technology has shown that marijuana interrupts development of adolescent brains, particularly between age 14 and 16 when the brain is undergoing massive changes, developing gray matter and white matter.  Pot interrupts development of white matter.  Lack of white matter has been correlated with schizophrenia and paranoia, so even "medical marijuana" patients are increasing the possibility of becoming mentally ill. John Patrick Bedell, the Pentagon shooter, is a good case in point.
 
4)  According to a Rand survey, legalization would potentially cut prices by 80% or more, and consumption would potentially double.  All of the related problems of crime, health, mental illness, education, welfare and traffic safety will increase proportionally. 
 
5)  Traffic deaths related to marijuana have doubled in California since 2004, when SB420 was passed and opened the barn door for pot to be used for any purported ailment .... from 631 deaths for the five years before 2004 to 1240 in the five years since.  (Crancer study).  According to Robert DuPont (www.stopdruggeddriving.com), pot is the cause of 26.9% of injury accidents.   That is more than alcohol is many cases even though there are 9 times more people who consume alcohol vs pot.
 
6)  Legalization won't just increase the chances pot will fall in the hands of youth.  They don't have any trouble getting it now, but with legalization we will just serve them up on a platter.
 
7)  As to crime, out of 1,770,000 arrests made in 2006 (think), only 250 were incarcerated for simple possession, and that was a result of plea bargaining.  Pot is a mind altering narcotic that leads people to criminal acts, insanity, unsafe sex, traffic problems, et.al.
 
8)  No problem with pot or anything else fulfilling one of life's pleasures, with one caveat:  it must be used in the absence of harm to others.  If a person is over 25 and their brain is mature, pot smoking can be less of a problem, but it is not without harm.  At a minimum, it diminishes productivity, impairs judgement, memory, motivation and maturation.  Because of the high potency of today's pot, it sends over 300,000 people to the emergency room per annum, and there are more people in rehab for addiction to marijuana than all other drugs and alcohol combined.  Because it stays in one's system for so long, it is more dangerous than alcohol in many ways.  Drugs and alcohol contribute to over 80% of all crime, and pot is the leading drug in those cases.  One-third of inmates are mentally ill, and many got that way from smoking pot.  Pot smokers are generally at the low end of the food chain, and reliant on public health care, welfare and responsible for a fair share of the 6.1 million children being raised by parents or grandparents. 
 
9)  There are many physical harms caused by pot.  It has 50 to 70% more carcinogens than tobacco.  It causes numerous problems of the respiratory system, including chronic bronchitis and cancer, testicular cancer, heart attacks (4.8 times greater risk within one hour after smoking a joint).  Maternal use also adversely impacts the fetus, leading to smaller babies, lower IQ's, ADD, and  the babies have an eleven fold increase in risk of nonlumphobiastic leukemia.  (Robinson LL et.al. Cancer 63:1904-1910, 1989)
 
10)  Because of the adverse affect of marijuana on adolescent brains, and its negative affect on memory, motivation, maturation, judgement, academic achievement and productivity, it is a major cause of the high school drop out rate of 33% in America.  In California alone the drop out rate is 24.2% which costs taxpayers $46.2 billion per cohort, $392,000 each.  We can't afford the economic cost or loss of talent.
 
11)  Drug dealers, including terrrorists, won't lose anything.  The surge in production from legal and illegal grows, Mexicans importing and growing in our national forests and home grows, will result in development of massive new black markets and chaos and crime similar to what now exists in Mexico from competing factions.
 
12)  Collecting taxes from pot growers will cost more than the taxes collected, and be largely impossible from all of the illegal grows.  Further, as with alcohol and tobacco where every $1 in taxes equates to $9 in social costs, pot will be worse.  Should California vote to legalize pot, they would automatically lose about $9 billion in federal funds for education, and all companies in the state who have federal contracts requiring a drug-free work place would be ineligible for contracts .... abouit $50 billion worth.  
 
13)  No state has a right to legalize a Schedule I drug in defiance of federal law.  If they did, they would invite the full wrath of the federal government including economic sanctions for contributing to all of the problems with crime, physical and mental health, welfare,  child/family assistance and traffic safety.
 
14)  Marijuana is a Schedule I drug because it is harmful, addictive and has no accepted medical use.  Real medicines must be approved by the FDA and they have known ingredients, known dosage and known potency.  No drugs are administered in smoked form, because those criteria cannot be met.  There are legal drugs in pill form such as Marinol made from a synthetic THC, and Sativex, a spray in the final stages of FDA approval.  But numerous tests have shown that smoked, crude marijuana does not pass the rigors for safe and effective medicine.  Any medicinal benefits lie in the isolated components.  So the question is, would the pot crowd looking for relief be happy with a pill or suppository?
 
15)  For young people who get busted for crimes and are found under the influence or in possession of drugs, the system can be the best friend they have for turning their life around.  Reclassying crimes to non-crimes is a stupid solution. 
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Luis B:

I know just about all there is to know about marijuana...i grew up around it, ive done all the research possible and 
Ive reviewed the page thoroughly as well as the reader comments and i just have a few things to say... I am completely 
pro legalization, S.T burnett and greg D. thank you very much youve said just about everything id like to say.

Just about everything listed under the NO collumn is either innacurate or 100% arguable and will be proven wrong by many sources....

The only thing worth me typing about thing is driving high.. which would still be illegal even if marijuana were legalised. 
When i used to get high on a daily basis, i also drove high every so often  and commuted an hour to work...i was able to 
stay focused and concentrate no problem...but as Lawrence J. pointed out you can get distracted if you dont focus...it is 
nothing compared to alcohol...i dont know a single person that can honestly say they can drive drunk...its ridiculous , 
no coordination or focus.

Marijuana NEEDS to be legalized and i honestly think it will be soon...my guess within ten years. Now a days everyones 
researching and hearing from their peers that the once known as "deadly narcotic" and " killer drug" marijuana is actually 
more harmful to keep illegal...theres still a few too many people that are in the government that were alive 
during the harsh propoganda towards marijuana era
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S.T. BURNETT:

I was reviewing your article and I do believe there are a few clarifications that need to be 
made predominantly to the NO side. as such the issues will be listed according to their correspondence number

1. Marijuana as a stepping stone (I.E. the gateway drug theory): this is actually 
almost entirely false for several reasons.
    1. The idea of seeking a bigger high only correlates with the dopamine addiction phenomenon. 
    marijuana does not interact with the dopamine system, it instead has a very specific set of receptors 
    which are activated almost purely by marijuana. as such the seeking of a greater "High" is 
    not found with this drug. 
    2. The gateway drug theory effectively ignores social motivation. under its current legal status 
    marijuana users have a higher chance of interacting with more hardcore drug users. As such the gateway is 
    opened due primarily to social influence. 
    3. in almost all cases the first "status" drug used by all individuals is either tobacco or alcohol.

2. Hazards would increase
    1. there is no statistical evidence showing an increased risk of accidents while stoned.  alcohol is 
    by far and away a much more serious impediment to ones mental faculties this alone rendering this argument defunct. 
    2. As for rape and burglary again there is no scientific evidence supporting this. statements made by conservatives 
    in 1926 scared people into believing this thus banning it even though all research indicates the opposite. 
    Rape being a violent sex crime is extremely unlikely due to the fact that marijuana drastically 
    decreases the violence levels of a recipient and frequently can render them impotent. Burglary is 
    also unlikely sue to the demotivating factors of marijuana. I bring this up due to the severe connotations 
    of words like rape which is still entirely unfounded.

3. Moral objections: moral objections are a part of free speech, however this is not a reason to render 
behavior or substances illegal because there are those that don't object to it. there are also religious 
groups who use it as part of their ceremonies. 

4. this argument is entirely fallacious. it has been found in several studies that it is easier to obtain 
marijuana than it is alcohol seeing as drug dealers don't tend to check id's. to keep the drug away from 
children we should legalize it and regulate it.

5. I understand the concept however the vast majority of people who smoke marijuana are not violent criminals. 
this argument is akin to saying we should make it illegal to drive so we can catch those that drive drunk.

6. Physical damage: I apologize this is going to take some time to finish
    1. there is no brain damage, merely impairment many studies do link marijuana use to short term memory loss 
    and difficulty with problem solving. furthermore the studies concluded that upon stopping the drug all users 
    retained 100% of their mental faculties. this is therefore not brain damage and is more related to the presence 
    of the drug in the body as it takes approximately one month to get rid of the entire substance. Aside from 
    studies I arranged my own experiment using an IQ test and myself as the subject. I still managed to get every 
    question right and obtain the exact same score on two different IQ APA certified IQ tests. I couldn't remember 
    why I was taking the tests but it didn't in any way cause brain damage.
    2. all studies linking marijuana use and cancer have found 0 correlation with it. this is very surprising seeing as 
    how marijuana smoke contains several times the levels of carcinogenic compounds as tobacco. The studies linking 
    marijuana and tobacco users have found that the risk of cancer for individuals using both drugs increases 20 fold.  
    The studies also found the main reason for this is not due to the drug itself but in the method of smoking. 
    marijuana users typically hold their breath for approximately 7 seconds to get the drugs full effect this behavior 
    is carried over while smoking cigarettes.  as such marijuana is harmless but tobacco is extremely bad for you.
    3. Your information is correct about depression and amotivational syndrome however the individuals who tend to 
    suffer these consequences are genetically predisposed to them.  
    4. Death? there is not a single study or incident that I am aware of in which an individual has died from marijuana 
    use. the LD limits for marijuana require such an exorbitant amount of the drug and the plant it it physically 
    impossible to achieve that effect. one passes out from smoking marijuana long before that amount could be consumed.  
    in order to reach the LD limits one has to smoke pounds of marijuana or chemically extract the drug.  in fact the 
    only way that withdrawal symptoms have been obtained is by injecting test subjects many times the usual amount. 
    I don't know where you got this but to my knowledge there is still 0 correlation.
    5. you are correct you can obtain lung damage by smoking marijuana. it requires smoking an average of 5 joints a 
    day for 24 years and then the subject will typically develop bullous lung disease. For financial comparison a 
    joint contains between .5g-1.5g and as such this is consuming between 25-75$ of marijuana every day for 24 years. 
    the typical pattern for marijuana users is a drastic drop in usage by their early 30's so appropriate regulation 
    entirely negates that argument.

7. in most cases marijuana would not be found in every enclosed space one visits. it is easy to regulate use in 
enclosed spaces if it ever became a problem. so again not really an argument the inherent problem with the No side is 
the assumption that legalizing means that everyone and their brother would go grab a joint an be a nuissance. 
ultimately that is not likely to be the case. I wanted to bring an updated list of scientific studies to your 
attention and point out some of the holes in the keep it illegal side.  I am obviously for legalization however in 
the interest of balanced views I felt that this information should be be added. and I firmly believe that moral objections 
be removed because the pro-legalization can make the same argument nullifying it. 
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LLOYD T:

In response to your request for comment or correction on your page, from a 
link posted by 'Mad Max' on the Prince Rupert Forum of 'hackingthemainframe.com' -
 
I worked for several years as a volunteer therapy group leader in the 
Maximum Security Ward of the Forensic Psychiatry section of Cape Town's 
main psychiatric hospital. Many were multiple killers and the outstanding 
common factor was, not IQ or financial background, but the heavy long term 
use of marijuana and alcohol from their early teens (before the brain is fully developed).
 
Marijuana has a long history in Africa. Its calming effect frees the 
user from caring and therefore it was used by Zulu impis (military regiments) 
before going into battle so that they would not care about their own injuries 
and cared even less about how many unarmed victims they slaughtered.
 
The same psychopathic use of marijuana was evident in the Congo wars after 
Belgium withdrew from Africa. Truck-loads of marijuana-high killers would 
descend on a village and wipe out everyone who got in their way or simply 
happened to be watching.
 
Obviously marijuana does not make one aggressive, it is simply calming in a 
psychopathic way.
 
The maximum effect of marijuana is only felt however if smoked through a 
bottle-neck for the venturi effect, in which the higher temperature 
causes a chemical reaction in the psychotropic properties that amplify the 
impact within the brain. The drug of choice in combination with this is 
Mandrax (usually imported from India), crumbled into a powder and mixed 
with marijuana, and known in the Western Cape as 'white-pipe'. Over time 
this has a very destructive effect on the self-control mechanisms of the brain.
 
I think the above aspect is completely lacking in your 'No' section.
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BRETT R:

I just read your article titled "Should Marijuana be Legalized under any 
Circumstances?", and there are a couple points that I don't agree with. I don't 
believe marijuana is a stepping-stone drug as you put it. Just because people 
that do heroin  and cocaine also do marijuana that doesn't really prove 
anything. Furthermore, if marijuana was legal while the other harder drugs with 
illegal then people would have no reason to associate with criminals to buy 
marijuana. That it is self would decrease the use of heroin and cocaine use. The 
other thing I don't agree with is statement "Legalization would increase the 
chances of the drug falling into the hands of kids.". Take a look at alcohol, 
when I was in school not that many years ago is would have been just as easy for 
me to get marijuana as it was alcohol if not easier. Alcohol was harder because 
you had to be over 21 and not a lot of people would buy it for minors. With 
marijuana nobody cared how old you were so long as you had the money. Making it 
legal would change that. Another issue that I don't agree with is "....drug as 
morally wrong." Moral issues have no business being in any laws, period. The 
final point is that marijuana causes long-term physical problems. There are a 
number of studies that point just the opposite direction. I have never heard of 
anybody ODing on weed, and I don't think there has been a case of that. There 
are more people that OD on over the counter drugs than marijuana. Marijuana does 
have the potential to cause lung cancer just the same a tobacco but no worse. 
Maybe this is an old article and you have updated information, but I don't agree 
with a lot of this. Just my two cents.
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STEVEN:

I was just reading over some of the negatives you have for Cannabis use and I 
feel most of them are wrong. Lets say I know a good amount about Cannabis. 
The only reason Cannabis is a gateway drug is because it is classified as a 
drug and illegal. If you take it out of the hands of drug dealers who also 
sell other drugs then you stop a lot of kids from being around the other drugs. 
I coach youth hockey and these kids at 12 can get whatever they want so 
obviously outlawing it isn't the right thing. 2. Pot will not lead to hardcore 
crimes. Its a happy peaceful drug. 3. Stoned driving is not that dangerous. 
Unless its one of your first times smoking. But your body and mind get used 
to pot and anything you can do sober you can do as well if not better high. 
Sports, I personally love sports and if Cannabis is used before people I know 
get even better. Its very instinctual. I know people who get sharp as a 
scalpel when high. It was only outlawed because of greed and racism. 
The morally wrong should be up to individuals and not the government. I could 
give you a million more reasons on why to legalize it. 
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LAURA H:

The legalization of marijuana would be a disgrace to this country. It is a very 
dangerous drug and could harm anyone who can get it into their hands. I think 
this topic isn't even worth discussing or debating. If our country wants to risk 
high health hazards, higher death rates, more people doing crazy things because 
of drug abuse, more street fights because of more drug abuse then marijuana 
should be a legal drug. If we legalize marijuana what's going to stop us from 
legalizing all other drugs or let the legal alcohol level become higher. Why 
don't we just let all things be legal. That is how i feel about this topic. We 
must be under the influence of drugs to even consider legalizing marijuana or 
any other drug that is more dangerous than it is helpful.
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Matt & Megan T:

I would just like to reply to Laura H.  
Laura, did you read the Pros and the cons listed?  More street fights?  You
obviously have only listened to the side of this issue against legalization.
Marijuana is a drug that makes one feel more relaxed and mellow, i.e. less
likely to get into a fight!  Legalization would help curb street violence
because of less "need" for "Street Justice.  Please Laura, before being so
holier than thou, read all of the facts.
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David B:

This page was very accurate and I agree with everything except the
argument that the drug would be more accessible for teenagers.  When I
was under 21 it was far easier to get marijuana that alcohol.  There is
not a lot of money in bootlegging alcohol so it is not popular at all
which means that you have to find someone older who is willing to do all
the leg work and put themselves on the line for you to have alcohol. 
By  16 all you have to do is drive to somebody's house and in areas such
as inner city kids can just walk down the block for it any time.  This
is only my experiences with availability.  I suppose either way is
arguable, but where this is a fact for me, accessibility being greater
with legalization is only an assumption.
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Jerry  V (aka "a concerned pothead"):

Personally, as a seventeen year old I see more marijuana usage than cigarette and alcohol. 
I smoke marijuana myself (almost everyday) yet I am on the honor roll and suffer no amotivational 
attitude toward school or any other activities. I believe it is the overall attitude of the student 
about their school work; most are just looking to blame it on what many believe is just 
a pleasant experience. 
 
Also, as mention by your article, it will increase tax revenue (which is helpful 
considering that we are in a recession as it is). It will prevent good people going 
to prison and wasting tax money; moreover, it will force the police to focus on more 
serious cases (also mentioned in your article), thus freeing up space in the prisons and 
insuring that our tax money is put into punishing real criminals. Marijuana smokers who
become imprisoned are disgraced by family and friends and now have a criminal record, 
making it hard to get a job and become successful (and obviously successful people help 
the economy). They'll just get sucked down into becoming real criminals just to make 
ends meet by means of stealing or otherwise. 
 
And about whether it is "morally" right or not, it is none of anyone's 
business but their own. I may find eating meat is morally outrageous, but is it my 
right to enforce my beliefs on them? I thought we were supposed to live in the "land 
of the free". Back off me!
 
Marijuana being used as a "stepping stone" will be greatly reduced. Dealers 
tend not only to deal marijuana but harder narcotics as well. If the process of going 
through the dealer is eliminated, then the harder drugs will be more difficult to come 
by. This thereby significantly lowers the chance of marijuana users starting other more 
dangerous substances.
 
As an afterword, and as you may already know, the illegalization of marijuana was 
initially brought out by a competitor of the paper industry. Hemp is a stronger material, 
it is cheaper, and can be used for various purposes. If hemp rather than trees were used, 
then we'd have more trees which is very good if you like to breathe (it would help to 
maintain a more life friendly environment). It would help to save the ever-decreasing rain 
forests of Latin America. This would help the animal life as well as serve human interest. 
 
Concluding my thoughts and feelings, I would much rather hang-out with a marijuana user 
than an alcoholic; I encourage someone who is upset or angry to smoke a bowl and calm down 
(it does make people mellow and calm), instead of drinking their problems away getting into 
a fight. If anyone reads this I would like to thank you for your time, as well as this 
opportunity to help the legalization of a victimless crime.
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Clare:

Hi I have studied briefly about this drug, not because 
of interest really but more because I had to give myself knowledge. I have 
experienced some very frightening side-effects of marijuana. Somebody very close 
to me had a drug induced psychosis after under a year of using the drug. He lost 
all touch with reality, was very violent (harmful towards himself and others). 
He assaulted police officers, experienced paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, 
extreme thought disorder etc. He was in the psychiatric ward of a hospital for 
over a week and is now on anti-psychotic drugs and will likely never fully 
recover from his experience. All of these things were not in his character and 
the psychosis was a direct result of marijuana. His psychosis lasted for two 
months. I am not suggesting that this happens in all cases but as more research 
is being done marijuana is being linked to many mental conditions. I defend the 
fact that everyone has the right to make there opinion known and I respect the 
fact that people are  trying to give some information about this drug.  I have 
decided after the experience I have been through that I am devoted to letting 
people know the serious situations that can come from marijuana. I am seventeen 
years old and have learned a lot as a result of what has happened. I have read 
that you suggest that marijuana can cause physical damage but more importantly 
it  can have a serious effect on mental health. I suggest that some information 
about this topic be addressed to inform people about the more serious negative 
effects of marijuana.
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Casey:

I would just like to reply to Laura H and Clare because they have their personal 
thoughts and feels mixed with the HUGE topic of marijuana use. To Laura H. obviously you 
have not done your research about the herb, because no matter what web site or book you read 
you are going to see more pros then cons, what does that tell you? Laura H. you~ez_rsquo~re a great 
example of the U.S. government, fascist. The only way marijuana is going to get legalized 
is if in fact some people on congress are affected by cancer, thus the only thing they have 
to turn too is the use of medi-pot. Chemotherapy causes nausea, I think every one knows, 
and the point is, I read this story about a man that couldn~ez_rsquo~t do any thing, but sit back 
and watch his wife in pain, knowing that it could be prevented but still being powerless; 
the point is the nausea ruined her life till the day she died. The husband stated that 
~ez_ldquo~it was the worst feeling in the world watching her die painfully". ~ez_ldquo~I cannot even have 
some metal relive in knowing she passed painlessly". 

To Clare you are talking about two different things, the affect of marijuana, and your 
personal experience with it, and how it affected that person. Smoking ~ez_ldquo~pot" does not 
mean your going to be sucked into the gateway of other drugs, it depends on the person 
and I know any one would agree with me. To quote you; ~ez_ldquo~I have read that you suggest that 
marijuana can cause physical damage but more importantly it can have a serious effect on 
mental health". If marijuana does in fact affect people mentally, tell me why it is used 
to treat people in some cases of depression.

To all the others, Jerry  V (aka "a concerned pothead"), Matt & Megan T, 
STEVEN, BRETT R. All of your research, thoughts, and opinions are that of mine. Being 
only 16 years old myself, I have some serious views and opinions that are unarguable about 
the topic, and I am confident and I can make any one look like a fool trying to prove otherwise. 
For some reason I just cannot understand why it is illegal. I would also just like to say that 
I think the United States is heading on the road to another great depression and no one sees it.  
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AARON S:

Usually the reason a person who is using 
marijuana may try harder drugs or move on to them is because they are around 
people who do them.  If marijuana was legalized then they would not be around 
harder drug use so much.  For example, when a person buys drugs they may be 
around people who pressure them or offer them harder drugs. If marijuana was 
legalized they would not be around this kind of activity especially if a drug 
dealer is trying to hook the person on a harder drug.
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STEVE M:

Legalization would not make it easier for adolesants to get ahold of the 
marjuana, because of the fact that you could buy it from stores and if there was 
an age limit adults would not endager getting themselves in trouble for buying 
the drug for underage kid. Basiclly the same concept as alcohol.
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GREG D:

I find some of the logic flawed under the NO column.

1. Studies show that marijuana often preceeds the use of other illegal drugs, but so does ciggaretes and alcohol. In the absence of of marijuana those users will try meth, or even ~ez_ldquo~huffing". Marijuana is so ubiquitous that it is just one of the first drugs to be found. Someone seeking escape will usually find it, and not because they tried marijuana. So the fact that most who tried hard drugs had first tried marijuana does not mean that they tried hard drugs because of marijuana.  Saying that marijuana leads to harder drugs is a logical fallicy that people are supposed to fall for, which is the obviuos intention since the dea calls it a gateway drug.  The notable exception to this is that since marijuanan is illeagal, other, more dangerous, illicit drugs are made available to consumers.

2. 14 million marijuana smokers in this country~ez_hellip~ either they are stupid enough to drive stoned already or they are responsible adults.  Leagalizing marijuana does not leagalize driving while under the influence, and no one out there claims it should. There is no evidence to support that legalizing maijuana will lead to more DUIs.

4. Legalizing marijuana may keep it out of the hands of kids.  In the netherlands the percentage of the teenage population that has smoked weed is half that of the US.  A leagal dealer is not likely to sell to kids and loose his/her licence while an illegal one will sell to whomever.  For example alcohol and smoking are much lower than marijuana use in junior high school students.  While that does change some in high school, as older students are able to buy ciggarettes or have older friends to buy them alcohol, studies have shown that the younger a person is when he/she does any drug (nicotine, alcohol, marujana) the more likely they are to abuse drugs in the future.

5. Everyone breaks the law. Some cross a street not at a crosswalk, some fib a little on their taxes, some litter. That does not make them more likely to commit other crimes.  Even if littering became a felony offence, that does not mean that the litterer is more likely to commit other felonies.  Since marijuana use is more benign then the three crimes listed above, its doubtful that consumers will commit other crimes just because there are rediculous punishments for its use.

6.  There are no reputable studies that claim any of the below.  Even the DEA can only quote other~ez_rsquo~s opinions, and some well known flawed studies.  Marijuana does not cause brain damage according to any marijuana study anywhere(unless you count parents smaking their kids for smoking marijuana). Cancer and lung damage are the result of smoking marijuana, not consumption or vaporization, and since the DEA cracks down on parifinalia like vaporizors, the DEA contributes to cancer and lung damage more then marijuana does. Depression is found In a higher percentage of  marujuana users then non users, but depressed people seek out medication to help themselves, and when xanax, zoloft, prozac, etc do not help sometimes marijuana does, and im sure that many depressed people find marijuana first.  This does not mean that marujuana causes depression, just like alchohol does not cause depression. We can only hope the that depressed people find marijuana before finding alcohol, meth, or other truly dangerous drugs. Marijuana cause a lack of motivation, but after time most users adapt, or stop using marijuana.  Marijuana has never been liked to death, although many other drugs prescribed to help the same ailments that marijuana helps, do.

Didn~ez_rsquo~t mean to rant on, but a majority of the scientific/medical community agrees that marijuana is mostly harmless and should be leagal.  It is only Socially conservative politicions and the people they appoint to high places in the FDA and DEA that disagree and I am sure we all know by now how science and fact takes a back seat to beliefs and desires in our current adminitration.

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Christenah M:

In regards to number 2 on the list under No,
 
"Also, there's always the possibility that the lapse in judgment caused by drug use 
will lead to harder crimes like rape or robbery."
 
I was wondering if anything like that has actually been documented because I just 
feel that to be high enough to want to commit to something like that, well you'd 
probably have to smoke alot.  And smoking alot of pot doesn't usually have an agressive 
affect on most people, unless it's reacting with other medication they are taking, but 
if it was legal, it'd practically be perscription and reactions like that wouldn't happen.  
Also, smoking alot usually causes most people to want to relax, as opposed to plan a robbery 
and be able to carry it out without getting caught.  
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Lawrence J:

I would like to point out a few incorrect statements on your webpage. Driving 
stoned is a give and take situation. Number one you are usually more careful but 
it is easier to distract you. I dont think its fair to say its even comparable 
to driving drunk. Driving drunk completely impairs your sense of coordination 
while marijuana for the most part does not. Marijuana users do drive sometimes 
this is true but there is no proof that they are more likely to be in a car 
crash or cause one. All studies I have seen have been based mostly off drug 
tests that prove the victim or accused has ingested marijuana sometime in the 
last 2 weeks to 1 month. How is that accurate? 

Secondly you say "Also, 
there's always the possibility that the lapse in judgment caused by drug use 
will lead to harder crimes like rape or robbery." I find that to be absolutely 
untrue, although I may be taking the statement incorrectly. In my interpretation 
that statement means people under the influence of marijuana are more likely to 
commit said crimes because of judgement lapses. If thats what you mean that is  
untrue for this substance. Empathy is a big part of being stoned. As for 
stealing thats not even related in my opinion. 

My second dispute with 
your arguments is that Marijuana has never linked to brain damage even by heavy 
users. Amotivational Syndrome is an idea that was invented during reefer madness 
and ill be honest with you. When I was a adolescent 13-17 I definately had no 
motivation. I was a teenager. If you look you will see that almost all of those 
studies have to do with teenagers. Responsible adults have the drive to not be 
lazy. Marijuana does not halt that drive. In EXTREMELY heavy usage it can make 
you not want to work. But to call that a syndrome that is not accurate in my 
opinion. As for the memory loss, problem solving, brain damage of any kind, and 
depression, Im sorry sir but those statistics are definately not true. Did you 
know that marijuana has even been shown to protect brain cells in certain 
situations? Marijuana Does Not Damage Brain Cells Period. The Studies that came 
up with that answer have been discredited publicly. 

My final 
disagreement is with this statement: Because of drug-related arrests, 
people who have committed or are likely to commit more serious crimes can be 
taken off the streets. People who produce, sell, traffic, or use illegal drugs 
have already established themselves as people who will break the law. Anyone who 
commits drug-related felonies isn't likely to be constrained in committing other 
felonies, such as robbery, rape, murder, etc. If such people are in prison 
because of drug charges, they aren't able to go out and commit other crimes. 
Also, it often occurs that there isn't enough evidence to imprison felons for 
the serious crimes like murder; however, if they can be imprisoned for 
something, society is much better off. At a minimum, they will be off the 
streets, unable to wreak more havoc. 

I have to be honest I dont 
think this statement is fair in any way. I certainly DO NOT condone the felonies 
you describe. I simply think that it is not effective to go after someone under 
the assumption that they WILL commit crimes. That is illegal. Lets say that I 
am  drug dealer for the sake of argument. I only sell marijuana. I sell it to my 
friends and share with my girlfriend. I have a job and I go to it 5 days a week. 
I live in Chicago in a busy district. I, according to you, have already 
established myself as someone who will break the law. Therefore according to 
your logic I am going to commit rape, murder, larson, etc. Or at least am more 
likely to. My good sir, we all break the law, you yourself have broken the law 
on occasion. Does that mean that you are much more likely to go out and steal 
cash from a mini-mart because you got a speeding ticket or got drunk one night 
and fell asleep on a park bench? One crime does not lead to another in most 
cases and certainly not in this one; the committing of a crime takes a conscious 
effort, a thought or force of will and pursuant action and each crime is a 
separate instance of this; nor can you pursue or stereotype a group of people 
because they have broken A law and that means they will break More laws. I 
myself have used marijuana and I am certainly not going to go kill or rape or 
anything else. 

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