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  • #2
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    If we decriminalized shoplifting you would have the same headline: Shoplifting Decriminalization Drops Youth Crime Rates by Stunning 20%

    Decriminalizing ANYTHING will reduce the crime rate of that particular action...mainly because you quit arresting and charging them FOR that action.

    Kinda dumb story.
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  • #3
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    It should be totally legalized. It is not dangerous enough to be illegal. You never hear of anyone dying of a marijuana overdose. We could reduce government spending on law enforcement, corrections and the courts while cutting profits of criminal organizations that grow and smuggle the stuff.
  • #7
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    The difference between decriminalization and legalization is the ability for the Government to regulate and tax the marijuana for public consumption.

    It's big alcohol and big pharma that keep it "illegal".

    Decriminalization is a straw dog. The "dealers" and the "smugglers" and those making kazillions of dollars growing and processing will still be arrested and put through the system.

    Decriminalization simply means that Doobie Bob with a half ounce in his pocket won't get arrested for drug possession when he get's ticketed for jay-walking.

    (But he'll still get busted for public intoxication.)
  • #10
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    @CanisCanemEdit The difference between legalization and decriminalization is that marijuana is a weed that can grow abundantly almost everywhere in the US, so in order to regulate and tax marijuana the government must still impose and enforce laws to prevent people from simply growing and harvesting the stuff for free.
  • #12
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    @Dan_Tien -

    I think it's more on the line of strong spirits.

    People can make beer and wine at home legally....however to distill alcohol is criminal without governmental licensing and taxation.

    A few people still do it...but at risk of prosecution.

    (BTW - I don't give a fig about people smoking pot. It grows wild out here and the cows love it.)
  • #15
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    @CanisCanemEdit Do the cows where you live giggle, behave lethargically, bump into each other a lot and produce intoxicating milk?
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  • #1
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    And the use of pot further reduced violent crime rates by 100%. Theft of fast food is up, but the police are having no problems rounding up those perpetrators in the "Mystery Machine" leaking smoke just outside the restaurant.
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  • #27
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    In fact lets do away with the constitution and bill of rights. Country can't get any worse with democrats running two thirds of the government
  • #33
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    @Republican5001
    Actually it was the repubs who got rid of the constitution under Bush. Patriot Act, Real ID Act, Dept Homeland Security Act, need I go on?
  • #51
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    @Republican5001
    Oh, so shredding the constitution is the way to responding to Al Queda? My most said nothing about the not fighting Al Quada, it was entirely about the loss of the u.s. comdtitution.

    He who would exchange liberty for security for security deserve neither (Ben Franklin).
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  • #9
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    I'm a retired P.O. and I say, about freaking time. The only reason it's illegal, is because the banks and our shadow government needs it for tax free profits for their their evil projects around the globe. Dominic Strauss Khan, the head of the wold band said this, and we wonder why he was set up in NYC. Not giving that perv a pass, but worth mentioning.
  • #64
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    If you're a retired P.O. then you are well aware of the millions/billions of dollars made every year by every city, county, and state government in the country when it comes to minor drug arrests.

    I've traversed the legal system with a loved one with a drug problem. What a racket. Money for bail, court costs, attorney fees, probation fees, mandated drug classes, mandated DUI classes (even if you weren't under the influence) Even the DOT is in on the act because they take your license if you're arrested for possession while in your car, then make you pay to get your license back. In some states they even take your car...forever!

    Then if you get locked up for a minor offense you pay dearly for phone calls and other things.

    Everyone who can get away with it has their hand out getting a little piece of that pie. It's insane. It is, without doubt, an industry that ruins peoples' lives in order make money. It's about time that industry be shut down. Unless someone commits a crime while on drugs, then simply using drugs should not be an offense that warrants more criminal intervention than many rapes and murders.
  • #61
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    Question:
    Why does the US government continue to say that marijuana has no medical abilities, when that exact same government owns the patents to the medical abilities of marijuana???

    Here's a link:
    https://www.google.com/url...

    As a libertarian, I don't understand why we continue this "war on drugs"! Is there liberty when a government protects you from yourself?

    "Those who give up liberty for security, deserve neither!"
    -Ben Franklin-

    We spend BILLIONS each year housing "criminals" in prisons due to petty drug charges, while the US government is protecting poppy fields in Afghanistan for their drug corporation interest groups!!! Kind of a double standard there isn't it? We live in a Country that prosecutes its citizens for doing the exact thing that they're doing!!! Welcome to Ameika!!!
  • #67
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    Excellent post and use of Ben Franklin's quote! The Republicans and Democrats need to realize that drug, alcohol, etc prohibition is an antiquated idea pushed by the religious fanatics who want to control people's personal lives, and use the goverment to do it.
  • #94
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    @Politic-n - What both sides of the political aisle need to do is study history. The last time we had a federal prohibition against a popular recreational drug (alcohol), we ended up with organized crime and income taxes. Those who refuse to study history deserve to repeat it.
  • #43
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    They didn't lower the amount of crime, just counted it differently. If we decriminalize Murder, Assault and Rape, crime rates would drop as well..... sound like a workable solution to you?
  • #45
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    You need to read the article... it didn't say just marijuana arrests went down... it said that many other crime rates went down too. legalizing rape would have no effect on the murder rate... legalizing marijuana does...
  • #50
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    @DogLady_1 The Article

    "The main reason for the good news is that the state decriminalized possession of less than an ounce of pot in January 2011.

    After decriminalization, marijuana possession arrests among the under-18s dropped from 14,991 in 2010 to 5,831 in 2011. In other words, pot possession arrests dropped 64% in a single year, according to a new report from the Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice (CJCJ)."

    You will have a very difficult time convincing me that a drop in violent crime is somehow related to youth smoking dope.

    Figures often lie and liars ALWAYS figure. Obviously the author an agenda
  • #57
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    @Sharpshooter - the drop in violent crime is NOT related to kids smoking dope... the drop in violent crime is related to kids no longer dealing with dangerous people in order to smoke dope... kids have been smoking dope for hundreds of years... violence is related to the prohibition laws creating gangs, cartels and blackmarkets that endanger communities and their children, not the smoking of dope... Also, it is a myth that if pot became legal everyone would smoke it... that does not hold true for any drug already legalized... there is no reason to believe that it would hold true for marijuana...
  • #59
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    @DogLady_1 Sorry, not buying. Decriminalizing didn't change the supply chain so kids are still dealing with the same pusher. The penalty for dealers isn't changed, nor is the markup so the supply side is the same with the same motive for violence.

    If anything, decriminalizing pot creates a larger market for a product that is difficult to obtain for sales.... supply and demand will drive up prices and the added money increases the motivation to fight for ones share.

    Intoxicants of ANY KIND are not good for you, we already have alcohol and the drawbacks it brings to the table. Pot would bring it's own issues to society, many of which I presume aren't even known at this point.

    If Pot served a USEFUL purpose I would reconsider my beliefs, but getting buzzed isn't a USEFUL purpose.
  • #65
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    @Sharpshooter

    You are so naive in believing that all you have to say is "intoxicants are bad" and that's going to solve everything.

    Diet sodas are bad for you. So is caffeine, red meat, hot dogs, salt, sugar, french fries, unprotected sex, and driving without a seat belt....but when it did become YOUR moral duty to tell others what they should and should not do? Why is it the government's job to step on the personal rights of others?

    For the record, I haven't smoked pot in over 30 years. I wouldn't even if it were legalized; and there are plenty of people for which legalization would hold no interest. Lots of people don't drink, but it's not their right to tell those who do drink what to do.

    As long as someone is not harming someone else, as far as I'm concerned no crime has been committed. The idea that our government can determine what we can and cannot eat, drink, smoke, or do with our own bodies is outrageous. Talk about government out of control. Talk about BIG government. When governments intervene in our personal lives, it is WAY out of hand.
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  • #102
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    Someone asked a Boston policeman why the penalties for being drunk in public are so much worse than being stoned in public. Well, people under the influence of marijuana are not aggressive, loud, offensive or dangerous to others. A walk through the Public Garden on a summer day clearly demonstrates this point. The contented, quiet stoners vs the loud, scary drunks. Personally, I would rather legalize the stuff, collect taxes, create jobs and move attention to other issues, while saving tax dollars. Russia and Mexico were thrilled with the election results. This will help reduce crime in THEIR countries. They would love it if we just grew our own
  • #46
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    From the Center for Juvenile Criminal Justice Center report cited in the article: "Felony arrests were down 17%, both violent and property felonies were down 16%, misdemeanor and status offenses were down 21%, and homicide was down 26%... Total arrests, felonies, rape, homicide, property crime, and misdemeanor/status offense rates now stand at the lowest levels ever reliably tabulated."
  • #39
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    This really is a no brainer. For years I had retail store locations in poor areas. I watched the thugs and punks and bangers grow up. For years I have advocated the legalization of marijuana for the simple reason that these thugs, punks and bangers get them a sack of weed and they retire to the couch and will watch a test pattern on TV. They will also eat raw potatoes, brillo pads, bars of soap and never know the difference. But what they aren't doing is running the streets committing crime. Maybe after the nap. LEGALIZE.
  • #31
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    No brainer at all. And just like alcohol, kids under 18 will buy it. So I am hoping you mean legal to sell, not that kids should be subject to incarceration if caught with it...
  • #37
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    @PoliticalSpice - Our laws have done a great job of discouraging retailers from selling alcohol and cigarettes to kids... of course, some will still get it, but the penalties for selling to a minor have been very effective in keeping that number very low... with prohbition, it means that heroin is easier to get then alcohol... I am not too crazy about that... with legalization comes regulations for the sale of drugs... But right now, any kid will tell you it is easier to get cocaine than it is to get beer.
  • #44
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    @BigD1391 - Economic Stimulus indeed! Changing the focus and revitalizing our agricultural industry is essential to many of our states. Although other cash crops has sustained us in the past, many are no longer economically viable. We need a new cash crop, and hemp is perfect. It has more than 50,000 industrial uses. It has an estimated $500 billion annual export potential. Anything currently made from trees, cotton or petroleum can be made from hemp at lower cost and with less damage to the environment. Harvesting hemp is very cost-effective. Cultivation and processing would create thousands of jobs in transportation and manufacturing. A bonus would be the entrepreneurial jobs and small businesses created from the development of products made from this versatile plant. Hemp can also be used for fuels and oils. With our state's agricultural farming potential, we could easily replace one third of our needs for petroleum as a primary fuel for our major industries.
    A green economy is our nation's economic future.
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  • #17
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    I said it before and I'll say it again. Step 1) LEGALIZE Pot. Step 2) TAX pot, Step 3) PROFIT!!!!! In addition, pardon anyone ever convicted of a pot related crime and we can go on our merry way. It is maximum stupidity that pot is illegal (and I don't even smoke it in case your curious). Also, a good portion of tax collected should be directed into medicare and medicaid to shore up those systems.
  • #115
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    Smoking pot and drinking alcohol should be treated the same. The ages for both should drop to 18, but until that time pot should be legal only to those over 21. Laws and prices need to be established, but pot needs to be legalized.
  • #107
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    HALF of the money, arrests and convictions in the farcical "war on drugs" is wasted on marijuana. If marijuana were decriminalized, it would mean fewer people in prisons (less tax money wasted on incarceration), less pig harassment and fewer court cases (less money wasted there) and fewer people with criminal records (thus able to get better jobs and "stimulate" the economy).
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    Marijuana is not addictive, and it does NOT lead to other drug use. Alcohol does.
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    http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy/2009/may/...
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    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/22/yale-st...
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    The only people who want the focus kept on marijuana, who want it kept illegal, are those who financially benefit from the corrupt system that prosecutes use of it. If all that money were put into enforcement against the drugs that actually cause harm - heroin, cocaine, meth - the US would be better off.
  • #105
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    Crime drops, sick people can get their medicine, people have something to have fun with that doesn't have many of the effects of alcohol.
    Why is this still illegal? Every excuse they've made for it has been soundly disproven. If Obama continues to stand in the way of legalization he is sending a very clear message to us voters that he doesn't care about us, instead he cares about the pharmaceutical industry execs and private prison entrepreneurs.
    There are no excuses mister president. Of course he and the Democratic Party will side with these special interests, because the party's base is a bunch of "captive voters" they take for granted and so go after special interests because they don't have to worry about those voters voting for somebody else.
    Let's try a new strategy in 2014 and 2016, punitive voting. If punitive voting was used more often then the Democrats would actually care. Or who knows? Maybe the parties will flip position again and the Republicans will be on our side.
  • #106
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    If the Chagossians are not home by 2016 and the next Democrat isn't promising to let them back home I will vote Republican in 2016!
    If Obama continues the federal crusade against marijuana then it's still likely I'll be voting Republican in 2016 unless the other candidate is for ending federal prohibition! But the Chagos issue is more important.
  • #103
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    WASHINGTON, DC – This morning a former narcotics cop delivered a letter signed by 73 current and former police officers, judges, prosecutors and federal agents to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him not to interfere with the wishes of the voters of Colorado and Washington State to legalize and regulate marijuana.

    "We seem to be at a turning point in how our society deals with marijuana," said Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the group that authored the letter. "The war on marijuana has funded the expansion of drug cartels, it has destroyed community-police relations and it has fostered teenage use by creating an unregulated market where anyone has easy access. Prohibition has failed. Pretty much everyone knows it, especially those of us who dedicated our lives to enforcing it. The election results show that the people are ready to try something different. The opportunity clearly exists for President Obama and Attorney General Holder to do the right thing and respect the will of the voters."
    http://www.leap.cc/wp-content/uploads/2012/11...
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