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  • #11
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    We can't have a perfect world. We can at least reduce violence by taking things like drugs and prostitutes(adult and consenting) out of the hands of the black market and into a legal regulated market.
    In the end there are things that seriously hurt other people like human trafficking, but crimes that create victims tend to be easier to police, because if the victim gets the chance they may turn in their assailants.
    Organized crime was even worse than it is now back during the 1920s. That's because alcohol was illegal. Making marijuana legal might not eliminate the black market, but it will reduce it substantially.
  • #15
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    Not only would legalization, taxation, and regulation of marijuana reduce the amount of pot crossing the border, but think of the money that would be generated to reinvigorate the economy.

    Also, consider the billions spent on incarcerating non-violent drug offenders that could be saved. Right now, there are more prisons being built than schools for our children. Decriminalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana seems like it would be a no brainer given the state of our economy.

    Any reasonable person isn't going to make a jump from recreational pot smoker to meth addict even if all drugs were unscheduled. Basic economics show that if supply is increased, then demand will go down. If someone wants a harder drug, they're going to get it regardless of its legal status. It's cheaper to provide rehabilitation services than incarcerating inmates for a victimless crime. If you look at other countries with more relaxed drug laws, there's always a decrease in crime. There are a lot of counterpoints, however, and I don't personally support 100% legalization of all illicit substances, but legalizing a relatively harmless plant like MJ would be a good start to getting our country back on track.
  • #47
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    Here is my take on drugs. The MONEY generated from the drug trade has long had a POSITIVE effect on the economy of the united states and politicians, both local and federal have known this for a very long time. I would be willing to bet that if a switch could be thrown that would stop all drug activity,prescription drugs included, NOT one entrenched politician would willingly flip that switch.
  • #5
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    There will always be a market for whatever is illegal or difficult to get, however, legalizing pot will put a huge dent in the illicit drug trade. Dealers might move on to selling other drugs, but on a popularity scale those drugs don't come close to marijuana. The money we save chasing down weed dealers could well be spent on rehab for serious drug users.
  • #4
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    Yes: legalize the whole spectrum. Make the production, distribution, and taxation so corporatized that it sinks the business model of the cartels.
  • #12
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    So we should decriminalize the whole spectrum and treat drug abuse as a public health concern instead of a criminal one.
  • #13
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    @jamesmitchell

    They do this in many Netherland countries and it's worked very well.

    Of course, in the U.S. money is the number one priority. The legal system is a money-making industry. Public health...not so much.
  • #16
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_t...

    "Large-scale dealing, production, import and export are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, even if it does not supply end users or coffeeshops with more than the allowed amounts.

    Exactly how coffeeshops get their supplies is rarely investigated, however.

    The average concentration of THC in the cannabis sold in coffeeshops has increased from 9% in 1998 to 18% in 2005.

    This means that less plant material has to be consumed to achieve the same effect.

    One of the reasons is plant breeding and use of greenhouse technology for illegal growing of cannabis in Netherlands.

    The former minister of Justice Piet Hein Donner announced in June 2007 that cultivation of cannabis shall continue to be illegal."
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    "The drug policy of the Netherlands officially has four major objectives:

    1.To prevent recreational drug use and to treat and rehabilitate recreational drug users.

    2.To reduce harm to users.

    3.To diminish public nuisance by drug users (the disturbance of public order and safety in the neighbourhood).

    4.To combat the production and trafficking of recreational drugs.

    By contrast, most other countries take the point of view that recreational drug use is detrimental to society and must therefore be outlawed.

    This has caused friction between the Netherlands and other countries about the policy for cannabis, most notably with France and Germany.

    As of 2004, Belgium seems to be moving toward the Dutch model and a few local German legislators are calling for experiments based on the Dutch model.

    Switzerland has had long and heated parliamentary debates about whether to follow the Dutch model on cannabis, most recently deciding against it in 2004; currently a ballot initiative is in the works on the question.

    New law to come in shortly in three provinces first including Maastricht and Eindhoven (covering other provinces including Amsterdam in 2012) only allowing registered members of clubs to go to the cannabis cafes, only Dutch residents who are at least 18 years of age can register but all foreigners will be banned including those from EU states.

    By test, a few coffeeshops in the south of Holland were already forced to handle this new law.

    Residents are complaining about growing criminality problems due to drugdealers in the streets."
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    Interesting read.
  • #29
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    @CanisCanemEdit - The increased THC in Dutch marijuana was found even before they legalized it... It has alwa6ys been higher than American cannabis and others, but the THC content has doubled since legalization... They also charge much higher prices for "nederwiet" (or Nether-Weed)-
    SOURCE: Trimbos Institute
  • #37
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    @CanisCanemEdit

    Wikipedia? Really??

    Do further reading.

    Law Could Hamper Drug Tourism in the Netherlands
    By DAVID JOLLY
    Published: April 2, 2012

    2.In some respects, tolerance appears to have been successful: despite the easy availability, the Dutch are far less likely than Americans or many other Europeans to use marijuana. About 14 percent of Americans use marijuana, versus about 5 percent of the Dutch, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Alex Stevens, a drug policy expert at the University of Kent, argues that the tolerance policy has reduced the harm caused by prohibition, in part by separating the markets for hard drugs like heroin from the market for marijuana, and by getting cannabis dealers off the street and into a regulated environment.

    But Amsterdam’s days as a destination for hazy holidays may be numbered. Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s right-wing coalition government is pushing to sharply restrict the operations of the coffee shops and to prohibit the sale of the drugs to nonresidents. If the measures survive a court challenge and the opposition of local officials, the first phase would begin May 1.

    Leave it those right wingers to screw up a good thing. Watch. They'll close down the industry and then gripe because people are out of work. Why are those on the right so determined to control what other people do?
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  • #17
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    I wave the BS flag on The Atlantic's "study." They had their anti-legalization conclusion and moved backwards to find "evidence" to support it.
  • #20
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    @SmedleyButler not to mention local pd's.
    Cops make alot of money arresting potheads.
    It's also alot easier than arresting meth heads..
  • #44
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    @wesmess3588 Funny, all it is, is paper, no worth. hallway permission slips and the rest of us are imprisoned in classrooms to be indoctrinated.
  • #40
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    Legalizing marijuana is not the solution to the war on drugs. Now that's a pipe dream. However, apparently the presidents of Mexico and Russia both called Obama congratulating the country on making a move that would help them control crime. Since these guys are there, on the ground and involved, I assume they know more than some reporters. If pot is legal there will be some dramatic shifts in our society as a whole.

    #1 Since it will not be a crime to have weed, people will not be arrested for it, which will allow our law enforcement, legal system and jails to put their efforts elsewhere.

    #2 Growing our own weed will create jobs! Also, small businesses.

    #3 Increase in tax revenue

    #4 Safer weed, there would be government standards that must be meet.

    It will not stop the cartels in the same way the legalization of alcohol was not the end of the mob.
  • #27
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    No, but it will certainly lessen the violence as it takes one of the major black markets off the table. Do you think for a minute that the cartels are happy with this policy? One less market for them.
  • #7
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    Of course it won't. Because there will always be that addict who has to shoot smack, smoke rock, or snort powder. The Cartels will simply go from marijuana to cocaine and heroin. They'll probably up the ante in human trafficking as well. They could be stopped. Secure our borders and authorize the use of deadly force by our National Guard, landowners, Minutemen. And if the Mexican Government asks for it, we can send in the Marines (Hell, I would happily volunteer to get back in uniform and fire a few rounds downrange at those cartel scumbags)...
  • #9
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    I'd go back in the bag too, but that would never happen because our bankers will never let that happen UNLESS, they can control all the game down there.
  • #73
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    its a war thats lead to many deaths of the trafficers n ppl of mexico n elsewhere.. we should be using our drones n missles on em outside our borders till every cartel is gone or in custody for there crimes from the last 2-3 decades..
  • #72
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    Yes legalize everything then those who want it can buy it and those who don't won't.. Then there will be no more need for the war it will be over..
  • #71
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    Legalize all drugs. The war on drugs just wastes the taxpayers money. If one is dumb enough to use drugs, let natural selection take care of it.
  • #67
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    No, that's their business. If you kill their leader there are another 100 who could take over and if you killed everyone, not only does that make you or your "government" murderers, but somebody else will just pickup the same idea and run with it.
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  • #63
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    Cocaine and heroine are more profitable pound for pound. I think the bulk of the marijuana distributed today is domestically grown. Why smuggle 1000 Lbs of pot when you can make 1000 times more profit by smuggling in the same bulk weight of narcotics?

    legalization of Marijuana might make pot more obtainable and harm the black market financially to some degree, but no it will not stop the demand for harder drugs altogether.

    And drugs such as Meth that can be made from over the counter ingredients will still rot the minds of those who make the worst decisions. If only beer and wine were legal, whiskey and liquor would still be bootlegged.
  • #62
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    Let the states make money off the drugs. IT helped California stay afloat. drop that stuffed shirt, holier than thou attitude. where there's a will there's a way. Republicans only have the will to live in the past. they will never get with the program. because like Mitt Romney they have no program they should go the way of the Model A !
  • #61
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    Legalize most drugs. When people can buy them and progit motive is essentially removed the problem will go away. Drugs sre cheap to manufacture. Once legal cartels won't be able to compete. Will we have addiction, health pronlems, overdoses? Yes. But we have that now...the money saved on prisons, and many addicts even, wpould hold jobs using enough not to be sick, and get high after work or on weekends. Win win...
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