USA: Legal Recreational Marijuana: Not So Far Out

Discussion in 'Legalization/Decriminalization' started by claygooding, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. claygooding

    claygooding DrugWarVeteran

    USA: Legal Recreational Marijuana: Not So Far Out
    TIME / Adam Cohen / 2,6,2012

    With medical marijuana now available in 16 states, decriminalizing pot for recreational use could be around the corner

    The drive to legalize marijuana has long been a fringe cause, associated with hard-core libertarians and college-age stoners. But it could go mainstream in a big way in this November’s election, when Washington could become the first state to legalize recreational pot use. If it does — or if voters in any of several other states do — this year could be a turning point in the nation’s treatment of marijuana.

    The idea that a majority of voters could support legalizing marijuana may seem far out — but the polls say otherwise. In many states, the prolegalization and antilegalization camps are roughly equal in size. In a poll of Washington state voters released last month, supporters of the legalization referendum outnumbered opponents: 48% vs. 45%. And Washington probably won’t be the only state voting on marijuana this year. In Colorado, supporters last week fell about 3,000 signatures short of getting a legalization measure on the ballot — but the law gave them 15 days to collect the rest, and it seems likely they will. Activists are also collecting signatures in other states, including California, Michigan and Montana.

    For years, the debate over marijuana has been focused on a narrower question: medical marijuana. The argument that cancer patients and others with chronic pain should be able to alleviate it by using marijuana has been prevailing in state after state. Today, 16 states — including Washington and Colorado — and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.

    (MORE: Study: Legal Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Encourage Kids to Smoke More Pot)
    Recently, the action has shifted to recreational marijuana use. Washington’s referendum would treat pot much like alcohol, so the sale of marijuana would be restricted to people over 21. The new law would give the Liquor Control Board the authority to license marijuana farms, and marijuana tax revenues would be directed to health and drug-abuse prevention programs.

    But other states’ proposed laws are more laissez-faire. Colorado would legalize marijuana so that, as its supporters put it, cannabis would be regulated like “grapes, tomatoes or other harmless botanical plants.” Montana’s amendment focuses on decriminalizing marijuana but leaves it to the legislature to work out the details.

    Supporters argue that legalization is long overdue. They argue that it is no more harmful than alcohol or tobacco — and that in a free country people should be able to decide on their own whether to use it. They also argue that, as a practical matter, laws against marijuana have been no more successful than Prohiion was against alcohol — and that, similarly, it has given criminals a monopoly on distributing and selling it. Legalization, they say, would reduce the number of people in prison, and it would shift revenue from drug syndicates to government in the form of tax receipts.

    (MORE: Birth Control: Could It Be Illegal Again?)
    Not surprisingly, the legalization drives have drawn heated opposition. Critics argue that marijuana is harmful and addictive — and that it is often a gateway drug, leading to cocaine or heroin. They say stoned drivers would be a menace on the roads. And they warn that if it were legalized and readily available, marijuana use could soar. (The University of Michigan’s “Monitoring the Future” survey reported that daily marijuana use is already at a 30-year high among high school seniors, even as alcohol use has been declining.) The anticamp also argues that marijuana is stronger than it was decades ago — from two to 10 times stronger, some experts say. (Other experts dispute the figures.)

    If Washington or some other state legalizes marijuana, that would not settle the matter. It would still be a controlled substance under federal law. And the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause says that when federal and state laws clash, federal law trumps. As a practical matter, though, the federal government does not have the resources to police everyday use of marijuana. If states begin to legalize it, the federal government might be hard-pressed to justify diverting limited Drug Enforcement Agency resources away from heroin cartels toward small-time pot smokers.

    It is hard to handicap this year’s voting, but one possibility is this: marijuana legalization could lose in Washington and Colorado in November, but recreational use could nonetheless be headed toward legalization in many states in the not-too-distant future. Support for legalization has been rising steadily, from just 12% in 1970 to 31% in 2001 to 50% today, with young people (ages 18-29) the most in favor (62%) and older people (ages 50-64) the least (49%).

    In strictly political terms, this is a powerful combination: fast-growing support and solid majorities among the young, who represent where the electorate is headed. (Support for gay marriage polls similarly — which is why it is becoming law in more states.) In a few years, the national discussion may well turn from whether to legalize marijuana to how to do it in the most prudent way.

    Do you think Droopy Dog(Kerlikowski)needs an extra shot of booze when Time magazine runs an article like this? :D

    2 people like this.
  2. Dedbr

    Dedbr Domestic War Veteran

    There goes his budget, huh? Poor bastard. Maybe we can get the money to build up treatment center's for....uhhh.....mmmmm, right. I'm dreaming. When the DEA is gone you can bet that their money will disappear into something else, not where it belongs.......:rolleyes:

    Did you see that. I said, "When the DEA is gone." Something like ninety percent of their budget is for herb. If herb becomes legal there will be no reason for their existence. An agency formed by Nixon. An arm of the government founded on the premise that herb is a dangerous drug is an agency founded on lies.....

    Sensible government is needed now.......;)

    2 people like this.
  3. WolfGang Paco

    WolfGang Paco Sr. Member

    Warms my souls when almost every other house has a Ron Paul 2012 sign in their yard. Shows me if any states gunna make rec use happen, it's the EverGreen State.
    2 people like this.
  4. ToastyRoadie

    ToastyRoadie New Member

    Found this on the wiki page for dea and becoming an agent and thought it was funny so I'm sharing.......:D

    After receiving a conditional offer of employment, recruits must then make it through a 16 week rigorous training which consist of firearms proficiency including basic marksmanship, weapons safety, tactical shooting, and deadly force decision training. In order to graduate, students must maintain an academic average of 80 percent on academic examinations, pass the firearms qualification test, successfully demonstrate leadership and sound decision-making in practical scenarios, and pass rigorous physical task tests. Upon graduation, recruits earn themselves the title of DEA Special Agent.
    Job applicants who have a history of any drug use are excluded from consideration. Investigation usually includes a polygraph test for special agent, diversion investigator, and intelligence research specialist positions.
    Applicants who are found, through investigation or personal admission, to have experimented with or used narcotics or dangerous drugs, except those medically prescribed, will not be considered for employment with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Exceptions to this policy may be made for applicants who admit to limited youthful and experimental use of marijuana. Such applicants may be considered for employment if there is no evidence of regular, confirmed usage and the full-field background investigation and results of the other steps in the process are otherwise favorable.
    The DEA's relatively firm stance on this issue is in contrast to that of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which, in 2005, considered relaxing its hiring policy relevant to individual drug use history.
  5. stoneygreenbud

    stoneygreenbud Super Moderator

    I just couldn't help myself, all this crap about the DEA, Just reminded me about a joke that I posted a few months back, IMO, it shows the DEA at their best, maybe when weed gets fully legalized, all the dea agents can get jobs with the US Border patrol.

    A DEA officer stopped at a Texas ranch and started talking to the rancher.

    DEA officer: Hello sir, I am with the DEA and going to inspect your property for the growing of illegal drugs!

    The rancher said, that he understood, but pointed out to the officer to not go into that field, inwhich he pointed towards.

    The DEA officer then verbally exploded,.. "MISTER, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me!"

    Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removed his badge and proudly displayed it to the rancher.

    "See this badge?! ... This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish ... On ANY land!!

    No questions asked or answers given!! Have I made myself CLEAR .... do you understand??!!

    The rancher nodded politely, apologized and went about his chores.

    A short time later, the old rancher heard loud screams, looked up, and saw the DEA officer running for his life, being chased by the rancher's big Santa Gertrudis bull......

    With every step the bull was gaining ground on the officer, and it seemed likely that he'd sure enough get gored before he reached safety. The officer was clearly terrified!

    The rancher quickly threw down his tools, ran to the fence and yelled at the top of his lungs: "Your badge, ... show him your badge!"


    9 people like this.
  6. Sierra Twist 11

    Sierra Twist 11 Active Member

    Nice joke, Stoney!
    3 people like this.
  7. Bud Is good

    Bud Is good Resident non smoker

    I givw it 5 years as I have said before..If I was a billionare..I would own this site..And put tons of cash into the goverments posckets to make it legal..Or at least decriminalized for personal use..As well as personal growing of a few plants..
  8. stoneygreenbud

    stoneygreenbud Super Moderator

    I wouldn't put a dime in their pockets, But i'd be more than happy to hang them out to dry.


    2 people like this.
  9. Bud Is good

    Bud Is good Resident non smoker

    Well greasing the wheels of the people who makes the laws is the problem right now..So what if you greased their pockets to get something good/morale done instead of what the current corruption is doing..

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