Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.

Legalize recreational use of marijuana?

Yes
32
76%
No
10
24%
 
Total votes: 42

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Mkoll
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by Mkoll » Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:02 pm

Zom wrote:There is one strong similarity, if you can notice that - that is - submission to authority (laws). This is why we see this even in Buddha's training. There are things he allowed, there are things he forbade (even without explanation). It works, otherwise he wouldn't have done that.
Taking drugs for the pleasure of it despite laws against it and following orders to electroshock strangers in an experimental setting are not remotely the same thing. Yes, there is the element of authority in both, but that isn't an argument. And there really is no comparison to the Buddha's training, which is entered upon voluntarily. No one volunteers to be under the jurisdiction of drug laws, they are there whether you want them or not.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Zom
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by Zom » Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:07 pm

And there really is no comparison to the Buddha's training, which is entered upon voluntarily. No one volunteers to be under the jurisdiction of drug laws, they are there whether you want them or not.
Well, if you don't like the laws, you can migrate -) Like in Buddha's training. If you don't like the rules, you can quit -) Actually, when Buddha established more and more rules for Sangha, monks had to obey or leave.

What I'm trying to say: laws do work, lawmaking does have positive results; and this is a mistake to say: whether you legalize drugs or not - this changes nothing. It does.

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Mkoll
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by Mkoll » Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:17 pm

Zom wrote:
And there really is no comparison to the Buddha's training, which is entered upon voluntarily. No one volunteers to be under the jurisdiction of drug laws, they are there whether you want them or not.
Well, if you don't like the laws, you can migrate -) Like in Buddha's training. If you don't like the rules, you can quit -) Actually, when Buddha established more and more rules for Sangha, monks had to obey or leave.
Again, not the same thing. People don't just pick up and move unless absolutely necessary, e.g. they're in a warzone. And even then, many don't—just look at Aleppo in Syria. And even if you do move, you're subject to the laws of wherever you end up. There's no escaping being under some country's jurisdiction whereas escaping the jurisdiction of the Vinaya is as simple as renouncing the robes.

And that's not even touching the subject of monks who don't obey the rules, of which there are plenty. Even when the Buddha was alive, you had those.
Zom wrote:What I'm trying to say: laws do work, lawmaking does have positive results.
Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. I and many others would argue that the War on Drugs has been a massive failure.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

chownah
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by chownah » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:45 am

Difficult to effectively prohibit the use of an herb which pretty much grows wild pretty much everywhere in the world.
Difficult to effectively prohibit the use of an herb which is pretty much benign compared to alcohhol which is not only legal but is even to an extent socially promoted and which causes vast risks for health and safety.
Difficult to effectively prohibit the use of an herb which is pretty much benign compared to the legally sanctioned use of tobacco. (Although society seems to be getting wiser about this one.)
Difficult to effectively prohibit the use of an herb which is pretty much benign in a country which is founded on the principle that people have an inate right to pursue happiness.
chownah

chownah
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by chownah » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:51 am

Zom wrote:What I'm trying to say: laws do work, lawmaking does have positive results; and this is a mistake to say: whether you legalize drugs or not - this changes nothing. It does.
I agree with you completly. The laws against the use of marijuana work to increase the burden on society by the use of police resources to chase a harmless boogyman and to house the newly minted "criminals" in prisons and it works to channel huge sums of money to criminal enterprises who manufacture and import marijuana and buy guns and local officials to protect their businesses and while they are at it they bring heroine and cocaine into the country to sell alongside the weed and they manufacture exotic chemical stimulants which they also sell along with the weed.
The laws do matter. The laws do work.
chownah

perkele
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by perkele » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:00 am

chownah wrote:
Zom wrote:What I'm trying to say: laws do work, lawmaking does have positive results; and this is a mistake to say: whether you legalize drugs or not - this changes nothing. It does.
I agree with you completly. The laws against the use of marijuana work to increase the burden on society by the use of police resources to chase a harmless boogyman and to house the newly minted "criminals" in prisons and it works to channel huge sums of money to criminal enterprises who manufacture and import marijuana and buy guns and local officials to protect their businesses and while they are at it they bring heroine and cocaine into the country to sell alongside the weed and they manufacture exotic chemical stimulants which they also sell along with the weed.
The laws do matter. The laws do work.
chownah
Pretty good summary.
Prohibitive lawmaking can have much more detrimental than positive results, even if that which is prohibited could and would be used mostly to the user's own detriment. It is really problematic to decide that for the potential drug user in such a heavy-handed way, as long as the drug use has quite neglibible damaging collateral effects on society at large. And I think that could be said for marihuana, as opposed to, say heroine, or meth, or probably alcohol for that matter.
It would be good if lawmakers would be more discriminative of the possible detriments in comparison to the envisioned or actual positive results of the laws that they make.

Zom wrote:
Prohibition and zero tolerance are abject failures as policies, where as education and harm minimisation have always been more effective at addressing potential problems. When has making something illegal ever stopped anybody from doing something, particularly when it comes to taking intoxicants? Marijuana is probably the case in point. Frankly, to remove criminality and make a serious dent in organised crime, all drugs should be legalised.
Have to disagree. When something is illegal - most people just stop trying to get it. I know this for sure, because I see how "anti-alcohol" laws work here where I live. I just see the REAL difference after years. And no, we had no special "educational programs" - just plain prohibitions. It works well.

Also, this thing works here as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment. If something is marked as "illegal" - people stop doing it. If it marked as "legal" - they start using it.
Just out of curiosity, @Zom: What kind of prohibition laws - regarding alcohol - do you have over there? Have these been recently put into place?
I thought you basically got your vodka supply straight out of your tap there in Russia. Would be glad if you could help me clear up my state of disinformation.

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Zom
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by Zom » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:46 pm

Just out of curiosity, @Zom: What kind of prohibition laws - regarding alcohol - do you have over there? Have these been recently put into place?
I thought you basically got your vodka supply straight out of your tap there in Russia. Would be glad if you could help me clear up my state of disinformation.
Different measures. There is no total prohibition (that is - vodka is still being sold in the shops) - but they resticted and prohibited many things like when and where you can and can't buy it (that is, only in the daytime, not late evening and night, in special shops only, not everywhere as before), forbade any kind of alcohol advertisement (beer included) anywhere, forbade drinking alcohol on the streets openly, made severe fines to those who sell it to young people while not asking for passport (18+), drunk driver now can get up to 2 years imprisonment, etc etc. Many strict prohibition measures. And people got sober. Situation changed drastically in some 6-8 years. At least - where I live. So - good luck with marijuana legalization over there 8-)

Psychotropic
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by Psychotropic » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:28 pm

There is no total prohibition
And that is why it's working. Those listed by you are very welcomed measures in a country with such alcohol problems. But if there would be a total prohibition, consumption would go up cause of the forbidden fruit effect.

As others have said, legalization of marijuana lowered consumption in countries where that was introduced.

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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by Zom » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:09 pm

And that is why it's working. But if there would be a total prohibition, consumption would go up cause of the forbidden fruit effect.
No. Total prohibition would still lower the number of drinkers. Let's take Gorbachev's Dry Law. It was a success if talking about personal well-being, but it was bad for economics (that is - getting additional money from people who drink alcohol). "Too costly" and "unpopular" as he said later. But good for people personal well-being:

- per capita sales of alcohol decreased 2.5 times
- fertility rate increased by 500 thousand babies
- there were 8% less newborns with health issues
- life expectancy of men increased by 2.6 years - to set a record male life expectancy
- the reduction in mortality was 919,9 thousand for men and 463,6 thousand for women

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/g ... ake/ri7017

Same with legalizing/prohibiting guns. In our country we don't have such terrible mass shootings, unlike US, where you can buy a gun easily. Because here guns are totally prohibited. And no "forbidden fruit effect". It would be a disaster if we had weapons legalized. Luckily, this is not the case.
As others have said, legalization of marijuana lowered consumption in countries where that was introduced.
Really?

"Marijuana use is illegal under federal law. Despite this, an estimated 18 million people were current marijuana users in 2011. As of June 2014, 23 U.S. states had legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes in response to growing awareness that the active ingredient in the drug may be useful as an analgesic for chronic pain, an antiemetic, and an antispasmodic. Two states, Washington and Colorado, had legalized recreational use as well.

In The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana, Alcohol, and Hard Drug Use (NBER Working Paper No. 20085), Hefei Wen, Jason M. Hockenberry, and Janet R. Cummings use individual survey data from seven states to examine the effect of legalizing medical marijuana. They find that legalization increased both marijuana use and marijuana abuse/dependence in people 21 or older. People 12 to 20 years old were 5 to 6 percent more likely to try marijuana for the first time when medical use was legalized.
...
The authors note that the 6 to 9 percent increase in frequency of adult binge drinking, along with an estimated increase in the probability of simultaneous use of marijuana and alcohol of 15 to 22 percent, suggests that legalization could result in "considerable economic and social costs from downstream health care expenditures and productivity loss."

http://www.nber.org/digest/oct14/w20085.html 8-)

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Mkoll
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by Mkoll » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:32 pm

Zom wrote:Really?

"Marijuana use is illegal under federal law. Despite this, an estimated 18 million people were current marijuana users in 2011. As of June 2014, 23 U.S. states had legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes in response to growing awareness that the active ingredient in the drug may be useful as an analgesic for chronic pain, an antiemetic, and an antispasmodic. Two states, Washington and Colorado, had legalized recreational use as well.

In The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana, Alcohol, and Hard Drug Use (NBER Working Paper No. 20085), Hefei Wen, Jason M. Hockenberry, and Janet R. Cummings use individual survey data from seven states to examine the effect of legalizing medical marijuana. They find that legalization increased both marijuana use and marijuana abuse/dependence in people 21 or older. People 12 to 20 years old were 5 to 6 percent more likely to try marijuana for the first time when medical use was legalized.
...
The authors note that the 6 to 9 percent increase in frequency of adult binge drinking, along with an estimated increase in the probability of simultaneous use of marijuana and alcohol of 15 to 22 percent, suggests that legalization could result in "considerable economic and social costs from downstream health care expenditures and productivity loss."

http://www.nber.org/digest/oct14/w20085.html 8-)
You conveniently filled in "..." for this:
While this suggests that more adolescents experimented with marijuana, the data do not suggest that regular use increased in this group.
Besides, there are other studies showing no increase in use in that demographic, like this much larger study:

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanps ... 5/abstract

***

But whether use increases, decreases, or stays the same with legalization or decriminalization is only part of the picture. We have to also look at the tax revenues gained by the state, other public health effects, money saved in the criminal justice system, fewer non-violent drug offenders in prison, less money for drug cartels, etc. There are more convincing arguments for decriminalization or legalization than continued prohibition and criminal penalties.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Bakmoon
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by Bakmoon » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:56 pm

Mkoll wrote:But whether use increases, decreases, or stays the same with legalization or decriminalization is only part of the picture. We have to also look at the tax revenues gained by the state, other public health effects, money saved in the criminal justice system, fewer non-violent drug offenders in prison, less money for drug cartels, etc. There are more convincing arguments for decriminalization or legalization than continued prohibition and criminal penalties.
This. For me the two biggest reasons to support legalization are that it removes a major source of revenue from criminal organizations, and also that putting nonviolent drug users into prison ends up creating a violent criminal very often because of the prison culture.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Zom
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by Zom » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:15 pm

This. For me the two biggest reasons to support legalization are that it removes a major source of revenue from criminal organizations,
Crimial organizations have a nice diversity of much more valuable sources of income 8-)
and also that putting nonviolent drug users into prison ends up creating a violent criminal very often because of the prison culture.
Just stop smoking weed and everything will be okay -)

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Mkoll
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by Mkoll » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:47 pm

Zom wrote:
This. For me the two biggest reasons to support legalization are that it removes a major source of revenue from criminal organizations,
Crimial organizations have a nice diversity of much more valuable sources of income 8-)
and also that putting nonviolent drug users into prison ends up creating a violent criminal very often because of the prison culture.
Just stop smoking weed and everything will be okay -)
This thread is about decriminalization and legalization, not promoting drug use. Though I will say that a hit of strong sativa would really help certain people loosen up and get some much-needed perspective on things. And I'm not just talking about you Zom :P
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

no-xit
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Re: Would you vote to decriminalize marijuana?

Post by no-xit » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:16 am

I would. Of course all drugs are evil, but marijuana causes less harm to the society than alcohol. I've never heard of a husband beating his wife after having a smoke.

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