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Comments about ‘In our opinion: Opposing marijuana’

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Published: Thursday, Feb. 2 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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David King
Layton, UT

It's easy to say "marijuana is bad, outlaw it", but what have we gained from our "war on drugs"? Have we made our streets safer, or have we instead encouraged drug profiteering, border violence, and corruption among law enforcement? Have we rehabilitated addicts, or locked thousands of non-violent offenders away in overcrowding prisions? Have we decreased use, or merely increased profits for the drug lords? Have we focused on all those who die from addictions to tobacco, or have we just spent time on drugs that aren't seen as socially acceptable? Was the 1937 prohibition of marijuana based on measured debate and scientific research, or hurried through Congress backed by propaganda and misinformation?

It's time to drop our visceral opposition of marijuana and get down to a serious debate of the facts. Is our current policy working? Are we helping addicts or driving them into the shadows and lives of crime? I personally believe that most addictions should be treated as medical problems. Let's have more rehabilitation and less incarceration.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

There used to be a public service announcement on TV showing a young man who had done nothing with his life. The ad then stated something to the effect of "Marijuana, it can make nothing happen to you too."

That has been my experience with the drug. Acquaintances and family members who have been consistent smokers have little drive and little success in life.

Also, the marijuana of today is stronger than what was available a few decades ago. The plants have been refined for potency.

Do I think it is the most dangerous drug out there? No. But we have been fooled into thinking it has no dangers. That is false.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

When condsidering whether to legalize marijuana, it would be helpful for the legislature to spend a day observing drug court. If it did, it would learn that almost every addict who's life has been ruined by meth, cocaine, or heroin started down the path to addiction by using marijuana. If it hadn't been for marijuana, they wouldn't be addicts today.

In addition, the legislature should spend a day observing district court. There, it would learn that the vast majority of forgeries, thefts, and burglaries are committed by drug addicts. Legalizing drugs would create more addicts, which in turn would lead to more of these drug-related crimes.

Finally, it is unreasonable to expect that the same drug dealers who now murder, assault, and extort to distribute their product will suddenly become law abiding citizens if it is legalized. Clearly, they will not change their criminal ways. They will continue their activities to sell their product, whether legal or not.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

This article is full of propaganda. For example, if its legal stronger strains will be made.
Alcohol shows us people DO NOT want the strongest. We have Everclear, which is 90% alcohol, why is that not the drink of choice for everyone?
Most like beer and wine, watered down versions of alcohol.
Same can be said of cocaine when it was legal, they made Coca Cola.
This statement: "Marijuana is a mind-altering and addictive substance that is detrimental to health" is not backed up at all. Just a statement, that is arguably false.

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

We are in our current situation because of the war on drugs. Illegal drugs haven't gone away. We have only created black markets and crime. If in the USA we believe in liberty and freedom, we have a right to be stupid. As long as you don't harm others no crime is being committed. It is not the governments business what I do with my body.

More problems are created by trying to control and dictate good behavior; instead of teaching people healthy activities and persuading through 'moral-suation.'

We also ban drinking alcohol under the age of 21. Yet on college campuses across the nation every weekend underage students manage to binge drink without any regard to the law. Banning behavior seems only to increase the banned behavior.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I have a friend who is a Doctor.

He gets frustrated because he can perscribe Oxycodon, Vicadin, and even pure Cocaine --
Meanwhile, the Pharmaceutical industry is propsing and new drug, 10 times more powerful than Hydrocodon....people are already robbing Pharmacies for the old kind, and estamites are the street value for the new one will be 50 times more than than the old stuff.

Yet - he can't write a scrip or even "suggest" the use of common weed.

This is all about big Corporations, annual sales, and maintaining a monopoly on a market than it is about healing the sick or aleviating pain and suffering.

malcolmkyle
NEW YORK, NY

In addition to the many societal costs of prohibition, it has a long history of driving the spread of harder or more dangerous drugs.

* Poppies to morphine to heroine to krokodil
* Coca to cocaine to crack
* Ephedra to ephredrine to speed to methamphetamine
* Marijuana to skunk to dangerous synthetic concoctions such as 'spice' or 'bath salts'
* Mushrooms to ecstasy to 2CB/designers

At every step the reasons for the rise in popularity of the new form of the drug are one or more of the following:

* It may easier to smuggle.
* It may be more addictive, thus compelling the buyer to return more frequently.
* It may be cheaper to produce therefore yielding more profit.
* Like a game of "whack a mole" a shutdown of producers in one area will mean business opportunities for another set of producers with a similar product.

Prohibition's distortion of the immutable laws of 'supply and demand' subsidizes organized crime, foreign terrorists, corrupt cops & politicians and feeds the prejudices of self-appointed culture warriors. So called Tough-On-Drugs politicians have happily built careers on confusing drug prohibition's horrendous collateral damage with the substances that they claim to be fighting, while the big losers in this battle are everybody else, especially taxpayers.

How come so many of us have been deluded into believing that big government is the appropriate response to non-traditional consensual vices?

Imagine if we were to chop down every single tree on the planet as a response to our failure to prevent tree-climbing accidents. That's what our misguided drug policy looks like. Isn't it time we all stood up and told the government we're tired of being beaten and jailed so that pharmaceutical companies can poison and kill us for obscene profits?

Prohibition Prevents Regulation : Legalize, Regulate and Tax!

Shawnm750
West Jordan, UT

@Mark 1 - True, it is not the government's business what you do with your body, but when someone becomes an addict, and they waste all of their money on drugs, they usually turn to crime as a means of getting more money. They either steal from relatives, or when that doesn't work, they start robbing strangers or even businesses. On this rare occasion, I actually completely agree with John Charity Spring. Drug dealers will not suddenly become licensed individuals, and so law enforcement will still be chasing the same people. Even if you regulate the potency, people will still make stronger versions to sell illegally. And even at the lower doses, they'll still be addicting and we'll still have crimes motivated by drug addiction.

Society gains nothing by legalizing marijuana, or any other illegal narcotic. And just like marijuana itself, such a law would become a gateway law. You'd have activists for controlled distribution of meth, or any number of other drugs, claiming that those drugs can be just as beneficial as marijuana. Where does it end?

KDave
Moab, UT

I am addicted to food, gotta have it every day. I have never stolen or robbed anyone in order to feed my habit. It is easy and relatively cheap to obtain.

i

lds4gaymarriage
Salt Lake City, UT

Regular pot use is far less harmful to people than the regular use of soda or double bacon cheeseburgers. A recent study showed that moderate pot use does NOT harm the lungs. Many conservatives ridiculed those advocating "Fat Police" - banning certain fats in cooking. Banning pot is the same mindset..we think it's best for society so you have to obey us and you'll be punished if you don't.

Satan also believed in using force to get people to live as they should. He didn't want people to be free to choose for themselves and receive the natural consequences for their choices.

There is absolutely NO reason to ban pot for medical use. Cocaine is used. Dangerously strong drugs are used. A comparitively mild drug like pot should be a no brainer...especially for those fighting the nausea of Chemotherapy. So many people wither away because they can't keep food down and become weaker and weaker. Those opposing medical marijuana who have to go through that would experience poetic justice.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

We already have recreational use of pot by anyone who wants to. We're just wasting resources trying to make ourselves feel all moral and good by fighting it, all the while in denial.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

John Charity Spring would have us believe that all hard drug users started with marijuana. Well sir the number just dont' correlate. If marijuana caused people to use other drugs then we might see other, harder drugs being used in higher numbers but we dont'. Users of hard drugs are a much smaller segment of the population. And there is no science that can back up your statement. There is science that can back up mine, that marijuana does not cause people to use hard drugs.
And that being said, hard drugs produce some pretty bad affects. But I think many people use cocaine and herion and do not ruin their lives. Hence the fact that those drugs are sold and people buy them. If everyone who used cocaine ended up homeless and in jail the popularity of the drug would cease. But the FACTS are many people use hard drugs and do not ruin their lives.
John Charity Spring uses hearsay and propaganda and thinks this is a proper substitute for facts. Lets really get educated on drug use.
All the drug courts tell me is that people still have their lives ruined by law enforcement and not drugs

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: lds4gaymarriage | 10:12 a.m. Feb. 2, 2012
"A recent study showed that moderate pot use does NOT harm the lungs"

I have no doubt that sucking smoke into a perfectly good set of lungs is good for them. It probably adds years to lives of people who smoke pot ..... in moderation of course.

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington, DC

The War on Drugs is what is murdering people. Lets end that.

MormonConservative
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

What about marijuana use in Utah?. Anyone who says that marijuana is not addictive has obviously never spent an anxiety wracked sleepless night, battling incredible cravings to use. Marijuana isn't meth, but the detox is real, and it's tough enough to keep a lot of people using for a lot longer than they'd like to. Today's marijuana is up to 10 times stronger than the marijuana of decades past and with increased potency comes increased addictive properties. Much of our social perception about the drug were formed in the days when it was pretty tough to get addicted to what was a pretty mild drug those days are gone, and addiction and detox are real. If you try to quit on your own and find that you cannot, you need to consider getting professional help for your addiction. There are thousands of people in drug rehabs nationwide for the abuse and addiction of marijuana, and there is no shame at all in getting help. What's this costing us?. Until its prohibition in 1937, extract of Cannabis sativa (marijuana) was one of the top three most prescribed medicines in the US. When it became illegal, its use is restricted.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

@MormonConservative There is not a physical addiction to marijuana. Its just not there. Not one person gets the sweats or shakes for detoxing from marijuana. Sorry pal.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

I don't use marijuana and never have. That said, the "War on Drugs" has been a massive failure. I'd rather see it legalized and regulated. Of course, that will wad the panties of the pearl clutchers in the world.

MormonConservative
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

continued

Why is it a mortal sin in Utah to smoke tobacco, in Parks etc. or anywhere else for that matter, but at a Pink Floyd concert, everyone seems to have rolling papers?.

What about marijuana use in Utah?.

Don't even try to hide the truths.

Facts: Utah wilderness becoming a hot spot for marijuana plantations. Last year, authorities seized approximately 80,000 marijuana plants throughout Utah. Drug agents admit they have to rely on tips, because drug cartels grow the pot in remote locations that typically only hikers or hunters would ever stumble upon. The DEA believes that more Mexican drug cartels are coming to Utah to grow marijuana. They cite increased pressure from police and rival growers in other states. By May of last year, several grow sites were raided, so it's possible many of these grow areas are already underway. Deseret News Published: Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, Ogden was believed to have a marijuana grow operation in his basement. Police were seen taking fluorescent lights and large PVC pipes out of Matthew Stewart's house following the Wednesday night shooting on Jackson Avenue.

Today's marijuana is up to 10 times stronger than the marijuana of decades past.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

More potent MJ is an unintended side effect of criminalizing it.

You should read Michael J. Pollan's "Botany of Desire" for a history of how MJ became more potent as a direct result of our laws against it.

Disclaimer: I'm in no way affiliated with Pollan.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

Marijuana is safer than cigarettes so the only logical options are to legalize marijuana, or ban cigarettes. I don't care what side someone falls on, but favoring the status quo is just silly, inconsistent, and illogical.

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