In our opinion: Marijuana should not be made legal


Return To Article
  • Makimb2 Slc, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 8:45 p.m.

    It is an opinion piece so you have to give him a pass, however marijuana is far less damaging than alcohol on any possible level. There are many prescription drugs prescribed daily that are far worse than marijuana. Also the addiction argument is blown way out of proportion. Some drug companies are taking extracts of marijuana in liquid form to help cancer patients. So far so good. We waste to much money fighting drugs.

  • Altered States N. Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 15, 2013 1:14 p.m.

    Someone should ask the writer of this article what are his sources. From what I read, he doesn't have a clue.

    Why does a news agency like the "Deseret News" allow this sort of journalism? This article is a complete farce.

  • DaveGarber1975 Provo, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    Our present federal "war" on recreational drug use is impractical because its results are very ineffective, if not counterproductive, like most attempts to use evil means to accomplish good ends. Recreational drug addiction is best treated as a medical problem rather than as a legal one. It's better to lovingly encourage our drug-addicted neighbors to seek clinical treatment, rather than to lock them away for years in the company of murderers and rapists and robbers. As a result of this "war" on drugs, our nation imprisons more people than any other, which is both more expensive and less effective than clinical treatment, and has arguably proven far more beneficial to the income of private penitentiaries than to the health of drug addicts. Also, this "war" has eroded federal respect for our Constitution's Bill of Rights, and it has created lucrative "black markets" in which criminal organizations, amidst limited competition, have enriched themselves upon massive profits. Not every societal problem is best solved through political action. Let's please strive to always seek correct methods, which is never government EXCEPT as a last resort in defense against aggression.

  • DaveGarber1975 Provo, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    Our present federal "war" on recreational drug use is unconstitutional because our Constitution's Article I, Section 8, gives no authority to Congress to dictate what substances people may and may not consume, nor has this charter been amended to include such authority, as it once did regarding alcoholic beverages. And, even if we did amend our Constitution in this manner, such authority would still not be legitimate, since such authority is not ours to give. We have no authority to exercise unilateral coercion over others except as a last resort in defense, even if we arrogantly believe that we can live their lives better than they can, and even if we're sometimes right---and, so, we cannot contractually delegate such authority to others. Also, it's best to keep political power as decentralized as possible, which is why the U.S. Constitution renders only a few crimes as federal ones, and allows both state and local governments to deal with all other crimes---and I think that we would do well to adhere to this wisdom.

  • DaveGarber1975 Provo, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    Our present federal "war" on recreational drug use is unjust because it violates our rights. As best as I presently understand things, we each have equal innate rights, which are (1) over our bodies, (2) over the fruits of our labors, (3) over our children within reason as they mature to adulthood, (4) to interact contractually via mutual voluntary informed consent, and (5) to defend ourselves against others' aggression, including with expert assistance from "governments," which is their only legitimate role. And these five basic rights imply limitless derivative rights, including to freely produce and sell and buy and consume substances (including recreational drugs), provided that we don't violate anyone else's equal innate rights as we do so. And, as long as nobody violates anybody else's rights, no governmental intervention is justified. Besides, if we presume that governments may legitimately dictate our use of recreational drugs, then why should they not also dictate our use of medicinal drugs or even our diet? This doesn't mean that we're helpless against drug addiction, since we can still freely lovingly preach against sinful and/or foolish activities, even if we can't compel others to live as we please.

  • TR0UBLE Orem, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    Ok if you go to 'uccs dot edu' forward slash 'rmelamed' forward slash 'cannabinoids-and-cancer' you will find a list of 625 peer reviewed medical journal studies that show raw cannabis cures cancer nearly 100% of the time for less than the cost of one doctors visit. Also with no negative side effects. I have seen it work first hand on my cat who had a fibrosarcosis tumor on his jaw that the vet said would kill him in two weeks, this was two years ago.

  • TR0UBLE Orem, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    Is this working?

  • Alden Salt Lake City, 84116
    Oct. 15, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    No proponents ever say that marijuana is no worse than alcohol. That is a huge lie, Alcohol is, in every way, much more deadly, harmful and costly to a society than marijuana could ever pretend to be. Sure there are negatives associated to marijuana, but there are also positives from it too, that antagonists will always ignore. If someone thinks Alcohol should be legal and marijuana illegal, they are incorrigible, and all we can do is wait for a sensible generation to fix this issue.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Oct. 15, 2013 7:22 a.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" but according to the FDA we have not banned Marijuana. We have only banned the recreational use of Marijuana. Just like gun control, we don't allow just anybody to get a conceal carry permit, nor do gun laws currently allow criminals or mentally disturbed people to get it.

    So, again, why legalize the recreational use of Marijuana? We already have marijuana based medications that are used in the treatment of various diseases.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    It's obvious from the posts that those who have not used "Marijuana" think that they are cleverly calling it "dope" and it is evil. The original draft of the constitution was on Hemp paper, I'll take that as hemp is in the constitution, eh mike.

  • Mark from Montana Aurora, CO
    Oct. 12, 2013 10:09 p.m.

    I cannot say if MJ is overly harmful or addictive and from what I understand, no one else can either because there have been few studies of it in depth.

    What I do know is that the harm that results from the drug running, the wars raging between drug dealers, the havoc being raised in Mexico between those trying to run the country and the drug cartels is terrible. I am to the point of saying legalize it, then tax the heck out of it. That will undermine the cartels and raise revenue for the government.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    It's obvious from the posts that those who have used "dope" think that "dope" is good. What other evidence does anyone need to show that "dope" destroys lives?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    the war on drugs it seems has become worse than the drugs themselves especially when it comes to marijuana

  • CanadaGreywolf canada, 00
    Oct. 11, 2013 11:52 p.m.

    aspirin is addictive and a drug , so is tylenol , so it cough syrup etc.... marijuana is a drug , fine , i agree, recreational use is harmful, any drug is harmful, if abused , BUT ! marijuana has medical applications, google is your friend .......... marijuana OIL (not hashish) pure from a potent pure plant, not those used for drugs , seems to kill cancer cells, en masse ! in fact has CURED at least a few dozen cases of STAGE 4 prostate cancer and others . Don't believe me , GOOGLE IT !!!!!
    therefore it SHOULD at least be legal for medicinal purposes. besides, want your kids away from drugs ? educate and love them , i can't believe in the stupidity of telling someone they can't possess a plant. Get out of my private life,and quit deciding for me what is right or wrong . my choices , no right to force anything ! that aside I don't smoke it , or uses it and my kids won't either, i have educated mine ,and loved mine , they have no need to abuse medicine.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    Cambridge, MA
    11:10 a.m. Oct. 11, 2013

    If you like, we can use the "gun control" argument.

    [OK, Let's use the "gun control" argument... Why should we ban it? Why get Government involved doing background checks? The psychos are going to get their hands on them anyway.]

    "Big Pharm" already has legal forms of marijuana used in the treatment of various diseases. Why do we need to legalize smoking marijuana?

    [Why do we need to make illegal a plant you can grow easier than tomatoes? Why do you think "Big Pharm" makes something only THEY can provide, and then lobbies so hard against legalizing pot? It's about $Money, and has nothing to do with public safety.]

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 5:36 p.m.

    Thanks DN. In a society where doing your thing is politically correct, it's good to have someone stand up against drugs. Those who say that marijuana causes no harm are willfully ignorant of the social and medical facts. Those who advocate it should visit Amsterdam, Vancouver, BC or see the abuses of "medical marijuana" in California for a quick reality check.

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 4:01 p.m.

    One could just as easily write --

    "Alcohol is a harmful drug. That much is beyond dispute, no matter what the drug’s advocates say. It is particularly harmful to young people who begin drinking it regularly, but it also is harmful to adults. It is addictive."

    And that is only the beginning of the hypocrisies involved in the recreational drug discussion.

    The legislation should distinguish between marijuana varieties that still have medicinal value against those that have been hybridized for their psychoactive buzz.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    IMO the pot argument is the same as the Gun argument. The gun is neither good nor evil, it's how the person uses it. A gun CAN be used for great good OR great evil. Likewise pot is neither good nor evil... it's how the person uses it. I don't know what great GOOD it does, but I know it can be abused (just as a gun can be abused).

    But bottom line... the pot is not the problem (it's how people use it). And a gun is not the problem (it's how people use it).

    So just as we don't outlaw all guns... we probably shouldn't outlaw all pot. We should outlaw the ABUSE of Pot (just as we outlaw the abuse of weapons).

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    If you like, we can use the "gun control" argument. Every year there are 10,000 deaths due to drunk driving. Therefore we should ban alcohol. Since Marijuana is worse than alcohol, that is an "assault drug" and should be totally banned.

    What are you talking about? Since Marijuana is worse than alcohol, where did you come up with that?

    Try harder and use logic instead of made up stories to support your theocratic claims.

    Marijuana doesn't kill.
    Look up toxic levels for drugs.

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    Secondly, the war on drugs has been a failure. In a state like Utah that tightly regulates alcohol, it would be almost as easy for me to get a baggie or marijuana on my drive home from work as a fifth of whiskey. The war on drugs would not stop me from getting marijuana if I wanted it. The war on drugs merely means that some drug dealer is getting rich from selling marijuana while millions of marijuana users are caught, incarcerated and in many cases, turned from casual marijuana users into hardened criminals. The detriment to society from the war on drugs far far outweighs the benefits. We'd be so much better off legalizing and very tightly regulating these drugs. The only arguments against this are moral objections, not rational objections. And our moral objections are so arbitrary. We're against marijuana while caring not about Percocet. I'd bet my farm there are more Americans addicted to Percocet than marijuana.

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    Every day on TV, there are a myriad of ads for various legal Big Pharma drugs. Each 60 second ad typically has 20 seconds of actual ad and 40 seconds of disclaimers about the potential side effects. Many times, the listed side effects will be pretty severe... possible birth defects, heart damage and even death. These are legal (albeit regulated) drugs! So making an argument to keep marijuana illegal based on protecting the public is a pretty weak argument. Marijuana is cheap and easy to grow. It doesn't require a chemical engineer manipulating molecules to create a patentable combination worth billions.

    We should be honest and admit to ourselves that corporate profits are a big part of the drive to keep marijuana illegal. Big Pharma is willing to fight hard to make sure they are the only legal dealers of mind altering drugs. They don't want people growing alternatives to addictive, mind-altering drugs like Oxycontin in their own backyards.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    In a nation where people who cannot or will not control their appetites and passions, what should we expect but that many would tell us that marijuana should be legalized. That's not surprising. Some want everyone else to share in their misery. Others want to take advantage of people on "dope". Those of us who know that mankind was created for great things abhor the thought that some parts of society are bent on destroying themselves and everyone who would listen to their demands.

    Marijuana is a drug. It makes dopes out of those who use "dope". Those who sell it or provide it should be given a life sentence at hard labor because they willingly destroy the lives of those to whom they give or sell that "dope".

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    Too many politicians believe in using the force of law to exact righteous behavior. They seem to say, "Behold, here am I, elect me, I will be thy state senator, and I will protect all mankind, that one soul shall not be harmed, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine vote."

    Why single out pot? Let's ban double bacon cheese burgers, ice cream, etc... Let's ban skydiving, guns, driving over 20mph, etc...

    Let's let people do as they wish as long as they don't objectively harm others. Why is that so hard to accept?

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    Let's face it. America turned down prohibition. Alcohol-related problems are a pernicious and costly problem for us. Cancer from smoking is still a costly problem. Youth can get any illegal item, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. The prosecution of any illegal act requires police, courts, attorneys, prisons, etc. Will we save money by legalizing illegal acts? Does America have more sympathy for those who break the law, than for the victims? Making marijuana legal may reduce the crime load (no guarantees);but, social costs in human suffering and hard cash will certainly increase.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    I love how this paper is all for freedom. They want freedom in everything. Except for things that they don't agree with.

    I guess they only believe in "freedom" in things they want.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Oct. 11, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    To "Happy Valley Heretic" why legalize and make it easier for people to get a drug that causes them to do stupid things? We already have enough deaths due to the dumb things that alcohol fuels, do we really need to increase that number with Marijuana?

    If you like, we can use the "gun control" argument. Every year there are 10,000 deaths due to drunk driving. Therefore we should ban alcohol. Since Marijuana is worse than alcohol, that is an "assault drug" and should be totally banned.

    "Big Pharm" already has legal forms of marijuana used in the treatment of various diseases. Why do we need to legalize smoking marijuana?

  • Invisible Hand Provo, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 11:07 a.m.

    It is difficult to prove that marijuana causes people to be losers. There is correlation between using marijuana and being a loser, but it is just as likely, and perhaps more so that being a loser will cause marijuana use rather than the other way around. So if that's the case, it's probably not worth the cost of the war on that particular drug.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Oct. 11, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    I already stated my opinion as regards to medicinal use.

    So - you just want to narrow it down to recreational users ---

    I always sleep better at night knowing a cheeto eating, slurpee drinking, teenager is locked up behind bars --

    While the cocaine snuffing, Corporate Welfare, Military Industrial Complex, Government Lobbying, WallStreet High-roller Gadianton Billionaires are out free and clear.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    "...killings are related to sales, the business side of cultivation and money." The money is in the business side of cultivation because it's illegal. Anyway, one thing I've learned about pot smokers is that the best you're going to achieve by keeping it illegal is the status quo. Your conscience is assuaged, but it's a lie because anyone who wants pot will get pot.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    RedShirtMIT: Letting Big pharm make it addicting and more expensive is not a solution, it's anew problem.

    No Deaths, Not a half truth, I know plenty of people who do stupid things with no drugs needed, circumstantial at best.

    Look to Israel for the truth about this plant, not agenda driven politicians.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    Marijuana is to prescription drugs as alternative medicine is to mainstream medicine. Enough said. Get out of the way!

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Oct. 11, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" this article is not talking about Medical Marijuana. It is talking about the recreational use of it.

    There are already several Federally approved and LEGAL forms of Marijuana and extracts made from it. These already leagal drugs contain the known good substances found in the plant, and reduce the damage caused by the bad portions of the plant.

    To say that there are no deaths due to Marijuana is only a half truth. Yes nobody has died from an overdose, but there are thousands that have died as a result of the dumb things that they do while high.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Oct. 11, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    If, in fact, marijuana is harmful to people (which it arguably is not in any way, shape, or form) then the DesNews should support legalization and regulation of the drug. It is commonly understood that, at any given moment, it is far easier for a high schooler in Utah to buy marijuana than to get alcohol. Which substance is illegal and which is regulated?

    I can't tell you how ironic it is to hear conservatives clamor against a natural substance and then, with a straight face, turn around to fight against labeling GMOs.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 9:45 a.m.


    Who attacked the Middle-East for cheaper oil? They say Bush did.
    Who wants the finite "burn baby burn"? Not sure just what that means, but the term was drill baby drill, said by Sarah Palin.

    Who wants renewable infinite energy sources? Everyone. Got any infinite energy sources in mind? We're pretty far from that scientific breakthrough. Hydrogen maybe in the future. Possible even some cold fusion breakthroughs. In the meantime oil is the energy of the world. Can't fly airplanes on solar power.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    The war on drugs (WOD) has been HIGHLY successful... for law enforcement careers, penal institutions and career politicians. For everyone else, not so much.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Virtually the same arguments could be made about sugar.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    I'm a libertarian, so I really don't care if Marijuana is legal or not, I'm not going to use it, and people who ARE going to use it are going to use it whether it's legal or not (just like with guns).

    I think people should be free to make their own decisions (even bad decisions). But they should pay the price for their decisions. If you smoke and lose your job... that's your problem, it was your decision. If you smoke and crash your car, that's your decision and you should pay the full price of your decision. If you form a habit and can't function well without being in a marijuana altered state, that's your problem. If you get comfortable with it and the culture that surrounds it and you end up getting into something stronger and get addicted... don't expect me or the government to pay for your rehab or your life on the streets begging for money for your next fix.

    People should be responsible for their decisions (not me or the government).

  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    What's more harmful, using marijuana or being in prison?

    I'd say the latter. Face it, if we applied the same standard to alcohol there would be millions of people in jail for possession of booze. Personally I think there is a racist angle going on when Wall Street is known for it's cocaine use but there are never any busts on Wall Street.

    This "war" on drugs is a failed idea. The sooner we accept it, the sooner we can actually improve our society.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    Let's face it. What with the liberals winning most of the social issues these days like same-sex marriage, abortion, deficit spending in the trillions, food stamps for all, no cost health care for all (yeah right), affirmative action, open immigration, anti Christian policies, no energy independence policys, and any other PC issue out there, legalized pot will come to pass. Maybe we should just let the left get high all they want, and then when they are not looking, take back our country from the progressive left while they are munching away on the Oreo cookies and watching John Stewart.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    Re: "Its time to ask the tough question. Is the harm of war on drugs greater or less than the harm of legalizing (decriminalizing) marijuana."

    You got the question exactly right. You got the answer exactly wrong.

    The primary harm to the war on drugs is inflicted by feckless, reckless liberals who believe it's justifiable, even admirable, to flout the law, so long as it's a law they disagree with.

    They grab pitchforks and nooses when they hear of someone annoying a seal, defending themselves from attack, or picking up an arrowhead. But they actively encourage violation of drug, immigration, and sex laws, mocking anything that encourages moral rectitude.

    Shameless liberal surrender has rendered the American war on drugs a caricature of French army tactics.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon,

    I will leave for another time the efficacy of medical marijuana. But the reality in many states that have allowed medical marijuana is almost no one is turned away (there is always a "reason" to prescribe). So, it becomes de facto legalization and much of the use is recreational.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    Nancy Reagan got it right with her "Just Say No!" campaign. Teens need to be taught how to resist peer pressure. Marijuana is even more harmful mentally and socially than the opinion article expressed. I was a teen in the sixties, and I could tell immediately when each of my friends used marijuana ... and the effects never totally wore off.

    I would reduce the penalty for its use to something less than a felony, and turn to a heavy fine instead of prison. Take away their drivers license for a year afterwards because of the loss of depth perception. Drug test them before restoring their license.

    We should divert "War on Drugs" funds to a media campaign that would clearly show the devastation with a slogan "Wasted Lives = Living Wasted." Give the parents the facts they need to exert their moral authority in the lives of these kids. We need studies that focus on the effects on mental health rather than physical health.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Oct. 11, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    "It is addictive, it increases heart-attack risks, affects judgment and motor ability, and is particularly brutal on cognitive abilities..."


    We are talking about "medical" marijuana here, right?
    Because this entire article and it's ONLY argument was skewed and based soley toward the "recreational" use.

    Name ONE drug - legal or illegal - which isn't dangerous.

    BTW - number of deaths in Utah due to marijuana - ZERO per year.
    Number of deaths in Utah due to prescription drug use - 537 per year.

    I look at the facts and data [and even the Holy Ghost] to make my decisions,
    and leave my emotions out of it.

    And the Medical use of Marijuana is one of them I support.

  • Rynn Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 11, 2013 7:31 a.m.

    I think it's a question of where one person's rights end and another person's rights begin.
    If you have someone move in next door who decides he/she is going to sit on their porch every night and smoke marijuana to the point that you have to close all your windows if you don't want the second hand smoke coming into your house...how is that a good thing?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 11, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    My observation of several friends and children of friends and two long term users in my family mirror the old public service announcement - that "Marijuana can make nothing happen to you too." The users tend to lack significant motivation to better themselves.

    Yes, I am sure there are exceptions. But that appears to be the trend. The stereotype exists for a reason.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 6:40 a.m.

    I disagree with your opinion, but that's nothing new.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 5:21 a.m.

    The only real problem you kid will ever have with marijuana will be getting caught with it. Then the government can proceed to ruin their lives.
    Its time to ask the tough question. Is the harm of war on drugs greater or less than the harm of legalizing (decriminalizing) marijuana.
    I believe the harm created by the war on drugs far outweighs the harm in legalization.
    The DMN opinion expresses all these things that can happen when marijuana is legalized. This is already happening, if marijuana remains illegal then we have stated we like the status quo. We want our kids fined and marked for life, rather than chastised by the parents. The war on drugs is a war on you and your kids and their mistakes. We have filled our prisons, we have ruined lives.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 12:20 a.m.

    Ok, fine. Marijuana is harmful, I get it. The real issue is ignored in this opinion piece, however, which is: how should we deal with users? Is the editorial board ok with current enforcement guidelines which contribute to the US's infamous reputation as the world's leading "incarceration nation?" The editors have let themselves off too easily with this superficial bit of righteousness.