Comments about ‘Legalizing marijuana is bad for society’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 20 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Hayden, ID

There is a reason its called smoking dope.


Mr. Barber has eloquently described the moral case against marijuana use. Unfortunately, he hasn't described the legal case against it. The same dilemma exists for legalization of marijuana as existed for legalization of alcoholic beverages during prohibition. The correct legal choice is the lesser of two evils. The two evils, of course, are the ills produced by the usage of the substance itself and the ills that inevitably result when a sufficient proportion of the populace is determined to use the substance in spite of the law. The difficulty is determining which is worse. Regrettably, I think the scales are tipping in favor of legalization.

Laws can't change the character of the citizenry. They can only produce as much order and safety as we all are willing to allow.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Nanny State Advocate. What happened to freedom.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Pops – “Mr. Barber has eloquently described the moral case against marijuana use.”

And you nicely described the pragmatic dilemma inherent in many questions of public policy - refreshing to see given how our current political environment is long on idealism & moral pontificating and far too short on pragmatism & understanding opposing points of view.

I would (regrettably as well) agree with you – the “war on drugs” creates tremendous collateral damage and fills our prisons with people who shouldn’t be there, not to mention creating a strong & wealthy organized crime element.

One solution may be to legalize personal use will levying a large sin tax to be set aside solely for anti-drug education and treatment

Here, UT

It isn't as if the war on drugs has been "good for society"; I'd argue the opposite, that it has been a tremendous negative for society. Making things illegal only leads to more prison inmates, more crime, etc.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

It's much safer and less destructive than alcohol. The State could make huge profits by selling it.


Prison for pot use/distribution, is NOT good for society or its families. End of story. I will never be convinced otherwise and will do what I can to encourage it's legalization or in the least its decriminalization.

American Fork, UT

Hey, you have to tow the party line when you write a column here.

Cedar Hills, UT

Rocky Mountain High - I wonder if John Denver understood that just 35 years after he wrote the song Colorado would indeed be a place to get "high". Corporations are going to start pulling out of Colorado simply because families don't want to raise their kids around dope smok'en druggies.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

We need to get used to the idea that not everything that is bad will be illegal. Then maybe people will start using their brains, and stop doing harmful things for the right reasons (because they are bad for us, not just because they are "illegal").

Seatbelt laws:
If you don't care enough to save your own life... you will do it to avoid getting a ticket? Same for helmet laws.

Drinking laws:
You don't care that you will probably kill yourself and maybe others if you drive drunk... but you will stop to avoid getting a ticket? Same for smoking laws.

Gun laws:
You are planning on going to a school and shooting a bunch of people (also illegal but this doesn't stop you). But if it's illegal to get the gun.. you give up? Hardly.

Just because something's not illegal doesn't mean it's OK!

I guess some people just can't do the right thing for the right reason. Avoiding a ticket is not the right reason. I guess we need these laws for people who will only do the right thing if it's the LAW???

Salt Lake City, UT

I am reminded of the ever-increasing national debt. Some years ago, this country decided, by majority vote, that we as a country could afford the costs of allowing the "liberty" of use of alcoholic beverages. MADD can give you a better cost analysis than I. Be that as it may, we also pay the costs of allowing the use of tobacco in its varied forms (smoking, chewing, etc.), even with the restrictions that were finally imposed. Now, the country is going for more costs in allowing other risky lifestyles. Good thing for ACA, right? One day, it will cost too much.

Sainte Genevieve, MO

Someone mentioned ACA. I believe under ACA not only will marijuana not be legalized, alcohol will also be banned, along with fast food, lack of exercise and other unhealthy habits. The people paying the band call the tunes and eventually we will all be forced into healthy lifestyles whether we like it or not.

salt lake city, UT

Another shallow, weak defense against the criminalization of free choice The author seems to have written the sequel to the old movie, Refer Madness.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

There is not much question that it has legitimate medical uses. Utah should at the very least legalize it for bona fide medical reasons. This from someone who has never taken or used an illegal drug in his 69 years.

Tooele, UT

Re: "Making things illegal only leads to more prison inmates, more crime, etc."

Yeah, so we should legalize murder, rape, robbery, and, of course, all white-collar and environmental crime, right?

I know legalization of pot will enable foolish people to take themselves and their descendants out of competition against my kids and grandkids, in the both the job market, and the gene pool, but I guess my genes are just not that selfish.

Sometimes the law needs to protect fools, or at least their progeny, from themselves. Hence laws requiring compulsory education, vaccination, driver licensing, etc.

This is clearly one of those times.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Society has rules that suggest to people what they should do and laws to punish those who break society's rules. Most of us could care less about drug laws. We know how to properly control ourselves. We would not take drugs that could harm us or that could harm others. Most of us could care less whether there is a policeman at a school crossing. We care about the kids and we drive accordingly. We have complete fidelity to our husband or wife because we would never hurt that person in any way. The same goes for every other rule in society.

Only criminals need laws. Those laws will not keep criminals from hurting others, but those laws will enable society to punish those who break society's rules.

People who understand how wonderful complex our bodies are would never purposefully take anything into that body that would diminish its ability to function properly.

Foolish people have destroyed themselves with drugs. Some try to get others involved in drugs. They deserve pity, but they do not deserve to walk freely among us when they wilfully break society's rules. We need laws to protect ourselves from them.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I've been thinking about the word; Compliance. It seems that we are losing our own standards. Our Pres. is the guy who holds up our standards, but he changes the rules to make par

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah


So you believe in Freedom or not?
Also -- marijuana in never mentioned once in the Constitution.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Brigham Young and many many others all encouraged growing it.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I suppose if eating Cheetos, Hostess, Captain Crunch and Taco Bell is bad for society then, yes.

I think it is a medical necessity.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

LDS Liberal,
It's NOT a medical necessity. It's a liberal's irresistible need to regulate other people and tell other people how to live. You CAN eat an occasional burrito and not die.

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