Comments about ‘Something is missing in the debate over marijuana legalization’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 23 2014 1:50 p.m. MST

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Why are liberals in favor of lowering personal responsibility? Why are they in favor of turning into sub-humans who are slaves to appetites and passions? Why are they paying women to have children? Why are they paying children to drop out of school? Why are they paying people to stay unemployed?

In a sane world, we would encourage people to be responsible. We would encourage people to rise above their appetites and passions. We would encourage marriage and responsible parenthood. We would encourage children to stay in school. We would not reward people for not working and we would not reward people for giving up.

Maybe too many of those who create our laws have already spent too much time sucking on a pipe.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If sodas, cigarettes, and some baked goods, are illegal in some cities (because they are "unhealthy")... should marijuana not also be illegal in those cities (for the same reason)?

Smoking marijuana is far from "healthy". It's at least as bad for your health as smoking tobacco.

And I've never heard of anybody getting in a traffic accident because they were under the influence of over 16 ounces of soda, or a piece of cherry pie.

But the libertarian in me says... let them do it. Let them make their own mistakes (as long as THEY pay the price for their mistakes). But don't expect society to pay for your rehab if you decide marijuana isn't enough and get hooked on something stronger to alter your mood. Or if you lose your job from embracing the "wasted" lifestyle.

Pot-heads don't make very good employes (at least not very reliable, productive, employees you can expect professional behavior from). It won't take employers long to realize this and either leave the pot-head communities altogether, or at least not hire pot-heads. Maybe that's the real reason we need the minimum wage so badly.

Everett, 00

Let me get this straight Mike ---

You SAY you want Freedom and less Government,
You constantly go around attempting to ban and outlaw "sins".

Which is it?
What do you stand for?

Free Agency,
Forced Righteousness?

You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Bountiful, UT

It is obvious that one of the political parties (and maybe both) thus panders to its base. If a party can gift-wrap a concession to a segment of its base, that will solidify that segment's ballot loyalty. One major party has given major gifts or made major concessions to the LGBT community, and now LGBT loyalty to that party is a certainty. That liberal party has worked this same strategy to corner election-day loyalty from Planned Parenthood/"liberated" women, union bosses/members, public educators/teachers, immigrants legal/illegal, and all the racial minorities/victims. Now that party is targeting pot smokers and libertarians with marijuana legalization initiatives.

Machiavelli would be proud. Using this strategy, that permissive and amoral party is likely to rule and reign indefinitely.

Ontario, OR

There are ways to take medical marijuana besides smoking it, and it is proven to give relief that no other substance will give for certain medical conditions. Yet, federally it is criminalized, so clinics in states that allow medical marijuana use are in a Catch-22 situation. I have known people or heard testimony from people who have benefited from medical marijuana, and from people for whom it did not prove effective. A person with chronic pain who is on Vicodin or other controlled substances is just as impaired as one who is on medical marijuana -- often more so. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, renowned surgeon and medical expert has embraced the use of medical marijuana for certain types of patients. Recreational use of marijuana is a different matter, but we'll see in Washington and Colorado what the effects of legal recreational use are. With any substance, we need to look at the science. People who are morbidly obese get a pass on their food addiction, even while judging others as weak and sinful. Look around at church! By the way, I'm overweight and don't use tobacco, alcohol, or drugs. Just saying, let's be reasonable and educated.

Star, ID

More medical professinals are acknowledging the benefit marijuana can have with certain conditions.

I have a brother with a rare disease that there is no known cure for. Through the last year and a half he has missed 3/4 of school because of this. He has sought numerous medical professionals, been prescribed an entire pharmacy of medication (anti-nausea, pain, anti-depressants, anxiety)...you name it, he's been on it. None of that helped a bit.

4 months ago I had the suggestion of trying marijuana, because we were completely out of options. Lo and behold...his symptoms have subsided since smoking. He smokes once a night prior to bed. It lowers his anxiety, keeps the stress away and prevents any episodes.

So now he is able to attend school, live a normal social life, and not constant fear of an episode disrupting everything.

But, because medical marijuana isn't legalized we are forced to get it from less than scrupulous sources and both his family members and himself run major criminal risks trying to get the only thing that helps.

We're trying to be responsible, but the law is preventing that. How's that fair? How's that unrighteous?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Let me get this straight airnot ---
So.. which is it?

You usually say Government Regulation is "good".
So why is Government regulation "bad"... but just for this one thing?

Seems like you flip-flopped just as much as Mike on this.


Government regulation of how much we drive, how fast we drive, air quality, car emissions, minimum wage, etc... "Good".

But government regulation of Marijuana, or Abortion, etc... "Bad"?

Which is it?
What do you stand for?

You can't have your cake and eat it too.

layton, ut

It is libertarian types that have been pushing for marijuana legalization. Liberals get associated with it because most of the pot smokers out there are lazy hippies that like the nanny state that liberals offer. As a libertarian, I see no issue with private consumption of marijuana, as long as sales are restricted to adults, and heavily taxed. The war on drugs has failed. Use of drugs has gone up after 40 years of this flawed policy. Nations with legalized marijuana, such as the Netherlands, have lower usage rates than the United States. It is time for our leaders to stop wasting billions of dollars confronting a social problem with criminal and war tactics.

Sandy, UT

Really? Really? No one has brought up the so-called war on drugs? How much damage are we willing to inflict on society by the totally out-of-control and downright evil war on drugs? We are the dubiously proud citizens of an incarceration nation with sentences entirely out of proportion to their danger, even though studies have shown that drug treatment is many times cheaper and more successful than incarceration. Lives and families have been ruined because of our out-of-whack attitudes toward drug use. No amount of self-righteous indignation will justify the needless damage these policies inflict on so many.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The nanny state needs to allow for freedom.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Okay airnaut, let's have it your way. Let's throw out the speed limits, even those in school zones, after all, you're promoting freedom from any restriction, even when the safety of our children and grandchildren are at stake. Let's throw alway the prohibition to drink and drive, after all, you're promoting that the freedom to maim and destroy is more important than the safety of others on our roads. Let's remove all laws that protect your property, including the privacy of your bank account, because you think that people should be unfettered by laws that restrict their "right" to rob others of property or possessions.

You may want to live in a lawless community. I do not. We have laws that punish those in society who would harm others in society. We have laws which, when followed, promote the safety and security of our children and grandchildren. We impose on everyone the responsibility to consider how their actions affect others. You are against that. Your posts show that you do not want laws. I completely disagree with you.

Everett, 00

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Okay airnaut, let's have it your way.
You may want to live in a lawless community.


Is it always All-or-Nothing with you Mike?
One extreme to the other?

What ever happened to "Moderation in all things"?
Do you believe God when he tells you that?


Let's examine the facts:

Annual deaths in Utah:

Firearms - 330
Motor Vehicle accidents - 219
Prescription drug overdoses - 502
Walking in front of a moving train - 4
Smoking pot - zilch, 0 ZERO, nada.

Your idea of laws are based on fear and your definition of "sins" -- not facts or data.

BTW -- as a fellow Mormon, the church said not to smoke Pot, so I don't.
and I have no problem with following that rule.

but as an American, I just can't agree with making it a "law" without sufficient data to support it.

Hence, I completely disagree with you.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

airnaut/Open Minded Mormon/LDS Liberal/ whoever,

Why is legalized Marijuana Abortion about the only place where liberals turn against all their previous convictions?

Usually they WANT government regulation (but not if it's Marijuana or Abortion).

They usually say "States should be subject to Fedral Laws" (hint... Marijuana is still illegal by Federal Law), but in this one special case (legalized marijuana)... they magically become States-Rights people.

It's weird how these two topics get people to just switch positions 180 degrees.


I personally don't care if marijuana is illegal. As long as the people who use it are held responsible for their decisions (not me or society in general).

When they cause an accident throw the book at them.
When they loose their job for poor performance... that's tough.
If they move on to harder drugs (as most Marijuana users eventually do)... they pay for the rehab, incarcerations, abandoned families, etc, etc, not me or the government.

Boise, ID

"Liberals, who have fought vociferously for bans on cigarettes, super-sized sodas, trans fats and other unhealthy substances, now either advocate for the legalization of marijuana or stand unopposed to it."

I agree! It makes no more sense than "conservatives" (quote unquote) who stand unopposed to bans on cigarettes, super-sized sodas, trans fats, etc., but are vociferous in their opposition to cannabis.

FREEDOM! What a concept! Make an effort to inform adults of the various health risks, and then let THEM decide - whether it's alcohol, tobacco, French fries... or demon weed.

I'm a CONSERVATIVE, and I approve of this message.

Houston, TX

There is a combination of influences in our society that calls good bad, and bad good. Everytime a controversial opinion is rendered in court, this influence takes the court opinion and attaches an additional spin to it.

Legalize marijuana, to benefit medical patients and limit the power of criminal cartels.
Spin: Marijuana is harmless.

Legalize LGBT same sex marriage, because we don't have a societal benefit in banning it.
Spin: Same sex marriage can be superior because hetrosexual marriages often have problems.

Legalize abortion, because some pregnancies are forced or have life-threatening conditions.
Spin: Abortion doesn't involve the death of an human being.

The court decisions are valid, but the spin takes the issue beyond the court's decisions.

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