Poll: Majority of Americans support efforts to legalize marijuana

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    Jan 28, 2014 2:59 PM GMT
    http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/27/22470647-poll-majority-of-americans-support-efforts-to-legalize-marijuana?lite

    I'm inclined to support these legal changes, and allow marijuana smoking. I've never smoked pot in my life (honestly!), so I have no vested interested in drugs.

    And we certainly need to get rid of disgracefully long mandatory prison sentences that Republican lawmakers have created, and release those incarcerated under them. If Republicans really wanna save taxpayer money and downsize government, that's one way to do it.

    But I have some concerns.

    I remember an incident in college, over 40 years ago. Six of us were riding in a car, in the days when full-size US cars had a bench seat up front and in back, so you could sit 3-across.

    The driver had been smoking. I was sitting next to her, in the middle of the front bench seat.

    She was really stoned, laughing and rather out of control. At one point the car veered into oncoming traffic, and we were about to have a head-on crash.

    I grabbed the steering wheel and brought us back into our lane. Saving us from a head-on collision at about 45 MPH, which would have caused serious injury and maybe death.

    And I think about that incident when I read about legalizing pot, and other recreational drugs. Before that happens, shouldn't we establish acceptable parameters, like with alcohol? And have education programs?

    I don't wanna be driving down the road and encounter a stoned driver coming at me head-on. Do you? It's bad enough we have the drunks, should we add drugged-out drivers to that?

    So what are your thoughts? What actions, if any, should be taken first before this drug legalization becomes the law of the land?
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Jan 28, 2014 6:32 PM GMT
    Well the legalization effort does include standard prohibitions about driving stoned. I'm not sure how the science works but it is still illegal to drive impaired. But driving while stoned is much safer than driving drunk. You have a tendency to drive extremely cautiously and slowly to the point that your slow driving may become a hazard. But it also reduces inhibitions so for some, that also means a lot of alcohol and I think that is where the problem is. It should be legal for adults and restricted in its access and taxed just like liquor with similar laws and regulations. But it is a much safer high.
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    Jan 28, 2014 6:42 PM GMT
    Destinharbor saidWell the legalization effort does include standard prohibitions about driving stoned. I'm not sure how the science works but it is still illegal to drive impaired. But driving while stoned is much safer than driving drunk. You have a tendency to drive extremely cautiously and slowly to the point that your slow driving may become a hazard. But it also reduces inhibitions so for some, that also means a lot of alcohol and I think that is where the problem is. It should be legal for adults and restricted in its access and taxed just like liquor with similar laws and regulations. But it is a much safer high.

    I didn't know that. As I wrote above, I nearly crashed with a driver who was high.

    I don't know if there is a breathalyzer standard, like for alcohol, but maybe the ordinary field sobriety test will work. That's basically my question, because I think we're treading on untested legal ground here.

    And as I said, this is all new. I presume none of us want more impaired drivers on our roads. How we control that will have to be developed.

    I don't give a fuck what you do at home, but what you do on the road driving a car alongside me might be of real importance to me. And maybe to some of you, too, yes?
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    Jan 28, 2014 6:51 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    Destinharbor saidWell the legalization effort does include standard prohibitions about driving stoned. I'm not sure how the science works but it is still illegal to drive impaired. But driving while stoned is much safer than driving drunk. You have a tendency to drive extremely cautiously and slowly to the point that your slow driving may become a hazard. But it also reduces inhibitions so for some, that also means a lot of alcohol and I think that is where the problem is. It should be legal for adults and restricted in its access and taxed just like liquor with similar laws and regulations. But it is a much safer high.

    I didn't know that. As I wrote above, I nearly crashed with a driver who was high.

    I don't know if there is a breathalyzer standard, like for alcohol, but maybe the ordinary field sobriety test will work. That's basically my question, because I think we're treading on untested legal ground here.

    And as I said, this is all new. I presume none of us want more impaired drivers on our roads. How we control that will have to be developed. I don't give a fuck what you do at home, but what do on the road driving a car alongside me might be of real importance to me. And maybe to you, too, yes?


    It's called driving while impaired. Not driving while drunk or high. It doesn't matter - and that's what the cops should be focusing on - impairment or recklessness - not creating yet more unnecessary/redundant laws.
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    Jan 28, 2014 7:04 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    It's called driving while impaired. Not driving while drunk or high. It doesn't matter - and that's what the cops should be focusing on - impairment or recklessness - not creating yet more unnecessary/redundant laws.

    That's my thought, too.

    I have to take prescription meds for my various medical conditions. So does my husband.

    If we are careless and take too many of them, we will be impaired. Our driving could be dangerous.

    And yet, these prescription drugs are perfectly legal. They aren't cocaine, they aren't crack, they aren't heroine, they aren't morphine, they aren't in any way illegal. And yet they could impair us, if taken in excess.

    And so maybe a standard for driving while impaired, using a field sobriety test, is what we will do. This is the question I pose.

    Because I sure as Hell don't want impaired drivers, from either legal recreational drugs or alcohol, ramming into my car. And if they do, I want them fully prosecuted. Wouldn't you?
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jan 28, 2014 7:24 PM GMT
    Marijuana is my drug of choice. I much prefer it to alcohol for many reasons. I've been smoking recreationally since I was 19 years old. That's close to half a century. So far as I can tell, it hasn't done me any harm.

    Of course people react to and or use drugs differently -- and marijuana is a drug. The drug itself hasn't much abuse potential but that's not to say it can't be abused (used in a harmful way) by those so inclined. People who are looking for a means to act out irresponsibly and harm themselves or others will find a means to do so, legal or not. People need to take responsibility for their behavior and not blame drug use (of any kind) as an excuse.

    The effects of MJ are dose dependent. Some people like to get 'totally waisted', I'm not one of them. I've learned to moderate my intake to find a 'comfortable high' where I can function yet feel a distinct 'buzz'. If I get to far beyond that I begin to feel uncomfortable, even paranoid, and it isn't enjoyable.

    There are many different varieties of pot, some more potent than others with different 'kinds' of highs associated with them. Some are more 'heady' and intellectual while others are more 'body' or sensory focused. I tend toward the latter as I enjoy experiencing things through my senses (sight, sound, taste and tactile in particular). Having these senses 'opened' or 'heightened' so I'm more sensitive than usual, more sensitive to new impressions through them, is something I find enjoyable and relaxing.

    Mostly I use pot smoking as a kind of recreation. I almost never smoke during the day or when I have things to do. I know some people do but I find it a-motivational. The one exception to that being if I'm doing something that is creative (painting, drawing, writing for my own artistic purposes). So, sometimes, I might use it that way but that is rare. It's more something I do in the evenings a few nights a week while reading or watching a movie.

    That it was made illegal in the first place and that it has been kept illegal for all these years is a testimony to the ignorance and corruption inherent in our federal government.





  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Jan 28, 2014 7:29 PM GMT
    Well, yes, but in the abstract (ArtDeco). I think in this atmosphere of moral indignation it is all too easy to pass limit laws that essentially make everyone who doesn't sit home 24/7 with his bible a criminal. Example: MADD. Good cause when it started but once they'd gotten state legislators to tighten down on DUI or DWI or whatever you call it, they pushed the legal limit to essentially two drinks. Or less, depending on the food in your stomach. They basically achieved their goal but they themselves were addicted to the revenue flow and power structure they'd created and just kept on going until we all became criminals. America has puritan tendencies when it comes to legislating morality and I don't think someone who is slightly stoned is a menace in a car but I bet a coalition of control freaks will try to jump on this.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 28, 2014 7:42 PM GMT
    I actually agree with Riddler on this thread! It's so nice to be bipartisan!!! If he lived near me, I'd offer to take him out to lunch today, to celebrate.icon_biggrin.gif
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jan 28, 2014 7:44 PM GMT
    ART_DECO saidBecause I sure as Hell don't want impaired drivers, from either legal recreational drugs or alcohol, ramming into my car. And if they do, I want them fully prosecuted. Wouldn't you?

    I see this concern expressed repeatedly in the context of marijuana legalization.

    What people need to understand is that we are ALREADY sharing the road with drivers who are intoxicated by something… legal and not. The question is, will the legalization of a given substance *substantially* increase the already present risks associated with driving (or any other public activity)? There is no indication that marijuana legalization will substantially increase those risks.

    One can have a drink and drive without significant impairment. One can have a hit of pot and drive without significant impairment. On the other hand, one can drink and/or smoke excessively and become a danger to both oneself and others. There are already laws in place to deal with impaired drivers. I will argue that pot smokers are more likely to obey those laws than drunks simply because, on the whole, they are more self-aware than drunks. Obviously there can and will be exceptions.

    This young woman that you were riding with, Art, had she been drinking as well as smoking? (The described behavior suggests that might be the case.) Is there a reason why she was allowed to get behind the wheel even though she was behaving in a reckless manner?

  • peterstrong

    Posts: 989

    Jan 28, 2014 7:48 PM GMT
    I want prison space and cop and court time spent on violent crime, and no more on incidental drug use or possession. All studies and experience shows if we offered rehab to addicts it would be far cheaper for us than our current idiotic, freedom denying, families destroying, and expensive approach.

    http://www.thehouseilivein.org/





    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/3653542


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    Jan 28, 2014 7:57 PM GMT
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTMklzHEYoC1fI2o-gs5X1
  • MikeW

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    Jan 28, 2014 8:22 PM GMT
    peterstrong saidI want prison space and cop and court time spent on violent crime, and no more on incidental drug use or possession. All studies show if we offered rehab to addicts it would be far cheaper for us than our current idiotic, freedom denying, families destroying, and expensive approach.

    http://www.thehouseilivein.org/

    < iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/a0atL1HSwi8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

    But the drug laws have never been "idiotic," "wasteful" or "counterproductive," if you understand who benefits from them. From that vantage point, the war on drugs has accomplished EXACTLY what was intended. Many in politics, the policing agencies and bureaucracies, prison systems and so on have benefitted. The biggest beneficiaries, however, have always been in that nether world of para-politics where intelligence/counterintelligence interfaces with organized crime and money laundering. The illicit drug trade is a global, 300+ billion $ a year industry.

    Trust me, the last thing those involved in this industry want is a cure for addiction.
  • peterstrong

    Posts: 989

    Jan 28, 2014 8:25 PM GMT
    Mikew said
    Trust me, the last thing those involved in this industry want is a cure for addiction.



    Dude that isn't true, the vast majority of users are non-addicts as is evidenced in Colorado right now and nationwide / worldwide

    I would agree with you that most of that whole cabal had / has an interest in keeping it illegal though -
    the prison industrial complex - that's why its up to us to speak out and up about how we want our tax dollars spent
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 28, 2014 8:31 PM GMT
    Marijuana technically is not a drug. Its a weed, a vegetable. Same as roses. Cocaine is a drug. Vicodin is a drug.
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    Jan 28, 2014 8:44 PM GMT
    Driving while intoxicated under any circumstances is a bad thing/idea... but I can assure the OP that MOST intoxicant-related accidents are due to alcohol.

    Also - I unfortunately doubt that legalization will change those numbers much. Alcohol's been legal most of our history. The next thing on the rise is texting while driving - which is ridiculous.

    Unfortunately there's no pill to stop people from being stupid or reckless - but we can hope that with legalization there will be more accurate and better funded educational and preventive measures.

    Personally, I'd rather have robot cars. Period. They'd be thousands of times safer. No ego, no speeding, no drugs. Simple.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14372

    Jan 28, 2014 8:49 PM GMT
    manboynyc saidDriving while intoxicated under any circumstances is a bad thing/idea... but I can assure the OP that MOST intoxicant-related accidents are due to alcohol.

    Also - I unfortunately doubt that legalization will change those numbers much. Alcohol's been legal most of our history. The next thing on the rise is texting while driving - which is ridiculous.

    Unfortunately there's no pill to stop people from being stupid or reckless - but we can hope that with legalization there will be more accurate and better funded educational and preventive measures.

    Personally, I'd rather have robot cars. Period. They'd be thousands of times safer. No ego, no speeding, no drugs. Simple.
    I would much rather see a major shift in our nation's transportation priorities. It is time to get away from automobiles and superhighways and increase funding in high speed rail, public transportation, and bicycling. Than DWIs wouldn't be such a serious problem in this country. Plus it would be better for the environment and the overall quality of life.
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    Jan 28, 2014 9:18 PM GMT
    I support decriminalization, and that is all I support. court systems are clogged already.

    I don't smoke pot, nor will I date anyone who does. sorry. I'm not into it. It should be a closeted habit, not one that people brag about in public. It smells horrible and people act stupid. At home is one thing, but if you're going out on the road, stay the fuck at home.
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    Jan 28, 2014 9:45 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    manboynyc saidDriving while intoxicated under any circumstances is a bad thing/idea... but I can assure the OP that MOST intoxicant-related accidents are due to alcohol.

    Also - I unfortunately doubt that legalization will change those numbers much. Alcohol's been legal most of our history. The next thing on the rise is texting while driving - which is ridiculous.

    Unfortunately there's no pill to stop people from being stupid or reckless - but we can hope that with legalization there will be more accurate and better funded educational and preventive measures.

    Personally, I'd rather have robot cars. Period. They'd be thousands of times safer. No ego, no speeding, no drugs. Simple.
    I would much rather see a major shift in our nation's transportation priorities. It is time to get away from automobiles and superhighways and increase funding in high speed rail, public transportation, and bicycling. Than DWIs wouldn't be such a serious problem in this country. Plus it would be better for the environment and the overall quality of life.


    That's just idiotic given the costs and subsidies required to do so. Give it a few more years and automated cars are going to make all that infrastructre "investment" useless. Trains don't drive you to your door - and are inefficient in that last 1-5 miles. Automated cars will mean people can share their cars - while technology to build these cars will keep falling - services like Uber will be dirt cheap.

    http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2014/01/25/robo-chauffeurs-could-kill-public-transit-as-we-know-it/
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    Jan 28, 2014 10:57 PM GMT
    HottJoe saidI actually agree with Riddler on this thread! It's so nice to be bipartisan!!! If he lived near me, I'd offer to take him out to lunch today, to celebrate.icon_biggrin.gif


    I actually agree with hottjoe on this because it's so nice to be bipartisian .... high or not!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 28, 2014 11:07 PM GMT
    I need this on the Dems 2016 platform. If it isn't by then, I will be shopping around.

    And I've never smoked the stuff, even in my drunken fratboy years.

    The criminalization of its use unduly impacts society in far too many ways. None of them having anything to do with the effects of its use.
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    Jan 28, 2014 11:16 PM GMT
    MikeW said
    This young woman that you were riding with, Art, had she been drinking as well as smoking? (The described behavior suggests that might be the case.) Is there a reason why she was allowed to get behind the wheel even though she was behaving in a reckless manner?

    It was her car. Just smoking as far as I knew. And we were all going to shoot a video, that in those days was done on clumsy open reel-to-reel tapes. I didn't realize how impaired she was until we were riding in the car.

    As an aside, I'll tell you she later became the technical director of the Sunday morning CBS program of a rather well known on-air personality, now deceased. His show ran for about 20 years. Can you guess who he was?

    Ironic, because I taught her how to direct TV programs, when I was the student Executive Director of our college TV broadcasting program. But I chose to return to my Army military career, and was serving in Germany 4 months after I graduated.

    Sometimes I'm amazed at how stupid I've been in my life. No, not sometimes, ALL the time. icon_redface.gif
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    Jan 28, 2014 11:48 PM GMT
    The day jobs worry less about the THC levels in a persons piss over unknowingly hiring an alcoholic will be a beautiful thing. I also hope the marijuana users/sellers that are serving more time than drunken rapists are also freed.
  • ThatSwimmerGu...

    Posts: 3755

    Jan 29, 2014 12:38 AM GMT
    I think as long as it is kept indoors on your own private property it is fine.
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    Jan 29, 2014 2:23 AM GMT
    ThatSwimmerGuy saidI think as long as it is kept indoors on your own private property it is fine.


    Like sodomy! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
  • ThatSwimmerGu...

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    Jan 29, 2014 2:46 AM GMT
    Alexxx5 said
    ThatSwimmerGuy saidI think as long as it is kept indoors on your own private property it is fine.


    Like sodomy! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    Haha. Sure.