29 May 2008

I'll give you 4 Reasons why Cannabis should be Illegal

This is the post where I finally start to give you the reasons that Cannabis should be illegal. I debunked a lot of the standard arguments in previous posts. Weak. If you really want to keep Marijuana illegal use the following 4 arguments:

1. By keeping marijuana illegal you maintain the stigma which surrounds it. For a teenager to smoke it, he must be breaking the law, i.e., disrespecting authority, and that is attractive to teenagers. By legalizing marijuana you reduce the stigma, which then may transfer to a more dangerous drug.
2. If you make marijuana legal, more people will use it. Classic Law of Demand. Lower the price (consequences), and the quantity demanded will increase, including use by some who were priced out of the market before. If we claim people smoking marijuana is a bad thing, this means more of a bad thing.
3. People smoking marijuana makes other people uncomfortable. It smells weird. People who smoke it act funny. It just makes non-smokers uncomfortable. More smokers means more interaction with non-smokers, leading to more uncomfortable non-smokers.
4. It is hard to prove you are not high. Since the THC is stored in your fat cells, it may be difficult to prove you were not impaired by the substance (even after the 2-3 hour effects had worn off). For example, if you are in a car accident the day after smoking up and weed was found in your car, that may be grounds to test you. If it is found in your system, you could face additional criminal and civil penalties. This assumes that there isn't a BAC-impairment equivalent for marijuana testing (I haven't heard of any). The legislation and litigation that would result from these disputes would further tax the judicial system. This may be partially offset by fewer marijuana possession cases, but the net cost is uncertain.

Could I poke holes in each these arguments? Sure. Can I think of any others? Not at the moment. Feel free to add yours in the comments.


Anonymous said...

OK 4 points and I shall poke holes in them. I will give a brief account of why it was made illegal and the bennefits of legalising it. As far as I am concerned there is no reason to make it illegal.

1) If a person is willing to try illegal drugs, it is just a matter of time before they try the more dangerous ones. So this argument has no bearing on the matter.

2)But that is assuming it is bad thing to smoke it in the first place. Many health organisations claim that there is no significant health problems caused. No one has ever died of smoking Cannabis itself. Read the Lancet in the medical journal, 1995. No health problems associated with Cannabis.

3) So we are meant to keep it illegal because a few people feel uncomfortable? I'm sorry but when it acts very well medicineally much better than many drugs currently supplied, that argument is so weak it is just silly. If smoking it were more common, then people would not be so prejudice. Like homosexuality, more open homosexuals have reduced the number of people who are uncomfortable in their pressence.

4)This rests on the belief that it affects driving at all. The Crancer study commissioned by the US department of Motor vehicles ran a test on peoples driving ability, in 2 groups. People who were high and people who were not. This is exactly what it said. "Simulated driving scores for subjects experiencing a normal social high and the same subjects under control conditions are not significantly different." It does not significalty affect driving ability.

Anonymous said...

The reason it was made illegal in the first place was because of the misclassification of the drug. Originally it was thought to be dangerous and addictive narcotic. It was banned along with cocaine, opium, and heroin. It was banned because of these false beliefs and because of pressure from companies, which still exists today. This is why it remains banned. The companies in question are:

alcohol and tabacoo industry: it would loose money if people switched to cannabis, a healthy alternative to either.

wood and timber industry: cannabis plants have a wooded stalk (called hurds) that makes better quality paper than current methods.

pharmaceutical industries: as mentioned many doctors see the health bennefits of cannabis. It was widely used throughout the world until 1924. If it were legalised, then people could grow drugs in their garden and not need to buy synthetic alternatives.

fertiliser companies: cotton is the current alternative to hemp fibres which are much more durable. Cotton requires much more fertilisers than cannabis plants and so this would hurt business.

plastics companies: many products could be made from cannabis with no pollution at all.

Employees of the criminal justice system: alot of convictions are based on drug offences. Removing these laws would hurt the numbers and could result in job cuts in the legal profession.

and finally...

the fuel companies including fossil: The Report of the FCDA Europe - endorsed by Judges, Doctors & academics - reveals for the first time, the CANNABIS BIOMASS ENERGY EQUATION, which shows beyond doubt that cannabis-derived fuel, capable of providing almost all of our domestic and industrial energy requirements as well as running all of our cars without pollution, is easily a CHEAPER and safer form of viable energy. It is the huge oil and nuclear industries which have the main profit motivations for continued prohibition at any cost.

Jeff Shepley said...


Thanks for your comments and providing the information that you have. As you may have realized my post is meant to be satirical.

I, like you, found the arguments against marijuana legalization to be weak at best, as evidenced by the weakness of these four "best" arguments presented by me in this post.

As I read them, I find that a few of your responses seem a little TOO enthusiastic. This can be a good thing for sure, but it can also lead your reader to question your objectivity when presenting them data with which they are not familiar.

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