Opinion: From decriminalizing pot to a radical legalization of all drugs

Opinion: From decriminalizing pot to a radical legalization of all drugs

Marinuana joint by Torben Bjorn Hansen on Flickr Creative Commons

By Greg Kline

For MarylandReporter.com

As the General Assembly session moves towards its conclusion, the direction of the legislature on a number of issues is becoming clearer. One such issue is the legalization or decriminalization of drugs and drug-related crimes.

Prior to the election of 2014, there was a full court press to legalize marijuana in Maryland both for recreational and medicinal uses.  Many in the marijuana legalization movement were convinced that Maryland was the next Colorado and would quickly join the states legalizing and taxing pot sales.

Instead, the best proponents could pass was a complex medical marijuana regime, still being worked out in detail, and a ham-handed decriminalization effort that still has left many details unresolved.

The proponents of marijuana legalization have not stopped.  This year alone, they overturned a veto by the governor of a bill which decriminalized possession of drug paraphernalia and made public consumption of marijuana less penalized than public consumption of alcohol.

In addition, marijuana advocates introduced bills to create a constitutional right to marijuana and to allow dentists, podiatrists and even nurse midwives to recommend medical marijuana to patients, including pregnant women, among numerous other proposals.

It doesn’t end with marijuana

But the drug legalization effort does not end with marijuana. It has become much more radical than simply legalizing pot.

In 2013, in commenting on the folly of marijuana legalization, I wrote the following in the Baltimore Sun:

“This creeping approach to legalization of marijuana is always bolstered by arguments that also support legalization of all drugs. It is pretty obvious where the drug legalization advocates next target is and what their ultimate goal will be: full legalization of all drugs. Of course, few advocates would dare say such a thing openly, but the direction of their logic is straightforward and undeniable.”

At the time, such suggestions were considered inflammatory and I was criticized during a radio forum on the issue by Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Baltimore County) for making such claims. He and others insisted that they opposed legalization of dangerous drugs like heroin and cocaine and such “slippery slope” arguments were baseless fear mongering.

A radical movement

A number of proposals in this year’s General Assembly session, however, show clearly that there is, in fact, a very radical drug legalization movement among many Maryland legislators.

Del. Dan Morhaim, D-Baltimore County, introduced a bill, HB 1119, which would have decriminalized small amounts of all controlled substances including heroin, cocaine and other highly dangerous and addictive drugs.

Del. Morhaim justified his proposal by making the same argument that marijuana advocates had made years earlier, namely that decriminalization of all drugs would free up police resources and reduce incarceration of drug users.

Such an argument is logically consistent with the proponents of marijuana legalization who constantly mention the “failed War On Drugs.”.  After all, as I mentioned in 2013, legalizing marijuana will not end the “War on Drugs” and such arguments militate that all drugs be legalized.

But the movement to remove criminal penalties for drug users has gone far beyond crimes dealing with drug use and possession. Taking an even more radical step, Del. Curt Anderson, D-Baltimore City, introduced a bill, HB 1362, which sought to remove criminal penalties for particular robbery, burglary and theft offenses where the perpetrator is a drug addict.

Such a proposal exceeds any justification by drug legalization advocates that the government has no business regulating what citizens do behind closed doors. In fact, it is hard to imagine how even the most libertarian drug legalization proponent could justify a law which the property rights of an innocent victim simply because the criminal is a drug addict.

License for destructive behavior

Indeed, the decriminalization of property crimes coupled with a decriminalization of possession of even the most harmful and addictive drugs is a license for destructive behavior and a recipe for the destabilization of civil society.

With these proposals, it is clear that the movement toward drug legalization will not end with even the full legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.  Rather, there exists a radical movement in the legislature actively seeking to remove all criminal penalties for the use of any drug and even for crimes committed in furtherance of drug addiction.

This was the predictable goal of legalization advocates who insisted just a couple of years ago that removing the criminal penalties of marijuana use was their ultimate purpose.


  1. Fr33dom

    Drugs don’t cause crime, prohibition causes crime. Al Capone wasn’t created by alcohol, he was created by Prohibition. In the 1970s there were two small gangs in east LA. They totaled 150 people. The cops knew them all. They were called the Bloods and the Crypts. Today they number 150,000 and exist in every major city.

    The expansion of crime in America is funded by the drug prohibition subsidy. This is why we ended alcohol prohibition. The drug prohibition problem is so outrageously out of control that we can no longer contain criminals with police and we have to interdict with the military and it is futile because it doesn’t stop the flow of drugs. It subsidizes it!

    “if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.”

    -Milton Friedman

  2. Buck Wheat

    So is the “war on poverty.’

    • Fr33dom

      “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

      Justice Louis D. Brandeis

  3. wm97

    A simple question for Greg Kline:

    In the past 100 years there have been numerous major commissions that have studied the drug laws and made recommendations for changes. You can find the full text of all of them under Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy. The collection includes the largest studies ever done by the governments of the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia, to mention a few.

    Can you name any comparable study of drug policy anywhere in the world in the last 100 years that agrees with you?

    I have asked this question of every US Drug Czar since William Bennett, and every person of your persuasion that I have run into in the last 25 years. If you can name any such studies, you will be the first. If you could name any of those studies that you have even read, you would be the first person of your opinion to do so.

    In 1973, President Nixon’s US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse completed the largest study of the drug laws ever done. At the end of their study, they said the real drug problem was not marijuana, or heroin, or cocaine. The real drug problem, they said, was the ignorance of the people who keep sounding off on this subject but have never bothered to read the most basic research.

    In a perfect illustration of their point, Nixon refused to read his own commission’s report. I am guessing that Greg Kline will, too.

  4. RT

    I agree with full legalization of drugs. However decriminalizing theft and other crimes because they are a drug addict is absolutely absurd. I have said for years that our state is more worried about protecting criminals rather than the law abiding citizens. This is shown in many of our policies such as the lack of ability to obtain a CCW and right to flee laws, and no right to self-defense to name a few.

    Just legalize and let Darwin take control. It sounds cold but that’s life.

    • Dale McNamee

      I agree with ” letting Darwin take control “…

  5. Dale McNamee

    Anyone care to imagine what Baltimore would be like should this come to pass ?

  6. rodb

    Portugal decriminalized all drugs — and injecting drug use fell by 50 percent.

    85 percent to 90 percent of people who use even heroin, crack or meth don’t become addicted.

    Switzerland legalized heroin for addicts over a decade ago. Nobody has ever died on an overdose there on legal heroin.

    What is radical, is keeping in place a system that does more harm than good. You perpetuate the persecution by reinforcing stigma. Like current laws, you do more harm than good.

    • Dale McNamee

      Portugal has a totally different society and culture and their results may not be reproduced here…

      You might want to look at the Netherlands’ experience with legalized pot since it has been doing so for decades… Things aren’t so great there…

      • RT

        Weed is not legal in the the Netherlands. There are many restrictions and the coffee shops are tolerated by authorities as long as they follow certain regulations. They essentially turn a blind eye as long as you are a responsible user.

        • Dale McNamee

          The Netherlands also started cracking down on “drug tourists” coming to their famed coffee shops and the shops themselves…

          I find the term :”responsible user” rather ironic when it comes to pot alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse, including prescription medication abuse…

          I can’t figure out why anyone would want to use drugs at all…

          What a waste…

          • wm97

            The Dutch have no plans to make any major changes to their system. A good friend of mine went to the Netherlands and talked to the Dutch officials directly. He asked them, “No policy is perfect, so what are your two biggest problems?”

            The officials told him that their biggest problem was drug tourists, but they didn’t intend to repeal their system to deal with that. Their second biggest problem, they said, was that the US Government keeps lying about what is going on over there to further the agenda of prohibition.

          • danielgenser

            You also have to define “problem”. Yes there are a lot of weed/psilocybin/MDMA tourists in Amsterdam. Is it a problem? I don’t think so. Amsterdam is one of the safest cities I’ve ever lived in. Probably in no small part to the attitude towards drugs.

          • Fr33dom

            Your moral approbation is immaterial.

            People have been drinking alcohol and consuming drugs since the beginning of time. The question is not whether drugs will exist, but who will sell them, criminals or regulated businesses. If drugs are as dangerous as you say (they are not, most of us consume alcohol without incident), why on earth would you want hand over the marketplace of dangerous substances to violent criminals and then subsidize them? 160,00 dead in Mexico from the drug war. The blood of those people are on the hands of prohibitionists.

            You know who loves prohibition? The drug cartels!

            Prohibition doesn’t seize control, it abdicates control.

          • Dale McNamee

            So, why not wipe out drug use like the “war on tobacco” has done ?
            Many tobacco farmers aren’t raising tobacco anymore…

            Why not wipe out drug dealers since they are so dangerous ? They are vermin and deserve no mercy…

            And why do people want to get high ?

            I’ve been around drunk and high people and all I can say is how stupid they look… And they do…

            Since tobacco and alcohol are legal… There’s a real problem of children and teens using both currently…
            Risking use of “harder drugs” by such by making them legal is really good for society…

            Don’t tell me that it won’t happen…

            Then, there’s the results and consequences of being “stoned or high” for the rest of us…
            Just think hard about that…

            You insult me about my “moral approbation”…

            And you stand on an indefensible position as to why we need more drug related problems by legalizing more drugs…

          • Fr33dom

            You misunderstood me. Drugs can certainly be dangerous!

            We didn’t end alcohol prohibition because we determined that alcohol was safe and good for you, it isn’t! We ended prohibition because alcohol is dangerous and becomes even more dangerous when we abdicate control of the market and hand it over to violent criminals and subsidize cop killers with outrageous profits.

            Here’s the problem: prohibition doesn’t seize control, it abdicates control. Why?

            Because people enjoy and value dangerous drugs (like alcohol) and this demand will be supplied. The question is who will supply the demand? Violent ruthless criminals who kill cops, or regulated, tax paying, law abiding citizens who will respect and need cops?

            Prohibition is not law and order, it’s the Wild West controlled by criminals. Regulation is law and order.

          • Fr33dom

            You can’t and don’t change people’s values by throwing them in jail. (If I throw you in jail for praying, you’ll pray in jail.) You change people’s values with education. This is exactly what we did with cigarettes. And we curbed use by over 50% without one arrest or ruining one persons life. A success never achieved in 100 years of prohibition.

          • Dale McNamee

            Thanks for clarifying the issue…

            My thoughts are that legalizing and regulating drugs, which we do with prescription medications, won’t really stop drug use and carries a false sense of safety” regarding drug use…

            Methadone is used as a substitute for heroin, but is equally addicting… How does that help the addict ? My wife was a correctional nurse for 20 years and she saw how things didn’t work and got as many meds in elixir form to combat a healthy drug trade in meds that were “cheeked”, then sold after med clinic…

            There’s the “clean needle” exchange programs… How does that help the addict quit ?

            And we all know about the “opioid abuse epidemic”… They are regulated, but often too over prescribed…

            There were proposals to regulate cigarettes like prescribed drugs in the past to cut down smoking… How would that help since people would still smoke…

            Then, there’s alcohol… Regulated, but…

            I don’t think that legalizing drugs like pot, heroin, etc. will help in keeping people from using them…

            In fact, legalization will increase use since it’s “OK’…

            Then, how does one stop teens from using them ?

            I look at the toll and tragedy, and we have enough with what’s going on currently…

          • Fr33dom

            Yes. You are right. Legalizing drugs won’t stop use. It will stop subsidizing terrorists like Al Kaida and the FARC in Colombia. 160,000 people have died in Mexico not from drugs, but from the drug trade – prohibition kills those people just like Al Capone shot up Chicago.

            But prohibition doesn’t stop use either. To the contrary it increases supply by subsidizing it. In the 1960s we measured drug interdictions by the pound and today we measure them by hundreds of tons. Prohibition is not working.

            So how do we stop use?

            Here’s where you’re wrong. Legalizing drugs doesn’t send the message that drugs are okay. We don’t send the message that cigarettes are okay. They’re certainly not! Nevertheless, we have reduced cigarette use by over 50% by educating people. Education works. Throwing people in jail doesn’t, in fact, it accomplishes the opposite of your goals.

            The reason for increase in opioid deaths is this: people want to get high but they don’t want to go to jail, so they get legal pills from their doctors and then get addicted. States with legal weed have 25% less heroin deaths than states without legal weed. Why? Because folks who want to get high can legally use weed instead of heroin. That’s the harm reduction model which is far better than dying from heroin.

            By refusing to compromise your ideals, not only do you not get what you want, but you make things even worse.

            I agree with your goals. I wish you could see that your methods just aren’t working.

          • Dale McNamee

            We’ve had drug education programs and still have the problem…

            Being able to buy the drugs legally doesn’t really help with ending the need to buy and use them…

            I never used drugs, smoked cigarettes, and never drank because I didn’t feel any desire to do so…

            That’s the key… Never start…

            Now, what makes a person want to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and do drugs ?

            I never get a thought out answer when I asked this question in the past…

          • Fr33dom

            Do you think “never starting” drugs is a realistic expectation of people? How well has this expectation worked out for you in the past? (With sugar, alcohol, pills, weed, cocaine, etc.) And how exactly would you stop folks from using drugs when they want to? Arresting people doesn’t work, if it did people wouldn’t still use drugs and there would be no Mexican drug cartels with hundreds of billions of dollars.

            “What makes a person want to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and do drugs?”

            That is a fantastic question! I think there are many answers, not just one. Here are some that come to mind. 1) Drugs are fun. It feels nice to get a little drunk or high. 2) Many folks enjoy the taste of drugs like wine, sugar, and tobacco. 3) Drugs can provide relief from stress (often why people smoke cigarettes at work or have a drink or smoke a joint when they get home from work). 4) drugs can provide relief from physical ailments; a bad back or stiff neck. 5) drugs can provide relief from mental distress like homelessness or physical abuse.

            Show me someone who uses drugs and I’ll show you a different reason that people use drugs; everyone is different. But I don’t think it’s realistic to expect people not use drugs. Drug use is normal behavior. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use them for one reason or another, do you?

          • Dale McNamee

            ” Never starting” is a viable option or else why do we ask kids not to start drinking, smoking cigarettes, using drugs like pot… ( Even the pot decriminalizers and legalizers don’t want young kids to use it… I wonder why ? /sarc ).

            I agree with points 4 & 5, although there should be a distinction between medications and “getting high”…

            And yes, they can be both over prescribed by the physicians and abused by the patients… ( See Percoset, Oxycontin, and other opioids… )
            All are beneficial when taken properly…

            We aren’t usually born craving tobacco, pot, alcohol, etc., but the tragedies of “crack babies”, fetal alcohol syndrome babies”, and other babies that can be affected by drug consumption should give us pause…

            Yes, people drink and smoke to relieve stress… But, drinking on the job and smoking in the office is frowned upon and can result in being fired…

            Then, there’s “DUI/DWI” and ads warning about the penalties of doing such…

            When all of this is considered… Is it worth drinking, smoking, and doing drugs ?

          • Fr33dom

            Shake your fist all you want, weed will never go away. Ever.

            This idea that putting people in prison stops them from smoking weed or changes their opinion about weed is a fantasy.

            You have three choices who will sell weed: 1) the government 2) regulated law abiding tax paying businesses 3) cop killers.

            Criminals will gladly sell to your kids. Regulated businesses won’t.

            I don’t support legalization of cigarettes or weed because I condone cigarettes or weed. I support legalization because I’m a realist and don’t live in a fantasy world where cigarettes and weed don’t exist. I hope some day you’ll join me. If we work together we can both get what we want: keeping people safe. Just like we succeeded with cigarettes. Prohibition has been a complete failure and isn’t accomplishing any of your goals. Someday you’ll realize this because you can only deny reality for so long.

          • Fr33dom

            “We aren’t usually born craving tobacco, pot, alcohol, etc.,”

            You are wrong. Humans have a inborn desire to alter their consciousness. This is why children spin around to get dizzy and why they love sugar. Because both get you high and are euphoric.

            Shake your fist all you like. People enjoy getting high. And they always will.

          • Dale McNamee

            I made myself dizzy a couple of times as a kid, but I outgrew it…

            Sugar didn’t affect me at all, except to make me thirsty…

            As for being euphoric… Shouldn’t that come from accomplishing something ( hitting a home run, sinking a basket, throwing good passes and making a touchdown, winning a tennis game, playing a great round of golf, getting good grades, graduating from high school and college, giving an excellent musical recital, working smart and hard, getting awards and promotions, etc. ) ?

            And those things are permanent, unlike the “highs” caused by spinning around, “sugar highs”,and drugs…

          • Fr33dom

            Weed isn’t going away, Dale, independent of how you feel about it.

            You need to say the serenity prayer. God grant you the serenity to accept the things you cannot change. The courage to change the things you can. And the wisdom to tell the difference.

            Weed will be smoked and sold. You can’t control that. The only thing you can control is who sells it: cop killers or legal businesses who like cops.

            You create cop killers and you don’t have to.

          • Dale McNamee

            As far “choosing what others put into their bodies”… By the same token, I shouldn’t pay for their treatment for “putting it into their bodies” and getting poisoned…
            Let the “legalizers” pay for it all…

            And “law abiding citizens” don’t break laws by selling illegal drugs… And Federal law still has pot listed as a “controlled substance” and selling it is illegal… So, the states that legalize pot are breaking Federal law… Another example of “law abiding”…

            Giving junkies clean needles is another example of “law abiding” behavior… It encourages continuance of addiction and the attendant criminal behavior to support it… Baltimore City has 19,000 heroin users… Does it need more ?

            I don’t create “cop killers” , they create themselves by making choices… They have the choice not to become so…

            Also, the “anti police” rules put in place after the Ferguson and Baltimore riots where BLM and their fellow turds get “kid glove” treatment creates “cop killers”…

            I don’t…

          • Fr33dom

            Fiscal responsibility? OK. But if you get into a car crash without health insurance we let you die on the side of the road.


          • Dale McNamee

            You’re showing your ignorance…

            My wife is an EMT and in the past 42 years that she’s been one, ability to pay was never a reason to refuse service…

            The Emergency Room takes any and all, insured or not… That’s why the uninsured use them for non-emergency and routine health care … And when they can’t pay… Guess who does ? The insured taxpayers… I thought that Obamacare made medical insurance affordable…/sarc

            After the injuries are treated, then that person will be billed… Many hospitals have programs to help people to pay the bills… It may take years, but the bills can be paid in full…

          • Fr33dom

            That’s exactly my point Dale. We don’t and we shouldn’t let people die on the side of the road. because that isn’t fair or humane. If you have a drug problem, society should help you, not hurt you, because hurting people who need help is neither fair nor humane.

            And if you don’t have a drug problem, society should leave you alone. That too is fair and humane.

          • Dale McNamee

            You mention that “regulated businesses” won’t sell pot to “my children” ( I have none…) let’s say someone else’s children…

            Hmm… Alcohol sellers somehow sell to minors or the minors get an adult to buy for them… Same with tobacco…

            State and county police perform undercover investigations and “stings” to bust these sellers…

            And any adults caught buying either for minors faces jail time…

            So, “regulated businesses” are no guarantee that this stuff won’t happen…

            Maybe if we do to pot and other drugs what was done to tobacco , few people would use it…

            We have enough problems with alcohol and drugs already without making their use acceptable via legalization…

            Tell me, how would you like it if your doctor, lawyer, nurse, etc. were high while dealing with you ?

            When I was working, I would get the important work done because of the “three martini lunch” which would render decision making a farce… Do I need to deal with someone who “spliffs” at lunch or a break ? Cigarette smokers still are lucid after having a smoke…

            I guess that losing a job or being banned from getting one because of drug use doesn’t matter…

            My wife worked at the women’s prison in Jessup as a correctional nurse …

            From time to time an inmate would ask about becoming a nurse after prison…

            My wife would ask what the inmate was in prison for… “Drugs” was the answer… My wife would shake her head as she said that the inmate could never be a nurse because of that as nurses have access to various narcotics like morphine, so having a drug user in charge of the lock box…

            There were a couple inmates who were nurses before being arrested for drug use… One had a Masters degree and another had a PhD…

            My wife was stunned to see them throw away an education and their licenses… “Well, we work hard and play hard” was the response received when she asked them about it…

            Again, what’s so good about legalization when someone is risking everything for a fleeting “high” ?

          • Fr33dom

            You keep on repeating the same fantasy: that you can control what people want to put in their bodies. You cannot.

            Say the serenity prayer.

            If your doctor wants to get high NOW, no law can stop him.

            Making drugs legal won’t make them more available than they already are. Your belief to the contrary is a fantasy.

            Say the serenity prayer.

            If a child wants drugs he’ll get them. Criminals are happy to oblige children, but law abiding citizens are much more concerned with morality and adherence to law.

            I’m done Dale. Clearly you don’t want to hear what I have to say. Believing that the earth is flat doesn’t make it so.

          • Dale McNamee

            As always folks like you revert to insults when you won’t see or consider my points…

            I’m watching the drug related crime rates in Colorado, Oregon, and Seattle… They have gone up since pot was legalized and regulated…

            Baltimore City has decriminalized having an ounce of pot on you… They issue a citation instead, but on getting a 3rd citation, you’re referred to a drug treatment program… Interesting !

            So, I also bid you a fond farewell…

            You call me a “flat earther”… I find that most amusing, considering what you believe in…

          • danielgenser

            The drug education I received as a kid growing up in the 80s and 90s in the US (DARE) was full-on fear mongering with extremely little actual educational content.

            I was not informed about relative risks and benefits of narcotics. I was pressured into accepting that all illegal drugs will instantaneously and magically turn my life to shit.

            Not true and not helpful.

          • danielgenser

            I’m an American that lives in Amsterdam. What “cracking down” are you referring to? I can buy weed from one of about 7 coffeeshops within a 10 minute walk from my apartment at a safe, comfortable storefront anytime from about 8am to 1am.

  7. Fr33dom

    As to wallpapering anti-prohibitionists with the word “radical”:

    Prohibition is radical! It destabilizes entire governments, funds terrorists and has killed 164,000 Mexicans!

    In the 1960s we measured drug interdictions by the pound. Today we measure them in HUNDREDS OF TONS!

    Prohibition is radical and insane. Ending it is humane and logical.


  8. Fr33dom

    “the drug legalization advocates next target is and what their ultimate goal will be: full legalization of all drugs”

    We’re not drug advocates and we don’t condone using drugs! Nor do we want to “legalize” anything. We want to regulate and control drugs.

    Prohibition doesn’t seize control, it abdicates control. It doesn’t stop demand, it subsidizes supply which funds terrorists and war!


  9. colin42

    The one thing I definitely agree with you on is that legitimate crimes like theft or burglary should be fully criminalized, regardless of someone’s use of any drug, including alcohol. You’re right to call that radical. There aren’t any exceptions for alcoholics who commit true crimes, and there shouldn’t be.

    Being against the legalization of drug use and possession alone, though, is wrong. Most drug users are just average people who don’t commit any other crime than drug possession. The hardcore drug addicts who rob people or assault people always stand out, just like the hardcore alcoholics who rob or assault people.

    The big difference is that we also know about the vast majority of beer or liquor drinkers who cause no problems and invite you over for dinner and cocktails on the weekend. We don’t really know about the casual drug users who don’t cause any problems, because they’re forced to hide their use out of fear. You likely know and respect many people who secretly use these demonized drugs, and they don’t deserve to live in fear of society just because they happen to enjoy using something other than alcohol on their own bodies in their own free time.

    • Dale McNamee

      We “demonize” smokers, yet they commit no crimes to fund their purchase of cigarettes… And smokers are ostracized by society and are forced to enjoy smoking far from others…

      And some companies don’t hire them, even if they don’t smoke on the job… In some apartments, you can’t smoke…
      And tobacco has no psychotropic effects (getting “high”), unlike pot and other drugs…

      Since pot is mostly smoked… How is inhaling and holding the smoke in one’s lungs good for them ?

      Also, if one could not get “high”… Would they use it ?

      And we punish drunk drivers and “nudge” alcohol abusers into treatment…

      We also ostracize drunks in social situations…

      Then, there’s “impaired driving”…

      As for admiring people who use these “demonized drugs”… I don’t !

      • wm97

        “We “demonize” smokers, yet they commit no crimes to fund their purchase of cigarettes… And smokers are ostracized by society and are forced to enjoy smoking far from others…”

        We socially discourage them from using, particularly in places that would affect others. We don’t drag them through the criminal justice system. Furthermore, we have achieved greater reductions in tobacco use than we have in illegal drug use without taking anyone to court.

        “And some companies don’t hire them, even if they don’t smoke on the job… In some apartments, you can’t smoke…”

        But we don’t jail them and give them a permanent criminal record.

        “And tobacco has no psychotropic effects (getting “high”), unlike pot and other drugs…”

        Yes, it does. It provides relaxation. Not that this makes any difference to you or anyone else besides the smoker.

        “Since pot is mostly smoked… How is inhaling and holding the smoke in one’s lungs good for them ?”

        It isn’t, but there are lots of ways to consume it besides smoking it. But, if you are worried about health damage then alcohol, tobacco, and cheeseburgers all cause far more health problems in society than marijuana does. Do you think we ought to drag all the alcohol, tobacco, and cheeseburger addicts through the criminal justice system as the best method of protecting their health? When did jail become an effective public health method?

        “Also, if one could not get “high”… Would they use it ?”

        Who knows? They might if they thought it tasted good. But what difference does it make to you, either way? How does their getting high in private change your day?

        “And we punish drunk drivers and “nudge” alcohol abusers into treatment…”

        Yeah, we control those who pose a danger to others and we encourage anyone with a drinking problem to get medical help. We don’t arrest them and drag them through the criminal justice system just because they used some alcohol that you didn’t think they should use.

        “We also ostracize drunks in social situations…”

        Because they are often loud, disruptive, and obnoxious. That is, as opposed to weed smokers who tend to smile, laugh, and eat.

        “Then, there’s “impaired driving”…”

        Yeah. Alcohol wins all the prizes for that. Marijuana isn’t even close, and never has been. Does that mean alcohol should be illegal?

        “As for admiring people who use these “demonized drugs”… I don’t !”

        Good for you. Your Brownie Points award certificate is in the mail. You will get more Brownie Points if you can learn that we should leave people alone until they actually bother someone else.

        • Fr33dom

          Excellent post!

          Also, ostracizing people who have drug problems and addictions exacerbates their problems, creates more severe addiction, and prevents them from getting the treatment they need.

      • colin42

        I’ve seen enough of you trolls recently to spot one on sight. This new movement for freedom is popular enough at this point that you get some pseudo-sexual thrill out of “being against it.”

        What’s wrong with you pathetic people? I know it’s a psychological problem that needs to be addressed in the coming decades, but I’ll never personally understand why someone needs to put them self out there as a real life “villain”. You need attention, but you could get much better attention by trying to help people. Instead, you try to say “bad” things and get attention as a bad person. Why?

        • Dale McNamee

          Thanks for the insults and projecting your own inadequacies onto me…/sarc

          If I am “bad” and a “villain” for opposing drug legalization… So be it…

          A question… Do you use pot and other illegal drugs ?

          You sound like so many “pro drug legalization” types who do… Not thinking of the consequences further down the road to themselves and to others…

          I have seen more than I care to about the consequences of drug use and addiction since the ’60’s…

          I’m “down” on alcohol too… As a child, I was on the receiving end of “one too many” and decided never to drink… I got many odd looks at parties and “get togethers” for not drinking… I figured that people were uncomfortable with the fact that I didn’t drink… So, I went to “dry” parties instead… I found the people to be more friendly and interesting…

          I also worked for a couple of years at a company where the owner was an alcoholic and almost all of my coworkers were either drunk, high, or both ( on the job ) from 7am to 4pm. Then, continued to do so after work ( I felt sorry for their kids )…

          I was the only really productive person there, it seemed…
          Having a normal adult conversation was an impossibility…
          Seeing “stoned ” behavior wasn’t funny and was frightening when around machinery…

          I was very happy when I got another job !

          Then, there was the pot smoking and beer swilling neighbor who began harassing me,along with his friends… Because I didn’t drink or do drugs, I was called a “narc”… They tried to vandalize my car and my response was quick and pretty rough… I wasn’t bothers by them after that…
          ( The neighbor got busted a couple of weeks later for molesting his next door neighbor’s son )

          Yeah, I have plenty of reasons for being a “bad person” and a”villain”…

          I also think that the proponents should fund all of the additional treatment that will be needed… Not me nor anyone else who doesn’t do drugs…

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