Posted by Melmac on February 26, 2001 at 02:44:56:
In Reply to: Re: Yes but posted by baloo on February 25, 2001 at 22:51:57:
True, people under the influence, can be incapable of driving safely, the same is true of alcohol, yet we don't jail people for drinking. We pass laws prohibiting driving intoxicated.
As far as increasing the consumption of cannabis if it is legalized is concerned, the opposite is actually true. The use of cannabis among youth is higher in Great Britain, where it is illegal, than it is in the Netherlands, where its use is tolerated.
Regarding your statement about the carcinogenic properties of cannabis, the research I have read indicates the opposite of what you have said. The highest risk, by far is in the use of tobacco, a substance which, I might add, which is HIGHLY addictive. Yet tobacco use remains legal (its production SUBSIDIZED in the US), costing society untold billions in health care costs.
During the Prohibition era, in the US, alcohol consumption reached an all time high and actually went down when prohibition ended. All prohibition did, AND STILL DOES, is feed criminal enterprises. And also the huge amounts of money involved, leads to large scale govenmental corruption.
You say that alcohol use is more of a societal problem because it has been freely used for so long? Well the use of cannabis predates the brewing of alcoholic beverages by millennia. And if you admit alcohol is more of a problem - then why is alcohol legal, and its use condoned? It is the application of a double standard - essentially governmental protection for the "established" purveyors of intoxication.
"The data is mixed as to whether it is physically addictive or not, and there is clear cut data that it is hundreds of times more carcinogenic that ordinary cigarettes. So, in the long run legalizing could cost us a lot of money paying for more sick people."
The data IS in on the health costs of tobacco and alcohol use, yet society continues to cover the costs for those addicts' medical maladies. And what about the cost of the international war on drugs effort? Have you considered that? And the court costs and costs of imprisonment?
The "data" isn't in on cannabis use, because governments block research in this area - in fear, I believe - that the research results will prove the rather innocouous nature of the plant and render their arguments for its banning, moot.
If cannabis should be illegal, then using your own arguements, so should alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine for that matter, another highly addictive substance.
So if you agree that alcohol is a far greater problem, will you also support the prohibition of its use and criminal prosecution of its users, for the "protection" of society?
I doubt it.......
I feel it is ludicrous for government to claim protect people from their own behaviours, by putting them in jail. This serves no useful purpose.
Many behaviours are dangerous. But it is not the role of government to ban everything that could prove harmful to us.
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