Skip to comments.Marijuana Myths
Posted on 02/03/2012 10:57:07 AM PST by gabriellah
In 2011, Gallup reported that 62% of 18-29 year olds and 50% of the general public supports the legalization of marijuana; 69% of liberals and even 34% of conservatives also support such measures. Obviously the pro-pot movement has taken root in the American populace and especially in the minds of Millennials (even managing to infiltrate the minds of the most conservative among us).
Myth #1: Legalization Would bring in Enormous Tax Revenues
The Heritage Foundations Charles Stimson published an extensive legal memorandum urging for the failure of the RCTC Act of 2010, which would have legalized pot in California. This memorandum debunks the myth that legalization would eliminate the black market for marijuana and would bring in enormous revenue, therefore stimulating the economy.
Dr. Rosalie Pacula, a drug policy expert at the RAND Corporation for over 15 years, testified that under the California law: There would be tremendous profit motive for the existing black market providers to stay in the market. The only way California could effectively eliminate the black market for marijuana is to take away the substantial profits in the market and allow the price of marijuana to fall to an amount close to the cost of production. Doing so, however, will mean substantially smaller tax revenue(Stimson 9).
In other words, simple economics expose the assumption that drug dealers would voluntarily enter the legal market, when the cost of production is virtually zero. In fact, it was calculated that an individual will be able to produce 24,000 to 240,000 joints legally each year (Stimson 9). This is more than any individual could possibly consume, and it is encouraging individuals to sell pot on the side, subverting taxation. Why would anyone buy marijuana legally when they would have to pay a higher price for it? It would be a much higher price considering California proposed a $50/ounce tax on top of the list price. Why would drug dealers leave the black market when they dont have to?
Fiscal conservatives should not be lured into such intellectual inconsistency. We are not going to solve the budget crises and pay off our $15 trillion debt with whatever change is left from a feeble government attempt to tax the un-taxable.
Myth #2: Marijuana is a Victimless Drug
Marijuana has a history of being linked to crime in the United States and throughout the world. 60% of arrestees test positive for marijuana use in the United States, England, and Australia (Stimson 6). And while many pro-legalization advocates argue that most of these marijuana users are people arrested for non-violent crimes, they fail to note that marijuana usage is strongly correlated with cocaine and other more serious drugs, as well as murder, assault, money laundering, and smuggling (Stimson 5-6). Surely, legalization advocates do not believe that all marijuana users are little angels?
In fact, in Amsterdam, one of Europes most violent cities, pot is legal and a prevalent aspect of society (Stimson 6). Heritage reports that Officials are in the process of closing marijuana dispensaries, or coffee shops, because of the crime associated with their operation (Stimson 6).
Californias partial legalization via usage of medical marijuana is beginning to show the same effects. LAPD reports that areas surrounding cannabis clubs have seen a 200% increase in robberies and a 130.8% increase in aggravated assault (Stimson 6). A drug that increases crime doesnt exactly qualify as victimless.
In addition to this, local communities where neighborhoods and residential housing are dominant will be adversely affected. Residents who live in areas with extensive marijuana usage have repeatedly complained about the incredible smell put off by the plants. Even worse than the smell though, is the growing crime rate in residential areas which is induced by theft of marijuana from yards where it is grown (Stimson 6).
It may be ideologically convenient for some to oversimplify the issue as a violation against individual liberty, but when all the facts are presented, it is obvious that the only liberty being violated is the blatant disregard for property rights, law, and order.
Myth #3: Marijuana = Alcohol
Legalization advocates link marijuana and alcohol as equally mild intoxicants, suggesting that they deserve equal treatment under the law. However, as the above research suggests, marijuana is more dangerous to the health and safety of society.
For better or for worse, alcohol as been part of human history for millennia. Typically, individuals responsibly self-monitor their consumption thereof. Alcohol has also been regulated by cultural norms rather than by government. Society, culture, and religion have proven to be the best regulators of alcoholic consumption. The same cannot be said of marijuana as seen in the information presented earlier.
In addition to its lack of historical precedent in Americas historical experience, marijuana also has much more severe health effects than alcohol. 1) marijuana is far more likely than alcohol to be cause addiction, 2) it is usually consumed to the point of intoxication, 3) it has no known intrinsically healthful properties (it can only relieve pain and artificially at that), 4) it has toxins that can result in birth defects, pain, respiratory damage, brain damage, and stroke, 5) it increases heart rate by 20% to 100% elevating the risk of heart attack (Stimson 4).
In relation to history, economics, and health, marijuana is nothing like alcohol.
Conclusion: Conservatives should not be afraid to combat the growing sentiment that supports the legalization of marijuana. Economics, historical precedent, and conservative principles are all on our side. It is up to unashamed, unapologetic young conservatives to articulate that message and continue to stand for ordered liberty.
Both Silberman and Sutton cited Scalias opinion in 2005 upholding strict federal regulation of marijuana in the case of Angel Raich, a Californian who used home-grown marijuana to relieve her pain. If Congress could regulate Angel Raich when she grew marijuana on her property for self-consumption, Sutton wrote, it is difficult to say Congress may not regulate the 50 million Americans who self-finance their medical care.
“Key words: ‘used to’.
Now a libertarian is a kook”
That makes no sense. Historical Buckley hasn’t changed, if “libertarian” has, though I’m not really sure it has. it depends on who you’re comapring, of course, as it’s a relative term. But Buckley wasn’t in the libertarian wing of our post-war conservative intellectual movement. That would be left more to Chodorov, Hayek, Friedman, Rothbard, Rand, etc. Buckley I’d categorize as having a foot in that door, but more firmly in the traditionalist and anti-communist camps.
Buckley had positions in common with Paul, for instance being against the Iraq war and the drug war. However, probably scanning for his name on Paulbot websites would yield screeds against him as a CIA plant and crytpo-fascist stalking horse. Which goes to demonstrate how hard it is to lump people together just because they happen to have in common one or a couple of things within the cluster known as libertarianism.
Certainly, denying him the label “conservative” requires more justification than not, given the long tradition of doind so, whether or not he was a drug warrior. Hard to believe in the Age of Bush, but, yes, libertarianism and conservatism overlap. And, yes, the sort of libertarianism represented by the big, bad Paul.
Give it a rest, Tubester.
You’re not going to reson a man out of a position he wasn’t reasoned into.
Someone said that sometime. It’s true.
Libs like to claim Ronald Reagan as one of them...
In 1975, Ronald Reagan stated, “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism”.
But just as Republicans have moved to the left... Libertarians have moved to the FAR left.
At the risk of getting hammered that I haven’t read the thread, (read over quickly) I would like to say that as a supporter of Heritage.org, that the issue of legalization of MMJ ultimately would be constitutional. Where in the Constitution of the United Sates does it empower the federal government to regulate drugs, or tobacco, or alchohol? It doesn’t. Therefore, under a 10th amendment challenge on the level of SCOTUS, I would think that the power to do so would be owned by the states and that the FDA could be unconstitutional. HOWEVER, until a SCOTUS review on the issue is made, despite the chance of a more liberally leaning court, the ultimate determination regarding this issue and states rights, has yet to be determined, but could likely, even with the current SCOTUS, very realistically declare that federal laws regarding possession of MMJ etc.. could also be unconstitutional. Additionally, I would like to point out that Heritage rarely goes against a constitutional issue, but in this case evidently has a stronger anti-MMJ stance than a strictly constitutional concern. There is nothing simply black and white here.
Maybe it is you who has moved.
You have been shown to be wrong on a number of things, one more wouldn’t be impossible.
Just a thought.
Take your wife’s advice and quit your drinking.
I did. It isn't hard, but you have to get an early start at this latitude.
I had neighbors comment on those huge (6 ft.), beautiful plants, and ask me what they were, because they had never seen tobacco 'on the hoof' before.
re: “Which accessabity you apparently attribute to its legality. Wrong. As every elementary student is taught, alchohol consumption went up under prohibition.”
I’m not arguing that consumption overall went down during Prohibition - you’re the one who brought it up, not me. What I’m saying is that legal alcohol (and by the way, legal over the counter drugs) is at the root of far more fatal accidents, domestic violence, and other social problems in our country than illegal drugs. This is a statistical fact. The reason is accessability - it’s not hard to understand.
This source from the Center for Disease Control:
History of Prohibition:
I don't smoke pot, I don't drink, and I gave up smoking cigarettes years ago. That said, you have nailed the essence of Liberty in a society in one sentence.
But I really don't expect the Homeowners' Association addled would approve (eff 'em!).
I don't understand the attitude I have seen here that legalization or decriminalization is somehow a mandate that people use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, and considering there are many in our society who voluntarily do not consume the legal pair of that triad, I can't understand the presumption that everyone would suddenly dash out and become a raving drug addict the moment restrictions were lifted.
Likely, it would be the same folks who are using now, only some who have concealed that would come out into the open.
That would not change the need for people flying the plane, driving the train, running an oil rig to be on top of their game, and employer requirements could remain as they are--no drugs--random and preemployment testing required--for critical tasks.
Booze may be legal, but there are things we won't stand for people doing while under the influence. Drugs would be no different.
However, drug testing has expanded to just about any job. The services of these labs are well marketed. The tests themselves are biased to catch MJ users by their nature. For 30-100 days a regular user will test positive. For all other drugs it is less than a week, and for most 24-48 hours. So they aren’t really testing for current impairment in the case of MJ as you can still test positive months after its last use.
I would bet most employers just assume any positive result means the individual is impaired at the time of the test.
Wouldn’t it be fun if alcohol tests worked the same way? You could get a DWI weeks after having a few beers.
Funny, that's the same knee-jerk response I heard today from Romney. (But he'd also be likely to say that about coffee, tea and beer, too, for our own good.)
Here you touch on the greater question. How dare you?
Once the precedent is established (de facto, not by jurisprudence otherwise) that the government has the authority to regulate what adults willingly consume, why this would only apply to prescription drugs, 'controlled substances', and the localized or occupational use of other substances?
If the government can control one's intake of certain alkaloids, then the government similarly could control one's intake of cholesterol, transfats, carbohydrates, proteins, and even legislate which forms of those substances would be legal, for the 'common good'.
In short, they can tell you not only what to eat, but how much, and demand it be prepared a certain way (after all spices are either 'chemicals' or herbs), as well as demand you only use a gallon or two of water to flush the inevitable result of such consumption.
Now, I haven't been able to find anything which authorizes the Government to regulate what substances any adult willingly consumes, at least not in the United States Constitution, but I continue to be amazed at how many who consider themselves "Conservative" would claim that the authority not only exists, but that to deny it is somehow "Liberal" in any sense but a Jeffersonian one.
In the meantime, the usurped authority is being used to deny the entire population their 4th, 5th, and 14th Amendment Rights, increasingly.
Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, but in giving that consent, it is not a question of what good can be had by granting government a specific power, but how much harm can be created if that power is abused in extremis.
If Government is granted the authority to regulate anything we consume, save for standardizing the measures of quantity and purity, it will not be long before Government is regulating everything we consume.
As with all concessions of power, it is a slippery slope.
A side effect of that phenomenon was that a guy I knew in the 80s left the nearly dead oil patch here, before drug testing was common here, and found in the world of offshore drilling, the doobie he smoked on his two weeks off could cost him his job when he got back. Not a drinker, in search of different recreation which would clear his system before his two weeks was up, he discovered cocaine, and then crack.
Eventually he lost his job, the trust of his friends, and I haven't heard else anything since. For all I know, he's dead.
Now, I'm not excusing his substance abuse, nor blaming anyone for his choices, because he had the option of 'just saying no', but somehow, I don't think that story would have had the same ending if the tests were oriented toward a specific level in the system. For all I know, that may not be a practical measure because effects of even an aspirin vary from person to person, dependent on their individual body chemistry.
I can say, though, even in the midst of an unprecedented oil boom, that zero tolerance (in conjunction with pro-active safety programs otherwise) has cut the number of fatal accidents on the drilling rigs up here substantially over what we saw during the boom of the late '70s.
Let the employers weigh their risk/liability exposure and establish standards accordingly. The testing industry would continue, and the bar would continue to be set high for jobs in which a screw up can cost lives or substantial losses otherwise.
The economic pressure to stay clean to get a better job would keep a lot of youngsters out of the drug world, and others could choose what they wanted most.
I would, however, significantly overhaul welfare programs, so those who don't use don't pay for those who do for solely recreational purposes (nonmedical).
IMHO, that's only fair.
The way concerts are full of legal cigarette smoke? And everyone is drinking legal alcohol?
I see your point.
Do you support legalizing marijuana? If so, do you agree that legalization with a 'sin tax' is an improvement over the current prohibition?
You are so right that “you’re are not losing your rights, most assuradly, they are being taken away” (Michelle Malkin). I am surprised that with Heritage.org the source, I thought that I can’t come up with another stance that they fail to back the US Constitution. I do see MMJ as a states domain, and therefore they can decide for themselves how to or if they controlled, taxed or otherwise regulated it. However, when the product crosses state lines, then there will be issues with the commerce claus, and therefore the impending right of the federal government to somehow “butt in” and enforce regulations. Fact is that many things that are happening will be decided in the next 10-20 years at the highest level and therefore ultimately help shape this country. SCOTUS appointments are the most crucial in our time.
Black market sale of cigarettes is not "huge" anywhere - and is significant only in those locales (e.g., NYC) where cigarette taxes are astronomical.
Again, alcohol is the huge problem it is among teenagers because it is everywhere and its accessable to them.
On the contrary, teens report that they can get pot more easily than they can get cigarettes or beer. It seems the best way to restrict access for teens is to make the producct legal for adults, so sellers have an incentive to restrict their sales to adults - that incentive being the potential loss of their legal adult market (through loss of license) if they sell to teens.
That's your choice - shouldn't your fellow adults be free to make their own choices?
You should read the thread - you'll discover how full of cr@p the Heritage paper is.
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