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.
Informative post, thank you.
The problem being that the pill was often vomited up before it could be digested and bring relief.
Some joked that it was like prescribing a suppository to treat diarrhea.
Legalize herb. Outlaw the IRS. Yeah Willie is a threat to our nation.
It’s not a lie. Marijuan is far more dangerous.
Did you read that Heritage Foundation report?
Unsafe in Any Amount: How Marijuana Is Not Like Alcohol
Marijuana advocates have had some success peddling the notion that marijuana is a soft drug, similar to alcohol, and fundamentally different from hard drugs like cocaine or heroin. It is true that marijuana is not the most dangerous of the commonly abused drugs, but that is not to say that it is safe. Indeed, marijuana shares more in common with the hard drugs than it does with alcohol.
A common argument for legalization is that smoking marijuana is no more dangerous than drinking alcohol and that prohibiting the use of marijuana is therefore no more justified than the prohibition of alcohol. As Jacob Sullum, author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use, writes:
Americans understood the problems associated with alcohol abuse, but they also understood the problems associated with Prohibition, which included violence, organized crime, official corruption, the erosion of civil liberties, disrespect for the law, and injuries and deaths caused by tainted black-market booze. They decided that these unintended side effects far outweighed whatever harms Prohibition prevented by discouraging drinking. The same sort of analysis today would show that the harm caused by drug prohibition far outweighs the harm it prevents, even without taking into account the value to each individual of being sovereign over his own body and mind.
At first blush, this argument is appealing, especially to those wary of over-regulation by government. But it overlooks the enormous difference between alcohol and marijuana.
Legalization advocates claim that marijuana and alcohol are mild intoxicants and so should be regulated similarly; but as the experience of nearly every culture, over the thousands of years of human history, demonstrates, alcohol is different. Nearly every culture has its own alcoholic preparations, and nearly all have successfully regulated alcohol consumption through cultural norms. The same cannot be said of marijuana. There are several possible explanations for alcohols unique status: For most people, it is not addictive; it is rarely consumed to the point of intoxication; low-level consumption is consistent with most manual and intellectual tasks; it has several positive health benefits; and it is formed by the fermentation of many common substances and easily metabolized by the body.
To be sure, there are costs associated with alcohol abuse, such as drunk driving and disease associated with excessive consumption. A few culturesand this nation for a short while during Prohibitionhave concluded that the benefits of alcohol consumption are not worth the costs. But they are the exception; most cultures have concluded that it is acceptable in moderation. No other intoxicant shares that status.
Alcohol differs from marijuana in several crucial respects. First, marijuana is far more likely to cause addiction. Second, it is usually consumed to the point of intoxication. Third, it has no known general healthful properties, though it may have some palliative effects. Fourth, it is toxic and deleterious to health. Thus, while it is true that both alcohol and marijuana are less intoxicating than other mood-altering drugs, that is not to say that marijuana is especially similar to alcohol or that its use is healthy or even safe.
In fact, compared to alcohol, marijuana is not safe. Long-term, moderate consumption of alcohol carries few health risks and even offers some significant benefits. For example, a glass of wine (or other alcoholic drink) with dinner actually improves health. Dozens of peer-reviewed medical studies suggest that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol reduces the risk of heart disease, strokes, gallstones, diabetes, and death from a heart attack. According to the Mayo Clinic, among many others, moderate use of alcohol (defined as two drinks a day) seems to offer some health benefits, particularly for the heart. Countless articles in medical journals and other scientific literature confirm the positive health effects of moderate alcohol consumption.
The effects of regular marijuana consumption are quite different. For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (a division of the National Institutes of Health) has released studies showing that use of marijuana has wide-ranging negative health effects. Long-term marijuana consumption impairs the ability of T-cells in the lungs immune system to fight off some infections. These studies have also found that marijuana consumption impairs short-term memory, making it difficult to learn and retain information or perform complex tasks; slows reaction time and impairs motor coordination; increases heart rate by 20 percent to 100 percent, thus elevating the risk of heart attack; and alters moods, resulting in artificial euphoria, calmness, or (in high doses) anxiety or paranoia. And it gets worse: Marijuana has toxic properties that can result in birth defects, pain, respiratory system damage, brain damage, and stroke.
Further, prolonged use of marijuana may cause cognitive degradation and is associated with lower test scores and lower educational attainment because during periods of intoxication the drug affects the ability to learn and process information, thus influencing attention, concentration, and short-term memory. Unlike alcohol, marijuana has been shown to have a residual effect on cognitive ability that persists beyond the period of intoxication. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, whereas alcohol is broken down relatively quickly in the human body, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active chemical in marijuana) is stored in organs and fatty tissues, allowing it to remain in a users body for days or even weeks after consumption. Research has shown that marijuana consumption may also cause psychotic symptoms.
Marijuanas effects on the body are profound. According to the British Lung Foundation, smoking three or four marijuana joints is as bad for your lungs as smoking twenty tobacco cigarettes. Researchers in Canada found that marijuana smoke contains significantly higher levels of numerous toxic compounds, like ammonia and hydrogen cyanide, than regular tobacco smoke. In fact, the study determined that ammonia was found in marijuana smoke at levels of up to 20 times the levels found in tobacco. Similarly, hydrogen cyanide was found in marijuana smoke at concentrations three to five times greater than those found in tobacco smoke.
Marijuana, like tobacco, is addictive. One study found that more than 30 percent of adults who used marijuana in the course of a year were dependent on the drug. These individuals often show signs of withdrawal and compulsive behavior. Marijuana dependence is also responsible for a large proportion of calls to drug abuse help lines and treatment centers.
To equate marijuana use with alcohol consumption is, at best, uninformed and, at worst, actively misleading. Only in the most superficial ways are the two substances alike, and they differ in every way that counts: addictiveness, toxicity, health effects, and risk of intoxication.
more. much more....
No, falsehood-filled post - read the replies.
You ususally put your strongest argument first - but this? What other crop can you grow in sandy soil with minimal care and sell 1 plant yielding 2-4 pounds retailing at $100 per gram (28 grams per ounce)? Well you shouldn't tax it because you might get bootleggers - and maybe a new sport like NASCAR.
It already is doing just that in many municipalities.
The thing is that marijuana stays in your system for 30 days or so depending on how much fat a person has or how much they smoke/eat/vape. There is no sudden withdrawal when someone stops smoking. Alcohol, cocaine, nicotine (any "ine" really) is completely metabolized within 24 hrs. That's why there is withdrawal. With marijuana there is no physical addiction, but there can be a psychological one.
To me it’s simple, GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT SEEK TO OR PROFIT FROM THE VICES OF THE GOVERNED. TO DO SO INVITES TYRANNY OF THE WORST KIND.
To me it’s simple, GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT SEEK TO OR PROFIT FROM THE VICES OF THE GOVERNED. TO DO SO INVITES TYRANNY OF THE WORST KIND.
These guys agree with you.
Yes, because nothing says "conservative" and "small government" like telling other people what they can and cannot put in their own bodies.
War on Drugs = Ethanol = Cap & Trade Climate Fear = Federal Highway Funds = The Big Damn Dig
I live in NH. I don't give a ratz arse if people in CA smoke pot and I don't want my money going to make sure they don't. Cut the spending, remember?
I did not know that. Thanks for the info.
Since you can’t smoke tobacco in most concert venues anymore it’s unlikely that legalized pot would suddenly become OK in the venues. Heck they don’t even have to change the signs, “no smoking” doesn’t say anything about what’s being smoked.
Check out the "side effects"
“I live in NH. I don’t give a ratz arse if people in CA smoke pot and I don’t want my money going to make sure they don’t. Cut the spending, remember?”
In short, no state will likely be allowed to legalize marijuana on its own, with such serious, negative cross-state spillover effects. Yet even if California could act as if it were an island, the legalization route would still end very badly for the Golden State. There is strong evidence to suggest that legalizing marijuana would serve little purpose other than to worsen the states drug problems addiction, violence, disorder, and death. While long on rhetoric, the legalization movement, by contrast, is short on facts.
More. Much more....
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