Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why I will oppose legalizing marijuana

I know, it seems contrary to good conservative principles. The government should not decide what's best for us, and if we choose to do something harmful, we should take responsibility for our actions. We are losing more freedom with every new 'program' and associated tax hike as it is.
"Registered to vote in California?" I was badgered on the way in to Walmart. "It's a petition to legalize pot. We'll balance the budget with the taxes it would raise!" No, thanks... "Don't you support freedom?"
Grrr...Of course. I'm in a hurry and want to get my cheap Chinese products and split. There is no WAY I'll be able to explain to you that submitting to drug use isn't liberating but enslaving....Any more than I could explain that sexual liberty just enslaves you to your libido and the true freedom lies in monogamy or for the really strong, celibacy....But all that is beside the point.
Raise your hand if you don't think drunk driving is a problem. Did you know that driving under the influence of marijuana doubles your likelihood of causing an accident? Did you know that drivers that have caused a fatal accident are three times more likely to be THC intoxicated than the general population? When you add alcohol too, the numbers skyrocket?
Drunk driving is enough of a problem. There IS one advantage, though---quantifying at what point you are 'intoxicated'. Here in California, it's .08% blood alcohol (Actually since I have a class 'B' license, for me it's .01%!)
Pot is a strange drug in that, the more someone uses it, the less is needed for the intoxicating effect. How do you quantify that? Convictions for driving under the influence of Marijuana are very difficult. There is no rapid screen, no cut-off concentration. There is only the officer's subjective opinion---pretty easy to fight in court. "He smelled like pot, acted stoned, and was very hungry, your honor"
I've responded to some horrible accidents where the driver that caused it is obviously stoned, and finds the whole scene really funny.
How much tax revenue is enough to justify a spike in fatal accidents? Do we really want TWO legal intoxicants that have a synergistic effect? With all the problems facing our country, do you really want to expend your energy trying to get high---legally?


keeka said...


I think there would be too many loop holes in the programs anyway. Too many people that wouldn't need it would be proving the do need it!

My Mom actually contemplated getting some for my dad when he was really ill, but he didn't want any part of it. Even in pain my dad was not willing to do something illegal. So...there you go.

Lee said...

So your issue is not with the freedom of buying, selling and using. It is the choices made by the individuals under the influence of said items, and how those choices infringe upon others.

The real justification of your point is an assumption that the incidents of DUI will increase with legalization.

While I see no virtue in legalizing vices, solutions are not easy to come by.

Lee said...


In your fathers case it was a moral objection not a legal one. Cannabis is currently illegal in Canada, with exceptions only for medical usage. Chemo patients qualify.

shoo said...

Assuming that pot use actually increases with legalization, the it follows that traffic fatalities as a result will increase. On the other hand, it will dramatically reduce the influence and money of gangs, reduce gang violence that frequently results in deaths, and reduce the prison population.

As usual, there are trade-offs that must be considered. I do not know if the net result would be more or less deaths. I would dearly like at least one state to legalize so we can actually see if it is a net benefit or detriment.

Besides, you wouldn't want us all safe, would you? That would put you out of a job! :P

flyingvan said...

Well, my job's secure even if traumatic injuries decrease---with 75% of today's youth ineligible for military service due to obesity, a dirth of omega-3's in the american diet---there will be plenty of work. Shift from trauma to bariatrics.
Lee---you're correct, my arguement is purely from first hand experience. I could also go into the health problems associated with THC use (lung cancer, genetic problems, addiction, mental dullness) but I'm no expert, I'd just be parroting studies, which anyone could look up.
"Medical Marijuana". I can't boil down aspen bark and make aspirin to sell at a clinic. Not sure why we cna have this odd distribution method in this case. If I recall correctly, the proposition was to research the benefits of THC as a medication. Take Marinol when prescribed.
Shoo--I'm no fan of changing laws to decrease the prison population. Drug convictions should be fine/community service consequenced for the most part anyway.

shoo said...

The whole medical marijuna thing has been a farce. Next to our dojo was a "medical marijuna" clinic. I never saw anyone go there that looked like they needed it for medical purposes. They did a very brisk business on Friday night with people pulling up in their BMWs dressed to party.

If they are going to legalize it for medical purposes, it should be prescribed and distributed from a pharmacy like any other drug.

I am no fan of marijuna for all the reasons you list. But I am a bigger fan of freedom. People already can, and should be allowed, to do all sorts of things we feel are bad for them. That's one of the prices of freedom: allowing people to do things we disagree with.