Fenn, given the observable data from the Netherlands' policy of controlled substances, I highly doubt that legalizing weed will reduce crime rates. I never said reduce "drug use". I guess I should've been more clear: I meant reduce //drug crime rates//. Even if we see a decline in violent crime, which is unlikely, we still face the likelihood of seeing a dramatic increase in non-violent offenses. So, all in all, it's likely that //more// people would end up being arrested for petty offenses. So, even if we do manage to stop illegal selling and trading (unlikely) through legalization, it's projected that we'll see a massive increase in other drug offenses--multiple times our current rate, actually. I think we can agree that having more people in jail = bad, regardless of the crime.
And legalization itself is going to require massive reconstruction of our infrastructure, which will cost a lot of money in itself. Given that we follow the trend of the Netherlands and start seeing multiple times the number of drug arrests, the amount of tax payer money spent on maintaining penitentiaries and supporting prisoners will increase exponentially. Also, we'd have to pump more money into the FDA to research and regulate marijuana and put it on shelves in a manageable fashion. We'd have to buff up law enforcement to enforce a new set of tight regulations regarding weed specifically. Sadly, we can barely enforce drunk driving laws. I mean, look at how much money is spent on anti-drunk driving campaigns alone.
And, chances are, legalization won't stop illegal growing/trading. First of all, weed dealing is surprisingly lucrative to whoever can manage it. It can be assumed that the street value of weed will drop if it's widely available, but chances are people will still make a pretty penny off of it. Why? Because of the age demographics that smoke pot. The average age for pot smokers is 17 years old, which is still underage by Netherlands standards. Also, 15 is the median age at which people start smoking weed. It gets worse: this source cites that 8.8% of 12-year-olds smoke weed on a regular basis (at least once in 30 days). The 10-14 age demographic for the US is comprised of over 10 million kids. So at least half-a-million 12-year-old kids are smoking pot. So yeah, there is still going to be a lot of illegal trade given that a large portion of the weed smoking demographic is underage. Beyond that, we'd have to integrate licensing procedures so that we can license people to grow and sell the stuff (like in the Netherlands). We'd basically be setting up a whole new economy specifically for weed.
All in all, I'm pretty sure that more crime will result from legalization and much more money will be spent.
My AA thread - Updated 06/28/14
1. Increased crime rate: If they aren't hurting others they shouldn't be in jail. You say:
Non-violent offenses? Such as...what? Could you give examples? Because possession of weed would not be a crime; illegal usage (in a prohibited area) would be. I can't imagine these crimes being punishable by jailtime--ideally, it would be confiscation of the drug from the person and a hefty fine, worth several weeks/months of drug purchases.Even if we see a decline in violent crime, which is unlikely, we still face the likelihood of seeing a dramatic increase in non-violent offenses.
Controlling this, admittedly, would be very difficult. The money for enforcement, however, could be derived in part, if not completely, from the money we are currently spending trying to prevent illegal drug trade (millions, I don't have the stat though).
2. Underage use and illegal trade: This falls on parents. Unless I'm being naive, I don't see a lot of "illegal alchohol trade" going on. The issue, like with alchohol now, won't be drug cartels selling to minors; it will be friends and adults buying for their children or other underage users. This is stil on the parents.
Yes. That's why Cyp's other arguments are important. If addiction by itself was a legit argument, coffee would have to be illegal as well.An alcoholic is much more likely to drive drunk then a non alcoholic, simply by being an alcoholic. So while an addiction only hurts one person, that person's addiction is liable to hurt others.
Coffee does not impair judgment, though, so it is fundamentally different from drugs. Don't forget that.
To answer your question: non-violent crimes such as smoking in prohibited areas, violating trade regulations and anything else that doesn't involve violence. Consumption of marijuana in prohibited areas is treated similarly to public intoxication in that it's a high order misdemeanor which is punishable by weeks of jail time. Of course, it's based on the degree of disturbance, so I can't guess an average sentence. Likewise, violating trade regulations is punishable by months of jail time and millions of euros in fines.
Yes, weed is a generally harmless drug as far as being a primary factor in violent crimes. I agree and have conceded to that point since the beginning. But there are many related crimes that affect us adversely. Regardless, the objective is to keep more people out of jail and I don't think legalizing weed will accomplish that.
Also, the Netherlands spends 130 million euros (USD190 mil) a year on detox clinics, yet more are being demanded. Though we would save some money, we would sink even more into other resources to facilitate legalization. In the end, "saving money" is not a convincing argument because facilitating legalization would cost much more than what we're spending now.
2.) Illegal vending of alcohol to minors is extremely common.
Studies such as the ones conducted by the University of Hawaii and the University of Twente (Netherlands), show that retailers don't really think twice about selling the stuff to minors either. Either way, placing blame doesn't resolve the issue. If it's a parenting problem, then legalizing weed won't solve it either. If anything, making it more widely available is counterproductive. So that argument is overall neutral at best.Among underage drinkers (ages 12-20), 30.8% paid for the alcohol the last time they drank – including 8.3% who purchased the alcohol themselves and 22.3% who gave money to someone else to purchase it. Among those who did not pay for the alcohol they drank, 37.4% got it from an unrelated person of legal drinking age; 21.1% received it from a parent, guardian, or other adult family member.
EDIT:+++ I guess it would be wise to clarify that I'm not arguing everything wrong with weed right now. I'm arguing why legalizing weed won't solve the issues you say it will solve and, instead, creates more issues.
Last edited by CypressDahlia; 06-04-2011 at 12:08 AM.
id legalize all manor of things in the US. I dont live there haha.
But seriously, I dont see the harm in legalizing it. I mean tobacco is legal , as is alcohol. I would ban it from public places though like smoking is in the UK. Simply because if one person chooses to take it, its not right that people who choose not too would have to passivly inhale it.
I explicitely stated that I was talking about addiction on it's own, not coupled with the effects of the substance. (Coffee does not impair judgment, though, so it is fundamentally different from drugs. Don't forget that.
You clearly did your research. While I still think people need to be held more resposible instead of relying on the government to handle everything, I will concede that just rushing in and legalizing the stuff could do more harm than good. I'll have to read up on the matter more myself.EDIT:+++ I guess it would be wise to clarify that I'm not arguing everything wrong with weed right now. I'm arguing why legalizing weed won't solve the issues you say it will solve and, instead, creates more issues.
Yeah, I know. I was just making it clear before anyone gets inspired to start making horrible comparisons again. It's like...the worst thing.
I don't think there's much to argue about. First off, everyone should have their own free choice, so long as that choice doesn't harm anyone in any way or break any legalized laws. This should apply to Marijuana. I mean, sure, smoking it could be bad for some people, but that's their own choice. Legalizing marijuana gives the people more options, and brings us closer to the meaning of a free country. As stated above, alcohol is a good example of why Marijuana should be legalized. You can get drunk in the same aspect that you can get high, and you can pose as a threat to the population, but people shouldn't take action until you actually hurt someone. The point I'm trying to make is this: Alcohol and Marijuana aren't too different in the view of legalizing both - they can both kill you, (Marijuana by killing off brain cells, Alcohol by liver cancer/disease.) they can both make you a threat to others, but only one is legalized. Crazy, isn't it?
I'm here. Your life just got 0.000000000001% better.
I never really tried marijuana, but my friends that did say it isn't addicting.
But then again, my friends who smoke cigarettes say they arent addicted, yet they smoke 2 packs a day.