8 Things We Won’t Miss When Pot is Legal Everywhere

An increasing number of citizens have realized that the government has better things to do than tell us what we can and cannot put into our bodies

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Last year, residents of Colorado and the state of Washington voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Now, according to a new Gallup Poll, fully 58 percent of Americans believe that pot should be available in a way that’s similar to tobacco, beer, wine, and alcohol, which arguably cause more harm than marijuana. That’s a 10-point increase over last year and the latest indicator that the federal war on weed, which officially began in 1937, is finally drawing to a close. Given the directions things are headed in this country, here are eight things nobody will miss when pot is finally legal everywhere in the U.S.

1. Vapid anti-drug commercials like the famous “I learned it by watching you!” public-service announcement, in which a son tells an outraged father how he became familiar with pot. The dad seems to be successful and they’re in a nice house so….what’s the problem again?

2. Ritual apologies by world-class athletes such as swimmer Michael Phelps for smoking dope at a private party. Despite winning 14 Olympic gold medals and completely rewriting his sport’s record books, in 2009 Phelps promised his “fans and the public it will not happen again.”

3. Breath-taking personal hypocrisy by politicians such as Barack Obama who laugh about their own pot smoking (he’s not the only one, the last three presidents have tried it) while increasing funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy and other drug-war operations. As a presidential candidate, he joked to a gathering of fawning journalists, “When I was a kid, I inhaled….That was the point.”

4. Long federal prison sentences for legitimate business owners like Aaron Sandusky.  He ran a medical marijuana dispensary in California that was in full compliance with state laws, but he still got busted by the Obama administration’s Justice Department and is now serving a 10-year stint.

5. Reading about politicians such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie brushing off parents whose children’s illnesses can be treated effectively with marijuana. Two-year-old Vivian Wilson’s Dravet’s Syndrome responds to a form of pot that doesn’t even get you high but is unavailable in New Jersey. When Wilson’s father asked Christie why he hadn’t implemented the medical marijuana reform already passed by the legislature, the governor huffed that “it’s simple for you, it’s not simple for me.”

6. Tendentious arguments that marijuana is a “gateway drug.” Researchers long ago gave up on the idea that smoking pot inevitably – or even commonly – leads users to harder stuff. Yes, most heavy drug users have used pot. But most pot smokers never develop a taste for or a problem with other drugs.

7. The 658,000 arrests for simple possession of marijuana made annually. That’s equivalent to the population of Boston being handcuffed every year for carrying the wrong plant. What a waste of police resources – and an unconscionable disruption of people’s lives.

8. Hearing about no-knock drug raids gone tragically wrong, like the one in Atlanta that killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnson in 2006. After three cops broke into her home without identifying themselves, Johnson fired a gun in defense and was shot to death by the cops, who then planted three bags of marijuana in her residence to cover up their mistakes.

Legalizing pot won’t create a problem-free country any more than tearing down the Berlin Wall solved all the problems in East Germany or ending de jure segregation fixed race relations in the U.S. But it would reflect the will of an increasing number of citizens who realize the government has better things to do than tell us what we can and cannot put into our bodies. And it will also consign many terrible things about contemporary America to the dust heap of history.

153 comments
andic1983
andic1983

I am an oncologist and let me tell you that most of the time quality trumps quantity unless there's a heavy familiar influence who wants you around as long as possible no matter the amount of pain and vomiting you go through. The most advanced cancer medications have the WORST side effect imaginable. What got me through the pressures of medical school and being emancipated at 17 was marijuana. I chose to better my life even as a "pothead". And I continuously use it on a daily basis because it is the best therapy, the best anti anxiety medication, the most harmless compared to alcohol or just opening up a bottle of wine...give me a bowl any single day and I will be the happiest lady on earth. So do my patients know this? No. Only the patients who mention marijuana do I give my two cents. I wish marijuana were legal EVERYWHERE. If not for social purposes at least for people who really, really need it. I feel like I am begging for Gleevec to become generic (which it will be in mid 2015). But I would give it to my patients with absolutely no hesitation at all! I would rather they be happy, fulfilled, pain and vomit free than suffering and actually having their lives cut even shorter by chemo meds. Chemo more often than not shortens the lifespan of cancer patients. Barack Obama better get his ish together however I've always been an independent voter for Ron Paul 😊

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live2ski72
live2ski72

Also, you do realize that the" 1%" you speak of includes Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple, I'm assuming you are familiar with this company. He was a marijuana and LSD, or "acid", user and considers that taking LSD was one of the "two or three most important things" he ever did. So there's that too, have some substance in your argument.

live2ski72
live2ski72

Robertsbob, your input is duly noted, however it's unfortunate that you are flat wrong in your argument. The studies in New Zealand that imply marijuana increases risk of stroke for individuals between the ages of 18-55 lack any actual facts. Sure, they can choose to say that there is a correlation between marijuana use and strokes, but without scientific evidence I'm not sure that the argument has any validity. I could say that since the majority of people who have suffered a stroke have used alcohol, alcohol causes strokes(which is not a belief of mine). I'm sure you see that the issue here is that I have no evidence to back up this point, therefore it would not only be arrogant to write that on the internet, but sends the wrong message to people who may not be educated about the topic. Also, turning minds to mush? Elaborate on this claim, consider the influence marijuana has had on art, design, fashion, etc. Even further, consider inventors who are responsible for the things we use each day. I'm not saying that we should assume that marijuana is some miracle plant that is responsible for all of the great things we enjoy in the world, but to simply consider the fact that it may have had a significant impact would only be fair, because it has, and that is a fact. I don't mean to turn this into an ad hominum, Mr. Roberts, I'm sure your a good person and many people respect you, but rather to use facts when you speak and voice your opinion; otherwise you are simply misinforming people, which is counter productive. 


MarangOabonaRamahobo
MarangOabonaRamahobo

So we shouldn't be surprised to hear of a sermon given by a priest high on weed.

CameronL.Spitzer
CameronL.Spitzer

Libertarians are at their best explaining problems like the symbiosis between "law enforcement" and illicit drug distributors.  It's too bad they can't be equally reasonable about problems their ideology has no way to address, like manmade climate change.

DrPotatohead
DrPotatohead

Yes there are dangers in smoking marijuana, just like with driving, drinking alcohol or taking an OTC drug purchased at a pharmacy.  The government does not have a right to tell you what you can or cannot ingest or imprison you for it. Period.  Of course when it is legalized it will be taxed.  It's unfortunate because after so many years of deceit and deaths as a result of prohibition, the government doesn't deserve a cent of profit.

HeinekenPete
HeinekenPete

Reguarding point number six, that marijuana is a gateway drug. When studies of current hard drug users trace their drug use back in time, chances are the findings show that marijuana was the first illegal drug they tried, therefore, it is a "gateway" drug. The question these studies have left out, chosen to ignore, or framed so as not to ask is, "What were the first drugs you used?". When this question is included in the survey, the majority of answers would be tobacco & alcohol. These should lead the list of what are "Gateway Drugs".

robertsbob358
robertsbob358

Apparently Nick Gillespie isn't keeping up with current news - pot has been implicated in an increased risk of stroke.  And that's just the lat est downside to smoking/using it.  I happen to be on the side of decriminalizing it, but stop short of outright legalization.  No reason to fill our prisons full of potheads just for smoking or having reasonable personal quantities of the stuff - let them smoke it and turn their minds to mush - but don't then let them complain about the results of their choice and blame others then demand we support them.  After all, SSI is broke from people doing essentially that anyway.  Oh, and there's apparently some pretty solid evidence it IS a 'gateway' drug.  Denial is more than just a river in Egypt, as shown by what is written above.  As for Aaron Sandusky, his real crime wasn't that he was dabbling in pot - he was busted by Obama & Holder for the terrible crime of being white.  The word is out - if you're white, you're a target of this administration.

robertsbob358
robertsbob358

While it's admittedly unlikely, it is possible people will come to their senses, at least in some places, and decide we don't need another widely available substance that dumbs us down and is the REAL reason there is a wide gap between the fabled '1%' and those who, by their own foolish choices, continue to assure the existence of a dissatisfied underclass that's always whining about how someone else owes them what they haven't earned and don't deserve.

cayrivvers
cayrivvers

I'm in college and smoking a bit of cannabis helps me study and do schoolwork. I have a learning disorder and I smoke every night, and I still have a 3.8 GPA and get great grades. But, I have classmates who had to stop smoking because it was hurting their grades. It affects everyone differently. Lastly, research Phoenix Tears/Rick Simpson cannabis oil to learn how the plant is beneficial in many ways, medically speaking.

RichardBartz
RichardBartz

Pot should not be demonized as it has been for so many years, but to pretend their are so many benefits to it are equally wrong. It will not motivate a student to achieve better grades, it will not make better drivers out of anyone, it can and often does become a gateway drug. I have watched it make many people very listless and inactive, not joining any  physical activities will have consequences. 

BeBe
BeBe

the stupid prohibitions on people living independent lives who are not hurting others are why we need groups like American Family Happily Institute - they are out there promoting these ideas about independence and self fulfillment, this idea of 'happily' and this is designed to be one teeny piece of ammunition in the culture war that of course ALWAYS ends with progressives winning, human evolution is progress of course, but many institutions over the years can help it along. if you agree you you should look into hooking up with the Institute, they are on the cutting edge of the happily revolution, baby. http://AFHI.us

FievelMousekewitz
FievelMousekewitz

Search and seizure for only looking somewhat suspicious, as someone who might use drugs. (Marijuana.)

I've been questioned, for just looking like someone who might smoke pot. I won't miss things like that.

Quagthistle
Quagthistle

I honestly have grave doubts that any medication or drug should be illegal. When did we decide that the average citizens needed a doctor looking over their shoulder (or under their skirt) to make sure they really *need* a medicine. No one but ME should decide what goes into my body. If someone wants to buy Vicodin, what is better? Buy it from some street dealer and possibly die from getting who-knows-what kind of pill or buy it themselves and possibly over medicate. Doctors should only be advisors of our health, not dictators who hold medicine for ransom. (I've known friends who had doctors withhold medications because they were late paying for an outlandish doctor bill. I've personally seen that doctors have no compassion on chronic pain sufferers, even those who don't want opiates or other pain killers. Why are these compassionless doctors in charge of our medicines in the first place?!) 

As to cannabis, the war on it is ridiculous. Until they start banning alcohol and tobacco (which I also would not support), they need to stop going after marijuana. It's no one's cotton-picking business unless they are doing it in a public place (which I don't support ofr cigarettes either). We do not need to be wasting billions of dollars filling our prisons with harmless offenders who are only a danger to a bag of Oreos.

TheSteelGeneral
TheSteelGeneral

OF COURSE its a gateway drug!!!!!

Just like WATER and BREAST MILK are gateway drugs for alcohol. 100 percent of alcoholics have drank water for prolonged periods of time during their life.

That's more than for pot. Only 83 percent of heroine users, meth addicts have smoked pot.

birdsboroman
birdsboroman

you forgot "drug testing".  I think NOONE will miss those. 

DougCheriBledsoe
DougCheriBledsoe

Freemen, free country. Free to not get caught with a God given plant. How truly UN-Free we really are. Our Government has a problem. The problem is in their head.


SonnyCummings
SonnyCummings

Enough is enough, it has been proven too many times and to many people are in pain or they need the meds that the plant produces.

ozette11
ozette11

 We need adjustment in our drug laws. 


"Another contributing factor to United States' spike in the number of prisoners is the War on Drugs, formally initiated by Richard Nixon with the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 and avidly pursued by Ronald Reagan.[54] By 2010, drug offenders in federal prison had increased to 500,000 per year, up from 41,000 in 1985. Drug related charges accounted for more than half the rise in state prisoners. The result, 31 million people have been arrested on drug related charges.[55]”

Over hslf of US prison population in drug related. It cost $24,000 a year ti keep a peron in prison per year. 5.1 Billion dollars. That does not include the money spent on enforcement which is 100 billion per year world wide. 25 billion by the USA alone. More is spent than the worth of the drugs themselves.

Bureaucracies like the DEA stomp all over our rights to make a arrests. Marijunia is now legal in Washington State and Colorado. We need at the least de-criminalization of all drugs. similar to Portagul where it has proven to lower drug use.

ahyeahok
ahyeahok

I dont care what the Govt says about using pot- I will do whatever I what whenever I want- dont like it?   suck it

donwest
donwest

Hope & change. Remember that lie, 0bama supporters? 0bama = every president we've had since Woodrow Wilson, the snake that sold our country to a banking cartel. I'm surprised Time wrote a piece like this. Usually they are lapdogs of the government.

JasonDowd
JasonDowd

Cannabis today. Poppies tomorrow!

RachelLeighTucker
RachelLeighTucker

@robertsbob358 Dumbs us down you say?  What about all these intelligent successful people who do or used to smoke pot regularly:


Steve Jobs

Natalie Portman(A Harvard grad)

Richard Branson(236th richest person in the world)

Michael Phelps(the most decorated Olympian of all time, 22 metals I believe)

Stephen King(wrote 50 1,000 page novels)

Bill Gates

George Clooney(obviously an actor but also a very active philanthropist)


Just to name a few.  ITs not fare to make assumptions like that. Especially if your claim is false.  Oh and I smoke pot and I received a 4.0 gpa at a very respected college.  Its all about moderation.  Of course if you abuse anything it can be harmful.  Why cant adults have the choice to smoke as long as they are safe.  Why cant you just let people live their lives, its not hurting you.  500,000 people die a year from booze and tobacco combined.  Pot ZERO. As long as your 18 and don't smoke and drive then what is the problem? Why are you so concern what others do in the privacy of their own homes?

cayrivvers
cayrivvers

(Such as curing cancer. With the OIL made from the plant, not by smoking it).

ChrisWeiss
ChrisWeiss

@RichardBartz really? The article points out that it is NOT a gateway drug. 

Nobody with any intelligence or credit has ever said it made students get better grades.

No one said it made better drivers (although studies have shown that drivers that smoke pot tend to be more watchful and careful).


Before we say any of this stuff, why don't we do the actually work to study the TRUE effects of marijuana, since the war on drugs has made this impossible and the FDA has automatically dismissed it (without said studies) as not useful.

cayrivvers
cayrivvers

I'm in college and smoking a bit of cannabis helps me study and do schoolwork. I have a learning disorder and I smoke every night, and I still have a 3.8 GPA and get great grades. But, I have classmates who had to stop smoking because it was hurting their grades. It affects everyone differently. Lastly, research Phoenix Tears/Rick Simpson cannabis oil to learn how the plant is beneficial in many ways, medically speaking.

cspschofield
cspschofield

@birdsboroman 


What makes you think employers will stop drug testing simply because the drugs are no longer illegal? They have the laws and the precedents they need to do these invasive test, they aren't going to give up on them until they get dragged into court and maybe not then.

FlyingTooLow
FlyingTooLow

@ozette11

I was in Federal Prison for cannabis offenses from 1981 until 1986.
William French Smith was the US Attorney General at the time.

Mr. Smith said something to the effect (I tried to find his quote but cannot):  "Criminals belong in prison and they must stay in prison.  We don't know how to rehabilitate criminals."

When this fool made that comment, 53% of the Federal Prison population were in for drug offenses.  Victimless crimes. 

Example:  "Hey, I've got some pot for sale," said Tom.
"I'll take five dollars worth," said Alice.

Where's the victim?

Both Tom and Alice are now added to the 'prison overcrowding' problem.

How freakin' sick is that???

NamecNassianer
NamecNassianer

@JasonDowd 

No, no and NO!

This is the kind of ignorant statement that lends credence to the gateway drug fallacy.

If you are a junkie and use cannabis, you are first and foremost a junkie. If you are a junkie who eats pizza, you are first and foremost a junkie. If you are a junkie who plays guitar, you are first and foremost a junkie.  Get the picture?

Just go do your junk until you od or otherwise ruin your own life, and the lives of people you touch.  Just stay the hell away from people who are not on a one way trip down: "Every junkie's like a setting sun..."


robertsbob358
robertsbob358

@ChrisWeiss @RichardBartz - oh gee the article asserts something and suddenly we all have to accept it as GOSPEL TRUTH?  This is the same sort of logic that got us mired in the great global warming swindle.  You know, just because someone manages to get a paper published in a peer-reviewed journal (which I note this isn't) and conspires with others to keep papers that refute what he or she said out of said journals doesn't mean they've got a lock on the truth.  The 'consensus' argument, a political argument, not a scientific one, always was the best at revealing the weakness in climate alarmists' positions - if you had a true SCIENTIFIC argument you wouldn't have to keep falling back on a political (consensus) one.  It only takes one person to get it right no matter how many have it wrong - science proves this time after time!

robertsbob358
robertsbob358

@cayrivvers - Studies suggest you're claims are a pipe dream.  Pot is PROVEN to interfere with memory and so if anything gets in the way of studying.  In your case your own admissions suggest it's shaved at least .2 of your GPA.  Don't get me wrong - I'm for the general decriminalization of pot, if not outright legalization.  I don't want or need it - why would I abuse a substance that makes me stupider than the next person - and unless you're smoking it yourself (as you admit you are) you would know this BUT apparently it also alters your perceptions of yourself and the world (hey, there's a surprise!) and helps you live in a constant state of denial.

ChrisWeiss
ChrisWeiss

@cspschofield @birdsboroman 

They will give up on testing for marijuana because it will be cost prohibitive and they cannot test for recent use or inebriation, just if the metabolites are in your system.


When thy can test for recent use  (within 2 hours) or inebriation, they will start testing pot users again. 

cspschofield
cspschofield

@FlyingTooLow @ozette11 


You aren't thinking of it from a Statist Eliteist's point of view. People who break the law, even if they are harming nobody, are Bad Subjects and must be punished so that their fellows will know not to question the orders of their betters.

Vocation
Vocation

@robertsbob358 In eons past we believe that meat spawned flies and that the earth was the center of the universe. These were all said to be "truths" or facts by some prominent figure posing as a man of science.  Just so you know science can be wrong. For example if you pick up something ,say a rock, and let it go it should and probably will drop. You experiment with it 100 times and the results are all the same. Rocks fall when let go. Well if you tried that in space it suddenly wouldn't be true anymore. Science is basically "to seek truths". Also prominent figures and scientist can lie just like the rest of us.

live2ski72
live2ski72

@robertsbob358 Wow you managed to get something right, it is, in fact, an opinion piece, as it states at the top of the article. However your hypocritical bearing is unattractive and revealing of your lack of knowledge on the subject, care to provide us with some SCIENTIFIC FACT? Didn't think so, you would only disprove yourself. I challenge you to prove me wrong :)

RachelLeighTucker
RachelLeighTucker

@robertsbob358 @cayrivvers Do you drink sir? or have people in your life that do?  Alcohol

is proven to be more harmful.  Someone who drinks once a week is no better than someone who smokes pot once a week.  No one is asking YOU to smoke pot so stop worry about what others are doing.  You should really do more research on the topic and stop spewing false information.

live2ski72
live2ski72

@robertsbob358 @cayrivvers The amusing thing is that you people who don't use marijuana can't seem to differentiate between "their" and "there". You clearly choose not to consider the benefits, and to say that .2 has been shaved off of cayrivvers GPA is an ignorant statement because you are implying a 4.0 is the highest GPA attainable, which is also wrong. Saying marijuana would make you "stupider than the next person" is just plain arrogant. Prove that cayrivvers is "stupider" than you because he/she choose to use marijuana for his/her benefit. I am eager for your reply as I think that this is a productive discussion. One more thing, what studies suggest that cayrivvers' claims are a "pipe dream"? Let me know, thanks. 

robertsbob358
robertsbob358

@TheSteelGeneral @cspschofield @FlyingTooLow @ozette11 - Hitler WAS a socialist.  Oh, wait, you're one of those people still confused by the propaganda he was a right winger.  Go look up what NAZI stood for.  Socialist is right there in the 'translated' title.  Hitler WAS a socialist.  Deny it, it remains A FACT.   YOU CAN LOOK IT UP!

FlyingTooLow
FlyingTooLow

@cspschofield @FlyingTooLow @ozette11 

Ah...now I see the errors in my thinking...being a 'subject' of anyone or any authority has never entered my mind.

As far as those who may think of themselves as my 'betters,' I proudly wave my middle finger.

(I had to hunt down 'Statist Elitist'...I've never heard the phrase...many thanks...I love 'new stuff'...stay safe and well...)

Hugh Yonn

dpevans
dpevans

@robertsbob358 Yeah, a socialist thief.  See hear is the thing about NAZI being "Socialists".  They were and still are anti-social thieves.  How can one be a "socialist" all the while planning subjugate the people?  "Socialists" cannot also be "anti-social" and "sociopathic".  All it does is make them "Hypocrites".  Nazi can say they are "socialists", but really, they are "disingenuous fascists".