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Saturday Survey: Legalize Marijuana? -- All Comments

All write-in survey responses to marijuana legalization survey.
pot smoker

1. What are the best arguments for or against medical marijuana? (Check all that apply)

It ought to be decriminalized to take the power away from the repressive state machinery that can always use marijuana as an excuse for a bust.

Medical marijuana also helps patients deal with the side effects of pharmaceutical medicine, which frequently occurs.

Be careful in the way you treat our answers to ambiguous questions and answers. That there are better, more scientifically proven etc. (choice 2) is NOT an argument against medical marijuana and must not be tabulated as such. That it is really being used. . . (choice 3) is also NOT an argument "against medical mj." I just don't have an opinion about #5.

Also, medical marijuana is marijuana, and no one has given any good reason to ban any substance, let alone relatively mild psychoactive substances like marijuana.

Duh Gutterment has no Constitutional Authority to Prohibit *anything* at *any time*

I don't use drugs but, they should be legal. Regardless of pain use it is costing society too much to eliminate them.

medical marijuana

What are the best arguments for or against medical marijuana? (Check all that apply)

I am a retired physician with metastatic cancer of the prostate. Have watched the situation carefully and feel that marijuana has definite properties that are of medical benefit. However, the liquor lobby and the departments of government which are making a profit from illegal pot will not be denied.

the question really is, why would the government seek to deny those suffering from illness the opportunity to live in less pain and have better chances of living normal lives in spite of their illness?

It is ridiculous that alcohol is legal and marijuana is not. I do not use either, by the way.

By legalizing marijuana (or at least decriminalizing it, we will free up billions in taxpayer money to spend on social programs instead of imprisoning people and creating generations of criminals Recreational marijuana SHOULD be readily available so it can be controlled out of the hands of gangs providing safer product uncut with DDT or more powerful narcotics. It is FAR less of a danger to society than alcohol and tobacco. P.S. Doctors have not been able to find any other pain killer that works for me for more than 24 hours (more than 2 doses of darvon/demerol type drugs cause extreme nausea, codeine and similar prescription medications act as stimulants or have no effect whatsoever) in almost 40 years of using me as a guinea pig.

I'm tired of supporting black market drug sales and imprisoning people for less than what alcohol can do to a person.

If Marijuana is all that bad, why is tobacco still legal?

Need much more research on appropriate and viable uses

my doctor said marijuana could relieve the pressure in my eyes (glaucoma), and he's known this since medical school, but would not prescribe it. Lovely. Guess I'll just have to go blind.

Medical marijuana is really being used as a back-door way to make recreational marijuana widely available but it shouldn't have to. Marijuana should not be illegal, period.

Marijuana should be sold legally similarly to the way alcohol is sold because it is less dangerous than alcohol and making it illegal just doesn't work Does anyone remember the 18th amendment? It didn't work. Certainly there will be abuse of THC but treatment of the abuser, not criminalizing, is the only long term answer.

There are many other legitimate medical uses as well.

If prescribed by a doctor, medical marijuana should be paid for by insurance including Medicare and Medi-Cal.

Government needs to get out of our personal lives.

other medicines for pain relief cause many side affects, like constipation and IBS cannabis tinctures for pain are being used at The City of Hope and Dr. Deepak Chopra said these medicines are truly important

Sorry. --- These questions are meaningless to me -

Prohibition doesn't work. In countries where it is legal, like in the Netherlands, there is far less drug use of all kinds. They pioneered needle exchange and drastically lessened the cost of policing drug prohibition of all kinds. However, it is still illegal to drive or do any other similar activity while stoned- do it and you will suffer the same or worse consequences that we not reserve for legal alcohol use.

SOME medical marijuana users will use it as a back door to recreation. SOME medical marijuana users will find it better for them than other pain sufferers do. ALL drugs are specific to individual users as to their effectiveness and negative side effects.

People are going to use it anyways, why make them go to sleazy dope dealers to get it?

It should be up to the individual what pain relief modality he/she prefers. We don't all want to cater to the financial demands of Pharma.

All the CA Conservatives of Independent mind which whom I've spoken, say they gladly voted for MedMJ but voted against Prop 19 because they are alarmed by the unchecked proliferation of dispensaries, plus the stoners have come in on the back of the patients to simply get high.

decriminalize marijuana

It relieves a variety of symptoms and is a natural alternative to drugs. Let people use it!

The ONLY THING THAT CRIMINALIZING MARIJUANA DOES IS INCREASE PROFITS TO PHARMACEUTICAL GIANTS. THOUSANDS of people with chemo side-effects and glaucoma and sleep problems are denied a generally SAFE AND HELPFUL herbal remedy because patented drugs for these conditions make BILLIONS for Big Pharma. Profits for a few is not a fair exchange for suffering for thousands - perhaps hundreds of thousands. LEGALIZE AND TAX MARIJUANA -- it's less dangerous than booze and MUCH less dangerous than cigarettes.

less illegal pot grown in forests etc. and smuggled in, less money spent on enforcement and if taxed money for necessities like schools.

Marijuana has proven medical benefits, but regardless it should be legalized for any adult. It's ridiculous that alcohol is legal but a plant isn't. Drinking makes people risk-takers and/or violent. Marijuana makes people calm and peaceful. You tell me which is worse for society!

It is also useful for glaucoma treatment. There is already a serious drug abuse problem in this country, and it has virtually nothing to do with marijuana. Opiate, barbiturate, amphetamine, alcohol and tobacco use are all serious drug problems that far outweigh any problems caused by the use of marijuana.

I think marijuana use should be legal, because it will garner taxes revenue for the state/nation, it will undercut the criminal networks that now operate to supply the illegal market, it will reduce inmate numbers in our prisons and there are probably other reasons that aren't coming to mind just now. I am concerned about heavy smoking of marijuana because I believe it may very well increase the smokers risk of lung cancer. I had a friend who smoked marijuana for over 30 years and she died of lung cancer. She wasn't a cigarette smoker. It seems to me the high that's produced by marijuana is a benign and in some cases even an enlightening experience, in contrast to the high from alcohol, which is generally degrading of a person's intellect and abilities. Of the two intoxicants it certainly seems logical that marijuana would be the preferable one, both from the point of view of the individual and society as a whole. It's illogical and detrimental to criminalize the use of marijuana.

None of the above. It is a drug with for a wide range of conditions, including anti-anxiety and mood alertinf properties similar to and superior to many pharmaceuticals. Kevin Sabet is also a professional right wing hack like Bill Bennett, Robert DuPont and others who have worked for ONDCP and

The fact that medical marijuana does not have the side effects of many of its synthetic counterparts makes it appropriate for use and much of the pain relief medication on the market is as addictive as any illigit drug with its own devastating results and its definitely not worse than alcohol and you don't need a prescription for that. I don't use any of it.

The War on Drugs is a FAILURE. It can't be won, it is over. Legalize, decriminalize, tax and set laws for abusive use that effects the lives of others, just like alcohol.

Despite the denials of the federal govt, heavily influenced by the Big Pharma lobby, medical cannabis has been PROVEN to relieve symptoms and alleviate pain and anxiety for people with a variety of conditions. To deny the benefits of this natural medication shows nothing but ignorance and greed.

It's called "THE MUNCHIES!!!!"

I am a Prop 215 patient with a variety of medical and psychological issues. Medicinal marijuana for me is a much better alternative than Xanax and painkillers.

All marijuana should be legal. I'm not sure why a progressive site would publish an anti-marijuana article in the first place.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers lie about or downplay side-effects and leave their customers responsible for mitigating them. Marijuana's side-effects are so much less serious than these. BTW, I do not use marijuana myself for a number of reasons. But others will benefit greatly from it.


2. What's your view on recreational marijuana?

"MYOB", when used responsibly.

It is a much safer alternative to alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and/or recreational use of prescription pills.

Please explain the difference between "addictive" and "habit forming." But anyway, what does that have to do with whether mj should be available medically? isn't that up to doctors?

It's a mild form of self-abuse - one of thousands - that some find pleasurable sometimes.

Alcohol is much worse than marijuana, and they finally realized it had to be legalized to stop the crime.

Addiction is harmful to society and the individual. Treatment helps society and individuals.

I believe that milk is a "gateway drug". It can be clearly demonstrated that 100% of drug addicts had consumed milk before they moved on to stronger drugs.

legalizing marijuana

What's your view on recreational marijuana?

Anything from sugar to caffeine to sex and exercise is habit forming and can be addictive. Is pot more so? Doubt it. Have you ever seen someone denied their Starbucks?? I would not rate it as "good" for anything but, again, is it any worse than nicotine, alcohol, emotional upheaval or exhaustion? If people can claim daily glasses of wine are better for one's health than none (or too much), why can't a couple of hits do the same?

Why is tobacco still legal?

A "bad" lot can create paranoia and violent behavior. Not hearsay.

With some people it may be addictive or at least habit forming. I've used it for 40 years and I really can take it or leave it and have no cravings for it. When I was younger I used it daily, but that was a social peer 70s culture thing. However I have known people who I believed were psychologically addicted to it.

Marijuana should be put in the same class of habit forming substances as are chocolate or coffee. I recommend the documentary, "The Union: Business Behind Getting High."

It's not a "gateway drug." There is no evidence for that. 100% of heroin addicts drank milk as children, but that didn't cause their heroin addiction.

Unfortunately, marijuana use has been associated with mental health issues including psychic breaks, paranoia, etc. I know someone who suffered a psychic break and the UCLA psychiatrist he consulted told me that mental health issues occur quite often with persons who use marijuana, especially daily marijuana use. And my friend did use marijuana on a daily basis.

I don't know of any medical studies that support my contention but I think that habitual use of marijuana is not healthful. Occasional use is no more harmful than an alcoholic drink.

I think adults should have the option as they do for alcoholic beverages profits from sales can help the economy

Pharmaceuticals are the gatreway to heroin. We just don't believe the refer madness.

A person under influence of alcohol-beverages sometimes turns aggressive and violent. I have never heard of a a person under influence of marijuana turning violent. Addiction and habit-forming are more a personality disorder than caused by the substance. For example Gambling and TV-games can become destructive addictions too.

If people "choose:" to use marijuana, they will get it whatever way they can. That is human nature....... I am not a physician or biologist, but we have been made aware of the physical hazards of cigarettes and alcohol~~~~

People who drink coffee and smoke cigarettes also become heroin users. Predisposition genetically and emotionally to addiction is a real and stronger and better correlation to hard drug use I drink red wine as an addition to my normal diet. Some people who drink red wine become winos, that doesn't mean that red wine should be made illegal. I have dealt with drunks and people who are stoned. I will leave it to the reader and their own experience to determine who is more out of control and a danger to themselves and others.

Habit forming for SOME but not addictive in the medical sense. It's good for SOME people. The notion of GATEWAY is not productive or easily defined.

I don't think you can protect people from themselves. I think it would be better to just make it legal and allow the profits from its sales benefit the public through taxation.

Alcohol is addictive, too, for some people. I say legalize it and direct law enforcement efforts elsewhere.

It's easy to go through an addictive phase, and some people need help to get past that.

The only "gateway" is that it pushes casual users to drug dealers who will sell them the higher priced more dangerous drugs if they can. Legalize it!

The "gateway" drug argument just doesn't hold up. The only reason it's a "gateway" drug is because it's sold by drug dealers. If it were available in licensed stores, like alcohol, criminal gangs would lose their profits. It would actually be BETTER for the justice system -- and so say many police professionals.

never used it

Alcohol and tobacco are addictive and dangerous drugs that are available widely. Tobacco causes hundreds of thousands of deaths per year, whereas alcohol causes tens of thousands of deaths per year. Penalizing marijuana smokers is counterproductive and misdirected.

It seems to me the high that's produced by marijuana is a benign and in some cases even an enlightening experience, in contrast to the high from alcohol, which is generally degrading of a person's intellect and abilities. Of the two intoxicants it certainly seems logical that marijuana would be the preferable one, both from the point of view of the individual and society as a whole.

There is no such thing as a "recreational drug", it's a Kevin Sabet - Bill Bennett right wing meme. Do we talk about "recreational Prozac" or "recreational Xanax" (or their generic name counterparts). No, we don't. Plenty of people using "recreational marijiuana" are self-medicating for depression or dysphoria, medical conditions.

Recreational marijuana is as harmful as alcholol and affects our judgment and physical dexterity similar to alcholol and therefore should require the same restrictions as any other intoxicating substance.

Like anything, from alcohol and cigarettes to sugar or salt, if a person enjoys it, it can be abused or overused. But those 4 things alone are more responsible for deaths and illness than a lifetime of using marijuana would ever be. Substances that are proven to be detrimental to the health and well-being of humans are allowed to be legal, regulated, advertised, encouraged, and enjoyed - yet something completely natural and not harmful is denied. Why??? Hmmm ... who stands to lose profits if marijuana were legalized?
12/10/2011 11:18 AMView Responses
Use in moderation is okay

The last option has to be qualified by saying that it's true only when used with intelligent moderation

I'd much rather deal with a pot head than with a drunk or speed freak.

It's a personal choice.

It's no worse than cigarettes or alcohol.

Some level-headed education is needed to deal with issues such as hyper-suggestibility and motor impairment when driving. Same as with the use of alcohol and other legal substances. It should not be marketed in the same way that tobacco and alcohol are (and neither should they). Both capitalist producers and illegal dealers push their products to excess in the name of profit--- human risks be damned.

It's like everything else in life, you've got to do it in moderation!


3. Do you favor legalizing marijuana?

Prohibition is pointless. Tax the sales. Save millions on enforcement.

I've undergone the benefits of medicinal marijuana in conjunction with my severe nerve and muscle pain.

Using the legal system to control such a relatively harmless substance while the system permits and is in business with more harmful substances (alcohol, for example) degrades personal liberties, harms the legal system and its officers, jams the prisons, and puts a great overload of decision-making power in the hands of prosecutors. I'd like society to look at the problem of there being so many unhappy people and let's get busy to help with that and get child and maternal health going right and many other improvements to life and health.

Why should ANY substance NOT be legal for personal use?? I have seen no non-circular justifications for self-use (including self-abuse) prohibitions of any kind.

Stop prohibition crime.

I feel the way I do because Pot has proven to be a less harmful drug than Conservatives would like to paint it in the eyes of many. More people die from alcohol abuse than marijuana abuse. And frankly, if both the State and Federal governments tax the flow of legalized Marijuana, we could solve our Deficit problem faster than what's projected. Unfortunately, there are enough ignorant people in the US of A, who'll believe that smoking Pot can lead to harder drugs.

legalize marijuana

Do you favor legalizing marijuana?

The minimum risk is far outweighed by the reduction of expense to society of criminal gangs and government costs plus economic gain of regulating it.

I know too many folks that abused mj. Plus the laws are made to protect the affluent and their friends.

Simply because it is widely available anyway and we are spending billions to try and stop it. Legalize it, tax it, and 1/2 the war on drugs will be won.

One may only Prohibit the ingestion of a thing to a person whom they own. Since Slavery was made illegal with the passing of the 13th Amendment in 1865, this mean that those who claim ownership over any other individual is a criminal and a Traitor.

The price in money and corruption is too great. We do need controls similar to alcohol.

Alcohol is far worse on the body. It could lead to more tax revenues for the government to operate on, by legalizing it and taxing both the consumer and the purveyors of it. The War on Drugs is just a waste of money

Because marijuana is good for people, whether they are ill or otherwise.

It is an assinine law that criminalizes relaxation and creates an entire criminal class that simply would not exist without this jack-assery.

Because I know so many wastoid pot heads .

Decriminalizing will let the "war on drugs" focus on dangerous drugs and the gangs that profit from them. The US contains 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Kids sent to prison for possession are not being punished by society - they are being mistreated by it and prisons provide a fertile environment to turn basically good people into career criminals. This could be the first step in returning prisons to government control and stopping the abuses that are running rampant in the privatized prison system where those who profit from bodies in cages by sucking on the government teat that provides them with the money to incarcerate, pay themselves large salaries and deny inmates basic rights or any remedial programs are making the US penal system the most oppressive outside of non-democratic regimes such as Indonesia, the Congo, Iran and Russia. If I can't or don't wish to drink - why can't I relax without having to worry about being sent to prison? My neighbors can get drunk as skunks, crash their cars and upchuck on my lawn but that's ok??

For the above indicated reasons. It would help break the stranglehold on illegal drugs traffiking to the United States, reduce crime levels in the United States, divert money and energy of law enforcement agencies and courts to more pressing, urgent matters.

It cost tax payer dollars to arrest someone for something that is considered, in my opinion and many other's opinions, to be a victimless crime

All drugs should be legalized. Pushers and Drug Cartels would go out of business, and addicts could be identified and required to undergo treatment.

Tobacco is still legal and taxed. Do the same for Marijuana. OR, make tobacco illegal!

Should be focused on Meth

with controls

It's ludicrous not to legalize marijuana. Alcohol and tobacco are America's legal addictive drugs. That's a big hipocracy.

I have produced more drug education videos than anyone in the history of the planet and other than lung damage I have never seen any serious negative impacts from marijuana smoking or consumption. Prescription drugs are a far greater danger to health and welfare.
too many people have been jailed for using weed

It would save countless of million dollars that could be directed to help out the Homeless .

End the insane drug wars! Tax and regulate the stuff and it will do a world of good.

It is a natural herb. It is relatively harmless. It has been used and been legal to use for 99.9999999% of human history without causing anywhere near the catastrophic human tragedies alcohol is responsible for. It has medicinal properties. Tobacco is a smokeable plant that has been legal to use for centuries in spite of the fact that it is directly linked to serious medical problems and/or death but no one has ever died from marijuana use.

Not that I would use it. Tried it in the past and didn't do much for me.

Mostly because it is ridiculous to incarcerate folks and ruining their lives over recreational use of a substance far less addicting and dangerous than alcohol.

We need the revenue.

Rather than a war on drugs, it would be more effective to have a war on drug gangs -- and the best tool for that is to eliminate the high profits from running illegal drugs by legalization, which would plumet the price. Let every one grow their own marijuana -- that would totally undercut the illegal import from Mexico. This would serve to cut crime in California.

It is not the smoking of marijuana that is harmful but the incarceration of marijuana users that destroys the user's life and the lives of his family.

I believe marijuana is safe and beneficial in many ways. It is a natural product that has been used by people for thousands of years. Prohibition didn't work for alcohol in the early 20th century, and it's equally ineffective for marijuana today. It's just a matter of time.

I don't think using marijuana should be a police matter, just as I do not believe that drinking beer is a police matter. Having impaired judgement while driving from whatever cause is a police matter.

Criminalizing marijuana has ruined the lives of our youth. Enough is enough. Too much money has been wasted in this area.

Reduces criminal prosecutions, lessens overcrowding of prisons

It is probably no worse than alcohol, but the primary reasons for alcohol use being widespread is that it was widely used and very profitable before Prohibition. If legalizing marijuana would reduce alcohol consumption proportionately, then we should do it, but of course it won't. It might be possible to tax it sufficiently to offset its costs, and then a legalization policy probably would make sense.

I use medical marijuana for MS, and the other drugs are adisaster. I know the tructh. Propaganda and money keep the drug war going. $1,200 ever second spent on the drug war?? CRAZY!!!

Adults have the right to decide for them selves how they treat their own body and mind.
It will defuse the crime ! ! ! !

The criminalization of any drug has fostered a long war that we have continued to loose at great expense, which deprives other sectors of our society- like education- with adequate funding. Legalize marijuana would be a valuable revenue source at a time when budget are having to be cut for traditionally basic functions of government. The application of drug law under three strikes has filled our prisons with disproportionately large segment of poor and communities of color. And finally, If I choose to grow marijuana, I would not be subject to the loss of my house for growing it on my property nor would I be forced to use illicit marijuana that might have truly dangerous chemicals used in its growth.

I worked in drug abuse treatment. Relative to other drugs that may be recreational marijuana is one of the least dangerous including alcohol and tobacco. Politics has always been one of the most important elements of drug policy regarding those that may be recreational.

The "war on drugs" is, and has been, an utter failure.

We can tax it and use the revenue to benefit the general public.

There are too many folks in prison who have only used Marijuana. They have not performed any illegal acts; stealing, hurting someone (beside themself), etc...legalize and get the tax money!

It should be legal, but nobody wants to see cheech n chong n RCrumb n Naughty Nurses signs all over the place. Plus, employers are terrified of legalization bcz they don't know how to spot someone who'd mildly high, whereas they can spot someone who'd at work drunk, re: any associated work errors. When made legal, there must be also strong sanctions against being Under The Influence In Public when that means unsafe or obnoxious behavior, whether form alcohol or MJ or pills. Also, nobody knows how to train drivers to be safe -- you can't make a handy chart of body weight v hours since last drink

There should no prohibition placed upon all drugs. The harm done to civilization in the name of the law far surpasses any damage done to the individual and the community. We Americans use half of the illegals drug on the planet, they should be taxed and the revenue used for social security and education. There would be enough money left over so that we could fund a few more wars around the world,kidding

I have cerebral palsy and Marijuana makes me so much "looser". It relaxes my over-tight muscles and instead of horrible side effects it actually promotes creativity and strength so that I can work. I started using Marijuana recreationally in college. In all the years after, I have never felt the need or desire to try the next thing. I am in a lot more control when using Marijuana than with alcohol.

It's safe and harmless in its pure form. Keep people of all ages away from drug dealers; and regulate to make sure it doesn't have harmful additives.

Because I've seen friends risk felony charges to get pot for relatives who had cancer. I've also known dozens of people who smoked dope in college and stopped when they graduated and got jobs. The "reefer madness" nonsense just doesn't stand up to the light of reality. I am in favor of ALL herbs being legal. Education is better than prohibition; prohibition only benefits criminals.
Counter-productive to society to continue criminalization.

Anything that make you feel good is good if it doesn't harm you or others

As long as it is illegal, there will be a strong attraction. And it's illegality has contributed to horrible results in the area of crime control, racial profiling and the militarization of our so-called justice system. Thousands of lives lost to prison, crime and death.

Making marijuana illegal hasn't worked and costs too much.

It's not the governments business to tell me what I can and cannot put in my body.

only in licensed facilities with large tax included.

Marijuana use might actually decline slightly over the years after legalization, and certainly won't rise significantly because it is already widely available. Taxation would help local communities and state's budgets, and the supply and pricing of marijuana could be regulated by the federal and state governments. Drug crime would be reduced, especially in Mexico. Law enforcement could focus on actual crimes rather than wasting time and tax payer's dollars on arresting people for marijuana.

we've lost the war on drugs. cut our losses and focus the energy on harder stuff.

I think marijuana use should be legal, because it will garner taxes revenue for the state/nation, it will undercut the criminal networks that now operate to supply the illegal market, it will reduce inmate numbers in our prisons and there are probably other reasons that aren't coming to mind just now. It seems to me the high that's produced by marijuana is a benign and in some cases even an enlightening experience, in contrast to the high from alcohol, which is generally degrading of a person's intellect and abilities. Of the two intoxicants it certainly seems logical that marijuana would be the preferable one, both from the point of view of the individual and society as a whole. It's illogical and detrimental the overall safety of our country and it's economy to criminalize the cultivation, distribution, sale and use of marijuana.

I have used it safely for over 20 years, and am now abstintent because of legal problems with criminal cultivation charges in a state that doesn't allow medical mj because it doesn't allow for citizen initiated referenda or initiatives. I feel like it's a political crime (check out the common law distinction between malum prohiitum and malum per se....murder and homicide are illegal in every civilized culture, mj has been illegal only since US treaties and Nixon's Controlled Substances Act and the corrupted Schafer Commission in 1970 - 72. Google "Nixon, Marijuana, Jews" for an interesting discussion in the bugged Oval Office in his own words that Nixon's targets were blacks, war protestors and hippies (and Jews and Psychatrists, all of whom he thought preferred mj to alcohol).

If alcohol is legit and has greater damaging effects and doesn't require a prescription, how do we justify not legalizing marijuana?

These ridiculous laws that punish people, and a substance, that do no harm have to be stopped. Ignorance is no excuse to ruin people's lives and deny people the well-being this substance can deliver.

Would be nice to have it as an alternative therapy. for neuropathy and to lower blood sugar. I am diabetic.

I have had too many friends/colleagues/acquaintences (including elected officials) who suffered from extreme pain (athritis, cancer, lupus, ad infinitum). Those who chose the usual (pharmaceutical) medications, because of those prescriptions, were so zonked out they didn't know their loved ones, were unaware if they were dead or alive. Those who chose marijuana, sometimes in conjunction milder does of pharmaceuticals, knew their familiy/friends, and were able to make lucid decisions about their lives. Other people us medical marijuana as a pain reliever (arthritis, rheumatoid, aches/pains from old injuries, etc.). Not everyone can take aspirin. For some of us, Tylenol is a waste of money. Some people are allergic to penicillin, to morphine, to dairy products, ad infinitum. To force people to either live in pain, or to spend their life savings on pharmaceuticals, as opposed to 'growing their own' is barbarous, malicious, and inhumane. Hmmm -- I wonder why the drug companies oppose legalizing marijuana? (This doesn't even begin the story of legalizing "industrial hemp!"

Legalize it, regulate it, and tax it heavily to raise revenue.

Because the consequences for cultivation, sale and possession are unwarranted; it is less dangerous than alcohol and cigarettes which are legal and only moderately and slightly regulated.

A number of months ago, some poor woman was arrested a mile down the road from where I now sit for possession of a harmless weed. Can you believe that? DISCLAIMER: I don't smoke pot. Nor do I advocate its usage - unless for medicinal purposes of course. I haven't touched the stuff since my nineteenth birthday - August 16, 1977 - which, coincidentally, was the day that Elvis Presley died. I always tell people that Elvis and I quit drugs at the very same moment, the only difference being that I did so voluntarily. Having said that, let me say this: Nearly three-quarters-of-a-century after it was made illegal; a half-a-century after it was proven to be practically harmless - why is it still a crime to possess and smoke marijuana? Here is a list of ten famous people - heavy smokers all - who died too soon of lung cancer or other diseases related to their addictions to nicotine: Humphrey Bogart Edward R. Murrow Nat King Cole George Harrison John Huston Noel Coward Betty Grable Walt Disney Gary Cooper Peter Jennings Here is another list. Ten famous people who died from alcoholism: Tennessee Williams Jack Kerouac Truman Capote Lorenz Hart Veronica Lake Bix Beiderbecke Montgomery Clift Dylan Thomas John Barrymore Errol Flynn Now I'm going to ask you to name for me one celebrity who has died from too much grass. Go on, I'm waiting..... You couldn't do it, could you? Don't feel bad, neither could I. Not only have I never heard of any famous person dying in that matter, I am not aware of it happening in all recorded human history! Why in 2011 are we still having this same, idiotic conversation? Is it a "gateway drug" as they never tire of reminding us? Yeah, it probably is. But so is Miller High Life - the Champagne of Bottled Beer. Let's get a grip here. Tom Degan

I prefer that it is sold at dispensaries and that patients need to be evaluated and issued licenses to procure it.

The arguments for legalizing marijuana are well enough known that I don't need to reiterate them here.

I am intimately familiar with the costs of the War on Drugs generally, and on marijuana in specific. The Drug War is an unmitigated disaster for the criminal justice system, a humanitarian catastrophe and a clear and present danger to national security. Marijuana, in contrast, is largely harmless.

It is useful for pain, anxiety and insomnia relief. Furthermore, it is much less dangerous than alcohol. Drunk driving accidents have decreased since access to marijuana has been liberalized. It is much more benign than alcohol when used as a cocktail.

At worse, it is a "least offense," undeserving of criminal penalties. At best, it is a useful tool in dealing with physical and emotional afflictions which has been made illegal under false pretexts (read the history of marijuana) while real crimes continue to go un-prosecuted.

Because it could solve this country's money problems. Legalizing takes the drug man out of the game!...and put the legal "drug man" in!

The long effort to criminalize marijuana has failed abjectly, locking up people pointlessly, doing little to stem marijuana use, and creating a vast criminal enterprise just Prohibition did with alcohol. A far better approach would be to legalize it, tax and monitor its sales as we do with alcohol and tobacco, and use social pressure to check its widespread use.


4. The War on Drugs begun during Richard Nixon's presidency is roughly four decades old. How has it helped or hurt society here and abroad?

Hurt. Pointless, expensive.

Hasnt done much - stop any focus on marijuana

squandered resources, incarcerated millions, greater fear in society

hurt home and abroad through arrests, destruction of economies in the developing world

It has hurt our society by allowing the waste of gov't funds as well as time spent.

major hurt in all places.
Arbitrary prohibitions of 'drugs' are bad, enforcing them even worse. War v drugs has fostered policing abuse, gang and cartel economies and violent turf wars, enviro destruction from growers and cops in the countryside

It has increased crime, same as prohibition.

It has made the War on Drugs disproportionately waged. Casual users have been treated like hard-core have been targeted like hard core users of cocaine, crack, heroin, and the like.

As with all wars, the War on Drugs has created new enemies, new corruption, and new suffering in many places.

Huge drain on our economy; has lead to unnecessary violence and death.

Waste of Money going after Marijuana users

Expensive here and abroad.

Why is there such a high demand in the USA? and who is locked up?

It has helped hardly at all and like prohibion of alcohol it has created a whole new class of criminals.
We spent a lot of money and are losing

Our prisons are overflowing with people who are guilty of nothing more than drug use, overlooking the real corporate criminals.

encarcerating people of color is no way to treat humans beings

It would be a shorter list if one only listed the ways in which the War on (Non-Corporate) Drugs *hasn't* harmed society. Increased crime? Check. Increased corruption at all levels of Government? Check. Increasing State violence against innocent people? Check.

hurt. it's criminalized drug use


Corruption and social unrest.

The War on Drugs legislation was aime at appeasing the ultra conservative hypocrites in this country, who wanted to pass their beliefs and views on to the rest of America. It cost our government billions of dollars here and other countries abroad. It also promoted human suffering resulting in imprisonment, death, and created more social unrest.



It has destroyed the lives of millions of Americans by criminalizing activity that can only be described as benign and even beneficial.

Hurt society by creating a violent underground market.

it's been a large expenditure of money with little return


It hasa hurt society!

The damage is massive, here and abroad.

HURT the US here and abroad. Dating back far longer, the criminalization of certain substances (alcohol during Prohibition, etc.) has been used by powerful factions to intimidate opponents and discimnate against specific sectors of society. It has generated a worldwide industry of growing, making and trafficking in drugs that is lucrative to certain people and fatal to many others.

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Both helped and hurt.

It's a victimless crime.

It has created a huge, anti-social drug culture, including powerful drug cartels.

Forty years later we still have a drug problem and the government insiders are making bundles on the illegal trade!

It has been a waste of time and money, making things here worse.

Baddly Hurt everyone involved

it was naive

It has hurt. It's a scam. It's a lie. It's an issue politicians run on. It has cost billions. But most of all, it hasn't worked.

War on drugs has been more destructive than most other wars.


has created overpopulated prisons and disastee south of the border

just another reason to create police state

By wasting millions of Dollars that cold be used for helping the Homeless.

we've spent a fortune on the war on weed, as well as jailed thousands and thousands of people. Totally riduclous.

Has Hurt society terribly.

Criminalized innocent citizens. Created prison/industrial system. Wasted billions of dollars on weaponry in violent War on Drugs.

It has continued to hurt the society by supporting organized crime by giving them a product to sell.

There is no question it has hurt society in the US, Other countries are not so backwards as America has become since the advent of "Compassionate Conservatism".

it keeps the prison business in business

have not help

It, like Nixon, repressed liberals.

It has hurt society here and abroad. The only war that was worthwhile in the past fifty years was the War on Poverty

It has filled prisons with people who don't belong there.

It has hurt society by sidelining other priorities.

It has driven huge numbers of Americans into prison, and caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Mexicans. We need to stop the War on Drugs, and treat people who are addicted as medical patients.

Millions of llives have been ruined because of criminal records. Millions of dollars have been wasted. The war on drugs has twisted our society. We help in the growing of poppy in Afghanistan and we arrest those who use the poppy derivatives.

It is a waste of resources, human and financial.

too many of our jails are filled with folks convicted for distribution. This does not stop usage. Legalize it so it can be monitored and the state can benefit from the income

Its a waste of effort and money

Hurt society and wastes money.

I do not know of any way in which it has helped -

Mexican drug cartels dependent on illegal drugs in the U.S. have threatend the safety and stability of Mexican society

Immeasureably hurt. Ask the overwhelmingly people of color who now occupy our over crowded prisons

Seriously destructive to millions of lives


No opinion.

Look in our overcrowded prisons, it is a health issue not a law enforcement one

Created the crisis in Mexico, led to rise of private prisons.


Arrested people in the USA, Made many drug lords very rich

See previous comment...

I has hurt my enriching and empowering criminal cartels & local gangs.
12/10/2011 12:33 AMView Responses

Hurt society here and abroad by bringing about more violence

I admittedly do not know much about the International War on Drugs, but I can't see where those policies have helped .

Hasn't helped here; people will get high! Certainly hasn't helped abroad - look at Mexico!

Billions up in smoke, thousands in prison who don't need to be there. The war is over. It's been lost.

it has taxed the judicial and criminal legal system. Funded Mexican mafia wars.

It has increased the Black prison population

It has hurt society both here and abroad


hurt society but a marvlous help to the mafia and crime

A complete waste of money and innocent people are spending their lives in prison because of this ridiculous war. You get more time in prison for smoking pot than you do for raping a kid.

Crowded prisons, disproportionate to poor people

HURT - too much money, violence

Billions of dollars wasted, millions of lives adversely affected by imprisonment


It has adversely affected people of color and justified fifty years of police abuse and over population in our jail system instead of providing meaningful programs for rehabilitation.

As stated above, it is an unmitigated financial and sociological failure and must be stopped.

Life sentences, increased violence, money wasted on a fabricated "war on drugs"

It hasnt worked at all and has only built a huge criminal network worldwide.

HURT -- the world over!

Has been devastating to our society as well as others.

No Way

Hurt badly

It has enriched criminals, criminalized innocent people and caused violence. It's Prohibition Part 2.

Increased prison population on a racist basis.

The War on Drugs has given the drug dealers & cartels power by financing their criminal activities while failing to reduce the demand for drugs

Hurt very much.

It hasn't helped society. It's only hurt it.

The War On Drugs is a JOKE.

END the WAR!


It was caused the global proliferation of ultra-violent transnational narco-states abroad, and the development of a (corrupt) militarizized police state complemented by for-profit slave state at home.


Hurt, encouraged a black market. Drugs should be legalized, regulated, and controlled.

Hurt. Through racial and other profiling. It is a "class crime" pure and simple--- Legalize marijuana and make war a crime!

It hasn't done a DAMN thing!

It has created the Prison-Industrial Complex, which so heavily targets young black and brown men, while building up armies of law enforcement officers.


5. What changes would you like to see made to drug policies at the state and national level?

See #3.

Separate marijuana from drug discussion

legalize it

decriminalize most drugs and legalize those that are truly addicting

Allow natural medicine to be added to healthcare so that the need for prescription pill addictions will lessen

legalize it all, provide health care and basic needs to all.


Legalize all drugs and stop drug companies monopoly.

Decriminilizing possession of certain quantities of pot to a misdemeanor.

Legalize and control marijuana in the same way that alcohol and tobacco are regulated.

Dangers of legal psychoactive drugs should receive much greater scrutiny and their dangers should be publisized more in the mainstream press

Legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, Put serious drug abusers in proven treatment programs not jail.

Legalize, control, and tax.

How can we prevent the use? What give with this society?

Decriminalize marijuana on the federal level, see what happens and then perhaps marijuana can be used as a template for other drugs.

Spend money to help addicts recover

Marijuana should be legal, period. Rehab, no-harm policies, and more education, social structures should be strengthened and moralistic attitudes should be addressed.

legalize marijuana so that its uses, efects and benefits can be documented properly

Remove Cannabis from the Drug Schedule entirely, as it is not a drug - it is an herb, a homeopathic medicine which has 5,000 years of recorded use without a single death attributed to it's use.

legalize and/or decriminalize

legalize marijuana

Control like alcohol. Treat addicts and crime and accidents by offenders

Legalize weed. Tax both the smoker and the purveyor.

Legalize the drug at a reasonable price.

leave it up to the states to decide

End the war on the weed. Embrace marijuana as a plant that has positive effects on people, unlike other legal drugs like alcohol and prescription pain medicine.

Decriminalize all proscribed drugs.

marijuana should be reclassified to a schedule II drug.

no jail time

Legalize marijuana and end the drug war!

decriminalize all drug activity,except sales to minors.

Legalize and control.

legalize marijuana

Legalize marijuana and monitor it the same way cigarettes and alcohol are monitored, then tax it and use the money for education and rehabilitation.

legalize all drugs

Legalize everything and remove the illegal profiteers.

Legal drugs at all levels; prescription drugs probably kill more people than recreational drugs.

Decriminalization and Alcohol style regulation

not sure

Legalize marijuana, without qualification.

Follow the Dutch example.

treat addiction as a public health problem. Prosecute dealers not addicts. Make treatment available without cost to all addicted persons.

legalize w/ restrictions similar. to alcohol and keep it a state taxed cottage industry.. no pharma/tobacco takv

legalize all drugs

Concentrate on Hard drugs at all levels.

Colorado has medical pot, but dispensaries are getting raided, and people going to jail because of federal laws. Not right.

Legalze and regulate all drugs on the state and national level.

Drug abuse should be decriminalized and treated as a medical condition. Funding should go into addiction education, prevention and recovery instead of police and prisons.

Make THC legal like alcohol is. You can also tax it to help with the buget woes.

Simple, legalize it.

stop putting people in jail for misdemeanors

tax drugs

Legalize all drugs as soon as practicable.

Legalize marijuana and cocaine

Complete legalization of marijuana. Sensible, non-criminalizing control of opiates.

Legalize marijauna.

I want th state and national government to repeal anti-drug laws and fund education and addiction programs.

The federal government should declare the war on drugs is at an end and remove itself from an actions in this area. The control of drugs should be at the state level and the legality of drugs left to them.

I would like to see most drugs decriminalized.

too big a topic to really answer in this mini-survey

Decriminalize or at least lower penalties...fine, no lock up

regulate and tax, stop wasting law enforcement money on drugs. This is a health issue.

Marijana should be dealed with in the same way as alcohol-beverages and sigarettes.

Make it legal - sold to people over 18 --- just as we did with alcohol....And include whatever physical and biological damage it can do....

Legalization, taxation and sensible control

Legalize and tax recreational drugs. Criminalization is usually the problem not the answer.

Legalization of drugs would take away the profit motive, diminish related-crimes, and stop fueling the U.S. prison-industrial complex.

Drugs generally should be legalized and controlled to de-fund street criminals.

I think we should legalize most drugs, or at least make hard drugs available for prescription and thus offer people an alternative to breaking the law.

Fully legalize/tax marijuana just like alcohol.

Include alcohol and cigarettes

I would like to see marijuana legalized and distributed through typical drug distribution channels

Legalize drugs. Let individuals harm themselves if they choose, but offer programs to warn them and to help those who want to quit. Re-focus law enforcement on crimes which harm others.

Totally legal but with strict sanctions on public intoxication of any sort.

decriminalization of many drugs

eliminate them

I am mostly concerned with seperating Marijuana from all other drugs. It does not belong in the same category. If we are going to start with medical Marijuana, we need to have common sense, make everything about it much more legitimate. If we legalize completely, then regulate it "Like Wine"

Legalize and regulate. Everyone is addicted to something, whether its t.v. or some form of drug, including alcohol. It's a personal and societal issue not a crime!

Legalize marijuana, release and clear the records of all imprisoned only for marijuana violations. License and sell in measured amounts, allow gardening for home use only.

just legalize and tax it for 18 years and older.

As with alcohol; legalize and regulate

Legalization and appropriate controls

legalize and have EPA make sure they aren't loaded with pesticides

leaglize marijuana

Legalize marijuana

Decriminalize and intead focus on treatment

Feds need to let states make their decisions

Legalization of marijuana

Reschedule mj to Schedule 3, allow medical use like California law

Decriminalize use and increase efforts and programs for education and rehabilatation.

Legalize, decriminalize, tax and set laws for abusive use that effects the lives of others, just like alcohol.

The Feds need to remove cannabis from the Sched I classification and allow it to be objectively studied for its benefits. They need to stop burying the positive studies that have been done and stand up to Big Pharma. They need to respect the state's rights that allow medical mj and stop the harassment of compliant collectives. The states need to respect the laws and the people's wishes and work together with the collectives and patients. The taxes they can collect and the lessening of over-crowding of prisons would be a benefit for all.

Let the states and municipalities make their own decisions regarding marijuana use

Legalize nearly all "drugs" with, perhaps, the exception of "designer" drugs of unknown content being sold via the internet.

Legalize marijuana and then focus police resources on preventing crimes that are not victimless

Let people decide. Put the money that goes to wage this war into finding ways to treat people who suffer from bad decisions.

Legalize pot. Medical approach to addictive drugs.

Stop the "war on drugs."

Legalize Marijuana

Decriminalize marijuana - will halt much drug trade

Legalize marijuana. Decriminalize everything else.

Change the classification of marijuana on the state level.

END the WAR!


Decriminalization of marijuana, Harm Reduction policies for "hard drugs" like heroin & cocaine, and foreign development policies which are serious about making agricultural alternatives to narco-crops economically realistic.

Legalize marijuana at both the state and federal level.

Less effort on supply control and more on demand and rehab.

Treat addictions as a medical condition, not as a crime. Educate, legalize, make drug abuse less attractive. Make life in America affirming enough for everyone that drug (illegal *and* legal) abuse will become virtually non-existent.

Be realistic! We all know that everything boils down to money in this country!

We should legalize marijuana, tax and monitor its use, and use social pressure to keep users in check, exactly as we did with cigarette smoking over the past 40 years.