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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 06:51 AM

If it ever were, how would the details of legalizing pot be handled?

First off I am for legalization. I don't use it but I do think it should be legal. It has been proven over and over again that it is far safer than tobacco and alcohol and those are legal.

Would the prices go down? Or would the Agra-corporations be in control of everything and set the prices and make all the money and make prices actually go up?

Would people be able to grow their own outside? I can see a lot of problems with that. First off is kids. How does someone keep the neighborhood kids out of their garden? And don't get me wrong here either, as I would rather have kids smoking pot than drinking hand cleaner or huffing spray paint. But you know that argument would come into it. People would be screaming, "What about the children!" How do you deal with that?

Another thing how do you keep someone who is too lazy or inept to grow their own out of their neighbors garden? People will be getting shot over finding some neighbor crawling around in their back yard to steal some at midnight.

Has anyone else thought about this?

Don

32 replies, 2500 views

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Reply If it ever were, how would the details of legalizing pot be handled? (Original post)
NNN0LHI Apr 2012 OP
bemildred Apr 2012 #1
MADem Apr 2012 #2
sofa king Apr 2012 #24
YellowRubberDuckie Apr 2012 #3
estiparanoic Apr 2012 #4
kentuck Apr 2012 #5
NNN0LHI Apr 2012 #6
kentuck Apr 2012 #7
dixiegrrrrl Apr 2012 #8
kentuck Apr 2012 #10
tech3149 Apr 2012 #26
NNN0LHI Apr 2012 #9
kentuck Apr 2012 #11
Bluenorthwest Apr 2012 #15
kentuck Apr 2012 #18
Bluenorthwest Apr 2012 #20
uncle ray Apr 2012 #28
JonLP24 Apr 2012 #21
Bluenorthwest Apr 2012 #13
randome Apr 2012 #12
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #14
Bluenorthwest Apr 2012 #17
JonLP24 Apr 2012 #23
KG Apr 2012 #16
Comrade Grumpy Apr 2012 #32
JonLP24 Apr 2012 #19
LynneSin Apr 2012 #22
JonLP24 Apr 2012 #27
HopeHoops Apr 2012 #25
jwirr Apr 2012 #29
cthulu2016 Apr 2012 #30
Comrade Grumpy Apr 2012 #31

Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:07 AM

1. It's very cheap and easy to make.

Thus perfect for retail marketing with high markups. Can you imagine the pot-analogs of beer commercials?

Anyway, I expect the tobacco companies to attempt to move right into the business. They are a perfect fit, and they need a new line to sell, and that's much like what was done with booze, and the government can tax the living shit out of it, so it's a "win-win" if you think that way.

The interesting question is what will they do to try to keep people from just growing their own, which is also easy as pie and can produce quite adequate product.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:09 AM

2. Most people don't grow their own tobacco....

I imagine the price point would be somewhere where it is cheaper to buy it--or at least more convenient--than to grow it. One wouldn't have to grow it outside, in any event, if one did decide to do it themselves-- one could grow it as an ornamental plant in a sunny window. No fear of being "ratted out" at that point. There would probably be limits, anyway, like there are on home brewed beer and wine. You can make your own, but you can't be running a distillery in your basement!

The governments (state/local/fed) would have to be careful to not over-tax the product, because that would generate a lot of home growing and that would be detrimental to the tax base.

There is a distribution methodology available in the medical mj states already--perhaps they'd just expand that sort of system from coast to coast?

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Response to MADem (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:10 AM

24. Growing almost anything is a pain in the ass.

Growers are the last thing one needs to worry about. Growing good weed is probably just as elusive, time consuming, and financially unrewarding as growing good tomatoes. Most attempts will fail the first time; most who try and fail will not try again; those who succeed will find themselves arriving at market at the same time everyone else does; someone else's crop will always be bigger and better thanks to local growing conditions, and killing off small farming operations is a procedure long since perfected by big money, so successful small operations will be quickly targeted and destroyed or absorbed.

The investment in growing space, tilling, weeding, fertilizing, watering, spraying, protecting from frost, drought, aphids, fungus, beetles, and deer requires a large up-front investment which, coupled with very high risk, makes aiming for a large and profitable operation--or even one big enough to defray its own costs--difficult and unattractive to most. Indoor growers have a better chance at controlling growing conditions, but the costs in electricity and hardware are even higher, and no lighting system can approach the output of the sun, so plants grow slower and smaller. There are at least three ways an entire crop (of almost any plant) can be lost overnight, negating months of effort, which is why people like Mitt Romney don't mess with farming.



It is my understanding that marijuana itself is a touchy plant, having been warped almost beyond recognition by generations of selective growers in the same way that apples, almonds, and tulips have been turned into human-dependent plants. That necessarily requires even more effort to protect it and grow it to term, because left to itself marijuana will quickly devolve back to hemp.

The problem is this simple: the vast majority of people, myself included, simply cannot be relied upon to tend their gardens every 72 hours or less. Most people want to plant something pretty in the ground, get instant results with no effort at all, have it fend for itself against everything that wants to eat or kill it, and have it in constant and copious supply regardless of weather or season.

Until that happens, weed smokers will continue to be consumers, not producers.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:10 AM

3. Here's the deal with kids.

If you don't make a big deal out of something, they aren't as likely to care about it. It's like if we'd educate our kids about sex, they'd be having less babies and waiting until later to have sex. I think I saw something about kids in Japan or someplace like that just not interested in sex. They have better things to do. If America ever gets to that point, you know something is going right.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:11 AM

4. For those that don't quietly grow

 

their own they will be stuck with corporate mcweed.

Name something positive in America that did not eventually come under corporate control?

The ability of being able to grow your own is IMHO one of the reasons why it is not legal along with the private for profit prison industry, law enforcement agencies making profits off of weed busts and the GOP using arrests to disenfranchise non-white voters.

It is a corporate win, win win.

Bust some one with weed, confiscate and sell all of their possessions, make profit.
Send them to a private prison, corporation makes profit.
GOP Disenfranchises them once they get out of prison for the rest of their life.
Corporations and politicians keep ex con from getting job so crime and jail is all they have left, corporate prison makes more profit and has a steady life long revenue source with them going in and out of prison.


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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:20 AM

5. I think Colorado is on the right track.


The dispensaries are already in place and selling a lot of medical marijuana. There are 3 or 4 within walking distance of my house. You can walk into any of them and they will give you a doctor's number and address where you can get a "recommendation" for legal weed if you have a medical condition, just about any medical condition.

There is a referendum on the ballot this November to make marijuana legal for all uses, not just medical. It will be a close vote and has a good chance of passing.

It's difficult to predict the future.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:24 AM

6. How much do the dispensaries currently charge for it?

Are their prices reasonable? Comparable to black market prices?

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:31 AM

7. You usually get 1/8 ounce free for trial...

Then it's running about $30-$35 per eighth-ounce. Also, you are permitted to grow up to six plants legally for your own "medicine". The state has legalized certain growers to grow for the dispensaries and it is usually very high quality weed, with a lot of choices.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:34 AM

8. I thought Colorado had pretty much swung to the right?

Surprised to hear they are so advanced on pot.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:39 AM

10. Colorado still has Denver and Boulder..

...and even in Colorado Springs, there are many liberals and libertarians that believe in individual freedom and the use of marijuana is one of those types of freedoms.

There are a lot of misconceptions out there, I think?

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:37 AM

26. The Colorado pot community did a very wise thing

They integrated their business plan into the tax structure of the state. State officials don't want to take on the industry because they plug a significant hole in their revenue structure.
My ideal is a plan that allows growing your own and distributing to friends for free. Those that don't have the will or resources to grow their own could buy from a commercial grower with appropriate tax structures affected and enforced.

The biggest reason pot has remained illegal for so long is that it can be produced with no profit center for corporate interests. Initially, the logging industry pushed for outlawing hemp because it was superior to wood pulp for paper and grew faster with less input that trees required. If I remember correctly, pot was made illegal a few years after the end of the prohibition of alcohol. The booze industry didn't want to compete with something that couldn't generate profit. Back in the 20's and 30's many people made their own booze but it required a lot of effort. Pot on the other hand required almost no effort or skill. Just plant it and it will grow. It is, after all just a weed.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:39 AM

9. Thank you

Are there any restrictions on where the six plants have to be located? Indoors or out? Anything like that?

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:41 AM

11. I'm not certain of the law but...

I think it has to be on your own property. I have not heard of any investigations or questions about this issue?

on edit, The cops on the beat have been cut deeply by budget concerns so there is not a lot attention being paid to marijuana at this time because they have decided there are more important crimes to be concerned about, in my opinion.

However, common sense would tell us that marijuana would be plentiful, legal or otherwise, and it is...

Also, a dispensary in the south of town called "Maggies Farm", was robbed a couple of weeks ago. So, individuals would have to be discreet if they are going to grow or smoke marijuana.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:02 AM

15. You are not correct regarding cops 'deciding there are more important crimes'

"Police made 853,838 arrests in 2010 for marijuana-related offenses, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report.Of those charged with marijuana law violations, 750,591 (88 percent) were arrested for marijuana offenses involving possession only"
http://blog.norml.org/2011/09/19/marijuana-arrests-driving-americas-so-called-drug-war-latest-fbi-data-shows/

"NYPD Arrests for Marijuana Soar in 2011, Second Highest on Record"
While reading this one, keep in mind that 85% of NYC pot arrests are of African American and Latino people. 85%.
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/02/nypd_arrests_fo.php


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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #15)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:12 AM

18. I think it may be different in different states..

..and localities, depending on the fiscal condition in some states as opposed to others?

In Colorado, there seems to be a lot less attention paid to marijuana. Hard drugs and their use are still pursued vigorously.

I do not doubt but that your statistics are correct...

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Response to kentuck (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:33 AM

20. Colorado,one year: Possession (Adults & Juvenile): 11,267

It is wildly different from place to place, certainly. The Midwest and South around 60% of drug arrests are for pot, in the West, it is around 39%.
The highest rate of arrests was Maryland, the lowest, Oregon
. In Colorado, 95% of the arrests were for simple possession. I can not tell if these figures are from 2010 or 2007. So yes, they pay less attention than OK or NY. For what that's worth to the thousands so arrested.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #15)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:21 PM

28. yes he is, in Colorado.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:41 AM

21. Is it Denver?

I know in 2005 they voted to make possession of an ounce or less legal for people over 21 but it is still illegal under state and federal laws. Then in 2006 the city voted to make marijuana enforcement the lowest level of law enforcement and these days those cited have very cheap fines. Breckenridge also legalized an ounce or less but again, still illegal under state and federal law.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:55 AM

13. Yes. In CO, Oregon, CA, any of the medical states, plants must remain fully out of

sight. Indoor or outdoors, indoor much easier to conceal. Of course, the reasons for that concealment are also security reasons, as the crop,like anything of worth in your home, could get stolen if it's presence is widely known.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:18 AM

12. Why would kids want to steal someone else's garden-grown pot?

They don't steal their strawberries now, do they?

Your suggestion that this would happen is an excellent analogy. People are not rational about pot. I am for decriminalization, not legalization, but pot is still a mind-altering substance and people often do not behave rationally when it is around.

Witness other threads that have come and gone on DU where people actually promoted the idea that ingesting smoke from weed is beneficial to you. Or that being high increased test scores in teenagers.

Yes, people don't behave rationally on alcohol and, in some respects, they don't behave rationally regarding tobacco, either.

But we don't need to add another item to the mix of substances that waste time, pollute the immediate environment (i.e. mj butts on the sidewalk) and give younger people an excuse to not get on with their lives.

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Response to randome (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:00 AM

14. What exactly do you mean by "get on with their lives"?

That's an odd turn of phrase..

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Response to randome (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:08 AM

17. Let's start with your 'kids stealing strawberries' line. Google the term 'agricultural theft'

and learn that such theft is way past 'kids' and is on the rise, and it is in all States and a growing issue in many Euro nations as well.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/22/us/22crime.html?pagewanted=all

Folks are not rational around alfalfa!

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Response to randome (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:08 AM

23. I often frequent threads on this topic

and either you're full of BS or exagerrating others' arguments. I don't know of any studies that looked into test scores and never seen anyone argue that seriously. About the smoke, all smoke has carcinogens, but no study has found a link to cannabis smoking to lung cancer. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060526083353.htm Cannabidiol likely has something to do with that which is an ingredient in cannabis that has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth which goes to my point that are things about it that are well document beneficial effects to cannabis use. I must say that is hilarious when people ignore the evidence and then talk about supporters' rationality. One thing I don't understand is the insults and horror stories from the critics and supporters generally stick to facts, of course plenty will bring up their personal experience to add to the topic as we all add personal experience to any topic on DU.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:07 AM

16. go thru the books and delete any laws pertaining to marijuana. and hemp.

easy peasy...

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Response to KG (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:42 PM

32. The repeal option. I like that. No conflict with the feds.

If a state just repealed its marijuana laws, there would be no conflict with federal law. States are not required to criminalize marijuana. If repeal happened, the feds would be left enforcing marijuana prohibition in that state. They don't have enough DEA agents to effectively do that.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:28 AM

19. I think prices would go down

Last edited Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:03 AM - Edit history (1)

as a large part of the current pricing is due to illegality & risks involved. However, it depends on tax rates, which the price the producer sets + tax is the effective price you pay. If demand is higher than the amount they're able to grow prices will rise but doubt that would happen.

I don't know what to do about the garden. Assuming it is open rather than fenced probably not a good idea in general as they may get stolen. Not that cannabis users are super addicted and can't live without a fix, people will steal almost anything they can get their hands on easily. Leave a pack of cigarettes on the porch? Gone.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:53 AM

22. I think the first step would be to decriminalize it

I would set an age limit of 18. I know there will be 20 thousand DUers claim how they started young and it never affected them. However I do believe that choices which could altar the mind are best left until someone is old enough to understand what they are doing.

I would treat those who drive while stoned with the same penalty as those who drive drunk. Again, I don't care how successful you are as a stoned driver - I think when people drive they shouldn't be on anything that could distract them from safe driving.

As for those in jail because of marijuana related crimes - if there was no other crimes involved I would parole them. And then I would tell them that if they finish their parole without any issue then their slate would be WIPED CLEAN. I know alot of people when they start jail as non-violent criminals sometimes they come out even worse. Those that did not end up in jail I would give them one year and say that if they remain crime free for that year they could apply to have their record clean.

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Response to LynneSin (Reply #22)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:41 AM

27. The problem with having the same penalties

is how do you have the same penalties? Under .08 is mostly fine. Somewhere between .08 and .15 you have your general DUI. .12-.15 or higher is where the severe penalties kick in. So what should cannabis use get? Between .08 and .15 type penalties no matter the level of intoxication of cannabis? Remember there isn't an accurate test to determine if you're actually high, much less the amount or level of intoxication. Police often resort to drug test as well as the sobriety test that they use to catch drunk drivers which isn't effective because cannabis doesn't affect balance unlike alcohol and would generally perform better on tests for coordination & memory than a drunk driver and actually be high.

I have no desire to make driving on cannabis legal, it helps the case if we state no intention or plan to do so. However, I like penalties that make sense & appropriate rather than just an emotional need to make something the way it is. Be based on actual facts and fair in comparison to other laws like drunk driving. 1 glass of line will generally keep you under the legal limit, but impairs you more than 1 joint. Alcohol impairs far more than cannabis generally. Personally, I've lost my balance, I couldn't speak properly, my judgment was whacked, etc when I've been drunk. Cannabis, I've acted relatively the same sober, speak properly, can walk without falling down, and feel good in a few hours with no hangover.

To make something clear, I'm not endorsing cannabis while driving. Just pointing out it is difficult to measure cannabis impairment, alcohol impairs far worse and responsible for around 15,000-20,000 driving related deaths per year, and asking what DUI penalties are the same while trying to emphasize it is legal to drink alcohol and drive as long as you're below the limit.

This study highlights what I'm trying to say.

<snip>

At present there is no accurate test that can reveal whether a driver has taken cannabis before driving, and developing one will not be easy. But even when this problem is cracked, another will remain - where to set the safety threshold for smoking cannabis.

Advocates of zero tolerance say there should be penalties for drivers caught with any amount of recently smoked cannabis in their body. The new research suggests that would only be credible if governments also adopted zero tolerance on drink driving.

<snip>

In the study, cannabis significantly affected only one criterion, known as tracking ability. Volunteers found it more difficult to hold a constant speed and follow the middle of the road accurately while driving around a figure-of-eight loop. The TRL researchers point out in their draft report that this test requires drivers to hold their concentration for a short time, a task which is particularly badly affected by the intoxicating effects of cannabis.

<snip>

This cautious behavior is in line with findings by other researchers. "Whereas alcohol promotes risk taking like fast speeds and close following, cannabis promotes conservative driving, but may cause attention problems and misperceptions of time," says Nicholas Ward, technical adviser to the Immortal project - a three-year European Union trial designed to quantify the crash risk drivers face after taking various drugs and medicines.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2063-alcohol-impairs-driving-more-than-marijuana.html

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:36 AM

25. I think they should - hang on - "Hey, dude, you're Bogartin' that thing."

 

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:09 PM

29. I am also in favor of legalization. It will probably become a major crop for farmers, the laws will

only allow pharmacies to sell it and/or other merchants, the police will be able to concentrate on real crimes again and the jails will not be so full, other side businesses will be created such as processing plants and use will be limited just as alcohol is.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:31 PM

30. legal = legal = legal

The way to legalize it is to make it legal. Period.

Worrying that we might need restrictions because kids might trespass in someone's yard to steal their property is nuts.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:34 PM

31. There are differerent models:

The regulate it like tomatoes model. Basically no restrictions, except for zoning and things like that.

The regulate it like alcohol model. Age limits, hours of operation limits, business permits, etc.

------

I don't think legalization necessarily implies corporate domination. I look to the wine and beer industries as models. Yes, there is mass produced corporate product (think plonk or Bud Light), but there is also a sizeable and significant boutique industry, producing high-quality goods (think microbrews and individual vintners). I can foresee the same thing happening with weed.

Any legalization scheme needs to have a provision for growing your own, just as there is for home brew beer. For example, anyone could grow up to 100 square feet for their own use and to share among friends, but not for commercial sale.

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