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Marijuana: America's Largest Cash Crop

ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
edited December 2006 in Debate and/or Discourse
Reuters wrote:
Marijuana top US cash crop, analyst says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. growers produce nearly $35 billion worth of marijuana annually, making the illegal drug the country's largest cash crop, bigger than corn and wheat combined, an advocate of medical marijuana use said in a study released on Monday.

The report, conducted by Jon Gettman, a public policy analyst and former head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, also concluded that five U.S. states produce more than $1 billion worth of marijuana apiece: California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Hawaii and Washington.

California's production alone was about $13.8 billion, according to Gettman, who waged an unsuccessful six-year legal battle to force the government to remove marijuana from a list of drugs deemed to have no medical value.

Tom Riley, a spokesman for the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said he could not confirm the report's conclusions on the size of the country's marijuana crop. But he said the government estimated overall U.S. illegal drug use at $200 billion annually.

Gettman's figures were based on several government reports between 2002 and 2005 estimating the United States produced more than 10,000 metric tons of marijuana annually.

He calculated the producer price per pound of marijuana at $1,606 based on national survey data showing retail prices of between $2,400 and $3,000 between 2001 and 2005.

The total value of 10,000 metric tons of marijuana at $1,606 per pound would be $35.8 billion.

By comparison, the United States produced an average of nearly $23.3 billion worth of corn annually from 2003 to 2005, $17.6 billion worth of soybeans, $12.2 billion worth of hay, nearly $11.1 billion worth of vegetables and $7.4 billion worth of wheat, the report said.

Gettman said the 10-fold increase in U.S. marijuana production, from 1,000 metric tons in 1981 to 10,000 metric tons in 2006, showed the country was failing to control marijuana by making its cultivation and use illegal.

"Marijuana has become a pervasive and ineradicable part of the economy of the United States," he said. "The contribution of this market to the nation's gross domestic product is overlooked in the debate over effective control."

"Like all profitable agricultural crops marijuana adds resources and value to the economy," he added. "The focus of public policy should be how to effectively control this market through regulation and taxation in order to achieve immediate and realistic goals, such as reducing teenage access."

Riley said illegal drug use was a "serious part of the economy," but he rejected the notion of an economic argument for legalizing marijuana.

He said marijuana use was an "inherently harmful activity" with serious physical and mental health consequences. He said more American teens were in treatment centers for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined.

So, let me begin by saying that I think this guy is probably over-estimating the price per pound, but probably underestimating the production. He's obviously gone way below the government average for the price per pound, because he's smart enough to know that DAs, when reporting the value of marijuana they've seized, like to be... shall we say "less than conservative?" On the other hand, the DoJ likes to under-report drug production, to make it seem like less of a problem. So, I guess what I'm saying is that I think his estimate is probably about right.

So, that being said, we're talking about a crop here that brings in about one and a half times as much as the largest legal cash crop in the nation. It blows tobacco out of the water. And why? Because we subsidize. "But Thanatos," you're saying, "how do we subsidize it?" Please forgive me for briefly venturing into the anecdotal, but a Harvard report estimated we could save $7.7 billion in enforcement costs if we were to legalize marijuana (said report was signed by over 500 economists, including Milton Friedman). Do you know what the marijuana growers in Northern California refer to the DEA and its various federally-funded local teams as? "Price supports." The harder law enforcement cracks down, the more money the growers make.

A quote from ABC news:
The Dangers of Legalization

Aside from the health debate over legalizing marijuana, Garrison Courtney, spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Agency, says groups that advocate its taxation sometimes paint too rosy a picture.

"It's still a drug," Courtney says. "Just because it's a good cash crop doesn't mean you should legalize and tax it."

"It's not these cute mom-and-pop bong shops anymore," Courtney continued. "It's violent drug-trafficking groups that are doing all these grows."

Local marijuana growers, he says, are the tentacles of international drug-trafficking organizations that bring weapons, violence and a slew of other drugs into the market.

"You can't tax a Mexican drug trafficking group," Courtney explains. "That's the side a lot of people don't focus on."
Of course, what Courtney won't tell you is that if we were to legalize marijuana, there wouldn't be any money for it for the Mexican drug traffickers, and they'd have much less region to import their weapons and violence into the U.S. A recent report actually stated that Mexican traffickers were moving their marijuana operations into the U.S., because of the tighter border security. In addition, groups like Al Quaeda grow large forests of marijuana in places like Afghanistan, which often end up on the domestic market. Which means that legalizing marijuana would actually increase our homeland security, and function as a buffer against terrorism, because I guarantee you that we can grow it better here than they can grow it there. Even if we couldn't, making it legal would allow the farmers over there to grow it and export it legally, without having to go to groups like Al Quaeda to act as middle-men. It'd be taking one of the terrorists' sources of funding away from them.

So, why don't we legalize it? I'm going to oversimplify, here, and say that most of the problem is fundies fundies lol. The last vestiges of the puritans who founded this country can be found in two places: the South, and the U.S. government. With groups like the cotton industry, the paper industry, and the tobacco industry allegedly fighting against it, too (though, I'm not sure how true the latter is), it's unsurprising that it hasn't been legalized yet.

Thanatos on
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    The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I just wanna say:


    OH YEAH FUCK YOU WHEAT! WE KICKED YOUR FUCKING ASS!!


    No seriously, it's a crime against common sense that we don't legalize it. Aside from that, it's a crime against the Constitution that we don't allow individual states to legalize it (read: CA) so that they can become the shining lights against the ignorance and bigotry of the anti-drug trade. It's rare you'll hear me talking about stet's rites, but if the Conservatives are going to claim they support those kind of things, then they should come to grip with the fact that they support CA LEGALIZING IT!

    The Green Eyed Monster on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    celery77 wrote:
    I just wanna say:

    OH YEAH FUCK YOU WHEAT! WE KICKED YOUR FUCKING ASS!!

    No seriously, it's a crime against common sense that we don't legalize it. Aside from that, it's a crime against the Constitution that we don't allow individual states to legalize it (read: CA) so that they can become the shining lights against the ignorance and bigotry of the anti-drug trade. It's rare you'll hear me talking about stet's rites, but if the Conservatives are going to claim they support those kind of things, then they should come to grip with the fact that they support CA LEGALIZING IT!
    I will wholly agree with you on the Red-State hypocrisy of simultaneously supporting states' rights, yet not supporting California's medical marijuana or legalization of marijuana laws. However, I really don't think that the states should be making their own decisions when it comes to things like drugs; otherwise, we start running into states that will ban any form of birth control, along with things like the HPV vaccine, because it runs counter to their "abstinence message."

    I think the way to get it legalized is to convince people of how retarded it is that it's illegal. I just don't think that's going to happen for quite some time.

    Thanatos on
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    The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    I will wholly agree with you on the Red-State hypocrisy of simultaneously supporting states' rights, yet not supporting California's medical marijuana or legalization of marijuana laws. However, I really don't think that the states should be making their own decisions when it comes to things like drugs; otherwise, we start running into states that will ban any form of birth control, along with things like the HPV vaccine, because it runs counter to their "abstinence message."

    I think the way to get it legalized is to convince people of how retarded it is that it's illegal. I just don't think that's going to happen for quite some time.
    Well, it's true -- I don't really support State's Rights, because yes, like you, I fear some states might just fall off the fucking map in a pool of sick ignorance, bigotry, and hatred. I was just pointing out it's ridiculous to have CA pass its own laws, and then to have the Bush gov't come in and enforce the most draconian drug enforcement the state has seen in years, completely devoid of ANY support from the local populace its being enforced upon. Pick a stance and stick with it.

    As far as legalizing it on the federal level? You're right, not until we have major electoral reform would anything like that even be a reasonable topic of discussion in the Senate OR the House. It's pathetic. The continuing ignorance of people w/r/t the Marijuana trade is just mind-numbing at times, and no, I don't know how to overcome it, especially when hippies, rastas, and potheads remain its most vocal proponents.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
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    dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    i coulda sworn corn was our biggest cash crop, i wonder how those numbers stack up in terms of acreage

    dlinfiniti on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    dlinfiniti wrote:
    i coulda sworn corn was our biggest cash crop, i wonder how those numbers stack up in terms of acreage
    According to the article, marijuana brings in 150% of what corn does.

    Thanatos on
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    dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    dlinfiniti wrote:
    i coulda sworn corn was our biggest cash crop, i wonder how those numbers stack up in terms of acreage
    According to the article, marijuana brings in 150% of what corn does.
    yeah but i dont think ive ever seen a marijuana farm, where the hell are these things hiding? i mean corn farms are everywhere, where are these hemp farms that are bringing in all this money? I understand marijuana sells for ashit ton more than corn does, but cmon you cant net such huge numbers with closet growers can you?

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    The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    dlinfiniti wrote:
    Thanatos wrote:
    dlinfiniti wrote:
    i coulda sworn corn was our biggest cash crop, i wonder how those numbers stack up in terms of acreage
    According to the article, marijuana brings in 150% of what corn does.
    yeah but i dont think ive ever seen a marijuana farm where the hell are these things hiding? i mean corn farms are everywhere, where are these hemp farms that are bringing in all this money?
    Wait, are you kidding? I mean -- that's the point, ace.

    If you had seen one, you'd stand an incredibly high risk of getting shot.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
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    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    End the war on drugs and get rid of all those idiot farm subsidies but giving them a product that's actually worth growing?

    Win-Win.

    Senjutsu on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    dlinfiniti wrote:
    Thanatos wrote:
    dlinfiniti wrote:
    i coulda sworn corn was our biggest cash crop, i wonder how those numbers stack up in terms of acreage
    According to the article, marijuana brings in 150% of what corn does.
    yeah but i dont think ive ever seen a marijuana farm, where the hell are these things hiding? i mean corn farms are everywhere, where are these hemp farms that are bringing in all this money? I understand marijuana sells for ashit ton more than corn does, but cmon you cant net such huge numbers with closet growers can you?
    Apparently, about 40% of them are hiding in California (which is fucking huge; I mean, I knew we had a lot, but we produce forty percent of the country's output? Jesus). Out here, generally, they're in the middle of fucking nowhere, or grown indoors. Or, optionally, in people's backyards. In the suburbs. I am not shitting you. There was enough of a problem with the smell that there is a city ordinance in Ukiah restricting the number you are allowed to grow.

    Thanatos on
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    The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    Apparently, about 40% of them are hiding in California (which is fucking huge; I mean, I knew we had a lot, but we produce forty percent of the country's output? Jesus). Out here, generally, they're in the middle of fucking nowhere, or grown indoors. Or, optionally, in people's backyards. In the suburbs. I am not shitting you. There was enough of a problem with the smell that there is a city ordinance in Ukiah restricting the number you are allowed to grow.
    Ukiah has pseudo-legality with the whole grower's card thing, though. My friends have a bedroom dedicated to it, and they make an incredible amount of money off what is a minimal investment. Basically once you have the grower's card, you're in business. They have one bedroom in a small apartment set up (like ~6'x11') and they can grow about 8-10 plants in there, maybe even more. Also the grow cycle is incredibly quick, so harvests can happen like every 1.5-3 months (I think, maybe even more).

    The Green Eyed Monster on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    celery77 wrote:
    Thanatos wrote:
    Apparently, about 40% of them are hiding in California (which is fucking huge; I mean, I knew we had a lot, but we produce forty percent of the country's output? Jesus). Out here, generally, they're in the middle of fucking nowhere, or grown indoors. Or, optionally, in people's backyards. In the suburbs. I am not shitting you. There was enough of a problem with the smell that there is a city ordinance in Ukiah restricting the number you are allowed to grow.
    Ukiah has pseudo-legality with the whole grower's card thing, though. My friends have a bedroom dedicated to it, and they make an incredible amount of money off what is a minimal investment. Basically once you have the grower's card, you're in business. They have one bedroom in a small apartment set up (like ~6'x11') and they can grow about 8-10 plants in there, maybe even more. Also the grow cycle is incredibly quick, so harvests can happen like every 1.5-3 months (I think, maybe even more).
    But how much are they getting per plant?

    If you do a whole-season outdoor grow, give them enough room, and you baby the things, you can get upwards of 2.5 pounds of high-quality stuff per plant. Indoor, which is generally high-quality, you're lucky to pull in 3/4ths of a pound per plant.

    Thanatos on
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    mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    celery77 wrote:
    Apparently, about 40% of them are hiding in California (which is fucking huge; I mean, I knew we had a lot, but we produce forty percent of the country's output? Jesus).
    So basically what we have here is a state where marijuana is easier to come by than gasoline?

    mcc on
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    The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    But how much are they getting per plant?

    If you do a whole-season outdoor grow, give them enough room, and you baby the things, you can get upwards of 2.5 pounds of high-quality stuff per plant. Indoor, which is generally high-quality, you're lucky to pull in 3/4ths of a pound per plant.
    I don't know those numbers. I just know the % return on investment is ridiculous.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
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    intafustedintafusted Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    That must be good chronic, a pound of stress usually goes for around $250-$300

    Per plant it depends on the type of plant it is. Some can give you a yield of about 450 grams per plant ( nearly a pound), but good chronic generally be around 200 grams or so? Anyways, if the DA's figures of $1k+ per pound were correct, that would be for some very good chronic.

    intafusted on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    mcc wrote:
    celery77 wrote:
    Apparently, about 40% of them are hiding in California (which is fucking huge; I mean, I knew we had a lot, but we produce forty percent of the country's output? Jesus).
    So basically what we have here is a state where marijuana is easier to come by than gasoline?
    No comment.
    celery77 wrote:
    Thanatos wrote:
    But how much are they getting per plant?

    If you do a whole-season outdoor grow, give them enough room, and you baby the things, you can get upwards of 2.5 pounds of high-quality stuff per plant. Indoor, which is generally high-quality, you're lucky to pull in 3/4ths of a pound per plant.
    I don't know those numbers. I just know the % return on investment is ridiculous.
    I don't doubt it. However, you don't need nearly as much equipment for an outdoor grow as you do for an indoor grow, and water costs way less than electricity for heat lamps, not to mention you get bigger plants. You're talking about a much larger ROI off of the outdoor grows than the indoors, even though you're only doing it once a year versus four times a year.

    The indoor-growing states would actually probably take a pretty big economic hit from legalization, whereas the outdoor-growing ones would take a much smaller one (if you don't think criminalization of marijuana is benefitting California's economy, you're nuts), relatively speaking.

    Thanatos on
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    Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    The sort of urban legend of mary jane being illegal is because some newspaper baron a while back didn't want hemp papers to compete with his own. So he flexed his political muscle, I guess, and made it illegal. Is that true at all?

    This is more like a win-win-win situation. End the drug war, create shit tons of revenue in possible taxation, and foster a far more mellow U.S. public.

    I still sort of think pot is 'bad' (I know, I know), but it's stupid not to legalize it. It's still much less harmful than alcholol.

    Casual Eddy on
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    syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited December 2006
    Okay... Omaha Reservation, north of Omaha, Nebraska.

    The shit grows there like you would not fucking believe. And not weak weeds either; sensimilia flowering female plants growing 12-15 feet tall, hiding in the cornfields.

    It was the most surreal shit ever. The deer would eat it, as was evidenced by the fucked up dear tracks, and how they would just stand in the middle of the road and stare at you blankly when you are ten feet away.

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    mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    The sort of urban legend of mary jane being illegal is because some newspaper baron a while back didn't want hemp papers to compete with his own. So he flexed his political muscle, I guess, and made it illegal. Is that true at all?
    http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/stories/2003/12/22/whyIsMarijuanaIllegal.html

    mcc on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    syndalis wrote:
    Okay... Omaha Reservation, north of Omaha, Nebraska.

    The shit grows there like you would not fucking believe. And not weak weeds either; sensimilia flowering female plants growing 12-15 feet tall, hiding in the cornfields.

    It was the most surreal shit ever. The deer would eat it, as was evidenced by the fucked up dear tracks, and how they would just stand in the middle of the road and stare at you blankly when you are ten feet away.
    Deer are the bane of growers everywhere.

    Thanatos on
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    unilateralunilateral Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    syndalis wrote:
    Okay... Omaha Reservation, north of Omaha, Nebraska.

    The shit grows there like you would not fucking believe. And not weak weeds either; sensimilia flowering female plants growing 12-15 feet tall, hiding in the cornfields.

    It was the most surreal shit ever. The deer would eat it, as was evidenced by the fucked up dear tracks, and how they would just stand in the middle of the road and stare at you blankly when you are ten feet away.
    Deer are the bane of growers everywhere.

    note to self...no deer in the house.

    unilateral on
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    TroubledTomTroubledTom regular
    edited December 2006
    I wonder if the people growing most of that would even want it to be legalized? Suddenly they would have to pay a punitive level of tax on their earnings. Not to mention that they would probably be forced out of their own industry by larger companies.

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    Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    mcc wrote:
    The sort of urban legend of mary jane being illegal is because some newspaper baron a while back didn't want hemp papers to compete with his own. So he flexed his political muscle, I guess, and made it illegal. Is that true at all?
    http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/stories/2003/12/22/whyIsMarijuanaIllegal.html

    Wow, fascinating. Like most 'commonly known' historical facts it's A reason but THE reason.

    Turns out most of society's ills are because of black jazz musicians. Damn you, Duke Ellington!

    Casual Eddy on
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    SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    The thing is all the people involved, or who would be in volved in marijuana production don't want it legal. Drug companies can't patent it, so they'd rather sell marinol. People who grow to deal make far more money now than they ever would if it were legal. And as much as smokers campaign, they're pretty much fine with it too because criminalization is really more of an inconvenience than anything- most people know where to get it if they want it, and know how to smoke it without being caught, and even if they do, it's a misdemeanor.

    Sam on
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    dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Sam wrote:
    The thing is all the people involved, or who would be in volved in marijuana production don't want it legal. Drug companies can't patent it, so they'd rather sell marinol. People who grow to deal make far more money now than they ever would if it were legal. And as much as smokers campaign, they're pretty much fine with it too because criminalization is really more of an inconvenience than anything- most people know where to get it if they want it, and know how to smoke it without being caught, and even if they do, it's a misdemeanor.
    well if you get caught with it these days dont they usually slam you with intent to sell as well since the threshhold for that is retardedly low?

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    SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I can't picture that happenning anywhere. Intent to sell is usually determined by possession of at least an ounce, and even then they still look for paraphenelia (it's hard to sell without a a scale and baggies)

    I'm sure some states are big enough douchebags to slam intent on someone found with a quarter in a baggie and nothing else, but I'm sure any public defender could get that thrown out.

    Sam on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    In addition to the economic windfall, a lot of people enjoy smoking marijuana and I see little compelling reason to keep them from it. I doubt that's a terribly radical opinion here, though.

    MrMister on
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    ZonkytonkmanZonkytonkman Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    MrMister wrote:
    In addition to the economic windfall, a lot of people enjoy smoking marijuana and I see little compelling reason to keep them from it. I doubt that's a terribly radical opinion here, though.

    nono, you're blowing the lid off of this, man.

    Zonkytonkman on
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    SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Yeah, one unfortunate consequence of letting the situation stagnate this long is that the day it's legalized there'll be a nationwide public smokeout of unprecedented proportions.
    That's why I think the most we can hope for in our lifetime is decriminalization, although that'd probably tield a similar celebratory smokeout.

    Sam on
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    blizzard224blizzard224 Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    MrMister wrote:
    In addition to the economic windfall, a lot of people enjoy smoking marijuana and I see little compelling reason to keep them from it. I doubt that's a terribly radical opinion here, though.

    nono, you're blowing the lid off of this, man.
    ]

    You godless hippy nolifer.


    Really though, I think Australia is actually even worse off than america when it comes to decrimisation. As far as I can tell, Labor, the (pathetically) left wing party, takes as hard a stance on it as the fundie ass Libs do (Tony Abbot, kindly bite a giant cock, signed, The intellegent peoples of Australia).

    I think even if America legalized marijuana tommorow it'd take 20 years for it to hit Australia.

    I mean, it will eventually happen, you can't quench common sense forever, but it dosn't mean it's going to be in my lifetime. Of course, if it iiiis weeklong smokeout, here I come. :winky:

    blizzard224 on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Sam wrote:
    Yeah, one unfortunate consequence of letting the situation stagnate this long is that the day it's legalized there'll be a nationwide public smokeout of unprecedented proportions.
    That's why I think the most we can hope for in our lifetime is decriminalization, although that'd probably tield a similar celebratory smokeout.
    I think the problem is the people selling the idea need to sell it much more heavily as "for adults only", since you undermine the "protect the kids" card which is often played.

    That said, it's still a fairly hard sell I think going off a conversation 5 minutes ago with my girlfriend, who tends to be more conservative then me in weird ways but probably a decent representative of the middle-ground of the population. The issue? Yeah she thinks law enforcement should crack down harder.

    electricitylikesme on
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    His CorkinessHis Corkiness Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    And the one Australian party I do agree with on a majority of issues, the Democrats, are dying. Yay for Australian politics.

    His Corkiness on
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    blizzard224blizzard224 Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    And the one Australian party I do agree with on a majority of issues, the Democrats, are dying. Yay for Australian politics.

    Come to my arms and hold me. We'll get through this.

    We'll start our own political party... with blackjack a...

    screw it, you know the rest.

    blizzard224 on
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    So, why don't we legalize it? I'm going to oversimplify, here, and say that most of the problem is fundies fundies lol. The last vestiges of the puritans who founded this country can be found in two places: the South, and the U.S. government. With groups like the cotton industry, the paper industry, and the tobacco industry allegedly fighting against it, too (though, I'm not sure how true the latter is), it's unsurprising that it hasn't been legalized yet.

    For the last time no. Marijuana hasn't been legalized, despite overwhelming acceptance use by the populace (and even, in candid moments, by many American political leaders) because there's too much money (patronage) bound up in our current enforcement procedures.

    Let's think about it for a minute, who has a vested interest in our current drug policy?

    Certainly every level of law enforcement, from beat cops to the owners of privatized prisons to the programs the government pays to wean convicted addicts off drugs. All these people's money train comes to an abrupt, crashing halt if current methods of drug enforcement change.

    Labor doesn't want it legalized, because after all, who do you think works at all those places?

    Alcohol and tobacco companies don't want legalized marijuana because they'd rather not have the competition, pharmaceutical companies don't want it because, as someone said upthread, they'd rather slap a patent on something multiple orders of magnitude more expensive and sell it back to you, rather than allowing cheap, easily grown weed to be used for medicinal purpose.

    Ever since Reagan decided that the military was going to be involved in fighting the drug "war," the military's been opposed to legalization.

    The 'fundies fundies lol' are a small, if loud, part of this problem.

    The bright side is that seemingly everyone growing up today, and a large segment of the already-grown population, favors at least substantial decriminalization. This means that the legalization movement will, in the next 10-20 years, take on a character wholly different from today. That's when, with any luck, we'll start seeing change.

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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Dyscord wrote:
    Thanatos wrote:
    So, why don't we legalize it? I'm going to oversimplify, here, and say that most of the problem is fundies fundies lol. The last vestiges of the puritans who founded this country can be found in two places: the South, and the U.S. government. With groups like the cotton industry, the paper industry, and the tobacco industry allegedly fighting against it, too (though, I'm not sure how true the latter is), it's unsurprising that it hasn't been legalized yet.

    For the last time no. Marijuana hasn't been legalized, despite overwhelming acceptance use by the populace (and even, in candid moments, by many American political leaders) because there's too much money (patronage) bound up in our current enforcement procedures.

    Let's think about it for a minute, who has a vested interest in our current drug policy?

    Certainly every level of law enforcement, from beat cops to the owners of privatized prisons to the programs the government pays to wean convicted addicts off drugs. All these people's money train comes to an abrupt, crashing halt if current methods of drug enforcement change.

    Labor doesn't want it legalized, because after all, who do you think works at all those places?

    Alcohol and tobacco companies don't want legalized marijuana because they'd rather not have the competition, pharmaceutical companies don't want it because, as someone said upthread, they'd rather slap a patent on something multiple orders of magnitude more expensive and sell it back to you, rather than allowing cheap, easily grown weed to be used for medicinal purpose.

    Ever since Reagan decided that the military was going to be involved in fighting the drug "war," the military's been opposed to legalization.

    The 'fundies fundies lol' are a small, if loud, part of this problem.

    The bright side is that seemingly everyone growing up today, and a large segment of the already-grown population, favors at least substantial decriminalization. This means that the legalization movement will, in the next 10-20 years, take on a character wholly different from today. That's when, with any luck, we'll start seeing change.
    Also, FEMA is the secret government - all that has to happen is the president declare a state of emergency and they can take over!

    electricitylikesme on
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    TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I'm somewhat skeptical to be honest, but probably lie more along the 'don't really care' line than against it. Has there ever been any testing along the lines of other chronically used drugs? Long term studies are pretty hard to do, especially on something that's illegal but there was mention at some point with it having some unpleasant side effects after a lot of use and exacerbating the problems of some mental patients.

    Quite how much a lot of use was in these tests I've no idea (and these things always seem heavily biased to one side or the other) but it doesn't seem amazingly unbeleivable that a drug that effects the brain might do more than you might want.

    Tastyfish on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2006
    And the one Australian party I do agree with on a majority of issues, the Democrats, are dying. Yay for Australian politics.

    Come to my arms and hold me. We'll get through this.

    We'll start our own political party... with blackjack a...

    screw it, you know the rest.

    A sheep?

    Shinto on
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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Though I agree that its certainly no worse than smoking, and proboboly better it still isnt actually very good for you is it?

    I mean, it still gives you lung cancer and throat cancer and passive smoking and so on and so forth.

    If it was legalised it would certainly have to be subject to the same restrictions as normal tobacco is in the UK, so no smoking in bars and so on. Well, from when that comes in at least.

    However I imagine we will start to see all out smoking bans before the public becomes acceptant enough to consider legalising Marijuana. So it may become a secondary issue to the whole "Should smoking of any sort be illegal" thing.

    Although I guess you can take Marijuana in other ways, tablets, cakes, whatever. Perhaps that might become legal for medical purposes without problems in the future, there is certainly no reason why that should be illegal.

    tbloxham on
    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
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    SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Dyscord wrote:
    Thanatos wrote:
    So, why don't we legalize it? I'm going to oversimplify, here, and say that most of the problem is fundies fundies lol. The last vestiges of the puritans who founded this country can be found in two places: the South, and the U.S. government. With groups like the cotton industry, the paper industry, and the tobacco industry allegedly fighting against it, too (though, I'm not sure how true the latter is), it's unsurprising that it hasn't been legalized yet.

    For the last time no. Marijuana hasn't been legalized, despite overwhelming acceptance use by the populace (and even, in candid moments, by many American political leaders) because there's too much money (patronage) bound up in our current enforcement procedures.

    Let's think about it for a minute, who has a vested interest in our current drug policy?

    Certainly every level of law enforcement, from beat cops to the owners of privatized prisons to the programs the government pays to wean convicted addicts off drugs. All these people's money train comes to an abrupt, crashing halt if current methods of drug enforcement change.

    Labor doesn't want it legalized, because after all, who do you think works at all those places?

    Alcohol and tobacco companies don't want legalized marijuana because they'd rather not have the competition, pharmaceutical companies don't want it because, as someone said upthread, they'd rather slap a patent on something multiple orders of magnitude more expensive and sell it back to you, rather than allowing cheap, easily grown weed to be used for medicinal purpose.

    Ever since Reagan decided that the military was going to be involved in fighting the drug "war," the military's been opposed to legalization.

    The 'fundies fundies lol' are a small, if loud, part of this problem.

    The bright side is that seemingly everyone growing up today, and a large segment of the already-grown population, favors at least substantial decriminalization. This means that the legalization movement will, in the next 10-20 years, take on a character wholly different from today. That's when, with any luck, we'll start seeing change.

    OK. Posession of marijuana isn't going to get you in jail, unless you make a habit of getting caught and/or failing drug tests.
    There is no such thing a a marijuana detox program. The marijuana anonymous addiction programs that exist get little, if any federal funding, because come on, it's a therapy movement, no detox, nothing scientific.
    I doubt the military cares a whole lot about marijuana as much as it does about narcotics as a whole. The "drug war" was/is a joke anyway and has largely been outphased and replaced by the "war on terrorism".

    Also re:tbloxham, although marijuana smoke certainly isn't good for you, it isn't a carcinogen.

    Sam on
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    MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Tastyfish wrote:
    I'm somewhat skeptical to be honest, but probably lie more along the 'don't really care' line than against it. Has there ever been any testing along the lines of other chronically used drugs? Long term studies are pretty hard to do, especially on something that's illegal but there was mention at some point with it having some unpleasant side effects after a lot of use and exacerbating the problems of some mental patients.

    Quite how much a lot of use was in these tests I've no idea (and these things always seem heavily biased to one side or the other) but it doesn't seem amazingly unbeleivable that a drug that effects the brain might do more than you might want.

    Anything that in any way alters your brain chemistry will have long term effects on it. This includes caffine, alcohol, and nicotine, all legal in most countries. I always hear my stoner friends saying that it hasn't had an effect on them, but subtle changes in personality, health, and well being can't be judged objectively, especially when they're actively denying that any change has taken place. I used to smoke alot too, and although I don't miss it, if it was legal I'd probably do it again, but not nearly as much as I drink. I think it can be enjoyed responsibly by adults, in the same way adults enjoy alcohol and tobacco, but just like the culture that's grown around those two, its bound to be used stupidly, excessivley, and dangerously by people who are prone to be retarded.

    Malkor on
    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
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    GolemGolem of Sand Saint Joseph, MORegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Penn and Teller have a pretty good view on the "war" on drugs. Some of there stuff you gotta take with a grain of salt but I think this one is pretty decent.

    Golem on
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