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Argument for Marijuana legalization

duhbateman
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12/28/2014 10:33:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
For the longest time I"ve been a marijuana legalization supporter. It is not until now that I have started to question my view a bit more deeply. Lately I've been pondering some common arguments pro cannabis supporters use to justify and persuade the public of their view. One such argument is, "The current pot laws ruin the lives of thousands of offenders, putting them behind bars and stripping them of their chances for getting a job in the future. Therefore, because so many people are breaking this law, to stop this from happening, we ought to loosen the regulations which would result in less people in the judicial system." I think this line of reasoning is ridiculous. Lawbreakers knew the laws beforehand and decided to break them anyways; it was their choosing to commit the crime and it"s not the governments fault for enforcing the law. I think it is difficult not to concede to this point. However, if I'm in the legalization supporter's shoes, I say, "Ok, it is their fault for ruining their life, but what about the people who are connected to this person, like their family? The wife didn't ask to have her husband taken away, leaving her a single mother. The children didn't ask to live without their father in their home. The perpetrator's parents didn't ask for the embarrassment as a result of their son's sentence to jail. So, because this is happening with such frequency, we ought to loosen the laws to put an end to this." Basically, the basis to justify the loosening of laws amounts just to this. Because so many people's lives are being ruined, who didn't ask for it (the wife, children, and parents, just to name a few) as a result of the drug war, we ought to loosen our laws to stop this from happening. At first glance, this seems to be a compelling argument. But I am not sure this is a logical reason to make our rules more lax. It seems that the logical end to this line of reasoning allows a case to be made for legalization of even the most basic, universally agreed upon laws. To see this, let"s replace (or draw a parallel case) the case above with the extreme, murder. Let"s suppose, for sake of argument, for whatever reason, a murder epidemic sweeps the nation. Murder conviction numbers equal those of the convictions resulting from the drug war. This causes hundreds of incarcerations, single parent households, and the perpetrator"s parents much disappointment, similar to what happens in reality with the drug war. Now, by logic, we could apply the reasoning used above to justify the end of marijuana prohibition to this case as well thereby, legalizing murder. I don"t think society would stand for that. But this seems to be where this logic puts us. However, there also seems to be something fundamentally different about legalizing pot vs. allowing murder. So, my question to you all is, could the logical end to that line of reasoning, in theory, lead to that? Can correct/valid equivalency be drawn between these two cases? Or, are they so fundamentally different that there is a logical fallacy between these two examples?
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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12/29/2014 6:00:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 10:33:48 PM, duhbateman wrote:
For the longest time I"ve been a marijuana legalization supporter. It is not until now that I have started to question my view a bit more deeply. Lately I've been pondering some common arguments pro cannabis supporters use to justify and persuade the public of their view. One such argument is, "The current pot laws ruin the lives of thousands of offenders, putting them behind bars and stripping them of their chances for getting a job in the future. Therefore, because so many people are breaking this law, to stop this from happening, we ought to loosen the regulations which would result in less people in the judicial system." I think this line of reasoning is ridiculous. Lawbreakers knew the laws beforehand and decided to break them anyways; it was their choosing to commit the crime and it"s not the governments fault for enforcing the law.

The government makes the law, of course it's the government's fault. According to your argument, civil disobedience is never justified. Total obedience to all law is the only justifiable course of action. The government literally writes morality.

I think it is difficult not to concede to this point. However, if I'm in the legalization supporter's shoes, I say, "Ok, it is their fault for ruining their life, but what about the people who are connected to this person, like their family? The wife didn't ask to have her husband taken away, leaving her a single mother. The children didn't ask to live without their father in their home. The perpetrator's parents didn't ask for the embarrassment as a result of their son's sentence to jail. So, because this is happening with such frequency, we ought to loosen the laws to put an end to this." Basically, the basis to justify the loosening of laws amounts just to this. Because so many people's lives are being ruined, who didn't ask for it (the wife, children, and parents, just to name a few) as a result of the drug war, we ought to loosen our laws to stop this from happening. At first glance, this seems to be a compelling argument. But I am not sure this is a logical reason to make our rules more lax. It seems that the logical end to this line of reasoning allows a case to be made for legalization of even the most basic, universally agreed upon laws. To see this, let"s replace (or draw a parallel case) the case above with the extreme, murder. Let"s suppose, for sake of argument, for whatever reason, a murder epidemic sweeps the nation. Murder conviction numbers equal those of the convictions resulting from the drug war. This causes hundreds of incarcerations, single parent households, and the perpetrator"s parents much disappointment, similar to what happens in reality with the drug war. Now, by logic, we could apply the reasoning used above to justify the end of marijuana prohibition to this case as well thereby, legalizing murder. I don"t think society would stand for that. But this seems to be where this logic puts us.

The argument is just an attempt to get people to have an emotional reaction. No one cares about stupid, lazy, worthless stoners, but maybe their parents are more sympathetic figures.

However, there also seems to be something fundamentally different about legalizing pot vs. allowing murder. So, my question to you all is, could the logical end to that line of reasoning, in theory, lead to that? Can correct/valid equivalency be drawn between these two cases? Or, are they so fundamentally different that there is a logical fallacy between these two examples?

What you're talking about is equivalent. Being the victim of law enforcement means your life is indeed ruined and your whole family will be hurt because of it. What I think people are trying to show is that there is no justification for inflicting this pain on people who are causing no harm, and trying to get people to empathise with those who suffer because of the laws.

The real argument for legalisation is pointing out that there is no conceivable negative effect on society.
duhbateman
Posts: 2
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12/29/2014 9:34:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The argument is just an attempt to get people to have an emotional reaction. No one cares about stupid, lazy, worthless stoners, but maybe their parents are more sympathetic figures.

Could you elaborate on this a bit more?

The real argument for legalisation is pointing out that there is no conceivable negative effect on society.

The only real negative effect I see on society is the issue of high driving and the spike in number of wrecks that would result following legalization. (Of course some people in the private prisons, pharm companies, police union, etc. will lose their jobs but I don't care about them because they're the one's who have been spreading lies to the masses for years.) And even as unfortunate as the increase in the number of auto accidents may be, it is still better than having a black market that kills far more innocent people.
One thing I'd like to hear your guys' thoughts on is the "grey market" that will result from legalization and taxation. I'm concerned that violence will still persist even if weed is legalized and taxed. Just take booze for example. People still make it in their stills in the backwoods and sell it to others for cheaper.(A similar effect happens with cigarettes. Look at the situation in New York where people are going to different states, buying cheap cigs, and reselling them for lower than the state taxed ones) But I think this grey market will be much bigger and much different because the players are totally different. With cigs and alcohol, you are dealing with "smaller guys." However, with weed, you're dealing with whole nations and cartels. Maybe this is more of an economics question but I'd like to her your thoughts on this.
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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12/29/2014 2:28:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 9:34:36 AM, duhbateman wrote:
The argument is just an attempt to get people to have an emotional reaction. No one cares about stupid, lazy, worthless stoners, but maybe their parents are more sympathetic figures.

Could you elaborate on this a bit more?

Some people hate people who take drugs, but hating their family is harder, no?

The real argument for legalisation is pointing out that there is no conceivable negative effect on society.

The only real negative effect I see on society is the issue of high driving and the spike in number of wrecks that would result following legalization. (Of course some people in the private prisons, pharm companies, police union, etc. will lose their jobs but I don't care about them because they're the one's who have been spreading lies to the masses for years.) And even as unfortunate as the increase in the number of auto accidents may be, it is still better than having a black market that kills far more innocent people.

I've never seen any evidence to suggest that would be the case, and some to the contrary. I mean:
https://www.youtube.com...

These guys have to get f*cked up before their driving is impaired. So f*cked up I really don't think they would consider driving. Every story I've ever heard of someone driving stoned, while obviously not scientific evidence, pretty much goes that they drove really slowly and had to pull over. As I said, I'm not trying to put this forward as evidence, but I have not see any evidence, scientific or otherwise, to suggest that stoned drivers are going to cause carnage, and from my own observations it does not seem that we should expect that they do. It's pretty clear from observing drunk people that they will be terrible drivers, because not only are they uncoordinated but also nearly always under the impression that they aren't that drunk. Stoned people are different.

One thing I'd like to hear your guys' thoughts on is the "grey market" that will result from legalization and taxation. I'm concerned that violence will still persist even if weed is legalized and taxed. Just take booze for example. People still make it in their stills in the backwoods and sell it to others for cheaper.(A similar effect happens with cigarettes. Look at the situation in New York where people are going to different states, buying cheap cigs, and reselling them for lower than the state taxed ones) But I think this grey market will be much bigger and much different because the players are totally different. With cigs and alcohol, you are dealing with "smaller guys." However, with weed, you're dealing with whole nations and cartels. Maybe this is more of an economics question but I'd like to her your thoughts on this.

Cheap *ss weed. Make it as cheap as possible. Every problem caused by its illegality will persist to the extent that it remains expensive and prohibited, I would think. It would not be at all difficult for legal growers of cannabis to undercut illegal ones. It's like "10 a gram here. That's twice as much as saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, which I am sure is far far costlier to produce than weed.