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Marijuana Legalization

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With todays new from Forbes about "Texas Republican Party Endorses Marijuana Decriminalization" I decided to create a thread about the subject. I want to make sure we only post verified or confirmed information. Information about what we hear (meaning just "word of mouth") can't be used unless you state its something making it clear it wasn't verified. Please make sure we site everything and why its useful.

First off facts about marijuana are everywhere. The Nation Institute on Drug Abuse, say the following about the what marijuana is.

--- Quote ---Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. Its use is widespread among young people. In 2015, more than 11 million young adults ages 18 to 25 used marijuana in the past year. According to the Monitoring the Future survey, rates of marijuana use among middle and high school students have dropped or leveled off in the past few years after several years of increase. However, the number of young people who believe regular marijuana use is risky is decreasing.
--- End quote ---

Now that we know what marijuana is, why is this topic so important? Marijuana has been found to have life changing benefits for people will the existing cancer disease. There is currently no known cure but there is treatments and patients have to go through a terrible process to kill the disease by force but its not a 100% guarantee the disease will be killed. This process uses something called, "chemotherapy" which according to WebMD, "it’s a way to treat cancer that uses drugs to kill cancer cells." This can leave people feeling sick and can't eat. Some people have said by smoking marijuana they are now able to eat which makes the process less upsetting and helps them continue fighting the disease. Business Insider reported, "Since at least 2017, drug company GW Pharmaceuticals has been presenting strong research data to suggest that its CBD-based medicine, a syrup called Epidiolex, can treat the symptoms of two rare forms of childhood epilepsy that are characterized by violent seizures (known as drop seizures)." which is just one product being introduced to the market.

There's a lot of issues with the use of marijuana even though it has now been reported to help or in some cases said to even cure someone of their disease (including cancer). This hasn't been proven medically and can't be proven due to the legal restrictions in the United States. Why is it illegal to study marijuana if it is helping so much? This is the big debate right now. According to the DEA, marijuana (cannabis) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. "Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." Marijuana to the DEA, is in the same category as heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote. This type of classification can mean that even if a study is performed it won't and can't be excepted as fact even if a scientist and/or medical doctor proves its useful.

According to Business Insider, "Recreational marijuana is legal in nine states and medical marijuana is legal in 29 states." and this is growing. "Marijuana prohibition began 80 years ago when the federal government put a ban on the sale, cultivation, and use of the cannabis plant. It remains illegal on the federal level." which (again) is the issue. Any ban on the federal level means (legally) any state law allowing marijuana use and/or sale is automatically void. Now sometime in October 2009, the Obama Administration sent a memo to federal prosecutors encouraging not to prosecute people who distribute marijuana for medical purposes in accordance with state law. On the NCSL website you can find studies have been done about the use of medical marijuana, these studies "have found that marijuana is effective in relieving some of the symptoms of HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis." I won't go too much into those studies but they can be found in the sited link.

There is A LOT of popularity on the subject because a good amount of people feel marijuana shouldn't be illegal in the first place and should be openly sold to the public. The big idea is treating marijuana similar to alcohol. This would mean only adults (age 21 and older) can opening buy and use the product. This growing trend means companies are watching and waiting. This would open a very large market because polls report many people are buying marijuana now in the black market but nothing is regulated and by making it legal would mean it can be seen as "safer" and also be taxed. This would not only allow people having trouble accessing marijuana for medical purposes much easier it would just make it available to almost anyone and would cripple illegal drug dealers. The Motley Fool (which gives advise about investing) today posted an article titled, "7 Reasons Marijuana Won't Be Legalized in the U.S." that basically goes over how the rules, laws, compliance, studies, etc aren't all in place yet. However legislation is always being made and more is to come. On top of that, sitting President, Donald Trump said (according to The New York Times), “We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes,” when asked about one of the bills. Trump has talked about support states the ability to choose whether to legalize marijuana or not.

Each state as of now has or is making different rules on the topic but a lot of debate is happening.

*Please note this post was originally posted on June 17 of 2018 and might be updated at a later date but will specify.

I don't use marijuana but I'm actually excited about the topic because of how big it is in the news right now. I posted a link to this thread on my personal blog. lol

Great article to add to the observation/opinion research.

It starts off by calling out that just because people say its good doesn't mean it actually is.

--- Quote ---It is now widely accepted that marijuana is, at the very least, less dangerous than other recreational drugs. The typical line you’ll hear — I certainly do in my email inbox — is that “marijuana is harmless,” often meant as a justification for legalizing cannabis.
--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: Annie Lowrey at The Atlantic ---For Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, the most compelling evidence of the deleterious effects comes from users themselves. “In large national surveys, about one in 10 people who smoke it say they have a lot of problems. They say things like, ‘I have trouble quitting. I think a lot about quitting and I can’t do it. I smoked more than I intended to. I neglect responsibilities.’ There are plenty of people who have problems with it, in terms of things like concentration, short-term memory, and motivation,” he said. “People will say, ‘Oh, that’s just you fuddy-duddy doctors.’ Actually, no. It’s millions of people who use the drug who say that it causes problems.”
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---People say marijuana is harmless, largely based on their own experiences with the drug. When it comes to countering that narrative, it’s one thing for doctors or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents to claim that pot really is harmful — that can be easy to ignore. But when marijuana users themselves claim to have problems, maybe that’s worth listening to and taking seriously.

The evidence is the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The most recent version, from 2016, found that about 4 million people 12 and older meet the classification for a marijuana use disorder — due to the kinds of problems that Humphreys noted. That’s nearly 11 percent of the 37.6 million people 12 and older who reportedly used marijuana in 2016.

These are real people with real problems. Lowrey follows the story of Evan, whose personal life and law career slipped as he found himself compulsively using marijuana, letting it take over his life.
--- End quote ---

We all know this as facts but don't really mention it because its one thing that I hear people want the government to let go of. From a social justice issue it does makes sense. People are going to do it so why bother locking up so many people when you can just make money on it and control it. At the very least let people make their own choices. The right to free will is at stake.

--- Quote ---That doesn’t mean marijuana is anywhere as dangerous as cocaine, heroin, alcohol, or smoked tobacco, all of which carry a real risk of death that pot doesn’t. But weed isn’t harmless.
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---When evaluating whether to legalize, the question should not be whether marijuana is harmless, but whether pot’s harms and the harms of legalizing it outweigh the harms of prohibition. It’s a cost-benefit analysis.

On the cost side, will legalization, by increasing access and potentially use, lead to more overuse and addiction to marijuana? Will it lead to more car crashes, mental health issues, and respiratory problems (all of which are problems linked to pot in the scientific research)?

On the benefit side, will legalization lead to fewer arrests over a drug that is, after all, still not that bad compared to other drugs (given that it can’t cause overdose deaths)? Will the revenue drug cartels lose from illicit marijuana make them less powerful and less able to carry out violent acts around the world? Will legalization be a boon for people who could benefit from pot medically, given its potential use as a treatment for pain, muscle stiffness, and other issues? Will a regulated market be able to tame the risks of the drug better than prohibition has, particularly by keeping it away from children?

And how will all of these potential costs and benefits balance out — a net gain or net loss?

The jury is still out on a lot of these questions. Drug policy experts caution that more years of legalization and more research into the policy’s implementation are needed before a hard conclusion can be reached.
--- End quote ---

So many good points.

NJ Governor is pushing hard on this.
The part that is important here is old charges in my opinion.

--- Quote ---Expungements -- the wiping away of certain criminal convictions, in this case marijuana-related ones -- are a key piece of Murphy's social justice platform as it relates to legal weed. They are also seen as crucial to getting the votes needed to legalize weed.
--- End quote ---
Its costing NJ so much to have this many people in jail for possession.

--- Quote ---But as eager as the governor and these legislators are to get legal weed done -- and some are still hoping the bill can be introduced this month -- several key issues still need to be worked out, likely pushing legalization into the fall.

A source close to the bill negotiations, who asked not to be identified over fears that it would hurt discussions, said Tuesday that a hearing on the bill in the Legislature on Sept. 27 is still a possibility and that the group of lawmakers expect to meet with Murphy's team later this week.

--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---The lawmakers have long expected to make minor tweaks to the bill based on Murphy's feedback before introduction, but some of those tweaks may not be so minor.

A report from Politico New Jersey this week suggests that Murphy is unhappy with the 10 percent tax presented in the legalization bill, which would be the lowest marijuana tax in the country.

Murphy on Tuesday tried to distance himself from that report, saying that his administration hasn't made up its mind about marijuana taxes.


Murphy had previously called for a higher tax on marijuana, which suggests that taxes could be one of the first points of contention when the governor speaks with legislators.

--- End quote ---
Getting those people out of jail, collecting the sin tax (at a higher rate), and getting the licenses out are key. People are going to buy the product. Buying in this manner will be a game changer in the country. Some of complained about not being allowed to grow it themselves but this again is key for the industry. I honestly don't think they will arrest anyone for growing it themselves once this is all said and done but we soon shall see.

This APP article has a ton of information of the new bill and what to do with people who have already been convicted. I'll post link but keep in mind it has a ton of ads.


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