Pursuit of Truthiness

my gut tells me I know economics

Reader Challenge

with 6 comments

Props to anyone who can give me a consistent argument about why marijuana should be illegal that doesn’t also apply to tobacco or alcohol.

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Written by James Bailey

June 17, 2007 at 7:59 pm

6 Responses

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  1. I actually do believe in the legalization of Marijuana.. however your challenge intrigues me, and, I like to debate. I would like to test out my argumentative skills arguing the other side if you do not mind, I feel like I can learn something for later use when arguing pro-marijuana. If you feel this is stupid, just ignore me.

    I would like to start with the fact that Marijuana, not only a hazardous drug in its own right is often not only considered but statistically proven to be a “gateway” drug leading to the use of more dangerous harder drugs on the streets today. Statistics show that 12 to 17 year-olds who smoke marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than those who do not. 60% of adolescents who use marijuana before age 15 will later use cocaine. Cocaine is only one drug this can lead to mind you, there are additional drugs that the recreational use of marijuana leads to such as methemphatamines, LSD, heroine..which all have a track record of being detrimental to your health as well as makes you a risk to society and those around you by influencing your actions.

    waywardthoughts

    June 17, 2007 at 11:53 pm

  2. In honor of the title of this blog, I would like to say:

    Because I feel it in my gut. My gut tells me that marijuana is bad and should be illegal, and it causes hundreds more deaths and broken families than tobacco and alcohol combined. It’s true, you can look it up.

    Now I know you’re going to say, “I did look it up, and that’s not true.” Well, that’s because you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut. That’s where the truth lies, isn’t it, Mr. President?

    Ben

    June 18, 2007 at 1:22 am

  3. Tradition. Alcohol has been with us since the beginning of time. Tobacco is part of America’s history.

    Marijuana? Well, I suppose there those Native Americans that used it, but on the whole it has no special history or connection with America. Other than the fact that millions of teens and twenty year olds use a bong, that is. So it must be bad and evil and be outlawed. Or something like that! ^_^

    D2

    June 20, 2007 at 12:31 am

  4. Waywardthoughts:
    I very much appreciate the sentiment of debate for its own sake; its a great way to learn.
    I have of course heard the gateway drug argument before; now I realize that it is a variation of the slippery slope argument, that is, this thing isn’t so bad but if we permit it, we will that much closer to things that are so bad.
    I have two main objections:
    Correlation/Causation: Saying that people who smoke marijuana young are also likely to use “harder” drugs is different from saying that marijuana led to the use of those drugs. I suspect that most people who use hard stuff would have found their way to it without marijuana. But even if we admit that marijuana is a gateway drug, we don’t know that legalizing it would make the problem worse. In fact, I would argue that the biggest reason marijuana is a gateway drug is because it desensitizes people to the idea of using illegal drugs, a problem which would disappear if it were legal.
    Consistency/Legal Precedents: Speaking of slippery slopes, think of the precedent we set by banning something because it is statistically correllated with with other bad/illegal activities! If people with sports cars are more likely to drive dangerously, lets ban the cars! If being poor makes you more likely to commit a robbery, lets just ban being poor, stick people in Dickensian poor-houses! If black males have a much higher-than-average crime rate… get the idea?

    feanor1600

    June 24, 2007 at 7:03 pm

  5. Great Burkean reply, D2.
    That’s a great way to explain why there is more of a social stigma about marijuana than about alcohol and tobacco.
    But not so great a way to explain why it should be illegal…unless you’re up for getting rid of other such newfangled things.
    Darned kids, always on their cell phones and listening to the rap music!

    feanor1600

    June 24, 2007 at 7:12 pm

  6. Unless anyone else is going to chime in, I think Ben gets this one.
    Call me sometime if you’d like to claim the prize…
    here’s a hint, its something you smoke, but not what this post would make you think.

    feanor1600

    June 24, 2007 at 7:15 pm


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