Why do you support the legalization of marijuana

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Monday, 27 August 2007

How Anti-Marijuana Propaganda Encourages Use of Harder Drugs

A lot of fuss is made over the fact that many users of hard and dangerous drugs supposedly started out using marijuana first. This is the often disputed Gateway Drug Theory that so many people who are opposed to marijuana love to use as reasoning for keeping marijuana banned. I have discussed this theory and its many flaws on this blog in the past, I’ve even explained one of the ways that the prohibition itself is to blame for the gateway effect. So I won’t reiterate my arguments on this, if you want to know what they are read this article.

Everywhere you look an advertising war is being waged on marijuana use. Propaganda is being spread via TV ads, Radio Ads, Internet Ads, and any other means that the government can think up. These ads range from claims that marijuana users have no drive and are lazy, all the way up to if you use marijuana you will probably accidentally shoot your best friend. I firmly believe that these ads pose a danger to society, that they are part of the reason why some people are more likely to move on to harder drugs after trying marijuana. These ads are pure propaganda with no factual basis, and the people know it.

So what’s wrong with that, everyone knows the ads are lies, or at least gross exaggeration? The problem is that it spreads the wrong message about drug use. It spreads the message that information from the government on illegal drugs cannot be trusted. Why would some high school kid who sees all the negative information on marijuana believe it when, in all likelihood, at least one of his friends uses marijuana and does ok in school, has plenty of friends, and has never accidentally shot anyone?

Lets take that example a little farther, lets say Johnny, a high school student, sees the negative info and sees his friend Timmy smoking weed every weekend. Timmy has good grades, is on the football team, dating a cheerleader, one of the “popular people”. Johnny then finds out that one of his uncles, a successful businessman uses marijuana occasionally, further diminishing his belief in the propaganda. One weekend at a party Timmy offers Johnny a hit, Johnny takes a hit and likes it, and has no ill effects. After doing some minor research he finds out just how wrong the anti-marjuana campaign is, finding out how useful the plant is, both the THC and the plant itself. Johnny’s faith in the anti-drug campaign is shattered. Fast-forward a few years, now he’s at a party and someone offers him Meth. Johnny has heard all the negative information on Meth, however given his experience with marijuana he may not believe that the information on Meth is real, he may choose to use the harder more addictive drug.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong believer in personal responsibility, and anyone that chooses to put dangerous chemicals into their own body is running a risk and it is no one else’s fault but that person. In the above scenario if Johnny choose to try Meth it would be his own fault, not the fault of anyone else. That being said, the anti-marijuana campaigns are actually sabotaging any attempt to put out real data on dangerous “recreational” drugs. The government would be best just to surrender to the times and admit that they know of no harmful effects of marijuana, but that it remains on the illicit drugs list because they want to study it more. This tactic would probably silence a good number of weed warriors (a.k.a. marijuana activists). Not that I would like to see them use this method since I would prefer them to admit the silliness of prohibiting marijuana and fully legalizing it, however it would make them less hypocritical and aid in any campaign against more dangerous drugs.

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If Marijuana became legalized would you support its taxation?

Do you think our economy can be saved by legalizing marijuana

What do you think the Origins of the slang term 420 is

Would you vote for a politician solely on their stance on Marijuana?

What is your prefered method of using pot? (assuming price is no issue)

If marijuana were legal would you grow your own or buy from a store?

If you use marijuana do your family members no

Do you consider yourself a Pot Head

How often do you use marijuana?