Legalisation of Cannabis

A_man_about_a_dog

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Modisrapid said:
feargach said:
I can't prove that people would binge-drink less if canabis was legal, but I think it's possible, even likely.
That is exactly what would happen!. In my experience people who smoke the odd joint tend to drink far less than the average non cannabis smoker in their peer group. If cannabis is legalized consumption of alcohol by people in their late teens to mid twentys would drop sharply .
Would tend to agree with you both there, I reckon there would definitely be a drop in the number of people binge-drinking. Mind you, according to some researchers binge-drinking can be categorised as more than 2 drinks in one sitting. I'd say most Irish people would argue with that definition!
 


feargach

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So... where are we on this issue?

Cowen is unharmed by the smoking, and comfortably expected to run the country. Yet we're still working on the assumption that cannabis needs banning because it leads to heroin addiction. Does that mean the prohibitionists are happy to have what they think is a potential heroin addict running the treasury?

Incidentally, I was chatting to a cousin who used to smoke it all the time and he said that there's been a massive drought for years. Apparently the UN shut down the Moroccan cannabis industry and it was supplying all of western Europe. And a very strong demand has emerged from the nouveau riche of Eastern Europe, where the ultra-rich have taken to hashish (paying several times the going Amsterdam rate, it seems) like rappers to Cristal champagne.
 

rmccann

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If you burn anything and inhale the smoke, (maybe with the exception of hydrogen gas) toxic byproducts will be produced, so while hashish may not be toxic in its ground state, with hemp products actually being much safer than most textiles, papers, insulating materials etc.. like any plant, if you burn it, you will produce toxic products.

So make tea, cakes etc... if you want to avoid respiratory illnesses, actually many people who suffer arthritis and use cannabis, make tea. any argument against respiratory diseases is easily refuted thus.

The big pro-argument is taking the power from the gangs. Legalistaion and proper control & audit of who can sell would have knock on effects around the country. The problems on housing estates around the country (ala Moyross) are being fuelled by drug-cash, be it cannabis or on the other end of the scale heroin, but is is cannabis where they make the most money. A sharp reduction in gun & gang crime would be evident after legalisation.

Legalise and tax the balls of it, use this revenue to police the sector, and pay for the minimal health problems, anything extra can go to fighting serious drug crime. So much money would also be saved, having to pay Gardai & courts to arrest/prosecute 18 year old first year college students with no criminal history and no likelihood of offending agin is bloody ridiculous. Furthermore the amount of people sent to jail for posession of cannabis to be at the mercy of hardened criminals once inside is ridiculous. How many people have black marks on their name, are regarded as criminals, which affects their employment potential, ability to travel, whilst a Belgian kid who was caught was fined a few quid and let go and does not have to suffer so the rest of their life.

At a college debate on this subject, I heard Ming the Merciless speak, think what you like of him, but he wa quick to point out that as a convicted cannabis user, he is legally not allowed work with children, like some sort of paedophile! Bloody ridiculous, when Fr Mc Feels-a-lot is just moved to another parish!

Whatever you think, this whole area of the law needs immediate reform.
 

mad world

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I would consider myself to be a right wing free market libertarian, I would be opposed to abortion and gay marriage, but I strongly believe that cannabis should be legalised. I am a former user of cannabis and it never caused me any personal harm. It would take away the market from organised criminals and it would also be a valuable form of taxation revenue for the government. I would compare the criminalisation of drugs to that of the ban on alochol in 1920's america. The prohibition on drugs has failed miserably and radical libertarian solutions are required in order to take away the drugs market from organised crime.
 

flakie

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So you're a libertarian who believes the government should dictate to people about their relationships and families but not about their substance intake?
 

mad world

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I' a libertarian on certain moral issues, I oppose abortion on economic grounds because I believe that Ireland needs more young people in order to subsidize a rapidly growing elderly population. I oppose gay marriage because it is not pro-creation. Europe is in economic decline not only because of socialism but also due to the fact that fewer and fewer babies are born each year.
 

ivnryn

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mad world said:
I' a libertarian on certain moral issues, I oppose abortion on economic grounds because I believe that Ireland needs more young people in order to subsidize a rapidly growing elderly population. I oppose gay marriage because it is not pro-creation. Europe is in economic decline not only because of socialism but also due to the fact that fewer and fewer babies are born each year.
Wouldn't it be more effective to subsidise child rearing (more), that forcing women to have children that they don't want ?

Also, would you be in favour of abortion if the country was over populated ?

In any case, the thrust of your argument is that we need more young people so we can make them slaves of the elderly ?
 

evercloserunion

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My two cents, posted on a leftist forum some time ago...
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Okay I haven't read the whole thread, but I'm bored so I'm giving my two cents anyway.

I used to use marijuana but I stopped of my own accord, when the effect just didn't appeal to me anymore. At first I found it a very enjoyable experience, but after a while I just found it... well, boring. I have some friends who support it and other, closer friends, who bitterly oppose it, but have failed to back up this opposition with any scientific evidence.

I know that most of the leftists here and on RevLeft will defend the use of cannabis saying there is no sound scientific proof that says it is dangerous, which is fair enough, but it's important to note that marijuana hasn't been part of mainstream society for all that long now, maybe a few decades, so the full long-term effects can't be seen, and I also think that when we are talking about something like legalizing marijuana and therefore making it available to pretty much all of society, it must be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the drug is not harmful in the long term. I don't believe it is enough to say that, because we can only link it to certain problems and cannot draw a solid link, that marijuana has been scientifically proven to be safe and is therefore fit for general consumption.

So on seeing this thread last night, I decided to go rooting for all the scientific mumbo jumbo on the subject. And I must say that it is nigh on impossible to find an unbiased source, or even two sources in agreement on this subject. However, I was able to come to some conclusions.

First of all, it is highly important to note that scientists agree that marijuana can have very different effects on different people.

Now, there is no scientific proof or even strongly suggestive evidence that marijuana causes brain damage in normal healthy people. However, experimentation has shown that smoking it while pregnant can cause cell death in the unborn child, which is obviously going to have highly detrimental effects on the child after its birth (however, this effect has also been shown to occur from smoking cigarettes while pregnant). Also, while there is nothing to suggest that cannabis causes schizophrenia or other forms of psychosis (except short-term paranoia) in previously healthy people, it has been strongly linked to both worsening existing cases of schizophrenia and increasing the chances of a relapse in former schizophrenics.

There is a longstanding argument that marijuana acts as a gateway drug to harder substances such as cocaine or heroin. However, this has never been medically substantiated. It is my belief (and if you think I'm wrong here, by all means speak up) that its acting as a gateway drug is in fact a social issue, caused in fact by its criminalization. My reasoning here is that people who start taking marijuana, for whatever reason, tend to associate themselves with a culture that sees nothing wrong with illegal drugs. People tend to think that if they've done one illegal drug, then there can be no harm in doing another one also, young marijuana smokers are going to be subject to intense pressure by both the older users and the drug dealers to move onto harder drugs, and many succumb to this pressure. However, if marijuana was legalized, there would not be the connection made between marijuana and illegal drugs, and also the sale of marijuana would be removed from that hands of irresponsible drug dealers who would try and push harder drugs on as many people as possible. So in this way, I feel that legalizing marijuana would actually lessen the amopunt of people moving on to harder drugs.

One of the main reasons I would support the legalization of marijuana on a global scale, is in order to protect the workers who grow the stuff. At current there are many vast marijuana plantations in developing countries, mainly Latin America, on which whole families are worked day and night for a subsistent wage by drug lords with no social or economic responsibility. Many workers who try protest or escape are simply killed. There is no help for these people; because of the criminality of their work, nobody is going to enforce their right as workers to join a union, and even Fairtrade are afraid to intervene. However, legalization of marijuana would change this. Economically and socially responsible plantations could be set up and run the old plantations out of business, the workers would be entitled to join and establish unions, would probably benefit from organizations such as Fairtrade, and ultimately would be recognized as legitimate workers with rights and entitlements. And so I think the legalization of marijuana would be a pro-worker action.

So in conclusion, I would support legalization after some intensive research on the subject. However, I don't believe in making it universally available; I therefore propose a kind of licensing system whereby "licenses" are given to people of a certain age once they have passed thorough medical and psychological examinations, which will allow them to purchase marijuana, which will only be available for purchase once it has been tested for safety and is sure to have been from a responsible plantation.
 

A_man_about_a_dog

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RedStar1916 said:
So in conclusion, I would support legalization after some intensive research on the subject. However, I don't believe in making it universally available; I therefore propose a kind of licensing system whereby "licenses" are given to people of a certain age once they have passed thorough medical and psychological examinations, which will allow them to purchase marijuana, which will only be available for purchase once it has been tested for safety and is sure to have been from a responsible plantation.
Thats is pretty much exactly the conclusion which myself and other posters came up with earlier on the thread. We also considered the idea of 'growing licences' which would permit someone to grow 1-2 plants for personal use and would allow Gardaí to call in to check that no more than the permitted amount of weed or plants were on the premises.
 

feargach

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The above seems eminently sensible.

Personally, I think that an anti-gang initiative would also be necessary.

If it's taxed, it follows that illegal providers might be able to undercut their legal rivals.

So I'd propose (if the legalisation & taxation route was chosen) that a high proportion of the taxes should be used to pursue and imprison those gangsters not compliant with the new law. Special bread-and-water and lumpy-mattress jails for 'em.

The sentences needn't be long, just unpleasant enough to persuade them to leave this area alone.
 

GÓM

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Legalise Cannabis Ireland is holding a rally outside the Dail at 1pm today to make sure the first thing the new Taoiseach hears is "Free the Weed". Building on the demonstration of last month in which over 1000 people marched down O'Connell St opennly consuming Cannabis with not a single arrest. We will be presenting the Taoiseach with a letter calling for the new government to Legalise Cannabis for recreational use and medical application.
 

AXL ROSE

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This government is much more likely to legalise it than the last. McDowell had to make a big deal about it to appeal to that crazy minority that used to support him. Fianna Fail's base is much more secure and they dont need to satisfy the blood lust of the Joe Duffy listeners. The campaign needs to be broader than it has been in the past. The march was a success but it would have been better if more older smokers/supporters got involved. Those professionals that smoke need to get involved.
 

AXL ROSE

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feargach said:
If it's taxed, it follows that illegal providers might be able to undercut their legal rivals.

.

If it was legalised there would be a massive increase in the the amount people who would grow their own. I don't believe it is possible to tax something you grow yourself for your own consumption.
 

GÓM

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AXL ROSE said:
feargach said:
If it's taxed, it follows that illegal providers might be able to undercut their legal rivals.

.

If it was legalised there would be a massive increase in the the amount people who would grow their own. I don't believe it is possible to tax something you grow yourself for your own consumption.
Not everyone has the space/energy/time/patients to grow there own. Presently a major grow shop owner beliefs about 40% of Cannabis is home grown based on the massive increase in sales of equipment
 

GÓM

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Todays action was small but a massive success interms of media coverage. We were interviewed by TV3, Irish Indo, Irish Examiner and INN before 2. Many stayed after that but I had to run.
 

A_man_about_a_dog

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GÓM said:
[quote="AXL ROSE":267jbor2]
feargach said:
If it's taxed, it follows that illegal providers might be able to undercut their legal rivals.

.

If it was legalised there would be a massive increase in the the amount people who would grow their own. I don't believe it is possible to tax something you grow yourself for your own consumption.
Not everyone has the space/energy/time/patients to grow there own. Presently a major grow shop owner beliefs about 40% of Cannabis is home grown based on the massive increase in sales of equipment[/quote:267jbor2]

40% sounds a bit high to me, I'd think that the figure is closer to 20 or 25%. Not using any figures as a base or anything, just personal experience and from talking to people who grow and/or smoke.

AXL, of course you can tax something which people grow themselves, you can tax the seeds, lights, fertilisers, etc, etc. It could be done quite easily and would produce a massive revenue for the state coffers.
 

feargach

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Beer is legal, but how many do you suppose grow their own hops and barley? Ditto tobacco.

It doesn't seem to me that the whole grow yer own phenomenon is one that would last long beyond legalisation.

From what I've read, it appears growers consider their hobby as a way to get around dealers who overcharge.
 

A_man_about_a_dog

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feargach said:
From what I've read, it appears growers consider their hobby as a way to get around dealers who overcharge.
Or people who want to smoke spliff but without the hassle of having to know a dealer or someone who knows someone who knows a dealer. Its just an awful lot simpler if one can grow their own cannabis for personal consumption.

As for the hops and tobacco bit, I think they are different completely. Massive companies have the niche market already covered and there is no need for people to grow their own (ie: Diageo or Malboro) . Plus the legality of beer & tobacco is centuries old and therefore well established. The kind of legalisation which was suggested here for cannabis is more centred on the cannabis being legalised only in so far as one person can grow X amount for personal use, we're not talking about Diageo sized companies mass-producing cannabis for wholesale or anything like that.
 


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