In my younger years I smoked my share of pot, and if you never tried the stuff, don't worry because I smoked your share of it too. At any given time, between the ages of thirteen and twenty-something, I was almost always stoned. I haven't smoked pot in this decade, and I'm pretty sure I didn't in the last either. I haven't been offered a joint in a long time, but my not smoking pot has more to do with not smoking than pot.
Pot is addictive. You can argue it isn't but there are people out there who just cannot live without it on a daily basis. I have the same problem with coffee. You can argue coffee isn't really addictive but it's the first thing I do every morning and I get really wired on the stuff for about half a day before leveling off after lunch. There are people who are stoned all the time and this isn't a good thing, but at the same time, pot laws have not slowed them down.
Let me say something that is of vital importance to my argument here: The laws in affect did not have anything at all to do whether or not I smoked pot. The laws in affect did not have anything to do with why I quit smoking pot. The laws were, are, and will remain, a nonissue as to whether or not I smoke pot, or do not smoke pot.
I don't smoke pot because it cuts into my writing time, and despite the fact a lot of really good writing ideas seem to surface, they never quite pan out as well as they seemed when I was stoned. I have a tendency towards junk food when I'm high. Pot makes me withdrawn and edgy, and oh yeah, I need more of that in my life. The stuff is expensive too. Smoking pot leads me to smoking cigarettes. I have no idea why, but it does. Those are my reasons for not smoking pot. Your reasons for smoking are your reasons for smoking. Your reasons for not smoking are your reasons for not smoking.
You cannot get into a conversation in regard to the legalization of pot without those silly people who claim if we legalize pot then kids will have more access to it. I have no idea where these people are from, or where they live, but they obviously do not live in America. The easiest time in my life to find pot was in High School. The older I got, the harder it was to find because I knew fewer High School people. Kids smoke as much pot as anyone, they can get it easier, and they are do not give a damn about pot laws. It is ludicrous to assume kids are going to do more pot or less pot, because of what the law says, or does not say.
You cannot get into a conversation about the legalization of pot without those silly people who claim pot is a gateway drug. This is a variation of the kids will have more access to it argument and it is as lame if not worse. Those kids who are going to try drugs are going to try drugs. Those with no interest will not be enticed by the legally of pot or meth, or any other drug, and if they do, see the argument about; the law makes not a single ounce of difference.
There isn't a question here about protecting kids because they already have the best pot. There isn't a question here about society advocating to its youth the use of drugs because just look at about half the television ads pounding the airwaves right now. Do a list of possible side effects of pot versus that stuff doctors are peddling right now.
Take those two fallacious arguments and toss them out with the "Reefer madness" argument and just why is pot still illegal?
Pot is still illegal because there is so much more money to be made by so many people. For many years it really didn't matter how many small time smokers got busted because there was money to be made there, too. Now in a time of a deep recession we're filling the jails and court systems with people trying to make an honest living selling pot, smokers using it for medical purposes, and suddenly we discover these people breaking the laws aren't nearly the threat to our society as those people making the laws. With drug offenders making up well over half the prison population, and another good percentage being involved in some sort of illegal drug violence, is there anyone here who cannot see the word "illegal" is the problem and not the word "drug"?
America was based on the principle that a free people will make enough good decisions to make up for the bad, and that not allowing this is a much great peril than the risk of inhibiting liberty. That is the very cusp of individual freedom. This is the very essence of what it is to be American. Either we trust we can product a society that has more to offer its citizens than for them to turn themselves into mindless zombie with drugs, or we fear the legalization of drugs will produce a stronger appeal than advanced citizenship.
Chances are, the laws repel will have zero affect on those who smoke, and on those who do not. The repel of the laws will very likely produce nothing but a serious lack of income for the drug lords. I have a deep seated suspicion the repel of pot laws will actually cut down on the number of people who smoke because the thrill of getting away with breaking the law will be gone.
Drug laws produce criminals. That is the function of drug laws. That is what they do, and that is their only product. Drugs may produce addicts, but it is cheaper and easier to treat an addict for ten years than it is to house, care for, and feed this person.