June 23, 2009

Yes we cannabis

Posted: 09:26 AM ET

NEW YORK–All last week my colleague, Anderson Cooper, fanned the flames of an already heated debate in this country: Whether to legalize marijuana. Anderson and his producers don't pretend to have the answer to the question, any more than to the multibillion dollar illegal drug problem in America. But the first step toward finding the answer begins with pot.

The War on Drugs has been an utter failure; we need to shift the paradigm from war to public-health, starting with nonviolent, first-time drug offenders.

Nearly 800,000 Americans are arrested every year for marijuana-related crimes (90 per cent of them for possession), with approximately 60,000 to 85,000 of them doing some time on those charges.

To impose felony convictions on people for possession of pot - sending them to prison, for an advanced degree in the criminal enterprise - is short sighted, expensive, counterproductive, and just doesn't make sense.

If nothing else, there's economics: Legalized marijuana would generate between $10 and $14 billion in savings and taxes every year. The government can regulate it and tax it.

But admittedly, it is not an easy question for a kid, like me, from the projects and a community ravaged by drug use.

Smoking pot is not lighthearted recreation. It is a drug, like heroin and meth.

And that is why President Obama will probably disappoint reformers. He is not likely to push for legalization; but he is also not likely to continue on a blind path of prohibition.

Given the passion and good policy arguments on both sides, perhaps the President should do something that hasn't been done since the 1970s - convene a blue ribbon panel of experts on drug policy. A Presidential Cannabis Commission, if you will. The commission can look at the issue, and send up some smoke signals on how best to proceed on the important issue of whether to finally legalize pot, or not.

–Jami Floyd, In Session anchor

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karen   June 23rd, 2009 10:30 am ET

Should marijuana be legalized in America? NO, it should not! Our gov taxes enough to fill their own pockets. They keep raises taxes on cigarettes and uses the bogus excuse " to deter teen smoking ". it will not deter anyone who wants to smoke..Smoking does NOT cloud your senses and judgment as alcohol does and marijuana would do..If it is illegal, give them larger fines to have to pay, give them jail time, but without the luxuries of cable, phone, cell phone, etc. The criminals in this country have more pleasures, luxuries and rights than the law abiding citizens have already!!!!!!!

Guy Pennsylvania   June 23rd, 2009 11:16 am ET

Barney Frank should be removed from office for his endeavors to legalize marijuana. Congress wants to pass Health Care and then create a new generation of drug addicts like Woodstock. He wants to make money to pay for Health Care at the expense of this and future generation health. This defeats everything Barak wants to do. This breeds new addicts, health care reforms does not matter, health prevention does not matter, education does not matter. The future generation will not even get out of high school.

Miriam   June 23rd, 2009 11:47 am ET

I disagree with you about prison sentences – most if not all first time offenders are given probation and community service or fines, which do no go and they do it again only get smarter. Again there is no direct solution to make someone give up something that provides pleasure and a way to make money. This also applies to DUI, DWI many repeat offenders are not given prison time only to repeat the offense over and over and over again.

A Norml Girl   June 23rd, 2009 1:38 pm ET

As a medicinal user, I find you calling pot as a drug like heroin or meth extremely offensive. Heroin and meth give you physical addictions that pot does not. Comments like this only make what is a hard life even harder, because everyone thinks you are just some doper. Most of us go to school and work and live normal lives that harm no one. How prejudiced, you guys look like Fox last week. Anyone here against the marijuana plant should do some research before you speak, my guess is you aren't all that knowladgeable. Did you know G Washington grew it, fire hoses were made out of it, and the guy who made peanut butter showed all the uses it has, not just getting high? It would also be good for global greenification, because the plant rejuvenates the soil we have damaged over the years. Now do I believe that every man woman and child should get high, no, but I do believe this is all the 'Reefer Madness' that was allowed to run rampant, and it's time to get into the new millennium guys!.

Trevi   June 23rd, 2009 1:48 pm ET

For Medicinal purposes I believe it should be legalized. It could be tested to take e place of Antidepressants such as Paxil and Zoloft. I worked 3rd shift for a major Semiconductor company. I could not function as a regular person on my days off. I was depressed. My doctor prescribed Paxil and yes it worked. I was able to focus and stopped crying. For the first time in my life I won a game of chess. Everything was great until I was laid off and lost my health insurance. I went to local charities to help pay for the script but I could only get it filled once a year. I was hooked on Paxil. I had smoked pot occasionally in High school but I wasn't addicted to it. A friend suggested that I should try a joint to stop me from feeling depressed and crying all the time. I was hopeless. It worked I was happy not depressed, somewhat like the Paxil effects. Young adults today smoke marijuana in large cigars, this is not healthy and it’s a waste of pot. Instead of jail time, they could fine POM’s and give money to the City or Medicare.

Brinna Nanda   June 23rd, 2009 1:51 pm ET

Cannabis is NOT "a drug like heroin or meth." It is neither physically addictive, nor does it damage the human body, like tobacco and alcohol. It is associated with hard drugs simply because it has been prohibited, just as they are (unless sold by Big Pharma).

Cannabis has extraordinary medical benefits which are just now being patented (including by our own government – see patent# 6,630,507)

To Guy: The Woodstock generation were not drug addicts. They were concerned and loving people who believed in recycling, renewable resources, and communal living – all of which are being promoted now as a way of saving the planet. However, these solutions terrified the establishment then, as they still, unfortunately, do today

To Karen: Smoking clearly clouds one's judgment, otherwise one would not indulge in it knowing that it kills and maims 50% of those that do.

To Miriam: getting arrested for cannabis leaves a permanent record and can result in loss of student funding, loss of employment, loss of children, none of which is justified by the offense. Not all 800,000 go to jail, but the 8-10% that do, receive an even a deeper scar. It should bother you that one is much more likely to go to jail when caught if one is black or Latino.

LVande   June 23rd, 2009 2:07 pm ET

Come on, Guy Pennsylvania – apparently, you don't know anything about cannabis. It is VERY beneficial to the sick people in our nation. For chemo patients, for MS, Alzheimer's, Rheumatoid Arthritis, lymphoma, leukemia, and on and on...these are only a FEW of the illnesses it helps.

Hemp – the male plant, can clean up our soil. It grows without any pesticides. Bugs don't like it. A hemp shirt will last way longer than a cotton shirt will but people are so paranoid about marijuana that they don't realize that they can't get "high" from the male plant. I make a hemp oil soap that bubbles like no soaps I make. It (hemp) makes a great food product that is full of nutrition.

Alcohol and cigarettes kill WAYYY more people than marijuana. Nobody died from ever smoking marijuana. Recent research has also found it that it kills certain forms of breast cancer and forms of brain cancer.

What do you mean about a generation of drug addicts? I do not personally know of anybody who is addicted to marijuana. Heroin? Yes, Cocaine – Yes, Methamphetamine – Yes. As far as I know, pot is not addictive.

Are you from the dark ages or what?

Chris   June 23rd, 2009 2:41 pm ET

People are ignorant to the facts.

Is marijuana dangerous? Yes – but no more so than the rest of the legal "drugs" people use on a regular basis. The choice to use or not is the same that people make regarding prescription drugs, OTC medicines, and alcohol and tobacco.
I find the most valid comparison to be with alcohol. Liquor is equally intoxicating, has been proven to make certain individuals violent, and to contribute significantly to a multitude of health problems. A buzz is a buzz – whether caused by alcohol or drugs.
Those that would argue that legalization would lead to higher rates of usage need only to look to Amsterdam. They have legal marijuana (not to mention prostitution), yet manage to have lower crime rates and an arguably overall better quality of life.
Legalization, or at least decriminalization, is a debate that needs to be taken seriously – it would raise tax dollars that could fund health care reform, it save states money by freeing up prison cells occupied by non-violent offenders, and it would free up law enforcement officers to prevent violent crimes.

Live_Aloha   June 23rd, 2009 3:01 pm ET

If it is used for medical purposes it is very effective, it can help for for people who are ungoing kemo therapy, chronic pain, anorexia and many other medical issues. The only problem that I can see is that those who want to abuse the privlage of using it just as those who abuse prescrition pain medication and i dont see the anyone regulating or taking that off the shelf or making it illegal to prescribe.

Jon   June 23rd, 2009 3:14 pm ET

I agree with Jami, it really doesn't make sense to send people to prison for marijuana. There are many ways to go about legalizing marijuana and making sure that kids in school are not smoking it. There's an age limit on drinking and smoking. I'm not really sure if any of you even know why marijuana was made illegal. Pretty messed up story, may want to look that up. This would be a good time for the government to legalize marijuana because of the economy. 10-14 billion dollars is a lot of money. More than likely it would be more than that because all of the "closet smokers" would be able to do it when they wanted. The facts are there to show that it has helped people medically. It has relieved pain and brought back appetites. People don't fight, carry on, and act crazy when they smoke marijuana, their happy. I'm pretty sure this world needs a little bit more happiness. Marijuana is not a manufactured drug, it's a plant. It was put on this earth by God. I'm not sure why we can't embrace that.

Margery W   June 23rd, 2009 3:23 pm ET

You can spot the pot addicts a mile away – they're the ones screeching that pot is not addictive. Ever really try to quit? Oh...uh...never wanted to quit... Uh...tried but went back to it... Uh...all my friends do it and I didn't want to be left out... That's 100% addict talk. Couples where one spouse quits and the other keeps using almost inevitably divorce – the pot addict finds the clean spouse "no fun anymore" – like most other addicts, pot addicts prefer to spend time only with other pot addicts. Pot may be a slightly different kind of addiction than alcohol or heroin, but it is just as much one. Pot addicts put pot first in their lives – it is more important to them than their families, their jobs, anything – the very definition of addict.

Aaron H   June 23rd, 2009 4:31 pm ET

Sure, there are folks addicted to marijuana; but saying all marijuana users are addicted is like saying all folks who drink alcohol are alcoholics. This leaves out the largest group of people, the recreational users. It is time in this country for true drug addiction to be treated as a health problem, not a crime. We already have lost the war on drugs. The drug market in this country is a simple supply and demand market. There is a massive demand for illegal drugs in this country (which crosses all racial, social, and economic boundaries), and therefore organized crime groups will take advantage of the black market status of these drugs to line their pockets with loot. The minute you take one drug dealer off the street, whether big or small, there are two more willing to fight it out to replace em.

and you have to be ignorant to think that prisoners have more luxuries and rights than the average citizen. you have obviously never been in jail.

Brian   June 23rd, 2009 5:06 pm ET

To say that marijuana is a drug like heroin or meth is disingenuous reefer madness. It's as illogical as saying that caffeine is a drug like alcohol or viagra. To all the prohibitionist who have commented here, I suggest you look at the facts (and by facts I don't mean the ONDCP & Partnership for a Drug Free America alcohol and pharmaceutical company funded propaganda) and you'll see that marijuana does not meet the requirements for classification as a Schedule I controlled substance. Also, have you even stopped for a moment and considered the hypocrisy of having a law that outlaws a plant in the land of the free? Consider that in Genesis 1:29 God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed for you it shall be food" and then ask yourself if God created it and gave it to man is it the legitimate business of government to outlaw and condemn what God has created?

Jana C.   June 23rd, 2009 5:15 pm ET

as a registered nurse and am employee in a state mental hospital, i say legalize it! this country wastes a vast amount of money chasing down pot-smokers, who are far less dangerous than those who drink.

alcohol is an incredibly dangerous drug, responsible for far more crime by those who use it in relation to pot. legal alcohol and illegal pot is merely a hypocritical stance which should be reversed; if we tolerate drinking in this society, then by all means we should tolerate marijuana. those who use it could be taxed; it would remedy many of our nation's economic woes should we be relieved of the burden of chasing down the illicit use of a beneficial substance.

Trevi   June 23rd, 2009 5:23 pm ET

Marge, whoa..boy you sure do have some points but come on couples divorcing because of pot?/?. No pot is not more important than family,. You probaley never had to see someone you love die slowly because they can't eat. Nausea is a side effect of Chemo. I wasn't blanantly condoning smoking Marijuana in public but in your home should be legal, especially for Medicinal purposes. Marge, if you can see a pot addict a mile away.. maybe you should move. :)

Ryan   June 23rd, 2009 5:35 pm ET

Wow. Comparing marijuana to heroin and meth. That's hilarious. It's about time the government realizes that they have no right to pursue criminal charges for people who use and grow a plant. It's a plant. It does not need to be altered, mixed with other chemicals, or manufactured. It grows naturally. It has been in use for thousands of years. Is it for everyone? Probably not. Is it wrong? Most definitely not.

LVande   June 23rd, 2009 7:23 pm ET

How many "pot addicts" do you know, Margery? Do you really know any of the true benefits of marijuana? I'm 52, I don't smoke it every day, in fact, didn't smoke it for many years but have found that it helps my PTSD wayyyyy better than xanax ever did – and xanax is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE. I am off the xanax, and smoke on occasion, when I need to, which like I said, is NOT every day. I live in a state where it is illegal to use but am soon moving to a legal state, thank God!

terri   June 23rd, 2009 7:31 pm ET

Decriminalization is in order. There should be a simple fine for possession of or growing in small amounts. Let the government regulate (creating jobs) and tax. Incentivize our farmers to grow when crop rotation is required. Not only would our economy get a boost, but we'd be putting some unsavory criminals out of the business. Keep it out of the hands of minors! Regardless of what people like Margery W. say, pot is not physically addictive and has been used recreationally for centuries. I know pot smokers who are corporate workaholics, sucessful entrepreneurs, etc. all making in excess of six-figure incomes. Pot has its place in their lives, just like the Friday night beer.

Tiffany   June 23rd, 2009 7:37 pm ET

Should they LEGALIZE MARIJUANA? I say yes. First off why keep illegal and people are still doing it. You have more marijuana cases than any othere drug cases in america. That's like a child rebelling against their parent because they kept them from doing something. They are going to do it anyways. Second, they make all these weed commercials with kids behaving badly. I have never seen someone act any worse than a sober person on it. People act worse on other drugs and all they get is put into detox and let go. Lastly, Congress needs to check they selves as well. There are so many big wigs that go home at the end of the day and probally spark one up. So they cant tell us as grown, independent people not to. When they are. just put an age on it like they do fpr achohol and cigarettes and call it a day. Because at the end of the day I'm sure they are enjoying their Herbal Essence.

FLMan   June 23rd, 2009 7:38 pm ET

If you smoke it, it's bad for you. Period. The human pulmonary system is not designed to deal with smoke of any kind. It will damage your lungs and shorten their useful life. Pot users don't even try to dispute that. It's indisputable. Instead, they urge you to look past the contents of the smoke, and it's damaging effects, and focus on the "benefits" of the THC.
And claiming that any chemical is not addictive is pure fiction. Including THC.

Todd   June 23rd, 2009 8:56 pm ET

What, Where is this Janie from? Mars? "Smoking pot is not lighthearted recreation. It is a drug, like heroin and meth." Holly cow batman! If she had ever tried weed she clearly wound not be making such ignorant remarks. The adverse effects (If Any) of Marijuana are vastly less harmful than that of heroin,meth,coke and alcohol! that's why more and more people realize it should be Legal, Duh. Forget the President we don't need his help anyway. Those who want Marijuana legalized are GOING to do so by sheer numbers and votes.

ohbrandi   June 23rd, 2009 9:25 pm ET

Margery W:

It is not addictive. I smoked often when I was young, but stopped when i reached my early twenties. There was no problem many times as i've tried, i'm still addicted to the disgusting and LEGAL drug, nicotine.

Now I deal with chronic pain. My choices are to take vicodin or some other highly addictive drug until the drug is more problem than the pain. I could drink alcohol...that kills the pain. But I choose not to take anything and spend many hours a day in a semi-trance divorced from the pain. That precludes being able to do anything like...dishes, laundry, etc.

When winter comes, i use pot. I cannot bear the pain, and I still have a family to care for. Though I will not drive, I can perform many duties at home while 'high'. I have found that during the winter, when I do use pot, frequent usuage gets rid of the 'high' leaving simply the pain relief and mood elevation.

Your ignorance (lack of knowledge) and 'moral' indignation stands in the way of my legal right to pain relief. Shame on you.

claygooding   June 23rd, 2009 9:28 pm ET

Possible taxes earned by the states from legalized marijuana are of small consequence,when you consider the amount of money that will quit going out of our country when we can grow it here. Instead of going to cartels and providing them with 70% of their cash flow,the money would be reinvested in our own economy.

chicago rob   June 23rd, 2009 11:31 pm ET

weed is not like herion or meth at all, classifying marijuana as one of those drugs is just ignorant. No one has ever died from smoking too much pot. Just think of someone you know that has a problem with alcoholism or has been to rehab for hardcore drugs. all these taboos came about in the early 20th century and have no historical relevance. quit being so uptight and if you choose not to use marijuana then that is fine, if you do that is okay too. getting worked up over what other people do is not worth it and usually makes people not want to be around you.

Julie   June 24th, 2009 1:12 am ET

Seriously?! Marijuana is now on the same scale as herione and crack?! Come one now! What are the positive effects of herione and crack? Lets throw in Cocaine too...what are the positives? Only the euphoric state that they go into.
Positive effects of Marijuana: One of the greatest benefits is the increased appetite that comes along with the consumption of the drug. This has been used with cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to enable them to eat again and maintain their strength through the difficult process. Marijuana has been shown to alleviate nausea, and has been shown to be successful in the treatment of neurogenic pain, as well as having a host of benefits for those suffering from glaucoma, asthma and spasticity.
#1. Marijuana is addictive. The vast bulk of medical research that exists today shows that marijuana is not physically addictive in any way, and the cessation of marijuana use does not lead to withdrawal symptoms as one would find in a tobacco smoker or an alcoholic.

#2. Marijuana is a gateway drug. This can be argued, but the facts are not quite in favor of this theory. In fact, recent studies have shown that tobacco use is a much more solid indicator of hard drug usage down the line.

#3. Marijuana can lead to lung cancer. This has not been proven and studies have been done. While the same carcinogens are present in marijuana smoke as in tobacco smoke, the lung cancer link is not there. Theories about this lack of causation include the possibility that THC itself acts as a protectant against cancerous cells.

Tell me that she should even compare the three, other than the fact that it is illegal these three havce NOTHING in common!

Bandot   June 24th, 2009 1:21 am ET

Smoking pot is not lighthearted recreation. It is a drug, like heroin and meth.

While not a recreational drug user myself and also from the projects. Smoking Pot is not like Herorin or Meth. It does not have the same addictive quality. If you want to base drug use on addtiction then tobacco should be illegal as well. If you want to base on toxicity to the body then alcohol and tobacco should be illegal and heorin and marijuana should be legalized.
To start the legalization of marijuana will save millions of tax dollars and add millions to the economy. Drug use wether its drinking, marijuana, somking or dangerous drugs like meth it is up to the individual to control his own urges not government. For individuals too much of anything is bad even too much government.

Eric of Reseda   June 24th, 2009 4:21 am ET

Your statement that marijuana is " a drug like heroin and meth" is INSANE! And it precisely that type of thinking that has made the War on Drugs an abyssmal failure, at a cost of trillions to the American taxpayer. Aspirin is a drug. Is it like heroin or meth? No. But according to you, because aspirin is a drug, it IS like heroin and meth. Adverse reactions to NSAIDS – aspirin, ibuprofin, etc. – killed 7,600 in 2,000! Marijuana...ZERO. So why is aspirin legal?!? Legally prescribed drugs killed 32,000 in 2000. Again, marijuana...none. Now, meth kills about 1,000 a year, heroin, a few thousand. (Tabacco, of course, kills approx 500,000 annually). Marijuana? You got it. ZIP! And the cost to society from meth and heroin? Turn on your TV and watch those meth ads. You'll get an idea. And the evil weed? Well, it is costing us in lost tax revenue, wasted jail space and interdiction efforts, MAJOR loss of industrial profits from the myriad uses of the plant/fiber, etc. Comparing marijuana to meth and heroin perpetuates the lies and the burden our society suffers needlessly.

Michelle   June 24th, 2009 7:16 am ET

Putting them in jail is what is costing us so much money. karen, you have obviously not done your research before making that post. You clearly have no concept of the amount of money our current enforcement of marijuana laws is costing us.

Deborah Stanger   June 24th, 2009 8:24 am ET

I disagree about the comments regarding pot being addictive. It's no more addictive than alcohol or cigarettes which happen to be legal! Pot is nothing like meth or heroin! Believe me, when I was younger, I tried them all. I smoke pot occasionally. I can certainly go without too.

In addition, ask any pot user what they started first with. Guaranteed, you will find that cigarettes and alcohol were the first "gateway drugs" they started with. Again, these are legal.

How many alcoholics have caused death, domestic abuse, etc...? Yet, this is legal! Not to mention it is also one of the first drugs people try and can also be addictive. Yet, it's legal!

I can tell you with certainty, any police officer would rather deal with someone on pot rather than someone who is drunk because they don't get violent or beligerent like a drunk does. They are still aware of what they are doing,

In any case, they will never be able to stop the flow of drugs in this country. How many years have they been trying? Like it or not, drugs will always be around. Alcohol was prohibited at one time too. They couldn't stop that either. Now it's legal!

none of your business   June 24th, 2009 10:10 am ET

Ok, Margery, sounds like you're the "clean spouse who is no fun anymore"....bitter much? I used to smoke pot heavily in high school & quit for about 12 years. In the last 2-3 yrs, I have indulged a handful of times & it was great. I was able to relax & get a great night of sleep. The idea of legalizing marijuana is long overdue; I have been suggesting packaging it like cigarettes & taxing it for years (Deficit? What deficit?). Just like most pleasures, not just alcohol & drugs but food, video games, and other indulgences, moderation is the key. What do we do next, Margery? Ban chocolate & label that evil too?

Bioguy   June 24th, 2009 10:13 am ET

Dangerous? hahaha Marijuana in pharmaceutical terms isn't even on the scale. Aspirin, used as the baseline for drug safety, is considered more dangerous than marijuana.

So why is is illegal? Big Business (Dow Chemical and Dupont) lobbied congress to ban marijuana which included hemp. Hemp of course is a better fiber than nylon, so how could these chemical companies compete with mother nature without government intervention and massive fear mongering?

Klaatu   June 24th, 2009 10:44 am ET

Why not...its a harmless drug, not addicting, doesnt make you rob and steel to get it, havent ever heard of someone being killed over a bag of weed...c'mon all you anti drug nuts....we are not taling about crack, herion or oxycoton....we are talking about pot....

susan   June 24th, 2009 11:28 am ET

Pot is not addictive. I have smoked cigarettes and pot and guess which one was harder to quit? I thought about pot for maybe the first day and that was it. I agonized over my cigarettes for a good week and the just missed them terribly for another week. Plus no one smokes a joint , then goes home and yells at, or worse beats the crap out of their family. Just not gonna happen. People who are against it do need to be more informed and not be judgemental just because of what they've heard. Its called a public library...check it out.

Eric McCloud   June 24th, 2009 12:27 pm ET

Floyd should re-read the federal and state sentencing guidelines, it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to get prison time for marijuana possession on either level.

Most of the people "in prison" for marijuana possession were either dealers or traffickers, or plea bargained these crimes down to only simple possession, or were convicted of other offenses in addition to possession.

The idea that we have thousands of marijuana possessors rotting in prison for years at a time is completely false. Anyone who takes fifteen minutes to read the sentencing guidelines will know this.

Stirada   June 24th, 2009 12:29 pm ET

As a 55 YO Ph.D, who beat cancer and other life threatening diseases and is now disabled and stuck using traditional medications including the most powerful ones available to non hospitalized patients. This debate frustrates the hell out of me. I was 16YO in 1969 and I did most of the foolish things a 16 YO will do, incuding "the drugs of that time." I was young, curious and aware enough to know which drugs were truly dangerous, did not get involved; and my life and career moved on. I currently have a medecine cabinet that rivals a pharmacy and would trade it all for the option of trying medical marijuana. My drs are sympathetic but they've exhausted all legal options and we live in a fairly conservative state where it will likely never be an option. So, sitting around in pain, watching this stupid debate, being fostered by the pharmaceutical companies and others too ignorant to understand what is really going on. I hope I live long enough to try it again LEGALLY, until then i'll just keep taking the legally addicting poisins.

tom   June 24th, 2009 1:14 pm ET


Here is the Texas law and it clearly states jail time for less than 3/4 of an ounce. Yes the police can write a ticket, yes you might be able to plea the case down to a class c misdomeanor. You might get differed adjudication or suspended sentence, but you also might get 180 days in jail. and it only took 5 mintues to find the Texas laws.

tom   June 24th, 2009 1:15 pm ET


Here is the Texas law and it clearly states jail time for less than 3/4 of an ounce. Yes the police can write a ticket, yes you might be able to plea the case down to a class c misdomeanor. You might get differed adjudication or suspended sentence, but you also might get 180 days in jail. and it only took 5 mintues to find the Texas laws.

Class B Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana is punishable by ‘up to’ 180 days in jail and ‘up to’ a $2000 fine

Spider   June 24th, 2009 1:57 pm ET

Anyone who has ever experienced the "marijuana culture" knows about its effects.

Compare a pot party to a keg party.
Frequently, a fight will break out at a keg party. The only argument at a pot party is over who rolled the joint that just fell apart in the circle. Nobody cares enough about anything to get angry.

That, is most likely, the worst side effect of marijuana use. Indifference.

Do we want a nation of people who really don't care if things get done? Of course not. But, we legalized alcohol. Do we have a nation of drunks? Of course not.

Like every recreational substance, there will be people who abuse it, but the vast majority will partake on a responsible level.

However, the only way we should legalize marijuana, is if all other drugs are fought against even harder. Otherwise, where do we stop at allowing our citizens to alter their personalities as a form of entertainment?

Eric McCloud   June 24th, 2009 2:00 pm ET

180 days is the "maximum possible" sentence. You are confusing the statutory maximum sentence with the actual sentences typically imposed, which under Texas law are mostly determined through case law (In other states, there are typically actual discretionary guidelines combined with case law to determine an appropriate sentence).

In fact, in Texas if a person is found guilty of marijuana possession under one pound with no prior felony convictions, the judge MUST impose probation with drug treatment in lieu of imprisonment.

Many states have similar statutory maximums. In Pennsylvania the "statutory maximum" for drug possession(M1) is five years imprisonment, while the actual sentence guidelines and case law calls for no more than three months imprisonment, with the possibility of probation/fines in lieu of imprisonment. Almost nobody gets prison time, unless they plea bargained down to that offense or they have a substantial felony record.

Michelle   June 24th, 2009 3:04 pm ET

Pot is like herion or meth...please. Pot is nothing like alcohol, herion etc. You DO NOT lose control of your mental or physical abilities. You remain in control always. If anything it will calm a person down rather than oh lets say a beligerant drunk who's looking for a fight or the meth addict who will rob, shoot for their next fix. Pot doesn't have a 12 step program you just stop smoking it...maybe get a little anxiety or headache and that is the extent of your withdrawal. Medically speaking, pot has helped many a chemo patient or people who have chronic pain. Alcohol has caused families to break apart, kids taken away, their lives changed forever. Some will lose everything and still they have a bottle in their mouth. Meth, alcohol, herion, cocaine have put a burden on tax payers as we are the ones who generally pay for their "recovery". In my opionion....outlaw alcohol and legalize Pot

Rosco   June 24th, 2009 3:09 pm ET

The ignorance here is almost overwhelming.
Bioguy is absolutely right, hemp was outlawed because of the big chemical companies throwing truckloads of money at the gov't to make it illegal because no one would want to buy their crappy fabrics, like nylon, which are inferior to hemp products. I have had a pair of hemp jeans now for 10 years, still in perfect condition. I wear them once a week.
1 acre of hemp can supply 10 times the pulp of 1 acre of trees, and can be grown over and over again, and harvested 2-3 times a year depending on the growing conditions. How long would it take to grow the trees back?

It's time to stop letting the government and big business' brainwash you.
Medicinally, it is a miracle drug. Go ahead, shake your head and roll your eyes. You are a fool if you think any different. You only think that way because you've been "programmed" to think that way.
Do I smoke pot? Yes, on occasion. Sometimes I'll get high 2-3 times a week, sometimes I go months not smoking it. Depends on the situation, and if I feel like it. I don't drink alchohol at all, the worst drug of them all. I occasionally suffer from insomnia, have a puff and go right to sleep feeling great in the morning.

Phil Lawrence   June 24th, 2009 3:48 pm ET

Marijuana is less dangerous that alcohol or cigarettes. But yet, an adult can consume those without penalty.

Marijuana is NO way comparable to heroin or meth. It is just plain ignorant to argue otherwise.

The War on Drugs was declared by Nixon and has been going on for 40+ years. The USA has the highest rates of drug usage, more than double that of countries where usage is decriminalized or legalized, like the Netherlands or Portugal. Someone once said that the definition of stupidity is repeating an action and expecting different results.

All marijuana users want is to be able to exercise their personal freedom to smoke a little and watch a ballgame, or take a hike, or go fishing. It is CRIMINAL to allow the government to interfere in the personal lives of it's citizens.

one legged monkey   June 24th, 2009 8:57 pm ET

OK number one me I think legalizing it would be a great idea. I mean one think of the tax payer money that goes to people put in jail for pot and think if it were legal it would be taxable and be controlled it could be sold just like cigars or cigarettes it would generate allot of money. But well pot used to actually be legal in the US but I believe it was the marijuana stamp act of 1933 (which itself a retarded messed up act) that pretty much made it illegal then . But well back in that time it was sold in Jazz clubs in packs sort of just almost like cigarettes.

But as for it being a gate way drug heck no, it is ones self that decides to go further then pot. As for it being addicting no, I mean like a few others have stated there are much worse drugs in the world that are actually legal like booze and cigarettes. But wow deaths from pot yah maybe if you are smoking a 40 lbs joint on the top of a mountain and yah fall off due to the weight. Ahh, some of you people that are so anti drug on the idea of pot are just stupid as all hell. I mean yah stuff like meth,coke, herion and other drugs yah keep them illegal

Yeppers   June 25th, 2009 1:09 am ET

I would have to wonder how many people against marijuana legalization smoke tobacco. How many of them are angry that the FDA is able to regulate their tobacco use more stringently. They want to take away something from everyone else but get upset if guns are outlawed, or tobacco is illegal. That is called hypocrisy.

kphelps   June 25th, 2009 2:01 am ET

even if Obama does mention it, hes not about to condone it. Hell, I think they should legalize it all and unload the human meat market(prison), but they're making too much money off of it to do that. I don't believe the alcohol or the nicotine industries would appreciate the competition either, if its legal then people have a choice of substances, i.e. nicotine or weed? or weed or alcohol? etc. etc.

bob dobbs   June 25th, 2009 8:10 am ET

alcohol prohibition was wrong and caused more crime then anything!

Keep your laws and taxes off my body. Congress is criminal most of them have DUI's.

You can have my joint when you pry it from my dead hand!

Toni   June 25th, 2009 11:08 am ET

I suffer from Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition that can be extremely disabling. The pain, weakness, and fatigue NEVER go away. I have smoked pot in the past and it helped tremendously. I prefer it baked in muffins as it is healthier. However, due to fear of losing my house, my kids, and being imprisoned, I have opted to use the hydrocodone, tramadol, ibuprofen, and zanaflex prescribed for me. In the end, my liver will probably kill me.

Pot needs to be legalized. It is much safer than alcohol. To not legalize is to continue the hypocrisy and to allow the suffering to continue.

asdfsdf   June 25th, 2009 11:19 am ET

what is wrong with you people!? weed is not bad! lol it doesnt cause health problems, it doesnt give you the effects of crack or meth lmao. i dont even smoke anymore & all this all seems ridiculous to me. everyone uses it, stop spending our tax dollars putting ppl in jail or making them go to court for it and legalize it!!

Brenda,OH   June 25th, 2009 11:20 am ET

The hard FACT is no one can die from marijuana use. So it is one of the most harmless substances/drugs???? there is. I do not see the harm in legalizing something that is known to be as harmless as cannibus. The Indians used it in their Peace Pipes. That says enough for me. We forget to use the wisdom of the rightfull inhabitants of this land we call the United States of America. It is absurd for cannibus to be illegal. It has far more pros than cons and siting than one cannot overdose on it is a fact that blows all other arguments away. It's medical uses are far better than most other drugs with very minimal side affects. I call it the safest substance known to man. Period. How it became "illegal" is a laugh. Propaganda and controll of immigration were the reasons it was feared. Let's get real about the facts. I marched in Washington D.C. in 1976 and 77 with N.O.R,M.A.L. for the reform of the marijuana laws because it use to be on the law books that one could be sentenced to life in prison for possession of a joint. How riduculous can we get in this country? Apparently, VERY. Legalize marijuana without a doubt. No harm can come from this substance. It's all propagana and paranoia that we deal with concerning cannibus. And that's the hard, cold truth.

Karen   June 25th, 2009 11:49 am ET

Marijuana is not the "dangerous" drug everyone stereotypes it to be, it amazes me that, while marijuana is NOT addictive, Cigarettes are legal, and contain many dangerous chemicals and ARE addictive. How many people are killed by drunk drivers every day, have you ever heard any person that was on pot or "high" running over someone? Have you ever seen the cop shows where people are caught with marijuana, those people are almost never aggresive or violent as drunk people or people that are under the influence of crack or cocaine. I say YES to marijuana legalization, and to all of the ignorant people that obviously don't know all of the benefits and different uses of marijuana, I suggest that you start researching the plant, because its only a matter of time before it is legalized.

jerry   June 25th, 2009 2:04 pm ET

I don't really understand what the debate is even about. Cigarettes are drugs. Alcohol. Sleeping pills. Doctors are handing out prescriptions left and right. All these things have killed thousands, and in some cases millions, of people during their time. And those numbers are rising. Weed, meanwhile, has never killed anyone. I don't see why it shouldn't be legal. Yeah, it can be argued that it's a gateway drug, and it is, because it's illegal. If you go to a dealer and they don't have weed, they're going to try selling you something else, and if that person buying is easily influenced, then they're going to buy it. The main thing is education. Anyone who screams weed should be illegal while ignoring the dangers of the legal drugs out there simply has no clue what they're talking about. If they knew, it'd be a different story, but they believe the media and the government, and haven't realized that those two entities will tell you want they think or what they want to. Not the truth as it is. I've never known anyone to screw their life up because of weed, and I've known people who were constantly high. If someone screws up their life because of weed, it's because they were already in the process of doing so, or weed is just their excuse so they don't have to tell people what they're really doing. Weed should be legalized or at least decriminalized, and police time and money shouldn't be wasted on it for another second.

jayjay   June 25th, 2009 2:08 pm ET

"It is a drug, like heroin and meth." ???? No, it isn't... Cannabis grows naturally... to make heroin or meth there is a chemical process. Not alike at all, better luck next time ; )

chris   June 25th, 2009 2:24 pm ET

im not sure how many people know that the declaration of independence was written on hemp paper. there are lots of other interesting things related to this that you would know about if you did some research on it instead of bashing it. for example, do you know how many acres of trees it takes to make the same amount of paper as 1 acre of hemp? go look it up.
look, im no expert but it seems to me that a plant that has so many different uses (other than getting high) should be praised. maybe one day the "smart" people will figure it out.

Wendy   June 25th, 2009 2:34 pm ET

I live in good 'ole Utah, the seccond biggest grower in the U.S. What really gripes me is when people say, 'legalize it but not in Utah.' Gee whiz I wonder what kind of cult...culture is behind that statement. The funny thing is that this statement flows from the mouths of all of my friends who do smoke and always have. I stand by my right to privacy; growing your own removes every bit of people's hypocracies. Whenever I hear of a $6 million find in our canyons or praries I stop and wonder where all of those seeds came from. It's probaby our good 'ole boys lining their own pockets but immediately placing the 'blame' on a couple of illegal immigrants running away from the find. There was $500,000 worth in 1996 and try as I might, could never get a straight answer as to why a footprint, tire-track or surveillance from the D.E.A. was sought. The tiny article was hillarious in our local paper

Valley boy   June 25th, 2009 2:49 pm ET

As a daily cannabis user. I believe marijuana helps certain people, esp those that had a rough history. I do believe that marijuana is not for everyone and should be controlled like how alcohol is being controlled but in many different standards. I am a Manager for a large company and I also donate on a daily basis esp to supportourtroops. I don't see anything wrong here. Heroin or meth is no where near marijuana. You minus well call alcohol COCAINE!

BobDecker   June 25th, 2009 3:39 pm ET

THC in the cannabis plant is an anti-carcinogen. It decreases the size of tumors in small-cell lung cancer patients (per Harvard study) Boosh.

greg g   June 25th, 2009 4:17 pm ET

Let's learn the lesson from history and take the most appropriate action.
Alcohol prohibition didn't work and was costly. The same applies here...let's stop pouring money into an empty pit just because of a conservative agenda. People will do it if it's legal or not. Let's spend money on something worth while for a change.

Booger Monroe   June 25th, 2009 5:19 pm ET

MJ is a safe drug in moderation. Again, moderation is the key.... as with any chemical you place in your body.... caffeine, alcohol, tylenol, any chemical. I have smoked MJ for 35 years- not every day, but 2-3/week commonly. My heart, lungs, brain, colon, muscle tone, etc is completely healthy. And I am a manager in a large TX corp. Am I "addicted"? Maybe... but no more so than any of my cohorts who drink 2 glasses of red wine/ night. Do I miss it when I don't smoke it? No. Didn't even notice it. Can I go on vacation with my family without it? Absolutely... didn't miss it. Do I get a headache on the second day without it? Yes. Was it worse than my headache when I stopped drinking caffeine? No. It's time we take a serious, intellectual look at the facts and separate them from the fiction. It's amazing to me that 50 years later, we are still fighting for the same things. After all the corporate bailouts this year, aren't we sick of letting big companies rule our personal words? Hey Big Pharma, hey Dow, hey plastics council, why don't you work on more erectile dysfunction commercials? If MJ was found to cure ED, it would be approved in a heartbeat. And you know the PPOs and HMOs would cover it like Viagra!

Justen   June 25th, 2009 7:20 pm ET

If we proceed to prohibit marijuana than we should stay the course of drug prohibition with alcohol. We send a terrible message to the country saying "smoking marijuana is terrible, but sitting in a bar and drinking all night is fine with us". Honestly who of you out there really believes that marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol. Give me one good argument on that. There is not one. The only reason society calls it a gateway drug is because it is illegal. It forces people who want to smoke to enter into a realm of illegality. Alcohol is not a gateway drug! Why, because you can buy it at the grocery store with your bread and milk. Our marijuana laws are hypocritical.

Vincent   June 25th, 2009 7:55 pm ET

Marijuana is only as dangerous as the chemicals created in the plant when it is burned. There has been no study that shows long-term negative effects of the drug, in fact the opposite is true. THC, along with relieving the pain associated with terminal illness, is now also being used to treat and offer solutions for neurological cancer. Making medical marijuana legal will only serve to perpetuate breakthroughs in the healthcare industry. The "mindless zombie" and other dangers associated with cannabis died with Anslinger and his campaign of propaganda.

Paul Horowitz   June 25th, 2009 8:06 pm ET

Working with ex offenders in New Jersey has repeatedly exposed me to the fact that a person can do more time for marijuana than for murder. In addition, the vast majority of such offenders are people of color. I would like to know what the powers that condone such laws are smoking, popping, shooting, snorting, and drinking. This just feeds young lives to a billion dollor criminal justice system and it stinks with the residuals of racism. I would love to see some random urines run on the law makers in New Jersey as well as those in Washington.
Nationwide we are reputed to spend seven times more on incarceration than on treatment. There are vested interests in this dismal failure continuing because of the thousands of people that support themselves via this national disgrace.
Marijuana is an easy arrest and enables the system to keep the jails filled. If a youth enters for a non violent offender crime and does any amount of serious time that person is not likely to be non violent upon exit because of what they were exposed to in survival terms while incarcerated. Furtehr, he or she had a piece of their life ripped off and that, in my mind, is a real crime.

Michael Rae   June 25th, 2009 8:27 pm ET

With the USA government broke and pot the biggest cash crop in the country and the cost of pot related lock up in the billions its time to get with the program and make it legal and tax it. Your not EVER going to stop people from smoking it . In the 30's the Laguarda mayor of NYC didnt object its was only because law enforcement used scare tatics. You ask most cops they would tell you that pot is less harmful than drinking. Moreover you can get medicinal pot now so why not make it legal for all to endulge responsibly.

Amy Jackson   June 25th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

Whoa, wait a minute ... you said that marijuana is a drug just like heroin and meth ~~ NOT TRUE!!! So very not true!! It is all natural 100% organic, a weed. Marijuana does not have to be made. It is a naturally occuring PLANT. No one has to make it or manufacture it. Again, it is an all natural 100% organic weed. It may have a certain effect on individuals, but it it NOT like heroin or meth. It doesn't even have chemicals added to it like tobacco cigarettes.

Whew, glad I got that said! But it still bothers me that you would even make a comparison like that!

Travis   June 26th, 2009 1:20 am ET

Oh, I forgot to mention that, in a majory study done in the U.K. that investigated both dependancy and negative health effects of major recreational drugs, cannabis ranked lower in BOTH catagories then alcohol and (I believe) tobacco.

Just Some Dude   June 26th, 2009 2:54 am ET

Truthfully I've have been smoking pot recreationally for the past 16 years, I have a 122 I.Q. and hold down a job in a hospital psychiatric ward, and we have patients that come in on a regular basis that smoke pot. I myself have overhead in rounds by Doctors and Therapists mind you that scoff at the fact when they hear that a patient is using pot. They have said verbatim "thats the least of their worries, and it probably was not the weed that brought them here, and it probably was helping them stay sane." I have seen kids, because where I work is a childrens psychiatric ward, go through worse withdrawls from alcohol, due to acoholism, and seen worse things happen when kids use prescription drugs right and wrong. So yeah leaglize it, it is just a plant, that con be taxed and is no where near as bad as alcohol, it just makes you tired and hungry. Whats the harm in that?

Just Some Dude   June 26th, 2009 3:04 am ET

Also just so people know, the numbers are alot higher than you think as far as use goes, and you would not believe how many recreational users there are. And I'm talking about cops, lawyers, therapists, contractors, military (overseas and home) personel, teachers, all walks of life. Do not think that Doctors are not guilty either.......

Diane   June 26th, 2009 10:35 am ET

I am an oncologist who participated in the original clinical trials with Marinol for chemotherapy. One thing was apparent: patients who did not have drug seeking behavior did not have a good response to the drug. Those who like pot did. Bottom line: we can't trust the reports of "patients" who say that their pain is alleviated by pot. There are other drugs available that are more effective and don't have the addictive and mind-altering side effects.

Lord Gore   June 26th, 2009 11:16 am ET

I cannot believe this guy just compared Marijuana to Meth and Heroine. I've been a recreational smoker for over 5 years now, smoking it every day at least once, for those 5 years. I now have been totally smoke free for nearly 2 months with absolutely no after effects. Can that be said about a heroine junkie? or how about a tweeker? This person seriously has the wrong view on pot. Its an HERB for the love of FSM, not a man made slave driver like the other two.

Barbara Buttram   June 26th, 2009 11:18 am ET

Personally, I think Maraguana should be legalized. I am retired due to illness, but for twenty years I worked in a small legal office. If this "drug" were legalized, it would clear up a lot of cases which now clog the court system. This "drug" is in the hemp world and both were outlawed because persons who owed huge amouts of land with trees on it could make millions selling wood to make certain things with such as sails for boats. Hemp has very little of the "drug" which causes such a scare to most people. Having heard a police officer say that he knew who was drunk and who was on "pot" while driving, he said drunks go very, very fast and irractically and those on "pot" drove very, very slowly. I do know that the War on Drugs is failing because of kickbacks and dealers paying the officals much like "boot-leggers" did in the Prohibition Era. I have heard that "Pot" can make you dumb, if smoke too much of it. I believe it should be legalized. The Beebs

Just Me   June 26th, 2009 12:59 pm ET

I leave this comment as a private citizen and in no way affiliate it to my past or present career, it is as an opinion and off the record. On this topic of legalization I state that there could prove to be more pros then cons. Firstly, a very large revenue could be generated from the marketing of this product, cultivating, packaging and distrubuting individually could lead to millions and the jobs to pay those millions to. Secondly, in my past and present employment i have had at the most three encounters with those using or possession marijuana as a negative reaction or result. On the other hand, 90% of my dealings and actions are a result of alcohol use or abuse and these dealings are in the negative. It was from either individuals could not handle the effects and were not able to function in society and had to be removed therefrom, or killed another or more as a result of attempting to drive or engaged in an altercation and killed as a result. Lastly, marijuana is not a gateway drug, it is not. An individual that allows himself to move on to other or worse decisions is his own gateway. In labeling this a gateway, as an object, discounts the person from their actions and decisions. It would be the same as labeling cigarettes, alcohol or even soft drinks as a gateway, how often to you hear this hapenning? The smarter move is to legalize and profit from it. What individuals do with it after obtaining and using is not the decision of the government, justice systems, law enforcement or individuals who do not have a say in that individual's decisions, it lies with the user. There is a blind eye, more or less, turned to alcohol abuse and the problems it creates, yet look at the monies and jobs possible as a result of alcohol sales.

Kurbinder Gill   June 26th, 2009 1:29 pm ET

Marijuana should be legalized. Why is it that alcohol commercials always urge us to "Drink Responsibly." Oh, I get it. Our government says its okay to drink alcohol, but its not okay to smoke pot. Even though alcohol causes countless deaths and injuries every year through drunk drivers, alcoholism, alcohol poisoning, alcohol overdoses, alcohol detox, cirrhosis of the liver, domestic and spousal abuse, the list goes on and on. Why is alcohol legal if marijuana is illegal? This makes no sense considering the ill effects of marijuana are slim to none. As Katt Williams said, Hungry, Happy, Sleepy. Those are the three side effects. Keeping marijuana illegal is also causing another problem: marijuana use is rampant among teens. I am not surprised; 14 year olds probably can't access alcohol or cigarettes too easily. But pot? They probably have a choice as to which of their ten school-age friends they can call for pot. If pot were age-regulated, kids would grow up before making an informed choice on whether or not to smoke it. At this point, smoking pot is almost enticing to kids because of its illegality and because it is so easy to obtain. LEGALIZE ALREADY!!!! Let us grow our own, America. Please.

Brenda McGee   June 26th, 2009 1:37 pm ET

Hello everyone its Brenda here. What i'd like to say is I am upset that my tax dollars are paying to incarcerate marijuana offenders. Thousands and thousands of them. It costs money to house prisoners; food, clothing, overhead costs, etc etc. So shouldn't these people behind bars be rapists, armed robbers, and people that sell hard drugs???? We are spending millions upon millions of dollars every year, probably almost billions, on the criminal justice system that punishes people for doing something so benign! Marijuana is nothing compared to even pharmaceuticals that are legal and above the counter!! So why are my tax dollars paying for this? Why are my state and local taxes paying to incarcerate marijuana offenders, and why are my federal taxes being utilized by federal agencies that battle marijuana? Doing this doesn't stop anything. It just locks thousands upon thousands of people in cages for nothing, and marijuana use and support for legalization has increased over the years. stop beating a dead horse, America. Anyone who says it should be illegal is probably ignorant, brainwashed, related to law enforcement, or all of the above.

Matt   June 26th, 2009 1:49 pm ET

My neighbor recently found out I smoked pot and was very upset about it. She went out of her way to let me know what a loser I am. She is a checker at a grocery store and I am a computer engineer/ consultant. I take very good care of myself and am always progressing in my career/ life as its never enough I am always pushing to be better. My neighbor really has no accomplishments in life and is overweight yet deems me a bad person cause I smoke pot. What the hell is wrong with this country?

Spider   June 26th, 2009 3:31 pm ET


It's not ILLEGAL to accomplish nothing or overeat. So, as long as you smoke pot/break the law, there will be some people who look down on you. Now that your neighbor knows about your extracuricular activities, she could turn you in to law enforcement. Can you call the cops when she eats a whole ham/turkey by herself?

Robert Johnstone   June 26th, 2009 3:36 pm ET

Marijuanna raises the standard of living. Cultivating Marijuanna is a fun activity. Being chased by law enforcement detracts from the enjoyment of Marijuanna.

sumday   June 26th, 2009 3:38 pm ET

Calling pot a drug like meth and coke is like comparing beer to drinking gas!!! For everyone saying its a drug and how bad it is going to corrupt society, I'll ask 2 questions..What are pots effects on a person? Be honest, sure it makes you a lazy slow thinker, but is that all you can come up with???? It won't kill you, won't get you physically addicted, and the only person it is really "harming" is the person who is choosing to smoke it, so what is everyone’s problem???? 2) Why is it acceptable to all you people for a person to go to the Doc. get a prescription for depression, or painkillers and people think nothing of that yet 100's of people OD every year from it or become dependent on these legal drugs, yet no one has EVER had an OD with pot!!! Yet some of you people think spending 30k/yr to lock up a non-violent person is worth it??? For those of you who insist it is illegal and needs to be punished based on that fact alone I’d like to also point out that j-walking, and speeding is illegal too, and speeding kills people every day and is a horrible problem for society, so how would you feel if everyone arrested for speeding faced the same punishment as someone caught with pot??? Come on be honest, if speeding kills someone everyday, yet pot has never killed anyone shouldn’t the punishment be reversed??? Stop printing opinions and back up your reporting with facts like what are the real dangers to society from pot?????

sumday   June 26th, 2009 3:54 pm ET

Come on reporters are you taking bong hit when you write this or just think that only stoners will read this so no need to actually do research? All I am hearing in these reports is opinions…Why can’t someone list all the bad things pot does to a person and society, list all the good things, and list the cost to the tax payers for it being illegal and compare the lists??? The article mentioned health care concerns so list what bad health effect pot has (oh yeah none known just another rhetorical argument imagine that). How about reporting on the hemp industry, Showing that hemp is one of the fastest growing plant and has one of the most fibrous structures of all plants….That means there are a ton of products and possibilities for a non-drug use of growing hemp (we can make stronger and lighter products) or how the seeds are one of the most healthiest foods for the body (forgot that in your health care argument didn't you?). Can I please get some actual research and reporting from you reporters instead of someone’s opinion???

Wendy   June 26th, 2009 5:12 pm ET

It's certainly nice to know all of you splendidly educated people. I am in awe because 'We The People' are UNITING TO CHANGE OUR STUPID LAWS. Enough is enough of living in the dark ages. TORTURE IN THE COUNTY JAIL is my newly written book. This detective forced me to take twelve times the amount of my prescribed sleeping pills. I laid under a bright light on the cement floor of lockdown for six straight days, 144 hours of excrutiating pain with absolutely no sleep. I am bi-polar; pot has helped me survive. If I hadn't survived the false arrest they would have covered their own tracks and blamed me for suicide. But, no, I can't go home and smoke a joint? A $2.5 million Default Judgement was entered and signed on my behalf in federal court but they wiggled out of it. So yes, a disabled sick little woman with a joint, I am lucky to still be here to talk about it. Very lucky...Wendy in Good 'ole Utah. P.S. Jim Stafford's old song SITTIN' ON THAT SACK O'SEED has somehow got to be recirculated among us, if someone can help me I'd appreciate it.

Tom   June 26th, 2009 6:42 pm ET

I am in my 40s, have been in my job many years, have a Bachelors Degree, am a top performer at work, own real estate, pay plenty of taxes, and smoke marijuana.

Everyone is starting to finally figure out that "Right is Right" and that there is a mis-alignment with regard to Marijuana's place among the drugs. Prohibition has it lumped in with meth and herion, and therefore the gateway affect caused by prohibition. On the other hand, if marijuana was legal, many current users of more harmfull substances (legal and illegal) would choose the safer alternative.

All you judgmental people out there, just try to open your minds a little to the possibility that for some responsible productive adults, marijuana is a safe and enlightening experience. You might not prefer that, and that's OK, but do you really want to spend the taxpayers money finding and jailing people who smoke a plant for their own pleasure, or quite possibly for medical or spiritual reasons?

Breaking Event: Go to Google or Yahoo and search on "Houston Marijuana Death". A recent event where a person in a Houston Jail for simple possession died in the jail. This person died because of marijuana prohibition. It does not seem right.

LuisaMae   June 26th, 2009 6:43 pm ET

I don't know how anybody with any knowledge of drugs and their side effects can even begin to compare cannabis to heroin and meth! That is just ridiculous!!!

Le Gal   June 26th, 2009 7:20 pm ET

Legalize it all. This could stop the MJ drug traffic, and the tax could be used to fight the traffickers.

Darrell   June 26th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Americans will use just about everything in excess. It's the American style. Over eat, over party, over drink, over smoke, over criticize, over condemn, over assist, over think, over debate,..... Excess is America's first, middle and last name. Legalizing cannabis will provide a new legal industry to feed America's drug obesity.

SANDY   June 26th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

Pot is a natural substance. The only reason it is not legal is because of the tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical lobbies. Think of the money they would lose if people switch to pot! If the government regulated and taxed it, it would certainly help the deficit.

Deborah   June 27th, 2009 8:38 am ET

Hasn't anyone learned yet that no matter how hard they try to take drugs off the market, people will find a new one to take or make. Just like they did in the prohibition era. When alcohol was illegal, people just made their own.

Of all the drugs available, this includes cigarettes and alcohol because they are addictive too, pot is the least problematic. It is NOTHING like heroin and meth which is processed in a lab with many different chemicals. Pot is grown just like tobacco. It is not processed (normally) with other chemicals like meth and heroin. As a matter of fact, I'd be willing to bet that tobacco has more chemicals added in it than pot does. Not to mention cigarettes are more addictive than pot. Yet, it's legal!

gringofrijolero   June 27th, 2009 12:42 pm ET

How many people do you know that come home high on marijuana and beat the wives? It just doesn't happen. It isn't physically addictive. It doesn't harm the body. Smoke hurts your lungs, but marijuana doesn't harm the body. The people that are against it are against it blindly without knowledge.

Michael   June 27th, 2009 1:39 pm ET

It is very difficult to take the pills, vicodin in this case we are gaining control of our body, we must remain very careful and not fall and hang on to drugs, always remember to look at this couple and for our future. I read findrxonline certainly are very addictive and so we need to know control.

txkboy   June 27th, 2009 5:11 pm ET

Jeez...this story's been up for weeks now. Change of subject, please.

Sara   June 27th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

How is it that one can put marijuana in the same classification as meth and cocaine? People who say dont legalize have no clue. You dont think our kids can get it easier right now well guess what they can. Anyone that disagrees with this statement is an idiot and needs to research before they start spewing trash out of their mouths about how horrible marijuana is. Alcohol in my opinion should have never been legalized. All of the people that have died from idiots that drink and drive. There is nothing involving death from marijuana. Research this shit peeps before you start mouthing. This is not a trivial thing. LEGALIZE ALREADY.

finicky12001   June 27th, 2009 10:53 pm ET

All of you people that think only the users of marijuana go to prison are wrong!!!! And I can prove it!! I had a husband that used but had quit. My adult son moved back into my house with his baby. He was selling small amounts of it from his room, which he knew was not allowed in my home. When we were all arrested, and went to court, the DA had letters saying I worked 60 hours a week on 3-11 and 11-7 shifts. He also had a clean hair sample blood test and urine test. He tells the judge "Your Honor, we know she does not use marijuana and had nothing to do with the marijuana but it was her house" I got sentence4d to 60 days in jail and 2 years of probation. I also lost my job which I loved. We either need to legalize it or change the laws so these situations do not continue to happen!

cassandra   June 28th, 2009 12:14 am ET

is pot addictive? there are people addicted to food, addicted to gambling, addicted to sex, addicted to weight loss, addicted to spending money. personally, i am addicted to lip balm. so what?

Bill   June 28th, 2009 2:56 am ET

To our government officials:
Get out of our lives and take care of the REAL problems in America.
To the rest of you that condemn Marijauna smokers:
Stop meddling in our lives. how would you like if we interferred with your TV or fattening foods? You all think your so perfect that you have the right to tell other AMERICANS what we can do in the privacy of our own homes. I have NEVER had one of my doctors say anything negative when I told them I smoked weed. And finally, if you want to see street crime to drop significantly end the prohibitions on most drugs. Let the people finally be the free society we claim to be, not slaves to big brother or the federal government who can't run their own lives without secret affairs and corruption. Who are you to tell me ANYTHING? And for the rest of you who want to see this country free again, stand up and make some noise, damn it!!!!

A Voter   June 28th, 2009 12:35 pm ET

I agree that there are positive and negative issues from the legalization of a mood/mind altering substance. One thing that strikes me as naive though is comparing a human processed creation such as Meth to a natural god designed plant that use to be indigenous to America. I think the worst effect of legalization would be a decrease in country performance against the World markets. The best reason for legalization would be the influx of money from "users" that already pay for it illegally.

Biff   June 28th, 2009 2:14 pm ET

Alcohol is a drug, too. Man you weakened your whole point with that sad line.

carol   June 28th, 2009 3:13 pm ET

I am 50 years old and have smoked pot since I was 13. I have always held a full time job. I am currently a Human Resources Manager for 800 people. Although I do not smoke a lot anymore I still enjoy it and think it is absolutely RIDICULOUS that it is not legal. I hate the fact that smoking pot makes you a criminal.The fact that alcohol is legal and pot isn't makes no sense. What about cigarettes? What could posssibly be the purpose for them?Using resources on prosecuting people for marijuana possession is an absolute waste.When did you ever see someone become violent on pot like so many people do when drinking?The medicinal benefits of marijuana have been proven,so of course it should be legal.It is NOT the same as drugs like meth and heroin. Those drugs take over people's lives til they can not be responsible members of society. Pot smokers are in all walks of life,all professions, and you can not "spot them a mile away". It is time to put this issue to rest and legalize marijuana once and for all.

Just another dude   June 28th, 2009 8:34 pm ET

Micheal Jackson didn’t die from smoking marijuana, but it sounds like he did die from prescription drugs given to him by his doctor…..

Make one think, doesn’t it?

Gordon Stanley   June 28th, 2009 8:51 pm ET

Marijuana is a drug that should be as legal as alcohol and nicotine. It's time to get real. The real drug abuse is with pharmaceutical drugs as Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger and Rush Limbaugh have shown us....

Puffthe Magic Dragon   June 28th, 2009 9:07 pm ET


Tyler   June 29th, 2009 3:41 am ET

I wish people weren't so ignorent to the facts. People are just set in there ways and no matter what anyone says know matter what the FACTS are its not going to change there opion. I think this has to do alot with peoples pride, they are agaist it so they will stay that way. People need to learn to be more open minded. I'm not saying that other drugs such as meth or cocain should ever be even considered to be legalized but I strongly think that marijuana should be up to the individual to deside if they want to do it. Life isnt all about work and eduacation. We only get so much time on this planet as individuals so I personaly think that this drug is not as bad as you may want to think. I personaly dont like to drink because of its effects on my behavior and hangovers. I would much rather smoke a joint on the weekends with my friends because its just not as bad as drinking to me and ive done both. Pills even are responsible for thousands of deaths, Alchole is responsible for millions while marijuana is responsible for ZERO. I say stop funding cartels and help out own economy and make something that should have never been illegal in the first place legal once agian. I will also add that Mr. Aslinger ( The person directly responsible for makeing marijuana illegal) took advandage of a time that knew very little about marijuana to profit and make a name for himself useing false statements and racism. I think its high time we all wise up alittle. If Goerge Washington wanted this illegal when he founded this country he would have made it that way, instead it was his number 1 crop that he grew. So to those that oppose the legalization of marijuana I saw wise up and swallow your pride and admit your wrong.

Tyler   June 29th, 2009 4:39 am ET

I dont think we should stop the War on Drugs. However I do think we should eleminate marijuana from that list of drugs because it is less harmful then alot of other things that are readily available for the public. I also think that the theory that marijuana is a gate way drug is also false and if there is any truth to that then our own media is to blame. People that do try other drugs i think are often in the belief that marijuana is no different then meth or cocian because its illegal and one of the drugs in the war on drugs so how different can they be, and they couldnt be more wrong. By takeing marijuana off that list and taxing and regulating it I think that it would be no more of a gateway drug then alchole or asprin because people would not be thinking of it as such a bad thing. There is just no way that marijuana should be catigorized with such drugs as meth, herion, and cocain when they are so different. Also alot of the time people can go get those drugs from the same person that they get their marijuana from and the dealers are probably encourging it because they can make more money off those drugs. By makeing marijuana legal your takeing that same idividual out of that setting completely so maybe they will never even be faced with that option. I strongly think that if marijuana is made legal in this country then it would change alot of peoples views of the users and marijuana itsself in relation with other, more dangerous drugs.

S   June 29th, 2009 9:21 am ET

Whats the point of leagalizing or not, war on drugs is not going to well, i dont think they will legalize it, but being busted with drugs is alot harsher than murder, i read that a person named Angelos got 55 yrs for traffiking for selling $350 of grass to a undercover cop, while manslaughter is set for 13 yrs. So why to sex offenders and murders get to walk the streets while people that get busted with grass are still behind bars...

Diane Yokom   June 29th, 2009 10:32 am ET

I worked with NORML in the 1970s in Nebraska. With the help of their lobbyist's advice, attorney (and eventual president of NORML some years later) Donald Fiedler, Esq. of Omaha, NE (and I) attended a legislative session of the Nebraska Unicameral interest in banning drug paraphernalia. Because their bill was written so broadly that it would keep any one from buying two-sided ashtrays, double-album covers for records...LOL...and other silly ideas, we showed that they would be shutting down every pipe tobacco store, legitimate herbal stores, and even the Mayor of Omaha's chain of grocery stores would be shut down. MY MAIN POINT – in the 20's we learned that alcohol cannot be banned. People will find a way. So the government got smart and regulated it, taxed it and placed restrictions on it's use by age, etc. WHY ARE WE NOT DOING THAT WITH CANNABIS? Because those, like in the 20's, who profit from our not regulating it like alcohol (a drug also), have their interests being watched by their paid eyes in Washington and as long as it is illegal in the way that it is now, the CRIME SYNDICATES WIN. I don't care if they come from Columbia, Thailand, China or Florida the people who benefit from the government NOT REGULATING and making marijuana the alcohol taxed drug that it should be ARE CRIMINALS. LET'S GET SOME SENSE, no pun intended. REGULATE THE PRODUCT, TAX IT, SET IT UP LIKE ALCOHOL FOR MISUSE AND STOP THIS NONSENSE. GET THE MONEY IN OUR COFFERS. Let the drug cartels go dry.

Diane Yokom   June 29th, 2009 10:39 am ET

P.S. Our drug companies might be upset at first when people get off Zanax, Paxil, Valium and the like but eventually they too will benefit from the treating cannabis/marijuana the way we treat alcohol. Drug companies could grow and develop types of canabis for many different uses – G Washington Carver knew that it could be used for many different things including replenishing the soil after a crop has depleted it. WHAT A CONCEPT. Green America WAKE UP and see that if we keep doing things the way we always have we will keep getting the same results as before. History is a teacher – LEARN AMERICA

THE BO$$   June 29th, 2009 12:18 pm ET

i think that if the government is going to legalize it...DO IT!! i mean...being in the military with a zero tolerance for it kinda sucks..but think about this for a many alcohol related incidents do you hear about?? Tons, right?? okay so how many 'weed related incidents' do you hear about?? My point...

BW   June 29th, 2009 12:22 pm ET

I applaud this. It's good reading to start the day for housewives all over the country, right before they go out and refill their addictive legal painkiller and/or depression drug prescription.
And then they'll pop one and get in the car and drive. How absurd this country is in that you can be pulled over with pot in your car and get arrested, and pulled over with an opiate and be smiled at.

finicky12001   June 29th, 2009 12:24 pm ET

what about the people who are co dependent. They do not use but go to prison as if they did. Some just try to keep their families together and some cannot make another adult quit. Are we supposed to babysit our grown children as well?

everydayjoe   June 29th, 2009 12:49 pm ET

heres a story for you, i've been a daily user of weed everyday from age 20 i'm 53 now if u asked anyone about me they'd say thats good old joe good hard working single father raising 2 teenage daughters alone. i work at a high profile job in a large industry and i'm in charge of over 100 workers, i've also been president of our union and served as not only spoksman but as top level trainer of new hires. and i preform my duties everyday and never been in trouble with law, i dont do any other drugs or booze i dont even take pain meds. if you met me on street you'd think me to be who i am the average american man. trust when i get homw i'll fire one up and kick back and unwind. that being said i'll say this. compare that to people who drink a couple beers or shot or two and fight with spouse or kids every night. what about the drunks that kill and maim everyday, am i a rebel? not at all i conform to most standards of society,, but unlike you drum beating idiots that are led around by your noses by government at least your own ignorence,,i choose to live my life as i wish. why fight the vote? lets put it to national "referrendom" let everyone have a vote,, then u will see ur the "different" ones

A Norml Girl   June 29th, 2009 1:19 pm ET

Well Ms. Floyd, you appear moded.

I haven't seen one argument I wanted to make, someone may have left it and I might have skimmed over. Have you ever thought of the other economic benefits? Food sales would go up both in stores and in restaurants (something our economy could kinda use), would go up in movie sales both ticket and dvd/download, music sales would go up the same as movies. Anything frivolous would go up in sales, and that is what our economy thrives on. Random clothes, shoes, and video game sales would skyrocket.

the overall picture is that pot is great for the economy, on both an economic and social stand point.

We win.

Lee   June 29th, 2009 1:48 pm ET

In the 70's, my husband and I attended college in Berkeley, so we are familiar with marijuana. I tried it twice and did inhale. I do not agree with legalization for general use as one's judgement can become impaired. However, my father had leukemia and one of the hospital orderlies would provide him with a joint. When the door had a "do not disturb" note, everyone knew what was going down. It eased his last few weeks. I would approve of legalization for medicinal purposes only.

Lisa   June 29th, 2009 1:51 pm ET

YES, Marijuana should be legal, the goverment has us so deep in debt that it will take my great grandchildren to pay it off. Why not take the money from people who are making all the money from pot and give it back to the people who are paying for all the legal costs, the jail expense' and the rehab program's. It's not morally right that we ( and our children ) have to pay for something we had no voice in doing.

FuNnThEsUn   June 29th, 2009 1:52 pm ET

I haven't made up my mind on this subject yet so I'm not for or against it. I just have a few questions about how the process would work if it was legalized.

Would it be legal to grow it?
If it would be legal to grow it, why would anyone buy it? How much revenue would we really be generating if anybody could grow it?
If only certain people could grow it, how difficult would it be to regulate or enforce who could grow it and who couldn't?

If people were to sell it "under the table" (i.e. try to get out of paying taxes on it) and were caught in the act doing this, would we be trading sending people to jail for possession and trafficking for tax evasion? Or distributing without a license?

In short, would we be eliminating, creating, or just trading one set of problems for another if pot were to become legalized?

Stephenie   June 29th, 2009 1:58 pm ET

I know firsthand of police officers who, while not out-right supporting the legalization of pot, do not necessarliy believe that it would be a bad thing. The way they put it was as follows: they have never had to chase down a high person nor have they ever been involved in a violent altercation with a high person. Think about how violent drunks can be (alcohol being a legal drug), how dangerous they are behind the wheel, and how most people dont even go to jail for their first DUI's. How does it make any sense to validate alcohol and not weed when we look at it from this perspective?

Tyler   June 29th, 2009 4:33 pm ET

We need to legalize is not a drug...its a plant...alcohol is way worse than weed. People need to look up the facts and grow up. Its is only a gate way drug because people go to drug dealers to get it and other drugs are around. If the government sold weed, put filters on it so its is safer, and taxed it, then it would be a win win for everybody.

Nicholas Foster   June 29th, 2009 5:30 pm ET

First of all, marijana is not like meth or heroin. That's like saying alcohol is like meth and heroin. Just because it's legal doesn't mean that it's not a drug. If we take the crime out it, it becomes a profitable taxable herb that grows like parsley. We could be creating an income for thousands of people in the U.S., Mexico, Canada,...The amount of plants grown around the world may help suck up some of the Co2 that pollutes our atmosphere, or maybe even use it's oil to run a car. I don't understand why ti hasn't been legalized already with proper restrictions besides Medical purposes. We need to stop polluting our jails with pot smokers and focus on the drugs like meth , cocaine, extasy, herion...ect. The revenue alone could provide every legal citizen in the U.S. with basic health care. They may as well make money on it because they'll never be able to stop it.

dcphony   June 29th, 2009 7:42 pm ET

America is all about freedom. Freedom implies the right of being able to choose. Americans can choose, or not, to partake of alcoholic beverages. They are free to do so. This same right of choice should be extended to marijuana users. It is mind-boggling that alcohol, which can cause a high degree of dysfunction to people who overindulge, is legal, but not marijuana. Tobacco is legal even thoguh it is recognized as harmful. Why isn't marijuana receiving the same treatment as tobacco? Tax it, regulate it's production, and set up treatment programs (as is being done for nicotine addicts – supposedly!) for drug users.
If American citizens have a craving to fry their brains with substances heavier than marijuana, they should be allowed to do so – as long as they are not negatively affecting the rights of others by doing so. C'mon, people. Mandatory this and mandatory that is not America. All the laws in the work that forbid this or forbid that doesn't stop the stupid 10% of those of us who will always do the "wrong" thing. Let them do it and maybe we'll get lucky – and see them die.......No more problematic social issue. No more drug czar, what?

Curt   June 29th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

Pot should be legal. Beer is legal. Regardless of economics this is a foolish drug war. I would prefer treatment over jail. There are also an entire list of Green products and uses that we are missing out on because of the law that no one who wants to smoke pot listens to anyway. Comments about it being the same as heroin sounds to me like they are coming from one of those hypocritical drunks.

I also think that America is so over scripted now with treatment drugs that pot certainly is no worse than. I have friends in thier forty's who have over 20 pills a day. More Over the counter hypocrites ...

But what the heck. I suspect my illegal pot is cheaper than government taxed pot any day. Find a state that fits your mood. Find a community that understands priorities. Why is pot even on our radar with all the things we could focus on.

rob   June 30th, 2009 12:58 am ET

Anyone who thinks marijuana is a harmless drug is being very short-sited. Thousands of people have been in killed in Juarez, MX alone due to the drug cartel's need to control the drug flow. Thinking that they'll just walk away from this if the US makes it legal is just not going to happen. The mob was created by prohibition and even though liquer is now legal, the mob is still around. The cartel will stay on the US border and continue to kill. I doubt they want to start paying taxes.

Laura   June 30th, 2009 5:53 am ET

Lets see would I reather the justice system spend more time working on real drug offernders like heroine addicts, crack heads and meth addicts. YES! Would I like to the goverment stop waiting money trying to put college kids and hippys in jail YES! Do I smoke pot YES! Do I have a good job YES! Do I know several professionals like my self who smoke it YES! (This does inlude, police officers, corrections officers, nurses, teachers, doctors, lawers, and social workers all of whom are close friends) Do I do other drugs NO! Do I drink on a regular basis NO! If it's made legal will people buy it YES!! Will it be easy to regulate YES! Not every pothead has land to grow it on. And don't for get you can make any kind of alchohol at home to but, most people would rather just stop at the store.

Brian   June 30th, 2009 12:53 pm ET

We should outlaw growing Roses to protect the children from the dangerous thorns, and since home rose gardens can have an impact on the interstate commerce of roses then Congress has the Constitutional authority to do it.

Can't you prohibitions see how crazy it is that you've allowed and encouraged a government established to ensure the blessings of liberty to prohibit a plant that has been used and praised by humanity for thousands of years?

Cabell   June 30th, 2009 3:34 pm ET

Well I only have a few cliches to toss in...."Man made beer, God made pot...who do you trust?..."The only thing you want to kill while smoking pot is...a bag of Dorito's!...."if we always do what we've always done...we'll always get what we've always got...." LEGALIZE IT The views above seem to be leaning toward common sense. I say take it to the polls. Let's Vote. If not then ban ALL the other more dangerous vices....I guess the FDA wouldn't be involved in the pro's of cannabis...after all FDA is just a acronym for Fatal Drugs Allowed!... *sigh*...and no I don't smoke pot. I'm waiting for it to be legal. Then I may toss these ciggarettes and alcohol out. (now maybe that's not what companies who have interest in those pursuits would like to have happen...ya think...ummmmm?????) Why aren't the snack companies begging for legalization?

Jon Wayne   June 30th, 2009 4:02 pm ET

No one ever presents to an Emergency department in Marijuana withdrawls. No one ever presents to an E.D. with the complaint of Marijuana overdose. No one is ever treated for COPD related to Marijuana inhalation. No one ever presents with complaints of Fractures,Sprains or Lacerations related to Marijuana use. No Motor vehicle crashes have to my knowledge have ever been attributed to Marijuana inhalation or ingestion. There is no evidence to suggest that a person may develop Cancer from Marijuana inhalation only. No one has ever presented to an Emergency Department hallucinating from Marijuana use. I'm unsure where the statistics that have been published came from. You would think after 13 years of Emergency Department Nursing in many settings from small towns to huge metro areas I would have seen at least 1 of the above. There is truly no evidence to support the claims that Marijuana is detrimental to one's health, at least from what I have witnessed. Thank you.

anonymous   June 30th, 2009 8:16 pm ET

Its concerning that most people are just agreeing with Lutherans, a German religion founded in Germany that made its way into America and supports the legalization of marijuana. Another problem is that African Americans are the second most populous group and agree with them?? Religion should not rule America and I will not go along with the Scorpio strategy of Martin Luther.–the founder of the Lutheran church.

-- Keep with science where you would know that DNA is damaged during marijuana inhalation. The study can be found at Stay with the current facts not the confusing opinions.

frederika bambika   June 30th, 2009 11:34 pm ET

In my point of view, marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. Do I think it should be legal? YES! But I do think it should be taxed and regulated. Putting marijuana in the same category as meth and heroin is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. There are also people who say it is a "gate way drug", this is also bs. I know many people that have only done marijuana, including myself. I think people who go on to other drugs have deeper issues they are trying to drown out. And they will figure out a way to get high no matter what. I have smoked pretty much daily since I was 17. I went to collage, work, pay taxes, have a home, volunteer, and am contributing to society. Marijuana does not stop me from doing any of these things. What meth or heroin addict can say that??

Olivia Hartranft   July 1st, 2009 12:43 am ET

Also, to the author:

Smoking marijuana is not comparable to using physically addictive drugs such as heroin or meth. Not only does marijuana use not cause the serious health problems that result from the abuse of drugs like heroin and meth but it is also not proven to be either physically or mentally addictive. There is no risk of death from marijuana use like there is with other legal and illegal substances and it is statistically "safe" compared to alcohol, tobacco, and real illicit drugs.

Laura   July 1st, 2009 11:55 am ET

To the person who thinks couples don't stay together after one stops smoking pot:

Hun, you are wrong on every count, We just celebrated 27 years, hubby smokes like a chief, I don't smoke at all, haven't for years he still thinks I rock and am not at all boring. We have raised our children, run business successfully and furthered our educations. Pot is just a "part" of life not the end all and be all. We own our home and all the toys ( boat, RV, jet skies) are paid for, we are not criminals we are in fact very good citizens. Our children are business women and a are well adjusted people.

It is ignorance that perpetuates the myth of Reefer Madness.

taylor   July 1st, 2009 1:13 pm ET

When you are taught about drugs when you are a child you are told that pot is a gateway drug, that ranks up there with the most potent and addictive drugs... more often than not if you ask people what the first drug they tried when they were young they are going to say alcohol.. Its sick to me that there are people rotting away in prison for possession of marijuana... when there are child rapists/ molesters that go to jail for a matter of months or drunk drivers that had one to many leave a bar and kill someone the punishment for that varies (especially if you are a celebrity) usually the sentence is a joke.. as is the war on drugs... im not saying we need to legalize drugs... we just need to take a look at our backwards system and prioritize...

kat m do   July 1st, 2009 2:21 pm ET

I suffer from crohn's disease and miasthenia made drugs make me sick....God made drugs do least make it available to those who need it like flax seed, vitamin c, ginko is a plant....sell it like tomatoes......

Frank Mondana   July 1st, 2009 7:01 pm ET

I support legalizing and taxing it. Draconian laws have done nothing to stop it's use. Tell somebody they can't have something they like and they will still use it. Remember how well prohibition worked out?

However, to those who say it is not addicting and causes no harm, you are dead wrong. Pot contains lots of the same carcinogens as cigarette smoke. Besides, use common sense. Does inhaling burning vegetation sound healthy. If you live anywhere near wildfire country you would not think so. Growers are now using many of the same chemicals as the tobacco folks and for the same reasons.

Have you ever met someone who has smoked dope for 10-20 years on a daily basis? They are mighty mellow but also dumb as hell. 12 folks that I've known for 20 years who smoke daily are really funny but can't spell their own names.

Both sides need to meet in the middle. The prohibitionist needs to remember history and the left needs to stop making dope sound like it's nothing more than chewing gum or having a beer.

Although I will admit, I've never met a belligerent stoner.

Drew   July 1st, 2009 11:53 pm ET

When she said pot is like meth and heroine that was so rude and uncalled for. Marijuana is nothing like alcohol, heroine coke, crack, meth, oxi, vikes, or ex. Its an all natural, harmless drug unlike alcohol and cigarettes. What do we "stoners" have to do to get it threw your heads that marijuana should be legal?
We as American's should have the choice rather or not to smoke marijuana or not. There's never a reason why marijuana is illegal? Especially when we have two "drugs" that are legal and cause more harm then marijuana. Every week there's a story on CNN about drunk driving accidents, I just read this past week 4 teens are dead because of alcohol. But that's not that bad, its only 4 teens right? I think we made the wrong thing legal.
Where's the marijuana users? Their at home playing video games or getting some munchies. As for marijuana impairing vision, I don't know who you got to test that out but that's a load of crap. The only way it impairs your vision is if you smoke a half ounce because you'll be knocked out sleeping. Legalize the drug that God made so we can go home after a long day and take a toke.

Flying High Proud American

Lonnie Smith   July 2nd, 2009 12:29 am ET

First you are certainly not a kid, and as usual you have no answers.
I for one do not wish to decriminalize the use of marijuana which seems to be very unpopular with your readers. Everyone seems to think that alcohol is not dangerous either.
The more we can inhibit the usage of these and every other drug the safer we will be on the highways.
Just one mans opinion.

Booer   July 2nd, 2009 3:38 am ET

If you take the crime out of marjuana you take the police budget with it and therefore lay off haf of the entire criminal system. Not going to happen in this lifetime.

Anthony   July 2nd, 2009 12:32 pm ET

The fact that Marijuana is legal in some states for medicinal purposes, but yet still remains a schedule 1 drug, is proof enough that our governments ideals and so called facts on Marijuana are 100% wrong. Legalizing Marijuana would not only create jobs, and income, but it would eliminate a ridiculous war on Pot that costs Americans billions every year. Grow up, this is not the sixties, it is just a matter of time until marijuana reform is brought to Washington, so deal with it.

V!   July 2nd, 2009 1:52 pm ET

I'm so sick of this "gateway drug" business pot got labeled with.

Who starts with pot vs. who starts with drinking a couple of beers stolen from dad, out behind the garage?


Ever seen anyone so stoned they came home from "one too many joints" with the boys and decided to beat the missus?

I can see and appreciate peoples concern, but seriously, alcohol is FAR worse a DRUG, than pot.
And to ignore that fact, is folly.

And no, I don't smoke pot, in case you were wondering....

G Wash   July 2nd, 2009 3:08 pm ET

The view of a marijuana smoker in this country is un fair to say the least. Alcohol, tobacco, and a majority of pharmacuticals are much more harmful than marijuana in any amount. Ever since we started the war on drugs Alcoholism has gone through the roof. It is also a victimless crime, there is no reason someone shouldnt be able to smoke in there own home.

Michelle   July 2nd, 2009 3:29 pm ET

I know it's foolish to think our votes count. But Why can't we put it to a vote, and let the people decide?

Lauren   July 2nd, 2009 3:33 pm ET

Hey, okay.
I am a 20 something mother who for my age and education has a darn good job with a high profile financial company. I take care of my child, along with my husband. We have a nice house, two cats two dogs and a large yard. Two new vehicles and a lake house. To go with that lake house we have 2 boats, 2 fourwheeler and for the winter lover- a snowmobile.
One certainly cannot accomplish that when they are pot smokers can they?
Well OF COURSE they can, I do and quite regularly at that.
My husband does not but it doesnt bother me that he doesnt and it doesnt bother him that I do.
Sure there are a lot of "lazy stoners" out there, but there are also recreational smokers too.

Personally, I have never heard of someone getting high, driving home and beating the crap out of their spouse. How many times have we heard that about alcohol?
I have never heard about someone going into a rage while high on weed and breaking things, hurting people of animals of for that matter, themselves. Never in my twenty something life.
I am a free spirit, going where the wind takes me. Do I take care of my daughter and love her with every ounce of me, sure do! Do I pay my bills late to buy drugs, sure dont!

Weed isn't a bad drug, it's really not a drug even. There are no harsh effects on the body, no long lasting damage and its certainly isn't 'mind altering'. the only mind altering being doen it you are happy and silly. And dont we all need laugh now and then?

Lauren Bialon

John Jackson   July 2nd, 2009 5:11 pm ET

Make it LEGAL for godsake! I am surprised that nobody is even mentioning the fact that the Mexican drug cartel and other gangs are funded by the fact that they are wholesellers for the illegal pot market. If it is legal, it can be regulated and taxed while reducing crime. Saying it is even close to crystal meth or heroin is a ridiculous statement. Show me someone who smokes pot twice a week for two years and then show me someone who does meth twice a week two years and it will be clear they are not even close to teh same thing. Pot is also a proven neuroprotector and will probably end up being the primary treatment for many neurological illnesses like ALS and MS. Stop with the propoganda already and do what is right!!

jaredl   July 2nd, 2009 9:00 pm ET

blah blah blah. why do they want it legal, so they can tax it and try to cover their butts. f that. the same government that has demonized and covered the truth about a plant for soooooo long now what to legalize it so they can make more money and seem like they are doing better. ridiculous. decriminalize YES. legalize NO. im not lining the fat cats pockets.

Bill   July 2nd, 2009 10:43 pm ET

I'm a 53 year old man and have been smoking pot since I was 13 years old, I have a remodeling company and dont get stoned at work. It is a good way to unwind after a stressed day and I dont wake up with a hangover. What it boils down to is people who smoke it are gonna smoke it just like beer,liquor.ciggs ect. making it legal would save tax dollars by not putting people in jail and will put more tax dollars to work for our country and It would take a lot of crime off the streets. Lauren made a lot of good points about the affects vs. beer and liquor and as far as my kids go they are all adults now have good jobs went to collage and are hard working tax paying citizens who also have kids. I never got high in front of my kids when they were growing up and two smoke two dont. I would rather they smoke than drink or smoke ciggs, I never heard of anyone dying from smoking pot but I have lost good friends because of ciggs. and a couple because of drunks killing them on the hwy.

Robert Shirk   July 3rd, 2009 12:37 am ET

It's impossible to separate discussion of drugs from discussion of alcohol use and its regulation. All drugs can and need to be regulated but not thoughtlessly like most are now. A lot of thought was put into alcohol regulation because of the lesson we learned from from prohibition. That lesson was that it's more dangerous for individuals and society to prohibit something than it is to allow its use and to regulate it. Prohibition leads to criminalization, inferior and dangerous product and control of the illegal market by gangsters. Sound familiar?

Char   July 3rd, 2009 11:13 am ET

Yes Yes legalizing is the way we're going help save the US. Just the new jobs and businesses that it would create would be a saving grace for us. Read and educate yourselves you will agree look around people need jobs our kids are homeless its only getting worse. This is an herb you can't OD on it and you CAN NOT compare these other drugs to marijuana it's in a class all by itself. Alcohol is a much more harmful drug but when it was legalized it did pull America out of a very very hard time read about it. Times are worse for Americans now, we have to do something to get America back on track. This really is the way look this will generate new jobs in mulitude, taxes for the country, medical relief the ill people. Think out side of the box don't be afraid of change this would be great thing it is time to legalize.

Dahlia   July 3rd, 2009 3:10 pm ET

Smoking pot is akin to meth and heroin? Really? And you lived in the projects? You're deluded and people like you (well-meaning, but utterly stupid) are at the heart of the problem. I have news for you. Smoking pot is NOTHING like meth and heroin. Having been an emergency room nurse for 32 years, I can tell you that I have NEVER ONCE IN MY CAREER had a patient come in for a marijuana induced illness. Pot smokers do not crash their cars. They do not beat their wives and children. Pot smokers do not steal and kill for a fix. Pot smokers DO NOT graduate to harder drugs as a matter of course. I've met many a patient who has been smoking pot for 40 years and has never had any other type of drug. Now let's talk about alcohol - a very legal drug - and tell me if any drunk you ever met has lived as good and productive life as the vast majority of pot smokers. If you want to discourage people from smoking pot, may I suggest that you 1) learn the facts, and 2) don't distort them to suit your point of view.l

SusanElizabeth_   July 3rd, 2009 4:57 pm ET

Lets, look at the Nederlands, their model works!! Ja!!

jon   July 3rd, 2009 9:33 pm ET

is a cigarette even a cigarette anymore, what with the 600 some odd adictive additives in it....

StarkRG   July 3rd, 2009 10:24 pm ET

"Smoking pot is not lighthearted recreation. It is a drug, like heroin and meth."

I'd say it's more like caffeine and alcohol. Its effects are similar to alcohol, but you retain much more control and such (not that I'd suggest one go driving after smoking).

The negative things that many people against cannabis legalization put forth as evidence, such as the crime that goes on around it are things that would disappear when legalized.

Alcohol was re-legalized once they realized what an issue it was to fight it. Pot is no different.

juan c   July 4th, 2009 12:15 pm ET

well when I came back from iraq VA want it to give me pills, so I reseach and found out that those pills where adicctive, I used natural teas, yoga averything until I found marijuana. It has helped me a lot to control strees,I don't harm anyone, plus I think the goverment should take that money that goes to cartel's and make profit out of it ,besides they going to have the power to regulate how ever they want it.
I think this debate about cannabis has become a moral dogma like alcohol was before they legalized.
another thing no one can ever overdose fron cannabis unlike alcohol
cannabis is fully natural unlike tobaco products (tar.....) regular weed smokers don't smoke 20 cigar's or 40= 2 packs a day ;so who is having more contact with the product of a combustion that is one of the causes of troath cancer.

Carolyn   July 4th, 2009 2:10 pm ET

If we legalize pot, which drug comes next? Rest assured, there will be a next. Alcohol was once prohibited, but was legalized to meet the demands of consumers. Where has that gotten us? Hundreds of lives are lost each year to drunk drivers. Add drugs into the mix, and you have a lethal concoction. We know that drugs are big business in school's, our medicine cabinets have become the new "drug dealer" for this generation. We, as parents and teachers, cannot watch our kids 24/7. We cannot count on them to be reasonable, prudent, careful, they like to push the limits. With that push, in some cases, they pay with their lives, or the lives of innocent bystanders. We have seen the drive by shootings, gang wars over turf, neighborhoods held hostage by drug dealers, guns in the hands of those not qualified to own them, fueled by greed. Drugs are big business, easy money, but the cost is too high.

I would rather see harsher penalties, more jail time, than a slap on the wrist. Drug dealers, of all ages, have little fear of the penal system. If they did, you wouldn't see them using the courts as a revolving door. By the legal age of 18, some have rap sheets a mile long. To offset the cost of incarceration, put them on work details cleaning up the highways. Make them clean up lots used for drug use, removing the dirty needles that litter the land. Use them to repair buildings, used as drug houses, so that decent people might have nice homes, a place to rear their children in safety. I would love to see the police clean out these neighborhoods, run the druggies out of town completely. Can it be done, YES! Not only can it be done, but it MUST be done. Life is precious, a gift, not trash to be thrown away.

Bobbi   July 4th, 2009 5:33 pm ET

I think most people against pot legalization would be shocked if they knew just how many of their good upstanding neighbors were also pot smokers. Pot users are teachers, homemakers, clergy...I know because I have smoked with people of all walks of life in the past. Responsible, otherwise law abiding citizens who are fully functional in daily life. We are so normal that even I have been surprised to learn about someone's pot smoking in the past.

In regards to addictiveness, I have had no trouble quitting pot smoking while pregnant, but am sad to say that I have not been able to completely stop smoking cigarettes during either of my pregnancies. While I do miss pot and know that I will smoke it again when done with pregnancy/breastfeeding, it was not a hardship to quit it for months or even years on end as I have done in the past. Cigarettes on the other hand...

I do not drink, nor do I use any other street drugs, and prescription painkillers scare me. Drinking makes me aggressive, I have never desired any other illegal drug and would never partake in anything stronger than pot and I have seen normal people become extremely addicted to legally aquired prescription pain pills.

Do I sit around getting high all day? Absolutely not, I have things to do and places to go. But at the end of the day when the kids are in bed and my day is finally done, I do enjoy relaxing with some pot.

shiki   July 5th, 2009 10:59 am ET

Marijuana is not a drug like heroin or meth, its not even a drug like alcohol. It's talk like this, lumping everything together, especially with the glaring hypocrisy that is legalized alcohol, that destroys any legitimate argument the pro drug war people might have. Kids are not so stupid, if you say pot is as bad as these drugs when it so clearly is not you label yourself at best a fool and at worst an outright liar and manipulator. Drug use should not be illegal any more than obesity, drug addiction is a disease and an enlightened, compassionate society treats it as such.

Caz   July 5th, 2009 12:44 pm ET

Just wonder how much money would not be going to criminals and thugs to help fund their crimes against society if MJ was legalized.

Mike   July 5th, 2009 1:48 pm ET

Its a 'weed', it grows wild, you cant stop it. People will find a way to get high not matter what the penalty may be. You cannot police everyone, I am sure there are alot of people growing plants in their house for their own use & nobody knows about it.

Brian   July 5th, 2009 2:28 pm ET

Millions of people make the choice to smoke cigarettes everyday even though there are labels on them telling of the severe risks of doing so. Surely this choice is more detrimental to society's overall well being than people smoking marijuana? Let's talk about healthcare issues!! Obesity in this country can be attributed to our intake of processed foods, yet we know this and keep consuming! Or how about the people that enjoy 2 or 3 beers or glasses of wine after work every night. I do not see the difference between responsible marijuana use and a casual few drinks to cap the day. What has happened is the government and media have overblown the failures of irresponsible miscreants that should never have had a smoke or a drink in the first place and demonized something that is no worse (and possibly better) for you than a couple beers. Let's open our hearts and minds to realize that living in fear of something that grows freely on our planet is a human failure.

meinAZ   July 5th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

My father couldn't stop drinking alcohol to save his life...he knew he was dying, but was unable to control the addiction & he died from liver failure on 12/17/2006. My grandfather smoked cigarettes & couldn't stop even after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Needless to say, he also died from his legal addiction. My aunt is in the midst of a huge prescription pain med addiction. She's lot her husband, job, & countless other things to these legal drugs.I have never heard of or known anyone who died or who's life was ruined from pot smoking, yet it remains illegal. I have smoked pot off and on for the past 15 yrs. I have a good job, education, home & happy family life. What is so different from me smoking a joint & relaxing after a long day at work than someone who goes home to a glass of wine to unwind? This is just a sad situation & it is so backwards I want to scream.

James   July 6th, 2009 7:21 am ET

Despite the drug war that has lasted decades, despite the millions of arrests, despite the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted, drugs are cheap and easy to obtain. The truth is that prohibition simply does not work. I say legalize marijuana and commercial hemp production.

Matt d.   July 6th, 2009 9:17 am ET

Alcohol's MUCH WORSE. Enough said.

Matt d. in DC

Ross   July 6th, 2009 11:10 am ET

Im sorry, but I do not see many valid points on here from readers.....

Paige   July 6th, 2009 11:39 am ET

Maybe we should VOTE on it. For those of you who really think marijuana is dangerous, you are right, but only because it is illegal. It is a scary thing for someone who has lived a life with bipolar disorder, trying infinite prescription medications, many of which increased my suicidal tendencies, putting me in the hospital, to think of a life without what became my savior, marijuana. However, due to it being illegal in the state in which I live, and two possession charges pending, it is a very rel thing that I may go to jail, or at the least be forced to abstain due to regular drug tests. Marijuana helped me regain my will to live, something most people take for granted. With the aid of this drug I graduated high school at the top of my class, received a full scholarship to a prestigious private religious college, where I got my B.S. in Psychology graduating with a 3.75. Due to marijuana being illegal, I not only fear for my place in the legal system, but for my life, and my will to live being diminished. I do not want to go back to that scary place where life is not precious, but a horror instead. FACT: Marijuana saves lives, despite being illegal FACT: Marijuana ruins lives, only because it is illegal.

stanblair   July 6th, 2009 12:22 pm ET

The pot issue is one of the biggest no-brainers I have ever seen. Jobs, money from taxes and sales, burden removed from prisons, and taking power away from dealers are only a few of the positive realities akin to legalization. Pot smokers are not seen on the news carring out multiple shootings or domestic violence. Legal users of alcohol can be seen causing great harm to others on almost any news site. Also, comparing pot to herion or meth shows an almost uncanny ignorance of facts. Please get a grip on your facts before posting such a blatant falsehood.

Lisa   July 6th, 2009 4:01 pm ET

Wow! There sure are some pretty powerful opinions on this one. First and foremost, pot is NOT like heroin or meth. I cannot even believe that the correlation was made. Pot grows NATURALLY. When is the last time you saw a heroin tree or a meth tree for that matter? Give me a break. For the guy who wondered about when pot was made illegal. I actually have some facts on that one. William Randolph Hearst spent a TON of money propagating that it should be illegal. Why, you ask? Because Mr. Hearst was the leading manufacturer of paper at the time and guess who the competition was? That's right! Hemp was used in the manufacturing of paper and by eliminaing the competition he increased his profits exponentially. I will leave you with: God is perfect, man is not, man made whiskey, God make Pot; Who Do you Trust?

zakir   July 6th, 2009 4:44 pm ET

Society should be more concerned about a truly dangerous drug that is proven to rot your brain and cause obesity and seizures. TV!!!
For real? pot? are you kidding? Oh yeah..I forget it's dangerous to your well being...just like alcohol, cigarettes, driving, sports, mold, ticks, trans fat, eggs, farmed salmon, asbestos, paint, glue, bleach, cold medicine, nasal spray, and any blunt object that could be possibly used as a weapon on an airplane.....Get over it!! Nobody is forcing you to smoke it! Step up and be a parent if your worried about your children experimenting.

sandra   July 6th, 2009 6:04 pm ET

I'm with those who say marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and has many medical benefits. It should be legalized. This broken legal system is so wasteful and lacking in critical rationale regarding drug laws, it's ridiculous.

kendra   July 6th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

there are many reasons why marijuana should be legalized but the point is that people are going to do it regardless. decriminalizing or legalizing would actually save and make the government money. however there are too many narrow minded, uneducated about the subject people in control of what we, as citizens can and can not do. this country was built on the belief that we should have a right to choose not be told what we can and can't do. marijuana is a plant that can be grown anywhere. it is not addictive. the majority of users are responsible, hard-working american citizens that take care of their responsibilities. marijuana is NOT on the same level as cocaine or crack or heroine or meth amphetamine. it has many medicinal purposes and positive affects on the human body. it does not dull the reflexes. when have you ever heard of a person coming home and getting stoned and beating the hell out of their child or spouse. marijuana should be legalized or at the very slightest it should be decriminalized. the government should really research the subject and pay attention to the people that use marijuana and take their opinions into serious consideration. they are pot users but contrary to popular belief they are not all the cheech n chongs that are stereotypical users. they are the educated hard working everyday people of the united states.

DougMM   July 7th, 2009 10:31 am ET

This multi-billion dollar problem is not due to the users of drugs; it is big business for law enforcement and corrections. People will find a way to escape reality one way or another and making one thing illegal or, for that matter, taking it out of the market, will only cause those wanting to get high to find another way. People will drink Aqua Velva, sniff gasoline, huff Pam or white-out, or keyboard cleaner or magic markers or whatever if they need to do so. Making criminals out of youth and minorities is the real crime here and it is perpetrated by the government. Let's stop the insanity and de-criminalize ALL DRUGS including pot; but, let's at least start with pot.

Lar Mayotte   July 7th, 2009 1:19 pm ET

to my way of doesn't mater how the lawyer saw it.
If Nora was talking to her as she was an attorny.....then anything she says was said to her as an attorny!

Yesenia   July 7th, 2009 2:50 pm ET

Marijuana should be legalized.... America would make so much good money off that... People still sell it and get a lot of money from that if we legalize it they wont have anything to kill for and it be really good money for the government... Less people in jail... I think it be ok but to set up a place where only there you can smoke... Plus it helps a lot with Nausea Headaches toothaches every kind of pain... A pound on the border of Texas goes for 150usd... In chicago it goes for more or less 800 usd.... ONE POUND... People kill over that... They steal.... Then get caught and die over a drug thats illegal idk why.... When have yall ever heard of someone overdosing on Mary? NEVER... You can smoke 100billion ciggs of mary and nothing will ever happen to you... Now cocaine... Thats a waist... Heroin.... Why in the world would someone do that.... But MaryJane nothing wrong with her...

Kilika   July 7th, 2009 8:03 pm ET

Our gov. will never legalize pot because it would be an admission on their part that making marijuana illegal in the first place was a mistake. All that bogus PROPAGANDA they have been throwing out there beginning with HEARST would in fact become a lie and make them liars. Lets just get on with it already, WASHINGTON, purge yourself of the lies you've told and let the TRUTH set you FREE.

TL   July 8th, 2009 12:49 am ET

If you really want to help change out government hypocracy go to and sign the petition. I think if your here reading this then most of you already know the facts... so lets do something about it!!!

Toni   July 8th, 2009 11:34 am ET

There are are only a few 'no' responses so far. Most are favorable for legalization or at least decriminalization. I say let's have a reeferendum (yes, pun is intentional) and vote on it.

rednek former   July 11th, 2009 9:55 am ET

Legalize except if the pot has been "enhanced", and they still get busted for DUI/DWI, etc. There should not be any excuse for stupidity. As with any thing- moderation – is the key.

Lylian   July 13th, 2009 9:32 am ET

I don't see what the big deal is about this issue. You state that our prisons are fill of criminals that have done serious crimes and you want to put good people in jail for smoking pot. You could save a lot of money by legalizing pot by taxing like you do everything else in this country. Like cigarettes, it is getting to the point that you have to have two jobs just to buy cigarettes. The government is trying very hard to control our "free" lives so much so why not give them one more thing that someone might enjoy doing and tax that also.

thank you

LeeLee   July 14th, 2009 1:11 pm ET

I am a mother of 3, well past 30. Married for almost 20 years to a NON SMOKER of weed or tobacco. I used to smoke ciggs, but gave them up. I am college educated, I am a free-lance writer and was at one time on the short list for a very large police department new recruit list. Deans list in college where - yes, i smoked off and on rather frequently..
I can go on and on on personal credentials but that isn't the point. The point is how stupid people are making comments about something they have no clue about. It's like asking a virgin how best to rule the sex industry. Or a dog hater the best means to control the animal overpopulation problems. Get real. Good heavens. Pot has been around for ages and indeed does seem to work as a calming medication for some folks. If I were to use a prescription medication to do for me what Pot does (Calm me, not let the little stresses turn me into an ogre, etc) then it would cost me way more than 50 dollars a month. Yep. Just 50 for daily smoking. How do I do it? Single hit bongs and not being greedy.Truth is? You people CAN'T spot the people that use it unless they let you see it. Not everyone is a moronic burn-out that is acting like a stoner idiot. My kids and my husband have no clue I have used it for the last year. Daily. What DO they know? that I am much nicer, not as irritable and a much more loving person. Everyone cries about reefer madness but refuses to see will not ever stop it. Ever.
Better to control production and quality and make some money off it. If local governments used parks and recreation lands as grow fields and roated spots used they would not harm the environment, they would improve it plus add funds to a struggling need for money in a world where no one has more to spare.
Pot is no different than alcohol. Better in fact, because when I drink I get nasty, mean, belligerant and even violent. Weed never did that to me. It's as natural as nature can get. No secret laboratories needed. No contamination recalls. Just good, old natural happy that doesn't need any overly special care to be its best. I'll never stop smoking. My last year has beat the previous 10, hands down. Just ask my kids, the places I volunteer and the school programs I volunteer on. Color me kind. Color me mellow. Color me thankful there is something out there that I can control my temper and moods with, all without becoming a zoned out zombie. Just call me 'Happy'.

North of the 49th   July 14th, 2009 2:01 pm ET

God made marijuana. Man made alcohol. Who do you trust?

Bernice   July 15th, 2009 9:35 am ET

END PROHIBITION!!!! It is utterly harmless and was only banned to keep the plastic industry from losing money due to the fact that it can be prodused cheaper using the marijuana plant! It was NOT for our protection at all! They should have NEVER done this to begin with!! Our government sees US (the American People) as children! We are NOT thier chioldren and frankly, I don't want another father! I already have two. One is my human father. The other is my heavenly father, which I may add, created this plant for us to use! The Bible says so! It is not a drug, but a very versitile and productive plant! LEGALIZE IT ALREADY!!!! Our govt. just loves to control it's people!

Government Control?   July 15th, 2009 11:45 am ET

The Government already controls the military, taxes, education, banks, gasoline, the auto industry and soon to be health care along with your quality of living. Big Government is here and has been, marijuana legalization is just another way to control the people by subduing them while under the influence of that drug and lining their pockets in the process. If people have the money to buy drugs, they should have the money to buy their own health care, further their own education and increase their daily quality of living. On the flip side of the coin, their are people that need pain killers due to serious injuries and permanent disability accidents. These people are "regulated" by the Government already and are labeled drug addicts wrongfully so. This is not a free Country, it is a regulated, watched, manipulated and destructive direction for all the people in the "Free World". Yeah, give the Government control of everything, it's what they want anyway. You can get "high" in the process to make it easier.

Frit   July 15th, 2009 2:02 pm ET

Marijuana is NOT like heroin and meth. It is less harmful than alcohol, by far. Of course, there are a few people who cannot handle it and become psychologically addicted to marijuana, but the vast majority find it pleasant and useful. It is not the evil that ignorant people think it is. It is NOT a "gateway" drug.

The failing economy of California, not to mention the rest of the country, could get back on it's feet relatively quickly if marijuana was legalized. Unfortunately, the right-wing crazies of this country want to subdue and repress everything, so unless President Obama has the iron will to tell these nutcases to mind their own business, then nothing will ever get done.

FACT: Tobacco and alcohol cause more harm than marijuana ever will. Unfortunately, because these two items make money for the greedy corporations, they are allowed to flourish. Drunk drivers kill people continuously; tobacco kills people continuously. Marijuana does not.

xuser   July 18th, 2009 6:02 pm ET

Quitting pot is easy. I've done it hundreds of times.

PeterG   July 18th, 2009 8:01 pm ET

Alcohol is a drug. Marijuana is a drug. All drugs are harmful if abused, but what is most harmful, is that marijuana sales ultimately get into the hands of organized criminals. The money that the govt would raise from legalizing marijuana should 100% be used towards fighting the illegal drug cartels at the source, and our police would have more resources allocated to eradicating heroin, meth, cocaine, etc first from our schools and then our neighbourhoods. Responsible adults should never endure criminal or felony charges when it comes to alcohol or marijuana, unless they are operating vehicles or machinery that endanger themselves or others. Put the drunk drivers away for life, instead of jailing citizens for having a bag of weed. Anybody who says marijuana should be illegal should stop having a glass of wine with dinner or stop putting a shot of Irish Cream in their about that beer at the family BBQ...illegal? Let's all grow up and resolve this issue, and at the same time strike a devastating blow to organized crime.

E. Kotaska   July 19th, 2009 3:54 am ET

I do not smoke it, but i've never heard of a multi-car reck because of the diver was smoking pot, only because they were drunk!

Jay Hunter   July 19th, 2009 8:58 am ET

Jami Floyd forgot to mention the most important reason to decriminalize marijuana.

Any charge of drug possession can be charged as a felony. Felony offenders lose the right to vote.

How can we put the question to the people when half of them aren't allowed to answer?

Valerie   July 19th, 2009 9:32 am ET

Its way past time for the Government to put this issue to a vote. And this is a good time to do. Our country and states spend an enormous amount of money on this issue. And we are at a time and place where we no longer have the enormous funds to continue on this track. Im not for or against as im not a user, but I do know users. Whom are good solid Pillers of our community. Its time to put it to the people on a person to person vote.

R   July 19th, 2009 10:54 am ET

To Guy Pennsylvania and Karen; if you insist on maintaining pot as an illegal drug, you should foot the bill instead of the rest of us. Your issues with it should not mean the rest of us get taxed excessively to make up for the cost of enforcement, or the lack of money that legalizing it could generate.

Lefty   July 19th, 2009 11:48 am ET

I will never understand this issue..if it all about the well being of the American and world population then why is alcohol and cigarettes allowed so easily without this open debate..These things are proven to kill millions of people every year and yet marijuana cannot be blames for even one death per year. Ask yourself which one is a real drug..The one thats allowed to be advertised on your television and magazines everyday to our children..The ones that are produced with the sole purpose of addicting hundrends of thousands of new users every year. Regulated by our government to help control population..Drunk driving kills thousands every year and yet no one has taken a serious look at prohibiting it...why?

Lefty   July 19th, 2009 11:55 am ET

In my opinion if the government is to revamp the health care system and make it more affordable for all of us, and create subsidies for the low income, I do not want to see hard earned tax dollars going for treatment of cancer and other ailments that people have willingly brought upon themselves by smoking cigarettes..This is an issue which should be discussed a lot more when trying to find ways to insure the american public. Taxpayers should not be paying to treat peoples attempted suicides by something factually known to cause death.. CIGARETTES

zee   July 19th, 2009 4:34 pm ET

My opinion is really very simple...if it grows it should be legal. If man has a hand in producing it, meaning man has to do something to make it "a drug", then it should be illegal, and that in my opinion includes drugs prescribed by the doctor. The crap being created in labs are almost worst than the stuff being made in kitchens across america. All anyone has to do with natural drugs, such as pot and mushrooms, is dry them. Yes, you can breed different qualities into the plant, but farmers have been doing that with corn and oranges for years. And I have yet to meet a corn addict. As an active smoker for the last 27 years, I have never tried another drug. I don't even take the prescribtions I get from my doctor. And pot isn't like herion or meth, herion and meth are man produced. The addictions for drugs like that are unbelievable, terrible to escape and forever life changing. I have never heard of someone robbing another person for pot, or breaking into someone's house, or taking back their kids christmas presents for pot. I have heard of people doing those things to support their crack/herion/ opium/meth problems. Never have i heard of someone hurting another person for pot, or smoking and killing someone while driving. The revenue generated by pot would fix our government cash problems in less than 10 years with leftovers, easy. Our prison systems wouldn't be overflowing if marijuana was legal. The simple fact is that the original marijuana laws are and were racist. There was and is no medical backing for claims for addiction.


This is Hilarious   July 19th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

I love the information that dopers put out to justify the cause. Everyone has all the "facts and figures", but never give you the works cited to verify it. One person did put a Patent number that alleged the US Govt was trying to corner the medicinal marijuana market. Turns out the patent was filed 6 years ago and NOTHING has been done in furtherance of the patent.

Also, simple marijuana possession does not get you in Prison. The Prisons are overcrowded as it is and you people think they are making room for marijuana possession. what gets you in prison is you are a parolee, who is a 3 striker and has had other issues. That would get you in prison. Lets have common sense here.

I would like to see proof of ONE case in the entire nation where a first time offender who had possession(not possession for sales) of marijuana that went to prison.... I'm waiting....

Rob in Texas   July 19th, 2009 11:43 pm ET

Marijuana was ONLY made illegal due to complaints of immigrants coming across the border to sell Marijuana in the Southwest many years ago, political officials then decided the way to control the immigrant influx was to ban Marijuana, it was NEVER banned for health reasons. Then the Government started their "Reefer Madness" propaganda, this was all documented in detail on The History Channel. Many people need a good history lesson on Marijuana and why it was banned. And the fact that it was titled a 'gateway drug' has been proved false for quite some time now. They should legalize it again and collect the taxes to help our country, they never had any problems with Marijuana back when it was legal.

Mark   July 20th, 2009 2:09 am ET

The approach to controling pot, and the consumption there of has been wrong from the start. Prohibition has proven to only fuel trafficing, and line the pockets of those who already move far worse than cannabis across our borders.
Living in a northern border town, I can speak from personal experience to the availability, and to the large amounts of money involved. It is in the local news here weekly.
Legalization in my opinion is the only true answer to the problem...and I say this with out the motivation of wanting the drug. I am not interested in it's use. I am interested in directing public funds in more costructive directions rather than to feeding and housing someone arrested for smoking a joint. And with legalization, a large criminal element will be shut down, just as bootlegging was at the end of alcohol prohibition.

lou   July 20th, 2009 7:57 am ET

they US government should legalize marijuana. The government need to look at Holland on how they regulate marijuana sell.

john holmes   July 20th, 2009 8:36 am ET

"Smoking pot is not lighthearted recreation. It is a drug, like heroin and meth" somebody needs to give this person a heads up.... there are much more harmful legal drugs ie.. tobacco and alchol which are trully destructive drugs that are legal and kill people yearly
and can be proven so by the numbers of people who die every year from usage.of alcohol and phams not to mention the deaths from herion and meth.How many deaths were ther from marijuana?

Jay   July 20th, 2009 10:11 am ET

Looks like the majority has spoken, Just a decrim will do, Forget the taxation. The gov will save enough not chasing the doobie brothers around or are they foolish enough to continue the current policy. LOL
We all know the answer to that.

Carolyn   July 20th, 2009 10:36 am ET

I believe it should be legalized. That would take away some of the clandestine dealers and some of the thrill. Legal or not will not stop the users.

Ron Ziemba   July 20th, 2009 10:58 am ET

Hi CNN....first time caller long time the issue at hand....I find it hilarious that some people will tell you marijuana is like heroine and cocaine and meth...if that were true, why doesn't the government classify it as such? they are not even in the same category...and number two...heroine,cocaine and meth are made in a laboratory (sort of) marijuana is made by God, Nature, true it can be hybrid and made more potent, which it has been since the 60's but its not any worse than alcohol, whose addictive properties are staggering. People will also tell you the gateway drug theory which I think is absolute b.s., that by smoking will eventually start using cocaine or heroine...people get addictions because they have flaws or problems they can't/won't deal with they blame it on the pot because its easier than blaming themselves....People's views on marijuana have been strongly influenced by the government...with their techniques like Reefer Madness movies and other propaganda...The bottom line is that I smoke marijuana...being as such I don't necessarily believe in legalizing it...its not for everybody, and neither is alcohol but I don't think we should listen to these ranting ravers spew their mumbo jumbo rhetoric about marijuana being like meth and heroine...lets just be honest ok? you don't want it legalized...ok, don't invent more propaganda to scare the masses... the government already did that....just be honest and lets have an intelligent conversation about it.

Wife   July 20th, 2009 2:00 pm ET

Please do not legalize pot! It is not nearly as innocuous as many people from my generation seem to think it is. A chronic smoker has trouble maturing and getting a job.

Jay   July 20th, 2009 2:08 pm ET

Yes!! Legalize it because its my choice. That being said we need a test that can test to see if you are high while driving or working. We have way too many laws restricting us on what we can do to ourselves. I believe no one has a right to what I want to do to myself but I should be held accountable for my actions when they affect someone else. If kids are doing drugs don't worry about the legality worry about the reason they want to do it. That would lead to the answer we seek. Drugs and the abusive use of them are the results of another underlying problem in the individual/ or group. By making it illegal the only thing that it does is create a fountain of wealth for those that would break the law to sell it.

J Davis   July 20th, 2009 5:02 pm ET

Oh my Gosh! Here we go again! You ask why Marijuana is not legal or decriminalized... The answer is Revenue! You ask why it's illegal? There again you come up with the same answer, Revenue! Right wing or Left if it were to become legal the (again) revenue would be astronomical, Thus reducing the fedral deficit if not obliterating it all together. I have been a smoker for forty years and I find that my own personal use of the "illegal weed" motivates me as well as keeps my gout pain to a bearable minimum, thus keeping me from having to fill the pockets of the pharmicutical executives and their companys that constantly destroy Americans livers with no more than excuses to justify their own revenue system. To compare it to Meth or Herion is absolutely ignorant. Marijuana has been used medicinally and in the name of religon for centuries, come on all you bleeding hearts, get off your soap boxes and stand up for LIBERTY! Is that not what the basis of America was founded for? There is a time and place for everything, The time is NOW and the Place is AMERICA! Come on Mr. President, you say it's time for a change... Change it.

J Davis   July 20th, 2009 5:08 pm ET

Oh Yeah!
Do we or do we not have a choice as to what we do to ourselves?
If you don't wish to partake don't, If you do by all means do!
It is a choice you personally have to make...
The Bible tells us... Judge not lest ye be judged...
Of course there is always Communism...

phlashlite   July 21st, 2009 1:08 am ET

FLman, We're not saying it's not addictive, any substance can be addictive in some way. Hell, food can be addictive! Did Mama Cass need that ham sandwich at that moment? What you're not getting is "so what?". Alcohol is addictive too (much more so than pot, btw), but we don't charge people with felonies and misdemeanors for possessing it. No one has ever died from an overdose of pot. Ever! So what if it's bad for your lungs? We don't always do what's best for ourselves in the long run. But that's our right as free people... isn't it?

phlashlite   July 21st, 2009 1:20 am ET

If there's any reason that pot could be called a "gateway" drug it would be because it is illegal. That makes Rob have to go to some dealer who might just happen to have some other "products" and offers Rob a "taste". If pot was legal this type of occurrence would be greatly reduced. Other than that, the "gateway drug" charge is just knee jerk and holds no water on analysis of facts.

kjv spokane   July 21st, 2009 3:34 am ET

Why do you have to put marijuana in a class with meth and herion? I get offended by that! Prescription drugs, alcohol,nicotine, caffine and the list goes on and on are also drugs. In my personal opinion, any mood or mind altering substance wheter it be liquid or any other form, should be regulated and used in moderation. Yet, there will always be the abusers.

phlashlite   July 23rd, 2009 2:29 pm ET

@FuNnThEsUn: To answer your questions, 1) I imagine it would be legal to grow it yourself, just as it is legal to grow your own tobacco plants today, though almost no one does. And yes, people would but iy because not everyone can or has the desire, interest or the time to grow their own. Not everyone has a green thumb. 2) Anybody can brew their own beer at home (and it's really not that hard). How much revenue does the beer industry generate? 3) No need to regulate growing, as per examples 1 & 2 above.

4) Selling "under the table" would be just like selling bootleg cigarettes – it's illegal (avoidance of Federal, State and Local taxes) and one can be subject to fines, penalties and possibly even jail time. In other words if you want to grow your own it's no problem. Just don't try, as a business, to sell to the public something that is regulated and taxed by the government without the proper vending licenses and tax remittances. But if Jim down the street seels his excess growth to some friends and such what's the big deal? Aunt Edna has been selling her homemade quilts for 40 years and I don't think she's paid taxes once.

The set of problems you might be creating by legalizing pot are vastly preferable to the current situation where people are having their lives virtually destroyed or severely damaged by having a felony or misdemeanor offense for pot on their record. This can directly effect how well someone can provide for their family in the future (earnings potential). In addition, convicted felons cannot vote. No arguing the importance and impact of this fact.

You raise some good questions. I hope I was able to answer them for you.

gary ca.   July 24th, 2009 3:57 pm ET

Lets make pot legal, and quite putting kids in jail,and runing there cost a lot of money to house these people not to mention the cost to regulate it.and i havent ever had the desire to use it.

James Wigley   August 3rd, 2009 9:50 am ET

I continue to see why our society needs marijuana so bad that we need to have commissions to tell us it's not that bad. I find it odd that often those who most hardly beat the pro-pot drum are those who want to ban tobacco as the scourge of our society; but wait, President Obama smokes. I think our nation can survive without pot being more freely least for a little while.

Give Me Money   August 6th, 2009 6:04 pm ET

I cannot believe this is true!

gstarr   August 10th, 2009 1:22 pm ET

Legalize pot and license it as we do liquor and cigarettes. marijuana is a medical plant and should be legalized by the Drug Administration and sole to adults only. California is making great strides and changes. It's time the stop locking up people for just smoking grass and start taxing this drug and pay off some of the states' programs. We legalized tobacco and alcohol didn't we. It is time.

gstarr   August 10th, 2009 1:29 pm ET

Let's put it in writing and vote on it! The majority will have the last word.

Sandra   August 20th, 2009 3:05 pm ET

I agree with Jami Floyd on this issue.

Leonard Forbes   September 10th, 2009 3:31 pm ET

Look, why do we not see anyone trying to legalize crack or lsd? Because those are horrible, dangerous drugs.There most be some reason we use and want to legalize pot over exstacy and other CHEMICAL BASED drugs. We could set the age at 21 just like we do alchohol which by is much more harmful than pot is and in some sad cases can even kill people which by the way no has ever ever overdosed on marijuana. Aspirin is perfectly legal, but if take 10 of em it'll be your last headache. I dont see how morphine is given to people in the hospital to numb pain along with other addictive prescrition drugs that celebs and pop stars seem to die over every time we look over our shoulder. Ask anyone who has ever drank liqour and smoked weed and they'll tell alchohol will mess you up much worse than weed could ever hope to. Pot is not a "gateway drug", in fact it's not a drug at all, it's just a plant. But drug deallers don't care who you are or what your age is they'll sell weed a 12 year old as long as they get there money. If we legalized marijuana not only would we not have to worry about our kids getting there hands on the stuff, we could cut the funding our tax dollars are wasted on for trying to stop people from using one of the most harmless substances none to modern man. We could not only save money by not prosecuting those who only use marijuana, but profit from marijuana users by legalizing it and placing a government tax on it. I've heard law enforcement officals say they waste hundreds of thousands of dollars for one state we could be putting good use on there marijuana war that he said and I qoute "We are not winning". About 20% of amsterdams population smokes marijuana, while a little more than 40% of the U.S. smokes marijuana and we get thrown in jail for it! Why is alchohol legal when it is proven to not have any medical value what so ever and Marijuana is proven to not only be NONE LETHAL, but actually has medical value. I DON'T GET IT!!!!! SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN IT TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!

juan c   September 10th, 2009 4:30 pm ET

I agree with Leonard Forbes 100% man more clear imposible!!!!

Zel   October 13th, 2009 4:05 pm ET

Research is not a means of concrete proof for any subject. I have read both pro and con results owing the matter. Research is subjective pro the researchers personal mores, never mind the fact of ’Who’ is financing the research.

Marijuana – or any of the vast monikers associated with it – may perhaps be classified as a drug… however, its classification akin to (or higher than) heroin is audaciously foolhardy! The such grouping allows for harsh sentencing – often not allowing a judge any discretion.

NORML has several interesting links on its site that I believe would be beneficial to any person wishing to gain a deeper understanding on marijuana, its benefits, the pro and cons of its use (personally, I am in agreement with the pros), the history of its use, and several means at which legalization of marijuana could be an enormous benefit owing taxations.

Furthermore, perhaps people would become interested on information regarding Hemp.

Jenniefr Wood   October 14th, 2009 2:19 pm ET

Please forgive me, but I've heard so many people say, "she's so pretty!" would it have made a difference if she were ugly? Convict people on what you believe, not what someone looks like.

Danny Langsford   October 29th, 2009 4:05 pm ET

I say legalize marijuana and see how much the country makes on the industry and how much they save in the legal system.

Danny Langsford   October 29th, 2009 4:17 pm ET

I say legalize marijuana and see how much the country makes on the industry and how much they save in the legal system.I Wonder how many billions of dollars they would make not spend.Or does the government only know how to spend money.I'm sure after you become a politician you remember how to make money not just spend it.Use the marijuana as many different way and products as possible.Not just for smoking.Use it in clothes,rope,sails,paper,etc.

Maryjane Lane   November 3rd, 2009 3:19 pm ET

I find it heartrending that Ms. Kehoe who has an excruciating mental health history has now come to be in this terrible place in her life. Did ANYONE explain to this woman, her husband, her family the likely hood of this very thing happening if she were to have children? This is a lady who didn't have the capacity to value her own life leave alone that of her children. Her coping mechanisms are not the same as yours or mine. Her inherent nature is to KILL the hurt and the fear. Please, someone explain how we keep coming to this horrible ending for the children of these sick mothers. I don't want to place blame but, the husbands/fathers are somewhat responsible for this outcome when children are fathered and then left in the care of mothers that are documented as mentally ill. She is not evil. She is very, very sick.

Linda   November 18th, 2009 2:52 pm ET

If marijuana is legalized then the government will line their pockets more. I say tax alcohol which is more dangerous than marijuana. Most that are convicted are users of maryjane not dealers. The real dealers serve no time. They just live in big mansions and drive Bentleys, own airplanes, etc.

Colleen   November 22nd, 2009 9:02 pm ET

Maraguana should be legal. It hasnt hurt anyone, I think they should put 21 as age limit like drinking, and tax it. Plain and simple it will help with the countrys debt. Other drugs are different they are man made maraguana is made from the earth nothing wrong with it. God put it here for a reason why make it illegal?

chuck copeland   January 22nd, 2010 3:50 pm ET

You are never going to be able to stop people from smoking pot so why not legalize it, tax it and regulate it like cigs and alcohol? Pot may make you stupid but not a criminal. Any idea how many people die in auto accidents because of pot compared to alcohol...very, very few. There are also many uses for hemp by-products...looking for alternative fuel or paper products. you can use 90% of the plant and it grows back as opposed to 10% of a tree that won't grow back.(and you can't get high from hemp} Originally Dupont had hemp outlawed because rope was made from hemp and they invented a synthic fiber but couldn't sell it so they sponsored the"Reefer Madness" campaign...Moralists need to worry more about there own short comings as opposed to judging other one is perfect, no one. Our jails and law enforcement resources should be put to better use like terrorism.

chuck copeland   January 22nd, 2010 3:58 pm ET

So Pot kills or maims 50% of those who indulge? Where did you get these stats?...I don't know of one person, stupid maybe, but dead or maimed...Do you live in a vacuum?

Michelle Lee- Edmonds   August 6th, 2010 1:06 pm ET

I wonder if the son had been molested or abused before any of these incidents occurred...... saying, Did anyone ask the question of where the young boy discovered how to do the things he did, okay hes 15 yrs old some might say but why? its obvious that he had an underlying problem in which he needed help, but we won't know what actually was going through the young boy's mind because his father chose to take his life, I mean did he feel like his life was in danger, its evident that the father has an underlying problem, to take your child's life, something is wrong with that and he has a price to pay and he shall suffer for his actions not just by jail or death but through GOD

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