Opinions and Rants #37: 12 Short Arguments to Legalize It

Okay, I know - the last thing you want to read right now is another dude's opinions on why weed should be legalized.  However, my retro-infused perspective may offer a few arguments that you might not have thought of before.  Give it a read, and if by Reason #6 you still are nonplussed, move on to one of my comic book or miniskirt posts and forget you ever saw this.  So, here goes...

1) We live in a world that's falling apart at the seams - the amount of rapes, murders, and home invasions in this country is mind boggling..... yet, we spend a huge percentage of our law enforcement budget tracking down potheads and throwing them in jail.  I hope you are never the victim of violent crime, but just know that a lot of money was diverted away from a law enforcement presence in your neighborhoods  toward arresting dope smokers.

2) There is no dissenting opinion on whether cigarettes are addictive; they simply are.  However, there is very little consensus in scientific literature on whether marijuana is addictive.  More than likely, any addictive properties lie in its positive stimuli rather than its chemistry.  In other words, it's soothing and relaxing, and therefore something you apt to sorely miss if you stopped smoking it, in much the same way that Starbucks coffee can be addictive due to the positive mental and physiological state it brings. The chemical properties are non-addictive, but its positive results are likely to illicit a Pavlovian desire for more.

3) It certainly wouldn't solve our economic crisis, but there can be no doubt the government would benefit from the taxation of marijuana.

They kicked the habit. Now they can take baths again.
4) We would save billions by no longer having to prosecute pot smokers and dealers, plus we could get to the cases that actually do need to be tried ASAP. What a travesty that our district attorneys are tied up with pointless drug cases, while rapes and other violent crimes have to wait in line.  Our circuit judges shouldn't have to divide their time between ridiculous criminal possession charges and violent crime.  What a sinful flagrant waste of our court system.

All dope smokers look like this.
5) A metric fuck-ton of the money funneled into the anti-marijuana lobby actually comes from the alcohol and tobacco industry. Now, why would they do that?   Those of you that buy the anti-marijuana message are largely victims of corporate tobacco and alcohol sponsored propaganda.

Marijuana turns prom queens into hippies
6) There is zero scientific evidence that marijuana is a gateway drug.  It's the least hard-core of all the illegal substances out there, so it's a natural and logical starting point on the path to destructive drug usage; however, it is a logical fallacy to assume it is the cause of the escalation.  Often, a person begins with cigarettes, then marijuana, then harder drugs.... why don't we call cigarettes a "gateway drug"?

Close the fuckin' door, pot!
7) No doubt, the tobacco and alcohol lobby against legalization is a big factor; however, many believe the suppression of marijuana legalization stems from a grander conspiracy. The dumb stoner (a la Tommy Chong) is a groundless stereotype.  Marijuana actually enhances mental acuity and accelerates thinking "outside the box". In other words, you are much less likely to waste your evenings glued to Nancy Grace when you're smoking marijuana, and much more likely to start thinking creatively and questioning things... a definite no-no to a government who wants to keep its ignorant masses content.

Don't bogart that joint.
8) Crimes associated with marijuana are directly associated with it being criminalized; legalization would immediately reduce drug related criminal activity.... unlike alcohol, a legal drug which causes tens of thousands of deaths per year via drunk driving, domestic violence, and alcohol poisoning.

Pot will turn you into a tea drinking lesbian.
9) Just because alcohol and tobacco are legal, doesn't mean marijuana should be legal as well. It's the old "two wrongs don't make a right" argument.  However, it should at least give us pause to contemplate why we are okay with one but not the other being legalized.  When you stop and analyze why you are fine with more deadly drugs being legal, but adamantly opposed to the legalization of a relatively harmless one, it should at least make you question whether you've been duped at some point.  If you're a rational human being, the inconsistency of it all should raise questions.

10) The concept of legalization crosses party lines; i.e. it's not just for those "hippie" democrats.  The tea-party and libertarians should favor it because this is yet another example of big government stifling our freedom. If you want to shrink government, why not start with the DEA?

11) And speaking of the DEA, how are we doing on the drug war? Have we won it yet? And if not, do we have any hope of winning it in the future, unless there's a serious game changer? It's a war that's been raging for decades and we seem to be no better off than we were when it started.  Perhaps the DEA could get a handle on the drugs that actually cause harm like heroine and crack if they didn't have to spend so much time chasing down pot heads.... and then maybe, just maybe, we'll finally win that war.

Shut up, ma. You're killing my buzz.
12) It's sounds trivial until you really stop and think about it: there would be a lot of commerce generated via the legalization of marijuana.  Not only in terms of the plant material meant for smoking, but it has also historically been used to alleviate headaches, physical pain, and sleep problems.  Not to mention all the paraphernalia that is a cottage industry in and of itself. Plus, the fibers can be used for paper, textiles, etc.  Yada, yada, yada.  You get the point - it's a cash crop not to be underestimated.

If you'd like to add your own short argument, by all means leave it in a comment. If you have a dissenting opinion, I'd like to hear it as well.


  1. Lee in FloridaNovember 16, 2011

    I'm with you on this. I just feel bad for the poor hippies in the pictures, having to smoke such crappy weed.

  2. I completely disagree with #7. None of the tokers I've known have ever shown a hint of "enhanc[ed] mental acuity."

    Alcohol and cigarettes are gateway drugs. Gateways to Hell! (I just thought that would be funny but I do think they are gateway drugs for some people. But then some people go looking for the gate.)

    Libertarians do favor legalization.

  3. I smoked dope a couple of times. It significantly enhanced my enjoyment of TV, and I nearly laughed myself into a coma when a friend made a joke about walking down the stairs wearing boxer shorts, meeting his girlfriend's parents with a chubby.

    Good times for sure, but "enhanced mental acuity"? In your maui wowee dreams, amigo.

  4. I heard a comedian once ask if marijuana makes you a better writer. He said no, it doesn't, because nobody wants to read a 30 page paper about the world's most delicious Twinkie.

    Also, I think one reason why pot hasn't been legalized is most people don't want to deal with more potheads than they have to. However, that's just a theory.

  5. Nope. Sorry, I'm for the EXTINCTION of pot. Not the legalization of it. I've lived through one brother's addiction to it and it was miserable. Yes, pot was ALL he did. Now he was an epileptic as a kid and the doctor theorized that the pot triggered seizure like episodes in him. See, whenever he was coming off it, he'd fly into uncontrollable rages. Constantly attacking people, especially mom.

    One of my other brothers is currently addicted. Left his wife of 15 years to marry his mistress who's son is a pot dealer. Doesn't pay a dime of child support. Goes into his ex's work high - she works in a deli at a grocery store and he and his pot smoking wife will take deli food then go hide it around the store, or other things that will rot or melt. I also have good reason to believe that they're my cyber bullies.

    At my doctor's office there's five pot clinics. Every single person that goes into them is a 20 something year old male, of all ethnic groups, with their pants hanging halfway down their butts so you can see their dirty boxer shorts. They'll take the stairs TWO and THREE at a time, come out with their little white bags, and dance because they've got their legal pot. Sick my fat butt.

    No, the world would be a better place if pot went extinct. It does ruin lives. It's not harmless.

  6. "Enhanced mental acuity" is just plain wrong, but the rest of the argument is good.

    I'm not convinced that we need more mental acuity anyway. We need more emphasis on physical skills and craft, and pot does seem to help a bit there.

  7. It's funny you should mention enhanced mental acuity as an effect of ingesting cannabis. I can remember writing papers in college and, once I felt I had reached the end of that day's productive capacity, smoking some pot. After getting high, I would read what I had written and then get the inspiration to crank out another two or three paragraphs before finally calling it quits. The next day, the content of those two or three paragraphs always held up and would be incorporated in the finished product. It's funny how that worked--although I would never have tried getting stoned before starting to write, once I hit the wall and felt like I couldn't squeeze out another word, getting baked always released one last burst of productivity.

  8. As someone who had to grade college papers written by students during "enhanced mental acuity," I would suggest that you eliminate that argument. Did they think outside of the box? Oh, yes. So far out of the box that they could no longer write a comprehensible paper...

    Pretty much agree with your other arguments in favor of legalizing it, though. :)

  9. Once again, "follow the money". The entrenched cartels would lose billions by losing the price hike that illegality brings. The entrenched law enforcement would lose billions on the money made from fines, property confiscation, etc. The entrenched interests of the economic replacement industries (tobacco, cigarettes, etc.) don't want to lose their customer base to a competitor.

    Politically, both sides of the aisle are addicted to lobbyist money and voting power of the above-mentioned interests.

  10. Screw pot. Joe Friday's right; marijuana is the flame, heroin is the fuse, LSD is the bomb.

  11. I can't believe I am disagreeing with Gilligan. A sad day indeed.

    Actually, there is all kinds of scientific evidence demonstrated the damgage pot does to one's brain receptors (Gatley, Journal of Neuroscience V. 70.1)

    the restriction of brain perfusion (Oleary, J. of Neuropsychopharmacology Vol. 26.6), the structural change of the brain itself (Wilson, J. of Addictive Diseases v. 19.1), the disruption of brain glucose (Volkow, J of Psychiatric Research v. 67.1), the permanent shrinking of brain tissue, (Matochilik, J. of Drug and Alcohol Dependence v. 77.1), I could go on forever. The jury is still out on the gateway drug thing; pot smokers do move on the harder drugs, but researchers don't know if it is because of the use of pot, or the user's disposition to use drugs.

    This is nothing compared to pot ravaging one's heart and lungs; let alone an ability to function in social settings. Psychologically, pot is a time bomb of anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia.

    Pot has wrecked lives, homes, families, etc. The violence launched on society by drug lords and dealers is gigantic.

    Anyway, that is my rant Gilligan. I don't judge anyone who smokes pot, but I don't want my pilot or my surgeon to be rolling big fatties before I put my life in their hands.

  12. Anonymous, thanks for that edifying comment. I wish I had the time to pore over your references. However, just a quick glance at some of these didn't exactly sway me. Some of these, for instance, were measuring the effects on juvenile subjects. Nowhere did I encourage its use with minors. Not only would marijuana be a bad idea at a young age, but so would a whole host of other substances we consider helpful to adults.

    For instance, your first source talks about what happens after heavy use then withdrawal. These individuals obviously should have just kept smoking and all would've been fine. ;) Plus, the effects weren't long lasting.

    One wonders if you could site an equally long list of "negative effects" from the contents of your frozen burrito. Something tells me that titanium dioxide didn't sit well with the juvenile mice.

  13. And to the comments that refer to a bro or someone they know who was a fuck up on pot - this is anecdotal.

    Fact is, I know tons of fuck ups who have never touched marijuana in their life. Should I cite them as examples of how poor your life will be if you DON'T use marijuana?

    Peanuts can kill some people in less than five minutes. For others, peanuts go really well with beer while watching football. Human physiology is a complicated thing - we are fools to think we've got it all figured out.

  14. "Okay, I know - the last thing you want to read right now is another dude's opinions on why weed should be legalized."

    You're right, it isn't. Show the Retro 1970s stuff and leave the flaming to us.

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  16. #6 reminded me of something I heard not too long ago...

    Pot is a gateway drug that leads to the use of harder stuff, like heroin. Someone needs to warn 78 year-old Willie Nelson about that, before it's too late.

    (PS - love your rants!)

  17. As for whether or notit enhances mental activity, I would have to say, as a bit of an expert, it's really up to the individual.

    I point to myself and my best friend as examples. We both became frequent users about 20 years ago in university. We've both continued to intake relatively similar amounts over the years.

    However, he has used it to be lazy, satisfied with mediocrity, and to be generally unproductive. I, on the other hand, run a successful small business, and there is nothing I enjoy more ( aside from, of course, free time with my family) the chance to have a little smoke and be creatively productive.

    I guess my point is, if you're a lazy person or if you're an ambitious person, you may find weed enhances that character trait.

    But what it boils down to it, the real reason for legalizing is that it seriously one of the least dangerous ways to be inebriated. Users are prone to laughing, painting and trying to figure out ways to be better people.

    You've got an all natural solution for symptom management for MS, reduction of pain, reduction of seizures. It is chemically unaddictive (yes, you can get addicted to anything, but weed does not contain chemicals that your body will demand - if I go 24 hours without coffee, I literally get flu like symptoms)

    I smoke almost daily. I am clean cut, hardworking, successful, a great husband and father. I wouldn't think of driving under the influence. I don't touch alcohol, which we all know to be unnatural, addictive, and promotes anti-social behaviors.

    Anyway, there's my response. If pot wrecked the lifei of someone you love, don't blame the harmless plant, blame the abuser. A woman I know was just killed by a cube van while riding her bike. I don't hate either. I blame the idiot behind the steering wheel.

  18. There's at least one Republican Presidential candidate calling for legalization. Gary Johnson is sometimes known as 'that pot guy.' Ron Paul favors decriminalization.

  19. "Gateway drugs"? Nonsense. Suicides will always find a way.