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View Poll Results: Do you think cannabis (marijuana/hashish) should be legal ?

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  • Yes, there is absolutely no reason to make it illegal

    55 41.67%
  • If tobacco and alcohol are legal, then cannabis should be as well

    28 21.21%
  • Maybe, but we lack scientific evidence to know whether it is nocive or not

    5 3.79%
  • It should be legal only for medical reason (with prescription)

    28 21.21%
  • I am completely against it, but not against tobacco and alcohol

    3 2.27%
  • I would ban it altogether with cigarettes and alcohol

    13 9.85%
  • Don't know

    0 0%
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Thread: Should cannabis be legal in every country ?

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  1. #1
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Should cannabis be legal in every country ?

    I am continuing here the discussion from this thread

    Moyashi was saying :
    I heard that weed is safer than cigarettes and alchol. hmmm ....
    Not only have I heard the same, but that seems to have been proved by several scientific researches in many countries.

    Tobacco causes lung cancer (also proven, I guess everyone knows) and is highly addictive psychologically (because of the nicotine).

    Alcohol destroys the body cells in general, especially neurons that are more fragile than other cells. It is also highly addictive, but rather physically (you know, some of these manual workers who can't start their day without their 24 bottles of beer with them).

    Like everything, abuse is nocive, while moderate consumption doesn' put health at risk. A heavy drinker (alcoholic) is more likely to have serious health problem than a heavy cannabis smoker. Cannabis doesn't cause cancer, is very little addictive (most users smoke just once in a while, without feeling the need for more) and has not yet been known to cause any disease or death by "overdose".

    IMHO, cannabis should be legal if alcohol and tobaco are legal. I ma not saying that because I am interested in smoking it or obtain it easily, but by pure logic. People are free to put their health at risk with cigarettes and boot, and as long as warnings are clearly written on packs and bottles, I find it normal. It's probably a good thing to keep them legal as it can be controlled, fo instance with heavy taxes keeping prices high and thus actively discouraging people to abuse.

    When centenarian are interviewed, they almost systematically say that they smoke and drink alcohol MODERATELY (3 butts and a glass of wine a day). But they do. So, like homeopathy, some substances are apparently good for the body at small dose, but poisonous/toxic at higher dose.

    There is no law to force people to moderation. Henceforth, that must come from education.

    I believe that drugs, including alcohol and cigarettes, must be kept/made legal in order to avoid black market criminality (mafias, etc.) and to better control what people are doing.

    This can only happen in a country where people are reasonable or responsible. A vast number of Japanese smoke, but generally not more than a few cigarettes a day. I personally know lots of Western teenagers who unashamedly smoke 2 packs a day.
    So, are the average American so irresponsible in regard to their European counterparts that cannabis must be so strictly banned, alcohol forbidden before 21-25, etc. ? By what crooked logic should weeds be outlawed for medical purpose, while even the hardest drugs like opium/morphine are actually legal (very good painkiller).
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  2. #2
    Unswerving bicyclist thomas's Avatar
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    It seems to be a common trend nowadays to decriminalize/legalize so-called soft drugs (such as cannabis). It's certainly a step in the right direction. In most European countries drug offences involving cannabis are no longer prosecuted, as long as the amount in question can still be justified for personal consumption. From a criminal (and perhaps medical) point of view, cannabis is certainly less dangerous than alcohol which means that the amount of crimes committed under the influence of grass is marginal compared to alcohol-related crimes.

    So, like homeopathy, some substances are apparently good for the body at small dose, but poisonous/toxic at higher dose.
    Take our neighbour: she's 97, smoked until her eighties and still has her daily glass of wine. However, I'm generally a bit sceptical when it comes to homeopathy, as it *seems* to be based on nothing else than placebo effect.

    I know it's off topic, but the delicate question is how to deal with hard drugs (cocaine, heroine, "new drugs"). Continue the hard stance or try to decriminalize as well under strict governmental control?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas
    but pointing out health hazards and trying to reduce the number of potential patients are no infringement of our personal freedom.
    I don't see anyone saying that is infringement. They're welcome to educate, but banning is not acceptable. I pay my taxes too. Can I come scrutinise your life to make sure you aren't engaging in any activities that might cost the health system money? You might be playing a sport that can cause injury, or watching too much TV, eating foods of which I disapprove, etc. Furthermore smokers and drinkers pay extra tax. In fact it has been repeatedly shown that the government enjoys a nett profit. Users of other drugs cost the country money, but that is the government's choice. They have chosen to incur a nett loss on other recreational drugs. Tough luck, don't expect me to support them or care about their whining about what drugs cost the country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas
    how to deal with hard drugs (cocaine, heroine, "new drugs")
    What makes a drug hard? Is LSD a soft drug? Why not? Is alcohol a hard drug? Why not? Fact is that all drugs cause no major problems for a majority of users. That even applies to the heavily demonised heroin. Sure we always hear about the nuts who trashed their lives, but never about the banker who takes it a few times a week.
    New drugs? What has being new to do with anything? Some 'new' drugs aren't new at all. MDMA and MDA being prime examples of two old drugs that enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Are they hard drugs?
    The whole distinction is pointless. All we need do is keep tabs on how many people use and how many get into trouble. Easier when it is legal and people don't have to lie. Then we can investigate what treatments help. Methadone was a dumb idea in general, but there are the very rare people that it does help. 12 step programs have a dismal success rate, but that aside abstinence is the only solution for some abusers. For others learning moderation is the ticket. We also have to learn that an abuser of one drug will not necessarily abuse any others - rehab centres typically try to force their clients to quit all substances (except hypocritcally often not tobacco) - this increases their failure rate because they re-inforce the nonsense that all drugs and drug use are the same.

  5. #5
    That man in the corner Twisted's Avatar
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    You could ask wether or not cannabis should be legal, but you could also ask this question: Why are alcohol and cigarettes legal at all?
    You're pretty pathetic if you need alcohol to have a good time or having to smoke to keep your nerves in order. It's proven that it's bad for your health, so logically, there's no reason not to make it illegal.
    The most probable reason is that the people in charge are heavy users themselves.
    In Holland we have government officials that have admitted they have used drugs in the past and nobody thinks it's a big deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted
    In Holland we have government officials that have admitted they have used drugs in the past and nobody thinks it's a big deal.
    Good for them. I can respect that. Can't respect high and mighty moralising twits.
    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted
    You're pretty pathetic if you need alcohol to have a good time
    How can you judge other people's brain chemistry? Or what they choose to do for fun. It is seldom about needing to ingest alcohol to have a good time, but rather that a darn good time becomes an even better time when everyone gets relaxed. Enter alcohol. Or MDMA.
    Aren't people who have brain chemistry that requires serotonin boosters just pathetic? How can they need to change their brain chemistry to feel better?
    I presume you do not use any chemicals for non-medicinal purposes, i.e. specifically prescribed for a particular ailment. I'm including caffeine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted
    to smoke to keep your nerves in order
    It is a rare person that does not have some nervous habit. People who smoke hold their cigarettes, others have to resort to other measures.

  7. #7
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    @government officials in charge
    Unfortunately, in the so-called democracy we live in, decision are taken by just a few officials and everything depends on them, not really the population.

    @should alcohol and tobacco stay legal ?
    alcohol has always been part of human societies since the antiquity and I can't imagine a country banning it without facing a revolution. I wouldn't mind personally, except maybe for wine. Could you imagine a country like France or Germany banning alcohol (or most Western countries actually) ? The economy would suffer terribly. Besides, it's also proven that a glass of red wine a day is good for health.

    Similarily, I have never smoked and it will stay like that, so I am being the devil's advocate here. Tobacco is not going to be illegal because big lobby groups assure it won't.

    Restricting freedom isn't good ; I find it more harmful than having access to toxic substances. Our life is our, I don't see why the authorities try so hard to care about people's health.

    If I wanted to travel to some dangerous regions because I like adventure, I wouldn't like to have the government restricting me from doing it because they believe it's risky. That's my choice, they have nothing to say in this. That's the same for cigarettes, alcohol, weeds or even hard drugs. Anyway, people who want to find drug can just travel to any country where it's made and get it cheap and easily. No government can prevent that and they know people do it. So why not at home ? To keep their hands and conscience clean ? From whom ?

  8. #8
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    > I don't see why the authorities try so hard to care
    > about people's health.

    With all due respect to liberal political views, I think that there are public functions that should remain under governmental control by all means: water supply, electricity, postal services and in particular public health. Don't get me wrong: I'm not favoring an omnipotential paternalistic government la Big Brother, but as long as we benefit from national social security and health insurance each government is compelled to cut down medical expenses by ensuring public health. Alcohol and tobacco will never be banned (since governments benefit from taxes generated by these industries), but pointing out health hazards and trying to reduce the number of potential patients are no infringement of our personal freedom.

  9. #9
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    It's also a fact that most people are brainless lemmings who will follow every trend that's forced upon them.

    This is especially true with young people who don't realize how addictive drugs can be. They're just doing it because everyone else is doing it.

    It's the job of the authorities to protect those people from themselves.

    And cannabis itself might not be that bad, but i think there's a very thin line between trying soft-drugs and trying hard-drugs.

    @Revolution
    I knew someone would bring that up. If you ban tobacco and alcohol you might as well ban fast food as well. Now that's a health hazard! But then i would be the first one to lead a revolt. :)

  10. #10
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    > And cannabis itself might not be that bad, but i think there's a
    > very thin line between trying soft-drugs and trying hard-drugs.

    That's a very good point!

    @ fast food

    Probably food chains will soon be forced to add labels to each burger warning of potential health risks (I think we had that topic already). It's a general legal trend to hold others responsible for personal risks.

  11. #11
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Thomas, I totally agree with you.

    Of course, I am in favour of a government type that provides health insurance, even free public health care, and social security. These are things the state can do to help, but I would also be grateful if they helped people in giving them the freedom to choose how they live their lives, what they consume and even to **** their health up if that's what they want - as long as it doesn't infringe on other's people liberty...

    Another thing that I find an unacceptable breach in human liberties is how most governments make it difficult or near impossible to change your name. In the UK, anybody is free to call himself whatever they want and change name as many times as they want. The easiest legal way to do it is by deed polls. Unfortunately, very few non English speaking countries admit name changes by deed polls or without passing through long tedious and costly juridical procedures, that might not even be granted if you don't have a good reason (such as ridiculous name, etc.). In the US, I have read that it was usually possible by petition (brought to a judge), but much easier in some states than in others. Why should every region (inside the US, EU...) have so different laws on such basic rights is still a mystery for me.

  12. #12
    Unswerving bicyclist thomas's Avatar
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    I've never heard about these deed polls, very interesting. Central European law practice does not know unilateral contracts that are binding to third parties, at least I am not aware of such a construction. At first glance it's obvious why most governments are not in favor of such deed polls, they could potentially destabilise the safe adminstration of law. Just think of how easily such things could be abused.

    /me has to find out more about deed polls

  13. #13
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    do deed polls engender chaos ?

    I understand your concern about the safe administration of law. You would risk a lot to do it fraudulently, but if your intention are fraudulous, there are always ways of trafficking passports, ID or official documents. Basically, whether one just makes up a new birth certificate on your computer, asks professionals to forge some papers or does a fraudulent deed polls is the same and can all end up in a jail sentence. If you are honest, then why not have the right to do it ?

    Notice that British ciyizens don't have ID cards yet (but it might come soon), so it has always been easy to open a bank account or buy something under a made-up name. In Australia, till recently it was possible to open a bank account under the name of Mickey Mouse and no one would have asked any proof or raised an eyebrow. That just seems incredible for continental Europeans, I agree. To get a passport legally, even with the simplicity of deed polls, it would be hard to get two under different names (anyway, it wouldn't be legal).

    Still, name changes don't seems to be such a problem if the UK and other commonwealth countries can manage with this system.

  14. #14
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    Interestingly enough I'm for legalization of drugs too.

    Banning alcohol didn't work and only made the mob richer so I'm for taking away drug money out of the gangs pockets.

    Legalization will provide a safe supply compared to what you buy on the street, you never know if you're getting good smak or watered down sh_t.

    Also, beyond quality control you can limit the power of what people take.

    DO I support drugs. I've tried pot a few times. It wasn't my thing. I'd prefer a society without them actually. But, I also understand that reality is something we need to face.

    @ safety
    I've never heard of an accident involving weed. While drunk driving we see almost every night non TV. I bet that weed would prevent a lot of the postal shootings in the states too since it's a great way to relieve stress.

    @ name change in Japan
    Is virtually impossible. There been cases were Grandpa register's a new born's name as "Toranosuke" while the parents were thinking of something like "Riki" the problem is that only a hanko (seal) is used and the document becomes binding. Lawyers and Judges need to brought in to fix it for a nice healthy fee.

    Hmm, Deed Poll ... sounds like an interesting idea.
    crazy gonna crazy

  15. #15
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    @name change in Japan
    My wife actually could change her first name from kanji to hiragana when she was a child (her father had chosen the kanji, but her mother didn't like it). However it took 5 years in court and a lot of money !

  16. #16
    Unswerving bicyclist thomas's Avatar
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    Changing your name in Germany and Austria (and probably in other European countries) requires you to go through courts as well. Welp, it wouldn't take 5 years, but it's pretty expensive, considering the fact that you have to change all personal documents from birth certificate to passports. And yes, the authorities have the right to object to certain names in order to "protect" the applicant from inconvenience. Take the recent case of the Turkish guy living in Germany who intended to call his son "Osama Bin Laden".

  17. #17
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    I have checked a few sites on the net and so far I know that the proceedings are similar in France and Belgium. A Belgian official website put its stance clearly : "changing name is a favour, not a right". In both countries you have to apply to several offices, state the reason(s) why you want to change your name and wait for the decision of the judge. It seems easier for people with foreign sounding name to change so that they can adapt more easily. I have heard of several cases of people of Moroccan or Algerian origins being discriminated when they apply for a job just because their name is Mohamed Abdulah or the like.

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    A few years back a father wanted to call his son "Akuma" he used kanji approved by the country and even took the government to court. Obviously he lost since the name means "Devil" the father was trying to fit for his right to name his son what ever he wanted and to provide his child with a name that would leave an impression.

  19. #19
    Unswerving bicyclist thomas's Avatar
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    I've heard about the Akuma case. Would it be possible in the States to call your child "Satan"? Do authorities have the right to interfere?

    Btw, just let me post an article related to the original topic:

    Restoring hemp to natural place in Japan's culture

    => http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/...20021109a1.htm

    => http://www.hemp.jp/e-top.html

  20. #20
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    Yasunao Nakayama is definitely "connected". hmmm, with long hair like that!
    He looks like a friend that's ahem ... connected.

    Great Story actually. My aikido-gi is made from hemp. Really strong material actually. I've seen hemp surfboards too - basically unbreakable.

  21. #21
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    @hemp in traditional Japan
    That's fair enough. India is the country of hemp par excellence and even there it is not really legal (for foreigners at least) to smoke it any more. The sadhus (Hindu saints) still consume it regularily and its so ingrained in the culture that no one who dare telling them anything. Actually, India also grows poppy and make opium. In Varanasi, I have seen a so-called "government shop" that was the only legal place to buy cannabis or opium, usually in cakes. Cannabis and opium have nothing to do with each other, however they are grouped together as "drug" under the influence of the US. Locals don't really care about drug laws in India. It's just a matter of international image and is chiefly destined to make money on the tourists's back, either by making them buy in "government shop" or fining them heavily otherwise (there's been several cases of imprisonment in Goa for those unable to pay the huge fine). Japan, India and other Asian countries should reconnect with their own culture and free themselves from Western influence. Singapore is for me the pinnacle of eagerly conformist society, ready to please the West by adopting its concepts and moral to extremes (for those of you who have been to Singapore and know what I am talking about- for others here !).

    @Hemp Car
    So they want to fight fossil combustion and to achieve this they'll drive 5000km by car. Did I miss something there ?
    Last edited by Maciamo; 11-11-02 at 03:11.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Singapore is for me the pinnacle of eagerly conformist society, ready to please the West by adopting its concepts and moral to extremes
    I don't know the origins of the attitude in Singapore, but it is fundamentally a police state. They spy on their citizens and arrest people for speaking against the government. They interfere in every aspect of life. The only reason they aren't declared public enemy number one is that they happen to be capitalists. It is OK to be a police state as long it isn't communist.

  23. #23
    Unswerving bicyclist thomas's Avatar
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    Just a brief question in regard to Singapore: isn't their rigidity a product of confucian thought? I'm not sure if they are trying hard to please the West.

  24. #24
    That man in the corner Twisted's Avatar
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    And then there was this report:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2419713.stm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted
    And then there was this report:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2419713.stm
    Their results are more extreme than that found by other researchers. We will have to wait to see whether other researchers find the same thing. It is however not as simple as tar and carcinogens. Not to mention that three joints a day is a lot. It also makes a difference that cigarette smokers are exposing their lungs to tar nearly constantly or at least at very close intervals.

    It is also difficult to see how they go from 50% more to three joints being equivalent to 20 cigarettes which is nearly 700% more. The 50% more tallies reasonably with other research, but then they appear to slip into hysterical conjecture.

    This is due to increased amounts of THC - or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the major active chemical compound - in the cannabis consumed today.

    If anything this should be reducing the damage because people actually smoke less. You don't smoke more because it is stronger. It is no different to alcohol - when I drink a beer it is usually 340ml, but when I have a whiskey it is 30ml. Same applies to cannabis.

    Inhaling deeply and holding it in your lungs is a bad idea, although many tobacco smokers do it too. Cannabis is cheap enough that there is no need to try to maximise the effect from a single inhalation.

    However to make it safer it should obviously be made legal. It will get even cheaper, paraphenalia can be encouraged and sold openly.

    Anyway I wouldn't put too much faith in BBC reporting without proper references. It wouldn't be the first time they've published a ludicrous scare story with no reliable research behind it.

    Basic fact, smoking anything is not going to be good for your lungs. Nothing wrong with telling people that.

    The proper way to research this is to follow people who smoke only or almost exclusively cannabis for decades to see what happens.

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