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Ray Charles
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enygma
do you also not see how it would be abusive for the government to prohibit one from eating chocolate or red meat?

That's in the eye of the beholder. If you're an avid fan of chocolate or red meat you would probably feel abused. In my experience people don't like it any time they're told that they cannot do something.

Also I must say again that it's not "the government" that decides what's going on. While there's some executive decisions and judicial actions, the people of the United States have the final say in the matter.

To actually answer you question, no. If a sufficient amount of people got together to get rid of red meat and chocolate in their society I wouldn't argue with them. By virtue of them being the majority it would effectively be "their" society.
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Old 01-29-2006, 01:48 AM Ray Charles is offline  
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Enygma
 
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Originally Posted by Ray Charles
That's in the eye of the beholder. If you're an avid fan of chocolate or red meat you would probably feel abused. In my experience people don't like it any time they're told that they cannot do something.

Also I must say again that it's not "the government" that decides what's going on. While there's some executive decisions and judicial actions, the people of the United States have the final say in the matter.

To actually answer you question, no. If a sufficient amount of people got together to get rid of red meat and chocolate in their society I wouldn't argue with them. By virtue of them being the majority it would effectively be "their" society.

which is why we once again come in and say that you have little understanding of what just democracy really entails. i implore you to do some reading on the theoretical foundations of our democracy, and moreover do some reading on democratic theory. it is not tyranny of the majority, it is not simply majority rule. there are fundamental aspects of one's life that a just government is not allowed to interfere with, and banning these sorts of personal liberties falls outside of the government's just jurisdiction.
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:19 PM Enygma is offline  
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Ray Charles
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enygma
which is why we once again come in and say that you have little understanding of what just democracy really entails. i implore you to do some reading on the theoretical foundations of our democracy, and moreover do some reading on democratic theory. it is not tyranny of the majority, it is not simply majority rule. there are fundamental aspects of one's life that a just government is not allowed to interfere with, and banning these sorts of personal liberties falls outside of the government's just jurisdiction.

So you're going to put off arguing your point again because...
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Old 01-29-2006, 01:49 PM Ray Charles is offline  
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Enygma
 
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Originally Posted by Ray Charles
So you're going to put off arguing your point again because...

i think my point is quite clear. there are certain areas of individual freedom that no just government can interfere with, regardless of what the majority feels.
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Old 01-29-2006, 04:12 PM Enygma is offline  
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pyramid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Charles
To actually answer you question, no. If a sufficient amount of people got together to get rid of red meat and chocolate in their society I wouldn't argue with them. By virtue of them being the majority it would effectively be "their" society.
See, this where we seem to be having a difference of opinion. You seem to believe that if the majority thinks you need to do something or not do something then all they need for justification is a majority to agree. I think you need a little more than that, like something other than "that's just the way I think it should be and that happens to be the opinion of the majority." That's not a free society, that is the tyranny of the majority. You need to justify why people should be punished by the criminal justice system by showing what harm the prohibited action causes to warrant the prohibition and severity of punishment. The punishment should be equal to the harm, not greatly exceed it. The potential punishment in the case of marijuana far exceeds the potential harm to the user or to society.

Quote:
That's in the eye of the beholder.
Indeed. That's the whole point. In a free society you can't legislate preference without just cause. You shouldn't be able to decide that chocolate or red meat is illegal without a better justification than it is not the preference of the majority. There's probably more reason to ban red meat than marijuana but even so I don't think either should be illegal.

Quote:
Also I must say again that it's not "the government" that decides what's going on.
In the case of what drugs are legal or not it is the government that decides. The DEA administrator is not an elected official and he has final authority over drug scheduling regardless of what the facts may be.

Quote:
I realize all that, but I don't see smoking marijuana as a protected right under the constitution.
It can be an wholly private consensual act. When alcohol was prohibited it took an amendment to the constitution to do so. Even then the private possesion or consumption was not prohibited, only production, sale and transportation. The current justification for the total prohibition of marijuana falls under interstate commerce. If you can grow a plant, dry it, and smoke it entirely in the privacy of your own home then it would seem that this kind of activity would have very little justification to be prohibited under powers to regulate interstate commerce. Instead you are not allowed to engage in entirely private activity because you "might" sell some of your weed across state lines. So instead of innocent until proven guilty you are assumed incapable of not committing a crime.

Even if marijuana is not fully legalized it should be more decriminalized than it is. There is no reason for someone who grows and consumes their own weed wholly in private to be considered a dangerous felon solely because they choose to grow and consume marijuana. If our drug laws are to make sense then this wholly private activity should be considered less of an offence to society than supporting the black market by purchasing marijuana at inflated prices from unknown suppliers which may lead to supporting criminals and organized criminal enterprise like drug cartels and terrorists. Even someone who grows small amounts but sells small amounts locally to friends and acquaintences should be considered far less of a criminal than the organized criminals who set up large commercial operations and protect them with violence and crime. If personal and small scale local non-ciminal growers were more tollerated then there would be less chance for large commercial criminal enterprise. As it stands we are still prosecuting even people who had a state medical exemption as criminal drug dealers and claiming that these people, who just want to aleviate symptoms of some medical condition, are somehow preying upon our children. This is already contrary to public opinion as access to medical marijuana is generally favored by 60%-80% of the population.

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Public and Professional Opinion

There is wide support for ending the prohibition of medical marijuana among both the public and the medical community:

• Since 1996, a majority of voters in Alaska, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state have voted in favor of ballot initiatives to remove criminal penalties for seriously ill people who grow or possess medical marijuana. Polls have shown that public approval of these laws has increased since they went into effect.

• A CNN/Time poll published November 4, 2002 found that 80% of Americans believe that “adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it. ...” Over the last decade, polls have consistently shown between 60% and 80% support for legal access to medical marijuana. Both a statewide Alabama poll commissioned by the Mobile Register, published in July 2004, and a November 2004 Scripps Howard Texas poll reported 75% support.

• Organizations supporting some form of physician-supervised access to medical marijuana include the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, the New England Journal of Medicine and many others.

• A 1990 scientific survey of oncologists (cancer specialists) found that 54% of those with an opinion favored the controlled medical availability of marijuana and 44% had already suggested at least once that a patient obtain marijuana illegally. [R. Doblin & M. Kleiman, “Marijuana as Antiemetic Medicine,” Journal of Clinical Oncology 9 (1991): 1314-1319.]
http://www.mpp.org/medicine.html

As to public opinion. The people who favor legalizing it outright are still in the minority however those who oppose legalizing small amounts were only a small majority and a clear majority believes that non-violent marijuana users should not be arrested and put in jail. http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=5550
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Last edited by pyramid; 01-29-2006 at 05:12 PM..
Old 01-29-2006, 05:09 PM pyramid is offline  
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#395  

Ray Charles
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enygma
i think my point is quite clear. there are certain areas of individual freedom that no just government can interfere with, regardless of what the majority feels.

I agree, but the issue now becomes a question of what is unjust or not. I would consider some of the actions of the Chinese Communist governement unjust because they do not allow you any other options, rather than because they ban any particular act. In the United States if you don't like the laws you still have many options. You can bide your time and try to change the law, or if you can't wait you can always leave. You aren't forced to do anything.
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:25 PM Ray Charles is offline  
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#396  

Ray Charles
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pyramid
See, this where we seem to be having a difference of opinion. You seem to believe that if the majority thinks you need to do something or not do something then all they need for justification is a majority to agree. I think you need a little more than that, like something other than "that's just the way I think it should be and that happens to be the opinion of the majority." That's not a free society, that is the tyranny of the majority. You need to justify why people should be punished by the criminal justice system by showing what harm the prohibited action causes to warrant the prohibition and severity of punishment. The punishment should be equal to the harm, not greatly exceed it. The potential punishment in the case of marijuana far exceeds the potential harm to the user or to society.

Indeed. That's the whole point. In a free society you can't legislate preference without just cause. You shouldn't be able to decide that chocolate or red meat is illegal without a better justification than it is not the preference of the majority. There's probably more reason to ban red meat than marijuana but even so I don't think either should be illegal.

In the case of what drugs are legal or not it is the government that decides. The DEA administrator is not an elected official and he has final authority over drug scheduling regardless of what the facts may be.

The majority must have justified it to themselves somehow or else they wouldn't care about it. But that comes down to a difference of opinion again, as you said.

Even though the DEA Administrator is not an elected official, the public can still influence him (or the selection of his successor).

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyramid
It can be an wholly private consensual act. When alcohol was prohibited it took an amendment to the constitution to do so. Even then the private possesion or consumption was not prohibited, only production, sale and transportation. The current justification for the total prohibition of marijuana falls under interstate commerce. If you can grow a plant, dry it, and smoke it entirely in the privacy of your own home then it would seem that this kind of activity would have very little justification to be prohibited under powers to regulate interstate commerce. Instead you are not allowed to engage in entirely private activity because you "might" sell some of your weed across state lines. So instead of innocent until proven guilty you are assumed incapable of not committing a crime.

Even if marijuana is not fully legalized it should be more decriminalized than it is. There is no reason for someone who grows and consumes their own weed wholly in private to be considered a dangerous felon solely because they choose to grow and consume marijuana. If our drug laws are to make sense then this wholly private activity should be considered less of an offence to society than supporting the black market by purchasing marijuana at inflated prices from unknown suppliers which may lead to supporting criminals and organized criminal enterprise like drug cartels and terrorists. Even someone who grows small amounts but sells small amounts locally to friends and acquaintences should be considered far less of a criminal than the organized criminals who set up large commercial operations and protect them with violence and crime. If personal and small scale local non-ciminal growers were more tollerated then there would be less chance for large commercial criminal enterprise. As it stands we are still prosecuting even people who had a state medical exemption as criminal drug dealers and claiming that these people, who just want to aleviate symptoms of some medical condition, are somehow preying upon our children. This is already contrary to public opinion as access to medical marijuana is generally favored by 60%-80% of the population.

http://www.mpp.org/medicine.html

As to public opinion. The people who favor legalizing it outright are still in the minority however those who oppose legalizing small amounts were only a small majority and a clear majority believes that non-violent marijuana users should not be arrested and put in jail. http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=5550

I've already agreed with you that our current penalties are too harsh and there's no reason for it to not be available medically. (you can stop arguing that with me now )
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:40 PM Ray Charles is offline  
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walkingcarpet
 
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Originally Posted by Ray Charles
Should I decide that I want my ideal society to not have marijuana in it then I have the right to pursue that goal.

My ideal society would not have you in it. Should I have the right to pursue that goal?
Old 02-02-2006, 10:33 PM walkingcarpet is offline  
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Ray Charles
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkingcarpet
My ideal society would not have you in it. Should I have the right to pursue that goal?

Given that you pursue it within the bounds of law, certainly.
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Old 02-03-2006, 06:10 PM Ray Charles is offline  
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walkingcarpet
 
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Given that you pursue it within the bounds of law, certainly.

If it was made illegal to pursue anti-marijuana legislation, would you consider it wrong to do so?
Old 02-04-2006, 12:04 AM walkingcarpet is offline  
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Ray Charles
 
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Originally Posted by walkingcarpet
If it was made illegal to pursue anti-marijuana legislation, would you consider it wrong to do so?

That's a pointless question. That would violate the first amendment in the Bill of Rights.

But to answer it anyway, I would not consider it morally wrong to stand for what you believe. It would, however, be illegal. If you believe that standing up for your beliefs are worth the consequences of getting caught, go for it.
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Old 02-04-2006, 02:32 AM Ray Charles is offline  
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toasterstreudel
 
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I swear, you fucking druggies need to stop toking up and actually use what little brain cells you have left for a change.
Old 02-20-2006, 11:09 PM toasterstreudel is offline  
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#402  

andrew
 
I love this thread.
Old 02-22-2006, 11:53 AM andrew is offline  
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totensiebush
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Originally Posted by andrew
I love this thread.
are you pro or anti marijuana?
Old 02-22-2006, 04:20 PM Junkie Mod is offline  
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andrew
 
I more or less agree with pyramid. I'm not really 'pro' anything, in the sense of consumption of narcotics...I take a Terrence McKenna stance on this issue... I just feel that making a plant, or any drug, illegal is retarded. Especially considering that hemp is such a valuable, efficient textile resource.

Last edited by andrew; 02-23-2006 at 10:20 AM..
Old 02-23-2006, 10:16 AM andrew is offline  
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