Schumer to Introduce Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by shinji, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #1
    Interestingly, this comes a week after John Boehner, who staunchly opposed legalization, joined the board of a marijuana firm and now says his thinking on the issue has "evolved."

    https://www.npr.org/2018/04/20/6041...-to-introduce-bill-to-decriminalize-marijuana

     
  2. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #2
    I dunno. To me "decriminalization" is one thing and "legalization" is another. I don't know what if any are the legal distinctions. All I know is I don't want to be surprised by after the fact discovery of cannabis in foods I buy in the supermarket. I always knew there was some reason to make ever increasing efforts to avoid the supermarket aisles holding heavily processed foods.

    With legalization theoretically comes the opportunity to make legal revenue --from the grower's and seller's points of view-- and to tax hell out of it from the state's point of view. The question is then what happens to weed-related issues formerly associated to its illicit standing? Street dealing becomes a thing of the past, or enterprising dealers figure hey buy some, cut it with oregano, sell it tax free... ? And who will get to run the weed trade in prisons?

    I guess we have to watch what happens in the states where marijuana has already been decriminalized and/or legalized to see what has been some of the unanticipated spinoff. There's some concern about safety on the roads. The thing is, it's probably going to be difficult to disentangle effect of having ingested cannabis from having ingested other substances and/or effects of unrelated variables like safer cars or worse weather, etc. Best piece I've read on how that's all up in the air was an opinion piece that looked up some facts and came to the conclusion that we just don't know yet whether more pot use by more people who also drive cars means more trouble on the highways. Different stats related to this topic collected in different states so far are a mixed bag. That's before we throw in autonomous driving's curveballs later on.

     
  3. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    It looks like Schumer's measure would drop the legal status of possession to the states. Where it is illegal in state law, it will continue to be illegal there (except, on federal property like national parks, forests and monuments, in states that have legalized it, possession would no longer be a federal crime as it is now).

    This is a bold move to differentiate the parties on a major issue. If Democrats take control of Congress in November, this will probably pass, leaving the administration in a rather uncomfortable position.
     
  4. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    Heh, you'd think the red states would want it to be a state matter... being state's rights advocates. Maybe not in this case. So yeah, that could seem awkward. Maybe not to the voters though. To a lot of them it might seem like "hell it's about time"... resulting in more pressure on state legislators to legalize it where even without federal law currently above it, some states have specifically made it illegal.
     
  5. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a

    GermanSuplex

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    #5
    The only reason it isn’t legal everywhere now is because of the religious right who are okay with giving mulligans to Trump but not a 19 year old who smokes a joint.

    Keebler Jeff Sessions and Mall Cowboy Lasso Them Young Roy Moore are their heroes. Listen to Phish, mind your own and enjoy weed and you’re the devil’s doin’.

    PS... it’s 4/20.
     
  6. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    Decriminalizing pot? Deferring to state's rights rather than federal? When did Schumer go Libertarian on us?

    The GOP would be idiots to oppose this. Golden opportunity for bipartisanship!
     
  7. Sydde macrumors 68020

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    Hatch, et al, will probably file a filibuster.
     
  8. dogslobber macrumors 68040

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    Isn't decriminalization to do with rescinding all past convictions for people who were caught in possession? Whereas legalization is from the law enactment onwards.

    FWIW, I think legalizing it and allowing people to get on with doing it if they want will be perfectly fine and not impact others. Note that I'm extremely anti-drug but this one makes so much sense and is pointless to withstand.
     
  9. LizKat macrumors 601

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    Some of my own concerns are about the effect of having more stoned people in everyday surroundings like making business decisions (or hell, drafting legislation) while stoned.

    I have some wariness about addiction risks in children as well. The jury is still out as far as I am concerned on whether weed is a gateway drug for some at-risk kids trying to escape pain of a chaotic, abused or even a "normally stressed" 21st century existence.

    Try it, feel better. Try something else maybe feel even "more better" ??

    "Hey, you, still just smokin' weed? Why not try something actually works... "

    I thought we were getting to the point where fewer kids were sold on the idea that you have to take something to feel better. This feels like going backwards, like normalizing something that adults want that kids' brains probably should not come to rely on while they are still developing.

    But I also realize that criminal aspects of illegal weed dealing are also very hard on children, especially those who get caught up in the penal system over it. So I don't know, in the end, which is worse. I am not sure any of us in the USA know that yet.

    Some of us are wary about weed legalization more on the level of concern about states finding yet another "sin tax" they can use to extract dough from citizens who are either addicted or just having a good time. (God forbid the citizen should have an untaxed good time, eh?)
     
  10. mudslag macrumors regular

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    It's a better option then what we have now, I hope Congress can get off their collective asses and pass it.
     
  11. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

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    Should be nonpartisan. Decriminalize it and let the states decide if they want to issue tickets for violations or legalize.
     
  12. Zenithal, Apr 20, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018

    Zenithal macrumors 604

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    I'm not for it. If it must be legalized, I'd rather see dispensary owners taxed to hell and back while being forced to offer MJ at a set price. All taxed proceeds should go to public works and schools.

    In the end, it doesn't matter when it comes to employment. Employers can fire someone who habitually uses marijuana. Long term use of the drug hasn't been studied on 10, 20 and 30 year scales.
     
  13. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    Portugal decriminalized use and possession (of small amounts) of a broad spectrum of drugs about 18 years ago.

    The number of adults who have done drugs in the past year has decreased steadily since 2001.

    So far, I have yet to hear anything bad about their policy, aside from an increase in healthcare costs (because people found with drugs are directed to rehab).
     
  14. mudslag macrumors regular

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    Blame the Gov for that. legal hurdles prevent most studies. The states that have legalized have shown more positive benefits then negative ones. The status quo is dead.
     
  15. oldhifi macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Now we know why he is all screwed up..Schumer and Boehner, is smoking something..
     
  16. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a

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    Lol. They is.
     
  17. oldhifi macrumors 65816

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    #17
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  18. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

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    Great thoughts @LizKat

    I think there are a lot of issues that come with legalizing marijuana. I’m not a proponent of marijuana but may not be opposed to decriminalization- this is speaking in terms of recreational use. I don’t believe the law should ruin people’s life over this, but as someone who has studied pharmacology and psychopharmacology for years I don’t think recreational benefits outweigh the downsides. I recognize there are medical benefits of marijuana that are only just being explored, but grown marijuana strains will probably never comply to the quality and consistency requirements of the medical field. One of my biggest concerns are head shops that turn into unofficial medical practices and people forgo medical diagnosis/treatment in favor of a cheaper, “natural” (but unproven) “treatment” as determined by an unqualified individual. I also don’t think states are doing enough to inform customers of known, documented, risks associated with marijuana- just as you see on drug labeling, cigarettes, etc.

    I think recreational Marijuana is much like the lottery and casinos- not really beneficial for overall society and tax money favored over the wellbeing of society. To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised to see legalized marijuana down the road. But I feel decriminalization is a good balance between having it be illegal and fully legal.

    In an ideal world, people with substance use disorders (which of course does not apply to all MJ users, but I think is vastly underestimated- and I’m saying this as someone who works in mental health) would not face legal punishment for low level drug crimes, but rather treatment for these sick individuals. Luckily we’re moving in that direction, but it could be faster and it’s not yet universal.
     
  19. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    You don't like pot. So your compromise is more and more taxes, and strict "free market" regulation on it?

    And here I was thinking it should be subject to standard sales tax (if we must have sales taxes at all), and let the local economy decide the price.
     
  20. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

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    You really expect it to make a difference??????????
     
  21. Herdfan macrumors 6502

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    There are. Legalization means it is legal to possess, sell whatever. Decriminalization simply means it is no longer a criminal offense to possess. It still is a civil offense, so you get a ticket/fine instead of a jail cell.
    [/QUOTE]
    --- Post Merged, Apr 21, 2018 ---
    People make business decisions with alcohol all the time and nobody thinks a thing of it.


    I agree with you here, but I also see on the news everyday about some couple who was arrested passed out in their van with heroin or meth and kids in the back seat. Take this vs mom & dad smoking a J at home in the evening.

    As for the gateway aspect, I don't think it is anymore gateway than alcohol. The reason I think it is considered a gateway drug is the gateway you have to go through to get it. You have to have a dealer. And that dealer wants to sell drugs. So one day he is "out of weed", so he offers you something that will make you feel even better. And then BAM, hooked on Molly. This would not happen in a legal dispensary.


    That is fixed by allowing home growing. Same as making your own beer and wine.
     
  22. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #22
    I smoked Marijauna in college on occasion. I quit because I could not afford the risk to my profession. I’ve always said when it was legalized I’d try it again, but I also realize my tolerance for a drug haze has greatly reduced with my age. I drink one beer, or have 1 shot of whiskey and then I’m done. The slightest of buzzes is the most that I want. Consequently, I don’t see Mary Jane as a substance in my future that I would savor. Could I get a wild hair and try it? Maybe.
     
  23. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #23
    Decriminalization is a great start. We have too many (mostly black) kids in prison just for possession. Enough is enough.

    As for legalization, I don't give a rat's butt about recreational use. I don't understand people who drink too get buzzed either. But when you suffer from chronic pain, or some debilitating disease that can be eased with a little THC, let it go.

    Of course, they could always ban opioids....
     
  24. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

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    I agree. Massachusetts decriminized Marijuana in 2009 and arrests dropped 93% (you can of course still be arrested for possessing to much/dealing). People’s lives should not be ruined for smoking pot, but I also believe smoking pot (routinely, in particular) has negative consequences and people with a diagnosable addiction need to get treatment and rehabilitation than punishment. Negative consequences are seldom enough to drug use, and usually just promote low self esteem and further drug abuse.

    I also believe marijuana addiction is largely underestimated. I can’t tell you how many patients I have who use pot “recreationally”, don’t consider themselves as addicts or dependent, but then refuse to consider abstaining and essentially can’t imagine living life without it. That’s a strong indicator of a dependence/addiction problem in my mind. There’s also a stigma in treatment around marijuana addicts from people suffering from other addictions, they laugh it off. The reality is I’ve seen MJ addicts do things most heroin addicts wouldn’t consider to obtain their drug.

    In my anecdotal experience, a lot of younger, inner city, minority drug dealers aren’t drug addicts themselves. It’s a quick and easy way to make money that requires no prerequisites. I think this is indicative of a bigger societal issue around socioeconomics, education, and careers.

    Obviously opioids are a far more dangerous substance, not only because of the overdose risk, but they are inherently more addictive and destructive. Thankfully here in Mass (who has one of the worst opioid problems in the country) the public health education and legislation seems to be working. Overdoses are down about 8-10% compared to last year, a promising trend. But we’re still looking at way too many deaths. Unfortunately being a generally more serious addiction, there are a lot more externalities (crime). It’s pretty common for opioid addicts to have other criminal charges beyond possession.

    To some extent, especially in the Northeast, prescription opioids got the opioid addiction wheel turning, but it’s the street drugs that have kept it turning and increased its speed. OxyContin is without a doubt was the cause of this now epidemic. Originally, the tablet could be crushed into a powder and snorted, smoked, or injected, or taken orally with the time release mechanism defeated- making the effects stronger and more addictive. In 2011, essentially due to government intervention, Perdue released OxyContin OP, which prevented the pill from being crushed into a power (the pill became basically a plastic polymer with the drug imbedded). If the pill was shaven into a powder and water added, it would gel preventing injection, snorting, or smoking. This greatly deminished the abusability of OxyContin.

    But there was Oxycodone instant release, same drug, just not time release. This could still be abused in all the old ways. The benefit of OxyContin was they had up to 80mg of oxycodone (actually up to 160, but they d/c’ed that), while the IR tabs only had up to 30mg. Basically because OxyContin became so hard to abuse and that supply was lost, Oxycodone IR prices skyrocketed ($.50/mg to $1mg+). This was just too expensive to maintain.

    And in steps heroin. Far cheaper, generally easier to get on be black market, and just as good if not better. It’s use quickly picked up and while snorting was the common way of abusing Oxy, people who switched to heroin quickly decided to use IV. Using IV makes the effects stronger, increases reinforcement, increases overdose risk, and makes the withdrawal far more intense... putting people in a far more precarious position.

    Perdue Pharma, makers of OxyContin is incredibly corrupt, they should be disbanded and their execs deserve a special place in hell.
     
  25. Herdfan macrumors 6502

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    #25
    What about my neighbor with Chrohn's? He tried every "legit" medicine and therapy, but none worked very well for him. Someone convinced him to try Cannabis and it manages his condition to the extent he can have a normal life.

    Why would, or should, he abstain? Sure he is dependent. He depends on it to help manage his disease.
     

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