I live in the Netherlands, although I'm English. I smoke pot regulary. I just quit tobacco and have a 'Volcano' Vapouriser that works like a dream. Mmmm. Yes. Fingers, keyboard, screen, where was I?
I'm not here 'cause it is 'legal'; I smoked regulary in the UK.
Dutch drug policy is based on a harm reduction policy.
Most pot users do not harm others in acquiring or using the drug; acquisition and consumption are victimless crimes.
Prohibition does not work; people will still consume recreational chemicals regardless of law.
All Prohibition does is make the supply of pot a lucrative job with the resultent potential for violence.
If the price of pot is high, users of pot might to resort to crime to pay for their drugs.
If pot is available easily and cheaply in quasi-legal coffee shops no criminal underworld is created, and people can buy their weed and not be criminalised for a victimless crime. You will also not encounter harder drugs in a coffee shop; at many dealers you will encounter harder drugs.
I pay €6-€8 per gram, that's $8.40 to $11.20 (don't blame me for the dollar exchange, it's cheap) depending what variety I feel like.
One of them is morphine which costs .89 cents for a 10mg ampule. Two ampules would take care of the most hardcore drug addicts. Who could not afford a $1.78 a day habbit? Medical grade cocaine is also very cheap and much safer to use.
Oh I'm for providing licensed channels for obtaining drugs at prices that destroy the local drug trade overnight. Maybe you could have coffee shops just for pot and opium dens for other stuff?
Obviously some idiots will suffer harm from abusing recreational chemicals just because they are there. But all the evidence points to it not being many. In Holland the % of teenagers AND adults who smoke pot regulary is no higher and is sometimes lower than countries where it is iilegal. All the research shows drug abuse is a result of internal factors, not because the drug was available.
If illegality of a chemical creates violence, criminalises people who commit a victimless crime, wastes police time on preventing a victimless crime, etc. etc., why is it illegal.
If illegality does more harm than good (as can be demonstrated), have done with it.
Controlled supply would not lead to a massive increase in addiction, would cost far less then Prohibition, and would eliminate crime between suppliers and by users to finance their habits.
Its interesting that most of you are in favour of its decriminalisation/legalisation and claiming that its relatively harmless when there are growing reports of this substance having adverse affects on its users. Where i used to live (England) reports of people (that were regular users of this drug) developing psychological disorders were becoming more and more common. You would hear of long term users suffering from 'Psychosis', 'Paranoia', 'Nearvous Anxiety' etc etc. Also as of fairly recently the very strong 'Skunk' form of the drug has become more easily available, so surely there has to be a connection here?
Be careful of claims pot is on average any stronger to some damaging degree. They are not well-backed.
Just as some alcohol users will suffer problems from using alcohol, so too will some pot users. There is a link to certain conditions; a causal link prehaps (it might just be that people with certain conditions seek out certain substances to self-medicate).
Smoking heavily in your teens is a bad idea. But the overall risk is very small; there are millions of people who have smoked pot every day for decades and only a relatively low percentage suffer real chronic harm from usage - probably the same percentage as that of alcohol drinkers who suffer real chronic lasting harm. Given the study done and some quite spriited attempts to find something really bad by anti-drugs lobbies, nothing really bad has been found beyond 'inhaling burning leaves is kinda dumb'.
And I now vapourise my weed, I don't burn it... ah, isn't technology a wonderful thing?
That's circular argumentation. In effect, you're saying that marijuana should be legal because people are in jail for smoking it. Saying that pot smokers are not "true criminals" is saying they haven't been convicted of breaking the law, which is absurd.
It is a victimless crime; if someone is harmed in the financing, supply or safe consumption of a recreational chemical it is because the drug was illegal.
If recreational chemicals were as expensive as good quality tea, do you think people would die in drive-bys over the right to supply Liptons to the three blocks south of 67th and Main?