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Should Marijuana Be Illegal?

This article was written as a response to the question: Should marijuana be legalized in the US?
Should marijuana be illegal? A brief look into the positive and negative conceptions of liberty that determine the difference of being told what you are free to do and being free to do what does not impede another personal freedom.

Positive vs. Negative liberties in accordance with marijuana reforms.

We often discuss the legitimacy of legalizing marijuana, but rarely is the legitimacy of it’s illegalization discussed.  I intend to talk about a few of the liberties that are violated in the way our laws work.

Under positive liberty the state or in our case government posits laws that are to be punished for infringements.  These laws include everything ranging from the ban on murder to the ban on crossing the street outside of a marked walkway.  Strictly speaking positive liberties tell you what you cannot do.

Negative liberties on the other hand limit your freedom only in limiting your infringement on others liberty.  For instance there would be no law against murder.  But, murder would be punishable and illegal as one could hardly deny murdering another takes their liberty and freedom.

In this sense I can full well say marijuana should not be illegal.  There is no necessary infringement on others by ones use of marijuana.  In so far as our forefathers have attempted to insure our liberty as Americans, as Humans, we are entitled to our liberty.

Negative liberties might seem like a complete and unordered freedom where an individual would be free to do anything and everything with no fear of punishment.  It has purposely been portrayed along side anarchy in attempts to give both a negative ‘dark side’ in pop culture.

The key factor in the negative conception is that is easy to see when a liberty is violated.  The punishments can easily be harsh or soft just like in positive systems.  Perhaps the greatest flaw of all is that under negative liberties is is not always clear what actions can be completed and what actions not.

This issue is due to the fact that in essence negative liberties have a single law, not to invade another’s liberty.  Positive laws make it nice and simple, if you know the laws, you know what it is that you can and cannot do.  Negative conceptions run into the problem of two mutually conflicting actions of freewill.  If I want to perform x, and it infringes on your liberties, you therefore want to prevent my from performing x.  My liberty is in danger of being violated by your liberty as your liberty is in danger of my violation.

In the case of marijuana reform this can be related to the vast majority of smokers who smoke to end their day.  This would seem to be legitimate in so far as they are partaking in something without necessarily exposing others to it, harming others or even involving others.

Some might see that under this conception of law people are far more free to do what is in their interest of liberty and yet we can keep the same punitive system of law.

(even though one might question why we should punish rather than attempt to reform… perhaps another time)

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Comments (15)

High, all! (laughs) Anyway, I spent a long time high, from when I was 16 until I quit at age 23. That is ironic, since I quit due to mild paranoid moments, and then later became a chronic cocaine addict to whom good judgement once meant tearing down an 8 foot privacy fence, to replace it - with a TEN foot privacy fence! (laughs) Legal? Yes, as legal as Prozac. You see, that way we would have the best of both worlds - farmers growing wonderful profitable tasty crops of marijuana for medicinal and fiber purposes - well regulated, well taxed, and openly prescribed. BUT Recreational use (especially among young people) should be mildly discouraged, still illegal to impairment levels (yes, not DIRTY but impaired - and if you can't count to ten backwards you shouldn't drive I don't care if you consumed too much daylight at the beach) for work or driving (I mean STONED, not just "got high the night before") and.... illegal enough to create a nice lively SMALL safe black market. God knows the killer stuff you kids grow upside down in bat-ridden caves (apparently, tended by giant toads and real fairies) is WAY beyond any rational medicinal need. OMG (laughs) I had two PUFFS two Christmas' ago with my nephew. OMG I wandered into a bowling alley and found a guy my age and we laughed about it... he said he too used a lot young but now was not unaware of the different... results due to the improvements.... Hey, I didn't know him from a can of PAINT, and he was not hard to spot in the crowd, he was a COP working security IN UNIFORM! John "ummmm no thank you" Hubertz Patriot

(sigh) kdelik (snerkle) (sigh) oh my friend, you must know this always... ASS HANGING OUT? Don't you think they notice when you work under a sink or grandpa bent down to tie his shoes? WGA man.... "white guy ass", when velcro, poor hygiene, a belt AND suspenders won't allow privacy for your gleaming cleft - your plumber's pride - and without crack spackle we've been showing THEM our ass since the day THEY WERE BORN

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I think the contemporary generation is simply fighting its own prohibition. Tired of being blamed for the crime of which our drug of choice's illegality supports. Weed has been criminalized by ignorance and criminalizes our nation. With it regulated much improvement can follow.

I love that this topic turned into a discussion between two "mature" guys about the relative merits of ass-cracks. Re: the illegality of marijuana; it shouldn't be, Illegal, that is, but the arguement of g or diety-bestowed permission

I continue... government or god permission to use or abuse a substance won't make it legal. First hill to take is medicinal use. I find the arrogance of legislators who believe they have the 'moral' responsibility to keep a drug proven to relieve chemo-induced nausea out of the reach of those who need it the most infuriating aspect of the whole legality issue.

It alright to get in a car, drink a fifth of vodika and plow in to a bunch of kids. And kill them. DOA. Thats alright. But spend more money putting people in jail for the other. While the criminals run and make more money. Ron Paul said it right. We spend too much money on trival things and not enough on more important things. Hey, what about infrastructure, building bridges, dams, high speed rail. Hey that would be a thought. Hey cool picture, Jerrod,

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The medicinal purposes encompass many life altering ailments. The medicinal purposes are undeniable and is far less debatable. It has been common knowledge that marijuana contained medicinal uses for time unknown. Our own country recognized it up until the early 1900s. I'll have to write a bit of my medicinal arguments into a factoid.

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The money our country spends criminalizing marijuana is vast and does create the area for organized, or not, crime to thrive. We turn non-violent 'criminals' into felons and convicts in order to suppress a action which is less dangerous than legal alternatives. Which picture? The California vending machine? I love that we can progress to the point where someone can buy medication from a vending machine.

Where did you find that picture? Is it original?

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It is easily found by google'n 'marijuana vending machine'

Myles

i really dont get why weed isnt legal though, beer is so much worse and the only requirements for that is you got to be 21. marijuana just chills you out. the only time it can be bad is if you do too much of it.

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The effective overdose of weed is large that a person has never been documented hitting that point, and scientists agree that it would be near impossible to ever do. Let alone impossible to do on accident. The reason weed is illegal is more about the war on drugs, than it is anything... it is war for the sake of war... and racism... it really is amazing to think how far we have come that we forget the racist background... but then again that is because those who condone it are not ignorant, or as ignorant and can see it isn't the drug which causes undesired things, but the situation in which drugs thrive.

marijuana is such a valuable plant. For what it can do for a persons mentality, and all the many uses for it... It should be legal!!

Shane curtis

Can you imagine how fast the economy would turn around if it was made legal? Think about tobacco, they tax the s..t out of it, as well as alcohol, (the taxes are still rising.) and the death rates every year are ridiculous, (and legal, they are available any time you want them.) Marijuana would be America's new cash-crop It's scientifically impossible to over-dose, your too paranoid to drive fast or do anything that would get you pulled over.(I am not supporting operating a motor vehicle while using but, it's the truth.) I feel that in moderation, (as long as it does not interfere with another persons rights.) anything we do to our body should be our right as an American.

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Factoidz forgets to pay me for this article... nor does it allow me to edit it... the developed version is now http://factoidz.com/should-marijuana-be-illegal-1/ I wish I could salvage this article here but they don't seem to respond

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