Politics & Media
Jun 18, 2008, 05:38AM

Don't Stop With Weed

New York is making gradual progress towards legalizing medical marijuana. One author's excitement is limited because the truly important step won't happen until the use of every drug is decriminalized.

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I had attended a Marijuana Policy Project event celebrating the New York State Assembly's passage of a medical-marijuana bill. (The bill hasn't passed the Senate.) I told the audience I thought it pathetic that the mere half passage of a bill to allow sick people to try a possible remedy would merit such a celebration. Of course medical marijuana should be legal. For adults, everything should be legal. I'm amazed that the health police are so smug in their opposition.

After years of reporting on the drug war, I'm convinced that this "war" does more harm than any drug.

Independent of that harm, adults ought to own our own bodies, so it's not intellectually honest to argue that "only marijuana" should be legal -- and only for certain sick people approved by the state. Every drug should be legal.

Few drug users hurt or rob people because they are high. Most of the crime occurs because the drugs are illegal and available only through a black market. Drug sellers arm themselves and form gangs because they cannot ask the police to protect their persons and property.

In turn, some buyers steal to pay the high black-market prices. The government says heroin, cocaine and nicotine are similarly addictive, and about half the people who both smoke cigarettes and use cocaine say smoking is at least as strong an urge. But no one robs convenience stores for Marlboros.

Alcohol prohibition created Al Capone and the Mafia. Drug prohibition is worse. It's corrupting whole countries and financing terrorism.

  • Im awful kind of mixed up about this. I read stossels piece that had a list of arguments and scientific evidence, and then I read dans response that invoked the image of Americas future highways turned into a destruction derby for sleep deprived smack fiends, literally craploads of them, recklessly knocking family minivans and priuses off the road. The junkie's bloodshot eyes, filling with animal desire and assorted brain and body fluids, bulge and tremble with plumpness before bursting out of their sockets, leaving a trail of dripping tissue, optical nerves and some of their rotted frontal lobe down their face like tears. Now controlled only by their drug craving, they try and drive to the dealer by sound and sense of direction. Eventually they crash into another blinded junkie, and emerge covered in flames from the wreckage like zombies. So I dont know.

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  • "And most importantly, in a free country, adults should have the right to harm themselves." I wonder if he'd be down with his daughter never wearing a seatbelt in a car with no airbags.

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  • Clearly the guy in the picture has a serious medical condition and needs non-traditional pain relief.

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  • I like John Stossel's stuff and I think he was being provocative to prove a point. I don't think heroin should be legalized, but certainly marijuana should be. The tax revenue alone ought to be the sweetener for politicians. Same thing with gambling and prostitution. Clean out the jails of people who don't do harm to others. As for ASKlein's question whether Stossel would be "down" with his daughter not wearing a seatbelt, that's also a matter of individual choice, and one hopes that people can understand basic safety without government interference.

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  • It's about time, I say!

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  • legalize everything mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!

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  • I'd like to think we're close to the legalization of ketamine, but it just ain't gonna happen any tiem soon.

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  • That picture is probable evidence of intent to distribute.

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