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Ice_nine

should i vote to legalize it?

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Ice_nine    2,270
Ice_nine

So in Massachusetts, which will undoubtedly go to Clinton (stupid electoral college), there's a few ballot questions. One is to legalize marijuana for recreational use for adults over 21.

I pretty much think prohibition causes more harm than good, and a lot of the arguments against it are scare tactics and/or distorted figures. The Bishops in our state have come out and urged Catholic voters to vote NO on this question because it will lead to increased societal breakdowns, traffic fatalities, adolescent users etc. (For example they pointed out that more drivers involved in fatal traffic incidents have tested positive for marijuana. However the actual studies that looked into this does not say if the intoxicated driver was at fault or impaired, and that this increase may simply reflect the overall increase in marijuana usage since its legalization).

I just don't buy their arguments. This has nothing to do with the morality of marijuana use. It's one of those situations where I think that prohibition is more harmful than use of the drug itself. I am not advocating that people use marijuana. So don't get it twisted. Of COURSE there are going to be negative effects of legalizing marijuana. But I think weighing everything that the positive effects will outweigh the bad ones.

Drug dealers would stand with the Bishops on this one. They sure as hell don't want to see marijuana legalized as it will likely kill their sales. Will people still buy from them? Probably, but most people who want liquor go to liquor stores and don't buy moonshine from some sketchy unregulated backwoods distillery either.

Prohibition disproportionately affects blacks. Will legalization cure racism and the social problems of the black community? No, but I think it's a step in the right direction (I think that historically racism has played a part in the decision to prohibit and demonize marijuana).

Did you know there are ways to use marijuana without getting high? I'm particularly interested in marijuana with a high CBD (which doesn't make you high) to THC ratio. People would be able to use this stuff to help with minor ailments without the red tape of the medical mj industry.

 

The main issue is the bishops have urged to vote against this measure. (They also urged us back in 2014 to vote for mandatory 40 hrs of sick time which I voted against because I thought it would really only hurt small businesses, although I didn't know that at the time).

Is it an act of disobedience to vote for it?

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CountrySteve21    309
CountrySteve21

I think it would be best to go with the bishops on this one. Making marijuana legal won't help with the drug problem, as it usually leads to worse drugs such as cocaine and heroin which is a huge problem.

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little2add    474
little2add

Legal pot may very well be the reason Why have heroin overdoses skyrocketed in the United States in recent years?

its coming mostly from Mexico 

IDK -   If only a presidential candidate proposed a way to stop it , like building a wall or something

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polskieserce    22
polskieserce

Well first off, I'm surprised you don't plan on casting a vote for Clinton.  Stein and Johnson are merely message-candidates and the only other true alternative is Trump, the potty-mouth of 2016.

You are correct in asserting that marijuana prohibition does more harm than good.  The one thing to remember is that alcohol is also harmful if not used in moderation.  Moderation is key when using any kind of substance.  The Bible doesn't contain any passages that outright ban the use of other substances.  Jesus has wine with his followers because alcohol was the drug of choice in that particular region.  If Jesus had been in Africa or the American southwest instead of Israel, we could very well be ingesting khat, psilocybin,or peyote instead of wine during communion.

The only reason why alcohol is legal in the US is that it's a white drug and the country was founded by white people.  Even people from other parts of the world who aren't white still had those views forced onto them by Europeans.  100 years ago, marijuana has traditionally been seen as a black/hispanic drug, though that's changed in recent years.  That explains why it's only legal in a few states (with a lot of legal gray area).

I would go ahead and vote for cannabis legalization.  There is nothing in the Bible that bans the use of other substances.  Those who abuse it extensively are already doing so.  I would not attribute the rise of opiate abuse to cannabis legalization.  Opiate abuse is directly tied to the over-prescription of pain killers by doctors.

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Anomaly    2,480
Anomaly

What studies can you cite that shows prohibition is more harmful than allowance?  What hard data can you cite that completely refutes what the Bishops are saying?   If you're happy with a preponderance of info that refutes your Bishops Reccomendation, then vote for it.  If not, then you probably shouldn't.

The problem with most marijuana studies is real lack of good intel.   The honest answers are usually unsure or not clear.   How do you correctly test for THC impairment?   How standard are the effects on people?   Many more scientific studies are needed to really answere those questions.  It is frustrating because if THC's drug classification by Feds, it's almost impossible to do good studies.

Besides actual knowable facts of THC, are the potential harms worth the benefits of enabling recreational drug use with what we really know now?   

For decades, tobacco companies claimed you couldn't "prove" cigarettes caused cancer...     They're investing now in e-cig and pot industries.  Maybe a more cautious approach would be best. 

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Gabriela    3,074
Gabriela

This may sound disobedient or irreverent or whatever, but personally, I'd ignore the bishops on this one and vote to legalize it. I've seen enough proclamations come out of the Vatican and other high halls of the Catholic Church that presume a knowledge of things of which the authors clearly have practically no knowledge. I've heard (Catholic) economists, political scientists, philosophers, and even theologians say the same thing: Sometimes the Church, in Her documents, just doesn't know jack. She or the authors of whatever document may have some passing familiarity with one theory or perspective or research finding that supports whatever view She wants to take, so She cites it or eludes to it and people presume She knows more than She does. But experts aren't fooled. I can testify that I've seen this in matters of communication discussed in Vatican documents, and Marshall McLuhan got downright livid about some of the stuff he saw.

So when it comes to pot, I don't expect the bishops know a whole lot or are terribly familiar with the research on it. They've probably heard some stuff here and there and are basing their judgment on that. I can't imagine what they've heard is objective or balanced. And I won't buy that God is inspiring them to lean a certain way on this. I say vote YOUR conscience, not theirs.

12 hours ago, Anomaly said:

For decades, tobacco companies claimed you couldn't "prove" cigarettes caused cancer...

It's funny, cuz I just had this very conversation with my students on Monday. The tobacco companies were right: You probably really can't prove that cigarettes cause cancer, at least not beyond the shadow of any doubt. You can get enough evidence to be really extremely incredibly beaver dam confident they cause cancer, though. Which is enough for almost everyone. Except the tobacco companies, of course!

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CatherineM    6,165
CatherineM

Use of pot significantly raises your risk of developing schizophrenia. I've never met someone who lost a friend or family member to drugs that was in favour of legalizing. 

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Anomaly    2,480
Anomaly
12 hours ago, Gabriela said:

This may sound disobedient or irreverent or whatever, but personally, I'd ignore the bishops on this one and vote to legalize it. I've seen enough proclamations come out of the Vatican and other high halls of the Catholic Church that presume a knowledge of things of which the authors clearly have practically no knowledge. I've heard (Catholic) economists, political scientists, philosophers, and even theologians say the same thing: Sometimes the Church, in Her documents, just doesn't know jack. She or the authors of whatever document may have some passing familiarity with one theory or perspective or research finding that supports whatever view She wants to take, so She cites it or eludes to it and people presume She knows more than She does. But experts aren't fooled. I can testify that I've seen this in matters of communication discussed in Vatican documents, and Marshall McLuhan got downright livid about some of the stuff he saw.

So when it comes to pot, I don't expect the bishops know a whole lot or are terribly familiar with the research on it. They've probably heard some stuff here and there and are basing their judgment on that. I can't imagine what they've heard is objective or balanced. And I won't buy that God is inspiring them to lean a certain way on this. I say vote YOUR conscience, not theirs.

It's funny, cuz I just had this very conversation with my students on Monday. The tobacco companies were right: You probably really can't prove that cigarettes cause cancer, at least not beyond the shadow of any doubt. You can get enough evidence to be really extremely incredibly beaver dam confident they cause cancer, though. Which is enough for almost everyone. Except the tobacco companies, of course!

So, despite being UNABLE to prove "unequivocally" that pot is safe/harmful for the majority/minority; pot foster/suppresses a culture of recreational drug use; pot is being exploited/ignored by big corporations for profit; prohibition is more/less harmful than complete legalization;  

You recommend Ice to go against the Bishop's recommendation to vote against a State Constitutional Ammendment to legalize it for recreational use?

I'm impressed that you've put in the time and effort to research exactly what the Bishop's themselves researched or didn't research, reviewed the other research and data about pot use and the effects in other states, medical literature and studies, and concluded the Bishops don't know jack and just leave it to personal conscience/opinion.  

Edited by Anomaly

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Gabriela    3,074
Gabriela
6 hours ago, Anomaly said:

So, despite being UNABLE to prove "unequivocally" that pot is safe/harmful for the majority/minority; pot foster/suppresses a culture of recreational drug use; pot is being exploited/ignored by big corporations for profit; prohibition is more/less harmful than complete legalization;  

You recommend Ice to go against the Bishop's recommendation to vote against a State Constitutional Ammendment to legalize it for recreational use?

I'm impressed that you've put in the time and effort to research exactly what the Bishop's themselves researched or didn't research, reviewed the other research and data about pot use and the effects in other states, medical literature and studies, and concluded the Bishops don't know jack and just leave it to personal conscience/opinion.  

Yep, that's what I'm saying. The thing is, on questions like this, the bishops don't often put in that much research. They talk to some people, maybe read some stuff, pray about it (hopefully), discuss among themselves, etc. At the Vatican, they bring in an "expert" to either write a specific portion of a document or to advise the pope or a dicastery on whatever is being writing, but often that "expert" is only an expert in the general field at issue, not the specific question at issue. And even experts have their biases.

So yeah, I think that you, and I, and every single one of us who is college-educated or just plain intelligent and motivated, could do the same research the bishops have (which, again, probably isn't much) and pray about the issue just like the bishops have, and come to our own conclusions.

We're not talking about an issue of dogma here. You don't have to obey in this matter. It'd be good to hear the bishops out, of course, and to take what they say into consideration. But ultimately the decision is down to you.

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Amppax    2,679
Amppax
4 hours ago, Gabriela said:

Yep, that's what I'm saying. The thing is, on questions like this, the bishops don't often put in that much research. They talk to some people, maybe read some stuff, pray about it (hopefully), discuss among themselves, etc. At the Vatican, they bring in an "expert" to either write a specific portion of a document or to advise the pope or a dicastery on whatever is being writing, but often that "expert" is only an expert in the general field at issue, not the specific question at issue. And even experts have their biases.

So yeah, I think that you, and I, and every single one of us who is college-educated or just plain intelligent and motivated, could do the same research the bishops have (which, again, probably isn't much) and pray about the issue just like the bishops have, and come to our own conclusions.

We're not talking about an issue of dogma here. You don't have to obey in this matter. It'd be good to hear the bishops out, of course, and to take what they say into consideration. But ultimately the decision is down to you.

Not quite correct. Actually fairly off. Obedience isn't limited to issues of dogma. 

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Gabriela    3,074
Gabriela
46 minutes ago, Amppax said:

Not quite correct. Actually fairly off. Obedience isn't limited to issues of dogma. 

I didn't mean to imply that it is. But if, as Anomaly suggests, the research on marijuana use and the consequences of legalization of marijuana use are all still fairly inconclusive, then:

1. even if the Bishops have done a lot of research, it's not worth much, because it's all inconclusive; and

2. anybody's opinion on the legalization of marijuana is as good as anyone else's, because all the research is inconclusive.

Personally, I don't know or care whether the research is inconclusive, because I've delved far enough into academic research to know that it's mostly useless BS for at least the first 50 years of study on any given subject anyway. It takes time to gain a real understanding of something, especially social somethings. So for the moment, this is one of those issues that I feel has both advantages and disadvantages either way you look at it, even if you look at it from a Catholic perspective. And thus I don't feel like the bishops are going to make some rock-solid argument for why it's clearly better to keep it illegal. If they did, I'd consider it. But when I read Catholic arguments for keeping it illegal in the past they all seemed like lame-o conservative "we're just afraid of change because we can't know what the world will be like if we change stuff and that scares the croutons out of us" arguments. That's not convincing, and neither are the parts where they attempt to use one random academic study that supports their position because one random academic study is worthless.

Put simply: You know what opinions are like. Everybody's got one. No one's is worth much. So just vote what you think best.

Edited by Gabriela

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Ice_nine    2,270
Ice_nine

I've researched the topic extensively and have come to the conclusion that prohibition causes more problems than drug use. That's not what I really want to debate. We've had that debate before. And yeah I might have been a little biased before in an attempt to justify my own habits. But even though I don't use anymore I still stand by the opinion that prohibition is more problematic and results in more evil than the thing its prohibiting.

What I wanted to know was, do I have to throw all of that aside because the bishops say to? Even when I don't find their arguments convincing?

I also think when counseling people on whether using mj was a sin or not, one of the solid go to arguments was "well it's illegal and doing illegal things is wrong so smoking pot is wrong." Without that to lean on it's going to become a lot more difficult to explain to people why marijuana is always immoral for recreational use, but other substances (namely alcohol and cigarettes) are somehow exempt. And I think that is a shaky leg to stand on because there's not really a rational justification for allowing one and disallowing the other.

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Anomaly    2,480
Anomaly

There are plenty of rational reasons why not to vote for recreational pot, and you do know them.  There is not unassailable proof of how harmful pot is or isn't.   There is plenty of evidence pot causes significant issues in at least a miniority of people.   The extent of those at risk is not known (yet).

As far as the harm of prohibition, I agree society addressing addicts with incarceration and little treatment is the cause.  Making yet another product mare available legally with strong potential to be abused doesn't sound very positive. 

Personally, I think it's more positive for society to wait and support better drug addiction response in society.  Nobody is claiming pot prevents going to other drugs, just refuting that pot necessarily does promote harder drug use. 

I don't think it's a slam dunk to out of hand dismiss the Bishops opinion.  Ther is too much unknown and plenty to be concerned about medically, sociologically, economically, etc, to jump in with a State Ammendment for rec use.  If it turns out bad, it will be extremely hard to reimpose limits once big money gets involved.  It will be (and is) about profit, not public health or benefit.

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Ice_nine    2,270
Ice_nine

Like I said, I don't really want to debate whether legalizing it is god or bad overall. You're right in their are a lot of unknowns. But for millennia there's was no legal prohibition against using psychoactive substances. I see the deleterious effects of prohibition NOW. I see the effects of marijuana use in most people as being something relatively benign. I think initially there might be a spike in drug use when something is legalized (like if you lowered the drinking age to 18 a bunch of 18-20 year olds would probably go out and buy drinks, but I think it would level out over time). 

You're right its har to impose limits when big money gets involved. You know lots of prisons are privatized right? It pays to keep em full. Resources are limited. If we want to help addicts we need to redirect money from the prison systems into rehab programs, but in the interim I think we need to finally quash the failed war on drugs.

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Gabriela    3,074
Gabriela

If a lack of reliable information is a reason to keep it illegal, it's just as much a reason to make it legal. There's a name for this fallacy, too: appeal to ignorance, aka lack of evidence fallacy, aka lots of other things.

@Ice_nine: You might have better luck getting the answer you want if you post in the Q&A phorum some question like this, "Am I bound by obedience to vote against the legalization of marijuana if the bishops have urged Catholics to vote against it, or is this not an issue covered by obedience?"

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Anomaly    2,480
Anomaly

I don't think we should stop the war by giving up.  We should change the strategy and method.  

You asked if you should obey Bishopric or not.  I'm not debating to change your mind, but establishing the reasonableness of the Bishops.   You can reasonably choose to disobey the bishops, but it should require more than a dissimilar opinion on hypothetical. The Bishops have authority you have to respect.  You may disagree, but do you NEED TO or SHOULD disobey as a Catholic?  

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CatherineM    6,165
CatherineM

Just because a battle is hard or we are losing isn't a reason to stop fighting. By that logic we should stop fighting against abortion or drunk driving. 

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NadaTeTurbe    1,748
NadaTeTurbe
On 29/10/2016 at 2:46 AM, Ice_nine said:

I don't see the need to "battle" marijuana when it has been an overall beneficial thing in many peoples lives. Maybe that's part of the issue

 

So beneficial to the thousand of people who are living in litteral slavery in Marroco to cultivate marijuana, so pooooor americans and europeans can feel better. 

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Nihil Obstat    9,205
Nihil Obstat

Based on the current political landscape in Canada, marijuana will be fully legalized next year. Initial projections indicate that it will be a massive industry, tens of billions of dollars when you account for secondary effects. Possibly even more money in it than alcohol. It will be interesting to see what happens, because there are enough similarities that we can draw some comparisons with the US. Savvy people should be watching closely in order to assess any social and medical effects of legalization.

I hear that very high quality marijuana is cultivated in the interior of BC in particular. I wonder if import/export is on the table right now, or if there is even any point to import from elsewhere.

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