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Interesting Marijuana Poll on Opposing Views

On the website OpposingViews, I found an interesting poll question:
     Would Legalization Increase Marijuana Use? 

Of the number who voted, 46% indicated Yes while 54% indicated No.  I found this particularly interesting, and completely backwards.  I believe that there would probably be a significant increase in its use because once legalized, it becomes accessible to anyone who might want to smoke it (this assumes that it is distributed similarly to alcohol).  Even if the number of people who smoke pot remained the same, their use could easily increase, perhaps even double.  Certainly one can assume, I think, that most if not all habitual users would smoke more.  And even many casual users might increase their use by some degree.

Because of the number of big drug busts in the US, there are less drugs on the street and so finding it would be difficult and obtaining it would be even more difficult as prices become prohibitive.  But if it were legalized these shortages would probably disappear as the demand drove up the supply.  So imagine that 100 people smoke 1 joint a week; now, if pot were legalized let's assume these 100 people smoke 2 joints a week.  The legalization of marijuana, in this case, has caused the use of it to double.

But if "increase[d] marijuana use" were to mean the number of users instead of simply its use, then it would be pathetically naive to think that people who have never tried it wouldn't try it.  Think of all of the teenagers who are tempted by their peers to drink alcohol at parties.  And the probability that someone at the party brings drugs is fairly high. Drugs, then, might also be a temptation for those who hsve never before tried them.  Alcohol, however, is legal and obviously more prevalent; just look around as you drive about.  You're bound to see beer distributors or convenient stores that carry beer and state stores (where hard liquor is sold in States where the state government controls its distribution) that sell hard liquor and wine.  It's everywhere.

I think, too, that even if pot were legal only by a doctor's prescription, the number of people who qualify based on legal guidelines would increase. Simply by legalizing pot all of the states and not just one or two, would allow doctor's to prescribe it, which, with little doubt, would increase its use as the number of patients that qualify increases (dramatically even).  Just think about how many doctors prescribe opiate-based pain killers (e.g. Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycontin) for anyone with a back ache or a sore toe.  Once strict guidelines for its use laxes (as it propably would in time), then there might be many more patients that fall under these laxed guidelines and who can then get prescriptions for pot.

So this is why I think that this poll is backwards.  I have a feeling that of those who vote no do so because they assume, somewhere in their tiny minds, that their vote might actually make some difference--either that or they've spent no serious time thinking about it.  But I mean, you know, if a bunch of people vote no to its increase in use, government would be sure to legalize it. Eventually. Someday.  Uh... umm... right?  Morons.


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