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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    07 Jan '14 16:34
    It seems that the majority of people (55 in the US now support the legalization of marijuana but there are still a few groups supporting criminalization. Who would still be in favor of such intrusive government regulation? Paternalistic liberals from the "blue" States? Well, no:

    Support stood at 60% in the Northeast, 58% in the West, 57% in the Midwest, but just 48% in the South. Sixty-two percent of Democrats and 59% of Independents, but just 36% of Republicans, backed legalizing marijuana.

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/06/cnn-poll-support-for-legal-marijuana-soaring/?hpt=hp_t3

    In addition, this is another issue where Republican "principles" are sharply at odds with younger voters:

    Two-thirds of those 18 to 34 said marijuana should be legal, with 64% of those 34 to 49 in agreement.

    Half of those 50 to 64 believe marijuana should be legal, but that number dropped to 39% for those age 65 and older.


    This seems like another area where the GOP's conservative, fundamentalist leanings are leading them down the primrose path. Like the gay marriage debate, their "big government" position is sharply at odds with the emerging demographic majority.

    What gives? Where is the intellectual consistency? Or is it simply that Republicans just want government to repress those they don't approve of?
  2. 07 Jan '14 16:45
    Politicians don't want to be consistent, they want to be elected. If Republican voters are primarily against legalizing weed then it would be dumb for GOP politicians to support legalization.
  3. 07 Jan '14 16:52
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    It seems that the majority of people (55 in the US now support the legalization of marijuana but there are still a few groups supporting criminalization. Who would still be in favor of such intrusive government regulation? Paternalistic liberals from the "blue" States? Well, no:

    Support stood at 60% in the Northeast, 58% in the West, 57% in the Midw ...[text shortened]... y? Or is it simply that Republicans just want government to repress those they don't approve of?
    Like the pols saying, find the savings to offset continuance of unemployment benefits, but don't touch agribusiness subsidies. Hypocrisy rules.
  4. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    07 Jan '14 16:53
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Politicians don't want to be consistent, they want to be elected. If Republican voters are primarily against legalizing weed then it would be dumb for GOP politicians to support legalization.
    In the medium and long run, Republicans cannot win elections without significant support from Independents and even some Democrats. Consistently backing positions which are held by a minority (and a shrinking minority at that) is not a recipe for electoral success.
  5. 07 Jan '14 16:56
    I do not believe marijuana or same sex marriage is a big government/ little government issue. I think it is more of do you believe it is or is not harmful. While, I see no reason to prevent same sex marriage, I do think that legalizing marijuana will encourage its use (surely there are some people who do not use it because it is illegal) and I am not sure how anyone would argue that increased drug is a good thing for society.
  6. 07 Jan '14 16:58
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    In the medium and long run, Republicans cannot win elections without significant support from Independents and even some Democrats. Consistently backing positions which are held by a minority (and a shrinking minority at that) is not a recipe for electoral success.
    I would expect the GOP establishment to reconsider their position on gay marriage within the next decade or two. With respect to cannabis legalization I'm less sure; I don't know which way the social trends are going, and whether they can be reversed (like in the 80s). The issue of cannabis legalization is also less clear-cut, since everyone knows and agrees that smoking cannabis is harmful so there is at least some justification for a ban (although I oppose such a ban). In the case of gay marriage, the only reason for opposition is pure hatred and there is no conceivable rational reason to ban it.
  7. 07 Jan '14 16:59
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    In the medium and long run, Republicans cannot win elections without significant support from Independents and even some Democrats. Consistently backing positions which are held by a minority (and a shrinking minority at that) is not a recipe for electoral success.
    If you believe you are actually correct on an issue, I believe you can win elections even if it is not the current majority position. While I believe the Republicans are wrong on same sex marriage and abortion issue, I am not certain they are wrong on the marijuana issue. Time will tell and positions will adjust.
  8. 07 Jan '14 17:00
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I do not believe marijuana or same sex marriage is a big government/ little government issue. I think it is more of do you believe it is or is not harmful. While, I see no reason to prevent same sex marriage, I do think that legalizing marijuana will encourage its use (surely there are some people who do not use it because it is illegal) and I am not sure how anyone would argue that increased drug is a good thing for society.
    One possible argument, apart from the obvious one that people should decide for themselves what harm they want to do to themselves, is that stoners tend not to drink or to drink less. Alcohol is much more harmful than cannabis, so in this sense legalizing cannabis could even be a boon for public health.
  9. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    07 Jan '14 17:00
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I do not believe marijuana or same sex marriage is a big government/ little government issue. I think it is more of do you believe it is or is not harmful. While, I see no reason to prevent same sex marriage, I do think that legalizing marijuana will encourage its use (surely there are some people who do not use it because it is illegal) and I am not sure how anyone would argue that increased drug is a good thing for society.
    You don't think supporting someone being sent to jail for using marijuana is a "big government" issue?
  10. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    07 Jan '14 17:03 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by quackquack
    If you believe you are actually correct on an issue, I believe you can win elections even if it is not the current majority position. While I believe the Republicans are wrong on same sex marriage and abortion issue, I am not certain they are wrong on the marijuana issue. Time will tell and positions will adjust.
    Maybe you missed this:

    Two-thirds of those 18 to 34 said marijuana should be legal, with 64% of those 34 to 49 in agreement.

    Half of those 50 to 64 believe marijuana should be legal, but that number dropped to 39% for those age 65 and older.


    What likelihood is there that the positions will "adjust" back to a conservative, repressive one? Little or none. Support for marijuana legalization has been steadily growing for 40 years.

    EDIT: My bad; I exaggerated a bit:

    support for legalizing marijuana has steadily soared over the past quarter century - from 16% in 1987 to 26% in 1996, 34% in 2002, and 43% two years ago.


    So 25 years.
  11. 07 Jan '14 18:15
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Maybe you missed this:

    Two-thirds of those 18 to 34 said marijuana should be legal, with 64% of those 34 to 49 in agreement.

    Half of those 50 to 64 believe marijuana should be legal, but that number dropped to 39% for those age 65 and older.


    What likelihood is there that the positions will "adjust" back to a conser ...[text shortened]... om 16% in 1987 to 26% in 1996, 34% in 2002, and 43% two years ago.


    So 25 years.
    I do not think every law is a big government vs. little government issue.

    I believe support would decrease if marijuana use increases a lot and people do not like the results. If marijuana use becomes a gateway to other more dangerous drugs, if driving while stoned increase dramatically, if increased use in classrooms/ work places leads to a decreased productivity, if certain diseases increase because of drug use, I could see people annoyed and attitudes could shift. If people are not upset by the effects or if there are no effects from legalization, then I imagine there will be even more support for legalization. Time will tell.
  12. 07 Jan '14 18:18
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    One possible argument, apart from the obvious one that people should decide for themselves what harm they want to do to themselves, is that stoners tend not to drink or to drink less. Alcohol is much more harmful than cannabis, so in this sense legalizing cannabis could even be a boon for public health.
    Whether anyone believes it is a good idea or not, the trend toward legalization will allow us to see whether we like its effects. Perhaps you are correct that there will be a shift from alcohol and society will like that shift.
  13. 07 Jan '14 18:51
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I do not believe marijuana or same sex marriage is a big government/ little government issue. I think it is more of do you believe it is or is not harmful. While, I see no reason to prevent same sex marriage, I do think that legalizing marijuana will encourage its use (surely there are some people who do not use it because it is illegal) and I am not sure how anyone would argue that increased drug is a good thing for society.
    Using government regulations to shape society is classical progressivism a la Teddy Roosevelt trust busting, pure food and drug act etc. It is decidedly big government if we choose to regulate public health, such as by cigarette taxes and warning labels. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but we should admit it when we do it. Tariffs for market protection and agricultural subsidies are other examples.
  14. 07 Jan '14 18:52
    Originally posted by quackquack
    Whether anyone believes it is a good idea or not, the trend toward legalization will allow us to see whether we like its effects. Perhaps you are correct that there will be a shift from alcohol and society will like that shift.
    One advantage the US has, is having 50 test sites for new ideas.
  15. 07 Jan '14 18:59
    Originally posted by JS357
    Using government regulations to shape society is classical progressivism a la Teddy Roosevelt trust busting, pure food and drug act etc. It is decidedly big government if we choose to regulate public health, such as by cigarette taxes and warning labels. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but we should admit it when we do it. Tariffs for market protection and agricultural subsidies are other examples.
    I guess we have to define "big government." But to me entitlement programs are what expands government. The primary effect of criminalization/ decriminalization is changing what is legal not an expansion/ contraction of government powers.