American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
April 16th, 2009
08:00 PM ET

Vote! Should drugs be legal in the U.S.?

Do you think the United States should legalize drugs?

Mexico drug trafficking, cartels and killings. All driven by America’s addiction to drugs. How did it get this bad? All this week we are reporting on America's drug addiction in our special series "Drug Nation."

So, what do you think? Should the United States legalize drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin? Vote now!

And don't miss:

Filed under: Controversy • Drugs
soundoff (425 Responses)
  1. Nicholas Cappello

    If legalized "pushers" would have little motivation to increase new users.

    Existing users would be identified and helped if desired.

    Drug oriented law breaking would be eliminated thus reducing court loads and prison population. This would free up resources for constructive uses.

    Resources now spent on incarceration could be spent on rehabilitation.

    December 29, 2009 at 7:57 pm |
  2. Todd

    I think marijuana should be legal. It's a lot less harmful than any other drugs especially alcohol. Alcohol should be banned and marijuana should take its place.

    October 23, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  3. Chris


    I love your enthusiasm but have to add a few things. The man booze, god grass statement goes well on a t-shirt but god didn't dry the grass, roll it into a joint, or light it on fire . . . alcohol does occur in nature, all decaying organic matter makes alcohol as part of the decomposition process.

    Second, your native american ancestors may have smoked pot but not untill after Columbus did his journey . . . cannabis is originally from Asia and was not native to the Americas.

    I have always thought that while we are arguing for legalization that it is important to make logical arguements that have the facts straight. If someone can poke a hole in one little part of your arguement then the rest of it, no matter how true is then disregarded.

    I always felt that I have a right to do whatever I please as long as I don't infringe on another. Arresting me for possessing an herb is an infringement on me. Everything else doesn't matter. If marijuana would have a 99% chance of causing me to die within a week it should still be my right. Is it not my life? I don't think its my right to smoke it anywhere or anytime, I think it is my right to smoke it on my private property or the private property of another (a business is included) that allows it. I think it is any employers right to prohibit it or being under the effects of it, etc. It's about freedom plain and simple, the right to pursue happiness, for me, you, and everyone in their own way.


    October 15, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  4. Chrissy Castro

    Ponder this...."Man made booze, God made grass. Who do you TRUST?" I think Government crack, (also known as)..... Cigarettes!!!! Is far far far far far Worse!!!

    October 13, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  5. Chrissy Castro

    I am from Ann Arbor, MI. first of all, so I live in a community of Liberal's. What's sad is that murders get less time than people who sell Marijuana! Come on, my ancestor's (Indians) smoked pot for many reasons, also I have never seen a violent pot head!! Peace, Love and smoke a scooby snack already!!!

    October 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  6. Tif

    Whats the quote..if you do not learn from history you are DOOMED to repeat it...drugs, alcohol, and guns in America. Outlawing drugs /alcohol/guns only helps the CRIMINALS. Hello!! Does anyone remember Capone and et al??????

    July 9, 2009 at 6:57 am |
  7. Addie Kressley RN

    I was at one time a proponent for RX however, history has shown us that IT DOES NOT WORK!
    Therefore, either legalize; or for repeat offenders, JAIL!
    It was pointed out that RX for habitual offenders is fiscially draining our econemy, and the Mentally Ill for whom RX was origionally intended are being forced out of the Mental Health System by habitually offending Drug Addiction.

    May 15, 2009 at 9:12 pm |
  8. Allen (in Ohio)

    The legalization, taxation, and regulation of marijuana alone would significantly reduce our nation's prisons population, as well as give a huge boost in revenue. As our economy is at the moment, ruling out the legalization of marijuana as one of the potential steps to reduce our national debt and stimulate the economy, is absolutely close-minded.
    As it is now, tobacco and alcohol are legal and why? Both cigs and alcohol are manufactured and not very natural substances, yet they are two of the most profitable markets in America, and highly harmful in numerous ways to health. Marijuana being a single plant with a "relief" sensation that many users resort to it for, whether they are medically ill, or just to unwind as any responsible alcohol or cigarette consumer would.... responsibly.
    Myself has been a daily user of marijuana for over 10+ years. I like to think i'm well educated. I've always tried to be a responsible citizen of our country and abide most every other law. After being arrested for marijuana on two occasions within the past 3 years, have created nothing, but hardships for myself and my family. Applying for new jobs or renting a house/apartment is the same feeling a lion must have when jumping through flaming hoops.
    I pay taxes, I work, I have responsibilities, I have served our country as a member of our Armed Forces, I enjoy smoking/vaporizing/ingesting marijuana responsibly. -I KNOW I-, am not alone when it comes to any of the previously mentioned I's i've mentioned!
    Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are my typical times to consume (for a solid 10+ years). My doctor says i'm in great health (he knows i'm a daily consumer of marijuana).
    Willie Nelson, Tommy Chong, and Snoop Dogg are just three "long-term" users that anyone and everyone knows. They all seem to be of equal health of their peers as well, if not significantly more successful than some. Millions of Americans are sought to be habitual users of marijuana as well.
    I AM PLEADING to anyone against drugs, to please take marijuana out of the talk as a drug. It's a plant, and to some it's a safe alternative to alcohol or cigarettes. DEA, and local law enforcement would likely object, because they would be in jeapordy of having to potentially downsize from having a lack of crimes. DEA would be forced to actually fight "real" crimes as opposed to non-violent marijuana offenders/users!

    April 24, 2009 at 6:12 am |
  9. Casey

    I don’t understand why the only drug that doesn’t kill anyone illegal? Marijuana has been on this planet since day one. What makes me sick is that good hard working Americans that are put in jail and labeled as a criminal. Yet, a senior in high school that hits his/her 18th birth day can purchase cigarettes or other tobacco products that kill people everyday!! Alcohol and prescription pills also take over and kill people everyday. I recently lost a good friend to Xanax overdose. These are man made drugs that are highly addictive that are ok to use with an I.D. of the lawful age or a prescription from a doctor. Really? How hard is it to see how stupid it is to arrest and panelize innocent people that smoke pot? Smoking it is not the only way to get the affects of THC. Vaporizers and ingesting keeps you away from harming the lungs. For people that disagree with legalizing marijuana, just check out to get the truth and facts about this plant.

    April 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm |
  10. Matt

    Cannabis is not a drug, it's a plant. You can't lump a plant into a drug category simply because it doesn't fit with your agenda.
    Drugs are created, they don't grow from the earth. You have to cut a drug and you have to add baking soda to a drug. Drugs are created in someone's kitchen.

    Marijuana is not a drug.

    April 20, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  11. Marijuana Rules ~ The US government holds a Patent for medical marijuana. At the same time, claims it has no medical value.

    There is no valid reason for marijuana to be illegal when you look at nicotine, alcohol, and the science supporting marijuana's amazing healing effects.

    April 19, 2009 at 1:08 am |
  12. Kevin

    Which drugs currently cause the most (health, death, or other) problems for people in the US? Aren't they tobacco and alcohol, which are legal for adults? So, why would we legalize more? Maybe, we need to look at our punishments and other consequences for drug users, like offering more treatment and other help, and less jail or prison time.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  13. Gary Malone

    The legalization of marijuana or any other drug may create competition for the drug cartels, but it won't put them out of business. I doubt that the cartels are interested in turning over a new leaf, become responsible business man, pay taxes on their products and export fees, and make sure their workers have good health care coverage, a nice dental plan, and a retirement fund. So let's say we legalize, we are still going to have to fight a drug war. Also, the truth is drug cartels have had free reign in Mexico for so long, allowed by the Mexican governments of the past, that now it's like trying to take a bloody tuna out of the mouth of a great white shark. You can expect a struggle.

    April 17, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  14. Bernice

    Uncle Don, yes. It's just you! Not everyone is a user in the USA. We want the rights that our forefathers died for us to be able to enjoy. I would like to have the "choice" to sy NO...all by myself! I don't need another dad. I already have one of my own! He raised me to know better than to harm Gods temple! He also raised me to understand what the constitution was all about and how we, as the American people, should continue to fight to keep it! Legalize it. It is a natural creation from God which is stated in the Bible as being given as a gift! It is one of the best plants, if not the best, on earth as we know it today. It's properties are quite invaluable to people worldwide! Please educate yourselves! Cannabis is not a drug! This gift should be in a CLASS of its own. Our gov. has not been truthful to its people. If someone tells you that the sky is not blue, but it is now yellow, will you be the one to get off of your chair to look for yourself? or, would you be the one decieved in the end?? Educate yourselves on anything that they tell you. You may just be surprised to see how OFTEN in history ..our people were lied to. We need to educate ourselves ..with the truth.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  15. Chip

    I think the question is too broad. What does legalizing all drugs really mean? Would we be able to get our doctor perscribed pills over the counter? I agree with dealing with the problems of drugs and laws. I believe drugs are dangerous but so are a lot of things. Compare death to drugs with death to driving down the road. I think we need to be kinder and gentler in our outlook to drug treatment and tougher on hate crime. We need to rediscover mental health providers. Now or later we all need a little check up whether it is physical or mental. Get on board to health stop punishing those who could be helped.

    April 17, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  16. Brad

    Most experts agree that US drug policy is seriously flawed because it treats all drugs equally. There are HUGE differences between pot, cocaine, heroin, meth, etc. The level of regulation of a particular drug should be determined by its potential for causing damage to a person. Drugs that are more addictive should be illegal. Drugs that are relatively, harmless, like marijuana, should be tolerated just as alcohol is.

    April 17, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  17. Barbara

    America, "the land of the free and the home of the brave". Is it? All drugs should be legalized. All means ALL. We, (ALL) not just as Americans or Mexicans, etc., but as humans, need a reality check. The reality of the 'war on drugs' is not 'drugs' it's 'people'! We are always looking for a reason, or should I say an excuse to take the place of our own responsibility to ourselves and each other to be responsible. Now, more than ever in our history, it is time that we stop using excuses and take resposibility for our own actions. Drugs are not doing anything wrong! People are. We are. Just because drugs are illegal, doesn't stop people from doing them. Just because law enforcement officers arrest people for buying, selling, and using drugs, doesn't mean that they aren't doing the same thing. Wrong is wrong, and right is right. There are no gray areas here. We are losing whole generations, not to drugs but, to ignorance. And I don't want this to be misconstrued because contrary to popular belief..."ignorance is not bliss!"

    Ignorance comes form ignoring and I can speak of this from experience. Ignoring something doesn't make it go away. Usually, it gets worse. Let's cut to the chase, or scientifially speaking, solve the equation.

    "Congress has just passed a bill legalizing the use of any and all drugs in the U.S. The vote was unanimous. This is the first bill ever to pass through Congress with 100% of all votes! There will be a press ...." stranger things have happened.

    April 17, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  18. Michael

    I done 10 years federal prison and 8 years on probation for growing 360 pot plants.I didn't sale I only used. i also done 10 months drug rehab, and counseling and I have 6 weeks left than I began my probation.

    April 17, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  19. Joseph Daniel Brian Lawlor

    There is a booze cabinet. There isa drug cabinet. Now take the freaking time to teach your children their measure in life for if you do not when leaving home and not knowing their measure they will fall. Kids in University binge drinking because their measure was not taught them growing up have already died as a physical consequence of parental neglet. Parents too busy working the system to properly instruct their own children. Sad state of affairs peoplesand personally I am tied of dealing with the children you parents turn your backs on. Smarten the hell up.

    April 17, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  20. Mary

    The problem in Mexico should NOT be entirely blamed on the American peoples appetite for drugs! Let's get real here! What the US gov does NOT want us to know, cnn started reporting on just yesterday! The problem obviously began when the US gov. substidized corn and other produce, and took it across the border to sell it to the Mexican people at a much cheaper cost! Now think people! What do you think that did to the farming communities in Mexico? It shut them down! They could not sell thier produce and lost thier farms. Now, again ..think!! What would have happened in the USA if another country did this same act to us, and caused the downfall of our farming industry? Well, it would cause millions of people to lose thier jobs, homes and thier lands. Think of the outcry in America! This is exactly what was done to the Mexican people by our gov, yet noone will ever be held accountable for this crime against thier people! But, they chose to blame the American people for thier appetite for drugs, and also for a stricter standard to inforce the gun laws, right here in the US! Does anyone have ANY clue how much money this is going to actually cost the American people in the end? Will there ever be an end? We now have a "highly priced" Czar at the border! Billions of dollars going into the "already defeted war on drugs". BILLIONS! And, to top it off, we LOANED them our blackhawks to fight this war with! (along with 17 million American dollars.( to start off with). This is what we needed a HUGE stimulis for! We have to now not only fight Iraq, we have to fight Afganastan, Somolia, Mexico (and it's MANY) problems there, fight drugs worldwide (it is worldwide, not only in Mexico), and this list continues to grow! Problem with this? We have 24% foreclosures in our own peoples homes just yesterday alone! How many AMERICANS are without a home today? Maybe with NO FOOD? No employment? No hope? Too many for me! I am sick of helping everyone else in the world, and leaving OUR OWN PEOPLE to suffer the consequences.

    Trillions of $$$$ in wasted money!! Can we begin to help our own people?? And, did anyone notice the poll numbers here? Between last night and today, the numbers went up for NO WAY, yet ever statement left on the site (as we all can see)is for legalization. interesting. They have to keep coming back just to vote NO WAY, just to make it apper that they actually have that support! I wish that we could finally have a nationwide vote on this issue, and allow the educated people of America to cast a vote. I would bet, the American people are quite tired of THIER $$$$ going to fight a problem that should have NEVER been there to begin with!! Legal it already!

    LEGALIZE We really do need to.. This is a wrong done in the past, that needs to finally be corrected.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:36 am |
  21. JayQ

    What a nice way to replace the lost taxes from foreclosed homes. But only Marijuana.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:47 am |
  22. Marilyn Kinelski

    Just for a moment, consider all the harm youth presently are experiencing as a result of alcohol and tobacco, the legal drugs of America. Legalizarion makes products appear to be harmless and that is by far the biggest lie of all if referring to marijuana, heroin or cocaine.There is nothing good about the use of marijuana, heroin or cocaine. All cause irreparable harm.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:08 am |
  23. Serenden J Whitaker

    please read john miller's statement a few comment above. you might learn something, and check out my comments also if you wish.

    legalize, grow, fabricate, tax, and sell cannabis.
    restrict age to either 18 or 21
    instill regulations and let states enforce their own laws on cannabis.

    April 17, 2009 at 1:34 am |
  24. JBK

    To start,[for alcohol or any proven driver imparing substance] first time DUI conviction = permanent loss of vehicle[s} ownership rights and drivers licenses. DUI causes death of another=life in prison. One strike only. No excuses. No exceptions.

    As for any drug use related to nonviolent/property crime, it should be mandatory medical maintenance/treatment as condition for probation.

    I think it would be a safer country if these were implemented. That's what I think..

    April 17, 2009 at 12:36 am |
  25. Curt

    Treatment over sentancing. I have watch too many non violent friends and family members spend time in jail and worse over drugs. Legalize all of it and begin working on education and assistance like we do ciggarettes and booze. Stop the violence, stop the insanity. I never liked that my government declared a war on drugs and thereby declared a war on our own people.

    April 16, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
1 2 3 4 5