American Morning

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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. Uncle Don

    Is is just me or does it seems that the only people that are for the legalization of marijuana are the ones that smoke it?

    April 16, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  2. betty

    I think we have enough drug users in this country. Legalizing it would just make more users. Hope we don't do it.

    April 16, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  3. Melissa

    Being one of the only people in my family not addicted to drugs, I've seen what it does to people and their families. I don't think that lealizing drugs would make it any better. If everybody had a direct access to any drug they wanted, life here would be worse than what it already is. Also, everyone needs to think about all the people that would be at work under the influence... I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want to be at the hands of an addict.

    I also do agree that something should take place to help the addicts thrown in prison. We need to start being more proacvtive and start changing the way things are done in this country.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  4. David

    Don't let Rome Fall.

    If you think more permissiveness is what this culture needs, you are simply out of your minds. We've become a morally bankrupt culture in since the 1960s and the results of this poll are simply shameful.

    All of you should wake up in the morning thankful to be alive and embrace the wonder and mystery of planet earth.

    I guess I am in denial to an extent but I think it's sad that the "average American" has decended so far over the course of my lifetime.

    It is sad that my children are going to have to live in a country so infested with drugged-out losers.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  5. jack Titelman

    The drug problem is created by the black market which has been created by our government. It's a no brainer – No black market, no drug runners.
    Regulate it like booze.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:56 pm |
  6. Mike

    I think legalizing marijuana will help lots of poor people around the world. Its not a drug, but rather a medicine, its the best when used in tea.
    Its also good for appetite, a stress relaxer., sex n energy booster, not forget Holy Moses saw it burning as a bush, n that was a ganja tree burning, without being consumed by the fire..

    April 16, 2009 at 8:35 pm |
  7. Jay

    the most dangerous attribute of marijuana is the US criminal justice system.

    legalize, tax & regulate.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:04 pm |
  8. John Miller

    The paradox in legalizing "drugs"? What "drugs". Strong advocacy for "prohibition" of "drugs" began in the 1830's... the drug at the time – alcohol. It took almost 100 years to do it, and the repercussions were instantaneous lawlessness (speak-easy's) and extreme violence. The violence was so pronounced that repeal came within a few short years. Prohibition of current, so-called recreational drugs was never an issue... instead, with the exception of marijuana (Mexican slang for cannabis sativa), the "government" recognized a growing problem with addictions, unregulated "snake-oil" cures with both health consequences and fraud, and so, in a rather covert means, passed laws that eventually led to "prohibition" of those drugs such as opium, cocaine, morphine, etc., again, excluding marijuana. I wasn't until 1937 that with a growing problem of illegal immigrants coming from Mexico – during recovery from the Great Depression, and paranoid do-gooders like William Randolf Hearst, and a deluge of marijuana horror stories derived from the the concern of illegal immigrants, to B&W relationships, that marijuana was in short notice prohibited, and even more, demonized. In short... marijuana was a scapegoat, and became popular not just because it provided a high, but because of it's notoriety. It's in a class by itself – much safer than legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol, but much worse in that the "government officials" can point fingers at marijuana and proclaim "it is the devil in the closet", based on historic misinformation and the egg on all the faces of those caught up in criminalizing it. Thus, we have a situation in which millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens chose to smoke pot, can point out in return that "the emperor not only is naked, but has egg on his face", but will have spent most of their "baby-boomer" years as outlaws because of it – and now... all of this has created the "new mafia", the drug cartels, and to back down and admit this whole war on drugs is bulging with mistakes dating back to the 1800's is akin to a politician admitting they were wrong, and that won't happen. I go to my death eventually knowing, and proud, that I, like Butch Cassidy was an outlaw... a decent guy in all other respects, but I used pot... and I used it because it was vital in my American Dream of Happiness. Ironically, gay marriage is illegal but gays don't get arrested, and unlike real crimes like murder, rape, kidnapping, etc., which are true crimes against humanity – and it's those crimes that really concern me. So much human suffering that if only we used the resources spent on the war on drugs on that cause, there'd be much less suffering. The war on drugs only makes it painfully clear "we" don't know what "crime" is... we are too busy pretending we do... pretending the emperor is dressed without egg on his face!

    April 16, 2009 at 7:49 pm |
  9. Lydia Negron

    The "War on Drugs" is a farce. All it's done is criminalize millions of people needlessly.

    Most are recreational drug users who have been penalized by the legal system so that now our prisons are overcrowded with low-level non-violent offenders whose prospects, when they get out, are slim at best.

    The major dealers or drug pushers rarely get the prison time the end user gets and with conspiracy charges leveled, the kingpin always throws the ones on the bottom rung to the wolves.

    I should know. My son, now 28, was diagnosed with bipolar and ADHD in his teens. His condition worsened and he took to taking illegal drugs. He was caught in a sting operation in our local village. An undercover officer urged him to sell him some crack. He was homeless at the time living in the streets and off medication.

    Upon his arrest, his bail was set at $30,000 and I thought, OMG, he must have been dealing alot. Upon learning of the amount they confiscated, it turned out to be a $20 (pea size) hit of crack cocaine. (I have the court papers) but because of the draconian Rockefeller Laws in NYS, the judge had no choice but to jail him.

    It turned out he was remanded to a special program for 6 months designed like a military boot camp. He never was treated for his bipolar and while he did well there because of the structure. Within 1/2 hr he was discharged, he had a mental breakdown and was hospitalized for three weeks. Severe schizophrenia and mood swings.

    So jails have become the homes to the mentally unbalanced in addition to drug users.

    The costs to house drug users amounts to $40,000 an inmate for the year. The costs for the legal system to arrest, prosecute, along with all the court proceedings, postponements, overloaded dockets, is monumental and in the end, nothing is accomplished except to provide a means for society to employ thousands of people for this bizarre charade.

    Now he has a felony record. No one wants to employ him because he has several marks against him; his disease and his criminal record.

    Legalizing all drug use can serve many purposes. It will take away the obscene profits that the drug cartels make; it will reduce the violence; we can shift the moneys to offer drug counseling; taxing the manufacturer, distributor, the retailer and the end user. Regulate it, regulate it, regulate it.

    Not everyone is an alcoholic who drinks and the same will be with the banned drugs. Society itself will regulate its own and employers will have the same requirements in place as they do for drinking or smoking for that matter.

    Legalizing drugs will come a long way in making our society a more humane society than what society thinks they are now.

    All I can see, is billions wasted with no solution and law enforcement going after the easy arrest and we thinking something is actually being accomplished.

    How sad and how stupid is that?

    April 16, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  10. Serenden J Whitaker


    your opinion is valid but, marijuana takes months of growth and maintenance in order to produce. if legalized people wouldn't waste time growing something they could go to the store and buy ready for use. and there is no such thing as dangerous levels of THC, pills of PURE THC have been made and are now sold by the govt., so there is no dangerous level of THC.. do some research on tetrahydrocannabinol(THC) and then talk about the effects or dangers, although there virtually aren't any dangers.

    April 16, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  11. John

    If an adult wants to grow their own marijuana for personal use under legalization they should be allowed to do it like people can brew their own personal supply of alcohol tax free. Most people will just go to a store and buy what they want and know what they are getting.

    April 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  12. John

    Why would legalization not control the black market of marijuana? It costs lots of money to grow pot in the first place. If farmers got licenses to legally grow pot and grew it in large numbers in their fields all over the United States the marijuana would not be what it's worth on the black market in a legal market. There would be marijuana distribution all over the place like there is alcohol distribution. People still brew their own alcohol but those private alcohol brewers aren't getting rich. If people want to buy marijuana in a store most of them that are adults will do that instead of growing their own. If someone was to brew their own alcohol in their home and sell it I would still buy what I want in a store as long as it wasn't nearly as expensive as it is now.

    There will be licensed marijuana breeders developing different strains and those strains would be put on the market to be sold in stores. They won't be going for 400 dollars a ounce like they do now. When alcohol was illegal the prices were crazy for bottles of whiskey. People brewed alcohol in their homes and sold it. That type of market dropped after legalization when the big brewery companies got their license and took over and stores got licenses to sell it. The criminal market was out.

    To grow a large amount of pot for distribution the people would need a license to do it. It would be hard for some small time illegal grower to cut out the legal business and make a profit because growing good pot costs lots of money. It really wouldn't be worth it for someone to try to grow some pot and sell it for a profit because it would be hard to make that profit. If they had no license for distribution they would be cut out. Most of the supply and demand would be in the stores and those stores aren't going to sell it to minors unless they want to lose their marijuana sales license and be out of business and risk going to jail.

    People aren't selling tobacco for a profit and they could grow it. The tobacco industry remains in control of the market while prices sometimes increase or decrease.

    Dangerous levels of THC? The more potent the marijuana is, that just means the less they are consuming to get high. Instead of smoking their brains out to acheive the high they want on low grade marijuana people will smoke better pot. That also means less smoke in the lungs with high grade marijuana. If someone doesn't want to smoke marijuana at all they use a vaporizer and that eliminates the carcinogens going into the body because a vaporize doesn't make any smoke.

    April 16, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  13. vegantoker

    Legalizing all drugs would solve so many of our current problems in the country. The money in tax revenue alone would go along way to bringing the United States out of this recession and back to a state of


    April 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm |


    April 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  15. JD

    I believe the reports you are referring to were "produced" by the government, not independent studies.

    If you are worried about "laced joints" then you should stand with legalizing and regulating. With no regulations anything is possible, with it you can create accountability.

    by the way, tobacco is grown in or with radioactive chemicals, and sprayed with harsh pseticides, which is where much of the harmful properties come from. not to mention that if not cured properly tobacco itself can be poisonous, the same can not be said about cannabis(marijuana). The plant is NON TOXIC!

    Gods plan or not (do you think God would plan to put people by the thousands into prison for responsibly using a substance?!?!) the government (federal) should not be dictating these policies.

    The initial war on drugs was started with prejudice (mainly race), and continues to do so.
    Maybe some people are ok with the FED wasting their tax money on a "War on Drugs" but i am not.

    Why do people believe that synthetic drugs are better than natural?
    Why is it only "good" if it can be patented? Think about it for a bit and you will eventually come to the answer of $$$$$, it's all about the cash.

    April 16, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  16. Dexter Gilbert

    When are you going to conduct a scientific poll for this question?

    April 16, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  17. JD

    I am more for what i call "personal responsibility", If an individual can use a substance and not cause harm towards others (or their property), then there is no reason to interfere. The Federal government SHOULD NOT be "in the business" of banning substances that are not themselves dangerous.

    Legalizing drugs will not by itself increase the use rate, it will however increase the likely hood that someone will admit to using, since there is no chance of being sent to jail, or destroying ones livelihood.

    As for DEA agents who support the "war on drugs", of course they support it, it's how they get paid, they have built their who "being" around destroying peoples lives. All in the name of the "greater good".

    It is not for the government to decide what is legal and what isn't, it is up to the people, government is supposed to work for the people, not against them. "Of the people, For the People, By the People."

    And no a drug use should not excuse people from their actions

    April 16, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  18. Bev Anslow

    GeorgeSchultz may not have been right about everything,
    but he was right when he said long ago that drugs should be legal.
    I agree. It is time to legalize drugs.

    April 16, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  19. Juanita

    Seriously, folks are actually linking Marijuana smoking with God's plan? Hemp oil is much different than smoking. Our Lord would want us to use our bodies(holy vessels) for more than this.

    What happened to the validated research of the last decade showing Marijuana smoke to be as dangerous as 12 cigarettes? Not to mention all the "laced joints" that will surface killing thousands as they do now. (PCP) Also, I am sure the deaths linked to drugs are not documented properly so don't believe everything you read. Doesn't it all start with a simple Marijuana party, harmless try? How sad for our nation! We have so many more important issues to help with and solve. This issue should not take so much energy and reckless comments, GEEZ.

    April 16, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  20. Billy

    I hope the media decides to do more as well. We really need to ratchet up support for this issue. The government is burning through money at an insane rate.. Obama says he will not raise taxes on everyone, but at some point he will have to unless we find other ways of paying for all of this..

    The war on Marijuana is ridiculous. It is a plant for God sake the way it grows out of the ground is the way you use it. No tampering is necessary.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  21. Deb Shalosky

    To Deborah AKA; Your arguement for legaization was one of the best I've read on this blog.

    To Taxpaying Father: Your quote by George Washington, April 15th, 2009 12:29 am ET

    “It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.” is probably the most compelling statement for legalization in a democracy I have seen so far.

    To Jackie Q.: I too lost a sister to addiction. She hemmoraged to death from esophigial bleeding caused from years of alcohol abuse. She was 53 years old, 5'3" tall, and weighed about 63 lbs. when she died. As a family, we tried many things to help her fight her addiction. I suggested that she substitute her alcohol addiction to one of cannibus. She was affraid of the legal ramifications. She had to abuse something; some people are just like that. I can't help but wonder if changing her addiction to a less harmful drug might have saved her life. We will never know because she was too afraid of this ludicrous law to find out. There will always be addicts. Legalizing cannibus won't increase or decrease that fact, and who knows, it might just help some folks.

    April 16, 2009 at 10:00 am |

    susan boyle from britain got talent is all i will say ,Thy shalt not judge."

    April 16, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  23. Allan Grier

    Each time the pirates receive ransom they are gaining strength by being able to get better arms and organization.
    If the nations of the world can get together and put their astronauts out to a space station, why can they not get together on earth to assist in protecting their assets?
    Why can't the countries who have sent their naval forces to the coast of Somalia do this?
    Get together and place ONE older class deemed outdated aircraft carrier in a strategic location off the coast of Somalia.
    When a distress call comes in, a high speed fighter jet is launched to the sight and blow the offending vessel out of existence.
    The jet returns to the Carrier and the cargo ship carries on its way safely.
    This would have the following advantages.

    The countries would share the cost of this operation and could send their navies home thus reducing cost.

    Quick response time to protect vessels and crews,

    The pirates would soon run short of vessels and crews,(sea going terrorists).

    There would be no need of talk about sending troops to Somalia and getting involved in another expensive war and having more young soldiers come home in coffins.

    I see it as a win win situation for everyone but the pirates.

    April 16, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  24. steven

    Legalize, regulate, tax and discourage.

    April 16, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  25. Jake

    Legalize pot. Not so sure on legalizing everything. But I do see how it would help. Iam just personally a fan of pot, not everything else. For people who say "oh, there's carcinogens in pot", that's why there are things like vaporizers. They only extract the THC vapor from the weed. Tax the hell out of it, use the money for education, making our country green. It is not going to hurt our gov't to have another source of income. What the gov't needs to look at is all the money they have lost out on by NOT legalizing it 30-40 years ago. BEER is legal, and in my opinion, it's worse than pot. Take a teenager, goes and drinks a 6 pack. Now most teenagers are not going to have a high tolerance for alcohol. He's trashed driving his car, swerving. That same teen guarantee you could smoke a joint and go drive. Maybe a little slower, a little more cautious, but he's safer than a drunk driver that could kill a family. How many Stoned Driving Deaths do you actually hear about? How many drunk driving deaths do you hear about?

    April 16, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  26. Clay Henson

    If marijuana "alleviates stress and depression" it should not only be legalized but added to the water supply in red states because republicant teabaggers have really gone off the deep end.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  27. Rhett

    I wish the media would do more investigation about marijuana and hold the prohibitionists feet to the fire when they lie.

    ASA, (the corrupt prohibitionist) claims cartels would just make other hard drugs if we take the marijuana market away from them. This is nonsense. Studies in other areas of the world have shown that all drug use goes down, across the board, when you legalize marijuana.

    We have had several studies since prohibition and all have concluded that Marijuana is not harmful to individuals (even with long term chronic use) or society. We have a society right now that uses Marijuana regularly and the only problems we see are related to the law and not the plant. How many more studies do we need before the media starts reporting the facts?

    End prohibition. Why? Because Marijuana makes the world a better place and prohibition does not.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  28. Deb Shalosky

    I am an advocate for legalizing marijuana only and would like to see some statistics comparing the health risks of marijuana to legal substances like sugar and caffeine both of which can be purchased by anyone and could be considered "window drugs". Additionally, the AMA and pharmaceutical companies have done an excellent job in addicting Americans to so called "legal" drugs such as antidepressants that have far more lethal side effects than marijuana which is a natural way to allleviate stress and depression. Is the resistance to legalization a health issue or a political one supported by lobbiests for the medical community?

    April 16, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  29. David

    Good Morning! I just watched former Governor Hutchingson say that there isn't enough support to put legalizing marijuana to a popular vote. I firmly disagree and infact that is what needs to happen. It is apparent we will not get anywhere with this subject in the hands of our elected representatitives due to the fact that they are more concerned with staying employed then listening to their constituents and making a stand on a controversial issue for what we are expressing now presently regarding the legalization of marijuana. And I would like to know how much it has cost us paying for the war against drugs over the last 30 years and how much it costs us annually. I am certain we will see it is astounding and this could be money used for other areas of public services that need the money. It's time to put this issue to a popular vote and let the votes fall where they may fall. In addition to this I was taken aback to hear Jennifer Palotono say that this is not something that they would consider right now, let me just say "she would if the people tell her too"!!!!

    April 16, 2009 at 8:21 am |
  30. steve

    alcohol -millions of deaths. marijuana-0.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  31. sdc

    When people try to defend legalizing marijuana I wish they would do a little research first instead of just saying "yeah...legalize it" or "'s a horrible narcotic".

    First and foremost, let's start with some facts;
    -number of people who die from alcohol related deaths every year-85,000.
    -number of people who die from cigarette smoking every year-435,000. The CDC also reports that cigarettes also cost the US $167billion in healthcare costs and lost productivity.
    -number of people who die from marijuana every year-ZERO
    -number of deaths attributed to marijuana in history-ZERO

    Next, through a little research you will also find out that one of the oils that Jesus and his contemporaries anointed themselves with was hemp oil.

    A little more research will show you the ACTUAL reasons WHY marijuana was made illegal;

    -first it was completely racially motivated-"The first marijuana law found so far was a 1905 El Paso, Texas law. It, and most of the other laws in the southwest that followed, was motivated by racial prejudice against Mexican immigrants. These laws had nothing to do with the actual effects of the marijuana. In fact, cannabis in the form of hemp was a common crop in many of these states, and tinctures of cannabis were included in hundreds of common medicines. The purpose of the laws was to discriminate against Mexicans and other racial minorities."

    -second-the marihuana tax act of 1937-not only was this racially motivated, but financially motivated, hemp was, and still is, a far superior NATURAL product and it threatened the success of newly discovered synthetic products-
    "The historical origins of this act are particularly interesting. In 1930, Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon appointed Harry J. Anslinger, his niece's husband, to the fledgling Federal Bureau of Narcotics. At the time, one of Mellon's chief financial interests was Mellon Bank, a principal backer of the chemical company DuPont.

    DuPont, previously a munitions firm, were by now expanding into the field of plastics and synthetic fibres, a market they have dominated ever since. A statement by their corporate president hints at DuPont's intentions:
    "Synthetic plastics (made from mineral, chemical, petroleum, and fossil fuel deposits) find application in fabricating a wide variety of articles, many of which in the past were made from natural products."
    Furthermore, their archives reveal they had designs on Congress:
    "The revenue raising power of government may be converted into an instrument for forcing acceptance of of sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganization."

    At this time, hemp was an enormous industry in the States, where new extraction technology was being developed that made hemp products, such as paper and fabric, cheaper than ever before. Hemp seed oil was being used to manufacture paints and varnishes. The first plastics had been manufactured from cellulose, and hemp, with its huge cellulose content, was at the forefront of the nascent plastics industry.

    Anslinger set about whipping up a frenzy of popular opinion against "the Killer Drug", which was mostly used by Blacks and Mexicans. By playing on people's racism, he was able to justify the blanket ban on all forms of hemp, in spite of the fact that most industrial hemp produces very little psychoactive resin."

    One of the men you just interviewed stated that marijuana use is "localized"...yet you stated that there are 15million ADMITTED users in the US...

    Now, I'm not condoning using marijuana, but it is MUCH "safer" than cigarettes or alcohol. If you want to continue to have marijuana illegal, then make them illegal as well, as they are actually addictive (marijuana is NOT) and are responsible for a large number of deaths every year.

    No, I don't think that heroine, cocaine, meth, etc...drugs that are actually addictive and destructive should be legal, but you cannot deny the facts that even the use of these drugs have stabilized and become safer, in the proper use & disposal of needles, in countries where these drugs are legal.

    If you actually pay attention to the facts surrounding marijuana, add in the possibility of the revenue gained by taxing marijuana cigarettes, and free up law enforcement to go after REAL criminals (thereby freeing up a huge amount of space in jails) you will find that there is no legitimate reason to keep marijuana illegal.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:17 am |
  32. Rafael

    The only way to control drugs is to legalize it and regulate it as we do with alcohol, that way we'll have real control over it's use. Then we can really protect our children from it's use, today a high schooler can get drugs easier than they can get a beer, because of the black market. Legalization can give us real control and the tax revenue generated by it's sale,will provide much needed money to help those that fall by the wayside, money we don't have now. I feel people can take care of themselves, look at how many people stop smoking, I'm old enough to remember when everyone smoked cigarettes, no one had to make that illegal. Think about it.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  33. Mike

    Great job by Neill Franklin to talk about the reality of the Drug war, while Asa Hutchison, like the rest of the prohibitionists, took the tired worn-out hysteria approach warning about what might happen if we legalize drugs. The Netherlands has half the teen marijuana use that the US has, and Switzerland has greatly reduced demand and use of heroin with their distribution model for this dangerous drug. That's reality vs. hysteria.

    Congrats to CNN for giving attention to this whole issue, especially the legalization perspective. Keep asking for reasons...the prohibitionists will cave and the DRUG War will end. Slavery ended. Women gained the right to vote. Alcohol prohibition ended. Civil rights were granted to Blacks. This too, will fall onto the trash heap of failed policies.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:14 am |
  34. Dexter Gilbert

    You have lost the war on drugs. We are tired of this witchhunt. Americans now ask for your unconditional surrender!

    April 16, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  35. MidwestAndrew

    Legalize them all. Prohibition is worse.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:10 am |
  36. Tj in SC

    I don't understand why the Gov't continues to "bulk together"all drugs.
    Legalization of a HARMLESS plant, would allow police, (by their own admission) to concentrate on more serious crimes, and focus on the dangerous drugs like meth that are coming across the border.
    Obama betrayed millions of responsible adults who choose this PLANT, (many times, as opposed to drinking, or pharma drugs);
    He laughed in the face of millions of citizens who want nothing more than their constitutional rights and were willing to say so.
    Prohibition hasn't worked, enforcement is too costly and time consuming; and often the reward for law enforcement is to put an otherwise responsible law abiding citizen into a legal mess that ruins their life, and ties up the legal system.. Often-times, a young adult.

    Freedom is dead in this county and we know it.
    Obama is a Democratic party puppet, continuing their age old crap !
    He doesn't give a DAMN about average people.
    His motto should have been:

    April 16, 2009 at 8:08 am |
  37. Linda

    Yes marijuana should be legalized. It would create many jobs we need and create billions in tax revenues ! I suffer from chronic pain and was not a user until I suffered a broken back and neck. It helps me much better than all the other narcotics I have been prescribed by my doctors !!!! There are millions of underground users whom use this drug to relieve pain, both young and old. At this day and age if someone wants to smoke a marijuana cigarette they should have the freedom to do so. I could go on all day about the reasons why but I have to go to work. Because of my use I am able to hold a f/t time and also a p/t weekend job.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:06 am |
  38. Kayla

    I think marijuana should be legalized. I do not smoke it, but you never hear about overdoses with people who only smoke marijuana or people who are killed by marijuana smokers. Yet alchol is legal and someone is killed by a drunk driver on a daily bases and why is this ok. So we should legalize marijuana or put a band on acohol.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  39. Escher

    we should make Church, Flowers and Golf illegal.

    April 16, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  40. Sheila I

    I don't have a problem with medical marijuana and would be more inclined to question a national policy of making that use illegal . I do have a problem with harmful drugs fraudently marketed by the pharmaceutical industry.

    April 16, 2009 at 7:55 am |
  41. Jay

    If we’ve proven anything in this country it is; prohibition doesn’t work.

    Prohibition forces a substance underground; subsequently creating an underground culture and economy that finances the unscrupulous and ignites violence.

    By decriminalizing marijuana and controlling it the same way we do tobacco or alcohol, you draw this subculture out into the sunlight. And sunlight is the ultimate disinfectant. You then bring the flow of billions of dollars a year to Mexican drug cartels to a halt. This will hinder their ability to export truly harmful drugs like cocaine and heroine; those dollars now going to the federal government in the form of taxes. This combined with the savings from the ending of the enforcement and judicial costs from destroying people’s lives over a plant, the government would be able to eliminate the deficit in no time.

    Not to mention the US needs to come to terms with its history with the plant and our forefather’s use and cultivation of the plant. All of our forefathers cultivated the plant and many of them took marijuana for its medicinal purposes. More than 200 years later the country denies its forefathers use of the plant and its citizens are imprisoned for doing the same.

    April 16, 2009 at 7:09 am |
  42. jamesB

    I'm also against smoking though. Breathing in smoke is simply unhealthy for your body, it's not a difficult concept to understand. If you choose to smoke, it's your body and your right to do with it as you wish. However, I advocated a policy of better health. Should one choose to consume marijuana, I recommend THC extraction into oil and applying to foods. The most notorious example of this application is with brownies. Administer with caution as the onset is delayed and it is quite possible to overdose, as there is no set threshold (max limit high) when consuming orally. Everything should be carefully measured.

    April 16, 2009 at 6:18 am |
  43. jamesB

    Just listen to Ron Paul's arguments. He really nails it all on the head. As a teenager, marijuana (although illegal) was much easier for me to acquire than alcohol. Alcohol is legal and regulated.

    Just ask...
    How many people die from drunk drivers and drunk driving?
    How many people die from stoned drivers and stoned driving?

    I've driven after smoking possibly thousands of times, including on the freeway. Never has it impaired my ability to operate a vehicle; even seemingly, it appeared to alleviate any tensions associated with driving.

    I agree with JackGrabit, even if cocaine and heroin were legal, I would never even touch those nor even experiment with them. Proper unbiased/objective education in pharmaceuticals is the basis of my decision making. I believe equipping people with knowledge provides individuals a foundation for making the right choices. Also, people can learn through experience as Jack did. There are better ways to deal with drug problems without sending them to jail!

    Hemp is also a fantastic product, something else Ron Paul is also an advocate of. It's so unfortunate that the pinnacle of his greatness has just recently come into fruition. I wish I could donate years of my life to extend his because he is truly an admirable human being.

    April 16, 2009 at 6:09 am |
  44. Daniel Osias

    I don't think making marijuana legal is a good idea i've smoked before you become mentally impaired. the price of marijuana varies with quality of the product so uncle sam would have to sell a high quality product and equal or lesser price to compete which means more mentally impaired people driving cars, operating forklifts, and cooking YOUR food at your favorite restaurant... not to mention the companies who will begin to manufacture it will water it down with filters and chemicals. just because it is legal doesn't mean you and i can sell it with out fear of jail it's just another way for Washington D.C. to pay for the deficit.

    April 16, 2009 at 5:33 am |
  45. John

    Drug laws create drug lords

    If the words 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' don't include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn't worth the hemp it was written on. – Terence McKenna

    "Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded" -Abraham Lincoln

    "Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country." -Thomas Jefferson

    "The oppressed should rebel, and they will continue to rebel and raise disturbance until their civil rights are fully restored to them and all partial distinctions, exclusions and incapacitations are removed."
    – Thomas Jefferson, 1776

    These substances have not always been shunned like they are now. They have been illegal for about 1% of human history. Hemp was used for thousands of products before it was illegal to grow. The plant can be used to make fiber, biodegradable plastic, fuel, paper, medicine, and even food. Hemp has had a mayor involvement with human history. Entire wars were fought over hemp. At one point in our U.S. history, it was illegal not to grow hemp. Hemp was even used as currency at one time.

    The ancient cultures have involved themselves with these substances for a long time. They play a part in their society. These cultures are not extinct. Many still continue to use them in their way of life. Some villages survive on the coco plant, and others use peyote in tribal rituals. No matter how a person views these substances, there is no doubt that they have played and continue to play a large roll in our global culture..

    By 1839, cannabis hemp products for fiber, paper, nautical use, lamp oil, food, etc., were possibly the largest agricultural and industrial businesses in America and, of course, throughout the world, the hundreds of medical uses of cannabis (known for thousands of years in the Orient and Middle East) were still almost entirely unknown in much of Western Europe and America because of the earlier Medieval Catholic Church’s suppression.
    From 1850 to 1937, cannabis was used as the prime medicine for more than 100 separate illnesses or diseases in U.S. Pharmacopoeia.
    By the start of the 20th century almost four generations of Americans had been using cannabis. Virtually everyone in this country was familiar from childhood on with the “highs” of cannabis extract – yet doctors did not consider it habit forming, anti-social or violent at all, after 60 years of use.

    Governments make laws against substances that have been a part of human culture for thousands of years. There will always be an underground market that generates billions for drug lords. No drug laws equal no drug lords. Using a drug should be a choice. The health consequences should be the only concern for the person using it. Why should we suffer with jail time, fines, restrictions, and many other hassles that make our lives that much harder to live. We need to get a hold of our rights. These laws make it harder for a society to function. Governments take control of peoples lives when its the people who should be in control of their lives. Wake up and take control. Educate yourself.

    Read "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" by Jack Herer

    April 16, 2009 at 4:09 am |
  46. RS

    I agree with Jack Grabit. Drugs aren't a criminal issue, they are a health issue. We should have learned by now from The Meth Project or from the current campaign against cigarettes that the only way to decrease drug consumption is to educate potential users. Criminalizing is not the answer.

    April 16, 2009 at 2:43 am |
  47. Anonymous

    I chose only legalize marijuana. There are just countless reasons I mean there are very few things in the world as harmless as cannabis. And hemp is very benefical. As a fiber and paper. Also if the government taxed marijauna use i think we would see a quick pull out of the recession. And we would be living in a boom in economic prosperity and probably I'd even go so far as to say happiness. And it's obvious why people are now questioning it's illegality: There is a shift in our nation from Convservative thoughts to more Liberal ones. And that shows through our now questioning these laws. 😀

    April 16, 2009 at 1:29 am |
  48. Brinna Nanda

    What is prohibited cannot be moderated.

    It is the ultimate foolishness to think that by prohibiting substances which people use to make themselves happy, we will end the behavior. Has not worked in the past, does not work now, and will never work.

    Regulation is law and order. Prohibition is a free-for-all.

    April 16, 2009 at 12:36 am |
  49. Jimbo

    I can't agree with legalizing the deadly street drugs, meth/ice, coke/crack, heroin or any other drug that could kill you even after one dose.

    Marijuana on the other hand, has never ever been proven to kill anyone, ever...unlike alcohol or cigarettes that take years to kill you and by the time it's too late, you are dieing a slow and painful death, yet, those two "DRUGS" are legal.

    I say they should sell marijuana to consensual adults in a controlled and licensed adult setting (much like a liquor store) and even sell the seeds in the US for people to grow their own...all of which would be taxable and safe.

    Most people don't know this, but if you know where to look, you can already buy seeds through the internet now, so why not let the US in on that market too.

    This country needs all the taxable revenue it can get right now and in the future.

    People need to get off this "it would send the wrong message to the kids" thing!

    The real "wrong message" being sent, is that mommy or daddy is going to be in jail for a non-violent offense as well as pay a hefty fine that will keep the kids from eating or having descent clothes, because that big fat fine just cost mom and dad the bill money for those couple of months they had to pay out because of the non-violent offense of possession of marijuana...I think foster care is the wrong message as well, because if DEFAX catches wind that you smoke weed, you could loose your kids and you really want to talk about a wrong message!

    No sir! I think parents should be the one's raising their own kids, and educating kids about cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana should be the responsibility of the parents.

    I say, let all those non-violent offenders out of prison, so they can get back to work supporting and raising those kids like they should be doing now, instead of rotting in jail!

    April 15, 2009 at 11:57 pm |
  50. mike slc

    My question is,
    If I smoke marijuana and its legal, I have grown my own or purchased it from a local grower or some other controlled source how am I hurting you or anyone else?

    April 15, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  51. Mike

    Economics shows us that teenagers benge drink because it's illegal for them to drink, so when they can get away with it, they take it to the extreme. I feel the legalization of drugs would allow people to enjoy their guilty pleasures in moderations.

    Plus, we would save millions of dollars each year spent on the completely unsuccessful war on drugs and earn millions of dollars each year from taxation of drug sales. Finally, the government could regulate the production and ensure the safety of what people are consuming.

    April 15, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  52. JackGrabit

    Drugs should be a health issue not a criminal issue. I like what Ron Paul said about alcoholics. How did we as Americans decide that it's acceptable to allow people to be "under the influence" and totally obliterated with alcohol, but we find that it's some how improper, immoral, or unacceptable to find the same or similar effect from an alternate substance. How did we locate this 'line' that we've drawn between alcohol and the other intoxicating substances that are available, to anyone that desires them? The choice of drug use should be left to the individual. If heroin and cocaine were legal I would not use them because I have used and abused those drugs and I learned that I choose not to use them.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  53. WG4F

    If you want to hear something ridiculous:

    There is something out there that can cure many known pain ailments, and several medical conditions better than any drug on the market. It's side-effects are far less harmful then any prescription pill on the market. This "thing" also helps the body relax from stress and stimulate appetite. Better yet this thing is a plant, a common plant that can grow in many areas and is a re-usable resource. What part of the plant that is not used medicinally may be used to create rope, canvas, and textiles. It is a fact that this plant produces the most paper per square mile over ANY other plant on Earth and the process has far less pollution and would reduce the amount of topsoil erosion.

    This thing is marijuana, and for all it's benefits, if you are caught with it, you can be arrested and jailed.

    Now thats ridiculous.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
  54. Chris

    We should lock up all our youth with gang recruiters and rapists, that will keep them from harming themselves!

    April 15, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  55. Chris

    As long as Marijuana is illegal I'm an outlaw . . . now wouldn't it be great if I didn't think of the legal system and the police as advisaries?

    April 15, 2009 at 7:09 pm |
  56. Niles

    Decriminalize all drugs, legalize only marijuana....stop jailing users....Ron Paul said it best...if you want to arrest me for marijuana then they should arrest you for alcohol...i dont drink drive and beat my kids or wife, i smoke, eat, and sleep.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  57. william mary

    people that make these dumb laws have hideing agenda to do so i say get your head out of you duff take a look around you weed / pot is legal if you wanted to be pot can be purchase on any street in the usa
    and not that cheap as.. weed the mexicans pushing on us for the last 100 years drug produceing countrys in the world all of them including the usa pot and cocaine meth opuim all can and have been made in the usa for 50 years by the way the real reson pot is illegal is because the us useing the hemp fiber fore printing money why do think they call it greenbacks also big pharm. useing it to make diffrent medicines 65% all pharms made from plants : ) we know..

    April 15, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  58. william mary

    the facts our there go to you tube type in ;run from the cure. 30 min . show maybe it will open you eyes because you have been blinded the u.s. goverment also type in urban grower #27 find out why so many people grow pot in ther homes

    April 15, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  59. Serenden J Whitaker

    also I'm reading the opposing arguments and i see that the oppositions main argument is that if marijuana is legalized then more people would use it, when in fact that isn't true. People will do what they want regardless if it is legal or not, people still make moonshine and it doesn't seem like that's going to stop. but just because you put something in someone's face doesn't mean they are going to use it, that's true with alcohol, and cigarettes especially. Many people don't drink or smoke yet they are legal, and if marijuana were legal people wouldn't just use it because its available, they would use it because they choose too.

    April 15, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  60. Serenden J Whitaker


    thank yo very much for that second to last paragraph in your comment. even forefathers grew cannabis(hemp) for industrial use. why do we look to our forefathers for so much influence and guidance but then don't listen to their words, or we have selective hearing. either way if u read m comment then you'll know my stand point and why it is.

    peace and love to all.

    April 15, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  61. Tom

    Legalizing drugs would give the younger generation the idea that it is okay, enough young people do drugs already. In facts many adults do drugs as well in today's age. Do we really need more drugs in our society? I am sure the world would be better off without all these drugs. Then maybe people would have to find enjoyment in other places.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  62. Brenda Kay Winters

    Sometimes persons who take polls do not know subject matter. All drugs have side effects which may be as simple as a headache or as severe as death. Illegal drugs given by undeucated morons who only care about money need to go to Siberia. No offense. Babies breath in second hand smoke while their Mothers breast feed who knows what to them.Which is worse,driving while texting or being high?

    April 15, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  63. Mike

    Stop "playing God" and end Cannabis prohibition.

    We live dangerously close to inviting bad karma and consequences upon ourselves (speaking of society collectively) when we try to play God. We say that it is illegal to use a plant which He Himself has created, but that it is perfectly legal to surgically remove (and kill) and unborn human being from its mother's womb. Shame on us, and may God have mercy upon our souls!

    The bible clearly states that all plants and animals were created for man's use. Those who most vehemently oppose the legalization of Cannabis are the cartels themselves and the pharmaceutical lobby, both of which would stand to lose billions of dollars in profits as a result.

    April 15, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  64. AJ

    It's time to stop this war on our own people for an almost completely victimless crime. I say "almost" because there are victims, the American citizen who's arrested, all of the tax paying Americans who foot the bill for the arrest, and the time wasted within the courts. Taxpayers spend between $7.5 and $10 billion annually arresting and prosecuting individuals for marijuana violations and results in the arrest of more than 829,000 individuals. Do we really need to waste this money when our economy is falling apart? By legalizing we can create an entirely new industry which would then create new jobs for both small and large businesses. The government can then regulate it and tax it just like tobacco and alcohol which would create even more revenue. Currently all money spent upon marijuana is just going to the black market which only exists because of drug prohibition.

    Do we need to waste the time and resources of our brave men and women who serve and protect us as law enforcement officers when they can be devoting more time to catching real criminals like murderers, thieves, and rapists?
    I advocate responsible adult use of marijuana. From personal experience while I was younger than twenty-one it was difficult to obtain alcohol because I couldn't just go and purchase it. I needed to find someone else to purchase it for me which was rather difficult at times. However I've never been carded by a drug dealer, yet still at twenty-five, get carded when purchasing alcohol because it is the law. I believe by regulating the sale of marijuana it will effectively cut down on use by minors.
    If one looks at selected studies of jurisdictions that have decriminalized the drug, the evidence is either no increase or a slight increase among those segments most likely to use the drug. A study by Rosalie Pacula, Jamie Chriqui, and Janna King examined several states where marijuana had been decriminalized by reducing the penalties for simple possession. They found that living in a decriminalized state increases use among high school students but by only 2%. Other studies have found either no increases among juveniles or as much as 4% increase.( Marijuana Decriminalization: What Does It Mean in the United States? Working Paper 9690. Washington, DC: National Bureau of Economic Research)

    We know cannabis is non-toxic; you’d have to eat the equivalent of 1,500 lbs. of bud in fifteen minutes to “overdose”, Which is humanly impossible. On the other hand, an estimated 50,000-80,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning, and more than 400,000 annual deaths are attributed to tobacco smoking. Not a single person in human history has died from marijuana, it simply is not toxic enough to kill.

    Marijuana prohibition applies to everyone, including the sick and dying. Of all the negative consequences of prohibition, none is as tragic as the denial of medicinal cannabis to the tens of thousands of patients who could benefit from its therapeutic use.
    Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief - particularly of neuropathic pain (pain from nerve damage) - nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant, specifically for patients suffering from HIV, the AIDS wasting syndrome, or dementia. Emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors and are neuroprotective.

    Why are American farmers legally forbidden from growing a plant that has the potential to be manufactured into more than 25,000 environmentally friendly products which could stimulate the economy and help ween us off of oil for fuel? Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It is a tall, slender, fibrous plant similar to flax or kenaf. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed and other products including biofuel. The hemp plant is currently harvested for commercial purposes in over 30 nations, including Canada, Japan and the European Union. Although it grows wild across much of America and presents no public health or safety threat, hemp is nevertheless routinely uprooted and destroyed by law enforcement. Each year, approximately 98% of all the marijuana eliminated by the DEA's "Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program" is actually hemp.

    Under our current laws three of the most important individuals responsible for the formation of our great country would be in jail. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers and Benjamin Franklin started the first American paper mill, which made paper exclusively from hemp. The first two drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written upon hemp paper.
    In the words of our first president (who farmed hemp) and founder of this country
    "Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere." -President George Washington, 1794

    I understand that legalization will not happen overnight and I don't expect miracles. We need to decriminalize this harmless and incredibly useful plant. You can stop making criminals out of regular Americans simply because they choose to smoke marijuana. You can help further stimulate our economy, create jobs, and get additional revenue by taking steps to legalize marijuana.
    It's time to end this senseless and wasteful war upon our own citizens and simultaneously help get us out of this economic slump we currently are in.

    April 15, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  65. Trey


    Legalizing marijuana only has you try other more harmful drugs. But forget about imprisoning for a while. Why not provide the most education possibly in high school and in college for the kids to think about the consequences.

    how can people think that legalizing marihuana will not cause a bigger problem?

    April 15, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  66. joe

    Legalizing all drugs would be stupid. Legalizing something thats less harmful than alcohol makes more sense. I am suprized that more are voting to legalize all drugs. It is insane. I think it was china...around the time dextroamphetimine was made. They allowed for it to be used legally. Well it backfired when use soard...all sorts a hell broke lose. I think vermont had 400 heroin ods. If you legalize heroin...they will be dropping like flies. Its absurd. I admit, in an ideal world. Recreational use of all drugs would be ok. But...its just not so. The only reasonable thing to do is legalize pot. Period end of discussion.

    April 15, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  67. Felipe Cramer

    Ron Paul is definitely on the right track. I am a college student and last November i had to do a report on what we could do to create jobs and possibly help our dying economy. I did my report on this very subject and the revenue and the jobs I would create was mind boggling compared to the money spent on the war on drugs that hasn't got any close than when Nixon started it. The revenue that could be generated in a year’s time period was in the 20 billions about the same as the pork barrel spending in just the first four month of this year. Needless to say this report got me an A for the class because the entire true behind. Come People its time to be real with ourselves and get it together. We are all paying for prison to be over run with non violent people that in most case just trying to feed they're family with the little bit of profit they did make, to totally devastating whole family for 10, 15, and 20 years. But only give the people who rape our daughters and molest our children 1, 2, or 5 years and cause a lifetime of pain to the victims. Its time to change for a better tomorrow.

    April 15, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  68. well said maureen

    Drugs are already legal in this country. Pharmaceutical Companies push drugs on TV all the time. It is rare that you ever watch TV and not see some sort of ad for something. Americans are now convinced that they have some sort of problem that drugs can fix. So let’s just make all drugs legal, because as long as we are aware of the risks then we should all be accountable

    April 15, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  69. Jim Brainard

    The drug war has failed and everyone agrees! So why do some politicians think we should continue it? Makes no sense to me, legalize it already!

    April 15, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  70. Rick

    You type a comment, and it times you out within minutes... your words are gone.

    Write your comment in a separate application, and Cut & Paste here.

    Leave it to CNN to have a cheap comment app.!

    April 15, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  71. Astral man

    Jews were e-legal in Nazi Germany, But that didn't make them bad. It was the government that was bad ! Bob Dylan and Jimi said it well ! In the song ( All Along The Watch Tower)...Their are many here among us who feel that (Life Is Just A joke), but you and I have been through that and this is not our fate, so let us stop talking falsely now , The Hour is Getting Late !!!!!

    April 15, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  72. Warren

    To make drugs legal may be a political disaster in the short term but in the long term the country will stronger for the change. The economic benefits alone are worth it, then with the decrease in crime here and abroad, the health benefits and the return of citizens personal rights given to us by the constitution. When you take all this into account you need to ask yourself "How can drugs still be illegal?"

    April 15, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  73. Bernice

    By the way, Diana, I am a head consultant for a large firm in the USA. I am a highly educated lady.( Ignorant people! They do need educated!) This is our governments fault! They lied to you! Cannabis is actually a very resourceful plant with great medical benefits! Please take the time to get a little educated so you do not end up sounding like an uneducated angry lady! You just may be highly surprised in the end.

    April 15, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  74. Bernice

    I don't think so, Diana True! Enough on the prohibition already! It does not work! I, along with most all Americans, want the RIGHT to the FREEDOM to be able to choose for myself! I am NOT a user, so you were wrong about that too! We want OUR FREEDOM! Blood was shed for it, and I want to keep it! What is sad here is this topic! This should have NEVER been a "topic" to begin with! The AMERICAN people should have the FREEDOM to make thier own choices, or why did so many men and women die fighting for this to begin with? We became a FREE country years ago, and I would never stop fighting to keep it! People should have the freedom to choose. People who wish to keep the drug problem "as is", seriously ...they need educated on the subject first! Study all of the information that is on this board! Educate yourself! Cannabis is one of mankinds greatest gifts. We should be taking advantage of its many purposes, and GO GREEN!

    April 15, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  75. Leon

    Do you people not see the same commercial ad's that I see advertising a plethora of pills with side effects WORSE then the symptom in which one should be taking the pill in the first place? They openly admit at the end of each advertisement 'MAY CAUSE DEATH" and yet people still order them. WTF? May cause death! HELLO? Cannabis has NEVER caused a single death in the history of the plant. Do some research before you're so quick to jump to conclusion. Its time us cannabis users are given the right to smoke freely without consequence by our government. May 2nd 2009 GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH. Find your city and stand up for your rights. NYC Washington square park. 11am. Be there..

    April 15, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  76. M C Crockett

    I would be in favor of the Federal government legalizing drugs and allowing state governments to regulate drugs in the same manner as alcohol and cigarettes (nicotine). This would also allow the states to produce a stream of income through taxation.

    The legalization and regulation of the drugs would reduce the cost even with the taxation. This would result in a reduction in drug-related crime.

    Unfortunately, because we have allowed these drugs to be managed by criminal enterprises, we would probably need to sell the drugs through state-run drugstores. I don't see the drug cartels relishing the thought of losing their source of income and wealth.

    April 15, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  77. SteveOfPanamaCity

    This subject is something i have been recently covering, the fact is i think drug's should all be legalized to rob the drug cartel's of it's motive for digging tunnel's buying arm's and taking over our country , the fact of the matter is the drug user's will not Double or triple etc as ive seen some claim because drug's are so readily availible already those who wish to use there drug of choice already are plain and simple. Here is the real kicker , washington know's we should have legalized drug's along time ago but the fact of that is the drugs being on the illegal side employ's to many people Crooked judge's, police , district attorney's , politicians etc. Not to mention the pharmacuitical company's know if all drug's are legal there not gonna be on there brand of opiate narcotic's when herion is available which is in fact just another type of Morphine which we already give to thousand's of american's every month , who is gonna pay crazy price's for there script of low grade hydrocodone painkiller's that dont work , when they can go get something that fully take's away there pain. Also a person who is responsible with the drug can take it every day of there life and in most cases be more healthy then ur average person. But as i was saying the pharm companys know cymbalta , lyrica , paxil etc will be of no more want by the american public when they know they can smoke and relieve symptoms naturally , dalaudid , fentnyl ,demerol , morphine , hydro-oxycodone prescription's including oxycontin outsource to herion , Portugul just decriminalized drug's for 5 years and show a drastic downturn in crime , as for the other video where u were talking about our insatiable demand for drugs , where he said if ur kids gotta walk past neighborhood drug dealers to go to school which makes u afraid for his safty , well lets think about that. If drugs are regulated and controled freely sold by prescription or in a supermarket do u think that kid will have to walk past the "drug dealers" anymore to get to school?!NO!!! so that point is crazy invalid, and i would say atleast 40% of drug related crime is to fuel to addiction , Only because the price's are so high because of prohibition is the cause of this , if they can get what they used to pay 200.00-300.00 or more for 10.00-50.00 chances are they wont commit crime to feed the addiction being its so cheap and easy attainable , Its ONLY when the bad in his pocket is empty and he doesnt have the mass amount of money required to get the little bit he require does he resort to such measure's. I have alot more i could say about this matter and hope it open's someone's eyes to lead to a better future for us in america when we can open 100+ Billion a year from not having to utilize law enforcement for futile efforts and can start making the cartels money for this country

    thanks , steve

    April 15, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  78. Nate

    To Dianna say that you can see anger in our responses to legalizing? The only angry comment I've read out of all of these is yours. I think you need to do some research yourself before you come in and just start mouthing off and calling people names. I too have a successful business and I do it all , the work and the paperwork, so Dianna you tell me how much time I have left to be a zombie.

    April 15, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  79. Ann

    Dear Diana, honey, I think that you are misconstruing enthusiasm for anger. Sounds to me like you need to go do some research before you start including marijuana in your comments on mind-altering effects. Marijuana doesn't have any dangerous mind-altering effects. The effects are more physical than mental. I have never been depressed, angry, or violent while under the influence of marijuana. The effects that I have experienced are: more restful sleep, a healthy appetite, the ability to focus more on what I am doing, and it helps with my anxiety.
    If you had lived my life and survived my childhood, you would need to be medicated as well. But honestly, I don't think that people like you could have ever survived what I've been through. So when you say that you think it's sad that people need to depend on something to make them happy, maybe, you should take a step back and think before you speak.

    April 15, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  80. Ann

    Diana True... it's people like you who need to get a grip on reality. The reality is that people like me are not mindless zombies. I have an education; I am content in my life and if you had any kind of common sense you would know better than to say :

    "That is all we need in the United States a bunch of zombies or out of control drug using people walking around making irrational decisons that could effect our future."

    Ummm...hello? Who's the zombie? You are the one who is should go stand in the Dunce corner with Glen Beck and Chicken Little. Oh

    and it's not "dangersous" it's d-a-n-g-e-r-o-u-s.

    April 15, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  81. Mark surabian

    Hilarious, and sad. You show how the drug trade effects our safety and economy, and question what can be done about it; then Dr. Gupta presents a "new drug" that alleviates the pain of another drug (alcohol) and you wonder why our society is the largest user of recreational drugs–it is that way because we solve ALL our other problems with legal drugs! What's the difference? An adult takes caffeine and chemical boosters (and often prescription drugs) to start and continue the day, and then alcohol (and often prescription drugs) to close the day (and sleeping pills that help us "forget" the day). And a teen in the same family use marijuana for the whole day and his actions are criminalized.

    LOL, to top it off, you have a drug ad appear at the station break...perhaps you should investigate the nature of our drug culture and stop pretending that there is a difference between prescription drug abuse and illegal drug abuse–the former pays your pockets, the latter pays the disenfranchised, and both are destroying our country...funny, legal drugs are MORE abused than illegal–just ask Rush Limbaugh.

    April 15, 2009 at 9:04 am |
  82. Allan Horn - St. Petersburg, FL

    To Diana True... Not necessarily so...

    I for one don't use any illegal drugs, but I'm on someting like 14 different LEGAL medications for my crippling arthritis, diabetes and heart problems. It's just possble that marijuaa MIGHT help one r more of those problems, but I can't get it because it's illegal.

    On the other hand, I have a close family member that was addicted to cocaine but we couldn't get him any treatment until he attempted suicide out of desperation.

    We preferred that he get professional treatment to being sent to prison, but it wasn't available!

    Get to know your subject before you mouth off.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  83. sylvy

    Throughout millineum, marijuana has been associated with, "The Tree of Knowledge", since the use of marijuana, is known for causing insights , that don't come normally.

    It is also well known as a useful tool to bring out artistic potential..

    If 'pot' can remove pain, or aid in people becoming wiser or creative, it is bound to become legal, for the right reasons...

    April 15, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  84. Diana

    Oh Jay, Fresh, and all of you other people that want drugs to be legalized. First off you can see the anger in what most of you write about legalizing drugs. They do have mind altering effects after using them. Come on let's be honest. I know people that use drugs, they are non productive, angry, some violent, weight loss, skin problems, depression, irrational decision making. I could go on and on and on.
    Bottom line making it legal and putting high taxes is not going to work. You will have so many problems you won't believe it.
    I love the comment that marijuana just makes you relax, DUH?
    Why does someone need a drug to relax?
    Come on America get your lazy butts up and do something productive to make your lives more productive, feel good by doing good for others instead of wanting a drug to alter your mind or body.
    High taxing is not the answer, the answer is to make drug using people pay for using illegal drugs.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:43 am |
  85. CR

    Additional Comment.

    Grocery USD purchasing power in this area appears to be more than 33% less now than it was las year in this area, taking into account, price increase, product size reduction, and container content reduction, i.e., the shopping cart looks less than that....!

    April 15, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  86. Allan Horn - St. Petersburg, FL

    Something I failed to mention in my previous post... the actual statistics of people who die from heroin overdose is far lower than the government would want you to know.

    You actually stand about as much chance of dying from a fall in your bathtub than a heroin user stands of dying from an overdose... usually fewer than 500 per year in this country.

    The danger comes from people tryng to get the MONEY to pay for the illegal drugs!

    April 15, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  87. Nate

    Legalize marijuana. If everyone including our government would do a little research they would see that marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol. Alcohol is a physically addictive drug. Marijuana is not. People can die from alcohol overdose. Smoke too much pot , well then you will just have a good night's sleep and be able to wake up the next morning, unlike the poor guy who drank one too many. The war on drugs is a failure and has been for decades. It's time to put the mexican drug cartels out of business and end the violence. Let's get our country and economy back on track and make marijuana legal. Tax it and make a killing. Sure everyone is not going to agree with that but , everyone doesn't drink alcohol either. Anyone remember Harry Anslinger? I do, he was the one to make it illegal by saying it is a killer drug. he says smoke marijuana and you will likely want to kill your family and commit suicide, and this is coming from a top law official. I don't even see how he was allowed to say that without stating or showing some kind of facts, and it has been that way from 1937 up until now. Yes indeed Mr. president Obama and the rest of our government, it is TIME FOR A CHANGE.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:35 am |
  88. Escher

    Drugs can be a useful mind tool. like Carl Sagan, I study cosmology, the mind, and other subjects related to human knowledge. Because weed is a mental stimulant it does make it easier for me to think deeper into these topics. Most never learn or study HOW to think, how to channel increased mental waters (energy), which is when they become goofy or whatever. but so what? i use it for study, they use it for fun. nothing wrong with either. it’s a short existence we are allowed, please don’t judge mine. PLEASE don't throw me in jail because I choose to experience existence differently then you. I strive every day to contribute to the human journey and our progress towards reason, compassion and knowledge. how is that bad?

    April 15, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  89. Ann

    On the economy and the legalization of marijuana...

    I am an Environmental Horticulturalist and I believe that legalizing marijuana could produce MILLIONS of jobs. You want to stop the black market drug trade, let us grow for the government, let them import and tax the crap out of it. The only thing that stands in the way is the laws and that is what makes the drug trade so dangerous. Legalize it, I can think of a million reasons why this would be a good thing. The government is wasting too much money going after this drug when they should be focusing on meth, cocaine and heroin. These are the drugs that make addicts, no one has ever been a marijuana addict. These are a few of the regulations that I would put on the use of marijuana:

    1. no using while driving or driving while under the influence
    2. must be 18 years of age
    3. no more that 2 plants per household for personal use only and must be registered to grow
    4. must attend a class on how to handle and dispose of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides

    April 15, 2009 at 8:25 am |
  90. mark

    Wow America ges it why dont politicians. I am very happy with the return of this poll. I have said for many years that our drug polocies are nothing more than a way for organized police groups to control and take money from the people. It has very little to do with keeping drugs off the streets. It has MUCH to do with crime!

    April 15, 2009 at 8:22 am |
  91. al

    just think about the money the goverment will save and make on the taxes if they make it legal.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:17 am |
  92. Kenny and Laura

    CR go read the us constitution and get a clue. Ron Paul has more common sense then you have in your whole body. you sound like a hitler fan to me.

    actually the taliban won by scaring you into the patriot act . this is what the taliban would of passed. get a clue before you ramble your nazi nonsense. you probably voted for the nazi bush. registered republican with common sense something you seem to lack!!

    GO READ THE US Constitution

    April 15, 2009 at 8:17 am |
  93. Where is the left?

    Why do 94% of people in this poll want to legalize murijuana, Why dont they put it on the next natoin wide vote and realy cee want the people want why dont we do that for all r laws?

    April 15, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  94. Diana True

    I would guarantee you that most of the people voting are drug users. It seems to me that Ron is smoking something that has made him think legalizing drug use would solve any problems. It would do just the opposite. First of all look at the effects using drug does on a person's mind and body. Some drugs cause cancer, panic attacks, mind altering thought processing, violent tempers, mood altering effects on one's personality, etc.
    Yes nicotine, and alcohol are severly addicting and dangersous. But come on, illegal drugs are not only dangersous to those who use them ,but for the mind altering effects it could do to hurt other's from the people using them.
    That is all we need in the United States a bunch of zombies or out of control drug using people walking around making irrational decisons that could effect our future.
    These people that want to legalize, illegal drugs need help. It is sad to think they need a mind altering drug to make them happy or content.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  95. Kenny and Laura

    shauna is anyone forcing you to smoke cannabis sativa?? if not then it is your choice ,now if you want to become a nazi, then feel free to be a dictator to all and lets start arresting anyone that consumes alcohol a far more dangerous substance then cannabis!

    get a clue, i know narc officers and folks like yourself that agree the only dangers from cannabis are the laws themselves!

    marijuana is safer to eat then most common foods,so should we outlaw food to?? o yeah the gov is trying to outlaw small farms to! welcome to your own fascism. you seem to like the nazi's your acting like one!!

    April 15, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  96. chris

    i think they should make marijuana legal its more healthy for you alcohol and cigarettes are the main killers in america ....... can anybody tell me how many people die from smoking marijuana?.........dont worry i'll wait

    April 15, 2009 at 8:09 am |
  97. Richard Crouch

    There are many people who do not like alcohol and do prefer marijuana. The benefits are numorus to both the sick and healthy. It is sad to think that so many normally law abiding citizens have to break the law to enjoy enjoy a drug that in my opinion is healthier and safer in a social context than is alcohol.
    When will the Federal Government butt out and let the people choose what is best for them.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:09 am |
  98. Kenny and Laura

    for phil e drifter , Cannabis Sativa, CNN look it up

    April 15, 2009 at 8:08 am |
  99. g broihier

    Yes it should be legal,is this not the country to choose freely?The goverment has turned this drug thing into a ego driven dictatorship giving DEA ect.what ever force nessessary to get the bad guy.As far as kids getting it that should be up to the parents to stop them that is part of that job not the goverments.On top of that ther are more kids taking it now then ever, so that means we are going to have to arrest almost everyone soon.I personally dont do them (my choice) so why should i pay for people getting locked up for one of the more dummer laws.With all them DEA/Drug agents we pay they could be shifted to child care and take care of a problem that would actually help this country and it would save billions of dollars .
    G Broihier

    April 15, 2009 at 8:07 am |
  100. Allan Horn - St. Petersburg, FL

    There is a difference between "legalizing" and "decriminalizing" drugs... I would be in favor of decriminalizg most if not all drugs, and using the money we currently use for policing, courts and incarceration for TREATMENT programs for addicts.

    The idea that pot could be grown commecially and taxed like tobacco is ridiculous from the standpoint that marijuana is bascally a weed that most anyone can grow more easily than tomatos.

    On the other hand, marjuana is known to be less addictive thantobacco, and it's habitual users are generally non-violent as opposed to alcohol abusers.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:06 am |
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