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Andrew Huff / November 1, 2011 12:36 AM

Background here.

c / November 1, 2011 8:16 AM

this should have been implemented nationwide 20 years ago. jimmy carter once said something like 'penalties for possession of a drug should not be more damaging to the individual than the use of the drug itself.'

how many peoples lives have been ruined for simple weed possession. you got people spending many many years in jail for possessing herb, while that woman was painting her nails while driving and *killed* a woman riding her motorcycle gets a fake ass jail term where she gets to go to work every day and gets to go home for holidays and shit. just disgusting. not to mention all the child molesters that have gotten lesser sentences than people who were busted for weed possession. but keep up the good work, war on drugs. the justice system is so fucked.

vise77 / November 1, 2011 8:34 AM

I say this as a lifelong pot smoker who has always held a good job, accepted responsibility and all that.

1. It's a good, overdue idea.
2. Tax the shit out of it.
3. While taxing the shit out of it, don't--as many stoners still seem to think--that said tax revenue will come even close to fixing our financial problems, even when one considers the reduced court-system costs.
3. Severely punish anyone caught using the herb on public ways, in cars, anywhere else where it is not welcome. Hell, increase penalties for misuse, including by minors, and sale to minors, and all that.
4. Don't expect all your gang problems to go away. Even with legal pot, there will large numbers of bored, ill-parented or poor kids who still don't have jobs and who will still get into violence and severe mischief (and large numbers of higher-up, smarter criminals still looking to exploit those kids in gangs). Legalizing other drugs will not kill the above problem either.
5. Set up some product-labeling regime so consumers know where their pot is coming from, and its properties.

Sean Piper / November 1, 2011 9:10 AM

Legalize it.

lab / November 1, 2011 9:30 AM

Time to legalize it and make it an industry on the level of brewing and distilling. There are jobs to be created, taxes to be collected, and different kinds of laws to be written to control misuse. We're wasting too much money and too many lives sending people to jail for minor, non-violent marijuana-related offenses. It makes about as much sense for this to be illegal as it made sense for alcohol to be made illegal decades ago.

Mucky Fingers / November 1, 2011 10:37 AM

Marijuana definitely needs to be decriminalized.

I don't know about legalizing it, because kids already have enough distractions as it is. I'm inclined to support legalization anyway, just to have it turned into a for-profit industry that will piss off pharmaceutical companies. They will surely see their sales of Zoloft and Prozac disappear into the wild green yonder.

BG / November 1, 2011 11:23 AM

Bring it! The ways things are going, it looks like it'll be decriminalized across the U.S. in less than 10 years. Also, there seems to be an unfairly higher arrest rate if you're caught with Mary Jane and you have brown skin.

PMan / November 1, 2011 10:53 PM

I second vise77, it won't cure all of society's ills, but it will save the government some money. I don't think pot leads to much violence, and I do think access to quality weed might help some people to be more happy. Overall, legalization makes a lot of sense.

vise77 / November 2, 2011 8:53 AM

"I don't think pot leads to much violence ..."

To be fair, it does, if you base this on the actions of the Mexican cartels. See the ongoing series in the Sun-Times for starters--even with the hyperbole, the series seems fair. There are also numerous other sources that detail the violence behind the pot one may smoke in the USA (and I doubt most Chicago pot smokers, especially the gentle-souled white college kids, can smoke costly hydro from known domestic sources all the time). Let's not kid ourselves--if one decides to do illegal drugs, there is likely violence behind it at some near point. I've made my moral bed a long time ago and feel comfortable enough in it. But I can also be a cold-hearted prick, unconcerned with Big Bird morality--I doubt all other pot smokers have that luxury.

Yet another reason to make pot legal in the USA.

M / November 2, 2011 9:27 AM

I don't think pot leads to much violence

You and all the dumbass Loyola students I see scoring from the thugs on Thorndale. As long as pot is illegal, people in Mexico and the U.S. will slaughter each other and ruin neighborhoods over it. Like Vise77 said, unless you get your dope from a connection in Chicago who grows it in his closet and only supplies small amounts to friends, you have no idea how much violence was connected to it.

I don't think decriminalizing possession will make anything worse ... all the poor kids I see on the way to school already smoke it openly like it's their morning cuppa joe as it is. It's not like they're going to get more stoned.Or hell, maybe they will get more stoned and take naps and giggle.

I have to laugh at people who think drugs are ever going to be legal in this country. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't ever see that happening. The news earlier this week about the staggering upsurge in deaths due to overdoses on pharmaceutical painkillers just sums up how screwed up things are.

PMan / November 3, 2011 8:28 PM

I mistyped, what I should have said is that smoking pot doesn't lead to much violence. I understand that violence is a frequent element of the illegal drug trade from the street level on up to the producers. Legalization would prevent most of that violence.

I do think that marijuana will be legalized or decriminalized soon. Budgets are tight, and younger generations, those who've actually smoked pot or know people who have, won't want to continue wasting scarce resources.

mike / November 4, 2011 8:56 AM

Riley, the head of the DEA here, said he thinks a lot of pot smokers are unaware the bag of weed they buy is directly connected to the violence and corruption of Mexican drug cartels and their local associates, Rodriguez among them.

“The guy sitting on the patio in Hinsdale — smoking a joint with his friend and having a drink — better think twice,” Riley said. “Because he’s part of the problem.”

http://www.suntimes.com/8397410-417/chicagos-new-scarface-joaquin-chapo-guzman.html

Charles / November 5, 2011 6:34 PM

MLA - America's Moment @ U of C today, girl named Sora wearing green, decriminalize! Seriously.

Charles / November 6, 2011 7:51 AM

I was a little drunk, not high, when posting that. It makes no sense, but definately more interesting to me.

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