Can We Have Pot and Welfare?

This perennial burner came up yet again in Mr. Bildo’s thread about a marijuana initiative in Washington. The question seems to be often raised on Ricochet yet rarely answered: can we legalize risky recreational activities (such as gambling, marijuana, motorcycle riding without helmets, etc.) when we have the safety nets of welfare and Medicaid, or will the moral hazard bankrupt the state? So let’s have at it.

Here is my take. Most people know how to act responsibly, and those who don’t …

  1. Fred Cole

    Wow, these are especially long replies.

    And I am way too high to read them right now, so I’m gonna just c&p what I said in the other thread and then come back later.

    There’s a couple of things

    1. If I renounce any future welfare benefits, can I have my freedom back?

    2. The whole idea of dismantling the welfare state prior to legalization is premised on the idea that as soon as legalization happens, millions of people will begin consuming drugs, their life will get [expletive] up, and they’ll get on the dole.

    This ignores two things:

    First, plenty of people who aren’t on the dole smoke marijuana already.

    Second, plenty of people on the dole already smoke marijuana.  

  2. Nobody

    I don’t know how strong a prediction one can make, one way or the other, about whether pot use would go up or down among welfare-dependent people if pot is legalized.

    Legalization, in addition to removing criminal penalties, makes pot more mainstream. I have a hard time believing that mainstreaming would have no effect. But I am, I admit, speculating.

  3. Joan of Ark La Tex

    Mendel, good thread.  I consider our family a stable family. Yet had pot been legalized when  our teenager was home, it would have been impossible to stop him from experimenting as he had with alcohol. The problem with pot and meth, being more addictive and the mindset it creates. Every time he felt sad or unhappy, he can zone out easily with a small dosage of drugs. I am quite certain he would have lost his fighting spirit altogether. Even with our helicopter support, being a child from divorced parents have left him scars that withdrew him with periodic burst of depression. I could always tell when he was  down. If he had been on drugs, I probably missed all the opportunities to work through with him about solving life’s problems. He would not have made it to college, much less, one of the most prestigious in this country. He is 20 now and I have completely no say in his life. I am quite sure, he would have ended up relying on the welfare system. Look at all the countries who has legalized drugs, then look at those we are tough on drugs and you have your answer. 

  4. Joan of Ark La Tex
    Fred Cole: .

    This ignores two things:

    First, plenty of people who aren’t on the dole smoke marijuana already.

    Second, plenty of people on the dole already smoke marijuana.   · 1 hour ago

    As freedom supporters, I agree the argument for legalizing marijuana is strong. So is the argument for prostitution. While we are at it, why not murder.  Just because someone is allow to kill doesn’t necessary mean they will go out and actually kill another person. 

  5. Fred Cole
    Joan Greathouse

    As freedom supporters, I agree the argument for legalizing marijuana is strong. So is the argument for prostitution. While we are at it, why not murder.  Just because someone is allow to kill doesn’t necessary mean they will go out and actually kill another person.  · 6 minutes ago

    Really, Joan?

    Murder directly impacts a third party, the person being murdered, who most likely didn’t consent to it.

    I don’t know what else I need to say.  Do I really need to swat this down?

  6. Fred Cole

    I mean, if I promise, you can write it into law, no welfare for me.

    I consent to that.  In fact, if you want, I won’t even pay into the welfare system.

    Can I just politely decline welfare?

    And then can I be allowed to decide what I put into my own body?

  7. Fred Cole
    Joan Greathouse:

     He would not have made it to college, much less, one of the most prestigious in this country. He is 20 now and I have completely no say in his life. I am quite sure, he would have ended up relying on the welfare system. Look at all the countries who has legalized drugs, then look at those we are tough on drugs and you have your answer.  · 18 minutes ago

    Joan, not for nothing, but how do you know your kid never used marijuana?

  8. Fred Cole

    I don’t think some of you understand how widespread marijuana use is.  It’s cheap, easy to get, and doesn’t kill you.  

    This is what all the money spent on marijuana prohibition and drug education gets you:

    mtf2010fig1-600x443.jpg

    Kids can and do get marijuana.  Kids can and do smoke marijuana.  Prohibition is a failure.

    The effects of marijuana are on the same order of those of alcohol.  (The only difference is that, unlike alcohol, it’s very difficult to smoke yourself to death in one night.)  Some people choose a glass of wine, some would rather smoke a joint.

    Why privilege one over the other?

  9. Joan of Ark La Tex
    Fred Cole

    Joan Greathouse:

     He would not have made it to college, much less, one of the most prestigious in this country. He is 20 now and I have completely no say in his life. I am quite sure, he would have ended up relying on the welfare system. Look at all the countries who has legalized drugs, then look at those we are tough on drugs and you have your answer.  · 18 minutes ago

    Joan, not for nothing, but how do you know your kid never used marijuana? · 10 minutes ago

    Thanks for being insulting. Not sure if you know this, but some people don’t lie. 

  10. Fred Cole
    Joan Greathouse

    Fred Cole

    Joan, not for nothing, but how do you know your kid never used marijuana? · 10 minutes ago

    Thanks for being insulting. Not sure if you know this, but some people don’t lie.  · in 0 minutes

    I apologize, Joan, if you were insulted.  That was most certainly not my intention.

    So you know because you specifically asked him and he replied that he has not?

  11. Joan of Ark La Tex
    Fred Cole

    Joan Greathouse

    Fred Cole

    Joan, not for nothing, but how do you know your kid never used marijuana? · 10 minutes ago

    Thanks for being insulting. Not sure if you know this, but some people don’t lie.  · in 0 minutes

    I apologize, Joan, if you were insulted.  That was most certainly not my intention.

    So you know because you specifically asked him and he replied that he has not? · 2 minutes ago

    Edited 1 minute ago

    why do you care?

  12. Joan of Ark La Tex
    Fred Cole

    Joan Greathouse

    As freedom supporters, I agree the argument for legalizing marijuana is strong. So is the argument for prostitution. While we are at it, why not murder.  Just because someone is allow to kill doesn’t necessary mean they will go out and actually kill another person.  · 6 minutes ago

    Really, Joan?

    Murder directly impacts a third party, the person being murdered, who most likely didn’t consent to it.

    I don’t know what else I need to say.  Do I really need to swat this down? · 32 minutes ago

    Sorry to tell you, lots of people are impacted by their love ones choosing to “zone out”. Do you need me to give you reports that shows pot parents who led to children’s injury and deaths? 

  13. Foxman

    On the argument about wearing a helmet while on a motorcycle.  Riding a motorcycle, with or without a helmet, is inherently much more dangerous than riding in a car.  Any argument that can be used to reason that a helmet must be worn, can also be used to ban motorcycles entirely.

  14. Foxman
    Joan Greathouse

    Fred Cole

    Joan Greathouse

    Fred Cole

    Joan, not for nothing, but how do you know your kid never used marijuana? · 10 minutes ago

    Thanks for being insulting. Not sure if you know this, but some people don’t lie.  · in 0 minutes

    I apologize, Joan, if you were insulted.  That was most certainly not my intention.

    So you know because you specifically asked him and he replied that he has not? · 2 minutes ago

    Edited 1 minute ago

    why do you care? · 5 minutes ago

    If you are going to engage in a argument, do not get pouty when you start to lose.

  15. Fred Cole
    Joan Greathouse

    Sorry to tell you, lots of people are impacted by their love ones choosing to “zone out”. Do you need me to give you reports that shows pot parents who led to children’s injury and deaths?  

    Deaths because killed their kids while high?  Or deaths caused by accidents or neglect because the parents were potheads?

    And can we compare it with a report on the same subject except swapping pot for alcohol?

  16. Fred Cole
    Joan Greathouse

    why do you care? · 9 minutes ago

    You opened the door, Joan.  You can certainly close it if you wish.  

    Are you assuming he’s never experimented with marijuana because he’s been successful?  Or did you specifically put the question to him?

    If you specifically put the question to him, I’ll take his word for it.  The end.

    If you’re assuming then I’ll point out that many of his peers in high school and college, and people he knows his age have often experiments with or use casually or regularly marijuana.

  17. Joan of Ark La Tex
    Foxman

    Joan Greathouse

    Fred Cole

    Joan Greathouse

    Fred Cole

    Joan, not for nothing, but how do you know your kid never used marijuana? · 10 minutes ago

    Thanks for being insulting. Not sure if you know this, but some people don’t lie.  · in 0 minutes

    I apologize, Joan, if you were insulted.  That was most certainly not my intention.

    So you know because you specifically asked him and he replied that he has not? · 2 minutes ago

    Edited 1 minute ago

    why do you care? · 5 minutes ago

    If you are going to engage in a argument, do not get pouty when you start to lose. · 14 minutes ago

    Edited 14 minutes ago

    I’m not pouty, I just don’t see the need to answer a line of questions about our personal communication that is obviously just trying to lead me into establishing an argument he already has in mind. Why not just cut the chase and give me the argument. 

  18. Innocent Smith
    Fred Cole

    Joan Greathouse

    why do you care? · 9 minutes ago

    You opened the door, Joan.  You can certainly close it if you wish.  

    Are you assuming he’s never experimented with marijuana because he’s been successful?  Or did you specifically put the question to him?

    If you specifically put the question to him, I’ll take his word for it.  The end.

    If you’re assuming then I’ll point out that many of his peers in high school and college, and people he knows his age have often experiments with or use casually or regularly marijuana. · 10 minutes ago

    I’ll just jump in really quickly on this.  I think her point is that it is irrelevant to what she was saying about teenagers.  And that overall concept is that kids are far more prone to experiment with this sort of thing, and it can have a long-lasting negative effect.  I smoked pot when I was a teenager (not regularly, though), and I was a pretty depressed little guy … I turned out fine; mostly because of my girlfriend (now wife).  I know plenty of kids who did not turn out fine.

  19. Foxman
    Joan Greathouse

    Foxman

    Joan Greathouse

    Fred Cole

    Joan Greathouse

    Fred Cole

    Joan, not for nothing, but how do you know your kid never used marijuana? · 10 minutes ago

    Thanks for being insulting. Not sure if you know this, but some people don’t lie.  · in 0 minutes

    I apologize, Joan, if you were insulted.  That was most certainly not my intention.

    So you know because you specifically asked him and he replied that he has not? · 2 minutes ago

    Edited 1 minute ago

    why do you care? · 5 minutes ago

    If you are going to engage in a argument, do not get pouty when you start to lose. · 14 minutes ago

    Edited 14 minutes ago

    I’m not pouty, I just don’t see the need to answer a line of questions about our personal communication that is obviously just trying to lead me into establishing an argument he already has in mind. Why not just cut the chase and give me the argument.  · 3 minutes ago

    As Fred already noted, you brought the subject up.  If it was something you did not want to discuss, you should not bring it up.

  20. Innocent Smith

    (…cont from #31)   Perhaps along those lines, it would help to take the general substance of the argument without nitpicking and going for some sort of “gotcha” moment.  Even if you do support legalization, I think many have legitimately addressed the fact that there is still a great danger that ought to be addressed.  It doesn’t simply effect individuals – it effects families, communities, schools.  Individual behavior almost always impacts more than just that individual.

    Joan’s point is still valid – maybe Fred would even agree that something like a legal age limit would be appropriate?  Maybe that would require harsher penalties so that people take these laws seriously.

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