June 18, 2009

Legalize pot? Why not legalize being a loser

Posted: 02:45 PM ET

growhouseIf you just drove by this house, you would never know what’s inside that walled off garage. But under a stifling Florida sun, the garage is a cool 70 degrees, a constant flow of cool, nutrient rich water flowing throughout the floor, and illuminated by golden glowing lamps whose radiance bounces off reflective aluminum walls.

It is all designed to provide maximum growing potential for the 42 mature marijuana plants evenly spaced in this factory of pot. After seeing this, my initial reaction is the fight to eradicate marijuana in this country is hopeless.

But does that mean we should give up and legalize pot?downsized_0616090846 (2)

For two weeks, knowing I was assigned to this story, I have been asking that question to the many prosecutors, DEA agents and police I come in contact with. The overwhelming answer is no.

There is no doubt, in the minds of these people who come in contact with users, growers, smugglers and junkies, that marijuana use is terrible for the individuals who engage in it.

It is not just a pathway to stronger drugs; it is, in and of itself, a recipe for losers.

Andy anyone who calls himself the casual user, in the minds of law enforcement, is deluding themselves into believing they are not affected by this drug. They compare it to the drunk who believes he can actually drive better with a few drinks inside. The bigger question is how to stop marijuana use.

The DEA agents who raided this home, could raid similar homes everyday, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and still the marijuana would grow.

Which is why there may need to be a huge strategic change in our so-called drug war. Anti-smoking campaigns work for tobacco.

Why won’t they work for marijuana? That should really be the focus of our efforts. We shouldn’t be laughing at the lame jokes from comedians talking about harmless weed; we shouldn’t allow rappers to glorify the wonders of living high.

If nothing else, we should be telling our children that no matter what it is, putting smoke into your lungs is unhealthy, uncool and in the case of pot, a first step towards a life of a loser.

 OK all you pot heads, let me hear it!

Filed under: Drew Griffin • Special Investigations Unit

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Montrealspacedcadet   June 19th, 2009 3:51 am ET

I just passed my 30th anniversary as a pot smoker 2 weeks ago, so I thought my experience might be relevant to your discussion. It has been mostly enjoyable but has its ups and downs.I don't notice much physical and mental impairment from it, as I have been able to do many things under the influence such as play basketball, hockey, soccer, guitar, go on 20km hikes in the Rockies, 50km bike rides, cross country skiing, pass university finals and go to a new job stoned for the first 6 weeks and still get a raise. Sure i can be better when straight , but none of that can I do for 5 minutes under alcohol influence. It can slow concentration and motivation, but also deepen it once you're into what you're doing. It can enhance enjoyment of constructive activities such as music or nature. It can impair maturity and memory, but negligibly compared to what I've seen with alcohol. Morning after effects include grogginess and irritibility, again, negligible compared to the pain of alcohol hangover. For this, I resent that alcohol is legal and pot is not. I also resent that often police want to crack down on smokers in the park but do little about theft. When I caught someone trying to steal my bike, the police were angry when I called them for bothering them with something as trivial as bike theft, though one of the thieves turned out to be a wanted pedophile. No wonder bike theft is epidemic. Also I've heard of pot growers doing more time than convicted pedophiles, a far greater infamnia. It can be psychologically addictive,many people use it daily, withdrawal includes sleeplessness, anxiousness, and irritibility, very much like tobacco withdrawal, but less intense. It stimulates appetite, but I doubt many have gotten fat from it. Does better quality make you smoke less? Yes, you need less to be satisfied and most smokers realize any more than that is a waste. It can relax you and help you sleep, but make you anxious if you have deeper problems; it depends on the person. I wouldn't trade it for tranquilizers. It can make you less talkative; I've had difficulties being sociable enough, though maybe I sometimes smoke in consolation for that. Gateway drug? I've experimented with stronger drugs, but normally avoid, feel no desire and am scared of them. Sometimes the law makes it happen that way; in Hawaii I was told that because of the crackdown on pot it had become cheaper and easier to do crystal meth instead. Long term effects? I seem to be in reasonable shape for my age and my financial statements still pass their audits. Still, I could be doing better, so its high time I quit. Legalize it Amsterdam style? Probably, I love going there, but I don't know... its not harmless. Still. no one should ever go to jail for it; having vices is part of human nature and there's a limit to how much the law should interfere with that. Education, regulation, moderation, and presenting alternatives are preferable. Some laws need to be re-prioritized. If countries like Colombia and Afghanistan were allowed to grow it, it might be a much lesser evil alternative to cocaine or heroin and give them a cash crop for some economic and political stability. A bigger problem I've seen is presciption dilaudids ending up on the street and being used in needles, creating new opiate addicts. Finally. a consequence of my habit is that I have never been able to afford a car and came to realize I don't really need one very often and neither do most people ( How can we help save the environment?).

PatrickBateman   June 20th, 2009 2:38 am ET

Lets review your argument. Your premise is that smoking marijuana turns people who were not losers, into evidence you cite the opinions of a few people who's jobs happen to depend on putting people in cages for possessing plants.

Because the plant in question is illegal to grow, it attracts growers who don't care about following laws. Not nice people like the hardworking Americans working for Budweiser. Understandably, these gardeners do not make a positive impression on the organization tasked with putting them in cages and are often maligned by the DEA which has a much easier time seizing assets from growers than cocaine cartels.

Lets say you are right, growing marijuana turns a person into a loser. This begs the question, is it the gardening that does it? The actual smoking of the plant? or does being arrested on multiply felonies, robbed by competitors, and getting raped in prison have something to do with it?

Maybe we shouldn't try to answer these questions. That would require finding evidence to support our conclusion. Evidence that takes work to find. From reading your article it is clear that even writers free from the debilitating scourge of marijuana abuse find it difficult to back their arguments with even a shred of evidence. Its sufficient to just label a group of people losers without giving a single example of how they fail to live up to any standard save those put in place by an organization that profits from their arrest.

My advice is to find some drive and ambition. You will never get satisfaction out of life picking the lowest hanging fruit. Writing about how potheads are losers is about as difficult as finding your way out of a wet paper bag.

Matt   June 21st, 2009 10:26 pm ET

This "article" is just flame-bait; poorly written and without original content, it finishes with a flourish that acknowledges that its intention isn't to promote discourse. Like CNN and the other major networks, its intention is to create a controversy (minor in this case) and exploit it for fun and profit (fine, actually just profit). Prohibition should have ended long ago, but there are too many interests that its end would hurt (the prison industrial complex, federal law enforcement bureaucracies, etc.) However, you won't find the full story on CNN; if you want to know the truth, pick up some books and do some research. If things like this article are informing the opinions of the American people, it is of little wonder that our country is in such bad shape. Being a citizen is a responsibility, not just a right; act accordingly and don't listen to the liars and idiots.

Cat   June 22nd, 2009 1:24 pm ET

Why not legalize being a loser? Since when is being a loser illegal? Aside from your title being snarky and incorrect, your investigation into the cost/benefit analysis of legalizing marijuana is incomplete at best.

I find it telling that you only spoke with law enforcement agents and prosecutors to inform your opinion. Perhaps some of the police officers you spoke to have actually advanced their careers by locking up these “loser” marijuana users. Since the inception of the war on drugs, the arrest rates for major felonies and violent crimes has plummeted and drug arrests have skyrocketed. Police are looking to boost their arrest rates and be promoted – and what is the fastest route to that goal? Certainly not a lengthy, difficult investigation into a rape or murder charge, but by reaching into pockets and cars and filling our jails with casual drug users.

The DEA agents you spoke to admit that the drug war is lost. The tax revenue that could be raised by legal marijuana sales and the saved costs of trial and incarceration of petty drug cases can be used in productive ways. Think about the drug treatment programs, job training and after-school programs that could be funded.

Sure, throw an anti-smoking campaign in there if you have a serious problem with the work ethic, lung capacity or delusional ways of pot smokers. You said “anti-smoking campaigns work for tobacco,” but tobacco is legal! Those ads are actually funded by the tobacco companies as a result of a federal judgment against them. If we legalize and tax marijuana, the government can regulate campaigns like that.

Mike   June 25th, 2009 8:05 pm ET

With all respect.. 9 people were killed on the metro system in DC. our troops are getting killed in Iraq, trouble in Iran, econics issues in our country, miltary issues, and for the last 4 hours your network found Mr. Jacksons demise more important than all of the other isues confronting our world Now? Why? I feel very sorry for this story line = but do you not feel that as a news information network that you should also report the information that should be important also?

Respectfully Submitted

chilton   June 28th, 2009 4:43 pm ET

Just be a capitalist. I don't want to spend money policing, arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating pot smokers. Please stop. Yes I have smoked pot. No I don't smoke pot and I don't care if you do. I don't want to pay for you to not smoke pot, snort cocaine or shoot heroine. I don't know am I the only one that things prohibition and the war on drugs have parallels? Does that mean there is a parallel between the mafia and current gang problems. Please don't tell me about anything dealing with the war on drugs. 3 points about legalized drugs billions in increased taxes, billions in avoided costs and harder for kids to get drugs. Drug dealers don't ask for id. Just ask an 18 year old "which is harder to find cigarettes or drugs?"

Stepanie Gibson   July 8th, 2009 9:20 am ET

I thought our great constitution gave people the right to pursue happiness yet happiness is resricted by government policies. The government says pot is bad for your health unless prescribed by a doctor. The government doesn't want us to destroy our bodies using the unregulated drug marijuana they perfer us to mess up our bodies the old fashion way with a 5th of Jack Danials.

Carla   July 21st, 2009 9:48 pm ET

I am not a pot smoker, never have been, but I believe in legalizing it in order to TAX it like alcohol. I've never seen or heard of a violent "stoner", but have seen many violent "drunks". Legalizing would take the money out of it for the dealers, smugglers and the like, which would automatically reduce the associated violence of the "dealing". It should be treated the same as alcohol, whether that's legal or illegal. I also know that just like alcohol, the effects are different for every person. Some people can seemingly "function" while being a regular user, while others cannot. I disagree with anyone who believes they are not a hazard to society if they drive under the influence of any substance. Save it for home, behind closed doors, and I think most people would accept it.

John Burton   July 26th, 2009 5:59 am ET

Drew Griffin's comments are expected. He is a public servant supported by tax dollars and drilled in the evils of marijuana. The consequences of pot smoking pale compared to nicotine and we spend nothing to discourage that. We started with $30 billion a year for this "War on Drugs" and we have destroyed our legal system clogging it with minor pot offenses, shut down the judicial system, expanded our prison system to accommodate over two million "criminals", about 80% of which are drug offenders. The cost of all this puritanical nonsense is costing America far in excess of $100 billion a year and costs $35 thousand per year to house the "offenders". The legalization of pot would be far, far and away better than this. Use the profits to educate. You can not bring about change in our culture by a bunch of Rambo's yelling "get on the ground, now!!" and dragging the offenders off to jail. A system that merits the contempt of every knowledgeable citizen is a system that should be discarded.

Dennis Junior   August 7th, 2009 6:34 pm ET

It is a bad idea to legalize pot, since, young folks will purchased it...

Mike   August 10th, 2009 10:57 am ET

Dennis Junior said:
'It is a bad idea to legalize pot, since, young folks will purchased it…'

And how does an unregulated black market prevent teenage marijuana use?

Young folks will try to purchase pot rather it's legal or illegal. You focus the police on the people supplying it to them.

Andy   August 10th, 2009 1:12 pm ET

Would a Journalist have been asking this question 2 years ago? Not a chance. Why would this question be posted in the National spot light now. This question will never be touched by any politician unless both parties agree on the legalization question, since this is unlikely what is the point. Now if someone wants to talk about medical pot. then you might have a chance of the topic being addressed.


Mike Day   August 10th, 2009 2:04 pm ET

Louis Armstrong wrote a letter to Eisenhower in the 50's that had a part about legalizing marijuana. Starting in the late 60's we've had a national debate off and on about it. It will happen state by state if the feds respect federalism.

Tea H. Sea   September 8th, 2009 7:40 am ET

By reading your article, I have just wasted five minutes of my life. Your article fails to persuade me that you know nothing about marijuana. Please don't go around flaunting the idea that marijuana leads to more dangerous narcotics. Your idea of associating marijuana to alcohol is a false idea, I have driven high and can tell you it is no where close as to driving under the influence of alcohol.

weed smokin loser   September 22nd, 2009 10:41 am ET

I smoke weed and I am a is as simple as that?

John Burton   October 12th, 2009 11:48 am ET

It is beyond ridiculous that alcohol is legal and pot is illegal. I do neither. It is an example of government out of control and excessively intruding into the lives of our citizens. The pot question is a symptom of a government on the brink of becoming a dictatorship. Nothing has done more to destroy the legal system of this country than the so called "war on drugs" and it would be a thousand times better to legalize all drugs than continue this way. It could not possibly be this bad. Like the wino's of big cities, we would have a few more pot heads doing pot to excess. If we outlawed pot and liquor, we would have just as many abusers. It is like guns. People will get them anyway.

another loser   October 13th, 2009 5:17 pm ET

It should not have been illegal in the first place. If you spend even a few minutes on actual research you can find out the reasons for it being illegal were based on incorrect information and racial paranoia. Those are the facts and are not in dispute. The government later did studies on it and concluded that it 'should not be illegal', but it was kept illegal anyway as a means to control those against the war effort in Vietnam. As it was associated with free thought.

I do not smoke Marijuana personally, but I have tried it in the past and found it was totally harmless. Nor do I support the prison state or the massive amount of taxes we waste in the attempt to control people's lives in a certain way that is the most profitable for some companies.

If someone wants to smoke a harmless substance in their own home, our government should be enlightened enough to let them, instead of putting them into prisons or calling them criminals.

The reason so many do not respect the laws and the rule of law in America, is simply because there are some really dumb laws and dumb ideas out there. If something is illegal, there should be a very good reason for it. Reefer madness, or blacks seducing white women by using marijuana, is not a good one. It is in fact unethical and extremely ignorant of history, society, and of freedom itself.

loooooooser   October 14th, 2009 2:26 am ET

i feel as though this article just degrades pot smokers rather than being informative about the situation at hand. also, i don't think you should be saying that all pot smokers are losers. who are you to classify someone as a loser anyway?

i agree that people should be allowed to smoke marijuana. the legalization will keep the violence related to "secret" drug deals and scared pot smokers down. it will also take some drug dealers off the street.

BigAl   October 25th, 2009 11:28 am ET

This unenlightened "reporter" has obviously been on the government band wagon for years and buys all of the same pathetic propaganda.

Cops don't want it legal because that would mean less busts for them and less chance of moving up the ladder.

The most benign substance on the planet will be fully legal one day.

My only problem with regulation by the state simply means another industry to be corrupted. Don't think for a second it can't happen.

Get the hell out of our lives Big Brother.

BigAl   October 25th, 2009 11:37 am ET

Every time drugs are discussed it's always about the "children".
Teen pot use always goes down when ever the illegality of weed is removed.

Besides, who cares about teens smoking weed anyway?
Alcohol is far worse.

Take California for instance. Pot shops everywhere and most of them are empty. Why? Because it's not a big deal and it is fully controlled and people are sensible about it.

We should be MORE concerned with endless war, trillion $$$ deficits, bailouts, and the ultimate demise of America.

Nick Cummings   October 28th, 2009 10:19 am ET

I feel like pot should be legalized. If our government put a tax on pot, then our economy will make a lot of money. Even though most drug dealers would be put of business they wouldnt have to worry about getting arrested. But with legalizing pot there would be some down falls. I feel like weed was put on Earth for a reason, so why let it go to waste because our econmy has made it illegal.

steve adamczak   October 29th, 2009 6:18 am ET

pot is not addicting

jack mcghee   November 18th, 2009 9:19 am ET

Evidently it's still legal to be an idiot, though. Thanks, Drew, for reminding us all.

lambs   November 30th, 2009 1:38 pm ET

I dont think a 53 year old woman dieing of breast cancer that was put on synthetic marijuana for pain and an appetite enhancer is a loser.

A. Smith, Oregon   December 19th, 2009 3:13 am ET

Tonight's former DEA agent as a guest on CNN made what I felt was 3 false statements which I am certain he repeatedly repeats to anyone around him and has been trained to repeat those false statements.

I feel they should be corrected and that the viewers deserve to consider the facts.

He stated 'Cocaine, Amphetamines and Heroin are never going to be legal in America, and he further stated we can't make them legal'

1) Cocaine solutions are 'legally' used in optomologic procedures and certain eye surgery's.

2) Adderal is a 'legally' prescribed Amphetamine

3) Methadone is stronger than Heroin and is 'legally' used to treat Heroin addition.

In addition, the crass politicization of 'legal' vs 'illegal' drugs prevents researchers from developing a partial cure for the delibitating disease known collectively as arthritis.

In the Andes, the natives routinely chew Coca Leafs and do NOT have any arthritis specifically because of the compounds found in the Coca leafs. Millions of Americans are stricken with various forms of arthritis, however researchers are prevented by the current 'political' laws from developing a cure based upon the compounds in the Coca leaf.

Ruby   January 13th, 2010 2:51 pm ET

If alcohol continues to enjoy legality so should pot. Period. Alcohol causes more death and destruction than pot does or can. TRY and OD on pot. Just try it!! Labeling smokers as drug addicts or losers is pathetic and desperate when you have no other argument. I am not a criminal because I can't tolerate alcohol. The only thing wrong with pot is that it remains a crime to grow or smoke it, let alone profit from it. It WILL be legalized, by the time kids today are in charge. We can ALL recognize the damage done by the "War on drugs", which is actually a war on the people. Whether or not you smoke. It's out there. Anyone can get it at any time. It won't cause a problem to legalize. It will solve one.

aldo   March 2nd, 2010 12:07 am ET

I have got my own individual experience with toking bud, and regardless how many times folks exclaim "it's great just for this" and "good with regard to that", Let me tell people that it almost damaged my life man! Look, I am aware there are people who are able to merely up and stop, nevertheless there are several others who definitely have the hardest time looking to to give up smoking grass. The root trouble with being addicted to marijuana would be that the desire is a psychological one, not really physical.

cheech123   March 5th, 2010 5:19 pm ET

I believe that cannabis should be legalized as a pure plant product. Marijuana has never to my knowledge killed someone. A passage in Genesis of the Bible reads that God put all seed-bearing plants for our consumption. Marijuana has seeds obviously and is as benign as a summer breeze. Regulation and legalization of cannabis should happen and I believe it will soon. Have a great day everyone.

Trevor   March 9th, 2010 10:14 am ET

actully if we do legalize marijuana then we could make an upwards of of over 3 million dollers a year so why not let them legalize potn Im not saying pot is for every one but there is a few ppl who do have use it ive heard from a doc. that it can help with cronse disease, back pain muscle weakness, sprand ankles, neck problems,and broken bones. so before you start making judgments on how you think every one should live think, what if it helped you out, say you had cronse disease like my buddy and it helped you.

rae-anne   April 21st, 2010 11:53 am ET

everyone has a right to they're own opinion, theres some truth too everything that was mentioned, but if you've never used pot, then you dont fully understand what you talking about, it dosent kill, it dosent cause cancer, if you're worried about protecting you're children from pot, you're wasting you're time, if they want it they will get it. with our world today they're are plenty more things we should worry about, other than the legalization of Cannabis, just on the top of my head, the junkies that leave used needles all over our communities, where you're children play, theres things that a much worse for you than weed, we should adress that first!

happy   May 22nd, 2010 6:54 pm ET

As a former pot smoker, I used to delude myself with the lies that current pot smokers repeat. It is amazing the justification that they will do just so they can continue smoking their drug of choice. People don't wreck cars for smoking cigarettes, yet look at the war on those. Why? For good reason. Pot smoke IS dangerous to your lungs, even moreso than cigarette smoke. And I highly doubt any of the pro pot smokers have been sober long enough to clear their brains, then sat around in a room full of people getting stoned. You can't tell me it is harmless. Pot is dangerous and just as bad as alcohol or any other mind altering substance. I am against making pot legal. It is a gateway drug. I hope they NEVER make it legal.

Nick   May 23rd, 2010 1:34 pm ET

You assume I'm asking for someones permission to live my life.

Nick Iverson   June 12th, 2010 10:41 pm ET

If all pot smokers are losers, then The Beatles are losers. Barrack Obama, too, is a loser. Michael Phelps would also be considered a loser.

They aren't losers, so the reporters argument that "pot smoker = loser" is quite clearly INVALID.

stop lying to me   June 26th, 2010 5:18 pm ET

I bet he named the article before he even started to research. When researching you need to actually look at both sides of the argument. Talk to people who are for it AND against it.

I am for legalization of it. why? I'm 16. I know 28 drug dealers in my school of 450 kids. there are zero liquor stores or gas stations or anything in my city that doesn't card. i don't even know where to get a fake ID.

Stop lying to the kids. when they realize you lied once everything you say is taken as a lie. a close friend of mine died of a overdose on heroin wearing a DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) shirt. good work killing him. and before you start he never smoked a joint in his life.

N Millner   July 9th, 2010 10:36 am ET

Yes, I'm Legal, and feeling like a kinda loser, for reading your non-sense,Total BS, opinion. Please DON'T Visit CA! In Fact , STAY-FAR AWAY! I think Central FL Needs U!

daniel martin   August 16th, 2010 1:02 pm ET

for those who can vote in Airzona, prop 203 is on the ballot, speak your mind in november and shove these peoples opinions back down their throtes .for those who cant vote, advocate. get your friends to vote. get involved. if you dont know what prop 203 is, look it up. dont say your too stoned that you cant! that just sets a bad example.

cody   August 17th, 2010 8:50 pm ET

i consider myself a loser. i don't smoke weed. why? because im a loser with no connections. would i still be a loser if i did use weed? yes. would it be because of weed that im a loser? no because ive been one my entire life.

Lisa   September 24th, 2010 11:16 am ET

"Legalize pot? Why not legalize being a loser"

Shouldn't this article, just from the title alone, be categorized in the "Opinion" section, versus a "Special Investigations Unit" blog? It is a pretty asinine notion to believe that all users of marijuana are losers, as you so eloquently put it.

My father is anything but a loser. He smokes marijuana every day, and he has a high paying, intelligence based job working for a company that the government contracts to handle their military, passenger flight and space travel.

I am anything but a loser. I am a successful DJ, college graduate, and I own 2 businesses and am working on opening a third. I, too, smoke marijuana daily.

I have many friends who use marijuana on a constant basis that have plenty of direction in their lives, and are very successful at what they do. I also have friends who are losers. Some of them smoke, and some of them don't.

Being a loser is NOT defined as being a pot smoker. Being a pot smoker does not turn you into a loser.

The legalization of marijuana is not about creating a country full of losers. It is about creating more jobs, stimulating our failing economy, and decriminalizing something that has improperly and unfairly received negative publicity, and has fallen victim of untruthful propaganda for far too long. The benefits of marijuana use far exceed the negatives. Marijuana is a wonderful pain/depression/anxiety reliever. There is a reason why it has been legalized in California and other free-thinking states for medical use. When I was 18 years old, I was in a bad accident that required me to have the left half of my pelvis replaced and to learn how to walk again. Vicodin did not help my pain... I found myself in the kitchen one morning about to swallow 8 at once because that is how much it took for me to feel any relief. My ex brought me a joint that night, and my pain was miraculously healed. I've been smoking since for chronic pain, anxiety and insomnia. I am also (again) anything but a loser.

My long-winded point here is this: a loser is a loser regardless of the illicit activities they choose to participate in. Drug use does not make a person a loser; that person's bad decisions, lack of motivation, and repeated failure determines that. I have no problem smoking marijuana, and going about my day, accomplishing everything I need to do, including raising a healthy, intelligent 7 year old daughter.

Your arguments and opinions on this subject are both asinine and judgmental, and they display with great flair your inexperience on the subject and your lack of qualification to write about said opinion.

Ian Woo   September 29th, 2010 10:06 am ET

It's already legal to be a loser, and clearly you don't even need pot to head down that road. Ignorance is the first step down that road, Drew.

Chris   October 7th, 2010 7:06 am ET

I work 55 hours a week to support my kid, and his stay at home mom. I dont drink alcohol, but at 8 30 when we put the kid to bed, her and I smoke a little before calling it a night. I pay my taxes, I drive the speed limit and mow my neighbors grass because he is handicapped. I must be a loser.

Andrew   October 22nd, 2010 7:14 pm ET

Wow, what a complete piece of crap article. Who decided this would be a good idea? I couldn't imagine a more stilted, useless piece of garbage. Great work, CNN...

Craig Vincent   October 27th, 2010 1:08 pm ET

Legalize losers!!!!! Their rewarded in this country, the US government is made up of mostly losers.

James   November 2nd, 2010 10:27 am ET

All drugs should be legal. The amount of money spent on law enforcement alone would provide treatment to most addicted people. Until we understand this the drug cartels will continue to spread violence throughout Mexico and the US. The drug cartels have major footholds in 279 US cities. How are we going to fight this when our state budgets are stretched too thin as it is. If we legalize drugs we can begin to heal those who are addicted and get rid of all the violence in one fell swoop. This is the way it should be and until I hear a better idea this is the only way to fix the problem.

AW   November 5th, 2010 1:32 am ET

Least professional article I've read in a long time. What kind of "journalist" ends his article saying "OK all you pot heads, let me hear it!" ...really professional. Paragraph seven... who is Andy? Or can't you proof read a topic sentence. Furthermore the title of the article is incredibly weak; it IS legal to be a loser!!!
I understand the point about the drug drug being unhealthy (smoke in the lungs is definitely unhealthy), but then why not up in arms over cigarettes. And the "research" the author did for this article consisted of a bunch of interviews with law enforcement... OBVIOUSLY they are going to tell you it shouldn't be legal (even if their personal views contradict that), because that's what gives them a job!!! I mean I understand this is an editorial, opinion based article, but at least do some objective research... this author is a complete moron if he thinks he's doing a balanced job of getting an expert opinion; even amongst law enforcement (especially RETIRED law enforcement – IE no employment incentive) there are many, many, many people who will tell you it should be legal because keeping it illegal is MORE harmful. I'll cite several very compelling reasons: jail overcrowding, felony charges ruining lives/potential and driving would be casual users to commit more serious crimes because they can't get jobs as felons, a huge financial blow to drug dealers (who perpetuate violence), the fact that disgusting amounts of money/resources, and in some cases LIVES are being wasted "enforcing" marijuana laws (which is futile, because the plant will inevitably be grown anyway, a fact that the author even acknowledges). Notice I'm not listing any "pro-pot" arguments, I'm not glorifying or excusing the use of the drug... I'm in no way implying the potential positives. If one simply looks at the problems that it causes being illegal vs. the problems it would cause if it were legal, it's easy to see that keeping it illegal is FAR MORE DETRIMENTAL to society. So these aren't arguments coming from a "pot-head," "Andy," or any pro-pot position... it's simply an objective rational analysis of which is the lesser of two evils, and clearly legalization, regulation, and taxation pose far less problems for the country many times over than keeping it illegal and futilely trying to enforce it.

AW   November 5th, 2010 1:34 am ET

hahahaha oh yeah, and he's saying that we should refocus our efforts into anti-smoking campaigns because THAT WORKS FOR TOBACCO?!?!??!?! Are you kidding me??!?!

anthony   November 5th, 2010 8:25 am ET

dude you dont kow what your talking about. i have been doing it for 2 years and its been awesome. it gets rid of my stomach aches and makes me and my family not fight and have a good time. i started and plan to do it for the rest of my life

Jack Daniel   November 6th, 2010 12:55 am ET

Hey Drew I am an elderly cancer patient who is stuck at home in constant pain.

Sorry I need my meds in order to partially enjoy life, I guarentee your more of a loser than I will ever be

MarkCenterForLifeRes.   November 7th, 2010 3:05 am ET

This is ridiculous and rude.
Seems like some people like getting off, by getting on to others.
Such ignorance.

Evan   November 17th, 2010 1:36 pm ET

Lol, thank god at least people are letting this guy have it. Most pitiful excuse for a story i've read on this site to date, and theres definetly been alot of garbage i've sifted through. Like everyone else has stated, you need to get informed before you go running your mouth about things you've probably never been exposed to. Listen, you had two weeks to come up with a good story, and this is what you produced? I make more better stories sitting on the john and watching what comes out.

Andrew   April 6th, 2011 12:55 am ET

I'm a stoner and I could write an article a million times more intelligent sounding then this one. Maybe you need marijuana to enhance your boring life?

Quit Weed   April 7th, 2011 7:24 am ET

Marijuana is surely not more dangerous than alcohol or cigarrettes which are legal. To criminalize it doesn´t keep the folks away from it, as we can see by increasing sale, but only makes the dealers richer. Better legalize it and dry out the narcos.

Person1   July 24th, 2011 5:51 pm ET

I've been arrested before for minor possession and I can tell you first hand that the legality of marijuana is probably the only thing about it that can make you a "loser". I was charged with a felony, and had my parents at the time not been able to afford a good lawyer I wouldn't be at the top of my physics class at the moment. It appears to me that everyone with the intelligence to use the internet strongly opposes the status quo. What is it about our country and jail anyway? In Europe if you do get booked which is unlikely you'll be released without bond in a matter of hours.......

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