Skepticism

Afternoon Inquisition 9.28

Should marijuana be legalized?

If you’re not in the US, what’s the law in your country and what do you think it should be? What about other drugs?

Personally, I think the “War on Drugs” is a giant fiasco, to put it mildly. Like prohibition in the 1920s, it does little to discourage people from using and causes a lot of unnecessary violence and health risks. (I won’t even go into anything about jails in the US.) Also, if drugs were legal, just think of the taxes that could be collected!

writerdd

Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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46 Comments

  1. I don’t think anyone can logically argue that marijuana should be illegal as it is far less dangerous than either alcohol or tobacco. Unless you are concerned about an imminent world shortage of Doritos, I can’t see a large social harm from legalizing pot.

  2. I’m in a semi-unique situation in that I know somebody, a friend who I’ve since lost, who actually managed to hurt himself with marijuana addiction.

    That said, before he started hurting himself with that addiction, he was already hurting himself with alcoholism. People with addictive personalities will find something to get addicted to, no matter what we do about it, so beyond supporting programs to help them battle those addictions, it makes little sense to ban something just because a few people manage to hurt themselves with it.

    So, yeah, I can’t think of any good reason why marijuana should be illegal.

    There are other drugs, however, that I do think should be illegal. There is a category of drugs, such as crack-cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, etc., that are nearly always harmful in a way that cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana simply aren’t. With those drugs, it’s not a question of lacking willpower or having an addictive personality, but rather a quality of the drug itself that causes addiction. Those, I don’t mind seeing a complete ban on, although criminalising use the way we do now is completely absurd and, I think, counterproductive both for the user and for society as a whole, due to strain on the prison system.

  3. I don’t see any reason for marijuana to be illegal while alcohol isn’t (not saying alcohol should be) since they are very equivalent in many ways. You can use either responsibly or irresponsibly with very similar outcomes.

    Other drugs though, like heroin and meth, no way in hell should those be legal. There is no harmless level of use. However I think our laws regarding drug users are ridiculous and draconian. Addicts need treatment not being locked up in jail.

  4. I go to a school where Marijuana is treated very lightly by the staff and public safety. I personally feel that it should be legal. Especially if you decide to use a vaporizer. On the most basic level a vaporizer is a heating coil that superheats the marijuana or other herb. Not only does it eliminate the negative effects of smoking, such as cancer, it is also much more efficient since it mainly burns just the THC crystals which cover the bud. I think that any system where Marijuana is legalized needs to be done through stores such as dispensaries or Coffee shops or both. Also I think that there should be a comprehensive rehab program for people who want to stop. One thing I want to know is how much benefit Medical Marijuana actually has. It seems like something that could fall into woo.

  5. Chances are that most people don’t know how to use anything responsibly. This reminds me of a similar question: should smoking be banned? My subjective answer is “yes, because I hate the smell of smoke in the morning”, but I’d love to hear what others have to say.

    I don’t understand this topic enough to make a judgment here.

  6. Tobacco and Alcohol are arguably already more harmful then legalized pot, and they are legal and acceptable. A legalization scheme would: 1. Increase government revenue (B.C. exports about 7.5 billion of the stuff every year. If on the books, this would be its number 1 export)
    2. Ensure quality product that would have minimum standards of purity that would minimize the ability of producers to put harmful by products,
    3. Take this revenue away from organized crime. It gets produced, and distributed regardless of its legality, and this revenue must make up a large portion of their operating budgets.

    It’s just as harmless (if not moreso) then tobacco, salvia and alcohol, and could legitimately change the state of the budget in all countries, and is something that great thinkers (like Carl Sagan and Richard Feynmann) have historically enjoyed.

  7. I think the most compelling reason for legalizing marijuana here in Canada and in the U.S. is simply so the law stops doing so much damage to people’s lives. I’m thinking in particular of young people who are saddled with criminal records for possessing a couple of joints.
    On a side note, the U.S. really should reverse the ridiculous public policy of having a legal drinking age of 21. If someone’s old enough at 18 to join the army and go to Iraq, and sign a legally binding contract or get married without parental permission, then surely that person should be old enough to order a beer.

  8. Being from the Netherlands where the use of marijuana is considered legal (which actually it isn’t: we have a condonance policy), I think I can safely say that society as a whole does not really change much whether or not it’s legal/illegal.

    I personally would rather be around 100 marijuana users than 100 alcohol users. (But I would also rather be around 100 xtc users than 100 alchohol users while attending a (house)party for that matter)

    More information can be viewed here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_the_Netherlands

    It might also be helpfull to know that I personally don’t drink (anymore, stopped at 17 approx. I’m 26 now), don’t smoke (never have) and don’t do any other drugs (never have).
    I’m a psychology student at a local university and among my friends and most fellow students the use of marijuana is looked down upon. People usually don’t easily admit they use it although you might get a statement like ‘I’ve tried it once in the past’ and unless (close) friends you probably should leave it at that ;)

  9. As a rule of thumb, I hate preventative legislation of almost any kind. The law should be about correcting aberrant behavior, not attempting to head it off at the pass, and fucking with everyone’s lives in the process. Simple example: hall passes. …It’s reasonable to expect kids aren’t going to fool around in the hall. Every kid should start the school year with a hall pass. …Once someone is caught fooling around, then they need a teacher to give them one.

    I’d like to see that principle applied to most things that are presently “illegal”.

    Of course there need to be some basic exceptions for safety, but I believe they should be limited to clearly demonstrable, significant effects (like running traffic lights, or driving when impaired).

    …Which is not to say I’m for heavy punishment, either: crime and punishment is, IMO, stupid. Cruel. I’d like to see a shift in focus to problems and solutions.

    And, for the record, I don’t think prison is much of a solution for anything, sociopaths excepted… and in their case, they should stay out of society until they’ve overcome their condition, not be assigned some arbitrary “sentence”.

    …Which is to say nothing about how miserable the method of prosecution/defense is. The whole system is designed around an industry of law, and really has very few people’s best interests in mind.

    In other words: I think our legal system is pretty seriously fucked up.

    Smokin’ da weed is the least of it.

  10. The decision to legalize marijuana should be based on whether it is possible to use responsibly. For example, if even a small dose of drug makes you totally unaware of your surroundings or causes violent mood swings, then it should be banned because you cannot control the damage you might do to others. I don’t believe marijuana falls under this category.

    However, arguments about what it does to the jails or possibility of taxes is a horrible argument. We can tax anything, really. As for ruining peoples’ lives because they are caught, this is also a horrible argument. It’s not like people are caught who had no idea that marijuana was illegal. Everyone speeds, but that doesn’t mean we should allow everyone to drive like Junior at Bristol (note: I hate NASCAR, but it fit). If you want to argue about the degree of the punishment, ok. Again, that should be based on the potential for damage to someone.

    JRice: Your idea of sentencing would only work if the officials who decide on whether someone “overcame their condition” is not biased or bigoted. Could you imagine having such a law in the South during segregation? A black person shoplifts and it’s a life sentence. There should be strict sentencing. Also, who ever said that jails were strictly about correction? That’s a part of what they do. The other part is punishment. You are punished first and they also have a correctional program. The idea of jails as a correctional facility is a relatively recent concept.

  11. Yes. I remember here in Canada when it was legal for a bit, in BC people were impressed by the lack of drug dealers and the safety/security provided by legal smoke houses. Then it was de-legalized again and the drug dealers came back. I’m not saying that would happen in every situation, and there’s pros and cons to each, but when the government can regulate and tax something as opposed to banning it and forcing a black market (such as alcohol) it can be better for everyone.

  12. Marijuana at the very least should be decriminalized, there seems no good reason for imprisonment because one had a small amount for personal use. At most, possession for personal use should be a misdemeanor, not a felony. It should not be classified with hard drugs like heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, etc… Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and does not cause violent behavior like alcohol does. It is not a gateway drug and never will be. At least lets go back to what the cops did when I started smoking, they would just take your baggies and empty it onto the street, (or take it home for personal use). The war on drugs was lost before it started. Humans have sought out mind altering substances since the dawn of man and will seek them out until we no longer exist. As long as we are on the subject of drugs, lets decriminalize hallucinogens as well, those were so much better than alcohol in every way, no nasty hangovers, no hugging the porcelain throne, a better, mellower high. LSD, mescaline, psylocybin. Gee, I miss those so much. Well, that said, I will now go into a nostalgic reverie.

  13. I’ve never used marijuana, I’ve never smoked tobacco, and I haven’t had a drink since my 21st birthday, 21 years ago. I don’t understand the need or desire for mind/mood altering substances.

    BUT, of the three substances, I think marijuana is the least harmful. It is ridiculous to spend so many man-hours policing against it. I feel the same about prostitution actually. Regulation (of both “Mary Janes”;)) would help alleviate the negative aspects of them and gain the benefits listed in the above comments.

    So I still wouldn’t use marijuana, but I think it probably should be legalized!

  14. @Briarking: Agreed, I don’t smoke at all (regular or wacky), but I still think having pot-smoking as a felony is excessive.

    And now to go obsess at the NHC website for more cryptic hurricane warnings that don’t quite but kind of specify our area…they could make these things clearer.

  15. I have always wanted our society to be one in which personal freedom is paramount. I think people should have the right to do anything they want in there lives without interference as long as it doesn’t hurt other people. All Ghanja does is make people crave Cheetos and become totally apathetic. I know this from personal experience :)
    The problem here is this: As with so many other US Government programs, the war on drugs now employs a ton of people and is an industry in itself. Its like the perverbial boulder rolling downhill. Once you start a program like that, it is hard as hell to stop it because it puts huge numbers of people out of work. And the longer the program runs, the more firmly embedded it gets in the system. Again, I know this from personal experience. There are many cold war programs that cost billions a year that are still running with no end in sight. All they do is file off the serial numbers and give it a fresh paint job and continue to acquire funding. If you paint a train wreck, it might be easier to look at but its still a train wreck. And our ‘war on drugs’ is not just a train wreck, its catastrophy.
    I would happily support the legalization of the ganja mon, but I just don’t see it ever happening.

  16. I think if only Marijuana were legalized there would be no need to shut down the War on Drugs programs. Sure some people would lose their jobs, but a lot would probably be repurposed to other cases. I’m sure that a lot of the agents working on busting Meth Labs could use the extra manpower.
    Also Marijuana is the number one cash crop in the United States. Not only would the government save money from not having to enforce Marijuana laws, it would gain a lot of money from taxing it, which I do believe is possible. I know I’d be willing to either pay a little extra for the Mariganja or have money taken out of my paycheck. Also as Kimbo mentioned this would either put a lot of drug dealers out of business or force them to sell it legally either through a coffeeshop type of place or through a dispensary.

  17. Yeah, I guess meth labs should be illegal. Too dangerous and other people do get hurt.

    Sure, why wouldn’t it be possible to tax pot? We tax the shit out of booze and cigarettes. I believe marijuana would be in the same category. Don’t they call it a “sin tax”?

  18. Here in Sweden, marihuana is illegal, as are most other common street drugs (I guess, in principle, you could get a prescription for cannabis from your doctor, but it would have to pass the medical authorieties, and this would never ever happen). This said, how do I myself feel about letting marihuana (as well as other common drugs) free? Actually, I don´t bother much. I don´t think it would ruin our society, no. And as I am not myself a frequent user of drugs , other than alcohol, (It´s more than a month since I last smoked some weed, I promise!) it wouldn´t affect my economy much.
    There is one important point to consider, though. I have numerous friends, who (admirably!) hesitate to drive after drinking as little as one beer, but who gladly put themselves in the driver´s seat after smoking a joint. This is, obviously, because the Swedish police doesn´t regularly test drivers for other drugs than alcohol. If the law should change, instruments for detecting a driver´s intoxication would have to become more advanced, too!

  19. One of the arguments put forth by those who wish to maintain the current drug laws is that legalization would increase the use of drugs. However, I doubt that there is really a significant number of people who want to try pot but are refraining because it is illegal. Certainly if cocaine or heroin were legal I wouldn’t begin using them. I also think that those who would begin using these drugs if they were legal are people who would have abstained because of legislation alone.
    This might sound libertarian at first, but legalizing all drugs would probably be a good public policy move. What separates my position from being libertarian is that in order for it to be effective in terms of public policy the distribution and sale of the drugs would need extensive regulation. If government-regulated dispensaries sold drugs at rates lower than drug dealers, one element of the criminal subculture would be driven out of business. Also, if junkies could reliably have access to affordable drugs, they would tend to commit less crimes, and if they were buying from government run dispensaries, the government would be better suited to collect accurate information about what drugs are used by what percentage of the population.

    Even if no one agrees with the regulation of all drugs as a public policy move — I think most agree that our current drug laws are in need of reform.

    So, yes, count me among those who say that marijuana should be legal.

  20. It absolutely should be legalized. Legalize it, regulate it, treat it like alcohol. The effects of prohibition have been far worse than the drug ever was, just as we saw with alcohol prohibition.

    “However, arguments about what it does to the jails or possibility of taxes is a horrible argument. We can tax anything, really. As for ruining peoples’ lives because they are caught, this is also a horrible argument. It’s not like people are caught who had no idea that marijuana was illegal.”

    The problem with it is that we have thousands of people in jail for non-violent drug offenses, wasting millions of dollars, and the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world (1 in 100 people), largely due to the drug war. And we are getting *nothing* out of it: the rate of marijuana use has only increased. Yes, people know it’s illegal, but we are still jailing people for something they don’t need to be jailed for. I find that to be a problem.

  21. As far as I’m concerned, there is only one reason pot is still illegal: the lack of a reliable, simple to administer test to measure impairment – like the breathalyzer test for alcohol. If such a test existed pot would be legalized in a minute.

  22. I havent’ seen too many bad effects of it yet. My mother has been smoking it for years to alleviate the pain in her joints. Ever since I found I had the same problem, I’ve also been using it. It can do more than simply give you a high – it can calm you down! I don’t know how many times I’ve had troubles sleeping, only to smoke half a joint and fall asleep within minutes. As a physics and astronomy major, this is a very handy tool :) One needs massive amounts of sleep if they are to fit so much info in their heads.

    I’ve seen alcohol and tobacco ruin lives. I haven’t seen the same with pot, at least not yet.

  23. Not long ago, I’d have said that I couldn’t think of a good reason for cannabis to be legal, and several reasons why it shouldn’t.

    My main concern was Plittle’s, but thankfully, it’s no longer true. A saliva-based drug test which can be administered at the roadside has been developed. We’ve been using them in Australia for over two years.

    I still have two concerns, though.

    The first is that smoking is bad for you, regardless of what you’re smoking. That’s just common sense. It is true that there are fewer people with smoking-related disorders due to cannabis than to tobacco, statistically speaking. This is, no doubt, partly because you smoke less of it (though pot is usually consumed unfiltered), but also because until quite recently, it was very unusual to find someone who regularly used pot who didn’t also regularly use tobacco.

    Medical associations would also be nervous about encouraging pot when they’re trying to strongly discourage tobacco use. They would likely be concerned about the mixed messages. And they’d have a good point.

    So if it were possible to legalise pot, but not make it legal to smoke it (vaporisers, say, would be legal), then I’d be much happier about that.

    My second concern is that, just as is the case with firearms, every country in the world can probably be trusted not to abuse pot except the USA.

    For some reason, the US sees every kind of problem as a “war”. The “war on drugs” is a case in point. It’s not a choice between “war on drugs” and “make it legal”; that’s obviously a false dichotomy. Rather, drug abuse is a public health issue, and the US doesn’t understand anything at all about public health.

    Having said all that, the use of cannabis for legitimate medical reasons, under medical supervision, should be absolutely, postively, 100% legal. There is no reason not to.

  24. I don’t know if anyone has said this, but the only reason I can see to not legalize the refer is as simple as enforcement of responsible levels of use. For instance, with alcohol it’s illegal to drive if your BAC is over a certain amount. As far as I know, there is no way to accurately test the current level of highness of someone who is pulled over.

    Aside from mucking up traffic laws and enforcement, I know no reason at all not to legalize it.

  25. Well, color me surprised! I didn’t think anyone here would be supportive of illegal doobies. As I said, making it illegal is a “purity” issue, and as a general rule, those on the “social rights” end of the moral spectrum tend not to care what people put in their bodies. Hmmmn.

    I’d wager Pseudonym would also be in support of a smoking ban altogether. Yes?

  26. Personally, I see no reason not to treat marijuana (legally) as a cross between tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking. I think the US should:

    1) Legalize the use of marijuana and tax it like tobacco/alcohol and

    2) Treat those driving under the use of it with strict DUI-type laws. These same laws should apply to DUI-alcohol as well.

    The reason I say this is that I don’t buy the argument that marijuana is a “gateway” drug. If it is, then so are alcohol and tobacco, both of which are legal for adults. I especially see no reason to bar it as a medical treatment for diseases that require it.

    As was pointed out above, Prohibition only makes criminals of ordinary people and the smugglers rich. It didn’t work for alcohol and it won’t work for pot.

    As far as traffic enforcement, can someone that is high successfully negotiate the usual exercises that a traffic cop uses to test for sobriety? I don’t happen to know.

    I don’t happen to completely agree with pseudonym above that the US doesn’t understand public health – It’s that the US has a strong (and somewhat hypocritical) Puritanical streak. Waltdakind has good suggestions in opening up the market via government-sponsored stores, plus regulation and oversight. I don’t think it will ever happen here because of the “Puritanical streak,” though. The far-Right and churchy people would go ballistic over it.

    There are some drugs that probably should be illegal because of their effects on people: ex. meth, cocaine, heroin. I don’t think that throwing the users in prison is the answer, though. That solves nothing. The pushers should go to prison, but the users should be allowed treatment rather than prison.

  27. I decided to go looking for unbiased reasons (meaning: material not written by advocates) that it’s illegal.

    The Sacremento County Sheriff claims it’s dangerous and “still illegal”. (Now there’s a great reason, cough cough.)

    A relatively unbiased article was on Map.inc.

    NIH has a useful rundown of current medical knowledge.

    Here’s what I was really looking for: the hard line of the policy.

    …And the DEA’s take. …They seem to have the most bullet-points.

    …And more of the same (lots of PDFs, though).

  28. @JRice: Some people think adults can’t make their own decisions on what goes in their body.

    I mean, hell, guys, I can go and buy a bottle of Jack right now, and drink myself until I die from alcohol poisoning. It’s not that hard and won’t take that long.

    You canNOT overdose from marijuana. Period.

    It can be habit forming and psychologically addictive, but it’s not physically addictive like cigarettes and alcohol, and even the most hardcore stoner is nothing like a hardcore alcoholic. If you are a hardcore stoner, and you quit cold turkey, you might get headaches and you might feel grumpy and lethargic, and you might be testy for a while, but your physical symptoms will be minimal and they will pass quickly.

    You certainly wouldn’t be like a friend of mine who had to drink every day, or he’d start shaking and going into detox, almost as soon as he woke up; and eventually, he’d start to hallucinate (he’s since gotten better!). Nor will you be like my younger sister, who would drink until she blacked out, and then she’d go into RAGES.
    Personally, I am against how very much ALL drug users are criminalized and treated in our society. I don’t think all drugs should be legal — such as meth and heroin — but I think we need a huge re-haul when it comes to how we treat drugs in general. The War on Drugs is counterproductive. We need to concentrate on rehabilitating drug addicts, not treating them like hardened criminals. Throwing people in jail for first offenses and personal use and drug addiction does not work. Having worked in a jail, I know how easy it is to get drugs IN jail.

    I know several people who were pot smokers ONLY, got caught for having an ounce (for personal use), got thrown in jail for a ridiculous amount of time for “selling”, and then got hooked on meth. While in jail. That’s unacceptable.

    Marijuana should not be illegal. Period. “It’s bad for your lungs!” is not a good reason to make it illegal, not when there are plenty of other options available, and besides, I think I can make the choice to smoke a doobie if I want, thank you very much.

  29. Decriminalize at the very least, legalize it if you can get the bills through. Now, I think it’s important to recognize that the fact that the War on Drugs is messy and protracted is not sufficient cause to give up efforts at prohibition, it’s the fact that its messy and protracted vastly out of proportion to any conceivable amount of harm the drug causes, and the culture of persecution generates a reactionary culture of crime that is, again, far worse than the drug. As it stands, it is the number one cash crop in the US (yes, the annual crop is worth more than corn,) has no (conceivable ingestible) lethal dose or known degenerative effects, and convictions generated as a result pretty much explain the enormous US prison population and the broken families produced as a result pretty much guarantee generational repeats…people put away by an enforcement regime so spotty that driving a few miles across state lines on the east coast can change the same quantity of pot from a misdemeanor to a multi-decade mandatory sentence. Justice demands uniformity and proportionality to crimes. Illegal pot does neither-and isn’t dangerous enough to be criminalized to begin with.

  30. A lot of people on here have said they have concerns over marijuana – or any drug, for that matter – being legalized because of the potential harm it can do to a user. My question for people is, where do you draw the line then? Is it helpful to make a criminal out of someone because they are doing something that is bad for them?
    I personally think prohibition is a waste of time, resources, and a backwards way to deal with a problem. I hold the somewhat unpopular opinion that even the harder drugs shouldn’t be illegal – if we’ve learned anything from prohibition, making a substance illegal does nothing to change the number of people addicted to it. Those numbers just don’t change, and so what good is it to add the label of “Criminal” to a person who is already an “Addict”?

  31. @Pseudonym:

    First of all as I mentioned before using a vaporizer will not give you cancer because you aren’t really smoking it, just the vapors. Also bong hits are better too since although you are inhaling more smoke it is filtered with water and/or a perculator ( extra chamber) and possibly a diffuser on the stem.

  32. @JRice: In my more obtuse moments, I think that tobacco smokers should be treated the same way as we do any other polluter. In practice, I’m okay with taxing the hell out of it and putting regulations on emissions in “public places”.

    @TomDG: Yes, I explicitly mentioned that I was happier with vaporizers. I also don’t have a big problem with using it as an ingredient in cooking. I’m undecided on the topic of water pipes; direct cancer or no, they still pollute.

  33. I like the smell of cigarette smoke. I wrote an essay about all of my positive experiences with cigarettes — even though I don’t smoke — and one person in my writing group got mad because her father died of lung cancer and said my essay was irresponsible. I mean, give me a break. It’s sad that her dad died horribly, but I don’t believe there is anyone who doesn’t know the health risks of smoking these days.

    When I get old, and I know I am going to die soon anyway, I am going to smoke and drink and do drugs and every other thing that might eventually kill me. Why do those things when you are young? Save ’em for when you don’t give a shit because you’re dying tomorrow anyway.

    OK, slightly off topic but still. :-)

  34. dd: I briefly smoked cigars, and I quickly grew to really enjoy the smell of them. I can’t stand ordinary cigarette smoke, but for whatever reason the subtly different smell of a cigar is a scent I find very pleasant.

  35. I work for a tobacco harm reduction group that focuses on reducing the harm done by smoking, instead of trying to eradicate it (eradication of any drug is totally unrealistic – I compare it to abstinence-only education). In particular, we have been investigating smokeless tobacco (Swedish snus), with reduced carcinogens, as a good option for nicotine addicts (it’s 90-99% less harmful, no kidding). The anti-tobacco lobbyists like to play Cowboy when it comes to tobacco though; they have long ago lost sight of the real goal: to reduce morbidity and mortality with regard to cigarettes. Instead, they rage on and on about how bad tobacco companies are and they HATE that we are advocating switching to snus, rather than quitting nicotine entirely, because now the tobacco companies have a way to still make money. I hate that kind of attitude. It’s a puritanical way of looking at things, and it does no good for users.

    Tobacco companies may be bad, but isn’t it worse to take away freedoms from people? To dictate to people what they can and cannot put into their own bodies?

    Sorry for a bit of a tangent there; I thought it might be relevant though. :)

  36. And I’m with you, writerdd… I think you have to look at anything you do with a risk:reward ratio (subconsciously) in mind. Simply put, smokers chose to smoke because they perceived the pleasure to outweigh the risks. If you’re old and want to do some drugs to increase your quality of life… have at ‘er. It’s like that line from “Little Miss Sunshine” from the grandpa heroin-addict: “when you’re young, you’re crazy to do that shit! when you’re old, you’re crazy not to!”
    … or something like that… :)

  37. @ marilove: harm reduction is definitely new to tobacco use – it’s been used for other drugs, and sex work (i.e. clean needle vans, free condoms, free clinics), but not for tobacco, which is interesting. check it out if you’re interested: tobaccoharmreduction.org. It’s kind of a crappy website… we are working on that! But the info is good. :)

  38. @marilove:

    Yes, I was being flippant, but I was trying to make a point. There are safer and more responsible ways to consume cannabinoids than inhaling burnt plant matter.

    Just in case you were asking seriously…

    Driving is unfortunate fact of life in modern suburbia, but I’m fortunate to live in a location where the public transport is excellent. I’m about 10 minutes’ walk away from the metropolitan railway system, or if it’s raining, 2 minutes’ walk from a bus stop that takes me there. So yes, I drive, but only when I have to, and quite reluctantly.

    I do burn candles at home on occasion. I try to use biofuels such as beeswax (haven’t tried soy) if I can.

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