Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Latest poll on CNN

Should drugs be legalized so they can be taxed?

Yes - 59%
66410

No - 41%
45762

Total Votes: 112172

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Any thoughts on this?

Should drugs be legalized to produce a larger tax base? Is there a Scriptural bases for a yes or no answer?

12 comments:

Jonathan said...

I spoke to a couple of younger soldiers who work for me. They are very intelligent, very bright. They both were of the opinion that the only drug that should be legalized is marijuana and that its use should be managed and regulated the same exact way as alcohol, as the effects on the body are similar. Neither of these soldiers are Christians.

I remember learning about Prohibition in school. Has legalizing alcohol changed the world we live in? Will legalizing marijuana be much different from that period of our history? I also think about various scriptures. 1 Cor 8:9 "But take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak" and James 4:17 "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." This last verse gives the appearance that sin is a conscience issue, different for every person according to how the Holy Spirit leads every individual.

The issue is countered by verses like Phil 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." There are others, don't have time now.

If we are opposed to marijuana, then are we hypocrites for not being opposed to alcohol? Should we accept it and still try to reach others where they're at? Do we usher in the de-evolution of society so that we can draw clear lines between the lost and saved, so that Christianity can flourish under hardship?

I suppose if I had to cast my vote I would say "Do not leagalize it."

ExPatMatt said...

I don't know about any scriptural basis; but I wouldn't legalize drugs just so that taxes could be reaped from them.

Marijuana is the biggest cash-crop in the US and it seams silly to allow criminals and gangsters to make millions off it while law enforcement agencies spend even more millions trying (unsuccessfully) to stop them.

The legality of drugs should be based on their harm (physical/psychological/social/financial) to the individual and the society at large.

If marijuana was made legal (though restricted, licensed, taxed and strictly regulated) tomorrow, in i5 years time the number of regular users would be pretty much the same, probably less because all that saved/made money could be used for rehabilitation and prevention programs.

/2 cents

Chris Geiser said...

Personally, I am on the brink of not even paying taxes to our government any more because it goes toward the War in Iraq/ Middle East, abortion clinics, embryonic stem cell research, and bail outs.

So, NO drugs should not be legalized to support our government through taxes because the US Gov. is corrupt already and deserves no support from drug taxes. The government gives grants to businesses who publish porn already, as well.

Drugs are wrong in the first place and should not be legalized. Marijuana should not be legalized either, even if it is for medicinal purposes because people will still use it for other reasons.

Chris Geiser said...

The only thing that will stop drug use is for them to repent and put on the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

Rehab centers won't do the trick, if they don't have a reverential fear of God then people will do anything they please. So really what it boils down to is that Christians need to train Christians to go to the lost and spread God's Glory.

Wayne Dawg said...

Great comments -

I don't think any Christian would support the legalization of drugs for tax purposes.

Matt is correct, Mary Jane is the biggest cash crop in the USA and people are spending billions on both sides of the issue; fighting it and consuming it.

Sould drugs be made legal based on their harm they do to people? How do we measure that? Harm to the user or the people they affect directly or indirectly?

Jonathan asks a good question... "if we are opposed to marijuana (et al), then are we hypocrites for not being opposed to alcohol?"

I think we would be.

Chris make also makes a good point I have personally made to my wife hundreds of times......I'm sick and tired of paying taxes that go directly to things I am 180 degrees opposed to.

Joseph A. said...

Legalizing marijuana seems fine to me. The substance is next to harmless; certainly safer than alcohol, which is legal at the age of 16 in nearly all of Europe, for example.

I agree with PatMatt's reasoning on other illegal drugs but I suppose regulating their "public safety scores" so to speak would be convoluted. Nonetheless, prohibition of alcohol in the past did not work here in the States, and I don't think it's working in a positive way for the currently illegal drugs.

The social devastation in nations like Colombia and Mexico is directly contributed to by the illegalization of drugs. Efforts by their governments to inhibit supply only increases the price of drugs and therefore the profit of the massive criminal groups trading them.

The gains from the drug war in general for Americans are meager and their costs in a variety of forms are incredibly high. Despite my Christian views on not pursuing things that are clearly unhealthy for me physically or mentally, drug illegalization overall just seems like a clear violation of personal human liberty in this country.

Wayne Dawg said...

Joseph said -

"Legalizing marijuana seems fine to me. The substance is next to harmless; certainly safer than alcohol, which is legal at the age of 16 in nearly all of Europe, for example."

Where would you stop?

After pot becomes legal you would have groups demanding that meth, heroin, cocaine etc, be legal too.

Once the gate is open there is no closing it.

The problem in Mexico/Columbia is exacerbated by the crooked cops and officials who are paid to look the other way. The problems in these countries did not happen overnight. They happened over decades of not doing anything and letting the drug lords become so rich and powerful that those who are trying to do something about it now are extremely outnumbered.

Legalization of drugs can only lead to a furthur meltdown of our society and, like Jonathan said, the ONLY good thing that can could out of it would be a clear dividing line between the lost and the saved.

Joseph A. said...

Well, I think there are very clear differences between marijuana and, say, heroin.

I disagree that marijuana is a gateway drug, and especially disagree that it's a gateway to the meltdown of society. It's not harming anyone else; I barely see how it's even harming the smoker. Yes, this is a secular idea, but we can't (and shouldn't imo) regulate self-destructive decision-making unless the nation's bars are to be shut down or something. That'd be scary.

The divide is not hard to draw out between marijuana and the more "hardcore" drugs.

Don't get me wrong. It'd be next to impossible to even get me to take a baby-sip of a glass of beer to see how it tastes.

And most likely I'd fake the sip and cringe anyway.

Question of Identity said...

Legalising drugs for the purpose of raising revenue would be as bad as the day that Governments legalised abortion.

Talking of which in England there are plans to allow advertising of abortion clinics on prime time television.

What is going on?

Wayne Dawg said...

Joseph -

"I disagree that marijuana is a gateway drug, and especially disagree that it's a gateway to the meltdown of society."

I know we are way off the original question but I'm going to seriously disagree with you on that statement based on a personal level.

When I was 15 years old I was introduced to weed for the first time (after moving to Georgia from Miami if you can believe that).

Pot opened the doors for me to start experimenting with more hard core drugs.

This was the 70's....sex, drugs and rock n roll. I lived this culture to a T.

Pot lead to speed. Speed lead to Coke. Coke lead to Ludes. Ludes lead to hallucinates (LSD and the like).

It was a snowball effect. And not just me...several of my 'friends' who started out just smoking pot eventually did all of the above too.

So, to me, the divide is hard to draw between pot and other drugs because of what I just described.

Now when I stopped, I stopped. One day I just quit it all (the effects that an all out weekend coke/pot binge has on a human heart is quite a story in itself)
and never touched drugs again.

Some people get hooked...I was fortunate. I was doing all the above just for fun because pot wasn't 'doing it' for me anymore.

For me and my friends pot was the start of it all.

That's why I stand on the non-legalization of pot for any reason.

ExPatMatt said...

Wayne,

Do you not think though, that people (such as yourself in the 70's and myself in the late 90's) who are in a position to take and experiment with drugs are most likely to start off with the 'softest' and work their way up?

It doesn't necessarily follow that what made you move on to the next level was the weed.

It's like saying that I shouldn't play level 1 of a computer game because it's a gateway to the harder levels - I'm either going to play computer games or not; if I do, them I'm going to start at level 1.
Maybe I won't like the game and I'll stop, maybe I'll carry on and finish it but the problem wasn't level 1, it was the very concept of playing the game.

Poor analogy, I know, but I still don't fully buy the idea that weed is a gateway drug and I base this on my own personal experience of using a variety of drugs.

Wayne Dawg said...

I can only really speak for myself and make observations based on my friends at the time.

Pot got boring for me and I wanted do something else to get higher than what weed would do. For me, it was a gateway to the broader road of destruction.

I never met anyone (and I'm sure there are some out there) who started off on heroin or LSD first...I would bet the farm that most kids who ended up on the harder drugs smoked pot first.