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What models of marijuana legalization are best or most likely?

I thought it would be interesting to get the views of readers on different models of marijuana legalization (note: this is marijuana legalization only — we’ll explore other drugs in later polls).

The first poll is for your ideal model:

[polldaddy poll=1913597]

Second poll (same responses, but different question) is for what you think will actually happen in the next 10 years:

[polldaddy poll=1913638]

Edit: Is anybody using Internet Explorer? If so, are you able to see the comments below (there’s at least 20 of them)? I’ve heard from someone who’s having problems – perhaps an issue with the polls and IE.

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31 comments to What models of marijuana legalization are best or most likely?

  • Klay

    I advocate a cigarette model but with limited stores (licensed to distribute stores only) sort a combined liquor model (I feel if you are old enough to die for this country in a war you should be able to decide for yourself what you can put into your body). Unfortunately, I am only slightly optimistic in the next 10 years that the pharmacy model might get approval.

  • Seth

    I’m in favor of a coffee shop model coupled with a grow your own policy and age restrictions set at 18. Though I’d be a bit weary of over-advertising, especially those targeted at kids. There’d have to be some regulations set on advertising. Maybe I’m wrong here though. In the end only a well-informed, honest education program is going to keep that monster at bay anyway.

  • Buc

    I would like a ‘vegetables’ model. Main reason being that I don’t want to see anyone, regardless of age, punished for possessing a plant. That’s ridiculous. Kids are allowed to hunt with their parents, so I’m not going to punish them for hunting plants.

    Also, it’s safer than acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin and it makes you feel great at the same time. I guess the fun police wouldn’t want anyone buying that, but honestly, it’s a great pain reliever and can really turn a bad day into a good day in no time. Tylenol can’t do that, but it can kill you.

    What do I expect in ten years? At worst, and what I consider most likely, no change from the current practice. There’s just not enough people that care. There are enough stoners to make it happen, but most don’t care until they are caught up in the “justice” system. Best case? Federal decriminalization with a few states, maybe California, Colorado and Massachusetts, legalizing it by referendum. The politicians won’t.

  • kant

    I’m in favor of a beer style model. where you can could grow your own without the need of a license but if you want to sell/distribute it you obviously do need a license; And then of course the obvious age restrictions (I’m in favor of 18)

    As for the second poll, i’m a huge pessimist. I honestly don’t think anything is going to happen (on the federal level) in the next 10 years.

  • I voted other in both polls.

    The first poll answer is:

    I would combine the alcohol model (commercial production and distribution which eliminates the cartels and allows cannabis cafes)) with the grow your own model combined with the vegetables model (of course you can sell your surplus! duh).

    My answer to the second poll is the same as above. Because that’s exactly what I expect to see in ten years. “Why?” you may ask… well… I plan to be cannabis czar by then.

  • I voted other. I would call it the “unspectacular, company based, legal of age model”.

    Cannabis is unspectacular as intoxicants go. Well, maybe it spectacularly non-lethal, but nevermind. As such there’s no need to emphasize extremely special solutions. Everytime the movement stresses fanciful solutions to the problem we’re also signalling outwards that cannabis IS very special – why else make up elaborate, never-before-seen solutions?

    Companies are the best at producing goods that are in demand from the customer base. Companies are also relatively easy to regulate, because the owners do have something to loose. Retail companies might also be subject to regulation – like having to hand out harm reduction information, where to get help if there’s a need to control one’s individual use of the drug. Personally I think we should stay the heck away from the whole “coffee shop” idea. Those shops have gained a mythical status among smokers all over the world. No need to make it too interesting. Boring cannabis = good 🙂 (not the product in itself, but culturally speaking)

    Once of legal age I think the responsibility for what drugs to use or not should rest with the individual. It should also be allowed for reasons of individual liberty that a person can grow a fairly decent amount of plants for himself.

    Until recently both tobacco and alcohol was available for purchase by the age of 16 in Denmark. Recently we raised the bar for tobacco to 18 years. Whether or not alcohol will follow suit is unknown, but it’s in the times.

  • Price

    I think it needs some sort of control so that you don’t end up smoking some 25% thc stuff by accident..It needs some sort of content description if it’s sold…I think everybody could grow their own but that’s going to go by the wayside mostly as people just find they’d rather go run by the store than deal with the lights, fans, mold, bugs, etc….I’d like to know if it was organic…etc…just basic info…I’m sure the free enterprise system will work it all out to meet the need of the consumer…

  • Kozmo

    I voted a cross between Marijuana License model. Revokable license to possess or grow. (can sell to licensed dealers) and Coffee Shop model. Like Amsterdam, but with legal growing by the coffee shops. For those 21 and over.

  • A friend emailed me with another suggestion: The Non-Profit Wellness Center Model

    In short, this model embraces the very best practices of the very best medical cannabis dispensaries (strain testing, patient consultation, alternative healing services, health standards, community services, etc) and simply makes cannabis available without the need for a doctor’s recommendation or prescription (as we currently do with most drugs that have a very low potential for misuse).

    This is an attractive and viable option for several reasons (here are just a few):

    1) In states where medical marijuana dispensaries are legal, full-out legalization isn’t a completely different system than what people are used to. It’s essentially the system that people are familiar and comfortable with, you’ve just increased the amount of potential customers. (In CA, only 10% of marijuana consumers are registered patients. The number is lower in NM and RI.) This gets rid of the fear of the unknown, which I suspect is a big factor in voters’ hesitation for supporting legalization.

    2) It makes the transition easier in medical marijuana dispensary states, where effective distribution models are already established. Dispensaries simply need to “flip the switch.”

    3) It gets people thinking about cannabis as a substance that promotes wellness, rather than a “recreational drug.” Sure, getting stoned can be recreational, but society needs to begin thinking about recreation and drugs in the context of wellness-promotion. Happy people are healthier people. Procuring cannabis from a friendly community center rather than a seedy corner store promotes a positive image.

    4) It provides a model for the nonprofit, responsible distribution of other illegal drugs in years to come. Psychedelic wellness centers? How about harm reduction / safe injection centers?

    5) It keeps marijuana distribution out of the hands of irresponsible and unpopular corporations like Phillip Morris and puts it into the hands of local folks who care about the quality of the product, the interaction with the consumer, and the community itself. The bottom line is creating a better world rather than creating profits for shareholders. We already see this happening in dispensaries here in California — many communities love the dispensaries because of the many additional services and support they provide to the public.

  • Stephanie

    I voted other in both – nearly the same answers.

    Medical use needs to be accepted because the Tree of Life is for children too.

    Personal grows allowed/commercial grows regulated for 18+. Under 18, controlled med use – doctors and/or parental guidance.

    Within 10 years, med use will be accepted by feds – I’m certain. I believe there will be adult legalization, probably state-by-state trial/exploratory steps, over the next 10 years. New states will adopt their own regulations as the benefits of legalization are proven.

  • Carol

    My preference would be vegetable model. I believe if cannabis were freely available, people could find ways to consume other than smoking.
    It makes no sense to put legal restrictions on a plant, and a beneficial one at that.

  • Maybe I’m unfamiliar with how things are in the US, but under the vegetable model it says an EIGHT year old can buy it in stores.

    Shouldn’t that be Eighteen? In my country kids that age can’t buy “alcohol for their parents”. At least not legally 😉

  • Jesper, the idea is that with the “vegetable” model, marijuana would be treated like tomatoes or green beans or parsley and could be bought by anyone of any age. Hence, an 8-year-old could buy it.

    I assume that, in your country, an 8-year-old could buy a carrot. 🙂

  • Of course, “legally could” and “actually would” are two separate concepts. An 8-year-old would need the means to purchase, the desire to purchase, and the opportunity to purchase.

    I have no doubt that you would find an 8-year-old somewhere under the vegetable model that would save up his allowance and go in search of a farmer who would willingly sell to an 8-year-old.

    The question is, whether you would find MORE 8-year-olds purchasing under the vegetable model than the other models listed (without recognition that 8-year-olds could purchase under all of them, just not legally).

  • Oh … that free a market, I didn’t think you was being serious here 🙂

    I’m not sure I’d want any intoxicant to be that freely available. My main reason being that parents do have some right to decide restrictions for their young ones. Frankly, kids aren’t entirely as responsible as they deem themselves to be.

    In my vision of a legal market market solution punishment would be different than what Buc talks about above. I wouldn’t want to criminalize anyone for possessing cannabis, but I would personally find it reasonable to incur some penalties on the retailer selling to those below legal age.

    I suppose I could support the vegetable model for cannabis if someone put forth a well-crafted argument that kids that age just don’t demand the product, hence it is completely irrelevant whether there’s a law or not. I’ve noticed that it’s not uncommon for abusers to start at the age af approx. 12 give or take a few, and well, they seem to be able to pretty much get what they want during prohibition, so maybe that’s just another dumb argument on my part. Those are big if’s 🙂

    Realistically I’d suspect parents would be more inclined to make cannabis legal if there were at least some restrictions on the market. Also, moving to decriminalization has shown fairly consistently that the debut age seems to be postponed somewhat. That, in my view, isn’t such a bad thing.

  • Steve

    I’m on the fence about the vegetable model and the having an age restriction. The reason being that I was watching a video on Morocco and hash making. While the whole family partakes in the making of the hash, the only ones smoking it were the adults. I believe than an honest open discussion with your child about the risks involved with taking any type of drug (alcohol, cannabis, prescription pills) lowers the chance of them indulging in that behavior, rather than telling them no no no. With that being said, when there is honesty about it, I think it will do the opposite of what critics say, and that is effectively make drugs “uncool”.

  • All schemes (except “no change”) have merit. I believe garden centers – they’re everywhere, it seems – should be licensed to grow and sell cannabis for the consumer market. But there should be no regulation of the “grow your own” market, just as there are no restrictions on brewing your own beer: tax revenue would come from sales of kits and other necessities for the growing process. Yes, this system (as all others), can and will be abused. But infractions would be civil, not criminal.

    Amsterdam’s cafe scheme would not work very well here. In Amsterdam almost no one owns a car (bicycles, public trams and walking are the most popular methods of getting around), which mitigates the DWS – driving while stoned – problem, and you can smoke almost everywhere. Here in the states, we drive everywhere and can’t smoke anywhere, so it’s doubtful cafes would work (even though they were popular in the late 1800s).

  • At the Federal level, I don’t expect to see any novel regulations like “grow your own”. It’ll be the alcohol model or (far more likely) rescheduled on the CSA and so available by prescription.

    Anyone know how Gettman’s rescheduling effort is coming along?

  • ezrydn

    I suggest the cigarette model with one exception, rice paper. No need to be smoking wood prodcts. I smoke Faros, a Mexicoan Brand that is rolled with rice paper and it’s the smoothest smoke I’ve had in a long time. Also, Faros are natural tobacco, no additives and cost $13 peso a pack of 16.

  • DdC

    Other: Vegetable without kids on both.

    Then maybe 5 year prison with forced muzak for parents of kids caught with it.
    Tired of other peoples kids keeping me from legal pot.
    Can’t do the time to raise em then don’t have em.
    Too many people anyway.

    Moron Mounties Spreading Chickenshit with Horshit
    RCMP Use Chicken Dung To Repel Homeless

    Dear Prince Albert Daily Herald

    Ah Prince Albert in a Can-a-duh… becoming more state like daily… Like Oklahoma or San DEAgofornia. Mexamericanada getting closer everyday… Pigs spreading chickenshit like Boosheney Rumsfeld spreading WMD’s. Like Monsanto spreading poisons on cotton, not on hemp. Like Oblamo continuing Boosh’s spreading DEAth around the globe, higher potency to Afghanistan. Drug worrier chickenshits spreading horseshit isn’t news, but this is too kinky. Who’s the stoner now? I may smoke a lot of pot but I’ve never spread communicable diseases to the mass public. They have a law against pot, 80% think it’s bogus. Please don’t tell me there isn’t a law against spreading feces in public. I know a better deterrent for the Homeless. Give them jobs processing Hemp or growing Ganja. Come on Canada, get rid of these US puppet Harpo Marxists.

  • ezrydn

    The marketplace is already in existance. Simply use it. It controlls tobacco, wine, beet, har spirits. What’s one more commodity to care for? These people hold licenses that say they can make a living. don’t think for an isntant they’ll forfeit it for some kid. You could buy rolled, bulk, flavored, you noame it. And with unannnounced visits, idiots aren’t that stupid. Type, cacatorize, THC content

  • truthtechnician

    What is the justification for ANY Cannabis control? Will someone please inform me. I can’t find any.

    Also, any age restriction beyond 17 is ridiculous. If you can join the military at 17, you can smoke weed. I would go further and say no age restriction at all. It is not the government’s job to be a nanny. It only creates more problems than it solves.

    Look at tobacco, age restriction has nowhere near the affect that peer pressure and education does at preventing smoking.

  • jon

    I favor the following system:

    -Sold without prescription in liquor stores or dedicated shops. Coffee shop style places are fine.

    -Sales restricted to people 18 and up, but underage possession should not carry criminal sanctions but parents should be notified. Extreme cases, like alcohol and tobacco, could still be child abuse.

    -Additives must disclosed, as well as similar regulations for quality/safety that exist for plants and other food sold to the public (nothing to do with THC levels).

    -Complete ban on advertising outside of places where it’s sold. I consider this very important to prevent anxiety that marijuana will be advertised like alcohol and tobacco used to be- encouraging use.

    -Good amount of costs saved from prohibition, and new tax revenue, directed to education and treatment programs. Education programs must be shown to actually reduce use, and need not be abstinence-only.

    -Ban on smoking in public areas. Smoking should be restricted to your private property. I think this should also apply to cigarettes too by the way. As a non-consenting party I should have the right to not have to inhale second hand smoke. This is also important as response to objections to kids being exposed to drug use.

  • Nimh

    I voted other. I wrote in this response:

    Hands-off model: Fed decrim, desist interference, allows states to regulate.

  • Daniel wrote:

    “Amsterdam’s cafe scheme would not work very well here. In Amsterdam almost no one owns a car (bicycles, public trams and walking are the most popular methods of getting around), which mitigates the DWS – driving while stoned – problem, and you can smoke almost everywhere. Here in the states, we drive everywhere and can’t smoke anywhere, so it’s doubtful cafes would work”

    In Amsterdam in coffee shop you can buy cannabis products. You can bring the weed with you or smoke it onsite.

    There is really no big difference between a coffee shop and a bar where you can enjoy alcohol. The logic of your argument would thus seem to support the notion that ordinary bars wouldn’t work very well, yet I know you guy do have a lot of bar over there 🙂

    One could argue, though, that bars doesn’t work very well. My brother who lives in Maryland is appalled by the amount of drunk driving that seems to be the norm compared to Denmark.

    Being responsible with the car can probably be most effectively done by encouraging a social norm of clean driving and more importantly: lifting the zero tolerance crap. From what I hear there are examples of states or counties in the US where a “designated driver” can actually be charged with DUI because he had drunk buddies in the car. All, presumably, to further the “drug free world” vision.

    Besides, Amsterdam is just one city. There are more rural setting in Holland 🙂

  • Jesper~

    There is a big difference between an Amsterdam coffee shop and an American bar: very few bars in America allow smoking.

    I too am appalled by the carnage wrought by drunk driving, both here and in the rest of the world. The problem knows no borders. And while I love Amsterdam – where I swear I can detect the scent of freedom in the air – I’ve seen more than a few locals pretty whacked out on booze.

  • FiddleMan

    I would like to see both the Alcohol Model and the Grow Your Own Model become legal.

    But – I must say that I am so very pessimistic about [our] government ever doing the right thing concerning Cannabis. Cannabis remaining illegal keeps many people rich and at the same time keeps many other people from fighting against this horrible prohibition. Cannabis users who have been lucky enough to have not been caught are forced into lower profiles as they are afraid to speak out against our oppressive government and bring the goon squads to their own front door. Many of those who have been caught with Cannabis are no longer free to participate in Democracy! The more Cannabis users who have their right to vote taken away – the easier it is for America to continue bad Cannabis laws. This is a systematic removal of competition in order to give prohibitionists the voting edge (as well as intimidation techniques for people who have yet to be caught). Many people who know Cannabis best, and acknowledge its benefits to mankind are silenced from being able to bring their voice to the vote while the rest of Cannabis users are intimidated into not speaking out against prohibition at all.

    Prohibition is Slavery, complete with the loss of human rights, imprisonment and confiscation of private property. When my rights as a free man were taken from me and I became another 1 out of 30 Americans who are no longer free I was told “It’s ok to drink, just don’t smoke pot!” -I was again told this at my first probation meeting! When I told them that I was an Alcoholic and could not handle “Hard Drugs” like Alcohol and that was why I chose Cannabis over Alcohol they gave me that standard reply – Well, it will probably be legal soon… So now I am no longer able to use my vote to better our country. I no longer have the same rights as drinkers – not even chronic alcoholics!

    All of this cruel (yet usual) punishment happens because we [slaves] simply want to relax in the same ways our [Masters] do when they are drinking Alcohol. –They (our Masters) tell us what we can and can’t do with our own bodies on our own time in our own houses when our actions cannot possible affect anyone else – that is slavery, not freedom! Our [Masters] have no problem with putting us in prison, taking away our rights to freedom, splitting up our families and confiscating (stealing) property – or even shooting us down as we run away from them in fear! And who gave these [Masters] this right? We did (or at least we allowed it to happen)!

    So – what are we going to do about this? Historically, how has slavery ended in the past? Think about it…

  • Nhop

    I live in California, so we already have the prescription/dispensary model in effect here. I’m hopeful that we will soon have the legal right to use MJ recreationally as well. We’ll see about that…

    I voted for the cigarette model. Ultimately, the freer the market the better, but I do think some restrictions on age (16? 18?) are reasonable. As far as advertising goes, I’d love to see an end to ALL drug advertising, especially those annoying “cialis for DAILY use” ones…

    I personally am not that fond of MJ, and when I use it at all only do so lightly. However, I do have a taste for the opiates, and am looking forward to the end of prohibitions on these substances. At the federal level though, I am not optimistic for any kinds of changes within the next ten years. Obviously though, I hope I am wrong on this.

  • Jim Rogers

    The greatest honor of a man is in doing good to his fellow men,not in destroying them. A great American that Thomas Jefferson guy. The free American model is the one I would support.No doubt that the legalization of Hemp & Cannabis would create a whole new industry,not an industry of jail birds.

  • DdC

    Actually Jim, I think that Jefferson guy and his buds
    are turning in their graves over the traitors.

    “The greatest service that can be rendered to any country
    is to add a useful plant to its culture.”

    — Thomas Jefferson

    Ganja/Hemp

    “When governments fear the people there is liberty.
    When the people fear the government there is tyranny.”

    — Thomas Jefferson

    The Elkhorn Manifesto

    “Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potato as an article of food. Government is just as fallible, too, when it fixes systems in physics. Galileo was sent to the Inquisition for affirming that the earth was a sphere; the government had declared it to be as flat as a trencher, and Galileo was obliged to abjure his error. … Reason and experiment have been indulged, and error has fled before them. It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
    — Thomas Jefferson,
    “Notes on the State of Virginia,” 1787

    American High Society

  • eazy e

    its definitely one of the most peaceful and nicest ways of life, smokin bud,

    it isnt for the week minded but definitely for those who know what to do with it

    in all seriousness i am up for anything, preferably being able to grow and sell, or buy from “coffe shops”

    it all about who you smoke with and where
    l-e-g-a-l-i-z-e