This debate is only one of many that seems to be completely polarizing. Like abortion, capital punishment, etc. you either support position A or position B. Unfortunately, polarization makes rational discourse virtually impossible.
"i know it kill brain cells"
As a young person, you no doubt believe many things simply because an authority figure has told them to you. For the most part, that's great, because you never would have looked both ways before crossing the street. As you get older, though, you'll realize that, when it comes to social/political issues, you've been fed a LOT of nonsense by a lot of people. Vacuous statements like "x kills brain cells" is one such example.
"isn't weed no more than a herb"
It depends how you want to categorize it. From a purely botanical perspective, yes, it is just an herb. But most things we commonly consider "herbs" don't contain a potent psychoactive.
"if people found a way to get high off water, will they un-legalize water"
That wouldn't happen, because we all need water for mere survival. However, your point remains: if a substance becomes a popular recreational intoxicant, it will absolutely be outlawed at some point. My state just made salvia illegal, presumably because people were having too much fun. In fact, because of the Federal Analogue Act of 1986, many substances that are not even psychoactive, but could THEORETICALLY be converted into a one have have been scheduled (in other words, made illegal).
The absolute best thing you can (and should) do for yourself is read everything you can get your hands on about any subject you're interested in. Share the information with the people around you who haven't made the effort to educate themselves. If you're not preachy, you will be surprised by how open many people are to new ideas. Otherwise, they get defensive and shut off...and who can blame them?
I did a quick search on Science Daily (an unbiased news site for scientific stories) for stories about marijuana. Here are the results of that search:
Read any and all stories that seem interesting to you.
I'm tempted to recommend "Reefer Madness" by Eric Schlosser, but since it's a book written by one person with particular biases, I'd recommend sticking to the science for the foreseeable future.
I am a supporter of personal liberties, and I believe we live in a fairly repressive society, in spite of all the flag-waving and empty declarations of "freedom". I would campaign and vote for a full repeal of our nation's marijuana laws. However, I also understand science, and I defer to it as the ultimate arbiter of all relevant issues. For example, there are undeniable health issues associated with smoking plants, in general, and marijuana, specifically. These are unresolved, at present, but you should learn about them if you want a full picture of the issue at hand.
EDIT: Compare the nature of the responses from both sides:
Anti-pot: "it's bad because it's illegal", and "only dopes do dope".
Pro-pot: ...well, my response is all that's necessary.
"A society that can punish a marijuana offender more severely than a murderer [this actually happens] is caught in the grip of a deep psychosis. It has a bad case of reefer madness. For too long the laws regarding marijuana have been based on racial prejudice, irrational fears, metaphors, symbolism, and political expediency. We need a marijuana policy that is calmly based on the facts. An end to the war on marijuana will not come from congress or the president, from the DEA, the police, the prisons, or the courts. It will come from citizen activism and the ballot box. It will come when ordinary people make their views known. The government's behavior will not withstand public scrutiny for too long. This war is over, if you want it."
-Eric Schlosser, from "Reefer Madness"
· 1 decade ago