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May 7th, 2009
07:34 AM ET

And now ... back to drugs

Finally, back to drugs again.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking a closer look at marijuana.
He says he's open to a debate on legalizing it for recreational use - and, of course, taxing it.
The tax revenue could only help the struggling state, and a new poll says people are in favor.
But is it a step he really wants to take?
Do you think it should be legalized and taxed in California, or in your state?
Let us know.

From writer Doug Furnad

Filed under: Anchors • Heidi Collins
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Natalie Hartman Whitnack

    They is nothing to study about marijuana use and it's impact on
    64.7% of its users...our youth. One can only watch the early photos of the govenor smoking pot to see the pathetic results of doing so. California's govenor has nothing to add when he puts a smoking tent on the Capital lawns, smokes stogies and is the cover boy for cigar magazines. Add to that, he had his first heart attack during his 50's. Marijuana is a thriving industry and now government wants their cut. One of the benefits of marijuana use is a lack of motivation and poor decision making. I guess the governor is far from motivated, but the mind-altering drugs have impaired his "decision making". Perhaps he wants to legalize meth is playing a great role in our prisons, health institutions, but not on our educational institutions.

    May 7, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  2. michael armstrong sr.

    they might as well leaglelize the erb because people are going to smoke it any way so why not let the government make money instead of the drug lords.

    May 7, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  3. tom s in PR

    No rational person can justify legal tobacco and alcohol sales while criminalizing marijuana. Alcohol and tobacco are for more destructive, dangerous, and addictive. It's a shame that public policy is rarely rational. Americans are too reactionary to rationally set public policy.

    May 7, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  4. Georgia

    Legalize. Regulate. Tax. Marijuanna is an untapped resource for the economy. Researching other uses for the plant could open new avenues for the medical community. It's already proven to help cancer paitents so there's no limit to what other sufferers it could benefit. Harvesting, processing, and packaging could create much needed jobs all over the country. Marijuanna should be treated no differently then tobacco and alcohol.

    May 7, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  5. charles mathis

    Where is reasoning and logic in these discussions, of course legalize marijuana. I know from personal experience that alcohol, narcotic pharmecticals, and nicotine are far worse.The lies of past generations arent flying anymore the truth is self evident. Keeping it illegal is the cause of the crime and it is giving the right wing upper class another avenue to control our personal lives so they can keep us brainwashed into being their robots. This could be the first step in taking back america form these elitists who will lie, steal, and cheat {madoff} to maintain their postions of power. These hippocrites are not worried about our safety or they would not be flooding our markets with tobacco, pharmeticals, and alcohol. I get so mad when someone is standing there with a ciggerate in their mouth, a beer in their hand, after taking 2 pain pills telling me not to smoke a joint. WAKE UP!!!!!!!!

    May 7, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  6. Alfred M.

    I think we should legalize it ,but tax it to the max! if you want to smoke pot your gonna have to pay for it 😀 our economy will be back on its feet in no time. lol

    May 7, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  7. Jack E

    The real solution to farming, biofuel, and medical is growing and legalizing hemp. Now if we use a 4 crop rotation with hemp we will not have to use herbisides, pestacides . Hemp grows like a weed and makes the best biofuel,resins and of course rope.

    May 7, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  8. Edward Bauerle

    The day that lawmakers, and political figures acknowledge that Alchohol, and ciggarettes kill more people each day in the US than smoking pot, then a real debate on if it can be legalized will become a reality. The facts remain that alchohol in this country is more of a threat to the human condition than smoking pot ever was. We don't see people smoking a joint and going out on america's freeways and killing millions. But then again, we wouldn't see the first pot manufacture riding to the white house like AB did decades ago...

    May 7, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  9. Adaorah

    I will go with Sean Paul's belief in the legalization of marijuana and say legalize it!

    May 7, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  10. David

    Doesn't the most recent research indicate that marijuana does have long lasting effects on the brain, on cognition, and emotions. Probably CNN is not reporting on this because it will not go down well with a large part of your audience.

    May 7, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  11. LIL ONE

    I agree to legalize it. ther is no harm in smoking the green. The only effects i have personally seen from it is they ther is lazyness(big deal we're america) and hungryness. None of those side effects are bad. package and tax it just like cig. just make rules like not in public but smoking in the comfort of your home should not be an issue !!!

    May 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  12. Charlie

    Marijuana will be legalized or at least decriminalized when everyone has their elected officials pass laws or amendments to do just that. All one need do is elect people who will. Sounds pretty simple. Charlie

    May 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  13. Paul

    Yes-but not just pot-HEMP

    hemp makes biofuel-feeds people-has three times more protien than soybeans-makes fibers 5 times stronger than cotton-makes paper-plastics and any other polymer product for pennies of the cost of oil based products-yes is is a medicine too-but this would only be a small part of what hemp can do for humans-Also-THC_CBN and CBC the active parts of marijuana thay have found stops cancers and infections-people are being cured from cancer with this substance-What if it is the cure for cancer? Wouldn't we be the untimate fools.

    They should look at the more marketable parts of HEMP-not just the 'DRUG" parts-hemp is far more valuable as a commidty than a drug. read the emperor wears no cloths for the truth on HEMP and how it can save the world-TODAY!

    May 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  14. Josh Charette

    I am a pot smoker but i do not want it legalized because I don't really want to pay tax on it or pay more than what I already pay. People need to think about this. Why would you wanna pay $40 for a $10 bag.

    May 7, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  15. Greg Williams

    After 37 years of failed policy in the war on all drugs and even longer when it comes to cannabis the time has come to take a new look and approach this with open mind and eyes. All the war on drugs has done is create criminals out of people who use drugs. This insanity has cost the tax payers over one trillion dollars and we have nothing to show for, except for an over loaded prison system. At the same time our government has stood by and watched billions of dollars annually go to drug cartels. These cartels now pose a significant threat to our border security and to the security of the countries from which the drugs originate. Had we implemented a sensible policy this could have been avoided and with the right legislation many of those who are hooked on the dangerous drugs, such as heroin, meth and even prescription drugs could have been helped.

    May 8, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  16. Greg Williams

    To put things into perspective
    One trillion dollars (plus) has been wasted on the failed drug war. A one dollar bill is 6.375 inches long, so if you do the math and multiply 6.375 inches by one trillion and then divide the result by 12 you get 531 billion 250 million feet and divide that by 5280 you come up with (drumroll please)
    100,615,530.3 miles
    The money wasted on the drug war if laid out in one dollar bills would make a line..
    onehundred million sixhundredfifteen thousand and fivehundredthirty miles long.
    According to wikipedia the distance from the earth to the moon (center to center) is 384,403 km or 238,856 miles. That means the dollars wasted on the drug war would stretch from the earth to the moon 261.75 times!
    Now for the benefits of legalizing cannabis. It has been estimated that legalizing would create an estimated 14 billion dollars annually in tax revenue. Using the same formula the line of dollar bills would be this long:
    1,408,617.4 miles!

    May 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  17. ckw

    No, they should not be legalized ever! Of Course Not! As if we don't have enough problems going on anymore, and you know it too. It's just like every thing else that's happened previous; once you start there's always someone somewhere taking advantage and using it for all the wrong reasons. If you don't think that will make our world and our lives a lot more miserable, THINK AGAIN!! Please do the what's right for the good of all the people and help those of us that are trying to keep what little is left of our morals in this country. Thank You for your time and concern!

    May 14, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  18. Greg Williams

    Please, you can't be serious!
    The miserable results from prohibition are more devastating than cannabis could ever be.
    We have wasted over one trillion dollars, incarcerated over twenty million people for a lifestyle choice. Most of the 20 million people who had been caged for their use of drugs were locked up for non violent possession! We have created an imoral police state based on lies and propaganda when the idiotic war on cannabis was started in 1914 with various local ordinances bowing to the temperance movement by associating "marihuana" with udesired Mexican migrant workers and "negro" jazz musicians. From then on things progressed from racially motivated paranoia to outright stupidity with the Marihuanan Tax Act of 1937 sold to the public by such propaganda films like Reefer Madness of 1936. Unfortunately this mentality spawned by the temperance movement and elevated by the first Drug Czar Harry Anslinger persists to this day and is fueled by the same invalid arguments as those in the early 1900's.
    Science has proven that cannabis is less addictive than coffee and in fact less addictive, incapable of causing death by overdose and less health risks than alcohol and cancerettes!
    Science has further established that cannabis has medical value and to this day the federal government supplies 8 remaining patients wich monthly medical cannabis cigarettes.
    The hype and the outright falsehoods about cannabis and the failed drugwar as a whole have done nothing but made drugs easier for school children to obtain than either alcohol or cancerettes, both legal but regulated. At the same time these policies have enabled the drug cartels south of the border to benefit from both the cash and the repeal of the assault weapons ban.
    Lastly, the recent report from the Congressional Research Service report on Medical Marijuana, from November 10, 2008 was authored by one Mark Eddy, Specialist in Crime Policy, Domestic Social Policy Division. The title ought to make anyone think. Why is medical policy dictated by a crime specialist and do we want medicine dictated by some governmental entity with a name reminiscent of "Social Engineering Department"? If so, you might call your doctor when someone steals your car.

    May 20, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
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