Legalize Cannabis with Similar/Same Rules as Alcohol?

Since cannabis is a whole lot safer compared to alcohol, should we legalize it with same or similar rules as alcohol?

Poll Options expired

  • 497
    Yes
  • 116
    No
  • 9
    Unsure

Comments

  • +4 votes

    Enough alcohol cures everything.

    • +26 votes

      Username checks out with drinking. Lol

    •  

      I see what you did there.

    • +4 votes

      As they say, Technically Alcohol is a solution.

      •  

        CAS Number 64-17-5

        Prost!

        •  

          Bitte.

    • +52 votes

      Alcohol does bad things to people who can't control themselves too.

    • +14 votes

      How is this any different to alcohol?

      • +21 votes

        Alcohol is far less likely to trigger disruptive mental illness' in immature brains (generally under 25) compared to pot.

        Everyone I know who ended it between 20 and 30 was a pot smoker. They drank too, but pure drinkers usually at least hit their 30's before they try.

        • +34 votes

          As I said to another poster, it's generally recognised that it can bring on certain mental illnesses early, but does not cause it.

          As a counter, alcohol is far more likely to cause the death of people from drink driving, random fights for no reason, doing stupid dangerous things etc etc.

          Back when I was a lad, it was a very obvious difference going to a "drug" club, to an "alcohol" club. If you bumped into someone at a drug club, they apologise to you. Do the same at the alcohol pub, they want to punch you in the face.

          • -12 votes

            @brendanm: There is no such thing as a non drug club. It's stupidly easy to pop a pill in a crowd or do coke in a bathroom.

            I knew guys who would do coke at the pub or a community club. I know others who would do speed or E at a bowling club. Many young adults are dumb.

            • +15 votes

              @This Guy: Congratulations, you've missed the point completely, quite the accomplishment.

              • -17 votes

                @brendanm: No need to be rude. I kept it short because I thought you had a basic understanding about the various effects of drugs. You weren't writing silly stuff like idiots who coward punch are only drunk.

                The guy's arking up are on uppers or stimulants, in addition to alcohol. Alcohol is generally a depressant.

                To rage off alcohol you need a stupid amount, to the point you loose coordination. Like close to alcohol poisoning amounts.

                Most of the people I know who got caught drunk driving were drug driving too but 'lucked out' and were only tested for alcohol. Or were able to run away because they were on a stimulant (have you seen a drunk run?).

                The only people I know who were in a fatal drunk driving accident with no other drug involved were drunk riding. Yes, there will be idiots who are purely drunk that kill innocent people on the road this year, but times have changed. The stigmatisim around drunk driving is huge. Many deaths will be caused by a combination of drunk and drug driving.

                I agree with you, Alcohol can be just as harmful as pot long term. There is no point rewriting what we agree on.

                • +6 votes

                  @This Guy: You don't need to be on drugs as well as alcohol to ark up. That is completely false.

                  When I talk about "drug clubs", I mean people on E, speed etc. Not ice, heroin etc. These "recreational drugs", as well as weed, have very few issues with violence.

                  Alcohol is more harmful short and long term if abused, like anything. Having a beer after work isn't going to hurt anyone, same as having a cone after work. If you sink a carton a day, or sit there on the bong all day, you're going to have issue.

                  • -3 votes

                    @brendanm: Coke is everywhere.

                    I knew guys that would ark up on E because it is never pure and rarely E.

                    The only thing we really seem to disagree on is how common stimulants like coke, meth, speed and steroids are, with you assigning their negative effects to alcohol.

                    Yes, from what I have heard, raves are usually different (never been). I thought you were talking about dive bars where some guys would just smoke pot in the bathroom instead of drinking.

                    • +5 votes

                      @This Guy: No, I was referring to actual nightclubs that focus on dance/rave style music. Where the vast majority are on E and speed. Same as raves. I don't think you could get into a fight there if you tried.

                      I know how common things are, I also know that alcohol is much worse in regard to violence.

                      • +1 vote

                        @brendanm: Doesn't sound like speed.

                        Domestic violence, 100%.

                        But you're still forgetting steroids and hormones. Look at how much hormone changes in pregnancy can effect a person. No one I know who got big with diet and exercise drinks. And you don't just get big by playing footing and working out for half an hour a week.

                • +8 votes

                  @This Guy: "To rage off alcohol you need a stupid amount, to the point you loose coordination. Like close to alcohol poisoning amounts"

                  Haha. Have you ever even been to a venue that serves alcohol? Or had a drink yourself.
                  Your statement is completely ridiculous.

                  • -1 vote

                    @digitalbath: Yes.

                    You know drugs are illegal, right? People generally don't advertise doing them unless they know your not going to cause them trouble.

                    How many gym rats do you know that will admit to steroids?

                    How many people in sales do you know that are open about their coke use?

                    How many musicians do you know that will admit to using meth?

                    Obviously not everyone in these groups do drugs, but a silly amount do.

                    • -1 vote

                      @This Guy:

                      You know drugs are illegal, right? People generally don't advertise doing them unless they know your not going to cause them trouble.

                      If a large number of people are doing drugs and nobody knows about it, then isn't that a strong case for legalisation?

                      • +2 votes

                        @p1 ama: Dude, I am not on the prohibition band wagon. But I am also not in the leaglise it camp.

                        Balancing limited access to pure, safe drugs in a program that will minimise harm but still be used is hard. A free market will lead to health issues like we had with synthetics and tobacco (or parts of the US was experiencing before covid).

                        In theory we have a reasonable system with intervention programs for detected users, but what really happens is pedo cops feel up kids, lock up overnight and fine 1st time non indigenous users and throw the book at people darker than a mocca.

                        Every harm reduction strategy has been screwed with by conservative virtue signalers who would rather kids die over them loosing face.

                        This is not something I can solve.

                    •  

                      @This Guy: "Obviously not everyone in these groups do drugs, but a silly amount do"

                      Obviously.
                      But your statement that I quoted is still completely BS.

        • +2 votes

          Alcohol is far more likely to increase risks around cancer, liver disease domestic violence, dependence, road deaths, etc.

          Neither are harmless, and neither are particularly difficult for teenagers to get ahold of.

        • +2 votes

          everyone you know is not a very scientific piece of evidence

          • -1 vote

            @bakemon0: "Everyone I know who…"

            I've met you now. How is your mental illness???

            But yes, anecdotal evidence is rubbish. But this isn't a scientific journal or the Minister for Health's office.

        • +1 vote

          exactly… work in healthcare to see what both do to people… i'm sure all those people that get held by the cops were nice people at some point in time.
          THC has hardly any benefits even in oncology.
          Australia is the only place i've been to where it is ok to drink alone in your garage

      • +3 votes

        Alcohol puts holes (literally) in your liver ….

        THC puts holes (literally) in your brain …

        Society does not need further increases in long term mentally ill people :/

        • +5 votes

          Can you please reference the THC leading to brain holes please? Very curious to read it.

          • +4 votes

            @wittyusername: Sure,

            "Together, these structural imaging findings suggest that THC exposure does affect brain morphology, especially in medial–temporal regions"

            from reference:

            Valentina Lorenzetti, Dan I. Lubman, Sarah Whittle, Nadia Solowij & Murat Yücel (2010) Structural MRI Findings in Long-Term Cannabis Users: What Do We Know?, Substance Use & Misuse, 45:11, 1787-1808, DOI: 10.3109/10826084.2010.482443

            The references for the above article also include a heap more MRI imaging data and studies ;)

            Cheers,
            7

            • +6 votes

              @7ekn00: changing structural formation of the brain is quite different to literally "burning" holes to your liver. you see the brain is quite elastic and very flexible, e.g. this is the reason why your other senses are sharpened when you lose one sense because your brain literally takes that sense's real estate and gives it to the other senses

              so the original analogy of burning holes through your liver is false because it's inherently bad in the liver but the affects of it is unknown in your brain and it isn't even "burning" holes, it's just restructuring itself.

              • +2 votes

                @bakemon0: Ah, so now we are debating dramatic flare wording instead of whether it has any affect at all ;)

                Good attempt at word twist and focus shift, but there is evidence THC significantly alters brain tissue :P

                7

                • +2 votes

                  @7ekn00: Shit fam so do my antidepressants? So does caffeine?

                  •  

                    @Intoxicoligist: Nope, they alter physiology (receptor binding, blocking, expression and function), not morphology (physical structure) ;)

                    •  

                      @7ekn00: Nope - 8 week course of fluoxetine resulted in increased right hippocampal volume in female responders (thats as far as I read, although the copypasta below was relevant as well). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4790407/

                      Morover, imaging studies have produced interesting findings on the structural effects of antidepressant treatment in prefrontal areas. Larger frontal cortical thickness [131] and medial frontal gyrus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and cingulate cortex volumes [24, 133, 134] predicted remission after antidepressant treatment [84, 128]. Furthermore, effective treatment with fluoxetine and sertraline determined enlargement in middle frontal gyrus, DLPFC and OFC [48, 135]. Accordingly, it has been shown that remission correlates to more preserved volumes of anterior cingulate, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and DLPFC over time [49, 136]. Finally, geriatric patients previously exposed to antidepressant treatment had larger OFC volumes compared to drug-naïve patients [32].

        • +1 vote

          Absolutely!
          We could do with less harmful drugs in the world. Alcohol should go but it’s far too imbedded in society at this point.

        • +13 votes

          Really sorry to hear that. Can I ask how? Unlike alcohol where you can die from overdose, its virtually impossible to overdose on cannabis

    • +55 votes

      Dope smokers don’t tend to go out, get wasted and coward punch and glass unsuspecting people in the face for no reason. Dope smokers also don’t tend to go out, get a skin full of weed and come home and bash their family members.

      The worst thing it probably did to your brother was turn them into a Cheeto eating, basement dwelling couch potato…

      • +4 votes

        I won’t go into details but that’s not what happened sadly and it cost him his life.

        • +14 votes

          Fair enough, but its important to clarify that it wasn't the direct result of cannabis… since you can't overdose from it.

          • +8 votes

            @Cusack: There is some evidence that suggests cannabis contributes to the onset of schizophrenia which can be a very serious mental illness. Schizophrenia can of course lead to death, but can also include things like psychotic episodes.

            Whilst cannabis is definitely a lot safer than alcohol stats wise I'm guessing jimbobaus is referring to something like this.

        • +18 votes

          The details are actually important. If you truly thought it cost him his life, why not warn others about what the dangers are.

        • +3 votes

          I’m sorry for your loss mate.

        • +1 vote

          That's the age old question pre-existing medical conditions or caused by weed? In most cases I'd tend to the former and those people lean to weed as a form of self medication. I think its risks are overstated for the most part.

        •  

          I think you just using weed as a justification for his death. Weed probably had very little to do with it.

          Also whos to say if he used alcohol at the same quantity as weed he wouldn't have caused more damage to either himself or/and others?

          Alcohol must worse than weed.

      • +2 votes

        Pot is great at triggering severe mental health issues.

        I am glad you haven't had to calm a sober, triggered former heavy pot smoker who refuses to take their meds due to paranoia. It's not quite as bad as a high, triggered meth head, but it's not fun.

        What sucks more is the damage the extreme cases cause. No parent want's to cut off a child because they beat them, or loose a non violent one to suicide. Shit, I know of one parent who died in jail because he had to kill his adult child's dealer.

        And those guys walking around causing trouble may have been drinking, but they are usually also on uppers like speed, coke or meth.

        Learn your drugs dude.

        • +1 vote

          I'm pro pot but there are definitely some concerns that need to be addressed if we are going to allow young people to have easy, unlimited access to it. From my experience, it all comes down to dosage and frequency. At a low dose it is extremely helpful and alleviates mental health symptoms, at a high dose, it can be really disruptive to mental health. If we are going to legalize it, we need to ensure that people are educated first.

      • +1 vote

        The effects are different from one person to another. In most cases, it slows people down, it makes you hungry, you find everything funny, you talk more, you become more philosophical and/or creative.
        but some people become really paranoid after smoking weed. it can also enhance any existing mental or personality issues.

        • +2 votes

          “You become more philosophical and/or creative”.
          I assume you meant “You think you become more philosophical and/or creative”

    • +21 votes

      Your sample size of 1 isn't going to say much sorry

      •  

        How many will it take?

        • +13 votes

          He said his brother died from it, which is a very bold statement to make without any other details. I respect him choosing not to talk about it. But unfortunately without details, people can't be objective about it.

          • +5 votes

            @Cusack: Probably realised after the replies to his post that the pot only contributed indirectly to the death and did not actually cause it.

            •  

              @Ridiculous Panda: Pot causing mental illness which caused death? Sounds like direct contribution to me.

              Anyone stating weed is harmless and doesn't bring out/cause mental illness obviously doesn't personally anyone know who's been affected.

              Anyway. I'm still pro legalisation, I think it's only addictive and harmful for a small subset of people. They'll get their hands on it illegal or not.

              • +3 votes

                @nub: If it actually triggered the mental illness then sure, but I'm guessing its more common that someone was already suffering from mental illness, depression, etc and then started using. And like a lot of other drugs (eg alcohol) it can contribute to the problem, but it's not what caused the mental illness. Unfortunately I don't know of any scientific research which has any stats on this.

          • -1 vote

            @Cusack: His brother died from weed? Lmao, bullshit. 💩

        •  

          On-par with Alcohol to then be considered worse, really.

          Sooooooo no way it's gonna be worse. Far, far safer.

          •  

            @ThithLord: are you replying to me? Tim said only one death is not cause for concern, hence I'm asking how many deaths before this "it only contributed" attitude ceases

    • +34 votes

      Violence on cannabis? Like eating pickles and vegan ice-cream together?

      • +8 votes

        He's talking about reefer madness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhQlcMHhF3w

      • +3 votes

        I used to work with a bloke who had a weekly treat of vanilla ice-cream and jalapenos (the pickled type). I tried it once and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but definitely didn't go back for seconds. I'm 65% sure he wasn't a stoner.

      • +20 votes

        Driving stoned IMO should be as stigmatised as driving drunk - they're both irresponsible towards other people.

        However getting stoned today and sleeping it off should not mean you get done for drug driving tomorrow. That's just boomers and a few other groups doing what they do best.

  • +2 votes

    Legal in ACT I think?

    https://www.act.gov.au/cannabis/home

    Would've loved to see how its affected ACT from a research point of view (good and bad) and whether it had an effect during covid. To be fair people were probably more happy to stay inside :p.

    Edit - maybe legal isn't the right term:

    Q. Is cannabis legal in the ACT?
    A. Cannabis is not legal in the ACT, it has been decriminalised. The ACT has removed penalties for adults who possess or use small amounts of cannabis so they can get support without fear of being put through the justice system. New rules around personal use of cannabis came into effect on 31 January 2020.

    • +6 votes

      I'm in the ACT, and it's been decriminalised for decades here, but I wouldn't know where to get Cannabis if I wanted to.

      I don't think it's made a scrap of difference, because it's still has a bad reputation, while alcohol is still considered fine. I suspect the reason is the really easy availability of alcohol here (you can buy alcohol in Woolworths supermarkets here), so the stigma isn't negative towards booze.
      Meanwhile, alcohol related deaths, injuries, drink driving, physical abuse etc continues.

      •  

        You can also grow cannabis for personal use in the ACT.

      •  

        "Overall, we found cannabis use hasn't changed and, in some ways, that's the big story, because there were really dire predictions at the outset," Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT chief executive Devin Bowles said.

        Simple cannabis offences drop by 90 per cent

        No increase in hospital visits recorded

        "Because cannabis usage rates were not affected by legalisation, the flow-on effects through mental health haven't happened and what's more, people who need treatment are able to get it more openly," Dr Bowles said.

        There you go

  • +16 votes

    We live in a nanny state. Can't get nicotine for vapes and gel blasters are bad.

    • +10 votes

      I love this "nanny state" term. We pay a fortune to finance a structured society, and continually hear this term as if less rules would result in a better society.

      I'm quite happy to live within the boundaries we have in place - I wouldn't go near most of them, and I'm really glad that they're there in general, to protect me from the fringe dwellers.

      • +10 votes

        I'm quite happy to live within the boundaries we have in place - I wouldn't go near most of them, and I'm really glad that they're there in general, to protect me from the fringe dwellers.

        Lmao, people still get robbed, assaulted, murdered, raped, abused…etc. every day. Your rules are doing a real good job there bud.

        Have you ever considered the fact that rules and/or enforcement of the rules are what can often lead to many of the problems that we have in society? Some kid gets pinged for possession of pot when he's 18, potentially ends up with a criminal record, can't get a job or a place to live, ends up being homeless, gets picked up by some gang, ends up committing petty crimes, e.g. theft, then next minute there's a stabbing with a real victim due to some "robbery gone wrong" and some innocent person is dead, and you end up footing the bill to put the guy in jail for 20 years.

        At the end of the day, this is not an uncommon story in society. And whose fault is it? I put it squarely at the fault of people who espouse views such as yours - that society is neatly cut up into people who need to be "protected" and "fringe dwellers" who everyone needs to be "protected from", whilst conveniently ignoring the root causes of why so-called fringe dwellers are there in the first place.

        For what it's worth, I'm also someone who "lives within the boundaries", but I'm also someone who has enough introspection to understand that it's not about me and that creating a safe society involves a lot more than an iron fist. The evidence is so clear that whenever we've tried these sort of ham-fisted policies (usually supported by people who are quite simplistic, really), things actually get worse and hey presto, we end up spending huge amounts of money cleaning up the mess.

        • +3 votes

          so less law enforcement and the problems go away? you have evidence that laws cause problems, but were's you evidence that lack of government fixes it.

          • +1 vote

            @SlickMick: Use law enforcement for their intended purposes when there is clear danger, but fund support systems and rehabilitation rather than punitive measures proven to increase recidivism. Defund the police and reduce the scope of their responsibilities and increase the support services available with a focus on wholistic rehabilitation.

            •  

              @Intoxicoligist: Exactly: clearly intoxication in public places is dangerous, and the rest of what you said, to a point….

              It's better to avoid the problem before it is one. Tobacco is a prime example - it is no longer cool to smoke, and won't be much of a problem in Australia after the generations that tolerated it die out.

              Now we need to treat alcohol and drugs similarly. But this promotion "weed isn't bad for you" sounds a lot like the tobacco companies in thier day. We're going backwards.

          •  

            @SlickMick:

            so less law enforcement and the problems go away? you have evidence that laws cause problems, but were's you evidence that lack of government fixes it.

            In some cases yes, there are certain things that law enforcement should not be involved in because they should be dealt with in a civil manner.

            For example, you might believe that smoking is generally not good for people, it doesn't mean that we should start throwing people in jail and issuing punitive fines for smoking. The best way to deal with issues like this (as you've correctly pointed out as a success story) is that we should impose taxes and change the public's perception of smoking. This has had the effect of drastically reducing smoking over time. I would surmise that throwing people in jail for smoking would have not been as successful.

            I'm simply saying that we should do the same with weed. By continuing to keep it in this legal grey area, we're allowing for a black market to pop up, more crime, more harm and we have less control over the social narrative and the ability to impose things like price controls and taxes.

            You're being dense if you can't see that you're speaking out of both sides of your mouth. On the one hand, you're saying that making things a civil matter works with smoking (i.e. taxes and regulation), but that criminalising weed is somehow the better solution.

            You are the problem in society. Time and time again we've continued to see that criminalising things creates problems and yet you still don't learn. Like I said before, I have no vested interest, I don't smoke weed and have no intention of smoking weed, but places around the world that have legalised weed have not had the societal problems that you bring up, so you are factually incorrect.

            At the end of the day, it's inevitable that weed will be legalised at some point, so best to think about how to approach it from a civil/regulatory perspective now. Don't be on the wrong side of history, you'll end up like the clowns who opposed gay marriage and the clowns before them who supported segregation ;)

            • -1 vote

              @p1 ama: You're welcome to your opinion without getting snarkey. You certainly won't convert me to your way of thinking by talking to me like that.

              It is illegal to smoke in public places. If you smoke in a restaurant, I'd expect you to get the same result as smoking weed.

              Adjusting society's attitudes is the long game. In the short term, you'll do as your told, or you'll do as your told behind bars. If that's speaking out of both sides of my mouth, okay. Have you considered where you're speaking from?

              • -1 vote

                @SlickMick: I honestly don't give two hoots about your irrelevant and uninformed opinions anyway. For all I care, you can have them, so I'm not trying to convince you. I'm just pointing out facts and flaws of your own arguments and you seem to not like that.

                In the short term, you'll do as your told, or you'll do as your told behind bars.

                Rolls eyes, if you want to spend your tax dollars locking up poor people, that's fine. I just think that's a waste of money.

                It is illegal to smoke in public places.

                No it's not, what are you talking about?

        • +2 votes

          Lmao, people still get robbed, assaulted, murdered, raped, abused…etc. every day. Your rules are doing a real good job there bud.

          What…? The laws aren't helping people not get robbed, assaulted, murdered etc? Oh, this is news to me. I think its best we abolish these rules since it's not helping in that case.

      •  

        @SlickMick

        Well said. It's always the law breakers who claim we live in a nanny state.

    •  

      Can import from NZ though or at least last I checked. Go figure.

    •  

      So true, government is out of control in Australia (and most of the rest of the world). Ridiculous that aqueous nicotine for vaping is illegal. We should start by abolishing the TGA.

      Legalize all pharmaceuticals, not just pot. Adults have a right to do with their own bodies as they wish providing it doesn't directly harm others. "The basic axiom of libertarian political theory holds that every man is a self owner, having absolute jurisdiction over his own body."

      If we did this, organized crime would almost completely disappear and the jail population would decrease by at least 50%. People would not need to steal, sell drugs or prostitute themselves in order to pay the exorbitant black market rates for cocaine, heroine and the like. The "war on drugs" has caused so much societal harm, yet this thread is full of freedom hating totalitarians who would even ban ethanol alcohol.

      Researchers have found that people with a mutation in the FAAH gene that breaks down endogenous cannabis (anandamide) are happier than people without this mutation. The mutation means that Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase is less effective at breaking down amandamide. More anandamide means happier people, and happier people are less likely to do bad things to other people.

      "Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem."

      •  

        People would not need to steal, sell drugs or prostitute themselves in order to pay the exorbitant black market rates for cocaine, heroine and the like.

        No, they'll just pay exorbitant rates for them on the legal market. Unless of course the good-guy pharmaceutical companies give the users of massively addictive drugs mates rates…

        Does making it cheaper/nore accessible help? If heroin is half price I feel your average heroin addict is just going to do twice as much heroin.

        •  

          Studies show you're wrong though? Decriminalisation of heroin in Spain has lead to drastically lower usage rates across the population

          Also your average heroin addict WILL NOT do twice the heroin, because they know that will probably kill them (OD). Long term users have a habit they follow that's unlikely to change even with increased supply/lower costs.

      • -1 vote

        "providing it doesn't directly harm others" - therein lies the problem doesn't it? Because it will defintely directly harm others when you have junkies running around amongst us with no rules and boundaries.

    • +3 votes

      Vaping has not been established to be safe:

      https://www.health.gov.au/news/e-cigarettes-linked-to-severe...

      As the rest of us will be picking up your medical bills if you get lung disease from vaping, its reasonable to regulate it.

      But of course "nanny state" types only want "freedom" from rules that protect the rest of us, not "freedom" from free medical care when the time comes.

      • -3 votes

        As the rest of us will be picking up your medical bills if you get lung disease from vaping, its reasonable to regulate it.

        As opposed to the medical bills from smoking?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PT1TRo3b4M

        • +3 votes

          Yeah, and where did I say cigarettes shouldn't be heavily regulated? Personally, I think they should be taxed to an extent that fully covers the medical costs they impose on society.