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January 25, 2010

"The Virginia debate: Should marijuana be decriminalized? legalized?"

The title of this post is the headline given by The Daily Press newspaper to this archive of recent articles and commentaries about debates in Virginia concerning marijuana crimes and punishment.  Here are the headlines, with links and summaries, from some of the pieces in the archive: 

Va. lawmaker proposes medical marijuana bill: Del. Harvey B. Morgan acknowledges he might not seem a likely proponent of decriminalizing marijuana and making the drug available medically. He's 79, a Republican and he's never touched the stuff.

Where the newspaper standsDecriminalizing marijuana makes sense and will free up police and courts to deal with real crimes: The bill was introduced by a bow-tie wearing, Republican, Virginia gentleman.  Not by an aging hippie or a street-corner drug merchant.

Virginia should legalize marijuana: It's not just "left coast" states like California and Washington that are considering marijuana law reforms to help balance state budgets.  For the first time in years, the Virginia General Assembly will consider common-sense marijuana law reform. House Bill 1134 would replace criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession with a civil penalty of $500.

January 25, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink

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Virginia's economy was heavily reliant on a similar weed for two centuries.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Jan 25, 2010 2:13:47 PM

"Our nation can acknowledge the dangers of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana while still permitting their use. The only logically and morally consistent argument for marijuana prohibition necessitates the criminalization of all harmful recreational drugs, including alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. We can agree that such an infringement on personal freedoms is as impractical as it is un-American. The time has come to accept that our nation's attitude toward marijuana has been misguided for generations and that the only rational approach to cannabis is to legalize, regulate and tax it."
Dr. Nathan, a psychiatrist in Princeton, N.J., is a clinical assistant professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Posted by: denbee | Jan 25, 2010 5:30:31 PM

Arguments like the above fail to take into account the fact that one mj joint has a more profound effect on behavior, motivation, etc. than one or two beers. I would receive more production from staff who return to work from lunch after two-martinis as opposed to one joint.

Posted by: mjs | Jan 25, 2010 7:41:16 PM

Mjs, he wants to reduce penalties for possession of marijuana - not legalize it like alcohol

Posted by: Jason | Jan 25, 2010 8:49:32 PM

Denbee... first off if your workers are coming back from break high, fire them (duh). There will be laws and regulations on marijuana that will help control it. If you lay down the ground rules about marijuana and your job (Zero Tolerance) then no one is going to come back from break high, its common sense. Legalize it for christ sake it would save this country millions. Instead greedy politicians are sitting on capitol hill brainwashed and oblivious to the fact that 3/4 of this nation smokes marijuana and they could profit unfathomable amounts of money off of it.

Posted by: garrett | Jan 25, 2010 10:19:47 PM

It is time and we will legalize marijuana. It's just a matter of time.

Posted by: beth | Jan 25, 2010 10:34:53 PM

hi, i'm an attorney.

marijuana has properties that are hallucinogenic. even though it's considered safe by many people who smoke it, it's just a stepping stone to harder addictions.

i suppose it would be worthwhile to conduct a study of lifelong marijuana smokers and see how they end up. do they commit more crime? do they succeed less? not enough of this kind of research has been performed to even start making an educated effort to legalize marijuana.

"it's fun and natural" doesn't cut it for me.

Posted by: asset protection | Jan 26, 2010 12:10:54 PM

Well - let's consider our last three presidents. I suppose they could have been more productive.

Posted by: beth | Jan 26, 2010 1:01:13 PM

I am a 28 year old productive, taxpaying, work everyday guy who smokes marijuana daily. I was personally aressted in 2001 for selling a 1/4 ounce of marijuana. I served 2 years in prison for that charge. while i was in prison i met a man the sexually molested a child and only had to serve 18 months. Whos got the problem?????

Posted by: jonathan lahr | Jan 27, 2010 1:42:24 PM

jonathan lahr --

When you persist in doing something daily you know is illegal and for which you already served a prison sentence, I think the answer to your question of "Who's got the problem" suggests itself.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 27, 2010 9:04:49 PM

Its all in the user, But the fact about the marijuana is that, in can compress the air in the brain, It will make us dull..

-manny, real estate broker

Posted by: golf communities in virginia | Apr 1, 2010 3:20:11 AM

Hey I'm 16 as you are already saying this is pointless. I Smoke marijuana once a week i never once had the urge to try a different drug. It makes us dull? you sure cause im getting mayb high 80s in my course dont mind how i type im young and stupid.

Posted by: David | Nov 18, 2010 9:16:27 PM

marijuana is a substance that can be shared socially and medically.cigars and cigarettes are way more of a health risk. "weed" actually calm ppl down, helps wit depression, insomnia and alot of other things. im a heavy pot smoker and im not out robbing people or stealing but i wood like 2 smoke pot peacefully without having to deal with unsavory characters or police for that matter, in which they r only doin there job so i cnt complain. but our tax dollers need 2 be goin to the rapist, the killers, those stereo stealing junkies as oppose to persecuting hard working citizens for "nickel bags" um jus sayin. matter fact lock up the cigarette company, they actually advertise those cancer stix

Posted by: freedom writers | Dec 16, 2010 12:44:05 AM

i got a job like the average american. im 20 years old. (clears throat)

id rather the state make alcohol and cigarettes illegal. They LITERALLY KILL YOU over time with extensive use and last i checked, they are drugs. i know plenty of adults50+ that have smoked it for years and dont have that smokers cough and have kept their lung capacity at their peak for their age. 1.] marijuana is not a gate way drug. everything it has is naturaly grown, mind you ,you can put whatever chemicals you want in it, but it isnt needed. there arent any added chemicals to make you have an addiction. 2.] not all weed has hallucinagenic properties and dont generalize something you have no clue about. 3.] IT AFFECTS PEOPLE DIFFERENTLY! somepeople are lazy, while others are highly(no pun intended) motivated to get up and SPEND MONEY. THEY DONT WANT TO DO CRIMES when they are just happy sitting down on the couch and watching a movie. 4.] back in the early 1600's+ it was labeled the "panacea herb" for a reason, it took the pain away for hours and could help people cope with the pain. 5.] the people that bash marijuana are the people that: 1. have had a bad experience or have never tried it. dont complain about something you've never done. 6.] the only reason why people are commiting crimes is because they are paranoid as crap and want to get home and smoke so they can chill out and enjoy themselves. ONLY when the police have gotten involved has there ever been an issue, mind you people kill other people for a pair of shoes nowa days(pathetic by far) 7.] it helps my friend, anonomys, with his epilepsy by raising his seritoine levels. it helps MANY cancer patients, especially kimo patients cause that is very painful if you've ever had to go through it. it relaxs people into a calmed state without the use of HARMFUL ANTI-DEPRESSANTS. it boosts metabolism so people can eat or lose weight, a friend of mine went from 260lbs to 185lbs and is still smoking to this day. 8.] it doesnt make people go crazy or want to try other drugs. its a persons choice to smoke and drink and its their choice to try different substances. there isnt any addiction saying, " hey man, this is some good sh*t. shoot it in your arm! trust me man you'll love it".

this concludes my rant i hope you enjoyed the knowledge and have a bit more understanding of how marijuana affects people and their mental state and perception of things that affects their everyday life.

Posted by: Rowland | May 7, 2011 8:58:10 PM

im an 18 year old man ive been smoking since i was like 12 im fit i skate i got my permit im in ged school and pot hasnt brought me down at all im not in high school cause i ddnt wanna do it not cause pot cause of me i messed up i have no other feelings to use any other drugs do to pot what i use on my time is cause i wanna use it cause thars how im feeling today and everyone has a diff day good days bad days blazing a blunt only brings me up not want to kill people hurt people steal stuff pass 215 more then half the drug dealers will be off the street and the broke a^s gornment can start making up for the trillons were in debt and even more money they are taking from familys that need it for food and stop giving it to the dumba^s people that dont wanna work and just get stuff handed to them ill say it niggers but im not talking about the black race im talking whites asins blacks all reaces in the us PASS 215!!!!

Posted by: jason blades | Jun 9, 2011 12:44:21 PM

I believe it should be legalized to use FOR those who use it as a medication. Just like regular prescription required drugs. Other than that, it should be prohibited.

Posted by: Carol | Jun 26, 2011 1:07:58 PM

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