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The Harm Principle

reefedjib

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Due to some extremely negative consequences in my life as a result of smoking pot for years up until 4 years ago when I stopped, I decided to put down my opinion of the principles of the legalization of marijuana.

Please comment here and at the site. Can I make the argument any clearer?

Thank you.

Marijuana and the Harm Principle | noharmmeansnofoul.org
 

Ockham

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Marijuana and the Harm Principal. There is nothing in the smoking of marijuana which causes harm to others.
Partly correct. The act of smoking it in a controlled environment and it's effect may not cause harm to others. However, it's use scientifically through chemicals introduced voluntarily into the bloodstream causes physical effects which can and do impede the judgement of an individual - the corollary is alcohol as the physical effects can and are sometimes impeded depending on the amount of THC or alcohol introduced over a period of time. That impediment to judgement provides opportunity to harm to others. The issue is not the action of driving while under the influence but that one is under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug. DUI with alcohol is illegal as is DUI as a result of smoking marijuana.

The crux of the harm is not driving but the use of a substance WHILE driving - back to "impeded judgement". Therefore the "potential" for harm is greater driving under the influence of any drug than not.

The use of legal narcotics I would add, such as prescription drugs can have an equal or greater effect on an operator of a vehicle whereas prescription drugs are provided to users under a controlled environment with consultation of a doctor, sold by a certified pharmacologist with FDA warnings and instructions on it's use. THC is scientifically, a narcotic and therefore should at least be controlled with as much care as an existing prescription drug.
 

reefedjib

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Partly correct. The act of smoking it in a controlled environment and it's effect may not cause harm to others. However, it's use scientifically through chemicals introduced voluntarily into the bloodstream causes physical effects which can and do impede the judgement of an individual - the corollary is alcohol as the physical effects can and are sometimes impeded depending on the amount of THC or alcohol introduced over a period of time. That impediment to judgement provides opportunity to harm to others. The issue is not the action of driving while under the influence but that one is under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug. DUI with alcohol is illegal as is DUI as a result of smoking marijuana.

The crux of the harm is not driving but the use of a substance WHILE driving - back to "impeded judgement". Therefore the "potential" for harm is greater driving under the influence of any drug than not.

The use of legal narcotics I would add, such as prescription drugs can have an equal or greater effect on an operator of a vehicle whereas prescription drugs are provided to users under a controlled environment with consultation of a doctor, sold by a certified pharmacologist with FDA warnings and instructions on it's use. THC is scientifically, a narcotic and therefore should at least be controlled with as much care as an existing prescription drug.
First off, as I discuss at the beginning of my linked webpage, THC is NOT scientifically a narcotic. A narcotic is an opiod or derived-opiod. THC is not. THC is legally a narcotic because our government defined drugs which are not scientific narcotics as legal narcotics.

As to the rest of your post, it is not illegal to get intoxicated or fall under the influence. That this impairs judgement does not excuse one of the responsibility to not drive. Drinking is not illegal; driving while intoxicated is. It is the driving part which is illegal. The same applies to marijuana.
 

Ockham

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First off, as I discuss at the beginning of my linked webpage, THC is NOT scientifically a narcotic. A narcotic is an opiod or derived-opiod. THC is not. THC is legally a narcotic because our government defined drugs which are not scientific narcotics as legal narcotics.
I don't think I'm arguing that it is; in fact I didn't identify it as a narcotic but a hallucinogenic. I quoted the legal use of percription narcotics and the control measures put on legal narcotics.

As to the rest of your post, it is not illegal to get intoxicated or fall under the influence.
It is when intoxication is with an illegal substance. Your claim that marijuana is not a narcotic is fine - let's identify it as something else... but also a controlled substance and therefore illegal. Schedule 1 is where marijuana is located on the DEA drug schedule with LSD and Heroine for example. LSD is also not a narcotic but is still on Schedule 1. You're point would be better made via the definition of Schedule 1 which marijuana does not apply - namely it's medical use. That is a reason to change it's designation possibly to Schedule III.

That this impairs judgement does not excuse one of the responsibility to not drive. Drinking is not illegal; driving while intoxicated is. It is the driving part which is illegal. The same applies to marijuana.
Yet judgement impairment due to the intoxication allows one to make mistakes such as drive. We can go around and around here - but I'd agree it doesn't belong on Schedule 1 but probably on Schedule III. And I can find use of marijuana for medical purposes as valid but I cannot see it's legalization ie. as with alcohol use to be condoned. The only way I'd agree to the legalization of marijuana is if ALL drugs were legalized and I don't think that will occur.
 

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I don't think I'm arguing that it is; in fact I didn't identify it as a narcotic but a hallucinogenic. I quoted the legal use of percription narcotics and the control measures put on legal narcotics.
You said:
THC is scientifically, a narcotic and therefore should at least be controlled with as much care as an existing prescription drug.
I don't believe marijuana is classified as an hallucinogenic either.

It is when intoxication is with an illegal substance. Your claim that marijuana is not a narcotic is fine - let's identify it as something else... but also a controlled substance and therefore illegal. Schedule 1 is where marijuana is located on the DEA drug schedule with LSD and Heroine for example. LSD is also not a narcotic but is still on Schedule 1. You're point would be better made via the definition of Schedule 1 which marijuana does not apply - namely it's medical use. That is a reason to change it's designation possibly to Schedule III.
This is a non-sequitur. I wasn't claiming it was legal to get intoxicated by an illegal substance, but that it is legal to get intoxicated by a legal substance. My point being that it is ok to get intoxicated, but not ok to drive in that state.

We should not continue to treat marijuana as a controlled substance.

Yet judgement impairment due to the intoxication allows one to make mistakes such as drive. We can go around and around here - but I'd agree it doesn't belong on Schedule 1 but probably on Schedule III. And I can find use of marijuana for medical purposes as valid but I cannot see it's legalization ie. as with alcohol use to be condoned. The only way I'd agree to the legalization of marijuana is if ALL drugs were legalized and I don't think that will occur.
Judgement impairment does not excuse the irresponsible decision of driving while intoxicated. You are culpable for your actions. This should in no way govern the legality or control and regulation of substances.

I agree we should legalize all drugs, but this is a necessary first step.
 

Ockham

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I don't believe marijuana is classified as an hallucinogenic either.
Drug Class: Cannabis/ Marijuana: spectrum of behavioral effects is unique, preventing classification of the drug as a stimulant, sedative, tranquilizer, or hallucinogen. Dronabinol: appetite stimulant, antiemetic.

And apparently I DID (though I was thinking the direct opposite) say it was a narcotic... my bad, and I stand corrected.


This is a non-sequitur.
It's also still accurate.

I wasn't claiming it was legal to get intoxicated by an illegal substance, but that it is legal to get intoxicated by a legal substance. My point being that it is ok to get intoxicated, but not ok to drive in that state.
Ok and I agree - but my point is it's irrelevant. Driving while under the influence (of any drug which impairs one's ability to use the vehicle safely) is illegal. The ACT of getting intoxicated impairs one's judgement such that they may not realize or be able to think clearly of the consequences of driving - and that includes the use of cannibis. Would you agree, that could occur?

We should not continue to treat marijuana as a controlled substance.
I believe we still should. American culture seems to not be able to handle recreational drugs very well as opposed to country's like Portugal.

Judgement impairment does not excuse the irresponsible decision of driving while intoxicated. You are culpable for your actions. This should in no way govern the legality or control and regulation of substances.
It's a slippery slope - allow Cannibis then arguments start for Coke, Meth, etc... alcohol is an abberation from a by gone era that was made illegal and then overturned Constitutionally and was a mess with many impacts on society. A stipulation and mis-classification of a drug is not a reason to allow it to go from legal to illegal.

I agree we should legalize all drugs, but this is a necessary first step.
Another necessary step would be to put insanely strong regulations around tax payer costs, money and involvement in those who abuse it, as well as increase the responsibility of those involved in violence, accidents etc... where those under said influence and impeded judgement would be accountable and responsible. As well, any government tax revenues used to sponsor, subsidize or support detoxification of individuals be banned. In other words, if one uses LSD or Meth or other drugs when they are legal are the sole responsibility of the individual and no one else. That I can support.
 

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Drug Class: Cannabis/ Marijuana: spectrum of behavioral effects is unique, preventing classification of the drug as a stimulant, sedative, tranquilizer, or hallucinogen. Dronabinol: appetite stimulant, antiemetic.
I did read under psychotropics that in high doses, marijuana can be considered an hallucinogen. I think they should be legal as well (LSD, psilocyban).

And apparently I DID (though I was thinking the direct opposite) say it was a narcotic... my bad, and I stand corrected.
No worries, we clarified it.

Ok and I agree
Good.

but my point is it's irrelevant. Driving while under the influence (of any drug which impairs one's ability to use the vehicle safely) is illegal. The ACT of getting intoxicated impairs one's judgement such that they may not realize or be able to think clearly of the consequences of driving - and that includes the use of cannibis. Would you agree, that could occur?
Ok, yes I agree that uneducated people may find themselves in this situation. Prescription drugs is a great example as there are those prescription drugs which claim on the label the using them would impair judgement and be dangerous when driving. Who reads labels? It is an issue with driver's education. It is not a reason to ban substances that impair you. Nor is it a reason to make them controlled substances.

I believe we still should. American culture seems to not be able to handle recreational drugs very well as opposed to country's like Portugal.
Evidence?

It's a slippery slope - allow Cannibis then arguments start for Coke, Meth, etc... alcohol is an abberation from a by gone era that was made illegal and then overturned Constitutionally and was a mess with many impacts on society. A stipulation and mis-classification of a drug is not a reason to allow it to go from legal to illegal.
Do you mean from illegal to legal? Otherwise I am confused by what you are trying to say. I think there are good arguments for legalizing Coke, Meth, Heroin, LSD, Psilocyban, Ecstasy, etc... Meth and Heroin are particularly bad. They should be regulated. Pot should not be regulated.

Another necessary step would be to put insanely strong regulations around tax payer costs, money and involvement in those who abuse it, as well as increase the responsibility of those involved in violence, accidents etc... where those under said influence and impeded judgement would be accountable and responsible. As well, any government tax revenues used to sponsor, subsidize or support detoxification of individuals be banned. In other words, if one uses LSD or Meth or other drugs when they are legal are the sole responsibility of the individual and no one else. That I can support.
I agree with this to a degree. I think revenues from a drug tax can pay for rehabilitation programs for the highly addicted.
 

Christopher

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Yet judgement impairment due to the intoxication allows one to make mistakes such as drive.
There's no evidence of this. You can argue that marijuana causes impairment to driving ability, and you'd be right. But there is no evidence that administering Marijuana would make you drive in a situation that you would otherwise not drive in.The opposite is more likley to be true. That being said, the DOT does not consider marijuana intoxication a major threat to public traffic saftey.

As well, any government tax revenues used to sponsor, subsidize or support detoxification of individuals be banned. In other words, if one uses LSD or Meth or other drugs when they are legal are the sole responsibility of the individual and no one else. That I can support.
As long as people who don't eat healthy, don't exercise, damage their eyes from watching too much TV, and hurt themselves playing sports don't a get a cent of public support either.

It's a slippery slope - allow Cannibis then arguments start for Coke, Meth, etc... alcohol is an abberation from a by gone era that was made illegal and then overturned Constitutionally and was a mess with many impacts on society. A stipulation and mis-classification of a drug is not a reason to allow it to go from legal to illegal.
The concept that legalizing drug X is a slippery slope has always been a fantastically stupid argument. If there is a legitimate argument to be made about legalizing Heroin, its to be made independent of the legality of other drugs. This is, after all, how you feel when people compare the relative effects of marijuana to alcohol, correct? By trying to connect multiple independent issues with a "slippery slope", one is consciously blocking arguments that they know have potential legitimacy. It's as logical a tactic as me arguing that making murder illegal is a slippery slope to making theft illegal.

Do you mean from illegal to legal? Otherwise I am confused by what you are trying to say. I think there are good arguments for legalizing Coke, Meth, Heroin, LSD, Psilocyban, Ecstasy, etc... Meth and Heroin are particularly bad. They should be regulated. Pot should not be regulated.
Heroin is relativley harmless aside from the addictive potential. Almost all of the problems associated with it stem from enviromental factors caused by prohibition. Methamphetamine is quite bad, but the people who blow up buildings and leave behind toxic waste while trying to brew it at home tend to be worse than the drug itself. Marijuana should be regulated just like every other consumer product.
 

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ANOTHER pot legalization discussion by the reefedjib.
 

reefedjib

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Whats Unamerican is democracy, but that doesn't stop legalization supporters from thinking we live in one.
I know we live in a Republic. What's your point?
 

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I know we live in a Republic. What's your point?
My point is that the majority of the people that smoke pot are idiots. In no way are we doing society a favor by legalizing marijuana. Also, this issue is like gay marriage when it comes to the fact that there are more important thigs to worry about.
 

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My point is that the majority of the people that smoke pot are idiots. In no way are we doing society a favor by legalizing marijuana. Also, this issue is like gay marriage when it comes to the fact that there are more important thigs to worry about.
Umm... plenty of smart people smoke marijuana and stay smart its that you can only notice the stupid. Legalizing marijuana would be a huge favor to society. Marijuana legalization is much higher on my list of importance than gay marriage, also, you're not in control over what things are important to this country. Do you have some sort of proof that smoking pot makes you permanently stupid?
 

reefedjib

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My point is that the majority of the people that smoke pot are idiots. In no way are we doing society a favor by legalizing marijuana. Also, this issue is like gay marriage when it comes to the fact that there are more important thigs to worry about.
That is a very poor assumption on your part. The stereotype of a potsmoker is stupid, but there are a majority of people who smoke to enhance their intelligence. I used to. Many of my friends used to. We are all college graduated and professionals and raise families now.

The current law makes smoking marijuana a criminal act. Smoking marijuana does NOT violate the harm principle - no one is harmed or injured by someone smoking marijuana. As such, the current law is inconsistent with American principles. Legalization helps society by making the law consistent with American principles. There are many other pragmatic reasons this helps society as well. The reduction of crime is an important one.

It seems pretty important to me to rectify such a situation. Congress can certainly multi-task. There are limits to what a legislative body can do to help a recession. The can spend time reducing the budget but they don't. They can certainly find time to legalize marijuana.
 
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That is a very poor assumption on your part. The stereotype of a potsmoker is stupid, but there are a majority of people who smoke to enhance their intelligence. I used to. Many of my friends used to. We are all college graduated and professionals and raise families now.

The current law makes smoking marijuana a criminal act. Smoking marijuana does NOT violate the harm principle - no one is harmed or injured by someone smoking marijuana. As such, the current law is inconsistent with American principles. Legalization helps society by making the law consistent with American principles. There are many other pragmatic reasons this helps society as well. The reduction of crime is an important one.

It seems pretty important to me to rectify such a situation. Congress can certainly multi-task. There are limits to what a legislative body can do to help a recession. The can spend time reducing the budget but they don't. They can certainly find time to legalize marijuana.
Are you serious? You're going to talk to me about assumptions while you assume I don't smoke pot. That's hypocritical. Also, you lost me at "there are a majority of people who smoke to enhance their intelligence". I happen to know for a fact that there is nothing intellectual happening when you are getting high. Especially for liberal stoners when considering everything to them is about feelings and looking good. The bottom line is that nobody cares if you get high so long as your not stupid about it. I think that has something to do with there being better things to worry about.
 

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Are you serious? You're going to talk to me about assumptions while you assume I don't smoke pot. That's hypocritical.
Why would he expect you to be a smoker when you say its stupid?

Also, you lost me at "there are a majority of people who smoke to enhance their intelligence". I happen to know for a fact that there is nothing intellectual happening when you are getting high.
I get quite philosophical when I'm high. When you are young, of course its going to seem foolish, I'm 24 now, my friends and I are definitely not foolish nowadays. We sit, lounge and philosophize or produce music, or record mix sets, or play jazz, listen to music, create art. Adding delta-9-tetrahydracannabinol to the mix of these things creates some amazing stuff that otherwise wouldn't have appeared. It enhances senses and as long as youre not overcooked it can def make your ideas more intelligent, deeper or cogent.

Especially for liberal stoners when considering everything to them is about feelings and looking good.
Sorry, thats just hate.
 

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Are you serious? You're going to talk to me about assumptions while you assume I don't smoke pot. That's hypocritical. Also, you lost me at "there are a majority of people who smoke to enhance their intelligence". I happen to know for a fact that there is nothing intellectual happening when you are getting high. Especially for liberal stoners when considering everything to them is about feelings and looking good. The bottom line is that nobody cares if you get high so long as your not stupid about it. I think that has something to do with there being better things to worry about.
Where did I make the assumption that you don't smoke? You certainly don't sound very familiar with it's effects or perhaps you are just that immature.

Please demonstrate and provide evidence that your "facts" inform you that there is nothing intellectual happening when you get high? Anecdotally, I earned a BS in Physics and was high for most of my classes and lab work. Getting high is quite intellectual. When you are able to do 5 year multi-variate calculus with Taylor series substitution and use of special functions from Abramowitz and Stegun, like the Legendre function:



when you are high off your ass, you will realize that intellectual pursuits are completely achievable. You just have to stop partying with it and focus.

Your generalizations regarding "liberal" "stoners" speaks volumes for where you are coming from.

The bottom line is that nobody cares if you get high so long as your not stupid about it.
This I completely agree with.

I think that has something to do with there being better things to worry about.
I think it is high time to formalize the understanding. There is certainly time to do it.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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It may be said that second hand smoke is harmful, but the legality of cigarettes belies this observation. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the other individual to avoid second hand smoke if they are concerned. Rules governing indoor smoking in public establishments would still apply.
Yeah - my responsibility to avoid second hand smoke? . . . so if all laws concerning smoking cigarettes are thusly applied to marijuana then I could get a 2nd hand high just by walking into Books A Million. . . which is not my desire to do. . . how to avoid that? Stay at home?

I don't mind the idea of legalizing marijuana as long as the SMOKER manages to show respect to everyone else - or laws are more strict for smoking it and ban it from being smoked near public establishments.

If you could convince me that smokers would use common sense and respect I'd have more support for it - but if smokers who smoke just cigarettes can't manage those two things then there's no evidence to sway me into believing that someone under the influence will do that.

That being said - regulations and laws concerning cigarette smoking are becoming more and more strict depending on where you are. . . which goes against your argument using cig-smoking on behalf of marijuana.
 
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reefedjib

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EDIT - Thanks for taking the time to read my website!

Yeah - my responsibility to avoid second hand smoke? . . . so if all laws concerning smoking cigarettes are thusly applied to marijuana then I could get a 2nd hand high just by walking into Books A Million. . . which is not my desire to do. . . how to avoid that? Stay at home?
You can't get a contact high from second hand smoke, unless you were in a closed room with no ventilation where serious smoking was occurring. There is a minimal level of THC required to get a buzz.

I don't mind the idea of legalizing marijuana as long as the SMOKER manages to show respect to everyone else - or laws are more strict for smoking it and ban it from being smoked near public establishments.
I have no problem with not smoking cigarettes or marijuana indoors. The dispersal of smoke outdoors means second hand smoke is not a health issue. Like everything else, there are those who won't show respect and smoke right at the entrance to an establishment. When I am asked to distance myself, I do so. I don't feel I need to pollute someone else's air.

If you could convince me that smokers would use common sense and respect I'd have more support for it - but if smokers who smoke just cigarettes can't manage those two things then there's no evidence to sway me into believing that someone under the influence will do that.
I agree that smokers, of both cigs and pot, should use common sense and show respect. Not all will. There is a corresponding responsibility on the part of the non-smoker to suffer the smoker.

That being said - regulations and laws concerning cigarette smoking are becoming more and more strict depending on where you are. . . which goes against your argument using cig-smoking on behalf of marijuana.
I agree things are becoming more strict. I lived in WA state and it was no indoor smoking, bars etc., and no smoking 75 feet from an entrance. That one is not always observed by necessity - often there are no places 75 feet from an entrance to smoke. I am in VA now and we recently adopted a no smoking indoors policy.

How does this go against my argument?
 
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reefedjib

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I agree that smokers, of both cigs and pot, should use common sense and show respect. Not all will. There is a corresponding responsibility on the part of the non-smoker to suffer the smoker.
In the following news story, Anti-Smoking Laws Hold Little Power Over Marijuana - cbs13.com, how would you apply the harm principle? :confused:
I note they state:

Deputies can only stop medical marijuana users if they are endangering children, and secondhand marijuana smoke is not currently considered child endangerment.
If it bothers this family so much, they can always move. It is like living near an airport and being bothered by noise pollution - you can always move.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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I agree that smokers, of both cigs and pot, should use common sense and show respect. Not all will. There is a corresponding responsibility on the part of the non-smoker to suffer the smoker.
Using the term 'suffer' in a 'no harm, no foul' argument kind of seems like an oxymoron. . . doesn't it?

I was really giving my thoughts on the issue with my post - not really debating it because I don't have a problem with legalizing marijuana.
 

reefedjib

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Using the term 'suffer' in a 'no harm, no foul' argument kind of seems like an oxymoron. . . doesn't it?
I don't think so. I mean that non-smokers will have to suffer the offensive nature of smoke, but this is not harmful.

I was really giving my thoughts on the issue with my post - not really debating it because I don't have a problem with legalizing marijuana.
Personally, I don't like debating, only sharing ideas. If my ideas hold up to your scrutiny, that is good. If my ideas are improved by your thoughts, that is golden! I have already changed my website as a result of this discussion. I am headed there to differentiate between offensiveness and harmfulness as we "speak". Thanks!
 

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I don't think so. I mean that non-smokers will have to suffer the offensive nature of smoke, but this is not harmful.
I love to smoke (cigarettes) - I'm not an addicted smoker but I like to take a few minutes every now and then and smoke a red.
I don't do it around the kids.
I don't do it in the house.
I don't do it in the truck or the car.
I don't do it in public.

Because it's rude to invade on other people's environment like that - and wrong to insist that they just "have to put up with it . . . oh well" . . . just like it's rude for a woman to put her perfume on in the presence of others who might not *want* to smell it or get it on themselves.

along that note - some people are allergic to perfume, some people are allergic to smoke - it's also rude (extremely rude, if not wrong) to insist that they must be uncomfortable for your pleasure.

If your choice to do something can linger on someone or be something they have to *tolerate* then it's not respectful.

So - aside my one snag with public-smoking in general or inviting yourself to smoke in another's presense without asking "mind if I smoke, here?" then we're really on the same page.
I use to have serious issues with the idea of everyone driving around smoking weed all high adn stuff - but then I realized that we DO permit drinking - and, well, that's far more detrimental to EVERYONE.
 
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