Coca To remember, we Angry Men were in a lively discussion about whether or not to legalize the ganga, when Angry Midwesterner forked the discussion by producing not one, but two distinct arguments:

But it’s much more sensible to regulate things which:

  1. Folks sell which is bad for you. Profiteering from misery and
    death is a bad business and is unethical.
  2. Folks doing crap which impacts my health. I can have a beer in the same room as you without you suffering any effects. The same is not true for Mary Jane or Tobacco.

In the last rant in this series we demolished, er, discussed AM’s first point. So now, we turn to the second:

Angry Midwesterner
But it’s much more sensible to regulate things which involve folks doing crap which impacts my health. I can have a beer in the same room as you without you suffering any effects. The same is not true for Mary Jane or Tobacco.

Angry Immigrant
Well, maybe not from -smoking- the tobacco or MJ, but chewing and brownies are usually single-person effective.

The resulting stupidity from abuse of any of the three can be multi-person, though…

Mildly Piqued Academician
As AI has pointed out, I could use MJ or tobacco in a way that doesn’t impact you directly. And as anyone who has passed a campus bar on a Saturday night can see quite plainly, alcohol can and often is used in a fashion that directly impacts others.

Angry Midwesterner
I guess I’m more in favor of a smoking ban. I’m not sure I directly oppose these things.

Mildly Piqued Academician
Yes, well you certainly are in favor of that. I guess I find smoking bans to my own personal liking, but not so much philosophically, if you catch my drift. That is to say I like what they do for me personally because I don’t like being around cigarette smoke (or MJ smoke), but don’t feel I’m on particularly strong grounds forcing a ban.

Angry Overeducated Catholic
What about alcohol? In practice, alcohol frequently affects nearby folks. And, in theory the answer for MJ, cocaine, and heroin is no, they don’t necessarily affect those nearby. So?

Angry Midwesterner
With alcohol, I can have a beer and not necessarily effect you. My having a beer at Ruby Tuesdays at a table next to you, forces nothing on you. If you’re smoking next to me, then necessarily, you have negative impact on me.

Mildly Piqued Academician
The whole “smoking ban” is a separate issue from whether a substance like MJ should be legal. One can quite consistently say that smoking bans apply no matter what’s being smoked. Many people who use MJ don’t even smoke it; I wouldn’t be shocked if the majority of heavy users do not (they vaporize it, from what I understand, which is a low temperature extraction method that leaves most of the tar behind).

I can also see a case that cocaine should be illegal and MJ legal. I’m not saying this because I want to use MJ personally. The last time I had any was well over ten years ago and I never qualified as more than an occasional user anyway. I barely drink alcohol, though by the crazy rules put forth these days I probably qualify as a “binge drinker.”

Angry Virginian
For the record, smoking pot does not necessarily get you high or have any perceptible effect whatsoever, besides making you smell funny. It seems to have more of an effect the more you do it – Of course, that could be an illusion resulting from the fact that only people who are affected by it choose to use it again.

With alcohol, I can have a beer and not necessarily affect you.

Yes, but drunk driving and other drunken stupidity does necessarily have a negative impact on me, and prohibiting alcohol could and would reduce both. I don’t want to die in a car accident with a drunk driver, but that still doesn’t mean that Prohibition was a good idea.

Angry Midwesterner
Yes, but again we come to the idea of necessarily. Drinking a beer in a public place does not necessarily lead to drunk driving. Smoking in a public place does necessarily lead to second hand smoke that the rest of us have to deal with.

Angry Overeducated Catholic
Well, strictly speaking, it doesn’t necessarily lead to that. There are lots of filtration systems that would prevent any smoke from being inhaled by those nearby. They’re just usually cost-prohibitive.

This was, of course, another reason why I opposed the fascist Illinois ban. It did not ban the effects, or require means to avoid them, it simply introduced the nanny state to yet another area. And created yet another aspect of life where the elite get one set of rules and everyone else gets another. Liberalism loves that, of course, so I’m not surprised. (Liberty for me but not for thee and all that.) But I’m still saddened.

Mildly Piqued Academician
Conflating the legalization of marijuana with smoking bans strikes me as really effing stupid… a logical road to nowhere except “stuff I find distasteful and therefore should be banned” which is no basis for public policy in a democracy. This is exactly like making laws against driving under the influence substance-specific. It completely, utterly misses the point.

Angry Midwesterner
Except that you forget I am as opposed to Tobacco as I am to MJ. In my opinion it is the same deal. The problem is peeps conflating smoking with crack.

Angry Overeducated Catholic
I think MPA’s point is that being opposed to MJ smoke is no reason to ban MJ in general. The current laws don’t simply forbid smoking a doob in public places, they make possession of more than a tiny amount a serious felony, equivalent to assault, robbery, and other serious crimes.

That’s a pretty harsh step just to prevent some annoying and moderately unhealthy (for one dose) secondhand smoke. It’s also completely and utterly irrational and tyrannical, unless MJ is such a serious threat in and of itself that it warrants it.

Which it clearly isn’t.

Angry Midwesterner
I just argue MPA is viewing it from the wrong mindset. Clearly smoking MJ is not as bad as assault. But I am working from the standpoint that Tobacco is as bad as MJ, and should also be banned. This comes from a two-fold position:

  1. From the reasons any sort of smoking ought to be banned.
  2. From the fact that drugs in general are a bad thing to have floating in society (see Amsterdam).