You have sure been through it, and I can respect your opinions. There will always be users and abusers, those with good sense and those with no sense. I raised my own child to be independent of drugs of all sorts, based on the threat of legal punishment, and also the expense. What starts out as fun can become a habit: this is the way of vice in general.
There are many vices. Gambling is illegal in most instances, but the State lottery is fine. Alcohol is the WORST drug, demonstrated to have an addictive effect on those who carry the "alcoholic" gene, but lobby groups keep it legal. My point is, you cannot legislate these issues with success. There will always be bad men. The law cannot protect us from them, it can only punish instances of abuse - but to go from the specific case to the general is not fair! I am not that man. I know of no one who is. Even if the use of the substance is as deleterious as your list suggests (forgive me, but I remain dubious, as I have said unless I am Superman I would be dead after 35 years of use don't you think?) the law has NO right to save me from myself! If I am abusive to others, that is a crime in and of itself - there is no need to bring substance use into the equation. Beating children is wrong even if the person is stone cold sober, and should be punished. Sitting in a field listening to music and smoking some pot is not, and it should not be a punishable offence. Prohibition is not effective, and never has been. All this does is to empower the negative elements, while constraining the good. In Denmark, there are districts where the use is condoned. Outside this area, the use is not permitted and infractions bring fines. Personal use is allowed in the home, and a reasonable quantity (defined by law) may be taken from the bistro district. Possession of anything over that amount is punishable by fines. Selling without permits is in all cases illegal. Even in the condoned area, smokers must go outside now to indulge, since exposure to the environment can result in positive results in a urine test, even if the person has not directly smoked. This is reasonable. In the same district, prostitution is licensed much as the establishments selling marijuana. Working girls are certified as healthy and licensed. Selling it without a license is an offense. In the same district, heroin addicts may obtain clean needles, and drop off their used ones. A van pulls up, is opened and the drivers leave. Right there with the needles may be found contact information about rehabilitation and recovery, social assists to overcome the addiction. As a result, they have the lowest incidence of HIV in the world. Users and addicts are *not* treated as crimminals! These methods were adopted because their society recognizes that victimless crimes are going to continue, with or without this rational approach. People have always gotten high, sought sex thrills, and they always will. This is an issue of morality: a field that law should steer well clear of. Morality cannot be demanded of someone unwilling to accept those dictates.
As to my own use, I could be busted right now if someone wants to come and get me. I've been there before. It's a risk I take, and I prefer this and the paranoia that accompanies it over feeling that Big Brother has me under his thumb, even if it is for my own good. I don't sell it, I don't buy it, I don't push it, I don't flaunt it and I respect those who want no part of it. That too is part of freedom and respect. What I want to see is the same respect shown to me by my Uncle Sammy. As long as I hurt no one, it's nobody's beeswax what I do, or don't do!
Oh, rest easy. It will never be legal, but that is not because it is a harmful thing to society in and of itself, I do not accept that; it is because special interests lobby against it's legalization. What I would like to see is a decrimminilization, limited private use as in Denmark. I want to grow and appreciate this wonderful plant without fear, and share it with those who feel the same in an appropriate time and place.
One thing is for sure, the only way society can stop me from being free is to imprison me, beat me, and otherwise constrain my freedom and perogatives. So tell me, am I the victim or the crime? I am a good man, and good men do not become abusive animals because of what they take into their bodies. Such abuse comes from another quarter entirely, and is best summed up as a deficit in love, and not of necessity a drug reaction.
Thanks for your rebuttal Copper, and never fear, you will never see me passing the joint your way, LOL. I have eyes in back of my head, but if you want me, come and get me. I'll go quietly, pay my fine, do my time, and then will continue to be a good free man. Nothing short of the grave will take that away from me.