Re: How Ethical is Marijuana Prohibition?

I don't know how the system in the United States works, here in the Northern Territory of Australia a cannabis user can escape being arrested for possessing small amounts (eg less than 50 grams of plant material).  If found in possession of cannabis in such quantities, authorities have the option of siezing the cannabis and issuing a $210 fine.

 Here in the Territory, there is a great drug and alcohol problem.  The drug of choice at the moment is probably alcohol closely followed by cannabis.  There is plenty of evidence to show that cannabis destroys lives and families just as well as alcohol in the cities as well as in the smaller communities.  For example, alcohol fuelled crime and violence is exceptionally bad, but in the Territory, frequently the crime and violence is cannabis and alcohol fuelled which is just beyond belief.  People are quite happy to spend the majority of their earnings on cannabis and alcohol, neglecting basic necessities such as food for themselves and frequently their kids. (another example, a deal bag may cost about $50 in town, in a community that same deal bag could go for as much as $200)

 Drug and alcohol programs don't seem to work effectively and  community leaders don't have enough influence over young people anymore.

Cannabis may be just a plant, and so is opium, but the negative effects on the community as a whole vastly outway in percieved benefit gained from getting high.  Prohibition has been shown repeatedly to be ineffective, people will always find a way to get what they want, look at how effective alcohol prohibition was.  I do believe that governments are cheating themselves out of tax dollars by not regulating cannabis, but I certainly don't believe cannabis is a good thing or even a harmless thing.

There seems to be plenty of studies out there to support either argument, that cannabis is harmless, doesn't cause lung cancer or is harmful, has just as much chance to cause lung cancer as cigarette smoking and increases the chance of mental illness in users.  I agree with the mental illness, I've seen far too much of it to believe it's a mere coincidence.

 The laws here in the Territory appear to be fair at the moment, users get a lesser penalty to suppliers.  The main thing that changes the severity of the sentence is that frequently there are other offences attached to the drug use.

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

Unraveling the mystery behind dogs' floppy ears

Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
  • Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
  • Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
Keep reading Show less