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Question of the Week: Should Marijuana be Legalized?

A Georgia advocacy group is pushing for the re-evaluation of the state's marijuana laws.

Marijuana has been decriminalized in Colorado and Washington state. Should Georgia follow suit?

Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform & Education (Georgia CARE), a project of the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance, Inc., seeks to change the state's laws on marijuana, eventually leading to a complete legalization of the drug.

The group claims this would unburden our criminal justice system, which is laden with marijuana-related crimes and arrests.

Georgia CARE has published a "Blueprint to Reform" (attached to this article) that outlines how it perceives marijuana reform and eventual legalization can happen in Georgia.

For example, CARE advocates making marijuana a Schedule II drug and allowing medical prescription of cannabis. Following this, the state should remove jail time for those caught with less than four ounces of the drug, and release and pardon people currently incarcerated or on parole or probation for a similar offense.

Finally, the group believes Georgia voters would be open to passing a referendum to legalize marijuana and have it taxed federally, similar to the laws now in force in Washington state and Colorado.

What do you think? Should Georgia move to legalize marijuana? Tell us in the comments!

FlyingTooLow March 01, 2013 at 06:41 PM
All card-carrying members of the DEA need to read: Shoulda Robbed a Bank Here is one of its reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars... If David Sedaris had written 'Catcher in the Rye'..this would be it, June 30, 2012 Amazon Verified Purchase This review is from: Shoulda Robbed a Bank (Kindle Edition) I have never smoked pot in my life...nor do I ever care to. I read about this book in numerous Huffington Post comments. Thought I would read it because I know nothing about marijuana or the people involved with it. I am ecstatic that I did. Funny, Funny, Funny!!! The chapters are like short stories. Stories about unloading boats with helicopters, close encounters with law enforcement, traveling through the jungles of South America. The chapter about the author's first time smoking marijuana made me feel like I was with him...coughing. All of the characters were just a group of loveable, nice guys and girls. Not what I had been raised to believe...hysterical maniacs high on pot bent on death and mayhem. They were nothing like that. If you have ever read any of David Sedaris' books, and like them...you will love Shoulda Robbed a Bank. And the crazy things happening reminded me of Holden Caufield in 'Catcher in the Rye' and the way he staggered through life. The way the words are put together are like nothing I have ever heard. I am sure I will use many of the sayings found in this book just to dazzle my friends. A terrific read. I love this book.
lucy March 02, 2013 at 03:19 AM
I think it should be legal, I just spent $15,000 in lawyers fees to get my 17 yer old son off of mj charges. Do you know what I could have done with that money??? It's not going to go away and too many people like it..I personally do not like it and I was told its just as relaxing as a drink???
FlyingTooLow March 02, 2013 at 04:23 PM
@ lucy... The story you have told is taking place all over our country. I don't think this is what 'freedom' means.
r patton March 02, 2013 at 06:27 PM
For all you smokers (and there is more in Forsyth Co than ticks on a fat dog) the State of Colorado has just passed a law allowing law enforcement to measure the amount of "pot" in a person system when they are arrested or stopped for a traffic violation or etc. Can you say " POT DUI"?
youngmom March 03, 2013 at 02:47 AM
absolutely legalize it. a great way to raise revenue with both taxes and fines for dui/dwi. there are ways to measure impairment - right?
Emily Coleman March 03, 2013 at 03:44 AM
Wait a minute. Since when does pot CURE cancer???
Hal Schneider March 03, 2013 at 04:00 AM
I think it is very telling that this article has generated 70+ comments so far, while articles on the country's debt or deficit get two or three, if they're lucky! I'd say that's pretty indicative of how screwed up the priorities of the general public are!
Hope For the People March 03, 2013 at 04:39 AM
Well, Hal, that's only because the country's debt would go down, if we were taxing pot, hemp, etc.
Hope For the People March 03, 2013 at 04:40 AM
What I find far more intriguing is that for someone who is against smoking pot, you spend an awful lot of time of this thread!
Hal Schneider March 03, 2013 at 05:06 AM
Let me say it one more time. We do NOT have a tax problem.....we have a spending problem! Nice try!
Hal Schneider March 03, 2013 at 05:08 AM
Technically, I think you'll find that at no time did I say I was against smoking pot.
Cogito Ergo Sum March 03, 2013 at 01:20 PM
Thanks, Emily. I noticed that little gem a few days ago, but I just didn't have the heart to destroy a perfectly good rant by interjecting fact into it.
Robin Asscher March 03, 2013 at 05:45 PM
I fully support the legalization and regulation of all cannibis species. It is a wonderful plant, a true gift from God who gave man all seed bearing plants. Please vote yes to legalize. It is an amazing medicine for people who are sick and is much more effective at relieving pain than synthetic man made opiates like oxycodone, which kill more Americans every year than all illegal drugs combined. Georgia's cancer patients should not be denied this healing herb any longer!
Wanda Thacker March 04, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Emily ~ google "Run from the Cure" by Rick Simpson, utube part one. The healing is in the oil, and if you go online and just google hemp oil and cancer you will be amazed at what you learn. Also google Max Gerson, he also had a cure for cancer but FDA and the big government came in and shut them down. What people need to know is that there have been many gems out there, but if it can't be patented, our government will never allow it to happen. What really upsets me is the fact that our wonderful government allows our food to be be stocked on the shelves in the grocery stores with GMO"s which most Americans don't know anything about. It is where round up is genetically cloned into the seed and most all processed foods, cereals, cookies are GMO.( Google Monsanto ) This has nothing to do with the legalization of pot but if you do the research you will start to realize how it's all connected and only then will you understand the big picture.BIG MONEY! If you want to understand it more watch," America: Freedom to Fascism" on utube. Very educating video. .
Wanda Thacker March 04, 2013 at 01:07 AM
Hal, if you truly want to know why our country has a debt problem watch "America: Freedom To Fascism," it is a very educating video. It's a long one but well worth the time. I watched it 3 times!
Wanda Thacker March 04, 2013 at 01:08 AM
Utube...
Georgia Blue March 05, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Let's ask the POLICE OFFICERS: How many times a week do you have to take a belligerent, violent, dangerous drunk person to jail before -- or after -- he hurts somebody? Or break up a scary, booze-fueled domestic incident? Now swap out "drunk" for "not drunk but stoned." How do the numbers stack up? Which type of perp would you rather interact with personally during the arrest/booking process?
Jillian Galloway March 06, 2013 at 09:56 PM
It was the will of the American people that legalized marijuana in CO and WA and it was the will of the American people that gave President Obama a second term. He can't now nullify one without severely undermining the legitimacy of the other! In the seventy years since the launch of the marijuana prohibition we've learned a few important things: 1.) The prohibition absolutely does NOT stop people using marijuana. 2.) The prohibition causes FAR more harm than what it prevents. 3.) The prohibition fuels organized crime and makes children LESS safe. It is fundamentally WRONG for the government to continue any policy that causes more harm than good! We have to put the safety of our children FIRST and demand that they legalize marijuana like beer and wine.
Guy Odom March 08, 2013 at 06:20 PM
70+ comments that refute most everything you say Hal. You are ignorant on the subject matter.
Charge McGinty March 10, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Hal, your clearly a child when it comes to admitting your wrong Having someone killed by an impaired driver is just bringing nonsense into it, I'm pretty sure that was a mix of alcohol And the ganja, find something better to do than be a hero, your exactly the kind of American the rest of the world laughs at, and even harder when they're stoned, hahahahaa.
Erica March 16, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Yes it needs to be legalized!! There are so many good things it can be used for and it is so much better then the pain killers the doctors are practically handing them out to their patients!
FlyingTooLow March 16, 2013 at 04:56 PM
I was in Federal Prison with Brother Love and several of his followers from the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church in the 1980's. We had all been convicted of marijuana offenses...separate cases. The head of Brother Love's defense team was former US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark. Their defense was based on religious freedom. While in prison together, I read hundreds of pages of the transcript from his trial. Many are available on the web today. The panel of 'expert witnesses,' presented by his defense team, included the foremost authorities in medicine of that era. The overwhelming amount of evidence documenting the medicinal benefits of marijuana was staggering. And, that was in the early 1980's. Now, fully 30 years later, the same lame arguments are still being paraded. How pathetic.
Steven Grier March 17, 2013 at 05:11 AM
The Feds are losing the war. Mark my words it will be legal in most states within 7 years. Way too much money to be made and saved by it being legalized. Also there is a big misconception when it comes to decriminalizing and legalizing. Decriminalizing means it is still illegal but it is a civil matter punishable with a fine. Leagalizing means it is totally legal. No arrest and no fine as long as you are not using in public or operating a vehicle under the influnece. And that is another thing; Washington state and Colorado are trying to make a 5 nannograms in your system a pot dui. If you have smoked within the past week you will have 5 ngs in your system and will be arrested. This is definitely one are of the marijauna legalization that will have to be addressed. But we will get there!!!
Steven Grier March 17, 2013 at 05:18 AM
And let me just say that poor Hal is so misinformed. I will not try to convert you and nor shall you try to convert me. Just because you are against it, and if you are not than you sure have waisted a lot of time trying to convice others you are, don't push your self serving agenda on me. I have the right to believe what I want and so do you. For the record, I am a conservative Christian republican (leaning towards liberatatian these days). In my mind this is not a right or left issue, it is a freedom to smoke what you want issue. And by the way Hal, me smoking pot in the privacy of my own home, does not in any way infringe on yours or anybody elses rights. You pushing your agenda is infringing on my rights!!!
Newt March 17, 2013 at 02:51 PM
As an "escapee" of Georgia now living in California where medical marijuana store operate in the open and prescription wielding hippies are everywhere, I am convinced that Georgia is wrong. While it may be annoying to smell the stuff as you walk down the street it causes NO real social issues and frankly I am glad to know that violent crime is down because of it and our prisons don't contain folks that just want to get high. Thank God for the enlightened and God help those Polititicians that continue to use this against good citizens who's only crime was living in a narrow minded state. Two things to consider in your arguments - the legacy of a state that was founded as a penal colony by the British and the privatization of prisons (how does shareholder value increase in this model?). Georgia good luck in your quest to take back your individual voices and be heard by those that represent you!
Richard myers March 21, 2013 at 05:57 AM
its so dangers! give us a break marijuana is tracked to the start of man as med. and rec. use. its a peace maker, the government is the evil that they place over our eyes. legal or not i will stand and smoke. people who smoke need to stand up and fight for our right to toke. those who are standing up stand strong. soon there will be too many people standing for the government to say no and say ok. WE THE PEOPLE make this government a government we have the right to say yes to a no
Larry March 21, 2013 at 12:02 PM
Okay. Mr. Myers just showed why it shouldn't be legalized...
Steven Grier March 21, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Ok Larry, what exactly did he say that hurt your feelings?
Richard myers March 21, 2013 at 06:34 PM
lol. larry if i offended u. u needed it. so why do u think it shouldn't be legal. i guess u like the crime we have going on in the streets i understand that there's more to do with crime then just pot. I bet it would help to be legal reduce some crime
Pam April 26, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Wow! This is GREAT! The longest thread of responses! Legalize it!! All come out for the Hemp Fest May 4th..Freedom Park.. Music, Good Friends and Good times

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