Discussion in 'Culture' started by Leah, Jun 9, 2005.
Next time I see him I'll ask what the legality is...
I don't smoke pot but I don't condemn it. Some of my friends indulge in a joint now and then without apparent harm. They are decent people with successful careers. Coincidently, there was a mention of pot use in today's TV news. A political party in Israel is pushing the legalization of marihuana to ease the tension between the government and the settlers. They claim that if the settlers were provided with marihuana they'd become more relaxed and less prone to violence during the evictions. Some of the proponents of the legalization visited the settlers to pitch the idea and were kicked out. Even though this is laughable, one cannot but wonder what pot-smoking could do for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. :lol:
In Australia, there is a massive government campaign (TV & magazine advertisements etc.) cracking-down on all popular but illegal drugs including, Marijuana, Speed, Cannabis (I don't know all the names)... There was never a major problem with the solicitation and use of illegal drugs anyway. Many people condemn the use of illegal drugs (whether private or in public) and I know people who have called the police for such things as noticing drivers passing by smoking what they assume, is a non-standard cigarette. I condemn the use of illegal drugs, whether in public or private areas.
In my state (Queensland) there is a massive anti-sentiment against any type of smoking and also pollution in general. A law was passed recently prohibiting smoking in all public enclosures, beaches, densely populated streets, parks and within 30m of building entrances. This is one of the most strict smoking laws in the world. I fully support this all the way. The law has only been implaced for a few months, but police have already issued 1000's of fines already. I guess some people just are that desperate for a cigarette. :?
I'm not for or against pot usage, but merely avoid -- and people that lndulge -- because it is "illegal" in the US (as a former commercial pilot, I was subject to random drug testing, and even secondhand smoke does register on the test).
The merits/harm of maryjane has been and still is, debated widely, and the only "flaw" of the substance is the fact that governments have not found a efficient way to tax it, and drug manufacturers are unable to obtain a patent -- it's too easy to grow! Besides, the selective (even in the US) enforcement of the law, is just too profitable for buearocrats to overlook. The millions of dollars collected from fines and legal fees, way outweigh the potential a measly sin tax would yield. Acohol was also "illegal" at on time in the US --1920 to 1933, but then they invented the "sin tax" and now all is OK!
By the way, if you read up the biography of George Washington (the father of our country. Matter of fact, the current office holder was also a user of maryjane, by his own admission) you will find that he too kept a hemp garden for his personal use, to releive stress.
Smoking pot is not new to the Czech Republic, as a child I remeber my grandfather always having a spool of twine (hemp) in his pocket, that he would bring out evey so often and light it up for a sniff. As he put it; to releive his tooth ache, but he never would share, for I was too young as he put it... Therefore, pot is illegal for what ever reason, and the consequences far outweigh the benefits as far as I'm concerned. When it is legalized, I'll reconsider. Until then,I'll keep on using the oxycodone the VA presctibes me each month!
Perhaps people just want there freedom as well? I personally think it is wrong to have drugs illegal. Yes, I think it is sad when I see someone on crack/heroine, etc. but they will do it if it is illegal or not, and it is there right to choose what to do with their body.
And, as for pot being thrown together with other hard drugs is rediculous. Pot, I think, is better than alcohol. If you are going to make pot illegal, alcohol should be included!
In the end, though, I think people have the right to choose to do what they want to themselves.
In California, they have a few cities, where it is illegal to smoke anywhere in public. This is all about money -- as you metioned, the fines -- They are not promoting health, but merely filling up the public coffers and control/power over it's subjects.
Matter of fact, if health was an issue, then we would not have any airplanes. Since one average jet turbine causes more pollution --monoxide -- in one hour than would 10K smokers in 1000 years!
The freedom of one person to expose themselves to potentially harmful substances should end where another's freedom to stay away from such things. I'm all for freedom, but freedom doesn't mean, "I can do whatever I want." If a person chooses to smoke in a private place, or in designated public area which non-smokers may easily avoid if they choose, then that's fine by me.
There is a fine line by that though. Pubs are easy to avoid if you don't like smoke, but instead of not going people are banning smoking...
Personally, I think smoking is nasty, and I don't care to go outside to take my gross habit. But laws that ban smoking I think are a bit biast, for they are banning what the majority thinks should be ban based on what they hear. I personally think SUVs should be ban. They are bad for the environment and people around them, though the drivers are safe...
I'm not argueing against you per say, I think it ends up being an endless arguement that can go around and around. Again, fine line... Well, on that note, time for a smoke!
>I guess some people just are that desperate for a cigarette.<
Again, I don't smoke but I'm very uneasy with this witch hunt. Why make people desperate? I'd rather see everyone happy. Wouldn't you, Evian?
Well, Australia is a democratic country, so in turn, the original bill was in favour of the majority. The state of Queensland in Australia has a largely environmentally-concious population. Some problems highlighted with the deterioration of the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest was a key motive for the Queensland State Government to start looking at ways to address this problem that coincided with pollution. Queensland has a very low smoking population (I don't know the statistics) but many were complaining of considerably poor air quality in around Brisbane city as well as the increasing number of cigarette butts left on the ground. A bill was soon passed entailing what I mentioned previously.
Now to your question; why make people desperate? Hhmmm....the law was not passed to make people suffer from desperation :wink: rather it was just what I had noticed following the law's introduction. For example, when I was seated outside at a restaurant (where smoking is still prohibited) I noticed a woman and her son take a seat at the furtherest table away from everyone else. Soon after she lights her first (out of two) cigarettes, she was aware that she was breaking the law, but she took the least ignorant approach to it I suppose. I constantly could see her peering nervously over her shoulder to make sure no-one was getting aggrivated. This was obvious desperation for a cigarette, as there are plenty of other places she could have legally lit-up. She was asked to leave after refusing to put-out her second cigarette anyway. On the other hand, of course, there are plenty of non-smokers a lot happier now, and I as well as many others are noticing the improvement in the environmental situation. It is very difficult to make everyone happy in such a conflicting issue as this. :wink:
The point isn't to persecute or make smokers desperate. The point is to protect other people's right to breathe air free of cigarette smoke.
But don't I have a right to breath clean air without car exhaust or the noise? Like I said, fine line...
Sure you do. But let's try to imagine banning cars/buses/planes/etc., and see if we don't end up back in the middle ages. Cigarette smoking can't claim any such societal benefit as mass transit. Let's tackle one obstacle at a time, here.
I personally don't think the world would be all that bad without cars...
And I don't like people telling me what I can and can't do outside in public. If someone doesn't want me smoking in their bar, that is fine, it is their bar. But it starts to become rediculous when you can't smoke in some cities.
Ok, and for something not beneficial to the public, what about perfume? Shouldn't there be a limit, so when I get on an elevator I am able to breath? What about taking baths? I think I have a right to smell air BO free.
I personally don't think the gov't or anybody else should tell people what they can and can't do to themselves.
If we didn't have cars, boats, trains, trucks, airplanes, etc.,
(1) You wouldn't be in Prague right now (unless you are a good swimmer or would brave the ocean in a 19th century-style sailboat for a few months).
(2) You would most likely have to work on the farm or in the home all day, because most of the products we take for granted (e.g. clothes, food) make it to the stores we frequent only because someone 100's or 1000's of miles away made/grew them for us and some vehicle brought them to the market.
(3) Forget emergency medical care (no ambulances).
Should I go on??
Before you start thinking that the world wouldn't be so bad without cars, try imagining going back to the 19th century, and how your life would be were you born in that era. If you think that wouldn't be so bad (compared to what you have now), then more power to you.
Besides, at the moment, there currently aren't any viable alternatives to fossil fuels to tackling all of society's demand for energy. When there are, the pollution will stop. Then maybe your utopian society will become reality.
Banning smoking in a city is extreme, I'll agree. With as many people addicted to smoking as there are now, it just doesn't make sense. Yet comparing cigarette smoke to perfume and infrequent bathing is ridiculous! Since when do people die of BO? And it's a rare individual who's so allergic to perfume, that they'll keel over on the spot.
You're right about it being a fine line. Yet, the line is generally (not always, of course) consistent about dividing things based on their benefit to society and their potential dangers. The case of cigarettes is actually a prime example of an exception to that consistency. I can guarantee that if tobacco were an unknown quantity today, and a pharmaceutical company developed a drug based on tobacco (even assuming a medical application for it), it would be rejected in practically every country, based on its proven harmful side effects. The only reasons the U.S. doesn't ban tobacco altogether now are (a) because so many people are addicted to it and can't quit, (b) the tobacco lobby is too strong, and (c) there is too much revenue generated by the tobacco taxes.
Banning cars now would not send us back to the middle ages. I never said I wanted to live back in time. Fossil fuels will run out eventually. I live fine without a car. I definately don't need an SUV, and I think many people in America don't either, but drives one anyway.
Public transportation may not cause no pollution, but it is better than everyone driving cars.
And I am not argueing that cars should be banned. Live and let live. If someone who never goes off road wants to drive an SUV, or someone who can take the metro to work wants to drive instead, so be it. If I want a cigarette, let me smoke it!
I agree with Sova. We'll see if you won't be sorry some day, that you smoked. I am pretty sure you will. Any drug is an addictive substance and harmful to the body. And most heroin/crack addicts start just with pot, cause they think its not so harmful or because of peer pressure. People around me are dying of cancer and other diseases caused by smoking and drug intake. These people are my friends and family. These people are very important to me. Now they are gone. Then it's me the non-smoker that has to live with it for the rest of my life. And yes if you want to be stubborn about it go ahead. Maybe you should try to live outside of a big city and go to work every day on a bus (that rarely runs anyway) , where is barely a space to breathe and carry heavy plastic bags with food on a fifth floor. (no elevator) after 8-10 hours of work. Then continue with houseworks at home. (This is average Czech household) Try it for a month, some people do it liffetime. And that you don't need a car, cause you are in a city, not everyone is. Some people travel great distances to get to work. Cities are overpopulated as it is. Do you want some more to come in. I think you are just being selfish.
So I assume you have not drunken one drop of alcohol in your life. Because this is a drug, and it is MUCH worse than marijuana.
I think you should work on your Czech nations getting the PIVO out of their blood before you start yelling at me for smoking a plant that naturally grows.
And btw, gateway drug theory is bunk. Just because I smoke pot doesnt mean I am going to do crack or something else.
And as for cancer, cigarette smoke is a more likely cause of cancer than marijuana smoke.
And as for living in a village, yes, I plan to try that one day. Will I have a car? Unsure. But I wasn't refering to the villagers with the ones who have cars in Prague. I've seen the Barbie new made Czech women with their wannabe American boyfriends driving SUVs when they live in CIMICE. It is REDICULOUS!
Martina, I think it is pretty selffish that you think you can (or the govt can) tell me what I can and can't do with my own body.
Your statement : "peoples right to breathe air free of cigarette smoke"(how about the rest of the contribuing pollution), sounds like a hypocratrical political BS -- why be concernened only about air free of cigarette smoke? How about the other polutants!?
Myself, I gave up driving a car in 1995 -- I no longer personaly contribue to the hydrocarbons emissions polution -- I ride my bicycle all over town (15 to 25 miles daily), but must admit, I do smoke a pack of cigaretts each and every day ( this makes me feel good). Hence, who is the bigger hog?
What causes the biggest damage ( Since, I too would like carbon monoxide free air to bread ). My 20 daily cigaretts or your holier than thou cigarett free driver, sputting out of you tail pipe 5 to 6 Lbs. of pollutants per hour into the atomosphere.
One pack of cigaretts contains a potential of 1.1 Oz "harmfull" smoke, where as one gallon of gasoline contains 6 Lbs "harmfull combustion residual gases". Therefore, you produce almost 100 times more harmfull for my lungs to breath (with each gallon burned) that I do to you with my one pack of cigaretts.
Who is fooling whom? You give up driving ( I did to help you breath cleaner air), and I'll then give up smoking!
Separate names with a comma.