Monday, January 20, 2014

What About Weed? (Part Deux)

With the recent legalization of recreational cannabis (for those over 21) in Colorado and Washington, and likely at least a few more states to follow, we at Twenty-One Debunked feel the need to update and clarify our official stance on the cannabis issue.  Previously, Twenty-One Debunked has been officially neutral on the issue of cannabis legalization, with our only position being that if and when it becomes legal, the age limit should be 18 instead of 21.  In the meantime, our affiliated political party, the True Spirit of America Party (TSAP), has always been 100% in favor of legalization.  However, after careful evaluation and deliberation, as of January 2014 Twenty-One Debunked has decided to take up the cause of cannabis legalization as well, albeit as a lower-priority issue relative to our main cause of lowering the drinking age to 18.   Our new stance on cannabis can be delineated as follows:
  • Cannabis should be legal for everyone 18 and older, period.
  • No one of any age should be arrested, jailed, or given a criminal record for simple possession or use of cannabis.
  • Passing around a joint or bong should not be treated any differently than passing around a tobacco cigarette or a bottle of beer.
  • While not completely safe for everyone, cannabis is a safer alternative to alcohol by just about any objective scientific measure, and as harm-reductionists we need to get the word out about that fact.
  • While driving under the influence of cannabis can be dangerous and should remain illegal, drunk driving is much worse, and the penalties should reflect that fact.
  • As with alcohol, blood THC limits for driving should be based on science, not zero-tolerance.
Thus, our new position is identical to the TSAP's longstanding view on the matter, and our creed applies equally to alcohol and cannabis.  As for legalization in states with an age limit of 21, pragmatism unfortunately forces us to part ways with people like Mike Males in that regard.  It would be foolish of us to make the perfect the enemy of the good, and thus we will grudgingly support legalization initiatives with a 21 age limit if that is what it takes to get such initiatives to pass.  There will always be time to lower the age limit to 18 when the dust settles and people begin to realize that cannabis is nowhere near as scary as the drug warriors want us to think.

To all the prohibitionists and drug warriors out there, we have one question for you:  How does it feel to be on the wrong side of history?  Because we wouldn't know anything about that.


  1. Earlier this month, I e-mailed Mike Males my idea of a Cannabis smoking age. I typed that the minimum age for smoking Cannabis should be 18 if a person has graduated from high school and 19 if a person has not graduated from high school. Mike Males released an article website which is against the Cannabis law in Washington state because of the ageist minimum age. It's good that the True Spirit of America Party has developed a reasonable position when it comes to Cannabis. I consider graduation from high school important because people would be concerned that some high school seniors would give Cannabis to younger students in high school. Other than this, I completely agree with the position about Cannabis from the True of Spirit of America Party.

  2. The age limit for cannabis is currently 18 in the Netherlands, and the sky hasn't fallen over there. Certainly, your proposal is infinitely better than an age limit of 21, and I would thus support it as an alternative. Unfortunately, pragmatism would have to win out in the meantime until the time is right to lower the age limit (hopefully in a few years from now). Another alternative that Twenty-One Debunked would support would be analogous to our proposal for alcohol: simply cap the amount that 18-20 year olds can buy in a store to discourage diversion to people under 18. For example, in CO and WA people over 21 can purchase up to 1 ounce (i.e. 60-100 joints) per transaction, and Twenty-One Debunked would favor amending that to allow 18-20 year olds to purchase up to 1/8 ounce per transaction and no more than one transaction per day. Even most Rastafarians could be satisfied with that. If you need more than that, you either have a problem and/or you are buying it for your younger friends.

  3. There shouldn't be a quantity limit based on age for people who are allowed to get Cannabis. A good criteria would be the THC level. Cannabis is best regulated with a low amount of age restrictions in bills that legalize it as said in the article. I will continue to inform other people about my proposal for a lower smoking age for Cannabis. When the time does come, hopefully, my proposal or your proposal will be in the 30s% acceptance range in polls.

  4. A THC level regulation is overboard. Keeping Cannabis regulation simple as said here is the best answer.