15 August 2010

Marijuana and Logic

Vision to American sent out an email yesterday, titled "States to forfeit billions, so you can get high". It is an email urging the recipients to reject Proposition 19 on election day in California.

Proposition 19 is the legalisation of marijuana as a recreational drug.

I am not supporting nor rejecting legalisation of marijuana. This is not the point of this post. I want to look at the reasoning of the rejection of marijuana by V2A.

Here are the three reasons:
"The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires Federal contractors and Federal grantees to agree that they will provide drug-free workplaces as a condition of receiving a contract or grant from a Federal agency. If your state legalizes recreational marijuana, a drug-free workplace will disappear. How much money does your state stand to lose? Billions of dollars, and tens of thousands of lost jobs!"

"Smoking dope on the job? If recreational marijuana is legalized, employers will no longer be able to prevent employees from being high on the job. If an employer allows employees cigarette smoking breaks and/or certain areas in which cigarette smoking is allowed, they would have to allow marijuana smoking as well. Is your doctor stoned? Is your child's teacher? You won't know. "
Driving while stoned? On average, someone is killed by a drunk driver every 45 minutes. How often will someone be killed by a stoned driver? Let's not find out!

The argument, first, does not attack the real issue - the pros and cons of legalising marijuana. The argument puts together scenarios to "scare" the readers. In Australia, drug addiction is not a crime. However, working machinery, including driving, under the influence of drug is illegal. Legalising the recreational use of marijuana does not imply the violation of the said conditions in all the three cases (reasons) cited by V2A. These are "straw man" argument.

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