Monday, August 14, 2006

Debate?

Some interesting topics came up at work today, in conversations with doctors, patients and co-workers. One such topic (brought up by a patient) was the legalization of marijuana. Involved in the conversation were the patient, her daughter, the doctor and myself. Everyone seemed to feel pretty much the same way: that pot is more or less harmless, when compared to other drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Also mentioned was that if it were legalized, it could be taxed and regulated. So you'd think the government would be all for legalization.

Same subject arose later amongst co-workers. The same doctor, myself and two other employees were talking. Everybody had more or less the same feelings described earlier. The doctor even pointed out that, as far as total effect on overall body health, alcohol and tobacco/nicotine are far worse than marijuana. Also agreed upon was that the same rules should apply to smokers as to drinkers. Such as acceptable (legal) levels and DUI penalties, etc. so what's the big deal that makes it different?

The other topic of note was gay marriage, and the separation of church and state. If the two (church and state) are completely separate entities, then why are gays forbidden to legally marry on grounds of it being morally (religiously) wrong? One person even went so far to say that marriages should not be performed in churches - that "marriage" is a legal arrangement and therefore should be handled by legal officials. Here I disagree. People should be able to get married wherever the hell they want to get married. You have to go to the courthouse and do the paperwork before you can get married, in a church or otherwise. Legally married, that is. So whose business is it where they perform the ceremony? Or how old they are (as long as they are legal adults)? Or whether they are gay or straight? If the church (any church) chooses not to recognize a gay marriage, then so be it. But why does that dictate the government's stand on the issue?

Opinions, anyone?


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7 comments:

Duke_of_Earle said...

Too many topics, hot issues, and arguments pro and con to address in a single post, much less a comment. But my views tend toward libertarian in many such areas. Meaning, the actions of consenting adults should not be the concern of the state so long as there are no "victims," (persons harmed by those actions). And if someone is harmed, he or she should expect recompense.

I deplore the erosion of our freedoms on the grounds that someone "might" get hurt if we fail to exercise those freedoms responsibly. I'd rather see fairly-applied stiff penalties assessed when someone DOES get harmed. Those would serve as a deterrent and a means of recompense.

Simplistic? Yeah, probably.

Dad

M.E Ellis said...

Don't see why gays can't marry. They love one another, that's all that should matter.

:o)

Christina said...

yeah, I agree with you both. it is way too much to cover every side of every argument in a blog post. I don't see why anyone (of legal age) shouldn't be able to marry whomever else (of legal age) that they want to. if two people make a commitment, it should be honored no matter who they are. many people say "marriage is just the piece of paper" - true, but there are certain legal rights that come with it and I don't see why gays are excluded from these rights.

Hale McKay said...

Unfortunately the best argument to support the legalization of marijuana is that it would remove it from the illegal drug trade.
....Then, of course, the government would find a way to tax it like tobacco.
...The debate of how harmful it is to the body and whether it it can lead to the graduation of other drugs and substances, is actually a moot point.

The subject of gay marriage, ironically is a simple matter of semantics. Many people hold time "honored" traditions and are threatened that the sanctity of marriage will be destroyed. In the end, these people for the most part will accept the union of gay people - if it is called a civil union.

Peter said...

First point Christina, do you find time to work as well?
On a more serious note, I'm inclined to agree that marijuana is certainly no more harmful than tobacco and alcohol, but is that a reason in itself to give it an endorsement? it seems that drugs work on an escalating scale once started and anything that leads on to heroin, LSD, Ecstassy etc is a potential danger.
Gay Marriage, look at the divorce rate and then decide whether this debate is worthwhile, BTW has anyone done any studies on the duration of Gay relationships? are they as fragile as the more traditional (but often temporary) marriage?

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