Pot smokers in law school

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
savagedm
Posts: 392
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:51 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby savagedm » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:56 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
Hey, I haven't taken those courses.

I just see that having a technical background can benefit the court in general when arguing how certain technologies work and when using them is a breach of copyright. Do I have sympathy for the pirates? Well, I honestly don't think it's reasonable to impose a judgement on somebody equivalent to their entire potential life earnings. Were they in the wrong? Yes-

So, it's a pretty complicated issue generally.


Spot on, internet piracy is wrong and is only a notch below actual thievery (because actual thievery involves actually removing an object, not merely duplicating it). However, it's even more unjust, and criminal in my opinion, to deprive said individuals of potentially their entire life simply because their actions deprived a non-living entity from some extra dividends.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby JazzOne » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:40 pm

savagedm wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
Hey, I haven't taken those courses.

I just see that having a technical background can benefit the court in general when arguing how certain technologies work and when using them is a breach of copyright. Do I have sympathy for the pirates? Well, I honestly don't think it's reasonable to impose a judgement on somebody equivalent to their entire potential life earnings. Were they in the wrong? Yes-

So, it's a pretty complicated issue generally.


Spot on, internet piracy is wrong and is only a notch below actual thievery (because actual thievery involves actually removing an object, not merely duplicating it). However, it's even more unjust, and criminal in my opinion, to deprive said individuals of potentially their entire life simply because their actions deprived a non-living entity from some extra dividends.

I mostly agree with what you've said, but non-living entities are owned by living entities. Many people earn their livings through corporate ownership, so it's not true that copyright infringement is a victimless crime just because the copyright is corporately owned. Infringing those copyrights not only harms the owners of the corporations, but the employees are also harmed.

However, I read about a case where someone illegally downloaded a hundred or so songs from the internet, and the damages were something like $100K. Copyright holders can sue for statutory damages for each instance of infringement. I completely agree that it's absurd to assess damages equaling tens of thousands of dollars when the total value of the stolen works can be measured in the hundreds.

User avatar
ResolutePear
Posts: 8614
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby ResolutePear » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:00 pm

JazzOne wrote:
savagedm wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
Hey, I haven't taken those courses.

I just see that having a technical background can benefit the court in general when arguing how certain technologies work and when using them is a breach of copyright. Do I have sympathy for the pirates? Well, I honestly don't think it's reasonable to impose a judgement on somebody equivalent to their entire potential life earnings. Were they in the wrong? Yes-

So, it's a pretty complicated issue generally.


Spot on, internet piracy is wrong and is only a notch below actual thievery (because actual thievery involves actually removing an object, not merely duplicating it). However, it's even more unjust, and criminal in my opinion, to deprive said individuals of potentially their entire life simply because their actions deprived a non-living entity from some extra dividends.

I mostly agree with what you've said, but non-living entities are owned by living entities. Many people earn their livings through corporate ownership, so it's not true that copyright infringement is a victimless crime just because the copyright is corporately owned. Infringing those copyrights not only harms the owners of the corporations, but the employees are also harmed.

However, I read about a case where someone illegally downloaded a hundred or so songs from the internet, and the damages were something like $100K. Copyright holders can sue for statutory damages for each instance of infringement. I completely agree that it's absurd to assess damages equaling tens of thousands of dollars when the total value of the stolen works can be measured in the hundreds.


Jammie Thomas-Rasset.

It was over 1.5 million dollars awarded this November during a third trial after the record label refused to accept a 54,000 dollar judgement during the second trial. I believe it was 2 Compact Discs worth of music - horrible music at that.

I suspect we'll see this go higher.

User avatar
Knock
Posts: 5152
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:09 pm

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby Knock » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:42 am

In California, starting today, possession of under an ounce is now considered an infraction and won't appear on your criminal record :D.

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4852
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby Borhas » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:39 am

JazzOne wrote:
savagedm wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
Hey, I haven't taken those courses.

I just see that having a technical background can benefit the court in general when arguing how certain technologies work and when using them is a breach of copyright. Do I have sympathy for the pirates? Well, I honestly don't think it's reasonable to impose a judgement on somebody equivalent to their entire potential life earnings. Were they in the wrong? Yes-

So, it's a pretty complicated issue generally.


Spot on, internet piracy is wrong and is only a notch below actual thievery (because actual thievery involves actually removing an object, not merely duplicating it). However, it's even more unjust, and criminal in my opinion, to deprive said individuals of potentially their entire life simply because their actions deprived a non-living entity from some extra dividends.

I mostly agree with what you've said, but non-living entities are owned by living entities. Many people earn their livings through corporate ownership, so it's not true that copyright infringement is a victimless crime just because the copyright is corporately owned. Infringing those copyrights not only harms the owners of the corporations, but the employees are also harmed.

However, I read about a case where someone illegally downloaded a hundred or so songs from the internet, and the damages were something like $100K. Copyright holders can sue for statutory damages for each instance of infringement. I completely agree that it's absurd to assess damages equaling tens of thousands of dollars when the total value of the stolen works can be measured in the hundreds.


the thing about copyright infringement is that it is a potentially victimless crime (well, I actually wouldn't even call it a crime, more like a civil property dispute.... more like trespass than theft), I can imagine many realistic scenarios where a copyright infringement does no damage whatsoever, because the infringer was never going to purchase the product anyway. These copyright holders sue some teenager for 100 g's for having a few gigs of music on their computer.... was that teenager really going to spend 10's of thousands of dollars buying Furgi and Fifty Cent albums? course not

User avatar
ResolutePear
Posts: 8614
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby ResolutePear » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:24 pm

Borhas wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
savagedm wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
Hey, I haven't taken those courses.

I just see that having a technical background can benefit the court in general when arguing how certain technologies work and when using them is a breach of copyright. Do I have sympathy for the pirates? Well, I honestly don't think it's reasonable to impose a judgement on somebody equivalent to their entire potential life earnings. Were they in the wrong? Yes-

So, it's a pretty complicated issue generally.


Spot on, internet piracy is wrong and is only a notch below actual thievery (because actual thievery involves actually removing an object, not merely duplicating it). However, it's even more unjust, and criminal in my opinion, to deprive said individuals of potentially their entire life simply because their actions deprived a non-living entity from some extra dividends.

I mostly agree with what you've said, but non-living entities are owned by living entities. Many people earn their livings through corporate ownership, so it's not true that copyright infringement is a victimless crime just because the copyright is corporately owned. Infringing those copyrights not only harms the owners of the corporations, but the employees are also harmed.

However, I read about a case where someone illegally downloaded a hundred or so songs from the internet, and the damages were something like $100K. Copyright holders can sue for statutory damages for each instance of infringement. I completely agree that it's absurd to assess damages equaling tens of thousands of dollars when the total value of the stolen works can be measured in the hundreds.


the thing about copyright infringement is that it is a potentially victimless crime (well, I actually wouldn't even call it a crime, more like a civil property dispute.... more like trespass than theft), I can imagine many realistic scenarios where a copyright infringement does no damage whatsoever, because the infringer was never going to purchase the product anyway. These copyright holders sue some teenager for 100 g's for having a few gigs of music on their computer.... was that teenager really going to spend 10's of thousands of dollars buying Furgi and Fifty Cent albums? course not


They don't sue for the possession of it.

They sue for distributing the content.

They're not exactly going after people making radio mixtapes.(lol, I feel like 80 years old now)

User avatar
lisjjen
Posts: 1242
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:19 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby lisjjen » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:38 pm

Borhas wrote:the thing about copyright infringement is that it is a potentially victimless crime (well, I actually wouldn't even call it a crime, more like a civil property dispute.... more like trespass than theft), I can imagine many realistic scenarios where a copyright infringement does no damage whatsoever, because the infringer was never going to purchase the product anyway. These copyright holders sue some teenager for 100 g's for having a few gigs of music on their computer.... was that teenager really going to spend 10's of thousands of dollars buying Furgi and Fifty Cent albums? course not


IPR shouldn't just be conceived of as protecting big bad corporations against teenagers. Without defending know how and original ideas, do you really think the biggest threat towards the average citizen is suing a couple of kids for stolen music? Isn't it more likely that big multinational corporations are going to rip startups off?


albusdumbledore wrote:
He is right. It is breaking federal law. It is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 which means, according to federal law, it has no legitimate medical use and possession, usage, purchase, cultivation, and sale is prohibited. I wouldn't mess with a card. The Obama administration has come out and said they will not be wasting resources on it, but I just would not do it. Who knows when or if they decide to change that. There was some rumbling hinting that if Prop 19 passed, the DEA was going to step in and do something about it.


This.

One doesn't take on six figures of debt without worrying a great deal about it. The prospect of being unable to practice law is terrifying. I'll pass on the state of mind and take the paycheck - but I guess that's the whole mindset of biglaw anyways.

User avatar
ResolutePear
Posts: 8614
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby ResolutePear » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:19 pm

lisjjen wrote:
Borhas wrote:the thing about copyright infringement is that it is a potentially victimless crime (well, I actually wouldn't even call it a crime, more like a civil property dispute.... more like trespass than theft), I can imagine many realistic scenarios where a copyright infringement does no damage whatsoever, because the infringer was never going to purchase the product anyway. These copyright holders sue some teenager for 100 g's for having a few gigs of music on their computer.... was that teenager really going to spend 10's of thousands of dollars buying Furgi and Fifty Cent albums? course not


IPR shouldn't just be conceived of as protecting big bad corporations against teenagers. Without defending know how and original ideas, do you really think the biggest threat towards the average citizen is suing a couple of kids for stolen music? Isn't it more likely that big multinational corporations are going to rip startups off?


albusdumbledore wrote:
He is right. It is breaking federal law. It is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 which means, according to federal law, it has no legitimate medical use and possession, usage, purchase, cultivation, and sale is prohibited. I wouldn't mess with a card. The Obama administration has come out and said they will not be wasting resources on it, but I just would not do it. Who knows when or if they decide to change that. There was some rumbling hinting that if Prop 19 passed, the DEA was going to step in and do something about it.


This.

One doesn't take on six figures of debt without worrying a great deal about it. The prospect of being unable to practice law is terrifying. I'll pass on the state of mind and take the paycheck - but I guess that's the whole mindset of biglaw anyways.


You know you're doing it right when you're dealing drugs without touching drugs. Well, as right as it'll ever get.

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4852
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby Borhas » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:49 pm

IPR shouldn't just be conceived of as protecting big bad corporations against teenagers. Without defending know how and original ideas, do you really think the biggest threat towards the average citizen is suing a couple of kids for stolen music? Isn't it more likely that big multinational corporations are going to rip startups off?


Two things, yes rip offs by corporations are a bigger deal and most likely the largest threat... but should it be criminal? I think not, criminal sanctions are most effective against poor people (Freedom w/o money), corporations don't have freedom (at least not the type jail can take away), but they do have plenty of money so for that reason the biggest threat ought to be handled through civil means. Second, a rip off by a corporation is a fundamentally different sort of IP violation than what I described, one is largely victimless the other isn't.

I don't think we disagree, but at this point in my life I have more in common w/ a teenager than a start up corporation, so that's where my focus is

User avatar
lisjjen
Posts: 1242
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:19 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby lisjjen » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:45 pm

Borhas wrote:
IPR shouldn't just be conceived of as protecting big bad corporations against teenagers. Without defending know how and original ideas, do you really think the biggest threat towards the average citizen is suing a couple of kids for stolen music? Isn't it more likely that big multinational corporations are going to rip startups off?


Two things, yes rip offs by corporations are a bigger deal and most likely the largest threat... but should it be criminal? I think not, criminal sanctions are most effective against poor people (Freedom w/o money), corporations don't have freedom (at least not the type jail can take away), but they do have plenty of money so for that reason the biggest threat ought to be handled through civil means. Second, a rip off by a corporation is a fundamentally different sort of IP violation than what I described, one is largely victimless the other isn't.

I don't think we disagree, but at this point in my life I have more in common w/ a teenager than a start up corporation, so that's where my focus is


Of course we don't disagree. Your avatar is Dr. Killinger.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:55 pm

Borhas wrote:the thing about copyright infringement is that it is a potentially victimless crime (well, I actually wouldn't even call it a crime, more like a civil property dispute.... more like trespass than theft), I can imagine many realistic scenarios where a copyright infringement does no damage whatsoever, because the infringer was never going to purchase the product anyway. These copyright holders sue some teenager for 100 g's for having a few gigs of music on their computer.... was that teenager really going to spend 10's of thousands of dollars buying Furgi and Fifty Cent albums? course not

I don't like the current state of IP law, but your hypothetical is a complete straw man. The theft of music is not victimless even in the scenario you described. Sure, the kid wasn't going to drop $10K on music, but he might have tuned into the radio (contributing to the stations' advertising potential). Or maybe he would have paid $10 to get into a club (giving the club $10 more to hire DJs and buy music). There doesn't have to be a 1:1 correlation between the pirated music and the expected benefit to the copyright holder for there to be a victim of the theft. Pirating music makes it less likely that an individual will pay to hear that music in any context. That detracts from the profits of the copyright holder, even if the lost profit is not exactly equal to the sales price of the pirated material. The overall market for the music is damaged by unlicensed proliferation. Also, under certain circumstances, copyright infringement is a crime subject to federal prosecution. I cannot think of a single scenario wherein there is no victim to copyright infringement. Even if the there are no monetary damages, the owner of the copyright (think Gary Larson) might have a psychological aversion to the infringing use. The copyright holder might value the context in which his creation is presented more than money. You cannot claim that the copyright holder is not victimized by unlicensed use just because he could not have reaped a financial benefit for agreeing to license.

User avatar
lisjjen
Posts: 1242
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:19 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby lisjjen » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:58 pm

Frankly, I'm kinda surprised that there would be a debate on the merits of IP laws on a law forum. It's kinda common sense that there's no innovation to create if you have no reason to expect a profit.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:03 pm

lisjjen wrote:Frankly, I'm kinda surprised that there would be a debate on the merits of IP laws on a law forum. It's kinda common sense that there's no innovation to create if you have no reason to expect a profit.

The fashion industry proves that you can expect to earn a profit without monopoly rights, though.

User avatar
lisjjen
Posts: 1242
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:19 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby lisjjen » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:19 pm

JazzOne wrote:
lisjjen wrote:Frankly, I'm kinda surprised that there would be a debate on the merits of IP laws on a law forum. It's kinda common sense that there's no innovation to create if you have no reason to expect a profit.

The fashion industry proves that you can expect to earn a profit without monopoly rights, though.


I'm not doubting you, I'm just asking for an example. Asic's gel soles or Bureberry's copyrighted plaid are examples of a kind of product differentiation that is protected by IPR.

Also, to get back on topic, I think that if something is truly victimless, it is not a crime. Are there victims of marijuana? I think there's aspects of marijuana that put innocent people at risk, just like there are aspects of alcohol that put people at risk. And just like there are aspects of alcohol that are regulated, there are aspects of marijuana that should be regulated.

But if you want to watch a Conservative's head explode, tell them that weed is like guns. It is a dangerous product that responsible adults should be able to use with some regulation if they want to.
Last edited by lisjjen on Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:20 pm

JazzOne wrote:
lisjjen wrote:Frankly, I'm kinda surprised that there would be a debate on the merits of IP laws on a law forum. It's kinda common sense that there's no innovation to create if you have no reason to expect a profit.

The fashion industry proves that you can expect to earn a profit without monopoly rights, though.

In the fashion industry brand is very important while a illegally downloaded movie or song is exactly the same as that the copyright holder is selling.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:22 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
lisjjen wrote:Frankly, I'm kinda surprised that there would be a debate on the merits of IP laws on a law forum. It's kinda common sense that there's no innovation to create if you have no reason to expect a profit.

The fashion industry proves that you can expect to earn a profit without monopoly rights, though.

In the fashion industry brand is very important while a illegally downloaded movie or song is exactly the same as that the copyright holder is selling.

Many fashions don't list the brand on the product at all. I'm thinking about designer dresses. The knock offs are virtually indistinguishable from the original, and there is no recourse whatsoever for the fashion label. Fashion is not protected by copyright.
Last edited by JazzOne on Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:24 pm

lisjjen wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
lisjjen wrote:Frankly, I'm kinda surprised that there would be a debate on the merits of IP laws on a law forum. It's kinda common sense that there's no innovation to create if you have no reason to expect a profit.

The fashion industry proves that you can expect to earn a profit without monopoly rights, though.


I'm not doubting you, I'm just asking for an example. Asic's gel soles or Bureberry's copyrighted plaid are examples of a kind of product differentiation that is protected by IPR.

Also, to get back on topic, I think that if something is truly victimless, it is not a crime. Are there victims of marijuana? I think there's aspects of marijuana that put innocent people at risk, just like there are aspects of alcohol that put people at risk. And just like there are aspects of alcohol that are regulated, there are aspects of marijuana that should be regulated.

But if you want to watch a Conservative's head explode, tell them that weed is like guns. It is a dangerous product that responsible adults should be able to use with some regulation if they want to.

If the gel soles are protected, it's probably by patent law, not copyright. I don't know enough about Burberry's pattern, but I'll look into it. It was my understanding that fashion designs were not copyrightable. The proliferation of knock offs has actually spurred more creativity in fashion, not less.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:28 pm

JazzOne wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
lisjjen wrote:Frankly, I'm kinda surprised that there would be a debate on the merits of IP laws on a law forum. It's kinda common sense that there's no innovation to create if you have no reason to expect a profit.

The fashion industry proves that you can expect to earn a profit without monopoly rights, though.

In the fashion industry brand is very important while a illegally downloaded movie or song is exactly the same as that the copyright holder is selling.

Many fashions don't list the brand on the product at all. I'm thinking about designer dresses. The knock offs are virtually indistinguishable from the original, and there is no recourse whatsoever for the fashion label. Fashion is not protected by copyright.


For dresses you are correct. There is also a rush as styles go out of favor quickly. Usually knockoffs are only for sale for the next year when the people that create the originals are making new things. I'm certainly no expert on fashion though lol.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:36 pm

AreJay711 wrote:For dresses you are correct. There is also a rush as styles go out of favor quickly. Usually knockoffs are only for sale for the next year when the people that create the originals are making new things. I'm certainly no expert on fashion though lol.

I'm no expert either. I just thought it was very illuminating that the one industry that has unsuccessfully lobbied for copyright protection is the profession with the most amount of creativity. I think monopoly rights can actually have the effect of discouraging creation. I haven't researched the issue fully, but I find it to be extremely interesting. Having all this music on the internet has spurred a ton of creation (despite the copyright infringement). In other words, I am skeptical of the underlying policy justifications for IP law in general.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:46 pm

JazzOne wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:For dresses you are correct. There is also a rush as styles go out of favor quickly. Usually knockoffs are only for sale for the next year when the people that create the originals are making new things. I'm certainly no expert on fashion though lol.

I'm no expert either. I just thought it was very illuminating that the one industry that has unsuccessfully lobbied for copyright protection is the profession with the most amount of creativity. I think monopoly rights can actually have the effect of discouraging creation. I haven't researched the issue fully, but I find it to be extremely interesting. Having all this music on the internet has spurred a ton of creation (despite the copyright infringement). In other words, I am skeptical of the underlying policy justifications for IP law in general.

Yeah maybe, especially for relatively low cost things to produce. For more expensive things it probably wouldn't hold (like software or a drug that cost millions to develop). In fairness, most musicians would still make stuff since people would pay to see them perform and people would still see movies in theaters. I can see it hurting books though. Overall you might be giving up some volume of creative expression for more investment in creative expression. I agree with your point that idk if more investment = better product, at least in the arts.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:53 pm

lisjjen wrote:Also, to get back on topic, I think that if something is truly victimless, it is not a crime. Are there victims of marijuana? I think there's aspects of marijuana that put innocent people at risk, just like there are aspects of alcohol that put people at risk. And just like there are aspects of alcohol that are regulated, there are aspects of marijuana that should be regulated.

But if you want to watch a Conservative's head explode, tell them that weed is like guns. It is a dangerous product that responsible adults should be able to use with some regulation if they want to.

I mostly agree with this. Marijuana is one of the most dangerous drugs available (IMO), and it should be regulated. I also agree that guns should be regulated, but your analogy isn't perfect. The Constitution specifically protects our right to bear arms. There is no such protection of our right to get high. I would argue that the intent of the bear arms clause was to keep the citizenry sufficiently armed to protect itself from government tyranny. If that's true, then it's hard to justify heavy regulation of gun ownership. A citizenry needs very powerful guns to protect itself from a government.

User avatar
savagedm
Posts: 392
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:51 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby savagedm » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:07 pm

JazzOne wrote:
lisjjen wrote:Also, to get back on topic, I think that if something is truly victimless, it is not a crime. Are there victims of marijuana? I think there's aspects of marijuana that put innocent people at risk, just like there are aspects of alcohol that put people at risk. And just like there are aspects of alcohol that are regulated, there are aspects of marijuana that should be regulated.

But if you want to watch a Conservative's head explode, tell them that weed is like guns. It is a dangerous product that responsible adults should be able to use with some regulation if they want to.

I mostly agree with this. Marijuana is one of the most dangerous drugs available (IMO), and it should be regulated. I also agree that guns should be regulated, but your analogy isn't perfect. The Constitution specifically protects our right to bear arms. There is no such protection of our right to get high. I would argue that the intent of the bear arms clause was to keep the citizenry sufficiently armed to protect itself from government tyranny. If that's true, then it's hard to justify heavy regulation of gun ownership. A citizenry needs very powerful guns to protect itself from a government.


I fail to see how it's a dangerous drug though. It's not even a drug unless you want to modify your definition of drug to include things like coffee and soda. Secondly, the problems marijuana is credited with producing do not arise out of it being an inherently bad substance, they arise out of the fact that it's illegal and highly profitable to push illegally.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:22 pm

savagedm wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
lisjjen wrote:Also, to get back on topic, I think that if something is truly victimless, it is not a crime. Are there victims of marijuana? I think there's aspects of marijuana that put innocent people at risk, just like there are aspects of alcohol that put people at risk. And just like there are aspects of alcohol that are regulated, there are aspects of marijuana that should be regulated.

But if you want to watch a Conservative's head explode, tell them that weed is like guns. It is a dangerous product that responsible adults should be able to use with some regulation if they want to.

I mostly agree with this. Marijuana is one of the most dangerous drugs available (IMO), and it should be regulated. I also agree that guns should be regulated, but your analogy isn't perfect. The Constitution specifically protects our right to bear arms. There is no such protection of our right to get high. I would argue that the intent of the bear arms clause was to keep the citizenry sufficiently armed to protect itself from government tyranny. If that's true, then it's hard to justify heavy regulation of gun ownership. A citizenry needs very powerful guns to protect itself from a government.


I fail to see how it's a dangerous drug though. It's not even a drug unless you want to modify your definition of drug to include things like coffee and soda. Secondly, the problems marijuana is credited with producing do not arise out of it being an inherently bad substance, they arise out of the fact that it's illegal and highly profitable to push illegally.

I think marijuana is undeniably a drug. It is a substance that, when ingested, quickly and significantly alters your brain chemistry. I think it's widely accepted that soda and coffee are drug-containing substances (caffeine). Some claim that marijuana is not a drug because it creates no physical addiction. I think that is false. It may not generate the severity of withdrawal as heroin or nicotine, for example, but an individual's metabolism can be largely dependent upon consistent use of marijuana. That is a physical addiction, even if there are no gut-wrenching pains associated with non-use. I would also argue that psychological addictions are really just physical addictions manifesting themselves as a desire to use the drug. The fact that people take huge risks (i.e., bar admission) to smoke weed should at least militate in favor of recognizing its addictive nature.

The more interesting question pertains to how dangerous marijuana is. Smoking marijuana is certainly bad for your health. Inhaling smoke is known to cause emphysema and lung cancer, yet I still know weed smokers who contend that smoking weed has no health consequences whatsoever. This is an absurd conclusion from some fairly intelligent individuals. Smoking can cause lung cancer, and marijuana itself may predispose individuals to psychological problems such as depression. Also, an individual's capacity to drive is probably diminished by marijuana. I don't think those risks are extreme, but what makes them so problematic is the societal perception that marijuana is harmless. There seems to be a counter belief among some circles (or willful ignorance) that you can smoke day after day, year after year, and it's never going to affect your health, your family relationships, your professional potential, etc. I wish smokers would own up to the detriments of marijuana use so we can get some sensible legislation in place. The current model is preposterous, but it is difficult to argue for change when smokers are denying the dangers of the substance. That position hurts the credibility of the legitimate arguments for legalization.

User avatar
lisjjen
Posts: 1242
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:19 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby lisjjen » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:14 pm

I used the example of alcohol because I drink a glass of whiskey almost daily. I also mentioned that aspects of alcohol should be regulated, because I doubt anyone present would advocate letting 8 yr olds buy vodka.


JazzOne wrote:I mostly agree with this. Marijuana is one of the most dangerous drugs available (IMO), and it should be regulated. I also agree that guns should be regulated, but your analogy isn't perfect. The Constitution specifically protects our right to bear arms. There is no such protection of our right to get high. I would argue that the intent of the bear arms clause was to keep the citizenry sufficiently armed to protect itself from government tyranny. If that's true, then it's hard to justify heavy regulation of gun ownership. A citizenry needs very powerful guns to protect itself from a government.


Guns are mentioned in the 2nd, but marijuana isn't mentioned anywhere else so it should fall into the 10th. It takes a bit of judicial gymnastics to pull the General Welfare Clause or the Commerce Clause into the picture.

btw, you're inadvertently advertising for UT. Casual arguments like this are much more fun in person. Oh, and the tartan Bureberry uses has become a trademark. They actually sued TJ Maxx over it last year.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Pot smokers in law school

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:29 pm

lisjjen wrote:I used the example of alcohol because I drink a glass of whiskey almost daily. I also mentioned that aspects of alcohol should be regulated, because I doubt anyone present would advocate letting 8 yr olds buy vodka.


JazzOne wrote:I mostly agree with this. Marijuana is one of the most dangerous drugs available (IMO), and it should be regulated. I also agree that guns should be regulated, but your analogy isn't perfect. The Constitution specifically protects our right to bear arms. There is no such protection of our right to get high. I would argue that the intent of the bear arms clause was to keep the citizenry sufficiently armed to protect itself from government tyranny. If that's true, then it's hard to justify heavy regulation of gun ownership. A citizenry needs very powerful guns to protect itself from a government.


Guns are mentioned in the 2nd, but marijuana isn't mentioned anywhere else so it should fall into the 10th. It takes a bit of judicial gymnastics to pull the General Welfare Clause or the Commerce Clause into the picture.

btw, you're inadvertently advertising for UT. Casual arguments like this are much more fun in person. Oh, and the tartan Bureberry uses has become a trademark. They actually sued TJ Maxx over it last year.

I am sympathetic to your 10th Amendment argument, but we are in the minority, and federal courts do not read the 10th Amendment so broadly. I think you will be much less surprised by judicial gymnastics once you study the arguments that have been made regarding the Commerce Clause. In fact, I think the Commerce Clause has been used to justify federal regulation of marijuana.

I don't really like the way the Commerce Clause has been used to justify all sorts of federal legislation, but I need to accept it if I want to be an effective legal advocate.

The Burberry trademark information is interesting. Thanks. It makes a lot more sense now that I consider it in terms of trademark. It's copyright protection that fashion designers have been unable to get.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests