10/13 - Pot or Not? The Decriminalization Debate

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Mandatory drug sentences cost Louisiana taxpayers millions of dollars to incarcerate people charged with simple possession of marijuana. Would a reduction in penalties encourage more usage and lead the state down a path to legalization? Or does Louisiana - which ranks among the top ten states for drug use - need further reinforcements in its battle against this “gateway drug”? Louisiana Public Square explores the pros and cons of legalization on “Pot or Not? The Decriminalization Debate” airing Wednesday, October 23, 2013. (Taping Wednesday, October 16)
1. Do you agree or disagree that...government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth?
2. Do you agree or disagree that...for most people the use of marijuana leads to the use of hard drugs?
3. Do you support or oppose legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use?
4. Do you think adults should – or should not - be allowed to use marijuana for medical purposes if a physician prescribes it?
5. Which approach do you think government and law enforcement should take toward someone found smoking marijuana or in possession of a small amount of marijuana? Should they send them to jail, require them to attend rehabilitation or substance abuse counseling, make them pay a fine, or not punish them at all?
6. As you may know a few states have legalized marijuana, allowing people age 21 or older to possess and cultivate small amounts for personal use. This allows local governments to regulate and tax commercial production, distribution, and sale of marijuana. Would you support or oppose a similar measure to legalize marijuana in Louisiana?
7. Many states have legalized marijuana use for medical or recreational purposes, however, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Would you favor or oppose a bill in Congress that would prevent the federal government from prosecuting people who grow, possess, or sell marijuana in the states that have legalized it?
8. Keeping in mind that all of your answers in this survey are confidential, have you, yourself, ever happened to try marijuana?
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