Friday, February 5, 2010

Following the money POT

A marijuana legalization initiative will be on the California ballot in November.

This week, a money backed effort turned in 700,000 signatures to fight for the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act.  Only 434,000 signatures were required to qualify the measure for the ballot.

The Los Angeles Times notes that "a Field Poll taken last April found that 56% of voters in the state and 60% in Los Angeles County want to make pot legal and tax it." The article, written as if a dead journalist from 1956 were reborn, also stated "if passed, the initiative would put the state in conflict with federal law," which is a bogus notion.

This has been a standard line in LA Times articles on the matter and has, time and time again been corrected by various sources, including Drug Policy Alliance attorney Tamar Todd.

California is not required to replicate federal drug prohibitions.While the feds could still, technically make busts for growing and selling (and possessing) the bubonic chronic, there is no way they would have the resources to do so consistently.  Todd states "the Court has never said the federal government can compel states to help it enforce marijuana prohibition, or that the Constitution requires them to adopt and maintain laws consistent with federal policy."

The real problem is that if California votes to legalize marijuana, the feds could counter by passing a bill that would, essentially, take away many millions of dollars of funding until they succumb.  California needs to take the gamble that it's #1 cash crop will pay extremely good dividends and tell the feds not to bogart the winning plan.

The state is following the money pot, and they need to step up and take the chance that in actuality is a low-risk venture.  The losers? Organized crime and a few narcs who should be chasing coke smugglers and meth traffickers anyway.
Pot Measure One Step Closer to California Ballot
An initiative to make marijuana legal, and open to local taxation and regulation, is one step closer to getting on the California ballot this November.
Backers of the initiative on Thursday turned in nearly 700,000 signatures to state officials to place the measure on the state ballot, according to reports — far more than the 433,971 valid signatures required. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has until June 24 to certify the initiative, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The measure, if approved by voters, would allow anyone over 21 years old to possess up to an ounce of marijuana or grow plants within a limited space for personal use. It would also allow local jurisdictions to tax and regulate it.
[Author's Note: There is a clause in the initiative that allows for municipalities, if they desire to do so, to establish regulations governing the retail distribution and sale of cannabis. Personal, non-commercial possess or cultivation of marijuana would not be subject to taxation under this initiative.]
… An April Field Poll found that 56 percent of California voters supported legalizing marijuana, and Mark DiCamillo, the poll’s director, said the initiative had a 50 percent chance of passing, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The idea that California "does not have the authority" to legalize marijuana under STATE LAW is pure bullshit, it is an incentives clause and payoffs that are making the difference only to the individuals in charge.  And those in charge appear far more off-base than most stoners.  While the state cannot do a thing about the Schedule 1 federal status of the drug, it is under no obligation to categorize the drug similarly under state law.  The 10th amendment is very, very clear on this matter. The Feds have overstepped their bounds. It is way past time to re-legalize marijuana.

1. If I choose to smoke or do ANY DRUG, it's none of the governments' business. So this is a good first step to ending government intrusion into private business.
2. It will reduce drug violence by cutting of the flow of illicit funds to gangs.
3. It will raise needed revenue which can help with drug treatment for the small percentage of drug users that actually have problems. Plus additional money could go to law enforcement and schools etc.
4. It would make it harder to teenagers to get drugs because there would be no more drug dealers, and regular store cards to obtain.

1. If you are the type of person that always has to have your nose in someone's business, I guess you might get bored.
2. Slow drivers.

Medical marijuana is already a billion dollar industry in California.  It has been for 15 years and the sky hasn't fallen. Cannabis is the largest cash crop in the state and national polls show common place through society.

The last three U.S. Presidents used it, an 8 time gold medal winner, the founders of Microsoft, Apple and several Fortune 500 company founders have dabbled. If you want to be a great world leader, business tycoon or a legendary Olympian, maybe you should smoke weed.

The only reason it's still illegal is because the enforcement industry pads their statistics with marijuana arrests and secures federal funding in the billions of dollars.

Fact: the largest union in CA is the prison guards union.  That's why they (those feds) always come out with hysterical statements and slanted reports about legalization. Prohibition has been very good to them and it all has been generously paid for by our tax dollars.

Since 1995, America has arrested 20 million people for marijuana, a non-violent offence with a substance clinically shown to be less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. That's more than the population of America's five largest cities: NY, LA, Chicago, Houston and Phoenix in total.

Educate. Tax.  Regulate. Save the state now.

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