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Marijuana Legalization to Be on California 2010 Ballot

By March 26, 2010

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Californians got some potentially terrific economic news this week for their fiscally ailing state.

The Los Angeles Times reported, "An initiative to legalize marijuana and allow it to be sold and taxed will appear on the November ballot, state election officials announced Wednesday,... The number of valid signatures reported by Los Angeles County, submitted minutes before Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline, put the measure well beyond the 433,971 it needed to be certified. Supporters turned in 694,248 signatures... "

The November 2010 ballot measure, formally entitled the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, calls for:

  • Allowing adults at least 21 years old to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use
  • Allowing adults to grow up to 25 square feet of marijuana per home or land parcel
  • Allowing cities and counties to tax the cultivation, transportation and sale of marijuana

The libertarian-leaning Orange County Register observes:

"Legalizing it would invigorate California's agricultural sector... The benefit to California's budget would be twofold. Police focusing on the hopeless task of eradicating marijuana could focus on real crimes, and enforcement costs would decline. Fewer lives would be ruined by people being arrested for marijuana use, and the jail and prison population would decline.

"And if marijuana were taxed it would bring in considerable revenue. The state Board of Equalization estimates that a $50-per-ounce excise tax would bring in $1.4 billion to the state, and decreased costs of investigation, prosecution and incarceration would be at least several billion. That wouldn't close the budget deficit but it wouldn't hurt."

If the measure passes, California would become the first state to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for general use. Fourteen states currently have laws legaliizng marijuana for medicinal purposes.

I will be voting in support of the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 because I believe it's ridiculously hypocritical to not legalize marijuana in a society in which alcohol is an intrinsic part of the culture, and in which thousands of poorly-controlled, grossly over-prescribed drugs are far more powerful, and dangerous, than the dried blossom of cannabis sativa and cannabis indica plants could ever be.

Educate yourself about both sides of the issue at Pros & Cons of Legalizing Marijuana. Then tell the world your viewpoint here at Share Your Thoughts: Should Marijuana Sale and Possession Be Legalized?.

Comments

March 26, 2010 at 8:38 pm
(1) Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ says:

Excellent summary of the issue!

I hope California legalizes pot, for both economic and humanitarian reasons.

March 26, 2010 at 11:34 pm
(2) freddie says:

about time reason prevailed. it makes no sense except to a penal system based on nepotism and ensuring that mostly white families profit from others suffering behind a lie. hopefully other states will follow

March 27, 2010 at 2:00 am
(3) Calimann says:

This is going to be an ugly fight, but we can win. There will be a lot of fearmongering going on, we need to educate people about the truth. Marijuana is both medicine and a safe way to relax, the law should have been changed a long time ago. I have used marijuana for 40 years, I dont use alcohol or tobacco any longer, and I dont use other illegal drugs. The pot feels healthy to me and the others don’t.

March 28, 2010 at 12:14 pm
(4) cavg says:

voting for legalization is foolish. its just begging for big business and corporations to take over marijuana trade. keep it medical just like it is… keep it run by the people who do it with love… not evil big companies who will take over marijuana if its legal to sell… why vote for legalization to give more tax money to the gov’t that squandered our tax money in the first place???? fools

March 31, 2010 at 1:55 am
(5) Riley says:

A couple thoughts…

1. If you think pot is going to make even a tiny dent in CA’s finances, you’ve been smoking too much ganja – $20 billion annual deficit, $1.5 billion in projected taxes. CA won’t get a fraction of those projected taxes anyway. Why would an industry so successful at avoiding criminal penalties start paying taxes? CA franchise tax board doesn’t possess the infrastructure to even begin to administer an excise tax – setting up the necessary infrastructure will cost more than the tax receipts. Oh, and how do you plan on collecting the tax from Mexican drug cartels?

2. The increased social costs will likely far outweigh any benefits. Expect your auto insurance rates to climb significantly as accidents attributable to pot spike.

3. So… smoking cigs is evil and must be taxed to cover the nasty social consequences, so logically we should legalize marijuana, which is 4 times more carcinogenic, and tax it at a far lower rate? Huh?

4. Do you really want to be walking down the street with your kid and come upon some loser high on pot reeking like the inside of a bong?

5. Is legalizing pot gonna help Johnny learn to read, write, and add? Don’t kid yourself that pot will be even more available than it already is?

March 31, 2010 at 5:46 pm
(6) Ehtrettahdam says:

Maybe big corporations would take over, but think about the small businesses. Instead a crack head standing on the corner selling pot that might have a little more then just green in it(worst case scenario). You can have it sold in the store, or in a separate store. Coffee shops in other countries work fine, why not do that here? You go to a bar to drink, you go to a Café to drink coffee(drug), it would be a great idea to have a public place to smoke cannabis. It’ll keep the “loser high on pot reeking like the inside of a bong” off the street(pot heads love to sit down). And more following, what kind of cannabis smoker likes to walk around after taking a bong hit? And, I know a good lot of people who don’t smoke it or use it in anyway that just like the smell. Do you say “Eww!” when you smell cannabis(if you have before)? What about cigarettes?
Oh, God, I just can’t get over that crap you said. Okay, you come up on a loser high and reeking like the inside of a bong, and he is doing what exactly that does not stand with you? Is he running up to your kid asking him/her for spare change? Is he asking your son/daughter to hit a joint?
What kind of humans do you think we are? Do you think we are all bummed out, fiendish, jokers flicking ashes at your feet? More then half of the American population has admitted to trying cannabis and continuing for how ever long periods of time.
Also, there are hundreds of thousands of things that cause cancer. Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica, neither plant has never caused the forming of cancer in the human body. And if it did, why would it be given to cancer patients?
Parent to child talk one:”Okay Johnny, eat this brownie that tastes a little funky, it’ll make your feel better. Upset stomach? Have a Boo Boo? head ache? This will make it feel alright.”
Parent to child talk two: “Hey Johnny, Hun, take this pill. You might feel a little drowsy, oh and I’m not sure if you’re allergic to any of this stuff in here but I think you’ll be fine.”
Ate something off the counter talk to child one:”Oh Johnny! Did you eat that? Ha Ha, it’s okay, you’ll be alright, but it’s going to make you feel really funny. Just eat something else and try to get some sleep okay?”
Ate something off the counter talk to child two:” Oh my god! Johnny! Did you eat these?! Oh my god, half my bottle of pain killers are gone! We have to go to the Hospital! Oh god they’re going to have to pump his kidneys out. He’s turning white!”
I can go on, But I think I’ve said enough.

April 2, 2010 at 4:51 am
(7) Riley says:

Ah, what fun!

Your retort is a bit disorganized, but I’ll lob a few more thoughts back at you….

“Crack heads” will still be selling crack and meth, you don’t think being able to buy pot at Wal-Mart is gonna change that, do you?

Sure, I’ve smoked pot.

Yes, just like cigs, the smell of pot smoke is annoying. Why do you think they banned smoking pretty much everywhere?

I’m sure a very nice industry will pop up in no time and that there will be lots of comfortable, friendly places to get high. Funny thing about free market capitalism, it works – recent pronouncements to the contrary not withstanding.

Granted my PhD isn’t in medicine, but the clinical evidence is overwhelming that marijuana is a carcinogen. It’s classified as such under California’s Prop 65 law. Hmm, does the law take it off the Prop 65 list, that could be a sticky legal problem?? Anyway, don’t kid yourself, combustion of pretty much any plant matter forms PAH’s. The high concentrations you get from inhaling PAH’s in the combustion products is carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic.

Why do they give it to cancer patients? Come on, really? We both know it’s effective for pain management and symptom mitigation… especially for people that have TERMINAL cancers. The risk of getting lung cancer in 10 years isn’t that big a deal if you have stage 4 pancretic cancer. It’s might be worth a gamble if you risk blindness with glaucoma too. But if you’re healthy, like smoking cigs, its just not very bright.

You seem to have taken my bit about meeting smelly bong guy a bit too personal. My point is that that type of behavior will occur in some irresponsible people. There are lots of bars, but drunks still wander the streets. There are enough challenges to raising children, do we really need anymore? Are you a parent? If not, then comprehension of this point is probably beyond you.

And lastly, on the subject of poor Johnny… you’ve missed my point – your vision is comical. Think of it another way, which was easier in high school? Scoring a six pack or a bag of weed? Is that increase in availability going to enhance academic achievement or hurt it?

Anyway, pass the law, smoke another blunt – it will help you enjoy California’s death spiral (which has nothing to do with weed).

April 18, 2010 at 5:05 am
(8) Mike says:

Legalizing Cannabis now has many benefits. The first being, the elimination of the millions of dollars in eradication. Most misdemenor crimes are thrown out of court after a costing paper trail.
Put the pressure on any existing drug dealers after a legalization of pot. Drug dealers will only be selling hard drugs and should then be charged with a felony.

April 24, 2010 at 10:27 am
(9) Patrick VT says:

I think it would be a great step forward to legalize pot. I am not a resident of cali but what they are trying to do will effect this whole country and i am for these changes.

May 1, 2010 at 9:28 pm
(10) Stevo says:

Riley: You are way too paranoid and old school, relax. PHD aside, your opinion is just that: An opinion. So stable the high horse doc.
Ehtrettahdam: Anything that you burn and inhale is a carcinogen, weed is no exception. Carcinogens are even found in BBQ’d meat. Again, smoke=toxins.

I have mixed thoughts about this legalization. I don’t think big business should be allowed to sell it. I don’t want to see a chain bud store popping up on every corner. I don’t want to see it take the same commercial avenue that alcohol and cigarettes are on. I like it the way it is right now. On the down low.

However; it should be decriminalized even more than it currently is. I think, regardless of medical conditions, one should be allowed to cultivate their own weed for personal use. Code compliance should have strict zoning laws on cafes and shops that can sell weed. Again, no big business. I don’t wanna see Marlborough weed.

Kids are going to get their hands on weed regardless of the legality. If your child has their head screwed on straight, they’ll stay away from it. I was around it since middle school, but didn’t touch it until college. I quit smoking it after a year.

Though I may never touch the stuff again, it would be nice to have the option without the legal repercussions. I think that’s what most people want. Face itching, bong reeking, teashade wearing fiend or not.

May 5, 2010 at 2:36 pm
(11) Adam says:

legalizing marijuana will be a huge step toward rehabilitating California’s budget problem. there seems to be no argument to appose this. the only argument seems to be marijauna being a gateway drug. witch is rediculous becouse most meth and crack users never smoked marijauna and never plan to

May 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm
(12) BigD says:

I am a psychiatric nurse. I have never seen any pot smoker come in and be irate or go through withdrawl from pot smoking. However, I have dodged chairs and had to restrain people who have run out of cigarettes. Nicotine withdrawal occurs within minutes and the effects are severe. One of these people would gouge out your eyes to get their hands on a cigarette. People with COPD would crack open your head with their oxygen tank to get one. People addicted to heroin or pain medication are not as bad as the tobacco crowd. The pot people you never have a problem with. Time to get rational and take this pot business out of the hands of organized crime. We can stop them over night by legalizing marijuana. How many severed heads do you want to see in Mexico to get the message?

May 29, 2010 at 8:32 pm
(13) free thinker says:

maybe business will return to California

August 10, 2010 at 12:22 am
(14) Joel says:

Riley, although I’m not disagreeing with everything you’ve said I just want to correct this statement: “the clinical evidence is overwhelming that marijuana is a carcinogen.”

My Masters in Neuroscience and my work towards my PhD in Pharmacology give me more than enough objective knowledge to speak on the topic.

Marijuana is as much of a carcinogen as a Dandelion, a Maple tree, or a Gold fish. However, if you burn any of them and breathe the combustion they most certainly will be carcinogens. The important differentiation between Marijuana and a Dandelion is the psychoactive substances that Marijuana possesses. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a cannabinoid partial agonist functionally blocking the calcium channels on the presynaptic membrane. The metabolites are eventually filtered and excreted. No research that I am familiar with suggests that THC or any of it’s metabolites are carcinogenic. That said, Marijuana itself is NOT a carcinogen. Just as Tobacco is not a carcinogen, you will not get lung cancer from chewing tobacco. However, smoking nearly anything will create carcinogens.

As to my opinion on the matter, I do not believe the debate should be concerning negative aspects of smoking. A properly filtered joint of cannabis is unlikely to produce more carcinogenic substance than a cigarette. The law already allows the smoking of substances containing psychoactive compounds. One is legal, the other now. The determining factor in this matter should be as to whether or not we should legally allow the psychoactive substance to used. Whether it be ingested or smoked is irrelevant.

August 17, 2010 at 12:42 am
(15) Stephen D. Clark says:

Legalizing pot in California will be a big step, but grow operations and distribution networks will be targeted for shut-down by the feds. Even Obama will order his Justice Department and FBI to begin policing and prosecuting in California, and it will get worse if Republicans take over Washington and the White House.

I doubt end-users will be targeted, though. The feds can do it if they want to, but it’s unlikely they will because enough people like or accept MJ to make it an unnecessary political risk.

September 22, 2010 at 12:25 am
(16) j says:

I am a high school student, this thread caught my attention and became quite interesting, noting I do not smoke Marijuana and I do not drink alcohol, if i were to decide to make either of those choices, it would be much more difficult to get alcohol then pot. I could get pot delivered to my house in 30 min. It would take me close to a week to find someone to either buy alcohol for me, or buy it from someone. That ALONE should be enough evidence to legalize this non-toxic drug. In response to the smelly pot head, if i were to come across a drunk at a skate park that was being violent, I would much rather prefer the lazy pot head. The reason that I do not smoke pot is not because I think its a gateway drug or its illegal or even that its arguably harmful, (eating a bag of Cheetos is more harmful then vaporizing pot). I do not smoke pot simply because I am not allowed to at home. Now is this the case for every teenager? Of course not. I have plenty of friends that smoke weed and I have no problem with it. If pot is legalized I have a feeling that the same difficulties that arise from trying to purchase alcohol as a minor, will arise from pot. Not to mention even having pot can put you in huge trouble with the law (having even a little pot can result in prison time). This to me is just flat out ridiculous, the government regulates this virtually non-toxic drug to the extent that parent users are being taken away from their children in direct result of using pot, 6 months for even a little!? Obviously there are going to be exceptions for first offenses. In summation I would just like to add that in my experience/research (noting I’m only 16), the government really does not care about the drug use in America rather then the money that goes into their pockets. Obviously the legalization would help many factors in the economy but the mere fact that the most harmful drug to date (alcohol) is legal to use recreationally, when a medicinal PLANT that has more medicinal factors then harmful. Drug use in American cannot be diminished, although it can be regulated, not criminalized. Criminalization of pot results in wasting the governments time and money by incarcerating users, and spending valuable tax dollars on essentially criminalizing an equivalent to Advil. (take 10 Advils see if it gets you high).

October 26, 2010 at 8:06 pm
(17) arnulof says:

There is a God, I remember my first encounter with cali green, golden orange with purple hairs, Marijuana is god’s herbs not for everyone Shamans and Chiefs only, I’m going to CA week of proposal passes…

December 2, 2010 at 10:40 am
(18) bob says:

marijuana is bad. enough said.

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