Wednesday, March 31, 2010

legalizing marijuana: the golden state's pot of gold?

ahead of state-wide vote in november,
marijuana legalization battle heats up in california

legalizing marijuana: the golden state's pot of gold?from news junkie post: This week, a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana possession by adults qualified for the California ballot. The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 is coming up for a vote.

While all the standard, well-worn pot jokes and cliches were quickly pressed into service, it’s becoming obvious that unlike failed legalization initiatives in the past (of which California has had at least two), the debate will this time center around money.

California has once again become the focal point of a long-running battle over liberalizing the pot laws. Observers predict plenty of money will be spent, by both sides, in an attempt to either launch or squash what many see as an inevitable national trend.

The cultural and financial landscape has changed a lot since legalization was last on the California ballot in 1996, especially since medical marijuana passed that same year and helped to reshape popular perceptions of the herb’s usefulness.

The that pace of change was given new impetus by the Obama Administration’s announcement last yearfederal drug agents are being instructed to lay off pot patients and providers in states where medical marijuana is legal...

The initiative [336kb PDF] would legalize possession, sharing and transport of up to an ounce of pot for personal use by adults 21 and older. Marijuana could be privately grown in spaces of up to 25 square feet. Marijuana use would still be banned in public places and in the presence of minors.

Local governments, but not the state, could impose marijuana taxes to raise revenues. Cities and counties could authorize cultivation, transportation and sale of pot, and in a controversial provision, could also locally ban marijuana.

1 comment:

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Nearly three-quarters-of-a-century after it was made illegal; half-a-century after it was proven to be practically harmless - why is it still a crime to possess and smoke marijuana?

Here is a list of ten famous people who died as a result of nicotine abuse:

Humphrey Bogart
Edward R. Murrow
Nat King Cole
George Harrison
John Huston
Noel Coward
Betty Grable
Walt Disney
Gary Cooper
Peter Jennings

Here is another list. Ten famous people who died from alcoholism:

Billie Holiday
Jack Kerouac
Truman Capote
Lorenz Hart
Veronica Lake
Bix Beiderbecke
Montgomery Clift
Dylan Thomas
John Barrymore
Errol Flynn

Now I'm going to ask you to name for me one celebrity who has died from too much grass.

Go on, I'm waiting....

Couldn't do it, could you? Don't feel bad. Neither could I. Not only am I not aware of anyone ever dying in that manner, I am not aware of it happening in all recorded human history. If someone can come up with one example I'll shut up forever on the subject. Is it a "gateway drug" as they never tire of reminding us? An argument may be made that it is. But so is Pabst Blue Ribbon. Also, ciggies and booze have absolutely no medicinal value. Marijuana has. Think about it.

Do I advocate its use? I don't. I haven't smoked pot in over twenty years and have no intention of taking up the habit again any time soon. But at the dawn of the second decade of the twenty-first century the question is screaming to be asked: Why are we still having this stupid conversation?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

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