Saturday, March 27, 2010

Recreational Marijuana Use Likely To Become Legal in California

From the most recent article at my CAIVN column:

In all likelihood, California could be the very first state in the union to legalize the recreational use of marijuana this November.

After legalization activists submitted nearly 700,000 signatures for a proposition to legalize marijuana, California's Secretary of State Debra Bowen certified a ballot initiative earlier this week to legalize the cultivation, possession, and sale of marijuana in the state of California for recreational purposes.

The initiative will go on the ballot this November, and it needs only a simple majority to pass and become law (just as if the legislature had passed it and the governor had signed it), which should be a breeze considering that state-wide polling shows that 56% of California's registered voters support legalizing and taxing marijuana.

But what does this all mean, and what deeper controversy will it ignite? Read the rest of the article here to find out.

8 comments:

Chris W said...

This is good news but it won't really be relegalized as much as decriminalized. Until there are changes on the Federal level such as getting it off Schedule I, you will still have trouble with the DEA.

This is much better than the MA decrim law because it sets up a better structure.

W. E. Messamore said...

You're absolutely right. Follow the link to the full article at CAIVN, and I discuss how surprisingly hard of a line Obama's Administration is taking on this, actually. We'll see what happens.

Commentbug said...

hopefully this will reduce crime.

http://www.commentbug.com

W. E. Messamore said...

It will. The street dealers can't compete with a whole new industry of legal suppliers. Their government-protected cartel will finally come to an end.

Sie said...

My fellows I do not like this whatsoever. I have had a family first hand fall apart due to drug use and now have two young sons living without a mom thats on the straight and narrow.

That said I am torn. I agree to the decriminalization of pot and can see the arguments made for taxation and regulation. I DO think that since pot is no longer a illegal viable source of money for drug lords that they will ramp up the production and push of harder drugs. I think we will see a rise, perhaps a large one, of harder more addictive drugs. I pray I am wrong but I have to be a pessimist here. We will be taking a LARGE amount of money from nefarious drug lords and cartels. They will replace it with something the question just is what?

W. E. Messamore said...

One of the determinants of demand is the availability of substitutes. I can only imagine that the wide, legal, and inexpensive availability of marijuana would only decrease demand for harder drugs, which- all other things being equal- should decrease both the quantity of those drugs consumed, and the price of them, making their sale less, not more lucrative for drug lords.

I am sorry to hear about your family. My family has also been touched by the ravages of addiction, but I would never support making something illegal just because a family member or myself has a problem with it. Even if I were an alcoholic, I would not begrudge a working class man his beer at the end of a hard day. I certainly wouldn't lock him in a cage for it. I can't see how marijuana is any different.

mikeb302000 said...

Thanks for a wonderful post. I agree wholeheartedly this is a good direction for California and the country at large.

I read recently about a legalized heroin program somewhere that practically no one who wouldn't otherwise use the drug does just because it becomes legal. That would work even better for marijuana. Kids who experiment would find it easier to get over it and get on with their lives if it didn't also carry that underground anti-establishment color to it. That's what I found so attractive when I was a kid.

Anyway, hat's off to California.

W. E. Messamore said...

I honestly think most kids like doing marijuana, not because of peer pressure or the desire to rebel- but because it's fun. No surprise there. People are going to do things they enjoy. So long as they are not threatening others, why not let them enjoy themselves? If you think they're decadent, then evangelize- try to convince them to clean up, find Jesus, or do whatever you think is best for their lives. If they agree, they'll change. But if they don't, it's not anybody's place to lock them in a cage.

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