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Bullet1987 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:19 PM
Original message
CA Marijuana Legalization Initiative on Ballot Today
Here

"Today, an initiative that would legalize personal marijuana possession and allow regulated sales of marijuana to adults will qualify for California's November general election ballot. A win at the ballot would be a first of its kind in U.S. history. This is a remarkable moment in the struggle to change our decades-old marijuana policies.
--------------

Like it or not, marijuana has become a mainstream recreational drug. It is second only to alcohol and cigarettes in popularity and is objectively far less harmful than either. Marijuana is drastically less addictive and cannot cause an overdose. Every major independent study has debunked the gateway myth; for the profound majority of users, marijuana is the only drug people sample not the first. Children across the country consistently report that marijuana is easy for them to get from their peers and the black market while significant barriers exist to buying alcohol and cigarettes.
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With this cultural transition underway, you might think enforcement of our marijuana laws would reflect their unpopularity. Sadly, quite the opposite is the case. Arrests for marijuana offenses have actually tripled nationwide since 1991. In California, which decriminalized low-level possession in 1975, arrests have jumped 127 percent in the same two decades the arrest rate for crime in general fell by 40 percent. Police made nearly 850,000 marijuana arrests across the country last year, half of all drug arrests and more than all violent crime arrests combined. No law in the United States is enforced so widely yet deemed so unnecessary.

Worse still, marijuana laws are enforced selectively with racist results. In California, African Americans are three times more likely than whites to be arrested for a marijuana offense despite comparable or even lower rates of consumption. An expose by the Pasadena Weekly found that blacks, who represent 14 percent of that city's population, accounted for more than half all marijuana arrests in the last five years."



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Machineland Donating Member (20 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. I would vote yes to legalize...
if this was my state...
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WeekendWarrior Donating Member (849 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'll be voting yes on this
We knew this was coming, but it's nice to see it actually happening. Polls show that a large majority support legalization, so let's hope this translates to the ballot box.

It would be a great economic boon to the state and would rid us of a lot of crime/waste of police resources.
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musiclawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes vote of course ; however..............
The good unintended consequence is that hemp will be de-facto legal here. California will have the market cornered and you bet evey other state will raise a stink and in no time the economic benefits of legal hemp will be revealed. The bad unintended consequence is that the politicians are late to the party as usual such that there will be undercollection of potential tax revenues. The State should be preparing clear and uniform tax schedules and methods of regulation/ enforcement NOW. Sadly the State is comotose, so it will left to cities and counties to go it alone in a hodge-podge approach. The forward thinking smart cities and counties will make out like bandits though.

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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Isn't industrial hemp legal in a few states?
I thought some already have the market cornered there, and it hasn't caused a huge fuss.
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walldude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Man, you should see it here in Colorado...
Not sure about industrial but medical is through the roof. There are stores everywhere, they are even advertising on the radio. In the first year there were stores but they were discreet, hidden in medical office buildings and the like... Now there are store front operations all over the place, yesterday I saw a sign for a place called SWEET LEAF, and man they had a lighted sign that could fit right in in Vegas. It's really a great thing to see...

So in solidarity with my stoner brothers and sisters in Ca, and because we are snowed in in Colorado, I will run the favorite morning ritual of the Homous Stonerous... wake and bake...
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. There are two sides to this
(real quick though, hemp refers to a non THC crop used for clothing, paper, textiles, which is banned in most states)

As far as the commercialization of marijuana, it can help mainstream the drug and change people's opinion regarding legalization

On the otherhand, the outright abuse of medical laws have cause de facto decriminalization among non-medical users, which could cause a backlash that could eventually limit the access of those in need.

So, I don't have a crystal ball to tell you where anything is going to go. :)

I lean towards thinking this is "the high water mark" of marijuana, and that there are too many domestic and foreign lobbies bent on keeping in criminal (including criminal elements) and controlled for it to ever be legal.
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Flaneur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
21. No. It is illegal under federal law.
Some states have passed laws allowing for industrial hemp production, but they don't go into effect until and unless the federal law changes.
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Bullet1987 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Which also opens the door for politicians or their handlers taking off money for themselves
If taxes aren't recorded and collected properly by the state. This could just lead to more corruption sadly.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. Wont this violate federal law, and be reversed on those grounds?
Id be surprised to see a state that banned gay marriage vote to legalize, but we shall see.

Its a step in a good direction. The de facto decriminalization route with medicinal marijuana is bound to eventually cause a backlash and cut off those very people who need it those most (medical patients). Complete legalization is really the answer here.
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arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Precisely. This would contravene Federal law, so is a moot point.
We gotta work on our congresscritters first.
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Bullet1987 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. It's not that simple about federal law
States have rights too. God forbid CA ever gets a Govenor that is pro-marijuana, because you could make a big state's rights issue over this. That's what the politicians DON'T want!
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arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. States rights END when they contravene federal law.
That question was settled in 1865.
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Go read the Tenth Amendment, and get back to me.
:eyes:

Sheesh, you'd think that DUers would have at least a passing familiarity with the FUCKING CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES!
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arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. As far as it goes, that's true.
But it doesn't go nearly far enough for this issue, and you damn well know it.

Now, when you're done engaging in wishful thinking, then we can have a real debate, instead of you just slinging insults that are better directed at yourself.
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Well, according to the precedent that you cite...
Edited on Wed Mar-24-10 03:12 PM by Leftist Agitator
The Feds would have to send occupation troops into California.

Yeah, that's going to happen.

:eyes:
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arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. They still raid medical mj clinics in Cali.
Or have you forgotten about that?

Thing is, ANY attempt to legalize marijuana use in California will fall flat when the fed files to block such legislation citing "interstate commerce regulation". And courts will back them up.

My friend, same-sex marriage will be the law of the land before marijuana is legal ANYWHERE in this country. If you can show me otherwise, have at it. Otherwise, stop rolling your stupid mother-fucking eyes at me.
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IDFbunny Donating Member (530 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-28-10 03:13 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. Already legal in Alaska
Edited on Sun Mar-28-10 03:19 AM by IDFbunny
and backed up by the Alaska Supreme Court. Alaska is new to medical marijuana and small enough that the feds can keep shutting them down but not much they can do about personal possession.
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Bullet1987 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. When has refusing to help those who need medical help
become something that is uncalled for? The Republicans have shown throughout this entire HCR debate that they don't give a damn about helping medical patients. I don't think they'd change that mentality for marijuana.
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Flaneur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #4
22. This would sharpen the contradiction with federal law.
Who knows what comes then? Medical marijuana also violates federal law, but the Obama Justice Department has decided not to enforce the drug laws when it comes to medical marijuana. Would the Obama administration do the same with recreational marijuana? Let's find out.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Legalizing a scheduled substance for medical use it one thing, but for recreational?
Edited on Wed Mar-24-10 03:32 PM by Oregone
I couldn't see the federal government butting out of this.

How many states and countries would be pissed to, pressuring the federal government to act and level the playing field?

How many drug makers, who called the shots on HCR? The tobacco lobby...the alcohol lobby...the prison lobby? Endless.

How many criminal cartels who want it to be illegal to control the market and drive up the price? You think they don't have Congress' ear?

Its a whole different ball game doing this.
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Flaneur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Okay, let's see the DEA going after California pot smokers.
Bring it on, I say. They're hopelessly outnumbered.
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anigbrowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. What they are currently doing...
Edited on Thu Mar-25-10 01:11 PM by anigbrowl
...is sending polite letters to some medical marijuana dispensaries pointing out that they're violating federal law and might be the recipients of a visit. Some dispensaries have closed up and gone out of business in response. The DEA is not the DOJ, but a separate federal agency - they could raid someone, and even if the DOJ under Eric Holder decides not to prosecute, being raided by the dEA is still not a desirable experience.

On the other hand, sending out letters to inform people that they're under DEA scrutiny is a step back from the 'shoot first, ask questions later' approach that the DEA has employed for a long time. My sense is that they are trying to keep their options open while waiting to see how the legal environment shapes up.

This is based on first-hand knowledge by the way, which is why I don't have a link for you.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. .
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Walk away Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. If pot becomes legal in California...
Everyone will be happier and less stressed. Couple that with a giant tax boon and add a cash influx (I would definitely vacation in a happy, sunny state where I can smoke a joint).

What is the down side? Less rowdy drunks?
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Cybergata Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. I can't Wait for the Commercials
Cheech and Cong relaxing on the beach with a big "jay," welcoming everyone to come join them in California for the most relaxing vacation of a life time. ;-)
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Walk away Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. That's what this country. A totla head adjustment.
The Teabaggers would be smokin' it instead of brewing it!
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
17. Kicked and recommended.
Thanks for the thread, Bullet.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
19. Puff, Puff, Pass.
As it were. :hippie:
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Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-28-10 04:42 AM
Response to Reply #19
29. 'ere!
:hippie:
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-28-10 06:46 AM
Response to Original message
30. Living behind the Hoosier Iron Curtain, I don't see this happening
here anytime soon!
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