The Push to Legalize Marijuana: It’s Real

For the past few months, I’ve been posting at least one story each week about the nationwide push to change cannabis laws.  The following article does a good job of explaining how this movement goes much farther than previous efforts, and why it is worth reporting on.  Am I just getting everyone’s hopes up?  Is this a pipe dream, a THC laden pie in the sky?  For me, it goes far beyond getting the legal right own something that is easy enough to find right now.  It’s about the misery the legal system is causing millions of people each year.  Will 2010 be the year America stops eating its young?

From The Atlantic:tax-cannabis-2010

You may have heard there’s a push to legalize marijuana in California. You may not have heard that it’s for real.

Voting ballots in California this November will contain an initiative to legalize, tax, and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older, and while this may sound like something that has no chance, whatsoever, of ever becoming law, the thing is: it actually might.

The organized campaign around this initiative is called Tax Cannabis, and it’s the brainchild of marijuana entrepreneur Richard Lee. “Marijuana entrepreneur” sounds highly illegal, but, in California, where medical pot is sold unobstructed by the feds, it’s not: Lee founded Oaksterdam University, a school that teaches how to grow marijuana and run a marijuana business, as chronicled by Josh Green in The Atlantic last April.

This was not, mind you, originally an effort of the national marijuana policy establishment, per se. According to conventional wisdom on initiatives like this one, 2012 would be a better year to dedicate resources to a marijuana legalization campaign: it’s a presidential election year, and younger and marginal voters–voters who could be more sympathetic to legalizing pot–will come out to vote, whereas fewer people vote in the midterms. People who vote in midterms are more engaged in the process–if pollsters label respondents as “likely voters,” then the midterm turnout is made up of are even likelier voters than the electorate in presidential years–the type of people who might not, typically, support an initiative like this one. So, much like in California’s gay-marriage movement, there was some hesitation over whether 2010 was the right year to do this.

[Read more at The Atlantic]

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  • shane cunningham

    Really? pffff, disgusting premise, Tax and regulate! a plant! this coming from this website is comical. its an attempt to create state monopoly, so they can @ the point of a taxmans gun robbing you. freaking tax feeders. I could rant for hours about the moral hazards, and TAXATION AND REGULATION has nothing to do with legalization…. its a deep subject not fully exploded here, and in time as with most state monopolies it starts off simple and not to oppressive. In time it will crank up the heat and boil the frog who didnt know to jump out at the start. It will spread in to the production of cannabis and producers needing licenses, and insurance, and building permits, and taxes, soon so many rules will drive the quality local guy out of business as only RJ reynolds and Phillip Morris can navigate hurdles, negotiate and legislate to their advantages with government as the enforcer and partner in crime. quality can then be sacrificed a bit, and they'll grow out of country and flood market to destroy little guy, then they will control it and raise prices. a NEW Black market will emerge as it will be preferred and illegal all over again. This occurs when gov taxes and regulates. I say legalize across the board, no taxes or regulation. The Moral benefits would be tremendous, quality would increase, initial flood of market as newbies get in, but market would weed out failures, and the survivors would compete to keep market share… using free market concepts to keep customers, like quality, low prices, customer service, year round harvests, etc etc…the industry would demand supplies and equipment from vendors who would experience growth. Im ranting now and am not lying out entire picture as that requires some time.

    • 5by5

      Personally, I could care less if they tax it. I hope they do. With taxes I buy CIVILIZATION. I hope they use it to keep teachers employed in our schools, and nurses in our hospitals, and cops on the streets catching REAL criminals, and EMT's in our ambulances, and workers repairing our highways, sewage systems, and water systems.

      I see no reason why this can't be used to solve multiple problems.

      Get it to medical marijuana patients who really need it, stop criminalizing people who use it for recreation and reduce the prison population that is ALSO gobbling up state funds for no good reason and turning minor offenders into violent criminals (because basically prison in America is just a graduate course in criminality, not a tool for reform or socialization), and get needed funds to state projects that will also preserve JOBS and improve the economy overall.

      Sorry, not seeing a downside. So you have to pay an extra buck or two for your chronic just as those who drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes do. BFD. Suck it up. (So to speak, LOL!)

    • Kate

      Right now, I could care less if it's taxed and regulated. You know why? One of my good friend has fibromyalgia. That means she is in extremely terrible pain the majority of the time. She can attend maybe 25 % of her classes. The only way she got through high school was by smoking weed. In college she's tried not to because it's stupidly illegal (and we live in the Bible Belt where some people think it's the worst thing ever) so she's been living in pain for 4 years. The other night we were at a party, she smoked some, and for the first time in ages she woke up pain free. I see people like her, and it makes me think that all those people trying to keep pot from being legal are sadistic bastards.

  • honu

    I think I understand your concern somewhat Shane. You're pissed because it's a naturally occuring plant so why are we even discussing it on terms of legality/tax and regulate. I get that but at the same time, it's a step forward. I live in California and we're in deep sh-t as we are a broke state. It would help to get some money back to the state this way. At the same time it would open the door to all sorts of benefits like releasing inmates busted for nothing more than basic possesion of pot. It would also be a progressive step towards having a more sensible national policy towards drugs. I can't wait to vote for it.

    • shane cunningham

      its not sensible to tax and regulate. rather it is sensible to legalize. my problem with this is that it uses the word legalize in same sentence as tax and regulate, it is subterfuge, hidden agenda. Legalize free market is the way to go for a more sensible national policy, I dont mean to offend, but careful analysis of Human Action, free market, economic principals, incentives, government interference, regulation and taxation all point to an inevitable conclusion that is based in facts not theory. all your stated reasons for being excited about it are flawed, deeply. and has been for centuries. I could rant for hours about historical data, and proof, and also show real time today examples and proof. I could name thousands of historians and economist that agree. In a Nutshell Im a libertarian free market economist of the Ludwig Von Mises Rothbard persuasion, A non-aggression axiom applies to everyone, even the state. They have nothing except what they extort, and steal. I can not extort and steal neither can they, period. we need to repeal the law that makes it criminal this will free inmates, not make new law. any other benefit you see in this legislation is flawed like chasing a unicorn, there are more more hazards than benefits… besides who needs the state anyway, they are thugs, crooks with the bigger set of guns, ordering you and I around.

  • E.B. Wolf

    I hope the Tax Cannabis people are prepared for the campaign of fear and lies that awaits them in their fight to legalize the weed. The police and prison officer union ( I refuse to call them correction officers) have a strong interest in keeping it illegal.

    I hope the bill is successful. If we can get one state to pass responsible Marijuana legislation; it will be that much more difficult for the lies propping up this Senseless Prohibition to hold. Once we have a tangible example that the sky will not fall if weed is treated the same as alcohol in the eyes of government, the chicken littles who spread these self-serving lies will have a very big, new chink in their armor.

    Good luck, California.

  • http://www.diversesanctuary.ning.com/ REV. MARY THOMAS-SPEARS

    CIGARETTES, GUNS, FIREWORKS, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE ALL LEGAL

    YET, PEOPLE ARE STILL IMPRISONED FOR CRIMES OF POSSESSING THEM… EVERYDAY !

    THESE ITEMS ARE TAXED AT A HIGHER RATE = YOU PAY MORE FOR A FALSE FREEDOM !

    DID LEGALIZATION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS STOP THE BLACK MARKET OF THEM ? NO IT CREATED ONE = TO PROHIBITION !

    DID LEGALIZING ANY OF THESE ITEMS GUARANTEE THOSE PEOPLE WHO WANT THEM OR NEED THEM COULD AFFORD THEM – LIKE THE PATIENTS NEEDING CERTAIN PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ? NO !

    SO IS LEGALIZATION A BIG CAPITALISTIC LIE ? YES !

    SORRY !!!

    SINCERELY,
    REV. MARY THOMAS-SPEARS

  • http://www.diversesanctuary.ning.com/ REV. MARY THOMAS-SPEARS

    WRITTEN IN RESPONSE TO THIS ARTICLE ABOVE

    http://www.diversesanctuarysnews.ning.com/forum

    ALONG WITH THESE ARTICLES WRITTEN SOME TIME AGO ON THIS ISSUE

    http://www.diversesanctuary.ning.com/page/how-t

    http://www.diversesanctuary.ning.com/page/my-re

    JUST WHAT I KNOW FROM FIGHTING THIS LEGAL FIGHT ALL THESE YEARS.

    SINCERELY,
    MUCH PEACE & LOVE…
    REV. MARY

  • justagirl

    they have legalized medical marijuana in my town. dispensories opened up and charged $700 an oz. they even sold marijuana cookies and stuff like that. it was closed down weeks later. legal caregivers (those who are certified by the state to grow a certain amount of plants for certain patients) are being raided and ticketed. people with medical marijuana cards are being charged with possession (even elderly patients). the police are ignoring the new law. if california passes the medical marijuana law, be advised that the change is probably going to be gradual and there are going to be a lot of angry people who spent money to get their medical marijuana cards and now have to pay for attorney's fees, court costs…etc.

  • SmokeyTheBanjo

    HI PEOPLE! PLEASE HELP US BRITS LEGALISE POT BY ADDING A VOTE HERE…
    http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/repeal-the-prohibition-on-cannabis-1

    THANKS!!

  • SmokeyTheBanjo

    HI PEOPLE! PLEASE HELP US BRITS LEGALISE POT BY ADDING A VOTE HERE…
    http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unneces

    THANKS!!

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