Drug Policy

California Voters Will Be Asked to Legalize Pot

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It looks like a marijuana legalization initiative will be on the ballot in California this fall. Today the backers of the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act turned in nearly 700,000 signatures; they need just 434,000 to qualify the measure for the ballot. The Los Angeles Times notes that "a Field Poll taken last April found that 56% of voters in the state and 60% in Los Angeles County want to make pot legal and tax it." It also suggests that "if passed, the initiative would put the state in conflict with federal law," which is not strictly speaking true. As Drug Policy Alliance attorney Tamar Todd noted in response to a Los Angeles Times editorial that made a similar claim a couple weeks ago, California is under no obligation to replicate federal drug prohibitions. Under the Supreme Court's expansive reading of the Commerce Clause, the federal government would have the authority to prosecute people for growing, distributing, and possessing marijuana even if the drug were no longer banned by state law. But it would not have the resources to do so consistently.

I noted the initiative campaign's signature-gathering prowess last month.

NEXT: Race to the Checkout Line

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  1. Just what us Californians need: another tax. Possession of under an ounce is already treated less harshly than jaywalking. I’d be willing to be that in under 20 years, weed in the Golden State will cost more per gram than unobtainium.

    1. Then wouldn’t people just go back to buying weed illegally? And now there won’t be a possession/growing problem.

      I’m not in cali. How much does dispensary pot cost by weight?

      1. Essentially the same as the street varieties, with essentiall the same quality. $45-$60 per eight, depending on the quality of the product. I essentially expect the state to become a monopoly on the supply of cannabis, maintain the $45-$60/eight, tack on an ungodly $20 vice tax on top of it, and invite the federales to prosecute anyone caught growing their own shit since it will divert tax revenues from the state.

        1. Pot purchased from dispensaries tends to be pricier ($5-$15 per eighth) than on the street, where you can usually buy a bag for $40. The reason for this (besides quality control) is that dispensaries have to compete with the black market when purchasing product from growers. Additionally, the cities that allow dispensaries to operate want to ensure that what is sold as medicine to an adult doesn’t end up in a teenager’s school locker, making it important for dispensaries to ensure that their product can’t be re-sold on the black market.

          Full legalization would eliminate the black market, causing prices to fall (I would also expect an initial explosion in supply, because the stuff really is easy to grow). These should drive prices down significantly when/if legalization happens.

          1. Haha, exactly right! Sounds like user ‘Sudden’ hasn’t even read A.B. 390. Here’s a tip mate: don’t go shouting down legislation (or anything) you know nothing about.

            Tax will be $50 an ounce, totally reasonable compared to alcohol. In addition, 21+ year-old adults can have up to 6 mature plants growing in their private residence at any one time. You can even grow outdoors as long as it is obscured from view. That means mothers (and probably males in the grand scheme of things) don’t count. With a mother/clone setup and being able to have 6 plants in flower at once in a perpetual harvest configuration. Christ, you’d have more ganja than you, your spouse and all of your friends could smoke! Having 6 legal mature plants at once without being taxed is an outrageously excellent setup! Outdoor plants can get HUGE, especially if you run them through their vegetative cycle indoors. 2+ pounds per plant easy, same is true for indoor plants under big HIDs. I personally think the state should have gone with some kind of per-mature grow tax (pay 20$ or so per mature plant per year, up to some kind of practical limit), lord knows the state needs the cash what with all you folks needing a new multi-billion dollar canal system just so you don’t all die of thirst and famine.

            Cannabis is crazy-easy to grow. Modern indoor hybrids have been bred to thrive in hot, cramped, humid little stealth boxes. Take those same genetics and apply them to modern, cheap, legal cultivation methods and you get monstrous yields. A simple little 500 square foot green house could make a very healthy profit selling high-grade sensimilla marijuana at $50 an ounce. That would make a way better profit margin than other legitimate (and much harder to grow) produce that is already pulled off successfully in California. Apples, citrus, tomatoes, all that stuff is sold at a workable profit for under $5 A POUND! And they are WAY harder to produce than high-quality marijuana. Between the current strong legitimate agricultural industry in California and every previously-illegal pot-growing green-thumb coming out of the woodwork to sell; marijuana prices will go into a free fall! I would not be surprised at all to see prices (before tax) drop below $20 an ounce. Even at that number profits for legit commercial agricultural enterprises would be massive! Especially considering that A.B. 390 also makes hemp farming totally legal. Picture this: an already-existing farming company going into the hemp business to make kick-ass paper, building materials, clothing fibers, etc and then EASILY running a high-margin cannabis growing business on the side! An operation like that could make damn good money selling pot at $50 A POUND!

            ‘Sudden’, no need to be so pessimistic my friend. You vastly underestimate the power of American capitalism. Pot prices are going to drop so low that the black market for it will collapse almost INSTANTLY! NO WAY could a current underground organization, no matter what size, compete with the might of legit American agriculture! All violence, corruption and general bad-for-society activity related to pot will evaporate almost overnight. And with absurdly cheap, high quality, easy-to-obtain marijuana flooding out of California into the rest of the states, it will just be a matter of time before the black market in those locations collapses as well. How many enterprising Americans do you think will buy legal sub-$100-an-ounce superdank to distribute at 2-4 times the price in the prohibition states? TONS! A.B. 390 is gonna open the floodgates for reform. Prohibition in other states will become beyond un-enforceable. Wide-scale destruction of the senseless American war on cannabis will come within the decade!

            And so to will it for other countries. All first-world nations, weather they admit it or not, look to America for the next social revolution. Its just what we do. The only sad thing is that it took this long to happen.

            Godspeed to A.B. 390! Let the revolution begin!

          2. Haha, exactly right! Sounds like user ‘Sudden’ hasn’t even read A.B. 390. Here’s a tip mate: don’t go shouting down legislation (or anything) you know nothing about.

            Tax will be $50 an ounce, totally reasonable compared to alcohol. In addition, 21+ year-old adults can have up to 6 mature plants growing in their private residence at any one time. You can even grow outdoors as long as it is obscured from view. That means mothers (and probably males in the grand scheme of things) don’t count. With a mother/clone setup and being able to have 6 plants in flower at once in a perpetual harvest configuration. Christ, you’d have more ganja than you, your spouse and all of your friends could smoke! Having 6 legal mature plants at once without being taxed is an outrageously excellent setup! Outdoor plants can get HUGE, especially if you run them through their vegetative cycle indoors. 2+ pounds per plant easy, same is true for indoor plants under big HIDs. I personally think the state should have gone with some kind of per-mature grow tax (pay 20$ or so per mature plant per year, up to some kind of practical limit), lord knows the state needs the cash what with all you folks needing a new multi-billion dollar canal system just so you don’t all die of thirst and famine.

            Cannabis is crazy-easy to grow. Modern indoor hybrids have been bred to thrive in hot, cramped, humid little stealth boxes. Take those same genetics and apply them to modern, cheap, legal cultivation methods and you get monstrous yields. A simple little 500 square foot green house could make a very healthy profit selling high-grade sensimilla marijuana at $50 an ounce. That would make a way better profit margin than other legitimate (and much harder to grow) produce that is already pulled off successfully in California. Apples, citrus, tomatoes, all that stuff is sold at a workable profit for under $5 A POUND! And they are WAY harder to produce than high-quality marijuana. Between the current strong legitimate agricultural industry in California and every previously-illegal pot-growing green-thumb coming out of the woodwork to sell; marijuana prices will go into a free fall! I would not be surprised at all to see prices (before tax) drop below $20 an ounce. Even at that number profits for legit commercial agricultural enterprises would be massive! Especially considering that A.B. 390 also makes hemp farming totally legal. Picture this: an already-existing farming company going into the hemp business to make kick-ass paper, building materials, clothing fibers, etc and then EASILY running a high-margin cannabis growing business on the side! An operation like that could make damn good money selling pot at $50 A POUND! Wide-scale destruction of the senseless American war on cannabis will come within the decade!

            And so to will it for other countries. All first-world nations, weather they admit it or not, look to America for the next social revolution. Its just what we do. The only sad thing is that it took this long to happen.

            Godspeed to A.B. 390! Let the revolution begin!

      2. $15 to $20 per gram. That’s usually the minimum quantity you can donate.

      3. Cannabis costs about the same legally as it does illegally in California ($40-60 for 3.5g)
        They are planning on imposing a $50 per ounce tax, which is close to 20%.
        I think with legalization, it will be less of a hassle to grow, and a black market will just exist only with less consequences.

        Ultimately, we all know marijuana is pretty harmless, unless you get a stomach ache from too many doughnuts or from driving a car. Legalizing it will just save us money on enforcement and free up space in prisons.

    2. While you may be against the idea of a tax, weed in the Golden State (and all over America) costs more than gold per ounce (no, I’m not using an Avatar reference to prove a point). The only thing legalization would do is drive the prices down by allowing law following entrepreneurs to grow weed and, in 1 step, to sell it to dispensaries…as opposed to drug dealers selling to each other and driving up the price to make doing something illegal worth the risk

    3. They wont be applying the tax onto the current price of the weed. The current price of weed is ridiculously high compared to the production costs due to the fact that by the time you buy your 8th two or three people have tried to make a living out of it. If anything, weed will end up being cheaper as it’s economy settles because they wont have to hide the grow rooms and evade police anymore.

  2. Under the Supreme Court’s expansive reading of the Commerce Clause, the federal government would have the authority to prosecute people for growing, distributing, and possessing marijuana even if the drug were no longer banned by state law. But it would not have the resources to do so consistently.

    Oh, I’m sure we can find a few resources around here somewhere ….

    1. Maybe it’s time to question the Court’s “expansive reading of the Commerce Clause.”

      1. The Court has been pretty into narrower readings these days anyways…

  3. Marijuana and an abundance of Asian women, sounds like I need to move to California!

    1. Now, if they could just get this Jihad against capitalism out of their system, they might have something.

      I’m just saying….

  4. Regulate, Control, and Tax

    What could be more libertarian than that?

    1. Mark my words. Marijuana will be more expensive and will be a state-run monopoly. The libertarian instinct in me wants me to believe this is a good thing… the skeptic in me knows far better.

      1. Maybe not Sudden.

        Pot is a lot less expensive (and easier) to grow yourself than it is to build a home brewery.

        Unless there’s a provision in the new law to prohibit home growing there is a limit on how much tax can placed on pot to maximize revenue.

        1. Perhaps I am mistaken. I just gave a tertiary read through of the proposed initiative (thankfully not authored by any agents of the state), and it does permit personal cultivation. However, as stated above, cultivation is still a federal offense, and the state could essentially alert federales to any personal growers of cannabis thereby finding their loophole to prevent home growing. It is perhaps a stretch in the near term, but I’d say the state will likely try to find a way to do it next time the funds run dry.

          1. cultivation is still a federal offense

            We need to make sure that any legalization measure includes a ban on using any state resources to help the feds harass our citizens under unconstitutional federal legislation.

            -jcr

            1. #

              “Bans local agencies from willfully assisting federal law enforcement efforts to enforce federal laws that are inconsistent with California law, and bans the use of state/local resources to do so.”

              -A.B. 390

              Never fear my friend, it’s been remarkably well thought-through. This legislation is an air-tight prohibition buster for sure!

      2. The first two sentences of the law summary from the referenced website:

        Allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Permits local governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of marijuana to people 21 years old or older.

        Maybe more expensive and a monopoly, maybe not. Allowing *personal* use and all that.

      3. The libertarian instinct in me wants me to believe this is a good thing… the skeptic in me knows far better.

        Nah, even in states with ABC stores, it’s still better than Prohibition.

        1. In my experience, liquor from New Hampshire’s state monopoly is cheaper than in states without such a monopoly. States are not all completely retarded (though CA may be). NH is smart enough to know that people from Mass. can be attracted by low prices on liquor. CA just might be smart enough to realize that keeping the tax low-ish and the market fairly open will attract a lot of money from out of state.

          1. Not a fair comparison. The possession of alcohol is still legal in Massachusetts. Technically if you get caught buying booze in NH and you take it across the border there is a slim chance you could get hit for not paying the Massachusetts sales tax, but it is a virtually non existent phenomenon.

            A better comparison would be buying fireworks in NH and trying the bring them across the border. Yes the cops ARE waiting on the border to pounce on fireworks buyers, they bust them all the time especially around Independence day, and they are spying on the stores and writing down car plates. Big Brother for real.

            The same will happen in all states bordering CA, it will be like shooting fish in a barrel, but this time with weed it could be real shooting and real death. And the sheer absurdity that CA will actually be able to collect any fraction of expect revenues from pot heads is pure hilarity, despite the poll numbers being driven by nervous Californians grasping at straws in desperation to find new revenue sources. This bill is bad news, Super-Sized to CA proportions, with a CA sized FAIL on the horizon.

      4. Marijuana will be more expensive and will be a state-run monopoly.

        I don’t see how they could possibly monopolize it. It’s a weed, after all.

        -jcr

        1. I don’t see how they could possibly monopolize it. It’s a weed, after all.

          Also, California shares a border with Mexico. It’s probably a lot cheaper there. Of course, that’s assuming the Feds will let you across the border with a legal-in-CA amount of pot, which they probably won’t.

          1. it’s close to British Columbia, Canada which has the best pot in the world.

            It’s cheap up here. 1/8ths are only about $15 – $20 canadian. Ounce for $200 – $240 of the best stuff.

            1. I beg to differ, sir. Every canadian i have met has said the same thing, but I have friends at Quest University in BC and they have told me that the pot in humboldt county is better. Even high times said so, in a comparo between Humboldt County, B.C., and Amsterdam. Sorry. Nice prices though, but it aint shit compared to humboldt. there is bomb outdoor kush varieties going around out there for under 2000 a lb. get with it.

    2. The status quo is arrest, trial and prison. This is a victory, be happy for it.

  5. It’s a damned shame I cannot vote…

    1. … due to your felony conviction for drug trafficking.

      1. I thought its because he’s still a mexican citizen?

    2. Dont worry Old Mexican, my YES vote will be placed on your behalf.

      Unfortunately, I do remember reading that even if it passes the initative states that California prohibition will not change until federal law ceases to conflict with federal law(Federal Decriminalization).

      If anyone could confirm this it would be appreciated!!!

  6. No plant is illegal.

    1. Lord, what fools these mortals be!

  7. OVERGROW THE GOVERNMENT!

    1. Go all Johnny Hempseed on their asses!

  8. Under the Supreme Court’s expansive reading of the Commerce Clause, the federal government would have the authority to prosecute people for growing, distributing, and possessing marijuana even if the drug were no longer banned by state law. But it would not have the resources to do so consistently.

    The federal penalties for distributing marijuana are stiff enough that no reputable business is going to risk it. The state doesn’t have the resources to prosecute every person who drives over the speed limit, but they still manage to make people afraid of getting caught by jacking up the penalties for those who do get caught.

    1. There are 600 pot dispensaries in L.A. right now. Doesn’t seem like they are too worried about the Feds.

      1. IceTrey — that’s because Holder/Obama announced an official policy that they would have a hands-off policy on dispensaries.

        1. Whoops sorry they didn’t just show up in the last year.

  9. Thanks to the feds still sporatically enforcing prohibition, there won’t be any head shops of coffee houses that would normally generate a lot of tax revenue. Instead, it will be a lot of private growing and sales in small scales that is unlikely to bring the attention of the Feds and also unlikely to generate any tax revenue.

    I think this could be a bad thing in the long term. If the measure passes and then doesn’t generate much revenue, the prohibitionists will point to the California example as proof that legalization won’t increase tax revenue.

    1. the prohibitionists will point to the California example as proof that legalization won’t increase tax revenue.

      Maybe, but we’ll also be able to point to the savings from not imprisoning innocent people.

      -jcr

      1. They took er jorbs!

        -Your Friendly Local LEO

        1. They took (shot dead on sight) his dog!

          1. They broke his jaw!

    2. The combined populations of California and Washington state is around 42 million people.

      The voter turn out for prop 8, in California, was 79% or about 13 million votes.

      Washington state turn out for the ’08 national election was 67% or, about 3 million votes.

      If both legalization initiatives pass with the same turn out at 51% that is, drum roll please…8.16 million votes.

      The last presidential election was won with 9 million votes. I think the feds might be a little cautious on how they approach this thing.

      1. Capitol – The last presidential election was indeed won with 9 million votes, however, consider the electoral college.

    3. “If the measure passes and then doesn’t generate much revenue, the prohibitionists will point to the California example as proof that legalization won’t increase tax revenue.”

      And everyone else will be able to point to the 70 years of drug prohibition that were an utter failure by any measure.

    4. But also — it will help their balance sheet because: (a) it would eliminate most policing, arresting, prosecuting, imprisoning, users and growers (b) it would put many drug gangs, particularly Mexican ones out of business; (c) which would reduce crime somewhat

      My point: there’s a lot more budgetary benefit to Calif than merely taxing it. It also removes the expenditures (and collateral damage) of “The War on Drugs” (well, at least for one of the drugs).

      1. Does anyone know what cannabis’ “market share” is? I was under the impression it made up a huge chunk of illegal drugs consumption.

        1. Abdul – this 2006 article “Pot is called biggest cash crop’ – http://www.cannabis.net/articles/pot.html
          A report released today by a marijuana public policy analyst contends that the market value of pot produced in the U.S. exceeds $35 billion ? far more than the crop value of such heartland staples as corn, soybeans and hay, which are the top three legal cash crops.

          1. The source was the LA Times, Dec 18.

  10. Washington state is gearing up to do the same

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c…..ative.html

    While the libertarian in me is against the state having a monopoly on it, the smoker in me would much prefer being able to get a known quantity from a licensed store, instead of having to deal with some dude and have to pretend to be his buddy.

    1. But with the feds still enforcing prohibition, who in their right mind would get a license and start selling the stuff? Sadly, even if these measures pass, you still be dealing with some loser selling stuff of unknown propriety.

      1. What about the people who are already selling it it dispensaries?

        1. Aren’t they kind of living on borrowed time? How long before the DEA shows up at the door? I think they are crazy to do that.

          1. My neighborhood clinic is run by a bunch of Armenians. They seem relaxed enough, they’re usually drinking whiskey and having a good time. There is an LAPD station a block away and the DEA seems to be leaving them alone.

            1. I wish them luck. I really do. But, I think it is just a matter of time before the DEA shuts all those things down.

            2. My neighborhood clinic is run by a bunch of Armenians

              Well, i mean, Armenians are used to even worse jackbootery. So to setup a weed shop here…yeah, no big deal from their perspective.

            3. It is amazing what a couple thousand off the top can do for you…you know, for “protection”.

          2. No — Holder/Obama announced a hands-off policy against state-legal dispensaries.

            1. Once again. Yea so what.

    2. Cool. I’ve actually met two of the people in that article- Douglas Hiatt and Alison Holcomb both guest lectured at one of my classes at UW.

      Hiatt seemed like a hell of a nice guy- funny, passionate about his clients, and didn’t mince words about how fucking stupid drug laws are. Here’s hoping this goes somewhere.

      1. You live in Seattle? I am at Fort Lewis for two weeks. I really do love it up here. So beautiful. Too bad it is so infested with totalitarian liberals.

        1. Ah, you picked a good time to come- it’s been really nice for January. Will you make it up to Seattle? It’s a bit of a haul from Ft. Lewis, but worth it! 🙂

          1. I am here for two weeks. And will totally make it to Seattle this weekend. I am actually staying in Tacoma and commuting to Lewis. So, the drive won’t be as bad. Any suggestions on good seafood restaurants? I like local simple food. Nothing fancy or overdone. And I could eat enough smoked salmon and oysters to feed a small Native American village.

            1. My favorite task is thinking about good food. OK, Ray’s Boathouse is good seafood with a great view. Downtown, there’s the Brooklyn, which is steak & oysters. For brunch I’d go with Etta’s (a Tom Douglas restaurant close to Pike Place, with a killer crab omelette). For sushi minus the trendier-than-thou attitude, Shiro’s in Belltown. For ridiculously delicious gastropub fare, I cannot stop recommending Quinn’s in Capitol Hill. Have fun!

            2. Thinking about great food is my favorite thing to do. OK, Ray’s Boathouse in Ballard is great seafood with an amazing view. For oysters, there’s Ivar’s, but better yet is the Brooklyn downtown. For brunch I’d go with Etta’s (it’s a Tom Douglas restaurant near Pike Place, and has a killer crab omelette). For sushi minus the trendier-than-thou attitude, Shiro’s in Belltown. And for ridiculously delicious gastropub fare, I cannot stop recommending Quinn’s in Capitol Hill. Have a great time!

            3. Thinking about great food is my favorite thing to do. OK, Ray’s Boathouse in Ballard is great seafood with an amazing view. For oysters, there’s Ivar’s, but better yet is the Brooklyn downtown. For brunch I’d go with Etta’s (it’s a Tom Douglas restaurant near Pike Place, and has a killer crab omelette). For sushi minus the trendier-than-thou attitude, Shiro’s in Belltown. And for ridiculously delicious gastropub fare, I cannot stop recommending Quinn’s in Capitol Hill. Have a great time!

            4. This is a great food town- you’ve got lots of options.

              Ray’s Boathouse in Ballard is great seafood with an amazing view. For oysters, there’s Ivar’s, but better yet is the Brooklyn downtown. For brunch I’d go with Etta’s (it’s a Tom Douglas restaurant near Pike Place, and has a killer crab omelette). For sushi minus the trendier-than-thou attitude, Shiro’s in Belltown. And for ridiculously delicious gastropub fare, I cannot stop recommending Quinn’s in Capitol Hill. Have a great time!

                1. And as an added bonus, Pike Place won’t be mobbed by tourists on the weekend like it is in summertime.

  11. The concept is okay in general, but the Almighty FedGov won’t put up with it indefinitely.

    Unless they get a cut of the sales, that is… which STILL won’t balance the budget, but then again nothing will – not even tax increases.

  12. Yes, that’s why the ‘legalize-it-so-you-can-tax-it’ crowd have it wrong. Legalize it because there is nothing wrong with it. Period.

    1. Do they have it “wrong”, or do they just advocate different tactics?

      At this point, you should think about taking any “thin edge of the wedge” you can get.

    2. Yes, that’s why the ‘legalize-it-so-you-can-tax-it’ crowd have it wrong. Legalize it because there is nothing wrong with it. Period.

      So you would prefer still having alcohol Prohibition?

      1. Hey, at least I can bring duty-free back. Of course, Customs is all over you as to how many bottles.

        I’m just saying that taxation will always be a feature of economic activity, but don’t make it the salient feature of legalization. I think others have pointed out some of the thorny problems that could result. But no, certainly legal is better than illegal. Can’t a guy dream? Jeez.

        1. I like to stop
          at the duty-free shop.

          1. Hey, that’s not haiku. Or is today Rhyming-couplet Thursday and I wasn’t informed?

            1. Here is the reference — during the last 30 seconds or so.

              1. Thanks, always liked the show, but have spent way too much time out of country to see all the must-see TV.

          2. Do you need anything from duty free?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..xt_from=PL

    3. Unfortunately that argument doesn’t fly in a country with a wide puritan streak like the U.S. If it gives pleasure, it must be bad. I’ll take any argument that gets the job done.

    4. I agree, but legal and taxed is a hell of a lot better than facing a felony for possession. Sometimes you have to be pragmatic and pursue net gains where thy can be had.

  13. Another thing to pay attention to in terms of federal reaction to this is going to be the withdrawl and cancellation of federal funds to the states. The Feds will find some negative health effect justification to tell California that all its dope fiends are increasing the costs of hosptalization and therefore the feds will stop sending Medicaid money to California.

    1. Don’t illegals who cook with lard do this already?

      1. SHHHHHHHH! Don’t give them ideas!

        1. You mean: “Callate wey!”

  14. “Under the Supreme Court’s expansive reading of the Commerce Clause, the federal government would have the authority to prosecute people for growing, distributing, and possessing marijuana even if the drug were no longer banned by state law.”

    If California simply decriminalized it it would be one thing. But I think it will cause trouble if they tax a federal crime.

    1. The existing dispensaries already pay millions in sales taxes every year.

    2. Also, you have to pay tax on all income, whether legally or illegally obtained.

      – Al Capone

  15. There are initiatives in other states as well, I think if more states can pass this in 10,12 or 14 you will see the federal government not be able to pass it. The fun part will be to see who has the balls to do this with cocaine or heroin… I say no one for at least 20 years…

  16. Scoop: Word is they’re going to repeal Prohibition. What’ll you do then?

    Ness: I think I’ll have a drink.

  17. Well I for one am looking forward to a national game of chicken as the states face of with the feds. It’s about fucking time the states stop kowtowing to Washington’s every shove. It’s been alluded to above, that the feds jack-booting their way through Washington and California poses a risk to any administration willing to enter such a fray. This is politics, anything is possible.

  18. Cool. I’ve actually met two of the people in that article- Douglas Hiatt and Alison Holcomb both guest lectured at one of my classes at UW.

    Hyatt is mentioned in Peter Bagge’s Everyone is Stupid Except Me. He was working as an attorney for a sad-sack medical marijuana patient.

  19. See how much your city and state can save on Taxing & legalizing Marijuana also.

    http://MarijuanaLobby.org

  20. I wonder how they will deal with the population explosion when myself, and every other cannabis-loving American moves to California.

  21. What would the effect be of an executive order from you-know-who erasing marijuana from the controlled substance list? MJ is currently a Class 1 controlled substance, which is just nuts. Would that alone end the federal prohibition?

    If Obama is in trouble in ’12, what effect would one quick signature have?

    1. Problem with executive orders is the next guy/gal in can reverse it by EO.

      ZZ

  22. Pot is already de facto decriminalized in California as any fool can get a prescription and Obama announced that his justice department will not prosecute people obeying their State laws. If Obama’s a one-term POTUS, perhaps a GOP administration will try to go to war with the people of California. But more likely, after some years of the sky not falling in and the State not turning into a haven of lazy burnouts any more than it is already, it will prove that prohibition was foolish in the first place. I doubt pot smokers will move to CA on the basis of this change, as the economy is in a shambles, and that would take initiative, and most users can avoid getting in trouble with a bit of commons sense. And the worries about State monopolies are, as others have pointed out, silly, because anyone that wanted to would be able to grow their own cheaply. They have to assure people that kids won’t be able to get it very easily, which is also silly, because they already have no problem obtaining pot. It is easier to get than alcohol, and safer, too, and most of them know it. I’m not suggesting it is a good idea for young people to smoke pot, but many already do and as you might expect, some are lazy, some are productive, and some don’t even care for it. Bringing it out in the open will facilitate treating people with health issues as health issues. However, we won’t save much $ on incarceration because the drug court system more or less keeps users from being jailed in the first place.

    1. Remember with alcohol we got rid of Prohibition and never looked back. I figure something similar would happen with pot since many agree that it is less harmful than booze.

    2. “the economy is in a shambles”

      That should be “the economy is a shambles”. A shambles is a slaughterhouse or metaphorically a scene of carnage or disarray. The frequency with which people use “in a shambles” really has jumped out at me since I learned what the word actually means.

  23. Those of you who think marijuana will be more expensive should consider tobacco. As far as I’m aware, tobacco is more expensive to grow than marijuana. Not right now of course because people need to hide their plants in apartments. But if it were grown like most crops, it’s much robust than tobacco and much better on the soil.

    There are about .7 ounces of tobacco in one 20 cigarette pack of “holy crap they’re expensive” $8 cigarettes.

    Right now you’re not going to get 20 grams of weed for less than $300 in most places, and usually much more than that. Prices will come down if growing becomes more accepted and industrialized.

    1. In Holland, where the entire procedure of small scale buying has been in place for quite some time, the price for pot is 4-10 euro/gram. Hash is something like 7-12 euro/gram. YMMV.

      Enjoy.

  24. If the Federal Goverment would allow it, a commercial regulated marijuania industry would provide a safe alternative to buying if off the street and take that cash directly out of the hands of the drug cartel, who make obscene amounts of money from their state enforced monopoly on selling pot. That alone makes it worth doing.

  25. It’s worth noting that the bill itself does not include a tax. Most likely because if it did then they would need a supermajorty to get over the prop 13 limits on raising taxes.

    The bill leaves the details of regulation and taxing of marijuana to the local governments.

    If the local government decides not to institute a tax and regulations, then weed will not be legal to sell in that locale, but will still be legal to possess, grow, and consume.

    The bill does not say what those taxes need to be, there’s no minimum or maximum, and they don’t say what the regulations should be.

    Essentially it’s a blank check to transport 1oz of weed, consume as much as you want in a private setting with no minors present, and grow as much weed as you can in a 25 square foot area (the proceeds of which do not count towards your 1-oz total).

    The taxing and regulating of marijuana beyond those restrictions is completely left up to the local cities.

    Calling it a “tax and regulate” bill is pure window dressing

    http://70.32.87.43/documents/initiative.pdf

  26. even if state-sold marijuana was the same price or even more expensive than illegal pot-dealer weed, I bet the state won’t pressure me to hang out or listen to their bullsh*t band’s home recordings.

    1. that is effin hilarious.

  27. So… you can get a perscription very easily. And the street price is about the same as a pharmacy price. Almost as if in a market, what you can get ‘legally’ (i.e with a ‘scrip) finds itself at the same price as without. Almost as if people who buy it legally can then sell it on the “street” (i.e. to friends) for practially the same price.
    Who woulda thought.
    Make it legal (and taxed) and the market will have more entrants, supply will temporarily increase, and prices will fall (even with a tax).

  28. Irony [ahy-ruh-nee) n. 1) The condition whereby voters find libertarian arguments for legalizing marijuana, but cannot find the same sort of rationale for allowing gay people to marry.

    California: Wjere they object to others stepping their my right to get high, but have no problem with interfering with others’ personal happiness.

  29. I think law enforcement will con. to harrass and search people, did you know that if a chp officer does a routine traffic stop and for whatever reason finds money under forfeiture law they can take your money and belongings before your even found guilty. I think this happens alot,and the agency that seizes this money gets to keep up to 80% of it for their department. So why would they stop when people never question it. Lets put CHP on notice that weve had it with these illegal search and seizures. How many people out there have had this happen to them, I wuold love to hear from you.

  30. legalization of pot will drop the bottom out of prices. Legal pot could be around $100 an ounce of top quality weed. Let alone you’ll be able to actually shop for strains (and quantities) on a scale so much larger then any medical dispensary can handle.

  31. chances are quite good that the prices would dramatically drop, as they did with alcohol when prohibition ended. the largest reason pot costs what it does is it is illegal, and even in states such as california and colorado where it is medicinally legal, there are very harsh laws placed upon its growth and sale. without the illegality of it (even if it still requires a license to sell like alcohol) we will see a surplus is product. demand wont honestly go up a whole lot (most stoners dont care that it is illegal, we still do it), but supply will skyrocket.

    even a $50 tax per O is a helluva lot better than the cost of court fees, lawyer BS, UAs etc for having a decent amount on you. if they tax it at 20%, and the prices drop around 20% which i find likely, you are paying the same price for it to be legal.

  32. I’m also very interested in seeing hemp legally grown and used in manufacturing. America needs jobs? Well here they are, all in hemp and marijuana. (Most ppl probably know hemp makes better paper than trees, better clothing than cotton, can be used in paint, rubber, oil etc.)

    It would be an economic KA-BOOM!

  33. Fact of the matter is a billion dollar legal cannabis industry alread thrives in CA for medical. 15 years, and the sky hasen’t fallen. Cannabis is the largest cash crop in the state and national polls show common place through society.

    The last three U.S. Presidents used it, an 8 time gold medal winner, the founders of Microsoft, Apple and about all the Fortune 500 companies have dabbled. So really, if you want to be a great world leader or a legendary Olympian, smoke weed.

    The only reason it’s still illegal is because the enforcement industry pads their statistics with marijuana arrests and secures $billions in federal funding. Fact: the largest union in CA is the prison guards union – that tell you something? That’s why they always come out with hysterical statements about legalization. They’re living high on the hog of prohibition – generously paid for by your tax dollars.

    Since 1995, America has arrested 20 million people for marijuana, a non-violent offence with a substance clinically shown to be less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. That’s more than the population of America’s five largest cities: NY, LA, Chicago, Houston & Phoenix – combined.

    Are you kidding me? Get informed, Tax & Regulate and move on.

  34. Eric Holder|1.28.10 @ 5:20PM|#
    Under the Supreme Court’s expansive reading of the Commerce Clause, the federal government would have the authority to prosecute people for growing, distributing, and possessing marijuana even if the drug were no longer banned by state law. But it would not have the resources to do so consistently.

    Oh, I’m sure we can find a few resources around here somewhere ….

    haha does anyone know who eric holder is? look it up on wikipedia

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