Drug War

California Establishment: More Paranoid Than Mickey Kaus on Pot Brownies

|

Editorials in the olden days had more style

The establishmentarian revolt against legalizing marijuana (see previous posts: 1, 2, 3) has entered into its hysterical phase, as evidenced by our latest batch of No-on-Prop.-19 newspaper editorials. First up, a joint unsigneder by at least three MediaNews properties east of the L.A. River:

Newspapers: Pasadena Star-News/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/Whittier Daily News
Sophomoric pot joke: The whole editorial is a kind of sophomoric pot joke, though as you'll see they're not trying to be funny.
We-don't-like-the-Drug-War-either-but: n/a
Legal confusion is worse than criminalizing non-violent personal activity: "[T]he ballot sponsors 'forgot' to prescribe an action level for driving under the influence. This poorly written law would release chaos on the CHP and other law enforcement agencies. How can they test a driver when there's no standard?"
Bonus random statism: "There is no provision for a specific tax on legal marijuana. The measure leaves that up to whatever governmental entity wants to do so. But there is a provision that allows people to cultivate marijuana in their yards and even on empty lots. And how is the state going to tax cannabis plants? Knock on everyone's door and collect? Use Google Earth? Call Homeland Security? Will this really take the drug cartels out of the business?"

Huh?

WTF: "The guy in the cubicle next to you at work is stoned. There's an increased likelihood the driver of the car in the next lane on the freeway is under the influence of pot. Commercial entities openly selling pot in storefronts near where you shop, or perhaps in your child or grandchild's college dormitory. California's tourism industry attracts families to its theme parks, state parks and beaches. California's natural wonders and temperate weather are a draw for millions of tourists each year from Kansas to China and Germany to Australia. Now, that will change. Our state will draw visitors from other states (every other one) where marijuana is illegal, and from citizens of countries looking for a legal high. It will be bigger than Amsterdam, where criminal operations have flocked since the legal marijuana coffee houses have opened for business. Increased crime is a problem authorities in the Netherlands are desperately trying to rectify. This is not our vision of a bright California future. Yet these scenarios are just a conservative estimate of what will happen if voters legalize the drug."

This next 68,000-circulation daily is notable both for its location in pot-growing country, and also because it's the only sizeable California paper (to my knowledge) still owned by The New York Times.

Somehow, I think the Barnyard Cupcakes find a way to deal with the legal loopholes

Newspaper: Santa Rosa Press-Democrat
Sophomoric pot joke: n/a
We-don't-like-the-Drug-War-either-but: "We recognize that there's probably a good argument to be made for legalizing marijuana. But this is not it."
Legal confusion is worse than criminalizing non-violent personal activity: "Proposition 19 is so poorly worded and filled with loopholes that it's likely to create more confusion than clarity."
Bonus random statism: "And, as with Proposition 215, which legalized medicinal uses of marijuana, it would still leave California law in conflict with federal law, creating more regulatory and policy gridlock at all levels of government."
WTF: "There's no guarantee that legalizing marijuana in California will reduce the number of illicit pot farms on public and private property. It may do just the opposite[.]"

Wait, you can be high at work? IN LOS ANGELES???

Newspaper: Los Angeles Daily News
Sophomoric pot joke: n/a
We-don't-like-the-Drug-War-either-but: n/a
Legal confusion is worse than criminalizing non-violent personal activity: "Besides, permitting anyone over 21 to possess, grow or transport up to an ounce of marijuana, it would also allow local governments to regulate and tax production, distribution and sale of marijuana in a way that suits their jurisdiction. This patchwork approach to regulation is the most alarming aspect of the measure. With every city and county in the state coming up with different marijuana laws, the resulting confusion could make the lawless and explosive growth of medical marijuana dispensaries in recent years seem like the good old days."
Bonus random statism: "The real question of this initiative is whether California wants to take on the federal government and allow any and every city in the state to make up its own rules about selling, manufacturing and transporting an illegal substance. And the Daily News thinks the answer to the question is an emphatic 'no.'"
WTF: "Proposition 19 should also make employers nervous, as it appears to give marijuana users a clear right to smoke on the job."

Not all Baketowners agree

Newspaper: Bakersfield Californian
Sophomoric pot joke: "Pot Initiative's Issues Too Hazy"
We-don't-like-the-Drug-War-either-but: "Though we acknowledge that some of Prop. 19's goals are worthy, the initiative would likely cause as many problems as it would solve."
Legal confusion is worse than criminalizing non-violent personal activity: "Prop. 19 advocates say legalization will not infringe on businesses' drug-banning policies, but legal ambiguities cloud the question of employer rights vs. employee rights. Marijuana's effect is not the same, or as easy to detect, as alcohol. Will employers still be able to screen job applicants for marijuana use if that drug is legal? How will fair employment laws figure into the scenario? If Prop. 19 passes, the Legislature will have things to sort out."
Bonus random statism: "Small quantities could be grown on private property, but how would a municipality control it? What's to stop a grower from covertly selling to neighbors and friends? What about property crime? Wouldn't a backyard full of marijuana plants make an inviting target for thieves? Adolescent fence-hoppers?"
WTF: "Many California counties will choose not to allow regulated marijuana sales, depriving themselves of potential tax revenue and thereby encouraging an almost-legal black market—which could simply price its product just below prevailing retail prices."

Keep Monterey drug free!

Newspaper: Monterey County Herald
Sophomoric pot joke: n/a
We-don't-like-the-Drug-War-either-but: "Proposition 19 is the right idea, but the wrong law."
Legal confusion is worse than criminalizing non-violent personal activity: "Proposition 19 would leave California law in conflict with federal law, leaving marijuana possession and cultivation in a legal limbo similar to the situation that medical marijuana operations find themselves in now."
Bonus random statism: "Each of California's 478 cities could create its own regulations on cultivation and distribution. Entrepreneurial cities might become hotbeds of marijuana-related industry, while cities not wanting to take part for whatever reason would find themselves continuing to police unwelcome enterprises. The potential for a corrupting influence on local government seems high."
WTF: "If the current measure truly would eliminate all marijuana arrests and marijuana prosecutions while providing a sustainable new source of revenue to fill the current holes in government budgets, it would merit support. Unfortunately, it does not. Proposition 19 wouldn't end federal prosecutions[.]"

By my count that's at least 16 of the Golden State's top 25 daily newspapers weighing in on Prop. 19, with all 16 opposed.

NEXT: Laws Surrounding Prostitution Struck Down in Ontario

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. You know, Matt, this continuing feature is proving only one thing to me: There are way too many newspapers in California.

  2. “Adolescent fence-hoppers”

    I think I’ve got a new handle.

  3. I love it.

    “The people aren’t doing what we tell them to do anymore! WTF?!”

    It’s called the Internet, bitches.

  4. “And, as with Proposition 215, which legalized medicinal uses of marijuana, it would still leave California law in conflict with federal law, creating more regulatory and policy gridlock at all levels of government.”

    They say that like it’s a bad thing.

    1. There’s also the common current of shock and disbelief that the law might inconveniently force legislators to work on relevant legislation, and administrators to actually acknowledge such a thing as an ‘in’ box. The horror.

      1. and administrators to actually acknowledge such a thing as an ‘in’ box

        Be a pain in their arses for a change.

    2. my thoughts exactly

    3. Right. Literally every single one of these issues about conflict with federal law, and the ramifications of the state collecting revenue from federally illegal activity, already exists with medical marijuana. Last time I checked, that system has overwhelming public support, and seems to be providing people with a way to get their grass.

  5. So, what we’ve learned is that almost all of the editorials in California newspapers are written by one person.

  6. The establishmentarian revolt against legalizing marijuana…

    Since the proponents of Prop 19 are attempting to dis-establish the marijuana laws, I believe the newspaper articles are technically “antidisestablishmentarian.”

    [And, since the whole War on Drugs is thoroughly religious in its outlook, the usage is appropriate.]

  7. Still waiting for the OC Register . . .

    1. This is the best shot at a big newspaper, and I will be extremely disappointed if they vote no. (The Barstow paper is a Freedom Communications joint.) The other main papers to watch are the SD Union-Trib, and La Opinion, though I’m having a difficult time searching the latter.

      1. “Joint” Ha ha, I get it.

      2. Maybe because it’s in Spanish?

        1. Mostly. “Proposicion” is the spelling, I believe.

        1. Yes we do. I’m tracking them as a stand-in for establishmentarian opinion, a demonstration of the Democratic way of prohibition, and 21-gun salute to anachronistic impotence.

          1. Keep it up; I love seeing the juxtaposition of this series with the increasingly good poll numbers. This shit needs to be documented for posterity.

      3. I’m starting to feel, very, very lonely.

        The funny part (I guess?) is that I’ve never used pot and rarely even touch alcohol.

  8. The Press Telegram once endorsed a libertarian (Judge Gray), so they’re a possibility, too.

    1. Doubt it — They’re a MediaNews property now.

  9. “By my count that’s at least 16 of the Golden State’s top 25 daily newspapers weighing in on Prop. 19, with all 16 opposed.

    which means should voters happen to pass prop 19, there will be lawsuits out the ass funded by the ruling class to make sure the will of the elite be done. i didn’t like prop 8, but that is how the aftermath of that went and i would shit myself if that is not how this goes.

    1. Please post a picture of yourself covered in shit for everyones benefit. Unlike prop 8 what would be the basis for finding prop 19 unconstitutional? I understand that you didn’t like prop 8 but you should also understand that the judicial branch of government worked exactly like it is supposed to, so your cynicism is dead wrong.

    2. Umm, on what grounds do you see these lawsuits based? Proposition 8 was a violation of rights protected by the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. The Feds suit against the Arizona law concerning their undocumented workers is a violation of Article 1 Section 8 that makes the Arizona law violating the job which is specifically assigned to the Federal government.

      There has to be some basis in law to be able to do more than file the suit and see it dismissed at the first court hearing. It can’t be just because people don’t like the law. There’s no authority for the Feds to force a state into criminalizing something and prosecuting those crimes.

      There’s just no grounds, California has a right to pass the law. It is not in conflict with Federal law in any way, shape, or form. This was settled back in the 1920s when New York state repealed all of it’s drinking alcohol prohibition related laws.

      It’s cut and dried black letter law. For those who think that the initiative is in ‘conflict’ with Federal law please explain why California doesn’t have a law criminalizing evasion of Federal income tax? Why no law against high treason against the US government? If California can leave these things legal under state law they sure as heck are not in ‘conflict’ with Federal law.

      Somebody might file some kind of hare brained lawsuit but it isn’t going further than the first court hearing.

      1. “There has to be some basis in law to be able to do more than file the suit and see it dismissed at the first court hearing.”

        Supremacy clause. It’s a bullshit argument, but the legal system is mainly about rationalizing the whims of the elites anyway.

      2. There’s no authority yet for the feds to force the states to criminalize something. However, I bet Justice Breyer would love to take a swing at it.

      3. Proposition 8 was a violation of rights protected by the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.

        Wrong.

        1. If Prop. 8 was constitutional, then the similar (and more expansive) provisions in Texas and Nebraska are likewise unconstitutional.

          And yet, the Texas 5th Circuit and the U.S. Eighth Circuit ruled otherwise, respectively.

        2. It doesn’t matter whether it was or wasn’t. The point is that some people had standing to claim so. Who would have standing to make such a claim about Prop. 19?

        3. I don’t think that Prop 8 was unconstitutional; isn’t that what they were trying to do, add it to the state’s constitution? I’m not from CA, but my sister-in-law is and I’ve heard a lot from her on the subject. But on prop 19, if the majority of the people want to vote for it, then let them, at their own risk.

  10. Semi-threadjack
    I’m looking to get out of evil fucked up California. I’m thinking of moving to Omaha, NE. Can anyone tell me how Omaha is as far as business restrictions and nanny laws? Is there a site that ranks these things by state or city?
    Thanks.

    1. Omaha ranks #7 on Forbes list of most business friendly cities.

      1. Thanks man. I saw that but I’m still curious about stuff like zoning laws nanny laws and stuff like that. Do you know if it’s relatively laissez-faire or are there much better cities for that?

        1. They have a state wide smoking ban.

          http://www.wowt.com/news/headlines/46615647.html

          Do a search for Nebraska bans and you might find some stuff.

          1. Really?!? Thanks, I’ll check up on that bullshit.

            1. Sadly, I think most places have some sort of bullshit. Not only would you need to check State laws, but county and local laws to. Jacksonville Arkansas has a ban on pitbulls for example.

              I think every place is going to have bullshit laws. The bad comes with the good so make sure you’re getting a lot of good.

              1. Thanks. Do you know of a site that has compiled that sort of information by city or state?

        2. If you’re against zoning laws, come to Houston. It’s also pretty laissez-faire in most respects. But you will be treated like just another Californian, especially if you start advocating for anything the state of CA does. We’re getting a lot of transplants and they’re starting to annoy the natives and those of us that like Texas as it is.

          Plus, real estate is still pretty cheap.

          1. Texas is wonderful and I hope you(y’all) can keep it that way but we’re not gonna risk it. Californians are evil(not kidding). We ruled out Texas precisely because of all the California dreamers moving there to spread their disease.

        3. Uh, it’s Nebraska, dude. Is that even a state?

          1. They think so, everyone else is skeptical.

            1. It might be a nation. They have almost as many nukes as the rest of the U.S. put together.

              1. Another good time to float the idea of the provinces of the Louisiana Purchase withdrawing from the union and going our own way.

  11. Many jobs depend on pot prohibition. We cannot stop this spending during a recession when jobs are at steak. There are whole industries that depend on it. See:

    http://www.correctionscorp.com/

    Now that we don’t manufacture we are transitioning into a prison based economy. We can manufacture cheeply in prisons that we can’t afford to do any elsewhere.

    1. People say the US doesn’t have a plan for success and countries like China do. Maybe they are wrong about that. I kind of like this prison based economy idea. Do you have a newsletter?

    2. Don’t forget the jobs of the drug dealers and arms dealers…

    3. Here we are, in a recession, and the people running the prisons are eating steak! I’ve heard let them eat cake, but steak! really!?

      We need to shut down these beefeating fatcats now! Yes on Prop 19!

    4. You’re all a bunch of cheep – baaaa.

      1. I thought they went hee-haw.

    5. So you’re arguing that we can’t end this atrocious infringement on our personal liberties, because there are whole industries that depend on jailing people for doing something that hurts absolutely no one?

      Well hell, by that logic, why don’t we start locking up people who wear flip-flops? Who cares if they have the freedom to wear them? Think of the jobs it would create!

    6. Obvious troll is obvious.

  12. Movie theaters in CA should start playing Reefer Madness as a midnight movie. Just to put the paranoia in perspective.

  13. wow. now gone: the one last liberal thing liberals actually believed in.

    1. They’re not “liberal”, they’re statists, and when you threaten the control of the state, statists get concerned.

      The best part of Matt’s roundup is that is that it expresses this so well. Journalists suck off politicians constantly for their work; of course they’re statists.

      1. +1. Liberals have absolutely no interest in letting peaceful people be. The few arguments that might hold water with them here — public revenue, racial disparities, safer-than-alcohol public good shit — are, at best, secondary to the real issue. Which means, when push comes to shove, they’re not going to rock the government boat.

  14. I keep hearing that the US media is “liberal.” Then where is that part of “liberalism” that is actually liberal?

    1. The statist part.

    2. Google “The Democratic Way of Prohibition.”

    3. I think liberal is being (incorrectly) used as a synonym for elite.

      How do we get everyone to start calling it the “elitist media”?

      1. I think elite is being (incorrectly) used as a synonym for retards and fuckups.

    4. “Liberal” stopped meaning liberal long ago.

  15. it seems obvious to me that from an adult perspective, many of the arguments posed by the newspapers make sense. The Proposition does not address many issues, which are collateral to a reasonable legalization, such as taxation, DWI laws, etc. But the point is, fuck all that and get the ball rolling! And obviously, the people have to do it. Because the legislatures will never do it. So, get the fuck out of the way assholes.

  16. The Proposition does not address many issues, which are collateral to a reasonable legalization, such as taxation, DWI laws, etc.

    Because if every jot and tittle of statutory change isn’t spelled out in 12 point Courier in the proposition, it is obviously irresponsible and shold be voted down.

    1. Just saying, referenda are not the most orderly way to effect change. But order has to give way to common sense sometimes.

    2. “tittle” (snicker)

  17. You know, the people that write these articles seem to be some of the most clueless and/or dishonest fucks I have ever seen

    If Prop. 19 passes, the Legislature will have things to sort out

    Some of would call that …oh… I don’t know, THEIR FUCKING JOB.

    Entrepreneurial cities might become hotbeds of marijuana-related industry

    I had to do a double take with this one. So the best these stupid cocksuckers can argue is that “someone might make some legitimate, legal money?”

    The real question of this initiative is whether California wants to take on the federal government

    So what if I am not a spineless cocksucker and I am tired of the Feds telling me what to do. I mean if we are just going to lay down and do what the feds tell us to do, what is the fucking point of having State?

    Our state will draw visitors from other states (every other one) where marijuana is illegal, and from citizens of countries looking for a legal high. It will be bigger than Amsterdam, where criminal operations have flocked since the legal marijuana coffee houses have opened for business.

    So to scare people away from the pot tourism that would surely happen, you gotta try to scare people with a bold face lie.

    1. I mean if we are just going to lay down and do what the feds tell us to do, what is the fucking point of having State?

      The ruling class views states only as a local distribution mechanism for federal money.

    2. You know, the people that write these articles seem to be some of the most clueless and/or dishonest fucks I have ever seen

      Yeah no shit — and half of them have their med-pot cards. Get paid to posit unbelievably disingenuous fecal matter by day, smoke some of dat OG Kush by night. Not a bad gig if you can get it I guess. And if you don’t consider some semblance of moral or intellectual consistency at all important.

  18. again, I went to these newspapers and read the comments section. I would like to believe that they are somewhat representative of the public at large. If so, it gives me hope because people [at least the ones with internet access] aren’t buying into this stupid shit anymore.

  19. …dogs and cats living together…Mass hysteria!

  20. I can only conclude from this that the newspaper industry of California is run by the drug cartels and most senior editors make their real wealth from dealing drugs.

    1. to the ninety percent of their employees who have partaken of the marajoowana.

  21. Jesus said to treat other people the way we would want to be treated. I know I wouldn’t want my college kid to go to jail with the sexual predators, or my parents to have their house stolen by the police, if they used a little marijuana.

    Let’s change the world. Let’s get registered and vote.

    Citizens and college students in California can register at
    w w w . sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm .
    (just fill out the form and mail it in).

    And you can request a ballot by mail at
    w w w . sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_m.htm .

    In other states, Google your state name and the phrase, voter registration. Print off the form and mail it in (or drive it down to City Hall).

    Five minutes. Register to vote. Change the world. Right now.

    Pass it on

  22. The only real argument that makes sense to me is the fact that it doesn’t actually make MJ legal, since it is still illegal on a Federal level. But it is clear that the “political establishment” won’t vote for allowing MJ to be regulated merely at a state level, and the there are no Federal propositions, so this is probably the only way to go about legalizing it.

    1. It does make it legal, since the Feds have no constitutional power to make it illegal. They would have to pass an amendment first, like with alcohol.

    2. That’s like saying that Prop 215 didn’t actually make medical pot legal, because federal law still prohibits it. Yet does anybody who walks down the Venice boardwalk believe that medical marijuana is not legal in California?

  23. The whole idea of legalizing weed stinks to high heaven. I’ve heard all about every bogus argument in it’s favor that I can stnd to hear including “it’s not as bad as alcohol, or even the old nostalgic “it’s a natural herb scinorio”. Well let me say that a .22 caliber hand gun is not as lethal as a .38 caliber hand gun but, never the less they can both do a person a great amount of bodily harm or perhaps cause death. Both alcohol and marijuana are bad for one’s health and only a uneducated fool would argue otherwise. The lungs were not made to ingest or hold smoke so stop with the nonsense. Gypsum weed grows naturally but if eaten will cause dramatic fevers, hallucination, or perhaps death, so what if it’s natural. Oh I suppose I’m going to get the old “how many people have overdosed on weed reply now. You know people are really idiots, lets try getting the High School drop out rate in California below 30% before worrying about if rather to legalize marijuana or not. It does not matter if rather or not a person can overdose on marijuana or not it’s still not good for one’s health and thats the bottom line and I don’t believe anyone can argue other wise. I’ll go with the whole medical marijuana thing, if an individual needs to use marijuana in place of a more addicting or harsh pharmicutical thats one thing but, to want to smoke marijuana for recrearational, or perhaps fun purposes is just straight up rediculous I don’t care if it will make 1.4 billion dollars a year or more. Go find another way to make money that does’nt sacrafice Humanity or ruin Americas tommorow.

    1. 3/10. Needs more paragraphs.

    2. Or maybe you could learn to spell words correctly and not worry about what other people do for “fun purposes”.

      1. Spelling words is the least of my worries because obviously you understood well enough to reply but , I do worry about dick heads like yourself that lower standards of humanity all at the price of wanting to get high. Can you read that buddy or do I need to phrase it another way.

        1. Awww, I’m a dick head. I’m so very sad now.

          Funny, most of those that have lowered the standards of humanity have been pretty firmly not high. Not a lot of potheads amongst the KKK, Nazis, Soviets, Khmer Rouge?

          Or if you have trouble understanding that, you can just go to hell, jackass. It is not ANY of your business if I or others choose to get high.

        2. Who made you the arbiter of the “standards of humanity”? 5,000 years of widespread medical and recreational use seems pretty goddamn standard to me.

    3. “Go find another way to make money that does’nt sacrafice Humanity or ruin Americas tommorow.”

      Wow, sounds like serious stuff, this pot.

  24. So, Dennis, since you are willing to equate pot and alcohol, shouldn’t they be treated the same?

    Which do you want to do? Legalize pot, or go back to alcohol prohibition?

    1. Enough with the logic already

  25. I wonder if these papers study the excrement disguised as laws that the legislature in Sacramento produces with anywhere near this level of excruciating attention to detail.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.