Right now, only three ballot measures have qualified for either the primary or November ballot in California:
One on the primary ballot would authorize the state’s Assembly and Senate to be able to “suspend” a member, instead of having to expel the member permanently.
The other two are on the November ballot; one would get rid of the state’s ban on “single-use plastic bags” in stores, and the other involves extending a law that deals with fees paid by hospitals.
I do see one legalization initiative that is in the petition stage, but it includes a 15% tax on non-medical marijuana; I can see a black market starting already.
I also see a few other interesting proposed measures, like “change the title of the Governor of California to President,” and making it a felony to purchase or eat shellfish (I will give up my Crab Cioppino when they pry it from my cold dead hands). The latter appears to be a response to the petition for the Sodomite Suppression Act, which called for “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” (A judge ordered that petitions not be allowed to go through as such a law is clearly unconstitutional.)
Well, I’m all for it. We waste millions of dollars and ruin thousands of lives by imprisoning people for growing, dealing, or smoking marijuana. Colorado has shown that you can legalize it without civilization collapsing, as have several foreign countries.
Seriously, what reason is there for not supporting this?
Here’s what I don’t get. Currently we have an unregulated marijuana black market. Is there a problem that would be solved by strict licensing and regulation of sellers?
Of course you will want some regulation to protect consumers even if there isn’t currently a problem even in the unregulated market. But I see no reason to favor “strict” regulation of a product that people already a) like, and b) consider safe in the absence of regulation.
Maybe that’s just the conservative in me talking and the strict regulation is just liberals being liberals, but shouldn’t regulatory policy be based on evidence?
It’s probably the conservative in me talking, but it seems to me that if it’s illegal right now and you’re going to legalize it, you probably should do so slowly and gradually with a really strict regulatory framework in order to see how it goes and what problems crop up, instead of just making some massive change.
How about lack of control over what the consumer actually gets?
Claims of high grade pot that’s actually ditchweed.
Maybe it’s been sprayed with other drugs to simulate a better grade.
Maybe it’s not even pot at all.
I was corrected in a recent thread about Colorado pot sales; I had repeated something I heard a few months ago that people were going back to the illegal stuff because the legal stuff was so heavily taxed, but that’s old news. As it turns out, a significant number of the people who want marijuana legalized want it to be, you know, legal, and going back to black market sales after going to all that effort seems kind of pointless, so they’re still buying OTC. Or, getting a fake prescription and buying it at a dispensary.
So, strict licensing and regulation of sellers gives people who want to buy it legally but don’t need a prescription a way to buy it without breaking the law.
Amusingly, a friend who smokes weed occasionally is not in favour of legalisation. While he functions quite well, thankyouverymuch, he is less convinced that the masses can or would use it responsibly. (And yes, he does function very well. More ambitious than I am, and I don’t use marijuana!)
Seems to me we’re already doing that. Colorado’s laws and structure seems to be working extremely well. Less so in Washington and Oregon so far, but they’re still working on it.
I think that kind of phased introduction really works best.
1> Medical Marijuana for limited uses. Introduces legal framework, manufacturing and smaller scale retail experience.
2> Expand Medical Marijuana uses. More common legal use, more experience and consequences dealt with, expanded manufacturing and retail experience.
3> Legalization. Allow, as Colorado did, existing Medical Marijuana retailers to begin retail sales on Day 1. Phase in allowing new retail only establishments within 1 year.
Simple; because the state does not have the authority to override federal laws prohibiting marijuana, and this is nothing more than the same kind of nullification that radical right-wingers think they can use to ban Obamacare and abortion.
Legalization of marijuana is a matter to be decided by Congress, not by referenda in individual states.