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TakeInAPlay On August - 18 - 2010


With all the hype and furor being generated about making marijuana legal, there are a few points that have not heard from anyone other than me. And I’m still waiting for a coherent, fact based argument against passage of Proposition 19 that doesn’t involve emotionally charge ‘could happen’ scenarios about school bus drivers killing children by driving stoned or schools losing grant money because they can’t do drug testing on their employees anymore. I thought fear-based rhetoric went out with the Bush Administration but apparently it’s been recycled by the opposition. Why not, it worked so well the first time around?

First, for those of you who live outside of California, Proposition 19 would make it legal for citizens over the age of 19 to grow, use or transport up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use. However, it would still be a crime to drive under the influence, possess the substance on school grounds, use in public or while minors are present and commercial production for individuals is still forbidden. In exchange for making the use legal, local governments would be able to initiate a tax on sales which would generate an estimated $1.4 billion dollars in revenue. For a state that is $1.9 billion in the hole, this kind of income could prevent the legislature from continuing with the draconian cuts to schools, hospitals, police and fire personnel and could rejuvenate the much needed infrastructure projects that have been put on indefinite hold.

This is not just a victory for the potheads, or as I call them, the ‘Chips Ahoy Enthusiasts’ and passage of Prop 19 benefits more than just the state economy. According to an FBI report in 2008, there were 61,000 Californians arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession while 60,000 violent crimes went unsolved. Inclusion of marijuana offenses in the War on Drugs has crippled law enforcement’s ability to focus on more serious cases such as methamphetamine abuse which is where the real crimes are committed. It’s been reported that 60% of drug cartel income comes from the illegal U.S. marijuana market. By cutting off such a large funding source, the drug cartels will be forced to take their business elsewhere and take the white powder they rode in on.

The fear of fellow Democrats is that the voting public is not in favor of taking such a bold step and by endorsing Prop 19, we are handing the Republicans ammunition to portray Democrats as pot-smoking slackers with a penchant for brownies. But I disagree. Medical marijuana has been legal in California and if I remember correctly, it passed with very little opposition or fanfare, although it did grab the attention of then Attorney General John Ashcroft who was unsuccessful at overturning the law. His next stop was the state of Oregon to overturn their Death with Dignity Act which he failed in that attempt as well. I think the voters are much more open to passage of Prop 19 than the naysayers give them credit for. Let’s be honest, the current financial situation has inspired an anything that works atmosphere which makes voters more open to out of the box options.

I will be voting for Prop 19 and keeping my fingers crossed that others follow suit. But I guess we’ll just have to watch and see what the voters are willing to support.

Written by TakeInAPlay

"Life is short and you're dead a long time"

22 Responses so far.

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  1. javaz says:

    As a person who has been to Amsterdam numerous times, due to us living in France for 2 years, pot should be legal!

    Pot is decriminalized in France, btw.

    Whenever anyone told us they were coming over to visit, we made the 6 hour drive to Amsterdam and brought back the bud.

    I do not know why our government doesn’t take advantage of the advantages of selling smoke.

    When we were there, they had the check stations, but they were closed as it was the European Union.

    Once we figured that out, we went there regularly, and brought back packets of some very good pot.

    Sadly, we do not know anyone back in AZ to purchase the bud, but if California makes it legal, we’ll be going there every vacation and many times in between!

    For medicinal purposes, mind you!

  2. bitohistory says:

    Would you please tell The Man I didn’t kill anyone….

    An illeeegal smile?


    • AlphaBitch says:

      “She was a level headed dancer, on the road to alcohol……”

      First JP song I ever heard? The Accident! Gosh -- I was SO offended at the guy covering it….until I learned true Prine. And one of the BEST things about John -- ANYONE can sing along with him and sound fine. Just listen to the sing-alongers…….

      Is this after his throat cancer?

      My favorite “stage story” is how he just left his Christmas tree up all year, adding a new string of lights each time a string burned out.

      Love you Johnny P. You too, Bito. I think we share the same music sensibilities.

      • bitohistory says:

        AB, I was surprised at the his looks. I hadn’t seen him in awhile. Having been subjected to and seen the effects of steroid treatments I’m guessing that he was receiving treatments when that concert was taped.

        He doesn’t even have to play his guitar, I could just listen to him telling stories. Ramblin Jack Elliot, Woody & Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger style.

        I get misty eyed hearing “make me an angel that fly’s from Montgomery….”

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXqFFfVpnhQ
        He wrote so many good songs

        • AlphaBitch says:

          And this one gets to me….(sorry for being so OT -but Friday night music is not an option for me this week) Mea culpa.

          Souvenirs -- with Steve Goodman. first time I saw Prine was in Seattle, where Stevie lay dying at the Hutchinson Center. I was disappointed in the show -- I had heard/expected so much more. Woke to the news that Steve had “gone clear” and realized that John must have been singing with a huge lump in his throat and a broken heart. I cried that whole day.


        • AlphaBitch says:

          Yep, he’s one of my heros, that’s for sure. He’s a tough cookie and I wish him well. I love his stories, love the audience reaction to him. A king to be sure.

          Love your choice of music!

  3. KevenSeven says:

    Let me just say this about that. (My favorite Nixonism)

    Prop 19 is no gift to CA politicians.

    Jesus. What pol wants to say how they would vote on this? Who wants to set a precedent of revealing their intentions in the voting booth?

    I know more than a few of them who really cringe at the idea of being asked about this.

    • javaz says:

      K7!

      If we promise to never post cat essays or cat pics again, will you come back and post?

      I miss you.

      • KevenSeven says:

        Well, if you put it like that…..

        Seriously. I’m touched.

        And keep your fucking cats to your own damned self. My fucking cats? They drive me nuts.

        I have a mouser, and she insists on killing a fruit rat the day after the city takes out the trash. Like goddamned clockwork. Which means that I always have a rotting rat or two in the trash can waiting for the city to come along.

        Just this morning I walked into the kitchen to find all the less attractive bits of a fruit rat scattered about the fucking floor.

        Fucking goddamned cats. Blood everywhere. And they are not the least affectionate, either,

        Yes, my dear. I have rattling in my empty skull a few columns to write.

        But election day is upon us, and we are all fuckwits if we are not working to turn out voters.

        So for the next few months I will be dropping in the odd comment, and I might write a short column or two, but it will be some time before I have the time and energy to tell you again about how it is that you have everything all wrong.

        See you then.

    • TakeInAPlay says:

      I disagree. Here’s a partial list of the CA politicians who have the balls to support Prop 19 because the good it will do for the state outways any potential snickering they will hear from the immature. Notice there’s a Republican on the list.

      George Miller, (D)7th congressional district
      Barbara Lee, (D)9th congressional district
      Pete Stark, (D)13th congressional district
      John Dennis, 2010 Republican Congressional candidate for California’s 8th congressional district
      Mark Leno, (D)California State Senate
      Tom Ammiano, (D)California State Assembly
      Tom Bates, current Mayor of Berkeley, California

  4. choicelady says:

    Next Tuesday my Board is deciding whether or not to support Prop. 19. We are a large -- the largest in the nation -- faith-grounded public policy organization representing 1.5 million members of the Protestant communities of faith. I suspect that a handful of our board members have been known to toke up now and then, but we also have concern for health, well being, etc. More important, we also have GOOD sense. Prohibition does not work -- that red button thingy -- and, while we still have problems with underage drinking and smoking of cigarettes, it is LESS of a problem than if we still had strict prohibition vs. careful regulation. I think if we legalized drugs entirely, we’d help not only our own nasty inequalities about incarceration but would flat out END the drug wars in Mexico. Pot alone may help the latter, too.

    I will let you know which way we come out on this. One thing you can know for sure -- I’m gonna get a LOT of hate mail. It will be interesting to see which generates more -- our support for NO on 8 or this. I will keep you posted on that, too!

    • TakeInAPlay says:

      Great comment Choicelady. You are in a difficult position as far as reaching consensus, but you are in an excellent position to steer the conversation in a more progressive direction. I will be very interested in hearing the results of your vote. Even the CA State Democratic Party, even though support for the prop was strong, decided to back off endorsing Prop 19. It’s not an easy position and you probably will get hate mail. But sometimes people with opposing views think that if they scream at you loud enough you’ll be intimitaded and back down. Which means their threats are meaningless and ineffective. I will be with you in spirit and please, let me know what happens.

  5. Khirad says:

    “Chips Ahoy Enthusiasts”

    😆

    I have nothing to add to this, but I just let out a stoner laugh.

  6. bitohistory says:

    Remember the Netherlands, the drug den of Europe? Surly, everyone living there is either dead or a layabout after legalizing pot! I mean after 30 years there must be nothing left of the country, perhaps a bunch of genetically affected children but that is all.

    A report from European Union

    • TakeInAPlay says:

      Yes, the old “Don’t touch the red button” theory Tell kids not to touch it and that’s all they can think about. Tell them they can sleep with it if they want and they lose interest.

  7. TakeInAPlay says:

    Thanks AdLib. I guess every argument against something that is pleasurable and doesn’t hurt anyone must have a racial slant. At least the dated argument that pot is a gateway drug that leads to violent crime has died out. Finally. I’ve never heard of marijuana smokers moving on to heavier drugs unless the tendancy for substance abuse was already present in the user. And when was the last time a stoner robbed a 7-11? They may buy out the supply of twinkies but knocking over a liquor store takes way too much effort for someone under the influence of marijuana. I’m getting tired of the hysteria. (BTW, thanks for the pic. It’s perfect!)

    • AdLib says:

      Either there’s a racist, religious or greed-driven reason for oppressive laws. For example, the prescription drug law that created a prohibition against Americans legally buying prescription drugs outside of the U.S.

      Because the far cheaper drugs that Pharma corps produce in Canada are dangerous but overpriced ones in America aren’t?

      As for the “gateway” theory, it only works backwards. Those on heroin or meth probably also do or have smoked pot. However, most who have smoked pot don’t do meth and heroin.

      Kinda like most people who are ignorant aren’t necessarily Republican whereas most people who are Republican…

      Yes, as opposed to the violence and crimes by people who drink too much alcohol, the biggest crime people who smoke too much pot commit is eating a can of frosting for dinner.

      As for the pic, my pleasure!

      • TakeInAPlay says:

        You’re right about the perscription issue which extends into other areas of personal freedom. For instance, access to the morning after pill has been difficult and not just because the gov’t can’t decide whether it should be available over the counter, but because too many pharmacists have refused to fill those perscriptions for personal reason and they’ve gotten away with it. I never understood that theory. Does that mean the city bus drivers can refuse to allow people wearing red shirts on the bus because it interferes with the drivers anti-communist fears? Give them an inch….

  8. AdLib says:

    Wonderful job, TakeInAPlay, you’ve touched all the bases.

    Whether it comes to gay marriage or prohibition of marijuana, only emotional arguments and fear mongering via untruths can be used to justify unjust laws.

    Cigarettes have categorically been proven to cause a variety of cancers and have killed millions of Americans, they are legal. Alcohol has killed millions and destroyed many lives, it’s legal. There is no consistent and rational theory for these substances to be legal and marijuana not to be.

    The positive financial impact and acceptance that the War on Drugs has failed miserably would both be a boon to our society and economy. And considering how the Prison Industrial Complex and gangs have flourished due to the prohibition, there are many other ancillary benefits.

    I saw the ex-Gov of NM on MSNBC today say that the price of an ounce of pot is estimated to plummet from $400 to $40. This is not great news because of the obvious but because the drug gangs in Mexico and South America get around 70% of their money from selling pot. Slash that and the cash flow for gangs in the U.S. and south of the border dries up.

    BTW, I noted this previously but the laws against marijuana have a racist and unethical foundation:

    The anti-marihuana law of 1937 was largely the federal government


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