Saturday, April 03, 2010


I just had to post this AP story from March 24th:

Law Enforcement Leaders Announce Support

Sacramento, CA – The California Secretary of State today announced that the Initiative to Control and Tax cannabis has qualified for the November ballot. Reflecting the Initiative’s broad and diverse support, the Secretary of State revealed that vastly more than enough signatures were submitted from voters from across the state in near-record time.

The news was hailed by a number of veteran law enforcement officials across California. “As a retired Orange County Judge, I’ve been on the front lines of the drug war for three decades, and I know from experience that the current approach is simply not working,” said Retired Superior Court Judge James P. Gray. “Controlling marijuana with regulations similar to those currently in place for alcohol will put street drug dealers and organized crime out of business.”

“The Control and Tax Initiative is a welcome change for law enforcement in California,” said Kyle Kazan, a retired Torrance Police Officer. “It will allow police to get back to work fighting violent crime.”

Jeffrey Studdard, a former Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff, emphasized the significant controls created by the Control and Tax Initiative to safely and responsibly regulate cannabis. “The initiative will toughen penalties for providing marijuana to minors, ban possession at schools and prohibit public consumption,” Studdard said.

For more on the public safety benefits of the Initiative, please see

Similar to the current regulation of alcohol and tobacco, the Initiative will give local governments the ability to control and tax the sale of small amounts of cannabis to adults age 21 and older. The Initiative includes significant safeguards and controls: it will increase the penalty for providing marijuana to a minor, expressly prohibit the consumption of marijuana in public, forbid smoking marijuana while minors are present, and ban possession on school grounds.

Studies by the Board of Equalization and the Legislative Analyst Office show that the Initiative will generate billions of dollars in revenue to fund schools and public safety. Several recent polls have shown the Initiative has the support of a majority of California voters.

California’s tax regulator, the Board of Equalization, which currently collects alcohol and tobacco taxes, estimates that cannabis taxes could generate $1.4 billion in revenue each year, available to fund schools, law enforcement, and other critical needs.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office, which provides nonpartisan fiscal and policy advice, states that in addition to generating new tax revenue, the Initiative would allow correctional and law enforcement resources to be redirected to more pressing needs. The LAO says that in addition to generating “a few hundred millions of dollars annually” it could also save “several tens of millions of dollars annually” and permit the “redirection of court and law enforcement resources.”

For more on the fiscal benefits of the Initiative, please see:

Multiple polls show that a majority of California voters support controlling and taxing cannabis. California’s widely-respected Field Poll revealed that 56% of voters support the Initiative.


Anonymous said...

A California yes vote could force Americans to have a realistic conversation on drug prohibition. Casualties from the war on drugs keep piling up and nowhere is this more true than in Mexico, where more than 18,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in the last three years alone!

The prospect of reducing violence, undermining gangs, freeing law enforcement to concentrate on serious crimes and more revenues for hard-pressed governments; all are reasons to end the “reefer madness” in our laws.

Anonymous said...

A year ago, April 9th, the House of Representatives did offer up HR 1866: The industrial Hemp Farming Act

It would have placed the THC Determination levels in the hands of each state to regulate. This would have been a great step forward in providing alternatives to using trees for paper, cotton for clothing and started the very conversation you are bringing here.

The two strongest lobbies against legalizing pot? The paper and cotton industries. Hemp is easier to grow, modify for use and outlasts cotton for clothing.

As a non-smoking environmentalist, I cant advocate for the Hemp Farming Act enough. That should be everyone's first focus.

Anonymous said...

Let's parse a bit of local history here"recent history relatively speaking":
When a woman physician identifying herself as being trained at UC Berkeley came up to Kingston from her humble abode in Westchester County to speak at a Benedictine Hospital forum on Breast Cancer, came out after the expected Woodstock Physician supported the use of pot to calm the pain of post-surgical stuff in this context of masdectomies--that physician smiled and really kind of did him one better in a typically arrogant professional uncaring manner:
"Women really don't need breasts anyway--they're useless(which we can add to the list of tonsils, appendices, gallbladders, colons, legs, feet, arms, thyroids--well just about anything except both kidneys and the liver and heart)---to which even the hardest Woodstockers who would have readily railed against(at least within the first five seconds of hearing such a thing) same but held their breath in celebration that such an event was occuring at all so we could celebrate women here gratuitously. And Nuns--who don't even think about using their breasts--weren't given a heads up to attend this event at all costs? Well further shame on that uppity breast surgeon lady.
I suppose maybe the Berkley folks believe nowadays that folks need only marijuana--and just do away with a silly little thing like a breast--I mean, after all, women aren't baring them on public access television every night nor is the market for veiwing such quite as demanding in this country as it might be elsewhere. They are hardly seen in San Francisco's gay bars--and in fact even during the earthquake in 1989 no one on the Golden Gate Bridge exposed any even as the concrete below buckled throwing their breasts naturally up above their necklines from the force of gravity(hmmp if that's not Cayyyalllifornia prudery forya--I don't know what is). I note that babies have a "medical" interest in breasts, but babies aren't actually worth anything either to adults--which of course Benedictine Hospital and the powers behind same might take umbrage at as a doctrinal thought apart from the other facts found often in Catholicism that even uppity Californians dare rail against regularly these days and in past days too.
So on a regional historical note as to UC Berkeley I vote for Patty Hearst for Breast Surgeon in place of this other creep. Furthermore I think Hearst's captors--called The "Symbionese Liberation Army"-- are well qualified to be surgical nurses on such jobs. As for F. Lee Bailey--well he no longer fits---so as to him we cannot acquit!! Mr. Scharzennegger would simply say "I'll be BECK--to terminate you all--except my lubbly vahf Maweeah Kennetee Shwiberr"--as they enjoy Sacramento to---mayyy--to to-mayyy-to tomatojuice!! "From zee HEART of Cullyfornia Agwiculshuh Industwee---undt not nidding enny surgewee!!!

one who knows said...

I brought up the subjects of Medical Marijuana & Legalizing it to both Lazio & Levy @ a recent GOP meeting.
Lazio dodged the question altogether,, Levy answered me intelligently.
He said it would make sense BUT the Law Enforcement groups are so against it they make pro legalization candidates out to be evil & "drugged",, so to speak

Medical Marijuana 's time has come ! the 1st person D or R that champions this cause will win overwhelmingly.
Legalize it don't Criminalise it !!

Balance the Budget - Eliminate the Deficit with one stroke of the pen, folks !


one who knows

Anonymous said...

I would love to see some drastic changes in the way New York State does business. Handling the budget deficit and failed drug policy at the same time would be brilliant.
Its true that powerful lobbies would work against making pot legal for the reasons mentioned, but the overall benefits outweigh the minor damage they perceive from the change.
I say, if you cant stop the marijuana trade, then legalize and tax it to help with the costs of enforcing real crime issues.

Anonymous said...

Having spent over 25 years working with children, mostly from troubled families, I can tell you that the damage from marijuana is anything but minor. Just like alcohol, when it is misused it can create chaos in a home. If you want to legalize and tax it, reduce the population of our prisons, etc... that is fine, but don't delude yourself into thinking there will not be consequences.

Anonymous said...

There are people - lots of people who smoke marijuana. The state doesn’t get a cut. If the state allowed its possession and sale, and heavily taxed it, it would create a new revenue stream of millions of dollars annually.

Here’s another key element of the California proposal; Individual counties or municipalities could choose to tax and regulate commercial marijuana production and sales. They could first decide to allow sales and the tax the heck out of the proceeds. Theyre on the brink of bankruptcy, these counties and cities would not have to wait for the money to trickle down from the state – it would take their cut off the top.

In a perfect world the following could happen; townships could approve the possession and sale of marijuana...once the cash came rolling in, these municipalities’ money woes would ease. Property taxes and other fees in these towns could be frozen at current levels or even lowered.

A very timely article to think about considering the shape of New York.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 4:28. I have a relative that graduated from harmless marijuana in collge to cocaine due to the thrill of marijuana had dulled and wanted a bigger high. It affected his family and his career which came to a screetching halt. There is always consequences when an individual partakes of drugs and alcohol. We might make money in the beginning but on the back end;, how much does it cost for rehab facilities?

I am for controlled medical use of marijuana for certain diagnoses but not a blanket RX.

Jeremiah said...

4:28 and 5:36 have excellent points, but the same points could be made if we were talking about legalizing Alcohol. We should legalize Marijuana straight up and be done with it. It is going to cause all of the same problems that are caused by alcohol already anyway.

I have no intention of using the stuff even if it was legal, smoking anything is a disgusting habit. But to those that want it......go for it. Who am I to stop you. At least we can see the tax revenue from it. I don't think it will empty out the jails like many think but whatever, at least we will get the money.

The only thing I care about is people that operate a motor vehicle under the influence. If we do this, do it the right way (unlike alcohol)and make sure that anyone who puts others lives in danger as a result of this lifestyle goes AWAY for a long time.