Friday, January 15, 2010

Mary Jane: my legal friend?

Selina, my coworker told me that marijuana is now legal in California. I flat out said, "No way, I don't believe you!" My reasons being that there has been no hoopla over this, and yes, there already might be legal medical marijuana, and California is a more open state, but for SURE there would have been some sort of hullaballoo over this, no?

But then, onto my trusty NY Times blares this headline: Committee Approves Calif. Pot Legalization Bill

Say what?

And indeed, that does seem to be the case:
A bill seeking to legalize marijuana in California won initial approval from a legislative committee Tuesday in what may be a purely symbolic vote because a second committee likely won't take it up in time.

The state Assembly's public safety committee voted 4-3 on the measure that would tax and regulate marijuana in the same way alcohol is controlled.

However, upon closer inspection, it probably won't come to be.

But the health committee also must approve the measure by Friday before the full Assembly can consider it, an unlikely scenario.

The health committee is not considering the bill during its meeting Tuesday. And the bill's backers would have to get a special waiver to reconvene the health committee later this week.

Which allows this substance-free being to relax a bit. But then, what is up with this? "a purely symbolic vote"? You know what this is, right? It's injecting it into the system. It's making the possibility of such a bill a plausible reality... and usually, the way our relative society works is
1) mention something AWFUL/WEIRD/CRAZY
2) Keep on mentioning it (subliminal! .. or not so subtly)
3) Make waves proposing something crazy
4) Garner more popular support from people for various reasons
5) Slowly the idea is no longer crazy
6) A modest, cautious compromise is made
7) Later on down the years, the previous "making waves" news is waved in with the times.

Sometimes this is a good thing (ie getting rid of slavery). Most times, we don't always have that blessed discernment.

ANYWAY BACK to this issue, it appears that people agree with me

If the bill does die, a spokesman for the bill's author, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, said the San Francisco Democrat would hold off on reintroducing legislation until after the November election, which could feature a marijuana legalization ballot proposition.

Though the successful committee vote could end up being purely symbolic, pot advocates hailed it as an important step forward.

''We're thrilled,'' said Stephen Gutwillig of the Drug Policy Alliance, a pro-legalization group. ''This to me, this is the formal beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition in the United States.''

But this isn't what irks me.
What irks me is this:
The legislation would allow adults 21 and older to legally possess, grow and sell marijuana. The state would charge a $50-per-ounce fee and a 9 percent tax on retail sales.

State tax collectors have estimated the bill could bring in nearly $1.4 billion in revenue.

I remember last year listening to the radio about how legalizing marijuana could do wonders for California's economy... and how "cooperative" and eager such growers are to comply. (sure sure, let's fast forward ten years when Pot Lobbyists take over our government. LOVELY! absolutely LOVELY!) AND NOW look.

What bugs me, is this bid to legalize marijuana is from greed, and from a desire for a simpler solution to get out of this economic mess that California dug itself into. What the California, can't we do better than that?

AND I bet we'll reach a calmer solution.
We'll mollify the public by giving more money to schools, lowering the UC system fees hike by 15%, and stressing that there would be regulation and rules (just like how we successfully controlled cigarettes and alcohol ... except the last time I checked cigarettes and alcohol related deaths still rank in the top ten causes in the US)

oh and of course:
Under the bill, much of that money would go to fund drug abuse education and prevention programs. Republican Assemblyman Danny Gilmore ridiculed that idea during the hearing at the state Capitol.

Oh whew. Thanks~! Great, now I can rest easy.

I think this dude says it best:

"We're going to legalize marijuana, we're going to tax it, and then we're going to educate our kids about the harms of drugs?'' said Gilmore, a 31-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol. ''You've got to be kidding me.''

This is retarded.

Where were these people in 7th grade when we learned that "marijuana" is the gateway drug.


or tell me to "take care of my own life" and don't butt into others'.

The thing is; when people start smoking, drinking, engaging in weird substances, it DOES affect me.
* drunk drivers
* second hand smoke
* second hand marijuana smoke (favorite Breakfast in Berkeley I tell ya)
* lobbyists who are filthy rich
* (future/past/current) friends who get addicted
* (future/past/current) friends who don't have all the pieces together in the mental department.

whatever, there's more.

this is just dumb and makes me mad.


and i mean when I was in high school there were PLENTY of people smoking pot when it was ILLEGAL! How much more kids will be doing this when it's legalized? COME ON! How many kids would not start if they see their teachers taking an MJ break? Come ON!

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