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California Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) Thursday signed into law a bill that decriminalizes the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. The bill reduces simple possession from a misdemeanor to an infraction.

Currently, small-time pot possession is "semi-decriminalized" in California. There is no possible jail sentence and a maximum $100 fine. But because possession is a misdemeanor, people caught with pot are "arrested," even if that means only they are served a notice to appear, and they must appear before a court.

That has happened to more than a half million Californians in the last decade, and more than 60,000 last year alone. Every one of them required a court appearance, complete with judge and prosecutor. That costs the cash-strapped state money it desperately needs.

Under the bill signed today, SB 1449, by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), marijuana possession will be treated like a traffic ticket. The fine will remain at $100, and there will be no arrest record.

In a signing statement, Schwarzenegger said he opposed decriminalization for personal use -- and threw in a gratuitous jab at Proposition 19, the tax and regulate marijuana legalization initiative -- but that the state couldn't afford the status quo.

"I am signing this measure because possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction in everything but name," said Schwarzenegger. "The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial and a defense attorney. In this time of drastic budget cuts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and the courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket."

"Gov. Schwarzenegger deserves credit for sparing the state's taxpayers the cost of prosecuting minor pot offenders," said California NORML director Dale Gieringer. "Californians increasingly recognize that the war on marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources."

The law goes into effect January 1. Even if Prop 19 passes in November, it leaves in place misdemeanor charges for smoking in public or in the presence of minors. Those misdemeanors would become infractions under the new law.

Sacramento, CA
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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If we do this then its only a matter of time till that...

Ah the fresh smell of rediculous fallacy in the morning. That kind of argument being used and still being used is insane to me. It's simple to use I suppose but completely illogical if you think about it REALLY think about the actual relationship between pot and gay marriage or that if you legalize gay marriage it's only a slippery slope to marrying a goat or something. Just a couple examples im using so no opinion intended. Those ill call 'em "Slippery slope" arguements are fallacy. They don't make sense and hopefully the past will repeat itself and hate will subside. Try saying something like "African american rights should be revoked cause it's only a matter of time until we legalize a dogs right to vote" outloud.
Feels stupid dont it?

This makes absolutely no

This makes absolutely no sense. It is a federal crime. Is California's governor planning on his state becoming a solitary state? Not that it would bother the other 49 states.

It's the same situation as it

It's the same situation as it was with medical. The DEA kept shutting down legal medicinal operations. Federal is seperate from state laws and feds can do whatever they want within their law. Basically everyone who wants to use this bill is still gonna have to be on the down-low but instead of walking on egg-shells, tip-toeing should do fine.

Not a word of this at the San Francisco hometown newspaper site

Not a word of this at the newspaper for San Francisco.


Politics is weird.


I dont care if you are a D or an R. Thank you Arnold.

Good. It's about time someone

Good. It's about time someone acted rationally when it comes to marijuana.

Dude... alcohol is legal and much worse than pot. Both should be legal and taxed, but free to consume based on choice -- with a minimum age of 18. This is America, get over yourself, stop acting like elitist socialists wanting to limit the choice of others. Let others make their own choice without government intrusion.

Strange Smell

I was wondering what that smell was wafting into Colorado from a westerly direction. Now I know the real reason I was feeling so high in the Colorado mountains:

Pot smokers are underachieving losers

Perfect example: Michael Phelps.  The guy hasn't won a gold medal in years.

Yes to Decriminalization! NO ON AL CAPONE POLICE STATE PROP 19!!

This is great, decriminalization is the best for all Americans; its our freedom. VOTE NO ON PROP 19! Prop 19 is a trojan horse, its a scam. 'concern citizen' said this about it <a href="">here</a>:



Smells like special interest! Why else would wealthy business men like Jeff Wilcox and Richard Lee invested $1.3 million of their own money to hire a company to obtain the requisite signatures for the current proposed initiative? And what about all the donations to Oakland council member Nancy Nadel? I’ll tell you why; so Wilcox and his cohorts at AGRAMED could be granted one the limited permits for mass cultivation!! In turn, he and his investors can monopolize the marijuana market making themselves millions!! And by the same token, they will squash all the small dispensaries that already exist. This sort of thing reminds me of how large predatory corporations like Wal- mart operate... so if passed I guess we'll all be shopping at Agra-mart for our corporate grown pot! Prop 19. Legalize Marijuana, the lie that Jeff Wilcox and his marijuana cultivation corporation Agra Med drafted, is not telling you about their underlying scheme. Prop 19 sounds like one man’s scheme to become the largest and richest dope dealer in the country!!

Why I will be voting no, in favor of the current and un-broken (so why fix it) medical marijuana system


People think its legalization, its being sold as legalization even though it’s the opposite of legalization. - Dennis Peron, author of Prop. 215 that legalized medical marijuana in California



When most marijuana activists, growers and consumers first heard about an initiative that would legalize cannabis in California, they thought it was a pipe dream come true. To many, legalization implied that it would no longer be a crime to possess, consume or distribute marijuana. Cannabis consumers rejoiced at the idea of being able to buy from their neighbors or at parties just as they already do with no legal retribution. Small-time growers had envisioned being free to sell their product to those who sought them out, with no legal repercussions. Marijuana activists thought it meant that people would stop being arrested for pot, and that the drug war would finally be over. Now that the initiative is headed to ballot, many pro-legalization supporters are coming out against it. Why?

Simply put, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative does not reflect most peoples ideas of what legalization would be. The media often incorrectly reports that this initiative calls for full legalization” of marijuana. It does not. In fact, it reverses many of the freedoms marijuana consumers currently enjoy, pushes growers out of the commercial market, paves the way for the corporatization of cannabis, and creates new prohibitions and felonies where there is none now. Apparently, to be pro-legalization and pro-initiative are two different things entirely.

The late-Jack Herer, legendary marijuana activist known as the father of the legalization movement, vehemently opposed the initiative. In the last words of his impassioned final speech, moments before the heart attack that would eventually claim his life, he urged people not to support it. [1] Proposition 215 author, Dennis Peron, likewise denounced the initiative, saying it is not legalization, but thinly-veiled prohibition. [2]

Compared to the present status of cannabis in California, many marijuana activists see this initiative as a giant leap backward. Ironically, it appears that marijuana is more legal in California today than it would be if this initiative were to pass.

The initiative itself is a hazy maze of regulations and controls, some of which are ambiguous and confusing even for those well versed in marijuana law. Understandably, many who have entered the discussion seem to have bypassed the initiative altogether and gone straight to their own assumptions of what an initiative that claims to legalize marijuana might entail, injecting the debate with as many misconceptions as facts. However, for an issue that would have such a direct and unprecedented impact on our daily lives, it is crucial to decide your vote based on knowledge, rather than assumption.

To clarify a few of the most glaring myths about the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative, I have compiled this guide to help you VOTE KNOW!

Myth #1: The initiative will end the War on Drugs and substantially reduce marijuana arrests, saving millions in prison costs.
Fact: Hardly. The federal drug war will continue to drone on, of course, and growing or possessing any amount of marijuana would still be illegal under federal law. Anyone growing or possessing cannabis without a doctor’s recommendation would still be subject to arrest and seizure by the federal police although on the bright side, the Obama administration recently announced it will no longer raid individuals who are operating in compliance with medical marijuana law.[3]

Contrary to popular assumption, the drug war in California will not end, nor will it be impacted much by the initiative. This is because the initiative does not call for full legalization; it proposes to legalize possession of only up to one ounce. In addition, in California, there is no drug war being fought against possession of up to one ounce, because marijuana is already decriminalized.

The penalty for carrying an ounce is a mere citation and maximum $100 fine.[4] Moreover, possession of one ounce is on its way to being downgraded from a misdemeanor to an infraction, because the state Senate voted in June to reclassify its status. [5] No one goes to jail for having an ounce or less in California, and no one is arrested, because it is not an arrestable offense.

One often-quoted statistic in the initiative debate is that misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests reached 61,388 in 2008.[6] However, it is important to note that this statistic does not refer to any arrest demographic that the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative would affect. This statistic refers only to possession of more than one ounce, possession by minors and possession on school grounds —offenses, which the initiative will not legalize. It does not refer to nor does it include marijuana arrests for possession of one ounce or less, because this is not an arrestable offense. Therefore, the initiative would have no impact on reducing these arrests rates.

Statistically, the demographic that accounts for nearly one-quarter of total arrests for marijuana possession in California happens to be those in the 18-20 age group. Nevertheless, because the initiative explicitly makes it illegal for even adults age 18-20 to possess marijuana, these arrests will not decrease, and the drug war against young adults will rage on.

Furthermore, since the initiative would keep possession of amounts greater than one ounce illegal and likewise maintain the illegality of private sales of any amount, the overall impact that the initiative would have on ending the drug war, reducing arrest rates and saving on prison costs would be negligible, at best.

As an example of how highly misunderstood this initiative and its potential impact on the drug war is, the California NAACP recently pledged their support for the initiative based on the belief that it will put an end to the disproportionately high number of African-American youth going to jail “over a joint. [7] But in reality, the initiative will have no impact on this phenomenon whatsoever. As it is now, the State of California does not jail people for having a joint; it is not an arrestable offense. In addition, as mentioned above, possession of up to one ounce is on its way to being reclassified from a misdemeanor to an infraction, which carries no criminal-record stigma. The state however, does incarcerate people for selling small amounts of marijuana. In addition, since this initiative keeps private marijuana sales illegal, no matter the quantity, there will be no decrease in the number of African Americans or anyone else arrested for selling a joint.

Not only does the initiative do little or nothing to end the drug war, but ironically, it could in fact expand the drug war, because it imposes new felonies and prohibitions against marijuana that do not exist currently.

Contrary to the belief that it will keep people out of jail for marijuana, this initiative actually creates new demographics of people to incarcerate. (See Fact #2 and Fact #3) It is difficult to see how the government would save on court and imprisonment costs if the initiative merely shifts arrests from one demographic to another.

Myth #2: The initiative will keep young adults out of jail for using marijuana.
Fact: This initiative would put more young people in jail for pot. If it becomes law, any adult 21 or over who passes a joint to another adult aged 18-20 would face six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. [8] (NORML's Web site reports that the current penalty for a gift of marijuana of 1 oz. or less is a $100 fine.[9])

Myth #3: You'll be able to light up freely in the privacy of your home.
Fact: That depends. Under the initiative, even adults consuming marijuana in the privacy of their homes could face arrest if there are minors present (not something one would expect from an initiative that claims to treat marijuana like alcohol and tobacco)[10]. Current marijuana law contains no such restrictions. Thanks to Prop. 215, which legalized marijuana for medicinal use, cannabis consumers have been legally free to smoke in the privacy of their homes since 1997. This initiative seeks to undermine that freedom, making it illegal to smoke marijuana if there are minors present. (The initiative is ambiguous with regard to whether present means being in the same room as the consumer, the same house, the same apartment building, or within wafting distance apparently leaving this up to the interpretation of judges.) There is no exception for medical marijuana patients or for parents consuming in the presence of their own children.

Myth #4: Under the initiative, anyone 21 or over will be allowed to grow marijuana in a 5x5 space.
Fact: Not quite. This allotment is per property, not per person. If you share a residence with other people, you will be sharing a 5x5 grow space, as well. Even if you own multiple acres that many people live on, if it is considered one parcel, the space restriction of 5x5 (3-6 plants) will still apply. [11] Plus, if you rent, you will be required to obtain permission from your landlord whom they may be unwilling to grant since doing so will subject them to forfeiture by the federal government.

Myth #5: Adults 21 and over will be able to possess up to one ounce of marijuana without penalty.
Fact: Perhaps the most ironic piece of the puzzle is that the initiative to legalize marijuana actually makes it illegal to possess marijuana if it was purchased anywhere other than the very few licensed dispensaries in the state.[12] So if this initiative passes, better not get caught carrying marijuana you bought off your neighbor, your current dealer, or at a party; you could get arrested. Moreover, if you do buy from a licensed dispensary, better keep your receipts, because the burden of proof will be on you. Not only is this inconvenient, but it sets the industry up to be monopolized.

What’s more, if your city decides not to tax cannabis, then buying and selling marijuana in the city limits would remain illegal. You would be permitted to possess and consume marijuana, but you would be required to travel to another city that taxes cannabis to buy it.[13] This is a move towards decreased, not increased, access. And since the initiative is so ambiguous that cities are destined to be tied up in a legal quagmire over how to interpret it, many local governments might find it simpler just to opt-out and send its citizens elsewhere. Indeed, 129 cities did just that with medical marijuana, banning it outright, while still others have established moratoriums against dispensaries. In fact, of the entire state, only the city of Oakland has endorsed the initiative. A vote for the initiative will therefore not ensure local access to purchase marijuana legally.

Myth #6: The initiative will free up cops to focus on bigger crimes.
Fact: Decriminalization has already achieved this. The California Police Chiefs Association publicly admits that they do not waste their time on cases involving an ounce or less.[14] Moreover, many cities have already passed measures that require law enforcement to make marijuana possession their lowest priority.

What the initiative would do is create new prohibitions and felonies where there was none before, obligating police officers to spend valuable time enforcing them. The cases cops presently de-prioritize are minor offenses, like simple possession. Nevertheless, the initiative takes minor offenses and reclassifies them as crimes that are more serious (e.g., passing a joint to an adult 18-20). Law enforcements’ time is freed up by the elimination of prohibition, not by exchanging old prohibitions for new ones.

Myth #7: Marijuana tax revenue will go toward education and health care.
Fact: As it is now, state budget cuts have resulted in the closing of state parks, and health care for impoverished children has been revoked, not to mention thousands of government lay-offs. However, marijuana taxes will not be earmarked for health care, public education, the re-opening of state parks, or rehiring of laid-off government employees. Instead, the initiative specifically states that any marijuana tax revenue can be used toward enforcing the new prohibitions that the initiative enacts.[15] In this regard, not only does the initiative not end the drug war, it apparently taxes the drug to fund the drug war.

Myth #8: Marijuana growers will be able to sell cannabis legally.
Fact: Currently, marijuana growers in California who have a medical recommendation can and do grow and provide marijuana legally. Entire economies in Northern California exist on this industry. However, the initiative would make it illegal for anyone to sell marijuana, unless they own a licensed dispensary.[16] (See Fact #9)

Many have suggested that growers could open marijuana-tasting venues, similar to wine-tasting at vineyards. A grower might have a chance of opening such a place, but only if he gave his product away for free, because selling it would be illegal unless he successfully navigated the notoriously difficult and prohibitively expensive process of obtaining licensure.

Myth #9: Anyone can obtain a license to legally sell cannabis and compete in the market.
Fact: Few people will be able to compete in the multibillion-dollar marijuana market if the initiative passes. This is because the licensing process, engineered in Oakland, is exceptionally restrictive. Of the more than a thousand dispensaries operating in California until a recent L.A. crackdown, only a handful was licensed. (Conveniently, Richard Lee, the millionaire behind the initiative, owns one of them). In Oakland, the city that is setting the precedent in the tax cannabis push, a license costs $30,000. Per year. Not to mention the rigorous application process, in which even well established, law-abiding dispensaries have been denied.

Furthermore, Oakland has started a trend of capping the number of licensed dispensaries allowed to operate (in Oakland, that number is four). This all but guarantees that the average, small-time marijuana grower will be shut out of this multibillion-dollar industry, concentrating the profits of the potential economic boon in the hands of a small minority of wealthy entrepreneurs who are already making moves to monopolize the industry. Under this initiative, the marijuana industry will not be a free market in which everyone has a chance to compete. Instead, the initiative could mark the beginning of the corporatization of marijuana. (See also Fact #15)

Myth #10: Medical marijuana patients would be exempt from the initiative.
Fact: This is not exactly true. While amendments were made ostensibly to prevent the initiative from affecting current medical marijuana law, a careful reading of the initiative reveals that this is not, in fact, the case. Certain medical marijuana laws are exempt from the prohibitions the initiative would enact, while others are glaringly absent.

Cultivation is one such law that is noticeably non-exempt.[17] In spite of the fact that the tax cannabis Web site says otherwise, the only medical marijuana exemptions that the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative actually makes are with regard to possession, consumption and purchase limits, which only ensure that patients would still be allowed to buy medicine at dispensaries. The word “cultivate” is conspicuously absent. Whereas today a person with a doctor’s recommendation has the right to grow up to an unlimited number of plants, the initiative would drastically reduce that number to whatever can fit in a 5’x5’ footprint (around 3-6 plants per property, not per person). This will force many patients to resort to buying instead of growing their own medicine, because of the inconvenience caused by producing multiple grows a year rather than growing a year’s supply of medicine at one time, as many patients currently do outdoors. In addition, growing indoors which typically requires special grow lights, an increase in hydro use, and a lot of time and attention is a comparatively expensive endeavor.

The initiative would further impact medical marijuana patients by banning medicating in the privacy of their own homes if there are minors present, as well as in public (currently perfectly legal[18]) an invaluable liberty to those with painful diseases who would otherwise have to suffer until they got home to relieve their pain.

Finally, the medical marijuana laws that are exempted from this initiative apparently only apply to cities. For medical marijuana patients who live in an area that has county or local government jurisdiction, according to a strict reading of the initiative, medical marijuana laws are not exempt.[19]

Myth #11: Marijuana smokers will be free to smoke cannabis wherever cigarette smoking is allowed.
Fact: Actually, that is the way it is now in California. There is no law prohibiting medical marijuana from being smoked wherever cigarette smoking is permitted.[20] Young adults taking bong hits in Golden Gate Park on a Sunday afternoon is just part of the San Francisco scenery. However, if this initiative passes, that freedom would disappear and we could see cops policing smoking areas to enforce this law.[21]

Myth #12: Currently imprisoned non-violent marijuana offenders would be released.
Fact: The initiative makes no call to release prisoners who are behind bars for any marijuana offense, no matter how minor. In fact, because it introduces new prohibitions where none exists now, the initiative could potentially be responsible for locking even more people up for marijuana.

Myth #13: Counties in which marijuana cultivation currently thrives will experience increased economic growth.
Fact: Entire economies could collapse in counties that currently rely on cultivating marijuana. Right now, the multibillion-dollar marijuana industry is legally subsidizing thousands of incomes in areas where unemployment is skyrocketing. For example, Mendocino County, the biggest pot-producing county in the U.S., reports that a full two-thirds of its economy is dependent on marijuana.[22] Much of this is due to current state medical marijuana laws, which allow people to legally cultivate plants and provide them to marijuana pharmacies. But this economy supports more than just farmers.

Many local storeowners report that without marijuana farmers patronizing their businesses with cash, they would go out of business. Moreover, legitimate medical marijuana growers employ tens of thousands of seasonal workers, mostly young adults, who have managed to eke out a living in a region where none other exists, and who otherwise would have few local options to support themselves. The more humble among them are able to make a living that sustains them modestly throughout much of the year. Thousands more are able to subsidize low-paying jobs, make up for shortages in their college funding, and start creative projects such as fashion design, music production, or art. However, because the initiative would limit the number of plants one could grow from up to an unlimited amount to about six, thousands of small-time medical marijuana farmers and the young adults they employ would face economic displacement and hardship, or join the ranks of the unemployed. (For more on this, see Fact #15.)

Myth #14: The initiative will create an employment boon similar to California’s wine industry.
Fact: Comparisons with the wine industry are no true basis for determining the potential revenue recreational marijuana could create, because the wine industry does not operate under the same restrictions the marijuana industry would face. Namely, there is no cap on how many wineries can operate in California, or how many grapes each vineyard can grow. There are currently almost 3,000 vineyards in the state, whereas since the April crackdown in L.A., there are fewer than 300 dispensaries (of which only a few are licensed). Moreover, if cities continue to follow the trend set by Oakland and cap the number of licensed dispensaries allowed to operate, then the thousands of people currently legally employed by dispensaries would dwindle drastically.

Myth #15: The initiative will limit the viability of Mexican drug cartels.
Fact: Mexican drug cartels are already being undermined tremendously thanks to the legions of small-time farmers growing in California. The Washington Post reported on October 7, 2009:

Almost all of the marijuana consumed in the multibillion-dollar U.S. market once came from Mexico or Colombia. Now as much as half is produced domestically, often by small-scale operators who painstakingly tend greenhouses and indoor gardens to produce the more potent… product that consumers now demand, according to authorities and marijuana dealers on both sides of the border. Stiff competition from thousands of mom-and-pop marijuana farmers in the United States threatens the bottom line for powerful Mexican drug organizations in a way that decades of arrests and seizures have not, according to law enforcement officials and pot growers in the United States and Mexico. [23]

These mom-and-pop growers do not fit the stereotype of the gang-war era drug pusher or Mexican drug cartel growing marijuana irresponsibly and setting forests on fire. Many of them are law-abiding citizens, legally growing medical marijuana under Prop. 215. They are the people you see at your local organic health food store, or shopping in the community, putting much-needed cash directly into the local economy while the national economy flounders in recession. These small-time marijuana farmers use the money they earn from providing medicine to finance their kids education, help out their laid-off parents and put themselves through school. In some cases, entire communities depend on them.

However, if this initiative passes, the growers that are single-handedly undercutting the Mexican drug cartels would no longer be able to legally operate and the face of the marijuana industry could change from the local one we recognize to an impersonal corporate entity, leaving a spate of displaced marijuana farmers in its wake.

One corporation that is poised to take the place of the mom-and-pop growers is AgraMed. While Oakland’s city council prepares to consider a proposal in July to license four commercial indoor marijuana farms in the city, AgraMed has plans to build a 100,000-sq.-ft. marijuana mega-farm near Oakland International Airport that, according to projections, could generate 58 pounds of pot a day and $59 million a year in revenue. The company’s president, Jeff Wilcox a member of the steering committee of the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative reportedly hopes to “bring a degree of corporate structure to the marijuana industry. [24]

The language that backers of the initiative use itself is cause for concern among pro-marijuana supporters. Instead of speaking out against the injustice of jailing people over a plant that is widely known not only to be harmless, but beneficial, these multimillionaire supporters of the initiative speak only of their intentions to corporatize marijuana. The owner of one leading marijuana dispensary that already earns well over $20 million a year was quoted in the New York Times as having aspirations to become the McDonald’s of marijuana.”[25] The proprietors of Oakland’s new I-Grow hydroponics store want it to be known as the Wal-Mart of grow stores. [26] Meanwhile, Marijuana, Inc., a multimillion-dollar corporation, has plans to build cannabis resorts in the Northern California counties that currently survive off the medical marijuana industry.[27] They intend to create golf resorts with acres of marijuana gardens featuring hundreds of strains. (Apparently, under this initiative, corporations would be permitted to grow quite large quantities of cannabis, while cultivation would be restricted to 5 x 5 plots for everyone else.)

The accusations that medical marijuana growers oppose the initiative out of greed are clearly grossly unfounded. It is obvious who has intentions of increasing their bottom line. Small-time marijuana farmers simply want to continue making a humble living off the land. They are the ones who built the marijuana industry, but this initiative seeks to allow corporations to take their hard work and turn it into profits for themselves, locking farmers out of the industry entirely.

We have seen this trend before in the United States. Our history is replete with small farmers being taken over by huge corporations. Hundreds of thousands of mom-and-pop businesses have been forced out of business by conglomerates like Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and Monsanto, which those who benefit from such takeovers have justified by calling it “progress.” But is it? And is this the sort of “progress” we want to see take over the marijuana industry? Is this the world Peter Tosh had in mind when he implored us to “legalize it?

Marijuana may well be the final bastion of farmer-owned, worker-owned, business autonomy in this country. Will we allow it, too, to go the way of nearly every other homegrown industry in the history of the United States? We all hope for legalization. But must we have such a drastic, Faustian trade-off for this freedom? And is it really freedom if we must lose our autonomy to gain it?

One farmer’s response to the news of Marijuana Inc.'s resort aspirations poignantly sums up the pending reality should the initiative pass:

Marijuana, Inc., has big plans to invade the Emerald Triangle and surrounding counties to really capitalize on marijuana tourism. Maybe that sounds like fun to people that are not from around here, but it is really going to take away a lot of opportunity from the locals who make this place what it is. I feel that the people here who created this industry are going to be left in the dust for the most part… There is just too much money at stake and that is what these people are all about. This is the equivalent of the giant hotels popping up on the Hawaiian Islands and the locals being told, you can still work at the resort. We will need maids and groundskeepers who’ll work for minimum wage...[28]

What is currently a small-time, largely organic industry on which entire economies survive, and without which entire economies would collapse, could soon become dominated by corporations if this initiative passes. The days of “knowing your dealer” and what goes into your pot could soon be over, and marijuana, a sacrament too many, could become corporatized. Are corporations inherently evil? No. But if we have the option to keep millions of dollars in our own communities, spread out over hundreds of thousands of people, it hardly seems sensible to outsource this employment to corporations and into the hands of a few.

Is it possible to have marijuana legalization without legalizing corporate takeover of the industry? Absolutely. Will those who are passionate about marijuana live to regret voting in an initiative that treats marijuana as a publicly traded commodity and turns it into something as abhorrent as Wal-Mart and McDonald’s? Absolutely. Do we have to settle for this? Absolutely not.

Myth #16: The price of marijuana will drop.
Fact: The value of marijuana might decrease if it becomes more commercially available and more people grow their own, but the price of a product depends less on its value and more on the degree of competition that exists with regard to selling it. Since your options for purchasing marijuana would be among only a handful of licensed dispensaries in the state, there is no guarantee of a decrease in price. Less competition means higher prices.

Indeed, by AgraMed's own estimation, in order to make $59 million a year off 58 pounds per day, they would have to charge $175 per ounce wholesale (roughly $2,800 per pound) and that is if they produced 58 pounds 365 days a year. If they managed to produce that output only 5 days a week, that price would leap to $245 an ounce (about $3900 per pound). With shelf-prices at dispensaries often set at double the wholesale purchase price not to mention the compulsory tax added onto every ounce (which Richard Lee stated in an interview was "recommended" to be $50)—the price of marijuana could potentially be higher than it is in our current market, in which the price of a pound has already fallen to $2,000, according to a recent National Public Radio report; a direct result of healthy competition, not its opposite.[29]

Myth #17: We can vote in the initiative and fix the tangles as they come up.
Fact: Initiatives create permanent statutes. Once an initiative is voted into law, it cannot be reversed. It remains law forever. It is worth noting that this initiative makes some unusual provisions with regard to amendments. For starters, it allows the legislature (traditionally hostile toward marijuana legislation) to amend the initiative without voter approval. Furthermore, it allows amendments, but “only to further the purposes of the Act.”[30] Under a monopolized, corporate-controlled distribution process, the purposes might become more narrowly defined.

Many of the issues that pro-legalization supporters have with the initiative could be easily rectifiable with a few sentences and an amendment-submission to the Attorney General’s office. It would have required very little on the part of the initiative authors to remove the vagueness from the wording that bans smoking cannabis in any “space” where minors are “present, for example, or to add an exemption for medical marijuana patients and parents consuming in the presence of their own children. It would have required very little to write into the initiative a line that would exempt medical marijuana patients from the public smoking ban and protect their right to grow medicine in amounts sufficient for their individual needs. After all, these are items that should not be considered luxuries under legalized marijuana; they should be rights. And we should settle for nothing less.

Unfortunately, the deadline to make changes to the initiative before the November elections has already passed, and to achieve these changes via subsequent voter referendums would be a complicated and drawn-out process that could take years. Making the initiative acceptable before voting it into law is therefore essential.

Myth #18: This is our only chance to take a step in the direction of legalization.
Fact: This is only our first chance it will certainly not be the last. There were three other initiatives that sought to be placed on the ballot this year; all three would have legalized not only possession, but also private distribution among individual adults. Some even called for the release of non-violent marijuana offenders. However, staffed exclusively by volunteers, all failed to gather the required number of signatures for the petitions. (Richard Lee invested $1.3 million of his own money to hire a company to obtain the requisite signatures for the current proposed initiative.[31])

What now?

The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative are not the only path to legalization. We have come so far, and are now so close it is imperative that we let the next step be the right one. Legalized marijuana is within reach, yet the movement could be set back with such a problematic initiative at the helm. Instead of rushing to pass a measure that prohibits marijuana under the guise of legalization, we can draft an initiative that calls for true legalization and that has the full support of marijuana law reform organizations and leaders of the movement.

The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative is rife with ambiguity, expands the War on Drugs, undermines the medical marijuana movement, arrests more people for marijuana, offers no protection for small farmers and insufficient protection for medical marijuana users, has a high potential for monopolization, provides no regulations to prevent corporate takeover of the industry, cartelizes the economy, and divides our community into poor, unlicensed, mom-and-pop gardener versus rich, licensed, corporate farmer. Moreover, since the one thing that is clear about the initiative is that it is vague, it could very easily prove to be a Pandora’s box of unintended consequences. Beyond its vagueness, which itself is problematic, these side effects are inherently socially dangerous. The impact that such a failed legalization initiative could have on the movement nation-wide could be disastrous.

This is not a question of whether to legalize or not to legalize. Legalization is the goal and it is inevitable. The question is whether we want to rush in and settle for an initiative that is so poorly worded as to be ambiguous, and so vague as to be open to vast interpretation from judges or wait for the wording and other inconsistencies to be corrected for 2012. If we hold out for a perfect initiative, we will wait forever. But if we at least hold out for an initiative that is direct, unambiguous, well defined and clearly written, we will have an unprecedented opportunity to inspire the world to join the movement to legalize marijuana.

Many pro-legalization activists are rallying behind the idea of taking the time to craft an initiative that will be a clear step up from the current cannabis situation of in California and will result in increased access not its opposite. Both NORML and the MPP, the foremost cannabis law reform organizations in the country, have suggested we wait and make another attempt at legalization during the 2012 elections. Dale Gieringer, Director of California’s NORML, said, I do think it’s going to take a few more years for us to develop a proposal that voters will be comfortable with.”[32] Likewise, Bruce Mirken, MPP's Director of Communications, was quoted as saying, “In our opinion, we should wait and build our forces and aim at 2012.[33]

Ultimately, the decision is not up to any organization; it’s up to YOU. How will you vote? Read the initiative for yourself and just VOTE KNOW!

“I hope people find the hope and inspiration to broadcast this, understand (the initiative), read it, and know that it's a step backwards. And we can do better. We will do better.” - Dennis Peron

Sidebar: What it Actually Says

About possessing marijuana bought somewhere other than a licensed outlet:
Section 3: Lawful Activities: Section 11301: Commercial Regulations and Controls: (g) prohibit
and punish through civil fines or other remedies the possession, sale, possession for sale, cultivation, processing, or transportation of cannabis that was not obtained lawfully from a person pursuant to this section or section 11300; [Section 11300: (i) possession for sale regardless of amount, except by a person who is licensed or permitted to do so under the terms of an ordinance adopted pursuant to section 11301.]

About the punishment for giving marijuana to adults age 18-20:
Section 4: Prohibition on Furnishing Marijuana to Minors: (c) Every person 21 years of age or over who knowingly furnishes, administers, or gives, or offers to furnish, administer or give, any marijuana to a person aged 18 years or older, but younger than 21 years of age, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of up to six months and be fined up to $1,000 for each offense.

About smoking in the presence of minors:
Section 3: Lawful Activities: Section 11300: Personal Regulation and Controls: (c) “Personal consumption” shall not include, and nothing in this Act shall permit: (iv) smoking cannabis in any space while minors are present.

About using marijuana tax revenue to fund law enforcement against pot prohibition:
Section 11302: Imposition and Collection of Taxes and Fees (a) Any ordinance, regulation or other act adopted pursuant to section 11301 may include imposition of appropriate general, special or excise, transfer or transaction taxes, benefit assessments, or fees, on any activity authorized pursuant to such enactment, in order to permit the local government to raise revenue, or to recoup any direct or indirect costs associated with the authorized activity, or the permitting or licensing scheme, including without limitation: administration; applications and issuance of licenses or permits; inspection of licensed premises and other enforcement of ordinances adopted under section 11301, including enforcement against unauthorized activities.

About medical marijuana exemptions:
B: Purposes, 7: Ensure that if a city decides not to tax and regulate the sale of cannabis, that buying and selling cannabis within that city’s limits remain illegal, but that the city’s citizens still have the right to possess and consume small amounts except as permitted under Health and Safety Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 through 11362.9. (Note: The word “cultivate” is conspicuously absent here as well as in the exempted Health and Safety Sections that pertain to medical marijuana laws.)

About leaving medical marijuana cultivation law in the hands of local government:
Section 11301: Commercial Regulations and Controls: Notwithstanding any other provision of state or local law, a local government may adopt ordinances, regulations, or other acts having the force of law to control, license, regulate, permit or otherwise authorize, with conditions, the following: (a) cultivation, processing, distribution, the safe and secure transportation, sale and possession for sale of cannabis, but only by persons and in amounts lawfully authorized. (Note: This section provides no exemptions for medical marijuana law.)

About the right to cultivate:
Section 3: Lawful Activities: Section 11300: Personal Regulation and Controls: (ii) Cultivate, on private property by the owner, lawful occupant, or other lawful resident or guest of the private property owner or lawful occupant, cannabis plants for personal consumption only, in an area of not more than twenty-five square feet per private residence or, in the absence of any residence, the parcel. 

Concern Californian

Way to clog the pipe genius!

How about a link, bro? Try 2000 words or less, or posting something relevant to the article that consists of an actual opinion, not some tsunami transcript of the entire proceeding. /facepalm

If I did not think it

If I did not think it important information I would not have posted all. You'll note I did include a link which did not post correctly. Despite this I covered my bases and got the word out.

If you don't want to read and think you can go back to watching TV.

tsunami post

That is brilliant my man." pertinent and pithy persiflage".

sidebar: Where is this quote from?

The entire thing was posted to the blog at this article by 'concern citizen' a few days ago:

I don't know who said this but where I've been a sidebar is a courtroom fixture; a lawyer or a judge must have written this.

Check out retired OC Judge Jim Gray, Libertarian; His interview with O'Reilly is great analysis of the facts of the matter.

Think you don't need Prop 19 now? Think again.

Don't be fooled.  New York has had similar laws for 30 years.  Possession of less than 25 grams is an infraction (same level offense as a traffic ticket) with no jail time and minimal fine.  Miraculously, everyone who gets busted in NY seems to fall under the misdemeanor category.

This is from Wikipedia, but you can find numerous studies of the NYPD and their hyperaggressive marijuana enforcement strategies all over the Internet:

New York City remains the cannabis-arrest capital of the world, with over 40,000 arrests in 2008. Despite New York's decriminalization of simple possession, New York City police arrest suspects for possession in public view, which remains a misdemeanor. During a Terry stop, officers may falsely suggest that a suspect should voluntarily reveal contraband to avoid arrest, then arrest the suspect if he reveals cannabis to public view.[


It would be nice of there was

It would be nice of there was some honesty here. This isn't about freedom or economics or reducing crime.

It's about a bunch of shagged-out losers who've never grown up and want to re-live the ' 60s.

Pot and all "recreational" drugs are for pathetic losers who want to remain children for the rest of their lives. The only things I've ever seen come out of their use was grief, pain, broken homes, wasted money, corrupted lives and addiction.

Why don't you all grow up and stop wrapping yourselves in the Constitution and the flag in a pathetic attempt to validate your adolescent emotional need to get high, stay high and have everybody else pay the price for your arrested emotional development.

It's all crap for people with crap for brains.

Pot Legalization

  With all that is going on in California, this is what Gov. S does? You people are in more trouble than I thought!  Plus it's still fully illegal under federal law - so you can still be jailed. Leave it up to our idiot legislators to so something stupid like this. You want your kid to start getting stoned all the time? California = LOSERS!

In a free society you should have bodily privacy

I have never understood how after Roe Vs Wade anyone could square prohibition of drugs. If a women has the right to privacy in her body, and the right to kill a baby being produced in her body how could any thinking person prosecute someone for doing drugs? All prohibition should be abolished including the prohibition of Pot. I hope Prop 19 passes.

NEVER EVER VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


if the Democrats bring tyranny to the Federal Gov't  (and they don't you're just a paranoid sore loser and maybe you need to take a couple tokes to mellow out) then what the Republicans bring to the Federal Gov't is a permanent caste system the very rich and the very poor

What type of paper is the

What type of paper is the United States Constitution written on? Oh, right: HEMP.

Just make it legal already! It's only marijuana. What's your choice: pot or beer? Both should be legal and consumption of either of the two should be a free choice, not dictated by socialists and far-left big government regulators. Give me liberty! Not restrictions...

I'm a fiscal conservative Tea Partier, and I approve this message.

Decriminalizing Marijuana = stoned union workers?

How dangerous is it to decriminalize marijuana?  Will it cause mistakes on the production line, late for class lazy teachers, stoned students?  Isn't this imposing yet another of the 10 pillars of the C. Manifesto to collapse America

@J.G.Using your analogy, did


Using your analogy, did overturning the prohibition against alcohol cause everyone to do everything while drunk? Nope. Sure, people were able to choose freely if they wanted the drink but it doesn't mean everybody would start drinking irresponsibly. Pot should be legal so that people can smoke responsibly. The choice is ours to make, as it should be. Just don't take the choice away. It's our freedom and not your right to take our freedoms away.

Besides - Union workers will get stoned and drunk on the job no matter what law is in place. They can multi-task, too: their left hand is in your pocket rummaging through your wallet, and their right hand is either holding a beer or lighting a bowl. Either way, they're robbing you blind in the name of socialism and communism.

Its already out

Its already out there. Consider that it hasn't yet caused these things. Further studies commissioned by the great Mayor LaGuardia of NYC showed that students who smoked pot regularly got above average grades, whereas students who drank beer performed below average. 

Noone is going to 'start smoking pot' just because its legal; they are already smoking it! Ask the cops - pot smokers are not a problem. Meanwhile drunk drivers still kill tens of thousands every year in America; tax the alcohol industry for that many lives and the cost of all the time the cops spend working just to try to reduce the carnage.

I guess the obama

I guess the obama administration only applies supremacy clause when it suits the administration.


someone should tell the terminator that not enforcing or weakening laws because of budget constraints is a stupid policy.  someone should also tell him that even for an infraction, the person still has the right to go to court.  so is he saying that if you make the penalty low enough, then people will be more apt not to seek out due process and just pay the fine?  that seems like a bad precedence.  i'm sure the ACLU won't pursue that erosion of the judicial system.


how about toughening up illegal immigration and stop wasting money on illegals' education and medical care in California, maybe they can get some cash that way.  Maybe they should put the actors actually in jail like regular people when they get caught drinking and driving, taking drugs, etc., so it isn't glamorized.  california should tax porn more, that will generate huge amounts of money.


for NORML, next we might as well not go after murderers, rapists, and drunk drivers, because those are also a waste of law enforcement resources.  murderers kill less people than car accidents, so we shouldn't waste resources pursuing them.

Pretty soon people will be

Pretty soon people will be taking the law into there own hands.  Get these unfit politicians out of office.


I agree with Arnold. Most cops don't lock up people for a joint unless you are doing something else too. Also, everybody has their own responsibility as a person of what they can and can not do. Besides its the same effect to having a few glasses of wine or beer.

Bout F'n time!State is still

Bout F'n time!

State is still going down in flames  due to it's crushing public employee entitlements.

That aside, looky at us, were big boys now!

The  fact that it has been illegal for so long is, as an American with many friends from other countries, embarrassing. "Land of the free?" they say.

Just like the end of prohibition broke the back of Al Capones criminal network, this too will break the back

of both the Mexican and American drug cartels. Now thousands of Californians won't have to buy drug cartel weed from seedy back alleys anymore.

Congrats Gov. you done good...for once.

federal deficit

people all over the country are worrying about the trillions of dollars of debt we have to pay off to China and others for financing our two wars: for those people i say two things 1. legalize marijuana 2. tax it like alcohol and cigarettes and with 40+ million admitted users(actually i hate that word,how about..tokers..or from back in the day Heads) it would take about oh i don't know 2 or 3 years to pay off the National debt maybe 4 or 5 but you get the idea.

Legalizing Agricultural Hemp

As a farmer, I cannot stand to watch California effectively decriminalize Marijuana for pot smokers. I am a 50 year old Farmer in this state, and my father and Grandfather used to cultivate Agricultural Hemp   prior to  WW II. So my question is, how the hell are we in Agriculture supposed to compete with Industrial fiber producers in China, India, and Southeast Asia? Why can't we Farmers grow Hemp for fiber like my grandfather did?

Does California realize the huge profit potential in this fiber crop? Does California realize the huge windfall this could represent for Our State?
Why make pot smoking crap effectively a non criminal offense, yet we in Agriculture cannot grow a non drug source fiber that Anyone, Anywhere can purchase off the shelf to make clothing, yarn, potato sacks, canvas and the like. And, might I add, the stuff you can buy off the shelf, all of the commercially available Hemp fiber, every damn bit of it is Imported !!

Enough of our Representatives selling out the California Farmers, let us make a living, this country is starting to resemble the USSR, too many damn regulations on what we can do, and even now, what we say or even think !!!


Pissed off Farmer

I agree, industrial hemp is a

I agree, industrial hemp is a great cash crop. Historically one of the reasons it was made illegal was because newly communist Russia was the world's leading exporter of hemp, and Dupont Chemical guaranteed the fed that they could produce synthetic analogs of all the products based on hemp. Nice toxic chemical wet dream; the rest is well known history.

Hemp oil can be used as an oil substitute; this annual crop is green energy technology. Books printed on hemp last much longer than paper and hemp paper saves trees.

I wish I was a farmer, just to be far away from the accumulating toxic culture... reeks. Good luck, old timer.

Your honesty sounds a lot like your opinion.

And that's the kind of attitude that screws up the country. If every side thinks they're right all the time how the hell are we gonna get things done? Maybe both sides are wrong and a middle ground is needed. It's sad that the middle ground has been empty for a longg longg time. Even talking to other party runners seems beyond them. All of them. Thats why I appreciate this bill being passed. It's a compromise between total legalization and prohibition of marijuana. MIDDLE GROUND! I hope in time the epic nature of this bill, forgetting the actual bill itself for a second; that a politician compromised and did good for everyone. It's an attitude to follow.

And who gives a crap about the 60s, lots of people being super nice who mostly became productive members of society and blew up suburb growth.
Please please people stand by what you believe but leave some wiggle room to listen instead of instantly hating. Okay you don't like pot, so what? Millions of people function fine smoking or drinking casually. Acceptance seems beyond people, but this bill being passed is the American way of saying deal with it.  Thats exactly what people do in this country. And damnit you make it sound like America's foundation is as useful as a towel to cover up nakedness.  if you're not an american then that's fine you're entitled to your opinion and if you are, its still damn fine because you're entitled to your opinion. You should appreciate that. Freedom and love and american spirit might sound like liberal crap but it's a way that doesn't thrive on separation of americans within their own country.

And if none of that hits home try finding a pariotic American that doesn't get pissed off when you act like you use the bill of rights to wipe your ass.

About Time

Well its about time a state did the right thing.The decriminalisation of cannibis is a great thing.

Now we need to get this done on a national level,even here in the bible belt.Im hoping that prop 19 does go ahead and pass,it will give more states the needed push to get this done.

It is wrong to punish people for something that is less harmful then booze or tobacco,Ive been smoking for over 30 years,Ive  got college and a nice job that requires complex thinking,I have a good attendance record,we get a bonus for being at work,so it doesnt destroy the mind or anything else.Now Ive seen drunks lose their jobs not show up for work,and on and on.Ive also seen the ravages of tobacco, in lung cancer.

So any ways this is a start I sure hope PROP 19 does pass.

Keep up the good work California you are paving the way for the rest of the NATION.

Hey tea baggers

So I haven't read every comment on here but one thing I did notice is taking a chance to hate on democrats for whatever reasons.  I love how these republicans and tea baggers say they wasn't smaller govt.  Blah Blah Blah.  Yet it seems to be only when it suits their desires.  Legalizing marijuana would be the very definition of smaller govt.  It's less govt intervention.  By having it illegal the govt needs to spend money  (oh no another tea bagger no no) to hire cops put people in prison etc etc.  All I'm saying is if your gonna stand for something then you should at least be consistent.

LOL you really think the

LOL you really think the Government will be smaller LOL you sir are an IDIOT !!!

Dope in California...oxymoronic statement

This still doesn't answer the Federal issues.  The supremacy issues and that Dope is still against the law.  I applaud California for being a leader in this cause, but who cares.  The next border fence we install starts at the Nevada state line.  Your state is imploding and your passing another high bill.  Be assured that when some dope headed stoner crosses the center line and hurts my family, your state budget will disappear.  (As if there was one that is)  Of course the stoned driver will cease to exist on this plain man, immediately.  What a total waste of electrons.

Say hi for me to that drunk

Say hi for me to that drunk driving Nevadan who killed Sam Kinison.

Chill, folks

Pot's not going to be legalized anytime soon.  People will still get arrested on dumb technicalities.  Think smart.  Are the tax revenues that could potentially come from weed enough to offset the, conservatively guessing, 25% drop in law enforcement spending. 


Try convincing ANYONE, let alone cops, to take a drastic budget cut because the 'war on drugs' is over and drugs won.  Good luck

OK We'll take it - and more...

OK - thanks Arnie - for whatever reason you signed it, it was a good "baby step" for many reasons.  I hope Jan in AZ follows.

Prop 19 will be an even better step.  Please get out and vote for it!  And yes I am VERY conservative, NOT progressive.  Smoke it responsibly, grow it, tax it, regulate it and let's get on to joining forces to keep government honest and out of our lives.  Turn back the "Nanny State".  California has so much to offer and I love it every day but the place needs a morals overhaul - like keep out of my business and stop taking my money to give to progressives that want to provide social welfare for everyone - including illegals!  No problem with immigrants - come on in - in a regulated fashion - none of this open border BS.  THAT is the next step - protecting our growers - here.  This waltzing and sailing across the border has to stop - THAT is what the Sheriff Joe's are great for.  Grow it legally here and protect the farmers. No reason a Sheriff Joe should be stopping anyone related to MJ - just Illegal Border crossings - and CRIME.

In the absence of a REAL solution...


@Randell Young: "We need to send these Nanny State Fascists back to Europe where they belong and return this country to the Rugged Individualists who know what freedom and free enterprise are all about."

Such is typical of the suicidal nievity of the apparent majority of our brainwashed and misdirected citizenry. I have come to call it the beaver pelt movement, because it seems our people’s terrorized response to the overwhelming reality of the day is to click their ruby slippers and join the f***ing Navi tribe in an opium den of complacent non-involvement in anything that really matters.

Things change, especially technology which, since it reached the level where we liberated ourselves from direct dependence on the chaos of the natural environment, is what defines the context we adapt to. Yet we refuse to adapt and pretend technology will just go away if we close our eyes?

What worked before will not work forever, and like Honest Abe’s famous quote “you can’t please all the people all the time,” it is also true that one stubborn stick-in-the-mud philosophy of rugged determinism cannot function in every environment and every context forever. It is you stubborn simpletons who lack a relevant world view to this century who are dragging our country into the dirt. How can we compete, nay, how can we even hope to stay afloat when our own citizens insist on living in some delusional fantasy of little house on the prairie? Guns and god won’t save you. Thinking might.

It is evidenced by your unsophisticated attitude: “In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, no one cares what you smoke or how many harmless plants you grow as long as you’re not out trying to rape, rob or murder somebody or figure out a way to scam a handout from your productive countrymen.”

Ever read the preamble to the Constitution? I suppose you rugged determinist Neanderthal flashbacks would prefer to strike out the part about promotion of the general welfare, since your selfish bigotry would clearly define such as “mooching off your hard-working comrades.” This is the Nazi gene in action. You refuse to acknowledge charity and good will with anything but failure and weakness, and paint those with a model that could save this dying world from itself as some parasitical degenerate lower class. The slave owners would be proud.

The truth is without a standard federal model for secure green housing, food, water, electricity, and healthcare on a closed circuit offered as an OPTION to end poverty, most crime, the disadvantagement of entire class demographics, let alone establishment of ANY defense at all against the modern REALITY of man-made nano-virus and corporate bio-genetic warfare and manipulation of our people for a profit agenda, there IS no future. So, perhaps appropriate so many of you insist on living only in the past...

But dope it up and forget your cares, this is PROGRESS. Save those beaver pelts, fool. You’re gonna need ‘em.

Idiots beget idiots

The idiots who think this is a good idea will continue to think so until they lose a loved one, lose a job because of a piss test, or lose a body part.

Then these liberal idiots will claim that the law allowed then the "right" to smoke, and will want restitution for damages.

This is a feel good move, that will have disastrous consequnces in the future.


What is next, derivatives of cocaine?

Black tar? Roofies, Ex?

Where does it stop?  The same argument IS used for every recreational drug.



those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it

Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchHR. 238 [75th]: Marijuana Tax Act
full textSigned by the president.IntroducedAugust 2, 1937Sponsor(s)Rep. Robert L. Doughton [-]Source: {{{footnotes}}}

The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act Pub. 238, 75th Congress, 50 Stat. 551 (Aug. 2, 1937), was an United States Act that placed a tax on the sale of cannabis. The act was drafted by Harry Anslinger and introduced by Rep. Robert L. Doughton of North Carolina, on April 14, 1937. The Act is now commonly referred to using the modern spelling as the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act.



[edit] Overview of the Act

Major U.S. Federal
drug control laws1906 Pure Food and Drug ActRegulates labeling of products containing
certain drugs including cocaine and heroin1914 Harrison Narcotics Tax ActRegulates opiates and cocaine1937 Marihuana Tax ActCriminalizes marijuana1964 Convention on NarcoticsTreaty to control marijuana1970 Controlled Substance ActScheduling list for drugsv • d • e

The Act levied a tax equaling roughly one dollar on anyone who dealt commercially in cannabis, hemp, or marijuana. The Act did not itself criminalize the possession or usage of hemp, marijuana, or cannabis. It did include penalty and enforcement provisions to which marijuana, cannabis, or hemp handlers were subject. Violation of these procedures could result in a fine of up to $2000 and five years' imprisonment.

This section requires expansion.

[edit] Background

Some parties have argued that the aim of the Act was to reduce the size of the hemp industry [1][2][3] largely as an effort of businessmen Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family.[1][3] With the invention of the decorticator, hemp became a very cheap substitute for the paper pulp that was used in the newspaper industry.[1][4] Hearst felt that this was a threat to his extensive timber holdings. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America, had invested heavily in the Du Pont families new synthetic fiber, nylon, which was also being outcompeted by hemp.[1]

The bill was passed over the last-minute objections of the American Medical Association. Dr. William Woodward, legislative counsel for the A.M.A. objected to the bill on the grounds that the bill had been prepared in secret without giving proper time to prepare their opposition to the bill.[5] He doubted their claims about marijuana addiction, violence, and overdosage; he further asserted that because the word Marijuana was largely unknown at the time, the medical profession did not realize they were losing cannabis. "Marijuana is not the correct term... Yet the burden of this bill is placed heavily on the doctors and pharmacists of this country." [5]

The bill was passed on the grounds of different reports[6] and hearings [7]. Anslinger also referred to the International Opium Convention that from 1928 included cannabis as a drug, and that all states had some kind of laws against improper use of cannabis. Today, it is generally accepted that the hearings included incorrect, excessive or unfounded arguments.[8] By 1951, however, new justifications had emerged, and the Boggs Act that superseded the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed.[citation needed] See History of United States drug prohibition.

The background also included a report about the commercialized hemp, reporting that from 1880 to 1933, the hemp grown in the United States had declined from 15,000 acres (61 km2), to 1,200 acres (5 km2), and that the price of line hemp had dropped from $12.50 per pound in 1914 to $9.00 per pound in 1933.[9]


those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it

Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchHR. 238 [75th]: Marijuana Tax Act
full textSigned by the president.IntroducedAugust 2, 1937Sponsor(s)Rep. Robert L. Doughton [-]Source: {{{footnotes}}}

The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act Pub. 238, 75th Congress, 50 Stat. 551 (Aug. 2, 1937), was an United States Act that placed a tax on the sale of cannabis. The act was drafted by Harry Anslinger and introduced by Rep. Robert L. Doughton of North Carolina, on April 14, 1937. The Act is now commonly referred to using the modern spelling as the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act.



[edit] Overview of the Act

Major U.S. Federal
drug control laws1906 Pure Food and Drug ActRegulates labeling of products containing
certain drugs including cocaine and heroin1914 Harrison Narcotics Tax ActRegulates opiates and cocaine1937 Marihuana Tax ActCriminalizes marijuana1964 Convention on NarcoticsTreaty to control marijuana1970 Controlled Substance ActScheduling list for drugsv • d • e

The Act levied a tax equaling roughly one dollar on anyone who dealt commercially in cannabis, hemp, or marijuana. The Act did not itself criminalize the possession or usage of hemp, marijuana, or cannabis. It did include penalty and enforcement provisions to which marijuana, cannabis, or hemp handlers were subject. Violation of these procedures could result in a fine of up to $2000 and five years' imprisonment.

This section requires expansion.

[edit] Background

Some parties have argued that the aim of the Act was to reduce the size of the hemp industry [1][2][3] largely as an effort of businessmen Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family.[1][3] With the invention of the decorticator, hemp became a very cheap substitute for the paper pulp that was used in the newspaper industry.[1][4] Hearst felt that this was a threat to his extensive timber holdings. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America, had invested heavily in the Du Pont families new synthetic fiber, nylon, which was also being outcompeted by hemp.[1]

The bill was passed over the last-minute objections of the American Medical Association. Dr. William Woodward, legislative counsel for the A.M.A. objected to the bill on the grounds that the bill had been prepared in secret without giving proper time to prepare their opposition to the bill.[5] He doubted their claims about marijuana addiction, violence, and overdosage; he further asserted that because the word Marijuana was largely unknown at the time, the medical profession did not realize they were losing cannabis. "Marijuana is not the correct term... Yet the burden of this bill is placed heavily on the doctors and pharmacists of this country." [5]

The bill was passed on the grounds of different reports[6] and hearings [7]. Anslinger also referred to the International Opium Convention that from 1928 included cannabis as a drug, and that all states had some kind of laws against improper use of cannabis. Today, it is generally accepted that the hearings included incorrect, excessive or unfounded arguments.[8] By 1951, however, new justifications had emerged, and the Boggs Act that superseded the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed.[citation needed] See History of United States drug prohibition.

The background also included a report about the commercialized hemp, reporting that from 1880 to 1933, the hemp grown in the United States had declined from 15,000 acres (61 km2), to 1,200 acres (5 km2), and that the price of line hemp had dropped from $12.50 per pound in 1914 to $9.00 per pound in 1933.[9]



What a start,now if this would just happen here in the south(sure,when pigs go airborne).

It's about time!

I'm a right-of-center conservative and I think the MJ laws are a waste of time and money. Legalize pot but vigorously prosecute the real killer narcotics like cocaine, heroin, and illegally obtained prescription drugs. I'm 44 years old and most everyone my age know that pot is not going to kill anyone and is harmless. Should kids have access to it? NO! But they do already. They can get it easier than I can.

Well the brute became stupid

Well the brute became stupid - dumbos everywhere now - California now the state of potheads - the car tag will follow state of potheads

time for Arizona to follow this example, I pledge to do more

You want to see a real change on this issue in Arizona then help elect a pro-freedom County Attorney in Maricopa County (which has about 2/3 of Arizona's population).

I make a simple pledge -- As Maricopa County Attorney, I will devote the resources of the office to the prosecution of those individuals who have committed crimes involving force or fraud against another, identifiable, victim -- with a focus on victim restitution. Until such time as these efforts no longer consume all resources of the office, no efforts will be expended on prosecution of victimless crimes (such as simple possession).

After all, Arizona's Constitution makes clear that the purpose of government is the protection of individual rights -- government should not become the primary agent of violating the rights of individuals, including the right just to be left alone.

California now recognizes this as a problem (which it is, both for budget and resource reasons, but also because of freedom and humanitarian reasons). Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice seems on the same page with me about certain prosecutions:

"Perhaps the biggest waste of resources in all of state government is the ... over-incarceration of nonviolent offenders and our mishandling of drug and alcohol offenders. It is costing us billions of dollars and it is not making a dent in crime."

That is the Chief Justice of a state supreme court saying this. Yes, that's what I'm talking about.

Let's see real change in Arizona, vote Michael Kielsky for Maricopa County Attorney.


Just more reason for the murdering cartels to give you losers your one ounce at a time.


PROP 19 is a Stupid Idea you can buy POT anywhere why would you let the Government in on it ???? IDIOTS the Price will go up Quality will go down and the Bueracrats will spend the money on saving BLUE EYED NATS !! Im voting NO on 19 !!

It ok to legalize it. Just

It ok to legalize it.


Just make sure you charge the rich an extra 5% tax when they buy it.


The real importance of this has obviously gone over everyone's head.  I.e. if an "infraction" is NOT a crime. Then how do peace officers stop, detain, or arrest for NON-CRIMINAL offenses?

Peace officers have authority ONLY over CRIMINAL OFFENSES.


the loser-nator

This is the worst excuse for a governor I've ever seen.  Frankly, he makes Gray Davis look pretty good. Can't wait for this idiot to be retired permanently. Maybe he'll have a different view when some infractor smokes a doobie just before he gets into his car and then plows into a school bus, eh? And how much easier he's made it for those little twerps to share now with even younger kids.  Perfect.  What, is he planning on going into agricultural weed once he hits the private sector again?

IF pot is leaglized then if

IF pot is leaglized then if that guy that crashes into the bus will get charged with a DUI, arrested and does what ever punishment given to him by a court of law under with the charge of DUI and involuntary manslaughter.  It would be the same thing if a drunk got into a car and plastered against a bus full of nuns.  So don't give me that BS.

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