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California Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #652)

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.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


RevLucifer (not verified)

In reply to by Blaze This (not verified)

I'm going to presume that you feel that alcohol should also be criminalized based on your list of concerns.  I don't want people driving drunk, or working drunk, but that doesn't mean I'm in favor of making alcohol illegal.  Whenever you make an argument like this, you need to replace "high" with something else, such as "drunk" and see if those same arguments fit.  If they do, then you should be ranting not about how people want to make pot legal, but how no one seems to want to make alcohol illegal anymore.  Making pot legal does not make driving while high legal, it doesn't mean that employers will have to tolerate their workers being stoned at work, so it's a moot point.

<cite>There is a reason pot, cocaine, heroin, meth etc. are illegal. It is a hallucinogenic mind altering drug, that impairs your ability to make sound and reasonable decisions, operate machinery or just be a normal person.</cite>

Again, I bring up alcohol.  Also, marijuana is not a hallucinogen, it's a psychotropic.  A hallucinogen causes your body to see, hear, taste, smell, or feel things that are not there; a psychotropic only affects the way the brain processes information. 

 <cite>People need to stop looking at things as though they have a right to do it legally, that they are then morally right to do so.</cite>

I suppose that you have a monopoly on "morality" now.  Only you are allowed to determine what is and is not morally right?  Last I checked, morals were a personal set of beliefs on what is right and wrong.  It's possible that you confused "moral" with "ethical", which is based on societal norms, but then last I checked, the majority of Americans (that means more than half) feel that the *responsible* consumption of marijuana is perfectly acceptable, which would defeat both the stated "moral" argument, as well as the inferred "ethical" argument. 

I apologize for the attack on the writer in the "moral/ethical" segment; it was intellectually dishonest to attack the writer of an argument instead of the argument itself, but the attack on the writer was necessary to illustrate the attack on the argument itself.

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 10:51pm Permalink
TJLambert (not verified)

In reply to by Blaze This (not verified)

That's a lot of paranoia for a non-smoker.

If you smoked pot and said things like that, you be subjected to barrages of ill-informed, hate-filled, stereotypical bullshit.

Your hate does not make me a criminal.

Where is this Castle-In-The-Sky you're living in, where you never encounter these people 'cause no one smokes pot, 'cause "government says"?

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 11:40pm Permalink
Eargoggles (not verified)

In reply to by Blaze This (not verified)

Cannot understand why you are stereotyping making generalizations and expecting to be taken seriously. Clearly you have little understanding. I guess booze is not a mind altering substance and has no effect on operating machinery or connected to any deaths. Yet booze has a free pass and if an individual chooses this as an alternative what many would say safer than liquor its taboo. I am not going to accept a corrupt system and i see this abuse of power.

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 4:51am Permalink
Jermz (not verified)

In reply to by Blaze This (not verified)

LOL you are obviously living in a bubble because I operate and function just fine, I have a great job, a gf, a great pitbull, a loving family, basically everything I could want or need I have.. I smoke weed everyday. Im not a criminal, nor am I walking around with my head high like im better than anyone else. There has never been any death or illness related to smoking or injesting weed. Not 1, cig's, and alcohol cause more deaths per year than weed. Yet its so bad. I wonder why you think weed is so horrible. Let me ask you this, in your example would you rather have some drunk plumber pants all fallin off half doin the job, or some guy who smoked a joint b4 work does the job but leaves a wire OMG! Lol your seriously blowin weed up to be more than it is. There can be some effects if smokin for a long period of time, and if theres history of certain diseases in your family then yea you can be more at risk.. But its a very small percentage of people who have something in there family that would cause weed to trigger it. So I feel like anybody whos 21 or older should be able to posses, grow, or consume it if they please too. And of course selling to minors would still be a crime. And kids and teenagers have been getting there hands on weed for a long time now where have you been? If they legalize it or decriminalize it then it wont be more or less available than it is now. I actually think it would be regulated and harder to obtain if they taxed it and let the gov package and ship and sell it to adresses. I think in the hands of kids, weed is bad. It should be for anyone 21 and older. I rather sit next to someone to smells like weed than cigs, or be drunk of there ass. H.a.t.e.r.a.d.e.

Mon, 10/04/2010 - 2:58pm Permalink
Paleoconservative (not verified)

Take your ignorant blame game elsewhere. As a true conservative **See Ron Paul** I am firmly for the legalization of MJ. You minions are carrying out your marching orders very bravely. It's sad. This is not the Super Bowl where the Libs are playing the Cons for the title. And I am not a pot smoker. I just feel that it is not the governments right to dictate what I can put in my body.

Explore 3rd party politics, you have choices.

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 8:57pm Permalink
Stone-free (not verified)

As if California doesn't have enough unemployed people, now we will have a bunch of lazy-assed stoners sitting around watching cartoons and not even looking for work. And when a job opening comes around they won't take it because they can't pass a drug test. Who cares if they get lung cancer or fry the last two brain cells they have? These idiots would be better off dead. On the bright side, now Obama can put the road construction crews back to work adding a lane to the freeways for the stoners so that they don't get in the way of normal traffic while driving 45 in a 65 zone. Dumb asses! 

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 9:11pm Permalink
Anonymous345675423 (not verified)

I live in florida no way is that law passing here in less the Donald or Mickey Mouse are stoners ..Then maybe...

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 9:12pm Permalink
Escaton (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous345675423 (not verified)

Actually Walt Disney really, really liked LSD. So yes, thats where Mickey & Minnie and all the other toons came from. The reasons these drugs you mentioned are illegal is mainly because the brainwashers had just got everyone hooked on TV (check it, it has the exact same effects as psychoactive drugs, only it sends their messages). Psychedelics were legal until 1966, when a false flag campaign was raised because their use was associated with the anti-war movement. How convenient. 

If you forget or ignore history you are going to repeat it. Know the true history, not the one viewpoint pushed in school & on TV.

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 9:28pm Permalink
Finally (not verified)

In reply to by jdude2000 (not verified)

You do know there is a little device called a Vaporizer that yields no damage to your lungs while still allowing you to get high?



 For medical or recreational cannabis users, vaporizing is an alternative to smoking. Rather than burning the cannabis, a vaporizer heats it enough (typically around 200 degrees Celsius) so that the volatile psychoactive and medicinal constituents contained in the plant's oily glandular secretions melt and phase into an aromatic vapor that does not contain the particulate matter (tars) found in the smoke.  

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 2:08am Permalink
Billy Ruben (not verified)

I've got a serious question that I've not heard talked about...

With most places of work doing random drug tests now, if MJ is made legal by prop 19, will MJ no longer be seen as an illegal drug?  Can you still be fired if it shows up in your urine?  How about pre-screening tests for employment ??


Does anyone know?  Seems to me it should be just like nicotine..  If its not illegal, how can you be fired?


Inquiring minds want to know.

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 9:34pm Permalink
Eargoggles (not verified)

In reply to by Billy Ruben (not verified)

Find one case online where the employee won and got right to use in california vs an employer.


I asked the people involved in 19 this question as i feel its a shortcoming in the document. I feel the similar to alchohol part is misleading. How is it similar? They do not drug screen for alchohol normally on a random work drug test do they? Maybe an expert can comment.


Greetings Prop19er,

Prop.19 retains employers rights to maintain a drug free workplace, similar to that of alcohol.

With regard to federal funding and enforcement--Prop. 19 will allow employers to keep the workplace standards on drug use.  Therefore, companies and agencies who must keep to federal standards will still be allowed to do so.  With regard to what the federal government can or will do in response to the passage of Prop. 19, we cannot guess.  It is worth noting, however, that change never comes easy in this country, and if California forces a response, that is welcome.  Part of any ongoing struggle with an authority which refuses to see Truth is by ridiculing and challenging that authority to act. 

To take a historical example:  
  In Argentina, during the dirty war of 1976-1983, public protest and assembly (groups gathered of more than 3 people) were, of course, forbidden by the military dictatorship.  So, a group of old women and mothers would gather in the May Plaza in front of the house of government, not to 'protest,' but simply to ask if the police had ever seen their missing kids.  Of course, everyone knew that those mothers' children (young adults, students, artists, radicals) were kidnapped and murdered by their government in an attempt to crush diverse opinions.  But they couldn't readily mow down groups of old women in the center of Buenos Aires without angering the public whose acquiescence the military needed to stay in charge.  And so, with those simple acts of shrewd defiance, the Mothers of La Plaza de Mayo slowly built up a movement which, by 1983, toppled one of the most brutal regimes in history.

Perhaps the example is extraneous to our situation, but it is one we can learn from.  Just because someone says something is impossible, doesn't mean there is no way of creating a climactic situation in which this issue can be addressed.  If not now, then when?

  99% of marijuana arrests in California are done by State and Local police.  Theoretically, the federal government could invade and occupy our state with federal troops to arrest cannabis users and shut down businesses, and theoretically, they could also cut off funding to our universities, public services, and business...

But you must ask yourself, is it politically feasible for a Democratic administration to punish a state, in which 1 in every 8 Americans lives, for taking a progressive stand on an issue in which every person with an educated thought can see is coming whether the older generation wants it or not?

Furthermore, is it feasible to cut off the world's 8th largest economy, that's already in a huge fiscal crisis, for attempting to raise revenues and cut costs without raising income taxes or cutting social services, through a voter approved initiative?

As to whether drug testing reform will take place, we don't know.  Prop. 19 offers an opportunity for our State's legislative apparatuses to finally address the cannabis industry in a way that is consistent with other legal, regulated, businesses.  It's passage is the first step to a nation wide acceptance of cannabis as a legitimate part of American culture.

I hope this answers your questions, please feel free to reach out to us for more information!

Thanks for being a part of this historic effort!

Yes on 19!

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 2:20am Permalink
Anonymous 4 now (not verified)

To those of you who think taxing everything we intake are Truly fools. I eat Tomatoes and lots of them should I pay tax to grow them? If I do so will you and so will your kids. Know this every time you tax yourself in the name of the children those children have to pay tax too. If you really think tax is the answer then you have no idea on how to budget a household. Just because you are spending more then you make does not make it your employers fault to give you a raise by increasing the price of a 'Widget". Think long and hard before you start going yeah tax-em/ We made America because we were tired of the Tax from the Crown. What happens when all these super savvy super rich move off shore "throwing the towel in" on American infrastructure and go living abroad as well as, are paid off shore... All because of one too many straws on the Americans back. Business owners who are wealthy from their business worked more hours then you think along with sleepless hours of nights and missing those weekend's you take for granted. Yes, they are wealthy but they worked real hard to get there. Why should you penalize them in the name of over spending and poor budgeting. I can see some real money savings starting with our Penal System as the Governor did. So along with that bill I recommend a pardon for those who are serving any time currently for some of those antiquated laws and move on to better horizons and positive thinking. The room and board on a non violent pot possession is ridiculous and is sad at the same time,  A frikin stoner hippie has to get thrown into a jail full of 'other-worse offenders' for what? Too stupid to burn indoors? Cruising around with an oz of weed? Wow...I am for MJ and it's many wonderful uses and cures. Not for kids getting stoned instead of there homework but that is the parents fault of those tax raisers for "the children". Kids do not fall far from the fruit tree...

From a man who has three  businesses and is a patent holder and has a choice to import his product or buy a factory in the USA. If taxes are too high I won't spend. If I do not spend you do not get paid. Teach your children Chinese if you think taxing is the way to go because there is where they may find their next job.

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 10:00pm Permalink
RevLucifer (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous 4 now (not verified)

Perhaps I learned a different history than you did, so let me explain what I was taught about the founding of our great nation.  They had a saying, which was "no taxation without representation".  Not just, "no taxing".  We didn't fight the British because we didn't want to pay taxes, we fought the British because while we were required to pay tariffs and duties for goods shipped to the New World (tariffs and duties are forms of taxes, for those of you who missed that), but we were not afforded a representative in Parliment.  So we had to financially support England without having a single horse in the race.  We had no advocates for the colonies who would help ensure fair taxation, and equitable enforcement of laws.  So we said, "fine, no representation, no taxes" and dumped a ships worth of tea into Boston Harbor.  The new Tea Partiers ought to read up on that, because the original Boston Tea Party was about representation in Parliment for the colonies, not taxes.  I fully believe in "no taxation without representation" and if you are not allowed to vote for officials to represent you in the various governments that handle your area, (local, state, and federal) for a reason other than having those rights stripped legally (such as a for a felon), then I fully agree that you shouldn't have to pay taxes.  But since that doesn't happen here in America anymore, pay your taxes so our nation doesn't fall apart, please.

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 11:01pm Permalink
boogle dangle waffle (not verified)

In reply to by RevLucifer (not verified)

I think not. I remember reading that the colonists resented taxation as well. Some sought to stop buying British goods altogether and grow their own food, sew their own clothing, and rely on their own labor for sustenance.


People resent any government seizing a portion of their earnings, their labor, their LIFE, no matter what the age. The colonists didn't simply rebel against a bureaucratic squabble.

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 6:40am Permalink
blackswan (not verified)

Start letting the dumb bastards in prison for any kind of drug possession out. I can not believe this clown did something right. We still have a long way to go.

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 10:03pm Permalink
Abaddon (not verified)

I agree with not prosecuting people for pot possession! I would much rather see the law enforcement resources and limited jail/prison space used for violent felons and sex offenders like rapists, murderers and pedophiles!
I think it's absolutely stupid to be going after people who are smoking pot or whatever then furloughing violent offenders and repeat sex offenders because of lack of prison space because the cells are being filled with minor drug offenders!
I personally don't smoke it or for that matter use any drugs, but I recognize the futility of wasting billions of dollars in law enforcement time and space chasing people around for smoking pot! If law enforcement is going to chase anyone then let them chase the sex offenders, serial killers and gangbangers!
This nation needs to face the reality that we cannot "imprison" our way out of the drug problem in this country, so realistically how do we break the economic legs of the cartels? Illegal or not it's a fact that people will continue to use illegal drugs in order to escape reality, experience a different mental/physical perception of their surroundings or to kill the pain, be it mental or physical? So, do we use the same approach they did with alcohol when prohibition failed? Drug prohibition has drastically failed?
If drugs were legalized would we see a drastic increase in usage or would we see a similar situation like we do with alcohol? Alcohol is legal of course and yet not everyone drinks despite this? Yes, we do have addiction issues with booze, but do those issues outweigh the enormous criminal enterprise and associated violence and terror which illegality would have brought with it had it continued? The current sad state of affairs with the dismal failure of the so called "War on Drugs" is a parallel which gives us a look at what the future would have been if alcohol would have remained illegal!
The cartels and other countless organized criminal groups who are thriving by selling drugs at inflated prices because of there continued illegality will continue to grow in power and the violence will also continue to grow in it's barbarity as well as scope as long as this "lucrative business" is available to them! Somehow we need to eliminate the economic incentive for the cartels and other drug sales oriented organized crime networks?
With drug use at epidemic proportions already would legalization really result in increased usage over current levels and if there is a small increase what effect would it have? If drugs were legalized how would they be supplied? Would you go to a government dispensary similar to a liquor store? SOMEONE will have to be the low price supplier in order to cut the economic imperative out from under organized crime?
The current failed policy cannot continue, because if it does it could end up helping to bring this country down, with the cartels and other criminal groups continuing to grow in size and power it won't be long before the type of heinous violence we are seeing in Mexico becomes commonplace here and when the associated corruption which goes along with it becomes entrenched here as well, then we will see a breakdown of law and order worse than anything since this country was a frontier! This will be the beginning of the end and will result in the eventual balkanization of this country since there are already other major differences such as ideology, religion, race as well as  economic factors which only serve to divide us further!
This could be one of those proverbial "straws" which break the camel's back? This may come as a shock but as a Conservative it's only my humble opinion that this problem needs to be dealt with realistically and soon? God Bless!

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 10:22pm Permalink
B (not verified)

This is another ostensible action. It seems good, but it is another "code enforcement" tactic where public safety is being used for revenue generation. It is a way of not completely legalizing it, but to give the public the impression it is and still being able to generate revenue by giving infractions to individuals. Public safety servants are already issued orders to meet quotas of tickets handed to "code enforcement" breakers, now they will have more reasons to violate an individuals constitutional right on the basis of "safety", since they would suspect more people are walking around under the influence of Marijuana.


If you haven't noticed, society isn't getting better; its time to realize we are being played like fools under this false left-right paradigm we live in. "Officials" (if you want to call them that, they are your servants) generate the problem, we create the reaction, they offer the solution, but it is never what we expect. This is also known as a Hegelian Dialectic.

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 11:45pm Permalink
AmericanMark (not verified)

Only delusional stoners think there is any way to tax weed, legally possessed or not.  Love it.  But the workplace laws have survived legal challenge.  Great way to get rid of that annoying pot head in the next cubicle.  Just tell the fool he can't be fired for smoking a legal substance.  The dunce won't know any different.  Then report the stuttering tool to HR.  Great way to weed the herd of unproductive, perpetually stoned competitors.  Yes, thank you Arnold.  

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 11:50pm Permalink
Famous and happy (not verified)

To save the State of California many millions of dollars, make murder legal. Since it seems black on black crime and crimes committed by foreigners with lower incomes, are the most common crime and the most inmates in prison,  make the killings and bank robbery legal also by blacks or foreigners  . Lets face it, murder is a victimless crime as the victim is dead and doesn't have room to complain and won't file a lawsuit or standing to object to what is done with the murderer. Legal robberies, kinda like Obama care, takes money from the ones who have it and give it to the needy (redistribution) and should not be a crime. Think of all the savings in decriminalization of murder and robbery and additionally look at the money the robbery will put back on the street to creat jobs and increase spending.

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 12:26am Permalink
JB Mac (not verified)

There's alot of us in other states that are going to be watching on the night of Nov 2nd, hoping you guys pass Prop 19, because then there will be hope for it spreading to the other states. Lets just hope the federal government doesn't step in and try and stop it. Are you listening Mr. Obama?

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 12:30am Permalink
Anonymouz (not verified)

For those who don't smoke weed its is actually to your benefit. You stay smart and alert while the smokers become dumb and lazy.

Please keep smoking weed stoners it is so good for you.

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 12:32am Permalink
Couriggia (not verified)

Edward Gibbon wrote "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" more than 230 years ago.

A modern-day Edward Gibbon could right now be compiling the material for the writing of "The Decline and Fall of the American Empire."

Sad, sad, sad!

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 1:12am Permalink
Wilkes Bashford (not verified)

Never seen someone high fight.  Still see it all the time with drunks, and that's "legal."  Drunks are the worst.  Drug violence over pot on our borders, say goodbye.  Tax it, I guarantee crime goes down.  Imagine the revenues, I mean Dominos will make a killing, and ice cream companies and such... 

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 1:36am Permalink
Finally (not verified)

I wouldn't be suprised if half the people that are against this are cops.  Cops around here make a boatload of money bustin kids for minor possession charges and then being paid (overtime) to appear in court (sometimes 4-5 times) and testify. 

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 2:00am Permalink
freedomfighter (not verified)

VICES are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property.

Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.

Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property.

In vices, the very essence of crime—that is, the design to injure the person or property of another—is wanting.

It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without a criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever practises a vice with any such criminal intent. He practises his vice for his own happiness solely, and not from any malice toward others.

Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property; no such things as the right of one man to the control of his own person and property, and the corresponding and co-equal rights of another man to the control of his own person and property.

For a government to declare a vice to be a crime, and to punish it as such, is an attempt to falsify the very nature of things. It is as absurd as it would be to declare truth to be falsehood, or falsehood truth.

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 2:11am Permalink
Deepcow (not verified)

It's about time someone in a leadership role takes the initiative and does something about the futile war on drugs.  Now tax it and issue licenses (for a fee) to cultivate and sell it.  This could help bring The US Economy out of the basement. 

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 2:23am Permalink
DAN da man (not verified)

Why all this fighting and bad-mouthing. The whole issue has been brought to a vote. So vote. If you don't vote don't bitch. Keep the comments to yourselves and know that whatever is meant to be will be. My opinion SMOKE- ON Governator. Legalize it everywhere.

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 3:01am Permalink
J.G. (not verified)

With marijuana legalized, heaven help industry, productivity, and the safety of products produced by 'out of it' stoned individuals coming off smoke breaks.  Can you imagine what this will do to the US learning curve and students studying from already 'dummed-down' school curriculums?

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 3:30am Permalink
KnewBetter (not verified)

So, this means that the Fed will be filing suit Monday against California for usurping the Federal Governments Drug Policy-ala Arizona Illegal Immigration measure 1070, right?


Oh wait, too many Dem (stoned) voters there....won't happen.

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 3:49am Permalink
TJLambert (not verified)

   It is not a crime, and we are not criminals.

   Regardless of your personal animosity or distaste for pot, and for the people who like it, it is wrong for the law to regard us as criminals.

   But it is a matter much bigger than our freedoms as citizens of a purportedly free society. These laws create crime where it doesn't otherwise  have to be. The distribution and dealing of pot is the largest opportunity by volume available. The largest number of customers. Absent this prohibitionist approach, the opportunity to be a dealer wouldn't be there for a lot of people. You can argue the morality of such a decision, but removing the opportunity would take the decision out of people's hands.

   The widespread dealing has itself 'filled the swamp,' creating an environment in which a criminal and violent culture has grown rampant and spread. You are feeding the very beast you think you're doing everything to vanquish.

   A lot of you who come in here to kick us around and spout a lot of things which demonstrate that you don't know what you're talking about, you probably don't live where the guns go off at night. You've probably never driven by 'R.I.P.' graffiti. You don't know what's really going on.


   There's a mountain of bodies in Mexico.


   If you hate pot, you hate pot. Fine. Hate away. Hate to your heart's content. Hate to your heart's delight. But stop abusing the legal system to express it. It's a perversion of one of the most important things we have to keep us operating as a society.

   If you don't care about my liberty, can you care a little for the societal dysfunction? For the millions of lives disrupted by detours through the legal system? For the murder?







Sat, 10/02/2010 - 4:04am Permalink
Ct85 (not verified)

Research Portugal's recent decriminalization of all drugs. They have some of the lowest drug abuse numbers in the EU! The teen marijuana use rate is much lower than America! Prohibition leads to abuse and new, more dangerous ways of getting high.

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 5:46am Permalink
joda5150 (not verified)

i'm a far right libertarian, and i'm for the legalization of all drugs.  let people do as they please, and lock them up if they hurt or try to hurt anyone.  freedom will literally set us free.   i'd rather pour money into rehab clinics than violent drug wars against drug lords with unlimited resources and weapons.  true, it would thin the herd a bit, but something gets everyone eventually.  educated people make educated decisions.  we're never going to get the people that want to use drugs to not do it.  people will always go to the black market to get it.   once you're an adult, you should be able to put whatever you want in your body.  an adult should be able to walk into a pharmacy and buy whatever they want.  it's easy for kids to get drugs, at least if it was  controlled like other substances, like alcohol or tobacco, there would be some way to manage who gets it.  i  think legalization of all drugs would be better than what we have now.  personal freedom and liberty is always the best answer. 

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 5:53am Permalink
boogle dangle waffle (not verified)

If we let people keel over drunk and self-medicate with legal prescriptions from doctors, then we can surely allow the pot smokers to indulge without treating them like criminals.


Who cares - really? When was the last time you saw someone go on a murder spree on account of pot? Do you really think someone deserves to be put in jail because of a blunt?

I don't care about pot smoking and neither does most of the country. I am about as offended by seeing someone drink a martini at a party (which is to say, not at all).

Want to see a lack of morals and poor impulse control? Watch a drunk person. The swaggering, groping, angry kind. Want to see someone who is mildly mellow? Chit-chat with your local pot smoker.

Screw spending millions on prosecuting people who use pot. It is not a big deal - unlike the hard core drugs like heroin, meth, speed, coke, ice, etc. And for the record, I have never EVER used drugs - save for a few sips of wine and vodka.

Now the very real issue with the use of a light drug like pot is the fact that it is supplied by the black market, financed by a huge criminal, international organizations that are the cause of many deaths and violent crimes in this country and in Mexico - beheadings, kidnappings, and other horrors. You can reduce that problem by securing the border, harshly prosecuting foreign nationals involved in trafficking, legalizing the production of small amounts of pot by private users - or allowing the legal distribution of pot by domestic suppliers to adults over 21 with identification, and perhaps a tax deterrent.

Seriously - there is no major problem with pot use. Everyone knows this.

But I still favor keeping the most hard core drugs illegal.

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 6:15am Permalink
Eargoggles (not verified)

In reply to by boogle dangle waffle (not verified)

I think you should look deeper into the cartel situation to better understand it. I have dug deeper into it myself and its not as simple as it seems. This is an internal battle between i believe 3 significant cartels 1 being quite larger spanning across mexico and baja. Just because they are in the business of drugs is unrelated directly to this violence occuring in mexico. This is a control move of the largest cartel which has no problem using violence and terror and kidnappings to accomplish thier goals. And take out all other cartels in his way. Not only that the cartel leader is some what of a working mans hero in mexico. And he is determined on control of all the assets and channels of distribution in mexico he wants it all. People thinking that california legalizing MJ will effect that determination are insane. The market for cartel MJ in cali has diminished on a large scale. Its going to the rest of the usa through texas and all those wide openspaces. Do your own research and i think you will understand this has nothing to do with MJ in cali its national and even global.. Although cali is approx 10% of us pop i think  thats a drop in the pail.  IMHO

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 6:48am Permalink
boogle dangle waffle (not verified)

Banning pot is a little bit like banning alcohol.

The results of banning alcohol:

Violent gangs sought to provide people with illicit drinks during Prohibition. There were many shootings, deaths among law enforcement, corruption and government scandals.

Corruption: remember the gangster of Prohibition, Al Capone? He bribed his guards at Eastern State Penitentiary to allow him to keep his cell unlocked and decorated with oriental rugs, a radio, and oil paintings on the wall. That is the fate of a wealthy thug who made money selling on the black market what reliable companies could have provided at competitive rates, had alcohol had not been banned.

Also: Private users poisoned themselves by creating moonshine with high levels of lead contamination.

Who backed the ban? A large group of primarily Protestant, middle to upper class white people opposed the use of alcohol, claiming that it always "destroyed lives" and was a sign of the immorality of the times.

While alcohol kills thousands per year and can induce some extremely disturbing behavior, I cannot imagine banning it - and creating that black market again - because a few people can't take their wine in stride.

Can you?

Long live martinis - and pot.

I don't indulge in either - but we will be much safer with that bit of the black market eradicated.

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 6:26am Permalink
boogle dangle waffle (not verified)

Want to enrich a drug lord? Oppose the legalization of pot.


The benefits of legalization:


1. Pot can be taxed like cigarettes.

2. More money and prison space is reserved for violent offenders. 

3. Quality control (companies create blends without harmful contaminants)

4. Money goes to American - based companies, NOT international criminals from Mexico.

5. You no longer risk financing terrorism and crime when purchasing pot

6. We can stop treating people who smoke pot like criminals.

7. We can entertain ourselves with the collective musings of stoned, smelly hippies.

8. Violence from the black market will lessen as demand from illicit sources decreases (where did the Al Capones go after Prohibition ended?)


Just because I don't like vodka, pot, or cigarettes doesn't mean that I am going to shove my morality down their throats. Pot, being minor compared to alcohol or cigs, should not have been banned in the first place.

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 6:32am Permalink
Oprah's boy (not verified)

Jails in places like Oprah's home, Santa Barbara Ca, are overcrowded for exactly this sort of thing. Because of this, the city has imposed a new tax so we can expand our county hotel/jail. Point is, it does cost us money. What sort of moral qualm is there with personal possession? Keep the lawyers plea bargaining with stacked charges, and keep turning a blind eye to the fact that 80% of Americans belong in jail or prison according to our own rule of law. We pick and choose which laws to enforce as it is, and while we go after pot smokers with all our might, we let real crooks off the hook. Hopefully we could open up a few cells for the big wigs over at Bank of America, and others who have been ripping us off.

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 7:58am Permalink
simpletruths (not verified)

California voters have the ability to legalize marijuana in a November ballot.  Legalizing marijuana will be beneficial to the state of California. 

The state will be able to get more sales tax revenue through legal sales of marijuana. 

The state will have an influx or new residents who will want to live in California from other states, which will give California more tax revenue (separate from sales tax revenue gained from marijuana sales).

The new residents will also bring in new businesses, since new residents who owned previous businesses in other states will bring with them those businesses.  They will also create new businesses  in the area.

The state will lessen the costs incurred by prisons because they will no longer have to lock away nonviolent offenders who are in prison because of marijuana.  The state spends an average of $40,000 a year for each person in prison.  This means less money spent on locking people up, and more money spent on things like education.   

The police can spend more time on going after real criminals like “rapists and murderers” instead of wasting time on marijuana smokers.

Families will not be broken apart when one of their family members goes to prison for smoking marijuana.  This will cause a decrease in the welfare system since instead of being in prison a person can be holding a job and supporting their family while still being able to smoke marijuana.

Street violence will go down because marijuana prices will go down.  This will be caused by regulated companies being able to compete with each other to bring marijuana to the people.  When is the last time you ever saw gang members fighting for “legal cigarettes.”

Since smoking marijuana will not be illegal if this ballot passes, fewer people will have to check “have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor box on an application.  This will be beneficial to the economy because more people will be able to get a job instead of depending on the welfare system.

The new regulated marijuana industry will by itself create more new jobs.

More people will be able to go to college because they will not have any record of drug charges for being caught smoking marijuana as a youth.  Really messing up their life and ability to apply for student financial aid in college.

Legalizing marijuana does not mean that you have to legalize harder drugs like cocaine or heroine.  Maybe Californians could legalize “shrooms” or “hashish” like they do in Amsterdam.

Anyway legalizing marijuana sounds like a good idea.  Lower taxes, more revenue, more job growth, less welfare, less crime, less nonviolent people in prison.  And no, legalizing marijuana is not a slippery slope into legalizing harder drugs. 

I encourage you to tell your relatives in California to get up an vote on the November ballot and legalize marijuana.

I wonder if you could ever get a similar “voter initiative” put on the ballot in your state

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 7:59am Permalink

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