Cartel kingpin “el Barbie” knows Prop 19 would be bad for business

The current political climate in California is enough to make you fire up an industrial strength bong, and smoke yourself into oblivion. But don’t…at least not on November 2nd.

There is only one hope for Proposition 19. On election day, every regular user and casual toker of the devil-weed must drop that doob, and get to the polling place. In addition, every single Californian who believes the War on Drugs has been–and continues to be–a colossal failure, must make their disgust known to the “tough-on-drugs” vote mongers in Sacramento and Washington by pushing that chad (all the way through) for a big fat “Yes” vote on 19. Without the “smoker” and “fed-up” voters charging to its rescue, Prop 19 is doomed.

If that doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of the personal liberty-minded, remember, this chance to bring a touch of common sense to our government’s lunatic drug policy will not come again anytime soon. While such prohibition profiteers as beer bottlers, prison guards unions and booze distilleries have anti-pot war chests bulging with dollars, pro-legalization groups like California NORML and the Drug Policy Alliance simply don’t have the resources to launch major political campaigns every election cycle. In fact, if it hadn’t been for Oakland Pot pioneer Richard Lee’s initial dollars and efforts, Prop 19 would probably be gathering dust in political Palookaville.

Enthusiasm

With energized Republicans smelling blood in the water, and dejected Democrats sitting in a corner, preemptively licking their wounds inflicted by the predicted Republican massacre, California polling places will be teeming with people who think the movie Reefer Madness is a powerful documentary.

But, if every Californian who believes this prohibition is wrong gets to his or her polling place, Prop 19 would sail to victory by such a wide margin, politicians from Modesto to Manhattan would be forced to take notice. Who knows, they might even start applying a little common sense to America’s drug problem.

*

Benefits of Legalization

As a casual observer (non-pot smoker) I look at the benefits of Proposition 19:

  • A potential windfall for state and local California governments that currently can barely afford to buy staples. An estimated $1.4 billion in state taxes [CA Board of Equalization estimate] that can be used on jobs, education and our deteriorating infrastructure
  • Less time and money spent by law enforcement on the arrest, prosecution and incarceration of people for using and growing a substance proven to be less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.
  • Ending the state’s totalitarian chutzpah of legislating its residents’ morality–a golden opportunity for people to let government know what they think of the destructive farce known as “the War on Drugs”
  • No more ruining people’s lives for growing and smoking a substance used and enjoyed by millions of Californians
  • New industry—new jobs. Tourism, Amsterdam-style coffeehouses, marijuana trade schools, designer roach clips and “limited edition” rolling papers–the possibilities are endless.
  • Fewer bureaucratic hoops to jump through for medicinal users
  • No appreciable increase in usage caused by legalization [found by many studies, including a recent study by the National Research Council, and reinforced by Portugal’s decriminalization of all drugs with no resultant spike in overall use]
  • [Last, but certainly not least] A major setback to the psychopathic, all-powerful narcotraficantes who are on the verge of destabilizing Mexico with money and guns from trafficking in marijuana–estimated to be 16% to 50% of their illicit drug revenue.

Downside of Legalization

Then I forage through the misinformation — that Prop 19 will… “lead to more pot addicts,” “prevent employers from disciplining stoned employees,” “not provide revenue for state and local governments” (because…well, just because) —  and I look for the honest-to-goodness negatives if the personal recreational use and cultivation of marijuana becomes legal in California… and I look, and I look, and I…

The new Reuters/Ipsos poll has Prop 19 going up in, uh, smoke. With 53% opposing the measure, and 43% in favor. Historically, when a proposition goes into October with those kinds of numbers, things generally turn out very badly for that proposition in November.

The Republican Factor

With all their time spent opposing mosque-building, the Employee Free Choice Act, and every decent proposal that comes up before Congress, I figured Republicans had finally used up their lifetime allotment of “No”.

How wrong I was.

According to the poll, two out of three California Republicans are saying “no” to Prop 19. Though Democrats favor the plan 54% to 45%, it is nearly impossible to rise above those Republican numbers.

Though there are more Democrats than Republicans in California, the GOP’s unity in lunacy always proves to be a formidable opponent to Democrats’ raging confusion–I mean, “diversity of opinion.”

It appears the “Party of Small Government,” wants a government small enough to deny extended unemployment benefits to onetime members of the once thriving middle class, but big enough to keep homosexuals from being married, women from controlling their reproduction, and everyone from smoking marijuana.  I guess Republicans actually belong to the Party of Situational Small Government.

Call to Action

When November 2nd rolls around, let’s ignore the depressing realities of California politics. Let’s pretend that Meg Whitman was unable to purchase her current neck-and-neck position with Jerry Brown, as the latest polls suggest. In fact, let’s pretend that Republicans are as clinically depressed as Democrats.

Let’s energize ourselves into believing that our votes–the pot-smoker votes, the had-it-up-to-here-with-the-Drug War votes, and the fiscally responsible votes–will come together and save the day.

California has millions of regular users of cannabis. Who knows how many social tokers there are out there? Toss in the Common Sensers, and you’ve got a potential voting bloc that would make Jerry Falwell jealous.

Proposition 19 can win, friends. All we have to do is vote.

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Comments
  1. eric says:

    You seem rather uneducated on this subject. Its cool that you gave it at least 20 minutes of googling though.

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hi Eric –

      Well, I suppose seeming rather uneducated is somewhat better than being completely uneducated. And, it was 23 minutes of Googling, I’ll have you know!

      I am perversely curious, though; how did you come to this revelation?

      Like

      • eric says:

        A large part of it was that you made it seem like the No on 19 campaign had more money and resources then the Yes campaign. You didnt mention that the Yes campaign recently recieved almost 200,000 in donations, while big alcohol only donated 10,000. and also, your field poll was outdated. But you did have a lot of other facts right.

        Like

  2. fred says:

    good on you.

    send a freaking message. vote yes overwhelmingly and watch prohibitionists wet their pants.

    witch burners still suck for the same reasons after all these years. same show, only now the inquisition is against cannabis and some other oddly selected substances.

    may the superstitious torturing bastard in all of us be damed and replaced with the kind sole we are..

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hiya Fred-

      Your comment made my day. “May the superstitious torturing bastard in all of us be damned” — Amen, brother.

      The tragedy of American politics is writ large in the story of Prop 19.

      Since Prop 19 qualified for the ballot in April, it has enjoyed strong support from the majority of Californians. But once the well-heeled Forces of Darkness fired up their formidable public relations machine, the pro-19 numbers started dropping like Obama’s approval ratings (for much the same reason).

      We have become a nation that votes for the best soundbites. In Prop 19’s case, the bites are “Badly written law,” “Won’t really produce revenue for the state,” and their latest, “Employers won’t be able to fire employees who get stoned on the job.” All ridiculously false–but effective as hell.

      However, if the Good Guys actually show up en masse on election day, we will win this thing.

      Thanks again for a terrific comment,

      Russ

      Like

  3. Rosemary says:

    Just got this email: George Soros has donated $1 million to the Prop 19 campaign. One only wonders, why did it take so long?

    Why I Support Legal Marijuana
    We should invest in effective education rather than ineffective arrest and incarceration.
    By George Soros

    Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2010

    Our marijuana laws are clearly doing more harm than good. The criminalization of marijuana did not prevent marijuana from becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the United States and many other countries. But it did result in extensive costs and negative consequences.

    Law enforcement agencies today spend many billions of taxpayer dollars annually trying to enforce this unenforceable prohibition. The roughly 750,000 arrests they make each year for possession of small amounts of marijuana represent more than 40% of all drug arrests.

    Regulating and taxing marijuana would simultaneously save taxpayers billions of dollars in enforcement and incarceration costs, while providing many billions of dollars in revenue annually. It also would reduce the crime, violence and corruption associated with drug markets, and the violations of civil liberties and human rights that occur when large numbers of otherwise law-abiding citizens are subject to arrest. Police could focus on serious crime instead.

    The racial inequities that are part and parcel of marijuana enforcement policies cannot be ignored. African-Americans are no more likely than other Americans to use marijuana but they are three, five or even 10 times more likely–depending on the city–to be arrested for possessing marijuana. I agree with Alice Huffman, president of the California NAACP, when she says that being caught up in the criminal justice system does more harm to young people than marijuana itself. Giving millions of young Americans a permanent drug arrest record that may follow them for life serves no one’s interests.

    Racial prejudice also helps explain the origins of marijuana prohibition. When California and other U.S. states first decided (between 1915 and 1933) to criminalize marijuana, the principal motivations were not grounded in science or public health but rather in prejudice and discrimination against immigrants from Mexico who reputedly smoked the “killer weed.”

    Who most benefits from keeping marijuana illegal? The greatest beneficiaries are the major criminal organizations in Mexico and elsewhere that earn billions of dollars annually from this illicit trade–and who would rapidly lose their competitive advantage if marijuana were a legal commodity. Some claim that they would only move into other illicit enterprises, but they are more likely to be weakened by being deprived of the easy profits they can earn with marijuana.

    This was just one reason the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy–chaired by three distinguished former presidents, Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, César Gaviria of Colombia and Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico–included marijuana decriminalization among their recommendations for reforming drug policies in the Americas.

    Like many parents and grandparents, I am worried about young people getting into trouble with marijuana and other drugs. The best solution, however, is honest and effective drug education. One survey after another indicates that teenagers have better access than most adults to marijuana–and often other drugs as well–and find it easier to buy marijuana than alcohol. Legalizing marijuana may make it easier for adults to buy marijuana, but it can hardly make it any more accessible to young people. I’d much rather invest in effective education than ineffective arrest and incarceration.

    California’s Proposition 19, which would legalize the recreational use and small-scale cultivation of marijuana, wouldn’t solve all the problems connected with the drug. But it would represent a major step forward, and its deficiencies can be corrected on the basis of experience. Just as the process of repealing national alcohol prohibition began with individual states repealing their own prohibition laws, so individual states must now take the initiative with respect to repealing marijuana prohibition laws. And just as California provided national leadership in 1996 by becoming the first state to legalize the medical use of marijuana, so it has an opportunity once again to lead the nation.

    In many respects, of course, Proposition 19 already is a winner no matter what happens on Election Day. The mere fact of its being on the ballot has elevated and legitimized public discourse about marijuana and marijuana policy in ways I could not have imagined a year ago.

    These are the reasons I have decided to support Proposition 19 and invite others to do so.

    Like

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