Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dis-Jointed

California, like other states, is faced with a batch of election propositions. In particular, Proposition 19 “LEGALIZES MARIJUANA UNDER CALIFORNIA BUT NOT FEDERAL LAW. PERMITS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO REGULATE AND TAX COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, AND SALE OF MARIJUANA. INITIATIVE STATUTE.”

As I have been reading through the various stories and articles surrounding this proposition, there are times that I want to laugh uproariously, and at other times I’m stunned by the sheer insanity of what passes for logic. Case in point: An article written in the Huffington Post (a.k.a., HuffPost - not exactly known as a conservative publication!) states that “illegal growers [of marijuana] in Northern California could suffer if marijuana is legalized and production spreads equitably throughout the state.” Excuse me? Illegal growers would suffer? Am I the only one who sees the extremely humorous disparity in this statement?

Further, it is reported in this article from the HuffPost that the majority of Democratic lawmakers in California are in favor of the passage of Proposition 19. Their reasoning? They hope it will bring out the Progressive voters which would help turn back the predicted decimation of the current Democratic control of Congress. Now that’s rational thinking for you! Let’s pass a law legalizing a currently illegal substance which also happens to be a hallucinogen so we can win our elections and stay in office! “Marijuana is technically hallucinogenic, and can alter your perceptions and cause memory problems.” I think these Democratic lawmakers have been hitting the weed themselves! You can see why I am stunned by what passes for logic!

Another term for marijuana is cannabis. This comes from the Latin: cannabis sativa, or the hemp plant. Proposition 19 is also known as the “Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.” On a web site called Healthline, they conclude that, “Since the 1970s, research has consistently demonstrated that adolescents progress through a uniform sequence of drug use involvement that begins with alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana and proceeds to the use of ‘hard’ drugs like hallucinogens, benzodiazepenes, amphetamines, sedatives, cocaine, and heroin. For this reason, marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco have been called ‘gateway’ drugs.” Despite these disturbing findings from research, an interesting discovery reveals that, “the majority of marijuana users do not use other illicit drugs, although they are more likely to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol than non-users.”

Howard Jarvis of the 1978 Proposition 13 Taxpayers Initiative throws a note of caution into the mix when it comes to legalizing marijuana. “Prop. 19 would ban employers from drug testing employees for marijuana, allow for public marijuana use subject to certain limitations and would allow residents to establish small marijuana farms in their yards.” Now add this to the argument: “Law enforcement officials believe Prop. 19 endangers public safety with increases in marijuana consumption and increases in impaired driving.” Now that makes me comfortable! Will the police be allowed to do the equivalent of “breathalyzer” tests when a person is pulled over for driving badly?

For your information, here are several high profile California politicians who are opposed to the passage of Proposition 19: Senator Dianne Feinstein (D), Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R), Senator Barbara Boxer (D), and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). Strange bedfellows, wot! A few of the other people and organizations opposed are: The League of California Cities, which is petitioning California cities to pass laws against marijuana usage; Gil Kerlikowske, the so-called "drug czar" in the Obama administration; The California Cannabis Association (Go figure!); and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The untaxed (read: illegal) growth of marijuana in California is a 14 billion dollar industry annually. If Proposition 19 passes, it would generate a 1.4 billion dollar tax surplus which would supposedly help our cash-strapped state awaken from its economic malaise. Sort of reminds me of all that money that was supposed to go to our state educational system when Californians passed the State Lottery years ago. This is more of the same inane logic being fomented on the voters of California: Pass this proposition because it will help our state with its financial woes! Yeah, Right! We’ve been duped before!

So, what’s it going to be? Remember: California is also attempting to ban all cigarette smoking everywhere, including your homes and outdoors. But if Proposition 19 passes it will be perfectly fine to light up a joint and drive your car!


Have we lost our minds?

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