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September 14, 2010
"California marijuana vote draws unlikely foes, allies into ring"The title of this post is the headline of this new CNN piece. Here are snippets from a lengthy and effective piece:
California is hardly homogenous, but marijuana legalization makes politics downright confusing in a state where the sides are sometimes flipped. Here, some ex-cops, state assemblymen and billionaire businessmen favor legalization, while there are pot growers and dealers who want to keep it outlawed.
Experts say predicting the ballot's outcome is impossible because special interests for both sides will storm the state ahead of the vote, hoping to pull fence-straddlers into their camps.
On Monday, every head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, past and present, appeared at a news conference to say they were "gravely concerned" by the upcoming vote. They asked the White House to sue California, as it did Arizona over the immigration issue....
Polls over the last year show more Californians favor legalization than oppose it and that California has a substantially higher tolerance for legalization than the rest of the country.
Don't expect that to translate into the referendum's passage, said NORML's St. Pierre. Those for and against the measure will pump millions of dollars into PR campaigns in coming weeks, which could have a substantial effect on public opinion. St. Pierre estimated proponents will need up to $12 million to pass the measure. "This thing's a wobbler," St. Pierre said. "This thing is going to win or lose by 2 percent in November."
September 14, 2010 at 05:23 PM | Permalink
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I don't get the "sue the state" thing. Isn't the criminalization of illicit drugs generally a state concern? There's more of an argument for a lawsuit against the state under the current regime – legalized medical use – as arguably the FDA preempts alternative state regulatory regimes in when it comes to pharmaceuticals.
Of course, if CA full-on legalizes, the federal government could still arrest people for violation of the federal criminal law. But even legalization opponents probably won't advocate that, as the optics would be terrible
Posted by: dm | Sep 14, 2010 8:31:50 PM
Gee I wonder why the Pot dealers and growers do not want it legalized?
Posted by: Anon | Sep 14, 2010 10:04:27 PM
$113 billion is spent on marijuana every year in the U.S., and because of the federal prohibition *every* dollar of it goes straight into the hands of criminals. Far from preventing people from using marijuana, the prohibition instead creates zero legal supply amid massive and unrelenting demand - the scale of the harm this causes far exceeds any benefit obtained from keeping marijuana illegal.
According to the ONDCP, at least sixty percent of Mexican drug cartel money comes from selling marijuana in the U.S., they protect this revenue by brutally torturing, murdering and dismembering countless innocent people.
If we can STOP people using marijuana then we need to do so NOW, but if we can't then we must legalize the production and sale of marijuana to adults with after-tax prices set too low for the cartels to match. One way or the other, we have to force the cartels out of the marijuana market and eliminate their highly lucrative marijuana incomes - no business can withstand the loss of sixty percent of its revenue!
To date, the cartels have amassed more than 100,000 "foot soldiers" and operate in 230 U.S. cities, and it's now believed that the cartels are "morphing into what would be considered an insurgency" (Secretary of State Clinton, 09/09/2010). The longer the cartels are allowed to exploit the prohibition the more powerful they're going to get and the more our own personal security will be put in jeopardy.
Posted by: Jillian Galloway | Sep 14, 2010 10:52:15 PM
It is obvious who doesn't want legalized marijuana, like the ones who will lose millions in illegal marijuana sales if marijuana is legalized. Those who stand to lose money, DEA, US Customs, US Border Patrol (budget cuts due to majority of arrest and siezures are from illigal marijuana), Mexican Cartel, local illigal growers, corrupt Sheriff departments and law enforcement officials who make money in payoffs, corrupt politicians, illegal marijuana dealers, banks and corporations that move illegal proffits. You know the ones, the ones who have the money and resources to make money on illegal marijuana. It is always the same, it is all about the money.
Posted by: Lary Littlewolf | Sep 25, 2010 11:30:44 AM