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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/14487/46-for-pot-legalization/

46% for Pot Legalization

November 3, 2010 by

Many people are wondering why California didn’t vote for legalized pot, but consider that 46% is pretty darn great for a measure that flatly contradicted federal policy for decades, and a great blow against a policy that surely will not last.

{ 35 comments }

Walt D. November 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Jeffrey – remember Deep Throat – follow the money. Who provided the money to defeat this proposition?
1) Growers
2) Drug Cartels
3) Brewing Companies
Also,here, the age demographics worked against the initiative – very low turnout of young voters, high turnout of retired (conservative) voters.
Quite amazing, since the State wanted to legalize and tax it. (Possession has already been reduced to a $100 “traffic fine”.)

Phinn November 3, 2010 at 3:20 pm

>>>3) Brewing Companies

You’d think that the makers of Doritos and pork rinds could have chipped in some money to counteract the beer cartel’s influence.

Phinn November 3, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Taco Bell would also have benefited from spending serious money on the legalization campaign.

iawai November 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I don’t have them handy, but comparative studies have shown that legalization only marginally and briefly increases usage – those people that want to get cannabis already do. So the effects of more “munchies” expenditures is probably not large enough to warrant any company or groups of producers of those goods spending more money to potentially increase their sales by a minute amount.

The only secondary effect that I could see causing more “munchies” spending is the reduced cost of the drug to the users due to lessened risk and lessened monopoly-growers premiums.

The only industries I can see really benefiting in a substantial way from legalization would be butter/prepared snack shops and makers of high-end usage devices (i.e. vaporizers).

nate-m November 3, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I highschool in the midwest it was always much easier for ‘my fellow travelers’ to get pot then it was ever to get alchohol.

Plus pot was much cheaper since you could buy a bag, sell half of it, and then smoke it for free. This was very difficult to do with alcohol since it was much bulkier and more regulated.

Of course then crank became even cheaper and more available then alchohol or pot was….

I don’t support people smoking pot. Smoking it is decidedly unhealthy, certain small percentage of people have negative physiological effects from it because it IS a mildly psychotropic drug, and it does reduce your capacity for logical thought.

It’s pretty much bad all around, except for usage on very rare occasions.

But between people smoking it and the police state and prison system… I’d have to say that getting thrown in jail is infinitely worse for your well being then smoking a joint on the weekend. Nobody is doing anybody any favors by having it illegal.

The drug war in general is pretty much horrific on multiple levels.

Lets think about the things that can easily be solved by making it (and most other drugs) legal:
* Get rid of throwing people in jail for what they consider a good time.

* Support local industries; ie pot growers and pharamists

* Solve most intercity crime. When only criminals can sell drugs and make billions of dollars… then criminals will do what criminals will do when they control a multi-billion dollar international industry: run it very innefficiently and spend most of their time killing themselves and most other people that get in their way.

* Dramatically lower police office budgets, get rid of the majority of prisons… save billions of dollars in the anti-drug war.

* Get rid of pretty much all the negative elements in nothern Mexico, take all the money from the gangs. Pretty much eliminate most of the negative effects of having a open border with Mexico.

* Solve Afghanistan. The only really profitable industry in Afghanistan is poppies. Then instead of having the curious task of simultaneously ‘freeing’ a people while enforcing laws that will effectively cause them economic collapse and starvation. Instead of being such assholes to everybody we can actually admit what is going on (completely beyond our ability to control it one way or another) and allow these people to rebuild their own country.

* Be able to spend money on stuff that really works: Treatment. If you want to get the maximum benefit from money spent against drug usage then the best way is to convince people how stupid and self destructive this usage is in the first place.

etc etc etc.

Because of our country’s blindness and fantasies about the way people should live, the way people want to live the drug war is turning major cities into shitholes while providing the criminal element a billion dollar industry that they have no competition in. It’s a crime against the natural state of human beings to take away their ability to have recreational drug use.

Tyrone Dell November 3, 2010 at 6:30 pm

lol! Too true! hahaha!

Rick November 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Yes, 46% is nice. But it still failed and it demonstrates the dangers of trusting a popular vote. Also, this should be an aggressive anti-war movement, not a gradualist decriminalize marijuana campaign that tries not to offend anyone. If I lived in CA I would’ve voted yes, but sometimes popular votes are not the best tactic… not until popular opinion is strongly in your favor for something like this.

Another way of looking at it, a no vote on Prop 19 is a yes vote for murdered Mexicans, more non-violent “criminals” locked up, more asset forfeiture and seizure, more SWAT team raids, etc. Shame on people who voted no! Especially if their reason for it were cop-outs like “poorly written law”, “they just want to tax it”, etc. I don’t like taxation either, but I would prefer regulation and taxation over what it is now, especially if it helps transition to ending the drug war in the near or long term future.

Anonymous November 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm

If Prop 19 had been on the ballot in 2008, it might have passed.

I looked at the California election returns web site, where they listed what was on the ballot for each side of this referendum. The “no” side threatened the loss of an enormous amount of “funding” for government “education,” and other government programs, so I can see why it failed. This must have caused a significant number of parents to vote against legalization, as they aren’t going to vote to reduce spending on “education” for their kids (this is why we need to shut down the federal Department of Education, federal funding of highways, and other bribes to the states).

I think it might have done better if it had legalized it for people over the age of 18 rather than people over the age of 21. By setting it at 21 instead of 18, that probably hurt its support among the 18-20 demographic. The tax provisions probably caused a few libertarians in California not to vote for it (if so, they should be ashamed of themselves for their “left-sectarianism” as Rothbard would call it). There are also undoubtedly a number of anti-voting libertarians in California. Their sectarianism only makes us less free. There is a difference between a compromise that advances libertarian goals and a sell-out of principle (for example, it is wrong for a libertarian to support school vouchers or “privatization” of social security).

The amount of sectarianism on LRC and on the Mises Institute web site is mind-boggling. This is every bit as self-defeating as the sell-outs of the DC “libertarians.”

Jeffrey Tucker November 3, 2010 at 3:11 pm

You message is good but your last line makes no sense.

Brian November 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

Something tells me “Anonymous” might have been partaking in the green stuff when he posted that last line.

Joshua_D November 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Is it just me, or do pot smokers have a really bad reputation? I wonder if that’s intentional?

Seriously, sitting down with glass of brandy and cigar produces images of wealth and class in my mind. When I think of someone smoking a joint, I think of Cheech and Chong and 18-year-olds who can’t manage to put together a complete thought camera. Now, I concede that many bad images of drinkers pop up in my mind as well, but my point is, I do have some positive perceptions about to counter the negative perceptions of alcohol. But, when I think of pot smokers, I have zero positive images.

Pot smokers, or anyone who wants to legalize pot, should work on creating a better image if they want to be successful. But, that’s just my opinion.

Rick November 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Marijuana smokers do have an image problem. However, sometimes the stereotype has some truth to it. This shouldn’t be surprising given that the culture has been forced underground. If the drug war ended, or if there was more marijuana freedom, I think in time the culture would be more sophisticated.

C November 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I think it’s already getting there. There’s more and more movies with non-stoner-cliche characters lighting up. Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine come to mind. Also the new HBO show Bored to Death has sportcoat-wearing Jason Schwartzman and his wealthy urban magazine mogul friend Ted Danson smoking in almost every episode. Hollywood knows the stoner cliche is played out and inaccurate these days. The stoner cliches are simply more visible and more blatant about their use. It’s like how the moltov-throwing, black-bandanna-wearing Anarchists are the only ones anyone ever sees or hears about. I ran into a Doctor still wearing his scrubs the other day at my local dispensary; not to mention all of the urban professional 30-something types that frequent it. It’s amazing how civilized the whole process is, they even serve Jamba Juice-style smoothies with shots of marijuana infused flax oil.

jmorris84 November 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Joshua, I think if you don’t use television and movies to make these sort of generalizations about people for you and you actually go out and meet these people for yourself, you would have a different outlook on it all. That is just my suggestion.

Joshua_D November 4, 2010 at 8:32 am

Oh, I know my fair share pot smokers. They all act about the same after the first few hits, in my opinion. The friends I have who smoke aren’t typical stoners. They have jobs, etc. I’m not trying to give smokers a hard time, I think weed should be legal. I’m just pointing out the obvious. Seriously, who is cooler in your mind – James Bond with a martini and a sexy chick on his arm, or Ted Danson smoking a joint?

People have been conditioned over thousands of years to regard alcohol as acceptable. Both religious and secular groups have produced and consumed alcohol since there were religious and secular groups. Jesus turned water into wine. Paul told Timothy to have a drink. Didn’t monks create beer? Or was it Champaign? Or both? What surprises me the most, is how pot smokers often overlook the historical differences between drinking alcohol and smoking pot, and wonder why society so readily accepts one over the other.

I wonder why we didn’t see the public outcry against making pot illegal as we did when the feds tried prohibition? Anyone have any good links on the history of pot in the USA? I think pot will be legal fairly soon in the USA as the economy drags and drug wars move further into the heartland.

C November 4, 2010 at 11:08 am

There was no outcry because in the 30′s it was just Mexican immigrants and Black musicians who were smoking; it was largely a tool for police to harass minorities. Plus, Hearst had a large investment in the timber pulp market which he wanted protected from competition with cheap hemp —then used his newspapers to lump hemp together with this dangerous drug that scary brown people were bringing over the boarder.

http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/
“Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him…”

“Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.”

As for alcohol being cooler, it’s all a matter of degree. I’d rather have a conversation about economics with a stoned guy on a couch than deal with some Bro who is so hammered he yells every word he speaks and then breaks my coffee table by stumbling over it. Admittedly there’s still some major differences in public perception of it, but personally seeing someone with a drink to me says “party guy” and seeing someone with a joint leans more “intellectual” –even Ted Danson. But there’s a wide range of difference between your average Budweiser chugger and your average Brandy sipper. Just as there’s a difference between the person who takes two hits and can’t have a functional conversation about anything other than Spicy Doritos, and the person who smokes and wants to engage you in a conversation on philosophy. The latter is much less amusing to the general public.

Or maybe it has to do with how they both make you feel subjectively. Having a drink or two will definitely make you feel cooler, more suave, more confident. Taking a couple hits, especially for the novice, is more likely to give you a bit of anxiety; maybe it makes you a bit more self-conscious about that goofy intonation you add to some words, and that weird thing you do with your hands while conversing, which is decidedly not cool.

Personally, I smoke heavy strains before bed for my insomnia in order to avoid getting dependent on gross chemicals like Ambien. My girlfriend SWEARS by it as the fastest acting and best possible anti-anxiety alternative to Xanax. She smokes ALL DAY LONG but you would never know it by her demeanor, and her job is even exceptionally heavy on organization; it really does affect everyone differently.

Joshua_D November 4, 2010 at 11:35 am

‘She smokes ALL DAY LONG but you would never know it by her demeanor, and her job is even exceptionally heavy on organization; it really does affect everyone differently.’

I have to call you out on this. If we had the opportunity and I’d place a gentleman’s bet that I could tell which woman, from a line of 10, had been smoking pot all day long within a minute or so of some light conversation. If I was wrong, that may help change my perception, and we’d both win.

Where I work, I can tell who has been smoking cigs, who has been drinking, and who has been taking prescription pain pills – your pupils … your pupils always give you away. If someone is smoking weed, I’m not aware of it, but we do have random drugs tests.

C November 4, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I would have never believed it either unless I saw it with my own eyes. I had always thought people were bullsh-tting when they claimed things like that, but then I met her. MAYBE first thing in the morning there’s a mild glassy look to her eyes, but that’s it and it goes away, nothing in her actual actions —especially compared to the foggy headspace she goes into when taking only 0.5mg of Xanax. Anyway though, pupils have nothing to do with demeanor, which was my original claim. I know I’m just some jerk on the internet, but you can trust me on this one. I swear on Rothbard’s bow tie.

Personally, I get pretty foggy when I smoke, but it’s not an issue for me since I use it to sleep. I could never smoke in the middle of the day and get away with it at a high pressure job; she’s an entirely different breed. Besides, even if you could tell when she had medicated, it still works better than, and is far safer than Benzodiazepines. She’s able to function 100%, which isn’t the case with Benzos. I have no doubt that the anxiety medications of the future will be cannabis derived.

To everyone who is about to claim “but marijuanas makes yous paranoid” understand that there are two species of medicinal cannabis plants; generally the paranoid and/or racing thoughts are triggered in novices by strains that are mostly Cannabis Sativa, rather than Cannabis Indica which is the calming, pain reducing variety.

Beefcake the Mighty November 4, 2010 at 11:44 am

Cheech and Chong are the coolest, almost as cool as GWAR!

C November 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Here in California there was a lot of conflict amongst legalization supporters that split votes for 19. Many, many medical patients were opposed to it because it made medicating in public illegal, reduced the amount one could grow, and left the window open for counties to set up licensing schemes. It really wasn’t a very good legalization bill, it was a “Tax and Control Cannabis” bill just as the name of the bill said. http://votetaxcannabis2010.blogspot.com/ A lot of the Prop 215 Patients that have been enjoying psuedo-legalization for the last 14 years were not too thrilled about upsetting the currently very decentralized and free medical marijuana market. By the time a better one comes around more than enough voters will be wanting to support it.

Jeffrey Tucker November 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm

That’s very interesting. Thank you

Tom November 3, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Prop 19 wouldn’t change anything in regards to Prop 215; the bill explicitly states this. If your MMJ card allows you to grow an acre of medical marijuana, then the 25 square foot provision in Prop 19 doesn’t apply to you.

This bill sought to regulate marijuana like alcohol. Alcohol is subject to a patchwork of local ordinances, and it’s taxed to heck as well. If California voters reject a bill that regulates marijuana like alcohol, then why should we expect them to pass a bill that regulates marijuana like tomatoes?

I would love to see the complete dismantling of cannabis regulation, but failing that I can accept that a system where pot is legalized and taxed is at least an improvement over a system where it’s illegal and people can be fined for possessing it and imprisoned for growing it.

C November 4, 2010 at 5:04 pm

You honestly don’t think that local law enforcement would go after larger unlicensed medical growers even if they had an exclusively 215 client list? Lawyers have read the law and stated it’s vague enough that the courts could rule either way on whether portions of 215 are superseded by 19 —which way would you expect the monopoly courts to lean on that one? It’s naive to think that they’re going to let you slide on the licensing requirements just because you’re a grower with medical card. Even Jack Herer and a handful of the original Prop 215 architects came out against it.

Was I wrong to be suspicious of the state?

Tom November 5, 2010 at 9:01 am

I haven’t found anything in the bill that implies that 215 would be superseded by 19, whether in licensing requirements or otherwise. It seems that if what you’re doing is legal under 215 now, it would have continued to be legal under 215 if 19 had passed.

That said, lawyers make a living out of engaging in sophistry, and monopoly courts don’t have a great track record of considering the letter and intent of the law; if the Constitution can be twisted to allow the government to do what it wants, then 19 can probably be twisted in favor of more government power too. It’s never wrong to be suspicious of the state.

I’m inclined not to trust some of the 215 architects, and even medical growers and dispensaries in general, on this one. They have a nice little oligopoly going, and if you are able to charge black market prices with legal protection then you have a strong incentive to lobby in favor of the status quo.

I think it’s not clear that Jack Herer would’ve continued to oppose 19. His children seem to think otherwise, and they brought up the point that he initially opposed 215 because it didn’t go far enough, but he ultimately campaigned for it because it was an improvement over the previous system. I’ll try to find some sources for that letter on Monday.

Jack Roberts November 3, 2010 at 4:12 pm

I want less tax, that last thing i want to do is start paying tax on my cannabis. They should just stop putting people inside a jail cell for growing and smoking and selling a plant. The DEA are out there killing dogs and ruining lives just so they can go home at night and think they are stopping a dangerous plant ? The insanity of cannabis prohibition knows no bounds.The industries that are against the decriminalisation are, alcohol, tobacco, law enforcement, prison industry and the pharmaceutical industry. The cannabis growers and uses do not even have a lobby and they think they have a chance of legalising cannabis in a wholly corrupt system.Everyone just needs to keep trying and maybe one day we can defeat the insane war on drugs.

Jonathan M. F. Catalán November 3, 2010 at 5:13 pm

IIRC, despite the tax, the marijuana would have still been cheaper (and of better quality) given the expected increase in supply.

Jack Roberts November 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm

If it was legal people would not need to buy it because they could grow it themselves. The people that would still buy it would not be paying high prices due to the risk that it takes to grow it, but for the quality of the product and convenience of not having to grow it. Just because there is no longer a risk does not necessarily mean that it will dramatically increase in supply. Demand might fall at the same time (due to people growing) and not everyone is going to turn in to a cannabis dealer. However with shops selling it at a high quality you would think that it would be significantly cheaper. At least you would not have to make 7 phone calls and stand on a street corner waiting for 5 “dealer” minutes in the rain looking like you are waiting for a drug dealer.

Joshua_D November 4, 2010 at 8:34 am

5 ‘dealer’ minutes! That one made me laugh.

Brent Hinckley November 3, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I would like to know (parallel universe experiment) if there would have been a higher acceptance to this if it had been ONLY to decriminalize cannabis. If I accepted the act of voting as moral and lived in CA, I still wouldn’t vote on this. I cannot willingly give acceptance to any funding of any cartel.

Horst Muhlmann November 3, 2010 at 8:26 pm

I think so.

Given C’s information above, had I lived in CA, I would have thought about voting against it.

james b. longacre November 3, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Many people are wondering why California didn’t vote for legalized pot,………

It really wasn’t a very good legalization bill, it was a “Tax and Control Cannabis” bill just as the name of the bill said…….maybe thats true maybe it isnt

i cant figure out why anyone would still tolerate illegal cannabis….over a decade ago it was estimated that 70 million had tried it??? and the club of the state still being used against drug users and sellers.

drano has a warning label, put the same on drugs along with bilboards, etc concerning risks and leave people alone and let the state look for serious issues like violence, fraud, thefts etc.

Brian November 4, 2010 at 11:50 am

My feelings: If people didn’t call marijuana “pot” or “weed”, it might have a chance at legalization.

r November 4, 2010 at 1:12 pm

“Marijuana” is a bad name too, if you want to get into that.

Artisan November 4, 2010 at 1:46 pm

The best image campaign I saw was the movie PLATOON I think. They made it a question of humanity somehow. Still, I don’t think to give it a “positive image” in general would help, because drugs aren’t just positive in general, as we all know … from doping. You can climb that hill faster than anyone else, but you can’t remember how you did it… which might be fun, but not so much admirable.

Linda November 4, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Guys, you’re missing the point. The word ‘law’ implies morality -not tangible. The word ‘legal’ is words on paper to tax, transfer wealth and trap (concentration camps labeled jails and prisons). The Administration’s Collection of Tax Codes administered initially by Tax Code Enforcers labeled ‘law enforcement’. In the last 45 years our Taxes labeled permits, fees, licenses, registration, sales, citations, service charge, parking meters, (you get the idea) have gone from 3% to 59%. Here in CA. INC. the JUDICIAL COUNCIL is writing our legal words on paper -Tax labeled Codes. We have the second largest Constitution in the world and it grows and changes almost daily. The CA. INC. SUPREME COURT as an example, Oct. 13 denied 368 Petitions for Rehearing, Habeas Corpus, Complaints against Attorneys, and Review. The prison industry is even larger (profit motive wise) than marijuana. That’s pretty sad for us as a people. Most ‘believe’ that ONLY legislators and the people, via an initiative, place the words on paper. When Kelly v state won at the Appellate level, regarding quantity of marijuana -because of 1996′s Prop. 215 allowed for X amount – opioned that SB420 was unconstitutional, SB420 was deleted from the Tax Codes. The CA. INC.’s CONSTITUTION states that if an Appellate Court finds a Tax Code unconstitutional, then it is abolished PERIOD. However, in steps the JUDICIAL COUNCIL and throws a sentence or two into the CONSTITUTION justifying the SUPREME COURT to take the case – not petitioned. Jan. 21 of this year a 56 pg. Opinion (that’s what they are, not rule, not decision) stated that SB420 (cutsey marketplace jargon) was an Amendment to Prop. 215 (which is neither here nor there, but it was NOT an amendment 8 years after the fact. No wording allowed for amending in the original 215. If it did, amending would be done by the people who initiated, voted and passed it). The entire SB420 reappeared back in the Tax Codes minus the quantity part. Many people horrahed this. Ignorance is a lack of education, no attention to detail. Hence, we have the system we deserve. Government – govern is Latin for control. Mente – is Latin for mind. Isn’t that, after all, what we’re talking about? Marijuana (1896) n Sp/Mex entered our language. From an observer’s position, seeing the Mexican’s smoking the flowers and leaves. Hemp bef. 12 c is the entire plant. Pot, weed and grass are, of course, slang-implying recreational use. One’s Right to do with their own body as they choose-as long as that doesn’t harm anyone else DOES NOT have to be regulated. When I see words used out of their definition, we have lost communication. ‘Talking’ continually on a DNA cell phone is not communication. “When words lose their meaning. People lose their Liberty.” Confuses 500 BC. People will be the deciding factor in victory or defeat – not mind control government run by the criminal syndicate. Marijuana will never be legalized (not in the terms most people apply to those words) because anyone who chooses to partake of marijuana, their mind cannot be controlled. Our Rights haven’t been taken, we have surrendered them. To be a “taxpayer” takes consent. Did you KNOWINGLY consent to pay income tax? Gasoline tax, property tax, driver’s license tax, registration and on and on and on and on. Government is doing exactly what it was designed and planned to do. We have been programmed to destroy the planet. And folks, our present reality is so much worse than you can imagine. Can you recognize evil? Evil’s #1 tool is confusion. So, whether we discuss economics, religion, government, marijuana, the planned oil catastrophy (not spill. I have 4 grown children, I know what the word spill means). Bolivia is militarily training their people. France is basically shut down – the people are up in arms -pissed. Our 111th Congress session, as part of the world management team, has twenty bills on the table. Bills, think money – dollar bill. When Arnie took off the only ballot item I was concerned about – water bondage, I rejoiced. What was I thinkin? Congress, dear friends, will soon, with words on paper, pass the ownership of all water in the US (landmass) to the feds. Now, that is something we should all be talkin about. The marijuana issue is just to keep us occupied.

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