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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/14650/prop-19-goes-up-in-smoke/

Prop. 19 Goes up in Smoke

November 16, 2010 by

Plans are already in the works to put the initiative back on the ballot for 2012, which is expected to have higher turnout from young people. But in order for the ballot initiative to succeed, we must first understand why it failed. FULL ARTICLE by Mark Thornton


Ohhh Henry November 16, 2010 at 10:35 am

What if the proposition fails again in 2012? Then the pro-legalization forces will be forced to concede that “the people have spoken”, and that “majority rules” and all those other bullcrap homilies about the God of Democracy.

You’re playing into the hands of the state by participating in their referendum, because it is establishing the statist principle that any law, no matter how draconian or illegitimate in the light of natural law, is acceptable as long as some kind of plurality of adults gives either direct or indirect consent.

Even if you win the referendum, you may lose. The major selling point of the “yes” vote among non-libertarians seems to be that the state should legalize pot but tax the bejesus out of it. In this case the police state would be preserved or even enhanced as a kind of tax-collecting army.

Better to ignore and defy the law as much as it is safely possible to do so. Let the law whither on the vine, rather than attempting to tend and water the vine in the hope that it will not strangle everything within its reach.

JE November 16, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Well said.

J. Murray November 16, 2010 at 11:03 am

Best solution – 34% to repeal restrictions, 67% to pass them.

iawai November 16, 2010 at 11:36 am

Why not 1 person to repeal restrictions and 100% to pass them? As long as the restricted behavior doesn’t affect the rights of others, a single person could easily repeal the law as applies to himself, and allow the other 99.99999% of the population to continue practicing the restriction voluntarily.

The only restrictions on action that can be enforced justly against dissenters are restrictions on the use of aggressive force, for then the dissenter is involving another actor who does subscribe to the restriction. You cannot justly tell me that I can’t drink soda. You can justly tell me that I can’t pour soda down your throat. 67% of a population cannot gain justification due to pure number from prohibiting me from drinking soda. Conversely, I don’t need 37% of the population to agree with me if I wish to drink soda even if some group thinks I shouldn’t and is willing to punish me for it. OTOH, 67% of the people can’t justify pouring soda down your throat if you do not wish to drink it, and you shouldn’t need 34% of the people to agree with you to be able to refuse.

ET November 16, 2010 at 11:28 am

Another group that likely fought against 19 are the so called “pot-doctors” who charge up to $150 for a prescription. Anyone in CA can get a prescription from one of these doctors for 90 days by simply showing up and claiming any ailment, including I guess, having a marijuana habit.

I’ve even been told that some have been forced to lower their price to $35 a visit. They add on an extra $10 for an id card.

When I first went to see one of these doctors, I knew it was a racket when I was sitting in the office waiting to see the doctor and the receptionist asked if I also wanted to buy the card, BEFORE I even saw the doctor.

Once in the doctor’s office, I explained my need and showed some x-rays. Then the doctor, who had seemed impatient with my explanation, explained to me that “most people who come in here tell me ….” which was a hint that this was what I was supposed to say. His only examination was with a stethoscope and a blood pressure device. Then he told me that he would give me a 90 prescription and that in order to get this extended to 1 year I had to bring in supporting documentation from a “real” doctor. He then realized his slip and said, “Not that I’m not a real doctor…” but he admitted he wanted backup evidence from another doctor that I really qualified, to protect HIM.

The second doctor I heard about has a website with a picture of a young woman. I thought it was a porn site. But the picture is actually one of the doctor (a female) when she was a bit younger and much sexier. Her price was half the one I first saw. Competition is getting tough. They even advertise that if you don’t qualify, you don’t pay. I wonder how many don’t qualify. Probably only DEA agents wouldn’t qualify.

So, with the lowering of the penalty to a $100 ticket, which you can apparently get over and over again (unlike the prior law where it’s an infraction the first time, and a misdemeanor after that) I can see how many younger people didn’t bother to vote. And it turns out that with a pot-card prescription, they don’t add on taxes. If it were legalized, they’d likely tax it highly – although since any one person could grow 25 sq feet of their own, it seems clear that the market for pot would have remained underground somewhat.

I think also that Blacks didn’t turn out as much as they thought since they too aren’t all that happy with Obama and this last election was more about him than anything else.

Linda November 18, 2010 at 4:51 am

Lower the penalty? Taxes labeled Accounts receivable, attorney/lawyer license to ‘practice’ codes not law, building permits, capital gains, cigarette, court fines, dog license, fed. estate, fed income, fed. unemployment, fishing license, fines, food license, forfeiture, fuel permit, gasoline, hunting license, inventory tax, IRS interest chgs., IRS penalties, levies, liquor tax, marriage license, parking meters, physician license to ‘practice’ prescription drugs not health, property/real estate tax, recreational vehicle tax, registration, road usage (truckers), sales tax, school tax, septic permit, service charge, state income tax, state disability, state unemployment, telephone fed. excise, telephone fed. universal, telephone fed, state, local surcharge, telephone minimum usage surcharge, telephone recurring & non-recurring, toll bridge, toll tunnel, traffic citations, trailer registration, transaction fees, utility, vehicle license, vehicle sales (over & over). watercraft permit, worker’s comp. –that’s a partial list of taxes, no matter what the ‘word’ label is, ITS TAXES. Now at 59%.

iawai November 16, 2010 at 11:51 am

We now have a copy of their playbook — politicians, pot growers, and medical-marijuana dealers oppose legalization, while Christian organizations, beer distributors, and drug lawyers spread lies to protect their self-interests.

So? I could have Oregon’s playbook, but I wouldn’t dare think my pickup team of middle aged guys could beat them on the gridiron. Certainly it is a help to know who your opponent is, how many resources they have, and that they will play dirty. Certain counter measures can be taken.

But at the end of the day, the state has vast amounts of resources unavailable to us, both in monetary currency and percieved social legitimacy currency. Not trying to harsh your buzz, but just having the playbook of the opponent is not enough. What is needed is a tactic to shift the game off of their playing field. We need to, in effect (and to play away from guerrilla warfare analogies), get the Oregon football team to agree to play us in parlor games, to beat them in chess and checkers and gin rummy. In the state political process we lose, but in some other arena we may have an advantage.

ABR November 16, 2010 at 12:15 pm

“lower marijuana prices” — wouild they have been, considering the additional taxes the CA govt. would inevitably have imposed?

billwald November 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Yes, for the people who would roll their own, just like ciggy butts. The BIG difference is that tobacco is hard to grow and messy to cure. Marijuana is a nice house plant.

nate-m November 16, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Marijuana is a weed. It’s hard to _stop_ it from growing.

It was spread all over the country due to the fact it’s a nice source for rope. There are huge stretches of railroad were you had nothing but pot plants 7-8 foot high for as far as you could see in either direction.

It will still be a cash crop because the facilities needed to get the maximum quality is still going to be expensive and it lends itself to mass production. That is greenhouse farms will be able to crank out large amounts of high-quality drugs at a far cheaper rate then a person could do themselves at their homes.

Of course for people who are cheap all you have to do, literally, is toss seeds into their bushes and they will have a ready and cheap supply of average quality drug with extremely minimal effort. Just keep the male population of plants down to a minimum, really. Clip the buds, get rid of the big leafs and toss them into one of those things people use for making home made beef jerky.

Put them into food if you value your lungs (at all). Keep away from volcanic soil to avoid gradual mercury poisoning (and bad teeth). If you want to get really fancy you can use a evaporator since THC is extremely water soluble you can get most of it out of vapors. With minimal effort and knowledge it’s nearly impossible to get wrong.

Which is good for the pot smokers, since one of the major side effects for heavy smokers is that it lowers your intelligence, ruins your ability to think cleanly and with good logic, and wears you out and promotes laziness. Which is another big reason why they have such a hard time legalizing it.

I don’t recommend it.

Anonymous November 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I’ll add another reason why it failed. The “no” side fearmongered about how the federal government would stop funding education in California if marijuana was legalized. This is yet another reason why we need to abolish the federal Department of Education and other means by which the feds bribe the states.

Linda November 18, 2010 at 4:25 am

Wow! I can tell some of you – Nate M. are experienced -NOT. ‘Cash crop’- FRN’s come into circulation as debt. We can’t pay a debt with a debt. Not all of us are still hanging onto the profit motive. ‘Indoor grows’ ARE NOT high quality. Nature grows outside in the sunshine. I have a suspicion that the majority of smokers in the generation under mine (baby boomers) don’t know what ‘high’ is. Placebo effect. There are WAAAAY too many strains. I remember Indica and Sativa, PERIOD. Goodness, where do you think all of that great rock and roll came from?…straight, lazy, illogical, stupid, tired unimaginative Christians? Sugar is the reason for bad teeth. A Hooka is the original vaporisor. The word ‘pot’ is slang from the ’60′s. STATE OF CA. INC. 1850. The word ‘marijuana’ 1894 means leaves and flowering tops of the female hemp plant. There are no, nada, none, minor or major side effects. Perhaps a loss of ego for awhile or loss of fear – false evidence appearing real or laughing until your sides hurt or permit ‘a flash of genius’ to enter your mind..like…Future is a memory still potent enough to impulse behavior now. Time being cylindrical not linear. Is that what you mean nate-m?
Female hemp plants grown for marijuana consumption will never be legal – can’t control the mind. The word ‘government’ – govern, remember renting a U-Haul truck back when that had a governor on the gas pedal so you could only go probably 50 mph? To control the speed. Govern is Latin for control. Mente is Latin for mind. Plus, we’re at 59% taxes now. Fast forward ten years. Tax Nature?
The feds. busts are at the most 3%. STATE. Good ol Arnie. Aug. 25 he removed the ‘water bond’age from the ballot. Because this 111th session of Congress has twenty bills ($ dollar bill) on the table. One of them is ownership/title to ALL OF THE WATER IN THE U.S. Marijuana only gives us something to talk about.

Walt D. November 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Mark – excellent analysis. Once again, it boils down to the “Deep Throat” principle – “Follow the Money”.

Michael A. Clem November 16, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Using electoral politics may not be the best solution for resolving the issue of recreational drugs, but, as has been shown, it is a great way to throw attention not only to recreational drugs, but also to the issue of federalism. And with the right spin, it can be used to point out the problems of democracy, as the comments in this thread have made clear.

Linda November 18, 2010 at 4:34 am

The word ‘democracy’ is not in the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution or The Bill of Rights – the Founders knew it to be the worst form of government.

Doktor John November 16, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Great, informative article. Money, yes, but there’s another mechanism involved when politicians take a stand on prohibitions in general: Anything of which anybody, anywhere disapproves should be made illegal so the disapprovers can sit back and relax, content in the knowledge that nobody anywhere is doing anything of which they disapprove.

Pier November 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm

A county in California is considering holding parents responsible for kids getting drunk at home. this is also the intent behind legalizing Marijuana, that is remove the prohibition and just like alcohol, underage teens will use what’s at home and would share it with their friends whose parents don’t use marijuana. Legalize it and it’ll make it much easier to get fro anybody who wants to have it.
Before removing the gold backing of the US money, Roosevelt remove the alcohol prohibition. Evidently they had realized that it was to difficult to to make such an unconstitutional move when the Citizens are alert, attentive, caring, clean, sober, strong, healthy, willing, brave and watching the public servants with eyes wide open. They had to get them drunk first, making them feel weak and guilty, unwilling to challenge, etc.
Legalizing marijuana, singing the praises of the fags could also suggest that the money-printing organized crime syndicate wants to make a similar move but the citizens are too sober and insufficiently weak.

Dagnytg November 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Perhaps another reason that it didn’t pass is the demographic opening for decriminalizing marijuana is slowly closing. In California, you have an aging hippie generation slowly dying off. You have children produced from that generation who are far more conservative than their parents. And last, there is a large and growing immigrant population in the state which depending on their cultural experience (i.e. Mao, Islam, violent Latin drug lords) is going to be very anti-drug.

Furthermore, legalization doesn’t assume it will be socially acceptable. If you’re a doctor, nurse, teacher, public official, CEO etc., there still will be a stigma in publicly acknowledging you smoke pot.

And last, pot is defacto legal and perhaps that is best. Responsible adults who wish to engage in it can do so with very little risk or public acknowledgement. If legalized, the state would enact draconian laws for inappropriate use like they have done with alcohol (i.e. dui laws, drunk in public laws, checkpoints etc.)

In my opinion, there are only two good outcomes from legalizing marijuana in California.

1) This point is counterintuitive but should have been the cornerstone of the legalization campaign- legalizing marijuana sales (basically regulating it) would make it harder for children to attain the drug.

2) As a libertarian, it would have been glorious to watch the conflict of interest between the federal and state gov’t over this issue. Imagine DEA agents storming a suburban strip center surrounding the small marijuana shop (positioned between the Chinese restaurant and Hallmark gift store adjacent from the Safeway) arresting the patrons, owner, and employees at gunpoint and in shackles. Oh, what an anarchist fantasy.

But alas, the election here in Cali (in almost every aspect) was a clusterf…k. I only live here due to the unspoken libertine attitude, the weather, and the beautiful women.

Franklin November 16, 2010 at 8:32 pm

The law enforcement types keep peddling through their shills as well.


Capt. A. November 17, 2010 at 9:55 am

There are NO second-place winners!

Prop. 19, a proxy for American citizens in general (California, seemingly a benchmark for the rest of the country) proves that Americans do not VALUE freedom and liberty to the degree necessary to remove the Master’s yoke (tax slaves) and render the lash moot. The growing authoritarian Establishment (sociopaths) and its elite although appearing to surrender some control will merely check the chains and use the necessary force to make citizens comply. Just look at the TSA thugs that now radiate and palpate the genitals of the flying public! Oy, you will do as you are told … or else! And this, all in the name of “safety!” Think not? Think again!

It is evident that the American government’s (and California’s government) control of schooling and propaganda along with religious and cultural inculcation prove once again that the “voting booboisie wish to remain fettered.” That’s the way it is…

C’est la guerre,

Capt. A.
Campione d’Italia
UTC +1:00 CET

Mark November 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Quite sad that a great fellowship should be so deceived by the “economics” of pot instead of
focusing the well documented detrimental side effects of pot.

dfsa December 1, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Being a young voter in California I think there is a much simpler factor at play. The way that the proposition was written on the ballot left a bad taste in mine, as well as others mouths’. There seemed to be too many loopholes and “funny” wording on the proposition description for it to seem like a sure thing to vote for. People I’ve talked to seemed willing to vote for it, but are waiting for a better proposition, perhaps one that is not so ambiguous and open to interpretation.

Santino "Smokey" Di Bola December 12, 2010 at 3:05 am

Most people who are upset that prop 19 didn’t pass are usually ignorant of one important reason why that’s not such a bad thing. Legislation was to be put in place to regulate mass production of Cannabis by only a select few individuals (corporations) who could afford a prohibitively expensive licensing fee. This kind of business model would lead to generic homogenized mass-production quality product that everyone was forced to buy if they want some.

A more open model would, however, allow for many smaller businesses and a wondrous variety of strains of premium quality Cannabis. Imagine that you could open private clubs, coffee houses, “blunt bars” and cafes just like many quality craft breweries do now. And, let’s face it, if you like beer; what’s better, mass produced and over advertised Budweiser, or a select quality brew, hand crafted and made by real beer lovers?

David K. Meller January 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm

The de facto “alliance” between religious fundamentalists and bootleggers in support of Prohibition raises interesting questions, regarding both the economics, and the politics of war-on-drugs. One point that may be asked is if there are also areas of common ground among otherwise very different, if not mutually exclusive groups of people which would support legalization?

Perhaps maverick law enforcement agents or attorneys in the public prosecutors office (NOT those in the command leadership) who are becoming sick and tired of the pointless, endless tradmill of such attempts at enforcement may surprise us sometime in the future! Perhaps the sheer frustration of seeing much the same people –along with their friends, families and neighborhoods–being victimized by an enormously expensive, corrupt, and useless public policy over and over again, MIGHT cause some politicians–or at least journalists, editors, social workers, and other “experts” with an inside view to finally opt for useful change. I admit it is a longshot, but it may even be that some of the Bible-waving crew may finally understand that there are much better ways of fighting sin and temptation than resorting to Statute law, prohibition, and government regulation!

Additionally, everyone has two more years to observe the wisdom of the expression “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got!” Fools don’t–and probably can’t- learn from past experience but the rest of us can! Eventually, the costs of the drug war (even when cocaine, heroin and other opiates, and amphetamines are excluded) will become evident to almost everyone, and the benefits will be so concentrated and exclusive, that popular support for prohibition (i.e. State oligopoly) even among current beneficiaries like the professional growers or Bible Thumpers, cited above, will fade.

When that mass-awareness happens,(with the help of organizations like the Mises Institute) media campaigns and elections to determine the future of drug prohibition will have a very different outcome, and not only on the (increasingly bankrupt) State of California!

David K. Meller

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