Pot legalization initiative leads by 10 in CA

posted at 2:55 pm on August 13, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Allahpundit reviewed the two major races from the latest Survey USA poll in California, but the poll also included data on a referendum that may put California back in the forefront of drug policy.  Years ago, Californians passed one of the first medical-marijuana initiatives that created a market for the federally-banned substance as long as one could get a medical “referral” that claimed to treat symptoms at a doctor’s wide discretion.  Now Californians have a chance to end the masquerade and just legalize marijuana — and Survey USA shows the ballot measure leading by ten points:

Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana, and allow marijuana to be regulated and taxed in California, continues to be supported narrowly, passing today 50% to 40%, unchanged from 1 month ago. Ballot measures are difficult to poll; opposition to many ballot measures increases as election day approaches. Voter reaction to Proposition 19 can be expected to shift as both sides begin to advertise the pros and cons of passage. There is offsetting movement among demographic groups.

The demographics of this initiative may have some impact on the gubernatorial and Senate races, but it’s just as likely that the impact will be the other way around.  Republicans oppose the bill by 21 points, but independents support it by 20 points and Democrats by 30 points.  It has majority support from the two younger age demographics, surprisingly narrow in the 18-34 demo (52/43) and wider in the 35-49 group (57/33).  It also has plurality support in the two older age demos, 45/43 in each.

Older voters will almost certainly turn out in strong numbers in this election, while the one age group that one would assume to be passionate about legalization turns out to be diffident.  Assuming that opposition drives turnout for Prop 19, that’s probably good news for Carly Fiorina.  She wins all but the youngest age demo in this survey. If support drives turnout, Fiorina doesn’t get hurt and Whitman gets helped.  Fiorina’s widest lead in age demos is among 35-49 YOs, and Whitman does better with younger voters.  That assumes that the demos stay as is, which as Survey USA notes is a rather large assumption.

Will that ten point lead remain viable for Prop 19?  Having lived in California through the Prop 215 campaign in 1996, I recall the argument mainly centered — hypocritically, in my opinion — on pain relief for the hopelessly ill.  The arguments relied heavily on heartstring-tugging, emotional pleas to allow people to use marijuana to alleviate chronic and substantial pain, when anyone who read the bill knew that the lax regime created by Prop 215 would mean widespread availability for marijuana as a back door to de facto legalization.  That measure passed with an 11-point majority, or just about what we see in the Survey USA today poll now.

The big questions are these: Did voters pass 215 in 1996 under the delusion that they were creating a tightly-controlled system that allowed only the very ill to find relief?  Or was everyone in on the joke?  If it’s the latter, then Survey USA’s prediction will be accurate, and possibly even understating its support after 14 years of de facto legalization has produced few problems.  If it’s the former, this will be closer — but in California, they’ll probably pass it anyway.

And they should, if only for the waste of resources states and the federal government burn in enforcing the drug war on a non-toxic intoxicant that does less harm than alcohol overall.  If California wants to cut some of its budget — and it desperately needs to do so — this isn’t a panacea, but alleviating an expensive burden from law enforcement is one place to start.


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Printing money. Yes we can!

pedestrian on August 13, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Wonder what Gov Christie would say about that…

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 3:42 PM

I still do not understand why we needed an amendment to ban the drug alcohol, but do not need one for marijuana.

WashJeff on August 13, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Grandfathering. If alcohol was invented today, no way in hell would it get through the FDA or the DEA. They’d call it a ‘dangerous gateway drug’.

slickwillie2001 on August 13, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Minors have always found ways to get their hands on alcohol and cigarettes so pot won’t be any different.

The Ugly American on August 13, 2010 at 3:41 PM

I’m aware. Minors have long found ways to get their hands on pot too.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 3:43 PM

What are they going to legalize next when they realize that legalizing/taxing marijuana won’t ease they’re debt crunch.

JavelinaBomb on August 13, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Prostitution. After Kennedy’s magical, mystical right to unfettered sodomy it’s hard to see how consensual sex between 2 adults that happens to include a gift of cash can really be justified as being made illegal by the states.

Rocks on August 13, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Grandfathering. If alcohol was invented today, no way in hell would it get through the FDA or the DEA. They’d call it a ‘dangerous gateway drug’.

slickwillie2001 on August 13, 2010 at 3:43 PM

No doubt. Bloomberg would wage a war against it and Michelle Obama would find a way to appoint an alcohol czar… in the name of American Values.

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 3:44 PM

So we’re legalizing crack and H and none of the drug companies will be required to get approval for new drugs right? I mean we’re consistent on this, right?

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Let them eat cake brownies.

Laura in Maryland on August 13, 2010 at 3:45 PM

So we’re legalizing crack and H and none of the drug companies will be required to get approval for new drugs right? I mean we’re consistent on this, right?

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Since when were leftist proponents of legalization of marijuana consistent about anything?

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 3:44 PM
Great, California could become the Holland of the United States.

sandee on August 13, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Do you think Ed would let me switch my moniker to WeedHeadinCA???

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 3:46 PM

sandee on August 13, 2010 at 3:27 PM

I’m not far from your opinion. I’ve been to Amsterdam, and it’s not full of a bunch of high people, but their casinos don’t attract much attention the way they do in Vegas either. What works for the Dutch won’t necessarily work for us.

But sending someone to jail, especially for life, over pot is too much. I could eventually support legalization, but I’d much prefer decriminalization.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Since when were leftist proponents of legalization of marijuana consistent about anything?

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Obviously leftists aren’t the only ones in favor of this.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Since Prop 19 violates, rather than enforcing, federal law, ya think Holder will sue to invalidate it? Or is that just for Arizona?

bgoldman on August 13, 2010 at 3:50 PM

I want weed to be controlled by the exact same restriction that are put on me and my Cohiba. Or you and your Marlboro.

kurtzz3 on August 13, 2010 at 3:50 PM

sandee on August 13, 2010 at 3:27 PM

I’m not far from your opinion. I’ve been to the Netherlands, and the people there don’t go crazy over it, but their gambling doesn’t attract Vegas-life attention either. They’re different people.

Still, sending someone to jail, especially for life, over this drug is too much. I could eventually support making it legal, but I’d much prefer to decriminalize it.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 3:51 PM

I am of the mind that you can do whatever you want to your own body – be it smoke weed, chew tobacco, eat loads of salt, drink booze, and as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of anyone else – who cares? Make laws to protect the rights of others from pot smokers, like we have with alcohol and drunk drivers. Thats it

This notion that people are murdered by their own use of alcohol or drugs like it was an actual living entity that pointed a gun to their head is idiotic and illogical. Addiction as a randomly inflicted disease is a myth. Every person makes a choice what to put into their bodies. As long as we provide them the facts of what that substance will do to their bodies, they should have the freedom to decide. That is my opinion.

tflst5 on August 13, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Obviously leftists aren’t the only ones in favor of this.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Obviously.

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Obviously leftists aren’t the only ones in favor of this.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Yeah, that must be why California is leading the way. It’s such a red red state.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Why doesn’t Cali just find a sympathetic judge and skip the supposed “will of the people”?

When it comes to drugs, the “will of the people” is fine and dandy but when it comes to other, er, behaviors the will of the people doesn’t mean squat?

catmman on August 13, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Yeah, that must be why California is leading the way. It’s such a red red state.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 3:51 PM

The state actually is very red. The cities aren’t. It’s not so different from Texas.

Besides, if you stay in this thread long enough, you’ll see what I mean.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Let them eat cake brownies.

Laura in Maryland on August 13, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Not if Congress has anything to do with it.

Bee on August 13, 2010 at 3:55 PM

tflst5 on August 13, 2010 at 3:51 PM

So no regulation of prescription drugs whatsoever? Just labels.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Pot should be legalized nationwide. Just think of how easy it would be to keep libs away from the polls.

TugboatPhil on August 13, 2010 at 3:56 PM

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 3:18 PM
=============================
Sorry, canop. Someone also pointed out that it might be xenophobic towards Canadians… *sniffles

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 3:20 PM

MeatHeadinCA:I`m outraged,I think,haha:)

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Pot should be legalized nationwide. Just think of how easy it would be to keep libs away from the polls.

TugboatPhil on August 13, 2010 at 3:56 PM

You could never keep Barney away from one of these poles

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Do you think Ed would let me switch my moniker to WeedHeadinCA???

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 3:46 PM

AnnintheCan already has dibbs.

Laura in Maryland on August 13, 2010 at 3:59 PM

MeatHeadinCA:I`m outraged,I think,haha:)

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Hey, if BHO tells you you should be outraged, then you should be outraged! Next up… “I can’t see how anyone of Canadian heritage could be a Republican!”

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 4:00 PM

AnnintheCan already has dibbs.

Laura in Maryland on August 13, 2010 at 3:59 PM

I thought she was going for BakedinCA.

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 4:01 PM

The state actually is very red. The cities aren’t. It’s not so different from Texas.

Besides, if you stay in this thread long enough, you’ll see what I mean.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 3:54 PM

California has some of the most liberal laws anywhere. I’m sorry, but I’m not seeing the as coming from the right. There may be some people who support it who claim to be from the right, but if this is their priority over everything else wrong with California, they’re more left than right.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I wasn’t asked on this poll, but it doesn’t matter what I think anyway. I feel as though my vote here in CA is pretty much worthless.

I continue to vote but I’m not convinced I have any say…even in the somewhat conservative area of Orange County. It get’s depressing

Ditkaca on August 13, 2010 at 4:02 PM

AnnintheCan already has dibbs.

Laura in Maryland on August 13, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Laura in Maryland: AnninCA,with her precious *Ratty*!!:)

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 4:02 PM

And they should, if only for the waste of resources states and the federal government burn in enforcing the drug war on a non-toxic intoxicant that does less harm than alcohol overall. If California wants to cut some of its budget — and it desperately needs to do so — this isn’t a panacea, but alleviating an expensive burden from law enforcement is one place to start.

Spot on.

It is so beyond high time (no pun intended) to look into the legalization, regulation, and taxation of pot…not simply for medical use, but recreational as well. The second-largest cash crop this country has today.

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 4:02 PM

It is so beyond high time (no pun intended) to look into the legalization, regulation, and taxation of pot…not simply for medical use, but recreational as well. The second-largest cash crop this country has today.

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Another leftist argument. More taxes! Yay!

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Laura in Maryland: AnninCA,with her precious *Ratty*!!:)

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Ratty must’ve died of an overdose!

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 4:03 PM

California has some of the most liberal laws anywhere. I’m sorry, but I’m not seeing the as coming from the right. There may be some people who support it who claim to be from the right, but if this is their priority over everything else wrong with California, they’re more left than right.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I didn’t say it was coming from the right. I said it’s not only coming from the left, which is true.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 4:05 PM

The prop will allow households to grow it themselves (up to 25 square feet of mj growing). Don’t think the gov will be able to tax that.
El_Terrible on August 13, 2010 at 3:13 PM

You can grow a lot more than just for personal use in a 25 sq. ft. plot. It grows lushly and easily …. and the growing season in southern CA is pretty much year round.

As for the tax part, the starved for revenue CA gov can and will find a way to make you pay dearly for that little plot. If you don’t pony up for a license, they can easily get neighbors to narc on you if you grow it without a permit.

marybel on August 13, 2010 at 4:06 PM

I once saw a rolling paper that was made to resemble a $100 bill. On it were the words, “A free society rolling in money creates the highest form of government.” Since the Feds are intent on printing more and more money anyway, they could go into business making some really cool rolling paper. At the rate they’re going, our currency will be devalued to the point of worthlessness anyway.

backwoods conservative on August 13, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Laura in Maryland: AnninCA,with her precious *Ratty*!!:)

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 4:02 PM
Ratty must’ve died of an overdose!

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Pass the bleach, fellas…and HURRY!

Laura in Maryland on August 13, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Pass the bleach, fellas…and HURRY!

Laura in Maryland on August 13, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Why is me lady Ann (+ Ratty) going all Monroe on us?

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM

If you don’t pony up for a license, they can easily get neighbors to narc on you if you grow it without a permit.

marybel on August 13, 2010 at 4:06 PM

No more than neighbors narc on other neighbors now for doing renovations and not having their houses reappraised. Plus, you can also grow in a closet without a neighbor ever knowing.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM

All snark aside… there are portions of this proposition that I agree with.

My main concerns are the “local government regulations” (because we conservatives LOVE more government intrusion, right?) and the real possibility that much of this money will be funneled back towards gangs and drug cartels.

How do they propose to “regulate” the growers and sellers to ensure they aren’t involved with these criminal organizations?

Pot is all but legal here in Los Angeles, yet we’ve experienced dozens of pot dispensary robberies and shootings during the past year.

Liberals are oh so self-righteous when it comes to having their taxes fund “illegal wars” but gangs & drug cartels…..no problem!

I’d like to see more assurances in place before marking my ballot.

The Ugly American on August 13, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Sure, but since they’re all currently illegal, you only need to have taken them instead of being provably high while driving. I’ve never seen someone high on pot stumble around the way a drunk does, so I’m not sure how cameras will help.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 3:27 PM

they’re not all illegal. Prescription drug abuse is waaaay more common than heroin and coke. Also as it turns out there are roadside test for drugs.

cameo on August 13, 2010 at 4:13 PM

I didn’t say it was coming from the right. I said it’s not only coming from the left, which is true.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 4:05 PM

OK, leftists and very stupid independents, but if this is what they’re passionate about in this election cycle, they’re not on the right.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:14 PM

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 3:58 PM
===============================
Hey, if BHO tells you you should be outraged, then you should be outraged! Next up… “I can’t see how anyone of Canadian heritage could be a Republican!”

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 4:00 PM

MeatHeadinCA: Im right of right,oh wait,I think,I went
full circle!!

Hey,I heard some idiot,on talk radio,say
fiscal conservative,social liberal,talk
about being confused!:)

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM

You can grow a lot more than just for personal use in a 25 sq. ft. plot.

marybel on August 13, 2010 at 4:06 PM

YOU might be able to grow more than just personal use in 25 sqft.

Some of us, though… well, we roll big joints.

JohnGalt23 on August 13, 2010 at 4:16 PM

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 4:03 PM
Pass the bleach, fellas…and HURRY!

Laura in Maryland on August 13, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Laura in Mayland: Every time I hear AnninCA,I think
of her `Ratty’,and I chuckle!!:)

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 4:17 PM

MeatHeadinCA: Im right of right

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Harry Reid does not approve.

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Unintended consequence of legalization: the price of food goes up due to increased demand caused by so many people having the munchies.

backwoods conservative on August 13, 2010 at 4:18 PM

they’re not all illegal. Prescription drug abuse is waaaay more common than heroin and coke. Also as it turns out there are roadside test for drugs.

cameo on August 13, 2010 at 4:13 PM

The article doesn’t go into much detail, but it seems to just be testing whether or not you’ve had some recently, not whether or not you’re still impaired by it. I didn’t read where it would be able to test that. If it’s legal, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to smoke and then drive in an hour or so.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 4:18 PM

To think that CA will get any money out of taxing the sale of weed is rediculous.

Drug dealers currently have to worry about other dealers, wacked out customer, the mexican mafia, and the DEA. To think that now they will quiver and quake over the California Franchise Tax Board defies logic.

kurtzz3 on August 13, 2010 at 4:19 PM

The worst thing that can happen to your child (or anyone else) if they are smoking marijuana, is to be arrested.

This simple fact should have mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers pulling the lever to end the madness of branding smokers of a non-toxic plant as criminals.

TerryStop on August 13, 2010 at 4:20 PM

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM
===================
Harry Reid does not approve.

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 4:18 PM

MeatHeadinCA: Ya Reid,is a Political Shape shifter,er,
Political Shadow person,or is it…..:)

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Another leftist argument. More taxes! Yay!

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:03 PM

First, I am no leftist. Second, it’s not like raising taxes on an existing prod/service. Of course, pot would be taxed much like cigs and booze. Can’t avoid it. And it would be a boon to cash-strapped states.

With all the extra pot taxes, other taxes can be stabilized or *gasp* lowered even!

There is no reason why pot should be illegal in the first place. It’s so much safer than cigs and booze. And as stated, law enforcement can focus on much more pressing and important issues.

Legalizing is a win-win.

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 4:20 PM

You can grow a lot more than just for personal use in a 25 sq. ft. plot.

marybel on August 13, 2010 at 4:06 PM

YOU might be able to grow more than just personal use in 25 sqft.

Some of us, though… well, we roll big joints.

JohnGalt23 on August 13, 2010 at 4:16 PM

I hear ya!

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Another leftist argument. More taxes! Yay!

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:03 PM

New markets! Lower crime! More jobs! New exports! Totally leftist!

MadisonConservative on August 13, 2010 at 4:21 PM

OK, leftists and very stupid independents, but if this is what they’re passionate about in this election cycle, they’re not on the right.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Not according to your litmus test obviously.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 4:22 PM

First, I am no leftist. Second, it’s not like raising taxes on an existing prod/service. Of course, pot would be taxed much like cigs and booze. Can’t avoid it. And it would be a boon to cash-strapped states.

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 4:20 PM

“Second” proves “First” wrong.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Getting stoned most likely helps improve the delusional situation of same sex marriage.

Hening on August 13, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Not according to your litmus test obviously.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Well what’s next? Many social conservatives support abortion? That’s not my litmus test; it’s a dictionary definition.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Drug dealers currently have to worry about other dealers, wacked out customer, the mexican mafia, and the DEA. To think that now they will quiver and quake over the California Franchise Tax Board defies logic.

kurtzz3 on August 13, 2010 at 4:19 PM

LOL…..dude, you’ve obviously never dealt with the CFTB.

I have a friend who owed back taxes to both the feds and state and he said the CFTB was 10 times more aggressive than the IRS.

I think he referred to them as “relentless bastards”.

Still, I get your point ; )

The Ugly American on August 13, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Well what’s next? Many social conservatives support abortion? That’s not my litmus test; it’s a dictionary definition.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Right. Social conservatives by definition support socially conservative positions. However, not all conservatives or people on the right are on the right socially.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 4:28 PM

“Second” proves “First” wrong.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:22 PM

I’m not following you…but then, by the looks of other commenters’ statements, I’m not alone.

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Did voters pass 215 in 1996 under the delusion that they were creating a tightly-controlled system that allowed only the very ill to find relief? Or was everyone in on the joke?

Everyone was in on the joke. From Day 1, the medical criteria was used to write prescriptions for people who had no condition. Anxiety is the most common; who hasn’t been caused anxiety by this administration?

alflauren on August 13, 2010 at 4:29 PM

I haven’t read the specifics of this initiative, but I’m generally in support of decriminalization or legalization proposals that include a limited grow-your-own provision. In my view, legalizing growing for personal use would do more to undermine pot-driven crime than any other policy change.

Bugler on August 13, 2010 at 4:33 PM

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Well, let’s see if I’m following you. You’re a rightist who supports social liberalism and fiscal liberalism. Esthier, can we agree on this one?

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Reason.tv: The Marijuana Policy Tipping Point – A conversation with author Christopher Fichtner, M.D.

Christopher Fichtner is a psychiatrist and the former mental health director for the state of Illinois. In his new book, Cannabinomics: The Marijuana Policy Tipping Point, Fichtner predicts that marijuana policy is about to change radically. As Fichtner points out, three public policy trajectories converging. The medical marijuana movement is gaining momentum. People are increasingly wakening up to the fact that drug prohibition creates more public health problems than it solves. And, in the same way that the Great Depression caused people to reprioritize how we spend our public dollars, the current economic crisis has got people thinking that bringing the biggest cash crop in the US out into the open might not be such a bad idea.

In less than two hours, liquor will be declared illegal by decree of the distinguished gentlemen of our nation’s Congress. [raises glass] To those beautiful, ignorant b@stards!”

Rae on August 13, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Well, let’s see if I’m following you. You’re a rightist who supports social liberalism and fiscal liberalism. Esthier, can we agree on this one?

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:33 PM

About the only social liberal position I have is supporting gay marriage. And there’s not anything fiscally liberal I support. I’m talking about regulating and taxing (not over taxing…taxes are a part of life) a product so that other taxes won’t increase.

How is any of that leftist or liberal? There’s a heck of a lot of pot sold in this nation every day *cough* and if it can be regulated for QC, and efficiently taxed, it would most certainly lead to a nice windfall for all states. Ergo, sales taxes for instance might be able to be reduced.

See?

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 4:40 PM

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 4:40 PM

But with all that savings from enforcement, why would you need to propose new taxes at all? You said tax it like alcohol and cigarettes. You mean on top of sales tax? That’s fiscal conservatism? Taxing to regulate behavior? Windfalls for government?

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:49 PM

They might as well legalize it. It’s obvious they’re already on drugs.

Ward Cleaver on August 13, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Well, let’s see if I’m following you. You’re a rightist who supports social liberalism and fiscal liberalism. Esthier, can we agree on this one?

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:33 PM

I don’t agree that just supporting the taxation of something is necessarily liberal. It’s a given in this country that all commerce is taxed. Why would pot be exempted?

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 4:51 PM

I don’t agree that just supporting the taxation of something is necessarily liberal. It’s a given in this country that all commerce is taxed. Why would pot be exempted?

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 4:51 PM

JetBoy boy would like to tax it like cigarettes and alcohol. That’s more than sales tax.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:54 PM

Everyone was in on the joke. From Day 1, the medical criteria was used to write prescriptions for people who had no condition. Anxiety is the most common; who hasn’t been caused anxiety by this administration?

alflauren on August 13, 2010 at 4:29 PM

As long as we can lock the door to California after all the stoners have gone there, it’s fine with me.

pedestrian on August 13, 2010 at 4:55 PM

But with all that savings from enforcement, why would you need to propose new taxes at all? You said tax it like alcohol and cigarettes. You mean on top of sales tax? That’s fiscal conservatism? Taxing to regulate behavior? Windfalls for government?

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:49 PM

No no…not “excessive” taxes implemented to control behavior, as we see in cigarettes for example, but a fair tax for revenue. It wouldn’t be a “new tax”, just a tax on a new legal product. It would be a windfall based on volume.

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 4:56 PM

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 4:56 PM

So, not like cigs, but you already said it would be like cigs. OK.

Bottom line. You’re talking about giving more money to government – a windfall even. Fiscal conservative? Please.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 5:00 PM

So, not like cigs, but you already said it would be like cigs. OK.

Bottom line. You’re talking about giving more money to government – a windfall even. Fiscal conservative? Please.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 5:00 PM

For the last time…cigs are taxed and regulated (QC, etc) but many states and localities (NYC for example) overtax cigs. I do not mean like that. Any product is going to be taxed…it’s how states get money. And by legalizing pot, there would be a lot of extra money coming in, so other products might even see lower taxes.

What’s your definition of fiscal conservatism…no taxes at all?

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 5:11 PM

What’s your definition of fiscal conservatism…no taxes at all?

JetBoy on August 13, 2010 at 5:11 PM

It ain’t windfalls for government.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 5:17 PM

the drug war on a non-toxic intoxicant that does less harm than alcohol overall. If California wants to cut some of its budget — and it desperately needs to do so — this isn’t a panacea, but alleviating an expensive burden from law enforcement is one place to start.

Spot on.

WTF does that even mean?? A ‘non-toxic intoxicant’!?!?!?

It does less harm than alcohol???

Really?? In what context?? Yer inhaling a burning plant loaded with chemicals (some of which are carcinogens) into your lungs.

Really, I’m sort of ambivalent on the subject but the Mother Jones approach is fu$*ing retarded.

BigWyo on August 13, 2010 at 5:44 PM

It’s a given in this country that all commerce is taxed.

Esthier on August 13, 2010 at 4:51 PM

That shouldn’t be. One of the angriest reactions I’ve ever had to a news report came from reading an article about a politician proposing a new tax because money was changing hands somewhere and the government wasn’t getting a cut of it.

The government is not entitled to a cut of every transaction that takes place and we play right into the hands of the big government porkoholics if allow ourselves to think it should be.

backwoods conservative on August 13, 2010 at 5:48 PM

As long as we can lock the door to California after all the stoners have gone there, it’s fine with me.

pedestrian on August 13, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Amen to that!

Since we don’t have the guts to win the war on drugs, at least we could try sending all the lusers to one state. They get their ‘freedom’, and their hometowns/cities don’t have to clean up after their messes.

Unfortunately I think this cancer will spread…

Dark-Star on August 13, 2010 at 6:07 PM

Prop 215 was partly a joke that most everyone was in on. I was doing a temp job for a political outfit that was paying a buck a signature on 5 different ballot propositions back then. The Medical Marijuana Initiative was one of them. It was a great job. I got to be outside all day long, talked to a lot of really interesting people, and I was knocking down well north of a thousand bucks a week.

Almost all of the people working there as signature gatherers were kids. There were 5 of us that were a little older and had more finely-honed people skills. We’d also all taken the time to read and understand all the props we were working. The kids would come in in the morning and be assigned places to work for the day, then leave to make their ways to those assignments. The five of us that were older were known as ‘The Hit Squad’. They took us wherever we wanted to go. Mostly we went over the hill to high-traffic areas in the Santa Clara Valley and up the peninsula toward San Francisco.

When I started, I figured the only one of the petitions that would cause me problems with people would be the Marijuana Initiative. It turned out I was wrong. I did have people that wouldn’t sign it, of course. Some people that you would never expect were quite supportive. A lot of older people in the 60′s and 70′s signed. That surprised me. One afternoon, I signed up a whole surgical team (in scrubs) from Valley Medical Center that was headed in to The Whole Foods on Camden Ave. in Campbell.

There was one lady I’ll remember the rest of my life, though. I was working one morning in front of another Whole Foods. This was over in Cupertino. It’s a pretty nice area in the Santa Clara Valley. A lot of wealthy people live up against the foothills there. Anyway, I was out front and up pulls about a $100K Mercedes. This attractive woman, probably about 50 or so gets out and she’s looking right at me. And, I can tell that she is really pissed off. She’s very well dressed. Kind of a pillar-of-the-community vibe going for her. She’s barely out of her car when she says “Young man, do you have that Marijuana Petition?”. I was thinking that I was finally about get the reaming from someone that I had been expecting all along, but, I looked her straight back and said, “Yes, ma’am, I do.” Her response was “I want to sign that.” I think I said “You do?”

While she was signing, she told me her Mother had recently died of cancer. The mother had had a lot of trouble during chemotherapy and one of the doctors had actually told this woman that pot might help her mother. The line I’ll always remember her saying, just because she said it with such anger and outrage was, “I had to go buy marijuana from a drug dealer.”

trigon on August 13, 2010 at 6:07 PM

California has some of the most liberal laws anywhere. I’m sorry, but I’m not seeing the as coming from the right. There may be some people who support it who claim to be from the right, but if this is their priority over everything else wrong with California, they’re more left than right.

Ronnie on August 13, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Well having lived in SoCal as a child, I can say that many of the people there I knew during the 70′s were not liberals.
Washington State is a ‘red’ state.
MT is, too.
It is the population centers, AKA Big City prick$, that often decide everything for the poor SOB living in the country.
I don’t know how they draw district voting lines & all that, but I’m sure it comes into play giving liberals more power than they should be getting.
I hate to ride herd on city folks, but a lot of them are a huge pain in my a$$.
Most of them are ignorant, lazy ‘greenhorns’.

Badger40 on August 13, 2010 at 6:17 PM

California has such great ideas this is why the state is a leader in the nation in all the worst categories. They really and the land of fruits and nutz.

Wade on August 13, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Yet another reason I am glad I no longer live in California.

Beaglemom on August 13, 2010 at 6:51 PM

WTF does that even mean?? A ‘non-toxic intoxicant’!?!?!? It does less harm than alcohol???

Really?? In what context?? Yer inhaling a burning plant loaded with chemicals (some of which are carcinogens) into your lungs.

Really, I’m sort of ambivalent on the subject but the Mother Jones approach is fu$*ing retarded.

BigWyo on August 13, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Yeah, it’s funny that the same wackball liberals that want to flog someone for smoking cigarettes has no problem with the same people blowing their face off with dope. No worries about ‘second hand smoke’ if it’s wacky weed?

slickwillie2001 on August 13, 2010 at 6:59 PM

I could be totally wrong about this, but my understanding is that the way things have been going in CA, only certain “large” pot growers can even distribute pot… My concern would be that only certain people would be allowed to grow/sell pot, thus creating a monopoly.

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 3:06 PM

The last mailer I got with the voter initiatives in there actually said Prop 19 would allow individuals to grow pot on their property. Sale and distribution would still require business licensing and all that but it would be ‘technically’ possible for an individual to open up a small pot farm of their own and not rely solely on the giant pot warehouses in Oakland.

MannyT-vA on August 13, 2010 at 8:00 PM

possible for an individual to open up a small pot farm of their own and not rely solely on the giant pot warehouses in Oakland.

MannyT-vA on August 13, 2010 at 8:00 PM

My uncle can get medical-pot. He’s living in the Portland OR area.
I’m not sure what their laws are there, but he gets it from a medical pot guy.
That guy was arrested recently & so now my uncle has to get it ‘illegally’ but yet can legally posess it.
Ugh it’s mind boggling to me.
I still can’t even understand why we can’t grow hemp.
Isn’t that the female plant that doesn’t get you high?
I understand some ND farmers have been trying to grow it but can’t get the permission.
Insane.

Badger40 on August 13, 2010 at 8:17 PM

It is the population centers, AKA Big City prick$, that often decide everything for the poor SOB living in the country.
Badger40 on August 13, 2010 at 6:17 PM

This is so true in California. I like the Electoral College for that reason, and I’d like to see some kind of new state structure that mimics it. Right now, urban nut-jobs are free to vote destructive laws, taxes, and bonds on rural areas for boondoggles like high-speed rail from SF to LA.

Feedie on August 13, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Ed, are you under some impression that law enforcement in CA actually goes after potheads? Please.

leftnomore on August 14, 2010 at 3:04 AM

Ironic that liberals are so militantly against tobacco, but want pot legal.

Also ironic to find global warming worshipers that smoke at all.

scotash on August 14, 2010 at 3:11 AM

Yeah, it’s funny that the same wackball liberals that want to flog someone for smoking cigarettes has no problem with the same people blowing … wacky weed?

slickwillie2001 on August 13, 2010 at 6:59 PM

I wouldn’t call Ed a wackball…

leftnomore on August 14, 2010 at 3:14 AM

Feedie on August 13, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Yup. That’s why we’re a Republic.
So many city-dwellers have lost touch with reality they can’t formulate coherent thoughts about real life situations.
They then turn around & tell us what to do out here in rural-land.
Like for instance, they try & tell me how to raise & handle a cow. Or that slaughtering a horse for consumption is ‘bad’.
People need to get a grip on reality 7 educate themselves &/or walk a mile in the other person’s shoes before they start trying to tell them how to run things.

Badger40 on August 14, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Hmmm. I just have this sneaking suspicion that most people who wind up voting for this think they’ll be able to keep their own little plant in the backyard.

You can’t grow your own tobacco, you ain’t gonna be allowed to grow your own pot. Sorry kids.

They’ll hand it over from the DEA to the BATFe, I think legal MJ supporters will quickly find out that they’d rather go back to dealing with the DEA than the new BATFeM.

Jason Coleman on August 14, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Wait….I didn’t think states could step into federal law territory. Just ask Arizona.

xblade on August 14, 2010 at 2:34 PM

You can’t grow your own tobacco,

Jason Coleman on August 14, 2010 at 1:34 PM

I’m not quite sure that’s true.
I think people can grow it for personal use here in the US.
Kinda like brewing alcohol for your own consumption.
We are probably allowed to personally produce a certain amount for ourselves privately.

Badger40 on August 14, 2010 at 7:27 PM

Yeah, you can grow tobacco if you have no kids (no one under 18 can live on the premises), and it has to be secured so that no one under 18 can at any time have access to the plant. You can’t be within 500 ft of a church, school, etc. You can never transport it without a federal stamp.

In some states, you have to buy a stamp just for the plant.

Brewing beer is a walk in the park compared to trying to legally grow your own tobacco and paying the proper taxes on it.

Jason Coleman on August 15, 2010 at 1:33 AM

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