Green Room

Adorable Pro-Pot Ad Makes Conservatives Think…and George Soros Swoon

posted at 8:37 am on October 28, 2010 by

It’s slick, it’s appealing and it’s…conservative?

The New Leaf organization released this animated ad explaining California’s Prop 19, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010:

With a nod toward California’s debt, praise for “budding” new business opportunities, decreasing cartel crime, bureaucratic costs and prison population, it’s certainly persuasive.  But, I’m skeptical.  Given California’s systemic budgetary abuse, there’s no way the state can make a dramatic turnaround from decriminalization, new jobs and tax revenue alone, as the ad suggests.  Plus, removing marijuana from the list of trafficked drugs won’t stop the demand for harder substances.  Johnny Nextdoor might not be hauled away for his personal supply, but he might if he still grows it without a license or has developed a taste for, say, the white stuff.

How refreshing is it to see such a candidly titled bill, though?  Hooray for no euphemisms!  At least here you know they’re going to regulate, control and tax the hell out of something.  Then again, could be more bill-crafting shenanigans.  If Mom and Pop are going to support legalization, it’s going to need to be non-threatening (cute cartoon ads help), beneficial (It’s for the deficit!) and those smelly hippies better be taxed for their drug of choice if the price of Grandpa’s Glenfiddich has gone up and the stigma of smoking Marlboros is just short of clubbing baby seals to death.

So, tell me friends, how now should a California conservative vote?  Do they support new entrepreneurs to help reduce the deficit?  Or do they reject the notion that something tantamount to another sin tax will ever be the panacea liberals reflexively bill them as?  Entrepreneurs and personal liberties are only as strong as an overbearing State allows them to be, you know.

Conspiratorial side note: Given the movement is flush with Soros cash, is the Freemason Eye + Obama circle really the way to garner more Conservative support?  Excuse me while I find my tin-foil hat…

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“Potheads to the rescue! Oh, look, Doritos… I’ll catch up with you in a few minutes, man.”

how now should a California conservative vote?

I wouldn’t care if my state legalized it. The bible’s pretty clear on the sin issue of intoxication, but I also don’t expect everyone else to adhere to my religious code.

I agree with you that a sin tax isn’t going to be a panacea; CA is going to be screwed financially until they grow up and cut back on the their spending. Maybe if they’re high they can contemplate those painful financial cutbacks a little more philosophically.

Laura Curtis on October 28, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Legalizing pot ain’t about freedom or any of the rest of it IMO.

As with the homosexual lobby (I’m just making an argument here – don’t crucify me) once one bridge is crossed, it’s never enough. They always want more, more, more. If pot is legalized, eventually, there would be calls to legalize other drugs – sorry, but that’s the natural progression of this kind of thinking.

With booze, yeah you get high, some people abuse it, etc. But that’s it – booze is booze. With pot, there are many other avenues to take down the road – and I’m not making the gateway drug argument. But eventually you’d have people wanting to legalize harder stuff. “We legalized pot, why not opium?” and using the same arguments we get for pot and against booze, etc.

And just like people go to the internet to get around taxes on tobacco, there would be the same thing for pot even if it’s legalized and regulated. The market is what it is. People will get their dope from somewhere else rather than pay the higher prices for it they would with government regulation.

Then you’ve got the bureaucracy for keeping track of it – more government – and the ‘War on Drugs’ becomes a little ‘colder’ than it is right now but it doesn’t disappear.

I understand the libertarian argument, I really do. But I don’t think many advocates don’t get the resultant Law of Unintended Consequences always – always - asserts itself.

catmman on October 28, 2010 at 9:32 AM

I liked it, but then I’m susceptible to a combination of a reasonable, fair argument and amusing animation.

And really, Diane, you shouldn’t be making remarks about the Freemasons. You don’t want to incur ourtheir wrath.

MadisonConservative on October 28, 2010 at 9:44 AM

As with the homosexual lobby (I’m just making an argument here – don’t crucify me) once one bridge is crossed, it’s never enough. They always want more, more, more. If pot is legalized, eventually, there would be calls to legalize other drugs – sorry, but that’s the natural progression of this kind of thinking.

catmman on October 28, 2010 at 9:32 AM

You do realize that slippery slope is pretty much always a weak argument, right? It’s in-line with the same people who say if concealed carry is legalized in an area, or that people are required to keep weapons in their homes, that there will be shootouts in the streets and Wild West massacres.

There’s a reason so many people are willing to vote on this measure, and that reason is that they are aware that the effects of marijuana are little different from the effects of alcohol. Meth, crack, and smack won’t have that same benefit of the doubt.

MadisonConservative on October 28, 2010 at 9:54 AM

MadisonConservative on October 28, 2010 at 9:54 AM

It’s not an ‘argument’ if it’s true. In this case, the slippery slope isn’t simply a debate point. You can see the progression of the arguments from homosexuals for the last twenty years and see that every time they are acceded a point, they always want more.

We see the same thing from liberal politicians – it’s never enough. Every time they gain ground, they never say they’re done, they always want more.

In the case of the gun argument, one can make the argument of the slippery slope, but there has always been scant evidence to see it come to pass. Also in that case, you don’t see advocates for concealed carry advocating for concealed carry of machine guns or whatever since they got what they wanted in some places. In fact in the case of the Wild West argument – it has never materialize so that slippery slope argument was simply that.

Cocaine (not crack), in mild quantities, is a stimulant like nicotine, yet nicotine – though regulated in tobacco – is legal. Both are addictive, yet one is legal and one is not. Heck, you can now buy gum and other products containing nicotine (e-cigs as well). Why couldn’t the same arguments be made for cocaine as are being made for pot?

Anything will be given the benefit of the doubt eventually.

catmman on October 28, 2010 at 10:20 AM

I don’t really belive any of the revenue claims in the ad. That being said, I am ok with CA experiment with this since it will generate facts for better future decisions.

purpleslog on October 28, 2010 at 10:21 AM

The obligatory Reefer Madness link.

Laura Curtis on October 28, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Cocaine (not crack), in mild quantities, is a stimulant like nicotine, yet nicotine – though regulated in tobacco – is legal. Both are addictive, yet one is legal and one is not. Heck, you can now buy gum and other products containing nicotine (e-cigs as well). Why couldn’t the same arguments be made for cocaine as are being made for pot?

catmman on October 28, 2010 at 10:20 AM

It probably will, and there will probably be arguments made for shrooms, peyote, and other hallucinogens as well. They’ve already argued that for various southwestern tribes who cite it as a religious component. However, the truly “hard” drugs that end lives by the boatload aren’t going to be able to make any kind of serious case for legalization. Even cocaine is going to have a much harder time getting a pass. Many people have done pot, or know people who have. Far less know people that have done cocaine. That difference in familiarity makes a world of difference in the polls.

MadisonConservative on October 28, 2010 at 10:34 AM

MC,

You make my argument for me. That is my point. It won’t stop with pot. The arguments for pot will be and indeed have been made for other drugs.

Familiarity has nothing to do with it though as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never smoked in my life, but am all for allowing people to smoke if they wish – because it it legal.

Make MJ legal if you want, I told you I understand the libertarian side of the issue. I won’t like it, but if it’s legal, it’s legal.

But don’t try to sell me a bill of goods and tell me it will stop there. I know it won’t. It never does.

catmman on October 28, 2010 at 11:00 AM

catmman on October 28, 2010 at 11:00 AM

What you’re arguing, though, is a minor issue versus a major issue. Marijuana usage has been something society has poo-pooed for a long time. Sure, there were the anti-drug movements in the 80s, but those focused on the truly hard drugs. People who use pot aren’t going to be featured on Intervention. People who use crystal meth, crack cocaine, heroin, and other serious life-threatening substances are considered dangers to themselves and society. You’re comparing bicycles to 18-wheelers.

Will the arguments be made? Of course, but they’ve already been made, and by the same tiny, tiny groups of people that have been doing so for decades. Those fringe groups aren’t going to balloon up in membership just because people in California don’t get a lecture from a cop for having an ounce anymore.

MadisonConservative on October 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

They’re not going to have $15 billion in sales after it’s legalized. The price is artificially high due to its black market status. Pie in the sky, by and by.

jdpaz on October 28, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Sure, legalize pot. Just make sure it’s controlled in such a way that people on welfare can’t obtain it. If they’re caught with it in their systems, they lose their benefits. Pee tests; just do it. Anyone selling or providing it to them does time.

Yes, this will cost more in law enforcement. Maybe it’s NOT worth legalization, money-wise.

As for whether alcohol should be denied to welfare recipients in the same way: of course.

In the absence of these common-sense measures, I will vote against legalizing pot until we don’t have welfare programs that allow people to avoid work.

J.E. Dyer on October 28, 2010 at 11:53 AM

There is such a thing as right and wrong. Trying to solve problems by encouraging sin is wrong.

Look at the lotteries. Have they save the economy? No they have made little difference. I’m sure you can quote where all the money goes… ya da ya da ya da… but such a dishonest money maker that is based in human failings has already been tried and we still have debt, our schools are still failing, etc.

The only thing that has changed is we have a group of people who are addicted to use their small disposable income to buy lottery tickets. And then use food stamps to pay for groceries.

An economy based on addiction is not a good thing in the long run.

petunia on October 28, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Laura Curtis on October 28, 2010 at 9:26 AM

I’m fine either way. I think pot is much milder than alcohol and have always wondered why it was criminalized. Reefer madness propaganda, as you rightly linked. :) I wanted to squeeze that into the post somehow but it never happened.

catmman on October 28, 2010 at 9:32 AM

My fear is more bureaucracy, not the slippery slope phenomena. I understand your concern related to other social issues, but I’m more in agreement with MC that there might be a push to legalize other mild, natural substances (shrooms, etc.) than synthetic derivatives. As he said, selling coke as the next personal choice is a bit harder to do.

MadisonConservative on October 28, 2010 at 9:44 AM

This explains your creepshow knowledge of everything. Masonic stalker, that’s what you are. ;)

jdpaz on October 28, 2010 at 11:30 AM

You don’t think legal suppliers will continue to charge similar prices? It might go down a bit, but, look at the medicinal market already. Seems the plethora of potential products (alliteration alert), development plus demand will keep prices pretty stable. Just speculating though.

J.E. Dyer on October 28, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Excellent point about welfare recipients.

petunia on October 28, 2010 at 11:56 AM

I see your point, but agreement would require me to think pot, even alcohol is a sin. I don’t. Intoxication, yes. Is that what you’re saying?

Bee on October 28, 2010 at 12:59 PM

The price is artificially high due to its black market status. Pie in the sky, by and by.

jdpaz on October 28, 2010 at 11:30 AM

It’s really not that expensive currently, and where it’s mostly legal in Holland, the price isn’t significantly different. If anything, with legalization, dealers have become more like wine connoisseurs and compete with each other for the best product, which can make it even more expensive.

I’m somewhat undecided on full legalization, and I don’t see it as an effective way to reduce California’s debt. The state that has 90210 and Hollywood is in trouble because of its spending, not it’s lack of funds.

Esthier on October 28, 2010 at 1:04 PM

catmman on October 28, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Said what I was going to, and better. Excellent post.

Dark-Star on October 28, 2010 at 1:04 PM

I think pot is much milder than alcohol and have always wondered why it was criminalized. … I see your point, but agreement would require me to think pot, even alcohol is a sin. I don’t. Intoxication, yes. Is that what you’re saying?
Bee on October 28, 2010 at 12:59 PM

To me, the main difference between weed and alcohol is that you can use alcohol without being intoxicated. We can have a glass of wine with dinner, it complements the meal, and there are health benefits to moderate alcohol use.

With the exception of medical marijuana, there are absolutely no health benefits – in fact it’s bad for your lungs – and the buzz is the entire purpose of using it. (At least, I never smoked it, never knew anyone else to smoke it, without the express purpose of getting stoned. If anyone out there has, I’d be interested in hearing your POV.)

So I’m not real wild about it, just on principle; I really do believe using it is sinful… but I’m not interested in enforcing my view of sin on unbelievers who just want to kill off their own brain cells.

I AM interested in protecting employers from stoners who screw up on the job and file workman’s comp claims, or do something stupid that causes someone else to sue their employer. If someone’s drunk on the job or driving, you can find that out pretty easily. I’m not up to speed on the latest drug testing techniques, but is there a way to find out of someone has smoked within a few hours? i.e. on the job, rather than at last weekend’s party.

Laura Curtis on October 28, 2010 at 2:27 PM

If you want to play the slippery-slope game, have at it. I say legalize everything.

At least then we’d be arresting people for the crimes that junkies/crackheads commit for drug money, rather than wasting time and resources putting otherwise responsible people in jail simply for owning drugs. It works just fine for locking up drunk drivers and people who commit other crimes while intoxicated from or addicted to alcohol, doesn’t it?

RachDubya on October 28, 2010 at 2:33 PM

They made the same claims when the passed the lotto, CA doesn’t have a collection problem, it has a spending problem.

Conservative Voice on October 28, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I’m for legalization of all — just as with alcohol prohibition this has created a huge criminal enterprise. It’s not that I think drugs are good, or harmless, just that the illegalization has created a worse monster.

I don’t want to much taxation though, because then governments become dependent upon people using drugs. Tax just enough to fund rehab centers and to put out “just say no” campaigns — though I’d make them more pro “enjoy life sober.”

rbj on October 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM

So, tell me friends, how now should a California conservative vote?

Soros supports Prop 19. Have you ever heard of him supporting anything that wasn’t bad?

malclave on October 28, 2010 at 2:53 PM

It’s slick, it’s appealing and it’s…conservative?

Um, NO. Legalizing drugs to provide new things for government to tax is NOT conservative, it’s liberal and perhaps losertarian. Conservatives believe in reducing spending, not new taxation, and losertarians and liberals are the only ones who believe that what’s wrong with America is that there arent enough legal ways to get high and addle your brain.

American Elephant on October 28, 2010 at 2:54 PM

They’re not going to have $15 billion in sales after it’s legalized. The price is artificially high due to its black market status. Pie in the sky, by and by.

jdpaz on October 28, 2010 at 11:30 AM

I actually think sales would go up.

I don’t have any avenues that I’m comfortable with for buying pot illegally, but if it were legal, I might buy it now and then for recreational use, same as alcohol.

I have to imagine there are more people like me out there that are uncomfortable or don’t know how to buy from a drug dealer, but would try it if it were legal.

jimmy the notable on October 28, 2010 at 2:59 PM

To me, the main difference between weed and alcohol is that you can use alcohol without being intoxicated. We can have a glass of wine with dinner, it complements the meal, and there are health benefits to moderate alcohol use.

Laura Curtis on October 28, 2010 at 2:27 PM

That’s entirely relative. I know people who can drink a six-pack and feel nothing, and others who, after a single glass of wine, are buzzed. Hence why I think the BAC laws are pointless.

Conservatives believe in reducing spending, not new taxation, and losertarians and liberals are the only ones who believe that what’s wrong with America is that there arent enough legal ways to get high and addle your brain.

American Elephant on October 28, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Conservatives also believe in personal choice, and the proliferation of the free market. They also believe in personal responsibility for those choices. Hence the massive conservative support of tobacco companies versus the ridiculous lawsuits. Unless you’re arguing for total prohibition of alcohol and cigarettes, you’re inconsistent.

MadisonConservative on October 28, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Now that’s a good idea…introduce and legalize another drug into the market place, and make it readily available.
Only someone smoking pot would ever think that legalizing pot would produce a windfall of tax that would save California.
The system is set up like this…it is democrat controlled so any additional money will be spent. Any of the additional taxes will be up in smoke…

right2bright on October 28, 2010 at 3:03 PM

And forget about revenues from taxation or whatever. Of course Cali isn’t going to get out of debt anytime soon. What’s at stake here is freedom. Whatever the cost. People should have the freedom to decide what they do to their own bodies. And of all the things they could do, for my money, getting stoned isn’t half as bad as getting drunk.

jimmy the notable on October 28, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Didn’t they just build a $475,000,000.00 high school that will graduate maybe 800 grads a year?

I think every one in CA is already stoned.

esnap on October 28, 2010 at 3:06 PM

They made the same claims when the passed the lotto, CA doesn’t have a collection problem, it has a spending problem.

Conservative Voice on October 28, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Amen…
Pot will not solve any problem…it may seem that way, it may feel that way, and after a few hits it may not matter…but it is only legally introducing an already burgeoning problem.

right2bright on October 28, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Let ‘em smoke. Better to tax potheads who are willing to be taxed, than to tax hard workers and business owners who have better uses for their money. At any rate, taxing consumption is much more conservative than taxing production. Socialists tax production and income which discourages growth by punishing work and productivity. If you must tax, tax on the consumption side since that is left up to the individual as to how much they choose to consume.

keep the change on October 28, 2010 at 3:06 PM

People should have the freedom to decide what they do to their own bodies. And of all the things they could do, for my money, getting stoned isn’t half as bad as getting drunk.

jimmy the notable on October 28, 2010 at 3:04 PM

But you don’t have that freedom…with your suggestion then heroin should be legal.

right2bright on October 28, 2010 at 3:08 PM

1) Never do anything for the taxability of it…
2) It should have never been illegal to start

That said I myself am torn. I know insomniacs who eat cookies or brownies laced with homemade herb butter. They sleep like babies. They wake up refreshed with no addiction or side effects.

Same goes for other minor ailments when it is eaten. Why should they be criminals? Sorry the one side of me says this is all absurd.

The other has it’s concerns when anything is done for taxability. That gives off the wrong message and as has been pointed out, the same argument was made about the lottery and all the liberals did was shift funds

Was it right to criminalize the herb in the first place.. short answer NO ..

theblacksheepwasright on October 28, 2010 at 3:10 PM

All I saw was an ACORN rolling away with all the money…

Fallon on October 28, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Um, NO. Legalizing drugs to provide new things for government to tax is NOT conservative
American Elephant on October 28, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Free market solutions, entrepreneurship, and personal choice/liberty are all solidly conservative values. But read the rest of my argument. I address it. Just prompting debate. :)

Bee on October 28, 2010 at 3:13 PM

15 billion dollars. What a joke. You can’t expect to get the same price for something legally as it costs illegally.

Rocks on October 28, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Personally I hope it passes so we can see what an utter failure it will be and will quash the argument for national policy decriminalizing pot.

ButterflyDragon on October 28, 2010 at 3:24 PM

I’m not up to speed on the latest drug testing techniques, but is there a way to find out of someone has smoked within a few hours? i.e. on the job, rather than at last weekend’s party.

Laura Curtis on October 28, 2010 at 2:27 PM

There are ways to test saliva or something, which can tell if you’ve used in the last few hours I believe. And if someone is so blitzed that job performance severely suffers, it shouldn’t be too difficult to tell.

Some people look completely normal while high, but those people aren’t likely to be causing accidents at work.

15 billion dollars. What a joke. You can’t expect to get the same price for something legally as it costs illegally.

Rocks on October 28, 2010 at 3:14 PM

It’s likely to be more expensive, especially with added taxes. I’m sure some will avoid paying altogether and just grow their own, but it’s also entirely likely that more will start to smoke who won’t be interested in putting that kind of time into it. Additionally, they’ll probably get pot tourists from other states.

Esthier on October 28, 2010 at 3:24 PM

I’m Conservative and I want to legalize pot.

moochy on October 28, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Let’s see. People flouting the law to cultivate and sell an illegal product are going to RUN to the state and sign up so that they can pay TAXES that they don’t pay now.

Yeah, they’ll do that.

GarandFan on October 28, 2010 at 3:28 PM

So what happens when the cocaine and meth freaks want “equal treatment under the law”?

GarandFan on October 28, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Unless you’re arguing for total prohibition of alcohol and cigarettes, you’re inconsistent.

MadisonConservative on October 28, 2010 at 3:01 PM

And unless you’re arguing for the uncontrolling of every substance, including prescription drugs, you are inconsistent.

The Mega Independent on October 28, 2010 at 3:30 PM

GarandFan on October 28, 2010 at 3:28 PM

No, but REAL, honest entrepreneurs will be able to grow and distribute the product at higher volume and better consistency and efficiency than any backyard grower or street gang. Its called the free market, you probably claim to believe in it.

jimmy the notable on October 28, 2010 at 3:36 PM

And unless you’re arguing for the uncontrolling of every substance, including prescription drugs, you are inconsistent.

The Mega Independent on October 28, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Explain that, since many, many drugs mean instant death or critical injury to those that take them.

MadisonConservative on October 28, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Its like saying..”Oh, like these moonshiners would EVER decide to go legitimate and pay taxes on alcohol!” And now beer companies buy some of the most expensive advertising time in the country.

jimmy the notable on October 28, 2010 at 3:38 PM

15 billion dollars. What a joke. You can’t expect to get the same price for something legally as it costs illegally.

Rocks on October 28, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Are you kidding? Considering the strength of the alcohol industry, 15 billion is a drop in the bucket. Many people who didn’t smoke because they didn’t have connections or didn’t want to break the law will now indulge, and all of the regular users will do so as well. Suddenly, you will have multiple companies offering their brands, and a combination of advertising and competition will draw many others to try it. 15 billion should be easy.

MadisonConservative on October 28, 2010 at 3:39 PM

The ad sort of reminds me of Happy Tree Friends.

Anyway, conservatives are always talking about smaller government, which means cutting spending. The byzantine machinery of the war on drugs is a good place to start. Best part is, it’s a spending cut liberals will cooperate with.

RightOFLeft on October 28, 2010 at 3:39 PM

jimmy the notable on October 28, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Well said. :)

Bee on October 28, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Pass the Doritos!

Opposite Day on October 28, 2010 at 3:42 PM

15 billion dollars. What a joke. You can’t expect to get the same price for something legally as it costs illegally.

Rocks on October 28, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Marijuana may be an exception to this. Anti-drug efforts barely put a dent in supply, so weed is still pretty cheap. Also, once it’s legalized, the more expensive, premium varieties will sell better than the crap the cartels are shipping over in bulk.

RightOFLeft on October 28, 2010 at 3:44 PM

That representation of Mexican drug cartels is RAAAAACIST!!!!

Now pass the duchie on the left hand side.

Pervygrin on October 28, 2010 at 3:45 PM

MadisonConservative on October 28, 2010 at 3:39 PM

The very point I made. I’d almost certainly be one of those users. Why others can’t see this logically, I don’t know. The only statistic that would be necessary would be to show alcohol use before and after the end of prohibition. Plenty would like to partake, but many don’t know how or have respect for the law, however dumb.

jimmy the notable on October 28, 2010 at 3:46 PM

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