Is Marijuana already effectively legal in California?

Columnist George F Will said on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos that the country is “probably in the process now of legalizing marijuana.”   Sadly his conservatism came to the fore when he likened the legalization of weed with prostitution but, that slip aside, he’s probably right.  And the four separate ballot papers currently circulating in the state are likely to lead to a showdown with law enforcement groups – who are equally as vocal in their opposition to marijuana legalization.

At least seven California cities have formally declared marijuana a low priority for law enforcement, with ballot measures or legislative actions. In Los Angeles, some 800 to 1,000 dispensaries of medical marijuana are in business where consultants offering public relations services.  They even offer “canna-business management!”

What are your thoughts?  Do you think law enforcers should be involved in law making?  What about ‘jobs for the boys’ that might be under threat should legalization become a reality?

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  • Josh says:

    First of all, Would you prefer a person who finished a pint of everclear 95% alcohol by vol, behind the wheel or someone who just smoked a joint behind the wheel of an automobile?

    Let me tell you a story or two A few years ago I smoked a joint got in my car and started to drive after a few minutes my body went numb I made the conscious decision to pull over , get out of my car and get some air and sober up.

    When I have made the worse decision to drive after drinking I have had regards for no one or nothing.3 DUI’s later I won’t drink and drive. Go to an NA or AA meeting most will tell you they started with alcohol. thats a fact.

  • Robert says:

    Of course marijuana s/b legal. The benefits to the ill and/or infirm community are well documented – more than just anecdotally. Now, I’ll admit that my entire use to this point in my life has been recreational. That is not to say, however, that I will not “need” it later on, as I age, nor that such use might not have had beneficial effects (since we’re discussing “benefits” here) thus far.

    Who knows? Isn’t it possible that the notoriously calming effects of marijuana should be considered a benefit? My experience, both personal and in the company of others, is that the negatives (paranoia, confusion, memory and focus issues) occur simply because of using too much. The problem is in accepting the dictum that “more is better”.

    My wife always hated the confusion, etc. Her simple solution – one hit, not ten. Still good appetite, still good conversation, still good sex, still good night’s sleep. I could probably go on about “benefits”. However, in asking the obvious question “If it’s so good (or at least, not so bad), why are there so many who reject the idea of legalization out of hand?”, we have to look at their reasons.

    Number one: Gateway drug. Sorry, it’s true. Know why? It’s illegal. If marijuana were not illegal, criminals (by definition) would not be handling the transaction. Criminals have oodles of illegal things on their minds and in their car trunks. Solution? Er, legalize it.

    Number two: It makes you high, and being high is “bad”. Oops, now we’ve strayed into discussing the dysfunction of the user, not the characteristic of the drug. See, that happens. At this point in the discussion of number two, you can substitute a few other substances in place of marijuana and get the same argument going.

    With the exception of hard drugs, we’re talking substitution of legal substances – cigarettes (if you haven’t been high on nicotine, you’re not a smoker), alcohol, prescription drugs, cherry pie, etc. See, right there is the major problem with preventing legalization: You can’t invade my privacy to that extent.

    Look, pal, I’ll eat that damned cherry pie if I want to – my belt line doesn’t have anything to do with it. Same solution as number one.

    Number three: It’s bad for your health. Yes, valid point. A little bit. Smoke anything hot and burning, and it’s bad for your lips, mouth, throat, lungs. Not cool, so to speak. Uh, I think that’s it for the health part of our discussion, and it’s the only objection I can’t rationalize. Still, I accept that risk, so done with that one. Same solution as number two.

    Number four: It’s adulterated with pesticides (related to number three). Sometimes true, so let’s legalize it and regulate its manufacture, just as with cigarettes, alcohol, etc. Same solution as number three.

    Number five: It’s free if you grow it yourself. Uh, wait, that’s an argument from my side. Actually, it should be, but I get their point. We have a crippled economy, and the number of folks that grow to sell have to suck it up and pay the sales tax and the income tax.

    If I grow for my own use or give it away, sorry, no taxes. Doesn’t it work that way if I grow my own beer? Same solution as number four.

    Number six: The product being produced has been bred to emphasize the drugs’ psychoactive effects. True, and sort of not a good thing. There are many cannabinoids (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabinoid), and they all have potentially beneficial effects as far as I can tell.

    So, lighten up on the Meltdown Express, and smoke the natural. Same solution as every objection above. In summary, friends, there seem to be many, many more reasons to legalize the drug than to keep it the closet and only bring it out for getting together with the missus on your wedding anniversary. There, that’s one vote for legalization.

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