Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Will California become the next Amsterdam?

Is California about to go beyond "Medical" Marijuana?

Assembly Plants Seed for Legal Pot in California
The first step to legalize marijuana in California is on a roll.

Lawmakers on Tuesday approved Assembly Bill 390 -- legislation to tax and regulate marijuana. The Assembly's Public Safety Committee voted 4-3 on bill at a hearing in Sacramento. The bill will now be passed to the full Assembly on Friday for consideration.

The bill, authored by San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, would essentially treat pot the same way alcohol is treated under the law and would allow adults over 21 to possess, smoke and grow marijuana.

The law would also call for a fee of $50 per ounce sold and would help fund drug eradication and awareness programs. It could help pull California out of debt, supporters say, raising up to $990 million from the fees.


"The mere fact that there will be votes in the Assembly to regulate and control the sale and distribution of marijuana would have been unthinkable even one year ago." Retired Orange County California Supreme Court Judge Jim Gray said via a statement from the group. "And if the bill doesn't pass this year, it will soon. Or, the bill will be irrelevant because the voters will have passed the measure to regulate and tax marijuana that will be on the ballot this November." [...]

Read the whole thing. There are law enforcement groups backing this legislation, I don't think it's just some nutty California fluke. People with real influence are backing this. In it's struggle to cope with it's budget crisis, will California become itself into the "Amsterdam" of North America?


Anonymous said...

Further erosion of our US Society. We love our drugs because we are innately lazy and there is minimal effort required to alter ourselves perception of surroundings and environment through drinking, injecting or smoking. Our education departments in the U.S. rank 29th in science worldwide. The support of marijuana legalization for a revenue resource only supports our populace’s education and irresponsibility for the majority.
Marijuana was made by God. For the naive and uneducated so are Opium, Mescaline, Psilocybin, and Cocoa to name just a few others.
A human from birth has approximately 23 years to reach their full mental developmental potential.
THC by its nature is absorbed into the fat cells in the brain. Once absorbed the drug remains in the fat cells that can easily be detected scientifically 30-45 days after ingestion. Longer through more sophisticated means. Continued ingestion of the drug produces a personality that is easily categorized and referred to as a "Pot Head". Who in their correct mind would want to further disadvantage our youth’s potential and our society’s strength by promoting and supporting legalization? Can we learn from the past? Prior to the Civil War there were no Drug Laws or enforcement. Following the Civil War morphine (derivative of Opium) addiction was rampant and companies were perpetuating their financial success by including addictive drugs in their products i.e. Coco Cola, Bayer ECT. Prior to the Government instituting control anyone could go to Macy's and purchase their syringe kit complete with a supply of Heroin or Cocaine. (Depressant/Stimulant).
Are we going back to that day? I fear our majority obese, lazy, irresponsible, misled US citizens continue to pursue histories lesson that no great society has prospered and existed more than 200 years. Are we to follow the Romans path? It appears to be the case. The US is a failing consumer society with increasing debt accumulating rapidly with a solution indefinitely obscured

Chas said...

I've heard these arguments before, and I'm not sure I would agree with all of them. I could argue with or nit-pick some of the particular points you make, but I'm not tempted to, because I don't know that this would be such a good thing.

At best, it might be just trading one problem (illegal drug enforcement) with another (a lot of really stoned people, and everything that goes with that).

I've personally noticed too, a tendency among heavy pot smokers to be paranoid and irrational, and even mentally arrested in some cases. It doesn't affect everyone that way, but it does seem to do that for many.

None of those things are likely to stop California though. These issues could be debated endlessly, but California is itching to put it to the test, because of their dire financial situation, and their large population of Marijuana users. Like it or not, I think they may legalize it.