Back to State’s Rights: Marijuana

At the time that Brad Warbiany and I had a debate about state’s rights, I’d just come back from CPAC in Washington D.C. where there had been a mix of the really good and the really bad. I volunteered at the Campaign for Liberty booth and found three copies of anti-Abraham Lincoln books for sale. Bob McDonnell was declaring “Confederate History Month.” Reports were emanating that tea partiers had hurled racial epithets at congressmen, an accusation that from first hand contact seemed pretty believable. I was beginning to link “state’s rights” with the crusty, racist definition that George Wallace gave us.

Now that I’m back on the Left Coast, state’s rights are able to be looked at in a much different context. With a crippled economy, a fiscally broken state government and 12.2% unemployment, Californians should pass Proposition 19 this November and pay federal drug law no attention. California can be an experimental laboratory for the testing of a new marijuana industry.

For all of the failures of Obama’s spendapaloozas, his administration’s policy of lessening penalties on medical marijuana has helped dispensaries grow in size. Oakland’s city council has voted to allow industrial production of marijuana. Passage of Proposition 19 would precipitate what my friend Dan Carlin called a “Berlin Wall” moment in which the federal government would have to decide if it wanted to enforce drug laws or give way to the will of California. If the federal government, during a crippling recession and a 42% approval rating for the president, acted to stomp out one of the few industries with growth potential in favor of decaying paternal laws, it would be perfectly just to associate Obama with “failure.”

The federal government has had it all wrong on drug policy for a really long time now. The winds of change are moving and the chance for a new industry to develop around a substance that has an unrelenting demand is too good to pass up. California had better not mess this one up, and the federal government had best back off.

Spending, stimulus and bailouts have not pulled us out of an economic rut. I’m not an economist but it seems to me that in a capitalist system, all elements, from Wall Street to the welfare office, need to be driven by capital created from the production of a good that people demand. That’s why marijuana legalization is so important. No amount of government spending is going to be able to create production, but it can stop it.

  • mike douville jr.

    I have been smoking marijuana for over 30 years, I’ve been to college (never gotten a F in any of my studies) and I’m disabled. Marijuana can make a person money illegally and make a country survive legally.

  • Darla

    If marijuana were legalized, it would save tons of money. Less incarceration, detention center, and drug rehab costs.

    Hemp production should also be legalized.

  • Michael O. Powell

    Not only would it save money, it would create money.

  • Pingback: Celebrating the end of prohibition « "The biggest killer on the planet is stress and I still think the best medicine is and always has been cannabis."()

  • Proposal

    Prop 19 will cause chaos because it conflicts with the Federal Laws. It is also a socially irresponsible proposition.
    Repeal ALL MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAWS. Medical marijuana is a SHAM. It is LEGALIZED marijuana under the cloak of medical. Everyone qualifies for medical marijuana with a fake illness, some money and unscrupulous doctor.
    FDA must approve marijuana smoke as treatment for medical conditions.
    Legalization of marijuana MUST START at the FEDERAL LEVEL. Bug your Congress. No on Prop 19.

    1. Only 21 and over will have legal access.
    2. No cultivation at place of residence at ALL. No cultivation at any place of business unless there is a LICENSE and PERMIT fees are all paid.
    3. No cultivation at any public property.
    4. Marijuana will only be sold in Legal Marijuana Adult Stores. Do not sell in grocery stores, liquor stores, discount stores, etc. There will be zoning restrictions and the store should only be in a business area about 5000 feet away from residence, religious places and schools. This must be approved by the city.
    5. Marijuana-laced food is banned just like trans fat is banned.
    6. Marijuana is heavily taxed.
    7. Marijuana can only be smoked INSIDE the smoker’s residence with closed windows and air cleaner to remove the smoke.
    8. Marijuana cannot be smoked in front of the minors.
    9. Smoking marijuana outside of the house is illegal. Smoking marijuana at somebody else’s residence is illegal. In other words, if you want to smoke marijuana, you can do it alone in your own residence!!!
    10. Anyone caught violating the marijuana laws will pay heavy fines and will be required to attend education classes in pot dependency and treatment for pot dependency.
    11. Police will routinely test for DUI of pot for drivers.
    12. Pot will only be LEGALLY cultivated and IMPORTED from Mexico. Mexico will be the LEGAL suppliers of pot to the USA. If cultivated in the USA, it is heavily regulated with very high license fees.
    13. Federal laws regarding marijuana will change and new pot laws affecting employment will be instituted. These means employers have the right to test employees who are impaired and have the right terminate employees who test above the pot limit in their system or are impaired. Employers have the right to have a drug-free environment.
    14. Medical marijuana should be treated as medicine and prescribed by doctors and dispensed from pharmacies in SHRINKWRAP with tracking numbers.
    15. All legal recreational marijuana will have special universal wrapping and tracking numbers.
    16. Any other strict laws that put public’s and youth’s safety first.

    In other words, marijuana will be treated like selling ADULT (porn) items in ADULT STORES only. It will NOT be treated like alcohol or cigarettes.