Sunday, September 19, 2010

Legalize Cannabis - Yes on 19

Proposition 19 once again puts Californians in the position to make history with a decision that would change the way Cannabis is viewed in the state and ultimately the country. In 1996 California voters were asked if they thought Cannabis should be legal for medicinal use and able to be prescribed by doctors. When the results were tallied 55.6% of the voters had voted in favor of Proposition 215 making California the first state to legalize medical Marijuana. Since that historic event 14 states and Washington DC have followed suit. 

Now, fourteen years later Californians are again being asked about Cannabis. This time the question is "Should it be Legalized and regulated in the same manor as alcohol?" To answer this question lets look at why it was made illegal to begin with. 

William Randolph Hearst owned a newspaper publishing house, hundreds of acres of timber forests, and many paper mills designed to manufacture paper from wood pulp. Paper made from the fiber of the hemp plant was superior to paper made from wood pulp as hemp could produce four times more paper per acre than timber. Normally this would be viewed as a good thing but to Mr. Hearst it presented a threat to his paper empire's profits, for he already owned the trees, the means to manufacture paper from said trees, and the newspaper publishing house to print on said paper. A rather racist and alarmist smear campaign was ran in the newspaper against the new "Drug Menace Marijuana,"  and out of this the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was born - effectively outlawing the entire Cannabis plant.

Jumping forward to present day we have another group with a vested interest in keeping Cannabis illegal: Alcohol distributors. The California Beer & Beverage Distributors disclosed it has donated $10,000 to defeat Prop 19. They know that if Cannabis were legal there is a good chance that many people will turn to it for recreation instead of alcohol as it has been proven to be safer in every regard. This move by the alcohol distributors makes sense from the standpoint of protecting their own economic self interest, however it only serves to hold back technology. We can create medicines, fabrics, paper, building materials, and fuel from this single plant. We can fashion bricks from the fiber and build a house with those bricks and the house will be fireproof and termite-proof. An entire car could be made from hemp and fueled with hemp. Using hemp could stop the deforestation of Earth!

Proposition 19 Would:
♥ Control cannabis like alcohol.
♥ Put our police priorities where they belong.
♥ Generate billions of dollars in revenue for the state.

This is a definite step in the right direction. Since I do not reside in California, I am not afforded the opportunity to vote on this historic proposition. However If you find yourself with a voice in this debate I strongly encourage you to raise it to loudly and proudly vote yes on Proposition 19. Good Luck California!


  1. My biggest qualm with legalizing is that a lot of people would abuse it in the same way a lot of people abuse alcohol. If you've ever seen one of those people who 'just can't handle their pot', I think you'd understand. I've seen a lot of people get hurt because they think it'd be a great idea to drive to McDonald's and bring a blunt along for the ride.

    On the other hand, I think that if it were HEAVILY regulated, that would fix that particular problem. However, I don't think the people would really enjoy heavy regulations. And besides, how do you effectively point out the guy who just can't handle his weed vs. the guy who can?

    It's a complicated issue. I would like it personally if it were legalized, I just don't trust the public with imbibing any substance that alters your perception of reality, even something as benign as pot. Call me a cynic; I have no faith in 95% of people.

  2. Prop. 19 will not legalize smoking a blunt while driving to McDonald's. Therefore, if said party with a blunt were approached by law enforcement officers they would probably face a similar charge to public drunkenness.

    I very much understand your concern, but I don't think it is the nanny state's job to figure out who can't handle their Cannabis, just as the state doesn't intervene when a future alcoholic takes their first drink. It becomes much easier for those individuals with problems to seek help when they aren't treated like criminals.

    I think for me what it boils down to is the illegal status of the plant has only created an underground market for it, has halted hemp-fiber technologies, and has turned non-violent offenders into criminals in the eyes of the law. Smokers are gonna smoke and I would rather see the resource legalized and taxed than see the profits line the pockets of the violent drug cartels while our police officers chase their tails.

    Thanks for your comments! =]

  3. All drugs should be legal. That way, anyone dumb enough to really abuse them would die off.

    Okay, that's NOT actually my opinion, but it's interesting enough to think about. I'm honestly not sure what my opinion is on this matter. As you said, pot's much less dangerous than alcohol, and that fact alone makes me lean fairly strongly towards legalizing it.

  4. Yes. This will pass. Now following. In genuine interest.

  5. i can't wait for this shit to pass!