ONTD Political

California Prop. 19 vote on legalizing marijuana could be the start of something big


If Proposition 19 passes in California tomorrow and it is no longer illegal to sell, possess or grow marijuana, we may have begun ascending a slope less slippery than opponents of legalizing drugs might think.

American states spend an estimated total of $50 billion a year on our penal system. If Proposition 19 decriminalizes marijuana in California, the entire country will see how much money can be saved with laws based less on puritanical superstition than on facts.

Then there's the issue of tax revenues: federal and state tax revenues for alcohol sales exceed $5.6 billion. Imagine if Prohibition were still in place, and what that would mean for our tight budgets.

An economist at Harvard recently estimated that a marijuana tax could bring in between $2 billion and $6 billion per year. I'm sure we'd find something to do with that money.

Of course, the radical idea of legalizing drugs would take deep thinking, heavy number-crunching and political cooperation beyond any that we can presently imagine. But that does not make it impossible.

Liberals and conservatives would have to come together in the interest of reducing criminal activity and bolstering the economy. The result of such cooperation - legalized drugs - would bring in tax money to pay for, among other things, drug addiction treatment.

But those stumbling into the whirlpool of addiction would amount to no more than the percentage of alcoholics who always arrive when liquor is available and who are, in the end, a small portion of those who drink. Remember that supporters of Prohibition felt that absolute decay and disorder were not far away as long as liquor could be bought in stores.

That didn't come about. Nor will any such thing when drugs are made legal.

During Prohibition, bootlegging bankrolled organized crime. But while the rise and fall of the bootlegger is an iconic image, it was not until the class film "The Godfather" that a connection was made between organized crime and drug sales. In a meeting of Mafia bosses, one gangster says of drugs: "In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people, the colored. They're animals anyway, let them lose their souls."

That is not what happened at all. Drugs stayed nowhere. They spread across the country and have now become established as part of leisure entertainment. In fact, the trade is driven by casual users, not addicts. Casual users work everywhere from Wall Street to Main Street and are not known among those in law enforcement for committing the kinds of violent crimes we see from desperate and ruthless addicts.

A coalition made up of those with nerve and imagination can deal with everything that will be arrayed against them. Most of the opposition to legal drugs is supported by melodramatic images of addled addicts dominating our streets and making it unsafe to ever leave home.

But things are different than when Prohibition made it possible for untaxed empires to be created from beer and bloodshed. Now, so many live on medicines prescribed by their doctors that we know pharmaceutical substances are not automatically evil.

And if legislators were to make it clear to our largest pharmaceutical companies how many billions could be made if they took over products now driven by crime, the money necessary to fight off fear-mongering campaigns would become available. There is that much profit to be had.

Legality would shatter drug cartels and take illegal employment from all of the young people who work for drug dealers like insects inside of an anthill of corruption.

I believe it's coming. The passage of Proposition 19 could begin the ball rolling. If not then, soon. Never is not an option.

Source + video

Read more:

Additional Links For Your Reading Pleasure
The Voter Guide To Prop 19
The Broadus Effect (Yes, it was named after Snoop Dogg)
Why Some Stoners Oppose Legalization
19 Reasons Why Prop 19 Sucks
Prop 19 on BallotPedia
teacup_werewolf 1st-Nov-2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Fuck Chantix is legal and prescription and it can fucking kill you.
cecilia_weasley 1st-Nov-2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
Several anti-depressants have been linked to dangerous things, like people killing themselves. Prozac, Paxil and all of them. Doesn't mean people shouldn't go for help, but psychiatrists need to be really careful handing out the stuff.
hey_its_michael 1st-Nov-2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
. It's by far not the most harmful drug out there

For REAL. In no society that claims to have the faintest hint of rational thought should alcohol be legal but marijuana illegal. That makes no sense.
shoujokakumei 1st-Nov-2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
Agreed. At the very least, if we could get it decriminalized nationwide so we stop ruining people's lives for getting high and wasting taxpayers' money to prosecute them, that would be a good start.
hey_its_michael 1st-Nov-2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
I really hope Prop. 19 passes, but I am pessimistic about it given the way the polls on it keep fluctuating.
lickety_split 1st-Nov-2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
Read the Broadus Effect article (at the bottom of the post). It attempts to explain why the polls keep fluctuating the way they are.
hey_its_michael 1st-Nov-2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes, I think I read that article a while back. I hope it is right. Here's hoping the poll discrepancies are just people being afraid to admit to being for legalization when it is a person on the other end versus a computer.

You can never tell how a lot of people will vote until they are in the privacy of the voting booth / partition.
lickety_split 1st-Nov-2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
Please tell me more so I can live vicariously through you. What was your method? How much? Strain? Any good? Tips?
cecilia_weasley 1st-Nov-2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
Legalize it, yeah

in the words of my friends from Uzbekistan: "what do you mean, marijuana is a drug? Marijuana is not a drug! It is nothing."
roseofjuly 2nd-Nov-2010 01:27 am (UTC)
"It's a plant. It just grow like that. And if you should ever so happen to set it on fire...there are some effects."

-Katt Williams

Edited at 2010-11-02 01:27 am (UTC)
schonste 2nd-Nov-2010 02:06 pm (UTC)

This be my jam.
jaeoji 1st-Nov-2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
So the top article in a certain BC paper was about how this is gonna hurt the BC economy... sad, but I don't even care. This is an important vote. I really hope it passes.
lickety_split 1st-Nov-2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
sad, but I don't even care

Normally I hate this kind of attitude, but I'm finding myself saying "I don't care" to the majority of the things the anti-Prop 19 people are telling me.
bluescreenmofo yay california1st-Nov-2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
guys i got so high last saturday. i tried a vaporizer for the first time and i kept sucking on the hose going IT'S NOT WORKING, I'M NOT GETTING ANY, and i was. i really was. i don't think i moved until 12pm the following day.
roseofjuly Re: yay california2nd-Nov-2010 01:27 am (UTC)
That happened when I had a hash milkshake. I was like THIS SHIT SUCKS, I'M NOT HIGH. And then 3 hours later...
bluescreenmofo Re: yay california2nd-Nov-2010 03:20 am (UTC)
that sounds like the tastiest and best thing ever. was there any flavor other than the grassy taste
roseofjuly Re: yay california2nd-Nov-2010 07:50 am (UTC)
Yes, it was strawberry-flavored :D You actually couldn't taste the hash very much at all - a little bit, but it actually added interest instead of gross factor.
___direction 1st-Nov-2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
legalised weed seems too good to be true but i have faith!
sarien 1st-Nov-2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
And among the government employees I know (law enforcement, education, politicians, doctors, firefighters, etc.), many of them smoke fakie (fake pot). They only do it casually and don't smoke the real thing for obvious reasons. They would smoke the real stuff in a heart beat if it was legal (I would miss cotton candy flavored "incense" though...).
schonste 2nd-Nov-2010 02:08 pm (UTC)

You can buy cotton candy flavoring for your not-legal bud. ;P
sarien 3rd-Nov-2010 12:56 am (UTC)
OMG. How have I not heard of this!?!
Alas, I'm searching for a new job so I can't test it out for a few months. But I will experiment. I'm a sucker for shit like this (plus I may be like the only [fake]pothead who doesn't enjoy the smell/taste).
shesfearless 1st-Nov-2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
*crosses fingers*
romp 2nd-Nov-2010 05:42 am (UTC)
If it's so dangerous, why do doctors prescribe to people when they're at their weakest, like going through chemo?

And even over-the-counter pain meds do serious damage to our bodies. FFS
dasvedanyaanya 2nd-Nov-2010 06:39 am (UTC)
I have health issues and medicines like vicodin make me so ill. I'm prescribed it for a chronic pain issue but whenever I take one I just end up vomiting. Weed at least helps me sleep and doesn't seem to destroy my stomach. Why they prescribed it to me in the first place for pain I have no fucking clue, I can't take ibuprofen with out getting sick to my stomach either.
romp 2nd-Nov-2010 08:22 am (UTC)
I haven't read The Pain Chronicles which talks about how messed up all of this can be--like people in pain being accused of seeking meds--but there's a great review of it in the New York Book Review: Where It Hurts
dasvedanyaanya 2nd-Nov-2010 11:49 am (UTC)
thanks! I'll check it out :)
dasvedanyaanya 2nd-Nov-2010 06:42 am (UTC)
Tbh, I don't have faith in my state anymore. I hope I'm wrong though.
pavonine 2nd-Nov-2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
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