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What Should Marijuana Legalization Look Like In America?

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Marijuana Activists Agree That Marijuana Should Be Legal, But From There Things Get Hazy

Since the very beginning of marijuana prohibition, there have been people fighting for the re-legalization of marijuana. Obviously some times there were more people fighting for marijuana legalization than others. Recently, there has been a surge in support for marijuana legalization, with a record amount of polled Americans saying they favor marijuana legalization. The 2010 Election of course marked the first time a State voted on marijuana (California Proposition 19). While California Proposition 19 failed at the ballot box, it succeeded at starting the conversation in America at a whole new level.

Other marijuana legalization efforts will no doubt build on the best parts of Proposition 19, while trying to avoid the areas of the proposition that contributed to it’s defeat. As anyone that followed the proposition knows, some of the biggest opponents were people that claimed they support marijuana legalization in general, but did not like the version they saw at the ballot box. In an article titled, ‘WHY PRO-POT ACTIVISTS OPPOSE PROP. 19: 19 REASONS TO VOTE KNOW (sic),’ the author put out the following reasons they were not supporting the proposition even though they are a self described stoner:

“Simply put, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative does not reflect most people’s ideas of what legalization would be. The media often incorrectly reports that this initiative calls for “full legalization” of marijuana. It does not. In fact, it reverses many of the freedoms marijuana consumers currently enjoy, pushes growers out of the commercial market, paves the way for the corporatization of cannabis, and creates new prohibitions where there are none now.” As the article notes, even the legendary Jack Herer opposed Proposition 19. The author goes on to list their 19 reasons, and in the interest of reducing scrolling, I won’t post them here. I encourage readers to click on the link above and check it out if they want to see more reasons why recreational marijuana users opposed California Proposition 19.

The medical marijuana community was one of the most vocal opponents of California Proposition 19. Dennis Peron, author of California Proposition 215 which legalized medical marijuana in California, stated the following, “People think it’s legalization, it’s being sold as legalization–even though it’s the opposite of legalization.” California has long had some of the highest medical marijuana cultivation and possession limits (unlimited if you consider case law) in the nation, and many in the medical marijuana community feared that their protections would be jeopardized if California Proposition 19 passed. Despite later amendments to the Proposition, most patients just couldn’t get on board. Here is another excerpt from the anti-Prop 19 article I linked to earlier:

legalize marijuana“Myth #10: Medical marijuana patients would be exempt from the initiative.
Fact: This is not exactly true. While amendments were made ostensibly to prevent the initiative from affecting current medical marijuana law, a careful reading of the initiative reveals that this is not, in fact, the case. Certain medical marijuana laws are exempt from the prohibitions the initiative would enact, while others are glaringly absent.

Cultivation is one such law that is noticeably non-exempt. In spite of the fact that the tax cannabis Web site says otherwise, the only medical marijuana exemptions that the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative actually makes are with regard to possession, consumption and purchase limits, which only ensure that patients would still be allowed to buy medicine at dispensaries. The word “cultivate” is conspicuously absent. Whereas today a person with a doctor’s recommendation has the right to grow up to an unlimited number of plants, the initiative would drastically reduce that number to whatever can fit in a 5’x5’ footprint (around 3-6 plants–per property, not per person). This will force many patients to resort to buying instead of growing their own medicine, because of the inconvenience caused by producing multiple grows a year rather than growing a year’s supply of medicine at one time, as many patients currently do outdoors. And growing indoors–which typically requires special grow lights, an increase in hydro use, and a lot of time and attention–is a comparatively expensive endeavor.

The initiative would further impact medical marijuana patients by banning medicating in the privacy of their own homes if there are minors present, as well as in public (currently perfectly legal)–an invaluable liberty to those with painful diseases who would otherwise have to suffer until they got home to relieve their pain.

Finally, the medical marijuana laws that are exempted from this initiative apparently only apply to cities. For medical marijuana patients who live in an area that has county or local government jurisdiction, according to a strict reading of the initiative, medical marijuana laws are not exempt.”

With marijuana legalization efforts underway across the country (it seems like more pop up every week!), some marijuana legalization efforts are experiencing similar resistance that Proposition 19 faced in 2010. The highest profile effort is of course Washington State’s I-502. Just as the medical marijuana community opposed California’s Proposition 19, so is the medical marijuana community opposing I-502 in Washington State. The two big hang ups are a DUII provision in the amendment, and potential interference with medical marijuana patient’s right to grow their own marijuana.

Cant We All Just Get A BongI wrote an article titled, ‘Will Infighting Doom The Marijuana Movement‘ which created a lot of discussion about I-502. I intended the article to be a ‘hey let’s talk about this across the nation’ post, but somehow it turned into a pro/anti I-502 article, which I am fine with. Hopefully readers realize that I am trying to facilitate discussion, not put down other’s views or say that I’m right and others are wrong. In fact, I have stated over and over that I would rather be wrong and facilitate discussion than be right and have the conversation go nowhere. One of my biggest critics is the always fiery Steve Sarich. I love Steve’s passion, and hopefully he realizes that I am often playing the devil’s advocate to get discussion going. Of course, sometimes I disagree with him as well, but no one agrees on everything all of the time. Steve placed the following comment on the infighting article, which I think really hammers home the feeling of the medical marijuana community in Washington State in regards to I-502. It was so good that I copied the whole thing below:

“I guess the answer to your question is “NO”…..we can’t all just get along. I-502 here in Washington is supposedly a “legalization” bill. Unlike you, I will not accept “reform” or “legalization” unless you can clearly define these terms for me. According to your theory of incrementationalism, what should we be willing to give up in order to get this “incremental” change? There’s where the dividing line is drawn.

I-502 has two key components that are non-starters for patients and should be non-starters for everyone, but that’s apparently not the case. There are still people that think like you do….legalization at ANY cost.

I-502 would impose a DUI limit of 5 nanograms per millilter of THC in blood. I’m a legal patient and I have not medicated at all today. Right now I would test at 5 ng/ml or likely higher if I were pulled over. I’m fairly certain that I’m not intoxicated or impaired in any way. I can provide you with all of the testing that’s been done over the last 25 years that ALL concluded that you can’t determine intoxication by taking my blood. These include studies funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission.

If this measure passes, every medical marijuana patient in Washington could be charged with a DUI every time they got behind the wheel, whether they’d medicated that day or not. Getting caught with an ounce of pot in Washington is a minor offense. In Seattle, they won’t even charge you. Getting charged with a DUI, on the other hand, will cost you (on average) $10,000 in attorney fees, fines and court costs. And under this law, you’ll have no defense to the charges…even if you weren’t impaired whatsoever. It gets far worse for the second and third offenses.

The authors of the bill admit that there probably isn’t any scientific evidence to back up this DUI limit, but they’ve said that their polling indicated that they needed to add this to the bill to get enough votes to get it passed. (Actually they should have taken the backlash from medical marijuana patients into account in their polling as well….they might have rethought their position).

How many rights are you willing to give up under your theory of incrementalism? Are you willing to go to jail for DUI whenever you drive….even though you aren’t impaired in any way? I’m pretty sure that the first time this happened to you, you’d be rethinking the wisdom of “legalization at any cost”. I kinda like to think ahead and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to see multiple DUI’s in my future.

Oh…..and we aren’t finished!

The “legal pot” will be sold in stores licensed by State Liquor Control Board. Using the tax scheduling taken directly from the bill, I calculated that if the grower was paid $150 per ounce, the retail price for the “legal pot” could easily be $700 an ounce….or more. The folks at New Approach Washington (the sponsors) did not challenge me on this calculation…they can’t. (and don’t even think about growing your own…that’s clearly a felony in this bill)

Sooooo….are you ready for $700 per ounce pot? Is that your idea of “incremental legalization”? I certainly know that patients could never afford to pay that.

Are you beginning to get the picture? Millions of people love coffee, but if Starbuck came out with a new frozen coffee drink called “Fecal Frappe”, even the most serious coffee lovers would shop elsewhere.

The sponsors of this bill (NAW) are pathological liars. The Colorado medical cannabis program is run by the State Department of Revenue. The dispensaries are taxed to the hilt and watched like hawks. They reported tax revenues of $23 million dollars last year. The NAW (depending on the day) is claiming that I-502 will bring the state between $210-$300 million a year in tax revenues….from a state with roughly the same population as Colorado! They have refused numerous requests to show us how they came up with these incredible figures. But soon the press will start asking this rather embarrassing question.

So there you have your answer. And “NO” we can’t just “unite” on this issue any more than we could drink a Fecal Frappe. We can’t just take the position that we will accept legalization “at any cost”. Be careful what you ask for….you might just get it. And the cost on this measure is certainly not one that logical people would agree to pay.”

The ‘Fecal Frappe’ lol. As always seems to happen when communication is text only, I can never fully convey how I feel and respond adequately. So I figured the best way I can respond to all my critics in the most efficient way possible would be to state my position to clear the air. I’m not saying yes to any initiative or proposition, but I’m also not necessarily saying no. What I’m saying is there should be a cost benefit analysis done to see if the proposed initiative or proposition makes the marijuana movement better as a whole, with as little impact to current medical marijuana programs as possible.

Medical MarijuanaI am a medical marijuana patient. I have been a medical marijuana patient in Oregon since 2006. When I speak out in support of marijuana legalization, I am speaking both as a recreational user and a medical user. Hopefully when people accuse me of trying to ‘win your goal for legalization for everyone on the backs of patients‘ they realize that I am a medical marijuana patient myself, and I am ready to help carry the load on my back. I’m not saying I’m willing to give up all of my protections as a medical marijuana patient (which are substantial in Oregon), but I am willing to give up some of them if it brings about meaningful marijuana policy reform for the masses. Once again, I’M NOT SAYING THAT ONE, OR ANY, CURRENT EFFORT MEETS THAT CRITERIA. But I am saying that it shouldn’t be an all or nothing thing. Let’s take a sensible look and if at the end things don’t seem sufficient, then by all means vote no.

One thing that is painfully obvious is that there seems to not be enough input from all sides of the marijuana movement when drafting up proposed initiatives and propositions. This has led to accusations that marijuana legalization initiatives are nothing more than people’s attempts at monopolizing the marijuana industry. The initiatives and propositions are written in a way that the rules would greatly benefit the authors, so I can definitely see why those accusations are presented. I think there needs to be more input, but how much is enough?

Playing the devil’s advocate role, I can’t help but propose the following question, ‘if the medical marijuana community and recreational marijuana users sat down to come up with a legalization initiative, would we ever get a final draft?’ There’s a great conversation going on another article that I wrote dealing with that topic called, ‘Should Medical Cannabis Patients Fight For Recreational Marijuana Legalization?‘ In the comments section, you will see how medical patients don’t want to give up their protections (not saying they have to, just saying I’d be open to it personally), and the recreational users feel cheated for voting for medical marijuana, just to be left out thereafter.

So what do you think America? What should marijuana legalization in America look like? Here are some, but not all, issues that I would like to see specifically addressed in a marijuana legalization initiative. Please add your own ideas in the comments, and as always, all viewpoints are welcomed:

Age Of Use

A lot of people are turned off by marijuana legalization initiatives because the legal age is 21 years old, not 18. There are also people out there that strongly feel there should be no age limit, although I always wonder if those are teenage Johnny Green’s out there lol. I know I was for no age limit when I was a teen! One thing that needs to be considered is what age do swing voters feel is an acceptable age to legally consume marijuana? The entire marijuana movement could be in agreement on an age, but if it’s too young for otherwise sympathetic voters that aren’t consumers, it might push them to the other side of the fence. I personally feel that if you are old enough to vote, you are old enough to legally consume marijuana responsibly. With that said, I’m not opposed to a 21 years old requirement, because after all, right now the age requirement is ‘if you are alive, marijuana is against the law.’ I know that’s not popular with those between 18-20, but you will get to 21 soon enough, and an age limit of 21 is better than the current alternative.

No Effect On Medical Marijuana Programs

As I stated above, I would personally be willing to give up some (but not all) legal protections as a medical marijuana patient if it meant legalization for all. However, we could sidestep the entire issue if there was clear, all encompassing language that exempted medical marijuana programs from any changes related to the legalization initiative. All encompassing is easier said than done, but I think if the recreational community worked hand in hand with guys like Steve Sarich, the adequate language could be created.

Regulated Like Alcohol, Pharm, Tobacco?

One of the ongoing debates within the greater marijuana legalization effort is regulating marijuana like alcohol, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, or none of the above. Obviously marijuana is completely different than all of them, which is why so many supporters get angry when initiatives try to regulate marijuana in a similar fashion. Something that people need to consider is if marijuana isn’t regulated by an agency that is already in place, it’s going to be a tougher sell to otherwise sympathetic voters that don’t consume marijuana. With that being said, if marijuana was legal it would generate so much money that it could easily pay for it’s own agency, if not the entire system. I don’t like marijuana being regulated like pharm or tobacco, because quite frankly I think that they can’t be trusted, and are largely responsible for the current state of the nation with their ability to buy politicians and further corrupt the system. I’m not a big fan of alcohol either, but I don’t despise them nearly as much as the other two. I think a cottage marijuana industry that resembles the micro-brew industry would be the best out of the three, but that would obviously not be as good as something specifically tailored to marijuana.

Who’s Allowed To Grow And How Much?

I think if marijuana is legal, everyone should be allowed to grow. I think the rest of the marijuana community is with me on that. However, how much should people be allowed to grow? One of the biggest sticking points with Prop 19 was that it limited cultivation to 5×5 ft areas, one per property, no matter how many people lived there. This was not enough for some people. Again, just as with the age thing, marijuana legalization supporters have to be willing to compromise to limits that otherwise sympathetic marijuana supporters that don’t consume would be comfortable with. Obviously, as stated above, medical marijuana should be unaffected in this area, and limits should stay at their current levels.

How Much Marijuana Can We Possess?

Another sticking point on Prop 19 was the possession limit, which many felt was too low. Sorry to be a broken record, but I have to point out again that there needs to be a balance that all potential ‘yes’ voters can feel comfortable with. People out there are calling for no limits in anyway, or a pound, etc. Do those people really think that a majority of a state’s voters will support such an extreme change? In my other articles I always point out that politics is incremental. Many assume that I prefer it that way, which I don’t necessarily, but it is what it is. If the marijuana community comes out and says that marijuana should be legal for personal use, and that personal use should be defined as unlimited, the conversation with most voters will end right there. What is an acceptable limit? I honestly have no idea and think that possession limits would need to have the most discussion. And once again, recreational possession limits shouldn’t have any effect on medical marijuana possession limits.

smokin carDUII Restrictions

One of the biggest arguments against marijuana legalization is ‘what about all of those stoned drivers?’ While I personally feel that there wouldn’t be any increase in ‘stoned driving’ problems (backed up by recent studies), it’s very hard to convince otherwise sympathetic voters that don’t consume marijuana that things will be OK. I’m not sure if that’s why the DUII section was included in I-502 or not. A no tolerance stance is an easy sell to skeptical voters, but it doesn’t seem to be sound science to most people. Although, I must point out that in order to get your THC blood level, cops obviously have to extract blood, which they can do if they feel you are driving under the influence, regardless of medical marijuana card or not. It’s up to their prosecutorial discretion how far they want to take their investigation, and an overzealous cop is going to try to find a way to bust you if they want to, I-502/mmj card or not.

What Should The Tax Rate Be?

One of the biggest reasons that marijuana legalization is gaining traction among American citizens is it’s tax generating potential. I have been very vocal since we started this blog that I really hope that marijuana legalization isn’t taxed to death before it gets a chance to live. What is a fair tax rate for marijuana? Obviously the tax needs to be high enough to create economic benefits for society, but if it’s too high, marijuana legalization will never reach it’s full potential because people will continue to buy marijuana on the black market because it’s cheaper. What the fair tax rate is, I’m not sure. Along with possession limits, this area of marijuana legalization will no doubt require much more discussion.

So once again I pose the question to readers, ‘what should marijuana legalization look like in America?’ I anxiously await your responses!


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. In a short blog, “The Case Against Legalization”, written in summer ’09, I supported the claim that tax and regulate legalization schemes further the prohibitionist agenda. When I READ WA i 502, I had to comment again on the absurdness of the flippant comments by people who claim to be anti-prohibitionist, and decided it was time to rewrite/revise “The Case…”. I am also impressed with the argumentative skills with which the article was written. I would enjoy discussing the issue further, and possibly cite your writings as support. Thank you for the call for rational thinking among voters.

  2. why not legalize it? Why not make everyone that uses it pay taxes on it just like you pay taxes on the cigerettes and alchol. And put an age limit on it. I know people that have gotten there license to use it and it does help the pain and the problem, and it is better for your body then all those manufactured drugs. Not as many side effects. And if it is legal then its not “so neat” for the kids and they won’t be so quick to try it.

  3. Let the free market work, grow, sell, buy pot—no diifere t than any other “product”—-only ca eat is auality, no one should consume this herb. when covered with pesticides—DUI pot law will. not work when interpreted as booze–what defines o er into i ation or motor skill impairment with pot—snow. boardi g a half pipie and Oh, you forgot the “Mctrwist? What are the auto accident stats for pot heads?!? Metrics/stats needed to justify much presented, in new pot laws none appear to exist.

  4. The laws have become a huge farce. You can’t buy and sell but you can donate and receive donations, what a deception!

  5. It frustrates me that this movement is so full of donation chasing parasites with no understanding of law, rights, or process. It is almost as if, the leaders of the movement don’t want legalization, they want to continue prohibition, and continue to stuff their own wallets as the perpetual war wages on. No one except one effort in California is doing anything to address the biggest concern we have: Federal interference.

    For the feds to change, the states will have to first change and demand it of the feds. BUT the fed are aiming their guns at those states and threatening to imprison elected leaders if they implement voter enacted law! Activists and caregivers are being rounded up, shut down and then slowly and quietly being charged with laws designed to lock up mafia bosses for life. LIFE.

    Regulate Marijuana Like Wine STOPS THE FEDS, we would all benefit very greatly, if we paid some close attention to that. If we don’t, none of our effort are worth a whit. The feds have the power to shut us down in all states regardless of what we vote for. To stop them we must explicitly declare our rights and then fight to protect them. The 8th largest economy in the world, California has the resources to do it, or more likely make the feds just give it up and Like Wine will make that happen.

    We can dream that prohibition is on its way out, that it is only a matter of time. That view is dangerously naive. Our very political freedoms are under attack in this country. We have momentum today, but next year we could all be in prison, hoping that there is someone still on the outside to cry the injustice of our detention for political speech. If we don’t move the ball on the feds this year, we will lose everything we have worked for in the last 40 years, including Prop 215, and quite probably our freedom to do anything but pace a jail cell for the rest of our lives.

  6. In Canada, IF cannabis was not deemed criminal, then the regulations would be provincial jurisdiction, and could vary across the country!

    The overall problem with legalizing marijuana is how much of the fascist plutocracy do you keep when you legalize marijuana back into that system, to attempt to make marijuana become more “normal?”

    The problem is the established American systems are debt slavery, backed up by wars based on deceits. The drug wars created a set of tools of persecution. Pot prohibition was the single simplest and most salient symbol. The single best plant on the planet was internationally asserted to be almost as bad as murder. That huge lie have been enforced more and more for about a Century … and the established system shows no intention of stopping.

    The USA has become a runaway fascist plutocracy juggernaut building a bigger fascist police state. The primary de facto excuse for doing that for decades has actually been criminalizing cannabis.

    Welcome to the Bizarro Mirror World Fun House!

    Society is controlled by those who are the best at being dishonest, and backing that up with violence. That is the monetary and taxation system that you are talking about legalizing marijuana back into?

    Pot prohibition is headed towards a psychotic breakdown, that will be a small component of the psychotic breakdown of an entire global civilization controlled by astronomical sized lies and threats.

  7. I-502 does not change, replace, or supplant Washington state’s medical cannabis in any way.

    However, I-502 does pose a threat to the dysfunctional system of quasi-legal or illegal dispensaries which operate as businesses as they will become unnecessary (if tolerated) and at the very least will have to compete in an open market.

    There is a definite financial advantage to those in the medical cannabis and recreational cannabis industries in maintaining prohibition.

    A campaign, based on hysteria, purports that the police will target medical cannabis patients and stop them while driving without cause and haul them in for a mandatory blood draw.

    New Approach Washington holds that the DUI-C provision is directed at the concern over impaired driving. If, and only if, a driver is stopped with probable cause for suspected impaired driving, and there are reasonable grounds for believing that a driver is impaired, and reasonable grounds to believe the impairment is caused by marijuana or a drug other than alcohol, the officer may arrest and a blood test may be required. Blood testing is for the psycho-active delta-9 THC and not the metabolite carboxy THC.

    “I only speak to legalization issues when they impact patients.”

    Safe and affordable access to medical cannabis will only come with the end of marijuana prohibition. And providing for medical cannabis will not end the evils of marijuana prohibition–like home invasion robberies and gun battles.

    Those opposing I-502 are a small but vocal minority with a vested financial interest in maintaining the status quo. As they vote, “No” on I-502, they ally themselves with the prohibitionists who, ironically, hold that the medical marijuana movement as a “sham.”

  8. It should be legal to grow your own. It should be illegal to drive under the influence. If you become a producer and sell it the transaction should be taxed at the going rate for regular commercial goods…like cranberries or similar crops.

    Boil it all down to common sense and the constitution. If the majority of the people want something they should be able to vote it in and that be the end of it until the people vote differently.That’s democracy isn’t it? Get the issue on the ballot. Bypass the politicians. Is it doable?

  9. Charles Patrick Queen on

    It’s simple.It will need to be treated much like any other medicine that needs to be prescribed by a doctor and or shrinks as well.Uses also need to be sifted thru so that people are not trying to get it for non exsisting problems such as tempoary sleep loss and people having creativity problems.These are not acceptablereasons to have it prescibed for anyone.chronic pain due to permanent injury’s etc,cancers among a host of very many other reasonable medical problems.Copy’s of MRI’s for injusry’s should be a must or xray’s depending on the type of injury.Documented deseases such as fybromyalgia and authoritice and not the normal type but the more crippling type or bad enough that it inteferes with a persosns day to day activity’s etc.There hs to be limits and there has to be real and viable proven medical conditions in order for it to be prescribed.I’m all about legaisation across the board but we first have to start with the medicinal thing before we move onto total legalisation

  10. Full legalization for the discretionary use of marijuana by any adult for any reason is the only true and proper answer to this issue The government should be allowed to tax business production but no retail taxation for medical use ( Big Pharm. is not taxed in this manner) nor should those who produce (grow) for personal use be taxed. With the exception of medical marijuana, the “system” of regulation and taxation should follow the existing structure of what is imposed upon the alcohol industry.

  11. You’re correct, Johnny…we may not always agree. At times like this, however, I’m not sure which of my positions you agree, or disagree, with. It’s hard to debate an issue when you refuse to take a position.

    One thing you seem certain about is that, as a patient, you’re willing to give up more rights for more safety. Ben Franklin and I disagree with you…..

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    -Ben Franklin 1775

    Which Constitutional protections and liberties are you suggesting that we give up to get the protections that we are guaranteed by the Constitution and the state? I’m sure inquiring minds would like to know your position on that. Are we asking too much to be treated like any other patient taking any other medication? Or do you think it’s all right to have to give up our other rights for the “privilege” of treating ourselves with cannabis? It’s a pretty straight forward question, Johnny.

    I only speak to legalization issues when they impact patients. So all I’ll say on taxation is that you don’t tax any other medication and I will vehemently oppose ANY tax on medical cannabis! If the legalization crowd is willing to go down that road, be aware that you may get what you’re asking for….and then some. When legal pot is available to the public in Washington would you be willing to pay $700 an ounce? You have to ask yourself, when does this taxation become self-defeating? At what price will you just go back to the street for your pot? Is this really the direction you want to see legalization going in?

    You’ve said that this needs more “discussion”. So let’s discuss it! What do YOU think a reasonable tax should be? Do you think that just maybe this should be discussed BEFORE you pass a legalization law and simply leave the amount of tax completely up to the state legislatures….who are all broke as dirt? Here in Washington we have the highest gas tax in the country. The tax on tobacco is by far the highest in the country (146%). What do you think the marijuana tax would be like? I’ve already told you what I-502 calls for, but that could go up again every year.

    I-502 will not let non-patients grow. If I was leading the “legalization” fight, which I’m certainly not, this would be a non-starter. Hell, I can legally brew my own beer and distill my own vodka here in Washington if I chose to (which I don’t), so how is not allowing growing treating marijuana like alcohol?

    DUID’s for medical marijuana patients are already up 400% here in Washington. That’s without the totally unreasonable limits that would be set by I-502. At least for now, these can be defeated in court. If I-502 passes, there will BE no legal defense in court for patients. According to the “compassionate” sponsors of I-502, this was simply added in an effort to convince ignorant voters that stoners would not be killing people on the highways. How about we just educate these voters rather than turning patients into criminals simply to get the votes of these uninformed voters? Call me crazy, but wouldn’t that make more sense?

    How much pot should you have? Under current Washington law, anything under 40 grams is a misdemeanor. Under I-502, anything over an ounce would be a felony! Is that your idea of an “improvement”? Is that your idea of legalization….adding much harsher penalties than we currently have?

    I think it’s only fair that you provide us with your opinions on these specific issues. The free exchange of ideas is a two way street. :-)

    Steve Sarich

  12. How legal is it to go buy a tomato plant from home depot or purchase any other type of seed’s. Weed Is just a plant after all seriously, but if they had to tax it to make it legal I guess i would be in support as long as they sold it like cigarettes I that would be straight.

  13. Initiative 502 is wacked. The DUI is a whole new prohibition. Worse then possession.

    The really really weird part of 502 is that they say you can go to the store and buy an ounce. But if you go to the store today and buy an ounce, and tomorrow and buy another ounce, you’d be a FELON for holding over 40 grams!

    How is a felony for 40 grams called legalization? WTF dude WTF.


  14. To me my ideal version of a world where sweet mary jane is legalized is one which utilizes the know how and initiative of those who have already defied the current (unjustified) laws to grow their own weed. Rather than only allow mega corporations grow weed, introduce a licensing system that is simple, fair and allows growers to continue doing what they love and to actually pay taxes on it while being able to make money on it. The domestic market for cannabis in USA is massive so there would be enough room for small, medium and large scale cannabis producers from USA, Mexico and Canada. The ideal business model would be one where the price of cannabis would be one where the price of cannabis to consumers goes down, supply is steady and the cost of growing goes down (more scope to use outdoors for cultivation). Under this scenario unregistered commercial growers could be considered illegal but that would be like setting up a distillery in your basement today – a waste of time when a trip to the liquor store is so much easier and convenient.

    Also if cannabis was to be legalized it could be used as a sort of pilot scheme for legalizing (or at least) decriminalizing other drugs. If big pharma was allowed to make mdma and other phenethylamines for the party scene it could be a major source of revenue and could drastically reduce the harm that comes with prohibition e.g. clandestine chemistry, cutting for profit, people consuming all that they have in their possession the moment they see cops with sniffer dogs heading their way.

  15. I have thought about legalization for years. Have read hundreds of books on the subject. Have become a student of human nature. Have thought extensively about all the points you bring up and more. I think incrementalism, whether good bills or bad bill are passed, is good. However, I think that is the third best strategy. The second best strategy would be, pass medical cannabis laws until a majority of states could force the federal government to reschedule cannabis, then push for full legalization. My number one strategy takes us way outside of the box of conventional thinking. All we would need, is one state to pass a bill, by popular vote, that states, the reasons the government has prohibited marijuana is based on lies. It would not change any laws and would not legalize anything. But I believe it would bring about a momentum of change and perception, that the prohibitors could not effectively counter.

    Please consider, that we live in a country that is run on manufactured consent, not informed consent. (Citing, Noam Chomsky ‘MIT professor’)

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