Reported by Legalize.co: Here is some legalize.co news which we hope you enjoy! We have seen this same story unfold over and over. Meaning if you take a look what is written here you can clearly see more detours as we have seen so many times.
Voters in three Western states prepare to decide on Nov. 6 on laws that would make small amounts of pot legal for recreational use. Along with the Colorado Amendment 64, Initiative 502 in Washington and Measure 80 in Oregon would allow people who are 21 and older to buy less than an ounce of marijuana from shops regulated by the state.
Essentially cannabis would be treated by the state in a similar fashion to tobacco and alcohol. Sales and regulated growing operations would be taxed and licensed. Or, would they?
If the proposals pass, the states may well become social laboratories, settling a very old debate, around since 1937 when Congress made marijuana illegal. Will the sky fall if small amounts of pot are legal for recreational use? I doubt it very seriously.
Despite the urging of drug enforcement experts, Washington officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, have not yet said how the U.S. government would deal with possible state laws in the three states. Those laws would conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act. Federal law prohibits the production, possession and sale of marijuana and classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, putting it in the same category as heroin and LSD. Personally, it doesn’t matter as the only issue on point is marijuana.
All three ballot initiatives are a step beyond laws legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. Starting with California in 1996, 17 states, including the three with these ballot proposals, have passed laws legalizing the manufacture, distribution and possession of marijuana for such purposes. Arkansas has a similar medical marijuana measure on the ballot Nov. 6. Hopefully the polls will be bustling with people casting their vote.
Oklahoma voters have not faced either question but they could, depending on the Nov. 6 outcome. Oklahoma has changed drastically over the years and there is many more youths who occupy the state every day.
“If Washington and Colorado win in November and both of them have a good chance to do so, it is going to be transformative in the way we think about marijuana policy in this country,” Ethan Nadelmann, a professor and legalization advocate with the Drug Policy Alliance, told Fox News last week.
Local polls show Colorado’s Amendment 40 leading by 51 percent, the measure appears ahead in Washington and dead even in Oregon. Yet, Nadelmann’s predictions might be overly optimistic.
Coloradoans defeated a similar measure just six years ago and Californians, their state on the brink of bankruptcy, voted the question down two years ago despite predictions that it could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues.
The revenue-generating possibilities are being pushed by supporters such as the Treat Marijuana Like Alcohol group in Colorado, who claim revenues would help fund education. But truly they do and by having regulation in place all citizens can breathe easy as laws regulating the reform would and should be strict.
For years, (illegally grown) marijuana has been a top cash crop in several states, including Oklahoma. Why shouldn’t states cash in on a product that’s going to be produced on the black market despite law enforcement’s best efforts to eradicate it? Why not regulate and tax Oklahoma marijuana production and direct the money toward everything that ails this state, which is plenty? It wouldn’t be the first time that the state’s profited from sin taxes.
Nevertheless, the economic incentive argument has plenty of holes, including the cost of a bureaucracy to regulate growers and production and it says nothing about potential social and health costs. We do believe the growers/farmers should be regulated and punished if they violate the law. Everything the grower/farmer should know is if this law is passed they do not try to evade the market with low grade strains in order to profit.
Would Oklahoma, with its monumental drug problems, be creating another monster if it allowed the legal production and regulated sales of recreational marijuana? We seriously doubt it as there is no comparison to methamphetamine. We all know meth is a killer and makes people go literally nuts. Marijuana is naturally grown with potency that can be controlled.
Nobody knows the answer to that question but what we do know is that decades of enforcement of marijuana laws here have not reduced demand. Studies show that marijuana use among teens, for instance, is greater than ever and pot, in some areas, is easier for minors to obtain than beer. With that in mind, would legalizing small amounts of pot (for adults) lead to kids raiding their parents’ stashes or obtaining (legalized) pot some other way? In today’s world, most law enforcement officers would like to see it legalized to some point. Police officers abroad seem to agree that marijuana is basically harmless.
As Buckley admonished, legal practices should be informed by realities. And, the reality is that about 700,000 marijuana-related arrests are made each year nationally. Nearly 90 percent involve nothing more than mere possession of small amounts of marijuana but if convicted, offenders are left with blemished records that haunt their futures and employment possibilities. This really pisses off a lot of people as their lives are ruined over a big nothing arrest that was over sensationalized in the first place.
“This exercise in scrupulosity,” Buckley said, “costs us $10-$15 billion per year in direct expenditures alone.”
Is it worth it? Apparently so, because the public continues to pay for it. This is because the people want it and it will never go away. We really think it is worth the public voting on exactly what they want. The police do not make the laws the people do. If the people want to vote it into law then it shall be. With all the medical marijuana already on the market we have made great strides in making it legal. With the exception of some unscrupulous dispensaries trying to go around the law most are law abiding. The federal government may disagree but they are the same ones who disagreed with alcohol back in the day.
Despite years of waging a largely loser drug war there’s not always a lot to show for the effort. Consumption remains high and far less is spent on education and treatment.
A rational drug policy continues to elude us. Yet, this political season neither presidential candidate has said much on the subject. That’s precisely what Buckley predicted long ago.
“We’re not going to find someone running for president who advocates reform of those (cannabis laws). What is required is a genuine republican groundswell. It is happening but ever so gradually.” We bet even the President would agree the people make the laws of the land. Too, we believe the legalization of marijuana is coming. It does not make you go crazy and it does not make you commit crimes, people commit crimes based on their own volition.
Too bad Buckley is not around to see what happens in those three Western states on Nov. 6th ballot.
“Historically, the marijuana debate is following America’s laboratory of democracy tradition,” says Ronald Fraser, Ph.D., who writes on public policy issues for DKT Liberty Project. “New public policy ideas are first tried in individual state ‘laboratories’ before they are exported to other states or imposed nationally. The first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana will certainly become a closely watched policy experiment,” Fraser said. It can be called an experiment all day but if the people want it then it will become law. With strict regulation we can tax it and save the economy as well. Legalize.co supports the current laws and would support the legalization of recreational marijuana with strict regulation. Mainly to keep it out of children’s hand void a doctor’s prescription.