Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Proposition 19. Just Say Now!

with 3 comments

It looks as if, on 2nd November 2010, a small but very significant part of the world will at last come to its senses and legalise cannabis.

On that date, California voters look likely to approve Proposition 19 on the state-wide ballot that legalizes various marijuana-related activities, allows local governments to regulate these activities, permits local governments to impose and collect marijuana-related fees and taxes, and authorizes various criminal and civil penalties.  Currently the polls show that about two-thirds of voters are in favour.

Over the age of 21 it will be legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and to cultivate an area of up to 25 sq ft on private property.  The state estimates it will collect about £1.4 billion pa in new tax revenue.  save $200 million pa in law enforcement costs and generate an additional $12 – $18 billion pa for California’s economy, with 60,000 to 110,000 new jobs.   As the Americans say, with one of their most unpleasant expressions, “It’s a no brainer”.

In America they finally seem to have got past listening to the stupid scare stories and propaganda about the cannabis plant.  The misinformation has ranged from the idea that marijuana makes white women promiscuous with black men to the suggestion that it causes psychosis in adolescents.  Both of these ideas are as impossible to prove as each other.  America also  recognises the huge medicinal benefits of cannabis with medical marijuana legal in 14 states and planned in 15 more.   As a recreational drug,  cannabis use is almost never associated with the sort of anti-social behaviour that alcohol causes.   It produces an essentially peaceful, happy and soporific effect.

Instead of insulting and ignoring their scientific experts as we do in the UK, Americans are now more interested in the facts and a pragmatic approach to drugs policy.  The “war on drugs” is now universally recognised as having been an abject failure.  We should, of course, have learned from the experience of alcohol prohibition in the early 20th century.  That created the whole idea of gangsters and organised crime.  We managed to repeat the same mistakes all over again with drugs.

In ironic appreciation of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say Nc” campaign, those in favour of Proposition 19 have adopted the slogan “Just Say Now”.  In addition to the direct financial benefits, the state expects to be able to focus police priorities on violent crime, cut off funding to violent drug cartels and better protect children, road users, workers and patients from illegal, unregulated use.

The UK will eventually follow down this inevitable path.   The only questions are how many lives will we ruin and how much time and money will we waste before we finally get there?

See here for the latest updates and news on Proposition 19.

3 Responses

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  1. This has been an interesting one to follow, it’s taken a few twists and turns. Most notably, Gvnr. Schwarzenegger; he was quite the champion of the marijuana movement in California, and then he had a bit of a change of heart. As did some Democrats. One wonders why, this video could hint at conclusions:

    Also, you know desperation has come into play when stories such as these start to come out:

    And the nutters come out too:,0,4247797.story

    Certainly some interesting things going on. If only we could throw support there way too. Unification across the board would be nice.

    Jason (HomeGrown Outlaw)

    August 15, 2010 at 12:32 am

    • Thank for those links. Nothing very worrying there though. I see that hasn’t got up and going at all. It’s still just a one page “coming soon” message. It looks like this is going to go through and when it does I think politicians all over the world are going to wake up a little.

      At least in the USA you get all sorts of people debating these issues. Here they just smother any debate. Although both Cameron and Clegg have advocated legalising cannabis in the past, the Home Office’s current position is a complete stonewall, denying that any change at all in any drugs policy is ever going to take place. The outcry for leag cannabis on the Your Freedom website has been astounding but have we have yet to hear a single peep in response.

      All we can do is keep on fighting. A recent LibDem poll showed 70% of people in favour of legalising cannabis. Even in our strangled democracy, where politicians determine their own agenda, irrespective of the electorate, we will eventually make progress.

      Peter Reynolds

      August 15, 2010 at 9:52 am

  2. […] Proposition 19 passes on 2nd November (see here), the world will sit up and take notice.   Even Humpty Dumpty will have to engage his brain then […]

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