Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘voters

Proposition 19. Just Say Now!

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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.

The Dunkirk Spirit

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Gotta Get Home To Vote!

I can see it now.  Gordon as beachmaster in his tin hat.  Long lines of stranded tourists and businessmen queuing out into the surf to be rescued by our plucky boys and ferried home to Blighty.  Look, there’s Alistair falling over in the waves again and I can see Peter is serving tea and bully beef sarnies to anyone who’ll listen to him for a couple of minutes.

Our Fearless Leader

Ed Balls is smiling broadly as he builds sandcastles with some of the kids and his missus, Yvette, is trying out her French with some of the locals.  Alan Johnson is refusing to listen to any of his advisors as he loads more and more Labour voters into overcrowded rowing boats.

Don't Panic! Me And The Missus Are Here

The two Milliband brothers are checking who can get a place and who can’t, “Labour voters this way.  Women, children and Tories wait your turn!”

Another glorious defeat plucked from the jaws of victory.

“We’ll fight them on the beaches, on the landing grounds, at airports up and down the country.  I knew we could rely on Iceland to come to our rescue.  If the volcano won’t come to Gordon, then Gordon will go to the volcano.  No more boom and bust.  Vote Labour or die!

Don’t panic!  Don’t panic”

Labour Voters This Way!