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  Patchwork of Pot Laws
Posted by CN Staff on November 10, 2010 at 19:58:08 PT
Opinion 
Source: Daily Breeze 

cannabis CA -- California has two minds on marijuana. Voters in 1996 thought it was OK for medicinal use, and just about any adult can get a "recommendation" to legally consume medical marijuana. But last week voters just said no to fully legalizing pot for recreational use and sale.

It's technically illegal to sell medical marijuana in California (it's supposed to be shared among collective members), yet several cities have enacted gross receipt taxes to raise revenue off the sale of medicinal pot. Los Angeles is currently considering taxing medical marijuana as well.

Meanwhile, last month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a new law that reduced the penalty for possession of an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor with arrest to an infraction with a $100 fine - no more serious than a speeding ticket.

And he went on NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" this week and declared, "No one cares if you smoke a joint or not."

That may be true, yet in California it's still a felony to grow, buy or sell marijuana for recreational use, even if you're growing your own personal stash.

To sum up the state's schizophrenic drug policy: Nobody cares if you have a joint, but you could end up in jail for acquiring that joint.

As California has slowly begun to decriminalize the use of marijuana, the state has failed to address the very serious question of where marijuana comes from.

Unfortunately, we see the results of crazy policy play out in our parks and forests, where elaborate illegal pot plantations have been discovered, and on our southern border. Just last week, federal authorities discovered 25 tons of marijuana in a San Diego warehouse that was the end of the line for an 1,800-foot-long tunnel running from Mexico.

It was just one of the schemes Mexican cartels have used to smuggle marijuana into California and the United States. So far, the state has been largely insulated from the horrific murders and violence perpetrated by the cartels south of the border, but how long before the drug war heads north?

But California policy ignores the fact that the appetite for marijuana and the decriminalization of pot possession will only fuel these illegal grow operations and the Mexican cartels.

Marijuana advocates figured legalization was the solution to state's schizophrenic drug policy, but Proposition 19 wasn't the answer. The measure would have allowed local governments to craft their own regulation and taxes on the sale of marijuana, which would have created a confusing, patchwork of rules. And the federal government was expected to crack down on any attempt in California to legalize the sale of marijuana.

If California's leaders are going to go down the path of decriminalizing marijuana possession, then they need to take a hard look at the growth, distribution and sale of marijuana. It's simply illogical to make possession an infraction and acquisition a felony.

Source: Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA)
Published: November 10, 2010
Copyright: 2010 The Copley Press Inc.
Contact: letters@dailybreeze.com
Website: http://www.dailybreeze.com/
URL: http://dailybreeze.com/ci_16578975

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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on November 11, 2010 at 08:01:47 PT
Like alcohol?
"The measure would have allowed local governments to craft their own regulation and taxes on the sale of marijuana, which would have created a confusing, patchwork of rules."

Yes, just like alcohol.

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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 11, 2010 at 07:06:16 PT
Paint with Light
Thank you. That was good.

Picture 27: "The problems are not all solved and the battles are not all won," Kennedy declared in his now-famous "New Frontier" acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, "and we stand today on the edge of a New Frontier, the frontier of the 1960s, a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils, a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats.... But the New Frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises -- it is a set of challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them.... Beyond that frontier are the uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered pockets of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus. It would be easier to shrink back from that frontier, to look to the safe mediocrity of the past, to be lulled by good intentions and high rhetoric -- and those who prefer that course should not cast their votes for me, regardless of party." Above: John F. Kennedy, Sept. 17, 1960.

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Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 11, 2010 at 07:00:52 PT
Paint with Light
Thank you for the picture link. I didn't read what was written so I will try to get to 27 again today.

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Comment #1 posted by Paint with light on November 10, 2010 at 20:36:09 PT
OT for FoM
I thought you might enjoy this visual trip in time.

http://www.life.com/image/first/in-gallery/51881

I especially like image 27 and what it says below it.

Legal like alcohol.

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