A Toke and a Tax
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A Toke and a Tax
Posted by CN Staff on June 10, 2009 at 16:25:53 PT
By Jeremy Singer-Vine
Source: Slate Magazine
USA -- The worse the economy gets, the better marijuana looks—not necessarily for its psychedelic properties, but for its revenue potential. As more cities and states face budget deficits, the idea that legal, regulated marijuana could reel in a bounty of taxes is gaining traction. This development has confounded legalization advocates, rendering their FAQs nearly irrelevant and plunging them into an unfamiliar debate: OK, say we legalize pot. How should we tax it?
The question is, not surprisingly, popular in California, which has a $24 billion deficit. In February, one lawmaker introduced a bill to tax and regulate cannabis sales to any adult over 21 at any licensed establishment—and in April, a poll found that 56 percent of Californians supported the idea. In May, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said it was "time for debate" about legalizing and taxing marijuana. Other states facing similar fiscal woes, such as Illinois, are considering proposals that would legalize and tax either medical or all marijuana. Sensing opportunity, marijuana-reform lobbyists have enticed legislators with promises of fat tax revenues, as high as $1 billion annually in California.Reform advocates are nearly unanimous in support of a marijuana tax similar in structure to taxes on tobacco and alcohol if it coincides with the drug's legalization. "This is the only constituency out there that's going to say, 'Bring it on; tax us,' " says Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project. But that's about where the agreement ends. The debate has been vicious at board meetings of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "There's a lot of blood all over the table," says Allen St. Pierre, NORML's executive director. "It's probably one of the most contentious issues that the board takes up."Tax debates often get heated, but a marijuana tax is particularly divisive because it's so speculative. (After 70-plus years of illegality, little is known about the economics of the drug.) A cannabis tax could be like an excise tax (a point-of-sales tax added to any sales tax, as exists in many places for gasoline, alcohol, cigarettes, and, potentially, soda), or it could be a pricey license to sell the product. Either method would increase the cost to consumers, who would in turn buy less of the product—a public health benefit in either instance. And unless people buy drastically less soda or pot, the government will pocket some extra cash. So far, it seems like a win-win situation.But there are complications. One is the thriving black market for marijuana, with sales valued, albeit shakily, as high as $100 billion a year. A high tax could keep the market underground, robbing the government of tax revenue. The theory is that John Q. Pothead would be willing to pay a premium so he can "go to a regulated establishment that can assure some level of safety and labeling," says Houston of the Marijuana Policy Project. But make the premium too high, he says, and users will just go to "that shady guy" on the corner. The problem is that nobody really knows what the optimum premium is.Speculation aside, there is one place where a marijuana tax is a reality: Oakland, Calif., which taxes sales of medical marijuana at 9.5 percent, the same rate as other goods in Alameda County. (Technically, 20 states require a tax stamp for marijuana sales, but the purpose of that policy is merely to add tax evasion to the list of penalties for drug dealing.) Additionally, the dispensaries pay a 1.8 percent business-receipts tax, as well as payroll taxes, to the city. Richard Lee, president of a "marijuana business school" called Oaksterdam University, says dispensary owners gain legitimacy by paying taxes. "The more we pay, the more the city needs us and wants us," he says.Still, even a pro-tax professor at a marijuana business school has his limits. When Oakland proposed an even higher business-receipts tax, Lee and other dispensary owners balked.Jeffrey Miron, a Harvard economist and proponent of broad drug decriminalization, suggests that we look to alcohol and cigarette taxes as a model for a potential cannabis tax. Even with so-called "sin taxes" of up to 90 percent of the total price, illegal markets, once widespread, account for a tiny fraction of total sales. Miron warns that initial marijuana taxes at such a level "would just be a total mess" due to the expansiveness of the black market and ease of growing marijuana at home. Instead he recommends starting with a low tax—perhaps at 25 percent of the total price—and then gradually increasing it.Of course, these relative numbers beg the question: What will the initial, untaxed price be? According to Lee, marijuana averages about $300 per ounce in the Bay Area (and the bill currently under consideration in the slate Legislature would tax pot at $50 per ounce—far higher than Oakland's dispensaries are paying now). A few reform advocates have tried to crunch the numbers. Dale Gieringer, who coordinates NORML's California branch, estimated in 1994 that free-market, untaxed pot would cost just 5 cents to 10 cents per joint, a potency-constant measure. Even adjusted for inflation, that's still at least 100 times cheaper than today's marijuana prices, according to Gieringer.But if history and the proposed soda tax are any guide, marijuana may end up among the most expensive intoxicants. Federal and state health departments have been "nudging" the public for decades to reduce the demand for tobacco, which has decreased roughly 4 percent for every 10 percent increase in price. Politicians and economists defend these Pigovian taxes as balancing the public health costs of cigarettes, as they would for marijuana. (Much of this argument would depend on whether legalizing marijuana causes a rise or a decline in alcohol consumption.)A steep excise tax would particularly infuriate libertarians, a critical constituency of the reform movement. The general tenet that "the government shouldn't be meddling with our minds, shouldn't be trying to nurture our behavior" extends to marijuana, says David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute and a former NORML board member.Whatever they do, governments that tax marijuana will have to balance a trio of related goals—reducing budget deficits, eradicating the black market, and improving public health. Inevitably, one goal will get the short end of the spliff. Harvard's Miron predicts that governments will give priority to reducing deficits in the current round of pot-reform debates. It's not the best argument for legalization, says Miron, who has estimated that U.S. governments could save almost $13 billion annually if they no longer arrested, prosecuted, or imprisoned marijuana buyers or sellers. But in an era of falling tax revenue, it may be the most effective one.Source: Slate Magazine (US Web)Author: Jeremy Singer-VinePublished: Wednesday, June 10, 2009Copyright: 2009 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Co. LLCContact: letters slate.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #43 posted by museman on June 14, 2009 at 10:56:32 PT
there is a myth
floating around, that the WOD 'caused' all these once decent human beings called cops, lawyers, judges, and politicans, to become corrupt. There is a mistaken belief that all this inhuman behavior suddenly came about because of the illicit power and false authority gleaned by all these people because of it (the WOD).Well, I don't want to burst anybody's bubble, but the concept and practice, related to the metaphor of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" has been there all along. It hasn't magnified, or increased, it has only been REVEALED.The doglike, embecile attitudes of cops and other forms of false authority, were always there, check your history. The fact that most of the population has been under a dark spell of ignorance and denial, along with willing capitualion to Spiritual Bondage, and physical slavery, for so long without realizing it, does not mean by any stretch that there was ever anything different, except in the volumes of rhetoric spouted over the centuries by the glib and fancy.The major fact that an open, truth-seeking consciousness can find a lot of help and illumination in the partaking of cannabis, is why the agenda of conquest acted as it did -in the form of our congress- to make cannabis illegal. Every reason that the prohibitionists throw out is pure emotional BS and hype, they attempted to create their own 'facts' and the less with-it of their numbers are still spouting those 'facts' trying to maintain the illusion of their own authority.The fact that the medicinal properties of cannabis can be attested to by the millions who have benefitted, are easily dismissed by the picked 'authorities' like 'doctors' whose hands are firmly embedded in the pockets of Big Pharma, and the peasants lap it up, and then go to work the next day.The fact that liberty was never delivered as promised by the slick-willies of the Revolutionary War, doesn't seem to be apparent -unless you step out of the lineup and look at the larger picture, and without some form of radical
mental/spiritual focus (religion and church do not qualify -those are just extensions of the emperors invisible robes.) most just live their lives in ignorance, without even bothering to look up.Cannabis can provide this focus, and give you a perspective 'out of the box', and that perspective, as the truth that it is, can be very liberating to the individual.The powers and authorities of the Status Quo do not want that!So there will be many offering us compromises, and false reason to justify these compromises -all linked to the continuation of the power of the ruling factions, and all half-truths easily swallowed by the cowed working class who have been thoroughly indoctrinated into the moralities of the Status Quo - all backed up by such illuminated phraseology as "accepting ones lot in life."The myth that the WOD has just sprung up out of one small group of agendas, in the recent past, is only partly true. The laws, and enforcement of them, and I'd hardly call that a 'truth' (though some people don't know the difference between a statistical 'fact' and the truth).The enemy of freedom has existed in power a lot longer than just the past 75 years. I can't continune to ignore that fact and truth, no matter what compromises the peasant-like people are willing to accept.And though the issue is crux and pivotal to all liberty. freedom, and common sense in living on the planet, cannabis prohibition may be the lynch pin that is holding a lot of BS in place, but the root of its insidiousness goes much further and deeper than many are willing to admit.But until lover of freedom start to admit these things, the compromises will keep coming, and the war will continue -which is really a war on consciousness, that has been going on for at least 10 thousand years.FREEDOM, LIBERTY, AND CANNABIS FOR ALL
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Comment #42 posted by Paint with light on June 12, 2009 at 20:23:03 PT
Hope #29
I can agree with that.It would be a good start.Then the world could come to know the true value of the plant cannabis.Legal like alcohol would accoplish all those goals and more.
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Comment #41 posted by kenincali on June 12, 2009 at 18:45:58 PT:
California trying to put legalization on the ballo
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Comment #40 posted by FoM on June 12, 2009 at 13:41:45 PT
Pot Advocates Want Calif. To Vote on Legalization
June 12, 2009URL:
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Comment #39 posted by runruff on June 12, 2009 at 08:16:00 PT
Check out the Donald Scott story! wrote here how I met his Daughter in 1994 but accidentally erased it.She showed me a trophy picture of the deputy who shot her Dad. He was in her front yard holding the weapon that he used smiling like a big game hunter. It was very sick. I'll bet now he wishes he would never had posed for that awful picture!
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Comment #38 posted by Hope on June 12, 2009 at 07:39:42 PT
Comment 37 FoM
So true.
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Comment #37 posted by FoM on June 12, 2009 at 06:34:17 PT
I do look at the way to change the laws is one step at a time. I think it was Dennis Peron that said all use is medical and I agree with that. Cannabis can calm a person. It can make a person smile. That is it's antidepressant qualities. It can calm an upset stomach. It can stop the mind from spinning out of control with worry. Even when I hear a person say I just want to smoke pot I wonder why they want to smoke pot. It can make a person feel better in general and that is what many of the drugs on the market claim as their benefit. Cannabis is inexpensive and doesn't have all the side effects of some of our current man made drugs.
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Comment #36 posted by Hope on June 12, 2009 at 06:31:06 PT
Jumping on the back of a killer...
In my metaphor... I'm not brave. I'm horrified and outraged... and horrified.
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Comment #35 posted by Hope on June 12, 2009 at 06:28:48 PT
"... how fast will other countries, and the UN, follow suit and change the laws that are currently in place once the US does?"We'll probably only know that when we see it."Will all of the citizens that are currently in prison for Cannabis possession be released and forgiven?"I hope so. I truly hope so and will do what I can to see that that happens.
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Comment #34 posted by Hope on June 12, 2009 at 06:21:44 PT
Methaphors for how we feel about it...
Metaphor wise, I don't feel a "Wall", as much as I feel, by saying what we think about it, publicly, like we've jumped on the back of a cruel armed killer and are hanging on for dear life. I won't kid you. I find it scary when I think about it sometimes. It literally makes me nauseous sometimes. It makes me sick sometimes. I need encouragement from others, like me, with me, that believe like me and agree with me to some or any extent, to keep hanging on, sometimes. People like those I've been cyber congregating with here at C-News for quite a while now. A hand on my back to keep me from falling off, sometimes is all I need.My outrage won't let me avoid it though. I have to do it. We all have to do it.I know what it takes, or took, just to speak to anyone privately that disagreed... much less publicly about what you believed about the war on drugs and the war on cannabis in particular. To do so, seemed... dangerous. Not at all unlike my metaphor of jumping on the back of a dangerous killer and hanging on for dear life... if nothing else but to slow him down in his ungodly carnage and destruction of people, their lives, their families, and indeed... society.That's my point of view. That's where I'm coming from.FoM is coming from the point of view of medical use, mostly, I think. She has very good reason for that. Her outrage, her realization of a terrible wrong gave us C-News. The medical need user is in as much danger from that terroristic government assault as the recreational user of the herb, and neither of them should be treated like they are. Once again, government has taken a wrong, arresting, threatening, and persecuting anyone for using cannabis, and made it even more wrong, more hideous, more unjust than it already is, by arresting and persecuting even the very ill, the blind, the afflicted, the wheel chair bound, the bed fast, the dieing even, who have found benefit in the plant. I know a killer... an out of control, true and real monster when I see it. Especially after you've watched what this one has done and for this long. You know it for sure.
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Comment #33 posted by FoM on June 12, 2009 at 05:56:40 PT
You're very welcome. I don't know the answers to your questions but I do believe if the drug war in the USA is changed to a less aggressive policy many countries will follow but not all of them. Maybe prison sentences will be reduced too. I like this picture from a Rolling Stone article I just posted.
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Comment #32 posted by Hope on June 12, 2009 at 05:51:48 PT
Donald Scott
Cannabis plants... pot plants... marijuana plants were a reasonable excuse to break into his home like a deranged gang of killers, and kill him, when in his surprise he walked out of his bedroom with a pistol in his hand to see what was going on. They really could have questioned him or even detained him without those tactics. He was not known as a dangerous, unreasonable man. The fact that Donald Scott was also a wealthy landowner that owned property the government wanted only made the already hideous even more hideous.Of course, I'm outraged. What sane person wouldn't be?
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Comment #31 posted by Hope on June 12, 2009 at 05:47:41 PT
Esequial Hernandaz
Killing a kid with a high powered sniper rifle because he thought he thought he saw a predator of some sort in the bushes of a landscape he likely knew like the back of his hand, and took some shots at it with an old 22? Of course, he really did see "A Predator". A worse and more deadly and monstrous thing than he ever could have imagined would be preying on him in the solitude, where he'd grazed his little herd many times. That sniper in a ghilly suit wasn't within range of Esequial's rifle even if he was shooting straight at him, as I recall. With that scoped, sniper rifle, he could have shot Esequial's rifle out of his hands. Actually, he could have even put a danged bullet up the barrel of Esequial's rifle if he'd wanted to. That sniper would not have been there in Esequial's desert pasture if not for the war on drugs.
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Comment #30 posted by Hope on June 12, 2009 at 05:41:23 PT
It might be selfish of me. It literally, really hurts me every time I learn that the government busts into peoples houses screaming, arms brandished. Purposely totally terrifying children, babies, and everyone they can. Killing people and pets. Calling people foul names and treating them very badly because they are suspected of having something to do with contraband herbs and drugs. And this because they "might flush evidence" of prohibited consumable substances? It's so totally beyond me why anyone can't see the wrongness and the nightmarish implications of that sort of behavior on the part of the government of any country. But my country? The United States of America? My Country, 'Tis of thee I sing? It hasn't happened the odd once or twice in some roguish backwoods part of the country. It happens a lot. All over the country. Our government sprays poison on people, the children, the elderly, and their land, and animals, in other countries because of it? For illicit substances?
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Comment #29 posted by Hope on June 12, 2009 at 05:35:19 PT
Paint with Light.
Once again, if I may, I want to make it clear exactly "What" it is I, personally and dearly want. I want the killing, the fear, the imprisonment, the persecution, the mistreatment, the demonization, the unnecessarily horrific dangers caused by prohibition and illegality to end. 
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Comment #28 posted by SnowedUnder on June 12, 2009 at 05:27:38 PT:
What I'm very interested in finding out is
how fast will other countries, and the UN, follow suit and change the laws that are currently in place once the US does? Just one other thing. Will all of the citizens that are currently in prison for Cannabis possession be released and forgiven? Thank you FOM for all you've done for us here. 
Peace be with you all.
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Comment #27 posted by Hope on June 12, 2009 at 03:49:05 PT
comment 23 John Tyler
Yes. I've noticed it for some time now. One younger person I know gave me a peace sign necklace for Christmas last year. War in their lives has likely contributed to their appreciation of the peace sign, too.A dentist recently was pleased to see one of my grandsons wearing a Hendrix t-shirt and really enjoyed telling him about having seen Hendrix in person. That was one visit to the dentist he kind of got a kick out of ... having met someone who actually saw Hendrix live, and alive. Neil was right, of course. "Hey, Hey, My, My. Rock and Roll will never die!"Rock on!How else can we stand all this?
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Comment #26 posted by Paint with light on June 12, 2009 at 00:01:49 PT
I am hoping for rescheduling within two years(after some form of commision is complete), and some form of regulated sales soon after.I am divided on whether sales will be regulated by federal law or state law.I have always believed if you keep spreading the truth long enough, you eventually win.It has taken a lot of work by a lot of people to get us where we are now.It has taken both the even, deliberate, approach such as FoM's, and the passionate "We want it now!", approach of Hope.I am sure everyone knows where they fall in that definition of dedication.I try to publically maintain the mellow approach but inside I am roaring at the injustice of it all.I still want someone to tell me what the Obama folk's have said are their objections to cannabis in all three forms.We have to remember the three p's of cannabis.Products(hemp), pharmaceuticals, and pleasures.Which uses do they most object to and why?We can't know the next steps until we hear the objections.Legal like alcohol......soon, I hope.
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Comment #25 posted by dagman11 on June 11, 2009 at 23:35:09 PT
Thanks for those answers, I am excited to see how 
this will turn out. It will also be interesting to see the debate shift from whether to regulate it, to how to regulate it;
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Comment #24 posted by Miranger on June 11, 2009 at 22:41:29 PT
We can only hope but sometimes things take ALOT longer for people to realize than you expect ala Global Warming.
I don't see Obama doing anything about this issue until PERHAPS his 2nd term (if by then the media is done with him and have already turned on him).
But its optimism ladies and gents and sometimes hoping doesn't speed up the process...
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Comment #23 posted by John Tyler on June 11, 2009 at 21:47:13 PT
Off topic summer fashions
I my area the department stores are carrying lines of casual and children summer clothing with retro hippy themes. Flowers, butterflies and peace signs, Woodstock and Bob Marley t shirts, etc., etc. Seems like a good sign to me. Have you noticed that in your areas of the country?
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Comment #22 posted by John Tyler on June 11, 2009 at 21:33:19 PT
Anderson Cooper 360 next week
I saw an ad for the Anderson Copper 360 show at 10 pm EST next week. He will be doing a series all week on cannabis legalization. Can we afford legalization? Can we afford not to legalize? It might be interesting. CNN has some good articles. The movement is definitely making progress. We have to keep on keeping on.
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Comment #21 posted by RevRayGreen on June 11, 2009 at 19:23:19 PT
Comment #20 posted by The GCW 
excellent analysis of our future........reefer madness will expose many to oversight of the money wasted to enforce the lies.
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Comment #20 posted by The GCW on June 11, 2009 at 18:31:07 PT
You asked, "is there any chance of a change in scheduling and decrim of mj within the next 5 years? And where do you see our cause at the moment."I think there is a chance. What I think You want to know though is if We think it will happen. -YES to that too. Better, cannabis will be RE-legalized, not just decriminalized.Where I see the movement; is going in the right direction & now at a quicker pace. 
More and more people are receivinging HEAD SPINNING key information and truth which discredits lies, half-truths and reefer madness propaganda.
I think the cannabis issue is exposing the whole political system.Think about it. The cannabis issue keeps hemp from being farmed by "free" American farmers and that causes part of the fall of Our country.If hemp was being farmed all the last many years, America would not have lost so many jobs to overseas countries.There is so very much that boggles the mind that is coming into the light.Cannabis prohibition screws every living creature.--And people accross the globe are learning that truth.
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Comment #19 posted by EAH on June 11, 2009 at 17:04:00 PT:
smart transition and what really possible
Legalization will need to de incentivize home growing in sizable quantities. Just like alcohol, what is "commercially" available will have to cheap enough and attractive in variety and quality to make only the most motivated interested in growing. It will be necessary to prevent any motive to steal or rob from homegrowers. Legal cheap and excellent commercial cannabis will mean very few homegrowers. It will also mean greedy legislators will have to enact reasonable, realistic and functional regulations. License producers and tax at a rate that keeps cost to buyers well below current "black market" levels. Legalization should not be seen as a means of capturing tax revenue at current prices. Those prices are artificially high.Having been involved for over 30 years in the black market, I know exactly 
how to design a legal regulation scheme that would work and accomplish the desired goals.
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Comment #18 posted by Sam Adams on June 11, 2009 at 14:56:10 PT
Mr. Lynch
Charles and his mother have big smiles so we'll count this as good news! 
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on June 11, 2009 at 14:36:25 PT
It was a very good program. We really enjoyed watching it. I wish it had been 2 hours instead of just one. Thank you. I'll keep looking for an article about Barney Frank and post it as soon as I find one.
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Comment #16 posted by josephlacerenza on June 11, 2009 at 14:30:16 PT
Some News from NORML
I found this on NORML FoM. Oh, on another note, I was watching Montana PBS last night and they had a great look at Neil Young and all his getting around!!! I mean even his work with DeBo, Whip it, I think I spelled that right!? Great program!!
Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act Reintroduced In Congress
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on June 11, 2009 at 12:22:50 PT
Update On Charlie Lynch
Pot Dispensary Owner Sentenced to a Year and a Day in Prison June 11, 2009URL:
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on June 11, 2009 at 12:00:49 PT
I think I must be patient to do CNews. That is because if I get too involved emotionally I could mess up what I have been trying to accomplish. That's why we all have different approaches for different areas of our activism. Being smart about reform is not becoming too narrow minded and we should allow change to come however it finally arrives. I don't need to write the last chapter in the book but only worry about the journey.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on June 11, 2009 at 11:37:42 PT
FoM and I are friends and true spiritual sisters.
But we're different, even though we're remarkably alike.She's much more patient than I. Although, God knows, I work on it and have had to learn the skill, or virtue, or whatever it is. But my tendencies run towards kicking down the walls or looking for the right sledgehammer, while she works on a sensible exit. But I'm always keeping my eyes on her patient sensible work because I know she's more likely to get through the wall sooner and more safely than I am, in spite of all my noise and kicking.Either way. However it works out. We're breaking down the wall and justice will be more like justice someday because of all our efforts.:0)My toes and head will be sorer though... and I might be limping through, or have a more dented helmet as I go through the doors to renewed freedom and liberty she helps establish.
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on June 11, 2009 at 11:22:15 PT
I've got an "opinion" on that Dagman.
Yes. I believe there will be change within the next five years. Within the next three years actually. Of course, that's just what I think, and I'm certainly no prophet or diviner of the future.It may not get completely right during that time... but I feel very positive that it's going to get a lot better, as long as we all keep hammering at it. I'm sure of it.We've been a small grass roots group of people that have gone up against a mammoth juggernaut. But... as you may have noticed... we've become something of a little juggernaut, ourselves. And we're growing everyday.Every time they arrest someone's child or someone's neighbor... or anyone... we're that much closer to having more people have all they can stand of it. I hate that that is one thing that is helping us end this debacle of injustice, because that is what we're trying to end... but it does help our cause almost more than anything we might do and they... the prohibitionists are doing it to themselves. They're hurting us when they do it of course. They mean to hurt us. They're hurting the people. But every time they arrest, hurt, kill, expel, fire, intimidate, or threaten anyone... someone, comes over to our side. The side of reason and sanity. The side that realizes that there is a jackboot on the necks of the citizens. Our voice increases. We get louder. We can't be ignored as much as we used to be for that very reason.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on June 11, 2009 at 11:18:00 PT
 I think we are in a state of confusion at the moment. We have done a 100% turn around from Bush to Obama. I am patient because if I wasn't patient I would have stopped doing CNews years ago. I realize that in life what we want and what we get are two different things. I think in steps not in end results. If I looked only at the end I would quit trying. If we as a community look at changing the laws on marijuana in that manner we will move forward I believe. If we won't accept anything but full legalization we will get angry and become less efficent at accomplishing good sound steps that we need. We have a thinking President and I believe we stand a chance at at least decrim and rescheduling in the next 5 years. I think we will slowly see marijuana become a non issue and arrests will naturally start to slow up. We will not win this war with a big bang but only a whimper.
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Comment #10 posted by dagman11 on June 11, 2009 at 10:55:55 PT
Fom and/ or any other CN veteran,
Reflecting upon all you know of this issue, is there any chance of a change in scheduling and decrim of mj within the next 5 years? And where do you see our cause at the moment. Thanks a lot for your input. 
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Comment #9 posted by Zandor on June 11, 2009 at 08:09:30 PT
This just in from San Bernardino County!!!
Not that I trust them to NOT turn over this list to the Sheriff to use like an arrest check list of perpetrators!!But they caved in for now anyway. Just don't trust them as far as you can throw them and watch your back!!San Bernardino county and their Sheriff have NO HONOR and will do anything they want whenever they want and let the courts decide!!
San Bernardino Co. To Issue Medical Pot IDs
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 11, 2009 at 07:23:07 PT
Just Checking In
Hopefully I'll find some news to post later on today. It's just a very slow time of year. 
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on June 11, 2009 at 06:17:41 PT
Big Pharma news
Someone just got permission to give drugs to children: would you rather have for morning sickness, "metoclopramide" or "cannabis"?
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Comment #6 posted by hotrodtommy on June 11, 2009 at 02:49:03 PT:
legalize MJ
It is amazing to me the quandary we're in. Between the major debate on how to work out which way to tax marijuana, and the black market situation being a monster issue, add to that the alcohol co.'s don't want grass legalized, and neither does the prison system. If people can grow it, how will that be regulated? Can we share our bounty? It amazes me that about 75 years ago this whole twisted mess got started. Up until then smoking powerful herb was known for it's benefits. And, it was not illegal. Some will argue 'so was opium', or whatever. Marijuana is in a class by itself. Cannabinoids can be smoked and ingested and benefitted from in many ways. Like everything, it has properties that make it a double edged sword. Smoking anything probably isn't very good for our intake systems, but the downsides from MJ are minimal in relation to it's benefits, and more so to the downsides of many other legal, regulated substances. Today Rx drugs are rampantly destroying many lives, some that could otherwise benefit from marijuana use. And what of the social impact? Will young people eventually loose some of the desire to rebel by smoking pot? Will drunk driving auto accidents decrease? So many facets of this issue to consider, I'm only scratching the surface. It sickens me when I think about people in prison, for simple marijuana possesion. I think we all know that eventually, smoking marijuana will be legal. The big question is, when? I can hope that in about 5 years or so, whoever may be in Office, we'll be past the debate part of this issue. Big money is also a HUGE part of this issue, and that can never be overlooked, or overstated.  Hmm, and this is just the marijuana issue...
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Comment #5 posted by rchandar on June 10, 2009 at 17:58:10 PT:
...i've only been there as a tourist. It's a normal thing there, with many bars filled with people early in the morning. There isn't that kind of stigma, it's pretty night, there are more tourists sitting and relaxing. But during the day? Not a big deal, not at all, even for working people. ...there are limits to the Dutch "gedoogbeleid," that is true. Your people don't always like us Americans. Usually, though, I've found that isn't the case and it's still a very open country with very few taboo-like ideas. I've found that, with a minimum knowledge of Dutch, most people that you want to talk to will open up enough that you can enjoy yourself....lots of people come on these boards and ask the ultimate question: "can I get a job there?" or, "can I work at a coffee shop?" Now this isn't nearly as easy, folks. You can get a job--it won't be a high-paying one, and usually it'll be some kind of entry-level service job where your work is technically illegal and unprocessed. Should you have money, though, Amsterdam is one of the best places in the world to live.--rchandar
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 10, 2009 at 17:36:45 PT
Any person with a heart couldn't do it.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on June 10, 2009 at 17:24:50 PT
Great article on RI legislator
A man among men: could you veto this guy?
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on June 10, 2009 at 16:59:39 PT
Sorry, more ..
What I meant to say: With legalization eventually use of marijuana will go down, I think, at least this is how it was in Amsterdam. And then ... we have a lot of tourists and they smoke a lot, especially the Americans ...All marijuana use is relatively good for you and will make you healthier! Then separately there are these factors; will alcohol use then go up or down? And the same with cigs. Of course it will make legal prescription drugs and aspirin use go down as it will eliminate the need for this when one can use marijuana at a reasonable price.Thirdly, being from Amsterdam, it is hard to compare to the US with alcohol consumption. Alcohol use is very normal in Amsterdam and not illegal while in the street. In the US, it is frowned upon and it is punishable in many places. This explains the binge drinking phenomena in the US. There is no binge-drinking in the Netherlands, unless you consider the whole city of Amsterdam on a Saturday night and other big cities. Bars are open until 3-6 AM the next day most weekends and on weekdays close at 1-3 AM!
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on June 10, 2009 at 16:43:28 PT
2 Points stick out to me ... 
#1. "Politicians and economists defend these Pigovian taxes as balancing the public health costs of cigarettes, as they would for marijuana."This is brought up a lot, by the pundits, as is; "this will lead to increased use" or abuse, as they phrase it.IMHO if there is (long term) increased usage then I think there will be a lot of savings from people who will substitute in various degrees and get off alcohol or cigarettes, or use less.whether legalizing marijuana causes a rise or a decline in alcohol consumption.I have no stats on this for the US, I would not be able to guess at this time.Could be either way, I think.
Legalize It!
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