Legalized Pot in CA No Longer Just a Pipe Dream
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Legalized Pot in CA No Longer Just a Pipe Dream
Posted by CN Staff on March 25, 2010 at 11:42:47 PT
By Kevin Modesti, Staff Writer
Source: Los Angeles Daily News 
Los Angeles, CA -- Word that a California voter initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use has qualified for the November ballot had people taking a deep breath Wednesday, even people who had never inhaled before. "Terrible!" Bill Spiegel, a 77-year-old grandfather who lives in Woodland Hills, said after hearing the news at a local shopping center. "I think it's foolish," Spiegel said. "I think it's sickening. We have too many problems ... as it is." 
But the initiative to legalize pot  and potentially tax it  sounded OK to Andrea Cobby, a 41-year-old stay-at-home mother of two from Tarzana. "Why should the wrong people be making money on something that doesn't hurt anybody?" Cobby said. "Drinking is so much worse (than marijuana). People drink and drive and kill each other. When you smoke pot, you go too slow to kill someone." Others were hazier on the pluses and minuses of the initiative known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010. "I think anything the state can do to generate funds to help us with our budget is an interesting concept," said Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association. "Instead of having a bake sale, I guess the state will be having a brownie sale." Saying he was speaking only for himself, not stating a position for VICA, Waldman said the state can't "just legalize it and turn this into the Wild West" but should balance the effects of loosening pot laws by directing funds to diversion programs for drug abusers. Waldman said if proponents want to win over average voters, they should emphasize the potential boon to financially strapped local governments. The measure's qualification for the Nov. 2 ballot was certified Wednesday after Los Angeles became the final county to turn in its tally of petition signatures to the California Secretary of State, pushing the statewide count to 694,248  far more than the 433,971 required. The Secretary of State's office said random sampling confirmed that enough of the signatures would be valid. Supporters tout a 2009 poll showing 56 percent of Californians favor decriminalization of marijuana, in a state that legalized use of weed for medical purposes in a 1996 ballot measure. The new measure would decriminalize cultivation and possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use by adults 21 and older, while barring its use in public, on school grounds and in the presence of minors. The measure also would authorize city and county governments to regulate and tax marijuana sales - or prohibit sales entirely. The initiative's qualification for the state ballot comes two months after legislation with similar aims was approved by a California Assembly committee before wheezing to a stop in another committee. Analysts said pot legalization is more likely to happen through the ballot box than in the Legislature because the issue is too hot for politicians. Law-enforcement officials have opposed loosening drug laws. The Los Angeles Police Department declined comment Wednesday. Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, a retired police officer, said the assertion that taxing marijuana can bail out cities and counties is a "ruse." "I don't think it's going to generate much money, to be honest with you," Zine said. "If you can grow your own, how is that going to be taxed?" Zine, who pushed Los Angeles' moratorium on new medical-marijuana dispensaries, said the state's acceptance for therapeutic pot use "opens the door" for tolerance of general use. "This is the classic example of a slippery slope," Zine said. "I know the (crime) problems we've had with the medical marijuana facilities in our communities. ... We have alcohol taxed and regulated, but still you have people who drink and drive and kill people on the highway. You have teens who are addicted." Medical-marijuana advocates generally have not joined broader legalization efforts, but say they monitor the possible impacts on medicinal users. A 22-year-old Sherman Oaks resident who identified himself only as Moe said Wednesday he would vote for the initiative. "I believe it's been a long time, and I'm glad it's come to this point," he said. "(Legalization) has become a movement because it's underground. "It's an epidemic across high-school campuses. It might be easier to regulate it if it's not in the hands of drug dealers." He said if marijuana became legal, he'd be more likely to smoke it. But he probably wouldn't grow it; he watched a TV program about growing marijuana, and it looked like a lot of work. Source: Los Angeles Daily News (CA)Author: Kevin Modesti, Staff WriterPublished: March 24, 2010Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles Newspaper GroupWebsite: http://www.dailynews.comContact:  -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on March 26, 2010 at 08:16:29 PT
Wild West if we legalize???
Isn't the Wild West what you have when the state's largest cash crop is a black or gray market?
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Comment #2 posted by cheebs1 on March 25, 2010 at 13:17:22 PT:
The Beat Goes On
"I know the (crime) problems we've had with the medical marijuana facilities in our communities. ... We have alcohol taxed and regulated, but still you have people who drink and drive and kill people on the highway. You have teens who are addicted." This line of attack is akin the the Starbucks argument. The very easily verifiable facts about the crime in and around dispensaries are a matter of public record. Instead of spouting sensationalist rhetoric maybe some fact checking should be done. The truth, when you can get police to tell it, show that there is not a significant upswing in crime around these places. They are no more dangerous than your local convenience store, in fact, they are less likely to be robbed than your local 7-11. The reason that a dispensary would be involved in a robbery is the same reason that your pizza shop would be involved. They have a product that people want and money that people have paid to get said product. More lies to scare the sheeple into bleating "NO".Peace, Love, and Pot
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on March 25, 2010 at 12:27:34 PT
Cops and the DoJ.
They are loosing respect every day. Even as we speak their creds are in the dumper and as they stubbornly maintain the same old budget saving mantras, proclaiming that the world is still flat!They won't stop us but if you adjust your sights you will see a show of whining the likes of which you have never seen before!"Yes I think it can be easily done, just put some bleachers out in the sun, out on highway 61! Whea Wheeeeuuuu! "
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