Legalize marijuana? Not so fast

Legalize marijuana? Not so fast

There are 226 comments on the Long Beach Press-Telegram story from Apr 24, 2010, titled Legalize marijuana? Not so fast. In it, Long Beach Press-Telegram reports that:

There's a sense among a lot of Californians that legalizing marijuana and then taxing it is some sort of panacea that would solve many law enforcement problems, make it safer to smoke pot and also produce a tax bonanza of $1 billion or more per year.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Long Beach Press-Telegram.

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Jeffry Pages

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#1 Apr 24, 2010
Legalizing Pot is the only way to go for California. Regardless of what this dude says, the people will buy legal Pot and use it. The government can regulate growing and keep bad chemicals from being used on Pot, unlike what illegal growers do now. Man, I'd rather smoke good clean organic Pot than some crap from Mexico that like, has DDT or some other crap sprayed on it! Plus, California Pot grown in California, processed in California and then sold and consumed in California is NOT WASHINGTON'S BUSINESS!!! I think like, the 10th Ammendment gives the State of California the right to do as we please.
elroy

Anaheim, CA

#2 Apr 24, 2010
"How likely are pot prices to remain at their present level of $10 per ounce or more? Not very"


its 10 + a GRAM , not ounce, geez
OhMy

Waterloo, IA

#3 Apr 25, 2010
"How likely are pot prices to remain at their present level of $10 per ounce or more?"

$10 an ounce???

The implementation and comfort level of any new program normally has its ups (No Pun Intended) and downs. That is a given.
Prohibition can create great wealth among those wishing to take the risks. Think Cali cartel.
Great wealth usually paves the way for great accomplishments in politics and power. Think J.F.K. & family.
Will this modern prohibition of hemp produce a leader of the free world? Similar to alcohols prohibition results?
This will be interesting indeed.
Ronald

Long Beach, CA

#4 Apr 25, 2010
Whenever pot is around, violence always seems to follow.

theledger.com/article/20100423/NEWS/100429916...

Ronald

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Uruao

Ontario, CA

#5 Apr 25, 2010
I must respectfully disagree with the article. First of all, the author's arguments on why cannabis would be harder to bring into legal production than alcohol do not hold water, as moonshining *was* rampant in America during Prohibition, but transitioned relatively well into legal business after becoming legal again. Also, simply because there hasn't been a tradition of taxpaying cannabis production doesn't mean there can't be.

Elias' speculation on what the feds may do if cannabis was legalized is just that- speculation. His thoughts on a Mexican drug war within our borders is completely absurd due to the fact that when a product is *legalized* and made infinitely safer to acquire, people will go for the legal option. Do you see turf wars between moonshiners now that alcohol is illegal? No! And by the way, the drug violence the author mentions is in countries where the substances are still illegal- negating his argument even further.

Finally, his moral judgments regarding cannabis are outdated and out of touch with reality. The "social benefit" will be helping to stop the violence and excessive strain on our prison and police systems associated with cannabis prohibition, as well as helping our state financially by regulating a product which is being grown and consumed anyway.
Kaleb

Torrance, CA

#6 Apr 25, 2010
Wow Tom... where to begin.

First, why would anyone buy marijuana illegally on the street from drug pushers when they can buy legally from domestic producers and know what they're getting (in terms of potency, quality, and contents)? How many people do you see buying bootleg tequila on the street?

Second, you argue that we don't have a history of legal cannabis growing & selling and therefore aren't in a position to meet the needs of a legal cannabis economy. That's ridiculous. CA is one of the nation's largest agricultural economies. I'm pretty sure that Californians will be able to figure out how to grow voluminous amounts of legal pot in a jiffy.

Then you ramble on about Federal prohibition. Educate yourself on the history of Federalism in this country. Change often comes from within via actions of the states. If we are going to end this ludicrous prohibition, it is going to come about through a groundswell at the state level. Sure, the Feds may continue to enforce their laws here in CA, but it won't be without a judicial fight.

Then you really manifest your ignorance by saying something about "$10 an ounce." I don't even smoke pot, and I knew that that was wrong. More relevantly, however, have you actually READ the legislation? The taxation rate is at $50 an ounce; it's not at all tied to the actual sales price. The price could be driven down $0.01 an ounce and the tax rate would remain the same, you dolt.

Your argument that legalization would somehow drive drug warfare from the streets of Mexico and Columbia into out own back yard is too spurious to even countenance. What are they going to do, threaten every retailer selling legal marijuana? You don't think there will be legal repercussions? That the rule of law will just dissolve? Nice doomsday scenario, Glenn Beck, but unlikely. Moreover, how do you propose the cartels fund this militarism with 70% of their income stream taken away?

Finally, as for potential delirious health effects, you cite an article from the Harvard Mental Health Letter, which in its preface notes that the AMA has "urged the federal government to reconsider its classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance;" meanwhile, you wholly ignore the evidence from numerous research studies showing marijuana to be both less addictive and less toxic than tobacco or alcohol.

If you're going to write articles like this "professionally," please try and understand both sides of the issue and don't make meritless arguments for your virtually baseless position.
whitenerdy07

Champaign, IL

#7 Apr 25, 2010
I don't know where you get your information about pot prices, but it is not accurate. Back in the 70's it was $20 per oz for what we would call mid-grade today. An ounce of primo weed today will easily run $300-$400. Standard price now seems to be $60 for 1/8 of an ounce. Ten dollars an ounce might get you some oregano.
Dick Kam

Fitchburg, MA

#8 Apr 25, 2010
elroy wrote:
"How likely are pot prices to remain at their present level of $10 per ounce or more? Not very"
its 10 + a GRAM , not ounce, geez
LOL I know...This article lost a lot of credibility right there...Legalize it, and I know people will buy it legit...Check out my music, its FSO (for stoners only)
www.myspace.com/dickkam
ItsBS

AOL

#9 Apr 25, 2010
Whenever BANKS are around, violence always seems to follow.
Whenever LIQUOR STORES are around, violence seems to follow.
Whenever JEWELRY STORES are around, violence seems to follow.
Ronald wrote:
Whenever pot is around, violence always seems to follow.
theledger.com/article/20100423/NEWS/100429916...
Ronald
Clark_Culver

Gastonia, NC

#10 Apr 25, 2010
Wow, that was one strange article. Where are you getting cannabis for $10 per ounce? And, you can not grow decent cannabis in a window box.

Legalization will create "Pot Wars?" What in the world? If its legalized, no one is going to buy from the cartels any more. End of story.

"By contrast, not a single significant taxpaying company has produced so much as an ounce of pot in this state or nation in the last century, if ever."

Nonsense. It's happening RIGHT NOW in medical marijuana states.

The only thing in this article that made any sense was the inevitability of a DEA hissy fit. As long as growers keep it small, they will fly under the radar. People who start large-scale operations will get busted.

The rest of this article was pure garbage. My advice is to learn about that which you write.
Joan

Menlo Park, CA

#12 Apr 25, 2010
Elias raises very good points about legalization. The proposition does not create a state tax on marijuana, so hyping it as a windfall to the state is misleading. It allows cities to opt out of legalization, which would create confusion as to where marijuana is legal, adding more confusion in relation to the federal illegality.

I think the Obama administration owes it to the citizens of California to announce its policy on this proposition before it is voted on so people will know what they are in for.

I agree it is morally bankrupt to legalize another addictive drug which has many harmful effects on the body and mind. Any medical benefits should be controlled by prescription by legitimate family doctors throug FDA approved medications.

We need a better policy on marijuana, but legalization, and particularly this misguided bill, are not it.
Graham

Toronto, Canada

#11 Apr 25, 2010
... and why do some growers "maintain heavily armed cadres of illegal immigrants around their often-boobytrapped gardens in national forests and other woodlands" ??... oh, maybe because it's illegal ... when you can't go to court to have your "business deals" sorted out, of course you're going to have to provide your own security.
wow

Peoria, IL

#13 Apr 25, 2010
the guy who wrote this don't know jack squat about law. The weed must be freed. Visit http://satanssmoke.us for more
Hostile Knowledge

Spring, TX

#14 Apr 25, 2010
This author's logic is so goofy that it borders on the bizarre.

I don't do drugs, including pot. But the massive expenditure of taxpayer money squandered on enforcing pot laws and its penalties has been a 100% failure.

There's an old adage: When you see that you are digging yourself into a deep hole, you put the shovel down and stop digging.
CCQ

Xenia, OH

#15 Apr 25, 2010
Alcohol is natural. Marijuana is genetically altered and concieved by Mexican Indians in a laboratory that is funded by the Mexican cartels from the state of Zacatecas.

Most of our country leaders like Lincoln, Washington, Nixon.,,ect.,.,drank alcohol, but they did not succumb to "reefer madness."

We do not need marijuana stores, but more liquor stores!

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Sam Sharp

United States

#16 Apr 25, 2010
I must concur with the other commentators. This guy Elias has evidently been flying under the radar of his boss. How could a legitimate news source allow such obviously false bullshit to be published? But of course most of us know that the Fox network can do it very well. This is just more of the weird. Hopefully, enough of this very ignorant populace will somehow find the yes button on election day. Fifty six percent support at this time gives us is a very small (but real) hope for passage. It will be an interesting election year to say the least.

Ronald

Long Beach, CA

#18 Apr 25, 2010
Hostile Knowledge wrote:
This author's logic is so goofy that it borders on the bizarre.
I don't do drugs, including pot. But the massive expenditure of taxpayer money squandered on enforcing pot laws and its penalties has been a 100% failure.
There's an old adage: When you see that you are digging yourself into a deep hole, you put the shovel down and stop digging.
Hostile Knowledge.

Beyond the issue of mind rot and addiction to a very dangerous drug, pot smoking is an anti social act. Those not taken off the street because of pot usage usually end up committing far more serious (often of a violent nature) offenses. The resultant incarcerations are far more demanding of the public purse. Since law enforcement turned a blind eye to pot users in the State, considering it a "minor" offense, our prisons have become crowded to the point of overflowing.

Ronald

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Matthew Oa

Long Beach, CA

#19 Apr 25, 2010
Legalizing Pot will further erode society. We do not need dopeheads driving on our streets and highways. It is bad enough with the drunk drivers.

Would you trust a dentist to work on your teeth if he is under the influence of pot? How about an airline pilot?

The smoke from Marijuana is even more damaging than cigarettes, as it is unfiltered.

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Matthew Ota

Long Beach, CA

#20 Apr 25, 2010
CCQ wrote:
Alcohol is natural. Marijuana is genetically altered and concieved by Mexican Indians in a laboratory that is funded by the Mexican cartels from the state of Zacatecas.
Most of our country leaders like Lincoln, Washington, Nixon.,,ect.,.,drank alcohol, but they did not succumb to "reefer madness."
We do not need marijuana stores, but more liquor stores!
"Natural" is just a catchphrase. How can you empirically define what is "natural" and what is not natural.
JohnNovak

Amity, OR

#21 Apr 25, 2010
"For one thing, major distilling companies had produced whiskey, beer and other alcoholic beverages legally for many decades before Prohibition. By contrast, not a single significant taxpaying company has produced so much as an ounce of pot in this state or nation in the last century, if ever."

See "Hemp for Victory". Hemp was one the most widely grown commercial crops before prohibition. Check your facts.

I realize you are mostly concerned with the drug aspect of this plant. Commercial Hemp needs to be removed from this classification, don't you?

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