Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pot referendum in California

Update, Dec. 16, 2009: The referendum will be on the 2010 ballot. It's not the same exact ballot initiative that I discussed in the post below, but it does indeed put the question of full legalization to voters.

Apparently, if Christopher Springer gets his way, and he can collect about 700,000 signatures, a referendum will be put to Californians in November of whether to legalize (sort of) marijuana for everyone over the age of 18, and let it be sold anywhere alcohol is. The title of the article – "California to legalize weed for everyone" – is a bit misleading, but the initiative is very much real, and you can read the full text on the California Attorney General's site, here. As it is now, California has legalized medicinal marijuana, but the rules are so lax and the incentives to plentiful that with $100, you can see a doctor and, pretty much without hassle, get a prescription for anxiety, insomnia, or any other unverifiable, widespread ailment. The referendum, if passed, would impose a tax of $5 on each eighth of an ounce sold (that's the most common unit of sale, which retails for between $20 and $70 depending on quality, and is enough for anywhere from ten to thirty joints), plus a $50 tax on growing plants (which can yield many ounces). There would be some anonymizing provision to keep the feds away, who insist that regulating the use and sale of marijuana is within their purview as per the Commerce Clause. Despite marijuana's illegality, its use is fairly widespread: over 40% of Americans admit having tried it (the highest in the world), a number that is sure to grow as older generations who weren't exposed to it die out and younger ones replace them.


Anonymous said...

its about time. too many people get thrown in jail for it

Anonymous said...

HOW can you let ban pot and still let people buy alchohol when drunk drivers kill 15,000/ year.