I'm sure I wouldn't be able to afford it myself but it could help with balancing the budget a lot if it were taxed like tobacco and alcohol are. It appears to cause less health problems than tobacco and alcohol and has been proven to help people with certain health problems. Why not look at how Amsterdam handles this substance.
Listen I know that there is the tax incentive that it can bring in not just the city but the state. I understand that there are people who should be entitled to rights to use it when medically necessary. But I'm unsure as to what this all would mean. About a month ago there were two robberies one person killed and another hurt in Los Angeles (Echo Park) area. These incidents occurred in legal marijuana shops. My biggest fear is; will these types of incidents be happening her?
I think marijuana should be legalized but I think it should be as controlled as any potent substance. In the same way that alcohol lists the percent of alcohol content on the container, then marijuana should list the strength of THC in it. In the same way any product should list "contents" then marijuana packages should list contents - either "100% marijuana" or "80% marijuana, 20% cigarette tobacco" or whatever. It should have the same list of warnings as found on any OTC medication - "warning, may cause drowsiness or impair judgement. Do not drive for 60 minutes after using."
My concern is that it will be "legal" without sufficient prudent regulations. It should be legal but not just sold on every street corner by anyone with a stash. It should be packaged for sale similar to tobacco products, and packages should be tested for additives, adulterants, pesticides and contaminants. If current medical marijuana sales do not provide the required labeling, then they should as part of the legalization.
I believe all victimless crimes should be legalized so that it can be taxed and made safe. Prohibition resulted in lost taxes, bathtub gin that blinded and killed people, and mob involvement. Legalizing marijuana and other recreational drugs would make them taxable, safe, and get rid of drug gangs. Even though I reject recreational drugs such as Ecstasy, leaving them illegal means that young people get contaminated drugs and die at raves, parties, etc. At least legalization gives the opportunity to make drugs safe. Kids WILL drink, but at least they don't die from bathtub gin. Kids WILL take drugs it would be best to reduce the risk and get rid of the gang involvement.
As for the recent robberies mentioned above, I think there are two causes: 1) because marijuana is illegal, obtaining it will often be done through illegal means. When Dillinger was asked why he robbed banks, he replied: "That's where the money is." The other cause is simple: we live in dangerous times. We read every day about robberies of mom and pop stores, liquor stores, etc. Any place that has something that a robber wants is at risk for robbery. Doesn't matter what the store sells.
Gcotter - you're so right. What you said is just good common sense. I'd be in favor of all of this.
I think your points are valid GScotter but even you acknowledge that although marijuana may be legalized, regulating it does not mean that even when things are controlled "Any place that has something that a robber wants is at risk for robbery. Doesn't matter what the store sell" Case in point legalizing marijuana will not make it readily available to everyone - in fact if I understand correctly it would legalized for those with a medical need. Therefore leaving it still illegal to those who want to use as a recreational drug. Please correct me if I'm wrong but this is my understanding.
As far as drug gangs I highly doubt that they will cease to exist. There will always be something that they stick around for be it illegal or not.
I think the current proposed legislation is limited in scope, but I think the time is at hand for complete revamp of marijuana laws. My comments were more along the line of "WHEN marijuana becomes legal" under the assumption that it will become as legal as alcohol - i.e., a minimum age for purchase, state regulation on where it can be sold, monitored and taxed by the government in the same way alcohol, tobacco, pain meds are, etc.
As far as drug gangs, yeah, there will always be some criminal enterprise, but every time something is made legal, gangs get out of that business for the most part. Prohibition is the gold standard, but as gambling became more legal the involvement of organized crime was reduced. The lottery games reduced the mafia's hold on number running. OTB reduced gang involvement with illegal bookies. Paycheck cashing places have high costs but they are at least owned by tax paying business and not mafia loan sharks.
As drugs become more available as legal but controlled substances, gang involvement will go down. Go away? never. But everything that gets legalized - no matter how much disliked by society or churches or anyone's moral standards, there is a reduction in criminal activity in that arena. But there will always be stupid losers who decide it would be a good idea to stick up a store, snach a purse, carjack someone.
A while back I toured the downtown L.A. area (aka:Skid Row) with a LAPD and someone from the Downtown Mission (a non profit that assists the homeless). Skid Row area has the highest concentration of drug rehabilitation centers both the LAPD and Downtown Mission agreed that this high concentration of rehabilitation centers in one area was due to a Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) type of attitude from neighboring areas. This was understandable.
So to get to my point- what are the chances that the cannabis centers be a sought after business in the nicer communities as opposed to low income areas. I truly hope that once this legalization happens that these cannabis stores are not placed in communities that are already struggling to with dealers already.
good points g cotter
One doesn't hear anything about breathing secondhand cannabis smoke being bad for one's health like one does tobacco. Are there any indications that secondhand smoke from marijuana is ever going to become a health problem for people like tobacco has, or is cannabis totally benign? I'm personally bothered by tobacco smoke - and not just cuz of all the bad-for-you stuff I hear - but I hate the stink of it all over the city. Yet I like the aroma of marijuana smoke, but have certainly never gotten "high" just by walking by smokers.
There certainly might be some medical risks, but the level of THC in the body from second-hand marijuana smoke is not enough to get someone "high." The limit or cutoff on whether a person is high is 50 mg. However, the most people usually retain from being around marijuana is 20 mg. THC is a carcinogen like many other things that combust (i.e. paper, etc), so it does stunt the ability of cells--especially lung cells--to destroy cancer causing cells. People with breathing problems could aggravate their asthma.
This is all straight out of a biochemistry book, I found laying around.
Now that Prop 19 failed to pass, what's next? Was anyone else surprised by the results? I heard about some polls that looked bad as the election neared but I though the youth vote might come out just to support this proposition.
Senator Leno's bill will go into effect in January, lowering possession to an infraction, so decriminalization might be a moot point anyway since the most they can do now is a $100 fine.
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