Tuesday, October 12, 2010

California - Putting It Bluntly

California - Putting It Bluntly

In about a month you're going to be facing a choice at the polls....

Yes. That's right. Prop 19. It's time to vote for the legalization of weed. But it doesn't just make smoking it legal, it also permits cultivation for personal use in plain English. That alone should be reason enough for you to vote for it. Even more so because there's actually a fighting chance this will actually pass.

Gee, I can't wait for California voters to make another good referendum vote. I sure am looking forward to this outcome. Though, as soon as this passes, Obama will probably bring a lawsuit against California to balance out the whole Arizona lawsuit.

This is really the one issue that will actually get the youth to the polls, at the very least. Which is a good thing considering more younger people relate and vote with democrats on average and it's looking like the republicans are mounting to change the balance. With Obama's staff changing the way it is, I really do wonder how his next two years will actually be like.

I have to say that it's about time and I'm perfectly okay with this choice. Think of the tax income that can be achieved by legalization? Who isn't looking forward to the world's first one trillion percent taxation on a product. But then there's part of me that I'd honestly rather they just get rid of the three strikes law first. Need a reason why?
# On November 4, 1995, Leandro Andrade stole five videotapes from a K-Mart store in Ontario, California. Two weeks later, he stole four videotapes from a different K-Mart store in Montclair, California. Andrade had been in and out of state and federal prisons since 1982, and at the time of these two crimes in 1995, had been convicted of petty theft, residential burglary, transportation of marijuana, and escaping from prison. As a result of these prior convictions, the prosecution charged Andrade with two counts of petty theft with a prior conviction, which under California law can either be a felony or a misdemeanor. Under California's three strikes law, any felony can serve as the third "strike" and thereby expose the defendant to a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
I'm sure you're thinking "Oh no, a criminal for life was taken off the streets. Truly a tragedy worth whining about." Just think of it this way, if he hadn't gone to life in prison, he could be on the streets right now stealing 'The Hangover' DVDs and abusing the free refills at burger king.

This whole case is reason enough to display that 3 strikes is the dumbest most arbitrary thing in the entire world and serves only to hurt people who make good targets for police. You know, like minorities.

I'll probably never get the American obsession with weed and in trying to control it or ban it. I mean, really? Being high, for many people, is far better than being drunk. But speaking of drinking, do you know what's really comical? Miller and Bud aren't having none of this bullshit and the California beer distributors are backing the oppositions by throwing them money.
Last week a trade association for California beer distributors donated $10,000 to oppose Prop 19, the November ballot initiative that would legalize and tax marijuana. The move certainly has a lot of people talking.

“Unless the beer distributors in California have suddenly developed a philosophical opposition to the use of intoxicating substances, the motivation behind this contribution is clear,” said Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project. "Plain and simple, the alcohol industry is trying to kill the competition."

Another marijuana advocate at Stop the Drug War questioned why the official opposition is aligning itself with alcohol. "We understand why Big Alcohol wants to protect its turf and keep Californians drinking; but why does the No on Prop. 19 campaign -- which is calling itself "Public Safety First" -- share this goal?"

But the California Beer & Beverage Distributors says it's not about any of that. "It's not a competitve issue for us," explained the spokesperson Rhonda Stevenson, who noted that they have no opinion on the issue either way, to LAist over the phone. "That's up to Californians to decide."

At issue for the organization is safety of their workforce and the langauge of the proposition, which Stevenson called "poorly written." She said that the state's regulation of alcohol has been working successfully for 75 years and if Prop 19 passes, there would be no regulatory structure for the drug, instead creating a patchwork of laws throughout cities and counties. "There's not a way not to implement this in a succint matter," she said.

The organization is also worried about industry safety -- fork lift and truck drivers working high, for example -- because you would no longer be able to test for the drug.

Clearly this Bud's not for you. I guess they really just don't want any competition in the vices of society. It's strange because my seething hatred for humanity comes bubbling out when I drink. Hell, half of these blogs where I rant on are while I'm drunk.. Okay - MOST. Most of my blogs are a product of a drunken stupor. Considering I blog every day, that's a scary statistic.

But on the flip side, when I smoke I can barely grasp the hate. I know a lot of people that are the flip side in that alcohol is a much nicer feeling for them. It makes them feel really happy and relaxed. I know people who are the exact opposite though, so I guess your mileage will vary depending on your genetics or something.

Then I love that bullshit line about how it risk the safety of the workers. Who goes to work on drugs that actually has a job that is risky? And it's not like you can't fire someone just because it's a legal substance if it impairs with their working ability. What the fuck?

I'm sure some of you are wondering if the federal government is going to let this happen. I'm was pretty sure that Holder said he wasn't going to prosecute this shit when he came into office, but who really knows?
California's proposal to legalize marijuana has provoked every former director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to join in urging the White House to block the proposition if it is approved on the November ballot.

Proposition 19 is billed as a measure to raise revenue and cut the costs of enforcement. An analysis by the California attorney general's office cites "additional revenues from taxes, assessments, and fees from marijuana-related activities allowed under this measure."

But former DEA Administrator Peter Bensinger disputed the premise, telling reporters Monday it will not increase revenue since "anybody that sells marijuana and then pays tax is going to declare themselves a violator of federal law" and subject to prosecution.

Bensinger and the eight other people who have led the DEA since its founding in 1973 wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, urging him to use the federal "supremacy clause" to pre-empt such lawmaking by state and local jurisdictions.

The Justice Department recently used such a pre-emption to persuade a court to strike down Arizona's immigration law. Bensinger acknowledged that his group had not heard a response from Justice Department officials to the letter dated August 24.

"All of us are very gravely concerned with Proposition 19," he said, "which if passed would legalize the distribution, sale and cultivation of marijuana in direct conflict with the Controlled Substances Act, federal law, and treaty obligations approved by the U.S. Congress."
I'm a bit surprised that the feds aren't blocking this by tying marijuana laws to something like transportation funding, the way they enforce the national drinking age. But I guess that California is fucking huge, so it's not as easy to push around as states that don't have 1/8th of the US population.

Then again, maybe it's cause of the Choom gang, yo.

You see, Obama loosened up on DEA marijuana enforcement. Or at least the claim was that he did...
Earlier this month, nine former administrators of the Drug Enforcement Administration sent a letter calling on Obama and Holder to sue if Prop. 19 passes, blocking the statewide legalization of possession and personal growth and the allowance of individual counties to license commercial sale and production of marijuana.
But it does seem like the drug czar is standing firm on that Just Say No stance..
At this point, it seems the Obama administration will sue California, but that's just an educated guess: the Justice Department has declined to comment. Obama's drug czar, former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, has weighed in firmly against legalization on a national scale, and he submitted an op-ed to the L.A. Times co-authored with several former drug czars (some of whom have taken a very hard line against medical marijuana) warning that Prop. 19 would increase social costs by leading to more marijuana use.
So it's basically boiling down to the fact that all the college students will hate Obama if the feds do take action against this, and if he doesn't then he'll be viewed as The President That Let Weed Be Legal. Which I guess is a tough place to stand. Elected officials need to just bite the bullet and go with the truths that they already know..

I mean, we already have a Governor who just doesn't give a fuck anymore. Over the weekend Arnold made carrying less than an ounce of weed on your persons an infraction instead of a misdemeanor.
To the Members of the California State Senate:

I am signing Senate Bill 1449.

This bill changes the crime of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor punishable only by a $100 fine to an infraction punishable by a $100 fine. Under existing law, jail time cannot be imposed, probation cannot be ordered, nor can the base fine exceed $100 for someone convicted of this crime.

I am opposed to decriminalizing the possession and recreational use of marijuana and oppose Proposition 19, which is on the November ballot.

Unfortunately, Proposition 19 is a deeply flawed measure that, if passed, will adversely impact California’s businesses without bringing in the tax revenues to the state promised by its proponents.

Notwithstanding my opposition to Proposition 19, however, I am signing this measure because possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction in everything but name. The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial and a defense attorney.

In this time of drastic budget cuts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and the courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket.

As noted by the Judicial Council in its support of this measure, the appointment of counsel and the availability of a jury trial should be reserved for defendants who are facing loss of life, liberty, or property greater than $100.

For these reasons, I am signing this bill.

Sincerely, Arnold Schwarzenegger

And you people wondered why I voted for Arnold? Well.. because I didn't want to vote for the dead midget, porn star.. Though I think the weed attorney dude would have done this but it would have been more expected. Ahead of your time, my friend. Ahead of your time.

I would applaud your actions, but fuck it man, Archer is on.

No comments: