...And it was called Proposition 19
July 29, 2010 2:26 PM   Subscribe

This November, California citizens will decide whether or not to legalize the possession, buying and selling of, and recreational use of marijuana. Early polls concerning proposition 19, also known as the "Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010", reveal a slight majority for legalization, as well as an interesting case of status quo bias. (Previously)

posted by Taft (101 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm sure we can count on the State's Rights wing of the Republican Party to help easily pass legislation removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.
posted by birdherder at 2:32 PM on July 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


I doubt California will even be able to pay for November's election, so this is largely theoretical.
posted by GuyZero at 2:34 PM on July 29, 2010 [12 favorites]


Of course, they don't support letting the federal government bureaucracy get between you and your doctor.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:34 PM on July 29, 2010


I really wish NY would do this. It's such a smart way to get the state out of bankruptcy, and to create a whole new class of employment opportunities and taxable income, some for skilled professionals (growers, bakers, researchers). That's on top of salespeople, manual labor, and manufacturing of hemp-based products.

It's a pity the New York state legislature is a group of idiots who have their heads so far up their bums that they never need colonoscopies.
posted by brina at 2:37 PM on July 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


Hopefully the overlap between the people funding the anti-Prop 8 campaign and those who will be funding the anti-Prop 19 campaign is such that they've run out of money from the first go-around and will mind their own god-damned business this time.
posted by griphus at 2:37 PM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Facebook Q&A: how rad is Prop 19?
Best answer: fucking rad, bro!
posted by filthy light thief at 2:40 PM on July 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


If this passes, it's halcyon days for Caifornia purveyors of novelty frozen treats.

Or, you know, the complete disintegration of the state's moral fabric and the end of civilization as we know it.

One Rocket Pop, please.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:40 PM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Plus Oakland is soon going to be full of URBAN DOPE FACTORIES!
posted by Michael Pemulis at 2:42 PM on July 29, 2010


On matters such as gambling, pot, booze, smokes, I tend to take the high road:
make anything legal that brings in taxes and worry not at all about any bad stuff that might thereby follow. After all, taxes can also be addictive and tough to get rid of.
posted by Postroad at 2:43 PM on July 29, 2010


Every time marijuana legalization comes up, I wonder about the impending clash between legalization and the fact that smoking tobacco is being made de facto illegal with a thousand restrictions gradually shrinking the space in which you can light up a cigarette.

Beyond the elimination of smoking from all indoor public spaces in North America, and a growing number of definable outdoor public spaces like parks, there's now considerable pressure to make whole cities smoke-free. In Vancouver, it's now illegal to smoke within six metres of a building's door or air intake; this is an effort to combat the fact that smokers now congregate on sidewalks. Even indoor private spaces are no longer a refuge: My wife and I moved a couple months ago, and a large number of the apartments we looked at contained "no smoking" clauses in the lease.

What good is being able to smoke pot if there's nowhere you can smoke?
posted by fatbird at 2:45 PM on July 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


They could pass this and the DEA would still come in and cause problem with the aid of local police who have shown time and time again that they don't care about local laws or statues about the status of marijuana.
posted by MrBobaFett at 2:50 PM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


This'll be an interesting race, that's for sure. As we get closer to November, and thus closer to admitting that The Emperor Wears No Clothes (an oldie but goodie!), I won't be at all surprised if we see government interference on a level which makes Bush vs. Gore look fair and fraud-free. The Feds have repeatedly shown that they're willing to play hardball on this issue, and Obama's Drug Czar nominee is no better.

At the very least, I think we can expect a ton of scare ads paid for with tax dollars. This'd be a great time to donate to Yes on 19 and MPP, so they can prepare to counter the ad blitz.
posted by vorfeed at 2:50 PM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Every time marijuana legalization comes up, I wonder about the impending clash between legalization and the fact that smoking tobacco is being made de facto illegal with a thousand restrictions gradually shrinking the space in which you can light up a cigarette.

They banned public space indoor tobacco smoking in Holland a couple years ago. You can still smoke weed or hash indoors and on designated patios of coffee shops. They offer up some sort of horrible tasting tobacco alternative to mix with, but many coffee shops also have a small "smoking room" where tobacco is just fine (although I'm not sure if that part is legal).
posted by gman at 2:51 PM on July 29, 2010


If it passes, will 11.19 be the new 4.20?
posted by NationalKato at 2:54 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's a hookah parlour in San Jose of all places, so my guess is that the real winners of marijuana legalization will be bong manufacturers. All the smoke with none of the, uh, smoke.
posted by GuyZero at 2:55 PM on July 29, 2010


My wife and I moved a couple months ago, and a large number of the apartments we looked at contained "no smoking" clauses in the lease.

I dream of such an apartment complex, having had to break more than one lease to get away from (multiple chain-)smokers in the adjacent apartment. Where we live, people are so reactionary about property rights (and individual rights in general) that the rule here is "I can do anything I want in my house/apartment/land and your asking me politely not to do it, or to desist within certain hours, is an unpardonable infringement on my rights."

back to the topic - wouldn't a vaporizer get you neatly around that problem, as well as the one about inhaling nasty hydrocarbons and tars and whatnot?
posted by toodleydoodley at 2:57 PM on July 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yes we cannabis!
posted by thescientificmethhead at 2:58 PM on July 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


What good is being able to smoke pot if there's nowhere you can smoke?

Gee, I don't know:
1) I won't risk being arrested and having my property confiscated, all for possessing a plant
2) My tax dollars won't go toward arresting others for possessing a plant, either
3) I can still smoke to my heart's content on my own private property, rather than expecting everyone else to put up with it in the middle of public establishments

I've got a lot of sympathy for the argument that no-smoking laws have gone too far, but seriously, these two issues are not the same. Call me when CPS removes your children because they found a pack of cigarettes in your house.
posted by vorfeed at 2:59 PM on July 29, 2010 [28 favorites]


I think I read somewhere that the gays in California hate pot. Better not let them get their way!




I mean.... it's worth a shot, right?
posted by schmod at 3:01 PM on July 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


Yes we cannabis!
posted by thescientificmethhead at 2:58 PM on July 29 [+] [!]


eponysterical?
posted by palomar at 3:02 PM on July 29, 2010


How do you vote:

No [ ]

Totally, bro [ ]
posted by ob at 3:06 PM on July 29, 2010


"Your either with us or... uhh... hey, stop bogarting that man!"
posted by ob at 3:10 PM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


bong manufacturers. All the smoke with none of the, uh, smoke.

Man, I've been using my bong wrong for years.
posted by box at 3:11 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I was thinking more of a hookah I guess.
posted by GuyZero at 3:12 PM on July 29, 2010


But the market value of pot would go down, down DOWN if you legalized it!
posted by ShawnStruck at 3:14 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Even indoor private spaces are no longer a refuge: My wife and I moved a couple months ago, and a large number of the apartments we looked at contained "no smoking" clauses in the lease.

As well they should. Last apartment I was in, the air circulation systems for the apartments were connected. Every time my neighbor decided to burn incense, I had trouble breathing for hours, and a migraine for the next couple days. Get some e-cigs or something.
posted by kafziel at 3:15 PM on July 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


The anti-19 people are already getting support from MMJ growers who worry that with legalization the prices will fall. The law enforcement groups all are lining up against this as well. The unions and the private prison industry will be sure to put lots of money into the market.

I wonder if the drug cartels will spend some of their money on these groups as well (obviously they couldn't do it out in the open but just as literally have tons of US dollars they have a difficult time laundering that would go a long way in buying votes). They could help produce ads that claim if this bill passes your kids will have easy access to drugs! Mary Jane is a gateway drug! It is a fact that people that smoke crack started with weed! (It is also a fact that crack users also have enjoyed ice cream).

If this passes the national ramifications are huge. Washington and Oregon will follow. California legal gambling, Nevada, would also follow. Colorado. New York and much of New England. So it will be interesting to see it passes. Just as we have varied liquor laws, we'll have varied dope laws. Or it will all get shut down and people will still get high but we'd be still financing drug cartels, not getting tax revenues, and people would go to jail.

I see this play out one of three ways:
1) Obama signs an executive order (signing ceremony at Snoop Dogg's house in the LBC) for the feds to treat this the same way they're treating MMJ in the states that have such laws. The wild card is what would happen if Obama loses in 2012 and a republican becomes president and reverses it.

2) The Feds take the case to court which may eventually land in the Supreme Court testing the federal gov't role in this. To this layperson, I would think a constitutional amendment would settle the issue like with Prohibition (and that worked so well). That would take years to happen.

3) The Feds can say "hey! do whatever you want potheads, but if you want money from the US government you'll need to keep it illegal." Like they did with the 55mph speed limit.

Locally, the laws future could be dictated by if Whitman or Brown wins. I don't know Whitman's stance on it (despite the 20 million ads I'm exposed to today...she may be against it because it is a tax). And Brown? Until Schwarzenegger was in the governor's mansion with his cigars, the place probably still had a funk from when Jerry Brown and Linda Ronstadt were doing bong loads.
posted by birdherder at 3:18 PM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've got a lot of sympathy for the argument that no-smoking laws have gone too far, but seriously, these two issues are not the same. Call me when CPS removes your children because they found a pack of cigarettes in your house.

I've heard serious policy suggestions that smoking in a house with children is child abuse, and thus should be made illegal.

But my point wasn't to present an argument against legalization, which I support. I just think there's an unexamined conflict in the works that will, to a degree, make legalization moot rather than acceptable.
posted by fatbird at 3:18 PM on July 29, 2010


eponysterical?

Not in the slightest, you ass.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 3:18 PM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


guyzero: thanks for clearing that up. i was starting to believe that maybe smoking all that dope years ago really *did* mess up my mind!
posted by msconduct at 3:20 PM on July 29, 2010


...my guess is that the real winners of marijuana legalization will be bong manufacturers.

I plan on raking in millions with a Cheetos delivery service.
posted by marxchivist at 3:21 PM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


There are considerable groups of people who make a lot of money off of pot being illegal (court system, defense attorneys, drug counselors, police, prisons, etc). They will contribute a lot of money to make sure that pot is illegal.

If pot is legalized, there will be people who will make a lot of money off of that. But those people aren't sure who they will be, and they don't already have a ton of money. As such, they will be wildly outspent by the group in the first paragraph and will lose on these issues. Getting a state to legalize pot is even more difficult as state legislators are mostly attorneys. All attorneys have attorney friends. They and their friends will not want it legalized because it will cost them money.

When a major corporation is assured it will make billions off of the legalization (RJR, for example. Or how about Bud Buds?), that company will be able to single-handedly spend enough money to get legislation passed. But no corporation is going to waste money at the state level when the federal government continues to ban it. If the federal government ever legalizes it, RJR or Budweiser will steamroll through the states getting it legalized at the state level.
posted by flarbuse at 3:22 PM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


wouldn't a vaporizer get you neatly around that problem, as well as the one about inhaling nasty hydrocarbons and tars and whatnot?

I can attest that it does. It also works quite nicely in dorm rooms.
posted by WhitenoisE at 3:24 PM on July 29, 2010


If pot is legalized, there will be people who will make a lot of money off of that. But those people aren't sure who they will be, and they don't already have a ton of money.

When I'm feeling hopeful for the sanity of this country I think of corrupt politicians and tax attorneys. the kickbacks alone on this would be legendary. It needn't be so much about lobbying as it could be like "are you kidding me? Potcorp (tm) is going to pay me fucktons of money to quibble over some minor detail of a pot regulation law and I am going to take those fucktons of money and use them to purchase solid gold darts I will throw at a picture of anti-pot lobbyists that I hang on a wall made of stacks of money."

plus, tax attorneys having an entire new set of people to do fancy tax things with? lordamighty.
posted by shmegegge at 3:33 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


If this does pass, I wonder what sort of population explosion California would be in for? Would it be a gold rush level migration of growers and consumers? Hell, the main reason I'm not currently smoking is probably the tremendous ass pain involved in trying to obtain a controlled substance. I'd probably have to give serious consideration to moving to a state where this wouldn't be an issue.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:34 PM on July 29, 2010


I have less than no sympathy for the MMJ growers who want to keep marijuana illegal so that they can keep their profits high. They'd rather have people go to fucking jail for possessing a plant than see their profits drop. They're no less scumbags than any bigshot CEO.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:38 PM on July 29, 2010 [22 favorites]


What good is being able to smoke pot if there's nowhere you can smoke?

Good point. This proposition is incredibly disappointing for several reasons (can't smoke outside; can't smoke in the same "space" (whatever that means) as a minor), but I'm going to have to vote for it on principle.

It's a shame that it seems to increase the penalties for certain behaviors, though, and offers no immunity for anyone currently in prison for possession.

Anyway, it's not going to pass, so don't get too excited. The fact that there are a lot of pro-marijuana people working against it is a bad, bad sign.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:38 PM on July 29, 2010


So what are the chances that supporters will remember to go to the polls on the right day?
posted by octothorpe at 3:41 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


One day, pot will be legal. Not just decrim, full-on legal. It will happen in California. If not this year, then soon. Certainly in the next ten years.

It's inevitable. The further we get from the "Reefer Madness" generation, the closer we get to legalization. We wonder how this country can have such draconian pot laws. Well, there was a time when most people actually believed the stuff could kill you. Kill you. There are now at least 2 living generations who know that it's less harmful than alcohol.

What will the American cities look like when pot is legal? Come to San Francisco. People smoke it pretty openly here. Walking down the sidewalk, picnicking in the park, hanging out in front of a bar. Sometimes even interior spaces where lit cigarettes are never welcome. Bars, parties, private homes. People toke up. And it's totally no big deal. The fabric of society hasn't fallen apart. We haven't all devolved into a pulsating mutant mass of human depravity -- at least, no more than San Francisco ever was. No, it's still a thriving city, popular tourist destination, and epicenter of the technology world. We're doing pretty okay here.

This will happen in New York. Portland. Philadelphia. Boston. Austin.

Backwoods bonfire parties out in the sticks -- you better BELIEVE they'll be toking up.

Smaller cities and towns will be more-low key. Some low-cost dispenseries for the genuinely ill. Probably about the same number of head shops. Not much open smoking, but a few bars where it's acceptable to puff.

Bottom line, no more arrests of black and brown people for possessing, smoking, or carrying something that has no potential to bring about the downfall of human civilization, has never killed a single person, and won't make you beat your wife or rob a bank.

In short, we can GET ON WITH IT, FINALLY, and devote our crime-fighting resources to more pressing problems, like rapists and murderers and thieves and people who would actually do us harm.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:42 PM on July 29, 2010 [23 favorites]



Anyway, it's not going to pass, so don't get too excited. The fact that there are a lot of pro-marijuana people working against it is a bad, bad sign.


On the contrary, I'm confident that it will pass, for 2 reasons:

1, California needs any and all revenue that it can get right now, and this is basically a free stream of it - which is currently going to criminals. Not only that, but Marijuana enforcement costs police time and money as well, which could be better spent on other crimes. It's a win-win.

2, Our SC ruled a few years back that our prisons were far too overcrowded and something like 38k people need to be released within the next few years. It does no good to empty our prisons out just to fill them back in with the same people, caught for the same thing, a few years later.
posted by Cycloptichorn at 3:47 PM on July 29, 2010


flarbuse wrote: "There are considerable groups of people who make a lot of money off of pot being illegal (court system, defense attorneys, drug counselors, police, prisons, etc). They will contribute a lot of money to make sure that pot is illegal."

You have just compiled a list of the people who least give a shit about marijuana. Every single one of them would fight you to the death over legalizing coke, meth, LSD, or any of the other "hard" drugs, though. Well, I can't say about the prison guards, but the rest of 'em mostly don't care regarding marijuana, unless you're trafficking or growing a field of it.

At least that's what I've gotten from conversations on the subject with police officers, defense attorneys, drug counselors, and judges.
posted by wierdo at 3:49 PM on July 29, 2010


When I'm feeling hopeful for the sanity of this country I think of corrupt politicians and tax attorneys.

I guess the issue is that even if this is a net gain, there will be losers and winners. Since the losers are typically a more concentrated group, they can lobby more effectively.

Even just sticking to lawyers: Defence attorneys will lose big, some tax attorneys and transactional lawyers will gain as they build mj tax and compliance practices. The defence guys are a group that exists now, whereas the potential winners might not even have had the idea yet.
posted by atrazine at 3:52 PM on July 29, 2010


I'm pretty sure the only way this thing is going to pass is if we enable voting by Xbox and PS3.
posted by malocchio at 4:01 PM on July 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the only way this thing is going to pass is if we enable voting by Xbox and PS3.

ONE MAC ADDRESS, ONE VOTE
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:17 PM on July 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


If California legalizes, mark my words you'll see a huge uptick in emergency room related marijuana incidences along with all kinds of scare stories that make LSD tall tales look realistic.

It just reminds me, sophomore year in college smoking with a bunch of sorority girls who were somewhat unsure, "No really, it is not a big deal, music sounds better, and you just sort of relax." The peer pressure worked, everyone passed it around and within 20 seconds of taking a hit one of the girls started yelling, "I can't feel my hands!" I gave her the side eye, looked at my girlfriend who sort of just rolled her eyes and lit up a cigarette. "Uh, you usually don't even get high your first time and you barely took a hit, calm down it is just your nerves." And soon enough another one grabbed her chest, I watched her eyes get big, "I think I am having a heart attack."

"You're not having a heart attack, just had like half a hit, have a beer and calm down, Christ." This lead to about 15 minutes of crazy off the wall dramatics which ended with me convincing them that if they called 911, we'd all go to jail for a long time (well you know, it worked).

So while I'm really happy if this passes, I do worry about a short-term negative publicity as worried mothers tell of their high school aged sons believing they were in hell and saw demons dancing around and other sorts of stories that are the nadir of local news. Not to mention the irresponsible use by those who are inexperienced and go way overboard due to the low costs of products. This isn't quite the same as prohibition where there was a clear social framework for use and everyone knew if you drank a bottle of vodka, you're going to get pretty fucked up and it is your fault for doing so. Point: even though marijuana is as safe as it gets, never underestimate the ability of stupid people to do stupid things and blame it on something else.
posted by geoff. at 4:24 PM on July 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


It just reminds me, sophomore year in college smoking with a bunch of sorority girls who were somewhat unsure, "No really, it is not a big deal, music sounds better, and you just sort of relax." The peer pressure worked, everyone passed it around and within 20 seconds of taking a hit one of the girls started yelling, "I can't feel my hands!"

Dude, the moral of your story isn't that pot actually caused this drama-laden panic attack.

The moral of your story is that you don't pressure people into trying drugs if they're already freaked out about them. Ever. Bad mojo, man. Especially not squares like high strung sorority girls.

That's a waste of perfectly good weed right there. Sure, she worked herself up into a panic attack but how much of that drama is due to all the pressure and misinformation about marijuana? "Gateway drug! You'll get hooked! You can die! It'll kill you!! JUST SAY NO IT'LL RUIN YOUR LIFE!!!" Feh. She was probably so thoroughly worried by all the propaganda she fully expected to be kicked out of school, disowned by her parents and smoking crack and blowing John Does for her fix the very next day. Of course she had a fucking panic attack. She said "No" originally, right? You don't peer-pressure someone into skydiving, either, because people will freak the fuck out when you push them past their limits.

That's not the fault of weed - that's a pre-existing and pre-loaded condition that's highly stressful for anyone if they're not properly informed.

That said there's plenty of people who shouldn't smoke it. People with heart conditions or problems with anxiety, people with mental health problems like unstabilized schizophrenia should stay the hell away - but these people should also stay away from alcohol, coffee and other legal drugs as well. Hell, some people with Celiac disease shouldn't ever eat wheat or gluten, either, but we don't make wheat illegal.
posted by loquacious at 4:47 PM on July 29, 2010 [23 favorites]


Point: even though marijuana is as safe as it gets, never underestimate the ability of stupid people to do stupid things and blame it on something else.

example

I do think you're right. We'll hear a lot of crazy. Just like you hear about every boogieman because a large segment of our population respond to that type of message.
posted by birdherder at 5:07 PM on July 29, 2010


  • The official Facebook group has exceeded 130,000 fans.


  • I wonder if the low membership might also be due to the Broadus Effect. If mom's worried about that keg cup in your profile photo, what's she going to say about you "liking" prop 19?
    posted by birdherder at 5:09 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Hey there, Los Angeles area MeFites, I'll see you at the "Yes on 19" volunteer orientation THIS SATURDAY from 1:00 to 2:00 PM at 3153 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039.

    I'll be the obviously pregnant one looking hilariously out of place -- come say hi!
    posted by Asparagirl at 6:01 PM on July 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


    As I've said before, I am 100% in support of prop 19. But only as the first step in ending governmental control over recreational drugs completely. I'm pro-choice; my body, my choice.
    posted by Justinian at 6:02 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Another reason to support Prop 19.
    posted by gingerbeer at 6:03 PM on July 29, 2010


    Don't make me call out all the California MeFites who are posting in this thread right now to spout opinions or snark, but who probably won't actually volunteer for the campaign and thereby do anything to ensure passage of the proposition.
    posted by Asparagirl at 6:09 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


    I can't even vote in this state, so don't get all on my case about it. I, like all my mexican brother-in-arms, am just here to get the money, get the power and then get the hell out.
    posted by GuyZero at 6:13 PM on July 29, 2010


    Man, although I think this would be great if it passed, how in the world is it a ballot proposal? This is the Legislature's job.
    posted by Lemurrhea at 6:15 PM on July 29, 2010


    Man, although I think this would be great if it passed, how in the world is it a ballot proposal? This is the Legislature's job.

    Clearly you're unfamiliar with California, where you can do things in a ballot proposal that take away people's constitutional rights.
    posted by Tomorrowful at 6:23 PM on July 29, 2010


    Day after the election:

    1st Stoner: Dude, weren't we supposed to do something yesterday?
    2nd Stoner: Wha?
    1st: Bro! We were supposed to vote for the herb.
    2nd: Wha?

    And scene!
    posted by govtdrone at 6:27 PM on July 29, 2010


    Perhaps I didn't need to be quite so offhand, as not everyone is a politically-focused American.

    California has a ballot proposal system far more powerful than that in any other state; there are no limits on what these proposals can cover, as far as I know. They can be equivalent to a law passed by the state legislature, or can alter the state's constitution to some extent - there's a distinction between "amendments" and "revisions" to the state constitution that's incredibly poorly defined.

    Past ballot initiatives have done things like severely restricting the state's ability to levy taxes, without limiting its ability to expand spending, with predictable results, and the more recent elimination of gay marriage, which was briefly legalized.
    posted by Tomorrowful at 6:29 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


    As the great Peter Tosh once said, "Legalize it".
    says the guy who has only tried pot once.
    posted by reenum at 6:38 PM on July 29, 2010


    Aren't the only pro-marijuana people against it people who have a fiscal hand in the current arrangement? As in, people who own a dispensary and like being one of the few legal options?
    posted by mccarty.tim at 6:48 PM on July 29, 2010


    Legalization could slash the price of pot 80%
    posted by homunculus at 6:49 PM on July 29, 2010


    Has the Most Common Marijuana Test Resulted in Tens of Thousands of Wrongful Convictions?
    posted by homunculus at 6:49 PM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


    To continue Tomorrowful's comments, CA's ballot initiative system is so crazy it's possibly to pass measures with a simple majority at the ballot box that cannot be un-done by the legislature without a super-majority (something like 66%) by making the proposition a constitutional amendment. IT IS INSANE. And it's the only way pot could ever be legalized.
    posted by GuyZero at 6:51 PM on July 29, 2010


    The way the question is presented to Californians could have a significant effect on the result....especially with stoners.

    Question: Do you support the abatement of classifying marijuana as a banned substance?
    posted by lightweight at 7:21 PM on July 29, 2010


    Has the Most Common Marijuana Test Resulted in Tens of Thousands of Wrongful Convictions?

    So we've known since the 70's that it doesn't work and gives false positives, and yet law enforcement agencies continue to push for its use.

    And yet calling for anybody who pushes its use to be jailed would be considered a radical position.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 7:31 PM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


    I wonder how much energy will be saved when growers can safely use greenhouses?
    posted by domnit at 8:22 PM on July 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


    Now with animation!
    posted by gingerbeer at 9:50 PM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


    I think it won't pass. I think it would be good if it did, for fiscal reasons (I don't smoke) but I think likely voters won't vote for it.

    I think there are more voters who are supporters of gay marriage then supporters of legal cannabis. We saw what happened there.

    If it did pass though, and help up in court.... I bet it won't be cool to smoke pot anymore. No, pot will be like beer. Crap beer.
    posted by gryftir at 10:08 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


    I think there are more voters who are supporters of gay marriage then supporters of legal cannabis.

    In California or the country as a whole? From what I've read support for both of those things is roughly equal in California but support for legal cannabis moderately outstrips support for gay marriage in the country as a whole.

    I also think the proposition will narrowly fail, probably by the same rough margin as gay marriage. Because voters in a non-presidential year election will skew really old. And old people suck.
    posted by Justinian at 11:15 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Meanwhile...
    posted by oneswellfoop at 2:07 AM on July 30, 2010


    Great if it passes, but it won't help you when the feds come a-knockin...
    posted by r_nebblesworthII at 6:58 AM on July 30, 2010


    ...and it won't help with employment-related drug screenings, but (longer term) it may help soften the anti-MJ culture among businesses.
    posted by LordSludge at 8:42 AM on July 30, 2010


    You know, the thought occurs that what we really need is a testbed to see how legal pot will actually play out in a real world environment here in the US. And people will always argue that both the East and West costs are extremes that won't be indicative of how the rest of the country will react.

    So, in the spirit of trying to provide actual data on how it will impact, say a medium sized urban area, I humbly offer up Wisconsin as a proving ground.

    This is an important issue and we'll be happy to suffer this burden for the sake of our nation.
    posted by quin at 9:01 AM on July 30, 2010


    On the contrary, I'm confident that it will pass, for 2 reasons:

    Care for a friendly wager, Cycloptichorn? (I'll try to think of something good and MeMail you. It'll be my way of hedging the vote--if it passes, I'll be ecstatic; if it loses, I get something from Cycloptichorn!)

    I have friends who work for the medical-marijuana cause and I have online connections to lots of people and patients in the movement.

    I can tell you that mm patients and dispensaries are in the majority against Proposition 19, some for selfish reasons (they have strong self-interest in keeping the status quo) and some for honest objections to Prop 19:

    1. Prop. 19 will make it illegal to smoke marijuana outside. If you are a patient, this might be a big deal. At the least, it's a worse condition than allowed by their current (privileged) status.

    2. Prop 19 will make it a felony (punishable up to 7 years, I believe) to provide marijuana to anyone under 21. Not a big deal for me, but if you're at a party and pass a joint over to that cute girl over there who turns out to be a 20-year-old undercover cop ...

    (paranoid? check. delusional? perhaps. (i've seen some crazy undercover cop shit.) I don't share the same concern; just telling you what I've heard)

    3. Prop 19 will make it illegal to smoke marijuana in the same "space" as a minor. Again, this is a worse condition that allowed under the law for medical marijuana patients. What if you are in a wheelchair and need your child to bring you your medicine. Does your child need to leave the house while you smoke?

    more: Stoners Against the Prop. 19 Tax Cannabis Initiative

    Here's the thing. Possession of an ounce or less in California is already a ticketed misdemeanor (and according to the stoner link above, on its way to becoming an infraction). This law creates new harsher penalities for activities that are currently ticketed, or as the stoner article says, "it imposes new felonies and prohibitions against marijuana that do not exist currently."

    You and I know that the drafters probably felt they had to include those clauses to get Prop. 19 passed. But that's not how everyone sees it. (I often liken it to the debate on the heath-care bill.)

    Between self-interest (greed, i.e. "But the market value of pot would go down, down DOWN if you legalized it!") from those currently making bank; confusion, FUD, and honest philosophical objections from mm patients; and a certain flood of advertisements from police, MADD, fathers of kids who died while using marijuana (even if totally unrelated), fathers of kids who "graduated" from pot to heroin, etc.

    ... I think it's going to be closer than my friends in the industry suspect (54-46 is my prediction), but unfortunately, I think it's going down. I'll take some (legal) bets on that.
    posted by mrgrimm at 10:29 AM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Prop 19 will make it a felony (punishable up to 7 years, I believe) to provide marijuana to anyone under 21.

    I don't know enough about california law. Isn't it a felony to provide marijuana to anyone right now? (outside of medical use.) I mean, I'd rather the punishment fit a little closer to selling alcohol to a minor, but isn't this still a much looser law than the current one?
    posted by shmegegge at 10:58 AM on July 30, 2010


    ach, I meant to write a long comment. more follows:

    Prop. 19 will make it illegal to smoke marijuana outside. If you are a patient, this might be a big deal. At the least, it's a worse condition than allowed by their current (privileged) status.

    I agree that this is silly. you can smoke cigarettes outside for christ's sake. this sounds like some kind of subtly racist thing about kids on their stoop or something dumb like that.

    as far as patients, are we sure there aren't provisions for the medical community?

    Prop 19 will make it illegal to smoke marijuana in the same "space" as a minor.

    I don't know how to navigate the space between cigarettes and marijuana in terms of impact on a minor. I mean, second hand pot smoke can get you high. I don't think that's a big deal for someone who's 16, but maybe 5 year olds shouldn't be subjected to an experience they don't totally get and will have no control over. Certainly smoking cigarettes around them is far worse for them, and that's legal. On the other hand, I mean I guess I don't think 5 year olds should be getting high even accidentally. I don't know how to navigate that space, legally.
    posted by shmegegge at 11:04 AM on July 30, 2010


    So while I'm really happy if this passes, I do worry about a short-term negative publicity as worried mothers tell of their high school aged sons believing they were in hell and saw demons dancing around and other sorts of stories that are the nadir of local news.

    Marijuana will still be illegal for anyone under 21. There will be no change in the laws for high-school students.

    Unless you're suggesting Prop. 19 would make it easier for high-school students to get marijuana? I doubt that will be the case. Maybe. (It's pretty easy to get now.)

    On preview: I don't know enough about california law. Isn't it a felony to provide marijuana to anyone right now? (outside of medical use.) I mean, I'd rather the punishment fit a little closer to selling alcohol to a minor, but isn't this still a much looser law than the current one?

    The "Stoner's Against" article I linked above claims that "the current penalty for a gift of marijuana of 1 oz. or less is a $100 fine."

    They link NORML as a source. I tend to believe them. I just don't think it's been specified before, i.e. providing minors with it, since it's been illegal for everyone for a long time.

    From the NORML link: "Selling marijuana in any amount is punishable by 2 – 4 years in the state prison. Giving away less than 28.5 grams [an ounce] is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $100."
    posted by mrgrimm at 11:05 AM on July 30, 2010


    I don't know how to navigate that space, legally.

    Agreed. I think it's tricky. However, it's kinda absurd that there are no (or very few) restrictions on smoking cigarettes in the same room or even a car as an infant or child ... and people are worried about marijuana second-hand smoke.

    Secondhand cigarette smoke has been proven to have negative health effects. Secondhand marijuana smoke has not (as far as I know).

    I would agree it's right to be concerned. But it's also ludicrous to treat it any differently than tobacco or alcohol.

    Like I said, I'll be holding my nose and voting for it. I can't say I love the initiative itself, but the message of its passing would be undeniable.

    I mean, second hand pot smoke can get you high.

    Honestly, I don't think it can. I thought that "contact high" was an old wives' tale, and that in research, subjects tested no differently vs. placebo. I'll try to look it up ... does anyone know?
    posted by mrgrimm at 11:39 AM on July 30, 2010


    (iv) smoking cannabis in any space while minors are present.

    To further complicate things, what about a vaporizer, where no smoke at all is created? I can assume that is OK because it is not "smoking"?

    It's a shame that so many parts of the prop are vague or unclear.

    Does anyone know if it will be legal to consume marijuana (e.g. brownie) in the same space as a minor?
    posted by mrgrimm at 11:43 AM on July 30, 2010


    Second hand smoke can indeed get you high whether previously exhaled or not. I don't mind the tightening of regulations aimed at preventing people from being exposed unwillingly. Judging by the insensitive way tobacco is used publicly affecting people such as asthma and migraine sufferers I think this is warranted.

    From experience I suspect this will make marijuana more difficult to obtain for most minors not easier. When I was a kid (70s/80s) alcohol was a real chore, often involving hanging around seedy liquor stores to approach and bribe or cajole people into making the purchase. MJ on the other hand was everywhere including school. I remember sometimes attending for the sole purpose of making a buy.
    posted by Manjusri at 12:48 PM on July 30, 2010


    Bottom line, no more arrests of black and brown people for possessing, smoking, or carrying something that has no potential to bring about the downfall of human civilization, has never killed a single person, and won't make you beat your wife or rob a bank.

    Yeah, and then what happens when the drug war is over? Do the cops just cut all their budgets, and pack up all the FLIR, thermal cameras, dogs, machine guns, SWAT, and all that?

    No, they'll have to find a new war. My guess is a war against immigrants, or that another "epidemic" is declared, like crack or meth.
    posted by hamida2242 at 1:06 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


    2. Prop 19 will make it a felony (punishable up to 7 years, I believe) to provide marijuana to anyone under 21. Not a big deal for me, but if you're at a party and pass a joint over to that cute girl over there who turns out to be a 20-year-old undercover cop ...

    It's already a felony to provide mj to anyone under 18. Prop 19 doesn't change that. Prop 19 raises the age to 21, with a fine or up to 6 months. Not 7 years--that is the current and unchanged maximum penalty for providing mj to a minor under 14. Here's the California Legislative Analyst's Office report: "Moreover, a person age 21 or older who knowingly gave marijuana to a person age 18 through 20 could be sent to county jail for up to six months and fined up to $1,000 per offense. (The measure does not change existing criminal laws which impose penalties for adults who furnish marijuana to minors under the age of 18.)"


    Does anyone know if it will be legal to consume marijuana (e.g. brownie) in the same space as a minor?

    The language of Prop 19 specifies "smoking cannabis in any space while minors are present" as opposed to "consumption" which is used elsewhere in the same section. It seems to me that it makes a clear distinction between the two. Whether or not vaporizers count as smoking is a different matter.
    posted by gingerbeer at 1:15 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Well, if you really think people can get high from second hand smoke there is no reason to believe they can't from second hand vapor as well.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:18 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


    I was gonna say... I always had thought/hoped that one of the great side-effects of legalization would be the proliferation of "edibles" - which makes the whole smoking issue irrelevant.
    posted by LordSludge at 1:23 PM on July 30, 2010


    Personal experience shows me that in a living room sized space, a 220 pound person will not, in fact, get a contact high, even in the presence of people who practically chain smoke joints. That is not the case in a small enclosed space such as an unventilated car.

    Obviously, a 5 year old would not require as high of a dose, so I can't say about that.
    posted by wierdo at 1:50 PM on July 30, 2010


    Obviously, a 5 year old would not require as high of a dose, so I can't say about that.

    I'm with furiousxgeorge, unless someone trusted says different or provides some evidence. Even in a small car with several people hotboxing it, I think that the "contact high" is a myth.

    I thought that exhaled marijuana smoke was considerably different than inhaled marijuana smoke. Am I wrong?

    Does exhaled marijuana smoke contain effective psychoactive elements? I think not, but I'm curious.
    posted by mrgrimm at 2:01 PM on July 30, 2010


    Dude. Deliberately exhaling into another's mouth to pass it on is a well-known time-honored practice. It seems less potent which is one reason for the practice, but with the properties of today's product it's more than enough. Given the efficacy of mj as an aphrodisiac its pretty easy to validate the results. Since apparently my anecdata is not to be trusted, I'll take one for the team, perform more experiments and report back. Now where's my lab coat...

    As for second hand smoke not previously inhaled, just think about it. There's nothing magical about a bong that removes psychoactive properties once the smoke drifts out. Today's dro is so potent that a tiny smidge can dramatically affect casual or non-users.
    posted by Manjusri at 2:26 PM on July 30, 2010


    Dude. Deliberately exhaling into another's mouth to pass it on is a well-known time-honored practice.

    Yes, you can do it with oxygen if someone isn't breathing as well, but not from across the room.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:53 PM on July 30, 2010


    If this passes, it's halcyon days for Caifornia purveyors of novelty frozen treats.

    I totally agree...btw, not to be nitpick or anything...but u spelled it wrong.
    posted by hal_c_on at 3:34 PM on July 30, 2010


    On the topic of people smoking cigarettes: if cigarette smoke is seen as undesirable (and it sure is to me) but cigarettes are not to be outlawed (and they shouldn't be) then why not treat them like, say, alcohol?

    You can't just open up a bottle and drink any old place you damn please, and not just any place of business can allow you to drink in their joint. But they can get a permit, and with that permit they can allow you to consume things that you wouldn't be able to consume otherwise. Nudie bars work the same way: you can't just have naked people any old place, but with a permit, it becomes Ok. So let's have smoking licenses, too. More tax money, and happier smokers. Make a Ganja License, too, why not?

    I hate cigarettes and second hand smoke as much as anybody, but I don't see why people who like it cannot be allowed to enjoy it, ever.
    posted by paisley henosis at 7:06 PM on July 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Strippers don't cause cancer.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:48 AM on July 31, 2010


    I'm pretty sure that stripper perfume does cause cancer.

    Here in Oklahoma, if a restaurant wants to have a smoking section, they have to have a completely separate smoking room with enough ventilation capacity to keep it at a negative pressure relative to the rest of the restaurant so that when the door is opened to the smoking room no smoke escapes.

    Seems reasonable to me.
    posted by wierdo at 10:59 AM on July 31, 2010


    I was discussing this with a friend last night - he's a parole officer who would love to see legalization, but was concerned about the lack of a test that could determine if someone's high or not, in order to police driving while high in the same way done for alcohol.

    Apparently the tests they use can only tell if someone's smoked in the past week or so, but there's nothing like the blood alcohol level test available.

    Anyone know enough to chime in on this aspect?
    posted by odinsdream at 3:00 PM on July 31, 2010


    I believe that is in fact accurate. Like almost all field drug tests, the specificity is very low, as is accuracy. In the case of marijuana, there are a bunch of non-psychoactive cannabanoids that hang around for up to a month (in habitual users, more like a week for the occasional smoker) that are detected by tests for marijuana.

    I'm sure if we were actually interested in doing it, a test could be devised that would only detect the psychoactive cannabanoids.

    Alcohol breath tests are also very inaccurate, so I don't see why law enforcement would have any particular problem with a crappy test. Thousands upon thousands of people are convicted each year on the back of faulty breath tests, after all.

    I prefer videotaped field sobriety exams over chemical tests, because I don't really give a shit what is causing someone to be a crappy driver, only whether or not they are impaired, whether it be from being drunk, high, or some medical condition. The video keeps the whole case against the impaired driver from hinging on the officer's testimony alone. A judge and/or jury can look at the video tape and decide whether or not they agree with the officer's assessment.
    posted by wierdo at 4:19 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


    We would deal with pot DUI the same way we do now.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:52 PM on July 31, 2010


    You mean, by marrying circumstantial evidence with a non-specific test which can yield positive results up to a month after using? It's not like alcohol where you can test for whether someone is currently affected.
    posted by hippybear at 6:18 PM on July 31, 2010


    Yes, like that. It's just as much a problem now as it is under legalization. It's a strawman, the problem exists with both choices.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:00 PM on July 31, 2010


    I prefer videotaped field sobriety exams over chemical tests, because I don't really give a shit what is causing someone to be a crappy driver, only whether or not they are impaired, whether it be from being drunk, high, or some medical condition. The video keeps the whole case against the impaired driver from hinging on the officer's testimony alone. A judge and/or jury can look at the video tape and decide whether or not they agree with the officer's assessment.
    posted by wierdo at 7:19 PM on July 31 [1 favorite -] [!]


    yeah, this. probably works with sleepy or overly (legal) medicated. who cares if you weren't drinking if your physical or cognitive impairment killed the whole family?
    posted by toodleydoodley at 3:22 PM on August 4, 2010


    One of the early anti-prop 19 ads.
    posted by mccarty.tim at 7:05 PM on August 9, 2010


    One of the early anti-prop 19 ads.

    That commercial was pretty bad, although I love the live local TV reporter, standing outside the station at night, bringing the camera in for a closeup of a youtube page on a laptop!

    I think the anti ads will get better, though. Much better.

    The "60% of kids in rehab" and "gateway drug" claims are bullshit, and voters know that by now.

    If they want 19 to lose (and it will) they'll focus on workplace testing (pilots, truckers) and MADD (do you want your child to be killed? Good lord! Who would want their child to be killed?!)

    Watch and see. The Prop 8 vote showed that "middle class families with children" are the swing votes on these social issues. I bet they vote conservative in the end.
    posted by mrgrimm at 9:31 AM on August 10, 2010


    e.g. Que Viva Led Zeppelin!
    posted by mrgrimm at 9:39 AM on August 10, 2010


    I don't think that there's a single factual claim in the no on Prop 19 video.
    posted by gingerbeer at 11:30 AM on August 11, 2010


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