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Prop 19 Goes Up In Smoke. (It lost.)
November 3, 2010 4:56 AM   Subscribe

California's Proposition 19 loses. While analysis and commentary will differ based on who is telling the tale, the results are clear: by an eight point margin, California voters rejected legalization, regulation and taxation of pot.
posted by andreaazure (181 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by fourcheesemac at 5:04 AM on November 3, 2010


That's a right shame, but the fact that it was on the ballot at all, and that it got 46% in favor of legalization, gives me a lot of hope that the most egregiously stupid part of the War On Drugs might be ending within the near future.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:07 AM on November 3, 2010 [12 favorites]


*goes back to drinking alcohol*
posted by nomadicink at 5:09 AM on November 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


An unwelcome but not very unsurprising result. I agree with Greg, 46% is still incredibly good for the first attempt. I think there is going to be a movement for legalisation in Colorado for 2012, and I think it is clear to say that this won't be the only movement in the next few years. I really believe we are coming to the end of this chapter of history.
posted by tumples at 5:11 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes. As harsh as it sounds this is likely to pass; CA activists just have to wait for some more old people to die, basically.
posted by jaduncan at 5:26 AM on November 3, 2010 [17 favorites]


I understand what kind of person would vote against prop 19, but it's hard to imagine there being so many of them.
posted by triceryclops at 5:26 AM on November 3, 2010 [15 favorites]


Yes. As harsh as it sounds this is likely to pass
Quit Bogarting the proposition!
posted by The White Hat at 5:27 AM on November 3, 2010


46% of people voted to legalise pot on the same night as the election of a man who wishes to repeal the Civil Rights Act.

Must be fucking weird to be an aging hippy in America.
posted by fullerine at 5:28 AM on November 3, 2010 [30 favorites]


So the other 54% saw Reefer Madness at a young age and were scarred for life?
posted by Ghidorah at 5:33 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


wait for some more old people to die, basically.

Do you have a cite that we old people are the problem?
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:36 AM on November 3, 2010


This news has killed my buzz.
posted by dortmunder at 5:36 AM on November 3, 2010


Do you have a cite that we old people are the problem?

I was just logging in to ask this same thing: Exit poll seems lacking.
posted by DU at 5:36 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


So California's marijuana advocates decided they didn't want to carry the tax burden for the state. Coming from a state who already enjoys decriminalization of up to one ounce (with only a $100 fine), and some of the most relaxed medical provisions in the country, I can see why the voters would be reluctant. However since I live in a nearby prohibition state [Utah] I am a bit disappointed by the symbolic loss. At least it was on the ballot being considered.
posted by Kale Slayer at 5:43 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


CA activists just have to wait for some more old people to die, basically.

I think you greatly underestimate the numbers of young people who took "Just say no" to heart.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:43 AM on November 3, 2010


I understand what kind of person would vote against prop 19, but it's hard to imagine there being so many of them.

I think its the same demographic who defeated Prop 8. Prop 19 had some unfortunate weaknesses that were strongly exploited by the opposition, especially as regards potential safety issues ("can't stop stoned school bus drivers!" I think this was also the wrong election to go for it, I think: the conservatives had numbers this time around. They never really ran far enough with the revenue angle, which was why they pushed for this election rather than the next one.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 5:46 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Exit poll seems lacking.

Did I miss that buried in one of the links? I'd like to see the demographics on who voted which way.
posted by King Bee at 5:46 AM on November 3, 2010


I do indeed have a cite, the last pre-vote Field poll was fairly clear.

Prop 19 Support by age:
(.21) 18 – 39 54%
(.17) 40 – 49 39%
(.35) 50 – 64 47%
(.27) 65 or older 29%

So yes, support amongst the old is dramatically low.

Fun PS: "While slim majorities of Democrats (51%) and non-partisans (57%) continue to support Prop. 19, Republicans are overwhelmingly opposed, 65% to 25%."
posted by jaduncan at 5:48 AM on November 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


I think your link demonstrates more that support among Republicans is dramatically low than it shows that support among "the old" is dramatically low. So basically, good luck getting a Prop 19 clone passed in any state where Republicans vote in large numbers.
posted by blucevalo at 5:53 AM on November 3, 2010


Well, this is good news for Canada, I guess. The Guardian had a piece alleging that the only way western Canada has managed to avoid the global financial downturn is by exporting an extremely valuable commodity that, while off the official books, makes up the largest share of exports. Presumably growing and selling pot to our neighbors down south has knock-on effects that boost our economy all the way down the line.

I'm kind of skeptical, but whatever. This election, on the other hand ... I just don't get it.
posted by awenner at 5:56 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]




This result should put to rest the notion that polling is rendered defective by the fact that younger people don't have landline phones, don't like to talk to pollsters, etc.
posted by MattD at 5:56 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


! =) *glee*

(This is the opposite of . )
posted by andreaazure at 5:58 AM on November 3, 2010


Many of these propositions live or die on the basis of the dialogue. The "Yes" folks failed because they allowed groups like MADD to spin stories that are all but outright lies:

[CON] Opposed by Mothers Agains Drunk Driving (MADD) because allows drivers to smoke marijuana until the moment they climb behind the wheel. Endangers public safety. Jeopardizes $9,400,000,000.00 in school funding, billions in federal contracts, thousands of jobs.

By claiming that Prop 19 would allow drivers to use before operation of the vehicle, it implies that Prop 19 would lead to a greater number of intoxicated drivers. This is a lie of omission, as the same could be said about alcohol or any number of prescription drugs; operation of vehicles under the influence is never legal, and wasn't part of this bill.

"Endangers public safety" as its own sentence implies there are further dangers beyond driving under the influence, and makes an unsubstantiated claim that serves only to scare. Same with "jeopardizes." The undiscerning reader will draw the conclusion that "jeopardize" means "lose," but it really means "risk of loss," and this risk is again unsupported.

With regard to the posting of this FPP, it comes across a bit as gloating, since the author has been a rabid opponent of marijuana in other threads, and uses inappropriate "win vs. lose" language. A proposition does not "lose," it is not an election in which one candidate wins an office. It is a law that is either passed, or not.
posted by explosion at 6:02 AM on November 3, 2010 [15 favorites]


"I think your link demonstrates more that support among Republicans is dramatically low than it shows that support among "the old" is dramatically low. So basically, good luck getting a Prop 19 clone passed in any state where Republicans vote in large numbers."

Ish. The crossover in CA between old and Republican is high (24%, ages 18 to 24; 42%, age 65 and older), and the old are more likely to die than the other Republicans are to move over. However only 8% has to be made up, and the opposition is concentrated in the oldest.

Hence my original comment: "Yes. As harsh as it sounds this is likely to pass; CA activists just have to wait for some more old people to die, basically." I'm not sure why you think this is unreasonable logic.
posted by jaduncan at 6:04 AM on November 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


I understand what kind of person would vote against prop 19, but it's hard to imagine there being so many of them.

I'm not sure that peole necessarily do understand the kind of poeple that voted against prop-19. I know a few woo-woo people in California that voted against it because they felt the fact that corporations like Monsanto and Citibank were endosing and/or involved with the bill made it a proposition that did not have their interest at heart. My younger Cousin going to college at Humbolt felt like it was going to negatively impact the region.

While I don't really agree with the logic of either of these viewpoints, it provides a pretty clear illustration how there were folks on the liberal end of the spectrum felt that this change needed to come, but not how the proposition framed it. I don't think it's fair to blame the old folks or conservatives alone.
posted by piratebowling at 6:05 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think what folks are missing here is this slice:

(.17) 40 – 49 39%

That means there's a low support group waiting to dominate the electorate for the next thirty years. A lot depends not on who dies, but on who is born, and to whom.

There's no guarantee that young people will *always* be more liberal on every issue than their parents, and in this case, their parents are 40-somethings who oppose legalization 61-39.

I also wondered how Humboldt County voted. (Looks like it lost there by the statewide margin: 46-54 pdf.) Is that moral opposition, or are they just protecting their monopoly?
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:14 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm going to blame everyone as usual.
posted by josher71 at 6:18 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


gives me a lot of hope that the most egregiously stupid part of the War On Drugs might be ending within the near future.

Well, that makes one of us.
posted by brand-gnu at 6:19 AM on November 3, 2010


> Republicans are overwhelmingly opposed, 65% to 25%

Wait. Aren't Republicans the party of "Increased Personal Liberty"?
posted by mmrtnt at 6:22 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes. As harsh as it sounds this is likely to pass; CA activists just have to wait for some more old people to die, basically.

In general, that's my prescription for American political optimism. I see far too few media commentators pointing out the most salient demographic feature of teabagger America, which is that it is both old and unhealthy. (Among other things, watching the Stewart/Colbert rally made me finally realize that body fat is a key political identifier. What a good looking crowd compared to the obese people with oxygen tanks and motorized chairs at all the teabag parties.)

Motherfuckers, we're going to outlast you.

But let's make sure they get plenty of medical herb on their way out.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:24 AM on November 3, 2010 [25 favorites]


fullerine: "Must be fucking weird to be an aging hippy in America."

On C-SPAN last night they took a phone call from a Kentuckian who (a) was very pleased about Rand Paul's victory and (b) adamant that California voters should remember their importance as trendsetters and pass Prop 19.
posted by Rat Spatula at 6:27 AM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


and then there was the caller who was "on Medica-aid... -are... now..." and started spouting off about socialism destroying America. Also he wanted to point out that the C-SPAN lady should be pronouncing it "Boze-man" and not "Booze-man"... gah...
posted by Rat Spatula at 6:31 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Old people do eventually die, but young people tend to grow into old Republicans, so it's kind of a wash.
posted by rocket88 at 6:38 AM on November 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yes, but each generation comes of age in a new context. There are very few places where young people are not exposed to the most pervasive transformations in our culture from an early age, not all of which are on the political level. Tolerance for homosexuality is the best current example in terms of statistical evidence for this. Even conservative young people are less homophobic than their elders.

Society has always depended on the passing of the old. As someone on the cusp of "old" myself (I'm already older than I ever imagined myself being as a kid), I'm down for that.

Actually, as I think about it, this is a reason to support teabag idiocy on federal spending. OK, we have to cut one massive entitlement program to get started and to make a real dent in the federal deficit and national debt. How about we take Medicare out first. After all, didn't some teabagger somewhere demand the Government Get Its Hands Off His Medicare?

Fuck death panels. We'll have body pickup details working the streets.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:48 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


NO MORE GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR OXYGEN TANKS AND MOTORIZED CHAIRS!

End of the teabagger movement.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:49 AM on November 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


That's a right shame, but the fact that it was on the ballot at all, and that it got 46% in favor of legalization, gives me a lot of hope

Most of the important races this election were lost by 3 to 5 percentage points, just like this measure. It really is incredible how close we are to getting Democrats elected and legalizing pot. I'm not sure how we can make up those 3-4%, but increased voting under 30 and minority voting helps a lot. Shame we can't appeal to more in those communities. Shame we can't appeal more to greens and libertarians.

It just makes me crazy on how close some of these races are and how close real social change is. Instead we get Aqua Buddha proposing $2,000 medicare deductibles and promising to cut and privatize social security while watching his goons stomp on the face of a woman holding a protest sign. I'm not sure what Americans, especially Kentuckians Alaskans and Floridians, were trying to accomplish this year but we've just all inherited a mess of extremist candidates.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:53 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


> What a good looking crowd compared to the obese people with oxygen tanks and motorized chairs at all the teabag parties.

Wow. Just, wow. De-legitimization of your enemies by commenting on their physical appearance and contrasting it to "our side"? Really? You're a true democrat* and a humanist and I'm proud to share this forum with you, sir.

Now on to what I came here to say - I was really hoping California would pass this. Well, hope America enjoys the alternative to legalizing marijuana: a military invasion of northern Mexico some time in the next 5-10 years, because that's where we're headed.

* Please note the lower-case "d".
posted by falameufilho at 6:56 AM on November 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


Dude, I think there was totally something we were supposed to do yesterday.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:59 AM on November 3, 2010 [16 favorites]


Teenagers all over California breathe a sigh of relief that there will continue to be no restriction on their access to weed.
posted by jbelshaw at 7:11 AM on November 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


I remember in the 60s how we thought the old people would die and then the times would be a-changin' and, well, look what happened? To be fair, there have been some remarkable changes, but people have forgotten that it was ever any different.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:14 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]



I think you greatly underestimate the numbers of young people who took "Just say no" to heart.


I definitely underestimate them I don't think very many of them exist.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:14 AM on November 3, 2010


in this case, their parents are 40-somethings who oppose legalization 61-39.

And these were folks born in the 60's, where marijuana was a pretty big thing their entire lives.

When do people actually change into Republicans, and how? Is it when they buy a house? Or have kids?
posted by smackfu at 7:18 AM on November 3, 2010


Hope I die before I get old vote Tea Party.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:18 AM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Whey you get old, you vote Tea Party so that big government doesn't take your Medicare and Social Security away.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:21 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's a Chinese point of how it could have turned out.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:35 AM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Old people do eventually die, but young people tend to grow into old Republicans, so it's kind of a wash.

No, young white people tend to grow into old Republicans. Every day ten teabaggers die and 50 beautiful little future democrats are born. I spend Saturdays driving through underprivileged neighborhoods tossing candy out of my car and screaming "Remember this when I'm an old asshole! Also sorry about . . . you know, America!"
posted by ND¢ at 7:36 AM on November 3, 2010 [14 favorites]


I remember in the 60s how we thought the old people would die and then the times would be a-changin' and, well, look what happened? To be fair, there have been some remarkable changes, but people have forgotten that it was ever any different.

Not that everything's perfect and hunky-dory, but compared to the 60s:

- Women can do any job, not just "women's jobs," including serving in nearly any part of the military. Multiple senators, the Speaker of the House, and Secretary of State are currently women.
- Black people have de facto rights rather than poorly enforced legal rights. Overt racism is all but eliminated, and that which is expressed is often condemned. While racism still has a long shadow, my Governor (for 4 more years!) and my President are black men.
- GBLT(etc.) issues and rights are better understood. While this one is still a matter of national debate and contention, the country's moving in the right direction, with some states legalizing same-sex marriage (my state again!), and the government transitioning toward allowing servicemen and -women to serve as openly homosexual.

These shifts don't happen due to the elderly mellowing out and leading the way. Quite the opposite, a substantially larger number of youths see same-sex marriage as "no big deal" while our elders oppose it. It doesn't help that the current vanguard of seniors, the Baby Boomers, are the biggest "Fuck you, got mine" group in a long time. The so-called Me Generation voted for lowered taxes, privatization of this, that, and the other, and now upon reaching retirement, they leave the youth with a ravaged shell of public services while still demanding comprehensive Social Security and Medicare protections.
posted by explosion at 7:39 AM on November 3, 2010 [27 favorites]


It's too easy for me to correlate right-wingers and/or Republicans with racists, bigots and hypocrites, so I'll just say that hate is still the preferred drug of choice in America right now, based on this morning's election results.

(Fear of changing the status quo came in 2nd by a small margin in my cubicle-based exit poll results on preferred drug of choice, with "huh? what? whatever the TeeVee tells me to vote, I like that Fox News" closing in 3rd place, all three separated by a slim margin of 3-4%). Then again, I live in Texas... sigh.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:45 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


When do people actually change into Republicans, and how? Is it when they buy a house? Or have kids?

The house will do it, at least in places where the property taxes are significant. The way income taxes are magically deducted from paychecks hides them to a great extent (unless you really study your stubs, which most young people don't), but when you start budgeting and planning to buy a house, suddenly it's like "holy shit, $500 a month in taxes? My Dad was right all along!"

At least that's my theory for how it works on the fiscal side; I don't really know how people become social conservatives. Head injury?


Regarding Prop 19, I think that the problem is the piecemeal way CA has approached marijuana has essentially 'divided and conquered' those who would have voted in favor of overall legalization. If the state were going from no legal weed at all, I suspect it would have passed. But with the easy-to-game "medical" marijuana system plus the recently-announced decriminalization, a lot of air got let out of the legalization movement's tires.

Basically, if you're already a pot smoker in CA, you can probably get pot -- either by obtaining a dispensary card, or through a street dealer. That means you have mostly ideological supporters left, and people who were hoping for cheaper weed. Unfortunately, that's not enough to defeat both the remnants of the scaremongering anti-drug crowd, but more importantly the new entrenched interests who prefer the status quo: medical dispensary operators, small and/or illegal growers, and street dealers.

It seems, just as an outside observer, that the Prop 19 folks anticipated the crusty just-say-noers and drug war apologists, but were unprepared for the slickness and nastiness of 'No on 19' ... and their ability to split support by developing opposition to 19 on the left (in Humboldt and other areas with a lot of grow operations).

A lot of support for Prop 19 was actually coming from outside CA, and I don't think that's much of a surprise; a whole lot of people (myself included) were hopeful that CA would be a bellwether for national legalization. But instead, I think it shows that piecemeal, gradual legalization is a mistake and harder than it looks, since at each stage you have to fight not only your traditional opponents, but also your erstwhile allies who might decide that they're fine just stopping halfway.

My prediction is that California won't be the first state to have real, de jure legalization; they've lost too many supporters to half-measures, who now have their pot (and, in some cases, their profitable niche) and are content to let things stay that way. Rather, I think you'll see full legalization in some other state with a good ballot-initiative system that doesn't have medical marijuana or decriminalization first, and goes right for the throat from day one.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:52 AM on November 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


The medical marijuana growers and dispensaries put a lot of money in to defeat the measure.

They had a lot of excuses for this-- "we're looking out for the patients"--but allowing the buying of marijuana from people other then them would probably put a lot of them out of business.
posted by eye of newt at 7:55 AM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


awenner, it's not so much Western Canada as a whole, but BC. Here in Alberta we have lots of a more addictive drug, oil, to keep us in business.

The Globe and Mail had an article on the weekend about how pot is BC"s largest export at $4B/ year, and well over half of that goes across the border.
posted by sauril at 8:01 AM on November 3, 2010


Legalization on the state level is mostly symbollic anyway, since the Federal government will still enforce its own anti-drug laws - although I am sure that if 50 states legalized marijuana it would become politically impossible for the Federal government to avoid doing the same. But really, the war on drugs has to be attacked on the federal level. That is where it originates. And of course, with the mid-term election giving us a new, more Republican congress, I am not expecting any progressive legislation of any kind. The struggle is long.
posted by grizzled at 8:05 AM on November 3, 2010


I understand what kind of person would vote against prop 19, but it's hard to imagine there being so many of them.

What was the North/South breakdown? There are a fudgeload of people in Orange County and San Diego.

Huh. According to SacBee, Orange and San Diego were both on average, 54-46. San Francisco was 65-35. Alameda 55-45.

So California's marijuana advocates decided they didn't want to carry the tax burden for the state.

I found that disgusting as well, but it's not why Prop 19 lost. explosion has the right explanation.

Official statement from the Yes on 19 campaign

"We have broken the glass ceiling. Prop. 19 has changed the terms of the debate. And that was a major strategic goal."

WHOOSH!

The "Yes" folks failed because they allowed groups like MADD to spin stories that are all but outright lies

Told you so. (I even called 46%.)

Dude, I think there was totally something we were supposed to do yesterday.

I got stoned and voted yes.

I also agree that this is a "bad post." There's no meta here, and we've covered the subject many times this year.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:10 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait. Aren't Republicans the party of "Increased Personal Liberty"?
posted by mmrtnt at 6:22 AM on November 3


Oddly, no.
posted by jabberjaw at 8:10 AM on November 3, 2010


We just need to figure out a way to stop all these people from getting older!
posted by polyhedron at 8:15 AM on November 3, 2010


54% of you are undeserving of the term Californian. You shall be asked to leave immediately. You do not deserve the sunshine.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:17 AM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Rather, I think you'll see full legalization in some other state with a good ballot-initiative system that doesn't have medical marijuana or decriminalization first, and goes right for the throat from day one.

OK. You're on. $20? I said Prop 19 was gonna lose from the start, but California will probably still be the first to pass any initiative legalizing marijuana for everyone, and it will probably be in 2012.

The next ballot initiative will be more watered down, perhaps one that doesn't deal with sales or taxes at all, perhaps the legalization of home cultivation and use, without the devastating 11304(c) section about having to prove impairment at employment (i.e. bus drivers, pilots, or any of MADD's marijuana boogiemen).

Anyway, I still think CA is going to be the first to "legalize" it for non-medical purposes.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:19 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


As far as I'm aware the demographers say that people very rarely change either their politics or their political parties. By 20 most people tend to be fixed into whatever positions they will hold for a very long time.

The appearance of young people turning conservative as they get older is because society is getting more liberal, so a position that was, 30 or 40 years ago, liberal is now accepted and conservative.

Take race as an example. 40 years ago supporting integration, supporting inter-racial marriage rights, etc were liberal positions. Today not even the most rabid of the right wingers suggest that we should go back to segregation or ban interracial marriage.

But, many of the same "liberal" people who supported inter-racial marriage are today opposed to same sex marriage. Which isn't surprising, because that wasn't even on the radar back then. They were liberal at 20, and without changing a single position they've become conservative at 60.

Which means, I think, that today's liberal causes will be enacted as old people die off, but that tomorrow's liberal causes will face the same problem.

"Damn skippy I supported legalizing pot, that's perfectly reasonable. But legalizing feelies? No way, that shit ain't right!"

"Of course I supported gay marriage, but giving equal rights to genetically engineered 'people' is just plain wrong!"
posted by sotonohito at 8:22 AM on November 3, 2010 [11 favorites]


I think that applies more to the social conservatism. As Kadin2048 said, once you start seeing tax increases reflected in your finances, you have a lot more incentive to vote against them, even if you like the underlying policies.
posted by smackfu at 8:25 AM on November 3, 2010


Here's a breakdown of the top California counties against Prop 19, and top counties for Prop 19 (per SacBee again).

There seems to be a pretty big urban/rural divide. A lot of the big counties against are central valley, exurbs, and boondocks, and aside from a bunch of stoners out at Mono Lake, every county outside of a metropolitan area was against it, often strongly.

FOR:
San Francisco - 65-35
Santa Cruz - 64-36
Marin - 62-38
Mono - 56-44
Alameda - 55-45

AGIN:
Colusa - 32-68
Imperial - 33-67
Kings - 33-67
Sutter - 35-65
Glenn - 35-65

And yet another reason to spend money in Sonoma instead of Napa:

Sonoma - 55-45
Napa - 49-51
posted by mrgrimm at 8:28 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


What really pissed me off was the parks measure losing. Eighteen bucks a year for all the parks you want, or eight dollars each time you go? Fuck man, I can go to a state park three times a year. I'm surprised Big Oil wasn't pushing 21 hard, like, "We sure look forward to all your driving your cars to the parks all the time… Guess you won't be getting there on solar power…" And fuck, a few hybrid manufacturers could have bought some ads or something.
posted by klangklangston at 8:29 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


every county outside of a metropolitan area was against it, often strongly

Perhaps a transportation issue, i.e. everybody drives outside of the city, so MADD lies have more effect?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:29 AM on November 3, 2010


54% of you are undeserving of the term Californian. You shall be asked to leave immediately. You do not deserve the sunshine.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:17 AM on November 3 No other comments.


Please don't do this. They always move to Florida.
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:31 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Those people voting against it couldn't *possibly* include people who've seen friends or loved ones let their lives go to hell because they lost interest in most anything but getting high, could they?

Sorry. No sympathy here. You can complain all you want about personal freedom & such, but I had no freedom to get away from my stepfather.

I'd be fine with allowing people to have their drugs if they weren't allowed to have kids.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:35 AM on November 3, 2010


Eighteen bucks a year for all the parks you want, or eight dollars each time you go?

My guess is that people didn't like that it was per-car, since who in California only has one car?
posted by smackfu at 8:37 AM on November 3, 2010


scaryblackdeath: Those people voting against it couldn't *possibly* include people who've seen friends or loved ones let their lives go to hell because they lost interest in most anything but getting high, could they?

The number of people so affected is certainly smaller than the number who ruin their lives with alcohol. Despite this, I would still consider voting for prohibition to be a very poor idea, and for much the same reasons.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:43 AM on November 3, 2010 [12 favorites]


What really pissed me off was the parks measure losing.

Yeah, I guess today is the day when it's OK to be pissed off all day.

Fucking Californians. The fucking Examiner today said on Prop 21 that "Critics, however, had portrayed the initiative as a sneaky way of foisting a burdensome tax on unsuspecting Californians."

Fuck you, Phil Anschutz. How is a public initiative in a national election in any way "sneaky," especially one that explicitly specifies "This initiative will add an $18 tax to car registration to support state parks." How is $18/yr "burdensome" to anyone who owns a functioning car. That's less than one tank of gas!

The Chronicle's argument against it? "If this measure wins, other long-suffering groups might step forward with heart-tugging arguments for social services, law enforcement or health care."

OH NO! Important organizations and systems that need money and resources might ... ask for them (via a rather difficult-to-get-on-the-ballot initative system)!!

Again, fuck you, California. It's stupid that we needed Prop 21 to save our parks system, but it's a multitude of levels stupider that we didn't pass it.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:48 AM on November 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


To be fair, an $18 flat tax on car registrations is regressive, and yes, there are people for whom it might be a burden.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:54 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Those people voting against it couldn't *possibly* include people who've seen friends or loved ones let their lives go to hell because they lost interest in most anything but getting high, could they?

The "getting high" is a symptom, not a cause. Without access to marijuana, they'd have turned to meth, alcohol, World of Warcraft, EVE Online, scratch tickets, online poker, or something else. There's nothing unique about marijuana here. It's a general malaise or depression, an unhappiness with life or a need for something that gets filled by a distraction, rather than an ability to address the issue.

The stereotypes always exist, but I've known stock-sober slobs and neat-freak pot-users. Low-paid temps who've never puffed, and highly-paid creatives or managers who toke. The danger is rarely the substance or activity, but rather how, when, and why you use/do it.
posted by explosion at 8:54 AM on November 3, 2010 [12 favorites]


There is no evidence to support this that I'm aware of:

Without access to marijuana, they'd have turned to meth, alcohol, World of Warcraft, EVE Online, scratch tickets, online poker, or something else.

I definitely have friends who smoke way too much weed in a harmful way but, much like alcohol, it's at most of the parties they go to, several friends smoke responsibly, they have access to it. When they tell people that they're worried, they think they smoke too much, their friends dismiss it as not that harmful, or that the idea of abusing it is solely the result of anti-drug propoganda.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:57 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The next ballot initiative will be more watered down, perhaps one that doesn't deal with sales or taxes at all, perhaps the legalization of home cultivation and use, without the devastating 11304(c) section about having to prove impairment at employment (i.e. bus drivers, pilots, or any of MADD's marijuana boogiemen).

I think your're probably right. Though I still think the best way to approach this is to reframe the discussion and demand that those who want it to be illegal show why it should remain so. If it's for health, force them to find studies showing that it is more harmful than cigarettes. If it is for "impairment" concerns, demand that they explain how this would be treated any differently than alcohol.

I feel like at this point, the only reason it is still illegal is because it has the inertia of history. If the opponents are forced to defend why, and people pay attention, eventually a lot of the ridiculous boogieman reasons will just burn away in the light of available evidence.
posted by quin at 8:57 AM on November 3, 2010


I remember in the 60s how we thought the old people would die and then the times would be a-changin' and, well, look what happened? To be fair, there have been some remarkable changes, but people have forgotten that it was ever any different.

It's not that people have forgotten, it's that the selfish Baby Boomer fuckers have repeatedly voted against school funding so the tattered history books we of the next generation learnt from stopped somewhere around the time of this "Summer of Love" they're all so proud of :-/
posted by cmonkey at 9:03 AM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


The stereotypes always exist, but I've known stock-sober slobs and neat-freak pot-users. Low-paid temps who've never puffed, and highly-paid creatives or managers who toke. The danger is rarely the substance or activity, but rather how, when, and why you use/do it.

Sure. I certainly have known people who have kicked the habit. I've known people who were losers without any drugs at all. I know alcohol is actually worse. I also know that there's lots of silly, scare-mongering propaganda out there.

Thing is, personal experience has trumped all of that. It doesn't matter to me that the "no" side is so silly. I've seen enough on my own that I can't see ever being motivated to bubble in "yes" when I could bubble in "no."

I imagine there are a lot of people out there with similar opinions/experiences. You really want to win this fight? Focus on them. 'cause just assuming that the people voting against legalization are just old and stodgy tightwads is the same shortsighted stereotyping that many of those in favor of legalization feel has been cast upon them.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:04 AM on November 3, 2010


I'd be fine with allowing people to have their drugs if they weren't allowed to have kids.

Ok. Let's sterilize "people" then (and I guess make adoption, and marriage for anyone who already has kids, illegal). Every American born will use a disproportionate amount of resources anyway, so we'd be doing the rest of the world a big favor.

You'll go first right? Or do you mean just "people" that want freedom to smoke?

on preview:
same shortsighted stereotyping that many of those in favor of legalization feel has been cast upon them

I could give a fuck about stereotypes. Wanna think I'm just like your step-father? Whatever; fine by me. It's prison that worries me.
posted by Dano St at 9:09 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd be fine with allowing people to have their drugs if they weren't allowed to have kids.

That you support state control over reproduction is scary enough, but it is quite frankly mystifying that the drug you're talking about in this case is pot.

Here's disclosure: I lost the love and friendship of someone very close to me because of their relationship with pot - with getting wasted by any means necessary, really. It became all they wanted to do, ever. At no point did I think the problem would go away if they just didn't have pot anymore.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:16 AM on November 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


"The medical marijuana growers and dispensaries put a lot of money in to defeat the measure."

I have a good friend who is a grower. His only customers are the legal medical dispensaries. He and I both took a "meh" approach to the referendum. Would be nice if it passed, but honestly, a lot of people have worked very hard to get the current medical system in place. Disrupting this system would not be good for these businesses in the short run.

The long term fallout would have been very hard to foresee. You can imagine that the medical dispensaries that have a supply chain in place would have been the obvious beneficiaries, but illegal distribution is of course laughably widespread. Being relatively visible, the medical dispensaries are a lightning rod for anti-cannabis politics, and there would have doubtless been lots of vindictive scorched earth reprisals at the local level.

I just heard this yesterday: In one of the white suburban communities near here, the police used SWAT tactics to close a legal medical dispensary. They came to bash the door down with a battering ram, and couldn't - so they stopped and asked to be let in. The owners just said, "Why didn't you just ask to be let in to begin with?" Of course once they were let in, they proceeded to continue with the scare tactics, forcing everyone down on the ground, etc.

The reason for the SWAT assault? The local municipality's excuse was "zoning violation". Really. Even that excuse doesn't hold water - the legal channels for this business, which has been there since 2006, are run through the local County agencies, which issued full approvals. Nevertheless, the dispensary is now in a costly legal battle with the City.
posted by Xoebe at 9:26 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]



Here's a Chinese point of how it could have turned out.


That's just about the weirdest shit I've ever seen.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:32 AM on November 3, 2010



That's just about the weirdest shit I've ever seen.

Oh they do a ton of those videos. They're a bunch of fun.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:47 AM on November 3, 2010


scaryblackdeath May I ask if you also favor criminalizing alcohol and tobacco? I ask because if not your position seems ill thought out. Both of those substances are highly addictive (in the real, physical addiction, sense of the word) and are involved in many problematic family situations. Alcohol, especially, seems quite a bit more dangerous than marijuana in that people who have been using alcohol are much more frequently violent than those who have been using marijuana.

While there is no doubt that some people use marijuana in a destructive way, I also question whether their problems, and the problems of their families, would be made better by imprisoning them for using marijuana. May I ask why you believe that the family problems of a person destructively using marijuana would be improved by imprisonment of the person smoking marijuana?
posted by sotonohito at 9:49 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


To be fair, an $18 flat tax on car registrations is regressive, and yes, there are people for whom it might be a burden.

Fair enough. I don't think those were the reasons it was rejected, though. Do you think it would have been successful if it were progressive--i.e. the new tax were a % of the registration fee?

At no point did I think the problem would go away if they just didn't have pot anymore.

Exactly. Even if the substance magically disappeared, the root problem likely will not. And when the substance is made illegal, the problem actually gets worse.

Disrupting this system would not be good for these businesses in the short run.

That's the FUD that bothered me the most. Proposition 19 was painfully explicit in specifying that it would not change Prop 215 or CSB 420 whatsoever.

... I'm probably misreading "not be good for these businesses" though ... you likely be financially, not legally. I suppose they would likely lose money if the price dropped significantly from an additional supply.

I just heard this yesterday ...

To me, your story indicates that Proposition 19 would actually help medical-marijuana dispensaries. If Prop 19 passes, no way that happens. No way. Zoning violation or not.

I'm guessing you live in LA or San Diego. I'm not challenging your story, b/c it happens all the time, but which dispensary was it (if you know)?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:52 AM on November 3, 2010


scaryblackdeath: "Sorry. No sympathy here. You can complain all you want about personal freedom & such, but I had no freedom to get away from my stepfather."

I'm sorry for whatever challenges you and your stepfather face, but it's pretty clear prohibition isn't helping you anyway.
posted by chairface at 10:00 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


May I ask why you believe that the family problems of a person destructively using marijuana would be improved by imprisonment of the person smoking marijuana?

Possession under an ounce (what Prop 19 would have legalized) is an infraction, with a $100 ticket. Possession over an ounce is a max $500 fine and usually probation (6 mo. sentence max, and rare).

Use of marijuana is NOT covered by CA Health and Safety Code 11550. I don't THINK that being "under the influence" of marijuana is a crime, unless you are driving. Prop 19 would do nothing to change that.

In LA, I've read they routinely dismiss contested possession cases for $50.

So what the people who voted against Proposition 19 yesterday actually voted for was to continue the status quo of charging some people $50-100 when caught with marijuana, letting police and DAs decide which users should be charged with distribution, and not letting people grow it on their own, which encourages illegal and dangerous drug trading.

How on earth can anyone rationalize that?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:07 AM on November 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


How on earth can anyone rationalize that?

Well, that's just it. The rational parts are either voluntarily turned off or were never turned on to begin with. They succumb to the authority of their gut, their anger, their fear. Five hundred years of proof to the contrary (give or take) and they still have to have their fucking bogeymen and faery tales.

You can complain all you want about personal freedom & such, but I had no freedom to get away from my stepfather.

See? Who cares about logic and reason when there are balls to be grabbed? Arr!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:28 AM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sorry. No sympathy here. You can complain all you want about personal freedom & such, but I had no freedom to get away from my stepfather.

This is exactly the same rhetoric people used to pass Prohibition in the US.

With exactly the same results, I would suggest.

I am terribly, terribly sorry that you had an addicted stepfather who treated you cruelly. That is a horrible thing for anyone to experience.

Childhood trauma generally makes a poor basis for public policy decisions, however.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:36 AM on November 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


piratebowling: "I understand what kind of person would vote against prop 19, but it's hard to imagine there being so many of them.

I'm not sure that peole necessarily do understand the kind of poeple that voted against prop-19. I know a few woo-woo people in California that voted against it because they felt the fact that corporations like Monsanto and Citibank were endosing and/or involved with the bill made it a proposition that did not have their interest at heart. My younger Cousin going to college at Humbolt felt like it was going to negatively impact the region.

While I don't really agree with the logic of either of these viewpoints, it provides a pretty clear illustration how there were folks on the liberal end of the spectrum felt that this change needed to come, but not how the proposition framed it. I don't think it's fair to blame the old folks or conservatives alone."

This stuff kind of makes the top of my head come off, but here goes:

Although I do not work for the campaign, I can state with utter certainty that neither Monsanto nor Citibank had fuck all to do with this campaign. There was no corporate money involved, unless you count the quarter mil the Chamber of Commerce put in *against* it. They did not endorse. They were not involved. Not. Just not. The big money FOR 19 came from people who make their money from facebook, car insurance, men's suits, and sex toys. And George Soros. All of whom are long-time supporters of drug policy reform.

I do understand people who put their perceived financial well-being ahead of other people's civil liberties; that's a time-honored way of deciding how to vote in this country. I do not understand people who create mythical corporate takeover fantasies as a reason to vote against what had the potential to be the biggest blow struck towards ending marijuana prohibition. Marijuana prohibition still does very real damage to people here. Tens of thousands of people are arrested and convicted every year in California.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:37 AM on November 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


I am a Californian, and was discussing this with two other people last night. I have never smoked pot, and never intend to, and one of the others had no history of pot usage that I was aware of. The third had a long history of pot use (now subsided), and has always been a staunch pro-choice activist.

Of the three of us, the only one who did not vote for prop 19 was the pro-choice one with the history of pot usage. In fact, they were adamantly against it.

so, uh, put that in your pipe and smoke it
posted by davejay at 10:49 AM on November 3, 2010


Wait. Aren't Republicans the party of "Increased Personal Liberty"?

No, they're the party of increased personal liberty for themselves.
posted by davejay at 10:51 AM on November 3, 2010


I live in California. As far as I know, none of my friends or family voted for prop 19. As as far as I know, all of them support legalization of cannabis.

Prop 19 was a poorly written, half-assed mess. I suggest you read the text before commenting about fear and rationality and freedom and such.

It wouldn't have legalized anything, but would have been a full-employment program for constitutional lawyers. It allows for overlapping jurisdictions to have different laws regarding possession, and different tax regimes. It ignores all question of what the legal definition of cannabis "intoxication" is, and if there even is one. (think DUI and employment lawsuits)

Even ignoring the federal challege to the law, it would have cost the state millions in silly lawsuits.

I believe pot will be legalized in California, sooner rather than later, and I also believe that it will be through a ballot measure like this, rather than through the state legislature. The only way it will work though, is if the law makes sense in the first place.

...and is an amendment to the California constitution. As many who follow CA politics know, it is only a tiny bit more effort to get a constitutional amendment passed than it is a regular ballot measure. But as long as the law makes sense on its face, and the only conflict is with the federal controlled substances act, it will at least make it to the US supreme court.
posted by Anoplura at 10:51 AM on November 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Sotonohito: I'd love to see alcohol and tobacco gotten rid of. I just know it won't happen. I realize that marijunana will probably be legalized, well within my lifetime, but not with my vote. At that point, I imagine I'll just have to be ready to leave parties sooner.

If I got to play God but *had* to allow one drug? Honestly, it'd probably be marijana. As you say, there's less violence and less destruction there than the other options. And yeah, I'd be fine with allowing pot for people who weren't taking care of kids. Seriously. Go ahead and have your pot, just find some other responsible party to take custody of your kids. (BTW, I teach -- and as many high schoolers as I know who are overwhelmingly in favor of legalization, an AWFUL lot of them totally agree with me on that last premise.)

But I can't make that happen, and I see no reason why I'd be motivated to lift a finger in support of something I just don't believe in...and, in fact, have seen plenty of examples for why it'd be a bad thing.

I don't want to see *more* people smoking pot. I do not think for a second that good old American capitalism & advertising will sit out this particular venue of commerce if it becomes legal. Despite all the pop culture & word-of-mouth support that marijuana currently has, I really don't think we can accurately factor in what will happen when there are companies who'll see money to be made here.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:57 AM on November 3, 2010


Do you avoid caffeine as well, scaryblackdeath?
posted by giraffe at 10:58 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


A lot of us who voted no are actually pot smokers. We feel that it should be legalized, but we voted no because if passed, it would be completely unfair to small growers and essentially put a lot of them out of business. We would rather see it stay underground than let the government get in their and start building monopolies with their buddies in the private sector. We are not happy about the way the prop was framed and ultimately we want to see it legalized but not in a way that will destroy jobs and ruin people's businesses. If this "legalization" is presented again, minus the scam part, we'll for it.
posted by GrooveJedi at 11:03 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


*there
posted by GrooveJedi at 11:04 AM on November 3, 2010


fourcheesemac: "Actually, as I think about it, this is a reason to support teabag idiocy on federal spending. OK, we have to cut one massive entitlement program to get started and to make a real dent in the federal deficit and national debt. How about we take Medicare out first. After all, didn't some teabagger somewhere demand the Government Get Its Hands Off His Medicare?

Fuck death panels. We'll have body pickup details working the streets.
"

This is honestly the position I'm slowly in my bitter hateful heart coming to. I don't actually believe it would ever happen, and there are a lot of people who DO need these programs that support them, so why should they get the stiff? But goddamnit, if I don't feel like we should just hand over complete control to the Republicans. Pres, House, Senate, and... well, I'm still very leary about handing over complete control of the Supreme Court, but if you're gonna do it, ya gotta do it right.

Give them a decade of pure unadulterated power. No opposition.

And then, oh yay, we think, Utopia, they will surely be crawling back to our sensible positions.

But we forgot one little thing.

The psychology of scapegoating. Even WITH no actual opposition from us (if that could ever be a realistic possibility, but let's face it, it wouldn't ever happen, too many of us are afraid of the possibility)... As I was saying... Even with no opposition from us, the hate for minorities and others not in power would grow even stronger. Sometimes I wonder if electoral politics is a bit of a defusing process to let people blow off steam and then it just rolls back the other way so the other side can roll off steam.

But then occasionally even that steam doesn't work, and someone snaps and does something stupid like killing people at a public place with a gun because of *insertfearedandhatedgrouphere*

So, as much as I like it, and in spite even wish it, to the point of knowing it would hurt many people I love, the fact is, in the end, it won't resolve jack shit.

And then. I just feel hopeless, because that's the last option that I can see that can snap people out of it. The only other one is to just say "OK, you WANT Communism? We'll give it to you! We'll show you REAL Communism, then you'll be begging for the moderate quasi-socialist policies of the moderate Dems) But again. In this one, you'd have to have power, and you can't do that.

Which is why sometimes I do think about using the "let them have it" approach, because I think Sun-Tzu and Lao-Tzu were on to something and maybe that Aikido principles are the best, so let us lay down, and wait, and let them overextend, and force their selves into a position of their own design (or lack thereof).

But I'm too cynical and feel that it won't work.

On the plus side? I got to vote YES on Medical Marijuana in Dane County, Wisconsin, which passed by a large margin, even more than Feingold got votes (which was high in Dane County - 70% Feingold, 75% for Medical Marijuana). So... That's something (I just had to tie the weed issue in since that's the topic!)
posted by symbioid at 11:05 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Give them a decade of pure unadulterated power. No opposition.

Not a decade, but that was a good part of the Bush years. We got two bad and expensive wars and he broke the economy. These people just are incapable of learning.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:20 AM on November 3, 2010


damn dirty ape - the problem is, while they got a lot of what they wanted, they still could blame it on the dems, cuz dems still existed. I'm saying not just control in a majority, or even super-majority sense. I'm saying 100% controlled and owned by the Republican party...
posted by symbioid at 11:24 AM on November 3, 2010


A lot of us who voted no are actually pot smokers. We feel that it should be legalized, but we voted no because if passed, it would be completely unfair to small growers and essentially put a lot of them out of business. We would rather see it stay underground than let the government get in their and start building monopolies with their buddies in the private sector. We are not happy about the way the prop was framed and ultimately we want to see it legalized but not in a way that will destroy jobs and ruin people's businesses. If this "legalization" is presented again, minus the scam part, we'll for it.

On the one hand, I get this, and I agree that Prop 19 was far from the best bill possible.

On the other, I think it's pretty sad that so many people would preserve a status-quo which is killing people in Mexico and being used as a club against minorities and activists (including those same small growers) in California, rather than face a possible loss of profit.

Some things are worth more than money, and I've always thought that marijuana should be one of them.
posted by vorfeed at 11:24 AM on November 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


Of the three of us, the only one who did not vote for prop 19 was the pro-choice one with the history of pot usage. In fact, they were adamantly against it.

I'm curious, davejay, what were his or her reasons for being so adamant? I can sympathize with those who claim it would create tons of employment lawsuits, but I'm not so sure that's a problem.

If this "legalization" is presented again, minus the scam part, we'll for it.

I think the selling of the "scam part" was the real scam here. Or what gingerbeer said.

I do not understand people who create mythical corporate takeover fantasies as a reason to vote against what had the potential to be the biggest blow struck towards ending marijuana prohibition.

Me neither. I can't fathom the delusion involved.

Marijuana prohibition still does very real damage to people here. Tens of thousands of people are arrested and convicted every year in California.

Amen.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:25 AM on November 3, 2010


It wouldn't have legalized anything

Anoplura, seriously. Are you contending that Proposition 19 would not have allowed me to grow my own marijuana and use it, under California law?

Any reasonable point you're trying to make is lost by your hyperbole.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:27 AM on November 3, 2010


You can home brew your own beer; BUT YOU CANNOT SELL IT WITHOUT PAYING TAXES AND FEES! You can cook your own food at home; BUT YOU CANNOT SELL IT WITHOUT FOLLOWING STRICT RULES AND REGULATIONS! Prop 19 would have allowed you to grow your own at home, but you can't sell it without being subjected to regulations, taxes, and fees.

A lot of the anti-19 rhetoric from pot growers seem to object to the fact that growers would have to pay a license fee, and people would only be allowed to purchase from licensed sellers. That is how legal businesses work. If marijuana is going to be legalized, it will have to be regulated and controlled, just as every other industry faces regulations. I can't just go open a store and sell what ever non-illegal item I want out of it. I'd need a liquor license. I'd need a commercial kitchen. I'd need a business license. I'd need to pay taxes. If/when marijuana becomes a legitimate industry, people will have to be prepared to follow the steps necessary to run a legal business. This is not a flaw in the drafting of prop 19. It is a reality of running a business that sells goods to the public.

The "corporatization of weed" is not something to be afraid of. There is room in the market for the Buds, the Millers, and the Coors. But there is also room in the market for small craft brewers and small scale wineries. Small scale pot growers will be able to succeed and compete in a niche market, but they will still have to pay taxes and fees in order to run a legal business.

I saw a fantastic quote on a friends facebook wall. "I don't CARE if it gives pot growing over to the corporations; who better to lobby washington?!" He makes a great point!
posted by Arbac at 11:48 AM on November 3, 2010 [19 favorites]


Caffeine? Yup. Got a bottle of Coke in front of me right now. I don't drink a *lot* of caffeine, but sure, I do consume it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:32 PM on November 3, 2010


...
posted by entropicamericana at 12:34 PM on November 3, 2010


Wow. Just, wow. De-legitimization of your enemies by commenting on their physical appearance and contrasting it to "our side"? Really? You're a true democrat* and a humanist and I'm proud to share this forum with you, sir.

When they stop delegitimizing the majority of Americans who live in cities on the coasts, the millions of Americans who support gay rights, people of color in general, and immigrants in particular, then I'll stop laughing my ass off at your righteous indignation. Tea-party rightwingers have as much as called people like me (and most of MeFi) not really American for our politics or our cultural affiliations. Why the fuck do I care about their sensitivities or their "legitimacy?"

Yes, "our" side -- urbane, multicultural America -- looks healthier. You gonna deny that?
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:47 PM on November 3, 2010


OK. You're on. $20?

$19, I'd think.

I said Prop 19 was gonna lose from the start, but California will probably still be the first to pass any initiative legalizing marijuana for everyone, and it will probably be in 2012.

The next ballot initiative will be more watered down, perhaps one that doesn't deal with sales or taxes at all, perhaps the legalization of home cultivation and use, without the devastating 11304(c) section about having to prove impairment at employment (i.e. bus drivers, pilots, or any of MADD's marijuana boogiemen).


I'll just chime in here (and no doubt make myself a target) by saying I'm one of the no on 19 voters. I cast a rather ambivalent no in the end after weeks of thinking I'd go yes, but they don't have a box for ambivalent no, so it's the same as any other no, so if I want anyone to understand my vote, I have to explain that I'd probably vote for the watered down initiative you're describing and why.

On one hand, I am on board with the idea that we've got to stop using the criminal justice system to ruin the lives of people to keep them from potentially maybe possibly hurting themselves or others. It has to stop. It's not effective, humane, or economical. On the other, I'm not convinced marijuana is harmless. The comparisons with alcohol and tobacco don't make me feel a lot better, because I worry that part of the reason we have have such problems with those drugs is that they have producers and pushers which are blessed into legal and tax-generating status. I know it's not that simple, really -- particularly with alcohol which has long and deep ties with human culture going waaay back. But we were talking just the other day here about how the way our societies use alcohol can be worse than other drugs, and a lot of the insidiousness of tobacco is as much how it's been pushed as it is the (real) inherent problems with it as a drug. So I really worry about combining the profit motive, even mid-level modern business and marketing (let alone Phillip-Morris/Altria/Whatever), and weed.

I was almost persuaded. No, I was persuaded, right up to the end, when the more I thought about it, the more I realized I ultimately didn't think the regulation was going to do the job I wanted it to do and the prospect of tax revenue was actually probably going to make most cities and counties all too willing to cooperate on the basis of revenue rather than health-focused policy.

Crafting a policy which eschews criminalization without allowing significant commercial exploitation is an extraordinarily tricky prospect. I don't know that I really know exactly how to do it. Sometimes I think keeping it illegal but with very light / education / rehab penalties attached is the right thing. But sometimes I think I'd like to start with laws decriminalizing small scale personal possession and cultivation, with no sales outside of current law, with punishments being economic rather than criminal. Nothing for minors, and perhaps even an exception which lets employers discriminate for positions where heavy equipment is being operated or safety is otherwise an issue.

I don't know. I'm willing to listen and to see various ideas from the drawing board. But at the moment, I'm not ready for taxed and blessed production, and I'm not sure we will be generally as a society until we've tamed the demons of greed enshrined in our economic system, which I'm pretty sure our substance abuse problems are at least partially entwined with.
posted by weston at 12:58 PM on November 3, 2010


But sometimes I think I'd like to start with laws decriminalizing small scale personal possession and cultivation, with no sales outside of current law, with punishments being economic rather than criminal.

These proposals really make me furious. I don't want to grow my own, for the same reasons that I don't want to raise my own cows, mine the copper for my own computer, or farm my own vegetables. Others can do those tasks for me, much more efficiently than I possibly could, and I'm happy to pay them for it.

Just because you're worried about some abstract "demons of greed" is no reason to place limits on voluntary exchange by others and reduce economic specialization.
posted by ripley_ at 1:29 PM on November 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


sotonohito: Alcohol, especially, seems quite a bit more dangerous than marijuana in that people who have been using alcohol are much more frequently violent than those who have been using marijuana.


I appreciated seeing this in Monday's newspaper:
Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, according to a new study. . . . When considering their wider social effects, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the deadliest. But overall, alcohol outranked all other substances, followed by heroin and crack cocaine. Marijuana, ecstasy and LSD scored far lower.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:32 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It has to stop. It's not effective, humane, or economical.

I love this. It has to stop because it's ineffective, inhumane, and uneconomical. But I won't vote to stop it until I get my Perfect Bill That Addresses All Of My Concerns Which Are Of Supreme Importance and after humans stop being greedy. If you can't make a compromise to stop something that's supposedly "inhumane" then I can't believe you honestly believe that it is.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:44 PM on November 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


On one hand, I am on board with the idea that we've got to stop using the criminal justice system to ruin the lives of people to keep them from potentially maybe possibly hurting themselves or others. It has to stop. It's not effective, humane, or economical. On the other, I'm not convinced marijuana is harmless. [...] I really worry about combining the profit motive, even mid-level modern business and marketing (let alone Phillip-Morris/Altria/Whatever), and weed.

While I share your dislike for marketing, I think it's pretty clear that you're not actually "on board" with the idea that we've got to stop using the criminal justice system to ruin the lives of people to keep them from potentially maybe possibly hurting themselves or others. Not if you're willing to vote No on an initiative like this, purely in order to stop people hurting themselves or others (whether through greed or otherwise).

That's especially true if your proposed solution is "keeping it illegal but with very light / education / rehab penalties attached" or "decriminalizing small scale personal possession and cultivation, with no sales outside of current law, with punishments being economic rather than criminal". These are regressive ideas which reward organized crime and disproportionately punish the poor and marginalized, all so that wealthy and privileged people may have their drugs without having to deal with something as immoral as Phillip Morris.

You seem to believe that large-scale production simply won't happen if it's illegal, but that's not the way it works; large-scale production of pot is always going to be an obvious money-maker, and is going on right now despite decades of vigorous law enforcement. The choice here isn't between large-scale production by Altria and some small-grower-only utopia -- no, the choice is between large-scale production by Altria and large-scale production by the cartels, or by some other form of organized crime. I don't much like corporations, but I think it's pretty obvious which of these is likely to add more harm to the marijuana market. A simple glance at what happened during and after Prohibition should be enough to dispel the idea that corporate control of drugs is necessarily worse than criminal control.

Sorry, but marijuana needs to be legal. Not decriminalized, not deregulated, not de-facto 'legal' for folks who can afford a fine, but legal. It's the only way we're going to get violent criminals out of the business... and frankly, if you believe that the marijuana trade in California isn't already infested with "the demons of greed", you aren't paying attention. People are getting killed for this on a daily basis, both in Mexico and in California -- when was the last time the "Phillip-Morris/Altria/Whatever" CEO ordered a hit on somebody?
posted by vorfeed at 1:45 PM on November 3, 2010 [13 favorites]




mrgrimm - Anoplura, seriously. Are you contending that Proposition 19 would not have allowed me to grow my own marijuana and use it, under California law?

It would, but only if your local governments and law enforcement all agreed that you could. The text of Prop 19 is here. (pdf) Note that for every provision it makes - for sale, possession, taxation, seizure, etc. - it explicity allows for local governments to set their own regulations, which could include outright prohibition.

I would argue that in most of California, you have overlapping jurisdictions of city and county governments and law enforcement agencies, and that under 19, each not only have the ability to levy different taxes and enforce different regulations for how much you can possess, sell or grow, but that they have competing financial interests, which would result in a confusing patchwork of laws and tax regimes. And lots and lots of lawsuits.

My prediction of chaos and lawyers is opinion and speculation, but it's based on an informed reading of the text. Prop 19 is only 10 pages long (the law bits are only 6). I suggest everyone give it a quick read. It probably doesn't say what you think it does.

...of course, this probably counts as a derail, because it is unlikely that most of the voters bothered to read the actual text, or really understood the implications of the law either.
posted by Anoplura at 1:54 PM on November 3, 2010


Here is a well-written opinion piece on cnn.com. I don't agree with the goal, as has been pointed out in this thread and in others, but it is presented in a nice, easy-to-understand...

...sorry, I can't but help the *glee* feeling over this. Yesterday was pretty horrible for us on the progressive-not-ultra-liberal side, but this Prop 19 business did make me feel a bit better.
posted by andreaazure at 1:57 PM on November 3, 2010


Just because you're worried about some abstract "demons of greed" is no reason to place limits on voluntary exchange by others and reduce economic specialization.

That's very economic libertarian of you, but they're not abstract, they're embodied in some rather concrete business operations.

Tobacco companies exist not just to make but to market -- that is, increase the use of -- tobacco. Without some legal framework stronger than 19, I think it's likely that marijuana companies would too, and combined with the health issues (which, overblown though they are in comparison, nevertheless seem credible), I think that's reason enough for concern.

You seem to believe that large-scale production simply won't happen if it's illegal, but that's not the way it works; large-scale production of pot is always going to be an obvious money-maker

I'm well aware there will exist some kind of black market no matter what. But go ahead: talk me through how large-scale production will be an obvious money maker under rules where small-scale production isn't penalized and large-scale is (particularly if the punishment/risks to the producers scale with production).
posted by weston at 1:57 PM on November 3, 2010


...sorry, I can't but help the *glee* feeling over this.

Yep, more brown people being shoved into a state prison system that's currently in federal receivership because it can't provide constitutionally adequate health care to its inmates. I mean, some people who thought the measure was misguided might feel "relief" over this vote, but you're all the way into glee. Glad you're able to gloat about something, we all need our silver linings.

I need a fucking drink.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:05 PM on November 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


"sorry, I can't but help the *glee* feeling over this."

Sorry, but noting that you're not in California, I can't help but telling you to get fucking bent with your glee.
posted by klangklangston at 2:14 PM on November 3, 2010 [19 favorites]


Tobacco companies exist not just to make but to market -- that is, increase the use of -- tobacco. Without some legal framework stronger than 19, I think it's likely that marijuana companies would too, and combined with the health issues (which, overblown though they are in comparison, nevertheless seem credible), I think that's reason enough for concern.

Same with alcohol companies. Same with casinos. Same with Doritos and every other unhealthy food.

There comes a point when you have to give adult individuals the freedom to make decisions regarding their own well-being. If you really don't believe that adults can be given that choice with something demonstrably safer than alcohol, then you value individualism far less than me and we're probably not going to make much progress on this argument.
posted by ripley_ at 2:15 PM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


But go ahead: talk me through how large-scale production will be an obvious money maker under rules where small-scale production isn't penalized and large-scale is (particularly if the punishment/risks to the producers scale with production).

"Small-scale production isn't penalized and large-scale is (particularly if the punishment/risks to the producers scale with production)" is basically the status quo in California and Colorado right now, as all you need to make your small-scale grow state-law legal is a medical marijuana card, yet gigantic grows are still going on. This one involved 97 people and 432,000 plants, and was supposedly worth 1.7 billion dollars.

The economy of scale means that growing hundreds of thousands of plants in one season is going to create orders of magnitude more profit per-plant than growing ten plants, or fifty, or a hundred... and thanks to modern marijuana horticulture, one can do it without an order of magnitude more work per-plant. That kind of profit is always going to be a motivator, regardless of the legal risk. No amount of law enforcement is going to keep organized criminals from making millions and even billions on something as easy to produce and sell as pot... especially when it's easy to run the business so that the foot soldiers get busted, but not the guy in charge.

Legal competition is the only thing that can bring the profit/risk equation back down to earth, and that's the only thing that will cut criminals out of the business.
posted by vorfeed at 2:35 PM on November 3, 2010


I saw a fantastic quote on a friends facebook wall. "I don't CARE if it gives pot growing over to the corporations; who better to lobby washington?!" He makes a great point!

Hey! That was me! And I was coming here to say the same thing!

Wow, small world.
posted by flaterik at 2:35 PM on November 3, 2010


Andrea, are you ever going to answer my questions from previous threads? Or are you just going to continue to be gleeful about the pointless imprisonment of others for no stated reason?
posted by flaterik at 2:42 PM on November 3, 2010


Don't feed the troll.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:42 PM on November 3, 2010


Anoplura, not only have I read it, I've met the attorneys who drafted it and heard a lot of the legal reasoning behind the proposed rules. Sounds like you think that if everyone isn't guaranteed what they want, nobody should get anything.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:43 PM on November 3, 2010


Sounds like you think that if everyone isn't guaranteed what they want, nobody should get anything.

Pretty much every anti-19 argument I ever heard in a nutshell. Well that and, "one time I knew a stoner who was an asshole."
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:45 PM on November 3, 2010


fourcheesemac: "Wow. Just, wow. De-legitimization of your enemies by commenting on their physical appearance and contrasting it to "our side"? Really? You're a true democrat* and a humanist and I'm proud to share this forum with you, sir.

When they stop delegitimizing the majority of Americans who live in cities on the coasts, the millions of Americans who support gay rights, people of color in general, and immigrants in particular, then I'll stop laughing my ass off at your righteous indignation. Tea-party rightwingers have as much as called people like me (and most of MeFi) not really American for our politics or our cultural affiliations. Why the fuck do I care about their sensitivities or their "legitimacy?"

Yes, "our" side -- urbane, multicultural America -- looks healthier. You gonna deny that?
"

Thanks for saying that I, an obese person, am not on "your" side. You got all the great anti-bigotry points, except for bigotry against "fat" people. That one, I guess is ok.

There are fat people on your side, and there are fat people on their side. There are poor people who don't dress all metrosexual on your side. Do you laugh at peopleofwalmart.com? Check your own privilege, I'd say.

At least labelling fat people as the enemy makes picking out your enemy easier, right? Who cares about policies, let's just talk about how someone looks. We're sooo sophisticated! We don't judge people on appearances, not at all! And if we do, it's because they CHOOSE to be fat. Not inborn like being gay or non-white. So, it's ok!

Look, I know I'm guilty of prejudices, but those prejudicies are due to actual policies that affect people. Appearances don't matter.

Plus, hey. In a war, us fatties, as the enemy, are easier to shoot.
posted by symbioid at 2:47 PM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't think she's a troll, I think she's someone with a very real, very deep seated and very inexplicable hatred for marijuana and people that like it. It baffles me and makes me curious.
posted by flaterik at 2:48 PM on November 3, 2010


...sorry, I can't but help the *glee* feeling over this.

Coming from someone who lives in a state where possession is decriminalized, this is just gross.
posted by rtha at 2:51 PM on November 3, 2010


I think you're vastly overstating the amount to which large companies will be willing to push marijuana, anyway. Porn is legal, yet Universal doesn't make any; dildos are legal, yet you won't find one at Target. Hell, paraphernalia is legal, but you can't buy a bong or a glass pipe at Wal*Mart. Marijuana use is still quite stigmatized in this country, and that'll be enough to make large, well-known companies think twice before embracing it, at least at first. I don't doubt that large companies will eventually end up marketing marijuana, but chances are that they'll rise from within the marijuana subculture, not from without.

Besides, the idea that our society is suddenly going to go crazy-overboard with marijuana doesn't seem reasonable. We have plenty of evidence that ending Prohibition doesn't significantly change use patterns, even in the face of widespread marketing (in the case of alcohol). I don't buy the idea that there are tens of millions of pot-teetotalers who are going to get deeply into legal weed simply because ads are on TV -- drug use is self-selecting, and marijuana is already widely available, especially among the age groups where drug use typically starts.
posted by vorfeed at 3:06 PM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


If I lived in California, I would have voted against it. Would have campaigned against it, and would have donated against it. (I didn't donate - I am not a fan of people spending money on other state's initiatives. I disliked it when people bussed in "concerned parents" during Massachusetts' equal marriage fight in 2004.)

As far as MA's stance on pot, its current decriminalization status, and me responding to other people's questions in other threads: watch this space. Well, not THIS space, but I'm looking to do something backed up, researched, air-tight, and permanent. I want to enact change that is real and meaningful. And not half-baked.

Yes, glee. Just because I'm happy that Prop 19 died, doesn't mean I'm happy with the status quo either. I don't want people going to jail for simple possession on the first offense, but I don't want it legal either. Hypocritical? Nope -- nuanced. Difficult to express in a forum online (a lesson that the blue has taught me many times, thanks) but a stance to take anyways.

And, for the record: if Prop 19 would have passed, wouldn't most of the people in this thread have glee instead? Goose/gander.
posted by andreaazure at 3:07 PM on November 3, 2010


Doublewhiskeycokenoice: "...I need a fucking drink."

eponysterical!
---
Secondly, w/r/t "Corporate Greed" and those big mean greedy greedheads. Greed is bad, and I agree with you. So, I think you're totally right to vote against it, because it would encourage greed, and as we all know, the current black market supply chain for weed would never engage in horrible acts. I mean, they're all angels, and there is no greed at all.

Basically? Greed is happening right now, and its effects are way worse than the effects of "corporate" greed that may or may not happen, and most assuredly not instantaneously. The more delay that happens, the more time that the "system" has to co-opt the movement (i.e. corporatize and plan how to do it). The more time that the "system" has to continue to arrest thousands of individual peaceful citizens, and allow more violence to occur, not just in the US through gangs, but in the producer nations of Latin America and other places. In case you hadn't noticed, there is a very very very deadly severe war going on in Mexico right now, a very brutal and bloody war. A war that is affecting local politicians and police forces, but more importantly, innocent people who happen to live in the turf of these ever more violent gangs.

How many lives of actually living and real people is it gonna take to be destroyed (in a very real and literal sense) before we stop fretting about "corporate greed" while this continues? We can talk all about the wondrous joys of regulatory capture some other day. Yeah, it sucks. Yeah, we have to deal with the consequences of it. But the fact is, the greed that exists right now, with absolutely no control over it in any way, shape or form is sucking the life out of whole communities and countries.
posted by symbioid at 3:11 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, after post - uh... What vorfeed just said..
posted by symbioid at 3:14 PM on November 3, 2010


And, for the record: if Prop 19 would have passed, wouldn't most of the people in this thread have glee instead? Goose/gander.

That illogical non-argument makes no sense. The fact that one side would be happy if A occurs does not mean that it's appropriate for another side to be happy if not A occurs. Most political issues are not evenly balanced matters of personal preference. Usually one is side is objectively wrong. In this case, that would be yours.

I don't want people going to jail for simple possession on the first offense, but I don't want it legal either. Hypocritical? Nope -- nuanced.

Nuanced but still wrong and still harmful. Every step away from total criminalization and toward total legality only results in better outcomes all around. We have direct empirical evidence for this all the way up to complete decriminalization, and there are no good arguments that the trend would not continue through legalization and lots of good arguments that it would.
posted by jedicus at 3:15 PM on November 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


And, for the record: if Prop 19 would have passed, wouldn't most of the people in this thread have glee instead?

Well yeah, probably. But that might be because for a lot of us, having pot made legal has less to do with wanting to get high and more to do with seeing an end to its use as a tool in the inequitable jailing of minorities and fueling central and south American drug cartels.

That would be worth some glee.
posted by quin at 3:19 PM on November 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


Having argued with enough "nuanced" views on same-sex marriage ("I just think they need to use a different word!"), simply declaring your views "nuanced" doesn't hold a lot of weight with me when I see nonsense like your being gleeful about a state you have no stake in voting to continue stupid, failed policies. Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good is a fallacy, and while I am pretty open about having misgivings about Prop 19, the tone you're striking with your "glee" just makes you look like an asshole.
posted by klangklangston at 3:24 PM on November 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


falameufilho: "a military invasion of northern Mexico some time in the next 5-10 years, because that's where we're headed."

Yeah, that'll happen.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:28 PM on November 3, 2010


I don't want people going to jail for simple possession on the first offense, but I don't want it legal either.

Wanting people to go to jail the second time they caught is not any less offensive.
posted by flaterik at 3:30 PM on November 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


I've never done marijuana, and have no plans to ever use it, but I still voted for Prop 19. I'm not a fan of the product, and don't appreciate it when I see people blazed up during inappropriate times. But I won't demonize the product.

Ultimately, I ended up voting yes on Prop 19 from a fiscal-conservative-libertarian standpoint. (I'm not fiscally conservative per se or libertarian.) I mean, clearly enforcement, prosecution and imprisonment on pot-based crimes is costly, and legalization would lift the financial burden from our police, our courts, and our prison system. On the other hand, it would also bring in revenue for everybody, from local communities to the state government. (I concurrently voted for a local measure that would have immediately imposed a tax if Prop 19 passed.) In all, legalizing and regulating marijuana would be a fiscal boon to a state that is having severe cash flow issues. That's a win-win if I've ever seen one.

On the other side of it, shouldn't people be allowed to make decisions about whether or not they want to smoke out? I mean, we've been doing pretty good with the nicotine and the alcohol consumption. People don't show up to work drunk, and if they do, there are consequences. I wouldn't expect any less from people high on pot. People should have the freedom to responsibly use marijuana. That's the libertarian bent on my decision.

So I had this conversation with a friend of mine: I would rather have a doctor high on marijuana operate on me than a doctor that was drunk. I mean, the drunk doctor would probably botch the hell out of my operation. The worst thing that would happen with the pothead doctor is he might drop a Dorito into me.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:59 PM on November 3, 2010


Wanting people to go to jail the second time they caught is not any less offensive.
posted by flaterik at 4:30 PM on November 3


Not any less offensive... to you. Turns out there is another side to this, and that side prevailed on Tuesday. It totally didn't need to prevail on Tuesday, but it did. I'm sure this will come up again in 2012, and it seems likely that California will "go green" then -- especially if some of the most-drastic aspects of Prop 19 are removed.
posted by andreaazure at 4:47 PM on November 3, 2010


I think every state/local proposition I voted for wound up losing, except the emissions bill. I'm actually quite surprised.

But I also want to echo the sentiment that it's amazing how much support that this proposition did get. I heard some number that I haven't been able to verify that up until the two weeks prior to the election the pro-19 organization had raised (or spent) a paltry $3 million dollars. I never saw a single ad or piece of literature either for or against this proposition. Some nights during a hour television show every single ad I saw was for a candidate or proposition.

I consider this a huge victory. It might even be better in the long run for the movement than had it just barely passed.
posted by chemoboy at 4:48 PM on November 3, 2010


To me and a great number of other people. The other side is wrong, and this will be proven so in the future. Even the article that you linked argued that marijuana should be legal and only quibbled with the details of 19.

Actually, to a definite majority of Californians it's offensive - it's ALREADY decriminalized here, and a large amount of the opposition to prop 19 was because it didn't make pot legal enough.

Given how the rest of the country went yesterday compared to us, I'm very pointedly wearing my "U.S. Out of California" shirt. I don't seriously support succession, so it's still tongue in cheek, but the sentiment stands. It's already true in CA that if we had our way we would not be jailing recreational users, just fining them. It's only the feds, other states, and people like you that disagree.

I'm still waiting to hear a single reason that jailing anyone for any pot related offense (other than the same rules which currently apply to alcohol and tobacco, which I support). The closest thing I've seen to an argument from you is the slippery slope nonsense, so I'm very curious about this "air tight" argument that you claim is coming.
posted by flaterik at 5:01 PM on November 3, 2010


the tone you're striking with your "glee" just makes you look like an asshole.
posted by klangklangston at 4:24 PM on November 3


Metafilter is the one site on the net where I have felt like I could have an adult conversation with adults I don't know. Facebook: you are chatting with friends. Twitter: you are saying small bits of text with random people. But Metafilter has been this awesome place where all sorts of things come up. I've learned! I've entertained. I've opined.

...but on Prop 19 and other matters relating to pot on this site, I have been belittled, ostracized, and treated as if my opinions are invalid. (In at least one case, someone basically said that - my comments are invalid because of my family's history with the drug.)

It is one thing to disagree. It is another to treat the person you disagree with as someone whose opinions are unworthy of discussion.

I say that my views are nuanced, because I'm not an ultra-authoritarian on the matter. I see shades of gray. But because I see any gray at all, because I do not give the perfect response to many of the pro-pot people of Metafilter, my opinions are invalid, and therefore clearly I am a troll. This has bothered me for quite some time.

Compare my opinions to many of the people in this country. I'm not a fan of medical pot, but if a state passes it so be it. If its real doctors are treating real pain and suffering, my misgivings aren't enough for me to want to stop that. I might be right, but I am not so sure of my correctness that I'm going to tell a doctor what to do with their patient. (I wish this view was held by more people on more issues, actually.)

But when it comes to legalization in all cases for all adults? Nope - I'm not there, and I don't think the country should be there. I state my case, and I try to explain why. And the result? I am lumped in with every other anti-legalization person. My nuance is not rewarded, and is rarely even acknowledged. My reasoned stance is treated as if I can't or won't examine the facts.

I have. I don't agree with you. And that doesn't make me stupid, and it doesn't make my opinions invalid.

In fact, my opinion was validated by the vote on Tuesday. So, yes, glee. Glee that the (in my opinion) right side of the issue won the day. Glee that despite nearly everyone who expresses an opinion in this shared psuedo-public forum thinks I am wrong in my thinking -- one section of my country got it right.

Will this always be so? Probably not. But on 11/2/2010, the march towards legalization was stopped -- even if only for another two years.
posted by andreaazure at 5:03 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


But when it comes to legalization in all cases for all adults? Nope - I'm not there, and I don't think the country should be there. I state my case, and I try to explain why.

You've never explained how you think that pot remaining illegal, and yet not having possession be a crime (because you don't want to see people put in the criminal justice system), are compatible viewpoints. You handwave with "nuance," but that is not an explanation.

There's more about your views I don't understand, but that's the biggie.
posted by rtha at 5:07 PM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Andrea, I didn't say that your opinion was invalid because of your family history. I said it seemed like that was your only reason. You say your view is nuanced and examined, but you have not given a single reason to back it up. I keep demanding an argument, and you keep refusing to give one.

I have tried very hard to not belittle you, but i am trying to make clear that you are saying that in your belief, if I'm not careful enough, I, and many other people, belong in jail. That we deserve a criminal record. That we deserve to have difficultly getting a job.

That's why hackles are raised.

MetaFilter is a place that demands arguments be backed up with reason and facts. Yours, so far, lacks that.

Also, I knew pot opponents would take 19's failure as vindication of their belief that pot is evil and wrong for recreational use, and not the reality that it is, in fact, a nuanced issue in California and not everyone who supports legalization supported it. So at least you allow me to say "i told you so" to the anti-19 people I know (ALL of whom support legalization).
posted by flaterik at 5:12 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't want to ruin someone's life because they broke the law once. It isn't like they are killing someone -- possession of pot is something I'd like people to not do, because consumption of pot is something I'd like to not have happen. My belief, and the facts I am compiling back me up, is that the costs to society are too great for this to become normalized in our society. (Even to "just" the levels of use of tobacco -- 20.6% of adults. PDF link from the CDC for that percentage.)

But if you possess multiple times? Even when you've been slapped on the wrist, even when we say that this is something we don't allow in this country? Yes. Jail. Is multiple 2 or 3 or 10? I don't know.

Using pot is among the least dangerous things one can do that is illegal. Therefore, it should carry among the least penalties, at first.
posted by andreaazure at 5:16 PM on November 3, 2010


(And - I know that not everyone who voted against Prop 19 is against legalizing pot. My gut finds it hard to believe that there were a half-million pro-legalization anti-19 voters, but maybe I'm wrong.)
posted by andreaazure at 5:17 PM on November 3, 2010


My belief, and the facts I am compiling back me up, is that the costs to society are too great for this to become normalized in our society.

Hey, that's a start to an argument. I vehemently disagree for philosophical, pragmatic, and anecdotal reasons, but that's really more than you've given us before.

-Philosophical - people should be free to do what they wish with their bodies
-Pragmatic - the cost of enforcements and incarceration is very high, both on all of society and the people it's punishing. It's also far from a given that use will significantly increase post-legalization. It's nearly legal in california and no one has seen an explosion of use here!
-Anecdotal - I know a staggering number of extremely successful people who are regular users. I'm willing to bet far more than you know who have harmed themselves, because I know next to zero who have harmed themselves and I'm certainly around a lot more users than you.

I still believe your conclusion is based more on an emotional reaction to your anecdotal evidence than the facts you are compiling, but I respect you for compiling them.

I have more to my argument than one liners, but I have to go back to my job now. So I can finish for the day and then hopefully go consume some marijuana in a responsible fashion, just as the vast vast majority is.
posted by flaterik at 5:23 PM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


My belief, and the facts I am compiling back me up, is that the costs to society are too great for this to become normalized in our society.

Without those facts you're just making bald assertions in the face of substantial evidence that legalization will actually have enormous societal benefits rather than costs. Maybe you should consider revisiting this topic only after you actually have some solid facts on your side, preferably along with some equally solid analysis showing why, for example, the uniformly excellent results of decriminalization in Portugal are somehow actually bad or would not apply to other countries.

Furthermore, cost alone is not always the best basis for legislation, but even following that somewhat specious argument, I'm not sure you'd like where it leads. Research seems to agree that both alcohol and tobacco are considerably worse than marijuana in terms of societal cost, so are you prepared to argue that we should return to prohibition of alcohol and also ban tobacco products? Can you seriously argue that alcohol prohibition would somehow work out better this time around?

It is one thing to disagree. It is another to treat the person you disagree with as someone whose opinions are unworthy of discussion.

Some opinions are unworthy of discussion because they've been conclusively shown to be categorically wrong. When such opinions are brought out, it should not be surprising that the responses are disengagement, strident opposition, or accusations of bad faith.

In this case, we have decades of massive harm to hundreds of millions of people across the world as a result of criminalization and substantial empirical evidence that there would not only be harm reduction but in fact net positives to legalization. At some point the discussion is over and the only question that remains is "how do we fix this?" Many here believe we have reached that point. In fact, many here believe we reached that point a long time ago.
posted by jedicus at 5:36 PM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Using pot is among the least dangerous things one can do that is illegal. Therefore, it should carry among the least penalties, at first.

So why jail? Why not just an increasing set of fines?
posted by jedicus at 5:37 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to do the debate now, because I don't have everything air-tight. The last time I did that on the blue, I was torched. So, as I said: watch this space. Or, more importantly, watch the 2012 elections. (Hopefully.)
posted by andreaazure at 5:40 PM on November 3, 2010


..."you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark —that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."
posted by toadliquor at 6:13 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Growing up, my dad smoked a ton of pot. Fire bud, at that.

He also beat the shit out of me, my brother, and my mom too many times to count.

You know why he was violent sometimes? He's bipolar.

You know when things got violent? About two months before harvest, when last year's supply ran out.

Thank God my dad smoked pot. I can not imagine the pit of darkness my childhood would have been without it.

I'm picking up what you're laying down, scaryblackdeath. But for every one of your stories, there's one of mine.
posted by Leta at 6:14 PM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm not going to do the debate now, because I don't have everything air-tight.

If you fold after raising, you lose. "I don't have everything air-tight" means you can't defend your position, so I would question why you started arguing your position in the first place; if you believe in that position, you are doing it no favors by launching a half-hearted defense of it here.

And "watch the elections" is the argumentum ad populum in its purest form; it may be that more people agree with you than agree with the pro-legalization folks, but that doesn't say anything about the inherent merit of your arguments.

You could be right, but you've done nothing to convince me of that and quite a bit to support the belief many people here have that the opponents of legal marijuana don't have solid arguments on their side.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:28 PM on November 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


While I wait for yet another build to finish, I couldn't resist returning.

And scaryblackdeath and andreaazure - whatever happened with your family members, they destroyed themselves with pot. Pot didn't destroy them.

It's a pretty important distinction.
posted by flaterik at 6:58 PM on November 3, 2010


As so often the case, the results aremore complex than they appear.
posted by anigbrowl at 7:09 PM on November 3, 2010


My belief, and the facts I am compiling back me up, is that the costs to society are too great for this to become normalized in our society. (Even to "just" the levels of use of tobacco -- 20.6% of adults. PDF link from the CDC for that percentage.)

Marijuana use is already normalized in our society. 40% of all adults have tried it, and there are about 17 million current users (defined as use within the last month), and 27 million last-year users. In a country of 300 million people, the latter is about 10% -- ONDCP estimated almost 13% in 2001 -- and the percentages of last-year users and last-month users are 32% and 18.5% among Americans aged 18-25. And interestingly enough, the last-year and last-month numbers for cigarettes among this age group are similar, at 35% and 23.5%...

In short: if you want to claim that "the costs to society are too great for this to become normalized in our society", then you'd better be able to come up with data which shows these costs among Americans aged 18-25, because they're already using marijuana at comparable rates to tobacco.
posted by vorfeed at 7:30 PM on November 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm looking to do something backed up, researched, air-tight, and permanent.

Good luck with that. I mean, honestly. It might be a bit hard to find data that point out how "bad" marijuana really is. You know, since so much of it proves exactly the opposite.
posted by exlotuseater at 7:34 PM on November 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Anyway, I was curious when I was talking to my friend, can someone explain, or at least point me to a good link where the pro-legalization anti-prop19 arguments are made? I knew the existed, but never really understood.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:55 PM on November 3, 2010


Anyway, I was curious when I was talking to my friend, can someone explain, or at least point me to a good link where the pro-legalization anti-prop19 arguments are made? I knew the existed, but never really understood.

The main link for the pro-pot no-on-19 people is the vote know blog. Once you've read that, there's an opposing article which addresses each of their points by Marc Emery at Cannabis Culture.
posted by vorfeed at 9:22 PM on November 3, 2010


My belief, and the facts I am compiling back me up, is that the costs to society are too great for this to become normalized in our society.

So you're going with the Richard Nixon style "super-duper-secret plan to get us out of Vietnam" style of argumentation. Hell, it worked for him.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:11 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not sure if andreaazure will be returning to this thread, but I think it's important to note exactly why "glee" comes across as so wrong: it's schadenfreude. If you were seriously worried, concerned that legalization would harm society, then the proper emotion to express is "relief." You should feel relieved that the drug remains illegal. When you say you're feeling glee, it's actual joy felt because people will not be able to do what they wanted to do.

Remember, as I mentioned way above, this isn't an election. There aren't winners and losers. You can feel unabashedly gleeful that your candidate wins an election, and not come across like a dick. I'm happy Deval Patrick was re-elected. I'm relieved that we didn't drop our sales tax rate. But I'm not gleeful that Charlie Baker lost, and expressing such glee would be rude and inappropriate. The same must be true for Prop 19.
posted by explosion at 10:15 PM on November 3, 2010


andreaazure: "But when it comes to legalization in all cases for all adults? Nope - I'm not there, and I don't think the country should be there. I state my case, and I try to explain why. And the result? "

You know, I've read every post of yours on this thread and I have to disagree: you haven't stated your case for this at all. As in, you've given no reason why you think adults shouldn't be smoking pot. We don't know why you believe what you believe, and that's causing people to "gang up" on you. What they are doing is calling your out on your bullshit, because gut feelings not backed up by facts that end up hurting other people tend to piss people off. Myself included. Your gut feeling is that pot is bad for people, but you haven't said why, much less added any facts to support your belief, and meanwhile people are being fined and jailed at great expense to us all for something you think is wrong. For some reason(s).

I'm not going to do the debate now, because I don't have everything air-tight.

No shit. Will you do the debate now, then? Got everything airtight by now? If we all get together and ask you super really ultra pleasantly? I'll ask again, and I'll type super slow: Why is smoking pot bad? Bonus points for an answer supported by facts.
posted by zardoz at 11:11 PM on November 3, 2010


I am pro-legalization, anti-19. Problems I had with this measure include

Redefining minor as anyone under 21, instead of under 18 as it currently is in regards to cannabis.

Banning smoking cannabis in public.

New crimes for sharing, selling or even smoking in the presence of a minor.

There was no protection in the measure (excepting part of the intentions) for the current medical cultivation and sales. The only explicitly protected part for MMJ was the possession and use.

The licensing system was vague and far too easy for business/government collusion to restrict access to certain markets. Namely the Bay area, San Diego and Los Angeles. Oakland had already been pretty open in its intentions to use the licensing to limit the growth and sales in their jurisdictions to a few wealthy players, including the main backer of the measure, Richard Lee. These restrictions would have deprived the current billion dollar cottage industry of its main legal markets.

It's definition of personal use as a 5x5 space could be used to undermine current medical grows and could overturn several court cases. These personal grow spaces were also subject to a possible tax. One city proposed and successfully passed a tax on grow spaces of $600-$900/sq.ft. provided that the measure passed. That's $15000 a year, enough to stop most people from growing their own.

I am all for legalization, but I don't think it wise to give up, or jeopardize, any of our current rights in order to get there.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 12:41 AM on November 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


No, my arguments aren't good enough for the Blue. And, truly, if they aren't good enough here then they won't be good enough everywhere.

In this way, debating this stuff here is kinda like AAA baseball. Thanks?

I've argued my position before, and click my name and read my comments from before to see them all. Read the replies before you add your own - it is likely that holes have already been poked in my argument.

The pro-pot playbook is amazing. I mean that without sarcasm. Experiences aren't enough to overcome the facts and the "facts" they have. And yes, they have some facts on their side too!

So, no. I'm not debating this more, here, now. Maybe in the summer of 2012. It has already been proven that I can't win the argument here, now. Why tilt at windmills? Instead, I'll go build a better lance.
posted by andreaazure at 5:17 AM on November 4, 2010


Experiences aren't enough to overcome the facts and the "facts" they have.

Speaking only for myself, I'm not looking for a perfect argument from you; I'd just like to have some idea of what you are referring to when you say 'the facts and the "facts"'. Actually forget the scare-quoted ones, it would help me understand better where you are coming from if you would list simply some of the facts you were thinking about when you wrote that sentence. Because I do want to understand better your point of view. Most people of just complacent about this issue, so anybody who has given it thought is interesting to me.

Also speaking only for myself, I have no problem with your feeling glee. You are anti-legalization and feel like you scored a victory on Tuesday. Glee seems like an appropriate emotion to that and we can't help what we're feeling anyway. I do think you should consider whether it is an appropriate reason to post this thread, but I'm glad you did since I was looking forward to reading metafilter's reaction to the vote.
posted by Dano St at 7:15 AM on November 4, 2010


Metafilter glee police.

Anyway, are there actually lots of people going to jail for marijuana in California who would not be going to jail if this law had been passed?
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:19 AM on November 4, 2010


click my name and read my comments from before to see them all. Read the replies before you add your own

I apologize if this seems lazy, but no I'm not interested enough to do that work. If you have a link to some previous comments that you feel explains yourself pretty well, I would enjoy reading them and won't worry about any holes be they poked or unpoked. Asking me to go find them, though, is too much (but I swear to jahfe I was lazier before I fell in love with a plant).
posted by Dano St at 7:27 AM on November 4, 2010


Anyway, are there actually lots of people going to jail for marijuana in California who would not be going to jail if this law had been passed?

According the California Criminal Justice Statistics Center, 61,164 people were charged with marijuana possession in 2009. That specific number comes from this article, which cites the CCJSC, but I can't find 2009 numbers on the site.

Anyway, I don't know to what extent that will change because of the recently passed law making possession of small amounts an infraction, but possession does seem to still result in a very large number of arrests. The arrests also disproportionately fall on the poor (and thus Hispanics and blacks) because more well-off people can afford the fig leaf of the medical marijuana system.

(NB: by 'fig leaf' I'm not saying marijuana doesn't have legitimate medical use, but it's indisputable that the system is also used to enable a lot of essentially recreational use.)
posted by jedicus at 7:39 AM on November 4, 2010


a lot of the insidiousness of tobacco is as much how it's been pushed as it is the (real) inherent problems with it as a drug

Just wanted to chime in to strongly disagree here. Nicotine (and all the shit they do to enhance it) is about as physically addictive as cocaine and heroin. Marijuana is not nearly as physically addictive as alcohol or nicotine (or caffeine).

According to the National Cancer Institute (U.S.), "Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing an estimated 438,000 deaths - or about 1 out of every 5 - each year."

The most dangerous thing about smoking pot is the fact that idiots like to mix commercial tobacco into their joints. Roll a thinner joint, and make it 100% cannabis.

In no rational society would cigarettes be legal and marijuana illegal. It's that simple to me. The fact that cannabis is a Schedule I drug implies massive incompetence in U.S. federal health policy.

...

psycho-alchemy, I appreciate the rational thinking. Yours was my basic stance for a while too. I was on the fence about 19, but the more I thought and read about it, the more supportive I became.

A little background: I do not have a recommendation. I don't think I like the ("fig leaf") for-profit medical-recommendation industry (I haven't researched it enough, but the fees alone make me disregard it), and I have Kaiser HMO, which I like, but it would prescribe me $2,000/month marinol (as they did my friend with MS) if it prescribed anything.

I do, however, use marijuana for medical reasons. I also use it recreationally. I can understand why current patients with recommendations for mm would want to preserve their right to use it outside, or in the presence of a minor, etc (e.g. a sick single parent, and the only way she can get her medicine is if her child brings it to her).

However, after talking to some lawyers and sitting in on a panel discussion, I came to the conclusion that while the ambiguity of the proposition's language was troubling, it wasn't going to become a legal problem for medical users. That likely involved a leap of faith many people weren't willing to take.

The employment lawsuits and state/local/federal conflicts that Anoplura decries would have been more likely than any detriments to mm users, imo.

When you say you're feeling glee, it's actual joy felt because people will not be able to do what they wanted to do.

It's actually much worse than that. People with enough money will still be able to acquire and use marijuana as easily as ever. Teenagers will still be able to get it as easily as ever. The streets of San Francisco yesterday were filled with pot smoke. Go to Dolores Park on Saturday and you can buy *bags* of weed openly.

andreaazure's feels "glee" that:

* people who need medicine can't afford it
* smoking pot is still stigmatized

The fight against legalization has almost nothing to do with public health or safety or keeping drugs away from kids. It has almost everything to do with public shame and scapegoats.

I've argued my position before, and click my name and read my comments from before to see them all.

The best trolls are always unintentional (or are they ...?) I haven't had the "pleasure" of reading andreaazure's comments before, but my best guesses are: a) performance piece; b) troll; c) she's never met anyone who uses marijuana responsibly. Anyway, something ain't right.

watch this space. Well, not THIS space

*cough cough* Is this thing on?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:39 AM on November 4, 2010


And yeah, I'd be fine with allowing pot for people who weren't taking care of kids. Seriously. Go ahead and have your pot, just find some other responsible party to take custody of your kids.

I thought a few people were echoing this position, but on review, it only looks like one.

I assume you also support efforts to make cigarette smoking by parents illegal (and/or efforts to remove children from families with parents who smoke cigarettes).

It's definition of personal use as a 5x5 space could be used to undermine current medical grows and could overturn several court cases. These personal grow spaces were also subject to a possible tax. One city proposed and successfully passed a tax on grow spaces of $600-$900/sq.ft. provided that the measure passed. That's $15000 a year, enough to stop most people from growing their own.

Yeah, that's fucked up. And it was Rancho Cordova.

Would that only apply to commercial growers? Can you tax someone for growing a plant in their back yard? Has there ever been anything else like this, i.e. taxing non-commercial activity? So bizarre.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:45 AM on November 4, 2010


However, after talking to some lawyers and sitting in on a panel discussion, I came to the conclusion that while the ambiguity of the proposition's language was troubling, it wasn't going to become a legal problem for medical users. That likely involved a leap of faith many people weren't willing to take.

So what you're saying is that some pot-smokers voted against legalizing marijuana because they were paranoid?

(that was a joke)
posted by jabberjaw at 9:05 AM on November 4, 2010


It's definition of personal use as a 5x5 space could be used to undermine current medical grows and could overturn several court cases. These personal grow spaces were also subject to a possible tax. One city proposed and successfully passed a tax on grow spaces of $600-$900/sq.ft. provided that the measure passed. That's $15000 a year, enough to stop most people from growing their own.

Yeah, that's fucked up. And it was Rancho Cordova.


Apparently that one passed.

I want to say thanks to everyone that discussed why they voted no. I had heard breifly about some of the flaws prior to the election, but figured you have to take the bad with the good. A few days ago I couldn't fathom why any pro-legalization person would vote no. I think I'm glad now that it didn't pass, but I'm really happy to see that 46% voted yes. That is a staggering number in my mind and it gives me hope for a reasonable change in the future.
posted by Big_B at 9:33 AM on November 4, 2010


Experiences aren't enough to overcome the facts and the "facts" they have. And yes, they have some facts on their side too!

We have lot of facts and lots of experiences. I at least acknowledge that my personal experiences count anecdotally at best, but there are still lots of facts.

You can't have it both ways. Your experiences are "facts", as you put it. Not facts. They are purely anecdotal. And you have no facts. You're operating solely on your gut reaction, and that's a bad way to make public policy.
posted by flaterik at 11:02 AM on November 4, 2010


Possession under an ounce (what Prop 19 would have legalized) is an infraction, with a $100 ticket

Not until the effective date (which might be Jan 1, 2011*) . Until then it's a misdemeanor and in both cases, there are court costs & various fees that can bump that up by up to $360.

Lowering it to an infraction may actually be a regressive move. Schwarzenegger's signing statement mentioned that eliminating the right to a jury trial could save the state money. The advantage to those caught is you'll just get a ticket instead of being arrested (this also saves the govt. money). However this only works if the officer believes you'll show up or pay your fine. When you sign a ticket in California, you're agreeing to appear in court if the matter isn't taken care of by mail ahead of your court date.

It isn't really decriminalization if your record has a drug conviction on it when you apply for a job or to rent an apartment and you're rejected.

I was schooled on how a reduced penalty without full legalization disproportionately affects blacks (and probably latinos, but the way stats are collected hides that) last time prop 19 came up, so now it's my turn to bring up the justice argument:

Targeting Blacks for Marijuana Possession Arrests of African Americans in California, 2004-08 [PDF]

Arresting Blacks for Marijuana in California Possession Arrests in 25 Cities, 2006-08 [PDF] says in part:
Both misdemeanors and infractions are results of routine policing practices which disproportionately focus on low-income black and Latino neighborhoods and their young people. Police departments have "productivity goals" (or quotas) for the summonses and arrests that patrol officers should make. Because the routine police stops are much more frequent in black and Latino neighborhoods, they unfairly produce more marijuana infractions and misdemeanors for young people in those neighborhoods. And this goes on despite the fact that U.S. government studies repeatedly find that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than young blacks and Latinos. None of this will change because of the new legislation.

If young people stopped by police are found to have a bit of marijuana in their pockets or possessions, and do not have sufficient identification papers, they can still be handcuffed and taken to the police station to check their fingerprints on a database. In the course of the police stop, the officers may add other charges including disorderly conduct or resisting arrest. In 2009 the New York Times reported that police in San Jose, California made many arrests in which the only charge was "resisting arrest." Latinos are 30% of San Jose's population, but Latinos were 60% of the people arrested when "resisting arrest" was the only charge.
*bill was S.B. 1449 & was chaptered by the Secretary of State as 708 on Sept. 30, 2010.
posted by morganw at 1:48 PM on November 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Possession under an ounce (what Prop 19 would have legalized) is an infraction, with a $100 ticket

Not until the effective date (which might be Jan 1, 2011*) . Until then it's a misdemeanor


Here it is: A statute enacted during a regular session of the Legislature takes effect on January 1 of the following year, unless a later date is specified in the statute. An urgency statute, which must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote in each house of the Legislature, can take effect immediately after it is signed by the Governor and chaptered into law.
posted by morganw at 1:51 PM on November 4, 2010


Yeah, reducing the penalty to a "small" fine does nothing to address the fact that a) fines are much harder on the poor than on the rich and middle class, because $100 makes up a much larger percentage of their pay b) the police are still free to use the law to discriminate against minorities and folks who can't or won't keep their heads down, and c) fines which don't involve a jury trial are essentially a blank check for the police, and may actually motivate them to go fishing for more marijuana stops (compare with speeding tickets).

I don't necessarily think that lowering the penalty to an infraction was a bad thing, as the previous penalty was harsher, but it's not decriminalization and is far from a panacea.
posted by vorfeed at 2:26 PM on November 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


c) fines which don't involve a jury trial are essentially a blank check for the police, and may actually motivate them to go fishing for more marijuana stops (compare with speeding tickets).

Insightful comment. A friend of mine is a criminal defender and he said the same thing about SB 1449 (he works in the medical marijuana industry and didn't even know SB 1449 was signed into law.) It's trivial, and might make things worse for marijuana consumers.

The punishment doesn't change at all. It was formerly a "special" misdemeanor (the only one of its kind) where the only punishment allowed was a maximum $100 fine (since ... 1975: California Health & Safety Code 11018: SECTION 11357-11362.9)

Now that the crime is an infraction and not a misdemeanor, the only difference is that those charged are not guaranteed a trial by jury. (Let's say your doctor recommended it casually, but you don't have a paid recommendation. Is that a recommendation? Who knows?)

Note: the penalty for possession has not changed since 1975 ... despite the fact that street weed is 12,000 times more powerful than in 1975!
posted by mrgrimm at 2:53 PM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I still can't believe how this state could vote in Jerry Brown but not pass prop 19.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 3:05 PM on November 4, 2010


Old people voted; young people didn't.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:44 PM on November 4, 2010


Ok, I can't stop, I admit it. For reference.

andreaazure: "No, my arguments aren't good enough for the Blue. And, truly, if they aren't good enough here then they won't be good enough everywhere.

I read "good enough for the Blue" as an argument that is subject to intense scrutiny. You are admitting your argument can't stand up to intense scrutiny. Or even cursory scrutiny. So instead you're just taking your ball and going home (this is your post, after all).

In this way, debating this stuff here is kinda like AAA baseball. Thanks?

I don't know what this means. Whoosh on my part.

I've argued my position before, and click my name and read my comments from before to see them all. Read the replies before you add your own - it is likely that holes have already been poked in my argument.

*sigh* That's a lot of work for me, I don't wanna. You're perfectly capable of typing decently formed sentences, even whole paragraphs. Just type out why you think people shouldn't smoke pot. I honestly want to know, even if I will, yes, scrutinize your answer.

The pro-pot playbook is amazing. I mean that without sarcasm. Experiences aren't enough to overcome the facts and the "facts" they have. And yes, they have some facts on their side too!

Maybe you could go into detail which are facts and which are "facts" on the pro-pot side.

So, no. I'm not debating this more, here, now.

More? I have news for you--you haven't debated this at all.

Maybe in the summer of 2012. It has already been proven that I can't win the argument here, now.

I'm eagerly awaiting your arguments. You'll be sure to post them here, right? Not on some place like redstate.com, where you'll be preaching to the choir.

Why tilt at windmills? Instead, I'll go build a better lance."

Nice classical literature reference to make yourself seem erudite and worldly. As for lances, you don't need a better one, you need to get one in the first place. Or perhaps get off your high horse?

I also think it's fine you feel "glee" at the outcome of this. What sticks in my craw is you can't put your reasons for that glee into words. You just throw out these opinion bombs without responding to any of the resulting comments and questions. A certain other MeFi user--ok, it's St. Alia of the Bunnies--has gotten called out for pulling the same crap, a number of times. You play a victim, but refuse to elaborate on your own opinions.

What the hell, after all this you're probably just a troll.
posted by zardoz at 4:59 PM on November 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Yeah, reducing the penalty to a "small" fine does nothing to address the fact that a) fines are much harder on the poor than on the rich and middle class, because $100 makes up a much larger percentage of their pay b) the police are still free to use the law to discriminate against minorities and folks who can't or won't keep their heads down, and c) fines which don't involve a jury trial are essentially a blank check for the police, and may actually motivate them to go fishing for more marijuana stops (compare with speeding tickets)."

I always liked that in Germany, traffic tickets are assessed as a percentage of income, not as a flat fee. The reasoning is that if they don't do that, rich people will feel like they can break the law with no consequences.
posted by klangklangston at 5:06 PM on November 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you're hoping time and old age will kill off the anti-drug people, I give you none other than TMP's Josh Marshall:
More generally though, I just don't know if I think marijuana should be legalized at all. Maybe it's that I'm getting into my 40s. And maybe I'm a hypocrite. I of course know people who smoke grass. And I don't have any problem with it.
(He doesn't have any problem with people smoking weed, but he thinks the government should punish them for doing it. I don't even)
posted by dirigibleman at 7:47 AM on November 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


(He doesn't have any problem with people smoking weed, but he thinks the government should punish them for doing it. I don't even)

The old do tend to gravitate toward preserving the status quo. His argument seems to be aimed at making sure people can't smoke in public, simply because he never could. This suggests that interesting things will happen once the people who are turning 40 consider "public usage" to be scarcely more of a big deal than smoking at home. I think this is likely to be achieved, especially in places with dispensary cultures like California and Denver... but we shall see.
posted by vorfeed at 10:33 AM on November 5, 2010


Now that the crime is an infraction and not a misdemeanor, the only difference is that those charged are not guaranteed a trial by jury.

Isn't there usually language on job applications stating only misdemeanor or higher needs to be reported? If so I think that is a fairly big difference at least for the employment aspect.
posted by Big_B at 8:27 AM on November 6, 2010


Isn't there usually language on job applications stating only misdemeanor or higher needs to be reported? If so I think that is a fairly big difference at least for the employment aspect.

I honestly don't think there's much of a difference now. I'll ask my friend.

And maybe I'm a hypocrite. I of course know people who smoke grass. And I don't have any problem with it.

No, he's not a hypocrite. That would imply he uses cannabis, but also thinks it's wrong and should be illegal.

He's even worse. He thinks it's OK for some people (i.e. his friends) to use cannabis, but not other (unspecified) people.

very contradictory and hard to rationalize position which was that he was fine with people smoking pot but keeping it at least nominally illegal kept public usage in some check

I had to read that three times not to automatically place a "some" before "people smoking pot."

Is there any evidence at all that illegality reduces use or demand?

Blah blah blah's blah blah blog.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:56 AM on November 8, 2010


Is there any evidence at all that illegality reduces use or demand?

Like I said above, there's plenty of evidence that ending Prohibition doesn't significantly change use patterns. If illegality was reducing demand, you'd expect to see a large spike in drug users in the years after decriminalization or legalization... and you don't.
posted by vorfeed at 12:46 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


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