You can’t grow marijuana at home, even If you live in Mendocino, California according to ballot results from Voters on Tuesday, which leaned towards repealing the state’s twelve-year old law that allowed for home-grown marijuana.
In 1996 California voted to allow limited marijuana cultivation and possession for medical purposes, and in 2000, Mendocino–a rural county north of San Francisco–voted to let its residents grow up to 25 marijuana plants, compared with the state limit of six.
Right now, according to the county clerk, one third of the vote against the plant has been counted, with 52 percent in supported of a repeal.
Local law enforcement officers say they seized 334,000 marijuana plants last year.
California’s Bill to Legalize Recreational Marijuana, Should the Rest of the Country Follow Suit?
As California goes so does the country? Hardly, but for decades the sunny state on the west coast has been in the forefront of bringing radical ideology out into the mainstream. First it was openly gay elected officials such as Congressman Barney Frank; then gay marriage which got rolled back to the last century this past election day; then the legalization of medical marijuana.
Now, there is a bill in front of the California legislature introduced by a Democratic Assemblyman from San Francisco (naturally), Tom Ammiano which would legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational use for persons 21 years of age and over. No worries those of you who disagree, it probably won’t pass, but Ammiano says it would help the state’s financial crisis and free up law enforcement to fight more serious crime. This will be an interesting debate for certain, and led me to do some more research on the topic.
Low and behold with a quick google I found plenty of reading material on the pro side of the discussion. We all after all know the con side. Few of us don’t know a neighbor, family or friend who has been devastated by drug abuse. In the 90’s marijuana was labeled a gateway drug for worse, far more serious abuse of hard core narcotics, amphetamines, psychedelics and pills of enormous diversity. I’m not sure that was ever proven but it seemed a reasonable argument to many former pot smokers who grew up to be parents of teenagers, and I will personally argue that street weed sold in the 90s may sometimes be laced with dangerous substances that we certainly wouldn’t want for our loved ones or ourselves to consume. But for every user who happened upon heroin or cocaine you could still find plenty who didn’t.
My google search came up with an article about marijuana and the national economy. According to Mike Moffat on about.com, over 500 economists have endorsed the legalization of marijuana, many of them quite notable. He says in his article that the group of economists have sent a letter to the President, Congress, Governors and State Legislatures siting the savings and revenue that the country would reap if only weed were legal and taxed like other commodities. We’re talking millions and billions here not chicken feed. I suggest checking it out for anyone who doubts.
The punishment for possession of marijuana varies from a traffic ticket like fine for a first offense of a small quantity to years in prison and varies state by state; the same goes for the sale of marijuana. I’ve included the link for information of New York State penalites as an example. There is no national norm but there are federal offenses. Therefore California would probably first have to convince the federal government to legalize marijuana. I don’t think I’ll see that in my lifetime.
Proponents of legalization site the lifting of prohibition during the depression. Opponents say that’s just crazy and rightfully would be very, very slow to change the national war on drugs to exclude smoking weed. Regardless, it’s an interesting debate and one that will, given the economic state of the union, likely float to the front burner eventually.