Sunday, February 28, 2016

• Let's Talk Pot or Ballot Measures to Legalize

I had started this blog when local municipalities in California were under the gun to create, or enhance, ordinances pertaining to medical marijuana.

There had been an artificial deadline of March 1st in which cities had to act, or face having the state issue one size fits all regs. However, Sacramento did manage to pass legislation, and the governor signed it into law, removing that deadline.

Instead of this coming to the council in February's agenda, it's not anticipated to come back until sometime in 2017, depending on the outcome of anticipated statewide ballot measures this November. It wouldn't be prudent to create an ordinance that would likely have to be changed in a few months.

California Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Initiative (2016). 

Link to Ballotopia's recap of the initiative


A month ago, when I started this blog, this topic came up on facebook when it was tentatively going to be on the February city council agenda.

When I jumped into the fray, my question of, "Would you rather the black market control it, or have it regulated and taxed?" was ignored and the straw man question of "what is your expertise on marijuana?" was asked instead.

I get miffed when people jump over my fair questions and then ask their own, but I'm not afraid of questions, so I answered. "I have never experimented with Mary Jane in my entire life, that's my 'expertise.' Now answer my question about the black market vs. having it regulated and taxed."

It was worse than pulling teeth to get an answer to my question. It kept being deflected by comments like, "If we allow it in, people won't be able to take their kids out in public."

I love me some hyperbole, but that is flat out ridiculous. Like it or not, pot is already being used everywhere, including Wildomar. By trying to ban it does nothing but force people to get what they already are going to use, elsewhere.


Just recently I was reading in the Press Enterprise how "Desert Hot Springs has become the 'Silicon Valley' of [pot] cultivation."

It seems that their city council could read the handwriting on the wall back in 2014, and instead of getting into a tug of war with reality, they chose to ride the bull instead of get gored by it. 

Also, their city had been cash strapped too, like Wildomar, and faced bankruptcy more than once. Sounds like one of those beggars can't be choosers moments to me, and they acted on it.


That kind of forward thinking reminds me of how the Wildomar City Council approached the threatening letter that has led us to adopting district based council elections, over the much preferred 'At Large' method we'd been using. 
Swift and decisive action when faced with the inevitable.
It's far better to see what's coming your way, and making the best of it, than pretending you can hold back the tide like crazy old King Canute.

Want to talk about a joke? 
Look at the headline in a recent Valley News edition.

Just to see how feckless such ordinances are, if you were to skip over a section, and a page, you would have found this advertisement. For all the angst over trying to keep out such businesses, they aren't shy about advertising.

This is one of those hot button issues that seems to have stark lines drawn with people in one camp or the other. 

I'm a self styled pragmatist/realist, and I've never been a fan of feel good-do nothing measures that accomplish little more than making the backers feel good about themselves, as reality goes on just as it had the day before they got involved. 

I don't have to be an advocate of something to know enough to not interfere in the personal decisions of law abiding people. 

There are a lot of things that I think should be banned... like McDonald's and their insidious Happy Meals being peddled to children. 

(Just in case your sarcasm meeting is on the fritz, the Mickey Dees comment was mostly tongue in cheek)

I don't have to be a user of marijuana to know it's best to allow adults to make that choice for themselves.

There are myriads of legal things that people can, and do, abuse. 

Be they as simple as beer, wine and liquor... to countless types prescription meds... all the way down to over the counter cough syrups, caffeine pills or sleeping pills.

No one is advocating for the legalization, or decriminalization, of real narcotics here, but face it, marijuana is more akin to booze, not heroin or LSD.

Where prescription meds like Oxycontin, Vicodin, Xanax, Adderall, Percocet, Ambien and too many more to list, are far closer to heroin and morphine... yet sit in many people's medicine cabinets waiting to be abused.


When Wildomar had a recent visit from Congressman Ken Calvert this topic was brought up. 

He actually seemed to be pining away for a president that would "enforce the [drug] laws" when it came to marijuana.

"Now there's going to be an initiative on the ballot. I'm going to oppose it... do everything I can to defeat it."

"Under federal law, this (marijuana) is illegal. Unfortunately this administration refuses to enforce federal laws."

"I would say this, the folks that are putting money up to build these big warehouses out in Desert Hot Springs to grow this stuff, it is against federal law. Federal law has not changed, and people that are involved in this — if we get a president that will uphold federal law, and you've got RICO statutes, I mean there's going to be a case to Jesus... coming very soon."

— Congressman Ken Calvert, while visiting Wildomar City Council, 2016.


Can you imagine going backward in time and seeking to recriminalize this drug? 

He spoke of RICO laws when referencing the cultivation of marijuana in Desert Hot Springs.

Based on the above quotes, he must really not be happy with things like in the following event discussed in the Press Enterprise.
What needs to happen is for our congress to get off its partisan asses (both parties) and work together on this issue... not to mention many others others too.

Prohibition of marijuana has been an excruciating failure, much as the attempted prohibition of alcohol was in the 1920's. At least that debacle only lasted less than two decades, whereas the reefer madness in the USA has been going on for nearly 80 years.

I'm sure that you have opinions, and this issue isn't going away anytime soon. Feel free to post opinions on this blog, and I'll most likely not delete them if they stay within the bounds of decency.
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Last minute addition
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Here's the most recent, above the fold, front page story from the Press Enterprise by Jeff Horseman. LINK

This issue is only going to be taking up more pages in the press (or the blogosphere) and airtime on TV and radio from now till November. Might as well get up to speed with what's coming our way.

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Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.  — Adam Smith


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