As individuals all over the united states gather for the holidays and start thinking about the new year, there is one large topic on this minds of just about everyone.
“How will Cannabis be legalized in 2010?”
(Notice I didn’t say “Will it be legalized”, but “How will” it will be legalized.)
As we near the end of 2009 and begin to see the horizon of 2010, emotions everywhere are gushing out of the cup. From Seattle to Cinncinati, the topic on the table in the up coming year will be all about how cannbis will be legalized. Between the rush of energy into the cannabis movements from the presidental declaration of a sort ‘seize fire’ stating the DEA/Feds would not go after medical dispensaries or patients if they were in accordance with state law, to the ‘green rush’ that burst ground all over california like a might earthquake, all the way to movies about industrial hemp (such as Hempsters: Plant the Seed with Woody Harrelson), there is no shortage of triumphant energy on a subject that has been pushed out of debates and research since the 1940’s.
Yet, even with all this energy and gusto being placed behind a vote that is likely to pass with phenominal numbers, there are still many issues on the table that are pulling many voters back for a reality check. Many see headlines from state and federal officials suggesting legalization is at hand, yet when the pro’s and old time freedom fighters do their research on these suggestions, they find them almost to be worse than the already imposed prohibition.
Between the marijuana legalization act in Washington state that hands the sweet herb over to the state Board of Alcohol, to the Tax Cannabis 2010 Act in California, all the way to the new Washington D.C. acts being talked about by everyone, there is no shortage of options or tactics being taken.
More than 13 states currently have some form of legal cannabis, whether it be hemp, recreational marijuana or medicinal marijuana, and there are an additional 14 states putting it to the vote in upcoming 2010 ballets. Some are taking a slower approach similar to Seattles ‘low priority’ status, while others are moving for outright legalization with no real structure. Even voters who don’t live the cannabis life are sure they want to legalize, if for no other reason than to save money and reasources, yet with all the contradicting info out there, it sure has become a frenzy for many to try and understand which way to vote for.
After spending some hard hours on this computer screen, running over the majority of the options that are being attempted in the many states of America, I have found it comes down to two major hold ups:
1) Should it be regulated and taxed by the government vs. own by a publicly owned company?
2) Should people be allowed to grow their own freely?
When considering the governments current ‘troubles’ with the health care reform, the three wars we’re in among other things, you would think attempting to regulate an industry, neh a Society of cannabis, would just a bit to big of a project for them. They’ve already expended the majority of their staff out to deal with bringing terrorists into chicago and new york, they’re attempting to control the internet, organic foods, health care and tax hikes. I’d say this makes a publicly owned company a clear winner, but just to be safe let’s talk about publicly owned companies.
If cannabis, both Hemp and Marijuana where put in the hands of a public company there are a few down falls, though they would be less detrimental to the cannabis communities is such scenario’s were to play out. There is the chance that because they are a ‘publicly’ owned company and not an agency of our government, they would not be bound by the same constitution that binds our government (not that they use it anyways), yet in the same token, they also wouldn’t be forcefully controlled by our government officials which is a clear bonus.
Yet as far as control goes, if the hypothetically publicily owned ‘Cannabis Regulation Organization’ ever took bribery from the government (‘lobbying’), or ever allowed a previous or future government staffer to become the head of the company, the whole thing could flip over. Yet since it would be owned by the public, and we in the public are much more aware of the need to keep a guard on such things, i couldn’t reasonably expect that to happen for at least several life times.
I think my favorite part about creating a public agency to forsee the regulation and safety of cannabis and it’s culture, is that being publicly owned, the public would actually get a chance to run in the way they see fit. Instead of allowing the government to mess it all up for us. The best case scenario and the most likely, is that there are more of us in the republic then there are in the gov, and that gives us more resources for outsourcing, researching and effectively creating a peaceful cannabis friendly environment across the states. The worst case scenario is that the people mess it up. It is still likely to be only half as bad as it could be messed up from allowing government or state agencies to attempt to handle it with everything else they have on their plates at the moment.
They couldn’t even properly focus on the whole climategate incidents with the other schemes on their schedule, and I for one feel they need a bit of room to do their deeds without over loading. It’s hard work being a big politician ya know 😉
As for our current intellectual struggles between the dynamics of freedom to grow, there are debates going on about that very topic as you read this publication. Many are under the assumption that allowed freedom for every individual to grow might give the wrong impression to kids or put them in a bad environment, while others understand that it would drop the bottom out of the black market when it comes to illegal marijuana sales. This is especially ideal when you consider that a child can get marijuana just about anywhere from any character, where as if it where legal and free to grow at home the worst they might be subject to is a parent who teaches them about gardening or a big brother who has his own ‘lady’ upstairs.
Another added bonus to the side for home growing, is that it would save tax dollars. This is especially important when most voters who are not cannabis consumers want to end the drug war due to it’s cost and ineffectiveness. If we were to allow the government to only have certain growers and cannabis farmers, then they would have to pay to employ the people who work to grow the state, the people that work the state/gov owned stores and everything under the sun.
You know where they would get the money to hire everyone and pay for all the material costs and all of the above, don’t you? That’s right! They get it out of the tax payers wallets!
So not only would we all be paying for the newly added taxes to cannabis sales, but we would also be paying for the government to run and surely mess up, what could still be a wonderful addition to our nation. On top of that, many individuals would be paying the fines of illegally growing, even if the dried masses were free and legal to buy and possess. So there’s more money out the window.
If individuals were allowed to grow there own, the price would drop, the black market would have to use for cannabis since they wouldn’t be able to beat the price of FREE, the jails would have room for criminals such as recent police killers, and there would be no need for fines, heavy taxes or tyrannical regulations. The main regulations would be on a confectionary status, or for marijuana sold over the counter or hemp products.
This would make it so that a home grown plant was free and accessable to patients and alternatives recreationalists alike, yet make sure there was regulation to selling cannabis in all it’s forms, as well as any food or processing of the plant to turn it into edibles or products for sale to the public.Thus saving money on the government employee’s, the taxes involved and the criminal market. Whilst at the same time opening up for a booming return of the American economy.
This is one subject that I find has hardly been broached within either the activist community or the political community. It is an enlightening thought, especially when faced with the argument of high taxation. As some would say, “taxing cannabis like alcohol or cigarettes.”
This would be a fine idea, except for the fact that recent height in ‘sin taxes’ on recreational substances is part of what is running American’s dry. In times of need, we all seek a momentary get away in the form of one activity or another and the majority of the activities are more expensive than anything else we do. When you tack that onto the energy crisis, the recession and the banking scandals, it’s no wonder everyone is going broke. So how will taxing cannabis like tobacco or alcohol help fund our economy?
That’s a trick question, because it won’t. It will be about as useful as having it illegal and paying all the fines for getting caught as well as paying taxes for putting people in jail for a doobie or two.
The real way to refund the economy and save this dying monetary way of life, is to keep taxes to the minimum and make cannabis freely available. Now get this, this is where it gets good. If we were to make it free and legal to possess and grow without fines or certain levels, then the ability of people to share with each other without selling would be greatly increased, with the addition of dispensaries and other businesses that would sell, tax and make more cannabis available.
Now, if there is one or two things we all know about the a cannabis culture, it’s that they like to be entertained, they like to learn and they like to create. So what does that lead to? People are going to spend more on food, music and entertaiing activities. Many individuals will spend money going back to school and reshaping their lives for the better. While even more humanoids will take themselves down the route of business and inventions, meaning more products to better the world and more jobs to employ the spenders.
Other great additions are that we are likely to see a phenomonal drop in the crime and car accident rates as well as drop in adolescent drug abuse, owing to the truthful education from parents, educators and government. They have found that when a kid/person is taught that all drugs are bad and evil and they try cannabis and find out it’s not, that they then disbelieve and distrust all other knowledge passed to them and many of them die when they thought they were lied to the whole time. This could be turned around with truthful education about the realities of cannabis and other substances.
There are many things to consider when talking about the way to which the US finally gets to legalizing cannabis, there is one thing to remember, never take candy from a stranger without testing it in a lab first. There are so many options out there and many of them clearly tricks to ‘bait and switch’ the voters so the politicians can test the water. Don’t get to excited over headlines of cannabis legalization getting on the ballet before you have read the bills being proposed.
This battle to relegalize cannabis and end the drug war can only really be done if it is done for the people, the plant and the planet. If we choose to do it for money, then the financials of it all will take it away from us in another form of injustice. If we relegalize it just for pleasure and not for medicinal/spiritual purposes it will only be seen as a leisurely toy substance that can be cast aside as unvaluable. Yet if we legalize it for freedom, for medicine and for helping the planet return to the lush state she used to be in, then we are doing it for a higher cause, a noble purpose and freedom and justice for all.