28 Oct 2009

California's bill 390 - Legalise, tax and regulate marijuana.

"Are you mad?!" - Betty (above) on bill 390.

We all know the truth when it comes down to drugs.
They're evil vices that grip the lives of thousands and squeeze with so much might that whatever human is left in these creatures is too suffocated to survive.

The drug addict is a sickly sight. A bane on the working classes and an eyesore for the middle.

Drugs, are bad. It's as simple as that.


I think it's safe to say, prohibition is a complete success. Look at the facts... since prohibition was introduced on most drugs during the 40s and 50s and later, 70s, in the UK, drug use has rapidly declined, drug farms are few and far between and let's face it - prohibition doesn't make you want to take drugs.

The end all; Prohibition, is a complete success.


No it's not...

As it happens there are an abundance of facts available to the lay-man that the government has been kind enough to allow us to see, that show us that cannabis is in fact relatively safe when compared to alcohol or tobacco and can, to Betty's shock and horror, actually be good for you!

First of all, there's its industrial uses. The first ever car made by Henry Ford, was made from the hemp fibre. Its plastic, derived from hemp oil, can be up to ten times stronger than steel.
The biodiesel which is derived from the oils of the hemp seed were used to power this car!

It was a completely renewable source of energy... and there was lots of it to be had (4 harvests a year, to be had, exactly)

For the first, and the last time, cars pretty much grew on trees.


Was the asshat American drug tsar/Bonito Mussolini lookalike, who first made it illegal in the 30s. He produced a film, reefer madness, that depicted pot smokers as rapist, violent thugs who degenerate family, friends and society in every way, usually involving an axe or two.

Then at the fall of war, America decided that a swift U-turn was in order, where they then produced a video called Hemp for victory that portrayed cannabis as being the saviour of America and the world during WW2 for its industrial uses.

At the break of war, the USA made it a legal requirement for ALL farmers to grow hemp! Because it was so useful and the country simply needed it... talk about a change in opinion.
Once the war ended, again, even industrial hemp (that can't get you high) became illegal once more.


A far cry from Reefer Madness' depiction of a rage-enducing drug, during the cold war the Americans, again, set to work on yet another new blockbuster film about cannabis.

It was now apparently, since the beginning of the cold war, no longer violent at all! Instead now, it made you a communist.

That's right, they said it will make you a "placid communist" and "the Russians are importing cannabis to America to spoil our military's efforts by making our servicemen too placid to fight against communism".

Over the period of 60 years, the US government had changed their stance on cannabis not once or twice, but three times.
Funnily enough, each time there was a shift in opinion, it seemed to 'fit' the times.


Today (October 28th, 2009), at 10:00am, Californian congressmen sat down to have a nice chat about cannabis.
I still am none the wiser as to the verdict, but the prospect looks good.

In REALLY SHORT, California state law made medical marijuana legal in 1996, however federal law prohibited it. The state law allowed people to get high on the basis of medicine, whereas the feds would still arrest you.

Now, they want to go the whole hog.

"It is not a drug, it is a leaf" - Schwarzenegger on cannabis.

"And look what it's done to him!" - Betty


Legalisation, regulation and $$ KER-CHING $$, taxation.

That's right folks (Betty would be rolling in her grave, assuming she's dead, bless her) California are going to LEGALISE WEED.

And with sensible policy, too.

You have to be over the age of 21.
$50 stamp duty per oz sold
$5,000 commercial license one off payment, $2,500 each year thereafter

Assuming 1oz will be around $100 (50 for the tax stamp, 50 for the profit) then that means you only have to sell 50oz, or just over 3lbs of herb before the money begins to flow in.

In relative terms, that is absolute fucking peanuts.
Any dispensary in California, at the minute, will likely be selling that each day, if not more.


And there's EVEN MORE MONEY TO BE SAVED by legalisation.

The cost of the 'war on drugs' reaches into the billions each year. 85% of all drug-war money spent in the UK last year was on cannabis alone.

Eighty five per cent! That's a staggering amount.

It's money which would be saved and;

  • Invested into budget, especially in an economy of public spending cuts.
  • To the education system
  • Our beloved National Health Service
  • The police. These guys have real criminals to catch.

Main reasons prohibitionists defend in order keep cannabis illegal:

  • To prevent a rise in usage
  • It might be bad for your mental health
  • To set a good example to our children
Main reasons to legalise cannabis:
  • The economy - The tax generated from sales alone would soar into the billions
  • Spending cuts - With planned spending cuts, legalising cannabis would reduce the war on drugs spending by a possible 85% (UK) - it currently stands at £5.3bn (2008)
  • Health - As cannabis is illegal, purity is a serious problem, with dealers even adding shards of glass and silicone to the herb so as to add weight. Legalising cannabis will reduce this incentive to offer quantity over quality, thus eliminating the need for extremely harmful pollutants.
  • Every survey that ever asked the same question to young teenagers "is it easier to buy drugs or alcohol" the answer was drugs every time. Unlike your local liquor store, drug dealers do not check for ID. Nor do they regulate content. Are you really doing your child justice by maintaining a prohibitive stance?
  • Medicine. It's well documented, and anecdotal evidence comes by the gallon - cannabis makes people feel better. From Multiple Sclerosis to cancer to AIDS to comparatively humble back pains, cannabis helps it all. Taken with the correct dose, cannabis is a very powerful anti-emetic (meaning it stops you vomiting) which is why cancer and aids patients prefer it as "the only drug that stops the pain and vomiting". Some cancer patients even reported gaining weight during chemotherapy while using cannabis!
  • Recreation. Given the example of Amsterdam's coffeeshops - another place to meet new people and relax and socialise with friends.

The list could go on and on and on but that should surely be enough to make you think, is cannabis really that bad?
Is it worth penalising law abiding citizens every year for doing something they chose freely to do, at absolutely no cost or harm to anyone else?

You decide.


Did I mention it's only a PLANT


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