The California voters are darn near impossible to understand. We are a state who consistently favors liberal politicians (indeed, true conservatives stand no chance and that's why we end up with a Democrat or a squishy Republican In Name Only), but we inexplicably also voted to outlaw same sex marriages. Half of the state wants every tax-payer funded social program and heavily subsidized transportation boondoggle under the sun, but the other half (the ones who fund unicorns and rainbows it would seem) will not stand for paying any more in taxes than we already do. There is one thing that California is fairly consistent about and that is creating and keeping worthless legislation.
I blogged about Prop 19 back in September and my feelings haven't changed on the matter. The electorate disagreed, however, and Prop 19 was defeated on November 2. Many years ago, the voters of this state approved marijuana usage for medicinal purposes. Though a 20-year old who suffers "migraines" can choose to use pot instead of a medication actually designed and proved to relieve migraines, virtually no one has a problem with medical mary jane.
Why do people have a problem with just getting high because it's a day that ends in Y? It might be that we like wasting tax dollars arresting, prosecuting (and defending!), and housing potheads and petty dealers. It could also be that we like dictating what substances other consenting adults can choose to use. A big part of it is that we vote against whatever it is that we don't do - think of motorcycle helmet laws and even the cigarette legislation of the 90s: "I don't smoke/ride motorcycles, so I don't care." See, we have to save others from themselves. I think a little bit of all of the above is correct, but I'll toss in that although we claim to want change, we fear change.
Who were the main groups against Prop 19?
The deep pockets of the liquor lobby for one. I guess this isn't shocking since some might choose to smoke weed instead of drink booze if there were no legal risks. I think that most drinkers aren't going to become smokers, but young adults might be likely to choose one over the other. Though both impair brain function, modern marijuana is damn near hallucinogenic, it doesn't taste good, and you tend to pass out after just a couple of hours. I like to party, therefore, I drink.
Hypocrites who may have smoked at one time or who currently do smoke weed were also against Prop 19. These people have no problem indulging in the very thing that is supposed to be so dangerous, but they want to restrict your access to the fun. These also tend to be people who are concerned, "for the children," but that excuse is disingenuous. After all, we have age restrictions and advertising restrictions on alcohol and cigarettes and there is no reason to believe that this legislation-happy state wouldn't do the same thing for pot.
At first glance, it seems bizarre that current pot growers were against outright legalization. Okay, so these peaceful hippies don't want to comply with excessive regulations. As if any business does like government oversight, but the reason it isn't really that easy and it is far more despicable. The current pot producers in this state are selfish pricks who would rather risk criminalizing themselves and their users than risk messing with their bottom line. Keep pot illegal keeps more money in their pockets. Funny, they sound just as bad as Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Whatever-Industry-We're-Supposed-to-Hate-Today. . .only looking out for their own interests, even if that means flouting laws and injuring consumers. Peaceful hippies, my foot. More like the greedy capitalists everyone detests and blames for everything these days, eh?
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I was watching an interesting program the other night about cocaine and how the first widespread drug prohibitions against it were racially motivated. It's laughably stupid today, but the specific theory was that black men would get coked up and attack white women. Oh, Lawdy, not that! The show was fascinating and I wonder how many other laws are passed or defeated thanks to bad intentions.
Did some people vote down Prop 19 because they carry the mistaken belief that only other races succumb to drug use? There is definitely a racist root in cocaine restrictions, is there one for marijuana too? And, if there wasn't a racist element at work when the pot laws were first established, is there one now?