Los Angeles Daily News: "Time Has Come To Legalize Pot!"

California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer has an excellent commentary in support of California’s proposed marijuana legalization bill in the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Daily News.
Here’s an excerpt:

Time has come to legalize pot
via The Los Angeles Daily News
Every year, the state shells out millions in taxpayers’ dollars to arrest, prosecute and imprison marijuana offenders in a vain attempt to stamp out its use. Meanwhile, legal and more dangerous drugs such as tobacco and alcohol are generating billions in revenues for the state.
… A new Zogby poll shows that 44 percent of voters now support taxing and regulating marijuana – and as many as 58 percent in the western states back legalization. As usual, California is ahead of the rest of the nation. Ammiano’s bill provides a path-breaking blueprint for change that would benefit our economy, safety and freedom by making marijuana a winning proposition for California.

This is the second major newspaper in California to publish NORML’s op/ed. Several other prominent papers, such as the Sacramento Bee and the Fresno Bee, have opined similarly in support of regulating pot like alcohol.
California’s cannabis community has also shown unprecedented support for AB 390: the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act. In the past two weeks, supporters have sent some 2,400 letters and e-mails to their state elected officials in favor of the proposal. Another 3,000 e-mails have been sent via MPP’s website. If each e-mail represents — politically speaking — 100 voters, then over half a million Californians have demanded an end to prohibition!
Our community is becoming more and more outspoken, and the mainstream media is listening. In recent days, NORML spokespersons have appeared on Air America radio, and have been quoted in MSNBC, U.S. News and World Report, and the world wide news wire Agence France-Press.
In short, our message is reaching more people than ever before, and the public is responding in record numbers.
2009 is truly shaping up to become an unparalleled time for marijuana law reform. NORML wants you to be a part of it. Will you join us?

0 thoughts

  1. I am interested if the price of marijuana will remain ridiculously high if it is ever legalized? I can’t imagine people abandoning their local illegal dealer in favor of buying equally priced herb with a fifty dollar an ounce tax.

  2. This is great! Maybe this legalization, should it pass, will be a fine example to the American government, and they will decriminalize it entirely, and eventually legalize it everywhere.
    Obama said he is not for legalization, but I would say that, if that is what the people wanted, then he would oblige.
    Where can I find out the progress of the bill?

  3. I feel a change a’coming. I’m ready to move to California if this passes, or at least plan my next vacation. but what did that editor of the Sacramento Bee mean when he said habitual use of marijuana is dumb?

  4. This site seems dead? But let me share a thought you can share. I was listening to our leader President Obama he was stressing the need for health care reform. He stated the fact that one American every 36 seconds has to file bankruptcy over a medical bill they cannot pay.
    People keep asking on this and other sites why we stoners try to make the war on drugs a big deal. I am not a stoner but I do understand the tyranny and senseless suffering the war causes.
    If an Americans goes bankrupt they can recover they are not having their ability to make a living stolen. They can recover given the time and the ability to keep their job.
    One American ever 36 seconds is arrested following the rules of the war on drugs. They are jailed, made felons, have their house and property taken away. Their life is destroyed they are warped for life. The corner grocery in my town will not hire a bag boy with a felony record.
    If I had my choice I would rather face bankruptcy than jail and ending my future. What do you think? That is why we the informed or enslaved say ending the war on drugs is the number one issue to me and many others.
    I am also an activist for providing universal health care for all Americans at no cost. But my idea is to pay the bill by ending the war on US (drugs) and returning the freedom of choice our founders had the wisdom to grant us. Now the corporations and the religious right have fought and paid to have laws that take away your right to choose. I want mine back and fight the war ever day of my life…..
    Why should you care right? Most of the people jailed are those darkies and they deserve having their lives ended, destroyed put them all in jail! They are just n_______s anyway right? This is the attitude that started the war to re-enslave people of color……
    Like Lady Bird Johnson when she had her drinking problem it is a personal issue not a legal issue. I have never known a person to have a problem with cannabis and I have known thousands of them. You know one or he knows you! Drug problems of any type are to be handled by love ones, doctors, clergy and friends. It is not OK to destroy and enslave Americans just because it is a growth industry. How sick can this thing get?
    Cherokee Fred Hussein Jesus
    Help me end the nightmare
    restore our Rights! before it’s
    your Rights they want!!!

  5. How come alchoholics don’t get arrested until they turn violent, but potheads get arrested immediately?

  6. Many people are still scared and remain hidden from politically being active. One on one coaching to recruit advocates is slow but it’s the only way to reach people who don’t normally follow marijuana issues in the media. By contacting one person per week to become a fellow advocate and NORML MEMBER, your local recruiting will produce an enormous chain reaction in support.

  7. So,i moved from Atl. to Fl.a couple of years ago. at that time i had not used in a long time. In the last 2 months i have been using Mj. to help me curb my craving for Beer.i,m doing outstanding.i have lost 30 pounds in 3 months. I walk 3 miles. and i consume a herb that maks me enjoy my walk and i do not want to drink. so what does this have to do with this peace? well…Florida is back in the Salem witch hunt times for MJ consumers. Florida please we need to unite. and march on the capitol. Christ is a backwards gov. please on Florida boards we need to set a date to show them our strength

  8. It surprises me that Dale Gieringer and other advocates for reform really think that a $50/ounce tax is in any way similar to alcohol and tobacco taxes. An ounce of tobacco, about 2 packs, includes about $3 of state and federal taxes (or it will when federal tax increases to 1.01/pack next month). Alcohol has a similar proportion of it’s retail value as tax. Good quality cannabis costs no more to produce and process than tobacco. It shouldn’t retail for 10-20x more in a legal world. As Nathan#1 points out, the black market will still thrive if legal prices are so high. In fact, the illegal distributer will be able to easily undercut legal prices because the profit margins are so absurdly high. This will be fine with me if I can buy good pot for $20-30/ounce on the black market that used to cost 3-4x more. The illegal dealer will still make a nice profit and the legal market will collapse.

  9. I will book a vacation to California immediately following legalization. I’ve been wanting to try white widow for quite some time now.

  10. Imagine how many more people would show their support for legislation like this if the weren’t afraid of being “outed” as a “criminal”.

  11. legalization must happen now! when will the so called moral leaders in this country stop making drug dealers out of our children? when will we stop throwing our money over to bloodless killers? marijuana is a major industry just sitting in front of our governments nose. stop this foolish demonizing of a plant that harms no one. if hard working people in this country want to stop at the store and pick up some weed go home put the stones on the stereo and mellow out after a hard day WHAT THE HELL IS THE PROBLEM? i would rather buy pot through legal venues any time rather then some scum bag. as you know pot smokers and ex pot smokers the problem has always been sneeking around and meeting in bizarr places to aquire pot and hoping not to get caught. this paranoia has got to stop! if pot we’re legal you would’nt have to buy an ounce at a time.the problem of looking at a magazine like high times was always you could never find or smoke the great weeds in the magazine so why buy the magazine and torture yourself? let’s legalize now and smoke a joint for american freedom and intelligence.

  12. if obama wants to restore scientific integrity to the white house, and get rid of bush’s idiology….then whats his excuse for not legalizing weed?

  13. You should read the following two bills:
    H.R. 5842: Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act
    H.R. 5843: Act to Remove Federal Penalties for the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults
    Don’t forget to tell your friends to read it too.
    Also, check out a patent that the government has, its number 6630507. It was probably approve in 2003 in preparation to the two bills mentioned above

  14. As I posted on the news story:
    Where I live, an ounce of some low-grade marijuana (mexican brick weed) was obtainable for $50 until as of late — now you’d be lucky to get that for $80. Now, if an eighth ounce of some high-grade sativa goes for $65 here, that puts it at $520 an ounce! If there existed a $50 tax on an ounce of high-grade bud (the law would not recognize the quality, only the quantity) It could easily be sold for $100 for profit… maybe even $200. That beats half a grand. When you take that down to the gram (which most people would probably buy — it only takes a puff, maybe two, though your average stoner forgets this and overdoes it) that’s coming out to $4-$10 a gram. In Amsterdam, it’s about $9 a gram if I remember correctly. Seems like they have had this right all along!
    So, the cost issue has been a little cleared up… now can we please get some sense in this country and clear up over half of drug cartel and illegal trade related violence, while simultaneously acknowledging our natural rights?
    All of the arguments about the black market still thriving are void and null. Most people don’t grow their own tobacco, vegetables, or make their own alcohol. Most people won’t grow their own weed. A few will, and they probably won’t be growing enough to sell to other people since they’ll only have product every set harvest interval… the quick shop could (and hopefully will) have it 24/7!

  15. It isn’t a big deal unless pot is good for you.
    If it gives you a bad vibe, you wont understand why people would want to fight for it with such tenacity.

  16. I too am concerned about some of the things I am seeing. I have been supporting legalization for years and some of these proposals seem out of touch and crazy.
    50 dollars tax on an ounce? This is what I concider to be out of touch and crazy. The prices on an ounce have tripled in less than 9 months out here and I’m guessing it is coming from these california decrim measures.
    The tax should be a simple sales tax on every dollar like everything else sold in the U.S. I can still find regs for under 80 bucks an ounce. What will happen to those prices if california passes a 50 dollar tax on every ounce? Will regs go to 500 an ounce while the better tasting stuff goes over 1k an ounce? Am I the only one who thinks these prices are insane? Were not all rock stars and pro athetes. Who is paying these ridiculous prices and driving this silly overpriced market?

  17. People will absolutely stop going to local dealers. Prices of $400/oz for mediocre/bad product are common in some places, not to mention the health risks (you never know if there’s been fungus in the plant, what fertilizers were used, etc).
    A legal product would be cheaper (even with massive taxes) and a hell of a lot safer. For those who aren’t interested in buying commercial, they can always grow their own. Drug dealers will let pot go and concentrate on the remaining illegal drugs for profit.

  18. Too many people in this society are addicted.
    The established bureaucracies of this country are addicted to the money they get fighting the “devil weed”.From the cop who is out there looking to bust your ass, to the lawyer$ , to the prison industry , think about it , why should they want to give up all that money.
    BUT, I do what I can do, I am a member of NORML
    and I regularly irritate our ” representatives ” with my emails , I advocate for Re-Legalization daily . I’m ready for that “change”.

  19. $50 dollars per ounce is totally acceptable. With it being legal, there is no need whatsoever for ‘low’ or ‘regs’.

  20. I can’t wait to grow my own. I am so tired of being ripped off with crappy product, high prices, shorted bags, etc. Thinking of moving to either Colorado or Cali.

  21. Hell yea, man. Me and my girl are getting the heck outta Arizona. Moving to Ore or maybe Co. We are tired of living in a state where our tax dollars are used against us. West Coast here we cannabis come. Time to move and support a patriotic state that believes in the American ideals of individual freedom of choice.

  22. — If this $50 / oz. taxation-amount were levied
    on the more superlative grades of
    licensed-for-retail-sale cannabis,
    (standardized for better concentration,
    purity, higher quality), this would break down
    to $6.25 per eighth ounce,
    (approx. 3.5 grams), or $12.50
    per quarter-ounce, (approx. 7 grams),
    which could still then be sold profitably
    below current underground “street-prices”.
    (Perhaps, also, the TAX-rate could be SCALED
    according to ESSENTIAL-OIL CONTENT in retail cannabis,
    in a manner similar to taxation on the alcohol-percentage concentrations
    in beer, wine and distilled liquors, respectively).
    – – – Even at $50 / oz. in today’s dollars,
    AB-390’s tax-rate on licensed
    for retail-sale cannabis is much less,
    compared to $100 / oz. under 1937’s MJ Tax-Stamp Act,
    introduced during the Anslinger-Era,
    as a faux-regulation / defacto-prohibition.
    – – –
    *(NOTE: Click on my screen-name to watch
    the 2008 NORML Video Ad-Contest winners on YouTube).

    – –
    My favorite of the 2008 NORML Video Ad-Contest winning videos 😀

    The original music makes it memorable, and it also addresses President Obama directly.:D

  23. everybody keep’s talking about building fences around the border… legalize pot and cut the son of a bitches money out ! then send the cops or guard or army down to the border and send the bastard cartels back to the jungles!! we don’t need your drugs assholes!!heroin, cocaine, hard drugs won’t supply you with shit up here! all the money we’ll save we can build a double wall and keep all those pricks out of our good country! god bless the usa

  24. ab 390 will be voted on 3/26/09? is there a list of which assemblymen are pro/con? they need a second flood of emails if it’s 3/26/09 so they are reminded again before they vote.

  25. So I would like to know what people think about the legalization of marijuana for ages 25 and older in the state of california. Would 25 be way to far off from 21? I just think that the human mind is still forming and 25 may be a more well suited age. Usually at this age someone has almost graduated college and finished up with the earlier part of their life?

  26. all i have to say is that i have never seen anyone smoke a joint then go get in a fight or beat their spouse. pot is a peaceful drug do not criminalize it is like one.

  27. The problem will be with the producers. When the tobacco companies started mass producing and selling cigarettes cheaply by the pack, the quality of the product suffered and was laced with all kinds of poison. If they put Philip Morris and RJR in charge of the pot racket, then we are in trouble. Lung Cancer rates for pot will skyrocket and soon it will face the same scrutiny and stigma that cigarette smokers face.
    DO NOT BUY YOUR POT FROM CORPORATIONS!! NEVER!! BUY ORGANICALLY GROWN WEED ONLY!! Unfortunately the price will be so irresistible and the additives so addicting that people will have to buy.

  28. I think the peolpe of our country need to use the current state of the economy in our favor simlly stop paying taxes until reform is made I’ve been doing it for years can you imagine if millions of people did this?they would have no choice but to do what their told they’re letting dangerous criminals out early do you think they’ll put a million people in jail?they’ll have a choice face total economic collapse or legalize it for once we actually have the upper hand here its up to you to make it happen

  29. 2010 Revolution- Sign up with your local LP as a candidate for local office with a strong pro-pot stance. Be yourself and run on what you believe in. I run in Texas every two years and get 10-15% of the vote and some media coverage while working construction out of state and spending nothing. Help expose the fraud by providing an alternative.
    As a candidate you get attention from the media and a platform to educate the public and at least they have a choice.
    I understand that voting only encourages the State, but if we can elect local pro-Liberty proponents it cant hurt your neighboorhood.

  30. does anyone one even know wat the deadly dose of marijuana is?? I know that aspirin is more deadly than marijuana and yet its sold in pharmacies. Its an over the counter drug that children can get their hands on. Aspirin is a painkiller but do you ever wonder what was used as a painkiller before aspirin was created in 1899?? Thats right my fellow pot heads… Reefer was the remedy to the pain. And even tho there is about (i think) 500 deaths a yr over aspirin ods.. it is still used. This Marijuana Prohibition isnt doing anybody any good. Our country is wasting billions of dollars to prolong this prohibition and i hope it stops!! Also.. i think the legal age for marijuana use should be 18 since there isnt any brain damage at risk. Honestly, to be realistic here, no matter wat age,we are still gonna smoke. if we smoked before it was legalized, for sure we’re gonna smoke after it is legalized! By the way, NEVER buy any weed that has been touched by any corporations!! Grow your own because if its legalized you damn well better KNow that ur Marijuana will be tampered with. Just like they put all that shit inside cigarettes.. well thats what they will do to the Weed.

  31. marijuana has been used for 1000’s of years as medicine and continues to be use for medicine today. Legalization would save millions in law enforcement costs. Taxation could pay for better schools and REAL drug education. This is a plant that is from nature. All plants that can be used for medicine should be legal. We can use corn, beans, coffee, and tobacco but not marijuana. This plant may have been around before humans? It may be here after us if we don’t get our act together.

  32. #30 Melissa Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:27 am
    So I would like to know what people think about
    the legalization of marijuana for ages 25 and older in the state of california…
    RE: Melissa,
    – – Even though there are some who recommend,
    or those who would themselves
    voluntarily forego cannabis until well past legal adulthood,
    when they’re better established, there are others who would opt for it being legal at age 21, or even sooner.
    – – If a kid can be sent to possibly die in a foreign conflict at age 18 as a draftee into military service,
    why would they want to be required to wait another 3 years to participate in something much LESS dangerous than war?
    (Personally, from past observations, alcohol is closer to being as dangerous as war, rather than cannabis).
    — And considering the danger(s) of alcohol relative to cannabis,
    the legal drinking-age ought to be twice, (or perhaps even three), times that proposed for ganja!
    (42-50yrs to 63-70yrs old, instead of the present 21yr drinking-age). :p
    — — —
    #41 hydroponic forum Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 8:45 pm
    …This is a plant that is from nature.
    All plants that can be used for medicine should be legal.
    We can use corn, beans, coffee, and tobacco but not marijuana.
    This plant may have been around before humans?
    It may be here after us if we don’t get our act together.
    RE: Hydro’ Forum,
    – I agree with you, EXCEPT,
    I would include ALL PLANTS, period!
    (There are much deadlier plants that have been, and still are used as
    food, {potatoes, rhubarb}, and in medicine, {foxglove, vinca, deadly nightshade}, for example).
    – – IF ALL plants were placed in nature for our survival,
    (Each kind / species CUSTOM-MADE before us, to meet / fulfil some
    SPECIFIC biochemical need of the human body,
    (Including proper functioning, structural building / repair,
    enzymatic / catalytic processes, and energy needs)),
    THEN wouldn’t the prohibition,
    (legislated extinction, really),
    of EVEN ONE of these plant-species, in essence,
    be making LIFE ITSELF illegal?

  33. Well to discuss the overall valuation of cannabis (what everyone here calls marijuana) we have to first examine what the current price is and why is it so high.
    For arguements sake lets say good kind(quality) buds costs about 50/8th to most people.
    That 50 for 3.5 grams includes costs of growing (4-8 dollars) plus transportation and preparation costs(10-15$) and finally risk/profitabbly costs (20-30$).
    Well if you remove the risk factor from the equation (atleast the legal risk factor) you can probably diminish that last risk/profit cost to around 10-15
    Making the new price of quality buds about 35$/8th. Now add the 50 dollar per Oz. from the state (6.25 per 8th) and u get a total new avg. cost for quality buds about $41.25
    Weed will get cheaper and I know if it goes the way of alcohol I’m going to wait in line for those growing licenses.

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