Over the weekend the Christian Science Monitor newspaper published the latest installment of their ‘one minute debates’ series. The subject of the debate: “Should California Legalize Pot?” I authored the ‘pro’ argument, which you can read here, and longtime, professional prohibitionist Calvina Fay penned the ‘con’ side.
Now anyone who is familiar with Calvina already knows of her propensity toward lunacy — Here’s just one example, “Truly sick people who deserve legitimate medical treatment have been duped into believing that marijuana will help them, while in reality it is hurting them.” — but this time, in her vitriol against California’s Prop. 19, she really outdoes herself, arguing that regulating the adult use of cannabis is a threat to… marriage!
Should California legalize pot?
via The Christian Science Monitor
No: legalization means more costs
… Legalizing marijuana use would substantially increase its already formidable costs to society. That’s because the initiative would allow individuals to possess up to about 120 joints and cultivate 25 square feet of plants, capable of yielding up to 240,000 joints.
… Legalization would also create an influx in drugged-driving fatalities, more deteriorated neighborhoods, more divorce, more domestic violence, more child abuse, and more addiction!
Whoa — 120 joints per ounce?! As NORML Outeach Director Russ Belville writes, that’s some fuzzy math. (A more realistic conversion might be 30, or at most 60, joints.) However, such hyperbole is par for the course for our opposition. They are well aware that they can not win this debate on merit, and as a result they now have only the most foolish fear-mongering to fall back on. Fortunately, the polls show that this tactic is also doomed to fail.
(FYI, for those wishing to weigh in on the CSM debate, you can post your comments on Yahoo News here.)
And speaking of fear-mongering, I have an op/ed in today’s online version of The Hill rebutting claims of various Prop. 19 detractors, including California Senator Diane Feinstein and Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske. Here is an excerpt:
Proposition 19 is the right direction
via The Hill.com
So then why are Sen. Feinstein and the drug czars so worried about adults consuming it in the privacy of their own home?
California lawmakers criminalized the possession and use of marijuana in 1913 — a full 24 years before the federal government enacted prohibition. Yet right now in California, the state Board of Equalization reports that some 400,000 use marijuana daily. Self-evidently, cannabis is here to stay.
It’s time to reject the drug czar’s tired rhetoric, and abandon the failed federal policy of criminal marijuana prohibition. Let’s stop ceding control of this market to unregulated, untaxed criminal enterprises and put it in the hands of licensed businesses. Let’s stop sanctioning adults for private behavior that is engaged in absent of harm to others. …Proposition 19 is a first step in this direction.
Read NORML’s full commentary here.
The Hill’s ever-popular Congress blog ‘is where lawmakers come to blog.’ It’s also where legislators and other politicos — such as staffers at the Drug Czar’s office (hint, hint) — come to gauge the pulse of the public. Given that this is a paper of record in these folks’ backyard, why not send a message to those in Washington that their opposition is out of touch with voter sentiment. You can make your voice heard by leaving your feedback here.