Latest California Crime Stats Emphasize Need To Pass Prop. 19

It seems not a day goes by where the staff at NORML doesn’t receive some sort of e-mail or comment arguing that marijuana use is ‘already legal’ in California. Really? Then how do you explain this?

California Marijuana Arrests Remain Near Record Levels in 2009
via California NORML

According to data from the Bureau of Criminal Statistics, California reported nearly the same number of marijuana arrests in 2009 as in the previous, record year.

In 2009, there were 17,008 felony and 61,164 misdemeanor marijuana arrests, for a total of 78,172. In 2008, there were 17,126 felonies and 61,388 misdemeanors, for a total of 78,514. This was the highest number of arrests since marijuana was decriminalized in 1976.

So to summarize, this means that there have been more than 122,500 criminal prosecutions in California for the non-medical possession of marijuana of less than one ounce since 2008 (and that’s not counting 2010). Since marijuana possession is a criminal misdemeanor in California, that means that all of these individuals were forced to appear in court, pay court costs, pay an administrative fine, and were subject to either drug treatment or a temporary (2 years) criminal record. And, oh yeah, they also had their marijuana forcefully taken away from them by the full police power of the state.

Since 2008, there were also over 34,000 felony marijuana prosecutions (not counting 2010). Marijuana felonies in California include charges like: growing even a single marijuana plant for non-medical purposes (punishable by up to 36 months in prison), and the sale of any amount of marijuana for non-medical purposes (punishable by up to four years in prison).

Does that sound like legalization to you?

Passage of Prop. 19 would make the adult possession (up to an ounce) of marijuana and the cultivation of marijuana (whatever amount may be harvested from a 25 square foot garden) legal. In other words, it would halt the criminal prosecutions of tens of thousands of Californians who are presently running afoul of the criminal law. It would offer legal protection to the estimated 3.3 million Californians who are presently using marijuana for non-medical purposes. (By contrast, only an estimated 200,000 or so Californians possess a valid doctor’s recommendation to use cannabis lawfully.) And that is why NORML supports this effort.

In a similar vein, I’m also frequently asked the question: ‘Why legalize marijuana? Why not just decriminalize it?’

First, let’s look at what ‘decriminalization’ really means:


: to remove or reduce the criminal classification or status of; especially : to repeal a strict ban on while keeping under some form of regulation

The term ‘decriminalize’ first came into vogue in 1972 when the Nixon’s Schafer Commission recommended this public policy for marijuana. Their recommendation to Congress was to replace criminal penalties on adult possession with administrative (non-criminal) sanctions, such as a fine — but to keep the commodity defined as contraband and to maintain criminal penalties on its retail sale and production.

As a stopgap measure NORML has supported, and still supports, decriminalization. In fact, we are presently encouraging Californians to contact the Governor in support of Senate Bill 1449, which reduced adult possess penalties from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction.

But any public policy that mandates that marijuana remain, by definition, an illegal commodity (contraband) is woefully insufficient — as by definition it grants the state (law enforcement) the power to forcefully engage with the public in order to legally seize said commodity. That is why, even in places that have ‘decriminalized’ marijuana possession, we still see horrific acts of violence by police upon marijuana consumers like this and this.

By contrast, simply removing marijuana from the entire criminal code in California, which appears to be what some anti-19 Utopians would prefer, would not fall under the definition of decriminalization — which by its very definition still maintains government sanctions and regulations. In fact, it is hard to define any statutory term for such an idyllic change, as virtually all ‘legal’ commodities are defined as such, and are thus subject to rules and regulations. As I’ve written previously, tomatoes aren’t decriminalized; they are legal and thus subject to regulation and taxation when they are commercially produced and sold on the retail market.

I suppose one could argue that dandelions are non-criminal yet they are not subject to government taxation and regulation. But of course dandelions are not a commodity that is bought and sold on the open market. (Yes, like marijuana, dandelions also grow out of the ground. But, of course, so does wheat — which is highly regulated by the government.) And of course it is totally unrealistic to think that a commodity like marijuana, that is ingested and purchased by tens of millions of Americans, would ever be treated like dandelions.

It is foolish for critics of Prop. 19 to demand that marijuana be treated in a ‘legal’ manner, but then at the same time demand that it not be subject to regulation when the fact of the matter is that all legal commodities are regulated in some manner and subject to taxation.

Gasoline is taxed at the state level, federal level, and there’s also an excise tax. How about water? If your house is connected to a sewer your water consumption is taxed, and there are numerous regulations imposed upon it. The state can control what goes into your water (e.g., flouride). The state can even restrict how much water one uses (e.g., water rationing) in one’s own home. And of course there is alcohol. In this case the government regulates who can use it (e.g., age restrictions); where one can use it (e.g., no use in public parks, in motor vehicles, etc.), what time of day one can buy it, where one can buy it, how much one can brew themselves, how it can be advertised, and so on and so forth. Yet does anyone truly think that these commodities are not ‘fully legal’ because there are taxes and regulations associated with them? Does anyone really think that water should be ‘decriminalized, but not legalized?’

Ultimately, the question is: what is the preferable policy for adult marijuana use — not the Utopian. Right now the state has the power of a gun to seize an adult’s marijuana — even marijuana that is used in the privacy of one’s home home — and to sanction that adult with criminal prosecution and a criminal record if their use is for non-medical purposes. Under Prop. 19, an individual would no longer face these criminal sanctions for their private activities, as long as their private use was limited to possession and cultivation within certain limits. That, in NORML’s opinion, is a net gain — not a net loss.

42 thoughts

  1. As a long-time Calif. resident, I’m looking forward to P19 passing. It certainly isn’t ‘perfect’, but I agree with the conclusion this article makes: It is a solid (and huge) step in the right direction.

  2. Norml.. I love you. Thank you for being an intelligent ration voice on this matter! unlike the American government 🙁

  3. What about mothers and fathers who use medicinal marijuana in their home where minors live? The parents are allowed to medicate in the home now, but if prop 19 passes, how will it effect them and/or other patients with similiar situations?

    [Editor’s note: The passage of Prop 19 enhances personal privacy, not diminish it. Prop 19 does not retard Prop 215 and SB 420, it enhances them.]

  4. Well , i live in a small town up way high in the mountains above Los Angeles & nothing ever happens to
    me . After moving here a Policeman told me ( because i was a newcomer here ) ” everybody uses Marijuana
    here ” like i was suppossed to be shocked or something . I kind of giggled to myself . The next day i was in their office reporting a suspected burlary & told them i smoked Pot .The very polite , couteous, Police Officer said , whenever he busts someone for Meth or crack there’s Marijuana there . There’s probally milk there , too . Pot ? No big deal……everybody smokes Pot here .Just stay away from the ” hard drugs “& you’ll be OK .
    I have read where the Police will cite somebody if they are in possession of a lot of weed though . Sometimes they will just toss it on the ground & stomp on it .Regardless , they enforce laws & don’t make laws .They do their job & do it well .

    My suggestion ; Be nice to them & they’ll be nice to you .

  5. Well to be honest just taking the numbers of arrests over the span of 2 years is not a legitamite argument. ppl dont get caught all the time. some ppl get busted it happens. im sure the numbers could jump a lot of places.

    [Editor’s note: ?]

  6. Prop 19 is “better than jail”. Agreed.

    I would hold my nose and vote for it. Would I ever pay a tax on excercising the natural right of self ownership? Pretty doubtful.

    It’s pretty basic, peaceful people in a “free” society determine what they will or will not consume. If somebody else “owns” part or all of your body, you’re not free, despite the rationalizations otherwise.

    Hypocrisy knows no bounds when government is involved.
    See what peaceful people are trying to do in the live free or die (hypocritical state motto) State of New Hmpshire. Go to and see video. More events are in the works!

    [Editor’s note: Prop. 19 supports personal freedom…the status quo of prohibition and unachievable political utopias does not.]

  7. I often explain it to people like this:
    All of the problems surrounding cannabis are caused by the supply system, not the users.
    Manufacture, trafficking, distribution, and sales — that’s where the violence is, and that’s where most of the strict criminal penalties are.
    Decriminalization basically makes it legal to possess cannabis, which is great, but it does nothing to address the actual problem areas — the entire supply system.
    Basically decriminalization is the economic stimulus plan for illegal drug cartels. You increase the size of the market, but still leave it entirely under their control. Do the math.
    Only full legalization, complete with regulation and taxation, is a solution — half measures like decriminalization yield no real benefits, and actually serve to make the border and cartel situations worse.
    WE MUST PASS PROP 19. We MUST regulate cannabis.

  8. To Editors note:

    L.A. Jemm has an article about how prop 19 will effect patients in their september issue. Have you read the article, and if so, what does norml think about the myths and facts about prop 19? I’m just asking because the article does have some good points for opposing prop 19 and I want to make sure I’m making an informed educated decision when it comes to my vote.

    [Editor’s note: Why would NORML, an organization of over 600 lawyers need to read a legal ‘analysis’ from a medical cannabis publication in LA? NORML’s legal staff and board of directors read Prop 19 over six months ago, and numerous times since, and there is no jeopardy for medical cannabis patients. The Proposition was written by medical cannabis patients and the chief funder is a medical patient in a wheelchair.

    What NORML thinks is simple: Legalization is clearly better for patients and consumers than Prohibition and the gray market of ‘medicalization’.]

  9. Hear, hear!

    Editor’s note: in one’s own home (reads in one’s home home). No sweat, not like I never make any.

    These prohibitionist laws are way too old and need to be overhauled. Sie sind überholt.

  10. That’s why Obama let the states handle their own marijuana legislation, because it will create chaos between the prohibitionists within their states and anti-prohibitionists. And in the meantime the DEA(DEAD END ATROCITIES) are still out there crankin out UNICORNS. Then they have the nerve to complain about human rights in other countries and they should be concerned about what goes on within our borders. We should of have a PROP. 19 in every state and the end results would have been on our side. It’s not the the job for the FEDS to decide what we ingest in our bodies. Look at all the FED APPROVED MEDICINES that our government approves, just watch the boob tube. People that die or get screwed up from bad reactions are nothing more than victims of the BIG PHARM, SYNTHETIC vs. NATURAL. We should have the right to choose. As far as I am concerned, BIG BROTHER an the NEW WORLD ORDER, GO FUCK YOURSELVES. 420 ALL THE WAY!

  11. mhm: I don’t quite understand your logic here. If you bothered to do research into the fact you’d realize that arrest rates really don’t fluctuate much beyond the ‘span of 2 years’ that was pointed out. Even in the 90’s arrest rates were just as high or higher than what this article suggests. The link below is the reports from 1990-99, although a report from 2000-2009 is unavailable during a simple search, I’m sure you could find it eventually given enough time.

  12. Just look at the industrial application of Hemp, think about this, this plant is so POWERFUL that can change the world order as we know it, so why should the goverment change this? its all about money and control. think about it.

  13. @ #5: I’m so jealous that you live in a part of America where you actually are treated humanely! The rest of us can only hope that we can get this countries leaders to start acting thusly!

  14. Slightly off the subject but , Meg Whitman has publicly stated if Prop . 19 passes she’ll kill it . If she wins mass genocide will continue . It’s not only South of the border but it often here in California . 1,000 plants & it’s a Federal Law that Judges impose a mandatory 10 yrs . in Prison . Murders , suicides in Prison ? Yes .Family life destroyed ? Yes . America doesn’t tell you the truth .



    Number murdered since Felipe Calderon launched his crackdown on cartels in 2006


    Number of weapons confiscated


    Amount of suspected drugs money confiscated


    Number of clashes between security forces and drug gangs ( nearly one a day )


    Troops and federal police involved in the operation


    Estimated annual profit made by Mexican drug traffickers


  15. Ps \

    Five killed this week alone in , Humboldt County over Marijuana grows / raids .
    Not including 14 this week in Prisons throughout the U.S.A. for ” marijuana crimes .

  16. does prop19 allow for smoking outside your home, like say your back yard like a beer at a BBQ?

    what kind of establishments can sell cannabis under prop19?

    [Editor’s note: Under prohibition it already is illegal to use cannabis in your backyard…voting for Prop 19 reinforces private property rights and does not allow police to arrest adults for possessing, using and growing cannabis (the backyard BBQ can have cannabis plants growing back there…). Prop 19 does not overtly create retail sales. However, like with medical cannabis now in CA (where 50% of the counties do NOT allow the sale of medical cannabis), municipalities can choose to establish retail sales. Initially the current pattern for retail sales of medical cannabis will likely set the pattern for non-medical sales.]

  17. To editors note:

    I know who Norml is, I have been receiving information from Norml for 11 years. However, I am also familiar with Americans for Safe Access.

    Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy ­and services for patients and the caregivers.

    I would like to know why Americans for Safe Access opposes prop 19?

    Also, I asked you the two questions because I want to be more educated and informed about my decision in voting, and now I’m asking a third question. I also asked because since this is Norml, I thought this organization would do some research on why some oppose prop 19. ASA and LA Jemm did take a look at both the supporting side and opposing side of prop 19. You didn’t answer any of the 2 questions I asked. Instead, your first line to my second question seemed very snobby. I hope you can answer my third question without any tension.

    [Editor’s note: It is unfortunate that some medical cannabis-only organizations are too short sighted and invested in the current lucrative prohibition-driven, gray market for cannabis. For some, but not consumers and patients, selling medical cannabis for $15-$25 gram is desirable if not preferred,

    But in the real world, not influenced by the government’s stupid prohibition laws, cannabis grown outdoors is pennies on the pound/one dollar a gram when grown indoors.

    NORML. ACLU, DPA, MPP, DRCNet, FireDogLake, SSDP, High Times, Reason, CA NAACP, Black Law Enforcement Officers Assoc and even one of the biggest medical cannabis wellness centers, Harborside Health Center of Oakland, endorses Prop 19.

    But a medical cannabis-only group like ASA does not.

    Hmmmm….what does this say?

    You may want to keep buying prohibition priced medical cannabis and be OK with the arrest and persecution of 70,000 non-medical cannabis consumers annually in CA…but the clear majority of cannabis consumers and the organizations that represent their interests have never been OK with it. If this is your prerogative, fine.

    But, stop with the anti-Prop 19 agitation propaganda on NORML’s webpage because you sound like a defected broken record.]

    [Paul Armentano also responds: My understanding is that ASA has taken a neutral position on Prop. 19, not a ‘no’ position. ASA addresses medical marijuana only; Prop. 19 addresses non-medical use.]

  18. I wish I lived in Cali and could vote for it, the thought that there are even SOME people opposing Prop. 19 makes me sad and sick to my stomach!! I know the president and most politicians get too much $$$$ from pharmacy & oil companies but somehow there are people living out there who truly think this is going to hurt anyone.

    I live in Washington and am still very bummed out that the I-1068 did not make it onto the ballot this year but I hope Cali will pass this so the other states in the whole country can see what this bill can do for us and the economy.

    Greed is evil, money is the thing keeping this bill back the most, if all the rich money heads would get their heads out of their ass and read the facts or that we could ACTURALLY HAVE AN INFORMED politician ( hah ) then maybe I would feel better about bringing my kids in to this world but for now it seems dark and unsure for the future.

    And to agree with #12

    420 ALL THE WAY!!! JUST LIVE AND ENJOY (where did that become so misunderstood)

  19. If Calif. Prop 19 passes does that mean that local and state Law Enforcement will protect us from the intrusion of the Feds? Imagine a bunch of red neck Barney Fifes confronting the Feds at the boarder. What do you think?

  20. If this passes there will be a huge window for big money, Phillip Morris and others like them, to create a monopoly. To put marijuana in the hands of law makers and regulators will be disastrous to the quality of cannabis and take away freedoms from the public. Just because it sounds better then what we have now is no implication of how it will be later, big money has always bought their way into politics and can easily regulate competition away, or lobbying against personal grows, calling them “unsafe” that is the problem. You might vote for something now and find out later your impression of said law is now quite different through regulations. Take wheat for example, mentioned above, do you notice an alarming number of gluten allergies these days, this is what a plant based, regulated industry gives us, mutated strains based on production causing health problems. I thought NORML was for the reform of marijuana laws, such as rescheduling and working to lift existing laws, not adding more. Bad Idea! Commercial buds are on the way and yes it will be cheap but at what cost, strains developed for medical conditions usually have production problems, keeping quality high along with prices, In the new world order, breeding programs will emphasize yield, mold, fungi and bug resistance along with profit margin, leaving quality and variety in the good old days. I’m all for legalization but not regulation so I will be voting NO. If you vote in a law with ongoing regulatory reviews, your law WILL change WITHOUT your approval, regulation changes are done WITHOUT the pubic vote. Be careful, you might just get what you wish for.

    [Paul Armentano responds: Just by reading the conspiracy theories posted on this website, we are to believe that Richard Lee will monopolize marijuana under Prop. 19, or the federal government will do so, or maybe it will be Phillip Morris, or…. Seriously, by definition a monopoly means only one, so how can multiple entities ‘monopolize’ cannabis production and distribution? Of course, since Prop. 19 allows for the private individual to cultivate, then inherently there can be no monopoly.

    NORML wants marijuana to be a legal commodity. Legal commodities in American are regulated and subject to taxation — end of story. But will there ever be a monopoly on marijuana? Of course not. Is there a monopoly on alcohol or cigarettes. No. There are hundreds of licensed providers for the consumer to choose from — from high end products to low end products; from large corporate manufacturers to small mom and pop manufacturers. Why would this be any different for cannabis? In fact, right now medical marijuana is legal in California — has Phillip Morris or any one else ‘monopolized’ medical marijuana? Then why would anyone monopolize legal marijuana?

    NORML wants to stop adult citizens from being arrested for using, possessing, and growing cannabis. That reality only takes place when we legalize it — and Prop. 19 is legalization.]

  21. Prop 19 has done a strange thing– it has made drug dealers & the religious right both want to fight against it.

    Prop 19 is PRO FREEDOM, and yes– if you are currently an illicit drug dealer you DO stand to lose money. Stop acting like the Pineapple Express stereotype and get with the times fellas!

    Keep fighting the good fight NORML! Freedom MUST **BY DEFINITION** include the liberty to do that which not everyone agrees with. If freedom only applied to that which everyone agreed with, it would be entirely unnecessary to be “free”

  22. you people are missing the point the landlords will not allow the grow it goes against federal law and they can take the house away this prop will wind up in litigation for years we are better off waiting for a better prop in 2012

    [Paul Armentano responds: No state initiative can override federal prohibition. By your reasoning, voters in CA in 1996 should have rejected Prop. 215 because any use, possession, or cultivation of marijuana violates federal law, and continues to. Good thing the voters acted differently.]

  23. This is why i advertise this. This is a nonprofit organization dispensary website that everybody should join and support so when New Jersey finally sets up regulations patients will have this place to go to.

    Cannabinol Haven
    providing medicine to rid the pain.

  24. I am in favor of the November prop however, this does not mean this prop is going to pass…I am not trying to spread negativity but once again you will see the younger generation the people who make up this marijuana movement for the most part be sitting at home watching their dreams go up in flames on their television sets when this prop goes on a downward spiral to voters rejecting it….There is way to many faithfuls who got in the Bushs and Obamas that will come out this year just to say no and all of you know it…..Unless their is a major turnout in young voters like someone I know would say……FORGET ABOUT IT

  25. There is a large number of Americans who now believe that the federal gov’t is ignoring the Constitution and enacting unconstitutional laws. Nothing could be further from the truth – the federal gov’t is quite aware of its limited jurisdictions. In fact, the following dissertation will actually evidence this to be true – the federal gov’t has meticulously gone to great lengths to stay within its limited jurisdictions. What the gov’t has done is to create legal “terms” that have meanings only within its jurisdictions.
    The Declaration of Independence is the organic law of the land and its main tenet is that “all men are created equal”. Under such a tenet no person or group of people, including some group called government, may ever initiate force or fraud against any other person or group of people. This is the basis of individual sovereignty. The Constitution was adopted to form a gov’t that would uphold this tenet.
    The Constitution acknowledges this where in Article I, section 8 it grants the federal government jurisdiction over foreign commerce, interstate commerce, and trade with the Indians. The federal government has no jurisdiction over intrastate commerce since the law is based upon the tenet that “all men are created equal”. The individual American is sovereign, not the federal gov’t. See the following Supreme Court decisions that uphold the sovereignty of the individual – United States v. Lee, 106 U.S. 196, Hale v. Henkle, 201 U.S. 43, Julliard v. Greenman, 110 U.S. 421, Chisholm v. Georgia, 1 L.Ed. (2 Dall.) 415. All of these Supreme Court decisions were rendered before the bankruptcy of the federal gov’t in the 1930’s.
    The FED bankrupted the gov’t in the 1930’s. This is easily evidenced by the correlation between the United States Code (USC) and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): title 11 USC, “Bankruptcy”, is implemented by title 11 CFR, “Federal Elections”. Our vote is simply to elect a bankruptcy “administration”.
    However, bankrupting the federal gov’t wasn’t enough to make Americans pay the interest on the FED’s counterfeit money loans to the gov’t. Sovereignty lies with the individual American, not the federal gov’t. as evidenced above by the Supreme Court.
    To get around all of the chains that the Constitution imposes on the federal gov’t, Social Security was created to destroy American sovereignty. The “Form SS-5” that an applicant uses to apply for a S.S.# is actually a federal employment form. After all, only a federal employee is liable for federal employment taxes. You know the name of the federal employee – the “taxpayer”. “Taxpayer” is a legal term defined at 26 CFR 2.1-1(a)(5) as a member of the Merchant Marine – a federal employee. 26 CFR 2.1-1(b) states that this is the definition of the term as used throughout the Code and the regulations for all calculation of taxes.
    The gov’t has been given jurisdiction over its possessions by Article IV, section 3 of the Constitution. By checking the box “U.S. citizen” on the “Form SS-5” the applicant has given the gov’t prima facie evidence that he has U.S. possession citizenship. “U.S. citizen” is also a legal term exemplified at 26 CFR 25.2501-1(c) as a person born in one of the States who then establishes a residence in a U.S. possession (Puerto Rico is cited in the example) and, further, acquires U.S. possession citizenship. This regulation then references back to 26 USC sec. 2501(b) where it states that this is the definition of the term “citizen” “wherever used in the title”. The U.S. possessions are treated as foreign countries (see 26 USC sec. 865(i)(3), 872(b)(7), and 2014(g) for example). This makes a “U.S. citizen” a foreigner in relation to America. This is the 14th Amendment citizen.
    The combination of the legal terms “taxpayer” and “U.S. citizen” is known as the legal term “U.S. resident” at 26 USC sec. 865(g). A “U.S. resident” is a “U.S citizen” living in America – a foreigner.
    So by applying for a S.S.# an American has given away all sovereignty and become a slave to the federal gov’t.
    All of this evidences that the owners of the gov’t are quite aware of its limited jurisdiction, but they have absolutely no regard for freedom.
    The federal gov’t is legislating today on two main premises – under foreign commerce and that everyone is a federal employee.
    The CFR was created during the bankruptcy proceedings in the mid-1930’s to evidence the correlation of which of the new federal regulatory agencies would be in charge of implementing the regulations under the statutes of the USC.
    Obviously, federal gov’t regulatory agencies can have no jurisdiction over a sovereign American since “all men are created equal” and the federal gov’t has no jurisdiction over intrastate commerce. But a “U.S. resident” has no constitutional protections.
    Since one becomes a “taxpayer” by applying for a S.S.#, that person is now subject to the income tax.
    The income tax was ruled to be constitutional in several U.S. Supreme Court decisions – see Brushaber v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 240 U.S. 1 (1916), Stanton v. Baltic Mining, 240 US 103 (1916), Peck & Co. v. Lowe, 247 US 165 (1918), Eisner v. Macomber, 252 U.S. 189 (1920). These Supreme Court decisions all stated that the gov’t always had the power to tax income and, further, that no new power of taxation was granted to the federal gov’t by the 16th Amendment. In other words, the income being taxed must be within the limited jurisdiction of the federal gov’t to begin with since no new power was granted to the federal gov’t. Cites from each of these cases can be found at on my Blog.
    Internal revenue is within the customs. Customs gains revenue for the gov’t from importing duties from foreign countries. Internal revenue gains revenue for the gov’t from importing duties from the U.S. possessions – thus a source of “internal revenue”. Customs is foreign commerce. Internal revenue is a legal term.
    The 3 commerce jurisdictions are cited separately in title 28 USC, “Judiciary and Judicial Procedure”, chapter 85, “District Courts; Jurisdiction”. Section 1336, “Surface Board Transportation Orders”, which was renamed from “Interstate Commerce Commission’s Orders” in late 1995, is the interstate commerce jurisdiction. Section 1362, “Indian Tribes”, is obviously the trade with the Indians commerce jurisdiction. Section 1340, “Internal revenue; customs duties”, is the foreign commerce jurisdiction. Income tax is the second plank of the Communist Manifesto. Inheritance tax is the third plank of the Communist Manifesto. These communistic taxes are only available to the federal gov’t under foreign commerce along with the presumption that the individual is a federal employee.
    Marijuana laws, like all drug and medicine laws, are within internal revenue jurisdiction – therefore, based upon foreign commerce. See the actual laws at for more.
    Now the federal gov’t and its owners have an unlimited reservoir of revenue from the “taxpayers” that can be used to expand the gov’t’s apparent powers.
    I have evidenced the entire Social Security Scam on my Blog at

  26. Did you know that California was the first State to criminalize possession of cannabis in 1913? As were many of the prohibition laws of that day the roots were xenophobic. In the case of California and cannabis the xenophobia against those of Mexican descent. The idea was to get rid of the Mexicans. Shouldn’t there be some kind of time limit for something like this to work? The last time I was in Cali in 2009 it sure didn’t look to me like the law had discourages people of Mexican descent from living in California. Hey I can get just as aroused by xenophobic hatred of outside groups as the next guy. But cannabis prohibition hasn’t done squat to getting them foreigners to leave. At least Arizona has admitted that their criminalization of cannabis as a method to get rid of the foreigners didn’t work and are now trying new stuff. If Arizona figures out the secret then all the foreigners currently living in Arizona will likely move to California. If they keep their heads buried in their butts in Sacramento you won’t be able to swing a dead cat without hitting a mexican and/or other people that come from one of those countries that no speaky the Anglish.

  27. paul you are missing the point i am not saying the voters should have voted no on prop 215 i am just saying landlords are not cool about people growing in their homes and the feds could take away the home and have you ever seen a room that has been used for growing it turns the walls and ceilings to mold and mildew you think the landlords havent seen this they have they dont like it they could say no.. ok…

  28. A good analysis. I think Prop. 19 strikes nearly the ideal balance between control and non-control. Personally, I wouldn’t want marijuana to be totally unregulated, any more than I would want alcohol to be totally unregulated. While such an idea may be personally appealing, one has to recognize a requirement and a responsibility to maintain an orderly society.

    I don’t use the stuff — it strikes me as a colossal waste of time and I’ve got better things to do with my life — but I don’t care if other people do. After all, “freedom” often means letting another person do something one does not necessarily agree with…in return for the same consideration.

    In any case…you California people, listen up. Register to vote, if you’re not already registered, then VOTE!

    Donations to NORML or LEAP or other group fighting for passage of Prop. 19 wouldn’t hurt either. It’s not going to happen by wishing. Get up off your drug-addled butt and take action to make it happen!

  29. Outstanding article dealing with the “pro-pot, anti-19” “decriminalize not legalize” stuff.

    I do wish, however, you’d have taken the time to address point-by-point the objections, ridiculous though you may find them, from Ashley/ ASA/ LA Jemm. Not for their benefit, but for ours. Those of us on the front lines trying to get Prop. 19 passed have to deal with these folks all the time, and it would be useful to have specifics to counter their arguments with.

    Matt (#24) made a good point – it’s interesting to see the “pro-pot” people who have profited from prohibition (say that 5 times fast) arguing against legalization on some very specious and often amusing grounds. It’s fun to see them spin their webs, and good exercise to counter them – but in the end it all boils down to one thing. As one fellow said to me as I was handing out “Legalize It” leaflets outside the Hemp Expo in SF, “Legalize it? Hell no! If they legalize it, I’m out of the game!”

  30. (The leaflet I was handing out, BTW, is here:)

    Note that Tom Ammiano has pulled AB 2254 – which to my reading is a better legalization measure than Prop. 19 (please discuss) – off the floor pending the election results. I suspect (again, please discuss) that if 19 passes, AB 2254 will be revised to become the “enabling legislation”; and that if 19 fails but narrowly, the battle in the legislature to pass AB 2254 (or its successor) will continue. That makes it even more important to vote for anti-prohibitionist legislators. Since the GOP is all-out prohibitionist, and the Democrats (with a few exceptions like Ammiano, but including every single candidate running statewide) either waffle or support prohibition as well, you’re better served by voting for the Peace and Freedom Party or Green Party candidate.

  31. i am from nebraska and i was wondering, do you know of any law that maybe up for vote that would help the users in the midwest?? I have ADD and am an insomniac and it kills me that the laws of this state say that i have to either take their medication with all of the horrible side-effects that are far worse than not being able to slow down, eat healthier, and sleep so that i am healthier or even keep a job when smoking just a small amount of marijuana does more for me then any medication that i have been prescribed in the last 15 years of taking them. i am just disturbed by all the hate against a plant. i know i am babbling (another awesome symptom of ADD) but my ? is, is there any hope out here in nebraska for something like prop 19??

  32. @David Hause:
    I’m in California, and am a member of CalNORML as well as national NORML.

    Looking at the NORML homepage and clicking through to find state chapters, I see Nebraska has a NORML chapter:

    I’d suggest you sign up there, and find out what’s going on and how you can plug in.

Leave a Reply