Are we reaching a tipping point with medical marijuana:
The New Jersey Legislature approved a measure on Monday that would make the state the 14th in the nation, but one of the few on the East Coast, to legalize the use of marijuana to help patients with chronic illnesses.
The measure — which would allow patients diagnosed with severe illnesses like cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis to have access to marijuana grown and distributed through state-monitored dispensaries — was passed by the General Assembly and State Senate on the final day of the legislative session.
Gov. Jon S. Corzine has said he would sign it into law before leaving office next Tuesday. Supporters said that within nine months, patients with a prescription for marijuana from their doctors should be able to obtain it at one of six locations.
Something to watch.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
Short answer: yes.
I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime. Then again, I never thought I’d see ‘Murka elect a black man as president much less by a gazillion vote margin.
As shrill and fucking scary as Wingnut ‘Murka is, you gotta admit, things are moving along. Every fucking painful step after every fucking painful step, but progress is being made.
I think for it to really take hold, Obama will need to get re-elected. If the GOP wins the next election, they’ll take it as a referendum on everything under the sun, especially law n order issues.
Yeah, funny that. When Dems win everything, it’s a takeover by sekret muslims intent on destroying ‘murika. When Repubs win by a few hundred votes, it’s a mandate to f**k everything up.
In DC we had a medical marijuana ballot initiative in 1998, but Congress initially wouldn’t even let us count the votes to see which side had won. After a while we were finally able to find that the pro-marijuana side had prevailed, but Congress continued to block us from doing anything about it for more than a decade.
Finally last year Congress passed DC appropriations without attaching any of the usual provisions blocking spending on medical marijuana, needle exchanges, and abortion (and without adding anything new related to same-sex marriage). So we’ll see what develops.
kommrade reproductive vigor
Interesting. I wonder when PhRMA will rally the teabaggers. Surely allowing sick people to smoke pot is a $oc ia li$t threat to the ReaLAMErican free market way.
So NJ succeeds at passing a medical marijuana law but fails at gay marriage.
Can we get chronic (NPI) assholeism, homophobia, religious fanaticism, or just plain pig-ignorance declared “severe illnesses”? I’m thinking if certain people spent more time stoned they’d have less time to worry about where other people like to put their naughty bits.
What concerns me, though, is whether the incoming Republican governor walks back these last-minute progressive measures of Corzine’s. It would be a shame to see this medical marijuana measure die in referendum or in the state house even before it’s implemented.
And just wait for the next gov to repeal it.
Man, the things I thought I’d never see in my lifetime are coming true at lightning speed. Never thought I’d see a truly viable female candidate for president (and I do believe she’d have won had she won the nomination). States like Iowa legalizing gay marriage. Legalization of marijuana. A freakin’ black president. History is just whizzing by me at a pace that takes my breath away.
Sadly, I live in Pennsylvania. I expect we’ll get new marijuana laws at about the same pace we’ve modernized our approach to selling alcohol. As an example, there are exactly 2 state liquor stores open on Sundays in my 5 county area, with two more slated to do so in the next 6 months (none, however, in my county). Beer distributors were allowed to open on Sundays about 5 years ago, but only until 5pm. One grocery store within driving distance of my home (20 miles away) was just granted a temporary permit to sell beer (but no wine), but this is just an experiment.
This state is as backwards as the most fundamentalist Christian, redneck backwoods county in South Carolina. Hell, South Carolina will probably legalize marijuana before PA does.
Well, in Virginia, the state sells hard liquor. Stores can only sell beer and wine. There’s that free market capitalism for ya.
Except for beer, PA controls all liquor sales, including wine.
This is such a good thing.
Living in the old Confederacy, I am going to find the state by state approach very entertaining. Anecdotally, we seem to smoke more down here than I remember in similar social circles up north. “The Government should leave us alone” rednecks moon light as “law and order” true believers and many of them roll their own. Added to the mix are the values voters, parents and grand parents (and occasionally children) to some of the most voracious pot heads I know.
kommrade reproductive vigor
@arguingwithsignposts: In Maryland it’s by county. In Montgomery spirits are sold in county owned stores. In P.G. there are real liquor stores.
Meanwhile in fricking INDIANA you can walk into a CVS [drug store]and pick up a bottle of wine. Weird.
@geg6, despite all our soshulist hedonism here in DC, our liquor stores are still closed on Sundays.
Don’t panic – here in NJ we have a Republican governor on the way. As soon as the inauguration is finished, I am sure he will start the administrative slowdown to effectively render this law inert.
After all, Limbaugh has decreed that the official Republican attitude is; If you can’t afford a beach house, you can’t afford to be sick. Therefore, there is nothing that can be accomplished with pot that can’t be accomplished with 8 or 10 expensive pills, and our friends at PHARMA will be happy to sell them to us.
Thankfully, NJ is such a cesspool of corruption and Democratic Machine actions that any blatant Rethuglican policies have a snowballs chance in hell of staying for any length of time. Unfortunately, NJ is such a cesspool of corruption and Democratic Machine actions that we actually voluntarily elect Republicans every once in a while as a change of pace from the standard NJ Democrat graft and sleaze.
New Jersey – not everyone has the guts (and associated lack of brains) to live here. Only the strong survive.
Pray for us.
@kommrade reproductive vigor:
Except on Sunday. In IL, you can buy liquor on Sunday after noon, at least in places I’ve been. Also, some cities and towns allow sales of liquor in convenience stores, while others only allow it in drug stores, grocery stores, and liquor stores.
I firmly believe the state should not be in the business of selling alcohol. Talk about governmental overreach.
ETA: In IL, you can not only buy a bottle of wine at the CVS, you can buy a fifth of whatever.
Do you still have to buy beer by the case or some large amount? When I was growing up on the Ohio side of the Pa/Oh border everyone knew it was much cheaper in Pa and would drive over there (and Oh liquor control agents would stake out favorite Pa distributors and bust you when you drove back over the line). But I seem to recall that not many places sold and you had to by a large min. quantity.
For what it is worth it was worse in Utah the last time I was there.
I’m in favor of legal, regulated recreational marijuana. And some medical marijuana is real. But the rampant hypocrisy and middle-class-privilege of “medical marijuana” in, say, California disgust me.
Our state-run liquor stores in NC are closed on Sundays, and “blue laws” prevent sales on Sunday mornings when good people ought to be in church, which has deterred me more than once. It’s not that I drink on Sunday mornings, but sometimes I head out to a lake in the countryside on summer weekends and I have been stymied trying to pick up a little beer for the day on my way out of town. Our CVSes (do you think that’s the right plural for CVS?) sell beer and wine, but in Kentucky they sell hard liquor, too, and actually can make the majority of their profit on it. Anyway, I have no real point there.
Back onto the topic, I guess I understand the objection to medical marijuana insofar as it can open up a fair number of loopholes, can be a slippery slope, etc. I don’t agree with it, but hey, it’s a point. What kills me is that there actually do seem to be people who are opposed to it even for legitimate medical purposes, who would oppose it even if you could strictly limit its use to the medically necessary. As if it’s logical to say, “unfortunately, you have cancer, and you’re going to have to do this chemotherapy, which kills a lot of good cells and makes your hair fall out and makes you generally feel run-down and sick and awful. It really sucks. But you shouldn’t take anything that might help your appetite so that you can eat and keep up your strength, because that’s a bad drug.”
Third Eye Open
Obligatory NJ joke:
Q: What is the difference between a Jersey girl and trash?
A: Trash gets picked-up
Warning: The Universe provides an infinite opportunity to be offended.
What were we talking about, again?
I wish states were allowed to just issue grow permits to people on the condition that whatever is grown is not allowed to leave the property. It is absurd that opium poppies are legal to grow in your garden, but any form of hemp is not. As a gardener, it pisses me off that I can grow all kinds of nasty, toxic plants, but cannabis is illegal. Stupid.
No! Don’t say it!
Five years ago, everyone thought we had reached a tipping point in gay marriage. And then the Evangelicals got all riled up and they ended up setting the movement back 10 years.
We’re not at a “tipping point”. We’re just begining to take baby steps in the process of one day recognizing marijuana as the relatively harmless drug that it is.
(Hint: Malcolm Gladwell is an idiot. An entertaining idiot. But an idiot nonetheless. )
@geg6: Speaking as a resident of said ass-backward state: bullfuckingshit. This state elected Jim DeMint. And the Governor of the Appalacian Trail. I still can’t buy beer on Sunday, and only recently gained the privilege of buying a hammer on that day.
We will get medical marijuana down here as the date of the impending Rapture is confirmed: for two days afterward.
Lacking an open thread, NPR ran two stories, I believe back to back, one on Palin’s job at Fox, the other on Ryan Secrest’s Borg-like assimilation of all media. The journo on Secrest predicted President Secrest, wanting to be the first to put it out there. Anyone care to discuss how much more likely that is than President Palin?
Added for clarity.
Pigs & Spiders
WARNING: UNABASHED BLOG WHORING BELOW! AHOOOGGAA!
I think the medical marijuana issue will pass in a majority of states in the next few years. What will be really interesting to watch is the vote in the California state assembly Public Safety committee this morning. It will be the first real legislative vote, even on the committee level, on the issue of real legalization. My extended thoughts here, including a link to the state page that will supposedly host the audio of the deliberations and vote.
Wait….you cant transport liquor across state lines? Wha?
It’s interesting. At beer distributors, you can only buy by the case, but recent changes now allow them to sell 12 packs (which was fought tooth and nail by bars). A bar can only sell you two six-packs. The grocery store that is now allowed to sell beer can sell you a six-pack, but you can’t get it off the shelf, you have to go into the restaurant in the store and buy it there. Meantime, I have yet to see a beer distributor that has 12 packs.
Fucking state is nuts.
Well, I’m pretty sure you can’t in any kind of larger amounts. It’s common here to drive all the way to Maryland to get liquor as the price is ridiculously cheaper there, but you don’t want to get caught. It’s the same for cigarettes. You don’t want to get caught transporting cigarettes from West Virginia to PA.
I believe it’s a tax thing.
The Republic of Stupidity
I believe this is one way organized crime has made money in he past – driving truckloads of ciggies from a Southern state, where the taxes are lower, to a Northern state and then selling them on the sly, sans taxes…
geg6 has it right, its a tax thing, and yes it was a pretty regular occurance around where I grew up since I lived something like 5 or 10 miles from the border in the most populated section of the OH/PA border (on both sides), so you ended up with a decent cross border trade in stuff like that. (my guess is that the other built up Oh border in the Cinci/KY region sees the same thing).
I was once in Columbia South Carolina for a conference and almost fell off my seat at a bar when I noticed that ALL hard alcohol was dispensed and bought in the little miniature bottles they have in hotel mini bars and airplanes. I asked the bar tender what was up with that and she said it was the law.
My first thought was that someone in govt over there must have financial interest in the production of these little bottles because it was ridiculous. The bar looked bizarre with all the little bottles stacked up. I guess the calculus is that little bottles encourages less consumption? But my sense was that was not the case at all.
Wonder if that is still the law there.
In so called liberal CT, we can’t buy ANY booze on Sunday. The market can sell beer only and only until 8P on Saturday night. If the church goers don’t want to drink on Sunday, fine, just don’t make it a hassle for the rest of us. Of course, the package store owners fight opening Sundays because they want a day off.
Where in SC are you? I know one can buy beer on Sunday in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston. You’re screwed if you’re in the smaller towns though.
My husband’s aunt is fighting cancer. She maybe weighs 90 pounds now. The weight loss is going to get her before the cancer at this rate, and it kills me. Go medical marijuana go! You’ll be too late to save Aunt B., but maybe you’ll save some other little old lady in pain.
We’ve speculated about drug reform that might involve the legalization or at least de-criminalization of marijuana. But what if it, instead, basically went the way of the old “Blue Laws” in most of the original Thirteen Colonies? A ban on marijuana sales and production might remain on the books, but it would basically never be enforced.
It’s funny, but most people don’t realize that the tax authorities in the state they are residents want their cut. So , technically, any time you go out of state with the express purpose to buy something and bring it back into state and use/consumer it there. You owe the tax authorities their pound of flesh. Take a quick look at your state income tax form the next time you file. I remember NY having a line for declaring unpaid sales tax.
It’s usually referred to as a use tax.
Check it out.
In fact, I forgot to mention that you have to pay sales tax if you go upstate to buy something than bring it back to use it in NYC since it has a higher sales tax. You are supposed to pay the difference.
The Republic of Stupidity
Eh… there’s always the chance some overly ambitious DA could decide to pull an Arpaio and start running amok.
@geg6 and punchy
Same thing was true when I lived in PA–on the NY border. Also, at the time the drinking age was 18 in NY, so there was double incentive for a certain age group to buy across the border (the towns all ran into one another, so not much of a stretch). And yes, PA officials would set up roadblocks–almost weekly, back in the late 70s and early 80s–and check every car on its way back into PA. Not sure what it’s like there now.
That sounds like Utah. You had to then mix the drink yourself.
Not only was it the law, they amended their CONSTITUTION to require minibottles. They seemed to think it would encourage temperance. Apparently they were unaware of the recipe for a Long Island Iced Tea, which when made with minibottles is about 184 ounces. I believe the Constitution has been re-amended, but as they once said in the Onion in response to one of those fake man-on-the-street comments about the confederate flag, “I’d be ashamed to be from South Carolina. Now what’s this about a flag?”
Ideally, smoking marijuana would be legal, as would be growing a small amount on your own property for your own consumption.
However, if smoking it becomes legal, I can’t see the government wanting to opt out of such a potential cash cow. I can see it eventually going the same way as booze — it’s grown and sold by large companies and taxed to the hilt, or you can buy small quantities for growing (sort of like a Wine Kitz-type of situation), which would also be taxed quite heavily. Either way, if it becomes legal, they’ll have to figure out some sort of workplace laws, so that they can ensure that people aren’t baked while on the job, but that don’t impede with their legal right to get baked during their off-hours.
hmm. I don’t remember if that was the case. Maybe?
I laughed really hard reading that. When I walked into that bar I had an epic WTF moment. From *my* experience the little bottles only encouraged more drinking. Then again my stay in Columbia ended up being much longer than was planned because of a big storm up in the East Coast and since the conference was on Lacan (no offense to the lacanians present) the people I was stuck with made my brain hurt and induced much much drinking, little bottles be dammed!
@geg6: And some of y’all poke fun at Texas. Good Lordy. PA sounds insane
But we also have issues. In the metro areas, we do have a ban on package liquor sales on Sunday and beer/wine is time time limited, but at other times in those areas it a buyers market.
Now you have to consider that since local government *is* best, individual counties call the shots, so to speak. Of our 254 counties 45 are dry, 170 are moist 39 are completely wet. Of course, what qualifiers as moist varies from county to county.
So as I alluded to earlier, the intrastate civil wars over pot policy in states like Texas will be quite fascinating.
A good time to remind ourselves why we made this vile weed illegal in the first place.
Have we lost our senses people!?
Many, many years ago, when I still lived in a foreign land, an American friend with HIV traveled across all kinds of international borders with the government dope that he had been provided to help ease his pain. He very kindly shared with me, and I, without noticing, smoked almost an entire joint by myself.
Oh.My.God. That government dope should come with fucking warning labels! (Come to think of it, perhaps it does). I was high for about 26 hours, and not in an entirely good way. I literally had to call in to work and say that I wasn’t “feeling well.”
All of which is just me sharing a story because I like it, so in order to be a little more on-topic, I’ll say this:
This is a very good thing, and you know what would be even better? If this country just fucking legalized pot already — not because I’m so desperate to smoke it, but because it would mean that the government has decided to treat us as adults, and that would be an exceptionally good thing.
@Persia: Oh, that is very sad — I’m so sorry! I hope that your aunt goes peacefully when the time comes.
And yes: Go, medical marijuana, go!
Medical Marijuana is the gateway drug to Socialized Healthcare.
There will be happy people because of this. Legislators need to really think this through. It’s a slippery slope to joy.
You’ll be happy to know that they have done away with the mini-bottles (I lived in SC for several years). The problem was that the mini-bottles actually made drinks stronger than if a bartender mixed them by hand.
That was one of the weirder alcohol rules. That and the rule in some parts of of the country that you can only drink alcohol in a bar if you BYOB, and it has to be in a plastic bag (or something equally weird. I can’t recall the exact rule).
Texas definitely has its own weirdness. I remember growing up seeing rows in the grocery store that had blue ribbon stretched across shelves on Sundays because of the “Blue Laws.” For instance, you couldn’t buy a broom, IIRC.
Thankfully, they’ve done away with a lot of those rules from the middle ages. I still don’t think they’ve reached the renaissance, yet, however.
(my earlier comment is in moderation, obligatory FYWP)
Yes, they have repealed the mini-bottle laws. Like you said, the strength of mixed drinks were much higher with the mini-bottles. Having dealt with some of the racist fundamentalist rednecks in SC for several years while living there, I can understand why you’d want a strong drink.
One other fun facts about Texas. Used to be after TX raised the legal drinking age to 21, Louisiana held out (and were refused federal highway funds because of that), so Texas minors would travel just across the state line to Louisiana to drink, then drive back late at night, where – you guessed it – they either got into accidents or arrested for DWI.
Fun times (not). Our country is so wacked out regarding alcohol.
I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again: before legalization can occur there has to be a legally recognized test that can determine the level of intoxication for driving, work, etc…
Also, the manufacture laws have to remain on the books and strictly enforced.
And finally, somebody has to tell Cheech and Chong that they’re not helping.
Maybe if they let people smoke pot everyone will chill the fuck out and then they can pass gay marriage!
@GReynoldsCT00: ya beat me to it. though didn’t they change the law to allow sales till 9PM? that law was a stupid overreaction to some package store owner being murdered late at night (in the 70’s i think, but cannot recall).
If that’s not already an actual wingnut slogan, it will be soon enough. Nicely done.
@Pigs & Spiders: WA is doing this too now actually.
Montana voters passed medical marijuana, and banned gay marriage in the same voter election
I remember posting in the comments to our local paper about five years ago that marijuana would be legal in most states within 15 years because Bush would wreck the economy so badly that we would have to legalize just for the tax revenue. I was as a hippie derided by all the Republicans in the comments.
The Republic of Stupidity
Geez, Trevor… this one is waaaaaaay toooo easy…
Just wait till eveyone is stoned, and THEN push gay marriage thru…
Heh… do I hafta do all the heavy lifting here?
It’s… uh… STRICTLY per my ‘doctor’s’ orders… really…
The Republic of Stupidity
And now yer a hippie deriding all the Republicans in the comments here…
Whoa… that’s… that’s… profound…
I’ll hafta think about that one for a while…
Lemme see… he was a hippie over there… and now…
Saaaaaaaay… anybody got some munchies?
Bob In Pacifica
What is it about America? Marijuana before gay marriage. Everywhere.
We seem to be coming to accept some kind of reform for marijuana, but is this really the best way to do it?
There was a recent series of reports on NPR about medical pot in California and the whole regulatory regime sounded like a joke. Doctors passing out scripts for no reason. People growing at home without consequence. Pot dispensaries appearing on street corners.
If we’re going to legalize pot, shouldn’t we at least establish a regulatory system that is a) honest and b) effective?
At this point, we might as well legalize and regulate rather than having a bunch of people lying about having glaucoma so that they can get high.
1. No home grown pot. Buy from industry just like you do with alcohol. This might ultimately require federal intervention, i.e. the ATF, which is in part charged with shutting down unregistered whiskey stills.
2. Require inspection of production facilities before they can be licensed.
3. Sale only through approved licensees. Establish state commissions analogous to liquor boards to ensure that only approved retailers are selling pot.
4. Create misdemeanors for smoking in public spaces including streets, bars, restaurants, etc.
5. Stiff penalties for trafficking over state lines. That’s how it is already, but we should keep them in place.
That would be the bare minimum for me.
Conservative trash can still love getting stoned but hate teh gay, just as there are plenty of meth-addled teabaggers roaming rural (aka “real”) america.
WTF is with the need to control everything?
Oh wait I remember now the Puritans didn’t come here because of religious intolerance they came here to practice it. And now they have a few centuries of practice.
Just so you don’t think I’m a stoner, I stopped smoking 25 years ago. And I see that smoking and driving is a problem. But so is alcohol. And they have been a problem for decades. You think because it is illegal no one smokes and drives now? You think all your controls will stop more than a couple of people, who probably wouldn’t smoke or drink much anyway? Oh wait these may be the same people who think teaching abstinence stops people from fucking.
I think the main question we should be asking is why are there so many adults in this country whose maturity development stopped at 8 or 9 years old?
I’m somewhat amused that you find R.J. Reynolds and company more trustworthy than home gardeners. You do realize that we are talking about a plant, right?
Random grower is going to put the seeds in the dirt and harvest when ready. Big Corp is going to add thousands of preservatives, additives and probably an addictive compound or two just for fun.
Too many Americans are into control for controls sake. We’ve become a country full of tinpot dictators.
And for the record, I am totally a stoner. Don’t drink much, have no interest in other drugs, but I like nothing better than a chill Sunday afternoon walking the neighborhood, playing video games, reading, etc. after a couple of bong hits.
Most of the people I work with would be shocked if they knew, but they’d also be shocked if they knew the people I smoke with and buy from. I’m part of the highly educated, gainfully employed, professional white middle-class pothead culture that largely don’t have to worry much about the police or random drug tests.
I’m part of the highly educated, gainfully employed, professional white middle-class pothead culture that largely don’t have to worry much about the police….
I thought the same thing once. All it takes is an @sshole cop and an even bigger @sshole prosecutor to decide that their small town is going to go all “zero-tolerance” on a couple of just -passing-through pot smokers and you too will have a simple possession charge following you around…forever. It sucks, so be warned. It can happen to you.
Yeah, Will, I get that we’re talking about a plant. As you inadvertently pointed out, tobacco is also a plant, but it’s regulated by the FDA. FDA regulation came way too late with tobacco, but alcohol is regulated both at the state and federal level, as are prescription drugs and, well, agriculture of all sorts. While FDA regulation can be improved, it’s flaws don’t mean it should be abandoned.
If we’re going to legalize pot, we’re going to need some regulatory framework for it. California and New Jersey have tried a medical regulatory system, but that seems to be a failure in CA and is dishonest in any case. So, what sort of framework would be honest and effective? We’d have to look to alcohol laws, I think, since nothing else really comes close.
Generally, people aren’t allowed to distill at home. I don’t see why it should be a problem to limit the home growth of pot when it will be otherwise available to adults.
Oh, I am more than aware that lightning can strike, and I do not partake anywhere but in my home and the home of trusted friends. But, I am also aware – from previous jobs where I worked with LEO drug agents – that it is incredibly unusual for police to focus on people like me.
Even if they did, my state has had pretty lax possession laws since the nineties. If I got busted in my state with the amounts I purchase, I’m down for a misdemeanor with a fine. There’s not even a requirement for drug counseling.
There is literally no point in law enforcement targeting me. And the fine is so low that I can pay it out of my monthly weed money and still have some left over, something like $150 last time I checked.
But homebrewing of beer is huge and legal. I’m not sure about the legality of homemade wine, but it’s also a big thing. As marijuana is an amazingly easy plant to cultivate, you’d end up with some dumbass law enforcement climate where cops were busting people growing a handful of plants in their home, instead of buying McWeed at their local 7-11.
And frankly, pot is of the equivalent potency and harmfulness of beer. Like beer – and fast food, porn, World of Warcraft and any number of other things that inspire mental addiction – pot can fuck up your life.
Comment got cut off…
So, yes pot can fuck up your life. It is a drug.
But if we, as a society, decide that it’s something that isn’t harmful enough to reach the level of being illegal, I’m not sure what the societal benefit is in instituting an expensive, bureaucratic infrastructure to prevent people from using it the way they want.
Legalization would allow me access to the thousands of boutique strains bred by dedicated growers. It would allow me to control the potency I buy much better than I can now, as I’m stuck with what shows up on the black market. A regulatory scheme that allows me to buy Genero-Weed manufactured by Phillip Morris isn’t a step forward.
A later Governor cannot “repeal” any law duly passed by the state legislature and signed into law by the then-sitting Goveror. The law is what it is unless and until he can get the legislature to change it, or the state courts to overturn it.
That said, there are various ways Governors can sometimes throw monkey-wrenches into laws they disapprove of, with how big and how effective a set of monkey-wrenches they are able to weild depending on the exact nature of the law in question, and the extent to which its effective carrying-out depends on the Governor’s discretionary control of budget resources. They can also usually choose whom to appoint for any interim vacancies on the courts, with that person often becoming the instant favorite to hold the seat when it comes up for election. Again, depending on the nature of the law at issue, it might be subject to erosion simply by the Governor picking strong ideologues of his favorite flavor for the courts, counting on the law in question to eventually get caught up in the new judge’s ideological sweep. Or the Governor can sometimes pick a judge in large part because *wink* *wink* he knows this person will be strongly inclined to frustrate or overturn THAT specific law (among others).
But no, a Governor cannot repeal a law per se all by his own fiat.
Fair enough. I think there will be an enforcement problem for pot legalization no matter what because there already is such a large black market. In some ways, this is why the people who think we can generate billions in tax dollars are deceiving themselves. People won’t pay taxes on pot–they’ll want to grow at home and do everything they can to evade the tax laws.
I think, though, that whether you smoke it or not, phillip morries et al will get into pot. There will be a large corporation or several large corporations that dedicate themselves to providing marijuana. Budweiser, Coors, Phillip Morris, but there’s also Archer Daniels Midland and other agricultural giants that may want a piece of the pie. If they don’t, someone will build a company into a giant pot provider. Think Starbucks. Budweiser, Coors, and Starbucks don’t stop people from drinking microbrews, homebrews, and going to their small specialty coffee shops. They just serve different portions of the population.
So,I still think there will need to be some regulatory scheme for the big boys even if we decide to leave home growers alone. We’d need to draw some lines about what amount of home production is acceptable and how it can be used.
In any case, I’d still stand by my other recommendations, i.e. no public use, licenses for sale, etc.
I have no doubt that the major corporations would get into the business should legalization occur. Have you ever seen the apocryphal plans for “Marlboro Green”?
My fear of a complex regulatory and inspection scheme would be that it would eliminate the ability of anyone without the resources of a megacorporation to get into the business. At the moment, there is a large culture of niche growers and breeders who pride themselves in creating unique strains – a sort of underground mirror of the homebrew and microbrew cultures. I’d hate to see that strangled in the cradle.
And, as someone who tries to buy as much as possible of my food from farmers markets and other small-scale operators, I’ve come to trust the local sources much more than national and international businesses. They depend a lot more on quality, word-of-mouth and customer loyalty than the big boys and are consequently less likely to cut corners, neglect safety and generally find ways to ratfuck the people who purchase their products for a quick buck.