Posted on 12:21 AM
I live in California. I don't smoke marijuana and I understand the potential problems that Marijuana causes for religious and conservative groups. All the more reason imo to rally on my Facebook account and vote Yes on Prop 19.
Prop 19 is known as the "Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Act" Despite what you may have heard from self interest groups and lobbyist, the law was very well written and would have initiated the healing process for decades of failed drug policy here in the states. The benefits of Marijuana both medicinally and recreationally far outweigh any unfounded fears that make it seem so scary.
Legal drugs end illegal drug trade
Marijuana represents 60%  of illicit drug trade profits. Legalizing drugs would rip the carpet out from under the illegal network.
If you put drug violence against a very simple economic principle, the first thing you notice is that prohibition is its own self perpetuating catalyst. By that I mean a decreased supply causes an increased demand for drugs ,making them an even more lucrative prospect for criminals. No brainer right? Instead of drugs having the value of a head of lettuce, it can become worth it's weight in gold (simply illustrating a point). If you eliminate the lucrative nature of the drug by increasing supply, it only makes sense that it's no longer worth it for criminals to do horrific deeds to protect their markets. If it were finally and wholly legal, the money and motive would be gone and the violence spilling over the borders into our country would cease. The second thing you realize is that drugs aren't the problem. We all know how alcohol prohibition played out in the 1920's. Prohibition is the root cause of the mess that grows more sophisticated and complex each day.
Innocent Victims Caught in Drug War Violence
With violence often comes innocent victims. I'm not saying legalization is some kind of panacea that will end all violence, but it would likely go a long way to help curb stray bullets.
Inconceivable Tax Savings
One in six federal inmates are incarcerated for non-violent Marijuana related offenses . Now get this. This means that if we adopted a legalized stance on Marijuana, nearly one hundred and ten thousand inmates are no longer a burden to U.S. taxpayers. Consider each prisoner costs this country roughly $22,500 annually  we're talking about a savings of roughly six and a half million dollars PER DAY!!! I know it sounds crazy but do the math. ($22500/365)*110000. Nearly $2.5B annually.
Regulation keeps drugs away from children
Under prop 19, vendors of Marijuana are responsible for carding as with alcohol and tobacco. Adults are subject to huge penalties if they expose young adults and children under the age of twenty-one to drugs. This includes certain currently vague situations for smoking in public and in the same room as minors. Prop 19 has stiff penalties for furnishing drugs to minors. This means parents, guardians, relatives. As well as drug dealers who have an agenda to ensure children get high. Prop 19 would make it a crime to furnish Marijuana to minors and legalization replaces dealers with vendors who lose their livelihood if they disobey the regulations.
Regulated drugs are cleaner and saferThis argument has two main points. The first is some dealers will lace marijuana with small amounts of addictive drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine's to get people hooked and buying more drugs. Regulated drugs would ideally be created to pharmaceutical standards, packaged and delivered by companies with legal and personal liability. Legal drugs would also be free of random harmful additives that are carelessly mixed in during cooking or cut to increase quantity. I saw once in a documentary where someone cooking meth tossed in a package of allergy medicine (the box, cellophane wrapper and pill crate). I'm convinced this isn't uncommon.
Addicts fear fallout of seeking professional help
This is one of the most disheartening side effects of criminalizing drugs. I have seen many people in my life refuse professional help, when they clearly needed and wanted it, because they feared the repercussions of the harsh reporting requirements placed on hospitals and doctors. Failure to report treatment of substance abuse is a crime. So when you take your best friend to the hospital, the doctors call the police. The police come and arrest her and she ends up with a criminal drug record. Now some hiring managers won't accept her and this rules out many professions for her probably indefinitely.
Medicinal users claim it's better than pharmaceuticals
I go into this in detail below, but many people I know suffering from chronic pain have found that the only drug that helps them is Marijuana. Besides the horrible way the pharmaceuticals make them feel, the addiction risks involved and so on, pot gives them more relief than prescription drug counterparts.
Empowers people and sends a message to law makers
Had Prop 19 passed it would have sent a message to law makers in not only our own state, but other states and eventually on the federal level. I understand we are a long way from the laws that have proven successful in Amsterdam.  (Drug use in Amsterdam is waning while drug use in America is rising) But any law passed to legalize marijuana for personal recreational use would prove unequivocally that America was ready for change and give us the necessary tools to address recreational and medicinal drug use and addiction in a forward thinking manner. I think it's crucial we start looking at drug use as a medical problem instead of addressing it as a criminal problem.
Close another loophole/unfair privilege.
Legalized for EVERYONE over 21
Marijuana is generally considered harmless and if legal could be grown in your backyard. I hear of people pretending like they have chronic pain to get a medical card or receiving prescription over the phone from ads placed in the metro. It's downright silly. I've been prescribed pain drugs like Vicodin over the years and I only use what I need to alleviate the pain. The rest I keep around for later when I really need them. I am always very careful when I use any medication. If pot were legal I might have some laying around for these occasions. Maybe I have big meeting the next day that's causing insomnia, maybe my sciatica is acting up and I'm uncomfortable. It should be everyone's right to grow, store and administer it to themselves when they need it.
Same or stricter laws for DUI, workplace, and offenses relating to minors
Read the law: This Act is not intended to affect the application or enforcement of the following state laws relating to public health and safety or protection of children and others: Health and Safety Code sections 11357 [relating to possession on school grounds]; 11361 [relating to minors as amended herein]; 11379.6 [relating to chemical production]; 11532 [relating to loitering to commit a crime or acts not authorized by law]; Vehicle Code section 23152 [relating to driving while under the influence]; Penal Code section 272 [relating to contributing to the delinquency of a minor]; nor any law prohibiting use of controlled substances in the workplace or by specific persons whose jobs involve public safety.
Under prop 19 if you are stoned, it is still illegal to have it near schools, drive a car, come to work, give it to kids. These were the basis of many lies that were spread by opposition groups. As you'll see later these groups are protecting their turf by spreading malicious untrue propaganda that misled many voters during the 2010 elections. It's sad when cannabis growers, brewers, big tobacco, pharmaceutical companies, drug enforcement agencies and other self interest groups are more concerned about their profits than the powerful positive change legalized marijuana would have on our country.
Safer than alternative medicines and vices
Recreational alternatives are far more dangerous. For instance, did you know that alcohol is so addictive, once you're hooked, it could kill you if you try to quit cold turkey? Many prescription drugs that help with the same problems associated with medicinal marijuana have extraordinary side effects, like addiction, thoughts of suicide, etc. Look at this chart showing the Annual Causes of Death in the United States.
Finally, Even Pat Robertson gets it.
I have to admit. After his comments on Haiti I never thought I would hear something that makes sense come from that mans mouth. But this interview posted on YouTube shows that he is compassionate about the effects the drug war has on people. Although he supports decriminalization, I still believe it makes more sense to regulate and control it, because you gain the added benefits I've listed here. There is no sound reason to make any part of the drug supply chain illegal. Period.
The reason I am here today
Im not here today to talk about why I voted or why I feel legalization is the appropriate choice. I want to spread the truth about who is behind the campaigns to *keep our country drug free.* I couldn't find relevant data for D.A.R.E and other anti-drug organizations, if you know where they are and can point me to those I'd be grateful for the lead, but The Partnership for a Drug Free America has disclosed their tax statements on their website and to me the information is damning.
Prior to 1997 Tobacco and Alcohol was the biggest funding partners of the organization. I think this says alot about the agenda of these corporations and how the partnership is being used as a tool to suppress marijuana. Today it's big pharma and the DOJ, which to me is even more sinister. Here is a short list of the contributors that appear on the 2010 tax statements. There are some names on the list which I don't completely understand, but some first hand research seems to indicate a round about relationship back to pharmaceutical companies. I've taken what appears to be the mission statement for each to quantify my assertion.
CHPA "is the not-for-profit association representing the makers of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements, and the consumers who rely on these healthcare products."
Abbott Labs "Discovers, develops, manufactures and sells pharmaceutical and nutritional products such as drug delivery systems, antibiotics and prepared infant formulas"
King Pharmaceuticals:"King is now a part of Pfizer Inc."
Pfizer Inc.: We dedicate ourselves to humanity's quest for longer, healthier, happier lives through innovation in pharmaceutical and consumer health products.
Purdue Pharma L.P., "a privately held pharmaceutical company founded by physicians, is focused on meeting the needs of health care providers and the patients"
Apparently the tax statement don't include donations under $90,000. As of 1997 they claim on their website that they no longer take donations from tobacco and alcohol. I have no data to prove otherwise. Should we allow ourselves to interpolate the source of unclaimed amounts based on the reported numbers? Is it safe to say that a large percentage of these companies are either related in some way to pharmaceutical companies or the money feeding into the drug war effort? I'll let you decide.
This is just one case, most of the support for the anti prop19 campaigns were from companies and government agencies that earn their bread and butter on the recreational vices, medicinal cannabis and The Drug War. They said that people would drive stoned, they said they would go to work stoned, they said it would stop medicinal efforts and they spread a whole slue of other lies during the election season to extort people into voting against prop 19.
Don't get me wrong. I am convinced there are a few sheeple that believe in their hearts they are doing the right thing, and they are being herded by large self interest groups. Groups that don't care about drugs and violence spilling into our country, about improving our financial outlook, keeping drugs away from kids and getting dirty homemade drugs off the street. There is no place in their agenda to end the toll that drug related violence has on the innocent, or those seeking professional help to cure their addiction or find a better, free, non addictive drug for chronic pain. The last thing they would ever do is provide a safer recreational alternative to prevent addiction before it starts.
With all this going for it, I am at a loss for words as to why the measure failed.
Even if you are against smoking Marijuana, I hope you join me:
* Find out who is funding the campaigns.
* Consider the agendas of those involved.
* VOTE to "Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis"