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Old 10-07-2010, 05:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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California legalizing Pot

Article
Quote:
California Pot Legalization Wouldn't Trump Federal Law

By ASHBY JONES

Even if Californians vote next month to legalize marijuana, possession of the drug will still be a criminal offense under federal law, which trumps state law almost every time under the U.S. Constitution.

But crackdowns on users and small-scale growers could decrease if Californians pass Proposition 19, the ballot measure proposing to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.

In a statement, a Justice Department spokesman said it was "premature to speculate on what steps we would take" in the event California passes the measure, but that it will continue "to focus its enforcement resources on significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana, in all states."

Legal experts say that while large-scale sellers might be of interest to federal authorities, others are unlikely to be a priority.

"Is the government going to put hundreds more DEA agents in northern California to go after cannabis growers?" asked Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. "It might, but if there's no state-level enforcement, California would still be the safest place to grow pot."

The federal government could try to use federal tax law to crack down on sale and distribution of marijuana. It might choose that avenue if it decides the California ballot measure runs afoul of international treaties signed by the U.S. that attempt to control the drug trade. That isn't clear.

Another potential problem for federal officials: Legalization in California might make marijuana more available throughout the country, potentially undermining state laws elsewhere. That would put federal authorities "in an incredibly tough spot," said Gerald Uelmen, a professor of criminal law at Santa Clara University.

Write to Ashby Jones at ashby.jones@wsj.com
I have been wondering what would happen if the law does pass, if the federal government will sue like they did in Arizona. It is interesting to see in this law that there has been a lot of support for this law by local law enforcement, since it would free them up, and at the same time remove a lot of money from gangs and other criminal enterprises.

This article does answer the legal question if it would make it legal, it would just becomes a federal issue, and up to them to prosecute. Which does make it more tricky you get caught for one thing, they find some Pot, do not have enough evidence they can force you to agree or threaten to turn you in to the feds.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Had a discussion about this a few days ago elsewhere. Considering that many companies have drug screening for hiring and some companies also have periodic drug testing once hired, I can't imagine that you'll see much increase in marijuana usage. It may be a lesser offense but it could still keep you from getting a job or keeping the one you have. With unemployment in CA around 10%, there's just too much risk in it regardless of the legal status.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That is an interesting point that I did not think of. I do wonder if it will affect though prices since it should become much more available and remove a lot of the criminal enterprises from using it as a revenue source.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, I don't see being a pothead as being socially acceptable anymore than it is socially acceptable to be drunk at work.

I say legalize it, tax the hell outta it, keep people outta the clogged jails for it... but don't hire them or let them do anything important.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
Yeah, I don't see being a pothead as being socially acceptable anymore than it is socially acceptable to be drunk at work.

I say legalize it, tax the hell outta it, keep people outta the clogged jails for it... but don't hire them or let them do anything important.
You do know it is possible to go to work sober, even if you do smoke marijuana in your spare time, just like it's possible to go to work sober even if you drink in your spare time? Further, there are plenty of jobs out there that don't drug test. Certainly, they are generally jobs not involving heavy equipment.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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...or security clearances or any level of public trust.

I see the laws changing but not employer responses.

The drugs-are-bad idea lives on. I guess I'm proof of that.

I don't want my kid to be looked after by a pothead teacher.

...

"But... but..."

"You can't be a cop. You smoke dope on the weekends."

...

The supply side is also a problem. Who is producing / selling? How is it sold? What are the standards? It'll take time before it becomes a legit industry. It's been a criminal industry for so long that it's hard to break that association with a piece of paper.

...

I'll bow out of this thread. I apologize for my narrow-mindedness.

/dead horse
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Last edited by Plan9; 10-07-2010 at 08:15 AM..
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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As a former pothead, I did enjoy my years of "Huh, what?" "Dude, I got like... the munchies... like hardcore." "That test was YESTERDAY?!", but I'm on the fence about this. I don't think the laws should be as harsh as they are. Plan is right, legally sell it and tax the everyliving shit out of it. Make some money off those left-handed cigarettes.

On the other hand, I really don't think anyone in certain industries and service sectors should be allowed to smoke it. Anyone in the medical industry should not be allowed to (or do any kind of drugs, those fucking doctors can't remember their login password, I don't want them to forget which organ they need to take out) or anything else where you have other people's lives in your hands (school bus driver, police officer, ect).

I've heard that most of the good weed in CA is being grown by local farmers and by those crazy canadians. You get that nasty brick weed from mexico.

Plus, in response to the drug dealers... real drug dealers don't sell pot. They might as a side thing (keep your hand in every market), but the money isn't in pot. It takes to much skill and time to grown pot. If you look at it by weight, one kilo of pot isn't even in the same price range ballpark as a kilo of coke. Gangs, mafia, organized crime... they don't sell pot, they sell crack, heroin, PCP, meth, coke, and prescription pills. That's where the real money is at.

Say what you want, but smoking pot daily or long term DOES effect you. Granted there is no umbrella effect that says everyone is affected the same way, but there are side effects.

Again, on the fence. There is a side of me that wishes I could smoke pot without Johnny Law breathing down my neck.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If it's legal, why would they test for it? Employers don't do alcohol tests.

The world would be a better place if more people got stoned occasionally.

Take on uptight asshole with an attitude:
Add alcohol and you bar fights, DUI's, domestic violence and liver disease.
Add weed and you get a mellow happy person eating all your twinkies.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RogueGypsy View Post
If it's legal, why would they test for it? Employers don't do alcohol tests.
Right, one can only hope if the law passes then tests for marijuana would no longer be part of employment drug screenings.

As long as you are sober when you work, what does it matter? In fact, with the current laws for medical use, what would stop you from smoking while at work if you have a prescription?

It is worth noting that the proposed law indicates DUI regulations similar to alcohol. Clearly not the same thing, but I don't think people should be driving high so I'd say it is a good thing.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I can see states repealing these laws in a year as soon as they stop getting fed money for drug war raids.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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That's how I feel too, if you're a responsible person you shouldn't have much trouble drawing a line between when you get high and when you don't. I know, as with anything, that there are going to be people that abuse it but just like alcohol there should be consequences for that, very dire consequences in some cases.

Is a surgeon who drinks in his spare time going to be taking shots of jack between soaping up and slicing into you? Why then would we assume that same person is going to roll up a fatty and accidentally amputate your left arm?

Personally I'd love to see it legalized, taxed and controlled, you'd have to be 18 (or 21) to buy it and the same laws that apply to drunk driving and other abuses of alcohol should apply as well. It would make money, help depressed areas and save the govt/taxpayers a fortune. Seems like a no brainer to me.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Medical Marijuana is a fact of life in Colorado. For a $100 Dr visit, a good story, and a $90 license fee, you can easily gain the ability to legally buy incredible quality pot, over the counter, at an increasing number of dispensaries.

The impact?
High end growers have all gone legal. Taxes are a small price to pay for not getting arrested.
"Medical Marijuana" does get resold; but the old dealers have either gone legal or gone away. Who wants questionable Mexican crap, when very nice local buds are readily available. Business is booming in a questionable economy.

It's really hard to find a down side.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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A side note on drugs in the work place. I've worked with people so f$cked up on prescription meds, they can hardly complete a thought. But for some reason this is more socially acceptable?? Impaired is impaired and it doesn't belong in the work place.

I worked for a company years ago, family owned, that gave all the employees a survey concerning their thoughts on drug testing. True or not, it was something they were looking into as a way to lower insurance rates. When the surveys came back agreeing to drug testing if it included Pharmaceuticals, the issue was dropped.

If I recall MJ is one of the biggest, if not the biggest cash crop in the country. Why not legalize it and tax it. The upside is huge.
Fewer inmates
more revenue
less border traffic
more jobs..............etc.

I'm having a hard time thinking of a down side.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I do find it astounding that the drug industry can force through a new medication with little testing that has extreme side effects on patient (including death, how many prescription drugs have been recalled in the last decade?) and yet somehow something like pot is too dangerous to even consider.

Its really bizarre if you think about it.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LordEden View Post
As a former pothead, I did enjoy my years of "Huh, what?" "Dude, I got like... the munchies... like hardcore." "That test was YESTERDAY?!"
Why do pot smokers need to be made into a caricature? Furthermore, we don't force heavy equipment operators to be dry, why would we expect them to not smoke pot if its legal?
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Wes Mantooth View Post
I do find it astounding that the drug industry can force through a new medication with little testing that has extreme side effects on patient (including death, how many prescription drugs have been recalled in the last decade?) and yet somehow something like pot is too dangerous to even consider.

Its really bizarre if you think about it.
I don't believe that is quite accurate. It takes years to bring a new drug to market. Possibly the testing that is required did not get handled properly, performed properly or analyzed correctly, but there is ample testing.
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yeah I don't really know the inner workings of the pharmaceutical industry very well, I think I got that from some documentary I saw years ago talking about how it wasn't uncommon for large pharmaceutical companies to "bypass" the system to keep the market flooded and keep profits up...although it may have just been a very biased misrepresentation. I do wonder why it seems like so many prescription drugs seem to be getting recalled due to bad side effects though, there might be something to it I suppose lazy testing could account for that.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Three tokes for California! That legalization is taking the rest of U.S. so long is a waste of time not unlike smoking marijuana. I can't wait to read Fly's opinion.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Yeah I don't really know the inner workings of the pharmaceutical industry very well, I think I got that from some documentary I saw years ago talking about how it wasn't uncommon for large pharmaceutical companies to "bypass" the system to keep the market flooded and keep profits up...although it may have just been a very biased misrepresentation. I do wonder why it seems like so many prescription drugs seem to be getting recalled due to bad side effects though, there might be something to it I suppose lazy testing could account for that.
continuing OT.....

this should give you a pretty good idea of what is involved

http://www.jabfm.org/cgi/reprint/14/5/362.pdf

Quote:
Drug Development
Drug development can generally be divided into
phases. The first is the preclinical phase, which
usually takes 3 to 4 years to complete. If successful,
this phase is followed by an application to the FDA
as an investigational newdrug (IND). After an
IND is approved, the next steps are clinical phases
1, 2, and 3, which require approximately 1, 2, and 3
years, respectively, for completion (Table 1). Importantly,
throughout this process the FDA and
investigators leading the trials communicate with
each other so that such issues as safety are monitored.
The manufacturer then files a newdrug
application (NDA) with the FDA for approval.
This application can either be approved or rejected,
or the FDA might request further study before
making a decision. Following acceptance, the FDA
can also request that the manufacturer conduct
additional postmarketing studies. Overall, this entire
process, on average, takes between 8 to 12
years.2 Figure 1 summarizes the drug approval process.
It is not surprising that from conception to market
most compounds face an uphill battle to become
an approved drug. For approximately every
5,000 to 10,000 compounds that enter preclinical
testing, only one is approved for marketing
.8 A
1993 report by the Congressional Office of Technology
Assessment estimated the cost of developing
a newdrug to be $359 million.9 Newer figures
place the cost at more than $500 million.10
Done with that, now who has one for me to light up?
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Interesting, thanks Craven. I'll have a look

Oh and passing one your way buddy
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
I don't want my kid to be looked after by a pothead teacher.
Dude, I'm a teacher. I smoke pot.

I don't smoke in the classroom, or anywhere at school. I don't show up to work stoned, or burnt out. I don't spend my classtime referencing Cheech and Chong, or my grading and prep time using my students' homework for rolling papers.

I teach my students. They enjoy my lessons. They tell me they learn a lot. My administrative supervisors tell me that I get excellent results. Parents usually like me, and when they don't, it's usually because I am a tough grader, and demand that their kid pay attention and produce work, rather than slide by and get an A because they're in private school.

What on earth about the fact that I prefer to smoke a bowl rather than have a couple of drinks on my evenings off or on the weekends is at all relevant to my ability to teach my students, help them relate to the knowledge that I bring, and get them inspired about what they're learning?

As for the OP, I am (unsurprisingly) deeply in favor of legalization. There's no reason it should be illegal, and every reason that (as Plan9 said), it should be legal, taxed, and regulated. I think the fact that it will still be illegal under Federal law is of negligible impact. State law enforcement priorities will shift away from going after pot growers, sellers, and smokers as a goal in and of itself. If it happens to be used some to put pressure on suspects in other, graver crimes, that might be a short-term problem we just have to deal with. Because if it goes legal in California, that is just putting up a giant expiration date on Federal criminalization of weed. It will only be a matter of time.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:16 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Likewise, there's a reason that I am familiar with Colorado MMJ.



Am I the only one getting the creeps that we have topics about legal pot and legal castration on the same day?
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:35 AM   #23 (permalink)
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A little off to the side of the topic, but I just re-read the statement in the OP. 'State law doesn't trump federal law' . I'm not a constitutional lawyer, but I think the Constitution says 'the states shall govern themselves within their own borders'. Or something to that effect. So in fact, wouldn't it 'trump Federal law' within the borders of California?
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:06 PM   #24 (permalink)
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State law does not trump federal, as we obviously see in the Arizona law dealing with illegal immigrants.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:46 PM   #25 (permalink)
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A little off to the side of the topic, but I just re-read the statement in the OP. 'State law doesn't trump federal law' . I'm not a constitutional lawyer, but I think the Constitution says 'the states shall govern themselves within their own borders'. Or something to that effect. So in fact, wouldn't it 'trump Federal law' within the borders of California?
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:33 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I think it's worth keeping in mind the fact that supporting marijuana legalization is not necessarily the same thing as supporting Prop 19. While acknowledging the dangers of legalizing pot - from the potential increase in usage rates to the unpleasant likelihood of a Big Marijuana lobby - I completely support legalization. There's simply no reason for pot to treated much more seriously than alcohol.

That said, Prop 19 is far from perfect. Besides being poorly written, here are some other problems:

1) We have no clue how much tax revenue it will bring in.

First of all, Prop 19 is remarkably vague about the taxing scheme. The nature of the taxation structure will have a major effect on total government revenue. Will counties compete in a race to the bottom on taxation rates in order to attract marijuana grow operations? What will the tax rates even be? Second, tax revenue estimates have been all over the place. Proponents suggest California could reap up to several billion dollars per annum, while the California Board of Equalizations predicted annual revenue of $1.4 billion. However, the RAND Corporation Drug Policy Research Center's report on this issue suggests the number could be far larger - or smaller - than that. It's simply impossible to predict. Third, we have little understanding of a number of related issues - like the kind of tax evasion we can expect, the effect of a legal California market on the rest of the country, usage rates of legal pot, and the popularity of the personal growth allowances in the proposition.

2) How will the federal government react?

California, and the other medical marijuana states, are already operating in a sort of legal gray zone. The Bush administration raided pot dispensaries and arrested many individuals involved in California's legal pot trade. Obama's administration has basically decided not to do this. Legally speaking, both administrations seem to be on solid ground. It's extremely unclear whether or not California could get away with legalization, or what would happen. Maybe Obama would choose to crack down on west coast pot, perhaps to look tough on a law-and-order issue? Maybe Obama wouldn't do anything, but another future administration would? Some even argue that legalization would be worth it, even/especially if the federal government cracks down on it, because it would open up the topic for discussion.

3) How will the rest of the country react?

California can easily grow enough marijuana to supply the entire United States. One possible scenario has underground market marijuana distributors acquiring up to 100% of their product in California - perhaps even legally, thanks in part to the now-lower prices - and simply driving it to the rest of the states (well, the other lower 47 anyhow). This could seriously piss off the citizens and politicians in these other states, which could then result in interesting political repercussions for California.

I'm sure there are more issues that I can't think of right now.

Anyone seriously interested in this topic should read the RAND report here.

That's a long report, so here are some much shorter papers on some of these issues:

This RAND working paper discusses the ability of California to supply the rest of the US with pot.

This RAND working paper discusses excise taxation and tax evasion, as it applies to marijuana legalization.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:17 PM   #27 (permalink)
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2) How will the federal government react?

California, and the other medical marijuana states, are already operating in a sort of legal gray zone. The Bush administration raided pot dispensaries and arrested many individuals involved in California's legal pot trade. Obama's administration has basically decided not to do this. Legally speaking, both administrations seem to be on solid ground. It's extremely unclear whether or not California could get away with legalization, or what would happen. Maybe Obama would choose to crack down on west coast pot, perhaps to look tough on a law-and-order issue? Maybe Obama wouldn't do anything, but another future administration would? Some even argue that legalization would be worth it, even/especially if the federal government cracks down on it, because it would open up the topic for discussion.
DOJ will VIGOROUSLY enforce CSA laws

The nation's top federal law enforcement official said the Obama administration would "vigorously enforce" drug laws against people who grow, distribute or sell marijuana for recreational use even if California voters pass a measure to legalize it.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:07 PM   #28 (permalink)
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i saw this on another forum.

interesting step
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:54 PM   #29 (permalink)
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That article makes it sound like the DOJ has nothing better to do. They really must have more pressing issues to deal with than someone with less than an ounce of marijuana...
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:04 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Sheriff Baca will continue to enforce federal drug laws on Marijuana, even if prop 19 passes.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said Friday his deputies’ marijuana enforcement would not change even if Proposition 19, which would legalize the drug in California, passes Nov. 2.

“Proposition 19 is not going to pass, even if it passes,” Baca said in a news conference Friday at sheriff's headquarters in Monterey Park.

Baca, whose department polices three-fourths of the county, was bolstered Friday by an announcement from the Obama administration that federal officials would continue to “vigorously enforce” marijuana laws in California, even if state voters pass the measure.

Baca said the proposition was superseded by federal law and if passed, would be found unconstitutional.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:56 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I don't think it'll pass but the scotus has been somewhat flip flopping on the issue. At least in regards to medical MJ use. Recently they refused to hear a case out of San Diego Ca. My guess is when it comes down to rec. use they'll find it uncon. for a state to over ride federal drug laws. Which I of course think is horse shit.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:54 PM   #32 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by im2smrt4u View Post
Right, one can only hope if the law passes then tests for marijuana would no longer be part of employment drug screenings.

As long as you are sober when you work, what does it matter? In fact, with the current laws for medical use, what would stop you from smoking while at work if you have a prescription?

It is worth noting that the proposed law indicates DUI regulations similar to alcohol. Clearly not the same thing, but I don't think people should be driving high so I'd say it is a good thing.
Wouldn't this drug be included in the current policies in effect for prescription
drugs such as narcotics & alcohol on the job? Get in an accident at work & you're tested.
The problem with MJ is that it stays in your system much longer.
How would one prove they are not impaired?

Are there tests that measure the actual amount of THC in your system & would they
be more costly? I would think so.
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Old 10-23-2010, 04:32 AM   #33 (permalink)
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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/23/op...gewanted=print

Smoke and Horrors
By CHARLES M. BLOW

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.’s recent chest-thumping against the California ballot initiative that seeks to legalize marijuana underscores how the war on drugs in this country has become a war focused on marijuana, one being waged primarily against minorities and promoted, fueled and financed primarily by Democratic politicians.

According to a report released Friday by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project for the Drug Policy Alliance and the N.A.A.C.P. and led by Prof. Harry Levine, a sociologist at the City University of New York: “In the last 20 years, California made 850,000 arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana, and half-a-million arrests in the last 10 years. The people arrested were disproportionately African-Americans and Latinos, overwhelmingly young people, especially men.”

For instance, the report says that the City of Los Angeles “arrested blacks for marijuana possession at seven times the rate of whites.”

This imbalance is not specific to California; it exists across the country.

One could justify this on some level if, in fact, young blacks and Hispanics were using marijuana more than young whites, but that isn’t the case. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, young white people consistently report higher marijuana use than blacks or Hispanics.

etc.
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:01 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I dunno.. judging from personal experience i would have to say that blacks and hispanics are a lot more brazen and open about their weed smoking. White smokers tend to be a bit more secretive about their smoking. Sometimes people forget that the stuff is illegal and they probably should not be smoking it outside in public and/or casually discussing it in public.

I don't doubt that there may be some kinda political or racist reasoning beihind the arrests, I just don't think that bigotry is the main or only factor in it. Weed smoking is still a bit more of a taboo in white communities/families than black or hispanic cultures/neighborhoods/whatever and that lack of taboo can lead to carelessness and make people overly-comfortable and too loose with something that is still illegal - leading to more arrests.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:09 AM   #35 (permalink)
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For an update, the proposition did not pass yesterday
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:18 PM   #36 (permalink)
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people who want to smoke are going to smoke anyways. socially i dont think the proposition not passing changes anything.

economically, its one more non-taxable item that the government cant get money from
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Pretty simple really, do your own thing as long as it does not fuck with anyone's enjoyment of life.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:02 AM   #37 (permalink)
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tax it so we can all carry on....

just like booze or cigs..........


wow.that was easy.
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