Can Legalizing Marijuana Save California, Our Republic?

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America, and
especially California, are in dire economic straits. Their day of
fiscal reckoning is coming and it’s not going to be pretty. Consequently,
it is has been suggested that something dramatic will have to happen
for Congress to pass any form of relief because the American public
was bitterly against the TARP and the Stimulus bill. I’m not advocating
another massive bailout for the states, but it seems that if something
is not done soon to restore economic viability to
the United States, it will shatter into a million pieces.

Perhaps a shattering
of current systems is what is needed to rebuild local economies
with truly free markets. We certainly can’t count on the anti-capitalism
mega-monopolies, who have merged with Federal and state governments,
to fix this mess and provide for our local well-being. The economy
must grow one town, one city, and one state at a time in a free
and organic way. Incidentally, our Republic was designed to allow
this local freedom to govern and grow the economy as they see fit.

because of its rivers of red ink, is the first state making a serious
attempt to challenge Federal drug laws by voting on Prop
19 decriminalizing marijuana
. Less than a decade ago, ending
prohibition of marijuana would have seemed like a radical idea,
but today it seems like a harmless pragmatic solution to an economy
in crisis. Furthermore, the public is beginning to realize that
the prohibition of anything we wish to ingest, especially something
as mellow as weed, is anti-freedom.

has already proven that well-regulated medical marijuana markets
can work. It has created jobs, business opportunities, and has helped
thousands of ailing citizens who wish to have a healthier alternative
to pharmaceuticals. But many pot smokers, dealers, and growers are
still considered to be criminals. Russ Belville of NORML described
the current situation as follows:

Most marijuana
smokers, believe it or not, are healthy and aren’t comfortable
spending money for a doctor to give them permission to use cannabis.
Currently we face a ticket, fine, and misdemeanor drug conviction
record for possession an ounce or less of cannabis. That record
prevents us from getting student aid and can cost us our jobs, child
custody, and housing, or if we’re on probation, our freedom.
(Even if California succeeds at downgrading possession to an infraction
from a misdemeanor, a $100 ticket is a lot of money to some people!)
We face a felony charge if we grow even one plant at home. For us,
Prop 19 is much better than “what we have now”.

Despite the
Federal government’s call to halt DEA raids of medical marijuana
under Barry "Bong Hit" Obama, they’ve continued to sporadically
raid legal medical marijuana grow-ops and dispensaries. Prop 19
is a major battle for states’ rights as well as for individual
liberty. Decriminalization of weed would be a huge blow to the
Federal government – unless of course they finally realize
marijuana’s time has come. It will be very interesting to see
how the Feds will manage such a defeat in terms of controlling
the flow of legal marijuana out of the state, and their overall
approach to enforcing marijuana policy nationwide.

the rest of the article

8, 2010

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