7 Reasons Why Cannabis is Driving Californians Crazy

Photo Illustration by David Fishman and John Yager

Photo Illustration by David Fishman and John Yager

As a journalist, I’ve been closely following the effort to legalize marijuana in California for at least the past five years. In the wake of Colorado, Washington and Oregon legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, there’s an assumption that California voters will follow suit in the November election. However, legally regulating cannabis for both medical and recreational use is turning out to be akin to herding cats. It doesn’t matter if you’re for legalizing marijuana or against it, there’s something not to like in virtually every proposal. Here are 7 reasons why cannabis is driving Californians crazy.

1. Marijuana Legalization Is Not A Slam Dunk

Those who think legalization is a foregone conclusion best think again. Last year the Public Policy Institute of California asked state residents, “Do you think the use of marijuana should be legal, or not?” Overall, 53 percent responded that it should be legal, 46 percent said it shouldn’t. Democrats favored legalization 63 percent to 36 percent, but Republicans opposed it 54 percent to 44 percent. While marijuana proponents are encouraged by the overall poll numbers, a 7-point spread today by no means ensures victory at the ballot box in November, especially on an issue that remains deeply divisive.

2. More Initiatives Than You Can Count On Two Hands And One Foot

When it comes to crafting initiatives, marijuana proponents face a difficult dilemma: They must placate the state’s existing medical marijuana community at the same time they reassure rural conservatives that all hell won’t break loose when and if recreational cannabis is legalized. To that end, there are currently 17 marijuana-related state initiatives attempting to gather enough signatures to qualify for November’s ballot. Which one is best? Nobody agrees! Check the madness out at Ballotpedia.

3. Weed Is The New Unicorn

In early January, Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker, of Napster and Facebook fame, threw down $500,000 for one of the 17 initiatives, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. According to mainstream media, Parker’s involvement instantly turned the AUMA into the frontrunner, despite the fact that few people have read, let alone understood the act’s voluminous 62 pages. Some members of the marijuana community who have read it are not impressed, and a major backlash to the AUMA has developed. It’s not like Parker has the Midas touch when it comes to marijuana initiatives. In 2010, he contributed $200,000 to Prop. 19, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act, which was somewhat surprisedly turned down by California voters, 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent.

4. Can’t We All Get Along?

To say that California’s medical marijuana community is divided on the 17 marijuana initiatives currently circulating would be putting it mildly. Many patients and growers who have for two decades navigated the state’s first-in-the-nation Compassionate Use Act passed in 1996 are deeply concerned that most of the initiatives currently circulating do not do enough to protect patient access. With every week bringing new evidence concerning marijuana’s efficacy in treating various diseases, especially cancer, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. The aforementioned AUMA grants cities and counties local control to continue banning the cultivation, distribution and sale of cannabis. The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative, the Cannabis Control and Taxation Act and the California Craft Cannabis Initiative would prohibit cities and counties from banning the cultivation and sale of marijuana. Read more about the differences between the initiatives here.

5. Local Control Remains A Major Obstacle

Current estimates of the amount of tax revenue that can be raised by legalizing marijuana range as high as $1 billion annually. That sounds like a lot of money, but it’s less than 1 percent of the state’s fiscal 2015-16 budget of $168 billion. It’s certainly not enough to convince rural counties and cities to abandon local control of their zoning districts, as evidenced by the reaction to the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act passed by the Legislature last fall. The act required the state’s 482 cities and 58 counties to create their own guidelines by March 1 or abide by state law. In response, many cities and counties moved to totally ban medical marijuana cultivation, distribution and sales. Pro-marijuana group Americans for Safe Access reports 97 cities and 10 counties have banned cultivation because of the deadline. Anderson has banned cannabis delivery services and Shasta County is currently working on new zoning restrictions. Meanwhile, on Jan. 28, the Legislature voted unanimously to remove the March 1 deadline and extend it indefinitely

6. Do The Crime But Don’t Pay The Fine

Measuring the effectiveness of the medicinal cannabis restrictions enacted by rural cities and counties, including Redding and Shasta County, is difficult. I’ve encountered many people in Shasta County who didn’t grow outdoors after Measure A went into effect last year. I’ve also encountered a few people who kept right on growing. For this latter group, the pay-off is apparently worth the risk, and figures recently released by Butte County may indicate why. Last year, the county spent $375,000 on enforcement, eradicating 34,556 plants and levying nearly $3 million in fines. Sounds like a money-maker, right? Except so far Butte County has collected just 6 percent of the total in fines, $175,171. Turns out many of the people cited didn’t live in Butte County, including illegal immigrants responsible for some of the largest grows, and have subsequently left the area.

7. Thanks Obama!

Taxing cannabis will not make illegal activity go away. Higher prices due to taxation will encourage consumers to seek out affordable alternatives. As long as cannabis remains a federally controlled substance that is illegal in most states, the black market will continue to exist to meet the demand. Don’t expect President Barrack Obama to provide federal relief via executive order before he leaves office. Legally, the president could remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, but he has shown no indication he is willing do so.

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas.
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74 Responses

  1. Randall R. Smith says:

    Add to the confusing array of legal mumbo jumbo a host of real medical concerns especially to developing central nervous systems and you have more reasons to go crazy over this matter.  Is the risk of permanent injury worth the benefit?  Is the burned out “pot head” a figment of an over wrought imagination? How long did it take to get treatment dollars imposed as part of cigarette use?  Is burning hemp more or less toxic to the human lung?  Do the supporters of increased availability have measures to protect the rest of us as well as those using?  Nothing so far speaks to the amount of active ingredients made available by which method of intake or the standards of which body will be responsible for insuring that all product meets those criteria.  Everyone assumes that THC is harmless and should be freely, quickly and universally available when much less toxic alcohol is carefully regulated, taxed, monitored and allowed for sale by a state and federal mechanism carefully crafted over decades.  Allowing local control of this matter only makes possible an endless nightmare of confusion, obfuscation and abuse.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      For sure, use by adolescents and younger children is an issue, because of potential harm to developing nervous systems.

    • Brian Kelly says:

      Fear of Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever. So please prohibitionists, we beg you to give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Marijuana Nationwide a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

      Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny, crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of marijuana legalization, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

      The prohibition of marijuana has not decreased the supply nor the demand for marijuana at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing citizens for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than alcohol.

      If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

      Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize marijuana when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

      Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and/or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Marijuana Laws.

      • Brian Kelly says:

        If prohibitionists really want to protect families from a drug proven to destroy lives and families, then they should be up in arms, protesting the legality of booze.

        Alcohol is the number one cause for traffic fatalities and domestic violence by a huge landslide.

        Alcohol is also infused into literally a ton of deserts and fruity drinks that “The Children” find appealing.

        Why doesn’t the much more harmful yet perfectly legal use of alcohol concern you prohibitionists more than relatively benign marijuana? It should.

        Regarding “The Children”,

        Let’s not use “The Children” as an excuse to prohibit and criminalize  adult use of a natural plant far less dangerous than perfectly legal alcohol because nobody condones child use, and this is about allowing adults only to choose marijuana.

        It’s our responsibility as parents by to educate our children on drug use. It’s not the government’s job to force Draconian Marijuana Laws upon every adult citizen under the guise of protecting “The Children”.

        What message are we sending our children when it is easier for them to obtain marijuana now with it being illegal than it is for them to buy alcohol?

        It doesn’t take the intellect of a genius to understand that stores card kids for I.D. Thugs and gang members do not. They also push the real hard drugs on children. Stores do not.

        Marijuana legalization will make it harder for children to obtain it.

        What message does it send our children when the President of The United States himself alongside a long list of successful people openly admit regular pot use at one time or another in their lives?

        While we tell our kids how it will ruin their futures, and then ensure so, by allowing our government to to jail our children and give them permanent criminal records when they get caught with a little Marijuana. Especially, if they are the wrong skin color or from the “wrong neighborhood”. Which in turn, ruins their chances of employment for life.

        The Prohibition of Marijuana is the wrong message to send our children while we glorify, advertise and promote the much more dangerous use of alcohol like it’s an all American pastime.

        The worst thing about marijuana and our children is what happens to them when they get caught up in the criminal justice system due to it’s prohibition.

        Protect “The Children” and Our Neighborhoods Through The Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana Nationwide!

        • Brian Kelly says:

          “Smoking marijuana is 114 times safer than drinking alcohol”

          http://rt.com/usa/234903-marijuana-safer-alcohol-deadly/

          “Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say”

          “Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say New study: We should stop fighting marijuana legalization and focus on alcohol and tobacco instead By Christopher Ingraham February 23

          Compared with other recreational drugs — including alcohol — marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use.

          Those are the top-line findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports, a subsidiary of Nature. Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.”

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/23/marijuana-may-be-even-safer-than-previously-thought-researchers-say/

          “The report discovered that marijuana is 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Researchers were able to determine this by comparing the lethal doses with the amount of typical use. Through this approach, marijuana had the lowest mortality risk to users out of all the drugs they studied. In fact—because the numbers were crossed with typical daily use—marijuana is the only drug that tested as “low risk.”

          http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2015/02/scientific-reports-weed-114-safer-alcohol

        • Brian Kelly says:

          The “War on Marijuana” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.

          Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our tax dollars fighting a never ending “War on Marijuana”, lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. It’s a no brainer.

          The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

          Marijuana is much safer to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

          Even The President of the United States has used marijuana. Has it hurt his chances at succeeding in life? If he had gotten caught by the police during his college years, he may have very well still been in prison today! Beyond that, he would then be fortunate to even be able to find a minimum wage job that would consider hiring him with a permanent criminal record. Let’s end this hypocrisy now!

          The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less marijuana “crimes” because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

          Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

          Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

          • Brian Kelly says:

            In the prohibitionist’s world, anybody who consumes the slightest amount of marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own homes are “stoners” and “dopers” that need to be incarcerated in order to to protect society.

            In their world, any marijuana use equates to marijuana abuse, and it is their God given duty to worry about “saving us all” from the “evils” of marijuana use.

            Who are they to tell us we can’t choose marijuana, the safer choice instead of alcohol for relaxation, after a long, hard day, in the privacy of our own homes?

            People who consume marijuana are smart, honest, hard working, educated, and successful people too, who “follow the law” also.(except for their marijuana consumption under it’s current prohibition of course) .

            Not the stereotypical live at home losers prohibitionists make them out to be. They are doctors, lawyers, professors, movie stars, and politicians too.

            Several Presidents of The United States themselves, along with Justin Trudeau, Bill Gates, and Carl Sagan have all confessed to their marijuana use. As have a long and extensive list of successful people throughout history at one point or other in their lives.

            Although that doesn’t mean a dam thing to people who will make comments like “dopers” and “stoners” about anybody who uses the slightest amount of Marijuana although it is way safer than alcohol.

            To these people any use equals abuse, and that is really ignorant and full of hypocrisy. While our society promotes, advertises, and even glorifies alcohol consumption like it’s an All American pastime.

            There is nothing worse about relaxing with a little marijuana after a long hard day than having a drink or two of alcohol.

            So come off those high horses of yours. Who are you to dictate to the rest of society that we can’t enjoy Marijuana, the safer choice over alcohol, in the privacy of our own homes?

            We’ve worked real hard our whole lives to provide for our loved ones. We don’t appreciate prohibitionists trying to impose their will and morals upon us all.

            Has a marijuana consumer ever forced you to use it? Probably not. So nobody has the right to force anybody not to either.

            Don’t try to impose your morality and “clean living” upon everybody else with Draconian Marijuana Laws, and we won’t think you’re such prohibitionist hypocrites.

            Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

      • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

        I agree, prohibition is extremely problematic, so is anything short of complete legalization, at least for adults.

  2. fred says:

    Alcohol is in no way less toxic than THC.

  3. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    “Everyone assumes that THC is harmless and should be freely, quickly and universally available…”

    Not really.

    Sure, there are marijuana proponents who insist that inhaling burnt marijuana into your lungs is harmless, and an even smaller cohort insisting that the stuff has miracle curative properties for anything that ails you.  But I think the majority of reasonable users think it’s akin to alcohol—not necessarily good for you, but not that bad in moderation.  As for believing that it should be universally available, I’d have to see the text of the initiatives that make marijuana available to minors to agree with that one—Colorado, Oregon, and Washington set the age for legal possession at 21.  Further, as R.V. notes, at least one of the leading draft initiatives provides for local control, which is the model used in other states.  Colorado counties and municipalities can opt out. Local governments can regulate the number of grow operations and dispensaries, or ban them.  They can assess additional taxes and local zoning and other ordinances regulating production, sales, and consumption.

    I’ve been to parts of the South where within 30 miles of your hotel you can have a whiskey sour in a bar in one jurisdiction, you have to buy a club membership license to have a beer in a BBQ joint in another jurisdiction (but no hard alcohol), and a third jurisdiction is dry.  It’s confusing to outsiders, and always seems ridiculous to me, but the locals appear willing and able to deal with it.

     

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      BTW, until I read about the double-blind studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals, count me as a skeptic of claims that marijuana has any curative properties.  I feel the same about so-called Eastern medicine (e.g., acupuncture and rhino horns), homeopathy, herbal extracts, crystal therapy, aromatherapy, healing hands, and other forms of alternative medicine.

      It’s clear that MMJ has value as an anti-nausea medication for people undergoing chemotherapy, but the alleged immunotherapy, anti-inflammatory, and other therapeutic properties are not established scientific fact.  But even if MMJ’s only benefit is making both acutely and chronically sick people substantially more comfortable, I don’t understand why anyone would want to deny that comfort to the ill.

      • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

        Yes, this is correct. Very few double-blind studies have been done in the United States–because it’s illegal, except for very limited use, for study purposes. The best research so far comes out of Israel.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      It has always amused me that you can’t drink Jack Daniels in Moore County, where it is manufactured, because it’s a dry county. WTF?

  4. Rod says:

    RV opens with a fun, funny joke…………

     

    “As a journalist, I’ve been closely following the effort to legalize marijuana in California for at least the past five years.” 

     

    If I may………………..

    As a resident, I’ve been closely following the effort to legalize marijuana in Shasta County for at least the past 45 years.

     

    See the difference RV?  You write very well about the cannabis community here at home in Shasta land.  But I write from within the cannabis community.

     

    #4 Can’t we all just get along?   Is the only real point your article provides.  Maybe you could write about why this is so.  Just be truthful.  Explain why we endure a preacher from Anderson who spews hate and torture from his elected position.  Tells us why our obese sheriff goes for the money.  Do you have the courage to break the status quo?

     

     

     

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I qualified my experience as a journalist. I’ve been following the subject since it’s been a subject. But as a journalist, I have to examine all sides, and I’ve been doing that for the past 5 years.

      The primary reason for division within the community is money. The folks who’ve been approaching this with from a big business perspective are throwing money at some of these initiatives. Smaller players, for example small scale farmers, are being left out in the cold, although there are some initiatives that are tailored to them. But they need money to gather signatures.

      There are numerous reasons why our county officials continue to reject marijuana. The primary reason, in my opinion, is that marijuana serves as a metaphor, a bogey man if you will, for the decline of “American values.” Whether it’s true or not, it resonates with conservative voters.

      • Rod says:

        That too bad RV, I opened a door for you, and you backed into the shadows.

         

        Money? No.  Guess again.

        Marijuana as a metaphor?  You’re hot on the trail.  Think outside your next paycheck.

        Boogeyman, values, no you’re losing traction.

         

        Try this……..Cannabis has aligned with man for thousands of years, since before  journalists, preachers,  and sheriffs.  Who are these animals who need to lord over their fellow man?  Shall we create a metaphor to describe their path in life?  Sure, you’re the man of written words…………..

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Rod, if you want this to go in the direction of a “libertarians vs. authoritarians” debate (or wherever you’re trying to make it go with your Delphic posts), why don’t you just say so?

          • Rod says:

            Because that would be untrue.  Why waste time?  Cut to the chase.

             

            Steve, why don’t you explain why there’s an overabundance of hate towards the cannabis community right here in Shasta?  Can you? Or won’t you?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Rod asks:  “Steve, why don’t you explain why there’s an overabundance of hate towards the cannabis community right here in Shasta?  Can you?  Or won’t you?”

            The reason why I can’t/won’t explain the “overabundance of hate” is because I don’t see it.  I haven’t been a frequent smoker of pot in decades.  However, most of my friends in this county are conservative Republicans, and many of them smoke pot—some of them on a daily basis.  They don’t hate the “cannabis community.” (I’m quoting you because I’m not exactly sure what the “cannabis community” entails, and if its existence means that I’m in the “craft beer community” and “big California reds community.”)  I would put my friends in that cannabis community, if consumers get to be included.

            I will say this:  I think there’s a weird disconnect in the ideology of Shasta County’s conservatives.  They see themselves as freedom-loving libertarians, and for the most part, the attitudes of my conservative friends regarding pot is reasonably laissez-faire.  But when it comes nut-cutting time, they turn weirdly authoritarian on a wide range of issues.  If our Sheriff wants to chase federal dollars to go after growers on private land, my friends seem supportive—if only with their unquestioning tolerance of his priorities, and their votes.

            Finally, if we’re being honest, I and others have legitimate concerns about illegal water diversions of growers causing great harm to local streams.  If you insist on labeling that concern “hate,” be my guest.  I like a good steak, and I come from a long line of ranchers, but I don’t approve of ranchers who illegally overuse their water rights and abuse streams.  Same damned thing.

          • Rod says:

            Come on Steve,  you’re very good on this topic.  If you step ona cow pie, do you get some stink on you?  Oh yeah.

             

            You can’t see it because you’re not aware of it’s existence.  Maybe explore the conversation within a different circle.  I asked my Catholic priest what is the church’s official word on Medical Marijuana.  Just like the Pope he said,  “EVIL.”   I left it right there but studied it for years.  Here we are, living in the Dark Ages.

             

            If you have an issue with “community”  try and see if “culture” is more comfy.  It only refers to the fact that cannabis use has been stygmatized into hiding.

             

            Yeah I’m lucky enough to live in cattle country too.  Water thieves( the rats) ain’t really the topic though is it?

             

            Can’t or won’t still stands.  You refuse to take the plunge?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Rod — Can’t, because I still don’t know what the heck you’re talking about.  It’s not that I won’t, because I’ll speak my mind about damned near anything.  I just don’t see things your way.  Cannabis use may be stigmatized into hiding among your friends, but my friends do it right out in the open.  At parties, around campfires, in hot tubs, riding chairlifts, at music festivals among thousands of people. It’s different in your neck of the woods?

            I’ll agree that you can find authoritarian fire-and-brimstone preachers in Shasta County who’ve gained some measure of political influence.  What possesses anyone to adopt a creed that advocates despising everyone who doesn’t believe exactly what you believe is a mystery to me—but in my experience, those people are in the minority (though they seem to think they’re not and always seem shocked to find otherwise).

            As for illegal water use and water quality degradation due to illegal grading and erosion not being part of the conversation….says who?  I’m reasonably certain neither of us gets to make that decision unilaterally.  As far as several key government agencies are concerned, water is the issue.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          That path has already been named. It’s called “the path of least resistance.” It’s the mediocre side of Nietzsche’s “will to power.”

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          Something I left out of this article, Rod: Bad Neighbor Syndrome, or BNS. You give people an inch, they take a mile. I was taught to check with your neighbor first before you plant a single seed.

  5. trek says:

    Todays morning news stated that 32 young Mormon men (under 18 years old) had committed suicide since the Mormon church recently voiced it’s view on gay rights within their church.  It appears that Mormonism is more deadly than weed. Maybe their trying to ban the wrong choice?

     

     

    • Rod says:

      Go easy Trek, you’re right, but you’re gonna steal my punch line.

       

      Thanks.

       

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      This story about the Mormon suicides is very odd. I read it in the Deseret News, a mormon paper, yet there are no sources for the 32 suicides, no confirmation that they were gay or straight, or even if there were actually any suicides. Very strange story.

  6. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    Admin here.

    OK, guys – I know people have strong opinions about this subject, but keep the personal jabs out of it.

    Edited to add that ad hominem attacks will be deleted. This isn’t the place for that.

    • Doni Chamberlain Doni Chamberlain says:

      Thanks, Barbara.

    • trek says:

      Maybe we can all gather around a fire pit and smoke a bowl. Oh heck! Lets make it a pot luck!

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Barbara, I can handle some ad hominem, as long as it’s not too rude. But I really don’t like it when people commenting on other people’s comments resort to name calling. So I can handle a little rudeness, it comes with the territory, but I can handle less rudeness when it comes to reader on reader verbal violence. LOL!

      • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

        I appreciate that, RV, but it’s not in keeping with A News Cafe’s policy of keeping the comments section troll-free and safe for all participants (unlike many forums and comment sections on the internet).  When the comments get rude, the entire tone of the site changes, and the kind people shy away. We don’t want that to happen.

  7. cheyenne says:

    RV, first I love the SOJ picture.

    Regarding the 53% Californians who favor legal MJ here in Wyoming NORML is trying to put legal MMJ on the ballot.  They state that polls show 70% of Wyomingites favor legal pot.  In ultra conservative Wyoming I doubt that number in fact NORML broke in to two different groups here because they couldn’t agree on how to pursue the election proposals.

    The other thing you bring up is the insanely long proposals.  I tried reading the Wyoming proposal and gave up, it would take a team of lawyers to figure out what it says.  For someone like me, and I would say most voters are in the same position, who doesn’t care so much about whether MJ is legal or not is but am more concerned with how the proposals will affect normal life.  I want to know what it says before I vote on it and in the present presentation I would vote against it.  I am not a prohibitionist, I smoked MJ when I was younger to get high.

    The one question I would ask is why the feds seem to be taking a hands off approach to Colorado on MJ but are supposedly targeting California.  I think it has more to do with state politics in Denver and Sacramento than on the federal level.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      It’ll be interesting to see what will happen if the GOP manages to take the White House and retain control of both houses of Congress.  Washington will then be run by conservatives who pretend to believe that the states—not the feds—should be making decisions on a wide range of issues.

      If there was any philosophical consistency to the GOP’s core principals, you would expect the GOP to back even further away from federal intervention in the affairs of the states, even regarding marijuana.

      Realistically, I would predict the busy-body evangelical wing of the GOP to demand and get federal crackdowns in the states that have legalized marijuana use.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      The thing about Wyoming and Colorado is they have altitude. Not the greatest environment for growing. So they go indoors, which in the long run, once CA is legalized, will be prohibitively expensive.

      Your point about changing the culture is well-taken. I understand totally why more conservative people are wary. Too many people in the grow game ignore their neighbors’ needs.

  8. Barbara N. says:

    Recreational use is one thing, but don’t underestimate the use of CBD. Ingested or topical. My sister in law is a nurse and she even said, as I questioned why it wasn’t brought up more in the doctors office, educate yourself.  I don’t judge adult recreational users. I also think whether it be recreational or medicinal we should be able to grow a small amount ourselves, outside.  There is always someone who tries to ruin a good thing for the rest. I don’t smoke pot but am very intrigued by the medicinal properties of CBD. Look where we are with what the real drug lords are pushing, why not herbal remedies…back to what is natural. I am not saying that modern medicine hasn’t helped a lot of people, but for some things, we should have an alternative…legally.

     

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      CBD is remarkable. I know this from stories I’ve done, my own experience, and the research that has been done so far. I can’t wait to see what the new research will turn up, it could be a revolution in medical care!

  9. Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    This site has so much class!  I was getting a bit creeped out there for a bit of this conversation, but more judicious and logical individuals stepped in and the hair on the back on my neck laid down.   A recent edition of National Geographic covered the medical research going on in Colorado now that scientists can take up the work that has been done in Europe for decades.  There are plants being grown that have no THC, but are rich in the chemicals that stop seizures in children and provide relief for cancer patients and people with other disorders.  I had imagined that recreational cannabis laws would follow the ground work of alcohol legislation.  Why recreate the wheel?  Thanks for a great article R.V.

  10. Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    Thank you Barbara Rice for being a critical part of Anewscafe.   Your work allows me to feel safe at this site.

  11. Kath Surbaugh says:

    Let’s see, I’ve been watching this a while, myself.  I was busted for marijuana in San Francisco in May, 1965, when having even a seed was a felony — maybe the 1st in the Haight-Ashbury district to be raided.  What I had, at that time, was about a pound of Acapulco Gold that I guy I’d help bail out of jail in Los Angeles came by and gave me, on his way to Philadelphia.  I also had half a dozen vials of injectable DMT and 20+ cube of Sandoz LSD along with some Remy Martin brandy I was enjoying with some friends over a rousing game of scrabble — when the SF police kicked in the door and treated me like a criminal.  I wasn’t a criminal.  I was a person interested in higher consciousness — for the sake of understanding life and myself and the world around me.  As I understand it, that’s what is illegal — the pursuit of enlightenment and perspective.

    Enlightened people are difficult — impossible? — to control, but the control-addicts among us (be they religious, political or economic) ceaselessly strive to suppress, drive out, render taboo, the sense of autonomy that comes of seeing one’s self as integral to the fabric of life that embodies us.  Fearless people can’t be dominated?  So, put them in jail and see how they act!  So, make it impossible for them to take out student loans or even get food stamps after you’ve made them unemployable through branding them felons?  Scare them with medical mumbo jumbo? On and on.

    Back then, I remember people said pot would be legal in five years or so.  I’ve heard it said, like that, for the past 50 years.  Have those committed to dominating and controlling others changed?  No, not much.  They’ve gotten better armed and some would say, increasingly boorish and brutal.  But people do still get high — high for the purpose of understanding the secrets of life in order to be in harmony with it.

    Oh, what I did, back there, 50 years ago:  I moved over to Berkeley and took a job with the State doing a transportation study, got probation for the pot but then went underground with the Viet Nam draft dodgers for three years, then surfaced and took  the real estate sales test, got the felony reduced to a misdemeanor and dismissed and haven’t so much as gotten a serious moving violation since.  But I haven’t come down.  I continued to give people LSD until that became illegal (May, 1966) while I worked for the psychiatrists who’d invented the word “psychedelic” and spent time at Timothy Leary’s place up in Millbrook, then was in Brookdale in Santa Cruz.  I told people, “the best way to take over the world is to buy it,” and facilitated communes and the like up in Garberville, driving a TR3 to show property.  Consciousness is unstoppable, it seems to me.  Once one’s learned the pathways, they can be retraced without pot of mushrooms.

    Today, millions of young people understand unity in a way that was quite revolutionary in 1965.  I call it progress. Aho!

  12. cheyenne says:

    The grows in Colorado are indoors because that is what the state requires, a secure indoor properly vented and security system with cameras.  When the MMJ legalization started to form Denver warehouses were readily available.  Lightning costa are the biggest expense.

    Colorado boasts having 300 days of sunshine a year though that has been a little less with recent storms.  The few illegal grows that have been confiscated have been around Pueblo and Grand Junction, about the same elevation as Viola.  A few rural towns that have hit hard times are looking to become MJ grow towns.  Walsenburg is one.  They are proposing to grow MJ in greenhouses thereby off setting the energy costs that hurt the Denver warehouses.  As hemp farms, outdoors, have been growing for two years now I think eventually there may be outdoor MJ farms too.

    The two problems that Colorado faces with the feds are banking and federal law concerning MJ.  The Fourth Corner Bank, a Colorado state approved bank for marijuana stores, can’t get approval from the feds to be recognized as a bank.  No reason seems to be given.  The other problem is businesses with a national presence, such as Walmart and Dish, walk a tightrope as far as MJ use by their employees.  A friend of mine at Walmart said the company still enforces zero tolerance and Dish fired a MMJ employee, which was followed with a lawsuit which Dish won.

    As far as Republicans, lobbied by the religious right, stopping MJ legalization that is not the case in Colorado.  As the state is very purple on its way to be more red Republicans have sought to repeal some laws put in place by the Democrats.  One law nobody is touching is the legal MJ law.  Why, because it brings in tax money that is liked by Republicans and Democrats.  I go to Colorado a couple times a week and my conservative friends rail against the ACA and the gun laws, that’s a different discussion, but nobody wants the legal MJ law overturned.

    I look to Wyoming eventually legalizing MJ, it won’t happen this election because of NORML’s own fault.  The group split into two, from what I gather the National NORML came in wanting to tell the state NORML what to do and the two sides split up.  And the religious left has a strong place away from the coasts.  At least two churches here in Cheyenne have tables set up on Sunday for people to sign the NORML petition.  And all but two churches in Cheyenne have supported gay rights.

    I don’t think the religious right are going to forge any stop to legal MJ because all politicans love more tax money and MJ brings that in.

  13. david kerr says:

    Where did the commercial pot growers who left Shasta County go?  I know of some property transfers and property transfer taxes paid.

  14. Rod says:

    For your reading enjoyment nice people……..

     

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/01/medical-marijuana-use-colorado-kansas-veteran-custody-battle

     

    RV crawl out here and take your lickin’.

    You floored the main question “Why can’t we get along”  You and I will demonstrate.

     

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Rod, can we assume you’re the Rodney Jones from Anderson who wrote this morning’s “Speak your Piece” on the subject that appeared in today’s local fish-wrap?  (I won’t provide a link for several reasons, not the least of which is that the op-ed is behind the RS’s paywall.)

      I remain baffled by your tone and abstruse nature of the “why can’t we get along” topic that you keep bringing up, but not addressing directly.  It’s hard to tell if you’re pitching way off the plate intentionally because you think you’ve got a 0-2 lead in the count, or if you’re incapable of finding the strike zone.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I too am baffled, Rod. That there are divisions within the marijuana community is evident from the 17 different initiatives alone. Do you want me to say you know more about marijuana than me? OK, you know more about marijuana than me. Are we getting along now?

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        R.V., I’m sorry to depart from the main topic here, but on the subject of getting along, well, I must say that having met you once, you seem an agreeable chap. I admire your talents as a journalist, too.

        But R.V., you admit to playing guitar in that open G tuning. Keith Richards mainly plays open G tuning, and everyone knows that Keith Richards is the spawn of Satan. R.V., I simply can’t live with being Facebook friends with a man who uses an alternate tuning on the guitar that is plainly evil. Therefore, I will be defriending you on Facebook until noon today.

        At 12:01 today, please be ready for my friend request.

  15. Lisa says:

    As a registered republican I refuse to let this issue part friends and the Cannabis community based on Party lines. I see several republicans making positive changes. I’m committed to civil discussion and representing the Cannabis community as conservative.

    Repeal, Deschedule no jail for a plant. As an advocate and an agriculture advisor, I support an ammendment to the California constitution.

    Lisa Gresham-Gordon

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I think we need 2/3 vote to pass a state constitutional amendment. A big ask!

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      No thanks, Lisa.  The U.S. Constitution is mucked up with two such amendments—the one creating the prohibition of alcohol, and the one repealing it.  California’s constitution is already such a mess that it warrants a constitutional convention just to clean the damned thing up.  Our state constitution has been changed over 500 times—it’s the most bloated constitution in America, and it’s getting worse.  (By contrast, the U.S. Constitution has been amended a mere 27 times, and that includes the Bill of Rights.)   In California, the initiative process is largely to blame—it’s far too easy to get a proposal on the ballot to change the state’s constitution.

  16. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    Admin here again.

    If some comments seem to be non sequiturs and have appeared out of thin air, it is because the comment they were replying to has been deleted.

    Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Thank you. Carry on.

    Mocking and/or snarking at admin or other posters is not allowed here.

  17. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    I was hoping I could do my little part in steering that fellow into meaningful discourse, but I think I would have had better luck teaching my dog to drive a car.

    Jojo’s Sunday drive.

  18. Virginia says:

    In 1970, I volunteer at an rehabilitated addict run live-in drug rehab facility.  All the addicts said, “You can’t handle pot any better than any other drug.”  One addict said I’d never be an addict because I wanted to be aware of life!

    Over the years, I found that alcohol wasn’t any better that other drugs.  Yes, the addict was right:  I want to be aware of life……

    Unfortunately, too many people need to handle life: good and bad.  Using Aztec Gold, pot, Mary Jane is not necessary.  How about working as hard to help people who think they can’t face life as  some do to legal another drug!

    No, I don’t drink or do drugs.  I don’t need them to make me feel better.  If I did, I’d go to a mental health provider ASAP, no excuse!

     

  19. cheyenne says:

    NORML just announced that MMJ will not be on the 2016 ballot in Wyoming.  They said part of the reason is Wyoming’s requirements to put a citizen petition on the ballot.   Wyoming requires signatures of 15% 0f voters in the last election and not just for the state, but in at least two thirds of the states 23 counties.  This prevents a monopoly by just a few counties to make decisions for the state.  This has resulted in only seven petitions reaching the ballot since 1968.

  20. cheyenne says:

    Oh, and administers, do you have a link to your trash barrel, I would love to read those deleted comments.  I promise I won’t make any nasty replies.

  21. Breakfast Guy says:

    I think it should be noted what Sen. Sanders said last night at the one-on-one New Hampshire debate:  Who is satisfied that millions have police records for possessing marijuana when CEOs of Wall Street companies who caused havoc to our economy have no police records.

     

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