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The New West


Kingpinn
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Welcome to Potopia, California

 

 

Where marijuana may soon be legal.

But how different would a pot-happy

Cali really look?

 

 

When it comes to legalizing pot,

it's easy to imagine the kind of radical

scenarios Californians are conjuring

in their heads. Perhaps they own a

business, and worry about high-as-a-kite

employees stumbling into work—submitting

psychedelic Power Point presentations to

drowsy bosses. Maybe they're parents,

wondering how their kids will react when

they come home from school to find mom

and dad sprawled out on the couch,

surrounded by cookie crumbs.

Or perhaps they're entrepreneurs,

their eyes bulging over the idea of

commercializing pot for good: imagining

billboards, popup bars,

and everything in between.

 

The predictable scenes from a

legalized California, should voters pass

Proposition 19 on Nov. 2,

are seemingly endless, and they've managed

to strike fear (and excitement) in the

hearts of many. But the reality is that

California became a kind of pot utopia

years ago—complete with clubs that

sell it, cities who tax it, and tourists

who hit the Pacific Coast Highway in search

of the Golden State's best bud. Prop 19

would make California a trailblazer,

legally. But would it really change that

much about the culture?

 

In government terms, Prop 19 would

shield Californians who have up to an

ounce in their posession from

prosecution—assuming they're 21.

It would allow adults who want to grow

the stuff to do so, in the privacy of

their homes, on up to 25 square feet

of land. Local governments could then

decide to sanction commercial production

(if they so choose), and tax its sale—using

the funds for things like libraries, parks,

or schools. But if approved, the measure

also would put California head to head

with the federal government,

where marijuana remains illegal

(and Attorney General Eric Holder

has vowed to "vigorously" enforce its ban).

Opponents wonder how it could possibly

work to have each of California's 478

cities implement separate taxation policies,

and question whether legalization would

cause usage rates to hit the roof.

Supporters push back with stats about

American dependence on Mexican drug

cartels, and the $300 million California

might save if it cut back on prosecuting

low-level marijuana offenders each year.

 

These are important legal (and financial)

questions. But for anyone who's been to

California recently, it's easy to forget

that recreational marijuana isn't permitted

there already. In 1996, California became

the first of 14 states to sanction medical

pot use; getting the state-issued ID card

that allows access to medical marijuana may

cost you, but it requires little more than

convincing a doctor you have cramps.

California is now home to thousands of pot

dispensaries operating both legally and

illegally, as well as a number of cities

where pot sales are being taxed—and even

a marijuana university. It's been estimated

that 400,000 Californians smoke pot legally

each year—and another 2 million do so illegally.

In a new national NEWSWEEK poll,

almost half of respondents said they'd

support a measure similar to Prop 19 in

their own state,

and 57 percent said they oppose the federal

government's right to prosecute legal

marijuana users in California.

 

Critics may be right when they say statewide implementation of a legalization measure

could be murky. As Sen. Dianne Feinstein

has put it, it would make for a "jumbled,

legal nightmare." But the truth is that

marijuana cultivation and distribution are already "tightly woven into [California's]

economy," as the Los Angeles Times has

written—part of a $14 billion industry

that's already grown in homes, and even

national parks. "People are no longer

outraged by the idea of legalization,"

as former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown

recently put it. "And, truth be told,

there is just too much money to be made [from it]."

 

It's impossible to predict how much Prop 19

could really change things, but perhaps

the best test case would be the city of

Oakland. There, commercial pot production

has been taxed since 2005, sold among

four licensed dispensaries operating downtown.

But crime hasn't gone up in Oakland as a result;

there aren't glassy-eyed potheads asleep

on benches around every bend. In fact,

regulation has done something of the opposite: licensed "coffee shops" have lured new business

to the area, and the $2 million in taxes that's

expected to come in this year, according to

the city's tax administrator, will go toward

things like filling potholes, renovating parks,

and funding recreation centers. "The reality,"

says Richard Lee, a local entrepreneur

(and Prop 19's primary sponsor), "is [that]

we're creating jobs, improving the city,

filling empty store spaces, and when people

come down here to Oakland, they can see that."

 

Come Tuesday, it may be precisely that kind

of economic lure that has the biggest impact

on California voters. But when it comes to

the cultural impact, it seems pot may have

already gone mainstream. "This is a new world,"

Robert MacCoun, a professor of law and public

policy at the University of California, Berkeley,

tells NEWSWEEK. "If you'd have asked me four

years ago whether we'd be having this debate

today, I can't say I would have predicted it.

" It may indeed be a new world, but it could

also look an awful lot like the current one.

 

Copy & Paste from :

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/25/prop-19-making-pot-legal-in-california.html?GT1=43002

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If you are in Lansing Nov 4th. Nothing better to do well come by and see us at the Court of Appeals. Probly be around 11: 00 am or so. Im 8th on the docket. See your courts in action. Building due west of the Capital Building the Hall of DOME LOL. Nothing else come see Matt Abel in action worth the price of addmision

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If you are in Lansing Nov 4th. Nothing better to do well come by and see us at the Court of Appeals. Probly be around 11: 00 am or so. Im 8th on the docket. See your courts in action. Building due west of the Capital Building the Hall of DOME LOL. Nothing else come see Matt Abel in action worth the price of addmision

 

 

420Peace Kingpinn,

 

Matt is gonna kick some arse!

Your good with Able...

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