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January 12, 2010

California: Not Dysfunctional Enough!

Finally! The root cause of California's economic malaise has been identified: "not enough drug use".

The bill, authored by San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, would essentially treat pot the same way alcohol is treated under the law and would allow adults over 21 to possess, smoke and grow marijuana.

The law would also call for a fee of $50 per ounce sold and would help fund drug eradication and awareness programs. It could help pull California out of debt, supporters say, raising up to $990 million from the fees.

"Pot and prosperity" - they go together like "bag lady and shopping cart".

Posted by Kate at January 12, 2010 1:04 PM
Comments

Wait, haven't we spent decades and $$$ trying to ban smoking from every public and private corner, California included, but now we want to merrily allow people to smoke pot?

Politicians can be idiots.

Posted by: TJ at January 12, 2010 1:10 PM

Let's hope they don't pass this law or we'll lose many of our best and brightest here in B.C. as they flood across the border to bask in the sun of California.

I call on Premier Campbell to legalize pot in B.C., and I personally volunteer to run the franchise.

Posted by: dmorris at January 12, 2010 1:16 PM

the Temperance Wagon nutbars are gonna drop their tambourines over this one.

Posted by: hardboiled at January 12, 2010 1:18 PM

I've always thought that the war on drugs was and is a colossal waste of time and resources, but I wouldn't for a minute think that ending it is the key to financial health for California or anywhere else.

Posted by: Dennis at January 12, 2010 1:19 PM

as soon as I saw the title on drudge concerning this I thought of the lost potential of CO2 scam taxes, goofyfornia needs to stay ahead of the tax curve, welfare is a pressing issue:-)))

Posted by: GYM at January 12, 2010 1:20 PM

And, of course, it's a well-known fact that there are no moonshiners in Wackyfornia.

Posted by: mojo at January 12, 2010 1:24 PM

I'm not sure that the $990 M they are projecting to raise will make much a dent in the expected $40 B shortfall in 2009-10. Also, I wonder if that allows for the costs of the massive bureaucracy that will inevitably be required to deal with this new program?

Posted by: Shawn at January 12, 2010 1:26 PM

......and would help fund drug eradication and awareness programs.

Sweet ,sweet irony .

Posted by: Bill D. Cat at January 12, 2010 1:27 PM

As a signatory of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 the U.S. federal government will not permit it.

The U.S. federal government would be obligated to crack down on it or it would mean the end of the entire international drug war as it now exists, not just the marijuana part of it.

Posted by: Oz at January 12, 2010 1:30 PM

"Pot and prosperity" - they go together like "bag lady and shopping cart".
Posted by Kate at January 12, 2010 1:04 PM

You should see Amsterdam sometime. I lived and worked there.

It works wonders on those who can't understand how freedom can be reconciled with personal responsibility. Tolerance doesn't need to equate with support.

Posted by: hardboiled at January 12, 2010 1:32 PM

Down on gays, up in smoke California is a joke!

[If they buy their pot from BC and the feds get to tax it and my taxes go down significantly, I may be persuaded to reconsider.]

Posted by: EyesWideShut at January 12, 2010 1:35 PM

Why should have to pay tax on my beer while potheads get away tax free?

Posted by: Eric-Vancouver at January 12, 2010 1:38 PM

Who cares?

Posted by: Abe Froman at January 12, 2010 1:40 PM

If these cretins were on the real cutting edge of progressive thought, they would be banning peanuts on all flights......;)

Posted by: Doug at January 12, 2010 1:48 PM

Well,it's finally happening...The monkeys are taking over the zoo

Posted by: Squiggy at January 12, 2010 1:54 PM

Is Dysfunctional another word for Liberal?
Think of Caledonia when you read this report:

http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=961
and this from the CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/09/23/bc-moose-hunt-blockade.html
"Local First Nations want to stop what they call the "open season" on moose in their traditional territories and are worried about over-hunting. They are telling hunters already in the area to leave.

"[We] don't want our moose to end up like the fish in the Fraser," said Annita McPhee, chair of the Tahltan Central Council,"
Nah! It's not about mining.

Posted by: Gunney99 at January 12, 2010 1:59 PM

California . . . following the best advice of Sean Penn and employing the Chavez effect


http://tinyurl.com/ydujx34

Posted by: Fred at January 12, 2010 2:00 PM

I think that this might be a good idea. I don't think it will balance any budgets but it will generate revenue and allow the state to manage pot consumption and pot farming, etc. It will get rid of pot cartels (if there are any) and it will definitely save big money in the criminal justice system, policing, etc.

I've been to the Netherlands a few times and I know they have legalized and controlled soft drugs for a while now and that there soft drug usuage has actually decreased quite a bit in comparison to the US (based on what I had read there) and the gov't has saved/made a lot of money to boot.

I'm not sure about hard drugs. If there was a way to control and distribute or regulate hard drugs that would shut down Afstan, central America and Asia, and still keep people safe then that would be good as well.

Posted by: cconn at January 12, 2010 2:00 PM

California arrests more than 70,000 people each year for marijuana possession - not trafficking - at an estimated cost of $170 million for police, courts, and incarceration. Since incarceration alone costs $35,000 per prisoner per year, this suggests that fewer than 4,000 people are actually jailed for a year for possession.

2 million Californians admitted to smoking pot in the last 30 days, according to a recent poll. Say the average user lights up once a week; that's about 3 ounces per year. $50/ounce tax * 3 * 2 million = $300 million. Assume an equal amount is spent by visitors to California. Total savings and new revenue: $170 million in foregone war on drugs costs, + $300 million from Californians + $300 million from visitors.

Adds up to less than $1 billion, and they have a $40 billion deficit. Don't see how this is going to cure the situation, but at least people will be mellowing out...

Posted by: KevinB at January 12, 2010 2:01 PM

Amsterdam is quite the example of what happens when pot is legalized. Along with it comes all the other things we love in our neighborhoods.

Posted by: Smitherenzes at January 12, 2010 2:06 PM

I think that this might be a good idea. I don't think it will balance any budgets but it will generate revenue and allow the state to manage pot consumption and pot farming, etc. It will get rid of pot cartels (if there are any) and it will definitely save big money in the criminal justice system, policing, etc.

I've been to the Netherlands a few times and I know they have legalized and controlled soft drugs for a while now and that there soft drug usuage has actually decreased quite a bit in comparison to the US (based on what I had read there) and the gov't has saved/made a lot of money to boot.

I'm not sure about hard drugs. If there was a way to control and distribute or regulate hard drugs that would shut down Afstan, central America and Asia, and still keep people safe then that would be good as well.

Posted by: cconn at January 12, 2010 2:07 PM

cconn, maybe you should dial back a bit on the weed yourself.

That way you won't forget about hitting the "post" button and making the same comment twice.

Posted by: Cranky or Just a Crank at January 12, 2010 2:14 PM

Tom Ammiano, having played a large role in making San Francisco what it is today (board of "education", board of supervisors) is now devoting his energies to taking the rest of the state down the same path.

Barring another bike accident or something similar, or the offer of my dream job here (something that employers haven't been lining up to do), I'll be gone in four months, and the state, Santa Clara county, and the city of Mountain View will lose yet another taxpayer who puts minimal demands on state and local government.

Posted by: Silicon Valley Jim at January 12, 2010 2:21 PM

This is where I differentiate myself from being between a Conservative and a Libertarian...I think California has a good idea but if they think they could control and massively tax the product like they are suggesting they are in for a rude awakening. Pot is super easy to grow into a good potent quality product. It's the main reason why governments will not legalize pot: It's too easy to grow, dry and smoke.
You can't grow tobacco in your garden and expect to just dry it and expect the smoke to be as smooth as your pack of Players or DuMaurier.
Same thing with booze...Oh sure some save a few bucks by brewing their own beer or wine, but who can claim they come up with a decent drink?...Every one I've tasted was inferior to the purchased stuff. Hard booze is too dangerous to even consider legalizing stills.

So, forget collecting 50$ an ounce for weed...They could save tremendous amounts in the legal system though...But that would put a lot of lawyers and other layers of gov. out of work so expect much resistance.

Posted by: Right Honorable Terry Tory at January 12, 2010 2:30 PM

Why $50? I'm not a user, is that comparable to liquor or tobacco tax?

Posted by: Norman at January 12, 2010 2:50 PM

"Oh sure some save a few bucks by brewing their own beer or wine, but who can claim they come up with a decent drink?...Every one I've tasted was inferior to the purchased stuff."
Posted by: Right Honorable Terry Tory at January 12, 2010 2:30 PM

Whoa whoa whoa. Hit the brakes pal. You've gone over the line on that one.

You want a coloured vinegar drink, head down to your local government owned retail outlet.

You want a smooth dinner wine, an evening refreshment, a palate stimulator, you need Smitty's tried and true naturally aged fermented fruit beverage.

You'll never support state run booze'n barf again.

Posted by: Smitherenzes at January 12, 2010 2:54 PM

So if you buy an ounce you send the State 50 bucks? I can see de-criminalizing or not throwing people in jail but legal? Too easy to by-pass the government. Would I pay tire or electronics taxes if I could avoid it? Rycycle fees on my milk carton? I can't see how it would be enforced. Throw people with counterfeit dope in jail?

Posted by: Speedy at January 12, 2010 2:55 PM

hardboiled.....I have seen Amsterdam.....many times and it is a disgrace. Even the Dutch are now seeing it and are putting the clamps on.

Posted by: John Luft at January 12, 2010 2:55 PM


KevinB said: "Say the average user lights up once a week; that's about 3 ounces per year."

Whoooaaaa Baby,,,,,,, don't mean to be dis-respectfull and all, but you might want to rethink that one. The average user blows thru an OZ per month if not more. California Medical Marijuana is around $100 an ounce, if the Gummint takes 1/2 that the other $50 bucks goes into the economy. So, that would be $100*12*2 Million. Not to mention; California's population right now from the US Census stands at roughly 37 Million, plus 5-10 Million Illegal Mexicans that's close to, oh say, 45 Million, and more than likely 1/2 those smoke pot. Why the hell else would you live in California ? So, that figure could be $100*12*20 Million.

I say legalize it, Tax the hell out of it and then cut the Budgets to ATF, the Drug Czars, the Police Dept., and finally the Prisons, the Detention Centers and the Drunk Tanks. And, it would devastate Mexico, and that my Fellow SDAer would be a MAJOR BONUS.

Of course, the downside is this will kill the TV show COPS who won't have any bums to bust anymore.
,

Posted by: Ratt at January 12, 2010 3:01 PM

Don't forget to tax the munchies!

Posted by: Mississauga Matt at January 12, 2010 3:06 PM

Hard booze is too dangerous to even consider legalizing stills.
~Right Honorable Terry Tory

Distillation was legally prohibited because here because the generation at the time of the prohibition often made the copper condensing coils from used automobile gas lines to build their reflux condensers.(stills)
The coils were lined with lead from the gasoline and people were poisoned and blinded by the lead content leached out by the alcohol, not the booze itself.

I'm sure people here could use clean new copper piping today and distill alcohol with zero ill effect or even acquire glass piping or stainless steel for the condenser coils just as people do in New Zealand today where private distillation of alcohol is still legal and widely practised.

Posted by: Oz at January 12, 2010 3:08 PM

Why legalize the sale of pot in California when the hippies who have been in possession of the drug illegally in the first place and running the state into the mess it is into today.

Posted by: Shawn at January 12, 2010 3:13 PM

Paging Dalton MacGuinty! Paging Dalton MacGuinty!
Another sin tax from California for you to contemplate for the citizens of Ontario.

Posted by: The Glengarrian at January 12, 2010 3:18 PM

Legalize it all but don't tax or control it in any manner.
I say you have the right smoke or stick whatever you want into your body. I however should have the freedom not to pay for any of the results (i.e. medical care or treatment) and I'm fully prepared step over your dieing body and spit on you as I do so. I also reserve the freedom to shoot you dead if your right to abuse your body impacts my right to live unmolested.

Never insulate anyone from the consequences of their choices. If death is the result - so be it.
Dave.

Posted by: Dave_RoA at January 12, 2010 3:19 PM

Judging by the number of recreational users, I wouldn't think that drug awareness needs more funding.

Posted by: Kathryn at January 12, 2010 3:20 PM

As a fair citizen in the wackier bay area part of wacky Cali, I can safely say that cannabis is already legal here. And it's being taxed. All you need is a cannabis card which anybody with any urge whatsoever can obtain.

Posted by: sorta39 at January 12, 2010 3:26 PM

Just remember friends, dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope.

I couldn't resist. :)

Posted by: The Phantom at January 12, 2010 3:47 PM

Considering the HUGE Costs of non-legalized drugs: (wasted) law enforcement, incarceration, violence ancilliary crime (Because so many drugs are illegal. it forces the growers, distrubuters and consumers to settle their differences of opinion the hard way, rather than some commercial way.)

I think it should all be legalized on the Beer model, you can brew/distill/grow as much as you can use personally, but may not sell.

Commercial sellers must have the usual commercial licenses and pass inspections and pay taxes.


As to the objections I remind everyone that Beer was not legal to self brew legally inthe US until quite recently, and relegalizing caused no fuss (Ditto the wine types). Distillation is alive and well in New Zealand (1000's of stills), and some European countries without causing everyone to drop dead. Laudanum ( Opium in a alcohol base, IIRC) was OTC for well over a century... yes, people got hooked, no it wasn't a huge deal and didn't give rise to massive criminality.

Prohibition in the US was a disaster creating a powerful organized criminal class almost from nothing, repealing it wasn't, & prohibition encouraged the use of harder alchohol ( easier to ship for smugglers ).

History has shown that given legality *most* people who are keen on it consume fairly responsibly and it results in less crime, and general governmentally driven stupidity and fraud & violence.

Of course you'd have to change the law to make "underthe influence" a serious aggrvating factor too.

Posted by: Fred2 at January 12, 2010 4:08 PM

Another reason why drugs should be banned.

Posted by: Osumashi Kinyobe at January 12, 2010 4:16 PM

We should ban stealing, prostitution, and riding bikes without helmets too then, just so's everyone is safe.

Posted by: hardboiled at January 12, 2010 4:29 PM

Even the Dutch are now seeing it and are putting the clamps on.
Posted by: John Luft at January 12, 2010 2:55 PM

Shame they're ain't a bullshit meter on posters who either have no idea what they're talking about - or are deliberately putting out false info.

For those curious, you might want to look up the concept of 'crimogene'.

Posted by: hardboiled at January 12, 2010 4:33 PM

Excellent logic.

Shawn @ January 12, 2010 1:26 PM

'Also, I wonder if that allows for the costs of the massive bureaucracy that will inevitably be required to deal with this new program?'

True, Shawn, California would incur costs setting up government pot shops...However,

we in Canada have them in the form of government liquor stores. No up front costs.

I don't toke, but since alcohol is more lethal than pot, may as well collect $40 per sale.

There could be as many tokers in BC as there are drinkers.

There's no stopping it. May as well make it cleaner, safer and more tax worthy.

Posted by: TG at January 12, 2010 4:43 PM

It's why the end of prohibition signaled the death of organized crime.

Posted by: Kate at January 12, 2010 4:43 PM

Ratt, baby, let's say everything you say is true.

12 * 100 * 20 million = $24 billion. Cuts their deficit in half, OK, but they still have close to a $20 billion deficit to deal with.

And an OZ a month? Maybe for 1970's pot that was 3-5% THC, but today's superpot at 20-25% THC level? I have a friend who uses medical marijuana, and he tells me that he can barely get through half a joint. And he doesn't feel the need to smoke every day, just a few days a week. (By the way, he holds down a responsible job in IT, just for those who think smoking pot makes you a lazy degenerate.) I don't doubt there are some who do use that much, and maybe more, but I would guess the average smoker gets high on weekends, but Sunday to Friday leaves it alone.

Posted by: KevinB at January 12, 2010 4:46 PM

hardboiled.....Amsterdam is a disgrace. Been there many more times than you, no doubt. Although probably not as stoned as you. Druggies tend to defend their habit.

Posted by: John Luft at January 12, 2010 4:47 PM

"Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: Vitruvius at January 12, 2010 4:51 PM

In fact, if you want to see all the carnage, and drug addled crime and mayhem that goes on in Amsterdam right here:

http://www.eyelogue.com/donniecam.html

Or, maybe you'll just see a beautiful northern European city that's safe, clean, and has tasty pannekoken and genever.


Posted by: hardboiled at January 12, 2010 4:58 PM

Yes Kate, and if only the end of the war on drugs would signal the death of our current government.

Posted by: dr kill at January 12, 2010 5:05 PM

I've been saying for a while that “potheads are nuts” wishing for legalization. Say good-bye to the $10g! Pot is the only product I'm aware of that is immune to inflation.

Comparing pot to cigarettes is ridiculous considering tobacco kills you and pot doesn't. The only thing they have in common is the intake method. In my little moral world, pot is by far less destructive than cigarettes, alcohol and any other hard drug. You simply must look at the harm wrought on society/families comparatively; although, I'm not condoning the prohibition of the others nor supporting the legalization of pot.

Posted by: Indiana Homez at January 12, 2010 5:20 PM

Vit, thanks for that timely quote.

The vast majority of our politicians, even so called conservatives, do not even pay lip service to Thomas Jefferson's thoughts. They have been too exposed to the Marxist view and not enough to that of classical liberalism.

Posted by: Ken (Kulak) at January 12, 2010 5:59 PM

It's why the end of prohibition signaled the death of organized crime.
It certainly ended a simple and lucrative stream of illicit revenue.
And you can bet that prohibition fueled the explosive growth
of organized crime in the twenties as it has fueled that growth in the last few decades.
And do you know who is on your side and Harper's side on this issue?
Organized crime. Sane drug policy would kill the goose that lays their golden eggs.

Posted by: phil at January 12, 2010 6:36 PM

I have never heard of anyone smoking a joint and going home and beating the wife and kids, can't say the same about booze.
Yes the average smoker will smoke an ounce a month.
Causes cancer? Show me the studies that tell you that.
Driving under the influence? Testing is available.
Before you say I am defending my habit, let me tell you that I can pass a random drug test at anytime and have passed two in the last year.
Legalize it, tax it,(tax avoidance is epidemic anyway) and forget about it.

Posted by: kermit at January 12, 2010 6:39 PM

Many things made prohibition moonshine toxic.
1. Use of contaminated copper pipe for condensers...including lead solder.
2. The nasty habit of dumping car batteries in the mash to make it work faster.....lead...
3. The fast profit to be made by increasing profit by adding wood alcohol....methol is toxic.
4. the risk of toxicity from careless distilling...9 different types of organic alcohol beside ethyl. some make ya sick...others kill ya...quick.
The commercial environment had a nasty trait to be quite trigger happy....
Then, of course, the spectacular explosions....alcohol stills are notorious for this...especially the clandestine ones.

Posted by: sasquatch at January 12, 2010 6:46 PM

"Pot and prosperity" - they go together like "bag lady and shopping cart".
Lol Kate. If they think they had a weight problem before?

What are the Nazi smoking police going to do now!!! The irony is to sweet to bare. You can puff away like a respectable Herb-avore on something that really can effect second hand users. While nary a whiff of tobacco allowed.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at January 12, 2010 7:47 PM

I will say one thing about the law and organized crime. Cutting the excise tax on tobacco would put the illegal smoke shacks around here out of business in a day. Poof, gone. We know this because they did it already. Cut taxes, crooks had to find new products.

I can only expect the same thing will happen to grow ops and smuggling the day government can no longer afford the luxury of continuing the ban on weed.

Economics 101.

Posted by: The Phantom at January 12, 2010 9:35 PM

If it is true that 1 in 4 is a recreational pot smoker then doesn't it make sense to deal with it in a rational manner?

Besides, if it is a 1/4 ratio, then my office of 100 people has 25 potheads and outside of a few obvious ones, the other 21 are not obvious at all and are well dressed and managing to hold down pretty good jobs. No 60's hippies hanging on my floor.

Posted by: Aizlynne at January 12, 2010 10:06 PM

Just what's needed in California, more dopes! Abe Froman, people smoke dope because they don't care about anything or anybody, and makes them care even less.

Posted by: larben at January 12, 2010 10:07 PM

Pot can be laced with some very bad, nasty drugs. Legalizing pot would make it tougher to crack down on distribution of the hard drugs, as some of them can be easily hidden in the legal ones.

And once they are legal, the police probably can't seize and test them.

Just something to consider.

Posted by: mecheng at January 12, 2010 10:17 PM

one step from the Korova Milk Bar

Posted by: cal2 at January 12, 2010 10:30 PM

Haha! From the 7th largest economy in the world to last resort for 1960's sh!theads.... a bankrupt commune.... a social experiment doomed to failure.

The last adults left Kalifornia 20 years ago or retreated to their castles, filled the moats, pulled up the drawbridges and posted the armed guards.

Now all we're waiting for is new generation of Manson's.....

Posted by: OMMAG at January 12, 2010 11:10 PM

Lots of comparisons to Amsterdam. One thing to keep in mind, there are quite a few Dutch people there. That might be a factor in the way people behave.

Posted by: dp at January 12, 2010 11:26 PM

Drugs are bad, drugs are bad. Just keep repeating the mantra as you sip on a beer.

Pot is BC's largest export. It's not being taxed. The profits are going to organized crime. A significant portion of the population in North America already smokes pot on a regular basis.

If cute little comments can take the place of rational analysis then just quip away Kate. I for one, think our current approach has failed.

Posted by: Adune at January 12, 2010 11:42 PM

I'm in the other camp on this one Kate. Reality is that many Canadians choose to smoke the herb, which ends up as cash in the pockets of the HA or some other gang. Canada should follow this policy. Think of the tax revenue that could go into Government coffers...better to raise taxes or tax/sell pot and take away income from criminal organizations. As for the pot is a stepping stone to hard drugs...baloney...some people who drink beer might become raving alcholics, should we ban it??

Posted by: McBeaner at January 13, 2010 4:45 AM

"Pot is super easy to grow into a good potent quality product. It's the main reason why governments will not legalize pot: It's too easy to grow, dry and smoke."
Posted by: Right Honorable Terry Tory at January 12, 2010 2:30 PM
Easy solution. You want to grow pot you have to get a licence. You go to the Department of Agriculture and for a fee you get a licence to grow pot. The greater the number of plants the higher the fee. All growers are then registered. Then a couple of times a year the Department of Agriculture Inspector comes by to count the number of plants you have. Inspections can be done at any time and you will not be informed prior to the Inspectors visit. If you have more plants than you are licenced to grow you are fined. The fine would have to be very big say $50,000 to $100,000. If you are growing without a licence you get fined even more say $100,000 to $500,000. If you cannot pay the fine there are a number of options your wages are garnisheed to pay the fine, or property is siezed to the value of the fine if that fails then serious jail time.
By making it extremely costly to break the law you discourage people from not registering.

Posted by: redneck at January 13, 2010 5:47 AM

Adults can't be allowed to make choices like these! Smoke and grow pot? What next? Brewing your own beer and wine? Unregistered firearms?
Marketing your own grain? The horror! The horror!

Posted by: Thomas_L...... at January 13, 2010 8:32 AM

For the sake of consistency, why smoking tobacco is an individual right, therefore good, and smoking pot is not a right and is bad?

Kate, you would be most qualified to clarify, as you keep posting these snippets.

Posted by: Aaron at January 13, 2010 9:08 AM

This is when the Libertarians start striking sparks off the Social Conservatives, Thomas_L. :)

I'd say the experiment has been done enough times for us to know that prohibition doesn't work, registration etc. doesn't work. Government does not posses the ability to make that work.

But shunning works. No jobs for pot-heads, no welfare for pot-heads, no apartments for pot-heads, soon you have a very low number of pot-heads. Its cold here in the winter, you know?

Shunning. Works awesome. Conservatives should know, frickin' liberal useful idiots do it to us all the time.

Posted by: The Phantom at January 13, 2010 9:23 AM

"would allow adults over 21 to possess, smoke and grow marijuana."
How are they going to tax something grown in a private home? On the honour system?

Posted by: lyle bert at January 13, 2010 10:13 AM

Lyle, good point. How do "they" tax home brew? They don't!
Phantom - Hell, let's shun each other! That oughta work great! Now, all I'd like to know, is how you'd know if I didn't tell you? I am a responsible adult. Have always worked. Have succeeded in my chosen field. Raised three decent, well educated and productive citizens. Things are good. How about you?

Posted by: Thomas_L...... at January 13, 2010 11:08 AM

"Now, all I'd like to know, is how you'd know if I didn't tell you?"

Well that's the thing, isn't it? The other half of the equation is, its none of my business what people do so long as they aren't doing it -to me-. So if you're functional and not being a problem for everybody, then there's no problem.

Drug addicts don't generally behave that way. They're busy feeding the habit by stealing anything not nailed down, engaging in prostitution, ruining their families lives, and etc.

Truthfully though, looked at with a cold, heartless eye the depredations of all the existing junkies of today are as nothing compared to the harm to society from the organized crime that supplies them.

What we are doing isn't working, and its slowly destroying our society by corruption. The rule of law can't survive when a third of the population makes a living by circumventing it. I'm sure some kind of tax/regulation regime would work no better, people will just duck it as they do with the tobacco taxes and regulations.

Giving people -back- the power to decide for themselves and sticking them with the consequences for the decision is about the only thing that hasn't been tried lately. Probably because it can't be used to justify a tax increase.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: The Phantom at January 13, 2010 11:41 AM

It's why the end of prohibition signaled the death of organized crime.
~Kate

Lucky Luciano had already formed "the Syndicate" in September 1931, the Volstead Act wasn't repealed until December 5, 1933.

The Syndicate got most of it's money from traditional organized crime sources such as racketeering(extortion), numbers(illegal gambling), prostitution, and theft (warehouses and hijacking trucks).
Control of the Unions was already in full swing and connection to the Unions allowed them to rob warehouses, trucks, and cargo offloaded at ports as well as to collect paychecks from "phantom" Union members and get a percentage of all Union dues.

By the time alcohol prohibition ended, organized crime was well placed to be the producers of the new legal domestic alcohol, make sure the workers who produced it were Union, guarantee the truckers who shipped it were Union, and still get the opportunity to rob foreign liquor shipments at the ports.

The Syndicate was also involved in getting money from the distribution of illegal drugs in the big cities and, as we all know, that part of prohibition never ended.

Posted by: Oz at January 13, 2010 12:18 PM

Phantom - I am not a drug addict. Cannabis is not actually a drug, except in legal terms, and I am only talking about Cannabis. I would argue, however, that the things you describe are the natural results of prohibition rather than the use of any particular substance. But anyway ... so what? We let people screw up their own lives, any way they see fit. What's different about drugs? Besides, prohibition is just so ... progressive. I wonder how modern conservatives can accept it?

Posted by: Thomas_L..... at January 13, 2010 4:17 PM

Some people are conservative because they don't like being pushed around, don't like seeing their money wasted by idiots, and don't think a government salary makes a man some kind of superior being.

Some people want to use the government for -their- ends, which differ from the present lot. They worry me.

Incidentally, don't mistake my position for support of dope smoking. Its one of the three stupidest things you can do in life, IMHO. (Its friggin' bad for you, duh.) Its just that the damage you can do as an individual is quite limited, whereas the damage that can be done by government officials trying to "fix" things is enormous. Unlimited, in fact.

In other words, keeping you in line isn't worth the crap I have to put up with to get it done.

Posted by: The Phantom at January 13, 2010 7:14 PM
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