Saturday, October 30, 2010
The final push for legalization
The election is only three days away and many campaigns are winding down. Not so the Yes on 19 campaign, which got a million dollar cash infusion from George Soros, the big money donor to progressive causes so often vilified by Fox News and other right wing media. This means there will be ads on TV featuring former San Jose police chief Joseph McNamara talking about how the drug war has failed.
I've seen a lot written about the topic on both sides, and the metaphor that I found most interesting was Nick Gillespie comparing it not to prohibition but to the Cold War, an omnipresent but rarely mentioned part of our society that spread its influence everywhere.
It's clear politicians will never change the laws. There's no money in it for them. But there could be plenty of money in it for us, the taxpayers who don't smoke. It will bring in a lot of revenue and help with overcrowding of jails. Also, if marijuana as a drug is legalized, it would take the stigmatization off people who cultivate hemp for other products. It's a very useful plant.
I'm not a parent, so I don't have the same concerns that many do. But I recently spoke to a man whose son's career in engineering is dogged by a conviction from years ago when he was caught smoking a joint on his porch late one Saturday night. Legalization is not a utopia, but we aren't exactly living in paradise now.
Again, I ask my friends and readers in California to vote yes on Prop. 19 this Tuesday. Thank you for your kind attention.