Major Libertarian Victory Coming In November
No, not the presidential election. That's a libertarian nightmare no matter how you slice it.
But on that same day, California is apparently going to legalize marijuana. Here's the LA Times' coverage of the ballot measure when it got the required number of signatures back in May:
A measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California appears headed for the Nov. 8 ballot.
A coalition that includes former Facebook President Sean Parker on Tuesday said it has collected 600,000 signatures, more than enough to qualify the initiative.
Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and other supporters of the measure plan to kick off a campaign for voter approval of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act on Wednesday in San Francisco.
The measure would allow adults ages 21 and older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes and would allow individuals to grow as many as six plants.
"This November, California voters will finally have the opportunity to pass smart marijuana policy that is built on the best practices of other states, includes the strictest child protections in the nation and pays for itself while raising billions for the state," Newsom said in a statement.
The coalition, which includes some law enforcement and civil rights leaders, needed to collect 365,880 signatures of registered voters to qualify the initiative, which would also place a 15% tax on retail sales of the drug.
The use of marijuana in public and while driving would remain illegal. Parker, a billionaire who also co-founded the file-sharing service Napster, donated more than $1 million to the campaign to collect signatures and qualify the initiative.
More than 55% of California voters allowed the use of marijuana for medical purposes in 1996 when they approved Proposition 215.
Despite the defeat of a 2010 legalization initiative, a poll last year by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 55% of likely voters in California favor full legalization.
Newsom, who is running for governor in 2018, formed a blue ribbon commission on marijuana policy that made recommendations, many of which were incorporated into the initiative.
And here's some more recent polling data:
(Sun Times) - Latest polling numbers show California is poised to legalize marijuana come November.
When California voters head to the polls this November, chances look pretty good that a majority will vote "yes" on a measure to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use in the state.
According to the latest polling data from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), 60 percent of likely California voters say they generally favor legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
Just 37 percent of likely California voters say they oppose marijuana legalization.
Support for marijuana legalization among California voters is up from last year. In June 2015, PPIC polling data showed 54 percent of voters favored legalizing marijuana for recreational use while 44 percent opposed such a move.
"California seems poised to show its blue state credentials in the fall," Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO said in a release. "Voters today are signaling their early support for Democratic statewide candidates, tax initiatives, and marijuana legalization."
This is great news on several levels:
It exposes hypocrisy of both left and right. Basically, states voting to legalize weed is a form of nullification, in which a sub-unit of the US says to Washington, "We understand that you think otherwise, but we're going to ignore your laws and do things our way."
Conservatives love nullification when it takes the form of states repealing Obamacare or prohibiting abortion, but are appalled when states unilaterally legalize drugs. Liberals are the opposite, viewing "states' rights" as racist code and loving centralized control -- except when it comes to legalizing drugs or gay marriage, in which case they're staunch states' rights advocates.
Perhaps the most dangerous trend in US politics is the willingness of both the left and right to ignore the Constitution when it serves their ideological agenda. Nothing that's happening now will fix that breakdown in character but it's still fun to watch these guys squirm under the weight of their own hypocrisy.
It opens up a world of cheap, effective medicine. Cannabis, if several decades of research are to be believed, is an absolute pharmacopoeia of compounds that treat (and in some cases cure) everything from Alzheimer's to cancer to PTSD to depression. For individuals, this raises the possibility of cheap medicine that grows in the back yard, a huge improvement over today's Prozac Nation.
It will crush Big Pharma. If the above turns out to be true, then everything from Oxy to chemo is about to get major competition. Should we be shorting the drug stocks? That would be a doubly sweet trade, profiting from the pain of people who eminently deserve to suffer.
It's an object lesson in the magic of markets. Visit MJ's Pot Shop in Pullman, WA (where cannabis was recently legalized) and the variety is almost overwhelming. Besides the to-be-expected multiple standardized brand-name pot strains available in single joints or bulk, there are candies, cookies, brownies, skin creams and massage oils, some infused with THC (the part of the plant that gets users high), some with CBD (one of its super-medicinal compounds), some with "full plant extract." To see a market go from the shadows to full-on consumer frenzy in the space of a couple of years is, from a free markets/free minds point of view, a beautiful thing.