In a surprise move less than one week after California Governor Jerry Brown expressed on national TV his reluctance to endorse full-scale marijuana legalization in the state he presides over, the state delegates for the California Democratic Party launched a new platform that’s singular main aim is to legalize, tax and regulate the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes. Lieutenant Governor and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has thrown down the gauntlet and called out his fair state for resting on their laurels for the better part of twenty years since they paved the way for everyone by voting to legalize medical marijuana back in 1996.
According to a National Poll conducted by CNN in January, a whopping 55% of voters feel marijuana should be legalized, with an even bigger “Yay” from 60% of independents who now represent 1 in 5 registered California voters, and who can easily see the potentially saving grace in doing so that could spell the end to a long and tumultuous budget crisis the state has been dealing with for the better part of 10 years now.
With much harder and potentially lethal street drugs wreaking havoc on a number of cities in the state such as Riverside and Fresno, there would also be a major influx of law enforcement resources newly available to stem the growing meth epidemic, and stop the many gang-related violent crimes that are a never-ending burden in the state of California. The school systems could grow in quality and infrastructure by leaps and bounds with some of the new tax revenue accrued from sales of the state’s already-largest cash crop, and California could finally begin to address its enormous and ever-growing debt that as of yet, has had no hope of even slowing down in size.
There’s just one quote that worries me. And that is Governor Newsom’s assertion that, “You can be pro-regulation without being an advocate for drug use.” Now it’s fairly easy to see where he is coming from with this angle to shore up as many ‘Yes’ votes as possible, but then again, if you’re not an advocate for drug-use, of which marijuana is certainly a drug, then just what are your vested interests in legalizing this medicinal plant? Of course, the powers that be will quickly rebut that question with of the aforementioned boons to California’s economy, but once again, it’s all coming down to money, with economy being the operative word.
We cannot lose sight of the ultimate value in legalizing marijuana, which is to help people with illness or just to better one’s own personal quality of life. If we lose our way and venture too far into the dark side, then what the people of California ultimate will end up with, is a soulless puppet master in the form of their state government, with seven strings attached to seven green leaves, all the while orchestrating a carefully constructed tune of greed, power, and over-regulation the likes of which this beautiful flower was never intended, but ended up being shamefully forced to dance. Marijuana at its core is about one thing, and that’s helping people.
If we don’t as a community regulate the so-called ‘regulators’ themselves, we may just end up with another version of big pharma, equally asinine and whereby the false pretense to treat is merely a golden fleece to cover a very large dollar sign that stamps out and utterly destroys anyone who dares get in the way of its ever-increasing profits by all means necessary. There is nothing wrong with making honest money of course, but the key word is honest. Prescription medication is not honest money and only time will tell if the anti-drug pro-regulators will adopt a similar model and likewise bleed out every last penny they can from John Q. Sickly. Just how much does California truly care about the well-being and good health of its people? Only time will tell. Until then, stay awake.