Politics & Law

Yes on California’s Proposition 19: Legalize marijuana

Jonathan Simon

On November 2nd, California voters will have an opportunity to legalize marijuana use for all persons over 21 and authorize local government to regulate its use and sale (see the BallotPedia article for more on the initiative). Legalizing marijuana will not, by itself, turn around our catastrophic prison overcrowding. Relatively few people are in prison for marijuana possession or even sale. However it can achieve two objectives that will move us in the right direction on crime policy and prisons.

First, legalizing marijuana will prevent the needless stigmatization and alienation of thousands of young (and not so young) adults who are discovered by the police to be in possession of marijuana, which is one of the leading cause of arrests in the United States. This will actually unburden the police who are usually searching for weapons, from having to arrest people they discover marijuana on, or appear to be ignoring law violations. Many police-citizen encounters will have a happier ending. More importantly, many people will not accumulate misdemeanor offenses on their record that can lead them to prison later, and will avoid unnecessary criminalization.

Second, legalizing marijuana will deliver the largest possible blow to heinous drug cartels in Mexico for whom marijuana constitutes the second largest source of profits (and possibly the largest). As decades of experience have taught us, profit centered criminal networks are almost impossible to defeat using normal criminal sanctions (because they can successfully recruit new members to replace any incarcerated ones so long as the profits remain high). As Mexico’s disastrous military war on drugs is demonstrating, extra-judicial deterrence does not work any better, and does lead to hundreds of collateral casualties. Without firing a single bullet, California voters can cut the Mexican cartels down to size, making it harder for them to corrupt the Mexican political system, simply by moving those profits from the crime world to the world of lawfully regulated business.

We should not be glib about the costs of marijuana legalization. Making it legal for California adults to buy and possess marijuana will almost certainly lead to more people using more of the drug. A recent paper from RAND by my colleague Rob MacCoun and others uses econometric techniques to try and estimate those effects and they suggest far from trivial increases (here it is, but it may require authorization to access). While it is true that most people who want marijuana can easily find it now (especially given California’s medical marijuana regime), there are actually some people out there who will not use it on principle simply because it remains against the law. More importantly, the convenience and reliability of obtaining marijuana once it is legal will very likely increase use (even if the price does not go down, which RAND assumes but has not been true under the medical regime and could be prevented by correct tax policy).

Marijuana can be psychologically addictive. Its capacity to lift the user above the humdrum of life and let them see things differently (enabling the poetry function) can be hard to resist. For creative artists and writers it may be a wonderful tool, but for people facing depressing circumstances it may become a way to ignore circumstances that need to be changed instead.

But here is where the argument for legalization becomes most promising. The best way to prevent and remedy addiction, is through outreach, education, and counseling to the user community. The current state of illegality makes that harder in countless ways. Once legalized, local regulation could require marijuana stores to provide all of those services to their clients, and creative regulators could celebrate innovations and circulate best practices widely.

And this is precisely where marijuana legalization could do the most good. By demonstrating, through empirically tested regulations, that civil governance can remedy the negative consequences of recreational drug use, the legal marijuana regime could help wean us from our dependence on criminal law as a way to govern America.

Cross-posted from Jonathan Simon’s Governing Through Crime.

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Comments to "Yes on California’s Proposition 19: Legalize marijuana":
    • Robert Johnson

      While the vote failed, every time the vote comes up it is closer. It is only the matter of a couple more years before California becomes the first state to legalize marijuana. 16 States now have medical marijuana laws, with more cities decriminalizing. The most recent was New York city.

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    • Prescription Drug Abuse

      Marijuana is probably safer to ingest than some of the prescription drugs on the black market today. Just a friendly remember, this month is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery month (every Sept). Show someone who struggles with drug or alcohol addiction that you care.

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    • Tom

      Surely i can’t support this move,there are things in society that must eliminated so as to safeguard the next generation.Marijuana is not a good plant for our health.Please let us try to avoid things that will just destroy our citizens.Thanks for the information.

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    • Jason

      Mexico has this violent and deadly drug war happening. The United States is going broke and one of the one factor that is not helping the situation is OUR drug war. Things need to change, and thanks to California, now my state, Michigan, and the 12 other states that have at least legalized it for medical purposes, maybe this problem can be fixed. Considering this is the biggest cash crop the world has known, we here at HappyGrass4U believes that maybe this can be a tool that helps the country start getting out of the debt it is in.

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    • Martin

      legalizing marijuana i feel is a good thing – it will end black market thuggery for one thing. But there has to be an element of control over it i.e. make it available at registered centres only, for example.

      At the end of the day, marijuana still has the very real potential to send users into doing crazy things, and that is where innocent bystanders could get hurt.

      Legalize? Yes. But in a controlled manner.

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    • Kenyon Miller

      Marijuana should be legalized.I am currently doing a debate on it and in the past ive done reports on it. Im a 16 year old male and thru my research have found that it is not harmful and non addictive. It can help many diseases and sicknesses go more smoothly.Legalize!!!

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    • Mark Grimes

      This is such an amazing entry and I love to read more of it so that I will be able to look over and have it as an inspiration for further articles to write about when it comes to updates on legalizing marijuana stuffs and it’s pros and cons too.

      Thanks ahead and happy holidays to you and the rest
      of your family. :)

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    • lynette

      I believe the drug companies feel threaten by the obvious benefits of marijuana because (it is a natural alternative to standard pharmaceutical treatments for pain) making Drug companies lose millions in revenue. Plus it will help stimulate the economy rather than harm it. I’m all for California Proposition 19 (prop19) which legalizes marijuana.

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    • One of the biggest problems my group has isn’t convincing folks that they have a problem. It’s convincing them to address the biggest one first and then deal with the other stuff. Nobody seems to want to do that. Everyone wants a reason or an excuse. They want to worry about the big bruise on their arm when there leg is cut off and they are bleeding out.

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    • Mr.Rose

      No it will not be allowed in public places PERIOD. Only places that are licensed and authorized to allow consumption (marijuana stores, marijuana “spots” that could be licensed) Use inside your home is also the only way you can smoke it besides public places that are meant for you to buy and smoke marijuana inside of.

      VOTE YES

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    • r4 ds

      I totally disagree with the legalization of marijuana. If the government approves it.Will this law allows users to smoke in public? Imagine streets and cities filled with marijuana scent.

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    • Ross

      Although I have not smoked cannibus for about 15 years. I had no problem quitting since, in my experience, it was not addicting. However, I had some tough moments quitting alcohol, which is more harmful than cannibus.

      I all ready voted “Yes” on Calif Prop 19 on absentee ballot. Let’s face it, cannibus is here to stay whether it’s illegal, or not. In addition of being much safer than alcohol, it should be legalized creating taxed revenues to stimulate Califonia’s economy creating jobs, health care, education, etc.

      A good example how legalized taxed cannibus can stimulate the economy: In addition of having a hemp industry, it can stimulate the food industry since those who are under the influnces of cannibus will get the “munchies”–purchasing potato chips, cookies, etc.

      If Prop 19 passes, I’m planning to smoke a “bowl” a week knowing it’s a lot more safer than tobacco, alcohol, and other illicit drugs.

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    • Nate Woehler

      I believe that setting prop 19 through as passed would be a good idea, because making it only as a medicine would make more sense than using it for recreation. If we use it as recreation, then we have problems with people losing their concious minds and making themselves look like puppets. If they use for recreation, they will abuse ti to the fact that they would get themselves in alot of trouble. I am pretty sure no one would want to waste their lives in prison or rather jail for that matter. So the best way is to just use it for medicine.

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    • kc

      sorry that bill is SB 1449*( DECRIMINALIZED CANNABIS )* makes possession of not more than 1 ounce a civil infraction w a penalty not to exceed a $100 citation
      Not entirely sure, but i think you could just pay it on the spot & walk away with your medicine!

      NO ON 19
      NO ON 19
      NO ON 19
      NO ON 19

      CA SB 1499/that one is about electricity in balloons…lol

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    • kc

      I beg your pardon sir….
      FACT#1: in 2008 – 78,000 people went to jail on cannabis related crime. Of that 78,000 – 67,000 were incarcerated for cultivation & selling( more than possession of less than 1 ounce ).
      Prop 19 only guarantees that an individual can posses less than 1 ounce. Anything over that & its a CRIME.
      this year CA SB1499 was signed into law – guess what that is? A law that states in CA possession of 1 ounce or less is …..an infraction, a mere $100 ticket( noncriminal offense, like a traffic ticket! ) & the police do not necessarily have to confiscate it either!
      Fact#2: Prop 19 also guarantees something else for kids – if any of you parents out there happen to toke while little Bobby is playing PS3, and for some reason the police show up, you will be charged for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and if little Bobby is under 18 yr going bye-bye for 3 yrs. If Bobby jr. is under 21, no worries, its only gonna cause you to go on a 6 month vacation.
      BUT if you have a medical mj recommendation, you are exempt from this if on yr own property!
      FACT: Prop 19 allows anyone to legally grow a 25 sq.ft. plot of cannabis( that’s 5′X5′ ) – per parcel of land. Meaning if you have a 10 acre spread, you can only legally grow a 5′x5′ plot!
      **** CA People vs Kelly ( Jan 2010 ) ****
      with a medical recommendation, you can legally grow as much as you need. if passed prop 19 will supersede this court ruling

      – Sir, you speak of a drug cartel? Do you know under prop 19 ONLY SATE LIC DEALERS will be able to sell. Do you know how many there in CA – under ten. 4 of them are in Oakland, guess who has them? Richard Lee, the guy who put up 1.4 million of his own cash to get prop 19 going…… Are you aware sir, that each county in CA has the right NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN PROP 19? GO READ THE WORDS TO THIS INITIATIVE!!
      – I dunno, Im mean Im only college educated here, but that seems like a monopoly, or what some may refer to a drug monopoly or even a drug cartel. Do you realize that its cost over $150,000 to get a state lic?
      NO ON PROP 19
      NO ON PROP 19
      NO ON PROP 19

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    • Ross

      As long as cannibus is still illegal to use for recreational purpose, California, and other states, will continue to experience more violence committed by street and organized criminals in the lucrative drug trade. In addition, no extra taxed revenue to help improving California’s economy.

      I understand about concerned parents of believing that if Prop 19 passes, it will allow more access of marijuana to their children in school yards, playgrounds, etc. But the truth is, marijuana and other illicit drugs have found their way in school grounds a long time ago–that’s no surprise. I’m totally against drug/acohol usage among the young Americans and believe it’s the parents, including the school’s system, responsibility to educate the children about drugs.

      I’m voting “YES” on Prop 19 in helping to end the drug war violence lowering the profits of organized crime, also ending the corruptions, committed by dishonest law enforcement officials and politicians who benefitted from the illicit drug trade. Also, I want the California’s economy to recover with more job opportunities for the unemployed, a better state’s health care system, and a improved public education system.

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    • kcboogie

      After a much closer look at prop 19 ( mind you I have been in mj activism over 15 years ), am voting NO ON 19. The GMO threat & the idea of handing over on a silver platter the entire cannabis industry to money grubbing pharm companies that will patent strains & make it almost illegal for us to grow them, I believe this is a case of the lesser of two evils, and thats just not good enough anymore. I say take mj off the schedule I fed list & incorporate the idea that pot cannot be patented – and if a strain is modified in any way, it could not be sold as a “cannabis”, “pot”, “sativa”, “indica” or any other name that true cannibus goes by. If its GMO’d, then people have the right to know that. Under Prop 19, it lays the grndwrk for a WalBud store on every corner selling starins that could have human genomes in it ( think its far fetched, ask monsonto if they have forced African farmers to plant corn & rice seed which both have a human genomes. there is a great story on the net about Bill Gates & Monsonto in a great alliance in Africa. Check it out people…..NO ON PROP 19, NO ON PROP 19 – dont let BIG PHARM take it over!
      Check out Jack Herer’s CCH&H initiative slated for 2012, there is a big clause that would not allow a company who genetically modifies a strain to sell it as cannabis. There is NO PROVISION FOR THIS IN 19
      NO ON 19, NO ON 19

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    • kc boogie

      I am for 19, but DO NOT let the interpretation of this go un-noticed. if this passes we will HAVE to demand reform in PATENT laws. Bayer, GMPHARM & a host of other big name pharm companies ALREADY have patents on strains. Bayer, in 2009, threaten to sue a Vancouver Compassionate Club over a mist spray they sold over the counter due to Bayers patent on Sativex ( a THC pill that can be manipulated into a spray by Bayer. Think this is far fetched? Search cannabis farmer on the net nodes 39-41. I think they are more concerned with the medical aspect ( if CA legalizes, eventually the US will follow ), being able to legally & without fear of persecution prescribe at a hospital marijuana…in pill or inhaler or vaper form. It could take a turn for the worst though & those big companies patent all great smoking strains, just to force us to buy a lesser product from them. if 19 passes it will need to have major amendments attached in the very very near future. did you folks know that George Soros ( biggest shareholder of MONSONTO ) is on the board of the Drug Policy Alliance – like the most powerful drug reform group in the US? – Food for thought people. you can check all these facts out – it’s all true! yes on 19 but with amendments trailing rt behind!!!

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    • kwhit420

      if California’s Proposition 19 passes then other states should follow California and create propositions to legalize marijuana and have the same rules. thats all I need to say. together, we can control and tax cannibis and set limits to it. I VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 19

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    • sunburn

      I agree with the legalization of marijuana. Anyway, too much of everything is harmful like marijuana. It’s not really bad to our health if don’t just take too much of it. Just an opinion.

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    • Ross

      Sunburn:

      I did some research using cannibus for recreational purpose. Actually, it’s a way lot more safer than smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, or using other illicit drugs such as cocaine, herion, etc.

      If Prop 19 passes, I’m planning to smoke a bowl once in a while in moderation because I know, thru my experience, it’s not addictative and practically cause no harm to my health. Last time I smoked cannibus was about 15 years ago and had no problem quitting. Whereas, it took me a a while to quit drinking alcohol because I developed an addiction.

      Do some research about the history of hemp and you’ll be surprise hemp has many benefits for commercial products and can help the California’s economy.

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    • herozogen

      I totally disagree with the legalization of marijuana. If the government approves it. Then, we’re just saying that people are allowed for addiction on which in a worst case scenario criminal minds are free to go.

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    • fletcher sawyer

      Yes, legalization of marijuana somehow gives benefits to the government and to the smoke industries. However, if we look at the effects of this marijuana to individuals we should not allow it to be legalized. And also, we had heard from news that many lives has been destroyed because of the use of marijuana. Bad results of using marijuana are broken families, jailed, and the worst case is behavioural disorder. But most of the marijuana users that has experienced behavioural disorder was treated by cognitive behavioural therapy.

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    • Michael Smith

      Dr. Warnock:
      No offense, but I’m still going with the American Medical Association and their revised position on cannabis. I believe that once CA legalizes, taxes and regulates cannabis other states will follow as they have with medical marijuana. The federal government will monitor the issue, deferring to states rights, and eventually legalize, tax and regulate cannabis based on the best state model. The AMA will lobby the federal government to revise or relax the schedule 1 narcotic status – based on REAL science – and the U.S. justice department will recommend amnesty for prisoners convicted of simple possession of cannabis.

      In truth, cannabis is not my drug of choice though I do enjoy it on occasion. I get high promoting Prop 19 and debating myopic naysayers who believe that it is just to imprison and/or stigmatize, marginalize and ruin the lives of adult citizens who want to enjoy God’s gift to humanity. Cannabis helps terminally and chronically ill people manage pain and provides relief. Cannabis can stimulate the creative muse and has spawned jazz, rock, folk, rap and pop music legends. Cannabis will improve the economy once farmers can produce hemp for food, clothing and textiles here in the United States.

      It is pathetic that some people wish to continue red-necked injustice for cannabis users.

      Vote yes on Prop 19.

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    • Christian

      Jesus said to treat other people the way we would want to be treated. I know I wouldn’t want my college kid to go to jail with the sexual predators, or my parents to have their house stolen by the police, if they used a little marijuana.

      Let’s change the world. Let’s get registered and vote.

      Citizens and college students in California can register at
      w w w . sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm .
      (just fill out the form and mail it in).

      And you can request a ballot by mail at
      w w w . sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_m.htm .

      In other states, Google your state name and the phrase, voter registration. Print off the form and mail it in (or drive it down to City Hall).

      Five minutes. Register to vote. Change the world. Right now.

      Pass it on (Tweet, Facebook, … ?)

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    • Bryan, MCJC

      “Let’s not be naive.” – Jennifer Warnock DVM PhD DACVS UCB Class 1997

      Yes…let’s not be naive concerning one of the most important factors in ‘disproportionate minority confinement’ within America’s correctional facilities.

      Thousands of minority, non-violent offenders are taking up court time for minor marijuana offenses. Marijuana use has increased over the past year…so has marijuana related arrests (88% of which were for possession related offenses: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129930970).

      The criminal justice status-quo is NOT curbing marijuana use, especially amongst teens (NEVER has). The same anti-marijuana message has been pounded out by Presidential administration after administration to no avail. Maintaining the status-quo is the precise definition of insanity. A drastic and revolutionary approach is needed.

      Individuals who choose to use a substance that is far safer than legal alternatives (alcohol, tobacco) should not be discriminated against. No matter how many studies you provide that insinuate the health consequences of cannabis use, people should not be discriminated against and arrested for the use of a substance that is far safer than legal alternatives.

      If I sound redundant, it’s because I still don’t believe the message will get through to you.

      It doesn’t matter how bad smoking is for your health, as long as it is less harmful than legal alternatives, people should not be discriminated against because they choose a safer substance. Not one of your studies touches on the consequences of cannabis use through vaporization or oral ingestion.

      Excessive alcohol use is not illegal, nor is excessive tobacco use. Each of these cause incredible amounts of social consequences. Current criminal justice policy pushes the citizenry to use these substances, which happen to be far MORE harmful to society and individual health than cannabis use.

      A safer alternative should be available, legally. Proposition 19 is the first step to ending the discrimination of millions of American citizens who choose to use a safer substance than alcohol or tobacco AND to end the enormous disproportionate minority intake and confinement rates in relation to marijuana offenses that are currently plaguing the correctional system.

      To the individual who said that no society should legalize anything that could be so dangerous to its citizenry – there will be multiple alpha barriers that will be missed if we adhere to this philosophy. Technological and social revolutions can go hand in hand. Legalization of cannabis could be the alpha barrier of this modern era (mostly through the industrial use of hemp).

      Naive…please. Knowledge is only as powerful as the ‘sociological mind’ attempting to wield it. Your perspective needs a full dose of Libertarianism to survive in the jaws of American asynchronous communication.

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    • Jennifer Warnock DVM PhD DACVS UCB Class 1997

      MICHAEL SMITH:
      If you really cared about people and not your drug of choice, you would want to stop the poverty, socioeconomic conditions, inequality, and social disease that create the terrorizing drug cartels, not legalize what they deal in. Let’s not be naive.

      Here’s just a few refences from PubMed:

      1) J Neuroendocrinol. 2008 May;20 Suppl 1:90-3.
      The cannabinoid system and male reproductive functions.

      2) Int J Impot Res. 2008 Nov-Dec;20(6):566-73.
      Early endothelial dysfunction as a marker of vasculogenic erectile dysfunction in young habitual cannabis users.

      3) Int J Impot Res. 2005 Nov-Dec;17(6):527-34.
      Psychobiological correlates of smoking in patients with erectile dysfunction

      4) Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 May;209(4):319-30. Epub 2010 Mar 9.
      Chronic use of cannabis and poor neural efficiency in verbal memory ability.

      5) Neuroimage. 2008 Apr 15;40(3):1328-39. Epub 2008 Jan 12.
      Deficits in learning and memory: parahippocampal hyperactivity and frontocortical hypoactivity in cannabis users.

      6) Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Aug 19. [Epub ahead of print]
      Chronic cannabis users show altered neurophysiological functioning on Stroop task conflict resolution.

      7) Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2008 Jan;1(1):99-111.
      The influence of marijuana use on neurocognitive functioning in adolescents.

      8) J Neurology. 2002 Nov 12;59(9):1337-43.
      Dose-related neurocognitive effects of marijuana use.

      9) Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2008 Jan;1(1):81-98.
      The chronic effects of cannabis on memory in humans: a review.

      10) Accid Anal Prev. 2010 Nov;42(6):1855-65. Epub 2010 Jun 9.
      The effect of alcohol, THC and their combination on perceived effects, willingness to drive and performance of driving and non-driving tasks.

      11) Psychiatry Res. 2010 May 30;182(2):152-9. Epub 2010 Apr 21.
      Abnormal cerebellar morphometry in abstinent adolescent marijuana users.

      12) Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2010 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Marijuana craving during a public speaking challenge: Understanding marijuana use vulnerability among women and those with social anxiety disorder.

      13) J Psychopharmacol. 2010 Sep 3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Acute psychomotor, memory and subjective effects of MDMA and THC co-administration over time in healthy volunteers.

      14) Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2010 Sep 20. Cannabis use and progressive cortical thickness loss in areas rich in CB1 receptors during the first five years of schizophrenia.

      15) Psychiatry Res. 2010 Aug 31. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cannabis users differ from non-users on measures of personality and schizotypy

      16) Addict Behav. 2010 Aug 25. [Epub ahead of print]
      Social anxiety and marijuana-related problems: The role of social avoidance.

      17) Psychol Addict Behav. 2010 Sep;24(3):404-14.
      Associations of marijuana use and sex-related marijuana expectancies with HIV/STD risk behavior in high-risk adolescents.

      18) Eur Psychiatry. 2010 Aug 31. [Epub ahead of print]
      Disruptive symptoms in childhood and adolescence and early initiation of tobacco and cannabis use: The Gazel Youth study.

      19) Addict Behav. 2010 Sep 17. [Epub ahead of print]
      Reactivity to in vivo marijuana cues among cannabis-dependent adolescents.

      20) J Neuroendocrinol. 2008 Sep;20(9):1099-100. Epub 2008 Jul 8.
      Endocannabinoids and the neurochemistry of gluttony.

      21) Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2007 Oct;9(5):365-73.
      Targeted modulators of the endogenous cannabinoid system: future medications to treat addiction disorders and obesity.

      22) Physiol Behav. 2008 Mar 18;93(4-5):671-86. Epub 2007 Nov 21.
      Pharmacotherapeutic targeting of the endocannabinoid signaling system: drugs for obesity and the metabolic syndrome.

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    • Paul

      There are dangers in the use of every drug. OTC drugs, hell, you can ingest too much caffine and that is 100% legal to purchase REGARDLESS of age and let’s not get started on the dangers of prescription drugs or drugs adults of legal age can purchase(tobacco, alcohol, etc). Legalizing pot will save tax dollars, generate revenue and allow responsible marijuana users to enjoy a joint on their property without fear of legal reprocussions, in the same way his neighbor enjoys his longneck. By your arguement anything that harms the body should be illegal. Anyone can abuse cheeseburgers or energy drinks, should we go around closing all the fast-food joints and grocery stores that sell energy drinks? No. There is a demand for the drug, there has been a demand for the drug since recorded history(and perhaps sooner), we should tax the hell out of it and put every dime back into the system via healthcare and education. Anyone who is opposed to the legalization of a PLANT is either ignorant or recieving a kickback from lobbyists whom oppose the idea(tobacco, alcohol, textile, pharmacuticals, etc.) Marijuana use is N.O.R.M.L.

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    • Bryan, MCJC

      Please see my reply above: “Let’s not be naive.”

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    • Ramon Quintero

      The case for a legalized existence: We can not make policy that causes more harm in our society then good. Criminalizing Marijuana use or any other drug only leads to expansion of underground cartels and increase in violent crimes that seek its profits. Sadly we live in a world where people value money and material wealth more then the dignity of life. Drug use is not natural but it is part of our current culture. The culture we currently have was produce by the demands of capitalism and its unequal nature of expansion. Violence is not natural, drug use is not natural, and people are not criminals they are produce

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    • Michael Smith

      Cannabis has been used by humanity for thousands of years and was only prohibited in the U.S. in the last 75 years. The AMA was against its prohibition initially and revised its position recently from supporting its status as a schedule 1 narcotic based on scientific, peer reviewed data.

      Dr. Warnock should cite the research conducted that proves impotence in humans through endothelial cell damage from cannabis usage. Schedule 1 narcotics are usually not subject to peer reviewed scientific studies because the drug has been deemed by the federal government to have no medical value. California’s medical marijuana law has allowed some data to be collected that proves beneficial uses in the treatment of disease and its efficacy as an analgesic, especially in palliative treatment programs in humans.

      Please cite the scientific data that concludes cannabis usage “causes obesity, laziness and stupidity”. It seems the line between objective and subjective perception with respect to social behavior by Dr. Warnock has been blurred by emotion and negative personal experience.

      Those who support the status quo prohibition of cannabis frequently employ hyperbole, fear mongering, pejorative generalizations and xenophobia in an effort to discredit cannabis users and the movement to tax and regulate marijuana for adult use in California. Apparently, Dr. Warnock is comfortable with those tactics even though a growing body of scientific data disproves her sentiments to the contrary.

      Prop 19, while not perfect, has the potential to change the demonization of cannabis usage and mitigate the cultural hegemony that needlessly punishes adults for personal possession of a natural occurring herb. When passed, Prop 19 will diminish the cost of law enforcement, the judiciary and the prison system while raising taxes to provide improved education and social services to the population of California.

      What would Jesus do? Consider the golden rule versus the federal rule of law that prohibits cannabis.

      Please vote to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis in California this November. Vote Yes on Prop 19.

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    • Michael St. Clair

      There were very valid public policy reasons for criminalizing the use of cannabis and other recreational drugs, which over time have been forgotten. The regulation of drugs, recreational or not, should be a governmental decision based on sound medical expertise and not voter initiatives.

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    • Michael Smith

      Please articulate those reasons. The research I have done suggests bigotry and market protection. Hemp is superior to nylon rope and as a natural resource for paper and clothing. Dupont invented nylon and W. Randolph Hearst was heavily invested in the timber industry from which newspapers, a nascent mass media industry, were being printed. Thus, it was rather simple for Hearst to promulgate news stories of African American males raping or seducing white females under the influence of cannabis to substantiate a rationale against marijuana. Harry Anslinger successfully lobbied for marijuan prohibition against the expressed opposition of the American Medical Association in the 1930′s.

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    • DCP

      cannabis doesn’t cantain the chemicals to cause addiction. its jus like candy if u like it u like and if u can get more u will. you still have moral control and if this is so bad drunks are way worse. what is the ration of cannabis death accidents to alchohal death accidents.

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    • Status Quo Not Exactly Optimal

      From the text of the bill: “Personal consumption shall not include … consumption in public or in a public place; consumption by the operator of any vehicle, boat or aircraft while it is being operated, or that impairs the operator; smoking cannabis in any space while minors are present.”

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    • Jennifer Warnock DVM PhD DACVS (UCB Class 1997)

      Pot use causes impotence through endothelial cell damage; it also causes obesity, laziness, and stupidity. People who are stoned are not getting work done. I recall one of my suite- mates in Foothill dropping out after pot became a staple in his life. I wish more of the public knew about its side effects (epecially men). Keeping it illegal and hard to find helps make it less likely that kids can get pressured into using it… imagine what chronic use of a depressive drug would do to a developing brain?

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    • Dan O'Namus

      Laziness causes laziness. Bad food, no exercise and genetics cause obesity. And a number of factors can lead to endothelial cell damage, including stress, bacterial or viral infection, and any type of oxidative stress (including cigarettes, etc.) I am a healthy, active, hard working, never impotent occasional marijuana user, as are many of my colleagues and friends. A single anecdote about your stoner roommate from college does not a sound argument make, nor do claims about obesity or impotence which you have failed to back up with hyperlinks.

      Endothelial cell damage: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2072886/

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    • Common Sense

      THE FACTS
      There is no evidence that marijuana impairs male reproductive functioning. The Jamaican and Costa Rican field studies detected no differences in hormone levels between marijuana users and non-users. In epidemiological surveys of marijuana users, no problems with fertility have emerged as important.

      The claim that marijuana impairs female reproductive functioning in humans has no support in the scientific literature.There have been no epidemiological studies indicating diminished fertility in female users of marijuana, and a recent survey found no impact of chronic marijuana use on female sex hormones.Some animal studies show hormonal changes and depressed ovulation following extremely high daily doses of THC. As occurs with males, these changes disappear once the experiment is completed.In addition, when THC was administered to female monkeys for an entire year, they developed tolerance to its hormonal effects and normal cycles were reestablished.

      Most “Test tube” cannabis experiments haven’t been confirmed with real world data. IE: There is no shortage of babies in Jamaica (a heavy cannabis inbibing country) or outbreaks of lung cancer among cannabis smokers (science can’t confirm a single case). Likewise schizophrenia rates remain unchanged as pot use has skyrocketed from the early sixties to today’s consumption rates. Driving simulators show cannabis induced errors that disappear in real world driving tests. See 1993 US Department of transportation study http://ocnorml.org/news/dot_1993a.htm. Currently, The W.H.O. estimates 140 million cannabis consumers worldwide. In short, if cannabis use causes all these problems as you claim, where are they?

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    • Christian

      Jesus said to treat other people the way we would want to be treated. I know I wouldn’t want my college kid to go to jail with the sexual predators, or my parents to have their house stolen by the police, if they used a little marijuana.

      Let’s change the world. Let’s get registered and vote.

      Citizens and college students in California can register here (just fill out the form and mail it in). And you can request a ballot by mail at here.

      In other states, Google your state name and the phrase, voter registration. Print off the form and mail it in (or drive it down to City Hall).

      Five minutes. Register to vote. Change the world. Right now.

      Pass it on (Tweet, Facebook, other?).

      [Report abuse]

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