Public Comment

Tax and Regulate

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday September 21, 2010 - 07:34:00 AM

OK…if Bill Maher has the cojones to speak up, so do I.

In November a crucial measure will be put to a vote:

Proposition 19—The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 

Read the initiative at: 

[The Los Angeles Times/USC survey] finds 49% support the ballot measure but a third of those only "somewhat" support it. Of the 41% who oppose it, a vast majority believe it will worsen social problems. One in 10 is undecided.—LA Times, May 31, 2010 

I’ve talked to some friends and they are not particularly enthusiastic about this, some stoners are now parents are are scared of everything (which I understand), but we ought to think this thing through because we might not have this chance again. Thus I write this open letter. 

Sometimes an opportunity presents itself. So it’s time to speak up, convince your neighbors, and turn the tide. 

Here’s why I’m supporting it: 

  • It’s a natural thing that grows wild; no processing necessary.
  • History has shown that while you can legislate against people’s appetites, it doesn’t work out so well.
  • Keeping it illegal has given power to crime. It gives criminal organizations the money to buy political power the same way Prohibition gave it to the Mafia.
  • The paradox of having cigarettes and booze legal and pot illegal fosters disrespect for the law through its hypocrisy—particularly among young people.
  • It is used as a lever by police to roust, intimidate and suppress the poor, minorities, and politicos.
  • It doesn’t lead to—what, do I really have to say it? Gateway drug nonsense, blah, blah…
  • Hardly anyone tokes up then beats the wife and kids, pulls out the gun and waves it around, or runs the car up on the sidewalk.
  • Driving under anything including antihistamines is less than wise, but driving stoned is not anywhere in the same category of impairment as booze.
  • Smoking anything is not so good for you, but there are vaporizers and tinctures and recipes and all kind of ways to ingest it.
  • Seems every living mammal has to change his consciousness sometimes: jimson weed for horses, catnip for kitties, some animals just bang their head on a rock.
  • We don’t want kids to do pot—but we don’t want them to do booze either. And those who want to experiment will do it regardless. If you want to find where to get pot, ask a teenager.
  • However, the strength and purity are at issue, just like in Prohibition days (there used to be signs in the South that read “Moonshine Blinds” because sometimes they used lead instead of copper pipes for the still or turned it to methanol instead of ethanol).
  • Today we don’t know what the illegal stuff is cut with—like formaldehyde.
  • Since they have to smuggle it, they have made hybrids that are inordinately potent to cut down on volume which is of concern when you’re smuggling things.
  • Police and DEA efforts to eradicate have failed miserably. COST OF MARIJUANA ENFORCEMENT IN CALIFORNIA IS OVER $200 MILLION PER YEAR and 8,500 prisoners in California jails for pot.
  • We need the tax money. Instead of spending to eradicate, let’s tax the sale of it. Estimates are $1.2 BILLIO N for California in taxes with another $14 Billion in spin-off revenue.
  • Medical pot is available if you make up a good story—which fosters more lying.
  • No matter how they slice it, it just ain’t that bad for you. In a lot of circumstances it is good for you—including relaxation and sex. Yes, it affects your brain, duh, but so does happy hour or a boring job. It ain’t perfect, and it’s better to be high on life, but the current Prohibition is much ado about our political insanity.
  • There are a some people who will get addicted—to anything: computer games, their Blackberries, running (bad for the joints?), cell phones (brain cancer), sex (good and bad for you). But Stop the Insanity! We’re all adults here, right? Who needs government to act in loco parentis? Hey, am I starting to sound like a Tea Party-er? Did you know Sarah Palin smoked it in Alaska when personal use was legal?
Remember, it was William Randolph Hearst who lobbied to make it illegal because he was afraid that hemp would be used as paper—and he had just sunk a lot of money into a pesticide that could protect all the forests in the Northwest he owned to cut down trees for paper pulp—and paper mills really make a big pollution mess. Hemp don’t need no stinking pesticides. It’s a weed! Henry Ford wanted not just to make a car that ran on hemp, but a car made out of hemp! There is more than a little circumstantial evidence that Thom. Jefferson and Geo. Washington grew it and mixed it with tobacco—and you really can’t call them slackers. 

Don’t you think that you should be allowed to grow a little 5’ x 5’ plot for yourself along with your tomatoes, peas and marigolds? 

Let’s look at some law enforcers who support it: 

  • James Gray, retired last year from the Superior Court Judge in Orange County
  • Norm Stamper, San Diego police officer for 28 year then chief of police in Seattle, WA.
  • Joe McNamara, former San Jose’s chief of police
GOOD MEDICINE? “For example, researchers at the State University of New York (SUNY), Upstate Medical University in Syracuse published data in the June issue of the journal Pharmacology concluding that the administration of the plant cannabinoids delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC halted cellular respiration and tumor growth in human oral cancer cells. Specifically, investigators reported that cannabinoids were a ‘potent inhibitor’ of Tu183 human cancer cells, a notoriously difficult to treat type of oral cancer.” 

Who knows what else it’s good for? 

And we’re not alone! Washington State is going for hemp, too: 

Sometimes voting is a crock of the lesser evil, but occasionally there is something on the ballot that is a good enough reason to register.  

The US taxes from tax Beer Wine Liquor had, until the Income Tax of 1913, made up 40% tax of US Federal taxes. The Crash of ’29 left the dry US without tax revenue, so a major reason to end prohibition was to get more US taxes from Beer Wine Liquor.  

So when you go to the polls in November to vote against Meg CEOEBay and Carly Failure-ino, cast a vote for sanity and nature and a major revenue lode for California! 

I think it will be a tad difficult for the Feds to suppress it here if we vote it legal. Imagine a states’ rights issue that we can support! Don’t let a Prop 8-like irony recur in the Golden State. 

And for the true believers, open up your wallets, go to and pony up a little money. Think of how much bread you’ve dished out for weed over the years. Imagine having the paranoia lifted.  

And when you talk about it to others, make sure you use the words TAX, REGULATE, CONTROL rather than legalize. Talking about it with others might make them think, act and vote. 

Do a little of your own investigation, and make your own rational decision.  

Then in January, we’ll all declare a Saturday holiday, hang around the shanty, and get a good buzz on!