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Voting Complete, & some thoughts on Marijuana Legalization - The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
zimzat
zimzat
Voting Complete, & some thoughts on Marijuana Legalization
Today I sat down at the kitchen table and took the time to review the official voting pamphlets sent out by the county and state (very much appreciated, by the way!). I reviewed the proposals, candidates, counter-arguments, and even a few websites in order to make my choices. There were a few where I didn't choose because the options seemed fairly equal (equally good or equally bad) or I didn't understand the issue enough to make an informed decision. I even voted for a few Republican candidates that had a better standing than the Democrat one. For most candidates running unopposed I didn't bother casting a vote as it's not like I had much of a choice.

There was one candidate for judge whose personal statement largely consisted of 'my fellow judges love me, I've been doing this for 8 years, I've been a judge for 16, I've been doing law enforcement for 30 years, I've got lots of experience, trust me.' No statement on issues, almost no endorsements, etc. ... I voted against him.



I would like to make a few remarks regarding proposal 502. Some people have correctly noted that even if Washington makes marijuana legal the federal law would still overrule it. That's true, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't still voice our opinion on the matter. I'm almost certain that if the measure doesn't pass then opponents of legalization will use it as justification that no one wants it legalized. Secondly, it may get overturned against the federal law but it's a foot in the door of making it a national issue and, in due time, potentially overturning the federal law. I feel sorry for anyone who gets arrested over this issue, but they're going to be a martyr for the cause so I'll still applaud them for their conviction. Lastly, I disagree with the heavy taxes being included as part of the proposal. 25% tax is applied at each stage between growth, processing, and retail sell. According to the official voting pamphlet they're estimating it costing 12$ per gram and also estimate an average use being 2 grams, so that's 24$ for a single high. That seems kind of high; even that cost is closer to a case or two of beer. But then I have no idea what the street price of this stuff is or how much people are actually using so I don't have anything to compare it against.

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Comments
sisyphus238 From: sisyphus238 Date: November 6th, 2012 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
In Portland currently, 1/8oz costs 40$, according to my sources.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: November 6th, 2012 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting. Thanks!

If we do the math, 1/8 oz = 3.543 grams or ~11$ and some change per gram. That's pretty close to what the estimated cost was on the official voting pamphlet, and with the potential of being legal (and regulated/quality controlled) that might not be too bad.
marklevoyageur From: marklevoyageur Date: November 6th, 2012 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
The politicians don’t seem much interested in the stoner (demographic) vote.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: November 6th, 2012 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)
No, I imagine not, which is why I think it's somewhat surprising that this proposal made it through the various government levels to get to the voters. On the other hand my remarks about federal law override makes it unlikely to sit on any official's face for long. *shrug*
mcfnord From: mcfnord Date: November 6th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
i guess if the legal stuff is too expensive, i'll stick with the illegal stuff.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: November 6th, 2012 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
It will probably equalize or become more expensive. It's probably safe to assume that most, probably not all, people who currently buy marijuana will move to the legal sources. Since once an individual has the substance it's probably harder to prove it's illegal and they won't be prosecuted. This in turn means that any enforcement will be focused solely on the the growers and processors who will bear the whole brunt of any fees and fines. If less people are buying their product and they're bearing more fines (but no jail time, we'll assume) and less people are buying so they won't have lots of smaller sales to make up the difference, they'll probably have to raise their costs.

This is the same scenario that plays out any time a major corporation, or otherwise incumbent interest, gets government to levy taxes and fees that exempt or only the existing interest can afford to pay while still staying in business.

I doubt all 'illegal' marijuana selling will cease overnight or ever, just as there is illegal pharmaceuticals that people knowingly buy, but it will change the way the game is played and give at least some people the chance to be legal and not have their entire lives screwed over.
sisyphus238 From: sisyphus238 Date: November 6th, 2012 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's my inclination as well. There's also something subversive about keeping it non-legit.
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