There is an initiative in the works that could end up on the November ballot that allows for marijuana to be sold to anyone, and anywhere that already sells alcohol. Its being called The Inalienable Rights Enforcement Initiative. From the full text of the measure:This initiative will amend the Constitution of California to defend and safeguard the inalienable rights of the People against infringement by governments and corporations, providing for the lawful growth, sale, and possession of marijuana. Marijuana will be taxed through a system of stamps and licenses--a $5 stamp will be required for the sale of an eighth ounce of marijuana and a $50 annual license will be required for the growth of one marijuana plant. To protect participants and encourage participation in the system, such licenses and stamps will be available anonymously in stores where marijuana is sold.So instead of getting some quack doctor to give you a prescription for $100 because of your supposed "anxiety" or alleged "insomnia", you will just pay an extra tax each time you buy yourself another 8th.
Aside from allowing all willing adults to be able to buy weed easily, this initiative will start to generate revenue for California, and stimulate our struggling economy. More weed stores means more jobs for Californians, more taxes to be collected, and more people enjoying better weed. And finally marijuana will be put into the same file as Alcohol and Cigarettes where it belongs, instead of it being equated with crack-cocaine and heroine.
The initiative goes on to say why they believe this to be a necessary measure:
We also hold these truths to be self-evident-That, as an intoxicant, marijuana is far less harmful to the health and safety of the People than alcohol--That, as a smoking substance, marijuana is far less addictive or harmful to the health of the People than tobacco--That, even though alcohol is harmful to the health and safety of the People, the prohibition of alcohol from 1920 to 1933 only increased the harms associated with alcohol use: criminals seized control of the alcohol market, crime and violence increased greatly, and poverty, unemployment, and corruption flourished, while otherwise lawful alcohol drinkers were treated as "criminals" subject to detention, arrest, and incarceration, even though they had not harmed the rights of anyone--That, as with alcohol prohibition, the prohibition of marijuana has only increased the harms associated with the use of marijuana: criminals control a multi-billion dollar market, crime and violence have increased greatly, and poverty, unemployment, and corruption flourish, while otherwise law-abiding marijuana smokers are treated as "criminals" subject to detention, arrest, and incarceration, even though they have not harmed the rights of anyone-That the history of marijuana prohibition is a history of repeated injuries and infringements upon the inalienable rights, powers, and best interests of the People.Fuck Yes! Preach on, brothers! They go on to point out that alcohol, tobacco, and big-pharma lobbyists have the politicians that are supposed to represent the People in their back-pockets and serving the interests of the alcohol, tobacco, and big-pharma industries.
Despite the harms of marijuana prohibition, politicians persist in imposing and upholding marijuana prohibition, because these politicians are not working for the People--they are working for the corporate executives who financed their campaigns, such as corporate executives in the alcohol industry who want to protect their monopoly on intoxication, corporate executives in the tobacco industry who want to protect their monopoly on smoking, corporate executives in the pharmaceutical industry who want to protect their monopoly on expensive medicines, and corporate executives in the many industries threatened by competition with hemp. These corporate executives pull the strings of the government to perpetuate marijuana prohibition despite its harms, because they do not care about the inalienable rights and best interests of the People--they care about taking as much money from the People as possible. These corporate executives also use their control of the mainstream media to make it seem like marijuana prohibition is a failed attempt to serve the interests of the People, censoring the idea that marijuana prohibition is a successful attempt to serve corporate interests at the expense of the People. For these corporate interests, politicians sacrifice the inalienable rights and best interests of the People. This corruption and corporate influence is worse at the national level, where the People can least afford political influence and the media is most effective at manipulating public debate. Because of this corruption, it is futile for the People to turn to the federal government for protection--because the federal government is the source of the harm. The repeated attempts by the People to reduce the harms of marijuana prohibition have been answered only by repeated injury. The harm from marijuana prohibition is ongoing and the need for relief is urgent. Such is the suffering of the People, and such is the necessity that constrains us to alter our former systems of government. A government with a character marked by every act that defines a tyrant is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Therefore, appealing to humankind for the rightness of our intentionsThey need 694,354 signatures by September, 5, 2008. I think it's totally do-able. Its been over a decade since Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, was passed with over 5 million votes in favor.
So 12 years later... are we more or less tolerant of recreational use of marijuana? For now, we'll have to wait and see.