There is a buzz moving through the culture, as the public attitudes around cannabis use are rapidly shifting, that the legalization of marijuana in some states, particularly California, is a growing possibility.
An array of new circumstances -- Democrats in power, economic recession leaving states starving for revenue that could come from taxing cannabis sales, less funds for law enforcement and Mexican drug operatives moving into the US to grow huge amounts of untaxed pot, contributing to the horrible drug violence South of the Border -- support the growing public support for legalization of pot.
At the epicenter of legal pot talk and strategic political action is Richard Lee, a highly successful pot entrepreneur, who over the past decade has turned the "uptown" entertainment area of downtown Oakland, California into what many call Oaksterdam, a play on Amsterdam, their sister city in Holland. A centerpiece of the Oakland transformation is Oaksterdam University which Lee founded to prepare people for jobs in the cannabis industry. As he told MSNBC, "my basic idea is to professionalize the industry, and have it taken seriously just like beer and distilling hard liquor." The University, along with half a dozen other "cannabis businesses," controlled by Lee bring thousands of visitors to Oakland daily.
California Pot Legalization Initiative
And it was Richard Lee who raised eyebrows among many last week, including some in the "drug reform establishment," when he announced an effort to qualify for the California statewide ballot in November of 2010, The Control, Regulate and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, the first major statewide initiative designed to legalize marijuana for personal use.
Where's that petition? Bring it to me! Besides removing millions of harmless people from being criminals and a shot in the arm (heh) for the snack food industry, our ballot initiative process could use a little redemption too!
The article is quite a bit longer. Please enjoy. You heads trace it with yer finger so you won't lose your place, or print it so you won''t forget what ya read.
...TaxCannabis2010.org, the newly minted organization he started to push the initiative, calls for the legalization of small amounts of marijuana for personal possession by adults 21 and older, and allows cities and counties the option of regulating sales and cultivation. The legal amount would be 1 ounce for personal possession, with cultivation allowed in a space no larger than 5 feet by 5 feet.
It'll be a good thing if this works.