Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The California ballot

Well, I got my ballot for the November elections in the mail today. I know who I'm going to vote for when it comes to the state races -- the Republicans have gone batshit crazy, so anybody who dares put an "R" by his name right now is just proving he's a loon, the Demos are idiots but at least they're not batshit crazy idiots. But then there's two whole pages of ballot initiatives, each of which are going to require me to do some research to find out who sponsored them, who benefits from each of them, and what's the catch behind each of them.

That's the problem with direct democracy. I'm one penguin. I don't have a staff to do that sort of work. My elected representatives do. Why the fuck can't they do their job and not require us busy penguins to do their job too?! I mean, I pay their fucking salaries to do shit like that! So anyhow, I'm going to take these ballot initiatives one at a time and talk about them here on the blog, tell you what I think, ask you for your own feedback.

So the first initiative is Proposition 19, which I'll call the "Cheech & Chong Initiative". This is the one that legalizes marijuana under California law. This is one of the few propositions that actually belong on the ballot -- marijuana legalization is one of those hot-button issues that legislators shy away from because it's unpopular with the powerful law enforcement unions, whose members benefit greatly from marijuana being illegal, yet marijuana is no more intoxicating or harmful than alcohol. If alcohol is legal, there isn't a damned reason why marijuana shouldn't be other than stupidity and Big Brotherism. I've never met a violent pot-head in my entire life. As long as you aren't a brownie, there's nothing to fear from potheads, they're mellow, mon. I do not partake of the herb myself, but look. Willie Nelson is like nine jillion years old and has smoked pot every day for most of those years. Yeah, pot sure ruins a dude's life, doesn't it? :-).

Next up: Proposition 20. Later.

-- Badtux the Law-readin' Penguin


  1. I'm all in favor of pot legalization. I used to smoke lots of it, but that was then. Now my only drug is alcohol.

    But you're exaggerating pot being a nonviolent drug. Sure it's a lot more mellowing than alcohol and most other drugs. But it's also a favorite drug among bikers and biker wannabes, inner city gangstas, etc.

    A stereotype is a stereotype. Potheads being peaceful and nonviolent is no more true than potheads being a bunch of passive navel-gazers who never accomplish anything.

    Anyway I hope this legalization passes. It's ironic that drug dealers and law enforcement are on the same side in this issue.

  2. I used to do the research. I use cheat sheets now.

  3. As goes California, so goes the rest of the nation. Oregon has its own marijuana initiative, Ballot Measure 74, creating medical marijuana dispensaries where medical marijuana patients can actually buy their medicine without resorting to illegal sources. The sooner full legalization comes about, the better it will be for people, for the country, and for the world.

    It's good to see you doing your homework before casting your ballot, 'Tux. Some small irony, because that's the subject (in part) of my next post to Frieddogleg.

  4. Legalize Marijuana to:
    1. provide safe access for adults while limiting access to kids
    2. Lower costs of the penal system
    3. Lower policing costs and free up resources to cope with serious crime.
    4. Provide a revenue stream for state government.
    Criminalize marijuana to:
    1. Romanticize smoking pot
    2. Expand the prison system
    3. Expand police forces while narrowing their focus to minor crimes
    4 consume state budgets.

    Which side are you on? Pick that one and vote.

  5. Say wha, Tom? Bikers have been big crank / meth addicts since, like, forevah. When you're crankin' down the road behind the handlebars of a big V-twin, or staring down the denizens of a biker bar that you just walked into, the last thing you want to be is mellow. Crap, even when Hunter S. Thompson rode with the Hell's Angels crank was their drug of choice. As for inner city gangstas, dude. I've probably known more inner city gangstas than you. Marijuana isn't their drug of choice, it's meth, crack, and heroin that they go for.

    Fact of the matter is that I've been at venues where you could get a secondary high from everybody smoking marijuana, and never encountered a fight or an unpleasant word at such a place. The same can't be said about meth, which is a blight that turns people mean and violent and willing to do anything for their next high. You go places where people are doing those kinds of drugs, you leave quickly unless you're a bad-ass willing to take on some dude who is so high he thinks he's fuckin' Superman...

    Nunya -- the cheat sheets may cheat. I'm trying to read the actual law to make sure the cheat sheets aren't cheating me.

    Phil, it pisses me off that there's so much shit on this damned ballot that my elected legislators are supposed to be taking care of. Sighh! Talk about crapflooding -- the best way to get bad laws passed, apparently, is to flood the people with so many bad propositions that one might accidentally get passed. Siigh!

    Martin: Yeppers, that pretty much sums it up.

    - Badtux the Political Penguin

  6. I don't believe the hype about how legalizing marijuana will magically make all the violence and mayhem associated with its illegality go away overnight. It will still be a product in demand, and people (currently, people involved in organized crime) will compete to supply that demand, and if the government does not step in to be the biggest and baddest dealer on the block there will be little or no change from the way things are now.

    Since last year Mexico has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, etc.), putting the legal stamp on what has for some time been a civic fait accompli. Yet the violence within Mexico itself, far from all of it tied up with supplying the USA with drugs, gets worse every week.

    All of this, of course, dodges the most relevant question - why there is such a raging and apparently insatiable demand in the USA for substances that fuck people up.


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