Just because Proposition 19 failed to legalize the taxing, sale and consumption of marijuana doesn’t mean California doesn’t like its green. It failed but Prop 19 was dope, and like turmoil inside the mind, Californian voters sparked a national discussion
on a long-standing prohibition that’s as old as our memory of Al Capone.
In the end, Prop 19 not passing in California on its first round in mainstream American politics was potentially a positive for the legalization movement. In Los Angeles where the city council took years to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, legalization would have been a logistics nightmare leading to complex decision on how to control the substance. Prop 19 was full of dope hope pleading with voters that it would bring much needed tax dollars to the state and eliminate funding to drug cartels but with no certifiable way on how to accomplish that objective. With regulation and taxation being left to every city, town and county in California, managing the marijuana behemoth may have left a bad taste in voter’s mouths and a bad example for the rest of the country. To be exact, this initiative was a stepping stone for a more detailed plan of action that most likely will fall on a ballot in 2012. The complications and politics of this year’s mid-term elections left prop 19 short on funding and organized support.
Next time, it should be another story. Besides marijuana, hemp the world’s strongest natural fiber would also be legalized. Hemp is still illegal to grow in the United States due to its relation to the marijuana plant, and hemp products that are imported must pass a strenuous no tolerance test. Hemp would be a boost to the American economy and expand on green living efforts. For example, hemp reusable tote bags could replace the single-use plastic bags currently used in grocery stores and these would biodegrade if they were ever sent to a landfill, but would most likely be sent for recycling. Oh, but there is a problem… DuPont Plastics Company, who in the 1930s lobbied for the criminalization of the hemp plant that threatened their business interest in the timber and plastics industry, counts itself as a member of the American Chemistry Council which also helped overturn the elimination of the single-use-plastic bags bill AB1998.
In the meantime however, Arizona’s November 2nd ballot included a medical marijuana initiative which passed, allowing doctor recommended use of cannabis for patients with specific medical conditions. Arizona has now become the 15th state to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
The wheels of politics are constantly wielding and grinding their battle-axes against each other in a struggle for supremacy. Maybe 2012 will be different. Soon prohibition era politics will be a thing of the past. Until then keep taking in the green for the world’s sake.