Monday, August 2, 2010

Oakland Pot Factory Sham is Shame of a Nation

After the budget and jobs, drug decriminalization's likely the most important issue on the ballot in November's elections, and Oakland's at the forefront of the fight for sanity. (Note here that I'm always amused at JBW's childish arguments about getting the "nanny state" out of our lives, even more hilarious as he's down with Obama's uber-nanny nationalized socialism in every other area of the economy — but more on that later.) It turns out LAT has a piece on the "Walmartization" of Oakland's "medical" marijuana industry, and get a load out of that picture at the screencap. Looks like a bunch brothas from de 'hood be cruisin' down for some phat sweet-stick smokas, yo!

It's a scam, obviously. See Oakland Tribune columnist Tammerlin Drummond's piece from yesterday, "
Time for an honest debate about marijuana":


The whole notion of marijuana at dispensaries being sold for strictly "medical" purposes has long been a sham.

True, there are many seriously ill people who benefit from smoking marijuana. A friend who passed away from brain cancer five years ago smoked the drug to help boost his appetite after chemo treatments made him nauseous.

He was an eligible candidate for a medical marijuana card.

Yet it's also true that pretty much anyone and their mother can qualify for a medical marijuana prescription in California.

You can get a medical card if you have insomnia or mood swings. Who doesn't?

There are so many conditions that make you eligible, a de facto state of legalization pretty much already exists.

For those who don't want to go through the motions of obtaining a card, there are plenty of "medical" growers with flourishing pot-sale businesses catering to recreational uses on the side.

Those who support legalization say that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol.

They say it's unfair to criminalize pot while allowing the legal sale of booze.

Prop. 19 supporters argue that both marijuana and alcohol should be regulated and taxed.

California NAACP President Alice Huffman came out in support of the measure. She said legalizing marijuana for recreational use would reduce the number of young black men in jail for marijuana-related offenses. Out of some 1,500 people in California prisons on marijuana charges, half are black.

Yet judging from the firestorm that Huffman's comments have created, there is a huge gulf between those who believe Prop. 19 will lead to more widespread use of marijuana and those who argue that the war on drugs has been a costly failure.

A coalition of black pastors is actively campaigning against Prop. 19.

They aren't moved by the argument that it would reduce the numbers of black men disproportionately incarcerated on marijuana possession charges.

They see marijuana as a scourge in their communities, an addictive substance that often leads to harder drug use. Sacramento pastor Ron Allen says he was on crack cocaine for 11 years. He said marijuana started him on the road to drug addiction.

There is no question that marijuana is an addictive drug. I know people whose brains are totally fried from decades of marijuana abuse.

Yet I also know people who use marijuana recreationally.

They aren't any more likely to become addicts than those who drink responsibly are to develop cirrhosis.

It's time we had an open and honest debate on the issue before voters go to the polls in November.
Check out Pastor Ron Allen of Sacramento at the video — he suggests this is an ultimate tragedy in a city with murder rates among the highest in the nation. Unbelievable, really. But that's what the nihilist left wants in today's America.


JBW said...

Wow, a lot of your readers seem to share your outrage here, Don. Here's my rebuttal if you're interested, or even if you're not, it doesn't really matter. Cheers.