Monday, February 15, 2016

Will California Dreaming Finally Become A Reality in 2016?

In 2010, it seemed very likely that California would legalize recreational cannabis use via ballot initiative.  Unfortunately, the initiative failed.  But this year, it looks like they have a much better chance, given how it will be a presidential election and how California would not be the first state to do so this time around.  The California Medical Association even endorses one such initiative. And as goes California, so goes the nation.

Of course, even bigger news is that several New England states are also looking this year to join Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and DC as states in which cannabis is fully legal.   Ditto for Michigan and Nevada as well.  There is even currently a bill in Congress called the "Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act", which would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level by removing it from scheduling under the Controlled Substances Act and leave it up to the states to regulate as they see fit.  Thus, it's only a matter of time before the ganja is fully legal nationwide.

And thus far, the best available evidence suggests that legalization has been a resounding success overall in the states where it has already been implemented.  Not only did tax revenue exceed expectations, but practically none of the predicted "parade of horrors" that the fearmongering opponents predicted would occur actually materialized.  And several recent studies have debunked many if not all of the prohibitionists' favorite talking points and scaremongering studies on the supposed dangers of cannabis.  Looks like Brian C. Bennett was right after all--it's nowhere near as scary as they want us to think.

While cannabis, like any other psychoactive substance, is not 100% safe for everybody and can indeed be harmful when abused, the overwhelming weight of the scientific evidence of the past 150+ years suggests that by just about any rational and objective measure it is safer than alcohol, tobacco, most prescription drugs, Tylenol, and even some foods, and is generally less addictive than coffee.  And while there is some evidence that regular use of weed, like alcohol, may present unique risks to people under 18 (and especially under 15), there is no hard scientific evidence that it is any more dangerous for an 18 year old than for a 21 year old or a 30 year old for that matter.  And the best evidence suggests that, as we learned the hard way with alcohol in the 1920s, prohibition clearly does more harm than good.  Thus, there is really no good reason to keep cannabis illegal or treat it any more stringently than alcohol or tobacco in a free society.

We should note that the TSAP is not a "pro-drugs" party. Rather, we are pro-liberty and anti-tyranny. We do not actually endorse the use of any substances, including alcohol and tobacco, but believe that legal adults are sovereign in body and mind and that prohibition of these substances clearly does more harm than good on balance.  Remember, the term "controlled substance" is actually a misnomer since it is virtually impossible to adequately control that which is prohibited.

To all those who live in California (or any other state with legalization or medicalization initiatives on the ballot), especially those under 30:  Get out there and rock the vote this November!


Kids, talk to your parents.  Show them the following.

This is your country:

This is DrugWar:

This is your country on DrugWar:

Any questions?


  1. I oppose the Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act. It is an age discriminatory bill. No one who is 18 or older should be denied the right to smoke Cannabis, even if the legalization of Cannabis is recent. Supporters of regulating Cannabis like alcoholic beverages are supporting a discriminatory idea. The drinking age is too high and it is therefore discriminatory as well. I only approve of Cannabis legalization if people who are 18-20 years old are allowed to smoke Cannabis. If Cannabis is regulated in a discriminatory manner, then I no longer care about Cannabis legalization.

  2. I agree with you in theory, but pragmatism dictates that we reluctantly support the bill as is, get it passed, then attempt to get the age limit lowered to 18 after it is legalized.