Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wonders Never Cease

Imagine, if you will, a governor suggesting that now, in 2009, it might be time to revisit the issue of legalizing marijuana use and its production. Pretty crazy, eh? I mean, sure more than half of that state's voters are in favor of legalizing the drug, and sure legalization would be accompanied by government regulation and TAXATION, but actually debating the issue? It would take a Lewis Carroll-like mind to script such an announcement. Now, imagine that the announcement came from a Republican.

And yet that's exactly what happened on May 5, 2009 in the year-of-our-whatever in California.

From the Sacramento Bee:

The governor was asked about a recent Field Poll showing that 56 percent of registered voters support legalizing and taxing marijuana to raise revenues for cash-strapped California. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, has proposed legislation that would legalize the drug for recreational use, rather than just medical purposes.

"Well, I think it's not time for that, but I think it's time for a debate," Schwarzenegger said. "I think all of those ideas of creating extra revenues, I'm always for an open debate on it. And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what effect did it have on those countries?"

OK, Governor Schwarzenegger has been dealing with budget problems that are akin to those facing Barack Obama, although on a slightly smaller scale. And he's not exactly a Jeff Sessions kind of Republican. In fact, he's not even an Arlen Specter kind of Republican/Democrat.

Sure, an argument can be made that he's just opening the door for discussions that will ultimately involve such agri-corps as ADM, or that he's just looking for an easy way to raise revenues to stave off the still possible bankruptcy of his state on his watch.

He's also governor of a state that is suffering directly the drug wars that are spilling from Mexico into the US border states of California, Texas, and Arizona. He knows that his National Guard might very well be shifted from Iraq and Afghanistan to the border at the height of fire season as a result of the increasing violence, thereby putting his state at risk, on his watch.

He also is fully aware that one of the biggest expenses in California is the prison system where thousands of inmates are incarcerated for drug related offenses connected to marijuana use or sales. Accompanying that is a federal law suit for horrendous medical treatment for inmates because of overcrowding and lack of funding, which has resulted in a the very real threat of a complete federal takeover of the California penal system, on his watch.

And it's not like he's calling for the legalization of marijuana with governmental regulation. He's just calling for an open debate.

And that's all we need, just that opening.

I don't care what his motivation is, this time he got it right.

Labels: ,


Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

Only Nixon can go to China.


Hey, this could be their big comeback issue! Arnold & Cheech, 2012!

5:32 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home