A full day of Prop. 19 today: first the discussion at Cal State Fullerton – where I didn’t get to find out whether the brownies were strictly non-psychoactive, as the organizers claimed, because the audience snarfed them all up before the panelists could get to them – and then opposite Judge James Gray on Ian Masters’s program.
For today’s efforts, I received a quite nice Cal State Fullerton mug and an impressively anti-Semitic email from some Truther who listens to KPFK. I’m starting to wonder whether this is something a grown-up should really make a habit of. (Debating Prop. 19, that is; smoking pot is a also a questionable habit, but in a different way.)
Between today and earlier occasions, I have learned a remarkable number of things I never knew before:
*Marijuana is California’s biggest cash crop.
*Marijuana is 2-4 times as addictive as alcohol.
*Portugal’s decriminalization provides a good basis for predictions about the results of Proposition 19.
*Legalizing cannabis production in California will strike a blow at Mexican drug trafficking organizations and reduce violence. (Ignore the RAND estimate that cannabis sales to CA account for about 3% of DTO revenues.)
*Mexican DTOs will make up for any lost cannabis revenues by increasing sales of other drugs and organizing sales to minors.
*Prop. 19 will yield billions of dollars in revenue to California.
*Cannabis is easier for schoolchildren to get than alcohol; Prop. 19 will make it harder for teenagers to get cannabis because the market will be regulated.
*Cannabis smoking is more carcinogenic than cigarette smoking.
*Under Prop. 19, cities and towns will outsource cannabis production the low bidder and then sell it to consumers. They won’t do any marketing.
*Prop. 19 forbids your employer from firing you for lighting up at work.
*Prop. 19 will lead to an epidemic of stoned driving.
*Prop. 19 will cost California billions of dollars in federal grants and contracts because employers won’t be able to have the required “drug-free workplaces.”
*Marijuana accounts for a substantial share of incarceration on drug charges.
*When pot is legal, the price won’t fall dramatically.
*When the price of pot falls dramatically, that won’t cause a big increase in consumption.
*All the marketing efforts of the legal cannabis industry won’t change demand for pot.
*All the lobbying efforts of the legal cannabis industry won’t lead to lower taxes and looser regulations.
*Canada exports a billion dollars’ a year worth of industrial hemp to the United States.
I think I managed to get through without being actively rude to anyone. The key is to un-learn the academic habit of treating every proposition and argument offered as needing to be taken seriously and requiring a refutation, if false.
Note to self Making sh*t up is a valuable research technique. Must use it more often.