Will Somebody Please Think of the Children: Why The Prohibition On Marijuana Must End, Now

(This Fall, I have been doing a bi-weekly column at the Reporta.  Recently its host, John Osborn, had a change of heart on Prop. 19 and offered me the chance to co-publish his opinion piece.  He speaks very passionately on something we  in the Emerald Triangle must think about carefully.)

Guest post by John Osborn (The Reporta)

Will Somebody Please Think of the Children

Why the prohibition on marijuana must end, now

By John C. Osborn

As a child of the new generation sweeping across the land, born within the knowledge-filled bounty of the Internet at my fingertips, and as a human who watches with abject horror the overcrowding of prisons and state bans on harmless and beneficial plants, I say this: we must end this archaic prohibition on marijuana. We must end it on Nov. 2.

Proposition 19, affectionately called the Tax and Regulate Cannabis Act, would, in a nutshell, allow for the recreational use, cultivation, and sales of marijuana, with restrictions. It could end, in California at least, a 75-year prohibition on a plant that contains a plethora of professionally documented medicinal effects, is not physically addictive, is not lethal, is enjoyed by an estimated 15 million Americans, and is packing our prisons with non-violent stoners.

Never before has an issue proposed on a ballot caused such a strong rift with me at least, requiring a constant examination, and then re-examination, of the facts and possible effects behind this law. At first, I viewed Prop. 19 with a suspicious eye and initially criticized the provisions that would criminalize use around minors and about allowing municipalities the ability to restrict recreational sales. It made me think of Prop. 215 and how, after 14 years, officials and governments are still baffled about how to reconcile the right of a patient to grow with the rights of a community.

Add into this the unique experience of living within the coveted Emerald Triangle, the region where most of the state’s, if not the country’s, marijuana is cultivated, feeding a rural economy here devastated by the decline in the timber industry with much needed economic sustenance. The quandary of what kind of impact bringing this black-gray market to light will have on this region has certainly been a cause of concern for any person with at least a minimal amount of perspective here. It is not an exaggeration to say that virtually every industry in Humboldt County – groceries, hardware, fuel, agricultural supplies, clothing and entertainment to highlight a few – is invigorated to some degree by marijuana money and could suffer from a collapse in prices.

This perspective is not widely acknowledged by Californians, and people captiously deride opponents in the North as voracious growers who want to keep a stranglehold on the lucrative black market at any cost. While this might be true for some, please understand there is more to legalization than that for us Northerners.

As if this issue wasn’t hippy enough, what ultimately convinced me that Prop. 19 needs to pass was a short, yet vivid, dream the other night that highlighted two main reasons. The first was simple enough – cannabis is medicine. It does not have “roots in Hell” as the propaganda of past days had tried to push on us; it is rooted in health, and if you ask any user how effective it is at relieving stress and anxiety, how they have been able to quell other addictions with its use, or how it helps alleviate the adverse effects of modern treatments, e.g. chemotherapy, they will tell you, without hesitation, that marijuana is a blessing, not a curse.

The second reason is more existential: our children should not grow up and live in a world where this medicine is outlawed, where state power is wasted incarcerating small-time users and damning them to share bunk space with violent criminals, where our law enforcement apparatus expends precious time targeting this harmless crop and it’s harvesters over the scourge of meth and other truly social ails, and where people still live in the zeitgeist of the “Reefer Madness” world, where stoned zombies murder and rape in drug-induced frenzies. Wake up.

What has always made marijuana “violent” has been it’s illegal status, plain and simple. If you meet the growers just trying to make a living or who are providing for their personal consumption, you do not see the mafias, the cartels, the individuals and institutions violently battling to control this plant for its profitability; you see mothers, fathers, teachers, musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs. And that last point will be the boom for our local and state economy; just imagine all the innovations that will come from marijuana finally being legal.

Prop. 19 isn’t perfect, but the time has come for this prohibition to end. We must remember the specter of the short-lived prohibition on alcohol in the 1920s, which was also perpetuated by zealous interests in the government who sought to impose their moral perspective on the rest of the county, and the ultimate consequence of that fueled the vicious and violent black market of that time.

The times are truly changing. Perhaps it’s time to change with them, if not for yourself, for your children.
.

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15 comments

  • POSTED !!!!!!!!!

  • The answer is no Kym. As evidenced in NCJ’s last post about the subject.

  • The answer is no Kym. As evidenced in NCJ’s last post about the subject.

  • The connection to children was too weak to trumpet in a title. The cost of jailing marijuana users is not just a future cost, but a cost existing today. It would seem the author’s concern is that my children will grow up to become marijuana users and get arrested. That’s pretty low on my list of concerns for my children.

    FYI, when I read “will someone please think of the children” it sounded like a facetious title. (Maybe it is, and I missed the joke.)

  • The connection to children was too weak to trumpet in a title. The cost of jailing marijuana users is not just a future cost, but a cost existing today. It would seem the author’s concern is that my children will grow up to become marijuana users and get arrested. That’s pretty low on my list of concerns for my children.

    FYI, when I read “will someone please think of the children” it sounded like a facetious title. (Maybe it is, and I missed the joke.)

  • …….in cali you can already have an oz without fear of arrest and a permanent record. Why would you want your child to have more then an oz? how many “small time users” end up in prison?

  • …….in cali you can already have an oz without fear of arrest and a permanent record. Why would you want your child to have more then an oz? how many “small time users” end up in prison?

  • ‘ “Prop. 19 isn’t perfect, but the time has come for this prohibition to end. We must remember the specter of the short-lived prohibition on alcohol in the 1920s, which was also perpetuated by zealous interests in the government who sought to impose their moral perspective on the rest of the county, and the ultimate consequence of that fueled the vicious and violent black market of that time.
    The times are truly changing. Perhaps it’s time to change with them, if not for yourself, for your children….. ‘ ”

    PROPAGANDA – You can usually spot it without help, but when you see someone point out that their effort IS NOT propaganda – that’s a sure sign that it is. This particular piece of propaganda has been perfect enough to bring me out of my comfortable certainty long enough to remind Californians of this simple fact.

    Your state has been feeding the beast for almost as long as my child has been alive. It is now in the deepest part of the financial crises pool. Your state willl not help you when this gets to the supreme court. The law enforcement apparatus that will prosecute you will pay the state to turn you over to them by refusing to pay them if they do not.

    In terms you might better understand, terms a child could understand, you do not get another sack until you pay for the one you just smoked. To break it down even further, to the level of the infantry man in Laos in 1968, Happy Ending = Fi Dolla More.

    The drug dealers that have decieved you these many years have recently been bailed out by the same Federal Government you can no longer rely on your state to defend you against. In history, this propaganda translates to: “there is no bread, let them smoke weed.” If there are only two sides to this story, the drug dealers and the cops, it is important to remember that the cops have a better record of shooting the right people.

    Your drug dealers don’t care about your roads or the education of your children. They dream of incorporating and joining the big boys who have made sport of ignoring the concerns of a free society. They do not give a rat’s shank about the Utopia you dream of… they are putting our children to work in the basement while your dreams of liberty and compassion go ‘up in smoke.’ This is a reference to the local CPS workers defending the practice of putting their own Minor Children to work in their own ‘legal’ grow ops.

    I will take my time and address this perfect and redundant propaganda in my own way. I will not do it here. Not because Humboldt County does not deserve to hear the truth, but because of the community’s demonstrated aversion to accepting it.

  • ‘ “Prop. 19 isn’t perfect, but the time has come for this prohibition to end. We must remember the specter of the short-lived prohibition on alcohol in the 1920s, which was also perpetuated by zealous interests in the government who sought to impose their moral perspective on the rest of the county, and the ultimate consequence of that fueled the vicious and violent black market of that time.
    The times are truly changing. Perhaps it’s time to change with them, if not for yourself, for your children….. ‘ ”

    PROPAGANDA – You can usually spot it without help, but when you see someone point out that their effort IS NOT propaganda – that’s a sure sign that it is. This particular piece of propaganda has been perfect enough to bring me out of my comfortable certainty long enough to remind Californians of this simple fact.

    Your state has been feeding the beast for almost as long as my child has been alive. It is now in the deepest part of the financial crises pool. Your state willl not help you when this gets to the supreme court. The law enforcement apparatus that will prosecute you will pay the state to turn you over to them by refusing to pay them if they do not.

    In terms you might better understand, terms a child could understand, you do not get another sack until you pay for the one you just smoked. To break it down even further, to the level of the infantry man in Laos in 1968, Happy Ending = Fi Dolla More.

    The drug dealers that have decieved you these many years have recently been bailed out by the same Federal Government you can no longer rely on your state to defend you against. In history, this propaganda translates to: “there is no bread, let them smoke weed.” If there are only two sides to this story, the drug dealers and the cops, it is important to remember that the cops have a better record of shooting the right people.

    Your drug dealers don’t care about your roads or the education of your children. They dream of incorporating and joining the big boys who have made sport of ignoring the concerns of a free society. They do not give a rat’s shank about the Utopia you dream of… they are putting our children to work in the basement while your dreams of liberty and compassion go ‘up in smoke.’ This is a reference to the local CPS workers defending the practice of putting their own Minor Children to work in their own ‘legal’ grow ops.

    I will take my time and address this perfect and redundant propaganda in my own way. I will not do it here. Not because Humboldt County does not deserve to hear the truth, but because of the community’s demonstrated aversion to accepting it.

  • Don’t forget about all them American kids who won’t be able to afford matching gangsta hats with the weed and meth markets flooded by Mexicans. These kids need that money for new shoes, embroidered jeans for summer, embroidered jeans and sweaters for winter, phat gold watches and shit, the sickest Ray-Bans, new cell phones, hella stops at Jamba Juice… and they gotta compete with a bunch of cops with $1000 guns over this shit. It ain’t fair. Should make weed illegal to sell besides under 18 year-olds get a talking to and a weekend in juvenile hall for holding weight. Next time they gotta flip on their older cousin and strip their financial aid.

    Tho… that’s how it is now. Leave as is then. Police can keep targeting young latino and black adults for the fake concerns of old white ladies. Makes perfect sense. Cool. State should just look up up half the folks a non-white looking family name and drop a $100 weed ticket in the mail, that’d be fair. What’s gonna happen anyway?

  • Don’t forget about all them American kids who won’t be able to afford matching gangsta hats with the weed and meth markets flooded by Mexicans. These kids need that money for new shoes, embroidered jeans for summer, embroidered jeans and sweaters for winter, phat gold watches and shit, the sickest Ray-Bans, new cell phones, hella stops at Jamba Juice… and they gotta compete with a bunch of cops with $1000 guns over this shit. It ain’t fair. Should make weed illegal to sell besides under 18 year-olds get a talking to and a weekend in juvenile hall for holding weight. Next time they gotta flip on their older cousin and strip their financial aid.

    Tho… that’s how it is now. Leave as is then. Police can keep targeting young latino and black adults for the fake concerns of old white ladies. Makes perfect sense. Cool. State should just look up up half the folks a non-white looking family name and drop a $100 weed ticket in the mail, that’d be fair. What’s gonna happen anyway?

  • Pingback: “PROP 19 – The Marijuana Legalization Initiative” and related posts | Hot Quick News

  • Pingback: “PROP 19 – The Marijuana Legalization Initiative” and related posts | Hot Quick News

  • Kym,
    Is this a joke post? John Osborn’s opinion is somehow relevant? Now you think about the children? When all else fails, use the poor, defenseless little children. Why is it they never mattered before? It’s too little and way too late. Regardless how the Proposition goes, pot in our North Coast society is like cancer that has already killed the host including its many children. It’s stage four all the way.

  • Kym,
    Is this a joke post? John Osborn’s opinion is somehow relevant? Now you think about the children? When all else fails, use the poor, defenseless little children. Why is it they never mattered before? It’s too little and way too late. Regardless how the Proposition goes, pot in our North Coast society is like cancer that has already killed the host including its many children. It’s stage four all the way.

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