January 5, 2010

"Soccer Moms" support legalizing pot in California, according to poll

Californians are likely to have the chance to vote in November on whether to legalize marijuana.  Proponents of an initiative, known as the Tax and Regulate Initiative, have gathered more than enough signatures to put it on November's ballot, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting. The measure would give local governments the authority to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older.

And, apparently that's a key reason that suburban "soccer moms," the swing voters on this issue, are likely to say yes.  These moms apparently want their adult children to have a safer way to buy pot, Ruth Bernstein, a pollster with EMC Research in Oakland told the Chronicle. The firm is doing polling and focus groups on behalf of the measure's proponents.

"One of the scary things to some people is that their kids may be buying it from someone dangerous," Bernstein said.

The story continues:

Some soccer moms acknowledge that it is relatively easy for even their adult children to buy potm Berstein said. They have talked with their kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Twelve percent of those surveyed have smoked weed and 19 percent say a family member has, according to an EMC survey of 800 likely voters in August.

Bernstein said parents are worried about "this scary black-market system."

The story adds:
Legalization advocates want to capitalize on a wave of renewed interest in legalization, much of it bolstered by a state Board of Equalization study saying that the taxing and regulating of marijuana could raise as much as $1.4 billion in annual revenue.

Proponents say that resonates with Californians in light of the state's projected $20.7 billion budget deficit from now through the fiscal year that begins July 1.
This Soccer Mom has raised questions about medical and recreational marijuana in this story (and others listed below)--specifically why we affluent adult suburbanites can legally and recreationally enjoy our wine bars and apple-tinis and sports park brews--and get sloshed at fundraising galas for worthy local charities and school auctions. 

But people who prefer marijuana as their drug of choice can't officially use it for recreational use.

Oh, and my guess is that a lot of us affluent suburbanites enjoying our wine flights and artisan cocktails at least tried pot, recreationally, back in our younger days...

And, hey, maybe some of the local school districts could get ahold of some of that legal pot tax revenue. Why not? We could get those class sizes back down in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District and save its fourth and fifth grade music programs and spare other local districts the now annual uncertainty over whether they will have to lay off teachers and cut more programs....

Pot, a treatment for alcoholism? But no "cure" yet for what ails Walnut Creek's own pot club

Could Walnut Creek follow West Hollywood's medical marijuana example?

Marijuana Paranoia: Our perplexing attitudes about pot and crime, but what about crime and that other socially acceptable mind-altering substance?


Masterlock said...

It's interesting to me that they would single out such a specific group as "Soccer Moms" for this issue, but whatever - at this point with the budget situation in this state, it just seems like common sense.

Anonymous said...

Oh SM, I can hardly wait for Mickey to wake up and get online. What have you done!!!!

Anonymous said...

So much for the red ribbon days of "hugs not drugs" campaign, if the schools benefit.

Anonymous said...

Red ribbon week warns against the dangers of alcohol and cigarettes, items that are legal for adults to consume. There's no reason to assume that the legalization of pot (or taxes from its sale being used for the benefit of schools) would change the message of red ribbon week.

Anonymous said...

12:21 PM:

"There's no reason to assume that the legalization of pot (or taxes from its sale being used for the benefit of schools) would change the message of red ribbon week."

Please tell us that you are kidding!

Pepsi and Coke can no longer have soft drink machines on our campus' but we are happy to legalize pot just to get tax money???

Anonymous said...

1:01 PM:

I never said I was happy to legalize pot just for the tax money. I think it should be legalized regardless of the tax benefits.

My point was that red ribbon week already educates kids about the harmful effects of substances that are legal and are widely consumed (and even beneficial in certain quantities), and that the legalization of pot wouldn't change that, not even if the schools benefitted from a pot tax.

Could we no longer educate kids about the harmfulness of cigarettes if the schools benefitted from a tax on cigarettes? Could we no longer educate kids about the harmfulness of alcohol if the schools benefitted from a tax on alcohol? I don't attend the event, but my kid's school benefits from the sale of alcohol at an annual auction. I don't think that prevents us from teaching about the harmful effects of alcohol.

Anonymous said...

Will there be a tax benefit? All the state regulator jobs, inspector jobs, special agency jobs, new pot agency buildings will probably outweigh the benefit.

Remember all the money legalized gambling was to provide? Seems the state and the schools are still broke.

Anonymous said...

Legalize pot, free up police and court resources, get some tax revenues. Seems like a good idea to me!

It would still need to be treated like a DUI situation if driving after over-indulging, but I really see no reason not to legalize it.

And if it were legal, imagine the money that legitimate farmers and businesspeople could make from growing and selling it. Also, while we're at it, let's make it easier for farmers to grow hemp, for goodness' sake. In this recesssion in particular, governments should be doing everything they can to promote jobs and save money in a humane and logical way.

Anonymous said...

...but we are happy to legalize pot just to get tax money???

Abso-flippin-lutely. The war on drugs is a joke. Prohibition (which is exactly what making marijuana illegal is) is a joke. It never worked.

Either legalize pot, or make booze and tobacco products illegal. Period.

MickeyMartin said...

Good morning. I think all of my points have been made here. Cannabis is safe. Check. Prohibition is what creates crime. Check. We lose a huge tax benefit from not taxing and regulating this plant. Check. War on cannabis is a failure. Check. I think there is plenty of common sense here, where I need not go into another lecture.

Anonymous said...

Oh Mickey, you are back! I knew that you eventually would have to make a comment on this subject. Where have you been and what took you so long?

Batting cleanup is not so great as the posted subject is about to slip to another page so the impact of your wonderfully wise words will be lost.

Sorry, you still haven't convinced me that pot should be legalized and taxed. Not just because of the stigma attached to pot but because of the huge bureauracy that would be created because of the legalization. One can only wonder just how messed up growing, preparing, distributing and selling pot legally would be when the government gets involved.

Juliet Grossman said...

Legalize it, regulate it, and tax it. There is potential to raise money through taxation, but the real benefit will be in savings from criminal justice system, jails, and law enforcement. Let's get our Border Patrol to work keeping us safe working on counterterrorism. Law enforcement can focus on actual real threats to our safety (plus with decriminalization of marijuana you remove *more* crime that is a side-effect of making it illegal.)

This is an extremely important issue for us on the ballot in November. Supporters of decriminalization & regulation/taxation are incredibly mainstream. I am a soccer mom too. I live in a leafy suburb.

I am mad as hell that we are asked to sit back and watch our schools, hospitals, and other issues that affect our real safety and quality of life on a day to day basis go down the tubes because we're out of money, when we're WASTING millions on enforcement of something that doesn't need to be enforced in the first place.

Plus....making pot illegal doesn't stop people from using it. Remember alcohol prohibition and how great that turned out?

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