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In the debate over California’s upcoming ballot measure to legalize marijuana, Promethean Times has heretofore resisted editorializing so that the electorate might arrive at its own decision in November. However, the discourse has done little to educate voters, and instead has achieved the converse: leaving them confused and angry about what may very well be the defining issue of our times. This imperative makes clear the mandate that Promethean Times, as a long-trusted source of clear and accurate information, make known its stand on this very important issue.
Promethean Times does NOT support the effort to legalize marijuana in California. America’s stoners have been duped: decriminalizing cannabis is nothing more than a smokescreen for a concerted attack on vital American industries. Unfortunately, hemp-heads don’t have much time to think about these things, electing to preserve their attenuated attention spans for an Aqua Teen Hunger Force mini-marathon.
Voters are already well-acquainted with legalization’s most obvious dangers: increased crime and urban blight in the form of such scenarios as pot smokers robbing local businesses at gunpoint to support their habit, women selling themselves for as little as a dime bag, and formerly pristine streets of mainstream America festooned with Ziplocs and Zig-Zags. Moreover, anti-weed activists speak ominously of a critical snacks and munchies shortfall–the stoner’s equivalent of a “Perfect Storm.” If America found itself in the throes of a CSMS during a national event such as the Super Bowl or Final Idol, the effect upon the nation would be both immediate and calamitous.
As bad as those things are, they fail to take into account a hitherto undiscussed result of marijuana legalization: the effect legalization will have on outlaw marijuana growers. These cannabis cowboys fear that legalization will not only prove the death knell for a once-thriving industry, but also for a time-honored and cherished way of life.
The growers are right to be worried. If pot is legalized, the high quality marijuana which currently is grown in remote places like Humboldt County, California, will be available in areas of the state which up to now have been forced to settle for shwag or Mexican dirtweed. Within months of legalization places like Humboldt County will more closely resemble Harlan County, Kentucky than their former selves.
But the grim toll of legalization does not end with the outlaw growers and their families. Also affected are the businesses, often local, which provide the materials for the illegal grow operation: fertilizer & feed stores, horticulture supply stores, as well as companies manufacturing steel-jaw traps for catching poachers, lawmen and unlucky hikers.
What effect will legalization have on local peace officers? Much like tips are to servers, local law enforcement officers feed their families with the bribe money they receive from growers. Similarly, the need to use thousands upon thousands of man hours in the effort to interdict a tiny portion of the drug trade helps DEA agents pay their mortgages. How will California voters explain to the families of these law enforcement officers that because they can’t shake their jones for the sweet, sweet cheeba, there won’t be any Christmas this year–or ever again?
Legalization will be harmful enough within the borders of California, but will metastasize beyond the borders even of the nation. With the loss of the illegal marijuana trade, the Mexican drug cartels will be forced to rely solely on the enormous profits they derive from the sale of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, as well as the lucrative human-smuggling market. It’s easy to see the human face of marijuana legalization when one considers that the average Mexican narco-enforcer has 7 children to feed.
In November, California voters will be presented with an historic opportunity–the chance stand arm-in-arm with the hard-working men and women toiling in America’s illicit shadow industries, to advocate on behalf of La Familia hitmen and the Federales they bribe, and to support the legal industries which help support illegal grow operations–by voting NO on marijuana legalization. Americans are best served by restricting their indulgences to safe and legal products such as alcohol or tobacco.