I just got an email from the folks defending California's landmark clean air legislation, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, AB32. They are pulling out all the stops to get young people to turn out tomorrow to VOTE NO to PROP 23. Young voters who have been polled have not shown much energy around fighting Prop 23, even though their future is at stake.

But a recent story in the New York Times indicated that young people are turning up in droves to support the legalization of marijuana, PROP 19, coming in from all over the country to work at phone banks and drive voters to the booths.

So let me get this straight: citizens are arguing over the right to pollute--their air, and their minds. We're in a fine muddle. The fact is, marijuana today is not benign, especially to young brains that are still growing--into a person's early twenties. Marijuana's THC concentrations are far higher and far more dangerous than they were twenty or thirty years ago.

What's driving this initiative is big money; marijuana is a big, lucrative cash crop--and will be taxed. Ironically, many of the same people who don't mind polluting their brains (and lungs) will go to great lengths to avoid Bisphenol-A, (BPA) for instance, in their plastic containers, and will shop for organic produce at farmers' markets. Meantime, marijuana has been wildly genetically altered to boost potency, speed growing cycles, and keep plants small and easy to harvest.

Big money is also what's driving the initiative against clean air. Big, dirty fossil fuel money. And you know what? If we go backwards on clean air legislation, we won't be able to say we didn't inhale. If this dirty air proposition goes through, we'll all be breathing dirtier air.

I'm just saying. Do we really know what we are doing here? Are we setting in motion legislation that could compromise future generations? Is this one big smoke-screen? Do we really want to turn on, tune out--and let the world go to pot?


Renee said...

Big money drives everything, that is why America is in the mess we are in today. Our leaders have spent billions of dollars and incarcerated ten of thousands of people over marijuana to no avail. I believe the affects of alcohol on a young mind is far more devastating.

I just read the attached article and find it extremely honest when it comes to alcohol. http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/01/alcohol.harm/index.html?hpt=C2

Also, I'm all for clean air but when China is buying up all those big, dirty fossil fuel companies, will they be concerned about the air "we" breathe making all the goods "we" desire? Very doubtful.

HeHe24 said...

Just saw your beautiful interview on ABC, after I'd read your blog and feeling like I'd gotten to know you, as much as I could from your blog writings. You have beautiful eyes, and a wonderful way of speaking. I was drawn to your ideas of slowing down and seeing the beauty around me. I will be using your inspiration to tailor my days into ones of beauty and serenity.

Thank you so much for your blog, your ideas and ideals, and for a being a beautiful woman in 'middle age'. I'm facing my 65th birthday in December, dreading it as a 'Medicare Diva'. Your insignts about aging were so calming. You are indeed an inspiration.

Thea said...

Thank you. I am sick of people think marijuana isn't harmful. It worse on lungs than cigarettes! And yes, do we really need to deal with more stoners? I like my life straight up, please.

Kate said...

As a Californian (who did vote against Prop 23) I think there's more to Marijuana legalization than "it's bad" or "it's not that bad." The truth of the matter is that marijuana use is pretty widespread -- it's easy to get hold of, it's not socially stigmatized. There are good arguments in favor of legalization with the regulation and standardization that comes with it. There's also the question of our overtaxed criminal justice system and whether limited marijuana usage justifies the penalties assessed on it.

Madgew said...

Prop 23 is awful. It wants to suspend the global warming initiative
that we passed until unemployment is under 5% something that has not happened in California for over 20%. It is funded by big oil out of Texas. California hates Texans and their oil and want them to stay in their own state and ruin it more. A NO vote in this case saves California. Marijuana is not the same at all. We can stop gang trafficking and also make money by taxing it. Also, since Feds are above states whatever happens will be appealed. Please check the facts on Prop 23. It is so wrong and against all things green and endorse undercover by big oil.

Barbara said...

Even though I know it's worse for you than it used to be, I think marijuana should be legalized everywhere. Actually, I think all drugs should be legalized and taxed to the hilt. Studies have proven that crime decreases dramatically when drugs are legal. With less stress on the courts, we might actually be able to put the real bad guys away.
I'm also guessing that the young people that vote for prop 19 will also vote against prop 23.

Kellie said...

I also believe marijuana should be legalized. I don't smoke it, nor cigarettes, and I believe that alcohol is so much worse. Tax it, I say.

mytwocentsworth said...

I have long been of the opinion that marijuana gives a person a huge case of what I call the "I don't care's"; it lingers in the brain for perhaps a lifetime. To date, I've observed nothing that would change my mind. Not a good thing for our country.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Californians (abd the rest of us) care more about their health and the planet than they do about their hair.

mary said...

I'm in complete agreement!! And I will be at the poles bright and early. Especially regarding #23.

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

It is amazing what opiates move the masses.

BTW, I wanted to drop a line to let you know how transformative your wonderful book has been for my mother and myself.

Mom's already lost over 40 lbs. on your dear doc's stringent regimen and after years getting weepy over your editor's letters, I was inspired to dive into blogging.

Many thanks, Alcira


Anonymous said...

For the very same reasons that you so clearly and reasonably state, I voted "No" this morning in Massachusetts on the non-binding referendum about legalizing marijuana here. We all need to make sure that our friends, neighbors, and young relatives understand the very real downsides of these initiatives.
Keep up the good work! Polly in Salem, MA

fjdye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Ann said...

As always and about every issue there are pros and cons, results and unintended consequences with every choice. We will each choose based on those things that align best with our own values. The ONLY thing that distresses me is that it is so very hard to hear facts through the noise of ignorance.

Rain said...

I favor legalizing marijuana but there can be the same age limits on it that there are on alcohol, likewise for driving. Those who want to use it will anyway but this would make sure the supply is safe which is not the case when you fund a whole illegal network to sell it and who knows what they sell. I don't use it, have never smoked it, but it seems to me it's like alcohol for having to use your head on how much you use or even whether you do. Laws against either don't work. And we are helping some very dangerous people stay profitable when we make it illegal. I hear it's going down but it's too bad as it's not facing reality.

Väva! Veve! said...

Mary Ann, you captured the challenge of deciding and voting so well!! That is the battle we all face! And to become informed in an unbiased way, to get the truth is becoming more and more difficult. Running for office has become a very sophisticated game of scientific, psychological warfare. Millions are spent in finding out how best to influence the masses, how to manipulate the votes. But it falls on each one of us not only to vote, but to make these decisions in an informed way and not respond to the manipulative ad campaigns and mudslinging! It's an uphill battle, but one that is essential if we are to maintain the liberties we still have!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comments on Prop 19! I live in the SF Bay Area and share most of the liberal political views of many people here, and it seems like everyone here just assumes I would be pro legalization. But my twin sister's slide into mental illness was pushed along by her use of various drugs, including super strong "medical" marijuana that no decent doctor ever would've prescribed for her, given her history of delusional episodes. OF COURSE legalizing it will increase the access that kids have to it. Thank goodness some pediatricians and researchers are pointing that out

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