Chances Are High Pot Measure Will Pass

That proposed ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in California for people 21 and older – and let local government tax the sales – has a good chance of passing.

People are no longer outraged by the idea of legalization, and truth be told, there is just too much money to be made both by the people who grow marijuana and the cities and counties that would be able to tax it.

Unlike the 1970s, when Mayor George Moscone first moved to decriminalize pot, marijuana is no longer about hippies. Thanks to medical marijuana, pot has moved from the alleyways to Main Street, with pot clubs springing up all over the state.

And let’s be honest for a moment. How many of the people going into those clubs do you think are really sick? Anyone who has observed those operations knows that much of the pot is being used recreationally anyway, so we might as well have a discussion about whether to bring it out in the open.

You might think the Legislature would pick up on this, and indeed Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, has made a proposal to legalize and tax pot. But although legalizing marijuana fits both Republicans’ libertarian instincts and Democrats’ progressivism, they won’t touch it with a 10-foot-long pack of rolling papers.

For all our weak-kneed politicians, however, I don’t see any organized opposition to legal pot on the horizon. So if the pot growers put their money in the right places, they win in 2010.

– Article from San Fransisco Chronicle