Take a listen to Afroman's "Because I got High" then tell me if legalization of pot is a good thing?
By Angelica Leicht
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As you drive up the long, gravel-lined drive of the small clapboard house in south Texas, not much seems unusual. An old hunting dog suns himself on the porch, and the modest decor of the peeling front porch — a weathered rocker and a swing — drips with small-town charm.
You'd never guess that it's quite modern inside, though. Just beyond the front door sit not only tidy living quarters, but a sophisticated cannabis grow house presided over by a war veteran whose hands curl like claws most mornings. His knees and back ache, making mobility difficult, especially when it rains. And here in this small town by the water, it rains often.
A cannabis advocate and medical user, Tim, who asked that we not use his real name, has been smoking cannabis daily for a number of years now, and after a while, growing his own marijuana by means of a hydroponic system seemed the logical way to go.
The contraption he built seems more the brainchild of a mad scientist-cum-expert gardener than of this older country man, but it is his nonetheless. He has crafted it all, from the vent system, powered by two minuscule computer fans, to the plant's light source, an advanced-technology LED lighting system.
In the ten or so years that Tim has been growing, he's become quite the indoor gardener. It's just too risky to grow marijuana outside, and with his apparatus, Tim can control the conditions, genetics and potency of the plant. The lights are set to the flowering and vegetative cycle, and with the careful acuity it takes to garden in here, he sometimes gets two crops from one plant.
What he can't control are the laws of Texas, the ones that say what he is doing is illegal. It's against the law to grow marijuana and equally illegal to use it for any purpose — even though cannabinoids, an active component of cannabis sativa, or marijuana, are widely regarded as a pain reliever for rheumatoid arthritis.
Perhaps not for much longer, though, for reasons as much practical as humanitarian.
With the reefer madness currently going on around the nation, a peculiar thing has happened. Texas has started discussing the unthinkable: legalizing marijuana.
Look back a couple of years, and a pro-pot stance in Texas was equal to political death. The only politicians brave enough to broach the subject — guys like Kinky Friedman — were going to be a tough sell to the general public anyway. Today, though, addressing your pot stance is an expected part of the platform.
If the results of recent polls are correct, it seems that Texas residents want what other states have: legalization. A poll conducted by The University of Texas and the Texas Tribune showed that 77 percent of registered voters in Texas believe in some form of legalization. Of that, 28 percent would agree only to medical legalization, while 49 percent are in favor of blanket legalization.
It makes sense that Texans would also set their eyes on the big business of legal reefer. After all, it appears to have worked out well for the states that have repealed prohibitions on marijuana.
Colorado's and Washington's pot industries are thriving. The governor of Colorado has predicted that the next fiscal year will bring the state $98 million in cannabis sales and taxes, a figure that is well above projections. While Washington state is still in the early days of its blanket legalization, forecasters predict that the state will see as much as $190 million over a four-year period, starting in 2015.
Small-business growth in both states is booming, and new cannabis-related jobs are popping up daily in everything from bud-tending to pot tourism. The nation's first "pot editor," Richard Baca, has been hired by The Denver Post; our sister paper Westword in Denver has had a pot writer for the past five years; and a host of other media outlets now employ cannabis writers and reviewers. It seems pot is big business at the moment, and folks from out of state are flocking to Colorado job fairs in record numbers in hopes of landing a gig in the industry.
Contrary to what was predicted in the days prior to legalization in Colorado, cannabis sales aren't raising crime rates. In fact, it appears that in the age of legal weed, crime rates in Colorado are falling. Denver has seen a decrease in property crime and violent crime in the three months that marijuana has been legal, which directly contradicts what opponents had said. Perhaps there is indeed something to that old mellow-pothead stereotype, at least in the Centennial State.
The movement of states on medical marijuana has snowballed, and 22 states and Washington, D.C., have now legalized medical marijuana. As of May 15, Minnesota became the 22nd state to legalize medical cannabis, but the agreed-upon legislation, a toned-down version of the original bill, limits Minnesota to much tighter restrictions than other states. While the law now allows medical patients in the state to use the drug in oil, pill or vapor form, use of the actual marijuana plant is not allowed. The legislation also limits the number of manufacturing facilities and dispensaries statewide.
Take a listen to Afroman's "Because I got High" then tell me if legalization of pot is a good thing?
Seeking man's wisdom about marijuana, and reject the knowledge of God. "God's truth about marijuana" jesusworksministry.org
The entire state is controlled by corrupt lawyers and corrupt politicians ... Lawyers make millions defending average citizens POM charges each year, millions and millions. Most cases never see the inside of a court room. They are plea bargained out with cash payments to the courts and to the lawyers. It is a HUGE racket of asset forfeiture the crooked courts and crooked judges and crooked DA’s and crooked lawyers CA$H cow. All these brand new privately owned jails and detention centers depend on this corrupt crooked despicable situation of marijuana probation to keep the jails full and the CA$H cow of asset forfeiture flowing.
The only way we will see legalized hemp and marijuana in Texas is the day when all these corrupt politicians, lawyers, judges and the powerful people who secretly run this state somehow find a way to CASH in a vastly greater way and amount than they are doing by keep hemp and marijuana illegal. They will never ever do it for the good of the people, or because it is the RIGHT thing to do.
Isn't Texas the state that is threatening to send a teen to prison for life for making pot brownies?
@DonkeyHotay Sounds like you do not understand prohibition. You either pay the black market tax or the government gets their but.
You have no citizen initiative process in Texas. Therefore, all of this is up to politicians. Good luck expecting them to behave like real human beings.
"Could" Legalization of Marijuana Be in Texas's Future? Clearly a rhetorical question, to which the only reasonable answer - unless you are on Big Pharma produced legal, potentially fatal, prescription meds - is Yes! In spite of 70 years of a war on a plant, and $1 TRILLION dollars in taxpayer spending, people have figured out that a plant that has a lower lethal dose than water should not be illegal. With Texas surrounded by states that will legalize in a few years if they haven't already, and Mexico as a source of low grade but cheap weed, they will have no choice.
My question is, since TX seems to be so big on individual rights and doing what you want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, what is the problem? People are going to smoke the ganja, just like they drank during Prohibition, so why waste police time and taxpayer money fighting the inevitable? On top of that, the Feds are agin it, so shouldn't they be for it just in principle?
In Kalifornia, the Bill of Rights are numbered, 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. In Texass, the Bil of Rights are numbered 2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2.
The real gateway drug is alcohol with tobacco second...they used all the negative evidence found with these two drugs and applied their attributes to pot to further their evil cause...reefer madness...
It is time to ship these robber politicians and their minions back to the robber baron police states whence they came from. No more property taxes, no more $500 traffic tickets, no more murder by cops, no more theft of land from families, and no more drug war bs! We had no real problems before these monkeys took over and their anti pot and anti hippie Illuminati has to go now! Vote out incumbents, religious nuts, and people on agendas that do not put Texas first! Thieves are stealing the state blind while these buffoons chase kids down for smoking a joint behind the barn! Send them all back to Washington and leave us alone. We do not need them anymore!
trust this hippie idea will be crushed by Texans - thin edge of the wedge here lads - need to start gaoling users - we have the technology - we need more money and prisons to teach these scofflaws the true value of freedom and liberty. There is no other solution - look at the places where pot is legal - Holland - Kanada and North Korea - countries of crime and filth with no hope. Let us increase enforcement to rid the state of this deadly scourge! Amerika MUST remain free of these fatal fantasies - we already have some problems with the bevy of legal drugs including the more benign ones like alcohol and tobacco - do we need more? I think the consensus is no and can be seen from the majority of informed commenters .
Great article btw..don't let that fool get on your nerves. Texas is too conservative to legalize this harmless plant. Proof of this is how one Texas resident is facing 5 years to life for hash brownies, only in Texas would this happen. I have been a TDCJ officer for over ten years and you never hear about the people who are sentenced to 10 or more years for cannabis. Ill never forget this one 19 year old inmate who is serving a 30 year sentence for marijuana. I read their travel cards every time they move between units or are released and what almost made me quit is when a two time child molester in the same cell block as that 19 year old was released time served on a 12 year stint. I cant even describe how i felt that day...it is so messed up, only if the public knew.
I'll know I live in a truly free country when I can legally ride from one coast to the other with a pistol in one pocket and a bag of marijuana in the other.
meanwhile, somewhere else in texas: Teen Faces Life Sentence for Baking Pot Brownies http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/teen-faces-life-sentence-pot-brownies-23808314
As a person living with chronic pain from spinal arthritis and systemic lupus, an autoimmune disorder, I would love the option to try cannabinoids as an alternative or adjunct to opioid medications. Decriminalization is not good enough. Why should a person be fined for possession of a legitimately prescribed medicine for a documented condition? Why should we not welcome a relatively safe alternative to opiates which produce tolerance and require escalating doses? For that matter, there is no legitimate reason to consider possession or use of marijuana illegal while permitting alcohol and tobacco.
As a Texas Ex-Pat, I read this with interest. Maybe I will be able to return to my home state rather than move to a more enlightened state. As a current resident of the State of Kansas, I have to argue that the bills that were introduced to the Kansas Legislature, who, like Texas, must approve the change, rather than leaving it to a public vote, are now "stuck" in committee by committee chairs who refuse to allow the bills an initial reading. I always laugh when others hold up Kansas as an example, when the reality is that Kansas has had this bill offered 6 times in the past 6 years and it never gets out of committee. Texas will have legalized marijuana (medical or recreational) long before Kansas gets it head out of its collective ass and brings legalization about. The sad thing is that legalization of marijuana and hemp could save this state (and many others). I wish you well in the fight to legalize marijuana in Texas... I'm moving to Colorado.
Cannabis is more then an intoxicant and this should be highlighted on our road to freedom. Small farms can grow cannabis (hemp) for many things and will do so better than most other plants out there. We can produce more food per acre, more fiber per acre and more money per acre for small farms then any other crop out there and none of that would require it being sold as an intoxicant to these know nothing fools in government. Cannabis is a gateway but only to introversion and gardening. I have smoked cannabis for nearly 20 years and I have zero shame in that. I love the euphoria of certain strains and the calming properties of others. My one beef with the piece is that it brings up a myth that strains of marijuana are stronger now then they were in the 70's. This just isn't true and you cannot change genetics. One could say that certain strains have been bred to have higher THC levels but the plant itself hasn't changed much only that the quality is more abundant then it was in the 70's.
I'm not from Texas but I am all for it for the state or any states at that matter. It is a crying shame that weed is being so hard to legalize. Why are there people who are so weak and brainwashed into thinking that there should be a pot prohibition? It makes me sick. Legalize this wonderful plant and let freedom ring please. It's not weed that is evil, it is the failed prohibition against weed that is evil. Wake up and smell the pot America. FREE THE PLANT!!!
the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13
1000s of my friends and family have grown 30-99 plants for 20 years, thanks for keeping prices high and NORCAL wealthy...#1 crop in cali = $15 Billion Untaxed
"any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420
from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new
20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states and more blacks are in prison then were slaves before the civil war...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…Texas will be the very last
Deaths by Alcohol and Tobacco: Millions
Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
Deaths by Guns: Millions
Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom
love and freedom forever
AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS! 33
Roll up your sleeves. Roll up your doobies and wait, cuz you will be waiting a hell of a long time for Texas to legalize anything.
@stevennolin ... only an IDIOT would beg the Government to TAX and REGULATE anything they actually cared about.
Only a bong-sucking imbecile would deliberately conflate "harmless marijuana" with deadly alcohol that harms, maims and kills 100s of THOUSANDS of people every year.
@cpringle This has to be a joke right?
@dissturbbed Someone in the legislature has got it in for pot users and has made astounding changes to pot laws with little or no review. This idea that pot is a different drug than the crystals washed off of pot makes it into a different substance is just cruel. And the fact that cities are making big bank running (clogging) courts with pot users and running up the tab on them to $10,000 for possession of a small amount of pot is evil! There are even two laws on the books! They can choose to write then a traffic ticket or use the court system. They choose the court system. I say get rid of the two choices and bring it to one choice. And Texas needs to have a petition rule also. Not being allowed to submit a petition for a vote is Nazi politics!
@Pat149 The reason is haters and money...their attitude is screw everyone but us...
I guess I should back track a little and say that obviously you can have GMO weed, and although there are companies out there doing this, that is not why the quality of cannabis has increased over the years. The quality has increased because bad traits and genetics have been bred out and quality cannabis is much more plentiful then it was in the 70's. Cannabis from Thailand is probably of the exact same quality as it was in the summer of 1975 and has a high concentration of THC. This strain could be crossed with a Colombian or Mexican strain and increase that particular strains levels of THC but the plateau is around 25% and I doubt you will see much higher than that.
@markjonesisman I thought it was a well written piece and I don't really understand why you think the author is an idiot other than maybe it not being in illustration art form for you to break down crayola style.
@markjonesisman That idiot would be me. Would you like to tell me why I'm an idiot? I mean, perhaps a bit of constructive criticism would be more a more effective route to take...
@sweetcookies3333 ... the only thing "ringing" is the empty space between your ears.
@jbjb cum-expert? I'll leave that to your imagination... ;)
@annaleicht I would not say or call you an idiot. It was well written, but just like may father, you ask a question and it takes an hour of talking, and how he came up to his answer, who else he talked to, how long his research took before getting a yes or no answer. I DON"T CARE!!! A lot of people just want an answer. I wanted to know if it could be legal in Texas. I don't care if a guy is growing it illegally, or why he is, or what made him start in the first place..., none of my business. Or the history of Texas views on pot, and how green the grass was before it became illegal the first time, then how green it became when it became legal on the moon, how bright the sun was shining, the birds in the trees....blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.. I only read about 4 paragraphs before I realized that it was an essay, as apposed to yes it could be by this date, or sorry folks not going to happen because on some governor, or senator voted against it.
@stevennolin utter nonsense.
What is the blackmarket / government tax on Oregano ? ... or Tomatoes ?
If the morons would actually LEGALIZE it -- LIKE TOMATOES -- there would be no black market at all.
The current quagmire in Colorado, Washington and elsewhere with their Massive Government Regulation and Taxation schemes is that BOTH markets now pressure those "licensed" producers -- the blackmarket which can ALWAYS produce a better and cheaper crop, and the greedy insatiable bloodsuckers at the Dept. of Revenue who have saddled marijuana with upwards of 30% in taxes.