Monday, March 29, 2010

California Pot Vote

THE SACRAMENTO BEE has a report by Peter Hecht, "California will vote on legalization of marijuana in November".

California's raucous argument over legalizing marijuana is headed to the ballot.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen confirmed Wednesday that voters will decide in November whether to legalize and tax marijuana use for Californians 21 and over.

California's annual pot crop is worth about $14 billion, according to the State Board of Equalization. It estimates that legalization and taxation could bring in up to $1.4 billion in revenue.

Should be a hell of a show to watch. The U.S. Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center, has released a report, "National Drug Threat Assessment 2010". 

Overall, the availability of illicit drugs in the United States is increasing.1 In fact, in 2009 the prevalence of four of the five major drugs–heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)–was widespread and increasing in some areas. Conversely, cocaine shortages first identified in 2007 persisted in many markets.

… Although drug use remained relatively stable from 2007 through 2008, more than 25 million individuals 12 years of age and older reported using an illicit drug or using a controlled prescription drug (CPD) nonmedically in 2008. Each year, drug-related deaths number in the thousands, and treatment admissions and emergency department (ED) visits both exceed a million. These and other consequences of drug abuse, including lost productivity associated with abuse, the impact on the criminal justice system, and the environmental impact that results from the production of illicit drugs, are estimated at nearly $215 billion annually.

Mexican DTOs {drug trafficking organizations} continue to represent the single greatest drug trafficking threat to the United States. Mexican DTOs, already the predominant wholesale suppliers of illicit drugs in the United States, are gaining even greater strength in eastern drug markets where Colombian DTO strength is diminishing. The extent of Mexican DTO influence over domestic drug trafficking was evidenced in several ways in 2009.… National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) analysts estimate that the overall threat posed by illicit drugs will not diminish in the near term. Although NDIC believes that sustained shortages of cocaine will persist in some U.S. markets in 2010, the availability of heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana will increase, largely the result of increased production of the drugs in Mexico. The growing strength and organization of criminal gangs, including their alliances with large Mexican DTOs, will make disrupting illicit drug availability and distribution increasingly difficult for law enforcement agencies.

Uh, just say no.  :)

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