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The California Dream Lives On

By Richard Farrell 01/09/2014

 

The counterculture ‘California Dreaming’ song brought a breath of sunshine to a forward-thinking state, when the Mamas and the Papas released their vision for the future. One in every eight Americans live there now, proof positive that lovers of the weed make great neighbors.

 

California was a leader in the fight to demolish one of the last bastions against human freedom, and permit marijuana dispensaries to take their rightful place in the modern medical world.

 

  • Back in 1975, the Senate took the pain away of being nabbed with less than an ounce of cannabis, with a fine set at $100. This was quite a contrast with other states, where a lengthy prison sentence could be the case.

 

  • In 2000, a massive majority decided to approve a proposition that replaced mandatory prison for simple weed offences, with the option of treatment and probation.

 

  • In 2009 a bill legalized marijuana after a lengthy weed review. Medical marijuana became permitted within a system of regulation, and taxation of the agricultural and retail sectors.

 

  • On a historic day in 2010, the Governor decreed that it was no longer an offence to possess less than one ounce of recreational or medical marijuana. The day had finally arrived.

 

During this process of progressive liberation, many Californians enacted their own independent measures, to lighten the burden on marijuana lovers laboring under cruel, narrow-minded persecution. The result is that any adult can now find leading weed strains in a weed dispensary just up their street.

The latest exciting news is a survey conducted by the Public Polling Institute of California. This august body announced that 53% of California respondents believe the noble weed should be legalized, with 68% stating that the federal government should take its hands off the matter. This is a major attitudinal shift from March 2012, when a scant 45% supported the idea.

The Attorney General’s Office has cleared the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative for voting on, and this is rapidly harvesting the 500,000 votes required to force lawmakers to take action. The objective is to strike while the iron is steaming hot, and get the bill into the 2014 legislative program.

The change of attitude towards marijuana dispensaries is remarkable. The retired lieutenant commander of the Redondo Beach Police Department has herself said, “…right now the best thing this country can do to enhance public safety, decrease incarceration, and smartly regulate drugs so that they don’t fall into the hands of kids is to legalize marijuana.”

"It just seems like an inevitable trend towards the liberalization of the laws," adds Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo. He goes on to stress that Californians no longer put cannabis in the same basket as other drugs.

It seems the ‘California Dream’ is alive and well, and that the Mamas and Papas can keep on singing sweetly on their retro vinyl discs. Those who need medical marijuana to ease their suffering can sleep sweeter at night too. Everything they have struggled for, is coming to fruition.

 

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