Stoner alert. California recently undertook a major overhaul of its medical marijuana laws. The state legislature passed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, or MMRSA, recently signed into law. The MMRSA intends to build a degree of standardization to what has often been a haphazard process of providing cannabis for patients.
Big Changes Coming for Stoners and Pot Users
As reported by the San Francisco Gate, the changes are likely to result in large changes. With the bill signed into law by Governor Brown, the move was praised by union leaders and marijuana legalization advocates. Some see it as a step towards total legalization in the impending referendum next year.
- State to License Marijuana Growers
Within three years the state will begin issuing licensing to legal marijuana growers, supposedly leading to a clear trace for most of the drug introduced in the state. Of course civil libertarians would argue that the state is merely creating a new underground economy for forcing people to get permission for something that is their right of birth.
Statists and those who believe in unfettered Orwellian government would argue that with the marijuana now under the same standard, and growers inspected by the state, the quality of it should increase and chances of weaker or accidentally poisoned cannabis should decrease. When is the last time you smoked “poisoned cannabis?” Anyways, we can see where this is headed. The state is getting into the pot business.
Politicians Claim New Marijuana Law Makes Roads Safer
These changes should also lead to a safer drive on California’s motorways. Having a common level of THC in the drug and knowing where it came from should make it generally safer. In addition, it will provide a boost for law enforcement to be able to track down drivers under the influence.
California’s already trailblazed with new techniques to discover if a driver has taken drugs before getting behind the wheel. If this aspect was expanded with better checks and a readily accessible database of who should– and should not have access, drivers operating under the influence should fall.
- Utopian Goals Bolstered by Force of Government Rarely Are Worth-wile
Any actions that take unsafe drivers off the road and save lives is a worthwhile goal. However, taking away civil liberties and justifying unconstitutional stops and checks of drivers is where laws like this usually lead. There is ample debate about whether or not the full recreational legalization of marijuana will also make roads safer.
The argument should really be about why government even has the power to regulate anything that is already a right of birth. Examples of the government interfering in a right that they have no power under the law to interfere with, is the banning and restrictions upon small arms used for common defense of self and nation. Such small arms have been used by individuals for self defense and for use as ordinary militia since forever.
This all changed when American courts became packed with increasingly activist left wing judges of the 1940’s up to now, who feel the Constitution and things like “unalienable rights” are ideas of an antiquated past. The jury is still out about that, but recent experiences in Colorado and Washington should help build a case study that courts are willing accomplices in restricting rights that the Bil of Rights specifically forbade government from infringing upon to begin with, which should give us all pause for thought.
California, in particular is known for its zealous over-regulation, mob rules voter initiates, and for scaring away businesses and gun owners. The Golden State may have gotten it just right in this case, but it is hard to see how more laws in an already over-regulated state equals better conditions for the non political class. Either way, if you smoke weed, be careful about driving.
An overzealous cop may come up with a reason to pull you over and test you. If the test shows THC, you may have some serious issues and big expenses ahead. And if you keep voting for politicians who say they will legalize or restrict that which they were never granted power to do ab-initio, consider that you may be electing a tyrant and not a legislator.