Marijuana is by some estimates California's largest cash crop, bringing in more than twice the revenue of vegetables, yet we don't tax this green. Legalizing and taxing pot could provide $1.3 billion to help our hemorrhaging economy, but it might also lead to additional problems and undermine anti-drug efforts. Is this crop just cash waiting to be reaped, or is it more complicated? Come hear advocates on both sides argue the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana.
Scott Kirkland is the Chief of the El Cerrito Police Department. He is also a member of the board of directors of the California Police Chiefs Association.
Richard Lee has been working to end cannabis prohibition for 17 years. In 1992 he co-founded Legal Marijuana - The Hemp Store in Houston, Texas, one of the first hemp products retail outlets in the United States. Lee moved to Oakland in 1997 and co-founded the Hemp Research Company, supplying cannabis to the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Club and researching efficient and environmentally friendly cannabis horticulture. In 1999, he opened the Bulldog Coffeeshop, the second cannabis outlet in "Oaksterdam". In 2003 Lee founded the Oakland Civil Liberties Alliance, the PAC that passed Oakland's Measure Z making private sales, cultivation, and possession of cannabis the lowest law enforcement priority and mandating that Oakland tax and regulate cannabis as soon as possible under state law.
From 2005 to 2007, Lee published the Oaksterdam News quarterly newspaper with a circulation of over 100,000. In 2007, he founded the first cannabis college in the United States, Oaksterdam University. In 2008 he funded the startup of the monthly magazine West Coast Cannabis, current circulation 30,000. Since 2005, Lee has been serving on the City of Oakland Cannabis Regulation and Revenue Ordinance Commission, which was created after Measure Z passed with 65% of the vote 2004. He manages several other Oaksterdam companies, including the Oaksterdam Gift Shop and Nursery. His dedication to ending cannabis prohibition continues to play a crucial role in the revitalization and economic growth of Oakland.
Josh Richman covers state and federal politics for the Bay Area News Group - East Bay.
A New York City native, he earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997.
He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9's "This Week in Northern California.
Dr. Schoenfeld practices psychiatry, with a specialty in psychopharmacology. His work in psychopharmacology includes the study, diagnosis, and treatment of problems related to drug abuse and addiction. Since 1983, he has served on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.
Dr. Schoenfeld is a member of the court-appointed psychiatrist panels for the Superior Courts of Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, and San Francisco, CA. In 1997, the University of Miami School of Medicine selected him as a Distinguished Alumnus.
Psychiatrist Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld debates Police Chief Scott Kirkland over potential savings from legalizing marijuana. Schoenfeld argues that in addition to several other benefits, legalizing marijuana would save the legal system time and money, while Kirkland suggests that any proposed savings are likely exaggerated.
Scott Kirkland, Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld, and Richard Lee debate the root causes of substance abuse. Kirkland suggests that the media plays a large part in glorifying drug use, while Schoenfeld and Lee counter that legalizing marijuana would reduce its "forbidden fruit" appeal.
Indian hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) or the crude drug made of its dried and crushed leaves or flowers. The active ingredient is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Also called pot, grass, and weed, the drug has long been used as a sedative or analgesic; it was in use in China by the 3rd millennium BC and had reached Europe by AD 500. Today it is used worldwide, though it has been generally illegal at least since the International Opium Convention of 1925. Its psychological and physical effects, including mild euphoria and alterations in vision and judgment, vary with strength and amount consumed, the setting, and the user's experience. Chronic use is not physically habit-forming but may be mildly psychologically habit-forming. Marijuana has been shown to be medically therapeutic for patients with glaucoma, AIDS, and the side effects of chemotherapy; in 2001 Canada became the first country to legalize the use of marijuana by people with terminal illnesses and chronic conditions. Supporters of legalization claim that it is a more benign drug than alcohol; opponents contend that it is addictive and leads to use of more serious drugs. A resin from the plant is the source of hashish.
Essentially , WHAT IS WRONG with the current SYSTEM , is that PEOPLE who experiment/use drugs are PUNISHED & thrown into PRISON. this is a most arcane , medieval & INHUMANE way to be treated. THE ISSUE should be a health & medical one ,, NOT LAW ENFORCEMENT> law enforcement breaks down your doors in SURPRISE ATTACKS & shoots you dead if you offer ANY RESISTANCE> SWAT teams are highly trained thugs with high powered WEAPONS & high tech body armour. WATCHOUT !!! your police FORCE is becoming more & more MILITARISED.. that's the danger.
worst of all ...... THEY ANSWER TO NO ONE. AMERICANS are PRISONERS of their own greedy system.
When he is talking about marijuana causing hospital visits he looks like he know the following. A hospital visit CAUSED by marijuana does not need to be caused by marijuana. When you visit the ER and they ask you about your drug use, if you say that you use marijuana at all, even if you have not used in months, It is counted as a hospital visit CAUSED by marijuana! This is BS and he knows it! OVER GROW!
I am happy to live in an liberal science based country ( Holland ), There are allot of studies on Marijuana, A lot people still tends to state that Marijuana is more toxic as alcohol. Please look at the reliable studies (then we can talk). Here in Holland we have coffee shops to get our Marijuana and some of you American people still think that we also have drugs cartels.
Mexico is really hell on earth right now, i don't get it that you all make such a sacrifice because of such an innocent and natural substance. it has already made more as 28,039 deaths (source: wikiP), you Americans also treat smoking people as criminals. It’s really unbelievable how your government defending their policy with sentences like "Marijuana is too expensive to be legal", why do you think it is so expensive... I am so happy I don't live there, I would really go crazy.. not even to speak about all the innocent people that are in jail, of smoking a joint.
One thing tells allot about how the American government is thinking, they never talk about the scientific studies at what the impact is of Marijuana use... What really is the core of this political question.
I really want some discussion on the INTERNET because it always seems that, everybody who digs deeper in this subject are for legalization, where are the opponents. The only opponents are the rulers in America and other opportunists who not even have to defend their decisions.
And i have another question, Why are there in America cops that defending politics, In our country they are not allowed to do, Because we live in a democracy.
And one very important factor is that because marijuana is illegal almost all over the world, it is still illegal to grow hemp here. due to that fact the hemp here is grown by illegal non controlled sources. This has contributed to that in the years the marijuana here is super dupah strong "nederweed", but because of this the CBD levels are very very low.
CBD acts as an anti-psychotic and may counteract the potential effects of THC on individuals with latent schizophreniaas and inhibits cancer cell growth.(source: wikiP)
They did not talk about the death toll of driving under the influence of marijuana, I have a friend that die recently in car crash because of this. If many people die because of alcohol, then deaths will add up with legalizing marijuana in the drug death toll.