I woke up this morning a little early so I could check my email before going to class. As usual, that took all of two seconds so I decided to check on various news sites to see what's going on in the world today. I read through a few stories talking about Obama keeping his promise and signing the no federal funds for abortions law (though it's not as simple as that), but then...low and behold...there it was, "Measure to Legalize Marijuana will be on California's November Ballot" (Los Angeles Times).
I had heard about people attempting to put this on the ballot a few months ago, but I never thought they would actually be able to. I'm assuming supporters just hung around outside southern California colleges going from person to person until they had enough signatures, but it is still amazing they've gotten this far. Do I think it will pass in the end? That's hard to say. But whether it will pass or not is not what I want to discuss.
For the sake of this post, let's assume that it is going to pass and think about some repercussions. Obviously you'll have some people worried about others driving while baked, or kids finding Daddy's gun (or Mommy's in this women-should-be-equal era). But has anyone given thought to the people that already grow? Northern California, specifically Humboldt County, is known nationally as the place to get good weed. Sure it's illegal unless you have that magical "green card", but there is still a lot of money revolving around the Humboldt County horticulturists and their product. Almost certainly, if this legislation were to pass, Humboldt farmers would lose their exclusivity in the pot world. Prices would fall as supplies increased statewide and they might even be taxed for their crop. It may sound like they're getting the raw deal, but then again, what right do these people have to hold the monopoly on something like this? I hate to bring in capitalism, but anyone else who offers a good or service doesn't have protection against competitors offering something similar. McDonald's can't be the only place allowed to have a dollar menu even if they were to the first to have one, right?
So, I ask you, is this situation synonymous with other cases of competition, capitalism, and monopoly? Is it fair to the rest of us that Humboldt County's slogan has become "Save Humboldt County — keep pot illegal"? Are their concerns even legitimate or are farmers of Humboldt County freaking out over nothing? After all, you can get wine anywhere, but everyone knows Northern California's wine is the best so they go there (and pay a little more) to get it. If the product is good, many people are probably willing to take the extra steps to get the best pot out there. What's your take?