The importance of every social issue derives only from the numbers which underpin it. Without understanding the numbers, our response is limited to unfounded and misplaced emotions.
A major RR tenet has been the importance of numbers in the discussion/development of public policy, and the need for a numerate population to maintain our republic. I’ve posted versions of the above tagline many times in these pages. Now it seems that our local newspaper has given a nod to numbers when discussing the county’s new efforts to update its MJ ordinance.
As all local RR readers know, we will be asked to vote on Measure W in June (full text here). W essentially limits the growing of MJ for only medicinal purposes and in qualifying indoor grows – no outdoor grows are permitted in the county.
In the 1apr16 Union our Sheriff Keith Royal writes an Other Voices column (here) explaining the county’s rationale for advocating a YES vote on W. On the front page the newspaper also features a major report on MJ that contains some relevant numbers (here). The reasons for opposing MJ grows and consumption categorize as follows – public nuisance, crime, environmental degradation, health & safety, habituation (gateway drug), and no clear financial benefit to permitting jurisdictions.
My own position on MJ, both MMJ and RMJ, is a matter of record on these pages. Given our country’s disastrous history combatting drug use as a criminal act, I favor controlled legalization of drugs using the template of alcohol and tobacco regulations and laws as starting points. I am sure that the final form of such drug use laws and regulations will differ from such starting points, but we have to start somewhere so that we may gain experience in order to enact reasonable and effective modifications. The process will probably be longer than shorter, but according to my lights this beats continuing the decades long and tragic game of cops and robbers.