OAKLAND, Calif. — The City Council gave final approval Tuesday to a plan that makes Oakland the first city in the country to authorize large-scale industrial pot cultivation.
The city intends to license four production plants where marijuana would be grown, packaged and processed for medical use.
I'm not sure I'd be comfortable paying the $211,000 annual permit fee, given that if voter inclination prevails, marijuana will be legal* to grow after the 2010 elections.
Asking about legalization in California, Public Policy Polling (PPP) found just 36 percent of respondents were opposed to Proposition 19, which would tax and regulate cannabis. The majority, 52 percent, favor legalization.
But the real story is a separate set of numbers: 38 percent of respondents had used cannabis, while 62 percent said they had not. If only 36 percent of respondents opposed Prop. 19, that means, in a random sampling of 614 California voters, there were more actual cannabis consumers than legalization opponents.
The Rand Corporation estimates that if cannabis were legal in California, prices could drop by as much as 80 percent, putting an ounce of finely cultivated buds at just $40 within a few years. The thinktank also estimated that a $50-per-ounce tax could generate up to $1.49 billion for the cash-strapped state in its first year.
Oh, and that asterisk I inserted earlier....
*Even if Prop. 19 passes, it may not mean anything, as the federal government could annul the law or challenge it in court. President Obama's Department of Justice has taken a hands-off approach to the sales of medical cannabis in states which allow it, but has maintained steadfast opposition to legalization.
I'm starting to think Obama's administration is secretly
Don't Mess With California.