California Gets Closer to Passing Marijuana Law

I'd love to write the authoritatively suggestive lede to the story that California could be on the verge of legalizing marijuana, but Jim Sanders of the Miami Herald beat me to the punch:

Legislation to make California the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use lit up a Capitol committee hearing Wednesday with three hours of lively but mellow debate.

No joint consensus was reached.

Dude, that is some seriously good stuff. But seriously, legalizing pot is a good idea for California.


There are plenty of good legalization arguments which I unpacked in detail here, but to review they include: 1) A small tax could raise more than a billion dollars for the state while expanding civil liberties; 2) It's weird to spend so many man-hours trying to prevent an activity that isn't very dangerous; 3) Law enforcement officials could be dispatched to more important beats, like the border or inner cities; 4) Everybody in Los Angeles was already inventing "medical" reasons to grab their marijuana cards anyway so we might as well tax them for their lies; 5) If West coast folk want to smuggle some across state lines ... tourism! (thanks for that one, mgoodfel).

For more excellent reasons why California should be the first state to legalize toking, read this Jeremy Singer-Vine article from Slate.

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Business

Just In