We live in an unfree world that desperately needs our Libertarian principles of free choice, free markets and free minds. Unfortunately, we have been competing in election campaigns against the major parties in what can best be described as the equivalent of entering NASCAR racing events — with pathetic little peddle cars. All that changes when we leave the election arena and enter the voter initiative arena.
What is needed is a Libertarian initiative, that strikes at the root cause of one of government’s greatest public policy failures, the war on marijuana. I believe that means nothing less than full and complete repeal of all laws against marijuana and permanent removal of marijuana from California’s list of controlled substances.
Although I publicly supported Prop. 19, I had to hold my nose whenever I did so. From my perspective, it was a horrible scheme that would have certainly invited a harsh response from the federal government, resulting in a lot of innocent people being arrested, prosecuted and sent away for long sentences in federal prisons. Frankly, my only concern was that Prop. 19 get as many votes as possible, because I was convinced from the beginning it could not win.
From a libertarian perspective, the “legalization” offered by Prop. 19, based upon a capricious administrative tax and regulate scheme, is nothing less than a fraud. That’s because people are induced to vote for new taxes and jump through arbitrary administrative hoops on the false belief that their money and compliance is buying them protection from arrest and prosecution, when nothing could be farther from the truth. In reality, Prop. 19 did not remove a single cannabis crime from the books, nor would it have released a single prisoner. Instead, it created new crimes, penalties, and even prison time for those who fail to comply with state tax rules or administrative regulations, while providing evidence for the feds to prosecute and imprison thousands of new victims.
In contrast, we need a Libertarian voter initiative that repeals all cannabis laws. Of course, some will argue that striking all the state cannabis laws will create anarchy, but we already have the anarchy of unregulated black markets and drug war violence. Besides, we can argue that federal law is still in effect, and that all we have done is removed state penalties, which we can’t afford to enforce anymore. If the Feds think marijuana prohibition is such a great idea, then let them assume financial responsibility for enforcing their own laws, with their own resource and officers, but not with any help or cooperation from California.
As a Libertarian initiative, we propose no new taxes and strictly prohibit any taxes other than sales tax. We remove all existing laws and severly limit the legislature to the wine model for determining any future laws or taxes. Furthermore, we provide serious penalties for anyone who cooperates with federal authorities to override our initiative.
If Libertarians decide to official sponsor this initiative, we will have a stunning, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show Leadership, create Liberty and promote Libertarianism. Instead of getting skunked on election day, we will be making history and showing the world what we Libertarians are capable of. If you think about it, our initiative is no more about marijuana than the Boston Tea Party was about tea. It’s about Liberty. We just need to add the Leadership and Libertarianism to make it a home run.
The initiative we are working on will finally allow the LP to compete on a level playing field. Finally, we can take the lead and win. This is not rocket science. The formula for us to follow to success is simple. We know that we need to poll high enough to ensure victory, before we decide to qualify our initiative for the ballot and we know we need professional signature gatherers to get the job done.
If you’d like to become a part of this historic campaign, please visit our FaceBook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tax-Marijuana-2012/203562369654107