Friday, October 15, 2010

The State Propositions

My general approach to propositions, when in doubt vote No.

I actually hate the trend we have in the state to put a lot of pretty technical and complex issues on the ballot. If this is the trend, then why do we have a legislative branch? Why not get rid of it and vote for laws by ballot measure exclusively?

Its tiring and ridiculous. Having said that, I did get talked into one yes vote, but my yes is very tentative, I could easily be talked into a no.

I'm a bit torn on the union measure and on the affirmative action measure. I could be talked into a yes on either to tell you the truth.

Mostly, do, my no's are pretty firm.

The Propositions

Proposition My Vote Arizona Republic's Opinon
Brief Explanation
106: Healthcare Freedom Act for Arizona No No I strongly disagree with this - its a backdoor way to use the state constitution to weaken Obama's health care law. Federal law over-rules state law and it will waste our resources. By the way, we need mandates - everyone needs to pay for health care if we expect the guarantees we expect and demand.
Proposition 107: Arizona Civil Rights Initiative No Yes I'm soft on this one. Are we passed the need for affirmative action? I personally am not so sure.
109: Arizona Hunting and Fishing Amendment No No Making it a constitutional right to hunt and fish? Unnecessary.
110: Arizona State Trust Lands Yes Yes Seems reasonable to me.
111: Arizona Lieutenant Governor No Yes The idea is a good one, this law is poorly written - it will provide a barrier for independents to run
112: Arizona Signature Filing No Yes There are already too many initiatives on the ballot.
113: Arizona Save Our Secret Ballot No Yes I don't have a strong opinion on this (right now)..
203: Arizona Medical Marijuana Act No No This is just an excuse to make marijuana legal
301: Arizona Land Conservation Fund Transfer No No We can't balance the budget on the backs of our most precious resources. State lands need to be protected
302: Arizona First Things First Program Repeal No No And we can't balance the budget on the backs of our children.


Rachel said...

Oh man, I'd love to hear you and Davey discuss the marijuana prop. He feels strongly about his YES vote on that one, and his reasoning sounds so reasonable. I'd love to hear your, I'm sure, intelligent opposition to it.

tempe turley said...

The Arizona Republic link has a pretty good argument for their NO recommendation.

This article is another one a long the same vein (its long and off topic for a while).

I would be interested to hear Davey's reasonings.

Davey said...

I don’t know Scott, here’s my thinking. It’s not that I’m pro medical marijuana but that I’m “pro-medicine”. This is where I disagree with the post from the AZ Republic; the Republic dismisses the medicinal uses of medical marijuana with this statement “It has not been tested by the Food and Drug Administration for safety or effectiveness”. If one was to rest their entire argument against medical marijuana on one sentence then it’s safe to assume that that sentence must be one devastatingly accurate sentence. Of course, it’s not. The relationship between the FDA and medical marijuana is highly complex with a long history of analysis, including the “legalization” of Marinol a synthetic THC pill, because presumably if the FDA approved it then something must be known about the medical benefits of THC.

The Republic article was dismissive, reductionist, and focused on red herrings. Also, I had to ask why the “skeptic” marks around words like “patient”, “assist”, and “caregiver”? The Republic is not engaging in a mature debate here.

So for me the question is “is it medicine?” There’s substantial research supporting effectiveness for various maladies some of which are more dubious than others. I agree that marijuana for the treatment of chronic pain may be a stretch, I would like to see more research there; but for all their efforts the medical establishment has never come up with anything as effective as Marijuana for the treatment of nausea associated with Chemotherapy, and honestly, I would much rather have Rachel on a medication like marijuana during pregnancy than on Zofran. If this was its only redeeming quality I would advocate for it. But it’s not, there have been numerous research projects verifying the effectiveness of Marijuana for other maladies, a quick Google search will point you in the right direction.

As for the argument that it opens the door to abuse, remember what we are talking about here – prescription drugs. Are prescription drugs abused? Yes. So the question for me is why are any prescription drugs legal? If marijuana were properly designated as a prescription medication it would fall under the same protections and abuses thereof of any other medication. That’s the problem with the other post you linked, he compared marijuana to alcohol and cigarettes. A more appropriate comparison would be Oxycodone and Viagra. Are these drugs abused, yes, should they then be criminalized under all circumstances? No. Especially since alcohol and cigarettes are both widely agreed upon to be far more deadly and socially destructive than marijuana.

So here’s my position. I think alcohol and cigarettes should be criminalized and marijuana should be given its proper designation as a prescription medication, if it is in fact medicine. Which, based on an educated review of relevant peer reviewed research, I’m convinced it is.

tempe turley said...


I can't argue with any of the points you made in the post, for one, I'm just not knowledgeable enough to know, for two, I will trust that you're right.

But, assuming everything you said was absolutely true, do you think this is the way to begin to make marijuana legal, through a proposition vote?

You've made some efforts to compare marijuana to to alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs.

Can we agree that such comparisons may not work fully? Marijuana is pretty unique. It has a unique place in our culture for example - people use it as a symbol for rebellion. It alters reality (don't use marijuana while driving or while working or while parenting).

If we go down the road toward legalization I would prefer that first there was a stronger argument for and backing from the FDA.

At any rate, I'm not sure a proposition on an Arizona state ballot is the right way to get this thing past.

Read the Steve Yegge article for a rundown of the complications of legalization.

tempe turley said...

Davey, because of its cultural place in our society, I would think the bar should be higher to make it legal medicinally. For example, if there was another drug that basically did the same thing as marijuana, that drug should take priority.

I think there's just much more opportunity for abuse of marijuana than from another type of drug given its history.

(If that makes any sense).

Davey said...

Yeah I read the Steve Yegge article some of his point I agree with others I think he's blowing out of proportion.

You are absolutely right that this isn't the best way to do it. The initiative should be at the federal level without question given the current state of Federalism in this country today. But it's too politically controversial. If I was a politician on the national level it would be an easy choice - do I champion medical marijuana or do I get elected? No contest. So it seems that we are without recourse, it has to be a voter initiative until it is no longer such a big deal.

As for abuse you are correct, it would be probably the only prescription drug that can be manufactured at home. This obviously calls for certain considerations but look, the risks are low. No one is ever going to overdose on it, those who would abuse are already abusing it and it is arguably completely without addictive properties. And the best part is that by designating it and regulating it properly we co-opt it from those who use it as a symbol of rebellion. In fact I can think of no better way to reduce marijuana use among teens then by re-enfranchising marijuana. I think this is why marijuana experimentation is lower amongst teens in countries where it's legal. It's just not cool anymore.

So yes, definitely not an ideal situation but given the failure of the federal government to fund research and push political boundaries I'm not sure that we have any other choice.

H said...

Davey wins, but that's mostly because I wanted to vote yes anyway. Wasn't this on the ballot before? I'll just keep voting yes so I can feel defeated by AZ politics over and over and over again...

Thanks for the post, Scott! I'm on my last minute cram session. Why don't I care as much this year? Ugh.

Shane said...

Biggest issue I had with your thoughts is the hunting and fishing. I think it's very much needed! Just think of a time when food gets scarse and we are living off food storage, and it's a state law that we can't hunt or fish to feed our families. It's one more way the Gov wants to be able to control us. And I hate the health care plan. That's all! :)

tempe turley said...

Shane, I think hunting and fishing laws should be made legislatively. Do we really need to specify these activities as constitutional rights? I would prefer the constitution stuck to core principles.

I support hunting and fishing but of course there are laws to restrict these practices under some circumstances (say when a animal is at risk of extinction).

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott,

My response to your stances... (if I skipped some, that's because I agree with your vote)

Prop 106: Obamacare and this proposition are an example of failures at both ends. Obamacare is so complex and lobbyist influenced that it will ultimately cost us way too much or fail. And the opposite side wants nothing in place of Obamacare. I ended up abstaining from this one. By the way, keep your mandates to yourself please. :)

107: Are was passed the need? Let's see, we have half-black president, a female governor, and Native Americans make tons of money via casinos. Let's end discrimination against sex/age/race/religion. Civil rights in the purest of definitions include white males, by the way.

108: This is a pre-emptive strike against initiatives to limit hunting/fishing. Further, there are efforts to keep squeezing where people can hunt/fish. You don't do these activities so obvioulsy you haven't cared to research anything on this matter.

112: Hmm... This will have the opposite effect of what you claim. It makes for a more aggressive deadline potentially reducing the number of propositions. It has bi-partisian support, and would allow people to study the matter more beforehand.

113: Seems odd doesn't it that Unions can intimmidate people if there aren't secret ballots? I don't hate unions, but I hate misbehaving unions.

203: Agreed. Look at the states where this has happened to see the ugly result. There are countless other painkillers out there. The last thing we need in this economy are more basement dwelling adults living with their parents getting high. That reminds me. Maybe those who oppose SB 1070 are afraid that their drug dealer will get deported? haha...

David G.