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Top 5 Bad Excuses for Voting Against Pot Legalization

Some pot smokers are voting against prohibition. Here's why that's nonsense.

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WHY IT'S WRONG:  These conspiracies presume DUI lawyers and the state are waiting to make a mint on DUI arrests, when more lawyers make money on drug cases and the state makes more money from marijuana fines and asset forfeiture.  They presume big corporations would take over, when as long as marijuana is federally illegal and they do business nationwide, they'll fear for a federal indictment and asset seizure for involvement in Schedule I drugs crimes.

SCARE #5) This would set a terrible precedent - we can do better next time!

This is a tactic that is often put forth by other marijuana activists who are working with groups that have failed repeatedly to get their version of "true legalization" on the ballot.  If this legalization passes, they'll warn, then the other states that take up legalization initiatives will follow with the same set of terrible regulations.

Oh no.  We'll have discovered the blueprint to get a majority to support marijuana legalization.  How awful.

This scare tactic is heard most in Washington State, where they fear the per se DUID provision will become a part of every future legalization.  But that's only possible if Washington's is the only one to pass; if more than one passes, then there are multiple precedents to choose from.  The only way Washington can be the precedent is if it is the only one to pass and wouldn't that sort of prove the point that the per se DUID provision was necessary to pass legalization?

WHY IT'S WRONG:  There will be no "better next time".  There have been eight attempts in 42 years to legalize marijuana in a state.  Every attempt has failed, and each successive attempt in a state has gotten more conservative.  The pot-smoking opponents of Washington's legalization claim they can make the ballot in 2013 or 2014 with a measure that would completely abolish all marijuana laws.  This will not attract any major donors and it's hard to imagine a public that would have voted down the conservative legalization then supporting the most liberal legalization, especially in a non-presidential election year.

The "next time" if there is one will be in 2016 and the people with the big money to support legalization will not want to put out millions again for a losing effort.  They will make the measure even more restrictive in hopes of winning reluctant voters.

Russ Belville will be covering election night returns for the #MJVote with reporters from all the states (MA MI AR MT CO OR WA CA) that have marijuana measures on the ballot live on

Russ Belville is the host and producer of "The Russ Belville Show" at