* Pot is really going mainstream in Colorado…
The Colorado Symphony is giving new meaning to hitting a high note, announcing on Tuesday a bring-your-own marijuana concert series, the first of which features its chamber ensemble and South-of-the-border food and booze.
The U.S. states of Colorado and Washington became the first to legalize the possession and use of recreational cannabis in 2012, and the first retail pot shops opened in Colorado in January.
The orchestra’s “Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series” seeks to tap the blossoming market in a series of summer fundraising concerts, at a time when more than half of Colorado voters believe legalizing recreational marijuana has been good for the state, a recent poll showed.
The Denver Post newspaper reported the events are aimed at boosting attendance, including drawing younger concert-goers, at a time when the Colorado Symphony has struggled financially.
* Illinois is nowhere near legalization as of yet, but some folks are hoping to at least get a study going…
The group [of four Chicago-area Democrats] held a press conference Monday at the Cook County building, calling for the state to decriminalize marijuana possession and — eventually — legalize recreational use of the leafy plant.
“The main difference between the War on Drugs and Prohibition is that, after 40 years, this country still hasn’t acknowledged that the War on Drugs is a failure,” Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey said, drawing a parallel with the outlawing of booze in the early 20th Century. […]
The group has yet to drop a bill in Springfield to legalize the drug and, in reality, substantive change is likely a ways off, the group acknowledged. At this point they just want fellow Democrats in the General Assembly to green-light a task force to study the issue. The hope, they say, is that Illinois will eventually develop a more laissez-faire approach to pot, which for now is classified a “dangerous” Schedule I narcotic by the federal government.
* Two bills have been introduced to decriminalize weed, and another would lower penalties. A poll taken in late March found that 63 percent of Illinoisans support a $100 non-criminal fine for possessing an ounce or less.
* From an ACLU study…
The national marijuana possession arrest rate in 2010 was 256 per 100,000 people. The jurisdictions with the highest overall marijuana possession arrest rates per 100,000 residents were:
New York 535
• Cook County, IL (includes Chicago) made the most marijuana possession arrests in 2010 with over 33,000, or 91 per day. [Emphasis added.]
But I’m not really a fan of decriminalization for two big reasons. First, criminals would still be controlling the cultivation and distribution of the drug. Second, decriminalization means no tax revenues. If it’s a step toward legalization, then fine. But only like civil unions were a step toward gay marriage. Decrim is not the final answer here.
Just legalize it already and let’s have a concert.