Californians will be voting on the legalization of marijuana this November. To argue with the proponents of legalized marijuana is like arguing with idiots, yet the issue is now on the ballot and therefore the discussion must be had. Most of the arguments for legalized pot, use play on the sentiment that those who need it medically, can obtain it more easily, if it were legal for all; or that legalization will cut down on the Mexican drug war and destroy the black market, allowing bankrupt California to tax the product, putting dollars back into her coffers.
The “Yes on 19” webpage states that Proposition 19 will:
Control cannabis like alcohol.
Put our police priorities where they belong.
Generate billions of dollars in revenue.
The proponents claim that because California has a failed policy “causing massive harm”, it should be replaced with a “legal, controlled market, all while eliminating enforcement costs and bringing in new tax revenue.”
Yet the language of the proposition “may be the worst drafted legislation since 1996…” according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Legalizes marijuana under California but not federal law. Permits local governments to regulate and tax commercial production, distribution, and sale of marijuana.
• Allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use.
• Permits local governments to regulate and tax commercial production, distribution, and sale of marijuana to people 21 years old or older.
• Prohibits people from possessing marijuana on school grounds, using in public, or smoking it while minors are present.
• Maintains prohibitions against driving while impaired.
• Limits employers’ ability to address marijuana use to situations where job performance is actually impaired.
Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:
• The fiscal effects of this measure could vary substantially depending on: (1) the extent to which the federal government continues to enforce federal marijuana laws and (2) whether the state and local governments choose to authorize, regulate, and tax various marijuana-related activities.
• Savings of potentially several tens of millions of dollars annually to the state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders.
• Increase in state and local government tax and fee revenues, potentially in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Recent polling shows most Californians oppose Proposition 19. The statewide Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted October 2-4 shows California voters rejecting Prop. 19 with 53% voting “No” and 43% voting “Yes.”
When one visits a place where medical marijuana is prevalent and the users of the drug wander the boulevard stoned, one must ask, “Is this what all streets of California will look like if all may freely partake?” When Democrats are even voicing “Vote no”, one must realize that this proposition is bad business. Democratic pollster Pat Caddell made a brilliant and humorous point on Hannity’s Great American Panel stating, “California has made smoking a capitol offense, yet they want to legalize pot.” Even Richard Eastman an activist who was instrumental in opening one of the first medical marijuana buyers clubs in California says to vote no on Prop. 19.
What begins on this left coast ends up wafting into the rest of America. What say you America? Are you ready for Cannabis on every corner?