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California’s Recreational Pot Proposition

California’s Recreational Pot Proposition

All eyes are on California, as voters there may be the first in the nation to make recreational use of marijuana legal this November 2.

California has already downgraded possession of an ounce or less to a mere infraction, and is one of 14 states, along with the District of Columbia, that have already legalized medical marijuana in some form. Proposition 19 goes way beyond marijuana for medical purposes. (Source: National Conference of State Legislatures)

About California’s Proposition 19
SUMMARY: Allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Depending on federal, state, and local government actions, potential increased tax and fee revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually and potential correctional savings of several tens of millions of dollars annually.

A YES vote on this measure means: Individuals age 21 or older could, under state law, possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana for personal use. State and local governments could authorize, regulate, and tax commercial marijuana-related activities under certain conditions.

A NO vote on this measure means: The possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal use and commercial marijuana-related activities would remain illegal under state law, unless allowed under the state’s existing medical marijuana law. (Source: Official Voter Information Guide for California, where you can read the full text of Prop 19)

The Argument in Favor of Prop 19
Stops wasting taxpayer dollars on failed marijuana prohibition. Controls and taxes marijuana like alcohol. Makes marijuana available only to adults. Adds criminal penalties for giving it to anyone under 21. Weakens drug cartels. Enforces road and workplace safety. Generates billions in revenue. Saves taxpayers money.

Provides legal protection to the estimated 3.3 million Californians currently using marijuana for non-medical purposes. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are wasted enforcing the failed prohibition of cannabis (also known as marijuana). Currently, cannabis is easier for kids to get than alcohol. Prohibition has created a violent criminal market run by international drug cartels. Police waste valuable resources targeting non-violent cannabis consumers, while thousands of violent crimes go unsolved. There is $14 billion in marijuana sales every year in California, but the debt-ridden state sees none of the revenue that would come from controlling and taxing it. Cannabis prohibition has failed. (Source: www.yeson19.com)

The Argument Against Prop 19
Opposed by Mothers Agains Drunk Driving (MADD) because it allows drivers to smoke marijuana until the moment they climb behind the wheel. Endangers public safety. Jeopardizes $9,400,000,000.00 in school funding, billions in federal contracts, thousands of jobs. Opposed by California’s Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, Firefighters and District Attorneys.

Proposition 19 is a chaotic initiative filled with major flaws that will have severe, unintended consequences for California. Prop 19 poses a major threat to public safety in California and will make roads, workplaces and communities less safe. (Source: www.noonproposition19.com)

Federal Law
Even if Prop 19 should pass, it would still violate federal law, making Californians subject to arrest and conviction by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, although last year, United States Attorney General Eric Holder reaffirmed he will not authorize federal justice resources to target or prosecute medical cannabis users or providers that are compliant with state law.

Facebook Co-Founders Weigh In
Facebook co-founder Sean Parker has given $100,000 in support of Prop 19, and co-founder Dustin Moskovits has made donations totaling $70,000. (Source: Associated Press)

Health Risks of Marijuana
Occasional marijuana use is rarely seriously harmful, but it does have medical effects, including increased heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and appetite; red eyes; dry mouth; and slower reaction time. It can sometimes distort the user’s sense of time, impair memory, and cause anxiety and depression. Some experts believe heavy smokers are at increased risk for lung cancer. (Source: WebMD)

About Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana enjoys legal status in many parts of the world, where it is recognized as an effective treatment for chronic pain or nausea caused by conditions like multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, arthritis, and cancer.

Patients report that use of medical marijuana provides relief from spasticity, nerve pain, tremors, sleeping disorders, nausea, and depression, greatly improving quality of life. The side-effects associated with cannabis are mild in comparison.

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Photo courtesy of photoxpress.com


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169 comments

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4:57AM PDT on Oct 28, 2010

One of the key factors in the growing use of drugs is the fact that it is illegal. That which is kept away is all the more valuable because it has that danger factor to it. Just like when someone turns 21, suddenly drinking isn't a big rush anymore because it's legal to do it now. In making pot legal, it takes away a great deal of the danger factor, as well as a lot of the danger of it being mixed with heightened THC doses and other drugs that create havoc with the system, such as LSD. By regulating it, we're not only stimulating the economy and clearing out a great amount of room in the jails, we're also regulating how it's grown and sold and able to see what goes into it.

5:39PM PDT on Oct 25, 2010

and James...UGh that old propaganda about pot never killing 'anyone' what a crock, you actually believe that crap?

Countless people have been killed by stoned drivers...countless children died while being neglected by pothead parents. People have fell off balconies and drown in pools and various 'accidents' cause they were too stoned to walk straight.

Countless families are hurt by Uncle fred or daddy or Mommy being stoned 24/7 on the couch...even if it doesn't 'kill' the kids or mom, or wife, it hurts them.

Pot kills and hurts plenty of people....yes yes booze does too...I can hear ya whining. But that doesn't make pot good it just makes booze bad too.

5:32PM PDT on Oct 25, 2010

Yeah, lets legalize meth too...we could make even more in taxes on that...save even more jail/police funds not fighting that too! Individual rights blah blah blah....money blah blah blah...

Leftwingnuts irk me as much as rightwingnuts.
Can some of you extremists join us moderates here on the plane, too many of you necked pot smokin' bra burnin' people hanging off the left wing and too many white hooded robe wearin', bible clutching, constitution burning people hanging off the right wing. The plane is going to crash if we don't get some of the extremists to wisen up.

11:46PM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

Erica, it would seem like that would be the need, to change fed law--- and it DOES need to be changed--- but, since Ca already has thousands of medical pot dispensaries (with a few randomly getting busted) I imagine they'll start selling it in liquor stores and such, risking the occasional dea bust for the big profits to be had. Yes, a lot of people will start growing their own, but the vast majority cannot, for various reasons, and very few know how to raise primo pot, which is an art ;-)

5:43PM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

I say smoke pot if you want to its alright by me, but the laws say different..Stand for what you believe in!

10:53PM PDT on Oct 19, 2010

Regulate and tax it just like alchol.

Pot doesn't alter the mind any more than booze and we let drunk drivers on the road why not pot heads?

11:35PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

Unfortunately, federal law supercedes state law...this means that as of Nov. 3rd, the only thing a non-medicinal pot smoker in California can do is smoke in their home. Federal law prohibits the sale of marijuana (non-medicinal), so no tax dollars will be generated, unless FEDERAL laws are changed! If you don't grow pot in your own home, you won't be able to buy it legally anyway...at least that's my understanding of the federal laws.

The next obvious step then...if you want this new state law to mean anything SIGNIFICANT can happen...is to change the FEDERAL laws reguarding marijuana sale and use. Fat chance THAT'S going to happen in the forseeable future...it would be political suicide for ANY candidate that's running for office to back marijuana use! I'm all FOR it...but it just isn't in the cards...the political climate is too conservative.

2:51PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

Excellent move. The war against drugs is lost, and in these hard times, I think that it is very good thinking on governments` part to raise revenue from selling drugs. Look how much money the crims make off drugs. Good for you Arnie.

1:39PM PDT on Oct 15, 2010

legalize it .... and you will find nothing will really change. The user will be free to enjoy it and those opposed will see that they feared something that was already here amongst them.

1:27PM PDT on Oct 15, 2010

This is what federalism actually is, giving states the power to experiment and dare to be different. That is something both parties but especially the Dems seem to forget daily when arguing Big Government is Good.

The bi-partisan drug war has been an abject failure costing us far more than the combat in Iraq/Afghanistan in both lives and treasure. Any retreat from this domestic war is to be welcomed.

Now maybe both political parties will stretch that hand of peace towards school choice, less taxes, less Federal government, etc etc etc but I doubt it.

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