Drug Law

Final Plea: Vote YES on Legal Marijuana, Prop 19

| by NORML

I’m urging you to vote YES on Proposition 19, the Control, Regulate & Tax Marijuana Act.  Your vote is no less than a vote to begin the end of the failed 40-year War on Drugs strategy that has brought us mass incarceration, enriched violent criminals, and eviscerated our civil liberties.

Prop 19 makes it lawful for adults 21 and older to possess one ounce of marijuana outside the home.  It makes lawful the cultivation of a personal marijuana garden at the home of no greater than 25 square feet and the possession of the harvest from that personal garden.  Adults can also share up to an ounce with other adults.

But Prop 19 also strictly forbids the transfer of marijuana from adults to children, smoking in public, and maintains the existing laws against working or driving while impaired by marijuana.  Commercials sales and cultivation of marijuana are left up to the cities and counties to regulate or forbid altogether.  Those that choose regulation also set the taxation of marijuana sales to benefit the local community.

Many scare tactics have been engaged by traditional opponents of marijuana legalization, as well as misinterpretations and outright lies spread by the so-called “Stoners Against Legalization” about what happens in a post-Prop 19 world.  These “reefer madness” allegations should be given the same consideration as those who claim the moon landing was faked.  To wit:

  • The roads will not be overrun with “stoned drivers”.  Police are busting stoned drivers now; they’ll still be able to after Prop 19.  Since medical marijuana passed in 1996, accidents and fatalities on the roadways have declined.
  • Employees will not be allowed to come to work high any more than workers are allowed to come to work drunk.  Employers can still maintain a drug-free workplace.
  • Marijuana sales will not be monopolized by “Big Tobacco” or seed companies.  It will still be federally illegal and any major corporation that begins selling marijuana would be risking seizure of billions in assets in a federal court.
  • Medical marijuana patients’ rights will not be affected by making recreational marijuana legal.  Prop 19 specifically exempts Prop 215 and SB 420 in its Purposes and Intents.

But what Prop 19 will mean California reaps incredible benefits:

  • Marijuana consumers will no longer be harassed by law enforcement, employers, and landlords for their lawful use of marijuana.
  • The price of marijuana should decrease dramatically, removing the obscene profits that fund gangsters and criminal cartels.
  • Police will no longer waste precious time and resources ticketing and arresting marijuana consumers, meaning that evidence testing in murder, arson, and rape at crime labs won’t be backlogged behind testing dime bags for marijuana tickets.
  • Marijuana consumers will no longer fear interacting with police to report crimes and emergencies for fear of being busted for marijuana.
  • Law enforcement will be prevented from cooperating with federal drug enforcement agents attempting to bust lawful recreational or medical marijuana distribution.

For these reasons and more, I urge you to vote YES on Prop 19 and change the entire world.  California’s legal marijuana will be the beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition in the United States and ultimately the world.