CA Election 2010 - Proposition 19

I've decided that writing short blog posts about the various propositions on this year's ballot would be helpful in getting me to organize my thoughts and form an opinion on each topic.

This post's topic is Proposition 19: The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.

I've read the text of the law, the summary statement provided by the Attorney General, as well as the paid arguments for and against the proposition (all as provided by the official voter information guide). This is probably going to surprise some people, but I'm probably going to vote to pass this proposition. I'm not in favor of using marijuana, but I am in favor of treating it in a more rational manner than our country has been. From my understanding, medically speaking, marijuana is apparently safer than alcohol and tobacco, yet those substances are legal while users of marijuana face prison sentences (not that X is legal and Y isn't as bad as X is necessarily a valid argument, but it holds a point).

The text of the law puts in place pretty much all of the same restrictions currently in place on alcohol and tobacco. I'm a huge fan of the public smoking ban and proposition 19 contains a similar restriction on marijuana use (can't be used in public or in the presence of minors). I certainly wouldn't be in favor of it without the many restrictions the law contains.

I think the legalization would provide an overall societal benefit in terms of reducing the number of incarcerated persons, increasing much needed tax revenue, and reducing cash flow to drug cartels. I think proposition 19 appears to be a fair compromise from the pro-legalization crowd while addressing the potential issues outright legalization might cause.

I'm open to hearing your opinions and taking those reasoned positions into consideration.

2 thoughts on “CA Election 2010 - Proposition 19”

  1. I think one of the things that gets me the most about this one is the argument that MADD is making about how you can't test for recent marijuana use in drivers. I agree with all the points in your last full paragraph, but I think the potential DUI problems could be an issue.

  2. I think it's far less of an issue than MADD makes it out to be though. The applicable text of the law reads, "'Personal consumption' shall not include, and nothing in this act shall permit, cannabis...consumption by the operator of any vehicle, boat, or aircraft while it is being operated, or that impairs the operator."

    MADD is upset that the law doesn't set a "Blood Marijuana Content" level or something similar (a per se law), but I think the wording is fine because it leaves that decision up to the discretion of the officer and court system. If the driver is impaired because of marijuana use they're committing a DUI regardless of how much actual drug is in their system.

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