Apparently I have been living with my head in the sand and had not heard about Prop 19 in the Land of Fruits and Nuts. This is another amazing proposal to be voted on by the population of Ca. Once again they take the lead. Prop 19 is a proposal to legalize mary-g-wanna for personal use. There is much at stake.
Those in favor claim decriminalizing the drug will lessen crime. The head of the NAACP in the state endorsed it claiming the black and Latino population suffers from a significantly higher arrest rate for possession than the rest of the population. That may be true but it is likely a cause of where police patrol and why. If the higher crime rates were in white neighborhoods I would assume their arrest rate would go up quickly. The drug knows no bounds. Her view maintains less black men would then be incarcerated. That may be true however being stoned in public is likely a criminal offense as well. To be fair there are members of the organization that are now calling for her to resign. Their concern is just another thing to corrupt their children.
There is likely a push for this legalization due to the overwhelming budget deficit the state now faces. Think how much money they can raise with a tax. I'm sure the drug cartels are against it. That in itself might be a reason to pass the law, though I'm sure they will not go out of business as Prop 19 only allows so much for personal use. Still, you won't be able to walk down to the convenience store for a pack of Marlboro 'extra sweet'. There would still be plenty of need for an illegal trade.
Years ago I heard the arguments both for and against. I now don't think it is much worse than alcohol. I do not believe it necessarily leads to harder drugs. It certainly can't be worse than tobacco and all the problems that legal drug has caused. The biggest difference between alcohol and cannabis is the only reason for 99% of the population to smoke mary-g is to get high. You can have a social drink and not get drunk. Intent in the big difference.
If I lived in the state I would likely abstain from voting on this issue. Let them legalize it if they choose. If so there should be harsh penalties if you are under the influence and commit a crime or cause a traffic accident, penalties much tougher than the norm. Why? If you kill someone behind the wheel of a car just because you wanted to get stoned you should never again see the light of day.
Smoke 'em if ya got 'em, stoners.