Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Marijuana Legalization Ballot Statements Offer Contrasting Realities

The ballot arguments for Prop. 19, California's initiative to legalize marijuana, seem to claim two different realities.

On one hand, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) president Laura Dean-Mooney argue against Prop 19:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) strongly opposes Prop. 19 because it will prevent bus and trucking companies from requiring their drivers to be drug-free. Companies won't be able to take action against a "stoned" driver until after he or she has a wreck, not before.

The California Chamber of Commerced found that "if passed, this initiative could result in employers losing public contracts and grants because they no longer effectively enforce the drug-free workplace requirements outlined by the federal government...

Proposition 19 is simply a jumbled legal nightmare that will make our highways, our workplaces and our communities less safe.
Interestingly, the "protect the children" claim was left out of the argument. Nobody can deny that marijuana prohibition has been an outright failure because marijuana is currently easier for kids to get than alcohol. It seems that the opposition is trying a new approach:

"Employers who permit employees to sell cosmetics or school candy bars to co-workers in the office, may now also be required to allow any employee with a "license" to sell marijuana in the office."
It is far too unrealistic that your co-worker would actually be permitted to sell marijuana on your coffee break. The opposition has attempted to create a wild scene where marijuana is carelessly regulated.

Retired San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara, former Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray, and retired Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Stephen Downing argue for Prop 19:
Prop 19. maintains strict criminal penalties for driving under the influence, increases penalties for providing marijuana to minor, and bans smoking it in public, on school grounds, and around minors.

Prop. 19 keeps workplaces safe by preserving the right of employers to maintain a drug-free workplace.

Outlawing marijuana hasn't stopped 100 million Americans from trying it. But we can control it, make it harder for kids to get, weaken cartels, focus police resources on violent crime, and generate billions in revenue and savings.
The pro legalization argument also highlights the negative effects of the "War on Drugs". It acknowledges that prohibition has created more crime and violence by establishing a black market. While there is $14 billion in marijuana sales every year in California, none of that goes to our debt-ridden state.

CA Prop. 19 is currently winning, 50% yes to 40% no, according to a new SurveyUSA poll of likely voters sponsored by CBS 5 KPIX-TV. There is some speculation of a slight reverse "Bradley effect," where some voters are embarrassed to openly support Prop. 19, and are claiming opposition to a live interviewer. This may explain why SurveyUSA's automatic poll, without a live interviewer, shows more support for Prop. 19.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

legalizationists need to present a comprehensive, well reasoned alternative to prohibition or face these false choice arguments forever.

the unholy alliance between drug lords and soccer moms needs to be exposed.

i would much rather ride with someone that was stoned last night as opposed to drunk and is now hungover.