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California's Badly Drafted Marijuana Proposition

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A lot of people seem to think that Proposition 19 on the California ballot is a simple question of whether to legalize marijuana. It is not. It is a specific piece of legislation, and it is a very badly written one.  Fortunately, newspaper editorials are recognizing this.  The LA Times opines:

Whether marijuana should be legal is a valid subject for discussion. Californians ought to welcome a debate about whether marijuana is any more dangerous than alcohol, whether legalization would or would not increase consumption, and whether crime would go down as a result of decriminalization. But Proposition 19 is so poorly thought out, badly crafted and replete with loopholes and contradictions that it offers an unstable platform on which to base such a weighty conversation.

Its flaws begin with the misleading title: Regulate, Control and Tax Act. Those are hefty words that suggest responsibility and order. But the proposition is in fact an invitation to chaos. It would permit each of California's 478 cities and 58 counties to create local regulations regarding the cultivation, possession and distribution of marijuana. In other words, the law could change hundreds of times from county to county. In Los Angeles County alone it could mean 88 different sets of regulations.

All it takes is one locality within a region to allow marijuana sales with little or no tax and the much-touted revenue enhancements go up in smoke.  As every person of sense who lives in California is keenly aware, some of our localities are run by complete nut jobs.

The Modesto Bee inquires, "What were they smoking when they came up with Proposition 19?"

CJLF has not taken a position on the underlying question of legalization. But I am going to vote against this proposition with gusto.

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