This is a breakdown of each CA Proposition as researched by Debra Dowdy. She has taken the time to research the facts as given by the Ballot Initiatives and information available on ballotpedia.org. At the end of the description, she and I give our vote for each Proposition. There is also a linkable list of Propositions at the bottom of the post. We hope this will help you learn more about these important initiatives. Please leave a comment with your thoughts and vote!
CA Prop. 64. Legalizing Marijuana.
Been working on this one all afternoon. It’s a bear.
A yes vote would do the following:
1) Allow adults age 21 and over to use marijuana (MJ) for recreational purposes in private homes or a business licensed for that.
2) No smoking while driving, in public, or anywhere smoking tobacco is prohibited.
3) May possess up to 28.5 grams of MJ and 8 grams of concentrated MJ.
4) Forbid possession at a school, day care center, or youth center.
5) Allow people to grow up to 6 plants within a private home provided the area is locked and not visible from a public place.
6) Businesses selling MJ would need a license. No businesses within 600 feed of a school, day care center, or youth center.
7) No licenses for large-scale MJ businesses for 5 years in order to prevent “unlawful monopoly power.”
2) New tax would be created. One on cultivation ($9.25 per oz. for flowers and $2.75 per oz. for leaves) and one on retail price (15%). Taxes will be adjusted for inflation starting in 2020.
Revenue raised would be spent this way:
1) First cover the costs of administering and enforcing the law.
2) $2 million per year to UC San Diego for research on medical marijuana.
3) $10 million per year for 11 years to California universities to research the impact of this law and make recommendations to the Legislature.
4) $3 million annually for 5 years to CHP to figure out how to determine if a person is under the influence of MJ when driving.
5) $10 million first year then $20 million second year, etc. until $50 million per year in 2022 for grants to health departments and nonprofits that will support job placement, mental health, substance abuse treatment, “system navigation services,” legal service to assist with reentry, and linkages to medical care for communities disproportionately affected by past past drug policies.
6) The rest would be divided:
a) 60% for youth programs (education, prevention, treatment).
b) 20% to prevent and alleviate environmental damage from illegal marijuana producers.
c) 20% for programs to reduce driving under the influence of MJ and a “grant program designed to reduce negative impacts o health or safety resulting from the proposition.”
See page 95 of your Voter Guide for details about punishments and reducing sentences for persons currently incarcerated.
Fiscal impact to the state may vary depending on how governments regulate and tax, whether the federal government enforces laws against MJ use, and MJ prices. Could be increased tax revenues of the high hundreds of millions to over $1 billion per year. There would also be some reduced costs (tens of millions) based on reduced prison costs. (Please keep in mid that 95% of drug arrests are no longer felonies.)
I went into my research hoping to find studies and statistics that would support the argument. I was kinda getting to the point of just do it, you know. However, all the proponent arguments were articles with opinions. No citations of research. A few statistics that were pretty predictable (i.e., crime rate will go down and revenue will go up–well duh). Statements and claims with nothing to back them up.
Opposition arguments include all the following and I’ve got citations for all these things.
1) MJ sales will be the next “big tobacco.”
2) MJ use will increase under legalization.
3) MJ is especially harmful to kids and adolescents. I know this law limits MJ use to 21 and over, but know they’re going to get their hands on it.
4) Today’s MJ is stronger than the weed of my youth.
5) MJ legalization will increase public costs.
6) People are not in prison for small time MJ use.
7) The black market will continue to thrive under legalization.
8) Neither Portugal or Holland provide an successful example.
9) MJ may have medicinal properties, but we shouldn’t smoke it to get those benefits. Besides, medicinal use is already legal.
10) Experience from Colorado is not promising.
Please check out http://nrfocus.org/…/ten-reasons-why-marijuana-should-not-…/ for more details on the above and the list of citations. Link is at the end of my comments.
The additional revenue may be nice, but it doesn’t sound like it will begin to cover the cost to society. Alcohol revenue raises $14.5 billion per year and the cost is $135 billion. Tobacco raises $25 billion and costs $200 billion. I see no reason to believe that MJ would be any different.
Driving under the influence of MJ is already a problem and would grow with legalization.
1) 8.6% of drivers are positive for MJ (2.2% for alcohol).
2) A study of drivers who arrived at a level one trauma center shows that 26.9% were positive for MJ.
3) 12.7% of drivers who died were positve for MJ.
The black market will not go away. Instead they will turn their attention to marketing to kids and/or marketing stronger versions of MJ than you’ll be able to buy.
There are currently 17.6 million alcoholics in the U.S. and 7 million people addicted to MJ. About 9% of MJ users are addicted. Kids who start using at age 14 to 15 become addicted at a rate of 17%. There’s a lot of information out there about how particularly damaging MJ is to teens. If you are raising a teen, you should check it out.
Here’s some other risks:
1) Increased risk of stroke and heart attach due to increase heart rate for hours after smoking.
2) Interferes with blood sugar levels and is, therefore, dangerous for diabetics.
3) Connected to mental health disorders (especially for kids).
4) Contains a lot of toxins.
5) Impairs judgment, memory, ability to learn, and perception of risk.
6) Decreases motivation.
7) Increased withdrawal from life.
8) Can be addictive in some people.
9) More damage to lungs due to practice of inhaling and holding the smoke.
10) If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please just don’t. See March of Dimes.
Debra Dowdy is voting – No
Chris Dowdy is voting – No
Links to all other CA Proposition for the 2016 Ballot: