I don’t remember there being many propositions on the ballot when I lived, and voted, in the Peach State. That is not the case in California. Folks here love to propose new legislation. Unfortunately, most of the language in said legislation is confusing. And worse yet, the propositions are often put on the ballot in a misleading way–a yes vote means no–and vice versa.
The ballot for the November 2nd general election has nine state-wide propositions. Most of these I would classify as garden-variety. For example, Proposition 21, which if passed would: Establish an $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge to Help Fund State Parks and Wildlife. That one I get. And for me, it’s an easy choice. I will vote yes on Proposition 21.
Also up for consideration, Proposition 27 which would: Eliminate State Commission on Redistricting. Consolidates Authority for Redistricting with Elected Representatives. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. Proposition 27, I’ll readily admit confuses me. I will have to read the for and against arguments that are listed in my handy-dandy Official Voter Information Guide before making a decision on that one.
And then there’s Proposition 19. Holy mother of propositions! For those of you living under a rock, Proposition 19 reads as follows: Legalizes Marijuana Under California, but Not Federal Law. Permits Local Governments to Regulate and Tax Commercial Production, Distribution, and Sale of Marijuana. Initiative Statute. *gulp* This one is tricky.
I don’t smoke pot. No, really, I don’t. But if you want to, I am fine with that. That is if you are an adult. And last time I checked, that meant age 21 and up. I don’t care if you get high. Your brain, your lungs, your life. I do care quite a bit, however, if you smoke pot and then try to operate a motor vehicle. See, then you are possibly infringing on my rights. My right to be safe. My 17-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son’s right to be safe. My husband’s, my mother’s, my brother’s… you get it. If you want to sit in your living room, your basement, your bathroom, and smoke (toke) until you’re higher than a kite–go for it. You just better not get a wicked craving for Spicy Doritos and head to the nearest 7-Eleven to satisfy it. And therein lies the problem (for me at least) with legalizing pot. I don’t trust you not to drive. Sorry. You drive under the influence of alcohol, why wouldn’t you also drive stoned?
On the other hand, drug dealers will continue to sell pot, regardless of whether or not it is legal. I’d rather the proceeds from those sales go to our very broke state. And the people who already smoke pot, and drive under the influence, won’t they continue to do so, legal or not? Cigarettes, which can also harm me, and mine, via second-hand smoke, are legal. Consuming alcohol is legal. See, this is not easy…
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), not surprisingly, is coming out against Proposition 19. MADD feels there are too many loopholes in the legislation, at least as it is currently written. This is what they fear could happen with school bus drivers:
“…because it (Proposition 19) 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.
School districts may currently require school bus drivers to be drug-free, but if Proposition 19 passes, their hands will be tied – until after tragedy strikes. A school bus driver would be forbidden to smoke marijuana on schools grounds or while actually behind the wheel, but could arrive for work with marijuana in his or her system…” (source)
I already hold my breath every time my daughter drives. Pretty sure I don’t want to add this worry to my already long list.
What about you? What’s your take on Proposition 19? Or Proposition 27 for that matter? Don’t be shy…