Have I Got a Proposition for You!

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…

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14 responses

  1. In my understanding, Prop 27 is essentially giving politicians the right to draw their own district lines. This gives them the ability to draw these lines in a manner that practically guarantees their own re-election. Liberal politicians can deliberately exclude conservative areas from their newly-concocted district, and vice versa (this is also known as gerrymandering). They put the caveat in there that voters have the “final approval” over redistricting, but the concept is so confusing to voters that empty rhetoric completely drives the vote.

  2. Guess who’s spending the most money to defeat Prop 19? I’ll wait. Go ahead. Think about it…

    Okay. I’ll tell you. The alcohol beverage industry! Yep!

    Personally, I would love to see people drink less and smoke more. People under the influence of pot don’t beat their wives or commit road rage or grab a gun and shoot people the way drunks do.

    As for driving. The drunk will be the one weaving all over the road. The guy high on pot will be the one driving very, very slowly. Not that either should drive at all, but given a choice — I’ll take the high guy.

    Seriously, most of the time when you smoke a joint, you consume a Sara Lee cake and then go to sleep.

    Long, long ago and far, far away in the land known as my youth I used to smoke it quite a bit. Haven’t for years but I strongly support legalizing it, regulating it and taxing it.

    Yes on 19! And a vote for Jerry Brown, too!

  3. I can be very wishy washy when it comes to political propositions because I can see both sides of it. I can definitely see the points made by MADD but I also love what @injaynesworld had to say. She’s right that the crazy, erratic behavior brought on by alcohol does not manifest itself in most pot smokers, but unfortunately many of the pot smokers don’t just stop with pot. It leads to other devices, like alcohol and more hard core drugs that DO bring on crazy, erratic behavior. I
    I’m going to have to do some more research on this one to determine which way I will vote.

  4. I’m very much against Prop 19. I know there’s an attitude of “Everybody does it anyways”, but that doesn’t mean that the state should just Cave-in to the demand of Druggies.

    Also, High-drivers are very dangerous, Just as dangerous as Anyone under the influence of Anything. Don’t buy-in to the “High-drivers are Safer”-nonsense. It is just that, Nonsense.

    Lastly, any Druggie who tells you that they care about “the economy” is full of it, they just want to get high. If Prop 19 passes it will have Very little if Any affect on our economy.

  5. Nice. I’ve long felt that there would be more pros for legalizing pot than cons.

    Look at it this way, the first state to legalize pot and find a way to sell it at the local drugstore for less than the current market price will cause a lot of dealers (thugs) to find a new market (state) to do business.

    Also, in addition to increased tax revenue (presumably) you spend less on drug enforcement, courts, and jails…

    As for stoned drivers, something could be worked out I am sure, alcohol is legal but a certain amount in the bloodstream while operating a vehicle is not. I am sure a test for pot impaired drivers could be created.

    Your mileage may vary…

    • I am going to read more about this Tommy, but my understanding is that Proposition 19, as written, contains no standard for what constitutes “driving under the influence.” Marijuana can remain in your system for up to 30 days, which poses a problem for law enforcement. That’s my biggest issue with this–people who will drive impaired.

  6. I have problems with the legalization of weed for many of the reasons already mentioned, though I really don’t care if someone wants to toke up in the privacy of their home (as long as kids aren’t around). As far as the issues that MADD has with the amendment, I believe that any business or workplace can still demand their employees be drug free, much like no employer would allow someone to drink on the job or come to work drunk, so I think MADD is slightly overreacting on that point. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean employers have to tolerate it, anymore than they have to tolerate smoking and drinking in the workplace.

    • If marijuana is legalized I am not sure that companies can demand “drug-free.” I think they can say, no drugs at work, and no being impaired, but I don’t think they can say you cannot come to work with marijuana in your system. Much like having a glass of wine at lunch, I don’t think a business can tell an employee they can’t smoke pot away from work. If the employee is visibly impaired, sure, but if they aren’t…

  7. Voting against Proposition 19 gets a clear negative vote from me. The less ammunition people have to kill themselves, my friends, my family or me the better I feel about walking down public streets.

    As it is, seeing how parents allow their own minor kids to drink due to a loophole in the law, I can only imagine these same irresponsible adults role modeling for their kids.

    “Hey, Johnny, let me show you how to roll one.” Ugh!

  8. I struggle with voting yes for anything I don’t believe in doing, anything that I believe in doing is wrong. I know that it is legal in some areas of Europe and everything is OK, but in many areas things aren’t OK. And the driving thing really scares me. I couldn’t go on, but I really agree with your arguments too.

    We are very overtaxed in this struggling state. And we’re still broke. I’ve got to hope that there are better ways than to just keep taxing. With the vehicle registration thing too, goodness.

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