The Los Angeles Times reported, "An initiative to legalize marijuana and allow it to be sold and taxed will appear on the November ballot, state election officials announced Wednesday,... The number of valid signatures reported by Los Angeles County, submitted minutes before Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline, put the measure well beyond the 433,971 it needed to be certified. Supporters turned in 694,248 signatures... "
The November 2010 ballot measure, formally entitled the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, calls for:
- Allowing adults at least 21 years old to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use
- Allowing adults to grow up to 25 square feet of marijuana per home or land parcel
- Allowing cities and counties to tax the cultivation, transportation and sale of marijuana
The libertarian-leaning Orange County Register observes:
"Legalizing it would invigorate California's agricultural sector... The benefit to California's budget would be twofold. Police focusing on the hopeless task of eradicating marijuana could focus on real crimes, and enforcement costs would decline. Fewer lives would be ruined by people being arrested for marijuana use, and the jail and prison population would decline.
"And if marijuana were taxed it would bring in considerable revenue. The state Board of Equalization estimates that a $50-per-ounce excise tax would bring in $1.4 billion to the state, and decreased costs of investigation, prosecution and incarceration would be at least several billion. That wouldn't close the budget deficit but it wouldn't hurt."
If the measure passes, California would become the first state to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for general use. Fourteen states currently have laws legaliizng marijuana for medicinal purposes.
I will be voting in support of the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 because I believe it's ridiculously hypocritical to not legalize marijuana in a society in which alcohol is an intrinsic part of the culture, and in which thousands of poorly-controlled, grossly over-prescribed drugs are far more powerful, and dangerous, than the dried blossom of cannabis sativa and cannabis indica plants could ever be.
Educate yourself about both sides of the issue at Pros & Cons of Legalizing Marijuana. Then tell the world your viewpoint here at Share Your Thoughts: Should Marijuana Sale and Possession Be Legalized?.