The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Responses to legalize pot: vote yes on Proposition 19

Vote no on Proposition 19

Courtesy of Taber Andrew Bain/FLICKR

Legalizing marijuana is not a good idea because everything that Proposition 19 says about saving millions of dollars and allowing police to concentrate more on other crimes is not realistic.

Legalizing marijuana could possibly have many bad effects on people.

For example, many people might start using marijuana because it’s legal.

Robert Lindsey, president of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence said, “…legalizing marijuana will increase availability, especially for young people, and will result in increased use and increased costs to be paid by each and every citizen of California.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 8 percent of nighttime weekend drivers are high on marijuana.

Since, marijuana negatively affects a driver’s judgment, motor skills and reaction time, there will be more accidents and fatalities involving drivers under its influence.

Legalizing marijuana will not help save millions of dollars.

Drug officials were quoted in the L.A. Times saying that taxing marijuana sales would not bring in much money because home-grown marijuana is tax free and Proposition 19 allows individuals to grow 25 square feet of marijuana for personal consumption.

The L.A. Times made a comparison with alcohol and tobacco, which are currently taxed, and found that people don’t typically grow tobacco.  Therefore, high taxes on those products actually raise revenue.

Healthcare and criminal justice costs associated with alcohol and tobacco are about eight times more than what they are being taxed.

According to a study by the non-partisan RAND Corporation, pot caused 181 emergency room visits in 2008.

Legalizing marijuana will cost Californians more money than it will produce.

Legalizing marijuana will not allow police officers to concentrate on more serious crimes.

The L.A. Times reported that law enforcement officers do not focus on arresting adults whose only crime is possessing small amounts of marijuana.

Proposition 19 would require officers to enforce laws against “ingesting or smoking marijuana while minors are present,” which would be a lot more difficult since they cannot be in people’s houses all the time.

The Community Alliances for Drug Free Youth said, “Yes, almost one million arrests occurred for marijuana last year and technically most of these were recorded under possession, but… almost all of these arrests resulted in not a single day of jail – they were equivalent to parking (violations).”

In fact, Proposition 19 could lead to higher incarceration rates for Californians who possess or distribute marijuana.

Passage of Proposition 19 won’t change the fact that marijuana is still an illegal Schedule I controlled substance, as classified by the Controlled Substances Act of the federal government.

Article VI, Section 1, Clause 2 (the Supremacy Clause) of the U.S. Constitution states, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States… shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State notwithstanding.”

The Supreme Court case of Edgar v. Mite Corporation found that a state has violated the Supremacy Clause when, “compliance with both the federal and state laws is impossible.”

Proposition 19 tells Californians that marijuana is legal but simultaneously leaves us subject to arrest and imprisonment by federal authorities.

Proposition 19 is illegal entrapment and unconstitutional, and will cause more problems with law enforcement.  These are some of the many reasons why Californians should vote no on Proposition 19.

Angelica Valenzuela contributed to this report

Courtesy of Chuck "Caveman" Coker

Yes on Proposition 19

Every four years, Californians have the chance to make changes to our state government. On Nov. 2 we will be able to vote for what we believe in. One of the biggest controversies regarding this year’s election is whether or not to pass Proposition 19.  I believe voters should pass this law.

Since the Drug Enforcement Agency was created in 1973, 15 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges. That’s more than the number of people who live in California’s largest cities, or small states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

If this law is passed, it can significantly reduce our crime rates.  It would save our court system money because they won’t have to prosecute the millions of people that need to see a judge over something petty.

Our court system would then be able to focus on what is more important for our country. If this law isn’t passed, it won’t solve any of our country’s problems and people will still continue to smoke marijuana.

Just like alcohol and tobacco, marijuana would be taxed. Everyone knows how bad our economy has been, I believe it would be in our best interest to make money anyway possible.

I know many people who smoke marijuana illegally. Marijuana is sold and bought everyday in California. The fact that it is illegal has not stopped the population from using it.

By allowing something that is very popular in our society to be sold legally, will help our economy tremendously.

Tobacco is one of the country’s leading causes of death contributing to about 438,000 deaths per year.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a person who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day will decrease their lifespan by an average of two to six years.

Alcohol is also a reason for a lot of deaths. In California 37 percent of car accident fatalities have been alcohol related.

There are still no reported deaths pertaining to a marijuana overdose.

If tobacco and alcohol can cause so many fatalities and still be legal, why can’t marijuana?

People should make the choice to vote yes on Proposition 19.

Some people think that if this law passes, it would increase the use of marijuana dramatically. But people will still have their morals and beliefs about doing so. It is only right to give people a free choice in the matter.

Ashley Jackson contributed to this report

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