Tuesday, October 26, 2010

California marijuana initiative in trouble. Overreach by proponents?

A poll out on California Prop 19 initiative, legalizing marijuana in California, is behind in the polls. 51% oppose legalizing pot and 39% support it. Previously, polls were much closer.
According to a USC/Los Angeles Times Poll, 51 percent of likely voters said they would vote against Proposition 19, which would allow people 21 years-old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Thirty-nine percent of likely voters said they support the measure....

Proponents of Prop 19 say it would generate much needed revenue and cut drug enforcement costs. The California Attorney General's office estimated that the measure has the potential to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars annually in taxes and fees, while saving the state tens of millions of dollars annually on costs related to incarceration and supervision of marijuana offenders.

But opponents, including the U.S. Justice Department and former heads of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, say the measure violates federal law and endangers public safety. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week that the Justice Department will continue to enforce federal law regardless of the outcome of the ballot initiative. Federal law prohibits individuals and organizations from possessing, manufacturing, or distributing marijuana for recreational use.

I think Californians realize the problems with marijuana more than any other state. They have the most lenient medical marijuana laws in the country. It's become a mess. If pot legalization goes down big time in California it isn't bode well for similar efforts elsewhere in the country.

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