Dustin Johnson / Roundup
Proposition 19 wastes any potential that may have come with the decriminalization of marijuana. It is simply a message from our state government that pot smoking has become a status quo and they are too lazy to fight it.
The semantics of this policy leave much to be desired, and there are quite a few apparent loose ends.
Prop 19 resolves to save millions of dollars from the costs of upholding marijuana-related laws, but the frequency of a crime is not the issue.
Attack the problem at its source: our state budget has suffered from mismanagement for many years, and one of the many results is that our law enforcement is stretched too thin.
The government also wants to add a tax to marijuana, and funnily enough, such an implementation could backfire. Perhaps marijuana users will not want to pay the additional costs and will continue to obtain the product from dealers with all transactions being done under the table.
Marijuana sales from an unregistered and unlicensed establishment would still be illegal under Prop 19, and law enforcement officials will still have to maintain that aspect of the law. As a result, the attempt to save money in law enforcement will be rendered futile.
Personally, I feel that taxing marijuana would paint the state government in such an unflattering light that California would be a public service announcement away from encouraging citizens to “spark up” because it will help stimulate the economy.
One of the stipulations of Prop 19 is that employers will have limited ability to address a subordinate’s marijuana usage unless in a situation where job performance is impaired.
Trucking companies and school bus drivers will no longer be required to be drug free as a result, according to the 2010 Official Voter Information Guide. Such drivers will not be held accountable until after they have an accident that resulted from marijuana usage.
Prop 19 encourages passivity, preferring that companies and employers throw pro-activity to the wayside and only react to a work-related mishap after it occurs. Why should employers be forced to place their business performance under the inherent risks of a “wait and see” attitude?
Under Prop 19, marijuana will be held to the same standards as alcohol; it will be illegal to smoke in public, in the presence of minors, and while driving.
However, there is no clear definition as to what constitutes being “under the influence” of marijuana. Additionally, there are no available methods, tests, or objectives for police to utilize in order to determine just how “under the influence” a driver is.
Prop 19 is a flawed policy leaving too many gray areas and illustrating the state government’s defeatist attitude in succumbing to a status quo instead of trying to raise it to higher standards.
Before the legalization of marijuana can ever become a reality, many small details must be ironed out and the government needs major priority realignment