Pro: Prop 64

The legalization of recreational marijuana use would solve more problems than it’s thought to create, which is why we should vote yes on prop 64. We’ve seen the impact that a Canada weed dispensary has had for Canada, so surely now is the time to make legal weed a reality in the U.S.

Marijuana is currently legal for medicinal purposes in California and that just caused people to falsely claim medical problems in order to obtain a medical card. This resulted in unreliable medical records for a huge chunk of the population that reported false symptoms for access to medical cards.

Some oppose prop 64 for moral reasons and others argue for safety concerns. Morality, which usually entails religious roots, has no place in government, such as it didn’t during the gay marriage debates. Morality is subjective and there should only be room for facts in government decisions.

As for safety, legalizing the use of marijuana would allow for more access to regulate it. Alcohol is a safety concern as well, however it continues to be a huge part of the beverage market. There are laws that prohibit the unsafe use of alcohol, like public intoxication and driving under the influence, that could be applied to marijuana as well. Drunk driving doesn’t happen because people drink, it happens because people decide to get behind the wheel after drinking.

California is one of the most known states for consuming marijuana and there is a huge part of the population who indulges from medicinal and under the table marijuana. These are potential tax opportunities that are being missed out on. The state could potentially make billions in profits from legalizing marijuana. The money could go toward much needed places like schools, improving inner-city neighborhoods and creating enrichment programs.

Also, marijuana possession has sent many non-violent drug offenders to already overcrowded jails. The decriminalization of marijuana would save taxpayers’ money from being utilized to incarcerate and maintain these individuals in jail. The money being wasted in the penal system could be better spent elsewhere. As a taxpayer, there’s so much more important things we could be benefitting by redirecting the money to go into our education and health care systems.

The state would also save millions by reducing law enforcement costs. Retaining those resources wasted on the battle against marijuana in law enforcement could be better used in other parts of law enforcement, such as better training for officers. This could show some compliance from law enforcement with the “black lives matter” protest currently calling out the incompetence of the officers involved in recent deadly shootings.

People are concerned that we will become unhealthy potheads and addicts. If you’re going to be a pothead or addict, this will not be in cause from prop 64. Chances are they already have a way to obtain marijuana through street sellers or suspiciously prescribed medical cards.

People blackout and and pass out from drinking more commonly than from marijuana. It is highly unlikely to become addicted to marijuana for the majority of people. It’s actually less likely to become addicted to marijuana than prescribed drugs and alcohol, which are currently legal and very common addictions.

I was recently in Amsterdam where marijuana is legal and people there are far more active than most Americans. The main form of transit in Amsterdam are bikes, giving them daily cardio exercise, unlike the lazy outcome people expect from weed smokers. People smoke socially in coffee shops as you would see people here drinking in restaurants. There’s no big deal about it and for those who aren’t into it, they still won’t be into it even if it’s legalized. You are free to refrain from it.

Prop 64 is not promoting underage indulgence of marijuana either, but rather they’re trying to regulate it. The legal age would be 21, like it is with alcohol. The profits can go directly towards youth prevention of drugs and afterschool programs to divert youth from harsh drugs. Teens commonly get their marijuana off the streets, prop 64 would not encourage them to use marijuana or other substances. Instead, they will set up programs to discourage teens from getting the already accessible drugs.

Vote yes on prop 64 and redirect our tax money toward something more serviceable or convenient for our communities. It’s not a secret that people who want to smoke have easy enough access to marijuana already, so why not create a profit from this and put it toward positive programs?