That's absolutely correct Keith, progressive and positive change has to start somewhere. With California having paved the way for the medical marijuana regulations we are seeing sweep across the country, I believe that California can also pave the way toward the ultimate goal of repealing the wasteful and tremendously harmful prohibition on cannabis production and use.
Originally Posted by havasu
Yes, my friends, this is our future!
If you are hinting at the idea that the legal regulation of cannabis will lead to more ignorant people causing public safety issues, that seems pretty far fetched. Stupid people will make stupid decisions regardless of whether or not something is explicitly legal. To those who say that "having to work with a bunch of stoned people is just not safe", who is going to be working stoned? If someone comes into work intoxicated on any
substance, do you really think that they'll be keeping their job? Employers aren't going to magically tolerate intoxicated employees just because prop 19 passes, just as they are not currently tolerating people coming into work drunk.
With respect to marijuana use and driving, it was absolutely correct for your neighbor's son to have received a DUI. Marijuana is an intoxicating substance and under prop 19 will be regulated as such. Prop 19 will not suddenly make it OK to drive while intoxicated, and your neighbor's son is naive if he thinks that his charges will be dropped should 19 come to pass.
Prohibition does not work.
There is no denying that a demand for marijuana exists, and that it cannot be eliminated simply because we make the marijuana illegal. People will find a way to procure their substance of choice, so wouldn't it be better to take the marijuana industry out of the hands of the black market? In doing so, we will undoubtedly see flat to decreased use amongst adolescents, as the substance will not be as popular amongst illicit drug dealers since the exorbitant profit margin will collapse, and kids will have a hard time buying from vendors that ask for proof of age.
Furthermore, law enforcement can quit wasting their time feeding the prison industrial complex by pursuing non-violent crimes related to marijuana, and can instead focus on the crimes that are actually hurting people. This should help reverse the disgusting fact that our country has the highest percentage of incarcerated citizens out of any country on this entire planet, which will save our state and local government much needed money; all while preserving a harmless personal freedom.
Not withstanding the fact that marijuana is substantially less toxic than alcohol (and non-addicting), it is up to adults to make responsible decisions as to how much they will use, just as they do with any other intoxicating substance. Attempting to police morality and personal choice is simply wrong. We need to take a more realistic stance on drug use in this country. People will do it regardless of its legal status. Control the substance, thereby making it as safe as possible for the consumer, while generating additional tax revenue that would otherwise be lost to criminal enterprise, and help curb the incredible waste in the criminal justice system that arises out of these absolutely futile prohibitionary laws.