Igniting California’s voters

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By Chad Arias / Editor’s Assistant, Sergio Santamaria / Editor’s Assistant

By Chad Arias / Editor’s Assistant, Sergio Santamaria / Editor’s Assistant

Marijuana tax necessary for state revenue

In times of desperation, desperate measures should be called upon to shed new light on the current situation. The crisis at hand is that California, America’s highest populated and grossing state, is on the verge of bankruptcy.     

State legislation has tried everything to revive its once booming economy. Citizens of California have sat back for the past eight years watching their beloved state create futile attempts at solving the problem.      

It is evident that with the current economy, revenue needed to run California is not going to come from the labor force. New out of the box ideas are needed to help stimulate a lifeless financial state.      

Proposition 19 states that if marijuana was made legal, it could be taxed and better controlled by the state. If passed California could make an estimated 1.4 billion dollars that could be used to aid the failing education system or other state funded programs.      

Proposition 19 was not created on a moral stance but on a financial one. The fact is that California is hard up for revenue and this new tax could help solve the problem. Items such as alcohol and cigarettes (harmful substances) are already being taxed. If marijuana was to be added to the list, it would be the least harmful of the three.  

Alcohol and tobacco carry a physical dependency that marijuana does not.

Out of any drug, alcohol is the only one that can cause fatality during withdrawal. Alcohol is legal and its fatality rate is far higher than marijuana’s will ever be. About 10,000 people die each year in California due to alcohol.

According to drugwarfacts.org the number of deaths related to marijuana is 0 a year. The statistics speak for themselves. If marijuana is safer than alcohol then why not legalize it and get some revenue?

Cigarettes cause 400,000 premature deaths in America each year and yet they are legal smoke. Why is there such an opposition to marijuana when it is a harmless substance?

It is safe to say that most of those who oppose Proposition 19 have never smoked marijuana. They have been brought up with propaganda that states if you get high you die. The idea that marijuana turns you into some kind of zombie or vegetable is completely irrational and false. This stereotype needs to be ripped out of close minded opposers. It is impossible to make a judgment on something they have never tried.

People are going to smoke marijuana whether or not it is legal. Billions of dollars are spent every year trying to enforce a law that will never succeed. Eight hundred thousand people in America go to jail each year for marijuana related offenses. Why are police wasting valuable time on harmless stoners? Murders, domestic violence, rape, and vandalism all take place while the police focus on a harmless substance. Its an outrage to send someone to jail for marijuana when it costs around $60,000 a year to keep them there. Marijuana being an illegal substance costs Californians far more than if it was legal.     

The state’s job is to make sure it can be self supporting and do the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. Proposition 19 is a new way to make this dream more plausible.

Marijuana becoming legal does not mean that the entire state will indulge in its new found freedoms. The same amount of citizens will smoke it like they always have, except this time the state will be profiting from it.  

An underground network of cartels and dealers will be put out of business. Their black market product will not be needed anymore.

Where there is demand, there is supply. If local farmers are meeting the demand then marijuana from Mexico will not be needed. This effect will lessen the tornado of crime that has been waged by drug cartels. Keeping money in the local vicinity will circulate helping each county get back on its feet.      

It is a fact that people will always smoke marijuana and the government can do nothing about it.

If legalized by Proposition 19, less people will be thrown in jail, saving tax dollars for more useful things. Police can shift their patrolling to more impertinent  matters. Crime over drug turf will become more and more a thing of the past. The state will receive more revenue and start to crawl out of the hole where it has fallen.

Proposition 19 is not the entire answer to California’s financial woes. It is a stepping stone that California can use to propel itself towards a full recovery. It is time for a new wave of ideas to flow through California. Proposition 19 is aimed to save a withering state, and if given the chance, it will do so.

 

Legalizing drug has no economic benefits

November is just around the corner and Californians will face an important decision on whether to legalize marijuana. A large amount of people in today’s community are all for it, but is it the right thing to do? California is in need of revenue and the right thing to do would not be to legalize and marijuana.

The idea that this will help the economy is complete nonsense and it will also not allow enforcement to focus on more important crimes. It is common sense that these thoughts will surely lead to utter chaos and sink California into a grave of madness.

The proposition screams of crocodile tears in hopes that Californians will take it for the change it needs. Once engulfed in the problems it will bring, there will be no escape.

Many for the proposition will aim towards Amsterdam’s “coffee shop” marijuana sales, which is where marijuana is sold most and distributed to the public more often than other retail, but they do not know the full scoop. The Dutch have reduced from thousands of shops to only a few hundred, and this is due to “drug tourists,” drug-related organized crime, and public nuisance problems.  

That’s aside from the tripling of lifetime use rates, and the doubling of use among 18 to 20 year olds.

Now back in California, a 2004 meta-analysis showed that between 4 percent and 14 percent of drivers who sustained injuries or died in traffic accidents tested positive for THC, or delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the active ingredient in marijuana.

Legalizing marijuana would lead to more accidents due to its affects such as affecting driver’s judgment, motor skills, and reaction time. This is only one risk aside from the handful that could harm the body mentally and physically.

The biggest risk that many are brainwashed to ignore is simply addiction. The drug can be easy to get hooked on, and then it goes downhill from there.

The economic benefits that many expect from the tax of marijuana if legalized are myths.

Drugs already regulated and taxed such as alcohol and tobacco are not typically grown or made.

Consumers accept high taxes on them as retail.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is easy to cultivate indoors or outdoors and Proposition 19 would allow individuals to grow 25 square feet of marijuana for themselves.

Now this would not get out of hand at all, because everyone would be volunteering to pay taxes on marijuana if it were legalized. Of course not.

The underground market has been in this business longer than anyone would have expected and for them to adapt to undercut taxes would barely diminish.

 The tax revenue alcohol and tobacco generate at the moment cannot surpass the costs gi
ven to health care and criminal justice due to many incidents due to just these drugs. For example, every dollar society collects in taxes on alcohol, we end up spending eight more in social costs.

What a way to help out our economy at the moment by giving the community another drug to abuse.

At least the law will concentrate on “real” crimes, but it will be the proposition that will bring forth a burden. Law enforcement currently doesn’t make much effort to arrest adults whose only crime is possessing small amounts of marijuana.

The proposition would burden officers by requiring them to enforce laws such as getting caught “ingesting or smoking marijuana while minors are present.”

Does this come in effect when used in a private home and is a minor “present” if they are 15 or 20 feet away?

California law enforcement would have to be ignoring gunshots to be on the lookout for adults taking hits in front of children.  

Clearly, if legalized, marijuana will jeopardize California to the point where drastic measures will have to be enforced. Don’t take the proposition as a joke, it can and will ruin our society as we know it.

To avoid destroying communities and millions of people’s lives, make Proposition 19 a thing of the past.

It’s not rocket science to know that legalizing marijuana will not solve California’s budget crisis or reduce criminal justice costs.

Everyone for the proposition now is just going for the legalization to be able to do it in plain view, and due to shortened attention span and distractibility that the drug does they will forget to even vote. But there is a much bigger group that will make sure it is not passed due to the truth.

There are other ways to help California, but not this way.

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