Originally published October 22, 2010
If you’ve been watching the news or paying attention to current events at all lately, you are probably aware California is in the middle of trying to legalize marijuana with Proposition 19.
If passed Prop 19 will allow adults age 21 and over to possess less than one ounce of marijuana, which can be consumed in licensed establishments or at home.
Marijuana will then be heavily taxed, which will end up generating millions, or even billions of dollars of revenue.
There is already approximately $14 billion in untaxed marijuana sales every year in California alone, but none of that money goes to the state.
If Prop 19 is passed, billions of dollars would go to the state government, and that money would be used to better public services such as health care, roads, transportation and public safety. The debt-ridden state could probably use some of that money for good, don’t you think?
Hundreds of thousands of non-violent “criminals” are put in jail every year for possessing marijuana.
Meanwhile, there isn’t enough room in jail for the actual criminals who knowingly hurt or endanger people.
The police should be focusing on stopping crime, not stopping people from doing something that typically doesn’t hurt anyone. Arresting people for possessing or consuming marijuana only means there will be less room in jail for the people who really should be there.
Plus, a lot of taxpayers’ money goes to keeping criminals in jail.
Now I certainly don’t mind some of my money going toward keeping a murderer or rapist in jail because I don’t want him or him walking around on the street, but what do I care if someone chooses to consume marijuana?
It doesn’t endanger me in any way, so why should I have to pay to keep someone in jail who isn’t really doing anything to anyone?
Basically, legalizing marijuana would help direct taxpayers’ money to where it’s really needed and would make sure police are more focused on finding – and containing – the criminals who are actually dangerous.
If Prop 19 passes, marijuana will be treated very similarly to the way alcohol is treated now.
There will be a heavy penalty for those caught selling marijuana to minors, it will be illegal to smoke in public, driving under the influence will lead to criminal penalties and it will even be illegal to smoke while there are minors present.
As long as these laws are actually enforced and marijuana is heavily controlled, I don’t see what the big deal is in legalizing it.
People who abuse their rights will go to jail, and the people who are responsible will be left to their own devices.
All in all, the legalization of marijuana in California will probably end up being a good thing.
It’ll help pull the state out of debt, make more room in jails for violent criminals, save taxpayers money and be controlled even a little more than alcohol.
What’s so bad about that?