There is also the possible unintended consequence of driving growing and consumption outside the legal framework followed by aggressive policing to generate revenues through fines for the local authorities. In the Rancho Cordova scenario I believe that would be a very likely scenario.
commented on the blog post Marijuana Legalization: Demographics is Destiny
large segment of newspaper editorial boards that the initiative was poorly written, a claim that was ridiculous. This probably turned off some voters.
I assume by ‘poorly written’ the writer is commenting on the content of Prop 19 and not the style or grammar. My mind was elsewhere leading up to the elections and I automatically voted yes on 19 without doing any due diligence. After the election, I ran into one of the drafters of the original Prop 215 who opposed 19 for a number of reasons none of which I was aware.
There are a number of problems the bill would have created:
1 – Taxation. Taxes were to be determined by the local city, town or municipality. Why? Rancho Cordova, a town outside Sacramento had already jumped the gun and passed their tax law. Tax would be $600 per square foot per year. One plant will need at least 5 square feet. Growing one plant a year outside would cost $15,000 a year in taxes, a prohibitive amount for anyone growing to sell or for their personal use. Anyone growing or using pot without a permit would be liable for criminal and or civil charges. Suburban towns like Rancho Cordova proliferate around every large more liberal urban area in California. Many would have followed the Rancho Cordova nodel which would have driven the trade back underground, even for medical card holders. Law enforcement would then have more than likely gone after the illegal market aggressively to generate income for cash starved local government. Fines could be tacked on to property taxes and they could have been considerable. A legal medical card holder, especially one whose condition is chronic and uses pot on a regular basis would no longer be allowed to grow their own supply could no longer afford to do it.
At the same time, Richard Lee, the sponsor of 19 and others called the Prop 19 Cartel had already secured large scale growing permits in the city of Oakland. Is that why Prop 19 gave all taxation rights to the local authorities?
2 – The 18-to under 21 crowd. The recent bill Schwarzenegger signed reduced penalties for possession of up to an ounce to the equivalent of a speeding ticket with a maximum fine of $100. The only exception was possession on a school property would carry higher fines and criminal charges. Prop 19 excluded anyone under 21 from possessing pot and instead criminalized it. a 22 year old, passing a joint to a 20 year old would criminalize both parties. For that age group, Prop 19 was regressive, criminalizing any possession. Prop 19 left the definiion of “criminal’ up to the local authorities.
My daughter is 17 1/2 and although she doesn’t do an drugs shse knows a lot of people who do as well as a lot of college freshmen and most were well aware of the position and were almost unanimously against Prop 19 so their either voted no or stayed away completely.
These two flaws in the law would have created an insanely chaotic quilt of local rules all across California. While Prop 19 legalized growing and consuming pot, it was via a very confined process that would have favored some and punished others as well as creating a criminal class for anyone growing or consuming outside that framework.
One has to question why Prop 19 didn’t create one uniform tax rate for the state other than to create self serving commercial advantages for the drafter of Prop 19.
I support the legalization and taxation of marijuana but Prop 19 wasn’t the solution.