Who’s High About Voting?

By Michelle Dinh-Tran

“Everybody gets high sometimes, you know, what else can we do when we’re

feeling low?” These Major Lazer lyrics could not be more true and appropriate for

this topic. Lawyers are notorious for alcohol and drug abuse problems, but now

there is a chance to use recreational marijuana legally. There no longer has to be

any shame, guilt, or secrecy to coping with our problems. As long as the

individual is over 21 and usees marijuana only at home or at businesses licensed

for on­site marijuana use and sales. But keep in mind only 28.5 grams of

marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana are permitted.1 Smoking it in

a car, public places, and places with children are all prohibited. People are also

allowed to grow up to six of these adorable and useful plants in their homes as

houseplants, although it has to be in locked areas and not visible to people

outside. But that is okay because marijuana plants can thrive in artificial light for

16 hours a day and need eight hours of darkness for flowering and vegetative

growth. It does not require much watering and is low maintenance. Marijuana got

its street name “weed” because of the fact that it grows easily and anywhere. Now

all this could become a reality with one simple vote in this election ballot.

California Proposition 64 California Marijuana Legalization

Voting YES supports legalizing recreational marijuana for persons aged 21

years or older under state law and establishing certain sales and cultivation

taxes.

Voting NO opposes the proposal to legalize marijuana recreational marijuana

under state law and to establish certain sales and cultivation taxes.

Pros and Cons

Supporters for the bill are about 59% since August 2016 and include California

Democratic Party and the LA Times. 1 Some positives to passing Prop 64 include

ending the drugwar, making marijuana a regulated and controlled product for

adults will make it a lot safer, this is a rational drug policy, save millions on

criminal justice costs, and marijuana is comparable to alcohol so it makes no

logical sense to criminalize one and not the other.1 Aside from providing an

alternative outlet for stress relief and all the pros mentioned earlier, individuals

who have been sentenced for activities that are now legal under the bill will be

allowed a chance for resentencing.1 All this sounds pretty dope, but the other

side does make some compelling arguments.

The California Republican Party and California Secretary of State, Julie Schauer,

opposes the bill. Oppositions to Prop 64 voice concerns about the lack of long-
term health effects of using marijuana, the deficiencies of the bill because it

seems to be rushing things and California is not ready, it appears commercially

driven rather than socially, issues of enforceability, and too many question are left

unanswered by the poorly written bill.

Of course, there is one more downside, like they say, “nothing is certain but

death and taxes.” So legalizing marijuana also means there will be two taxes

imposed. If you are growing the plant for cultivation there is a tax of $9.25 per

ounce for flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leaves, as well as, a 15% tax on the

retail price.1 So where is this money going? To the pockets of government fat cats?

Have they become the new drug overlords above the cartel? Not exactly, as this is

expected to bring in $1 billion a year, it will be distributed to the following

programs and purposes: UCSD Center for Medical Cannabis Research; public

California universities’ Department of Highway Patrol; grants to local health

departments and community nonprofits for job placement, mental health

treatment, and drug education programs; programs to alleviate environmental

damage from illegal marijuana producers; and programs that reduce driving

under the influence of marijuana.

So are the cops going to beat down our doors if we grow more than six plants or

are they going to do a patdown or strip search on us in the street to weigh how

many grams of marijuana we have in our pockets? No, but the Bureau of

Marijuana Control would be in charge of regulating and licensing marijuana

businesses.1 Besides that, there is really no hard oversight on how much we grow

or how much we use. In other words, to be blunt, have at it! But please at least be

mindful and use your best discretion for your own safety and that of others

should this bill pass, which is more likely than not. It is up to you to decide if this

all rolls out or gets stomped like a roach.

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