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Californians to Vote on Legalizing Marijuana

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USA Today: Californians will vote in November on whether they want to be the first Americans to legalize marijuana for personal use, plus generate some revenue for their cash-strapped state.

marijuana plants

The state's election chief has certified that enough valid signatures were gathered to put the measure to a vote. The initiative would allow adults 21 or older to buy, grow or possess up to an ounce of pot for personal consumption. State officials estimate that legalization would save "tens of millions of dollars" in law enforcement costs and generate "potentially major" revenue from the production and sale of marijuana.

Opponents counter that legalization would increase use of marijuana and potentially other drugs, cause similar problems associated with alcohol and tobacco, and boost crime and add to police work.

As with the legalization of medical marijuana, the state would be at odds with the federal government if voters approve. Possession, sale and transport of marijuana are still federal crimes, and the nation's drug czar recently denounced the legalization effort in a speech to police.

Here's the summary of what the initiative would do:

Allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Permits local governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of marijuana to people 21 years old or older. Prohibits people from possessing marijuana on school grounds, using it in public, smoking it while minors are present, or providing it to anyone under 21 years old. Maintains current prohibitions against driving while impaired. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Savings of up to several tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Unknown but potentially major tax, fee, and benefit assessment revenues to state and local government related to the production and sale of marijuana products.

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous March 25, 2010, 5:08 PM

I truly believe that marijuana should be legal in every state.

kels March 25, 2010, 6:01 PM

I also say legalize it for all states.

renee March 25, 2010, 6:07 PM

it should be legal in every state. new jobs for people thru growing and packaging etc. it could be taxed and sold just like cigarettes. there was article in the newspaper back in the 80’s and the writer figured out in 3 yrs time the US would be out of debt and making millions in taxes from legallization and lots of revenue from dui’s. it works in other countries,why not here? besides how can pot for medical use hurt a terminally ill person…

potmomma March 26, 2010, 2:45 AM

yes i think pot should be legal so the law should focus on the more dangerous drugs and helping those that are addicted to the more serious drugs that are getting our moms string to,like Meth ,coke ect.. you name it ,,it is killing our familys and cws are taking our kids away.we need to stop the hard drugs from being sold to our moms and teens!!!!!!!

Anna March 26, 2010, 11:18 AM

Marijuana is great. I am bipolar/paranoia/obsessive compulsive and I was put on a cocktail of pills for years. Eventually a good friend of mine suggested using Marijuana. I must say, marijuana has helped me more then any of the medication that my psychiatrist has ever put me on. I don’t just smoke it, but I also use it in food. It is an amazing herb.

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