Saturday, October 30, 2010

Prop 19 is a conservative bill

I feel I need to point out a few things, because they have been lost in the debate over prop 19. When I was talking people into signing to get it on the ballot, it seemed like supporters were knowledgeable about this but somewhere in the campaign people stopped reading the bill and arguing over the generic issue. Prop 19 is a very conservative bill to legalize marijuana. It has a lot of features that were added in to give it a higher chance of passing, even though many supporters would prefer a more liberal bill.

This list of features includes:

Not legalizing marijuana sales in counties that don't want it.

Not changing driving under the influence laws at all.

Not changing the rights of people who have medical marijuana cards.

Not legalizing smoking for those under 21, or smoking in the presence of those under 21.

Not allowing smoking in public.

For some reason opponents have settled on the strategy of saying legalization is a worthy cause, but this bill is flawed. This is silly, it is not perfect by any means but it is the best we can hope for. If real problems with it come up than they can be changed later.

This was the first ballot measure I have gathered signatures for and the first campaign I have donated to, so I am very excited about next Tuesday. I only give us about 1 in 3 chances of passing. Still, when I was standing out in the streets with a sign trying to talk little old ladies into legalization I didn't really believe that the measure would even get on the ballot. I thought it had a shot, but it seemed like it would be close. Two years ago, I don't think much of anyone thought there was a chance this bill would pass. Now all it would take is high voter turnout for young people.

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