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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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A sticky icky problem

Referendum in California could make marijuana legal

Puff, puff, pass.
The phrase may no longer be taboo in the state of California come next November. The state with medical marijuana may make it entirely legal for adults. The petition to legalize marijuana was signed by nearly 700,000 residents of California, grossly exceeding the required 433,971 signatures needed.
If approved, the referendum would allow all those over 21 years old to possess an ounce of marijuana – more then enough to roll up a few joints. The initiative also allows residents to cultivate and harvest the plant in limited quantities.
Local governments reversed the option to allow and tax marijuana sales.
However, the proposal does take measures to keep it away from minors. Users would not be allowed to consume it in any form in the public arena or while minors are present.
The proposal would also make it illegal to drive while under the influence or posses the drug on school grounds, measures that should be enforced to the fullest.
Many opposed to the measure cite the fact that marijuana is a gateway drug, which can lead users down a rabbit hole to other illegal narcotics.
Plus, with its legalization, the state law would be in a direct conflict with federal law. The current administration in Washington has decided to cease wasting federal resources on prosecuting marijuana cases. However, there is no indication that Washington would be supportive of this measure.
Now many advocates of the legalization believe that the state can stand to profit upwards of $200 million. That money could be used to help solve the Californian budget crisis. The revenue could also be used to pay for public safety services as well.
Now what will be the side effects of the legalization?
The fact remains that between 33 percent and 50 percent of Americans use it daily, according to a study by Roger Roffman, a professor of social work at the University of Washington.
As far as criminal matters are concerned, in 2009, the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice showed that arrests for other criminal offenses have decreased between 1990 and 2008.
The arrests in California in cases with marijuana have gone up by 127 percent. During that same time, 60,000 violent crimes haven't been solved, according to the FBI.
Marijuana has too many questions surrounding its legalization. There is no clear consensus on what the aftermath will be on marijuana legalization.



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