Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Legalize It: The Ballot Arguments for Prop. 19

By David Downs
Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Here are the ballot arguments filed by Proposition 19 supporters for the November voter guide:

Yes on Proposition 19 Rebuttal to Opponents' Ballot Statement

THE CHOICE IS CLEAR: REAL CONTROL OF MARIJUANA, OR MORE OF THE SAME

Let's be honest. Our marijuana laws have failed. Rather than
accepting things as they are, we can control marijuana.

Like the prohibition of alcohol in the past, outlawing marijuana
hasn't worked. It's created a criminal market run by violent drug
cartels, wasted police resources, and drained our state and local
budgets. Proposition 19 is a more honest policy, and a common sense
solution to these problems. Proposition 19 will control marijuana
like alcohol, making it available only to adults, enforce strong
driving and workplace safety laws, put police priorities where they
belong, and generate billions in needed revenue.

THE CHOICE IS CLEAR: REAL CONTROL OF MARIJUANA, OR MORE OF THE SAME

We can make it harder for kids to get marijuana, or we can accept the
status quo, where marijuana is easier for kids to get than alcohol.

We can let police prevent violent crime, or we can accept the status
quo, and keep wasting resources sending tens of thousands of
non-violent marijuana consumers — a disproportionate number who are
minorities — to jail.

We can control marijuana to weaken the drug cartels, or we can accept
the status quo, and continue to fund violent gangs with illegal
marijuana sales in California.

We can tax marijuana to generate billions for vital services, or we
can accept the status quo, and turn our backs on this needed revenue.

THE CHOICE IS CLEAR

Vote Yes on 19.

JOYCELYN ELDERS, United States Surgeon General (Ret.)
ALICE A. HUFFMAN, President, California NAACP
DAVID DODDRIDGE, Los Angeles Police Department Narcotics Detective (Ret.)

Yes on Proposition 19 Ballot Statement

PROPOSITION 19: COMMON SENSE CONTROL OF MARIJUANA

Today, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are spent enforcing
the failed prohibition of marijuana (also known as "cannabis").

Currently marijuana is easier for kids to get than alcohol, because
dealers don't require ID.

Prohibition has created a violent criminal market run by
international drug cartels.

Police waste millions of taxpayer dollars targeting non-violent
marijuana consumers, while thousands of violent crimes go unsolved.

And there is $14 billion in marijuana sales every year in California,
but our debt-ridden state gets nothing from it.

Marijuana prohibition has failed.

WE NEED A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO CONTROL AND TAX MARIJUANA LIKE ALCOHOL

Proposition 19 was carefully written to get marijuana under control.

Under Proposition 19, only adults 21 and over can possess up to one
ounce of marijuana, to be consumed at home or licensed
establishments. Medical marijuana patients' rights are preserved.

If we can control and tax alcohol, we can control and tax marijuana.

PUT STRICT SAFETY CONTROLS ON MARIJUANA

Proposition 19 maintains strict criminal penalties for driving under
the influence, increases penalties for providing marijuana to minors,
and bans smoking it in public, on school grounds, and around minors.

Proposition 19 keeps workplaces safe by preserving the right of
employers to maintain a drug-free workplace.

PUT POLICE PRIORITIES WHERE THEY BELONG

According to the FBI, in 2008 over 61,000 Californians were arrested
for misdemeanor marijuana possession, while 60,000 violent crimes
went unsolved. By ending arrests of non-violent marijuana consumers,
police will save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars a year, and
be able to focus on the real threat: violent crime.

Police, Sheriffs, and Judges support Proposition 19.

HELP FIGHT THE DRUG CARTELS

Marijuana prohibition has created vicious drug cartels across our
border. In 2008 alone, cartels murdered 6,290 civilians in Mexico —
more than all U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

60 percent of drug cartel revenue comes from the illegal U.S. marijuana market.

By controlling marijuana, Proposition 19 will help cut off funding to
the cartels.

GENERATE BILLIONS IN REVENUE TO FUND WHAT MATTERS

California faces historic deficits, which, if state government
doesn't balance the budget, could lead to higher taxes and fees for
the public, and more cuts to vital services. Meanwhile, there is $14
billion in marijuana transactions every year in California, but we
see none of the revenue that would come from taxing it.

Proposition 19 enables state and local governments to tax marijuana,
so we can preserve vital services.

The State's tax collector, the Board of Equalization, says taxing
marijuana would generate $1.4 billion in annual revenue, which could
fund jobs, healthcare, public safety, parks, roads, transportation,
and more.

LET'S REFORM CALIFORNIA'S MARIJUANA LAWS

Outlawing marijuana hasn't stopped 100 million Americans from trying
it. But we can control it, make it harder for kids to get, weaken the
cartels, focus police resources on violent crime, and generate
billions in revenue and savings.

We need a common sense approach to control marijuana.

YES on 19.

www.taxcannabis.org

JOSEPH D. MCNAMARA, San Jose Police Chief (Ret.)
JAMES P. GRAY, Orange County Superior Court Judge (Ret.)
STEPHEN DOWNING, Deputy Chief, LAPD (Ret.)

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