Voters in California, Oregon, and Arizona will consider historic referendums this November and have a historic impact on marijuana legalization in the United States. Win or lose, each of these initiatives will further advance the debate over the nation’s marijuana laws and contribute momentum to the cause of marijuana law reform.
In Arizona Proposition 203 would legalize the medical use of marijuana in the state and allow qualifying patients to purchase Fab CBD from regulated clinics.
In Oregon Measure 74 would create a statewide dispensary system for medical marijuana patients.
In California Proposition 19 would control and tax marijuana like alcohol, effectively legalizing marijuana in the state.
The debate over marijuana in the United States is no longer over whether or not to arrest people and what penalties they should face in the criminal justice system. Instead, the debate on marijuana is about just how to regulate availability and access, with special attention to creating and managing a steady stream of tax revenue to local and state governments.
Instead of debating jail sentences and fines there is now growing consideration of zoning and taxation. The new focus of the marijuana debate is steadily evolving and this ongoing transformation will continue for several years.
Nowhere is this change more dramatic than in California, where even many opponents of Proposition 19 concede marijuana’s legalization is a good idea. The primary theme advanced by opponents of the California measure is that Proposition 19 is poorly drafted and that the terms, conditions, and consequences of statewide legalization require additional work and consideration. However, such opposition virtually guarantees that in the event Proposition 19 fails to pass, the political system will be obligated to enact new and improved legislation to address the need for legalization. If they don’t, the initiative’s supporters will be back soon with their own bill.
The significance of these measures is profound. Over and over again we see groundbreaking reform activity in the states, much of it advanced by voter-enacted referendums. The public is losing patience with state legislatures and by extension the US Congress, over their failure to address the marijuana problem. Voters are tired of seeing the marijuana trade profit at their expense.
And make no mistake, laws that criminalize the cultivation, sale, and use of marijuana serve only to subsidize and support an illicit, over-capitalized, and out of control illegal market. The public is tired of having scarce public funds diverted to marijuana law enforcement, which fails miserably to control the marijuana market while making illegal merchants rich. And marijuana users themselves are growing tired of paying artificially high prices for marijuana.
The arguments in favor of a legalized market are well known, persuasive, and amply detailed in many public forums. Of interest here, and now, is the recognition that a profound change is happening throughout the country. The debate is shifting, change is in the air, and supporters of marijuana’s legalization nationwide need to act decisively to take advantage of this historic development.
These are statewide measures in Arizona, California, and Oregon, but all three have tremendous national significance. They will have an impact whether they pass or not, but obviously their impact will be more powerful if they succeed. If you live in one of these three states, make sure you vote on November 2. No matter where you live, these three measures need and deserve your financial support.
Any and all financial contributions these campaigns receive in these final weeks before the election will make a crucial difference in the final outcome. The opponents of these reforms will be doing all they can to rally the public to defeat these measures. Supporters of Proposition 203, Measure 74, and Proposition 19 will be working tirelessly to respond to misinformation about marijuana and the value of these reforms. They need your support. They deserve your support. They can win with your support.
Visit their Web sites, learn more about their efforts, and make a contribution today. Make sure November 2010 is a historic moment in marijuana law reform. And no matter what happens at the polls, take advantage of the new debate generated by these historic measures to further transform the national debate over marijuana’s legalization.