Pubdate: Mon, 4 Oct 2010
Source: Bakersfield Californian, The (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Matthew Pytlak
Author: Matthew Pytlak


In its recent editorial on Proposition 19 ("No on Prop. 19: Pot
initiative's issues too hazy," Sept. 28), The Californian was worried
about the fact the taxation of cannabis wasn't written into the
measure. Then, the editorial went on to say that the taxes would be
too high to close the black market. So which is it? Does the
proposition not implement taxes or does it implement too many taxes?

Anyone who has read the proposition knows that it allows cities and
counties to set regulations (including tax rates). Since when is local
control a bad thing?

Concerns about a "surge in DUIs" were also bandied about. This
argument was also made when Proposition 215, authorizing medical
cannabis, was on the ballot. Since Prop. 215 was passed, DUIs have
actually gone down in California. Many more people drive while
intoxicated by alcohol, but I don't see the newspaper advocating a
return to alcohol prohibition.

There is a reason we ended alcohol prohibition; the violence caused by
gangs seeking to control an illegal market was much worse than the
harm caused by the use of alcohol. We don't have our cops busting
bootleggers and moonshiners and we don't have wine cartels growing
grapes in our national forests.

California is wasting hundreds of millions of dollars by arresting and
imprisoning people for producing and using a substance that is
demonstrably less harmful than alcohol. It is time to end this failed
policy. Vote yes on Prop. 19.

Matthew Pytlak

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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake