Many outspoken marijuana users have stated that they are against California’s Proposition 19, saying that while the proposition sounds like a dream come true, in reality it is a huge step backward in the movement to legalize marijuana.
Marijuana users have stated their stance is pro-legalization but anti-Proposition 19. Their view is that Proposition 19 will not legalize marijuana but in fact place more restrictions upon it.
Most media state that the proposition will fully legalize marijuana, though in fact, the proposition will put restrictions where there are none currently, such as reversing freedoms users now enjoy under Proposition 215 and paving the way for the current marijuana industry to be corporatized, eliminating small-time marijuana farmers.
Denis Peron, author of Proposition 215, denounced the new proposition saying it would be “thinly-veiled prohibition.”
Many users developed their negative stance after reading and completely analyzing Proposition 19. Under Proposition 19, marijuana would not be fully legalized; people would only be allowed to carry up to one ounce and it would have to have been bought from a legal marijuana dispensary.
Many people don’t know that, thanks to marijuana already being decriminalized, the penalty for carrying an ounce now is only a mere citation and a $100 fine at maximum. Under Proposition 19, that small punitive measure would go away, but the proposition adds other measures for minors and those who give marijuana to them that are not already in place.
Under the proposition, a person who gives marijuana of any amount to a minor would face up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine. The current penalty for a gift of marijuana one ounce or less is a $100 fine.
Also under Proposition 19, users would not be able to smoke in the presence of minors, not even in the privacy of their own homes. Under Proposition 215, users are able to smoke in their homes or any place where smoking is allowed as long as they have their prescription, regardless of minors being present. Proposition 19 would take this freedom away.
Another problem users have with Proposition 19 are the restrictions it would place on the current industry of marijuana that Proposition 215 enables. Under Proposition 19, the only people who would be allowed to sell marijuana are people who obtain an expensive and difficult-to-get license.
Current small-time marijuana growers and sellers who make a decent profit under Proposition 215 would no longer be able to sell. Marijuana users worry that, under Proposition 19, the small-time growers would be pushed out and replaced with big time corporations, effectively destroying the industry the growers have built over the years.
Users claim that Proposition 19 is not the right way to legalize marijuana. They believe that people should hold out and wait for a better law to be written, one that doesn’t have all the problems that Proposition 19 creates.
Another plan – the California Hemp and Health Initiative – is already seeking signatures for inclusion on the 2012 ballot. This new initiative fixes many of the problems that Proposition 19 creates and was even approved by the late Jack Herer, the “father of the legalization movement.”
Users worry that if Proposition 19 passes, this new initiative won’t stand a chance in 2012 because the big corporations formed after Proposition 19 will not allow it to pass.
Proposition 19 is not the only road to legalization available – it is simply the first. Dragonfly De La Luz, a pro-legalization blogger, wrote in an article: “This is not our only chance to vote yes to legalization, but it may be our only chance to vote no to the corporatization of cannabis.”