Looks like California may have enough support to legalize (and therefore tax) marijuana this coming November. Proposition 19, the measure that would regulate and legalize marijuana has gained support from diverse groups and big unions alike. The proposition is currently leading in a new poll with 47% in favor, 38% opposed, and 14% undecided. This does not really come to any surprise as earlier this year Oakland became the first U.S. city to allow large scale marijuana farming.
The popular measure does seem to have some significant opposition. While many believe that the legalization of marijuana will help boost local economies, others think small growers will be put out of business. Furthermore, the alcohol industry has spent millions trying to squash the campaign for the legalization of marijuana.
However, at this rate is seems like the pro marijuana initiative will prevail. Syndicated columnist David Sorota, for example, has taken his opinion to the web by citing a massive hypocrisy found in drug and alcohol policies. Sorota, like many others, compare the use of marijuana to that of alcohol arguing that alcohol is in actuality more of a threat to society.
It is interesting to note, however, that no one mentions that alcohol, when taken in moderation, does not cause imminent death. Instead, supporters of the measure focus on people who go overboard with alcohol and then proceed to use them as an example as to why a mind altering drug should be legalized.
The lens of course is slanted, just like in every other political measure on the table. Regardless, comparing alcohol related problems to the use of marijuana while simultaneously citing health benefits of cannabis certainly seems to be getting the message across. Soon California residents may be enjoying some cannabis freely, or at least without having to insist that they have glaucoma.