The following are excerpts from L.A. Weekly article “Proposition 19 Dreams of Legal Weed” (Oct. 21, 2010):
“On November 2, California will vote on Proposition 19 , a measure intended to make it lawful for adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, as well as the freedom to grow the weed in a 25-square-foot plot.
Experts on either side of the marijuana issue don't agree on much — including whether legalization will lead the state into chaos and ruin — but they do agree that there's a real chance the people will vote to toke.
‘Running a state by referendum is a bad idea,’ says Mark A.R. Kleiman , the UCLA public policy professor who edits the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis and wants marijuana legalized — but not commercialized. He envisions a law that lets you grow your own, or allows you to join a co-op that grows for you, hence no marijuana industry.
‘Proposition 19 was drafted by activists and pollsters rather than by people who know the laws involved. Proposition 19 can't tax marijuana,’ Kleiman explains. ‘It says that every locality has to decide, so localities will compete with each other to get the lowest taxes. It's a race to the bottom.’
UCLA's Kleiman finds the wording of Proposition 19 deplorable. ‘We have two choices,’ he says. ‘Vote no and ratify [anti-]cannabis laws around the country and say to the other states that we're not legalizing marijuana. Or we can vote for a law that's gibberish. Because Proposition 19 is so badly drafted, no one knows what a post-19 California will look like.’”