Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Should marijuana be legalized? A question debated throughout many places right now, particularly in California as voting approaches, was a question I had to tackle these past weeks. For our project, my group studied Proposition 19. I really enjoyed learning about this proposition as it was one that if passed would greatly affect me right now. There were many pros and cons to the proposition but I finally came to the conclusion that, if I could, I would vote no on Proposition 19.

While reading Proposition 19 it was very easy to me to see the amount of positive things that would come out of it being passed. If I had not discussed with my group and found other outside sources it would have been very tempting to vote yes right away. I say that because everything was phrased in a way, obviously, that would make me want to vote yes. Here are a list that I found to be the greatest pros; passing this proposition would put dangerous street dealers out of business, it would make billions of dollars per year in taxes which would fund more important things like jobs and schools, and the money wasted each year in marijuana offenses would be used to fight against violent crimes and gangs.

Seeing these pros would make one eager to vote yes on Prop 19. However, then I began to look to other sources. The major cons that I found while looking to other sources are one, marijuana negatively affects drivers’ judgment, motor skills, and reaction time, therefore, it stands to reason that legalizing marijuana would lead to more accidents and fatalities involving drivers under the influence. Two, marijuana is known as the ‘gateway drug,’ so legalizing it could, in time, lead to the use of more dangerous drugs, such as speed, heroine, methamphetamine, etc…Lastly, California would be the first state to legalize marijuana, this could lead to many more marijuana users coming to California to live for so that they may buy and use marijuana legally.

After looking at both the pros and the cons, the cons for me outweighed the pros. The fact that California would be the first state to legalize marijuana made me leery. I do not think that it would be wise to legalize marijuana because California would have an influx of marijuana users who would come to marijuana to buy their marijuana. Some people might say that this would be a good thing because we would have more people to get our economy going. I think however, that to have all marijuana users move to California would lead to more under the influence drivers. Those who drive under the influence of marijuana have difficulty with judgment, motor skills, and reaction time. This would lead to even more fatalities and accident related injuries.

To conclude I would vote no on Proposition 19 if I could vote. For me all the pros to passing the proposition were not enough to outweigh all of the cons. The many cons to passing proposition 19 would lead to many things for California that I do not think Californian’s want.

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