Sunday, March 22, 2009
Is California's legalization of recreational marijuana inevitable?
In the recent past the California state assembly has put forth a bill that would allow distributors to sell marijuana legally. If this bill is passed it would mean that anyone above the age of 21 in California could purchase and use marijuana for recreational purposes. The argument in favor of it, for the state’s purposes, is that there is money to be made in times of a financial crisis. If the state is willing to do this the bill allows for distributors to be charged, by the state, a start up cost of $5000 with an annual re-licensing fee of $2500. Marijuana would then be taxed to a large degree which would make the cost about $50 an ounce.
The bill forbids the use of marijuana in public parks and school zones and also disallows the practice of cultivating it in public; no one would be allowed to grow it in a vegetable garden in their back yard. The arguments for are mainly focused on what this will mean for non-smokers. Those who disagree with the bill say it will still be allowed in public places. If this is true than it seems like bars and restaurants would allow the use of marijuana.
The arguments for it focus on the lack of harm marijuana seems to cause. It will ease the state through the financial crisis and make things easier over-all for increasing the state’s funds. Also, it is believed that local law enforcement will be able to focus their attention on more severe crimes in California rather than trying to arrest “potheads.”
The health risks again come into play. The problem though is that the health risks are not too high, it seems, for users of marijuana. Often times there are no critical health problems stemming from marijuana; and due to the likelihood of it being smoked in some kind of bong cuts out the idea of throat cancer. Mouth and throat cancers with the use of marijuana seem unlikely. People also claim that alcohol is more dangerous to both one’s own health and the people around a user. Alcohol can cause aggressive behavior much more so than is seen with marijuana.