Election 2016: Why I’m (Relunctantly) Voting to Legalize Marijuana in California

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This is the first of many positions I am going to take on the 17 ballot measures that will be before voters on November 8. These are my personal opinions and positions as a registered and more importantly informed voter in the state of California.

Proposition 64: California Marijuana Legalization Initiative

A “yes” vote supports legalizing recreational marijuana and hemp under state law and establishing certain sales and cultivation taxes.

A “no” vote opposes this proposal legalizing recreational marijuana and hemp under state law and establishing certain sales and cultivation taxes.

I grew up going to elementary school in Hermosa Beach and learning about the dangers of drug abuse through then First Lady Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” program. A program that I credit to this day for the attitude I have when it comes to drugs. And please spare me the lecture on Mrs. Reagan and her husband. I didn’t vote for them. I was a kid.

Now at the ripe age of 38, while it’s taken some work on my part and personal experiences with close friends and family members, I do accept that there are health benefits to using medical marijuana. That said, I am not at all enthusiastic about Californians possible legalizing marijuana for all. And as hesitant as I am about voters legalizing marijuana, I can’t ignore the disproportionate harm that continues to be done to African Americans and Latinos through the criminalization of marijuana.

I don’t think I will ever support the willy-nilly use of marijuana and Afroman’s hit song “Because I Got High” didn’t help the cause either. But having seen firsthand the damage that has been done to communities of color by the criminalization of marijuana, including the infamous arrest of Mitrice Richardson in Malibu on possession of less than an ounce of marijuana only for her to be found dead nearly a year later- I cannot in good conscious let my personal feelings about marijuana outweigh the what’s best for my community. And what’s best is having less people of color seized and their lives ruined after being forced into this state’s criminal justice system for minor offenses like an itty bitty bit of weed.

Vote Yes on Prop. 64. Sigh.

That said, don’t come to me at a later date asking me to vote to decriminalize any of the following: cocaine (powder or crack), heroine, bath salts, that God awful crystal meth or any of that other ish that turns people into crazed addicted zombies on Earth.

Register to Vote

Click here if you need to register to vote or check your voter registration to make sure that you are in fact 1) registered to vote 2) registered at the right address and 3) registered to the correct political party of your choosing.The deadline to register or correct any mistakes in your registration is 11:59 p.m. on October 24.  Ain’t nobody, especially me, trying to hear your excuses on November 9th.

I can hear it now, “I was gonna vote but then I got high.”  Yeah, I know.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • bluethru1994

    Why not legalize it all. The cops can’t win either way. One time they attempt to arrest a guy with crack, the bad guy fights, goes for the cops gun and they are forced to shoot him. Gee, wonder what everyone on this web site will be saying. POLICE KILLED GUY OVER A SIMPLE PIECE OF ROCK COCAINE. The police must be a bunch of killers. If the cops do nothing and let the crack head do his thing in front of Ms. Jackson’s house, she will be calling the police saying that nothing is being done in her neighborhood because it is a Black neighborhood.

    How do the police win? How do the police operate under these circumstances? What in the world does everybody want? I have an idea, can anybody give give me one predominately Black country that does not have dictators, mass murders and huge drug problems. If you can name a country such as this, I suggest all of you that are not happy here, move to that county. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any. Wow, that is a lot to say, and my wife is a Black girl.

  • If your wife is a “Black girl” and you’re a grown man or woman you could be in trouble with the police yourself🤔

  • IssaNissa

    Legalizing marijuana and voting yes on Prop 56? Sounds contradictory. On one hand we want people to stop harming themselves by quitting smoking ( $2 extra per pack) and on the other we re telling them “pot is now ok” .

  • Spencer Jacobson

    Is there such thing as medicinal cigarettes? If not i’m not sure this is the best comparison.

    There are also other ways to ingest THC without smoking it. Just sayin.