The Truth Behind Prop 64
By Allen Agas
Many Californians are excited about the new possibility of legal recreational marijuana. Judging from Colorado’s situation, this new source of tax revenue can benefit California’s economy to support things like health care and our school systems.
When we take a look at Colorado from an economic point of view, their statewide revenue has gone up exponentially. The legalization of marijuana has opened 10,000 more jobs to the public decreasing the state’s unemployment rate to 6%.
Source: Bob Pearson
“This is Colorado, where a billion-dollar-a-year legal marijuana industry has emerged since January 2014.”
- Joshua Miller
Legalized marijuana may have a very positive result but, we forget to look on the other side of weed; Weed has been the social stigma behind most arrests and incarcerations throughout to U.S.. California recently had 13,434 felonies in 2012 alone, and in 2014, there were 1,561,231 arrests for drug related crimes.
Hope was given to inmates when word was spread that a new proposition would legalize marijuana in California. The hope was that if the bill was passed, their sentences would be cut.
This was not the case. On the off chance that the individuals were in prison for only marijuana possession, their sentences would be cut since federal prisons are not affected by state law changes. Inmates would have to ride out the sentence until its end, no reduction, nothing.
Since most inmates are arrested for crime related to marijuana, like trespassing and intent to sell, inmate would still be in prison for those additional crimes. This bill is meant reduce the amount of association of minorities and marinara.
With the legalization of marijuana, we can reduce the prosecution of people with their only offence being in position of the drug. As an article in The Gazette Op/Ed section, the writer explains that the legalization in Colorado, and quite possibly California, is to reduce the social stigma behind minorities and marinara.
“…they want to see legal reforms that could help remove the stigmas that may prevent low-level drug offenders with personal-use convictions from having housing, jobs and scholarships that help them lead productive and healthy lives.”
-The Gazette Op/Ed
Usually when people get out of prison, it’s hard to get a job because of their criminal record — even if it’s just possession. By legalizing marijuana, it would be considered discrimination if anything is restricted to post-convicts based solely on the fact they have a previous drug-related felony.
Even in the legalized states of washington and colorado, minorities are still being treated unfairly, getting overcharged for buying marijuana and getting skimped on how many grams they receive.
Sure the social stigma leading to the arrest of minorities has gone down, people with a criminal record are unable to be anything as simple as a garbage boy for dispensaries. The system in Colorado has put a restriction on people with a felony to try and avoid trafficking within the state.
Because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, access to banking services is severely restricted.
Considering we’ve had many “testing grounds” to observe with recreational marijuana, we do not know about what can happen or what is going to happen if the substance is legalized.
Allen Agas is a seventeen year old senior at Benicia High School. He enjoys being with his friends in the swim team and playing and listen to music. He hopes to one day be a EMT.