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To pass or not to pass

Jessie Wilson

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Reading the San Jose magazine, the METRO, one can’t help but notice the number of ads for cannabis dispensaries, and home delivery services. San Jose is home to over 80 dispensaries, up from a mere three in 2009. The Cannacademy Cannabis college that recently opened in San Jose lets everyone know that San Jose residents are getting high.

On Nov. 2, California voters will vote on whether to legalize the use of cannabis for adults over 21. Prop 19- The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 allows all adults over the age of 21 to possess one ounce of marijuana for at home use or in designated smoking establishments. Prop. 19 suggest we treat cannabis like alcohol, proposing semi-stiff penalties for providing cannabis to a minor. Under Prop. 19 a person who knowingly provides cannabis to a minor could receive up to a year of jail time and fined up to $1000. Current laws governing possession on or near school grounds would remain the same.

Local governments would remain control over the number of dispensaries, size, location and operating hours of those who distribute marijuana. Thus, giving those governments at the local level the ability to tax and collect revenue from the dispensaries in their districts. According to the State Board of Equalization website these figures could reach $102 million a year.

The legalizing of weed has been a hot conversation topic among smokers and non-smokers. Everyone has an opinion.

“ I wonder how it’s gonna affect us nationwide”. said Jacob, 19-year-old SJCC student. “ Im voting yes. I think Prop. 19 makes a lot of sense”.
During the San Jose City council meeting on October 13, the council discussed Prop. 19. Council member, Sam Liccardo of District 3 voiced his opinion, stating, “There’s absolutely no regulation for this drug… it’s important we distinguish between decriminalization and legalization.” The council felt that Prop. 19 is a good idea with good intentions but not set up successfully.

“If you really want weed to be legalized you wouldn’t vote for Prop. 19,” Mayor Chuck Reed said at the end of their discussion. This leaves 480 cites and 58 California counties to set forth their own marijuana laws and ordinances leading to a cannabis quagmire.Governor Schwarznegger has just signed a bill Oct. 1 that reduces possession of an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a traffic ticket offense. This is no doubt an attempt to appease those who say the state of California wastes valuable resources prosecuting low-level offenders. Former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara has been quoted several times advocating legalization.

“Like an increasing number of law enforcers, I know that most bad things about marijuana-especially the violence made inevitable by an obscenely profitable black market- are caused by the prohibition, not by the plant”. (http// article collections)

An anonymous sourceexpressed his concerns over possible legalization of marijuana.

“As good as weed being legal sounds… it would cost me.” He will be voting no on Prop. 19 in hopes to keep the cash-from his profitable side job- flowing. Proponents of this bill like John make their living from the thriving cannabis economy as it stands. This provides John with an disturbing reality, he has all the medicine he needs but no market to peddle his wares. This sentiment is true for places like Humboldt county whose entire economy is based on the marijuana industry.

Whatever your preference, smoking or non-smoking, let your voice be heard through the ballots this November.

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The Voice of San Jose City College since 1956
To pass or not to pass