Sunday, October 17, 2010

Prop. 19 stirring considerable attention

I could hardly believe that there was some question among some Register staffers as to whether we would endorse Prop. 19, which would make it legal for adults to possess and use (recreationally or otherwise) up to an ounce of marijuana and grow a 25-square-foot patch. However, it's not the perfect proposal. The local option on cultivation and sales (and local taxation) could make for some confusion across jurisdictions. There are questions about whether employers could effectively discipline impairment due to pot (though overblown and the intention is not to reduce their options), and whether it will increase impairment problems. I talked with Dale Gieringer and Joe McNamara at Hoover and plan to talk to Judge Jim Gray tomorrow to get some of these questions cleared up. I dealt with US AG Eric Holder saying he would continue prosecutions even if 19 passes (no doubt to display his profound respect the the will of the people in a democracy here and here.

Bottom line: don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The question is whether, even with imperfections, the Post-19 environment will be less socially harmful and corrosive than the status quo. There's little question that it would be.

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