The legalization of the recreational use of marijuana has been a hotly debated subject for a very long time. Some states, such as Colorado and Washington have legalized the recreational use of the drug with some success. California is currently considering becoming the next state to legalize the drug.
The office of the state Legislative Analyst in California stated that a proposed bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana could bring in more than $1 billion in revenue annually. On the other hand, the rise in drug use would likely lead to more money being spent on drug treatment.
State lawmakers who held a hearing on the proposed legislation were presented with this report. The legislation was proposed for California’s November ballot.
If passed, the measure would allow California residents over the age of 21 to possess, transport, and use up to an ounce of marijuana. Retail sales of the drug would be taxed at 15%.
Those who support the legislation state that funds collected would need to be spent on law enforcement and drug treatment programs. This would, in turn, reduce the cost of imprisonment for marijuana offenders.
On the other side of the coin, The California Peace Officer’s Association believes that the measure will lead to an increase in violent crime, particularly home invasion robberies of marijuana growers. In line with this group, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen believe the initiative will make state roadways more dangerous by increasing the number of drivers “driving while high.”
The president of the Highway Patrolmen Association, Doug Villars, says that the initiative will allow passengers to smoke, resulting in the second-hand intoxication of the driver.
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