Article by Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times
I know you’ve been distracted/disgusted/gobsmacked by the presidential campaign all summer.
But history, polling and common sense tell us that California’s electoral votes already belong to Hillary Clinton (sorry, Donald Trump fans). So stop wasting time worrying about that, Golden State types, and turn your attention to the doorstop of a ballot that you’ll be facing when you vote Nov. 8.
This year, 17 measures qualified for the statewide ballot. There is something for everyone to get worked up about: prescription drug prices, the minimum wage, background checks for ammunition purchases, plastic bags, the death penalty — and something I really wish I didn’t have to think about, mandatory condoms for porn shoots.
One of the most far-reaching measures is Proposition 64, which would legalize marijuana for adult recreational use.
No disrespect to Colorado or Washington or Alaska, but California’s pot business would totally dwarf those already legal markets. Colorado, for instance, collected more than $135 million in pot-related revenues last year. California could collect up to $1 billion annually within a few years of legalization.
And if California votes to legalize, other states will follow. That will bring new pressure on the Drug Enforcement Agency to alter its preposterous classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, which means it has no known medical benefit and is considered as dangerous as heroin and LSD. (Twenty-five states, by the way, already have medical marijuana laws. Why the feds continue to resist re-scheduling, even as they loosen rules on growing pot for medical research, is just plain bizarre.)