Even the most seasoned political forecaster might hesitate to predict the outcome of Proposition 19, this November’s marijuana legalization initiative on the California state ballot. A number of variables could affect the vote on whether California local governments should be allowed to regulate cultivation and sales of marijuana and to impose excise taxes on transactions.
A few of these factors don’t even have much to do with the marijuana question at all. Some believe the outcome hinges more on the relative success of the two major parties in mobilizing voters in the state’s high-profile governor’s and U.S. Senate races.
Many associations representing government officials in California have formally expressed opposition to Prop. 19, and there remains doubt over how many counties and cities would actually choose to shift their marijuana policy so dramatically if given the authority to do so. But the decision for cash-strapped counties would be a difficult one, as evidenced by a recent 3-2 vote by the Solano County Board of Supervisors to oppose the ballot measure.
"This country spends billions of dollars every year to try to eradicate a problem that is never going away,” Kondylis told the newspaper. “I would rather see all those billions of dollars spent on treatment and rehab.”
Do you think addiction treatment professionals in California and elsewhere should speak out regarding marijuana legalization initiatives? How do you think adoption of Prop. 19 would benefit or harm treatment?