A couple of the largest newspapers in California have come out in support of ending the scourge of marijuana prohibition across the state.
The editorial board for the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle recently emerged in approval for Sean Parker’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64). Both papers say the system that stands to be put into place through the passing of the initiative would be a much better move than continuing to stand inside the current prohibitionary model.
“On balance, the proposition deserves a “yes” vote. It is ultimately better for public health, for law and order and for society if marijuana is a legal, regulated and controlled product for adults,” the LA Times wrote. “Proposition 64 — while not perfect — offers a logical, pragmatic approach to legalization that also would give lawmakers and regulators the flexibility to change the law to address the inevitable unintended consequences.”
“The reality is that California has already, essentially, legalized marijuana,” the Times continued. “Virtually any adult can get a medical marijuana recommendation and buy pot products legally at a dispensary. And those who can’t be bothered to fake a headache or back pain can buy it on the black market without fear of going to jail.”
The Chronicle took a similar position, taking it a step further by arguing that legalization would throw a wrench in the criminal organizations responsible for destroying the environment.
“Any serious discussion of marijuana legalization must begin with the acknowledgment of reality: Prohibition is not working," the board wrote. "The drug is popular and readily available for recreational use, either through medical marijuana dispensaries, where 18-year-olds can purchase cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation, often after a nudge-and-a-wink; or a black market that continues to thrive. As with the era of alcohol Prohibition until its repeal in 1933, criminal enterprises have exploited the outlawing of a popular product. In the case of cannabis, Prohibition also has wreaked significant environmental damage from clandestine operations that divert water from streams, use chemicals and otherwise tamper with the ecosystem away from regulators’ scrutiny.”
“Prop. 64 would bring discipline and oversight to an industry that is operating in the shadows, to the detriment of public health, the environment and public safety,” the Chronicle added. “Vote yes on 64.”
Interestingly, the latest opinions of the two Editorial Boards are a major shift from 2010, when both papers attempted to convince the voting public that Proposition 19 was not worth their support. Of course, that ballot measure failed to earn the approval of the public.
Although a number of additional editorial boards across California have come out in favor of Proposition 64, not every newspaper in the Golden State shares in their enthusiasm.
Nevertheless, some of the latest polls indicate that California’s voting public fully intends to approve recreational marijuana later this fall.
Last week, a survey conducted by the Los Angeles Times found that 58 percent of the voters were behind Proposition 64, while another poll from Survey USA shows that support closer to 52 percent.