Californians to Vote on Prop 19 and Legalizing Marijuana

It is clear that, like many states, California has struggled financially over the past three years during the economic recession. California’s financial struggle has prompted many reformers to push for Proposition 19, The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010. Voters in California will vote next Tuesday to approve recreational use of less than one ounce of marijuana for those over 21 years old.

The proposed law also permits private property owners to grow and cultivate cannabis, in an area not more than 25 feet, for personal consumption.

It precludes consumption of cannabis while in a public place; operating a vehicle, boat or aircraft; or in front of minors.

The proposed law also enables local governments to regulate the consumption, retail sale and transport of cannabis, as well as the ability to impose taxes on retail sales and consumption.

Proponents of the Act argue it will:

  • create billions of dollars in revenues for the state;
  • enable law enforcement to fight more violent crimes; and
  • provide greater control and regulation of its use

Opponents of the Act argue that it was poorly drafted and contains flaws which could cause numerous unintended consequences, for example:

  • It does not require bus or truck drivers to be drug-free;
  • It does not prevent vehicle passengers from consuming marijuana while the vehicle is operated;
  • It conflicts with the Federal Workplace Act of 1988 mandating that schools and other entities receiving federal funding remain drug-free;
  • It omits any definition of what constitutes being “under the influence” so there is no standard in place for “driving under the influence”;

The Obama administration has already expressed that it fully intends to enforce provisions of the Controlled Substances Act which criminalizes the use and possession of marijuana, even if Proposition 19 passes. Many constitutional law experts debate whether federal preemption laws may be invoked in this situation, but only time will tell. The first hurdle for most supporters, clearly, is the passage of the Act itself; however, the LA Times reported that recent polling data shows voters oppose the measure by 51% to 39%.

Right now in South Carolina, possession or use of marijuana remains illegal, and a conviction can result in serious consequences. Therefore, it is important to know your legal rights if you are arrested for possession of marijuana.

Contact a drug defense attorney at the Strom Law Firm, LLC, today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. We know the law and how to defend your case. We offer flexible payment options, accept Visa and Mastercard and are prepared to take your case to trial to defend your rights.


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