Opinion: Mothers for marijuana: ‘Please vote yes, yes on 19 for the kids’
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With a group of mothers around her, attorney Hanna Liebman Dershowitz uttered some words likely not yet heard in this wild election season: Legal marijuana is ‘safer for our children.’
“When I think of what type of world I want my children to grow up in, they grow up in a world with marijuana legal and controlled and not this out-of-control system that we have today,’ the mother of two said Tuesday in West Hollywood at a press conference aimed to inspire people to vote for Proposition 19. ‘So it might be counterintuitive, but legalizing marijuana would be safer for our children.’
The mothers may be standing alone, at least when it comes to backing from politicians. Most candidates this year have opposed California Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana.
Sen. Barbara Boxer fears that legalization ‘could lead to an increase in crime, vehicle accidents and higher costs for local law enforcement agencies.’
Boxer’s opponent, Carly Fiorina, opposes Proposition 19 for an entirely different reason: She doesn’t feel comfortable with all the money it will bring in. Fiorina fears legalization of marijuana will send too many tax dollars to Sacramento, a body that’s addicted not to drugs but spending.
‘Sending billions of dollars in new tax revenues to Sacramento is exactly the problem. We’ve seen over and over that Sacramento, as well as Washington, D.C., have a spending problem, and they’ll continue to spend the money we send them,’ Fiorina told 10questions.com. ‘Instead we need to focus all of our energies on growing our economy and creating jobs.’
Equally confusing was the reasoning behind Jerry Brown’s opposition to the legalization of what many consider California’s largest cash crop. He is afraid that if the proposition passes and it is legal to grow and injest the herb, ruthless Mexican drug cartels would grow even more quickly. Confusing, because popular belief is that legalization, just like the repeal of Prohibition, would take the power away from the cartels.
“Every year, we get more and more marijuana, and every year we find more guys with AK-47s coming out of Mexico going into forests ... and growing more and more ... dangerous ... and losing control,” Brown said in June.
When Meg Whitman was asked by Tom Brokaw about Proposition 19, she said she was strongly opposed to it. And she added that we shouldn’t ask her, we should ask law enforcement because ‘every single law-enforcement official in this entire state is against Proposition 19.’
Except, of course, for this impressively long list of law-enforcement officials who support Prop 19.
Despite what the mothers want, and regardless of whether it’s true their children would be safer if law enforcement could focus on more serious crimes, the Obama administration promises to ‘vigorously enforce’ the federal ban on weed.
-- Tony Pierce