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Fears about Proposition 19 unsubstantiated

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Posted: Saturday, October 30, 2010 12:00 am

The illustrations portrayed by opponents of Proposition 19 are rife with fear. What is just as obvious is that they are also rife with inaccuracies.

One would only have to conclude, after reading the letters and columns of a particular lieutenant, that presentations of obnoxious advertisements for marijuana await us: "Reefer Madness down at Timmy's Pub!," or that we need fear our child's school bus driver were Proposition 19 to pass. What is never expressed is the reality of the situation; that none of the fears conveyed by opponents are substantiated.

If opponents seek to contemplate what Proposition 19 allows, they should examine the amendments to the health and safety code. Section 11300 allows for the possession, transfer, transportation or cultivation (subject to approval by owner of rental property) of marijuana for individuals 21-plus years of age. Limits on personal consumption are established: one cannot consume in public, while operating a vehicle of any kind or beforehand whereby consumption impairs ability, or in the presence of minors.

Section 11301 grants cities jurisdiction over commercial licensing for business' seeking to cultivate, process, or sell marijuana. Furthermore, cities have the authority to pass ordinances with the intent of reducing exposure of marijuana to minors including public displays. Businesses that cultivate or sell marijuana are prevented from hiring individuals under the age of consumption. Environmental and property values are addressed by the right of cities to control the land use and locale of businesses that produce marijuana. Finally, cities have the ability to resolve unaddressed concerns under subsection (m). Section 11304 maintains prohibitions on dangerous activities while under the influence, possessing marijuana on school grounds, and transporting marijuana across borders.

In the course of protecting individuals that legally consume marijuana from discrimination, an exception is maintained; that which protects an employer's right to address consumption that impairs the ability of the employee. To assert that Proposition 19 allows for: cultivation on rental property without approval, driving under the influence, or unlimited and unlicensed storage of marijuana without consequences, is to provide one of the most inaccurate expositions possible for a proposition's provisions. For shame Lieutenant Piombo.

Manuel Martinez


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