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Reason.tv: Prop 19 - Should Californians legalize marijuana?

On November 2, 2010, California voters will decide whether or not to legalize marijuana. 

If passed, Proposition 19 would control marijuana like alcohol, allowing adults 21 years of age and over to possess up to an ounce of pot for personal consumption and grow marijuana at a private residence in a space of up to 25 square feet. The initiative would also allow local governments to tax and regulate the commercial cultivation, transport, and sale of marijuana.

In order to get a handle on the debate surrounding. Prop 19, we spoke to both supporters and opponents of the initiative.

So what do you think? Should Californians legalize marijuana?

Approximately 6 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

Go to reason.tv for HD, iPod and audio versions of this video and subscribe to Reason.tv's YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new material goes live.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    yes on 19. I already voted.

  • ||

    That makes two of us!

  • ||

    Actually, my wife and two adult children also voted yes on 19, so that makes five of us.

  • Charles||

    My wife and I have sent in our ballots. Add two more votes to the YES side.

  • ||

    I voted yes on 19 too, but in this video, I have to say, the no people were more convincing than the yes people!

  • ||

    Even the "morally bankrupt" quote by the 4-star?

    Murdering grandma, shooting dogs, terrorizing children, breaking up families... those things aren't morally bankrupt?

  • ||

    already voted yes, and my wife should be voting yes as well,

    also I think pretty much all the friends and family I have as well.

    Any that don't will get the wrath.

  • ||

    An astonishing aspect to the debate, to me at least, is how many MJ users and growers are so adamantly against (incoherent, but opposed) p19

    http://www.rollitup.org/legali.....es-no.html

  • ||

    Many large cartels and co-ops that profit from the artificially high price of illegal pot certainly don't wish to see it legalized, at least not until they position themselves to reap the rewards of a controlled market that is taxed, licensed and regulated by the state.

  • ||

    Commercial growers have seen the black-market price per pound decline 40-50% in the last two years. They are putting revenues ahead of "doing the right thing"/

  • ||

    Yo man, like, Phillip Morris has all these patents and shit, and if Prop 19 passes they're gonna turn weed into a deadly addictive poison so they can pay their executives big bonuses. Plus, like, the government will keep lists of people who smoke pot, and euthanize them all. No on 19 brah.

  • ||

    "Now who could argue with that?"

  • ||

    [some people actually believe things like this]

  • ||

    TehTruth.com

  • ||

    "9 out of 10 Mexican drug lords agree..."

  • ||

    10th guy couldn't make it to the poll. Lorenzo forgot to bribe the border security.

  • ||

    No, Lorenzo got decapitated... Do you even watch the news? :)

  • ||

    The astonishing aspect to me is that that there is any debate at all. Voting yes is a no-brainer.

  • ||

    I'd have written the proposition differently (the state only could levy taxes, counties, not cities, could optt out).

    Still, it's far better than prohibition. Vote yes on 19!

  • ||

    I agree, I would have written it a bit differently as well, but it is FAR better than prohibition.

  • Wind Rider||

    Never let the perfect be the obstacle to the possible.

  • Tman||

    So the cop being interviewed thinks that if California legalizes weed then we've crossed the line in to a "morally bankrupt" society?

    Hyperbole much?

  • ||

    esp since society has not crumbled in CA since the introduction of MMJ under Prop 215.

  • ||

    Which is morally superior: Allowing people to use MJ, or murdering a 95 year old grandmother in Atlanta?

  • ||

    why can't I smoke a marihuana cigarette then kill the grandmother? marihuana makes the killing go down so much smoother.

  • ||

    You can only do that if you are a cop, for the rest of us it is illegal.

  • ||

    California has been a morally bankrupt society for at least 40 years. NTTAWWT.

  • ||

    Believe it or not, California's moral bankruptcy makes me all the more in favor of Proposition 19 passing. Anyone retarded enough to vote for spendthrift meddlesome dipsticks like Babs and Moonbeam there deserves to have their state flooded with stoners, and those stoners in turn deserve to be taxed to death. Both outcomes seem incredibly likely if California's polls are to be believed.

    See, you guys seem eager to compartmentalize the prospects of leftists remaining in control of California and marijuana being legalized there as if they'll have no effect on each other. I suspect they'll have a very great effect on each other, and this is arguably a good thing. Having all the leftard stoners in our states move to California would be like... like... like having every left-winger in the USA move to the USSR back during the Cold War! The Great Stoner Exodus to the left coast sure to follow is made of win for everyone except those soon-to-be-mugged stoners and the already-benighted state of California.

    The figurative corn hole raping California stoners are about to receive financially might even start making the more literal corn hole raping they might have received in prison look far less terrible. I hope the next thing California proposes is to shut down its borders so that their new tax slaves can't escape--after the last of the vanilla conservatives make their exodus for more sensible states like Tennessee, which will be even more sensible once all those barking moonbats abandon them.

    Yes, this Proposition 19 might just shake up the whole country--whereupon all the fruits and nuts will tumble into California just as they always have before.

  • ||

    he he, he said "corn hole."

  • ||

    Lonewhacko?

  • ||

    That's actually an interesting perspective. Especially the bit about corn hole raping.

  • ||

    I always think its funny when smug south easterners talk bad about California, those who haven't even been there. There are lefts and rights there, and there are people of every walk of life in California. Its no surprise that the south is a racism factory... or maybe he's a troll?

  • ||

    Sorry, commie fuckbag: you've overdrawn me; argument disqualified for lack of capital.

  • ||

    Derp da duh depadur dee da durpadee dur dee dum. Dum dumbadee doo doo, tweedlee dee dee der. Derpatious derptidee duh durpeedadoo dur dumee. Derpitee doo dah, derp dar dur. CORN HOLE, da dur, derpadur, candycornia exodus derp.

  • ||

    Right! Because the War on Pot never leads to any abuses that might be characterized as "immoral."

  • ||

    If I had to choose between the Repubs taking the Senate and Prop 19 passing, I might just go with the latter.

    Its only the likelihood of another Obama SCOTUS appointment that makes it a tough call.

  • ||

    Prop 19 has a better chance of resulting in more lasting change. I'd take GOP House + Prop 19 over GOP House and Senate.

    GOP House plus a few extra Senators is enough to block the worst excesses.

  • ||

    "Legalize it, don't criticize it."

  • ||

    I think Mitch McConnell should be punished for his anti-Tea Party shenanigans by losing the Senate majority by one seat. And if prop 19 passes we are well on our way ending the war on drugs.

  • ||

    James, it could cause the fed to intensify the war!

  • ||

    I don't think Obama and Holder have the heart to keep locking up a disproportionate number of black people.

  • ||

    Yes they do.

  • ||

    This is a good point. Seriously, Ard, use your eyes, not your theories.

  • ||

    They might have the heart, but political capital is another thing entirely. If Prop 19 passes and they make more than a token effort at displaying their opposition, the PR backlash will be significant. Arresting your base while Rome burns is a pretty good way to lose a re-election bid.

  • ||

    Honestly, I think Obama's toast. Yes, "two years is a long time in politics," blah motherfucking blah...

    Now, in his last two years, is he going to do anything that's worth, well, anything?

    I'm not counting on it...

  • ||

    It could very well be the case, but people were saying the same thing about Reagan back in 1982.

  • ||

    Zero-Boy Hussein is not Reagan. You must hate liberty pretty bitterly to make such a potheaded comparison as that.

  • ||

    Counterpoint:

    Then why not commute the sentences of existing people in federal prison for crack to the sentences under the new standard?

  • ||

    It will be very interesting to see the legal briefs and injunctions put forward. I wonder if California, the left coast bastion of liberalism will go to the mat in favor of 'states rights' on this issue.

    Possibly Oregon and Colorado will follow suit?

  • ||

    Probably the war will intensify, but I think only briefly.

  • ||

    When California doesn't slide into the sea because of all the pot smokers moving there, and the crime and accident rates don't explode, I think the Feds will eventually leave them alone.

  • ||

    Meanwhile we can hope.

  • ||

    Of course the accident rates are going to explode! Didn't you hear the cop in the video? Everyone who smokes pot is immediately going to get in their car and drive afterwards, and there's no test to determine if it's in their system, so the cops can't give them DUIs. I'm curious how they can charge people with DUI now if they're caught driving high?

  • ||

    Here in the tobacco-growing South, we've already got a perfectly good theme song for you stoners in circulation:

    Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)

    It just needs a little updating from Tex Ritter's "forty-eight states" and something marijuana-related that rhymes and scans with "cigarette" to make it complete.

  • ||

    Er, make that Tex Williams. Not sure what guy I was thinking of when I mentioned Ritter.

  • ||

    Stop smoking that evil weed, Southerner. I hear it does nasty things to your memory...

  • ||

    Depends. Many of the marginal Senators who might be elected are among the more likely to subscribe to a dump Mitch movement. Not Kirk, I guess, but hell, Mitch might prefer a one-seat minority where he gets to keep his leadership to having to face a leadership election.

  • ||

    Not to mention the hassles of having to herd the cats for all 51 votes.

  • ||

    Mitch went to war against McCain-Feingold. For that, he has my undying love.

  • ||

    R C Dean,if the Repubs retake the Senate, they'll try to legislate Prop 19 away.

    I keep looking for new arguments from the opposition, but it's just the same old lies. Driving and work place issues are addressed in 19, but they pretend they aren't.

    And seriously, how can you NOT make money in the sale of pot?

    And as for the DEA, this will make their job more difficult. Not the finding and arresting of marijuana users and growers, that part they've got down pat.

    It makes their PR job more difficult. As people see their Aunt Mildred smoking to relieve her arthritis pain and not turning into a heroin crazed killer, they'll start questioning their assumptions about marijuana.

  • ||

    OTOH, if the Dems keep the Senate, they'll also try to legislate Prop 19 away. And if Obama remains President and Holder the AG, they'll try to execute Prop 19 away.

  • ||

    Excellent point. I put my ashes out on these killaz.

    reference

  • ||

    How exactly could Prop 19 be prevented by federal legislation? I mean, even allowing for all the fucked-up shit the federal legislature can do, how would that work? It seems like something that would be so blatantly unconstitutional that it wouldn't get traction even in a commune like the senate.

  • ||

    It doesn't seem that there is any mechanism that the federal government could use to force California to declare marijuana illegal. It also can't force California to enforce federal law. It can, however, use federal agents to enforce its own federal laws.

  • ||

    Right, that was my basic understanding as well. But Michael and John Thacker are talking about congress trying to "legislate away" Prop 19 at a federal level. I'm just curious about how they see something like that unfolding. What would be the line of legislative attack?

  • ||

    "Want to legalize marijuana? Then no highway funding for you!"

    Worked for the drinking age, and hypothetically stoners could be bad drivers.

  • ||

    The feds could withhold money, but that won't affect p19 because p19 is an amendment to the CA constitution. CA state legislators can not modify the CA constitution, their hands are tied. Actually, P19 specifically allows the legislature to modify P19 but only to make it more lenient, not less.

    The feds still might have a hissy fit and withhold funds to punish the evil voters, but that still won't change P19 if it passes.

  • ||

    There is already a bill in the CA legislature to expand on P19 should it pass:

    http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/09-.....duced.html

  • ||

    Bad drivers, yes. But Dangerous, highly dubious.... seriously - no pun intended. ;D

  • ||

    South Dakota v. Dole.

    And remember, the original drinking age bill based on a voice vote in the House and Senate, meaning basically unanimous.

  • ||

    AAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!

  • ||

    That was one of the worst S.Ct. cases ever. It legalized blackmailing states with our own money.

  • ||

    Congress won't let a little thing like the Constitution stop them from passing legislation.

  • ||

    No they won't. They'll get a no-knock warrant and flashbang that bitch's house at 3:00 am. Once she is properly lit ablaze(heh) by HE rounds pouring out of a dozen SWAT storm troopers' rifles, 8 syringes will come flying out and land in her veins.

    Dogs shot. Pregnant wife beaten and tazed. Kids hogtied. You know the drill.

  • ||

    prohibitionists = people opposed to interracial sex in the 1950s.

  • ||

    prohibitionists = people who favor an authoritarian government that regulates every aspect of our lives

  • ||

    fuck the federal drug free workplace act. being able to fire someone who tests positive for mj weeks after smoking due to some federal law is half baked. maybe passing prop 19 will make people rethink stupid fucking federal laws regarding the workplace anyway. and btw what kind of real man is named Kim anyway?

  • DJK||

    There are some BAMFs named Kim. Don't fuck with it.

  • Kim Jong Il||

    Yeah.

  • ||

    Fa shizzle. Now shut yo cracka mouth before I guillotine choke yo ass.

  • ||

    nd btw what kind of real man is named Kim anyway?

    Kimball O'Hara?

  • Kim Kimmikim||

    http://www.guysnamedkim.com/GNK/gnklist.shtml

  • Kim Kimmikim||

    http://www.guysnamedkim.com/GNK/gnklist.shtml

  • Kim Kimmikim||

    http://www.guysnamedkim.com/GNK/gnklist.shtml

  • ||

    Of COURSE an employer should be able to fire an employee for failing a drug test. We shouldn't need a federal law to make that a non-crime. Good god what a mess.

  • ||

    which drug? all that fucking federal law requires is that "the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession,or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the grantee's workplace". the text of the law does not require firing an employee for failing a drug test for mj. that's just kimmy boy constructing straw men in his quest for eternal prohibition. i agree with anon, an employer should be able to fire an employee for anything or nothing (ie right to work laws). my disagreement is with kimmy girl's position with the federal law.

  • ||

    I live in Texas and am watching this vote with great interest as usual California is way out front the rest of the country my hope is that Prop 19 passes then eventually (maybe 20 years or so)the redneck bible thumpers here in Texas will come around to the idea that you can't legislate morality and will stop the insanity of putting pot smokers in jail.

  • ||

    Yeah I've got a similar perspective living in North Carolina. Fuck the south. Hopefully by the time I move back up north, the northeast will be as flush with green as the west coast. Because these young earth gay bashing fucktards won't be legalizing any time soon.

  • ||

    The Northeast is as bad on personal freedom as the South. So don't get your hopes up.

  • ||

    I'll take the Northeast, warts and all, over the religious retards in the South anyday. You can't look me in the eye and say that NH isn't better on issues of personal freedom than any state in the South.

  • ||

    Yes I can, commie. New Hampshire is a RINO-and-Desperatecrap-run hellhole.

  • ||

    I always think its funny when smug north easterners talk bad about the South, those who haven't even been there. There are lefts and rights there, and there are people of every walk of life in the South. Its no surprise that the Northeast is such a smug Marxist shithole. Or maybe LL is a troll?

  • ||

    WOW! Somebody giving Kudos to California at H&R. Maybe the world really will end on Dec 21!

  • Kim Kimmikim||

    http://www.guysnamedkim.com/GNK/gnklist.shtml

  • ||

    could you please post that again? I missed the first four posts.

  • Kim Kimmikim||

    hahaha NO idea how that happened.

  • ||

    And so clever, too!

  • ||

    If the Feds and vigilantes menace to enforce prohibition anyway, Will they be able to stop a 10 000+ crowd of pot heads smoking in LA has a sign of civil disobedience ?

  • ||

    +1

    You really have to work hard to fuck up a sentence that bad.

  • ||

    duh, it's the tag line to "reefer madness 2" brought to you by the people's republic of china

  • ||

    He was holdin' it in while typing the last sentence.... he-he-heee!

  • David E. Gallaher/Ruthless||

    What amazes me most about drug warriors is how they cling to the idea that their War on Drugs is reducing usage......
    But I guess a lot of people cling to the notion that prayers work.

  • ||

    Dear Lord: Please make Dave realize he's a bigoted douchebag. Amen

  • ||

    Dave, what's up with the facebook link in your name. You looking for friends?

  • David E. Gallaher/Ruthless||

    I'm looking to smoke amazing amounts of meat pole.

  • Dan Kanna||

    This is about more than you think; it's about the constitution of the United States and the rule of law in a way that you might not realize.

    http://beforeitsnews.com/story/196/747/
    The_Balance_of_Power:_What_Went_Wrong_with_Our_Republic.html

  • ||

    All the opposition talking points are sooo tired. "Another intoxicant on our roadways," as if another one will make a difference. "How do you enforce it in the workplace?" Same way you do alcohol: don't allow employees to come to work baked. "No test for intoxication." Field sobriety test, anyone? And don't get me started on the "step over the morality line" crap.

    I won't even benefit, but I'm voting yes.

  • ||

    Everybody benefits if this wins. Baby Jesus will cry if it loses :-(.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Prohibition has little to do with morality anymore. It's not politicians holding us back to protect us from ourselves.

    It's a jobs program at this point. We have a ridiculous number of cops and prison guards due to the WoD, and fighting against those factions is not something any politician is willing to do.

    Marijuana in particular is law enforcement's bread and butter, and they won't have the government turning its back on the Law Enforcement Welfare State we currently have.

    The only reason Prop 19 has a chance at passing is because it's a vote by the people of California and NOT the politicians who supposedly represent the people.

  • ||

    The only reason Prop 19 has a chance at passing is because it's a vote by the people of California and NOT the politicians who supposedly represent the people.

    You mean like Proposition 8?

    You know, I kind of hope your weedy proposition does pass. Then we'll be watching you wankers scream about activist judges imposing their will on the people when one of the federal circuits just starts deciding to legislate from the bench that marijuana's not legal after all; this after you hypocrites wrote articles saying judicial activism is good and judges aren't activist enough.

  • ||

    I posted this above, but it deserves to not be buried in a threaded post. This is in answer to "the feds can blackmail CA into compliance federal law regarding marijuana" notion.

    The feds could withhold money, but that won't affect p19 because p19 is an amendment to the CA constitution. CA state legislators can not modify the CA constitution, their hands are tied. Actually, P19 specifically allows the legislature to modify P19 but only to make it more lenient, not less.

    The feds still might have a hissy fit and withhold funds to punish the evil voters, but that still won't change P19 if it passes.

    I would like to see the political outcome if the feds (read Democrats) actually do withhold highway funds, or education funds in response to P19, a voter passed initiative.

  • ||

    Also the fed money withheld has to be related to the reason for withholding. The Doyle case was about highway money and the argued that a 21 year old drinking age = safer roads. So for the feds to punish Cal. for this they would have to come up with legitimate arguments that the withheld money is somehow related to Cal. position on pot. No all money would be on the table for blackmail.

  • ||

    Sorry *Dole* case. My typo makes sense to anyone from Wisconsin

  • ||

    Californians can do what they want. But I wouldn't consider voting for marijuana legalization in my state until they got rid of every form of welfare and low-income subsidy. Yeah, I know, my taxes already support people's addictions...legal or illegal. But anyone with half a brain knows marijuana usage would increase after it was legalized and if I have to choose between subsidizing a little and subsidizing a lot, obviously I'm choosing a little.

    I think the obsession with pot legalization will be the downfall of libertarianism when the Democrats adopt (or at least pretend to adopt) it in 2012.

  • ||

    YES!! California should legalize it, not only would the smugglers lose profits, but now it would some force of control in benefit to the system, and all the words of it the start early drug abuse if hog-wash

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  • ||

    Legalized marijuana smokers should have their cars' license plates colored RED for the other drivers' safety and for them to behold and beware when passing them.

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