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- Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean somebody's not listening (4/11/19)
- Safety must be top priority as spring farm season arrives (4/10/19)
- Don't hinder youth sports by criticizing officials (4/8/19)
Let California be lab for drug policy
Few issues have drawn more local interest than the current Natural Resources District election, but a few off-year elections have the potential for long-term affects everywhere around the country.
Besides the battle for Congress, a local contest that is drawing national attention is California's Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana for all uses, not just the medical purposes for which it has been legal since 1996.
The law allows anyone over 21 years old to smoke a joint in your home or other private place where no kids are around, keep a stash of up to an ounce, and grow up to 25 square feet.
If you believe the proponents, the law will save the state millions of dollars in enforcement and allow the police to focus on serious crimes, and bring in billions of dollars for the state as the drug is taxed like alcohol.
Opponents predict stoned professionals on the job, more dangerous drivers and drugged teenagers.
We may never find out who is right, since some polls predict it will be defeated, and federal officials vow to continue enforcing federal laws against marijuana.
It does seem that an inordinate amount of the law enforcement and prosecution budget is spent trying to eliminate a drug that is arguably no more dangerous than alcohol.
But we can't argue in favor of legislation that encourages more and more of us to turn into nonproductive slackers.
For now, let's let California grapple with the problem and live with the consequences as a laboratory for the rest of the country.