Additional reporting by Rashad Robinson and Video by Chase Thibodeau
Proposition 19 is one of the most talked about propositions on the ballot for the upcoming election set for November 2nd. If the proposition were passed, marijuana would be legal in the state of California. Students at College of the Canyons have voiced their opinion, and the majority of them are in favor of passing this proposition.
For an off year election, this is one of the most significant elections in recent years. The Republican Party is aiming to take the House and the Senate, while the Democratic Party is imploring the public to be patient and trust their incumbents.
As expected, here in California, the race for governor is grabbing the majority of the attention. The ballot is riddled with propositions and initiatives, which include environmental legislation, a proposed redrawing of congressional boundaries, including several tax reform initiatives. However, it can be argued that the proposition that could have the most immediate effect on voters’ everyday lives is Proposition 19.
If the proposition were passed, marijuana would be treated very similarly to alcohol. Meaning that under state law, it will be legal for people 21 years or older to possess and cultivate limited amounts of the substance for personal use. Younger voters have been the main supporters for the proposition. In a recent poll of roughly 500 MEA 100 students at COC on October 11th and 12th, 53.6 percent were in favor of the legalization, while only 32.9 percent were opposed, and 13.3 percent had no opinion.
The second part of the proposition could be the key to its success. The proposition states that if passed, it will permit local governments to regulate and tax commercial production, distribution, and sale of the drug. The expected revenue is unknown, but experts argue that it could be well into the millions of dollars of revenue for the state.
Another COC student Sean Hill, 21, says this is the main reason he is in favor of the proposition. “It needs to be passed, the taxes alone will help boost California’s depleted economy,” said Hill.
It can clearly be seen how the majority of students feel about the issue, although, they are not the only ones on campus.
Adjunct Instructor and Technical Engineer Ron Entrekin, 58, is not in favor of the proposition and will vote “No” on Election Day. Entrekin stated many reasons for his beliefs, but emphasized his suspicion that the legalization will cause more harm than it will help. “There aren’t enough safeguards, that I have seen, that will protect against abuse, especially for children,” said Entrekin. “There is too much abuse of other things such as alcohol, it just doesn’t make sense to add another one.”
The outcome of this vote will be affected by many factors, including age, but what will be the deciding factor, is what means more to the voter.
Will a voter vote yes because of the fiscal benefits, or are they voting yes simply so one of their favorite “hobbies” will become legal?
Will a voter vote no because they do not believe it can be regulated properly, or are they simply voting no because they think this is just a bunch of immature people who want to smoke weed?
November 2nd is fast approaching, and it’s time for Californians to make a decision.