California legalising marijuana seems crazy but it may be for a good cause
California is considering legalizing marijuana as one of the way to help reduce drug trafficker’s revenues and violence in Mexico. The authorities are considering legalising marijuana in November 2010 and they will vote on the proposition termed as the Regulate, Control and Cannabis Act 2010. If marijuana is legalised in November, California will be the first state in the USA. Though there will be good and bad consequences if the vote is passed, by looking at certain factors, it seems the passing of the vote will have a positive impact, for example, the authorities are looking at legalising Marijuana as one way of helping to reduce drug trafficking and violence coming from Mexico.
Proposition 19 is looking to legalise marijuana in California State to anyone above the age of 21 years old, with them being allowed to cultivate an area of 5 foot by 5 foot. They hope this will limit Californians importing marijuana from outside California, which it is hoped will have an impact on Mexican traffickers. According to RAND, an organisation which has researched the impact of legalising drugs in California, drug trafficking into California from Mexico accounts for $1 to $2billion for Mexican cartels. Legalising marijuana could see Mexican drug traffickers losing their stake in the market and thus see their revenues falling. It is hope that this could therefore see the Mexican cartels ceasing to operate in California.
With such a high demand for drugs, legalising marijuana could also lead to a rise in employment in California. Considering the high demand for marijuana, a considerable amount of money earned from its consumption in California could bring in considerable tax revenues estimated to be around $2billion. Enacting the proposition would also be relatively cheap and easy and regulating the sale and use of marijuana would also help to combat the violence associated with drug-trafficking and dealing. If marijuana is legalised, California could also see a drop in the number of people taking the drug as a form of rebellion. They could no longer see marijuana as rebellious and may therefore stop taking it.
Furthermore, the legalisation of marijuana would cut down the number of people being criminalised and receiving penalty or jail sentences which affect people’s lives in the future. When users are caught with illegal drugs they face jail terms, which could be especially bad for young people who may have used marijuana as a teenage experience or as a way of rebelling against their parents. It would stop those getting jobs, travelling abroad and so on. Legalising marijuana could see those who are caught still having their life on track and lessen the number of people going to jail for marijuana, saving vast sums of money spent on jail expenses.
Although legalising marijuana is a novel way to tackle the problem, it is risky for the Californian government. It may affect the revenue of Mexican cartels but I’m not too sure about the violence issue. This is because it may end up with the Mexican cartels undercutting the government regulated marijuana and competition between the cartels could still lead to violence. Legalising the drug in California may have a positive impact on the Californian people but I do not know if it will make much difference to the Mexican drug trafficker’s revenues especially if they have more drug dealers in other states.