California voters will be deciding this November whether to legalize marijuana in their state. If they proceed with the experiment, we Texans should watch with an open mind. As a Libertarian Conservative, I believe the decriminalization of marijuana is something Texans should at least debate and consider as an alternative to the expensive failure that is the current war on drugs. Here is an excerpt from an AP story on the subject…
Proponents of the measure say legalizing marijuana could save the state $200 million a year by reducing public safety costs. At the same time, it could generate tax revenue for local governments. A Field Poll taken in April found a slim majority of California voters supported legalizing and taxing marijuana to help bridge the state budget deficit.
Those who grow and sell it illegally fear legalization would drive down the price and force them to compete against corporate marijuana cultivators.
Other opponents view marijuana as a “gateway drug” that, when used by young people, could lead them to try other, harder drugs. They worry that legalization would persuade more people to try it, worsening the nation’s drug culture.