The voting results won’t be in for some time, but Prop 19 in California is being watched. The measure, Proposition 19, would dramatically decriminalize recreational use and growth of marijuana. The proposed measure has created a lot of controversy, as many say the dangers outweigh possible benefits. Others think criminalizing marijuana has done more harm than good.
Prop 19 in California may not be a pipe dream
The state of California already has greater freedom than many other states for medical marijuana users, but recreational use is still criminal. California voters have tried to legalize marijuana before, to no avail. California Proposition 19, or Prop 19, would make it legal to possess, transport or use in a recreational fashion, provided one doesn’t drive under the influence or smoke in the presence of anyone younger than 21. Half the funding for the ad campaign came from a single person, Richard Lee, according to ABC. Lee is a successful entrepreneur who grows and sells marijuana for medicinal purposes. Lee has used medical marijuana for years, as it alleviates the back spasms he experiences as the result of an accident that left him paralyzed. He turned his treatment into opportunity, and runs a $7 million medicinal marijuana growing business.
Celebrities weigh in
Many celebrities have thrown their weight behind the cause. Billionaire George Soros donated more than $1 million to Prop 19 funding. Zach Galifianakis, star of “The Hangover,” recently pulled a stunt on “Real Time on Bill Maher,” in which he produced what appeared to be a joint on air and smoked it, shocking the other guests. Maher later said he believed it was actually a clove cigarette, according to CNN. Some members of law enforcement and other groups, such as the Republican Liberty Caucus, the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, have also backed the measure.
Grass roots campaign
Similar support and opposition exists for Prop 19 in California and elsewhere. Other states, such as Arizona and South Dakota are facing medical marijuana bills, but Proposition 19 is different. It will be the first full decriminalization in the United States should it pass.