Archived: Eastern Group Publications Ballot Recommendations

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Prop 19—Legalizes Marijuana Under California But Not Federal Law. Permits Local Governments To Regulate And Tax, Commercial Production, Distribution, And Sale of Marijuana. Initiative Statute.

Prop 19 allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Fiscal Impact: Depending on federal, state, and local government actions, potential increased tax and fee revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually, and potential correctional savings of several tens of millions of dollars annually.

The limited distribution and growth of medical marijuana is now legal in the state but not under federal law. There are so many users of marijuana today that there are those who say its time to legalize it. In our opinion, that reasoning is akin to legalizing speeding in your car.

We are convinced that some people become addicted to the drug despite claims to the contrary. We are concerned that passage of Prop 19 will have the unintended affect of giving a larger number of children and people under the age of 21 access to the drug, much as they have access to alcohol even though consumption is illegal for anyone under 21.

We recognize that there is a real temptation to believe that taxing marijuana will bring enormous amounts of much-needed revenue into the financially beleaguered state, In our view, the estimates being circulated in support of Prop 19 are greatly exaggerated.

As written, Prop 19 lacks adequate controls and mechanisms to ensure public safety.

The thought that young people may become addicted to the drug and add to an already high rate of school dropouts is not a very good outcome, and too high a price to pay for any added financial benefit that might be gained by approving Prop 19.

As for saving money by less incarceration of marijuana arrestees, we could do that now by putting more people on probation or in drug treatment, and by charging heavier fines.

Last of all, we don’t believe the drug gangs won’t find a way to infiltrate the growing of marijuana.
—Vote No

Prop 20—Redistricting of Congressional Districts. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Removes elected representatives from process of establishing congressional districts and transfers that authority to recently-authorized 14-member redistricting commission comprised of Democrats, Republicans, and representatives of neither party. Fiscal Impact: No significant net change in state redistricting costs.

This initiative adds congressional redistricting to the recently established redistricting commission. This is a sensible idea since the public has already voted to take the state level redistricting process away from the legislature. The vetting of the state level election commission is well underway and it appears that a greater level of transparency is already taking shape. In our view, citizens will have a greater ability to participate in the redistricting process by passing Prop 20.
—Vote Yes

Prop 21—Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge To Help Fund State Parks And Wildlife Programs. Grants Surcharged Vehicles Free Admission To All State Parks. Initiative Statute.

Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures, Prop 21 exempts commercial vehicles, trailers and trailer coaches from the surcharge. Fiscal Impact: Annual increase to state revenues of $500 million from surcharge on vehicle registrations. After offsetting some existing funding sources, these revenues would provide at least $250 million more annually for state parks and wildlife conservation.

We all enjoy our state parks and want to fully fund them, but we do not think it is a good idea to take $500 million more out of the state’s drivers’ pockets during these tough economic times.

We also do not think we should add to the costs the states unemployed drivers must already pay.
—Vote No

Prop 22—Prohibits The State From Borrowing Or Taking Funds Used for Transportation, Redevelopment, Or Local Government Projects And Services. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Prohibits State, even during severe fiscal hardship, from delaying distribution of tax revenues for these purposes. Fiscal Impact: Decreased state General Fund spending and/or increased state revenues, probably in the range of $1 billion to several billions of dollars annually. Comparable increases in funding for state and local transportation programs and local redevelopment.

Reducing or eliminating the state’s authority to take local funding from county and city governments is necessary to ensure that local governments are able to plan their budgets in a more timely way since the state has been unable to approve a timely budget.

It does not make sense to us to short change local governments’ ability to provide services to their constituents—in fact, we call the unbalancing of local government budgets to balance the state’s an unsavory case of taking from Peter to pay Paul.

Not eliminating the state’s authority to temporarily shift property taxes is an insult to property owners who pay their property taxes in the belief that they will be used for street repairs, trash collection, libraries and other county and city services.

Limiting the state’s ability to take gasoline tax revenues to pay debt service on state transportation bonds instead of using the funds as voters intended and approved on state transportation needs, is a wise and needed step toward getting local budgets back under control, and forcing the state to stop using gimmicks to balance its budget.
—Vote Yes

Prop 24—Repeals Recent Legislation That Would Allow Businesses To Lower Their Tax liability. Initiative Statute.

Fiscal Impact: Increased state revenues of about $1.3 billion each year by 2012–13 from higher taxes paid by some businesses. Smaller increases in 2010–11 and 2011–12.

If Californians pass Prop 24 carry backs and return business tax provisions to where they were in 2008-2009, business would lose the ability to carry over losses into future years, starting in 2010.

We think repealing the tax change is a bad idea for businesses that are already struggling to keep their doors open and maintain their current payrolls.

While we recognize that there are some concerns about large corporations and out-of-state companies reaping what some have called an “unfair tax advantage,” we do not believe that the initiative process is the place for dealing with these concerns.

Starting in 2011, some multi-state businesses will be able to choose every year which of two options to determine the level of income that California can tax the formula under prior law or one that considers only the business sales in California relative to its national sales.

Beginning in 2010, tax credit to businesses can be used to reduce the taxes of other entities in the group of related companies this measure revokes that tax law.

Passage of Prop 24 will strengthen the perception that California anti-business and will lower the state’s ability to compete with other states for business.
—Vote No

Posted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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2 Comments


  1. You act as if cannabis prohibition is stopping anyone from getting any. You must admit that if cannabis can’t be kept out of a maximum security prison what hope do you have in keeping it from anyone else that wants it? Don’t see too much alcohol in prison…wonder why?

    Your analogy about legalizing speeding in cars to using cannabis doesn’t make sense. A speeding car is a dangerous weapon. Taking a couple of hits off a bowl and sitting on the couch…ummm, how does that compare? What’s next…the crazy assertion that we should just legalize murder? No one is advocating violence except prohibitionist who want to swat raid homes shooting pets, taking children away, and jailing people for drinking a beer…oops, smoking a joint. Prohibitionists are the violent ones!

    But, if you want to keep throwing people in jail for cannabis, then go ahead. Just make sure that China will still let you borrow 41 cents on the dollar to fund it.


  2. While bullets fly into El Paso and bodies pile up in the streets of Juarez, and thugs with gold-plated AK-47s and albino tiger pens are beheading federal officials and dissolving their torsos in vats of acid, here are some facts concerning the peaceful situation in Holland. –Please save a copy and use it as a reference when debating prohibitionists who claim the exact opposite concerning reality as presented here below:

    Cannabis-coffee-shops are not only restricted to the Capital of Holland, Amsterdam. They can be found in more than 50 cities and towns across the country. At present, only the retail sale of five grams is tolerated, so production remains criminalized. The mayors of a majority of the cities with coffeeshops have long urged the national government to also decriminalize the supply side.

    A poll taken earlier this year indicated that some 50% of the Dutch population thinks cannabis should be fully legalized while only 25% wanted a complete ban. Even though 62% of the voters said they had never taken cannabis. An earlier poll also indicated 80% opposing coffee shop closures.
    http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2010/02/public_split_on_cannabis_legal.php

    It is true that the number of coffee shops has fallen from its peak of around 2,500 throughout the country to around 700 now. The problems, if any, concern mostly marijuana-tourists and are largely confined to cities and small towns near the borders with Germany and Belgium. These problems, mostly involve traffic jams, and are the result of cannabis prohibition in neighboring countries. Public nuisance problems with the coffee shops are minimal when compared with bars, as is demonstrated by the rarity of calls for the police for problems at coffee shops.

    While it is true that lifetime and past-month use rates did increase back in the seventies and eighties, the critics shamefully fail to report that there were comparable and larger increases in cannabis use in most, if not all, neighboring countries which continued complete prohibition.

    According to the World Health Organization only 19.8 percent of the Dutch have used marijuana, less than half the U.S. figure.
    In Holland 9.7% of young adults (aged 15 to 24) consume soft drugs once a month, comparable to the level in Italy (10.9%) and Germany (9.9%) and less than in the UK (15.8%) and Spain (16.4%). Few transcend to becoming problem drug users (0.44%), well below the average (0.52%) of the compared countries.

    The WHO survey of 17 countries finds that the United States has the highest usage rates for nearly all illegal substances.

    In the U.S. 42.4 percent admitted having used marijuana. The only other nation that came close was New Zealand, another bastion of get-tough policies, at 41.9 percent. No one else was even close. The results for cocaine use were similar, with the U.S. again leading the world by a large margin.

    Even more striking is what the researchers found when they asked young adults when they had started using marijuana. Again, the U.S. led the world, with 20.2 percent trying marijuana by age 15. No other country was even close, and in Holland, just 7 percent used marijuana by 15 — roughly one-third of the U.S. figure.
    thttp://www.alternet.org/drugs/90295/

    In 1998, the US Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey claimed that the U.S. had less than half the murder rate of the Netherlands. That’s drugs, he explained. The Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics immediately issued a special press release explaining that the actual Dutch murder rate is 1.8 per 100,000 people, or less than one-quarter the U.S. murder rate.

    Here’s a very recent article by a psychiatrist from Amsterdam, exposing Drug Czar misinformation
    http://tinyurl.com/247a8mp

    Now let’s look at a comparative analysis of the levels of cannabis use in two cities: Amsterdam and San Francisco, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health May 2004,

    The San Francisco prevalence survey showed that 39.2% of the population had used cannabis. This is 3 times the prevalence found in the Amsterdam sample

    Source: Craig Reinarman, Peter D.A. Cohen and Hendrien L. Kaal, The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy
    http://www.mapinc.org/lib/limited.pdf

    Moreover, 51% of people who had smoked cannabis in San Francisco reported that they were offered heroin, cocaine or amphetamine the last time they purchased cannabis. In contrast, only 15% of Amsterdam residents who had ingested marijuana reported the same conditions. Prohibition is the ‘Gateway Policy’ that forces cannabis seekers to buy from criminals who gladly expose them to harder drugs.

    The indicators of death, disease and corruption are even much better in the Netherlands than in Sweden for instance, a country praised by UNODC for its so called successful drug policy.

    Here’s Antonio Maria Costa doing his level best to avoid discussing the success of Dutch drug policy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lExNjEhdSkY&feature=related

    The Netherlands also provides heroin on prescription under tight regulation to about 1500 long-term heroin addicts for whom methadone maintenance treatment has failed.
    http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/free-heroin-brings-everyone-a-bit-peace

    The Dutch justice ministry announced, last year, the closure of eight prisons and cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system. A decline in crime has left many cells empty. There’s simply not enough criminals
    http://www.nrc.nl/international/article2246821.ece/Netherlands_to_close_prisons_for_lack_of_criminals

    For further information, kindly check out this very informative FAQ provided by Radio Netherlands: http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/faq-soft-drugs-netherlands
    or go to this page: http://www.rnw.nl/english/dossier/Soft-drugs

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