Prop. 19 sounds like a godsend for connoisseurs of the sticky stuff, but it's the fine print that has some folks concerned that if California legalizes pot, we still won't be living in a wintergreen wonderland.
For one, the proposition leaves legalization and taxation of retail sales up to individual cities, towns and counties. So it's possible that even fewer places will allow non-medical weed sales than allow dispensaries today.
Also, the jurisdictions don't have to tax it. It's an option. All that tax money that proponents say would roll into state coffers is possible, but not probable.
Those who sell or possess more than Prop. 19's limits (one ounce for personal, 25 feet of cultivation for growers), despite local laws to the contrary, could feasibly see new, more draconian prosecutions.
And the initiative, which will get a green or red light in Tuesday's election, would allow transportation of legal pot between jurisdictions, even if they never gave approval to fully legal weed sales or Prop. 19's possession guidelines. Sounds a little messy to us.
Our comenter du jour, Frank, argues that Prop. 19 wouldn't change much in this great, Green State:
The only economy it will improve will be for those individuals who have already set up shop under the guise of medical marijuana and have their business infrastructure in place. There will still be prosecutions for illegal pot sales and possession and there is no guarantee that sales tax will even be charged on recreational pot. If you read the prop, you'll find that there is NO mandate for sales tax or any tax to be charged. And if you buy a lot of pot, where are you going to get it from? The expensive pot shop with high prices due to taxes or your regular blackmarket dealer who charges less?
That'[s] what I thought.
Is he right?