I posted on California Libertarian malaise and incompetence this morning, and by this afternoon I received my first press release from a Libertarian candidate. Somebody listened. Go figure.
Tim Hannan, the Libertarian Party Candidate for California’s Attorney General issued a press release reaffirming his support for California's Proposition 19. Hannan says…
"It makes possession of less than one ounce of marijuana an infraction, with a simple fine of $100, so it likely will help decongest the criminal courts and lighten the load on prosecutors and policemen," Hannan says. "But why not just legalize marijuana? Why not pass Proposition 19?"
Hannan cites four practical reasons for passing Proposition 19. "First, imprisonment for marijuana costs about $35,000 per person annually, so legalizing marijuana will significantly reduce the expense of safely running our state's prisons. Second, in addition to reduced incarceration costs, the state would be able to increase its tax revenues by approximately 1.4 billion through increased sales tax. The combined savings and income can go a long way toward balancing California's budget."
Hannan continues, "Third, legalizing marijuana will allow law enforcement to concentrate more on combating hard crime. So like the legalization of alcohol and tobacco, marijuana legalization would significantly reduce violent crime, too. And fourth, legalizing marijuana will also allow for the production of hemp, a venerable product of the cannabis plant. Hemp can be used in clothing, shoes and variety of other products if it weren't banned."
Asked why there's strong opposition to passing Proposition 19, Hannan conjectures, "One reason for our legislators' opposition is the power of the Prison Guards Union. They apply significant lobbying pressure on law makers to keep marijuana illegal. Legalizing marijuana will reduce California's prison population, drastically reducing the union's power and influence."
Hannan concludes, "It's time for a practical change in the law and that's what Proposition 19 does. The initiative process is designed to bypass the State Legislature when the legislators fail in their responsibilities. Proposition 19 offers the voters an opportunity to make necessary and appropriate use of the initiative process. Vote in favor of Proposition 19."