As we are all aware, the presidential election is quickly approaching and while we have all been critically thinking about who we are going to vote into the presidential office, it’s also important to keep in mind of the propositions on the ballot as well. Here is a breakdown of a some of the most debated propositions this election:
- Proposition 64
What it is: Voting yes on this proposition supports the legalization of recreational use of Marijuana for people who are 21 years or older and would establish certain sales taxes and cultivation taxes.
Pros and cons: The legalization of marijuana would definitely allow for more regulations on it’s use. This proposition states that the use of marijuana would be permitted in private homes and in businesses licensed for marijuana consumption and sale. The use of Marijuana would be illegal while operating a vehicle and the sale of marijuana would be illegal within 600 feet of a school. On top of this, there have been studies conducted proving that the legalization of recreational marijuana reduces crime rates. Medical Marijuana in California is currently a 3 to 5 billion dollar industry and it’s been predicted that if recreational use is legalized, the industry will grow to tens of billions. This would be a great influx of revenue to California’s struggling economy.
As great as this all seems, there are also cons to the legalization of recreational Marijuana. One regards the concerns that large corporations will take over the cannabis farming business which leaves the smaller farmers without a sizeable income. Another is that we don’t have technology to set a standard for driving while under the influence of Marijuana as we do for alcohol. Similarly, there is also the issue of water conservation, especially since we are in the midst of one of the most devastating droughts in our history. Does California really have the water to sustain another major crop?
- Proposition 51
What it is: Voting yes on this proposition supports the state issuing $9 billion in bonds to fund improvement and construction of school facilities for K-12 schools and community colleges.
Pros and cons: This proposition would give schools in lower income neighborhoods the much needed funds for improvements and would allow for the construction of more public schools and community colleges in areas where they are lacking. This could be especially impactful for rural areas in California where there aren’t enough educational facilities and for urban areas where most of the facilities are highly impacted. Local voters would still have the ability to control exactly how the funds given to their districts are going to be used which would allow each district to attend to their specific needs.
A strong opposition to this proposition is that it would be conducted on a first come first serve basis giving larger, wealthier districts the upper hand. Wealthier districts have the resources to ensure quick application for funding which could leave the smaller, disadvantaged districts with little to no funding.
- Proposition 63
What it is: Voting yes on this proposition would support prohibiting the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and require certain individuals to pass a background check in order to purchase ammunition.
Pros and cons: This proposition could save lives by closing the loopholes to obtaining deadly weapons. It would prevent dangerous criminals, domestic abusers, and the mentally ill from obtaining fatal weapons. It would also adhere to the second amendment and allow law-abiding Californians to exercise their right to own a fire weapon for self-defense, hunting, and recreation. In addition, this law would help prevent violent mass shootings such as the one that occurred near UC Santa Barbara two years ago that left two of their students dead.
Opponents say that the proposition would burden law-abiding citizens by making the jump through hoops to access firearms and would not prevent violent criminals from obtaining weapons as they could still do so through the black market.
- Proposition 62
What it is: Voting yes on this proposition supports repealing the death penalty and making life without the possibility of parole the maximum punishment for murder.
Pros and cons: Economically speaking, this proposition would be a gift to California. Since 1978, California has executed 13 people and spent $4.9 billion doing so. It’s been estimated that this proposition would save California about $150 million yearly because of shorter trials, fewer appeals, and the elimination of separate death row facilities. Currently, two trials are required to get the death penalty in California. One to establish guilt and another to sentence the death penalty, this sentence is almost always appealed requiring another decade or so in court to settle the penalty. Convicts who cannot afford legal representation are assigned tax-paid counsel. This measure would also save the victim’s families from elongated pain of ongoing trials and allow them to receive reparations sooner than how it is now. The measure would require all people found guilty of murder to work in prison in order to pay reparations to the families of their victims. On top of all of that, this proposition would eliminate the possibility of any innocent people being wrongly executed.
Opponents argue that those who are on death row are criminals who deserve the death penalty and sparing them from this would put the public in danger and not allow the families of the victims to receive the closure and justice they need. Another argument is that it would be more beneficial to shorten and simplify the trial process instead of eliminating the death penalty altogether.
- Proposition 60
What it is: Voting yes on this proposition would support the enforcement of condoms in pornography film as well as require them to be visible at all times.
Pros and cons: Supporters of this proposition claim that although condoms in porn have been enforced by law since 1993, this measure will enforce the regulation even further. It will also incentivize viewers to report any misconduct (not visible condoms) and file suits against the production companies, which a lot of the time are owned by the performers themselves.
The concerns of this proposition are based on the fact that incentivized law suits would lead to many frivolous lawsuit and once a motion is filed personal information of the defendant would be released to the plaintiff. This could be extremely dangerous for adult performers because it allows complete strangers to have access to their personal information which could lead to stalkers, assault, and even harassment. As previously stated, there are already regulations in place to ensure the safety of performers. Condoms have been required by state law since 1993 and while they are always used on camera, they are often photoshopped out or covered with makeup. There are also industry wide regulation that ensure every performer get tested for HIV and STIs every 2 months. This proposition could push small production companies to bankruptcy and even push the porn industry out of California. This would be the demolishment of a 12 billion dollar industry and would be catastrophic to California’s economy.
Keep in mind that there are many other factors to consider when casting your vote and make sure to study all 18 propositions on the ballot carefully. Happy voting, Bobcats!
Picture credit: Rockville Patch