Elections 2010

Proposition 19: Will the federal government stand in the way?

The L.A. Times published an editorial yesterday on Proposition 19, "The feds say no way." It looks at Attorney General Eric Holder's statement that the U.S. government will continue to enforce federal drug laws whether or not California passes the proposition to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

"We will vigorously enforce the [federal Controlled Substances Act] against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law," the Times quoted Holder as writing in a letter to former heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration who had lobbied for the Obama administration to oppose Proposition 19.

The federal government has allowed local governments to make their own rules regarding medical marijuana, but in the eyes of the L.A. Times, that won't extend to recreational marijuana use.

"If the proposition is approved, the result would be a legal morass," says the Times, citing federal raids, L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca's vow to continue arresting those who grow marijuana, courts becoming clogged with Prop 19 lawsuits and more.

The Times concludes by citing a California bill signed last month that downgraded possession of under an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction. "There's no need for a battle with Washington that the state is unlikely to win."

What do you think about the L.A. Times editorial's take on what could potentially happen if Proposition 19 is passed? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

blog comments powered by Disqus

Enjoy reading Elections 2010? You might like KPCC’s other blogs.

What's popular now on KPCC