California made history on November 2, 2010, when Proposition 19 came within 345,000 votes of overturning cannabis prohibition.
Proposition 19 fundamentally changed the terms of the debate and brought out the issue of legalization into the mainstream, paving the way for the historical legalization of Marijuana in Washington and Colorado in November 2012.
According to BOE estimates, the illegal California cannabis market generates $14 billions per year revenues to organized crime, destroying our neighborhoods, diverting law enforcement resources away from fighting violent crime, imposing an even heavier financial burden on society and stretching government resources. As a result, California currently spends more tax dollars on incarcerating its citizens than on educating its children.
The cost of continuing this failed marijuana prohibition policy is too great for our citizens to burden. The results are tragic. Federal and state’s priorities are distorted. The victims of violent crime and their families do not get the full attention of our law enforcement and Federal resources. Child predation, gun violence, human trafficking stay unsolved while marijuana offenders fill the jails to the beams. Our youths are disproportionately affected, particularly in minority communities, where youth are more likely to go to jail than to go to college, feeding the vicious circle of disenfranchisement, exclusion, broken families and communities, violence and crime.
The drug war has failed. The time has come to take control back, to get smart about marijuana.
Ending marijuana prohibition will create safer communities by removing the production and trade of cannabis from criminal elements and bringing it back under the control of society. Instead of draining state and local budgets and resources, the legalization and control of marijuana will free-up law enforcement to focus on violent crime; it will create legal jobs and bring in sorely needed tax dollars for education, health care or infrastructure. Proper regulation will also prevent underage access and better protect our children.
Last presidential election, more voters in Colorado and Washington cast their ballots for marijuana legalization than for President Obama. Field polls consistently show Californians supporting marijuana legalization by wide margins. A 2013 California Poll shows that 54% of voters want to legalize marijuana beyond medical use, with regulations similar to alcohol. According to the poll, 68 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of independents said they oppose the federal crackdown of threats, raids and prosecutions involving medical marijuana businesses.
The Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform is a policy organization, formed to engage and educate the public and legislators about responsible and pragmatic cannabis law reform for medical purpose and for recreational adult use.
The mission of the many individuals and organizations who comprise the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform is to bring citizens together to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition by 2016.