No on Prop 64: Just too many risks and unknowns

The Press Democrat
BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Give Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom credit. He speaks with passion, particularly on issues of social justice. And, to him, that’s what Proposition 64 is all about.

During a meeting with The Press Democrat Editorial Board Tuesday, Newsom said of the 8,800 arrests for non-violent marijuana felonies last year, a disproportionate number of them involved African-Americans and Latinos: “We are still arresting and incarcerating folks that don’t look like me.”

It’s a compelling argument, one that underscores many of the inequalities of the criminal justice system. But it’s not enough to warrant the acceptance of a poorly worded ballot proposition that opens the door to a number of social problems and unknowns — and potentially puts local growers at a competitive disadvantage in a world where the recreational use of marijuana is legal.

We accept that legalization is probably an inevitability in California. But this is neither the right time nor the right proposition to make that happen. Here are several reasons why.

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