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The 8 Most Absurd Excuses for Trying to Defeat Legal Pot

I've collected the eight craziest claims about a post-legalization state of California predicted by opponents of Prop 19.

As California gets set to vote on Prop 19 – an initiative to legalize marijuana statewide – some people’s minds are being completely blown, man.  But it’s not the people smoking the stuff, it’s the people trying to keep it banned.

I’ve collected the eight craziest claims about a post-legalization state of California predicted by opponents of Prop 19.  Stunningly, three of these crazy predictions come from people who do use marijuana, proving once again that with enough repetition and scaremongering, you can convince a certain percentage of any group to vote against their own best interests.

8. The federal government will pull all its contracts with California businesses because they won’t be able to drug test employees!

This is a favorite of the  California Chamber of Commerce.  The idea is that since the federal government has a Drug Free Workplace Act, when California law no longer allows employers to discriminate based on pee, all these California companies wouldn’t be able to comply and the feds would pull all their contracts and grants.

Never mind that these same opponents predicted the same dire consequence when California was considering Prop 215, the initiative that legalized medical marijuana fourteen years ago, and we haven’t seen any contracts or grants pulled since.  The plain fact is that the Drug Free Workplace Act doesn’t actually require workplace pee tests.  This from  “HRHero.com: Your Employment Law Resource” (emphasis mine)…

…employers must certify that they will provide a drug-free workplace.  The law doesn’t require alcohol or drug testing, but testing is implicitly authorized as a means to maintain a drug-free workplace.

So what does it mean to provide a “drug-free workplace”?  Certainly that must mean that even if they don’t have to drug-test, they couldn’t comply because Prop 19 would allow employees to possess marijuana, right?  Wrong.

Employers whose companies fall under this category must have a policy prohibiting the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance in the workplace and specifying what actions will be taken in the event of violations.

When Prop 19 passes, possession of marijuana, up to an ounce, is no longer unlawful.  There is no basis to claim a California company was allowing “unlawful possession”, so they could still maintain an “(illegal) drug-free workplace” and therefore, give no reason for the federal government to pull any contracts or grants.


7. Legalizing marijuana for healthy people will end medical marijuana for sick people!

Try to wrap your mind around the idea that allowing everyone to grow a 25 square foot garden means sick people will not get their medicine.  Then imagine that a court will decide that a public that voted for legal marijuana for healthy people really meant to end medical marijuana for sick people.  If you can manage that, you’ve entered the mind of J. Craig Canada.

Canada’s analysis rests on this bit of Prop 19’s language:

Provide easier, safer access for patients who need cannabis for medical purposes.

The courts will determine that this means Prop. 19 is intended to amend and supersede California’s medical marijuana laws; Proposition 215 (H&S 11362.5) and SB 420 (H&S 11362.7-H&S 11362.9).

Then Canada goes on to criticize the next two paragraphs in the initiative, which provides cities the right to tax and regulate marijuana for adults, “except as permitted under Health and Safety Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 through 11362.9.”

Got it?  Canada says the first paragraph will supersede – that is, eliminate – California’s Prop 215, and then moves on to the next two paragraphs that specifically provide exceptions under Prop 215.  So I guess Prop 19 makes Prop 215 moot… except when it doesn’t.

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