A ballot issue that would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and also permit growing pot at private residences picked up some powerful opposition Saturday.
The Los Angeles Times
editorialized against Proposition 19
, writing that it was poorly thought out, badly crafted and replete with loopholes and contradictions. The ballot issue would allow possession of one ounce of marijuana for adults, use in private homes or licensed public places, and cultivation for personal use.
But the newspaper said the proposition was an "invitation to chaos" because it would permit each of the state's 478 cities and 58 counties to make their own regulations for implementing the legalization law, meaning it could change hundreds of times from area to area within the state. Legalization could also cause problems in the workplace, the newspaper said.
The debate in California comes as the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy
reports drug rose last year to its highest level in nearly a decade, fueled in large measure by increased marijuana use and abuse of ecstasy and methamphetamine.
Passage of the issue in California November would set up a confrontation with the federal government which opposes legalized marijuana. California already permits medical use of marijuana, but the Times said that experiment has not gone all that well.