The Los Angeles Times, in a lengthy formal editorial, has endorsed California Prop 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
On balance, the proposition deserves a “yes” vote. It is ultimately better for public health, for law and order and for society if marijuana is a legal, regulated and controlled product for adults. Proposition 64 — while not perfect — offers a logical, pragmatic approach to legalization that also would give lawmakers and regulators the flexibility to change the law to address the inevitable unintended consequences.
The editorial’s most potent point:
The reality is that California has already, essentially, legalized marijuana. Virtually any adult can get a medical marijuana recommendation and buy pot products legally at a dispensary. And those who can’t be bothered to fake a headache or back pain can buy it on the black market without fear of going to jail.
The power of the Times is not what it once was, but it should be noted that for decades the paper was the highly influential voice of Republicanism in the state. As the paper itself noted, it opposed the state’s previous legalization proposal, in 2010.
The latest poll in the state—from the LA Times itself—have support for the measure at 58 percent, outside the margin of error.
You can read the whole editorial here.