by Tony Medley
Allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport
marijuana for personal use. Initiative Statute.
Discussion: While this
does nothing to affect federal law, which prohibits the use of marijuana
for any reason, even medical, the Obama Administration announced in
March 2009 that the current administration would not prosecute marijuana
patients and providers whose actions are consistent with state medical
marijuana laws. This measure, however, legalizes personal use of
marijuana in California.
I agree with the late
economist Milton Friedman that drugs should not be criminalized.
Criminalization is just more government interference with private
action. Criminalization was a 20th-Century idea. All drugs
were legal before then. Coca-Cola originally contained cocaine.
Criminalization didnít work with alcohol in the 1920s. Without the
Volstead Act (which was passed over President Wilson's veto) would the
world have ever seen Al Capone or Lucky Luciano or Vito Genovese (or
Joe, Jack, Robert, and Teddy Kennedy)? The 20s didn't reduce the
incidence of drinking to any great extent, and it made criminals
of everyone who had a drink, thereby reducing respect for the law. Today
criminalization of drugs has resulted in an unprecedented crime wave of
brutal violence. It doesnít work.
Removes elected representatives from process of establishing
congressional districts and transfers that authority to
recently-authorized 14-member redistricting commission comprised of
Democrats, Republicans, and representatives of neither party.
Discussion: This wonít
work much better than whatís happened now. Why? Because districts will
still be chosen by politicians. The members of the commission will be
chosen by the State Auditor, after submitting names to the legislature
which has the right to strike a certain number of names without reason.
Those remaining will be chosen by drawing. Whatever the method used to
choose the members, it is still ultimately chosen by politicians. My
impression is this is a lot of sound and fury, signifying little. But
anything that gets it further away from the legislature is a plus.
but Iím holding my nose.
Establishes $18 annual vehicle license surcharge to help fund state
parks and wildlife programs. Grants surcharged vehicles free admission
to all state parks. Initiative statute.
Discussion: Adding a
tax to your license fee to fund state parks is just another political
ploy to get people to pay money for something they apparently donít
want. I love the state parks, but thereís too much wasteful spending in
government. If the government wants to preserve the parks, then it
should reign in its spending and get the funds from existing revenues.
No new taxes.
Prohibits the state from borrowing or taking funds used for
transportation, redevelopment, or local government projects and
services. Constitutional Amendment.
Discussion: Put simply,
this prohibits the state from raiding the coffers of local governments
to use money designated for local purposes for state purposes. This
keeps the state from grabbing money to which it is not entitled. Better
to make the state cut spending and use its money wisely.
Suspends implementation of ďglobal warmingĒ law (ab 32) requiring major
sources of emissions to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that
cause global warming, until unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or less
for full year. Initiative Statute.
Discussion: There are
two issues about global warming. The first is, is it occurring? The
second is, if it is occurring, is it caused by man? AB 32 is one of
those laws that think that the answer to both those questions is yes. As
for me, I donít know if it is occurring. But if it is occurring the only
activity by man that could be contributing to it is the burning of the
rainforest, something ignored by just about everyone but me. The
rainforest has encircled the globe for 60 million years and is probably
the reason human beings developed. Now itís being destroyed. I wrote a
detailed article on the rainforest almost 15 years ago, which is still
valid and which you can read by clicking
here. The argument that laws limiting manís activities can stop
whatever global warming is occurring without dealing with the
destruction of the rainforest is absurd.
Repeals recent legislation that would allow businesses to lower their
tax liability. Initiative statute.
Discussion: This will
repeal a law that allows businesses to make more money and create more
jobs. It tightens rules on deductions and the like. The argument is that
itís better for the state to have the money to use it as largesse for
people who donít contribute than for businesses to have the money to
create jobs and stimulate the economy. So itís pretty simple. If you
want businesses to make enough money to hire more people, you are
against this measure that will repeal a pro economic growth law. If you
want businesses to make less money so they can hire less people, or be
forced to lay people off, you are for this.
Changes legislative vote requirement to pass budget and budget-related
legislation from two-thirds to a simple majority. retains two-thirds
vote requirement for taxes. Constitutional amendment.
Discussion: This is a
ploy by the leftwing Democrats who control the state legislature to
force a tax and spend budget on the Governor. As it is now, with the 2/3
requirement, fiscally reasonable Republicans can block more bloated
budgets that have thrown California into a fiscal mess. What we need is
a Constitutional Amendment that throws the entire state legislature in
jail if it doesnít meet its Constitutional requirement to pass a
balanced budget on time, stop their pay, and stop paying all their
expenses, requiring them to pay all their expenses including their
staffs, out of their own pockets with no reimbursement in the future
even when a balanced budget is finally passed. That, I would vote for.
Requires that certain state and local fees be approved by two-thirds
vote. Fees include those that address adverse impacts on society or the
environment caused by the fee-payer's business. Initiative
Discussion: Most tax
increases require a 2/3 vote of local voters, whether state or local.
But if the charge is designated to be a ďfee,Ē it only requires a
majority vote, making it pretty easy for local governments to designate
some money-grabbing idea as a ďfeeĒ and get it approved. This would
expand the definition of a tax and a tax increase so that more proposals
would require approval by 2/3 of the legislature or local voters.
this is a no-brainer.
Eliminates state commission on redistricting. Consolidates authority for
redistricting with elected representatives. Initiative Constitutional
Amendment and Statute.
redistricting to the state legislature, where it was before 2008 when
Proposition 11 established the Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Although I think that the Citizens Redistricting Commission is just as
feckless and political as the state legislature, Iím for anything that
takes power away from the legislature. Since this would return power to
the legislature, Iím against it, even if it does put me in the same bed
with the League of Women Voters and AARP. However, the fact that they
are against it speaks volumes about how ineffective 2008ís Proposition
11 and Proposition 20 this year will be to return democracy to the