I've said it before and I'll say it again. I don't smoke pot, and I don't know anyone well these days who smokes recreationally. I have no desire to start--unless I'm stricken with an incredibly painful chronic or terminal illness, and cannabis turns out to be the only substance that offers relief.
My lack of personal enthusiasm for pot not withstanding, I very much agree with Joseph D. McNamara, the former police chief of San Jose and a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institute. He says that it is time for California voters to "bring common sense to law enforcement" by legalizing marijuana for adults.
On November 2, California voters have the opportunity to say yes or no to Proposition 19. If approved by voters, Proposition 19 would legalize various marijuana-related activities and allow local governments to regulate these activities and to impose and collected related fees and taxes.
Writing in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle, McNamara says: "Like an increasing number of law enforcers, I have learned that most bad things about marijuana--especially the violence made inevitable by an obscenely profitable black market--are caused by the prohibition, not by the plant."