by David Downs
“The disastrous war on marijuana in California continues to ensnare thousands of people – particularly young people of color – in the criminal justice system every year,” said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, criminal justice and drug policy director with the ACLU of California. “It is time to move from prohibition to regulation. AUMA will establish a controlled and regulated market for adults, significantly reduce the harm done to young people under current marijuana laws, and generate substantial revenue for drug education and for the communities most devastated by the war on drugs.”The announcement comes on the heels of a groundbreaking new study showing that even after California decriminalized personal possession of pot in 2010 by making it equal to a parking ticket — minorities are still the ones getting those tickets. Police use cannabis laws to prey on young males least equipped to pay fines, or fight charges, and most at-risk of being knocked off their life-track by adjudication.
“In November, California voters will have the opportunity to get regulation right,” stated Abdi Soltani, executive director of the ACLU of Northern California and steering committee member of the Blue Ribbon Commission. “AUMA is a comprehensive proposal that incorporates consensus findings based on extensive research and discussion. Most importantly, it includes measures that will protect young people, maintain public safety, and establish workable taxation and regulation. This comprehensive measure lays out a strong framework for implementation.”