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California will vote this November on decriminalizing marijuana. (The link in that previous sentence is to the Reuters report a little while back.) 

What are the positives and what are the negatives? Do you think it’s the Federal or State government’s responsibility to tell citizens what to do in matters like this? Is marijuana’s impact any more significant than alcohol’s? I’ll weigh in if I need to, but I’m interested to hear what folks think about this.
From Wikipedia: “Aside from a subjective change in perception and, most notably, mood, the most common short-term physical and neurological effects include increased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, impairment of short-term episodic memory, working memory,psychomotor coordination, and concentration.[47] Long-term effects are less clear.[48][49]…..

Cannabis use has been assessed by several studies to be correlated with the development of anxiety, psychosis, and depression.

Stephen Gutwillig: “Banning marijuana outright has been a disaster, fueling a massive, increasingly brutal underground economy, wasting billions in scarce law enforcement resources and making criminals out of countless law-abiding citizens,” he said….

Legalizing marijuana appears to have broad support in the state, with some 56 percent of Californians surveyed in an April, 2009 Field Poll saying they favored making it legal for social use and taxing the sales proceeds.

In October, Gallup found 44 percent of Americans favored legalization…….

Silas Miers: “With legalization of recreational marijuana use, impaired driving, fatalities, injuries and crashes will go up, and we don’t want to see that,” California Mothers Against Drunk Driving spokesman Silas Miers said.

Critics also say the social costs of a free-smoking state far outweigh the money it would bring in.

They say that the already enormous societal damage from alcohol and tobacco use would only increase if people were allowed to legally sell and smoke pot.

What would this permit? Under the initiative, simple possession of an ounce (28.5 grams) or less of marijuana, currently a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $100 fine, would be legal for anyone at least 21. It also would be lawful to grow limited amounts in one’s own home for personal use.

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