Should Marijuana be Legalised? California Democrats Think So

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By Sachin Trivedi | March 10, 2014 7:08 PM EST

Gearing up for the elections the Democrats from California are reportedly working on a party plank which includes in its list a call for legalisation of Marijuana in the state. The issue has been a contentious one worldwide with passionate advocates on both sides.

Reuters
A bag of marijuana being prepared for sale sits next to a money jar at BotanaCare in Northglenn, Colorado in this file photo taken December 31, 2013. The Obama administration made it easier on Friday for banks to do business with licensed marijuana companies with less fear of prosecution, further encouraging U.S. states that are experimenting with legalization of the drug. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/Files

California Democrats are gathering in Los Angeles for the 2014 State Convention. According to a report by San Francisco Chronicle the call to legalise, regulate and tax Marijuana in the state will be inserted in the party platform.

According to the report Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom, the former San Francisco Mayor, argued that California should be leading the nation on the issue of legalising Marijuana, just as it did same sex marriage. The state led the nation in supporting the use of Marijuana for medical purposes.

 One of the main arguments in favour of legalising Marijuana is that it could potentially generate billions of dollars in tax revenues and generate jobs in the state. An argument which tends to resonate in a difficult economy.

Recently states like Washington and Colorado legalised the use of Marijuana for recreation purposes and many stores were opened across the two states. The stores reportedly witnessed brisk sales.

Sceptical legislators are worried about the long term consequences of legalising Marijuana. Some would like to first wait and see how things turn out in the states that do legalise the drug. But others feel that a wait and watch policy may make the state lag behind the others.

Some advocates of legalising Marijuana also feel that the move could mean less people being locked up in jail and consequently save on expenditure on law enforcement. Many feel that law enforcement should be focussing on more violent crimes in society.

Another argument is that although Marijuana may cause anxiety, depression and psychotic symptoms like hallucinations and delusions in some people, the overall negative effects are said to be not more dangerous than tobacco and alcohol.

The legalisation of Marijuana in the U.S has renewed the debate in Australia. The drug is still illegal in the country and attracts heavy fines for its possession. Some people avoid the legal hassle altogether by choosing to go on a holiday to countries where Marijuana is not illegal, like Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and now the U.S.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
A bag of marijuana being prepared for sale sits next to a money jar at BotanaCare in Northglenn, Colorado in this file photo taken December 31, 2013. The Obama administration made it easier on Friday for banks to do business with licensed marijuana companies with less fear of prosecution, further encouraging U.S. states that are experimenting with legalization of the drug. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/Files
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