Will California Legalize Pot?

Election day is less than two weeks away and Californians are split on proposition 19. If proposition 19 passes, Californians 21 years of age and older will be allowed to carry up to an ounce of marijuana and grow small amounts of the drug. A new report says that California’s pot crop could be worth approximately $14 billion dollars, compared to the state’s wine crop which is worth only about $2 billion. Michael Reagan, chairman of The Reagan Group, joined Varney & Co. from California to share his opinion.

“The problem is, even though it’s a $14 billion crop, is the damage it is doing to young people,” said Reagan. “It does so much damage, and the financial side of it might sound really good on one side of the spectrum, but the damage on the other side is astronomical.”

Proposition 19 has caused a stir nationally. The most persuasive argument for it to pass might be the dollar sign, but Michael Reagan is not convinced that the state’s government will distribute the money correctly. “Let’s be honest about Sacramento. It doesn’t matter how much they take in, they spend 20% more than they take in anyways and we’ve had promises in this state forever,” said Reagan. “We’re going to tax cigarettes a little bit more and that money’s going to go toward this. We do it and the money goes toward something else.”

Some Californians are not too eager to have the law passed, fearing that children will be exposed to the drug. Others argue that the state needs proposition 19 to release itself from its financial struggles. Should prop 19 pass solely in the hopes to bailout California? “As people think about this, they start thinking wait a minute, what are we doing here?” said Reagan. “It’s got to be more than just about the money.”