Pubdate: Wed, 06 Oct 2010
Source: Daily Bruin (UCLA, CA Edu)
Copyright: 2010, ASUCLA Student Media
Author: Devin Kelly
Cited: Proposition 19
Bookmark: (Proposition 19)


Law Enforcement Officials Point Out Proposition 19's Implications for 
Problems With Statewide and Campus Regulation

Increased marijuana usage rates triggered by Proposition 19 will also
spark more marijuana-related crimes, especially on roadways, according
to police officers and prosecutors around the state.

"It's not going to free up a lot of our resources," said Ethan Shear,
a campus police detective who primarily investigates illicit marijuana

The bill states that the legalization of marijuana will open up jail
cells for more hardened criminals. But under current laws, a person in
possession of an ounce or less of marijuana with a valid ID is not
eligible to go to prison or even be arrested, said Joseph Esposito,
head deputy of the Los Angeles district attorney's narcotics office.

On the opposite side of the scale, those importing or cultivating
large quantities of marijuana are unlikely to change their ways,
Esposito said.

The bill also claims to establish a legal, regulated sales outlet to
control the criminal market for marijuana. But from the standpoint of
university police, who are responsible for monitoring a large
population of students under age 21, illegal marijuana sales will
remain an issue, Shear said.

What officers expect to change is crimes associated with marijuana,
especially impaired driving.

Esposito said case studies exist with countries, such as the
Netherlands, where usage increased substantially after the substance
was legalized.

"When (usage) goes up substantially, corresponding stats with driving
under the influence and being under the influence . all go up
correspondingly," Esposito said.

Alcohol has clear standards for intoxication - 0.8 percent blood
alcohol content for adults and .01 percent for minors.

No such standard exists for driving under the influence of marijuana.
And Proposition 19 does not create one.

"The greatest issue we have with Prop. 19 is that it's so poorly
written," said Leslie McGill, executive director of the California
Police Chiefs Association, which represents municipal police chiefs
around the state. "Since it's not really illegal, you can go home and
get stoned out of your mind and get behind the wheel of your car and

Another issue concerning police officers is enforcement. UCLA receives
federal funding under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. The
funding is conditional: the campus must comply with federal law. While
the state of California allows marijuana for medical use, the drug
remains illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

To continue receiving federal grants, medical marijuana is not allowed
on the UCLA campus.

"(Proposition 19) would . change nothing as to how we operate on the
Hill," said Valery Holtom, judicial affairs coordinator in the Office
of Residential Life.

But a legal analysis by the California Chamber of Commerce suggests
UCLA cannot possibly comply with both Proposition 19 and the Drug-Free
Schools Act.

Proposition 19 disallows discrimination, but UCLA cannot receive
federal funding without allowing people to possess marijuana on campus.

"Statewide, affected employers could lose millions of dollars in
federal funding," Esposito said. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake