The biggest argument against Prop 19 and the sensationalist rhetoric that is fueling it is the it “creates new crimes” or “increases penalties.” The one these people always refer to is the penalty for furnishing cannabis to a minor. The question I ask..”Is this really an issue?” Below is the big legal boogie man that “oppositionists” point to as their reasoning that adult use should remain illegal and Prop. 19 should be rejected. It is pretty flimsy to say the least…
Prop 19: Adds Health and Safety Code 11361: (c) Every person 21 years of age or over who knowingly furnishes, administers, or gives, or offers to furnish, administer or give, any marijuana to a person aged 18 years or older, but younger than 21 years of age, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jailfor a period of up to six months and be fined up to $1,000 for each offense.
(d) In addition to the penalties above, any person who is licensed, permitted or authorized to perform any act pursuant to Section 11301, who while so licensed, permitted or authorized, negligently furnishes, administers, gives or sells, or offers to furnish, administer, give or sell, any marijuana to any person younger than 21 years of age shall not be permitted to own, operate, be employed by, assist or enter any licensed premises authorized under Section 11301 for a period of one year.
And below is the statutes on the books for furnishing booze to a minor (which if it was my kid I would kick your ass)….
California State Business and Professions Code regarding alcohol diversion:
BP 25658. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c), every
person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished,
or given away, any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of
21 years is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) Any person under the age of 21 years who purchases any
alcoholic beverage, or any person under the age of 21 years who
consumes any alcoholic beverage in any on-sale premises, is guilty of
(c) Any person who violates subdivision (a) by purchasing any
alcoholic beverage for, or furnishing, giving, or giving away any
alcoholic beverage to, a person under the age of 21 years, and the
person under the age of 21 years thereafter consumes the alcohol and
thereby proximately causes great bodily injury or death to himself,
herself, or any other person, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(d) Any on-sale licensee who knowingly permits a person under the
age of 21 years to consume any alcoholic beverage in the on-sale
premises, whether or not the licensee has knowledge that the person
is under the age of 21 years, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(e) (1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2) or (3), any
person who violates this section shall be punished by a fine of two
hundred fifty dollars ($250), no part of which shall be suspended, or
the person shall be required to perform not less than 24 hours or
more than 32 hours of community service during hours when the person
is not employed and is not attending school, or a combination of a
fine and community service as determined by the court. A second or
subsequent violation of subdivision (b) shall be punished by a fine
of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or the person shall be
required to perform not less than 36 hours or more than 48 hours of
community service during hours when the person is not employed and is
not attending school, or a combination of a fine and community
service as determined by the court. It is the intent of the
Legislature that the community service requirements prescribed in
this section require service at an alcohol or drug treatment program
or facility or at a county coroner’s office, if available, in the
area where the violation occurred or where the person resides.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), any person who violates
subdivision (a) by furnishing an alcoholic beverage, or causing an
alcoholic beverage to be furnished, to a minor shall be punished by a
fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), no part of which shall be
suspended, and the person shall be required to perform not less than
24 hours of community service during hours when the person is not
employed and is not attending school.
(3) Any person who violates subdivision (c) shall be punished by
imprisonment in a county jail for a minimum term of six months not to
exceed one year, by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by
both imprisonment and fine.
… and look at this part, which Prop 19 did NOT parody, so count your blessings :
BP 25658. (f) Persons under the age of 21 years may be used by peace
officers in the enforcement of this section to apprehend licensees,
or employees or agents of licensees, or other persons who sell or
furnish alcoholic beverages to minors. Notwithstanding subdivision
(b), any person under the age of 21 years who purchases or attempts
to purchase any alcoholic beverage while under the direction of a
peace officer is immune from prosecution for that purchase or attempt
to purchase an alcoholic beverage. Guidelines with respect to the
use of persons under the age of 21 years as decoys shall be adopted
and published by the department in accordance with the rulemaking
portion of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing
with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government
Code). Law enforcement-initiated minor decoy programs in
operation prior to the effective date of regulatory guidelines
adopted by the department shall be authorized as long as the minor
decoy displays to the seller of alcoholic beverages the appearance of
a person under the age of 21 years. This subdivision shall not be
construed to prevent the department from taking disciplinary action
against a licensee who sells alcoholic beverages to a minor decoy
prior to the department’s final adoption of regulatory guidelines.
After the completion of every minor decoy program performed under
this subdivision, the law enforcement agency using the decoy shall
notify licensees within 72 hours of the results of the program. When
the use of a minor decoy results in the issuance of a citation, the
notification required shall be given to licensees and the department
within 72 hours of the issuance of the citation. A law enforcement
agency may comply with this requirement by leaving a written notice
at the licensed premises addressed to the licensee, or by mailing a
notice addressed to the licensee.
(g) The penalties imposed by this section do not preclude
prosecution or the imposition of penalties under any other provision
of law, including, but not limited to, Section 272 of the Penal
Code and Section 13202.5 of the Vehicle
This argument is SO weak that it boggles my mind. Who are these people that worry their passing a joint to a kid and possibly getting jail time for it is a reason not to vote FOR legalization. It is an amazing show of ignorance in my opinion and quite frankly it is creepy. Chris Conrad did a good job of laying out the ignorance of this argument…
Conrad to oppositionist MV:
So basically you prefer that all non-medical adult marijuana smokers face misdemeanor charges for pot and damage to their reputations, that all adults cannabis consumers live under the onus of criminality, and that thousands of adults get sent to prison for felony small personal cultivation — just so that adults who smoke pot with minors that are not qualified patients will get off with only a misdemeanor ticket and no jail time. You should poll your neighbors to see how they feel about that idea. Your argument then jumps to false logic, because adults still have free speech to say, “hey kid have a pipe load and chill!” but it already is a misdemeanor if you actually sell or give pot to teenagers who are not qualified patients. You don’t lose your First Amendment rights by voting to change California law, you should know that.
I have to say you did not sway me at all with that one. I say free the adult personal growers, then lobby for the legislature to reduce the penalties as they will be authorized to do if the initiative passes. Vote Yes on Prop 19.
So there we have it. Vote no because you want to hand a bowl to a teenager or vote yes so that adults over 21 can be a normal part of society if they choose to use cannabis. Of course it would be great if the age were 18, but the fact is that some High School kids are 18 and it is hard to pass a law that allows HS Seniors to easily bring cannabis into the school stream. Hopefully we can get the votes needed and avoid the fear mongering that would come with the HIGH school arguments.
I think if the oppositionists took a long hard look in the mirror and did some soul searching as to why they were basing their opposition on such BS issues they would probably realize that voting yes on Prop 19 was the right thing to do.