A Word to the Wise: Prop. 19 is one toke over the line

By: Tom Rupp
-A +A
Allow me to break with custom and give the conclusion of this column first — I am opposed to the legalized use of marijuana. If you disagree with me, that is OK. I arrive at this conclusion as much with my gut as I do with my brain, and therefore such a position is difficult to defend flawlessly. Proposition 19 is on the California ballot this year. Its passage will not bring about the destruction of society and its defeat will not signal a return to the Dark Ages. From a lifetime of observation I have seen the troubles of casual marijuana use in the lives of family members and friends who have chosen to use it. Both opponents and proponents of the proposition use arguments that have merit as well as those that are flawed. I know that there will be some who may read this and see my flaws. Thank you, I already see them. They say the proposition maintains prohibitions against driving while impaired. Of course we’ve seen how good that works with alcohol. They say it prohibits its use among those who are under 21 years of age. We’ve seen how successful that has been with alcohol use and abuse in young people. We cannot fight it and win, so let’s legalize it and try to make money off of it. Of course such abuse cannot be legislated away. People are going to do whatever they want to do, whether it is legal or not. That is not a valid argument to make it legal. Just because something is legal does not necessarily mean that it is also moral. The voter’s guide states that Proposition 19’s passage will result in “savings of potentially several tens of millions of dollars annually to the state and local governments on the cost of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders.” It goes on to tout an “increase in state and local government tax and fee revenues.” Don’t inhale. I still haven’t seen the great financial improvement to our schools (that old tired bribe, “for our children and grandchildren”) that was supposed to result from the passing of the lottery. I smell a farce. Any time you get the government involved, you know that will solve everything and make it all so much easier and simpler. When I smell weed, I smell sarcasm. Tom Rupp is a Bible teacher at Capital Bible College. He can be reached at or through his blog at