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Be Careful in Giving the People what they Want, Vote No on Proposition 19

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In 1975 the O’Jays had a hit record titled “Give the people what they want” with one line that said “We’ve been all around the world and with one unanimous decision, give the people what they want.” It is a good song to sing and dance to but in reality one has to be careful in giving the people what they want. I am referring to Proposition 19 on the ballot for voters to legalize control and tax Cannabis better known to the public as marijuana. According to the latest polls 52% of the public is in acceptance of this issue. What happens when the people get what they want?

From my bible teaching days I am reminded of some things the people asked for beginning with Moses. The Israelites had just come out of bondage and some needed freedom from the wives they were with during their time in slavery. So they got together while Moses was getting the Ten Commandments from God and requested of Moses when he returned from the mountains that they wanted the right to divorce a wife so they could marry another woman. According to Matthew 19:8 Jesus said that was not the intent of what the Father had in mind but Moses made the concession because of the hardness of the people. In other words Moses gave the people what they wanted and today people go in and out of marriage like changing clothes. In America we have a 40% divorce rate which is the highest of any country. While people get divorced some have done it seven or eight times trying to get it right like Larry King or Elizabeth Taylor.

Another time was in keeping with the tradition of releasing a prisoner during a holy day. Again Matthew 27:15-21 gives us a lesson of giving the people what they want. Pilate had many prisoners he could have released but two prisoners by the name of Jesus and Barabbas had prominent reputations among the people. So Pilate asked the people what and who do you want? The people responded give us Barabbas; thus Jesus went to the cross. You have to be careful when you consider giving the people what they want.

Another item more closely related to Proposition 19 is when they argued for the legalization of alcohol and the money to be made would reduce taxes. What did that give us? It did bring it under the control of government and it produced some tax revenue but not enough to reduce people from paying taxes. It also brought us legalized alcoholics and a higher cost of medical care to treat all of the people who drink. It has produced more driving under the influence related deaths. It has not prevented people under 21 years of age from getting alcohol. It has produced more liquor stores in urban, Black, communities than grocery stores and even the grocery stores sell alcohol. Numbers have not been given on how many jobs, families, businesses and medical cost have come from the use of alcohol by individuals. You have to be careful when you consider giving the people what they want.

Now what does the pusher of the Control and Taxation of Marijuana (known as Proposition 19) have to offer us? (1) It will allow persons 21 and over to carry an ounce of marijuana around with them and not worry about being arrested.

(2) It will allow you to smoke it in your home or a licensed business establishment. (3) It will allow you to grow marijuana in your private residence in a 25 foot square area.

They say if it becomes law it might bring $1.4 billion dollars into a state that needs $21 billion to solve its current deficit problem. Plus the history of taxing alcohol, cigarettes and approving the Lottery have not solved our budget problems. Allowing people to carry an ounce around is going to allow it to be smoked in the street while walking through the neighborhood not to mention neighbors smoking it while having family backyard barbeques. This will also require local governments to license businesses, like they currently do liquor bars and taverns, so where will they set up shop? In poor and Black communities.

Just in case you do not know the pusher of this proposition is a white café owner by the name of Richard Lee in Oakland. He has an unaccredited colleges there and in Los Angeles where he is prepared to teach people how to grow and manufacture the drug. He stands to make billions while the Black community stays just consumers. We do not have the land to grow any. We will not be a part of the distributors. We will not be granted licenses to sell any. But just like the industry of alcohol we will consume, get addicted and wind up with health related illnesses from marijuana.

Contrary to what some people believe that the arrest rate of Blacks will go down if this becomes law, it will not. Why, because law enforcement will still concentrate on us for driving under the influence and other infractions of laws. The reason we are stopped more is because law enforcement patrols and harasses our community more.

Joshua 24: 15: as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. I think we in the Black community must say as for our community we cannot support the passage of Proposition 19 for any reason. Therefore we urge the Black community to vote NO.

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