Eye of the Editors: California Propositions
October 31, 2016
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Prop 56: Proposition 56 proposes a tobacco tax increase of $2 per pack of cigarettes and it would also increase for other tobacco products and e-cigarettes as well. The Bull’s Eye supports this proposition, as money from the tax will be distributed to the funding of MediCal, lung and heart cancer research, tobacco prevention school programs, physician training and more. There is currently a 87 cents excise tax per pack, and with the new proposition it would amount to $2.87 of taxes per pack. Both the California Republican Party and the Libertarian Party are against Prop 56. They claim that the money would fund insurance companies, which they have labeled as special interest groups. Moreover, they state that it would cheat schools out of $600 million annually. However, the proposition has built “safeguards,” which includes “independent audits and strict caps on overhead spending and administrative costs” and have prohibited politicians of using this proposition to further their agenda, especially regarding special interests.
Prop 62: We do not believe in the repealing of the death penalty that is proposed in this piece of legislation. This proposition replaces the death penalty with the sentence of life in prison without parole as a maximum punishment. This proposition would cost millions of dollars from taxpayers because of the space and food that would be provided for current prisoners on death row and future criminals. Supporters of this proposition state that the death penalty is cruel as many prosecuted prisoners have been proven innocent after the discovery of DNA. They claim that with discovery of DNA, many prisoners sentenced on death row have now been proven innocent. However, just because a few might have been innocent, does not mean that we must get rid of the system completely. Many opposers of repealing the death penalty are for altering the death penalty instead, which calls for changes in the system without completely destroying it.
Prop 63: This is a proposition that calls for background checks for ammunition purchases. This legislation necessitates that one must obtain a one-year license from the state Department of Justice in order to sell ammunition. It also mandates that gun sellers must conduct background checks on their buyers. The Bull’s Eye endorses this as it makes communities safer by preventing individuals, such as criminals and terrorists, who have been forbidden to purchase guns, from having ammunition. Opposition says that this would “burden law-abiding citizens who own firearms.” They also claim that the burden would simply shift from law enforcement to the “overburdened” court system and would ultimately result in Californians being “less safe.” However, a simple background check may save multiple future lives, and the “inconvenience” will be worth it in the long run.
Prop 64: The Bull’s Eye is for the legalization of recreational marijuana for users age 21 and older. Not only do we believe that drug use should be considered a health issue rather a crime issue, the legalization of the drug will create two types of taxes. One on cultivation and the other on sales. The taxes will be used for the expansion of drug research and centers, drug treatment, youth programs and more, which will help with the problem of drug addiction more than any law could ever do. Those opposed state that there would be an increase of car accidents, and that it would burden impoverished communities, as they are already dealing with alcohol and drug use. However, with legalization, the black market used for selling these drugs will collapse, and it will allow for the distribution of marijuana to be regulated and for the drug itself to be taxed as well. Furthermore, the legalization of marijuana will decrease law enforcement spending, which in turn, will be used to further programs of drug intervention at schools.