Here we go again. State lawmakers Monday will have another opportunity to take a position on recreational marijuana — this time on whether to place an up or-down question on legalization on the ballot in 2020.
Pro-weed proponents who failed to convince a majority of legislators to approve a legalization bill now argue that legislators have an obligation to let voters decide the issue. We agree. Voters should have a choice. But it should be more than a single “yes” or “no” choice on one broad, vaguely defined question. Voters should be offered four choices: Yes or no on legalization, and yes or no on decriminalization. Polls have shown vastly different results when decriminalization is presented as an option to legalization.
Even though the marijuana issue has been swirling around the Statehouse for nearly two years, Monday is likely to be the first time the full Assembly and Senate actually vote on how to proceed with legalization of recreational weed. Lawmakers should reject the ballot question up for consideration and instead develop new language that would provide a truer measure of voters’ preferences by providing a decriminalization alternative.