I am holding this post hostage

Hopefully this’ll force me to write a real post to replace this. :)

California’s Prop 29 first came to my attention in one of the many petition activist emails I receive. It mentioned new legislation on the upcoming ballot, which the tobacco companies oppose. Easy enough, I thought. I’ll just vote against big tobacco, no deep soul-searching required there.

Wrong! Commercials started coming out on TV about Prop 29. The first one I saw had me guffawing. Prop 29 doesn’t put any money toward cancer research? Prop 29 doesn’t do this, it doesn’t do that. It just doesn’t go far enough, so it just shouldn’t be enacted at all!

But another commercial made me pause. Not because of what the official-looking doctor on the screen was saying, but because on the bottom of the screen it stated that the L.A. Times opposed the proposition. I’d never thought that anyone other than those with political or financial motives would oppose it.

I tracked down the Op-Ed piece (sorry, too lazy to find the page again) and it basically said that Prop 29 is flawed. California gets all these taxes and instead of putting it in the general fund, where it’s severely needed, it goes toward this whole new infrastructure where the people on the board can decide to send the money out of state. Additionally, it’s estimated that these taxes will decrease each year, as people quite smoking because of the higher expense.

At this point I wavered between my options: Yes or No? I’m not a fan of creating more bureacracy, and California could really use the money for things other than battling smoking. (People should just stop killing themselves and not smoke, simple as that, right?) And the decrease in taxes, if there’ll be less and less money going toward it, then why bother at all? Yet, I couldn’t bring myself to agree to vote with the tobacco companies.

But then the No on Prop 29 camp released another commercial, saying California’s tax dollars will be sent out of state, instead of creating jobs here, in-state. That argument never holds with me. (I am no statist! State elitist? … I don’t know.) I don’t care which state gets the jobs, as long as there are jobs being created. And calling them California’s tax dollars? The money came from people who smoke; it’s not my money.

So I took a step back and looked at the big picture: smokers will be paying money to … “fund cancer research, smoking reduction programs, and tobacco law enforcement.” (Ballotpedia on Prop 29) I’m fine with that! Count me in as a Yes vote!

And this way I won’t agree with any tobacco companies! ;)

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