Dean Rohrer

Au pays du cannabis légalisé

BRISBANE – Que va-t-il se passer si, en novembre, les Californiens votent en faveur de la légalisation du cannabis pour tout adulte âgé de plus de 21 ans ? Laissons de côté un instant la question constitutionnelle délicate soulevée par le fait qu’un état vote une loi en contradiction avec la loi fédérale. Concentrons-nous plutôt sur les conséquences d’une modification de la loi comme le propose le référendum.

A en croire les partisans du référendum, tous les Californiens y gagneront. Ce changement légitimera le statut de la marijuana, de fait dépénalisé par le passage de la Proposition 215 en 1996. La culture et la vente de cannabis sortiront du marché noir ; tout adulte sera libre d’utiliser de la marijuana s’il le désire. L’état sera d’une part en mesure de réduire les dépenses consacrées à l’application d’une loi grandement bafouée. Il pourra d’autre part introduire une taxe sur la vente légale de cannabis et remplir ses caisses avec des recettes qui allaient d’habitude aux cultivateurs illégaux (du temps qu’il n’y a pas d’évasion fiscale massive).

D’après les opposants en revanche, ce changement entraînera une augmentation du taux de consommation du cannabis et en amplifiera les méfaits. Les conséquences néfastes les plus inquiétantes dans ce domaine seraient l’augmentation de morts et d’accidents de la route ; l’augmentation de psychoses et autres graves problèmes de santé mentale pour les gros consommateurs et une consommation plus répandue chez les jeunes ce qui affecterait leurs perspectives d’avenir. D’après eux, ces effets pèseront plus lourds dans la balance que les gains des recettes fiscales et des économies faites en appliquant cette loi.

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