After a very hostile and upset of an election, we want to remind our Mother (earth) Lovers that there is also much to celebrate!
The West Coast was killin’ it again with putting up some very progressive propositions when it comes to the future of our environment; our home state of California taking the lead and Washington coming close to setting expectations for our future.
Legalization of Marijuana
I’m not mentioning this because I’m expressing my opinion on this topic or trying to say because it grows from the earth then it must be important to your homegirls; I’m mentioning the legalization of marijuana in Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, and good ol’ California because of it’s potential benefits for the future of our environment. In California, the tax on sales of marijuana is estimated to bring in $1 billion in new tax revenue which would be directed toward specific new or expanding programs such as drug use prevention and treatment, helping at-risk youth, law enforcement, and environmental clean-up and research (1). Hey, if they toke, then let’s benefit from the smoke…. (I tried).
Plastic Bag Ban
This was a big one that we were promoting here at MEIMHG headquarters. This was the controversial battle of Prop 65 vs. Prop 67. Both seemingly in favor of the environment, made voting for these props very confusing. With Prop. 67, Californians could vote “yes” to ban the use of single use plastic bags once and for all. A “yes” on Prop. 65 would charge a 10 cent fee to be collected by stores when people use the plastic bags, and the extra funds could go to environmental programs. Although Prop. 65 seemed to have good intentions, many believed it was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. For one thing, Prop. 65 was funded and put on the ballot by the American Progressive Bag Alliance (plastic industry). Although it would fund environmental programs, it would dismiss the removal of plastic bags all together. Why is this a problem? Recent studies show that it is estimated that there will be more plastic bags than fish in the ocean by 2050 (2). So, Prop. 65 is completely avoiding the problem and reason why Prop. 67 was created in the first place. Get ready to celebrate (no hard feelings Plastic Industry), but Prop. 65 did not pass and Prop. 67 officially passed in the state of California and Florida! Whoop, whoop!
The state of Washington set history by being the first state to issue a “carbon emission tax” on their ballot. This would provide a tax on the sale or use of certain fossil fuels and electricity generated from fossil fuels. Not only would it cause people to start gearing towards investing in more green technology (solar, electric cars, etc.), but it would reduce the business and occupation tax rate on manufacturing, and fund a partial sales tax exemption for low-income families. Unfortunately, this did not pass, but we wanted to give major props to Washington State for setting the trend in motion. We know this won’t be the last time we see a carbon tax pop up on our ballots. A step in the right direction!
A little note to my friends here in California who eagerly voted for our environment (not saying the rest of you didn’t U.S of A)….
“We have strength in numbers. We’re the sixth largest economy in the world. We’re 12 percent of the U.S. population. We provide the rest of the country with a good portion of its agriculture, energy and technology. That size and economic clout gives us some leverage when it comes to pushing back against whatever legislative insanity starts spewing forth from D.C.” – L.A. Weekly
Just because the election is over doesn’t mean the work is done or that our voices can’t be heard! We have a lot more positive influence than you may think, keep pushing for a better world to live in and a healthy Mother Earth.
Hugs all around,