By Haddon Libby

On October 10th, early voting in this year’s elections begins.  Over the next two weeks, we are going to help you understand the 17 proposition on this year’s ballot.  As you will see from the propositions below, your vote is very important.

Marijuana – Prop. 64: This one is simple.  If you vote ‘yes’, anyone over 21 years of age can grow, possess or use marijuana.  A vote ‘no’ means that you could only have marijuana for medical purposes.

Prescription Drugs – Proposition 61: A vote ‘yes’ means that state agencies like Medi-Cal would pay no more than the lowest price paid for prescription drugs by the Department of Veteran Affairs thus saving the state and citizens huge amounts.  So why vote ‘no’?  Well, the ‘no’ coalition is led by drug makers.  Vote ‘no’ if you benefit from higher drug prices.

Corporate Spending on Elections – Proposition 59:  This is a non-binding referendum meant to direct our elected officials to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution overturning the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission decision by the Supreme Court.  That ruling allowed corporations to spend as much as they want on federal elections.  A vote ‘yes’ would begin the process of changing the Constitution and limiting campaign contributions by corporations.

Plastic bags – Props. 65 and 67:  Back in 2014, Californians voted to ban single-use plastic bags.  In an effort to delay and confuse voters, plastic bag makers in South Carolina and Texas got two propositions on this year’s ballot – 65 and 67.  Prop. 67 is an effort to reject the 2014 ban.  As such, vote ‘yes’ if you want to ban single-use plastic bags and ‘no’ if you want to reject that law. Proposition 65 takes the 10 cents that grocer’s charge for plastic bags and redirects that money toward environmental projects.  While that seems like a nice idea, it will cause a higher expense on grocery stores which translates into higher costs for you and me.

If voters were to reject the plastic bag ban and approve the use of monies for environmental projects, the proposition with the most votes is the one put into effect.

Death Penalty – Props. 62 and 66: On Prop. 62, a ‘yes’ means that the death penalty would be replaced with life imprisonment without the chance for parole.  A ‘no’ means that the death penalty remains.  Worth noting, the last execution was in 2006.  At present there are 750 people on death’s row, 104 more than ten years ago.  On Proposition 66, a ‘yes’ changes the way death penalty appeals are initiated.  Proponents of 66 feel this law was necessitated by a legal system that allows decades of appeals.

Firearms/Ammunition Sales – Prop. 63: This proposition would remove guns from people convicted of certain violent crimes as well as the mentally ill and require an instant background check on anyone buying ammunition.  Opponents of 63 feel that this proposition would criminalize the sharing of ammunition between hunting or shooting friends.  In truth, that practice is still allowed.  What is banned is buying ammunition for other people whom you believe to be unable to possess a gun.

Adult Films – Prop. 60: A vote ‘yes’ means that these performers must use condoms when filming.  By voting ‘yes’, adult film production will simply move to another state costing the state millions in fees.  Adult film professionals are opposed to the law and back up their position by stating that the industry already meets rigorous health and safety regulations by the state.  They believe that this law is being pushed in order to remove this business activity from the state.

Next week, we will go over propositions 51 through 58.

Remember…vote early and mobilize your friends and family to get involved.

Haddon Libby is a Financial Advisor and Managing Director at Winslow Drake, an investment management firm.  He can be reached at or 760.449.6349.  If you want an advisor who provides full cost transparency and educational support, call him.