Voters, Prop. 64 approach a flawed way to legalize pot

The Desert Sun – Part of the USA Today Network
The Desert Sun Editorial Board

California voters will decide Nov. 8 whether to make recreational marijuana use legal for adults.

While lighting up is increasingly accepted and possible now via wide illegal availability or through the by-prescription medicinal structure, legalization has been tried before at the ballot box and failed. We believe this effort also should fail.

Polls show legalization has majority support, but The Desert Sun Editorial Board believes this statewide ballot initiative doesn’t address key concerns, especially when it comes to public safety.

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A proposition to legalize pot raises DUI concerns: ‘We are going to start losing folks in astronomical numbers’

The Los Angeles Times
By Patrick McGreevy

Law enforcement leaders are warning that the state is ill-prepared to handle the reforms needed if Proposition 64 passes

The defendant told an LAPD officer he had smoked pot five hours before he was pulled over on Melrose Avenue for driving erratically. A blood test found a significant level of the chemical THC in his system, and a drug recognition expert ruled he was too impaired to drive safely.

But a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury deadlocked on whether the young, off-duty valet had committed a crime by driving under the influence of marijuana, which he said he smokes for back pain and anxiety.

Similar outcomes are being seen all over California by law enforcement officials who say an initiative that would legalize recreational use of pot fails to properly address the issue of drugged driving.

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Pot is polling high, but opponents say Colorado is a cautionary tale

The San Diego Union Tribune
By Joshua Stewart

With polls showing support for allowing recreational use of marijuana in California, Proposition 64’s opponents are urging voters to look at increased crime and traffic crashes in Colorado, a state where it’s legal to use and sell the drug, as a cautionary tale.

“California would be falling into a pit hole, falling into a ditch,” Bishop Ron Allen, the founder of the International Faith Based Coalition, said at a news conference Tuesday.

Since voters legalized marijuana there in 2013, traffic-related marijuana deaths have increased by 48 percent, emergency room visits by 49 percent, and marijuana-related poison center calls by 100 percent, according to a letter provided by No on 64 from Denver District Attorney Mitchell Morrissey.

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No on Prop 64: Just too many risks and unknowns

The Press Democrat
BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Give Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom credit. He speaks with passion, particularly on issues of social justice. And, to him, that’s what Proposition 64 is all about.

During a meeting with The Press Democrat Editorial Board Tuesday, Newsom said of the 8,800 arrests for non-violent marijuana felonies last year, a disproportionate number of them involved African-Americans and Latinos: “We are still arresting and incarcerating folks that don’t look like me.”

It’s a compelling argument, one that underscores many of the inequalities of the criminal justice system. But it’s not enough to warrant the acceptance of a poorly worded ballot proposition that opens the door to a number of social problems and unknowns — and potentially puts local growers at a competitive disadvantage in a world where the recreational use of marijuana is legal.

We accept that legalization is probably an inevitability in California. But this is neither the right time nor the right proposition to make that happen. Here are several reasons why.

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No on Prop. 64: Stand up for kids

The San Diego Union Tribune
By William Gore & James Labelle

Proposition 64, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana, is being portrayed by supporters as nearly without cost to our society. But from a law enforcement and health care perspective, that’s just not the case.

Proposition 64 is a step backward instead of forward for California’s progress in public health. It’s confounding that on the same ballot voters are being asked to both expand marijuana use and to curb the smoking of cigarettes.

Law enforcement has some real concerns about Proposition 64 based on what has happened in Colorado.

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Ad against marijuana legalization makes accurate claims

The Sacramento Bee
BY JEREMY B. WHITE

Impaired driving and youth exposure continue to be focal points for opponents of marijuana legalization, who contend that Proposition 64 would endanger kids allured by pot brownies and motorists sharing the road with stoned drivers. A web-only ad from opponents (they have not yet purchased television airtime) advances those claims.

“Proposition 64 will allow marijuana smoking ads in prime time, and on programs with millions of children and teenage viewers. Children could be exposed to ads promoting marijuana gummy candy and brownies, the same products blamed for a spike in emergency room visits in Colorado. Fatalities doubled in marijuana-related car crashes after legalization in Washington state. Yet, in California, Proposition 64 doesn’t even include a DUI standard.”

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Parents should be wary of marijuana legalization

The Sacramento Bee
BY DIANNE FEINSTEIN

As a parent and grandparent, I believe legalizing recreational marijuana would result in serious harm to public health and safety, and urge my fellow Californians to vote “No” on Proposition 64 on Nov. 8.

Marijuana is a complicated issue. I support its medicinal use and have introduced federal legislation to make it easier to research and potentially bring marijuana-derived medicines to the market with FDA approval.

I also recognize that our nation’s failure to treat drug addiction as a public health issue has resulted in broken families and overcrowded prisons. That’s why I support the sentencing reform that would reduce the use of mandatory minimum sentences in certain drug crimes, give judges more flexibility to set sentences and promote treatment programs to address the underlying addiction.

But Proposition 64 would allow marijuana of any strength to be sold. It could make it easier for children to access marijuana and marijuana-infused foods. It could add to the already exorbitant costs of treating addiction. And it does not do enough to keep stoned drivers, including minors, off the roads.

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The problems with rushing to legalize marijuana for stoner use in California

Los Angeles Times
By George Skelton

Californians seem hot to visit a legal pot shop and smoke a joint or munch a weeded brownie. But driving home could be risky.

No one — not even highway patrolmen — knows precisely how stoned a motorist can be before he’s dangerously under the influence of cannabis.

Unlike with liquor, there’s no 0.08% blood alcohol equivalent for marijuana. There’s not even a common Breathalyzer to measure drugged driving. And there’s nothing around the corner.

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Say no to Prop. 64

The Porterville Recorder
Editorial Board

Proposition 64 on the Nov. 8 ballot would legalize the use of marijuana for recreation purposes. We recommend a no vote.

While California appears heading toward the legalization of marijuana beyond using it for medical purposes, Prop. 64 is wrought with problems that could greatly burden law enforcement and possibly create more issues than the laws we have today against the use and possession of marijuana.

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