U.S. Drug Enforcement Administrators issue letter to Governor Brown

Re: Proposition 64

Dear Governor Brown,

As former heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration, we write to ask you, the State’s highest level and most visible political leader, to take a position on Proposition 64 before the election next Tuesday. For the reasons set out below, we urge you to oppose Prop 64. Your voice, Governor, is critical.

As you know, Prop 64, if passed by the voters, will legalize the commercial cultivation, production and sale of marijuana in California. It is useful to look at how this experiment with commercial legalization has worked out in Colorado, the first state to do so. The results of the Colorado experiment are troubling.

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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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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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New study reveals what makes marijuana edibles most attractive to young kids

Denver Post
By John Ingold

Colorado’s new rules for marijuana-infused edibles take important steps to keep the products from being attractive to young children but also may not go far enough, a recently released study suggests.

The rules — which are being finalized and take effect in 2017 — prohibit edible pot products from being made in animal or fruit shapes. That is important because playful shapes are one of the key things that makes food alluring to kids, said Sam Méndez, the executive director of the University of Washington’s Cannabis Law and Policy Project and the author of the new report.

But Méndez’s research identified other elements — such as color, smell and taste — that also make food attractive. And those are things that Colorado’s new rules do not regulate.

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Kids emergency room visits for marijuana increased in Colorado after legalization, study finds

The Denver Post
by John Ingold

Colorado’s laws on labeling and child-resistant packaging have been unable to stop an increase of young kids ending up in the emergency room after accidentally consuming marijuana, according to a new study published online Monday in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics.

The study — led by a doctor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus — found that emergency room visits and poison-control calls for kids 9 and younger who consumed pot in Colorado jumped after recreational marijuana stores opened. About twice as many kids visited the Children’s Hospital Colorado emergency room per year in 2014 and 2015 as did in years prior to the opening of recreational marijuana stores, according to the study. Annual poison-control cases increased five-fold, the study found.

“We were expecting an increase,” said Dr. Sam Wang, the study’s lead author. “As far as the poison center, we were a little surprised at the amount of the increase.”

The overall numbers, though, are still relatively low and account for a small fraction of all accidental exposures.

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