It’s really a forgone conclusion. Marijuana will soon be legalized in California via Prop 64 and all the potheads will be dancing around in circles with brownies and joints raised to the sky. We should be so proud!
I hate being so negative but I cannot believe that the people of this state are dumb enough to do this. You think we have problems now? Wait until businesses are plagued with pot intoxication and we are avoiding both drunks and stoners on the road.
A recent ABC7 poll shows that 51% of voters are in favor of Prop 64, 40% oppose with a whopping 64.8% undecided. Not sure how the math works on that. Maybe of the 36% decided, 51% are in favor. Guess the good folks over at ABC7 are already taking a celebratory puff? (in fairness, I pulled this stat off a pro-64 website so ABC7 may be clean)
Hopefully, this means that many folks have not made up their minds.
We just came back from Arizona where the good voters there are also trying to make up their minds regarding their own pot legalization proposition, numbered 205.
In California, the media seems to be treating Prop 64 like a done deal. Not so in Arizona. The coverage and conflict are heated. I saw an ad on TV that really got me thinking. It seemed to answer a question that I have had for a while now: how is it working in Colorado?
Colorado legalized pot 4 years ago and, while the data is still coming in, we have a bit clearer picture of what it will look like here in 4 years.
Former Colorado Governor Bill Owens (1999-2007) in a television spot I saw had some very interesting things to say about the “Colorado Experiment.” Owens said that his state now leads the nation in teenage marijuana use.
This seems to jive with stats I have heard that pot use in middle school kids has also doubled in the same period.
Owens also goes on to say that marijuana edible food items are also marketed to children and displayed several examples. Of course, our own pot lobby would claim that this would never happen here due to Prop 64’s rigid prohibitions against such behavior.
Yeah. And Trump is monogamous.
Finally, Governor Owens shared that marijuana-related traffic deaths are up 62%. Let’s also not forget that many of these Colorado stoners are going to work and operating heavy machinery. Wonder how many accidents are involved there?
Next, the former mayor of Denver, Wellington Webb (1991-2003), said that recently in one Denver hospital, 50% of the newborns had marijuana in their system. 50%.
Let’s just say this number may be inflated due to the demographics of the hospital’s location. If we reduce it by half to reflect the average hospital in the state, that is still 25%. 1 in 4 kids starting life exposed to cannabinoids is astounding.
Webb went on to share that little of the money intended for public education from taxation of pot sales ever made it there. He said it mostly went into regulation and, I assume, enforcement in the legal pot industry.
Let’s look a bit more closely at this taxation issue for a moment. I’ve had it explained to me this way. Imagine the black market for marijuana in Colorado as a big black bag. And now imagine the “legal” market as a small white bag.
Supporters of legalization argued that the little white bag would swallow up the big black bag, creating lots of tax revenue to schools. Except, that really didn’t happen.
The white bag was created and the black bag did not go down in size. Why? Because law-abiding folks decided to try pot since it was no longer illegal. The market for pot was simply expanded to consumers who had no experience previously.
Ironically, the black bag also got bigger! Why? Because once law-abiding folks became familiar with the product and the culture, they were more comfortable crossing the line to the black bag where the prices were cheaper due to no taxation.
More users, more addiction, no increased tax revenues, and a host of new societal problems- that is what Prop 64 gives to us. And, we won’t even broach the subject of pot being a “gateway drug” to other nastier drugs of abuse. My personal experience is yes, it is.
If you are part of the undecided, please consider Colorado’s experience. Let’s not repeat the same mistake. Vote no on 64.
Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.