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Opposition to Proposition 64: Unsafe for California’s Roadways

On November 8, California voters will decide whether or not to legalize pot – along with 17 other state propositions. Proposition 64 is the so-called “Adult Use of Marijuana Act.”

Last Wednesday The Desert Sun published an article by their editorial board characterizing Proposition 64 as a flawed method to legalize pot, and stating “we believe this measure should fail.” The article begins with:

The Desert Sun Editorial Board believes this statewide ballot initiative doesn’t address key concerns, especially when it comes to public safety.

The article goes on to note that deaths in marijuana-related crashes have doubled since pot was made legal in Washington state. Colorado also has reported spikes in marijuana DUIs and fatalities since pot was legalized there. In respect to this safety concern, Proposition 64 has no clear standard for law enforcement to use to effectively keep impaired drivers off the road. This means all motorist will be put at an unnecessary risk.

The editorial concludes with strong words of caution against the passage of Proposition 64:

Finally, we fear that the goal of keeping children from taking up marijuana use will be hurt by a law that allows TV advertising. As a society we have worked hard to keep children from taking up tobacco use and its related ills by restricting such messages. We should create a system for adult use of pot that has the same goals.

Full legal marijuana use likely is in California’s future, but voters shouldn’t bring it about via Proposition 64. As a ballot initiative the measure has deficiencies that will be difficult to correct without a subsequent statewide public vote later. Time should be taken to craft a strong measure that helps ensure legal pot doesn’t become a state-sanctioned source of new societal ills.

The Ventura County Star also published an article which begins by affirming the same issue raised by the Desert Sun editorial board article, namely that “the measure would worsen the growing problem of drugged driving.” In Washington state, a study conducted one year after the legalization of recreational marijuana found that one in six drivers involved in fatal crashes testing positive for active-THC, the ingredient in marijuana that causes impairment – a 9% increase.

The article in the Ventura County Star also wraps up by firmly voicing opposition to Proposition 64:

The Auto Club and the California Police Chiefs Association oppose Proposition 64. We have a genuine traffic safety concern related to the legalization of recreational marijuana use. It has taken generations to educate the public about drinking and driving and to strengthen laws to reduce drunken driving. Proposition 64 would create new traffic safety issues and increase the problem of impaired driving.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s recent research raises many concerns about whether we are prepared to address the traffic safety risks Proposition 64 poses. More studies are needed before making such a far-reaching policy change that could have unintended, tragic consequences for traffic safety.

Proposition 64 is a gamble on the public’s safety, which isn’t a risk worth taking.

California Family Council joins The Desert Sun editorial board, Auto Club, and the California Police Chiefs Association in strongly urging you to vote NO on 64 come November 8th. It is a dangerous measure that will create unsafe roadways in California. 


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