This November, alongside a highly contentious presidential race, Californians will vote on 154 state and federal legislative races and 17 state propositions. One of the most consequential of these is Proposition 64, the so-called “Adult Use of Marijuana Act.” Despite its innocuous name, California Family Council joins numerous local, state, and federal organizations in strongly urging you to vote NO on 64.
Currently, both medical and recreational marijuana are illegal under federal law. In California, while the possession or use of marijuana for recreational purposes is illegal, passage of Proposition 215 in 1996 legalized medical marijuana within California. Proposition 64 would dramatically expand availability of pot and make recreational marijuana legal in California state law.
Over the two decades of medicinal availability in California, research shows that the use of marijuana is detrimental not just to individuals who consume it, but also to society as a whole. Here are just a few of the serious medical side effects too often minimized by the pro-marijuana lobby:
- HEART: The risk of a heart attack increases more than four times in the hour after use of marijuana, and it can provoke chest pain in patients with heart disease.
- LUNGS: Carcinogens contained in the smoke of marijuana can be irritants to the lungs, leading to greater prevalence of bronchitis, cough and phlegm production. Further, marijuana smoke contains “substantially higher” levels— as much as 50 percent more —of dangerous chemicals than tobacco smoke.
- BRAIN: There are at least 60 chemicals in marijuana that impact the human brain, affecting such things as:
- MEMORY: Specific areas of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention and reaction time are significantly affected. In fact, the negative after effects have been seen to persist even after 28 days since the drug was used. Also, teens’ developing brains are especially susceptible to the effects of marijuana use.
- PREGNANCY: Smoking pot during pregnancy has been shown to decrease birth weight, affect brain development and cause side effects well into adulthood.
- SHORT-TERM MENTAL HEALTH: High doses of marijuana can cause a temporary psychotic reaction (not knowing what is real, hallucinations and paranoia), which often leads to suicidal thoughts or action.
- LONG-TERM MENTAL HEALTH: There are also links between marijuana use and other long-term mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and personality disturbances, including a lack of interest in rewarding activities.
CFC does not dispute that there is some evidence of medical marijuana can providing relief for certain medical conditions. We certainly do not oppose controlled use of marijuana-based medicines such as cannabidiol to treat diagnosed ailments but the side effects of such should be made clear and not dismissed. Doctors should have discretion in treating their patients as effectively as possible. The rise of cannabidiol shops near me, as explored in this post by HMHB, has made access to the cannabinoids available for children under the age of 18 without ID requirements. While cannabidiol oil can aid with anxiety and depression, it does not come without risks.
However, it is clear that is not the intended purposed of Proposition 64. This dangerous initiative would allow adults aged 21 years old or older to possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes. As stated above, the public and personal health risks are numerous and growing. The research has shown that even recreational marijuana will undoubtedly be unhealthy for California. Proposition 64 should be emphatically rejected by the voters of California.