With the general election now just weeks away, marijuana legalization continues to be a hot button issue for voters in California. Prop 64 would allow adults in the state to purchase and use marijuana for recreational purposes. Before you head to the polls, there are a few important facts you should know about marijuana legalization in general and Prop 64 specifically.
Prop 64 Details
Prop 64, known officially as the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” or AUMA, would allow adults age 21 and over to possess and use regulated amounts of marijuana. Residents would be allowed to grow up to six pot plants in their homes under lock and key in an area not visible from public view. Adults would also be able to 28.5 grams of marijuana or eight grams of concentrated marijuana, which they would be able to use in their own homes or at businesses licensed for on-site marijuana consumption.
What Proponents are Saying
In addition to proposed tax benefits, there are other benefits proponents of this measure are banking on:
- Would eliminate the “War on Drugs”
- Imposes strict regulation on how marijuana is packaged, labeled and sold to Californians
- Continues to make public use and driving under the influence of marijuana illegal
- Keeps marijuana out of the hands of children by regulating the substance
What SAM Says
So are the claims made by proponents of Prop 64 accurate? Not according to information collected by Smart Approaches to Marijuana or SAM. This non-profit organization’s primary mission is to prevent another Big Tobacco through education about the potential dangers of marijuana legalization and the need for more scientific research on the risks the substance poses.
According to SAM, the claims made by Big Marijuana and the scientific facts to date just don’t add up:
- Legalization is not about the “War on Drugs,” but rather about making those poised to enter the marijuana industry wealthy. These industries also tend to target the poor and disenfranchised to increase profits.
- Claims that marijuana is not addictive have been disproven by science that has found one in every six 16-year-olds and one in every 11 adults that try marijuana will become addicted.
- The argument that many smart and successful have smoke marijuana has also been refuted by scientific evidence that shows regular marijuana users are six times more likely to drop out of school. Those that use the substance regularly before the age of 18 have been shown an IQ 6-8 points lower by the age of 38 than those that did not use marijuana.
- Contrary to what proponents say, marijuana can also be classified as a gateway drug. While it is true most people that smoke marijuana won’t go on to use other drugs, 99 percent of those addicted to other substances began by using alcohol or marijuana.
- Science is also discovering a distinct link between marijuana use and mental illness. One study published in the British Medical Journal found that teen girls that use the substance are five times more likely to suffer with depression and anxiety. Marijuana users are also six times more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and may have a higher risk for other mental disorders.
- There is also no truth to the idea that legalizing marijuana will keep it out of the hands of minors. A new report that assessed the impact of marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado found that the states have seen increases in marijuana use among youth and hospital visits involving younger children.
- Marijuana legalization will also make the streets more dangerous, contrary to claims use of the substance while driving would still be illegal and enforced. Both Washington and Colorado have seen increases in fatal car crashes related to marijuana use.
At Pasadena Recovery Center, we have seen firsthand the damage marijuana use and addiction can cause. We work with individuals every day that are struggling to overcome marijuana use and live a life of sobriety and productivity. If you or someone you love is dealing with marijuana abuse, contact us today at 866-663-3030.