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.
In 2014, our country went cannabis crazy, bringing the number of states decriminalizing pot up to 18.
Regular marijuana use, particularly daily, affects motivation and ambition. An article in the Washington Post written by Paul Steinburg (a psychiatrist) noted that marijuana – perhaps more than other drugs – helps people care less. But caring is an important emotion, especially when it serves a crime deterrent.
When a state legalizes marijuana for recreational use, it has to impose taxes and fees on the sale to fulfill the promise of money for schools or extra law enforcement due to increased crime. Also indisputable is the fact that with legalization comes increased concern for law enforcement, more vehicle accidents in connection with marijuana use, and more deaths—either by suicide or homicide.
Susan Shapiro (a previous pot addict) wrote a column for the LA Times recalling from her time spent as a teacher how students from many backgrounds confessed that they “smoked a bowl” or “got ripped” and then got in a car accident, fell on subway tracks, had a wallet or cellphone stolen, were sexually assaulted or had a physical altercation that landed them in the hospital or jail.
Colorado marijuana-related traffic deaths Increased 92 percent from 2010–2014. During the same period, all traffic deaths only increased by 8 percent.
Overall, crime in Colorado has increased signifiantly since the drug was legalized recreationally in 2013. The latest government report shows an overall increase of 4.4 percent in 2015 from the previous year, which includes a 14.3 percent increase in homicide.
The FBI reports that the national crime rate decreased 4.3 percent from 2013 levels.
Shapiro also noted, that the weed of today is far stronger than in the past. President Obama admitted smoking marijuana as a teen and said it’s no worse than alcohol but hopes his daughters will avoid “the bad habit.” The new edible pot products can be 10 times stronger than a traditional joint, says a report in the New England Journal of Medicine. The strength of pot varies, and it’s impossible to predict its effect.
Focus on the Family is a family oriented ministry based out of Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized. They issued a report entitled The Allure of Legalizing Marijuana: Helping you Separate the Facts from Fiction. The report stated the following information:
■ Numerous reports of marijuana use in Colorado have led to episodes of psychotic activity and subsequent homicide or suicide including:
- After smoking marijuana, 18-year-old Daniel Juarez ran around wildly, stripped naked then stabbed himself with a knife 20 times killing himself.
- In 2014, Levy Pongi, a 19-year-old student, ingested marijuana edibles before acting irrationally, upending furniture in his hotel room, then running to the hotel balcony and jumping to his death.
- Kristine Kirk called 911 to report her husband was acting erratically after ingesting marijuana edibles. While she was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, her husband shot and killed her in front of their three children.
- Brant Clark, a 17-year-old high school student, committed suicide after ingesting large amounts of marijuana at a party and suffering major psychotic episodes requiring emergency care over a three day period. A suicide note said, “I wasn’t thinking the night I smoked myself out.”
- Luke Goodman fatally shot himself after ingesting marijuana. His family said he was acting irrationally after eating the drugged edibles.
- Nineteen-year-old Mark Chafant was allegedly trying to sell a bag of marijuana to other teenagers when he was shot and killed. Three juveniles were charged with the 2016 crime.
Marijuana use also doubles the risk of being in a car accident if you drive soon after smoking it, and it causes more car accidents than any other illicit drugs, according to Columbia University researchers. They found it contributed to 12% of traffic deaths in the U.S. in 2010, triple the rate of a decade earlier.
Proposition 64 would allow adults aged 21 years old or older in the state of California to possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes. Marijuana used even for these purposes would lead to soaring crime rates in California. Proposition 64 should be emphatically rejected.