Full legalization of recreational marijuana has for several years negatively impacted the state of Colorado, where it was legalized in 2012. Nevertheless, almost eight million voters in California either didn't care – or chose not to investigate the damage to Colorado – when in November they approved Proposition 64 with 57 percent of the 14 million votes that were cast.
In addition to legalizing pot for those 21 years or older, Prop. 64 also:
- Allows marijuana growers/distributors to advertise their product on California television and radio programing. (Note: While television and radio advertising of cigarettes is still illegal, advertising of recreational pot is now legal.)
- Allows residents to grow up to six marijuana plants in each house or apartment. (Note: The growing of pot in residences can potentially damage the interior of homes and rental properties. Home insurance companies will not cover this type of damage. Landlords, however, still retain the right to include restrictions on pot use and growth in rental properties.)
- Allows other pot-related products to be sold (e.g., candy) (Note: Such products can cause potential harm to younger age groups.)
Liberal voters and Democratic legislators in California have, for the most part, ignored the negative data that has emanated from Colorado since recreational pot was legalized four years ago. Among those negative consequences are:
- Drug-related student suspensions have increased by 32 percent in Colorado.
- College-age pot users account for 26.8 percent of college students in the state compared to an average of 18.9 percent in other states, according to surveys.
- Marijuana-induced DUI has increased by almost a third since legalization of pot in Colorado – which explains why so many police departments in California encouraged a NO vote on Prop. 64.
- The State of Colorado has set up a division of tourism that actually encourages people to travel to the state to buy recreational marijuana. Out-of-state anti-pot proponents fiercely oppose this because it naturally encourages people in nearby states where pot is still illegal to break the law. Most doctors agree that pot use is extremely harmful to young adults; especially those 25 and younger, who are at the age where marijuana use can harm the development of the brain. It is also well known to most people who are familiar with the drug that it is extremely addictive to many people. Federal government statistics told us six years ago (before Oregon, Colorado, and Colorado legalized the drug) that there were at least 1.5 million people being treated for pot addiction that they were aware of. It is also well known that today's pot is much stronger and significantly more potent than the pot of the 1970s.
While the Democratic Party in San Diego openly endorsed pot legalization, they ignored the pleas of liberal U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein who opposed Prop. 64. Non-profit groups such as MarijuanaHarmsFamilies.com worked diligently to educate the public on the dangers of legalizing pot in whatever venues they could. Financially the "No On Prop. 64" advocates were outmatched by liberal pro-pot campaigns, financed by billionaires such as George Soros.
Unfortunately many in the clergy turned a blind eye to the negative consequences of legalizing recreational pot and refused to speak out against the dangerous proposition. In fact, only a few ministers took a stand against it.
The situation in Colorado has clearly demonstrated that the cost of legalizing recreational pot far outweighs the tax revenue that its sale will generate. But even with that knowledge, voters made recreational pot use legal in the Golden State – and now hundreds of thousands of its citizens, particularly the younger generation, will suffer the negative impact this drug can have on their lives.
James L. Lambert, an occasional contributor to OneNewsNow, is author of "16 Amazing Stories of Divine Intervention."
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