James Lambert
Legalization of recreational pot will have negative consequences in California & potentially rest of US
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By James Lambert
December 12, 2016

Full legalization of recreational marijuana has for several years negatively impacted the state of Colorado, where it was legalized in 2012. Last November many voters in California either didn't care or chose not to investigate the damage it has done to Colorado. California approved (by a margin of 1.5 million, or 56%) proposition 64 which not only legalized pot (for those 21 years or older) but also:
  • Allows marijuana growers / distributors to advertise their product on California television and radio programing. While television and radio advertising of cigarettes is still illegal, pot smoking advertising is now legal.

  • Proposition 64 allows residents to grow upwards of 6 marijuana plants in each house or apartment. 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.

  • Other products of pot can be sold, (such as candy, etc.) that can cause potential harm to younger age groups.
California voters and many Democrat legislators have, for the most part, ignored the negative data that has come from the state of Colorado since recreational pot was legalized 4 years ago. Those negative consequences include the following:
  • Drug related student suspensions have increased by 32% in Colorado.

  • College age pot users' account for 26.8% of college students in the state compared to 18.9% in other states on average according to surveys.

  • Marijuana induced DUI has increased by 32+% since legalization of pot in Colorado. This explains why so many California police departments endorsed a NO vote on proposition 64 in their state.

  • 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 near-by 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 & 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 6 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 70s.
While the Democrat party in San Diego openly endorsed pot legalization, they ignored the pleas of liberal U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein who opposed proposition 64. Non-profit groups such as www.MarijuanaHarmsFamilies.com worked diligently to educate the public of the dangers of legalizing pot in whatever venues they could. Financially the No on proposition 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 recreational pot legalization and refused to speak out against prop. 64. Only a few ministers took a stand against this dangerous proposition.

The public voted for Prop. 64 this last November and recreational pot is now legal in our state. The cost of legalizing recreational pot will far out-weigh the tax revenue that its sale will bring in. Colorado has clearly demonstrated this. I am now deeply concerned about our society, about our younger generation and the negative impact this drug will have on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Californians.

© James Lambert

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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James Lambert

James Lambert has a broad business background. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon), Lambert pursued a career in banking by working in various management capacities for Crocker Bank, San Diego Trust & Savings Bank and First Interstate Bank (between 1973 and 1995). By 1990 Lambert received his Master in Business Administration from National University (San Diego). For 3 years, Lambert also taught Finance at Mira Costa Community College... (more)

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