Proposition 64 is very similar to laws passed in Washington and Colorado. Marijuana impact reports from those states indicate that marijuana related traffic deaths almost doubled after passage. Driving under the influence citations increased 45 percent in one year.
Supporters of Prop. 64 state that it will reduce the use of marijuana by adolescents. The impact reports indicate that adolescent use did not go down. It did go up in some groups. School expulsions and suspensions increased by 40 percent after passage of recreational marijuana.
Seizures of marijuana among adolescents increased to 74 percent up from 29 percent prior to passage. A University of Colorado study showed that three out of four adolescents in a marijuana treatment program obtained their marijuana from diverted legal sources (parents, family members, friends). Eighteen percent obtained theirs from the black market, which did not go away.
Supporters of Prop. 64 also try to assure us that trafficking will go down. This did not happen in Colorado, where the impact reports show that after passage marijuana interdictions increased 36 percent in one year alone. Youth aged 12-17 accounted for 74 percent of all marijuana seizures in 2014.
Julius Metts, M.D., Visalia
James Horspoole, M.D., Visalia