Supervisor Jacob Remarks - Prop. 64 Press Event

October 17, 2016

Good morning. We have our work cut out for us. Polls tell us right now that a lot of Californians back Proposition 64. So it’s important we get our message out loud and clear. 

To put it plainly, the legalization of recreational marijuana would be bad for public safety. It would be bad for our neighborhoods, our families. 

Our top law enforcement officials have taken a hard look at this issue and we have a clear track record to point to. Recreational marijuana in places like Colorado is taking a big toll on the public’s safety. 

Since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, marijuana-related traffic deaths are up 48 percent. Emergency room visits and hospital admissions related to marijuana have grown 49 percent. Marijuana usage among youth is up 20 percent.

Too many kids already have access to marijuana. The Office of National Drug Policy says the negative effects on our children can include respiratory illnesses, problems with learning and memory, increased heart rate, and impaired coordination.

Those problem would multiply if Prop. 64 becomes law. 

It would also make it harder to keep a lid on crime. California’s crime rate is already rising. Due to changes in state prison and parole programs, criminals are getting out before they should. 

Law enforcement is working hard to keep the peace. But as Colorado has found, that job will get even harder if they are also dealing with the negative impacts of recreational marijuana. 

Those favoring legalization like to tout the tax benefits. But Colorado had to create a huge, costly bureaucracy to deal with the impact.

So, let’s learn from Colorado, let’s learn from law enforcement.

Whatever tax windfall there might be, it won’t be worth the terrible price our communities will pay in terms of public safety, health and the impact on our children.