News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

City comes out against marijuana measure

SOLANA BEACH — Solana Beach joined the growing list of Proposition 19 opponents after council members adopted a resolution at the Oct. 13 meeting stating the city does not support the measure to legalize various marijuana-related activities in the state.
Most law enforcement agencies, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and several city councils, attorney associations and chambers of commerce are among the many organizations that have taken a stand against the initiative.
The League of California Cities opposes Proposition 19 based on concerns about the potential increase in crime and an unsatisfactory experience with medical marijuana implementation. The San Diego County board of supervisors called the measure “poorly written and dangerous.”
The request to oppose the proposition came from the San Dieguito Alliance for a Drug Free Youth.
“Those of us who serve young people are gravely concerned about adding yet another drug to this arsenal of harm that teens can experience in their choice making,” Judi Strang, the organization’s executive director, said.
According to one study, 77 percent of youngsters in adolescent treatment programs in San Diego County indicated marijuana is their first drug of choice, Strang said.
An annual survey by the San Diego Association of Governments reveals that one-third of adult arrestees are under the influence of marijuana at the time of their arrest, she said.
“For the arrestees interviewed here, marijuana was the first substance used by many, starting about two to three years earlier than binge drinking, on average,” Strang read from the report. “Early use of marijuana, before the age of 14, was related to other drug use later in life.
“In the prevention community, research tells us that two things that drive the choice to use alcohol, tobacco and drugs are the availability and the perception of harm,” she said. “We are concerned that Prop. 19 will increase the availability of marijuana and decrease the perception of harm.”
If passed during the Nov. 2 election, the proposition would allow local governments to regulate and tax the commercial production, distribution and sale of marijuana. It would also permit people 21 and older to possess, cultivate or transport the drug for personal use.
It would prohibit people from possessing marijuana on school grounds, using it in public or smoking it while minors are present. Selling it would remain illegal under federal law.
Supporting the measure are the cities of Oakland and Berkeley, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and San Diego, the California NAACP and a handful of labor unions.