Californians voted on Prop 215 in 1996 to provide marijuana to people with chronic illnesses for whom conventional medicines were not working satisfactorily. Now, some 18 years later, it is clear that the real motives was to make pot available for those who just want to get high, and driving force was those seeking money and/or power, with no consideration for the social costs.
In spite of a preponderance of scientific information of the adverse physical and mental impacts of marijuana, particularly on young people whose brains haven’t reached maturity, there are a few cases (i.e. estimated 2%) for whom the benefits may outweigh the harms. Since 1996, and particularly since 2009, every community in the state of California has been plagued with the curse of local dispensaries and cultivation sites which have led to increased youth usage of marijuana and all drugs.
Californians will undoubtedly be facing another proposition in the presidential election year of 2016. We have been told legalization is inevitable. The problems and corruption surrounding unregulated medical marijuana cannot be solved by legalizing marijuana. StopPot 2016 will provide a steady stream of education for the public in advance of the legalization proposition. Remember, Californians defeated a proposition to legalize marijuana in 2010, despite the fact that legalization advocates outspent the opposition by 10 to 1. Education can be stronger than money, as it was last time.
If people are never given the facts, they have no basis for making informed decisions. However if people are given the facts, many if not most will reject marijuana and the notion of legalization. Marijuana is not safer than alcohol. Its risks are somewhat different. The US has never been good at regulating underage drinking, so how can we be expected to regulate marijuana? Evidence shows that legalization in Colorado and Washington have been disastrous for those states, bringing in much less money than expected.
Parents, kids and the general public are largely unaware of the harms of today’s highly potent marijuana, and that it can cause permanent brain damage and loss of IQ, psychotic outbreaks, schizophrenia and paranoia, addiction, suicidal depression, etc. Recent evidence shows that, prior to full brain development, even smoking one or two joints a week can permanently alter a young person’s brain, with lifelong consequences.
Let’s work together to Stop Pot in 2016, in California and anywhere else that may be contemplating legalization.