When legalizing marijuana in the state of California, it is automatic to bring up Colorado and Washington, since it is legal there. Yet a person could also think of the old adage; If everyone jumped off a bridge would you?
California most likely would model the legality of marijuana similar to Colorado, so let us take a look at the Colorado law (Amendment 64) recently approved by voters. One ounce of marijuana is the allowable amount for personal use in Colorado, according to the Colorado Municipal League website.
The website also says “possessing, growing, processing or transporting no more than six marijuana plants, with three or more being matured” is legalalso. According to the web siteOregon.gov, a typical plant produces half a pound to a pound of marijuana.
It is time to do the math: according to asknumbers.com, onepound equals 16 ounces. So if you have three plants at a pound each then you can have 48 ounces. Can you see the conflict? The amendment says two different things and which do you think the public is going to go with? One ounce or 48ounces? The more the merrier saying comes to mind.
This leads to bigger issues in the amendment. Nowhere does it mention work rules. You can smoke five ounces of pot before driving school children on a bus and get away with it. Shouldn’t there be specific regulations for operating machinery or drivingvehicles? It is left up to the company to make these rules. This means school children, riders of public transportation, and all passengers in a vehicle driven by someone else is at risk of an accident.
On the national institute on drug abuse website it states that “According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths.”
According to drugfreecalifornia.com, marijuana is the leading cause of accidents in young people. There are 127 million current users of alcohol in America and, because of restrictive drug policies, only 15 million smoke marijuana. In spite of this, alcohol was only involved with 15 percentof injured drivers compared to marijuana at 26.9 percent Per capita, marijuana smokers cause 18 times more injury accidents than alcohol, according to drugfreecalifornia.com.
Do we want to just follow along with what the other states are doing or do we want to blaze a trail and keep people on the road safe? Pot smoking causes many people to get hurt every year, it is just not worth the hassle to have it be legalized.
Colorado Municipal League: http://www.cml.org/home.
national institute on drug abuse: http://www.drugabuse.gov/