Doctors Endorse Marijuana Legalization

A California doctors' group just endorsed marijuana legalization.
A California doctors' group just endorsed marijuana legalization.
Gustavo Turner/L.A. Weekly

California's potent police associations say marijuana legalization is bad for all of us.

But those most concerned with our health, doctors, are endorsing a bid to legitimize the use of recreational pot.

Today the California Academy of Preventive Medicine (CAPM) became the second statewide physicians group to endorse the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, also known as Proposition 64.

It joins the California Medical Association in backing the November ballot initiative, which would allow those 21 and older to hold up to an ounce of weed. The measure also would regulate cannabis retailing and, through a 15 percent tax on all marijuana sales, would send cash to law enforcement, youth drug intervention programs, substance abuse treatment groups, mental health organizations and others.

"Proposition 64 is a thoughtful, comprehensive measure based on sound, evidence-based science that will protect public health and fund vital health programs for California’s youth," said CAPM legislative director Donald Lyman. "Now that Gov. Brown and the California Legislature have regulated medical marijuana, California needs a new and safe approach to controlling and regulating adult-use marijuana — one that ends improper diversion by healthy adults into the medical system, one that allows for evidence-based clinical research into the effects of cannabis and one that protects children and funds proven public health programs."

Opponents, including the California Police Chiefs Association, have argued that legalization will increase teen pot use, drugged driving and the presence of weed shops in your neighborhoods.

The campaign for 64, of course, disagrees. In a statement, organizers said the bill "includes strong safeguards for children, workers, local governments and small businesses and strict anti-monopoly provisions and the toughest warning label and marketing-to-kids laws in the nation."

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