Bera and Jones speak against legalization of marijuana


Democratic U.S. Rep. Ami Bera and his Republican challenger Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones participate in a debate for the highly competitive 7th Congressional District seat at the KVIE television studios in Natomas on Oct. 18. (Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Bee)

Robert Hansen

Congressman Ami Bera and Sheriff Scott Jones both said they do not support Proposition 64 during their debate on Tuesday at KVIE studio in Natomas.

Proposition 64 would legalize recreational use of in Calif. for adults over the age of 21.

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“I absolutely do not support Proposition 64,” Jones said. “I think that would be a horrible thing not just for this generation but for many future generations.”

Jones thinks that the potency of today’s marijuana is much stronger that it was 20 or 30 years ago and implied that most voters are not aware of this. He points to states such as Colorado and Washington as examples of the issues California may faced if Proposition 64 passes.

“We can look to Colorado, we can look to Washington, and look at the horrific results,” Jones said. “If you look at the increased incidents of emergency room visits by young people, if you look at increased incidents of driving while under the influence of marijuana … All voters have to do is see what happened in Colorado to predict what going to happen here.”

From 2014 to mid-2015, 956 emergency room visits per every 100,000 possibly involved exposure to marijuana according to a report from the state’s Department of Public Safety

According to Politico, Jack Reed, statistical analyst who prepared the report said, “Consequently, it is too early to draw any conclusions about the potential effects of marijuana legalization or commercialization on public safety, public health, or youth outcomes, and this may always be difficult due to the lack of historical data.”

Bera said he supports medical marijuana as a doctor although he has public health concerns centered around addiction. Nonetheless, Bera said that he will support the voters choice and that he supports criminal justice reform.

“I mean it’s up to the voters to decide and we should honor what the voters recommend,” Bera said. “I likely will vote no.”

Proposition 64 will be one of 17 California propositions on the ballot when voters go to the polls on Nov. 8.