Supervisors unanimously oppose recreational marijuana measure


SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution opposing Proposition 64, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California.

The vote was 4-0, with Supervisor Greg Cox absent.

“It’s a stark public safety reality that legalization of marijuana results in many negative consequences,” Vice Chair Dianne Jacob said. “It’s obvious, extremely obvious, that legalization of marijuana in Colorado has thus far been a disaster, especially for public safety, which has been this board’s priority.”

In the four states where marijuana has been legalized, marijuana-related traffic deaths, youth access to marijuana and related emergency department and hospital admissions have all risen dramatically, along with underground black market distribution and sales, according to San Diego County officials.

“As an elected official, I think it’s important that all the facts get out there and we try to educate the public on this very, very important issue that can have long-term ramifications for all of the citizens in the state of California,” Sheriff Bill Gore said. “Let’s learn from what has happened in Washington and Colorado and not make the same mistakes.”

Representatives from the sheriff’s office and district attorney gave a presentation to the board, laying out the negative impact recreational marijuana laws have had in states where cannabis use is legal.

Ten speakers in favor of the resolution spoke to the board, while three community members expressed their opposition to the resolution and support for legalizing marijuana.

“We know that the so-called war on drugs has disproportionately and severely impacted people of color,” said Martha Sullivan of Old Town. “Our prisons and jails are filled with people of color who were convicted of fairly minor marijuana offenses.”

Supporters contend passage of Prop. 64 — one of 17 statewide ballot measures that voters will consider in the Nov. 8 general election — would raise $1 billion in annual taxes that can fund drug education, prevention and treatment programs aimed at teens.