Pubdate: Sun, 5 Sep 2010
Source: San Bernardino Sun (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles Newspaper Group
Author: Rodney G. Jones
Note: Rodney G. Jones is Fontana's chief of police.
Cited: Proposition 19
Bookmark: (Opinion)
Bookmark: (Proposition 19)


The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, now known as 
Proposition 19, is on the ballot for the upcoming November election. 
As a police chief I encourage you to review the initiative and join 
me in voting "no."

Regardless of your opinion concerning medical marijuana, this 
initiative is poorly written and passage would be dangerous to our 
residents and could be catastrophic to our already fragile state 
economy. The California voters passed the Compassionate Use Act in 
1996 (Proposition 215) providing marijuana for medical patients who 
suffer from a predetermined list of ailments. A few years later the 
Medical Marijuana Program Act (Proposition 420) was passed which 
codified some of the provisions of medical marijuana specific to the 
identification of people in need.

Proposition 19 takes us a step too far!

Proposition 19 is a complete legalization of marijuana for personal 
use and has absolutely no impact on the current laws providing 
medical marijuana to people in need. In their haste to legalize 
marijuana for everyone, the drafters of Proposition 19 failed to 
consider the ramifications of some of the provisions of their initiative.

As written, the law prohibits employers from imposing any 
disciplinary action on employees who are under the influence unless 
actual impairment can be shown. Take a moment to think of the variety 
of professions which require some form of drug testing - commercial 
vehicle operators, heavy machinery users, or the defense industry. 
Employers would have no recourse to discipline an employee for a positive test.

The Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires recipients of a 
federal grant or contract of over $100,000 to maintain a drug-free workplace.

Literally billions of dollars could be lost from our state economy if 
this proposition passes as all Californians would cease to be 
eligible due to their inability to comply with this mandatory federal 

The preamble of this initiative states the intention is not to affect 
the application or enforcement of a variety of laws that relate to 
controlled substance use impacting public safety. If their intention 
is such, why begin with, "Notwithstanding any other provision of law ?"

Let's not make the same mistake twice.

The legalization of marijuana has been attempted before and it failed 
horribly. In 1975 personal possession in Alaska was allowed by the 
Alaska Supreme Court for adults at least 19 years old. Studies showed 
that marijuana use among 12- to 17-year-old children doubled. In 1990 
the residents of Alaska demonstrated their frustration by voting to 
"recriminalize" personal possession of marijuana.

Drug use increases crimes. Six times as many homicides are committed 
by people under the influence of drugs. A 1997 FBI study found 24 
percent of people who attacked our law enforcement officers were 
under the influence at the time of the attack and 72 percent had a 
history of drug abuse. Quoting a study from the National Center on 
Addiction and Substance Abuse: "Drugs like marijuana, heroin and 
cocaine are not dangerous because they are illegal; they are illegal 
because they are dangerous."

A "no" vote on Proposition 19 protects our children, our economy, and 
our safety. Don't fall for the rhetoric offered by the proponents of 
Proposition 19. Read the initiative, educate yourself as to the facts 
of the initiative, and join me in defeating this very dangerous initiative. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake