Pubdate: Sat, 09 Jul 2016
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2016 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Christopher Cadelago


DAs Join Police Chiefs As Major Critics of Proposition 64

They Argue It Doesn't Protect 'Dangerously' Impaired Drivers

Proponents Counter That It Contains Numerous Safeguards

Opponents of a fall ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana 
grew Thursday when leading county prosecutors came out against Proposition 64.

The California District Attorneys Association's board of directors, 
by a unanimous vote, has moved to formalize their well-known distaste 
for legitimizing the drug. They join the California Police Chiefs 
Association as major law enforcement opponents of legalization.

Mark Zahner, the district attorneys group's chief executive, said the 
Nov. 8 measure "does nothing to help us keep dangerously impaired 
drivers from getting behind the wheel and injuring or killing 
innocent Californians."

Zahner said the measure also allows drug dealers to "infiltrate" the 
newly created marijuana industry, referring to a provision that 
permits people with certain drug felony convictions to apply for a 
license. And he added that it would weaken current regulations 
governing medical marijuana.

The legalization effort, supported by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, with 
major funding from billionaire entrepreneur Sean Parker, would allow 
adults 21 years and older to possess, use and share up to an ounce of 
marijuana, and to cultivate six pot plants. It's unclear how much of 
a campaign the prosecutors could wage. They also are opposed to Gov. 
Jerry Brown's criminal justice measure, Proposition 57.

Supporters believe the measure, the product of months of negotiations 
by diverse groups, would actually create a more tightly controlled 
marijuana market.

They have in the past countered criticism by pointing to sections of 
the initiative that would prohibit a license to anyone with prior 
offenses for certain drug trafficking or drug-related offenses 
involving minors. It also would include funding to establish and 
enforce a DUI program.

"File this under 'utterly predictable,' given this group's historic 
right-leaning bias on these issues," said Jason Kinney, a spokesman 
for the Proposition 64 campaign.

"The fact is, their opposition is wildly out-of-step with an 
increasing majority of Californians, who believes that marijuana 
prohibition and incarceration are costly and discredited policies 
that aren't keeping anyone safer."
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