Legalizing Recreational Marijuana a Hot Topic at South Bay Conference | NBC Bay Area
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Legalizing Recreational Marijuana a Hot Topic at South Bay Conference

Prop 64, which would legalize pot for recreational use for people over 21 in California, is among 15 state measures on the November ballot.

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    The legalization of recreational marijuana in California was a hot topic at a South Bay conference. Damian Trujillo reports. (Published Friday, Sept. 9, 2016)

    The legalization of recreational marijuana in California was a hot topic at a South Bay conference.

    Prop 64, which would legalize pot for recreational use for people over 21 in California, is among 15 state measures on the November ballot.

    On Friday, undercover drug agents from the Bay Area, along with health experts and prosecutors examined what legalized marijuana has done to states like Washington, Oregon and Colorado, which legalized pot four years ago.

    "If you look at the data, it's absolutely causing problems," said Chelsey Clarke with the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, a federal agency.

    The Rocky Mountain HIDTA just published its fourth report on the Colorado impact of legalized marijuana.

    "You look at all the categories regards to impaired driving, traffic fatalities, ER hospitalization," Clarke said. "All are starting to show toward the negative with the legalization."

    Patrick Vanier, who heads the Santa Clara County District Attorney's drug prosecution team, said "the data is very troubling and something that California should take a look at."

    Sean Kali-Rai, a pot dispensary consultant, attended the conference to represent most of San Jose's legal pot dispensaries.

    "I think its good," Kali-Rai said. "Education at all levels for police officers, city staff, anyone in the industry. It's all about educating."

    Proponents of Prop 64 said it creates a safe and comprehensive system for adult use of pot, while protecting children. In addition, Prop 64 would generate lots of tax revenue for the state, proponents said.

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