No on Prop 64, Says Op Ed Signed by Sheriff Downey, EPD Chief and More

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Money and marijuana feature

“Proposition 64 is patently profit-motivated and puts what many would label “greed weed” before the best interests of the public.”

Chief Andrew Mills sent the following piece to local news media with this explanation, “This op-ed was written by Steve Watson on behalf of the undersigned police executives and educators.”

Proposition 64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative, will go before voters on November 8. Prop 64 permits adult recreational use, commercial cultivation, manufacturing, transportation and sales. We stand united and strongly opposed to Proposition 64. Please join law enforcement associations, educators, and other organizations across the state in emphatically stating, “They got it wrong, again!”

Regardless of your stance on legalization, or belief the end of “cannabis prohibition” is inevitable, Proposition 64 is not the answer for California. We believe this special interest-driven initiative is ill-timed, short-sighted, and irresponsible. Proposition 64 is patently profit-motivated and puts what many would label “greed weed” before the best interests of the public.

Proposition 64 does not protect our children.

Young people who smoke today’s highly potent marijuana may be rewiring their brains. The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes legalizing marijuana noting cannabis can be “very harmful to adolescent health and development.” Research indicates there may be a causal link between marijuana use and an increase in serious mental health issues among children, such as triggering the onset and intensifying the symptoms of schizophrenia. Mental health professionals in Humboldt County have noted a rise in acute disorders among children to which some ascribe to marijuana exposure. According to Dr. Garry Eagles, Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools, “In Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, roughly 1 in 5 students, or 20.3%, is receiving some form of special education support.  The participation rate in our two counties is almost double the state-wide average for special education of 10.4%.”

Potent edibles attractively packaged like goodies pose a danger to our children. One medical center in Colorado recently reported their hospital has seen a 51% increase in the number of children 18 years and younger being treated in its emergency rooms for marijuana-related conditions over the past two years. A Pueblo hospital recently shared statistics reporting nearly half of babies born in that hospital during one month tested positive for THC—the main psychoactive component in cannabis.

Proposition 64 does not do enough to protect our highways.

Stoned drivers are a risk to all drivers. Legalization in other states has resulted in more DUI drivers and a significant increase in deadly crashes. According to recent research released by the AAA Foundation for Highway Safety, fatal vehicle collisions involving marijuana-impaired drivers have doubled in Washington State since legalization in 2012. Colorado has also seen a spike in marijuana-related traffic fatalities and impaired drivers. Under Proposition 64, California can expect to see the same trend.

California currently has no established DUI testing standard for stoned driving and Proposition 64’s proponents failed to include one in their measure. Responsible governance and common sense would prescribe that a DUI testing standard be in place before legalization.

Proposition 64 does not do enough to protect the public’s health and welfare.

When you consider California’s expansive campaign against Big Tobacco, Proposition 64 appears blatantly hypocritical and counters much of the progress California has made to improve public health. How can you have a public health policy that vilifies tobacco use but implicitly encourages folks to smoke a joint?

Post-legalization, some Colorado prosecutors have described seeing an increase in marijuana connected crime including the last 10 of 15 drug-related murders in Aurora, according to a May 2016 report. But one has to look no further than the cannabis capital of the country, Humboldt County, to recognize the violence inextricably intertwined with the pot trade. Humboldt County’s homicide rate has increased steadily since 2012 with 19 homicides so far this year. The county’s per-capita homicide rate (rate per 100,000 population) over the past two years was nearly double that of the state’s mean rate. Most of these homicides are believed to be drug-related. Ten of 15 cases in 2015 involved drugs according to the Humboldt County Chief Deputy Coroner, and Sheriff Mike Downey publically attributed “most” of the homicides his office investigated in 2014 to their connection with “marijuana and other drugs.”

As the new “Wild West Green Rush” intensifies with legalization, an increase in marijuana-related violent crimes, DUI fatalities, and public nuisance complaints can be predicted–negatively impacting public health and safety, quality of life, tourism and businesses. Proposition 64 is the wrong initiative, at the wrong time, for the wrong motive. We urge patience so Californians can make a more informed and responsible decision. Let’s be smart, wait on legalization, and allow time for California to watch and learn from other states’ post-legalization woes.

If we were to brand Proposition 64 after a popular cannabis strain, we’d dub it “Trainwreck.” Vote NO on 64.

Dr. Fred Van Vleck, Superintendent of Eureka Public Schools

Michael Downey, Sheriff of Humboldt County

William Damiano, Chief of Probation, Humboldt County

Bret Smith, Chief of Police, Ferndale

Andrew Mills, Chief of Police, Eureka

William Honsal, Undersheriff, Humboldt County

Brian Stephens, Captain, Eueka Police Department

Steve Watson, author and Captain, Eureka Police Department



  • End the madness.
    YES on 64.

  • I’m voting yes, and this letter isn’t going to stop me.

  • Why does this letter not surprise me? af

  • You had me at vote no due to the greed. Political greed that is.
    You lost me at vote no due to the fearmongering propaganda spewed forth. Did the cute little ALA & tobacco free kids drop off some handy propaganda memo’s? They do pimp for big pharma I hope you know.
    I’m still voting no, due to the political greed. The 215 patients & mom & pop’s deserve respect, not a wild wild west political showdown.
    If you want to reach the masses, try listening to the real doctors who research, not the spin doctors.
    Oh, btw, in case anybody has been following the CARB doctor case. Dr. Enstom was vindicated, awarded top honors from the freedom group and is now helping to write legislator bills against the phoney carbon scare. It was his study that was spun into carb tax hell, & he’s battled them from day one. There is no such thing as diesel & second hand smoke boogeyman. You’ll never hear it in the media though, it goes against the narrative.

    • First, voting yes, give local governments the ability to Levi heavy taxes, and in return get rich. Voting no, gives law enforcement the power to continue to bust people. Since most of the time the accused will take a plea deal, the “evidence ” never makes it to court. This leaves an opening for law enforcement to make some extra bucks. It’s a catch 22. However, if legalized, law enforcement would have to spend their time and money to solve other types of crime. Also, legalization would help to relieve some pressure on our jails and prisons. It would cost us taxpayers less money in the prosecution and housing of said criminals. There is obviously a lot more to this. I don’t have the time to explain all the pros and cons for or against legalization. Either way someone will benefit financially, and it’s not going to be the citizens.

      • In Chicago, they called it the Mafia or Extortion payment plan.

      • Henchman Of Justice

        Either way, folks will get arrested.

        Unfortunately, laws are designed to ensure mass confusions and the ability to arrest.

        Yes, or no, arrests will occur bigtime.

        Only full decriminalization without political coat tails dragging down consumers under a swathe of laws will resolve most issues.

        There should be nothing at all restricting you from planting, growing, producing, consuming your own personal pot.

        Cops – centuries of smoking weed, decades of smoking weed, then driving…..never a problem until prop 64……dui for pot…..laughable, as if cheeches and chong’s are up in smoke everywhere…..have you ever seen any data on a dui that claims “other than, but not tested for yet scientifically?”

        So, in a black market only, no public information collision data that can connect dui to pot, but legalize, and now it is a public health concern…..the twisted games by insiders is pathetic.

        …….as if data is gonna show a dramatic increase of overall users post legalization, when really it is just factions of the black market industry “coming out openly.”

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Time for a prop that tests cops for steroids and the brain damage they cause.

  • I wonder what the numbers are as compared with alcohol. How many kids had alcohol related hospital visits, and newborns test positive for it. Or nicotine? But I bet they don’t get the money to bust underage drinking and smoking that they get for that schedule 1….

  • I wonder how much money the sheriffs office is gonna lose with out their raids?

    • Pooh Daddy = in Humboldt county there is a very high incidence of Pos Tox babies born for all kinds of drugs, Pot, Meth, Heroin, Benzos, you name it and any combination thereof. Truth be told, many of these babies go home with their mommies if they aren’t so bad off they need detox, locally or flown out of the area for a higher level of care.

    • Honeydew Bridge Chump

      Enough for the secretary to take a dictation and spam local media is my guess.

  • I’m not decided yes or no on Prop 64 but I do agree heartily with paragraph #2 stating that smoking weed re-wires adolescent and teen age brains. Some of this is newer research and if you can convince YOUR teenager (or any others) to not smoke weed or drink alcohol habitually (at the very least) until at least 18 yrs old or 21 is even better, especially on a daily basis, it’s a great idea to do so. By not becoming a habitual consumer at a young age gives our young the opportunity to make more informed decisions and hopefully get some education about the science of their brain and how it is effected by smoking or ingesting drugs and alcohol on a regular basis. Often, that they mix the street drugs and pharmaceuticals which is another part of the equation making permanent rewiring of their brains so that it is a need of them to use, not as much of a choice. All of it combined is a great influence of the Dumbing Down of America. Look around our local communities and observe the many young adults that have nothing more than growing weed, trimming, and partying to pad their resumes with as their accomplishments.

    • Our county reps all of American youth? Cool dude!

    • Henchman Of Justice

      “I’m not decided yes or no on Prop 64 but I do agree heartily with paragraph #2 stating that smoking weed re-wires adolescent and teen age brains. Some of this is newer research and if you can convince YOUR teenager (or any others) to not smoke weed or drink alcohol habitually (at the very least) until at least 18 yrs old or 21 is even better, especially on a daily basis, it’s a great idea to do so.”


      At preteen ages, kids begin transforming into adulthood.

      At some point, their brains (kids are allowed to have their own brain too and adults can’t do jack shit on that human rights level – kids on pot is not as bad as the melodrama fanatics politicize) are no longer the brains of the public domain (politics using “children props”), afterall, most folks not into borg mentalitists (mentalists).

      As far as dui, why would cops need another reason when profiling dui……pot overly used is not causing impairments any different than other drugs or alcohol, so nothing new is needed to unconstitutionally pull over a driver when the policies to profile already allow for pot dui profiling based on already known effects.

      Ridiculousness by insider types to hijack a public process with misleading data and propagandas.

  • I don’t like prop 64 either, but there is no reason to lie about why. Wonder what they think about this report:

    Legal Marijuana Hasn’t Caused Any Of The Problems Opponents Said It Would

  • “”The data seem to suggest that smoking might produce some clinical benefits for some patients by increasing the availability of receptor targets for nicotine in the brain,” commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor ofBiological Psychiatry. “This finding adds to evidence that brain nicotine-related signaling might play a role for new medications developed to treat schizophrenia.”

    Tax that nicotine, tax that weed, tax their shoes and tax their feet.
    By banning & increasing costs, people have to turn to pharmacueticals.
    The monopoly is easily implemented.

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Tobacco versus weed health arguments and legalization impacts… many hipocritical facts by gubbamint and private sector cronies, it is a festive buzzkill for taxes based on VAT designs and crony lies (even misrepresentative lies by locals like the THC’s, the Chiv types, Tuluwat Examiner types, LOCO types, Mad River Union types, etc….. – all accomplices to shit stirring the vat design and political lies, but at the local level).

  • I find it interesting how Sheriff Downey attended all those dumb CCVH meetings professing that change in marijuana laws was not only inevitable but neccesary to alleviate the burden his office faces. It shows that old Mike must be getting dementia already. Because this press release is in direct opposition of what he was wagging his tail for. I personally am a staunch opponent to this proposition. Have been since day one. But old Mike is definitely whistiling a different tune now. Thats Barney Fife for ya.
    I personally prefer the days of Sheriff Dave Renner, Dennis “pepper spray” Lewis, Gary Philp. They at least put their cards on the table and didn’t bluff.

  • These local cops wanna keep their protection racket and easy theft going…

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Yes or no, the racketeering will continue after the “shift on the fly” mobilization for politicization.

  • PROP 64 is BAD LAW! I gotta say I’m in bed with the sheriff but for very different reason. PROP 215 is a 2 page Initiative called ‘The Compassionate Use Act’ which cannot be changed or altered by the legislature and affords legal medical protections and this is in serious jeopardy if ‘The Adult Use Act’ passes folks!
    Keep the Greedy Corporate Monasanto madness out of cannabis legalization.

  • I’ll bet you 100 percent of the murders involve alcohol.

  • These are hardly convincing reasons to vote against the proposition, the same tired and largely unsupported statements that have been used by opponents of legalization for years. There might be reasons to vote No, but they’re not to be found in this press release.

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