Prop 64: Do voters in other states regret legalizing it? - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Prop 64: Do voters in other states regret legalizing it?

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The presidential campaign is not the only big item on the ballot this year. Proposition 64 would legalize marijuana in California and it's currently leading in the latest polls - but is it good for the state?

While several politicians and organizations favor Prop 64, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore has come out against the proposition.

If California voters legalize recreational marijuana use, Sheriff Gore fears statistics regarding DUI fatal accidents will only get worse.

"Traffic fatalities from impaired marijuana smokers are up 50-percent in Colorado. They're up 100-percent in Washington state," he said.

The sheriff has actively been campaigning against Prop 64, and he said even if passed, it can still affect non-users.

"Insurance rates have gone up 15-percent in Colorado because of impaired driving. Prop 64 is not a vote on whether or not marijuana exists. It's a vote on how we will best control it," said Sheriff Gore.

He also said it's a myth the approval of Prop 64 will free up law enforcement's time to handle other crimes and eliminate drug cartels.

Gore is fighting an uphill battle because the latest polls show a majority of voters support Prop 64.

Margaret Dooley-Sammuly works with the ACLU and said Prop 64 is expected to generate revenue for law enforcement and help reduce racial profiling.

"People of color are much more likely to be stopped and arrested for marijuana offenses - even though whites and people of color consume marijuana at equivalent rates," she said.

Sheriff Gore said he also concerned children will get their hands on marijuana cookies and brownies - not realizing what is inside.

The ACLU believes parents will be responsible like they are with alcohol and prescription drugs in the privacy of their homes.

Voters in four states have already legalized marijuana for recreational use. A recent poll showed more than 50-percent of voters in Colorado and Washington would vote to pass the legislation again.

In Washington, five percent of voters who voted yes in 2012 said they would now vote no, but 14-percent who voted no in 2012, would now vote yes.

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