SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - California voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use and critics of Proposition 64 have a strong message about the potency of today's pot and its effects on teens.

According to advocates who fight to prevent marijuana use among teens, if voters approve recreational marijuana pot use, dispensaries could give youth greater access to the drug.

It's a public health issue not a political issue, according to opponents of Prop 64.

On Thursday night, the North Coastal Prevention Council hosted a forum on marijuana prevention among teens. According to them, in San Diego three-percent of seventh graders and 16-percent of 11th graders admitted to using marijuana in the past month.

"Parents need to be aware this is not the same drug they may have dabbled with in the 70's and 80's," said Joe Eberstein with the Marijuana Prevention Initiative.

Researchers said today's pot is more potent and the THC is much stronger and dangerous.

The message that marijuana is dangerous for kids is absorbing with teens, but many still have a liberal view.

"My job as a parent in this community is to make sure all these kids are informed," said Collen Hervey, Rancho Buena Vista High School PTSA President.

Marijuana reformers argue Prop 64 will remove the black market filled with drug dealers who are already pushing other hard drugs on teens.