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California Pro-Pot Group Files Suit Over Opposition Peddling ‘Obvious Falsehoods’

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Craig Boudreau Vice Reporter
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A pro-marijuana organization in California has filed suit with the Sacramento Superior Court over what they say are “obvious falsehoods” their opposition actively promotes.

Californians will be voting in November on whether or not to legalize marijuana for recreational use in what is known as “Prop 64.” The “Yes On 64” campaign has filed a lawsuit against an opposition group known as “No On 64,” hoping to get language on an informational pamphlet either stricken completely or amended, The Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

“[T]he ballot arguments submitted with a straight face by the opponents fundamentally and factually misrepresent this ballot measure and are riddled with obvious falsehoods,” spokesman for the Yes On 64 campaign Jason Kinney told The Los Angeles Times.

Tim Rosales, spokesman for No On 64, told TheDCNF filing suits on initiatives “is pretty standard fair, it’s political gamesmanship.” He also believes that it’s a sign that Yes On 64 supporters know they’re losing.

Among the claims Yes On 64 disputes is that children “will be exposed to ads promoting marijuana gummy candy and brownies.” Something they say the initiative specifically addresses. Prop 64 “mandates that marijuana and marijuana products cannot be advertised or marketed towards children,” according to the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, also known in it’s shortened form as the Adult Use Of Marijuana Act (AUMA).

“This statement is false and misleading,” respondents to the lawsuit write. “[B]oth because the initiative allows TV advertising and because federal law does not prohibit the airing of marijuana ads in states that have legalized it.” They go on to say “Proposition 64 does not ban advertising toward children, it merely ‘regulates’ advertising directed at children.”

Another claim questioned in the suit is “states with legalized marijuana have less youth marijuana use.”

Something the respondents claim, again, is not accurate. “This statement is false and misleading because the data actually indicate an increase in marijuana use among minors compared to pre-legalization, the national average, and California.”

The AUMA says legalization will raise several hundred millions dollars of revenue per year, some of which will go to “restoring and repairing the environment, youth treatment and prevention, community investment, and law enforcement.”

Roger Morgan, director of Stop Pot 2016, told TheDCNF the language of the AUMA is poorly written, and that the promised revenue “will never get to the programs” it’s supposed to. He is also skeptical that it will even “come anywhere near” the amount estimated.

“They got it wrong in 2010 and they got in wrong in 2016,” Rosales concluded, noting the failed attempt at legalization in 2010.

Yes On 64 did not respond to TheDCNF’s calls or emails.

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