AAA Traffic Safety Leaders, Parents Rally to Oppose Prop 64 Across California

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AAA Traffic Safety Leaders, Parents Rally to Oppose
Prop 64 Across California as Marijuana-Related Driving Fatalities Increase

Rise in California Drugged Driving Sparks Community Advocacy Against Marijuana Legalization; Events today in Sacramento, Tomorrow in Los Angeles

Contact: Austin Galovski Email: [email protected] +1 (585) 305-4070

[Los Angeles, CA] – An October 4th rally, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Pacific and continuing through the afternoon on the Capitol steps in Sacramento, is being hosted by an organization of parents who have lost children due to marijuana use, Moms Strong. Subsequently, on October 5th, a Los Angeles summit hosted by the Automobile Club of Southern California will highlight the negative impacts of marijuana legalization, specifically discussing drugged driving in light of new data showing that nearly one in five California fatal automobile accidents involved marijuana use.

Since 2005, the percentage of California fatalities in which a driver tested positive for marijuana use has risen by 17%, and the rate of overall drivers who tested positive for marijuana increased 22%. The new data comes from a report conducted by the California High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

“Prop 64 is a gamble on the public’s safety, which isn’t a risk worth taking, especially when drug-impaired driving is on the rise,” said Kathy Sieck, the Auto Club’s senior vice president for public affairs.

“It is worrisome that five states this year, including California, are considering a far-reaching policy change that could have unintended consequences for traffic safety, the emergency medical system, law enforcement and the courts,” said AAA Director Jack Nelson.

The rise in California’s drugged driving rates mirrors that in other states, such as Colorado and Washington.

“We’re seeing increases in stoned driving in Washington and Colorado,” said Kevin Sabet, co-founder and president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “As of now, there is no field sobriety test for drugged driving, nor a legal standard to provide a baseline for enforcement. This is an undeniable public health issue, and I look forward to working with the Auto Club and AAA to facilitate constructive, public dialogue and inspire much-needed policy reform.”

The Auto Club Summit will include a press conference with Kevin Sabet, AAA and other leading professionals in law enforcement, public health and public policy. The press conference will take place during the Summit, with an 11 a.m. Pacific start time at the Peterson Automotive Museum entrance in Los Angeles.

The California community is beginning to recognize these potential drawbacks. Today, in addition to the Moms Strong rally, the Anaheim Police Department and Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action board member Ben Cort are hosting a panel to address issues with the existing legalization proposal.

On October 6th, Kevin Sabet will address the Red Ribbon Rally in San Diego.

“As it stands, Proposition 64 is a corporate free-for-all,” said Sabet. “We need to base our policy decisions on science and research, not addiction-for-profit.”

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