Marijuana Legalization Debated at CSUF, Local Christian College and Newport Beach Hotel

Recent polls show marijuana legalization will go down in flames in California on Nov. 2, while some interpreting those surveys claim many voters saying no to pollsters will punch yes to Prop 19 once inside the voting booth, paving the way to victory.

The votes of undecideds will be critical. Fortunately, they can feed their heads about the pros and cons of legalization this week at such unlikely venues as a Newport Beach hotel and two local universities, one of which is Christian.

Just Say Now, which is pushing for legalization in several states, does not see gloom and doom in the latest polls that show Prop 19 will lose Nov. 2 because not enough young voters will turn out for a mid-term election.

According to Just Say Now, poll results are different when one compares what respondents tell a live questioner (no on 19, 46 percent to 41 percent) versus what they say to an automated interviewer (yes on 19, 56 percent to 41 percent). That would indicate, when alone in the polling booth, most voters will support Prop 19, according to Just Say Now.

Because the vote could come down to the wire, more efforts are being launched to reach undecided voters. Just Say Now recently announced it is teaming up with the Denver, Colorado-based Women's Marijuana Movement for a phone-bank campaign blitz in favor of legalization in California.

You can learn about the pros and cons of legalization from
the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM), which presents a free discussion about whether marijuana is addictive, what legalization will mean to the health of Californians and what it all means for children.

Timmen Cermak
Panelists include: CSAM president Dr. Timmen Cermak, who speaks on the basic research of marijuana and health; Center for Addiction Research Dr. Alan Budney, who provides the latest clinical data on marijuana use, dependence, withdrawal and treatment; University of Cincinnati Dr. Krista Medina, who presents important research on the effects of marijuana on adolescents; and Dr. J. Hampton Atkinson, co-director of the Medical Cannabis Research Center, who gives an overview of research on medicinal characteristics of cannabis, including the potential for future cannabinoid based medications. (Dr. Judy Martin, past president of CSAM, will be available to translate into Spanish.)

This runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel. Know that the California Society of Addiction Medicine has taken a neutral position on Prop 19 and only intends to educate California voters about the science of marijuana and the brain. For more information, go to

(If you want to bone up before the presentation, CSAM suggests checking out these articles: "Californians Must Look at Science of Marijuana," San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 22, 2010; and "Marijuana's Health Effects," Los Angeles Times, Oct. 5, 2010.)

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