California voters will decide Tuesday if marijuana should be legalized in the Golden State for recreational purposes.
Former addict James Lambert is fighting the legalization of marijuana in his state through the organization Marijuana Harms Families. He said it is critical to stop weed from being legalized because he believes California would become the drug dealer for the entire country should the bill pass.
"I hope people will vote no on Prop 19 because if they don't, this state is going down the tubes very quickly," Lambert said.
With the election Nov. 2, Lambert said he is disappointed that more pastors aren't speaking out against the measure.
"Why are pastors in America skipping out?" he asked. "Most of the Protestant church is silent on this."
The latest statistics on marijuana use have Lambert and others concerned:
- 1.2 million people in the U.S. are currently being treated for marijuana addiction.
- 23.9 percent of students nationwide report current marijuana use.
- 26.9 percent seriously injured drivers tested positive for marijuana -
10 times more than those under the influence of alcohol.
The California Police Chiefs Association are well aware of the statistics as they work the streets of California to keep citizens safe. Almost all police departments are against legalizing marijuana, saying it is difficult to detect.
In Sunset Beach, among the multimillion-dollar homes that overlook the ocean, are medical marijuana facilities or dispensaries. Some residents would like to see marijuana legalized, so they could earn much needed revenue from the sale of the product.
"It gives people the personal freedom they deserve," said one proponent of legalizing marijuana. "It also stimulates the economy which I really feel we could use in America right now, especially in California."
If the initiative passes, it would allow the drug to be sold in store and taxed, just like cigarettes.
But some officials say the revenue projections are overstated.
"The supporters of Prop 19, of course, advance some wildly over-inflated tax estimates," California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore said. "What they seem to forget is that cannabus grows naturally in North America. If it gets too high - (people) will just grow their own and the state won't get any tax money to speak of."
At the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Calif., supporters of family values joined Advocates for Faith and Freedom during a fundraising event to push back the liberal agenda on marijuana.
"I've got four kids. I'm really concerned about what this is going to mean to our future generations believing that marijuana is just like another cigarette," said Robert Tyler, general counsel for the group.
Meanwhile, people like Lambert are hoping and praying California won't learn the hard way like the state of Alaska, who legalized marijuana in the 1980s. The Last Frontier State reversed its decision in 1990 when pot use among teens doubled.
"I'm passionate about it because I used it for several years," Lambert said. "I would be like the rest of these people who are strung out on pot for so many years."