In November, California voters will decide whether or not to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. It’s Prop 64 on your ballot. Already, the medicinal use of marijuana has been legal since voters passed a proposition back in 1996.
But there’s still some confusion, and stigma, around the plant’s use. Much of that traces to public service announcements produced by the federal government, like this one from 1969: “Marijuana is an intoxicating, mind-muddling drug. It’s use can lead to abnormal behavior, to psychological dependence, and to abuse of other drugs. The human brain, after all, is made for thinking. Not fumigating. It’s hardly a tinker-toy for experimenting with drugs.”
Dr. Laurie Vollen with Naturally Healing, MD in Albany, consults on the science of medical marijuana and instructs on its therapeutic use. Dr. Vollen has also had a long career in human rights, acting as the Director of Life after Exoneration and lecturing at UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center. She spoke with KALW's Ben Trefny.