I have been fretting about my comments during the last City Council discussion regarding cannabis as they may have seemed to suggest a cavalier attitude about it.
While I believe in the rule of law—which is that with the passage of Prop 64, the people of California have determined that use of cannabis is now permissible—I want to emphasize that its use is subject to stringent controls that everyone must follow or they are subject to citation or arrest.
In particular, I want to stress that use of cannabis is only permitted (1) if you are 21 or older and (2) within the confines of private property.
More importantly, I have seen the damage that use of cannabis has on young people. One of my younger brothers smoked cannabis from the time that he was in high school until his 30s when his wife divorced him and he ended up with only limited contact with his son.
Too late, he realized that he had sat by, stoned, while he lost many, many opportunities to improve his life and the life of his family and he lost people he now wishes were in his life. Like alcohol, cannabis can be abused by adults.
In addition, there are scientific studies that prove that cannabis use is particularly damaging to the mental and emotional development of children.
This is a message that all adults need to impress upon the children of Avalon and I sincerely regret that I did not make this statement during the meeting but promise to do so when this item returns to the City Council.