You may be surprised to hear who’s urging you to pass a ballot measure to legalize marijuana. Advocates for Proposition 205 touted the benefits of legal recreational marijuana at a Thursday press conference, held just as Secretary of State Michele Reagan found the measure contained

enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Under the measure, only those 21 and over could buy small amounts and the product would be taxed. Revenues would then go into schools.

Dr. Jeffrey Singer is a surgeon who says alcohol does much more damage to your body than pot. He notes marijuana does not cause liver or brain damage and no one has ever overdosed on weed. On a historical note, he says, the Surgeon General and President of the American Medical Association testified before congress in 1937 that outlawing marijuana would be a mistake, but the warnings were ignored.

Ex D-E-A Special Agent Mike Capasso in his 28 years with the agency, he never saw anyone behave aggressively while under the influence of marijuana, unlike alcohol. He adds, legalizing marijuana would also deflate drug cartel profits.

But the measure’s already heading to court as opponents challenge the initiative’s language. They take issue with the lengthy initiative summary that, they say, will hamper voters in decision-making. They also warn making marijuana legal would spur increased use of the drug. Pro-Marijuana initiative Chair J-P Holyoke argues opponents only want to drive a wedge into democracy by stifling a vote.

–Barbara Villa