By Katia Lopez-Hodoyan | NBCSanDiego.com
Gretchen Burns-Bergman, mother of two, co-founded Parents for Addiction and Healing and is a part of Moms United, a group supporting Prop 19.SAN DIEGO, CA — At first glance, Gretchen Burns-Bergman doesn’t seem like the type of person who would support the legalization of recreational marijuana. The mother of two lives in Rancho Santa Fe and works as fashion producer.
But years ago Burns co-founded Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing (PATH). She’s also part of Moms United, a group of California parents who support Proposition 19.
“It’s time to change the way we’re dealing with this,” said Burns. “I don’t see why we are treating people who use these drugs like criminals, particularly marijuana.”
On Monday, Burns was one of several Prop 19 supporters who gathered in North Park to discuss why they believe legalizing pot would be positive.
“I’d rather see responsible citizens, regulating and controlling it than having it in the hands of the drug cartels,” argued Burns.
Scott Chipman completely disagrees. He represents Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM).
“Addiction is a huge issue that’s being downplayed in all of this,” says Chipman. “Prop 19 sends out the wrong message. It will absolutely open the door for more drug use.”
The measure would make it legal for adults, 21 and older, to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. It would also make it legal to grow marijuana at a private residence, as long as it doesn’t exceed 25 square feet.
Supporters say taxing the drug could bring in much needed revenue to the city of San Diego and the state.
“It will bring in nearly $2 billion to state and local governments,” argued Leo Laurence, a former deputy sheriff who was part of the panel. “It may help San Diego and get rid of its deficit.”
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