Today's Date: December 2, 2021
Dresdner Robin Completes Work on 21,700-Square-Foot Veterans' Housing Complex in Jersey City   •   Okcoin Announces $1M Commitment to Bring More Women into Crypto, Randi Zuckerberg as Inaugural Brand Advisory Council Member   •   Goalsetter Secures $15 Million in Series A Funding to Expand and Transform Access to Financial Education in America   •   Horizon Therapeutics plc Makes $100,000 Seed Donation to Support Fundraising Efforts to Renovate Emmett Till’s Home into a   •   Autism Speaks renews call for significant increase in funding for research and services to support the 2.3% of U.S. children wit   •   Varada Consulting CEO and Founder Tori Draude Recognized on 2021 Forbes Next 1000 List   •   Violence impacts over 700,000 children due to school closures in Cameroon   •   Avert Holiday Anxiety and Depression with Self-Care   •   Wells Fargo Reaffirms Commitment to the Hispanic Community with a $2MM Gift for the National Museum of the American Latino   •   National Beverage Corp. Again Enriches the Holiday Season With a Special Cash Dividend   •   100 Thieves Raises $60 Million in New Funding to Expand Its Business and Continue Elevating Gaming Culture   •   Leading Financial Services Firms and Industry Resource Organizations Join Together to Increase Diversity and Equity   •   Crumbl Cookies, Now the Nation’s Fastest-Growing Gourmet Cookie Company, to Open in Nashua North, New Hampshire   •   Project Accessible Oral Health Promoting Equal Access to Oral Care for People with Disabilities   •   Arizona Non-Profit Honored at Greater Phoenix Urban League Annual Event   •   To Support the Advancement of Women’s Athletic Programs, T-Mobile Donates $700,000 to SEC Schools at T-Mobile SEC Champion   •   BNC Reaches Carriage Agreement With Cox Communications   •   Distilled Spirits Council Kicks Off Holiday Season with Launch of New Alcohol Education Website: StandardDrinks.org   •   Vince Announces Reporting Date for Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results   •   Igloo Unleashes Two New Monster Jam® Playmate Coolers!
Bookmark and Share

Asian-Americans Just Say No To Pot

By Aruna Lee, New America Media

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Debates over whether or not to legalize marijuana have been going on for decades in California, though for many parents in the Asian community, the answer is a clear, resounding no. 

Bill Tam, executive director of the Traditional Family Council, was one of dozens of Asian community leaders who spoke out against Prop. 19—the initiative to tax and regulate sales of marijuana in the state of California–during a gathering in Sunnyvale earlier this week.

Criticizing backers of the initiative, Tam said legalization would amount to an “insignificant” increase in tax revenue, while creating a “huge social problem" for the state. Supporters argue that legalizing marijuana would add to the state’s rapidly dwindling coffers at a time when milions of residents are unemployed and public services are facing drastic cuts.

Ho-bin Kim, executive director of the Korean community center in Silicon Valley, also attended the event at the Great Commissions Center in Sunnyvale. He said the passage of Prop. 19 would open the "gateway" to other drug use among youngsters. Kim stressed the inherent danger in such things as driving or operating an aircraft while under the influence of marijuana, not to mention the loss of productivity among employees, which he says would be another hit for the economy.

New polls suggest that support for the ballot measure is waning throughout the state. But a Field Poll released last summer found that support among Asians was especially weak: an overwhelming 62 percent said they opposed the measure and only 33 percent favored it.

Tam said that among Chinese voters, opposition is even stronger, with pockets of support found only among those with either no children or whose children are already well into their adult years.

“As a mother of three kids,I will absolutely not vote for Prop. 19,” said San Francisco resident Jennifer Ku. Citing a neighbor who she says can often be seen smoking the drug in view of her children, she says she’s concerned about the repercussions that the measure woudl have for them. She also pointed to concerns over a possible rise in addiction rates and crime stemming from legalization.

Korea Times editor-in-chief Nam Hong said opposition in his community stems from concerns over neighborhood safety and youth. “Despite restrictions on pot use for those under 21 years of age, children will become more exposed to the drug with legalization. What if your kid had access to marijuana?”

That fear is behind a court battle currently being waged over the proposed opening of a medical marijuana club in San Francisco's largely residential Sunset District, which is home to a large number of Asian families, churches and education-related businesses.

A report in the San Francisco Examiner quoted a father who lives in the area and runs a tutoring business on the same block as the proposed pot dispensary. “That hurts my business… They cannot have cannabis around a school area. I don’t want to take that chance."

The would-be operator of the club, who is disabled and contended that the real issue is patients’ rights, did eventually receive a permit for the dispensary, despite opposition from the district's representative on the Board of Supervisors, Carmen Chu, and the local police captain. Medical use of marijuana became legal in California after state voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996, with some 24 legal dispensaries in operation in San Francisco.

Still, not all those in the Asian community are against Prop. 19.. According to the same Field Poll, younger Asians as well as those born in the U.S. are more likely to support some form of legalization. A Korean father and regular churchgoer who wants to remain anonymous says that he is adamantly opposed to the passage of Prop. 19, though he noted his two sons, both in their mid-30s and both born in this country, back the measure.

Dong-ho is a practicing Buddhist nun from Korea who moved to the Bay Area seven years ago to pursue her PhD in Buddhist studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She said that, in some cases, marijuana can be beneficial in terms of its medicinal properties. But, she added, “It all depends on how the drug is used. It can also be a poison.”


STORY TAGS: ASIAN , ASIAN AMERICAN , ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER , MINORITY , CIVIL RIGHTS , DISCRIMINATION , RACISM , DIVERSITY , RACIAL EQUALITY , BIAS , EQUALITY

Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News