CA: Californians To Vote On Legalizing Marijuana

Discussion in 'The Drug War Headline News' started by claygooding, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. claygooding claygooding

    • DrugWarVeteran
    • Since: May 13, 2009
    • Posts: 9,611

    CA: Californians to vote on legalizing marijuana

    USA Today | 3/25/2010 | Michael Winter


    Californians will vote in November on whether they want to be the first Americans to legalize marijuana for personal use, plus generate some revenue for their cash-strapped state.

    The state's election chief has certified that enough valid signatures were gathered to put the measure to a vote. The initiative would allow adults 21 or older to buy, grow or possess up to an ounce of pot for personal consumption. State officials estimate that legalization would save "tens of millions of dollars" in law enforcement costs and generate "potentially major" revenue from the production and sale of marijuana.
    Opponents counter that legalization would increase use of marijuana and potentially other drugs, cause similar problems associated with alcohol and tobacco, and boost crime and add to police work.

    As with the legalization of medical marijuana, the state would be at odds with the federal government if voters approve. Possession, sale and transport of marijuana are still federal crimes, and the nation's drug czar recently denounced the legalization effort in a speech to police.

    Here's the summary of what the initiative would do:
    Allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Permits local governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of marijuana to people 21 years old or older. Prohibits people from possessing marijuana on school grounds, using it in public, smoking it while minors are present, or providing it to anyone under 21 years old. Maintains current prohibitions against driving while impaired. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Savings of up to several tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Unknown but potentially major tax, fee, and benefit assessment revenues to state and local government related to the production and sale of marijuana products.
    Read the full text for yourself.


    The Los Angeles Times has more on the debate.

    DC: The Push to Legalize Marijuana: It's Real
    TheAtlantic / by Chris Good / 04,02,2010

    You may have heard there's a push to legalize marijuana in California. You may not have heard that it's for real.

    Voting ballots in California this November will contain an initiative to legalize, tax, and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older, and while this may sound like something that has no chance, whatsoever, of ever becoming law, the thing is: it actually might.

    The organized campaign around this initiative is called Tax Cannabis, and it's the brainchild of marijuana entrepreneur Richard Lee. "Marijuana entrepreneur" sounds highly illegal, but, in California, where medical pot is sold unobstructed by the feds, it's not: Lee founded Oaksterdam University, a school that teaches how to grow marijuana and run a marijuana business, as chronicled by Josh Green in The Atlantic last April.

    This was not, mind you, originally an effort of the national marijuana policy establishment, per se. According to conventional wisdom on initiatives like this one, 2012 would be a better year to dedicate resources to a marijuana legalization campaign: it's a presidential election year, and younger and marginal voters--voters who could be more sympathetic to legalizing pot--will come out to vote, whereas fewer people vote in the midterms. People who vote in midterms are more engaged in the process--if pollsters label respondents as "likely voters," then the midterm turnout is made up of are even likelier voters than the electorate in presidential years--the type of people who might not, typically, support an initiative like this one. So, much like in California's gay-marriage movement, there was some hesitation over whether 2010 was the right year to do this.

    But Lee went ahead anyway, putting up money from Oaksterdam and another of his groups, marijuana provider S.K. Seymore, LLC, to obtain the 849,000 signatures needed to get on the November 2 ballot, with his donations comprising most of the roughly $1.3 million spent in 2009 on the petition drive.

    Lee now has a a team of pros working for him as campaign consultants.

    It includes Chris Lehane, the former Bill Clinton communications adviser and press secretary for Al Gore, both as VP and in the 2000 campaign; Dan Newman, whose firm SCN Strategies consults for Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D) reelection campaign and is heading up communications for Level the Playing Field 2010, the independent-expenditure campaign against multimillionaire GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman; and Doug Linney of The Next Generation, a firm that has worked for state and local candidate campaigns, as well as major issue-advocacy drives and marijuana decriminalization/law-enforcement-prioritization efforts in California.

    In short, this will be a legitimate campaign operation. Tax Cannabis is already airing a radio ad in the state's largest and most expensive media markets, L.A. and San Francisco, featuring a former law enforcement official.

    "This isn't some...whim of a couple of hippies," said SCN's Dan Newman, who is handling communications for Tax Cannabis. "It's a serious, well crafted, well funded campaign that was put together very carefully and professionally run and hopes to win."

    The campaign will do "everything that a winning campaign does," Newman said. That would mean radio ads, TV ads, volunteer and/or robo- phone calls, door-to-door canvasses, and direct mail. Newman would not specifically say which of those Tax Cannabis will do.

    Messaging will focus heavily on invoking the support of former law enforcement officials, plus the argument that has driven so much media coverage around this push: estimates that legalizing and taxing marijuana could help California's crippled state budget to the tune of $1 billion, including tax revenue and less spending on law enforcement.

    Where will the money come from to fund this campaign? Lee infused it with cash to get the signatures, but according to state financial disclosures, Tax Cannabis has only $32,000 in the bank. The only state-registered opposition group, called "Opposition to the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2010)," has not filed disclosure paperwork, so it is unclear how much money Tax Cannabis is up against.

    The campaign is reaching out to a broad coalition of donors, Newman said, including an online fundraising operation and traditional political donors.

    But the elephant in the room is this: Tax Cannabis has the support of the Drug Policy Alliance, one of several major, national-level drug-policy reform groups. On its board sits liberal super-donor George Soros.

    Given how expensive it is to buy air time in the Golden State--L.A. is one of the nation's most expensive media markets--it's not uncommon for political campaigns to wait until a few weeks before Election Day to blast the radio and TV airwaves with a major media buy. And, because California places no limits on donations and spending on ballot initiatives, it is conceivable that if things look close down the stretch, and he felt so inclined, Soros could inject millions of dollars into this initiative.

    Right now, the campaign is working to secure endorsements, and the language of the ballot initiative was crafted, Newman said, with an eye toward garnering a broad base of support. It does not simply legalize pot outright: it allows individual counties to regulate the sale and possession to adults over 21, which would likely create a similar effect as "dry counties," where alcohol can't be sold. It does not legalize possession of marijuana on school grounds, or driving while impaired. The entire proposition is posted here.

    Reformers claim legalization is popular. A major public poll hasn't been conducted since April 2009, when Field showed 56% support out of 901 Californians polled. Newman says Tax Cannabis has conducted internal polls that show legalization polling in the mid-50s.

    November is a long way off. Marijuana legalization gained significant traction in 2009, mostly because of California's budget crisis, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's suggestion that it be seriously discussed, the drug war happening in Mexico, and the finding of the Field poll.

    Although Tax Cannabis is airing a radio ad, a public messaging campaign has yet to ramp up against legalizing pot. When it does--when both sides are conducting this fight in public--look for opinion to congeal either for the ballot initiative or against it.

    Until then, legalized pot remains a possible outcome in November 2010.

    6 people like this.
  2. LowRider LowRider

    • Sr. Member
    • Since: Jun 20, 2008
    • Posts: 2,126
    Doesn't this bill also state that the fedral gov would have to pass some law making it to states rights? if not a trip to Cali sounds fun
  3. Ganjika Ganjika

    • ☼ Account Closed ☼
    • Since: Sep 21, 2006
    • Posts: 2,611
    depends on how hard California wants this and pushes for it -
    it could go down a similar path as the medical marijuana did in California , only this time it would greatly desensitize the general public to cannabis even more-so and slowly we'd see other states following suit. It really needs to happen.
    1 people like this.
  4. claygooding claygooding

    • DrugWarVeteran
    • Since: May 13, 2009
    • Posts: 9,611
    I think they delayed the count long enough that if you registered to vote in CA today you may not be eligible to vote in NOV. Need a local to investigate that.
  5. TastyBongWater TastyBongWater

    • New Member
    • Since: Jan 16, 2010
    • Posts: 277
    I assume only Californians can buy it right? I mean, no out of state marijuana users could come into the state to buy it. Unless you live there for a certain amount of time or whatever.
    1 people like this.
  6. Nephrosis Nephrosis

    • New Member
    • Since: Mar 8, 2006
    • Posts: 230
    I think you are correct. but they delayed it only so far as to limiting the number of days you had to get enough votes before court. That happened. but with the local support it looks well anyways
  7. nikk nikk

    • Sr. Member
    • Since: May 10, 2009
    • Posts: 1,130
    'hey mister'

    • Since: Aug 4, 2008
    • Posts: 3,487
    This would be a great start because it could really speed up the process should it pass and do well
    1 people like this.
  9. CrayzStoner CrayzStoner

    • New Member
    • Since: Feb 5, 2010
    • Posts: 1,258
    Only a few more months!
  10. Ganjika Ganjika

    • ☼ Account Closed ☼
    • Since: Sep 21, 2006
    • Posts: 2,611
    I recommend as many of you as possible speaking out and
    helping spread awareness and information in (and out) your
    localitys - especially if you are from cali.
  11. Dedbr Dedbr

    • Domestic War Veteran
    • Since: Mar 24, 2001
    • Posts: 21,228
    CA: The Buzz: No Legal Pot For Top California Governor Candidates

    CA: The Buzz: No Legal Pot For Top California Governor Candidates
    Sacramento Bee / March 25, 2010 / Staff

    Voters heading to the polls in November will decide whether marijuana should be legally regulated and sold in California. Californians will also be picking a new governor, but it doesn't look like the pot measure will get any love from the major candidates: All three leading guv hopefuls oppose legalizing weed for recreational use.

    "I've already indicated that that's not a provision I am likely to support," Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown told a gathering of law enforcement officials in Sacramento this week. "I have been on the side of law enforcement for a long time, and you can be sure that we will be together on this November ballot."

    GOP candidate Meg Whitman's spokeswoman, Sarah Pompei, said Whitman is "absolutely against legalizing marijuana for any reason. … She believes we have enough challenges in our society without heading down the path of drug legalization."

    Steve Poizner's communications director, Jarrod Agen, said Poizner "feels we need an across-the-board tax cut to reignite our state's economy, not an attempt to smoke our way out of the budget deficit."

    Of course, not all candidates running for the office are against approving the drug for recreational use in the state. Prinz Frederic von Anhalt, the eccentric husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor, has made legalizing marijuana a central component of his bid.

    California wasn't alone when it boosted taxes last year to plug its budget deficit. Nearly half of the 50 states increased taxes, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures. But California's increase, pegged then at $12 billion-plus, accounted for nearly half of the $28.6 billion in new taxes levied by 24 states.

    (Looks like activists have a choice of D, none of the above.......That's really sad, too, because to me that means their out of touch with the voters. Caution gubernatorial candidates, is watching you and your comments and will share them with our members who are VOTERS, get it? VOTERS who will make a choice come November for their favorite candidate. So far on the marijuana meter you score nothing for knowledge or common sense. Lets flex our muscles a little fellow members. Let's let them know the voice of the people says somebody better start talking about it, or they aren't going to be elected governor of anything, including California. Seriously, let's get 'em guys. WE have the power here, not them, and it's time to show it...........:rolleyes:.....Ded.....)
  12. califdude califdude

    • New Member
    • Since: Mar 22, 2010
    • Posts: 314
    Get Out And Vote!! :)
  13. MestUp7 MestUp7

    • Sr. Member
    • Since: Mar 23, 2009
    • Posts: 1,830
    Has anyone ever considered that the "political suicide" might be more within their own party/people/string pullers more so than with the American people? Have they not seen the news? The polls? The "town halls?" I just don't get it. It's now out there that there is A LOT of support for this issue, and it would certainly help some less popular candidates to at least take a shot in the dark and maybe ride this wave all the way to the office.
    1 people like this.
  14. Zul Zul

    • New Member
    • Since: Mar 1, 2010
    • Posts: 166
    Politicians are all a bunch of fools.
    1 people like this.
  15. Dedbr Dedbr

    • Domestic War Veteran
    • Since: Mar 24, 2001
    • Posts: 21,228
    CA: Legal-Marijuana Advocates Focus On A New Green

    CA: Legal-Marijuana Advocates Focus on a New Green
    New York Times / March 25, 2010 / Jesse McKinley

    Jim Wilson/The New York Times

    Jim Wilson/The New York Times
    Plants in Humboldt County, Calif., grown for medical use.

    SAN FRANCISCO — Perhaps only in California could a group of marijuana
    smokers call themselves fiscal realists. Supporters of a ballot measure that would tax and regulate marijuana in California say it could raise $1.4 billion a year. And yet, faced with a $20 billion deficit, strained state services and regular legislative paralysis, voters in California are now set to consider a single-word solution to help ease some of the state’s money troubles: legalize. On Wednesday, the California secretary of state certified a November vote on a ballot measure that would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana, a plan that advocates say could raise $1.4 billion and save precious law enforcement and prison resources.

    Indeed, unlike previous efforts at legalization — including a failed 1972 measure in California — the 2010 campaign will not dwell on assertions of marijuana’s harmlessness or its social acceptance, but rather on cold cash. “We need the tax money,” said Richard Lee, founder of Oaksterdam University, a trade school for marijuana growers, in Oakland, who backed the ballot measure’s successful petition drive. “Second, we need the tax savings on police and law enforcement, and have that law enforcement directed towards real crime.”

    Supporters are hoping to raise $10 million to $20 million for the campaign, primarily on the Internet, with national groups planning to urge marijuana fans to contribute $4.20 at a time, a nod to 420, a popular shorthand for the drug. The law would permit licensed retailers to sell up to one ounce at a time. Those sales would be a new source of sales tax revenue for the state. Opponents, however, scoff at the notion that legalizing marijuana could somehow help with the state’s woes. They tick off a list of social ills — including tardiness and absenteeism in the workplace — that such an act would contribute to.

    “We just don’t think any good is going to come from this,” said John Standish, president of the California Peace Officers Association, whose 3,800 members include police chiefs and sheriffs. “It’s not going to better society. It’s going to denigrate it.”

    The question of legalization, which a 2009 Field Poll showed 56 percent of Californians supporting, will undoubtedly color the state race for governor. The two major Republican candidates — the former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman and the insurance commissioner, Steve Poizner — have said they oppose the bill.

    Jerry Brown, the Democratic attorney general who is also running for governor, opposes the idea as well, saying it violates federal law. And while the Obama administration has signaled that it will tolerate medical marijuana users who abide the law in the 14 states where it is legal, a law authorizing personal use would conflict with federal law. Supporters of the bill say the proposal’s language would allow cities or local governments to opt out, likely creating “dry counties” in some parts of the state. The proposed law would allow only those over 21 to buy, and would ban smoking marijuana in public or around minors.

    Stephen Gutwillig, the California state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, a New York-based group that plans to raise money in favor of the measure, said he expected “a conservative implementation,” if passed. “I think most local jurisdictions are not going to authorize sales,” Mr. Gutwillig said. Local opt-out provisions are part of a strategy to allay people’s fears about adding another legal vice and to help capture a group considered key to passing the bill: non-pot-smoking swing voters.

    “There’s going to be a large sector of the electorate that would never do this themselves that’s going to sort out what the harm would be versus what the supposed good would be,” said Frank Schubert, a longtime California political strategist who opposes the bill. “That’s where the election is going to be won.”

    But Dan Newman, a San Francisco-based strategist for the ballot measure, said he expected broad, bipartisan support for the bill, especially among those Californians worried about the recession. “Voters’ No. 1 concern right now is the budget and the economy,” Mr. Newman said, “which makes them look particularly favorable at something that will bring in more than $1 billion a year.” Opponents, however, question that figure — which is based on a 2009 report from the Board of Equalization, which oversees taxes in the state — and argue that whatever income is brought in will be spent dealing with more marijuana-related crimes.

    Mr. Standish said: “We have a hard enough time now with drunk drivers on the road. This is just going to add to the problems.” He added: “I cannot think of one crime scene I’ve been to where people said, ‘Thank God the person was just under the influence of marijuana.’ ”

    Advocates of the measure plan to counter what is expected to be a strong law enforcement opposition with advertisements like one scheduled to be broadcast on radio in San Francisco and Los Angeles starting on Monday. The advertisements will feature a former deputy sheriff saying the war on marijuana has failed.

    “It’s time to control it,” he concludes, “and tax it.”

    Not everyone in the community is supportive. Don Duncan, a co-founder of Americans for Safe Access, which lobbies for medical marijuana, said he had reservations about the prospect of casual users joining the ranks of those with prescriptions.

    “The taxation and regulation of cannabis at the local or state level may or may not improve conditions for medical cannabis patients,” Mr. Duncan said in an e-mail message. He added that issues like “police harassment and the price and quality of medicine might arise if legalization for recreational users occurs.”

    Still, the idea of legal marijuana does not seem too far-fetched to people like Shelley Kutilek, a San Francisco resident, loyal church employee and registered California voter, who said she would vote “yes” in November. “It’s no worse than alcohol,” said Ms. Kutilek, 30, an administrator at Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco. “Drunk people get really belligerent. I don’t know anybody who gets belligerent on marijuana. They just get chill.”
  16. Dedbr Dedbr

    • Domestic War Veteran
    • Since: Mar 24, 2001
    • Posts: 21,228
    I put these three great posts together so we can keep the California vote comments all in one place, and also because the California vote is so important to us.......

    Read them all and comment on them all.........

    Your obedient servant......

    Some Where In Ded Land.................:wave:
    2 people like this.
  17. Dedbr Dedbr

    • Domestic War Veteran
    • Since: Mar 24, 2001
    • Posts: 21,228
    CA: California Pot Vote Isn't Hippies Versus Cops

    CA:California Pot Vote Isn't Just Hippies Versus Cops
    AP / March 25, 2010 / Staff


    The Associated PressMarijuana grown for medical purposes is shown inside a greenhouse at a farm in Potter Valley, Calif. Now that a proposal to legalize pot is on the ballot in California, well-organized groups are lining up on both sides of the debate. And it's not just tie-dyed hippies versus anti-drug crusaders. So far, the most outspoken groups on the issue are those affiliated with California's legal medical marijuana industry and law enforcement officials who vehemently oppose any loosening of drug laws.

    But the campaign that unfolds before the November election could yield some unusual allies: free-market libertarians joining police officers frustrated by the drug war to support the measure, and pot growers worried about falling prices pairing with Democratic politicians to oppose it. Others believe legalizing and taxing the drug could improve the state's flagging economy. "We spend so much time, our police do, chasing around these nonviolent drug offenders, we don't have time anymore to protect our people from murders and child molesters," said Jack Cole, president of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group that plans to champion the California proposal between now and the election.

    The initiative, also known as the "Tax Cannabis Act," received enough signatures this week to qualify for the November ballot. If it is approved, California would become the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults. The measure would also give local governments the authority to regulate and tax pot sales. According to campaign finance records, nearly all of the more than $1.3 million spent on the campaign to qualify the question for the ballot came from businesses controlled by the proposal's main backer, Oakland medical marijuana entrepreneur Richard Lee.

    Lee operates a medical marijuana dispensary and cafe in downtown Oakland and is the founder of Oaksterdam University, which trains people to run their own medical marijuana businesses. According to the school, more than 5,000 students have completed their programs. The largest donations from an individual not connected to the marijuana business came from George Zimmer, founder and chief executive of the men's clothing chain Men's Wearhouse. Television viewers know Zimmer as the Fremont-based company's longtime pitchman in commercials. But he is also known as a longtime supporter of efforts to liberalize the nation's drug laws. Opponents contend that the legalization effort will pit a few wealthy individuals against regular Californians who will provide the groundswell needed to defeat the measure.

    "You have rich dilettantes who want to legalize drugs and ordinary people who consider the ramifications of legalization on their communities and their families," said John Lovell, a lobbyist representing several law enforcement groups opposed to the initiative.

    Lovell pointed to the lopsided defeat of a 2008 ballot issue that would have pushed treatment instead of prison for drug offenders as a sign of voters' leanings. Supporters of the measure heavily outspent opponents, but it was defeated 59 to 41 percent. The anti-legalization campaign has not reported any contributions yet, but workers are reviewing what they believe are major flaws with the ballot initiative. They say the proposed law would allow pot to be grown in public parks and fail to prevent people with prior drug convictions from selling pot.

    Meanwhile, some well-known liberals have come out against it, including the state's presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, Attorney General Jerry Brown. Brown, who was seen in the 1970s as an icon of California's counterculture, told the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this month that he was "not going to jump on the legalization bandwagon."

    "We're going to get a vote of the people soon on that, but I'm not going to support it," he said.

    Legalized marijuana in California, the nation's most populous state, would represent a sea change in the nation's drug laws and put the state in direct conflict with the federal government because pot is still illegal in the eyes of federal officials.

    On Thursday, a Department of Justice spokeswoman said it was too soon to speculate on whether federal authorities would sue to keep the measure from becoming law. The administration relaxed its prosecution guidelines for medical marijuana last year, but President Barack Obama's drug czar has said the White House strongly opposes any efforts to legalize pot.

    "Marijuana legalization, for any purpose, remains a non-starter in the Obama administration," Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said last year. "It is not something that the president and I discuss. It isn't even on the agenda."

    California in 1996 became the first (Wrong, Ohio was....)of the 14 states that have legalized medicinal marijuana. Many jurisdictions around the country have also decriminalized marijuana to the point that low-level possession offenses are not prosecuted. States such as California and Colorado have also been struggling to deal with an explosion in the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in recent years, a trend that has made pot readily available to the public.

    A decision by California to legalize pot could lend momentum to the entire legalization movement, just like its historic 1996 law did for medical marijuana.

    Legislators in Rhode Island are considering a plan to decriminalize pot, and a group in Nevada is pushing an initiative that marks the state's fourth attempt in a decade to legalize the drug. Lawmakers in Washington state recently killed a plan to legalize the sale and use of marijuana, though lawmakers there did expand the pool of medical professionals who could prescribe the drug for medicinal use. The ballot measure in California would allow people 21 years and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, enough for dozens of joints. Residents also could grow their own crop of the plant in gardens measuring up to 25 square feet.

    The proposal would ban users from using marijuana in public or smoking it while minors are present. It also would make it illegal to possess the drug on school grounds or drive while under its influence.

    Proponents of the measure say legalizing marijuana could save the state $200 million a year by reducing public safety costs. At the same time, it could generate tax revenue for local governments. Law enforcement officials are promising a vigorous fight to ensure that marijuana never becomes legal in California. They believe legalized marijuana would increase crime and violence, deepen the nation's drug culture and lead teenagers to abuse pot.

    The California Police Chiefs Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and groups such as the youth-oriented Drug Abuse Resistance Education also plan to oppose the idea.

    Not everyone in law enforcement is opposed to the measure, however.
    "We believe by voting for that initiative you can actually save lives," Cole said.
  18. BigYellowJoint BigYellowJoint

    • New Member
    • Since: Nov 17, 2009
    • Posts: 224
    oh man, i know where i'm buying my suits from now on.

    i'll be at the ballots in november. :cool:
    2 people like this.
  19. dj Dozhe dj Dozhe

    • Well-Known Member
    • Since: Mar 18, 2008
    • Posts: 703
    What about this measure makes you think only Californians can buy it? It's not like only Nevadans can gamble in Las Vegas. It would still be illegal for you to transport it back to your state of origin, but I fail to see why anyone over the age of 21 would be blocked from buying it.
    1 people like this.
  20. Buzzby Buzzby

    • Buddhist Curmudgeon
    • Since: Aug 27, 2004
    • Posts: 40,846
    I wasn't aware that Ohio had passed a medical marijuana law. If it has, why are we pushing our legislators to pass another one? I'm confused! :confused: I sent out emails to all of Ohio's reps and senators just a couple of days ago.

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