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Legal-Pot Backers Split on Timing 
Posted by CN Staff on October 02, 2009 at 17:52:53 PT
By Stu Woo
Source: Wall Street Journal
San Francisco -- A majority of Californians in recent polls say the state should legalize marijuana. What pot proponents can't agree on is how soon voters will really be ready to approve legalization.A schism has emerged among California's pot-legalization advocates. On one side are those pushing to get a proposition to voters quickly, including activists such as Richard Lee, who last month began collecting signatures to put a pot-legalization measure on the state's November 2010 ballot.
On the other side is a go-slow camp calling for a 2012 vote, including activists like Dale Gieringer, director of the California chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, or Norml. "I do think it will take a few more years for us to develop a proposal that voters will be comfortable with," said Mr. Gieringer.In recent elections, Californians have been less liberal than their free-thinking image would suggest. That has led to sharp rifts over strategy among proponents of a number of liberal causes in the state. The pot schism mirrors a split in another cause -- the effort to overturn Proposition 8, which in 2008 banned same-sex marriage -- where advocates likewise disagree over whether to put a measure on the ballot next year or to wait until 2012.It is clear to both the 2010 and 2012 supporters that pot legalization faces significant hurdles in California. While pot is already widely available under the state's medical-marijuana laws, and an April Field Poll found that 56% of Californians would support legalizing and taxing marijuana sales to help with the state's budget crisis, there is a significant anti-legalization lobby that is gearing up to fight any pot proposition."I don't think it matters if it's in 2010 or 2012," said John Lovell, a lobbyist for California police groups, "once the public understands what we're talking about."Mr. Lovell said a case in point was the 2008 defeat of Proposition 5, which would have reduced the criminal consequences of drug possession. Internal polling by a campaign to defeat the measure initially showed it passing with 68% approval, said Mr. Lovell, who was chairman of the campaign. But voters changed course and defeated it with 60% disapproval. Law-enforcement groups who campaigned against that proposition are ready to battle any new marijuana initiative, he said.The 2010 ballot proponents say there is no time like the present, because California's economic mess gives pot legalization an urgent fiscal appeal. Taxing pot could help reverse cuts in spending to education, health care and other services enacted this year, said Mr. Lee, who along with fellow activist Jeff Jones is gathering signatures for a 2010 measure. "We're the answer for all of the things on the news," Mr. Lee said.Mr. Lee is the founder of Oaksterdam University, an Oakland, Calif., school that trains students for jobs in the medical-marijuana field. California's marijuana industry, which was already growing, got a boost earlier this year when the Obama administration announced that it was backing off federal raids of dispensaries.Mr. Lee's measure would allow local governments to legalize and tax marijuana sales. He said he was providing most of the $1 million he thinks is needed to gather the 434,000 signatures to put the proposition on the ballot. Mr. Lee said he took a private poll of 800 likely voters, which found 54% for an initiative versus 42% against.His effort got a boost in September when Don Perata, a former California Senate president and a leading candidate for Oakland's 2010 mayoral race, endorsed the measure. "In this time of economic uncertainty, it's time we thought outside the box and brought in revenue we need to restore the California dream," Mr. Perata said last week.A 2010 initiative would have a reasonable chance of passing, said Thad Kousser, a visiting professor at Stanford University's Bill Lane Center. Generally, ballot measures that start with 55% or lower support in polls lose to well-funded opposition campaigns, Mr. Kousser said. But marijuana proponents could tip the scale in their favor if they can tie the initiative to the state's budget woes. "Any social concerns that Californians have can be overridden by bringing in more money to the state," he said.Go-slow advocates say Mr. Lee's camp doesn't understand the California electorate and the subtle strategies of exploiting election cycles. "The demographics are clearly much better in 2012, and victory would therefore be much easier," said Aaron Smith, California policy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a national pot-advocacy group. "You have the younger, more progressive voters that get out in the presidential elections."As progressive as California voters may be, they will still scrutinize any pot bill for holes, said Norml's Mr. Gieringer. For example, Mr. Lee's 2010 proposal doesn't address the questions of whether marijuana could be smoked in public or how it could be advertised. An initiative is worth pursuing only if it has a good chance of winning, he said, and Mr. Lee's measure "wasn't worth the expenditures."Mr. Lee said that if his 2010 measure lost, he would support a 2012 effort as well.Source: Wall Street Journal (US)Author: Stu WooPublished: October 3, 2009Copyright: 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.Contact: wsj.ltrs wsj.comWebsite: http://www.wsj.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/ZkJ314DLCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml
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Comment #16 posted by EAH on October 05, 2009 at 20:34:46 PT:
who wins
"if both initiatives pass, what is the effect on any conflicting terms of the two."If both were to make it to the ballot, and both were to pass, the one with the most votes would take effect and the other would be voided. So, there would be no conflicts.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #15 posted by christ on October 05, 2009 at 17:43:23 PT
To EAH
I hadn't heard of the californiacannabisinitiative until now, but upon first read, it does sound better than taxcannabis2010. I knew there was another initiative, but i was thinking it was for 2012... which is why i was puzzled that you were sounding like you favored a 'No' vote on taxcannabis2010--when under my incorrect assumption, would have been a stepping stone to 2012.Question... if both initiatives pass, what is the effect on any conflicting terms of the two. Like personal cultivation... which initiative would define the law on that?
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Comment #14 posted by EAH on October 04, 2009 at 18:34:50 PT:
This is the one
This is a far superior proposition.I urge everyone to support this one:http://www.californiacannabisinitiative.org/
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #13 posted by EAH on October 04, 2009 at 18:20:01 PT:
More problems
Reading the proposition, I see more problems113049(c)
 in a criminal proceeding a person accused of violating a limitation in this Act shall have the right to an affirmative defense that the cannabis was reasonably related to his or her personal consumption.CRIMINAL PROCEEDING???!!! WHAT? This is about legalization. So if a LEO decides a person may have more than he should or it came from a source other than their growing space then they can be arrested? This is totally NOT accomplishing the primary goal. The goal of legalization should be 
to end the War on Drugs, end Prohibition and free cannabis from all the fear and loathing and prejudice. Have more than an oz without a sales license is going to mean ongoing problems. These guys seem to want to establish a tight narrow framework of production and sales that enables a small group of license holders to dominate and profit from cannabis and private users to be severely restricted.Also this:
This Act is not intended to affect the application or enforcement of the following state laws relating to public health and safety; 11379.6 [relating to chemical production];
This seems to mean that producing concentrates, tinctures, extracts etc will be illegal. CRIMINALLY illegal.  No "hash", no oils, tinctures etc. will be allowed by this. That is, again, totally wrong! It therefore mandates that only the raw crude herb itself is legal. Reasonable extractions and concentration processing which has the positive benefit of purifying the active compounds by separating them from the plant material (cellulose and other stuff) will still be illegal.If this were to pass we would then be stuck with a very problematic half baked legalization that falls way short of what needs to be done.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #12 posted by Hope on October 04, 2009 at 18:17:36 PT
C-News
The last I looked, admittedly some time ago, C-News had some pretty good stats as far as different users checking in on a fairly regular basis. I tend to like to think there's thirty or forty of us... but I think there might be more these days.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #11 posted by Hope on October 04, 2009 at 18:14:17 PT
"Fine cannabis is like fine wine."
That is true... except that personally, I would far prefer to be a legally free connoisseur of cannabis, more than I would of wine. It's sad to think that a collector and connoisseur of wine would only be allowed by law, by the government, to own only one bottle at a time. What if they weren't allowed to own glassware especially designed for wine? Sad and strange to even imagine it.It will be a wonderful day when people are allowed to possess, collect, and enjoy the different strains and fine subtleties of different cannabis plants. It would also be nice to collect, and display, a bit of interesting and beautiful paraphernalia like beautiful pipes, vapes, or interesting glass.Since I really enjoy sativas and prohibition has made indicas more prevalent because they are easier and quicker to grow, I look forward to the day when there are choices.Yet still... that's far and away secondary... not even on the radar really, when compared to stopping the death, disaster, imprisonment, destruction, and loss brought on people by prohibition. That's what's so important to me.It would be amazing and wonderful to be free like that, as free as the wine or cigar connoisseur is, and I dream a bit on it occasionally. But to end the disaster that is prohibition is the main thing for me.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #10 posted by FoM on October 04, 2009 at 12:26:44 PT
EAH
You would be surprised how many people read these articles and posts. I am staying out of this since discussion since I do CNews. I have opinions but I'll stay quiet. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #9 posted by EAH on October 04, 2009 at 12:15:16 PT:
Not good enough christ
I don't know if anyone is still reading the comments here, but....Christ, That language still doesn't work. How does law enforcement tell the difference between cannabis legally produced at the residence and something there from another source. What if someone claims to have grown 10lbs? How can they prove it? This language will still result in opportunities for prosecutions and harassment in ways that are not necessary with a better proposition.There is no limit to the amount of alcohol I can own/possess. I can own a warehouse full of wine if I choose. If I wish to collect a variety of different 
types produced by different growers in different locations just after harvest
this proposition does not make that legal. That is not good enough.Fine cannabis is like fine wine. The possession of 1 oz simply is woefully 
timid and inadequate. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #8 posted by Paint with light on October 04, 2009 at 00:28:59 PT
My only objections
If driving prohibitions are based on impairment and not merely presence in urine or blood, I could go along with most of the proposal. The penalties against transfer to a minor seem a little harsh but may be necessary to sell the concept of legalization to some of the prohibs.Transferring an aspirin(s) to a minor could have more harmful effects but sure wouldn't get the same penalties.Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #7 posted by christ on October 03, 2009 at 17:07:54 PT
here's what happens...
See section (iii) below... possession of harvests that resulted from the 25 sq ft area is legal.Section 11300: Personal Regulation and Controls
(a)   Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it is lawful and shall not be a public offense under California law for any person 21 years of age or older to:
(i)   Personally possess, process, share, or transport not more than one ounce of cannabis, solely for that individualís personal consumption, and not for sale.
(ii)  Cultivate, on private property by the owner, lawful occupant, or other lawful resident or guest of the private property owner or lawful occupant, cannabis plants for personal consumption only, in an area of not more than twenty-five square feet per private residence or, in the absence of any residence, the parcel. Cultivation on leased or rented property may be subject to approval from the owner of the property. Provided that, nothing in this section shall permit unlawful or unlicensed cultivation of cannabis on any public lands.
(iii)  Possess on the premises where grown the living and harvested plants and results of any harvest and processing of plants lawfully cultivated pursuant to section 11300(a)(ii), for personal consumption.http://www.taxcannabis2010.org/initiative.phpI would vote for this.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on October 03, 2009 at 13:56:22 PT
EAH
I didn't know that. Thank you. That doesn't make any sense to me either.
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Comment #5 posted by EAH on October 03, 2009 at 12:33:27 PT:
?????
" I like the idea of personal cultivation in a 25 sq ft area."So what happens when this area produces more than 1 oz of dried flowers?To avoid potential arrest you would have to dispose of all the extra. Do you see how the proposition is badly written? How can you grow enough outside, for 
low cost, to last a while with a 1 oz limit?
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on October 03, 2009 at 11:41:46 PT
Martin Luther King said....
"The time is always right to do what is right"
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Comment #3 posted by christ on October 03, 2009 at 07:22:22 PT
Good job Richard!
I like what you're doing. And I like the idea of personal cultivation in a 25 sq ft area.
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Comment #2 posted by EAH on October 03, 2009 at 01:27:15 PT:
Too weak!
This proposition is much too weak! 1 oz??!! That is not legalization. It will not put an end to the legal BS users deal with. The other proposition is much better.They probably think a weak initiative would pass more easily but what is needed is legalization that puts a definite end to prohibition in CA state law. It should follow the beer and wine model. No limits! Provisions to establish a production
and distribution and taxation regulatory scheme that removes cannabis from 
the criminal justice system except for harm to others, just like alcohol.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on October 02, 2009 at 19:01:11 PT
Go Richard! 
I have a deep respect for you.
Legalize All Drugs!
[ Post Comment ]


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