Measure To Legalize Marijuana Will Be on CA Ballot
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Measure To Legalize Marijuana Will Be on CA Ballot
Posted by CN Staff on March 25, 2010 at 05:59:30 PT
By John Hoeffel
Source: Los Angeles Times
California -- An initiative to legalize marijuana and allow it to be sold and taxed will appear on the November ballot, state election officials announced Wednesday, triggering what will probably be a much-watched campaign that once again puts California on the forefront of the nation's debate over whether to soften drug laws.The number of valid signatures reported by Los Angeles County, submitted minutes before Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline, put the measure well beyond the 433,971 it needed to be certified. Supporters turned in 694,248 signatures, collecting them in every county except Alpine. County election officials estimated that 523,531 were valid.
The measure's main advocate, Richard Lee, an Oakland marijuana entrepreneur, savored the chance to press his case with voters that the state's decades-old ban on marijuana is a failed policy."We're one step closer to ending cannabis prohibition and the unjust laws that lock people up for cannabis while alcohol is not only sold openly but advertised on television to kids every day," he said.Lee, tapping $1.3 million from his businesses, has put together a highly organized campaign that he emphasized Wednesday would be led by a team of experienced political consultants, including Chris Lehane, a veteran operative who has worked in the White House and on presidential campaigns."There's all kinds of big professional politicos who are coming on board now to take it to the next level," Lee said.Opponents have also started to put together their campaign. "There's going to be a very broad coalition opposing this that will include law enforcement," said John Lovell, a Sacramento lobbyist who represents the California Police Chiefs Assn. and other law enforcement groups. "We'll educate people as to what this measure really entails."The measure, like the medical marijuana initiative, could put California on a collision course with the federal government. The possession and sale of marijuana remain a federal crime.This month, President Obama's drug czar, R. Gil Kerlikowske, decried legalization in a speech to police chiefs in San Jose.The initiative would allow adults 21 or older to possess up to an ounce for personal use.Possession of an ounce or less has been a misdemeanor with a $100 fine since 1975, when Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, who was then governor, signed a law that reduced tough marijuana penalties that had allowed judges to impose 10-year sentences.Legalization supporters note that misdemeanor arrests have risen dramatically in California in the last two decades. The initiative would also allow adults to grow up to 25 square feet of marijuana per residence or parcel.But the measure, known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act, goes further, allowing cities and counties to adopt ordinances that would authorize the cultivation, transportation and sale of marijuana, which could be taxed to raise revenue.Supporters hope this feature will win over voters watching local governments jettison employees and programs in the midst of a severe budget crisis.Three other marijuana legalization initiatives have been floated this year but are not expected to qualify for the ballot. One failed, one was withdrawn and one remains active.Lovell said that the initiative would lead to increased marijuana use, cause the same kind of social ills as alcohol and tobacco and put more demands on law enforcement. He said voters are distressed by the medical marijuana law. "Neighborhoods feel very uncomfortable with these locations that have a lot of dope and a lot of cash," he said.Lee countered that the state's experience with medical marijuana shows "the sky didn't fall." He said the measure would allow police to focus on serious crime, undercut Mexican drug cartels and make it harder for teenagers to buy marijuana.Underscoring the importance the backing of law enforcement will play, Lee's campaign on Wednesday highlighted the support of retired Orange County Superior Court Judge James P. Gray, a former L.A. County deputy sheriff and Torrance police officer.With polls showing that a slim majority of voters support legalization, the legalization campaign will be trying to appeal to a slice of undecided voters who are mostly mothers. "It's always easier for people to say no than to say yes for an initiative," said Mark Baldassare, the pollster for the Public Policy Institute of California.Lee hopes to raise as much as $20 million. He will probably be able to tap a handful of wealthy advocates who have supported efforts to relax drug laws, including multibillionaire investor George Soros and George Zimmer, founder of the Men's Wearhouse. Zimmer has donated at least $20,000.Lovell said he expected to raise less than his opponents but would have enough to get his message out.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author:  John HoeffelPublished: March 25, 2010Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #14 posted by Paint with light on March 25, 2010 at 22:03:16 PT
I have an old computer set up to be a racing simulator with full force feedback controls.Back when I had more spare time I would drive a short race that matched whatever track was being run that week.Try to drive a full length race even on the simulator and you get an appreciation for what some of the real drivers go through.I've long thought that when the wall finally comes down, there will be cannabis sponsors in Nascar, even in the Nationwide series.All segments of society will be changed for the better when we are finally free.Legalize cannabis like all the big sponsors in Nascar.Less harmful and better for you....or ya'll.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on March 25, 2010 at 10:39:36 PT
I couldn't get it to work on your link but found it here.
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Comment #12 posted by Sam Adams on March 25, 2010 at 10:23:26 PT
medical marijuana car coming to NASCAR
forgive me if this has already been posted.....
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Comment #11 posted by JSM on March 25, 2010 at 10:19:16 PT
California Campaign
We know J. Walters a.k.a. Johnnie Pee would certainly be there using the full force of office to spread his particular variety of lies in opposition to this. I believe this actually mandated by law in the DEA's playbook. So, will we see Kerlikowske filling the same role? He has already shown his opposition to legalization and serious change in these laws. Get ready California for an avalanche of lies. 
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Comment #10 posted by Sam Adams on March 25, 2010 at 10:01:40 PT
NFL is learning
this is great....
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Comment #9 posted by Dr Ganj on March 25, 2010 at 09:20:42 PT:
Tax and Regulate Cannabis
I was in jail for cultivation in November, of 1996 when Prop 215 passed. I remember being in a room with about
60 other inmates, and there was one small TV, and when it was announced the measure passed, we all were jumping up and down, and cheering! 
It was very difficult on me being in jail for 8 months for something I was proud of doing. Imagine going to jail for growing a beautiful plant. Imagine all the harm caused by this terrible drug war. Now, we finally have another opportunity to change our laws, and make this world a better place. 
This November the voters of California will once again lead the world in drug policy reform.
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Comment #8 posted by Richard Zuckerman on March 25, 2010 at 07:36:05 PT:
I plan on returning to California for this!!!
I plan on returning to California, primarily for this ballot initiative; also for the philosophical exemption to mandatory vaccinations [New Jersey has no philosophical exemption, which bars me from attending my alma mater Kean College of New Jersey!!!].
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on March 25, 2010 at 07:25:33 PT
No! No! No!
"There's going to be a very broad coalition opposing this that will include law enforcement," said John Lovell, a Sacramento lobbyist who represents the California Police Chiefs Assn. and other law enforcement groups. "We'll educate people as to what this measure really entails."Currently employed law enforcement have every right to their vote in this matter as does any other citizen. I don't think government itself, which they are a part of, should be out working to promote more government, more laws, more power to detain and arrest people, and less freedom for the citizen. They need to get themselves free of these excessive drug laws so that they can get out there and find murderers, rapists, and thieves. We've all seen that solving serious crime has suffered dramatically from diverting law enforcement attention to the "War on Drugs". Aaargh! It's a sort of diversion and perversion that is hard to watch. Hard to see and impossible for some of us to just accept.But, I'm thinking, maybe, their involvement will help to win the vote for legalization, because citizens will see them blatantly promoting their power over citizens and it might move them to vote for the initiative instead of against it.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on March 25, 2010 at 07:19:35 PT
Yes we will and like someone said during the health care win said Yes We Did. I am looking forward to hearing Yes We Did this fall.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 25, 2010 at 07:16:40 PT
CNN Video: Pot On The Ballot
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on March 25, 2010 at 07:12:07 PT
Can someone find out, where this guy lives and what his phone number and e-mail address is?I would like to ask this guy why he is interfering in the democratic process by abusing his status as a police officer at taxpayers expense. Who do you represent Mr. Lovell, yourself the police or the people?Mmm, yes, you only represent yourself and thus you should butt out. For you not to realize how wrong you are, is very telling.
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on March 25, 2010 at 06:59:21 PT
Yes, the police will organize at taxpayers expense
against us and our democratic process, to regulate and tax marijuana. There is no other country on the planet that has so much fascist police involvement in politics as the USA! After all this is how we got here in the 1st place.
Legalize It!
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Comment #2 posted by goneposthole on March 25, 2010 at 06:49:18 PT
will be used much less and cannabis will be used more, so one could expect fewer problems with alcohol with cannabis replacing alcohol by choice.Law enforcement will have less work to do. 
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Comment #1 posted by Graehstone on March 25, 2010 at 06:47:30 PT:
Yes we will!
Just watch us. ;)
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