Legalizing MJ To Be on Ballot for Californians
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Legalizing MJ To Be on Ballot for Californians
Posted by CN Staff on March 28, 2010 at 15:38:48 PT
By Dan Harris, Joel Siegel and Kathleen Hendry 
Source: ABC News 
California -- Richard Lee is a well-known businessman in Oakland, Calif. His business is marijuana -- and it is booming.From his coffee house selling medical marijuana, to his trade school for marijuana growers, Oaksterdam University, Lee employs 58 people and pays hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in taxes.
But last week, Lee achieved what is arguably his biggest success yet, after California's secretary of state ruled that his campaign to make marijuana legal had gathered enough signatures to place the issue before voters this November."I've always thought since I grew up in the '70s that cannabis prohibition is unjust and hypocritical," Lee said.The initiative would allow adults 21 or older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use. It also would allow the growing of up to 25 square feet of marijuana per residence.If the ballot measure is approved, California would become the first state to allow the recreational use of pot. It is likely to be a fierce campaign.Lee, a 47-year-old taciturn transplant from Texas, spent $1 million from his marijuana businesses -- all of them legal -- on the petition drive that got the referendum on the ballot.And now he hopes to raise $20 million for the fall campaign. He's being advised by some well-known political strategists, most notably Chris Lehane, who worked in the White House under President Bill Clinton and was a top operative in Al Gore's 2000 presidential race"We're starting radio commercials Monday in Los Angeles and the Bay Area and we have over 100,000 friends of Facebook," Lee said. "We're raising money from all over the United States on the Internet because people know this is a national issue and it starts in California."But opponents are mobilizing, too.Pastor Ron Allen of Sacramento is one of the leaders of a coalition of cops and clergy who say legalizing marijuana will lead to the use of harder drugs and only cause more problems for society.For Allen, this is also a personal crusade. He was a crack cocaine addict for seven years, and he says it all started with marijuana.Passage "would devastate California to the fullest extent. ... This is the worst thing that California could ever try to do," Allen said. Legalizing Marijuana To Be Put to a Vote in California"To legalize marijuana with our kids, we are going to see more dropouts, we are going to see more crime, we are going to see more thefts, and we are going to see our kids just hanging out on the corner," he said.Still, opposition to legalization is easing, both in California and nationally.Indeed, in some ways, Lee is a living symbol of how marijuana is becoming mainstream.His Oaksterdam University -- the name is a marriage of Oakland and drug-tolerant Amsterdam -- has grown to three campuses in California and one in Michigan. More than 4,000 people are expected to take classes this year.The school, which boasts that it provides "quality training for the cannabis industry," and Lee's other businesses have helped to revitalize part of downtown Oakland and turn the city into something of an unofficial capital of the legalization movement.Oakland already has passed its own version of the statewide ballot question. Its referendum directed the Oakland police to make enforcement of marijuana laws their lowest priority. Lee was a prime mover behind that ballot question, too.An ABC News/Washington Post poll in January found that 46 percent of Americans support legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use, up from 39 percent in 2002 and 22 percent in 1997. A Field Poll last year found that 56 percent of Californians support the idea.In 1996, California became the first state to make medical marijuana legal. Thirteen states have followed suit, and more are considering it. Making recreational use legal is the next logical step, Lee said.And in these tough times, he and other advocates say they have a powerful new argument: Governments need the cash that taxing marijuana could generate."The bad economy has definitely helped us out a lot as far as opening up a lot of people's minds to seeing that this is a waste of money and that we need to use our public funds better and tax these people," Lee said.Advocates say taxing marijuana could generate $1.4 billion in revenue for California every year, and save the state tens if not hundreds of millions dollars more in enforcement costs.But any tax revenue derived from legalizing marijuana would be "blood money," Allen said."They would have to have new smokers and new smokers would be our youth and our next generation," Allen said."And the money that they are talking about gaining on taxes, they are not telling us on how much more the parents will spend on funerals, on how much more the kids are going to spend in the emergency room," he said. "It will exceed those taxes."The referendum's passage would set up a clash with federal law, which still considers marijuana a dangerous drug. But Lee and other advocates said they doubt the federal government would ever come after individuals for smoking pot.Source: ABC News (US Web)Author: Dan Harris, Joel Siegel and Kathleen Hendry Published: March 28, 2010Copyright: 2010 ABC News Internet VenturesWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #12 posted by MikeEEEEE on March 28, 2010 at 20:39:54 PT
I expect the drug warrior$ will stand firm.
These guys have a lot to lose: the funding, not arresting real crimminals, control, etc. 
You can always take it from where it comes, but don't forget, it was always about THE MONEY.$$$$$$ and zzzzzzz....MikeEEEEE gotta go.
g'nite green warrior.
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Comment #11 posted by The GCW on March 28, 2010 at 20:26:37 PT
It's all relative...In the following story there are 2 sides on the medical issue in the Lake Tahoe area of California. The minority supports a medial cannabis ban and, "According to previous reports, the planning commission has cited a California Police Chief Association report that medicinal marijuana dispensaries cause crime as its main reason for the ban." CA: Latest Tahoe Medical Pot Vote Strengthens DividePubdate: Fri, 26 Mar 2010
Source: Sierra Sun (Truckee, CA)
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Comment #10 posted by MikeEEEEE on March 28, 2010 at 20:19:27 PT
Ask yourself: Why did so many follow the nazis? Perhaps these people started out as good souls.I may have some insight: years of endless propaganda, or the doctrine of the crowd (consensus/status quo). There are more I'm sure. I think education is the best bet. But it's hard to redirect the herd when they are dumbed down by a corporate media.
The corporate government always seems to pull out the, “SAVE THE CHILDREN” propaganda campaign. I’m sure some of us have felt annoyed about these weasels hiding behind the children. Yes, cowards in their war, but I sense their desperation.Mommy & daddy are less concerned about supporting a drug war, when that funding can be used to support/feed their children. Wait and see, witness the drug warriors path. Besides, as the sheep yawn at losing yet another right or freedom/power, scammed by wall st. or the banks, they too, will yawn at positive reform. Then of course, change the channel. Let us pray the mildly retarded masses have enough brain cells to elect the wise/righteous/good souls.
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Comment #9 posted by The GCW on March 28, 2010 at 19:43:48 PT
josephlacerenza & FoM,
"""cannabis is the ultimate peace pipe for people""" extends to the spiritual realities.A pipe is also thought of as a portable alter. Peace pipe. The Peace pipe helps Us more to love one another.To drink of the cup, is thought of as to smoke from a pipe. Webster's even defines drink as to smoke.And then another reality. It's not simply using cannabis (which does help). Cannabis' powers helps further when We are "granted" to use it. -see Revelation 2:7, "...To him who overcomes (evil and loves one another), I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God." josephlacerenza, I believe You are correct. We still don't know the full extent of how cannabis may help Us. I believe the implications are huge. It is evil that Our government is holding Us back.Think about it. My Father; Your Father, created Us with brains which have receptors for THC to bind to that do nothing elss. They're just waitin' there for what's next.Of all the good things to come from RE-legalizing the superplant, the spiritual implications are the greatest.The Green Collar Worker
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on March 28, 2010 at 18:53:10 PT
I believe that cannabis is the ultimate peace pipe for people. It calms and allows a person to focus and not be uptight all the time. A person can react if necessary but people who drink alcohol just can't do that. I think if a person gets a call and has to go to the hospital because someone got hurt a person that just used cannabis will get up and go but a person who just drank a six pack won't be able to respond in a safe way and promptly.
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on March 28, 2010 at 18:43:50 PT
"Nut-jobs are coming out of the woodwork" It's true. We'll have to be good teachers and expose evil at the same time.Another important part of RE-legalizing that Colorado (I think) failed on is concentrating on the flat-land farmer counties. In Colorado, the election results indicated the mountain communities supported the issue but the farmers did not. We must focus on the farmers too. After all it stands to reason that if people can grow cannabis w/ THC then free American farmers may grow hemp with out THC. 
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on March 28, 2010 at 18:36:10 PT
Not just a pastor; disobedient pastor.
As a Christian, I AM requested to love one another. Christians can not love someone and cage them for using what God says is good on the 1st page of the Bible.There is a lot of Biblical input on this issue too.Biblically, cannabis (kaneh bosm) prohibition is referred to as the "Sin of the Priests" -see Malachi 1:6-14 NASB. only Bibical restriction to using cannabis is to use the PLANT with thankfulness. -see 1 Timothy 4:1-5, where it seems to predict cannabis prohibition before it occurs and indicates what kind of people will prohibit the plant; which further describes the "pastor" mentioned in the above article. KY: PUB LTE: Preachers Against Marijuana Not Unusual worst parts of disobedient pastors making claims like above is that it takes away glory to My Father who created this plant. Another extremely bad effect is that it draws people away from My Father. How many people look at someone who claims to be a Christian yet helps cage other people for using a plant and then decides to not be a part of Christianity? It would be good for people to realize there are obedient and disobedient Christians and not decide to shun Christianity based on disobedient Christians.The Bible helps identify disobedient Christians. Know them and avoid them. An obedient Christian has the wonderful oppertunity to have a great relationship with Christ God Our Father, The Ecologician, through the spirit of trtuh. - see John 14-16 & 1st John. Simply love one another!The Green Collar Worker
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Comment #5 posted by MikeEEEEE on March 28, 2010 at 18:21:29 PT
in the emergency room
I doubt this guy knows anything about medicine.
People are more likely to end up in the ER for alcohol.Nut-jobs are coming out of the woodwork--a side effect of change and stupidity.
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Comment #4 posted by josephlacerenza on March 28, 2010 at 18:19:43 PT
OT, What does it mean to be human?
I just got finished watching this documentary about primates on Montana PBS. A fact about how stressed the primates were, even in the wild, chilled me to the bone. When examined, postmortem, they were dying of health related consequences of stress. Their social networks made them smarter, yet with intelligence came stress.Cannabis has been with humans a LONG TIME. The true length, I believe, has yet to be determined, the endocannabinoid system, the cannabinoid deficiency syndrome etc. Could cannabis have aloud human ancestors to relax and socialize on a different wavelength? Could there have been a co-evolution with cannabis that aloud our primate sisters and brothers to work on harder tasks, freedom, personal rights?Could the fact be, that the whole humans killing humans, could be mitigated by a joint? Could SOME of the social problems we face today stem from the fact we, as humans do not consume cannabis on a regular basis? I know my wife says I get cranky when i do not have my cannabis :) Even consuming hemp food products have therapeutic levels of cannabinoids.Imagine, you have an altercation at work. A cannabis therapist is assigned to the parties involved, and a smoke-out is the remedy. No verbal warnings, no write ups, just a good old fashioned talk fest.Oh, and yes, you could vape if you do not want to smoke LoL! ;) 
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Comment #3 posted by EAH on March 28, 2010 at 18:05:49 PT:
Do you like herring?
Because there's going to be a lot of red herring served to Californians.Pastor Ron Allen does not seem to say anything actually factual at all. I don't think he knows any facts. The media should not be repeating in print or on TV
ANYTHING this guys says
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Comment #2 posted by Vincent on March 28, 2010 at 17:47:04 PT:
The Pastor
Did you ever notice that people who screw up their lives almost always blame drugs or alcohol for their problems? And how often they become Born-Again Christians? Or Born-Again Jews? Or Muslims? Or Hindus?You see, just because they screwed up their life, they assume that EVERYBODY is as weak as they are.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on March 28, 2010 at 16:07:05 PT
"more money spent on funerals"
Huh?What?And they quote this guy?
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