Strategizing Legalization’s Pros and Cons
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Strategizing Legalization’s Pros and Cons
Posted by CN Staff on April 24, 2010 at 04:35:47 PT
By Jesse McKinley
Source: New York Times
San Francisco -- As a longtime Democratic consultant, Chris Lehane has worked for presidents and managed scandals. But his current gig — as a strategist for the campaign to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in California — is the one that has really caught the attention of his colleagues.“I’ve got a lot of people calling looking for business on this one,” Mr. Lehane said. Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996. But the new ballot measure would allow anyone over 21 to buy, possess, use or cultivate marijuana. It would bar personal possession of more than one ounce as well as smoking the drug in public or around minors.
Supporters have encouraged legalization as a potential boon for sales tax revenue — up to $1.4 billion annually, according to some estimates — in budget-crunched California. But the measure is expected to be strongly opposed by law enforcement, which says it would actually end up costing the state in increased public health and safety expenses.“It’s fraudulent,” said John Lovell, a Sacramento lobbyist who represents the state groups for police chiefs and narcotics officers.While the state’s Republican Party has come out against the measure, Mr. Lehane says legalization is a bipartisan issue, attracting liberals and libertarians alike. Several polls have also shown a slim majority of Californians favoring legalization. “They accept the premise that it is de facto legal anyway,” Mr. Lehane said. “And that the current system is not working.”The X-factor in the campaign may be the current proprietors of medical marijuana facilities, who have built a $1 billion industry — and a kind of quasi-legal monopoly — in the state.Kevin Reed, the president of the Green Cross, a cannabis delivery service based in San Francisco, admitted last week to be conflicted on the issue, writing that “if the legalization-for-all social experiment fails, it could bring the medical cannabis movement down with it.”Mr. Lehane said the campaign would not concern medical marijuana — which a majority of Americans approve of, according to a recent Associated Press/CNBC poll — but “whether government’s failed prohibition approach should be replaced with a system that will better control it and collect revenue from it.”“The issue is not ‘if’ but merely ‘when,’ ” Mr. Lehane said.Like all California races, the marijuana campaign is expected to be expensive. Proponents want to raise at least $10 million, and had raised about $1.3 million by the end of 2009, much of it donated by Richard Lee, a co-sponsor of the measure who runs a trade school devoted to the drug in Oakland.Mr. Lovell, meanwhile, does not expect to need as much money. “They’ll outspend us five or six times to one,” he said. “But all we need to do is raise enough money to get our message out. And if we do that, we will win.”A version of this article appeared in print on April 24, 2010, on page A12 of the New York edition.Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Jesse McKinleyPublished: April 24, 2010Copyright: 2010 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on April 25, 2010 at 12:33:59 PT
Interesting conversation at Science Blogs.
California's Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 Lies About Addiction
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Comment #8 posted by Vincent on April 24, 2010 at 20:21:55 PT:
John Lovell
Mr. John "Marijuana is bad, I don't care what they say" Lovell is a throwback to an earlier, dumber time. I argue with guys like that all the time on the computer. Whenever I remind them that, as a Baby-boomer, they lived through the same times as we did, and so their attitude should be more open. And they will come back with, "I used to do that when I was young, but then I grew up", insinuating that THEIR ways and beliefs are the right ones. And so it goes that since they stopped smoking herb, then we must also, so that way we can be "responsible" just like them.But then you have to think that guys like that HAVEN'T changed in 35 years. I mean, really, do you think that you would've hung out with a guy such as John Lovell, or Rush Limbaugh, back in 1974? I'll bet the answer to that question is NO, because John Lovell would've been just as obnoxious when he was 19! He wasn't a friend then, he's not one today, and he NEVER will be. 
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on April 24, 2010 at 16:08:19 PT
James Crosby,
I listen to police types. Then I attempt to write letters to expose lies, half-truths and propanda that comes from their direction. They tend to be easy to expose since they usually say things that are easy to discredit.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on April 24, 2010 at 14:39:18 PT
Lovell says, "Send money."
 “But all we need to do is raise enough money to get our message out. And if we do that, we will win.”"He's saying they, a group of organized prohibitionists, I assume, will get a message out to voters, that obviously don't have a clue as to what any of it's about, if only you give them enough money.Maybe he ought to look into encouraging his allies on the issue to send letters to editors to newspapers and call in to radio and television talk shows.It's an excellent way of getting the truth out there. If it's true.
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Comment #5 posted by Paint with light on April 24, 2010 at 13:22:46 PT
The real total spent
If you want to look at the real expendatures against us you have to add the salaries and expenses of all law enforcement.Part of their job each day is to speak out against our cause.Add the expenses of the liquor lobby, the phamaceutical lobby, and the prison guards lobby and you are getting closer to the real figure but you aren't there yet.Don't forget the paid for by our tax dollar opponents that get grants each year to tell lies against us(such as Drug-Free America and Dare).I think by the time you really add it up we will be outspent by a bigger margin than 6 to 1.Legal like alcohol. 
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Comment #4 posted by James Crosby on April 24, 2010 at 11:58:01 PT:
Does anyone even listen to the government & police anymore? I know I don't.... I also don't know anyone who does. No one cares what the stupid police, and the idiotic government has to say... They are just plain stupid. 
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Comment #3 posted by herbdoc215 on April 24, 2010 at 09:51:27 PT
Mr. Lovell, you wanna make a fat bet on your BS?
"Mr. Lovell, meanwhile, does not expect to need as much money. “They’ll outspend us five or six times to one,” he said. “But all we need to do is raise enough money to get our message out. And if we do that, we will win.”"Because I will give you 5 to 1 odds on your money if you wanna put it where your big fat lying mouth is you tool and big fool!!! Anybody wanna take my bet? Come on now you anti's, surly if you believe your own bullshit then put up! Peace, Steve Tuck
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on April 24, 2010 at 09:05:36 PT
"Fraudulent"? "Bogus"?
Nope. It's really happening, prohibitionists. It's real. Your bogus and fraudulent house of criminality cards is fixing to fall. For real.
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Comment #1 posted by Cheebs1 on April 24, 2010 at 07:17:35 PT:
John Lovell is quoted as saying, "It's fraudulent". The only fraud being perpetrated is by this lobbyist and the group that he represents. It is fraudulent to raise unsubstantied fears in a populace when the actual facts are easily obtainable. Prohibitionists only tell half truths and then use words that imply things. If you think that more money will be spent on human services if cannabis is made legal then maybe a close examination of two countries that have done so is in order. Portugal and Peru have shown that the massive increase of users and the terrible over crowding in hospitals is just another lie from the prohibs. I feel like I am on X-Files becuase I always have to inform people that "the truth is out there". It is just a matter of whether you want to look for it and if you are going to believe it when you find it. 
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