Little Consensus on Initiative To Legalize Pot

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  Little Consensus on Initiative To Legalize Pot

Posted by CN Staff on May 03, 2010 at 04:30:23 PT
By Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writer 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle 

California -- Talk about murky. The economic impact, the potential social and legal landscape, even the split between the pro and con sides in the squabble over the initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California - they're all about as clear as smoke from a bong.Most medicinal-marijuana advocates think it would be just fine if good-time tokers joined their legal crowd. Others worry it might ruin the purity of using pot as medicine.
Some associated with law enforcement think it's time to treat weed like liquor and give up trying to tamp down the trade. More think this approach will just lead to a dangerous explosion of potheads on the roads and at work.There are illegal-weed growers who are afraid they'll lose their livelihood, and others who think business will boom. A few politicians, including Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, who is floating his own legalization bill in the Legislature, are backing the measure. Many, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the major candidates to replace him, oppose it.And then there is the money issue - the biggest elephant in a smoky room of elephants.Proponents of the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 say taxing pot could inject $1.4 billion a year in taxes and fees into a state general fund that badly needs the money. The annual California pot output, according to the state Board of Equalization, is estimated to be worth $14 billion, making it the state's biggest cash crop - and if marijuana is legalized, the figure could billow much higher, advocates say.Opponents counter that the figure is a pipe dream, because even if the measure passes, pot use will still be illegal under U.S. law - so anyone reporting income will be vulnerable to federal prosecution.About the only thing both sides can agree on is that if the measure passes, nobody knows exactly how it will play out.It would be the most sweeping decriminalization of the use and sale of marijuana in America. Attitudes Changed   "It's hard to imagine how the discussion of legalizing marijuana would have even gotten off the ground if not for the state budget crisis," said Robert MacCoun, a UC Berkeley law professor who specializes in drug policy.He noted that opposition to legalization in California polled at around 80 percent until voters authorized pot in 1996 for medical use. By the early 2000s, those in favor of legalization were polling above 40 percent. Last year, with the state deep in budgetary crisis, a Field Poll cracked the halfway mark and put support in California at 56 percent.Clearly, the desire to aim a new fire hose of cash at the state's $20 billion deficit is making the taxation of pot more attractive than ever, MacCoun said. But just as significant, most of the momentum to legalize pot comes from younger people. Snipped   Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff WriterPublished: Monday, May 3, 2010Copyright: 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: CannabisNews  -- Cannabis  Archives

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Comment #28 posted by FoM on May 03, 2010 at 15:01:06 PT
Federal Judge Rejects Bid To Halt Pot Clinic Ban
May 3, 2010URL:
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Comment #27 posted by Nic on May 03, 2010 at 14:48:13 PT
re: the prohibitionists have come out fighting.
All eyes are looking at CaliforniaThe YES VOTE will reverberate throughout 'this planet 
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Comment #26 posted by EAH on May 03, 2010 at 14:16:06 PT:
Did you ever have one of those moments when you were firmly invested and committed to something, totally unaware of how far from reality and proportion you had become? Like yelling at a child abusively for a minor transgression? Then suddenly it hit you how absurd and ridiculous you were being and you felt foolish and ashamed?That's how we as a nation have been for decades about cannabis. We have blown this plant all out proportion to the point of absurdity. At least everyone who has feared it and supported the prohibition has, which for a long time has been most of us. I rarely use it anymore, but I did over the weekend, and as I was experiencing the effects I couldn't help but be amazed how silly all of this has been. All to prevent anyone from experiencing those effects. Large numbers of people have no first hand experience and so they are willing to believe things they have been told. Think of all the power and resources
of the State put into imposing and perpetuating this and it is mind blowing.Each time I read one of these articles with all the BS that gets repeated over and over again, I wonder when is the wake up ever going to happen?
Cannabis is not worth all this fuss. 
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Comment #25 posted by Hope on May 03, 2010 at 13:56:59 PT
From the comment thread
on this article over at the Chronicle and a couple others I've seen lately, the prohibitionists have come out fighting.
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on May 03, 2010 at 13:19:17 PT
Thank you for sharing CNews with more people.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on May 03, 2010 at 13:17:44 PT
LA Begins Process of Closing Hundreds of Pot Shops
May 3, 2010Los Angeles, CA -- Hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries are being told they must shut down to comply with a recently approved city ordinance in Los Angeles.More than 500 letters were expected to be mailed Tuesday to collectives across the city, where dispensaries had been multiplying in recent years as city officials struggled to approve a local law.Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Friday signed an ordinance that sets fees for the pot clinics allowed to remain open if they meet stricter guidelines. About 137 eligible dispensaries have six months to comply.City officials say the remainder have until June 7 to close.Twenty-one collectives have sued Los Angeles to block enforcement of the new law.Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressURL:
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Comment #22 posted by MaryjaneDaly on May 03, 2010 at 12:36:42 PT:
Pass this measure & we get HEMP as an added bonus!
If we pass Control & Tax Cannabis (Twitter  TaxCannabis) there will be no way the DEA can hold HEMP hostage ever again and WE ALL WILL WIN! --- ---
MaryjaneDaly on Twitter
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on May 03, 2010 at 12:35:15 PT
D.C. Wire: Last-Ditch Lobbying Effort
Pro-Pot Forces Launch Last-Ditch Lobbying EffortBy Gene Fynes  May 3, 2010Advocates for legalized medical marijuana are launching a last-minute appeal to the D.C. Council to make major changes to its proposal to legalize the drug for medical purposes.On Tuesday, the council is scheduled to give final approval to a bill that establishes as many as eight medical marijuana dispensaries in the city where chronically ill patients with a doctor's recommendation can go to obtain the drug. The bill, which the council unanimously backed in a tentative vote two weeks ago, restricts qualified patients to two ounces of marijuana a month.To supply the drug to the dispensaries, the city will allow cultivation centers, but they will not be allowed to grow more than 95 plants at a time. Patients will not be allowed to grow their own marijuana.At a noon news conference, advocates for legalized medical marijuana announced that they will be lobbying council members this afternoon urging amendments before members vote on it Tuesday. Specifically, advocates are calling for a self-cultivation provision. They also argue that the two ounce and 95 plant limits are too low for the law to be effective. Advocates also want the council to prohibit for-profit companies from bidding on the dispensary licenses, and are requesting additional protections for qualified patients so they can't be fired if they test positive for drug use on the job."Right now, if this passes, they are protected from law enforcement ... but if they test dirty at their jobs, there is no protection and they could lose their job," said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safer Access.Sherer said she is also optimistic that council members will at least agree to increase possession limits from two to four to six ounces. Some patients, she said, like to mix their marijuana with baked goods or liquidize instead of smoke it, so they need more than two ounces to do it effectively.But Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), a sponsor of the council bill, said today that he does not think the council will agree to change the bill. Mendelson, chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and Judiciary, said the current bill strikes "the right balance.""We are trying to work with law enforcement just to make sure it doesn't open the door to legalized pot," Menedelson said. "This is the balance we found."One of the advocates lobbying the council, Chris Garrett, is a survivor of Aplastic anemia and says he needs marijuana for chronic joint pain. But Garrett worries that the current proposal gives too much authority to the D.C. Department of Health. Under the proposal, he claims, the Department of Health would have the power to overrule a doctor's recommendation that a patient needs marijuana."These decisions should be made by the patient and doctor," said Garrett, who lives in Southeast Washington. "If you have an acute illness or chronic illness, it is important you get the medication as quickly as possible."Debbie Salmi of Jacksonville, Fla., is lobbying the council because she wants to move back to the District to be prescribed marijuana to treat her breast cancer. Salmi, a District native, said her feet got "burned" after she overdosed from chemotherapy last year. To relieve the pain in her feet, Salmi said her doctor put her on oxycontin and oxycodone, but she developed numerous adverse reactions to those drugs."When I got to 320 pills of oxycodone and oxycotin a month, that is when I said, 'I'm done,' " Salmi said. "I found medical cannabis in January and it allows me to sleep and relieves the pain in my feet."Salmi, 52, wants the council to allow for self-cultivation so "people are not embarrassed" by going to a public dispensary."I want this bill done correctly," Salmi said. "I think what they do will set the standard for the nation."--- Tim CraigCopyright: 2010 The Washington Post CompanyURL:
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on May 03, 2010 at 12:17:53 PT
That was great. Thank you so much.
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Comment #19 posted by goneposthole on May 03, 2010 at 12:00:51 PT
National Prayer Day
This coming Thursday.So, let us pray... even if it's way ahead of time, it's ok, you can pray anytime, not just on National Prayer Day.The lamest day in the entire history of mankind, National Prayer Day. A day for complete morons. Sorry, religious zealots, but it is just plain dumb. It's a sin and sacrilege to have such an idiotic event. God scoffs at such foolishness. However, I digress.John Lennon's Imagine is really a prayer.Pray for the Gulf of Mexico right now, for God sakes.Here's my prayer:Dear Lord,Let cannabis be free and freed. Beseech those who choose to persecute those who choose healing, not hate. Let them turn away from hate and follow Your Way, Lord. Help them in all ways. It's Your Kingdom. It's Your Will to be done. A better light. A better law. A better way.Cannabis for all. Thanks God, You can do it all. AmenMost of all, legalize cannabis, tax sales to fund healthcare and other positive expenditures. Legal cannabis does work. People grow it in their yards in Perth, Australia. Legal cannabis works. It will stop the killing. Free those imprisoned from cannabis prohibition madness.Use it for medicine too! Legalization works.Use hemp fibre to soak up spilled oil along the shores of Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, etc. Burn it at power plants.We need prayer a helluva lot more than bombs, for Christ's sake.Let's all hope and pray. Better than not at this point.Oh yeah, give us this day our daily bread.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on May 03, 2010 at 11:52:52 PT
Thanks. It probably was something like that. And my last comment before this was addressed to Runruff. Sorry I didn't make that clear.It's a beautiful day here and lots to be distracted by.
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on May 03, 2010 at 11:40:10 PT
Whatever you do... presenting a copy
of it to the judge, or whatever you do... wait until after the official release is completely done and official... so they can't snatch it back!Please.I know you won't listen to me... but I want that release official and a done deal that they can't revoke.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on May 03, 2010 at 11:33:24 PT
I just look on Mapinc. web site and if Dale means the Las Vegas Review Journal it is ok to use their news. If they changed their mind Matt Elrod will somehow snip the articles. That has happened before. 
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Comment #15 posted by rchandar on May 03, 2010 at 11:27:16 PT:
They Can't Do S #t To Us, So Go For It
Really, folks. It's a godsend, and a measure in the direction that we obviously want to see realize. Let the states drop their penalties, one by one. Meaning: state governments do not have the time or resources to commit to a failed Drug War that's eating our budget. No more penalties.Any of you that believe that the Federal government could step up enforcement to take its place, relax. Feds are generally only interested in big-time arrests--usually, traffickers and large-scale growers. The growers themselves could put together a medical defense with 215, and it might hold up in a lot of cases.In any event, the Federal government would have to put down about 70,000 new officers to enforce a law that the State would be dropping. I don't think Obama will endorse such an idea--other states are more needy of Federal dollars and cops. I don't think a future President would okay basically re-coining D-Day for such a minor purpose--meaning, it's social policy, not Armageddon. I say, go for it.--rchandar
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on May 03, 2010 at 11:26:59 PT
You're welcome. 
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Comment #13 posted by runruff on May 03, 2010 at 11:23:39 PT
I talked to my attorney this morning.
I am suppose to go before the judge, Judge Panner May tenth to get my official release.I want to present my Schedule 1 nullification argument but my attorney said the judge would not likely allow me to present this argument in court based on the fact that the 85 year old judge has sentenced too many people for marijuana too many years to allow this ruling to come out of his court?Last week he gave a guy 19.5 years for growing 10,000 cannabis plants. At least those are the DEA figures and I know from extensive experience that the DEA lies about everything. Cheating, lying and double dealing is the DEA's stock in trade.You have seen my argument, it is a good one and the fact that they will not allow me to present it in court tells me it is probably a winner!
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on May 03, 2010 at 11:21:34 PT
Thank you
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Comment #11 posted by The GCW on May 03, 2010 at 11:13:26 PT
I have no idea what this is about but thought to share it with You since it may effect You and Us... It's from the MAP site: Coming soon. Two More Websites Sued Over Posting Of R-j Stories Newshawk Dale Gieringer Pubdate Mon, 03 May 2010 Timestamp 05/03/2010 10:43:19 -0-Sounds like some newspaper(s) is taking legal action against websites which post their stuff.
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Comment #10 posted by Cheebs1 on May 03, 2010 at 11:04:12 PT:
I have double-posted before and the cause, for me, was that I had posted and confirmed and then stepped away from the computer. When I came back , after the computer had gone into sleep mode, I noticed the confirm post screen was up. I confirmed the post thinking that I had not done that step and voila, a double-post was born. Not to mention the double-posts when the dog or child distract me lol. 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on May 03, 2010 at 11:01:44 PT
All fixed!
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on May 03, 2010 at 10:35:08 PT

Sam, I laughed when I first read,
"No, the referendum would just take us from today where evil cannabis is magically held in check by government decree to a day where cannabis is unleashed on an vulnerable and innocent population."But a prohibitionist wouldn't laugh. They obviously believe that to be true. They are laboring under a load of delusion, but they believe that and are, apparently, very angry and fearful.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on May 03, 2010 at 09:19:10 PT

smells like propaganda to me
1) No mention of Mexican cartel violence (essentially Mexican Civil War)2) No mention of the 75,000 people arrested every year by police in California.No, the referendum would just take us from today where evil cannabis is magically held in check by government decree to a day where cannabis is unleashed on an vulnerable and innocent population.there's nothing confusing about this issue at all, it couldn't be any more black and white. Continue to send armed enforcers to arrest tens of thousands per year, or not. 
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Comment #2 posted by Jim Leighton on May 03, 2010 at 07:00:16 PT:

legalize because it is the right thing to do
Cannabis is medicinal . Enough studies have been completed to prove it . The Federal prohibition is based on the lie that cannabis has no medicinal value . 
Also a fact proved by medical research , cannabis is a safer alternative than other recreational drugs , ( alcohol,cigarettes,...).
So , for all who are being prosecuted , jailed and otherwise threatened by this illegal law , yes , hell yes we want to legalize . No muddy water here .Clearly legalization will be a boon to the medical and industrial proponents of this movement . Recreationally , it is already a huge industry that will continue and be more enjoyable without the annoyance of a wrongful prohibition .

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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on May 03, 2010 at 05:22:51 PT

Calling all activists, calling all activists.
Quoted: "Most medicinal-marijuana advocates think it would be just fine if good-time tokers joined their legal crowd. Others worry it might ruin the purity of using pot as medicine."I believe the hemp activists' took this route years ago and then finaly considered it would help to be associated with cannabis activists...The medical cannabis users are where they are partly due to recreational activists.Completely re-legalizing the plant can not harm medical users but keeping cannabis prohibition can.If the federal governement didn't notice the activism coming in from all angles they may step in and stop citizens from using cannabis medicinally.Completely re-legalizing the plant can not harm the effort for free American farmers to grow hemp, but keeping the plant illegal can.It takes a village to stop the calvina faye's of the world from harming their fellow humans. I hope that when We get done, the only place where people discriminate against other people for using cannabis responsibly is in Calvina Fayes' cave. -And then get tired of it there too.
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