Cannabis Campaigns Fire Up for Big Vote
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Cannabis Campaigns Fire Up for Big Vote
Posted by CN Staff on May 17, 2010 at 05:07:45 PT
By Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Source: Daily Bulletin
California -- The results of the June primary are not yet on the books, but both sides, in what could be be blockbuster campaign over the legalization of marijuana, are already preparing for November. "Can we win this? Can we win this?" marijuana advocate Lanny Swerdlow asked those who attended a Wednesday night meeting for legalization supporters. "Yeah, we think we can," Swerdlow said in answer to his own question. "We're going to have some major opponents ... (but) this will be the beginning of the end of the drug war."
The initiative would allow Californians who are at least 21 years old to possess as much as an ounce of marijuana and grow their own plants on as much as 25 square feet. Local governments would be given power to regulate the commercial cultivation and sale of marijuana. "I think certainly it's going to be one of the highlight campaigns," said Tim Rosales, spokesman for Public Safety First, the official campaign formed in opposition to the marijuana initiative. The marijuana initiative does not yet have a proposition number for the November ballot. Its supporters are calling their campaign "Control and Tax Cannabis California 2010." Both sides say polling results show they have a majority of voters. The legalization campaign points to Field Poll results released April 30 that showed 56 percent of respondents willing to legalize and tax marijuana. The opposition campaign's poll had the same percentage of respondents wanting to keep marijuana illegal. The only poll that really matters will be the Nov. 2 vote, and until then, the campaigns are sure to revive arguments that have been made for and against marijuana since Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. For those wanting to keep marijuana illegal, the drug is the gateway to crime and more dangerous substances such as methamphetamine and heroin. To legalization proponents, marijuana is safer than alcohol, and its prohibition leads to unjust jail time and waste of law enforcement resources. During the years since the 1996 passage of Proposition 215 - the initiative that allowed medical marijuana - much of the debate has centered on whether cannabis sativa can be legitimately considered a medicine. Skeptics have argued since 1996 that medical marijuana is a smoke screen for legal highs, but providers say cannabis is often better than pharmaceutical painkillers. Whatever the medical value of cannabis is, proponents of the new initiative make no bones about their view that there's nothing wrong with recreational marijuana use. "People like to party. People like to alter their consciousness," Swerdlow said. "We've been doing this for so long that there's probably a genetic reason for it. We've got to give people a safer alternative." But taxes - and California's perennial budget crises - are also going to be part of the marijuana debate. Proponents say state government can reduce its deficit if marijuana is taxed and regulated. Supporters point to the California Board of Equalization's analysis of AB 390, an Assembly bill authored by San Francisco Democrat Tom Ammiano to legalize marijuana. Board staffers predicted that if marijuana were sold and taxed under that bill, annual state revenues would be around $1.4billion. Current revenues from taxes on medical marijuana transactions are estimated at $58 million to $105million per year, board spokeswoman Anita Gore said. Proponents expect a fight from the law enforcement community and are assured of getting one. The California State Sheriff's Association and several other officials, including San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos and Sheriff Rod Hoops, have already joined the opposition. "You're going to set up candy shops for the Mexican cartels," said Ramos, who called the initiative the worst ballot proposition he has ever seen. Passing the initiative, Ramos predicted, would lead to traffic cops struggling to keep streets safe from a wave of marijuana-impaired drivers. He said the initiative would also lead to more abuse of harder drugs. The legalization campaign maintains that cartels are able to make money off marijuana because it is illegal. Proponents say passing the proposition would take pot off the black market, an expectation that arouses support within pro-marijuana circles. During Swerdlow's meeting last week at THCF Medical Clinic in Riverside, he and Oaksterdam University President Richard Lee addressed such concerns as the possibilities of a legal marijuana market leading to a corporate takeover of the marijuana business or dwindling profits for cultivators. "They are harvesting bad karma, because the high prices come from people being locked in jail," Lee said.Source: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA)Author: Andrew Edwards, Staff WriterPublished: May 16, 2010Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles Newspaper GroupContact: letters dailybulletin.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #9 posted by Had Enough on May 18, 2010 at 08:12:13 PT
The article...
Once again...’NO’ mention of SWAT teams breaking down doors in the middle of the night, killing people and their dogs...‘NO’ mention of peoples live ruined for life because of a pot bust in their past...‘NO’ mention of the fate of people like Rachel Hoffman, Kathryn Johnston, and others...‘NO’ mention of police/judge/DA/DEA corruption...A ‘NO’ vote is a vote for continuance...Vote ‘YES’ to end this madness!!!***Botched raids...
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Comment #8 posted by Had Enough on May 18, 2010 at 07:42:44 PT
California Dreamin’
How could anyone not vote YES!!!...unless they like the laws the way they are...for whatever reason...mykeyb420...think about it. This is a historic vote not only for California, or the USA...but the entire world would benefit from California saying YES!!!Like a rolling stone...once it gains even more momentum... it will be harder to stop!!!Go for it!!!Screw the warts on the amendment...they can be removed after the storm subsides...It’s a dream come true...Read comment #5 from Hope ...please...************The Mamas & The Papas - California dreamin
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Comment #7 posted by Canis420 on May 17, 2010 at 21:44:50 PT:
The whole country of reformers are prayin this is hugely important...even with its imperfections...please vote yes...jus sayin from central florida
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on May 17, 2010 at 21:25:59 PT
Amen, Hope
Legalize it ... please!
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on May 17, 2010 at 20:21:29 PT
All these divisions.
All the people against it, for one reason or another, that are for legalization, but they're against this particular initiative. Sometimes they are against it just because they personally dislike Richard Lee.That's not good. The prohibitionists must be thrilled at the thought of how divided cannabists are on this and how they'd rather do without than have one that needs improvements.People would be absolutely crazy to pass this chance up, to jepoardize it's passage, because it wasn't the right one and wait, what another year, another two years, another five years? That's crazy, people. Pass this thing. Pass it good with historical margins. Please. Kick that wall down. Butst that door open into a freer California and a jump start for the rest of the nation. You have a chance. Please.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on May 17, 2010 at 20:14:14 PT
If it passes
certainly, it can be tweaked. It can be made better. Improved. Can't it?Wait how long for another chance?
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on May 17, 2010 at 20:13:17 PT
No? Then nothing if it can't be the one you wanted?
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Comment #2 posted by mykeyb420 on May 17, 2010 at 19:13:00 PT
pot prop
I live in California and I plan to vote NO on this because Jack Herer, ( RIP ) was against it and it is totally taxation without representation.
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Comment #1 posted by b4daylight on May 17, 2010 at 16:27:16 PT
Baseless claim
"Passing the initiative, Ramos predicted, would lead to traffic cops struggling to keep streets safe from a wave of marijuana-impaired drivers. He said the initiative would also lead to more abuse of harder drugs."
And when cannabis is free and doesn't support their claim they all resign? 
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