Calif Measure Shows State’s Conflicted Link To Pot
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Calif Measure Shows State’s Conflicted Link To Pot
Posted by CN Staff on September 26, 2010 at 08:18:00 PT
By Marcus Wohlsen, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
San Francisco, CA -- It's the land of hippies, Humboldt County and Cheech and Chong. But in the state more closely associated with marijuana than any other, the ballot measure to legalize pot has exposed California's conflicted relationship with the drug.Pot growers have opposed it. Some police have favored it. Polls show the public is deeply divided. Only politicians have lined up as expected: Nearly all major party candidates oppose the measure.
Meanwhile, hanging over the whole debate: the federal law banning marijuana, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled still applies regardless of how Californians vote.As the Nov. 2 election nears, Proposition 19 has become about much more than the pros and cons of the drug itself. The campaigns for and against have framed the vote as a referendum on everything from jobs and taxes to crime and the environment.The measure gained ground in a Field Poll released Sunday, pulling ahead 49 percent to 42 percent among likely voters. The poll also found that Californians have become steadily more permissive toward the drug since pollsters began quizzing state residents about their attitudes 40 years ago.Proponents of say the measure is a way for the struggling state and its cities to raise badly needed funds. A legal pot industry, they say, would create jobs while undercutting violent criminals who profit off the illegal trade in the drug."I think it's a golden opportunity for California voters to strike a real blow against the (Mexican) drug cartels and drug gangs," said Joseph McNamara, who served as San Jose's police chief for about 15 years. "... That would be a greater blow than we ever struck during my 35 years in law enforcement."Supporters, including a group of former and current law enforcement officials, have called attention to the failure of the so-called "War on Drugs" to put a dent in pot production in California, and they say police need to pursue more dangerous crimes.To pull ahead, opponents will have to convince voters that legalized marijuana will create a greater public safety threat than keeping it illegal."If the price drops, more people are going to buy it. Low income people are going to buy marijuana instead of buying food, which happens with substance abusers," said Pleasant Hill police Chief Pete Dunbar, who also speaks for the California Police Chiefs' Association, one of many law enforcement groups against the measure.As a result, he said, legalizing marijuana would only encourage the cycle of theft and violence driven by people who need money to buy drugs. They argue that the wording of the proposed law would compromise public safety by gutting restrictions on driving and going to work while high.The state district attorneys' group has come out publicly against Proposition 19, as have many county governments, the editorial boards of the state's biggest newspapers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said the law would make California a "laughingstock."Under the proposed law, adults 21 and older could possess up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use and grow gardens up to 25 square feet.The proposal would allow cities and governments to decide for themselves whether to tax and allow pot sales. Opponents say a vague, disorganized patchwork of regulations would ensue and lead to chaos for police and courts.Proposition 19 is the brainchild of Richard Lee, an Oakland medical marijuana entrepreneur who spent more than $1 million to get the measure on the ballot. Also the founder of a trade school for aspiring marijuana growers and retailers, Lee has pushed legal marijuana as a boon to the state's economy and an important source of tax revenue to help close the state's massive budget deficit. The Service Employees International Union, the state's biggest union, has endorsed the measure as an economic booster.But analysts have said the economic consequences of a legalized pot trade are difficult to predict. The state Board of Equalization last year said a marijuana legalization measure proposed in the state legislature could have brought California up to $1.4 billion in tax revenue. On Friday, the agency said Proposition 19, which leaves marijuana taxing decisions to local governments, contained too many unknowns for its analysts to estimate how much the measure might generate.In July, the nonpartisan RAND Drug Policy Research Center forecast that legalizing marijuana could send prices plunging by as much as 90 percent. Lower prices could mean less tax revenue even as pot consumption rose, the group said.The potential price drop has brought unexpected opposition, or at least suspicion, from rural pot farmers who fear the loss of their traditional, though legally risky, way of life.Marijuana has become so crucial to rural economies along the state's North Coast that even some local government officials are working on plans for coping with a pot downturn.The state's medical marijuana economy is thriving as hundreds of retail dispensaries across California sell pot to hundreds of thousands of qualified patients. And some medical marijuana supporters have said Proposition 19 could undermine the credibility of the drug as a medical treatment."I'm just against the whole concept of the recreational use of marijuana," said Dennis Peron, the San Francisco activist who was the driving force behind the 1996 ballot measure that legalized medical marijuana.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Marcus Wohlsen, The Associated PressPublished:  September 26, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on September 27, 2010 at 09:44:07 PT
Propaganda getting more desperate
Wow, things are getting tough for the Prohibs, now they're just bleating "hippies! Cheech & Chong!!" at the top of the article without even bothering with pretense.I like the new one - people will spend so much on cannabis, they'll start stealing for food money! Ahnold was almost right - the state won't become a laughingstock if Prop 19 passes, it's a laughingstock right now! Laughable and delusionary propaganda.Much better to force working people to pay for 850,000 arrests and jail cells every year. Yes, that is the answer to keep the poor from foraging for food. Arresting 850,000 is always the best way to help the poor eat. That's what we do in the middle east right? Help the people eat with $800 billion worth of guns. Works like a charm.
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Comment #7 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on September 27, 2010 at 01:28:22 PT
So, Dennis Peron isn't specifically against 19 -
"I'm just against the whole concept of the recreational use of marijuana," said Dennis Peron.A lot of folks against Prop 19 like to say that Peron is against it, but they fail to mention that, apparently, he would be against any recreational legalization bill.
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Comment #6 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on September 27, 2010 at 01:18:23 PT
I'd go for a 3x3 and a 4x4
3x3=94x4=169+16=259 square for seedlings/clones/mothers16 square for floweringShould be plenty for an individual's recreation and probably enough for most folk's medication.Might be a little tougher for "low income" people to grow enough seed for FOOD, though, instead of paying the higher prices that come with having to import one of the most healthful and nutritious FOODs on Earth.And pretty much impossible to grow enough for fiber in 25 square to be worth the effort.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on September 26, 2010 at 17:02:27 PT
Five by five
flower boxes or hydro boxes should be a popular thing to have, make, or sell, when the day comes.Or four by six or three by eight boxes or containers that would fit nicely on balconies or patios. Maybe individual pots, carefully sized, that help you easily keep up with your square footage and are easy to turn with the sun. The cannabis plant is a beautiful plant.Or will they have to be hidden and under lock and key?Probably.Ooooh! The plant! The plant! The terrible, scary, dangerous plant! I can see it! I can smell it! Oooh! Oooh! Oooh!Even the "low income" people can probably grow it as well as middle income people... or good grief, high income people. Imagine that. Does "low income people" mean the same thing to Dunbar that "degenerate races" meant to Anslinger? Kind of sounds like it.
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Comment #4 posted by b4daylight on September 26, 2010 at 14:27:24 PT
one problem
Those "low income" people now resort to crime to pay for those drugs. Including dealing drugs or selling their welfare cards. If this passes the police chief will have less income, and that's the real reason. Sounds like the police have an addiction to "money"
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Comment #3 posted by museman on September 26, 2010 at 09:46:09 PT
High Income People
"Low income people are going to buy marijuana instead of buying food, which happens with substance abusers,"Cannabis users may abuse other substances, but it takes a lot of effort to 'abuse' cannabis -unless you're talking about stressing the plant for more THC.The differentiation of "Low income people" from everyone else shows the real stripes of this ilk. That ass-umption is so wide you could fly an airliner through it without crashing.How does all this human dross rise so high in public power?Money. Just money. Certainly not skill, talent, intelligence, benevolence, or any positive human attributes. Just money, from the rulers, and the people all fall down in awe and worship.Some may not believe it, but the day is coming when all these rabid dogs will be put down, and they are doing it to themselves -like most fools, they will fail in the end, because they will defend their ignorance to the death, and recently evolved awareness and intelligence will easily step aside to avoid falling mortar. But unfortunately before that happens they are going to literally raise hell for a few years yet. It could all end today if the people just stopped giving their power away to corporations, politicians, and falsely valued wealth, but that's about as likely as creating a time machine to go back and fix it somewhere around 1789.High Income People are not HIGH PEOPLE, they are the bastion of the status quo, and their values uphold all of the wrongness in human society. Whereas poor people tend to place values on family, love, and feeling good, over the false standards of capitalistic amerika. A poor person is about 90% more likely to give what little they have to help a fellow, than any of those who flaunt their fake wealth in synthesized symbols of materialism.STOP THE COP - LEGALIZE FREEDOM 
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on September 26, 2010 at 09:17:52 PT
Oh, I don't know?
But I think if the herb were legal and I was on welfare I would find a place to grow my 25'x 25' someplace?With herb more available people would not spend their grocery money on pot. He is still talking prohibition. and...if poor people are choosing pot over alcohol and other debilitating drugs, the welfare program should be handing it out free to people who's endo-cannabinoid producers are malfunctioning or running low?Why our bodies crave anything is because it feels it is missing something. 
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on September 26, 2010 at 08:22:59 PT
What a total BS article!
Just leave it to AP and Reuters fascist news wires to put out garbage like this!
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