Prop. 19 Could Set Up Battle Between CA and Feds
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Prop. 19 Could Set Up Battle Between CA and Feds
Posted by CN Staff on October 13, 2010 at 13:43:24 PT
By Peter Hecht, Sacramento Bee
Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento, CA -- Backers of California's Proposition 19 call it a landmark challenge to America's war on drugs. But passage of the initiative to legalize pot for recreational use may open up a legal war between California and the federal government.Some fear a renewed surge of federal raids - similar to actions that shut down medical pot shops, targeted suppliers and doctors after California voters passed Proposition 215, its medical marijuana law in 1996.
Even some fervent proponents of the initiative to allow anyone 21 and over to smoke pot say federal authorities will quickly sue California to overturn the new law. "I have no doubt that the feds will file suit if Proposition 19 passes," said Dale Gieringer, California director for the pro-legalization National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.In an Aug. 24 letter, nine former administrators for the Drug Enforcement Administration urged Attorney General Eric Holder to bring suit against California - just as the Obama administration sued Arizona when that state passed a controversial immigration law."The California proposition is not a close call," wrote the ex-DEA administrators, including Robert Bonner, the former supervising U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. "It will be a clear conflict with established federal law."Bonner said last week that the California measure conflicts with United Nations treaties signed to prevent the spread of psychoactive drugs."The United States has treaties that would be violated if Proposition 19 were enacted. It would send a terrible signal to countries of the world," he said.Officially, the U.S. Justice Department isn't saying how it would respond if Proposition 19 passes.  Snipped   Complete Article: Sacramento Bee (CA)Author: Peter Hecht, Sacramento BeePublished: October 13, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Sacramento BeeContact: opinion sacbee.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on October 14, 2010 at 16:58:29 PT
Paint with light
I think I have covered how I feel. That's my opinion about Mansion. He was a bad person that's about all. He doesn't warrant this attention in this day and age of progressive thinkers. 
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Comment #24 posted by Paint with light on October 14, 2010 at 16:54:26 PT
I really don't understand
I really don't understand why you think anything I have said is a dig against anybody.As I said, I don't want to embarrass anybody.I brought up the past discussion because you seemed to be thinking I am attacking something or somebody.If we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.
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Comment #23 posted by Paint with light on October 14, 2010 at 16:46:01 PT
current wikipedia entry
The details of the trial were reported throughout the world. Kasabian was a reliable and consistent witness. She testified about a hippie group and its leader Charles Manson, a thwarted musician who believed that a race war was imminent.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on October 14, 2010 at 16:30:50 PT
Paint with Light
I haven't talked to anyone around here about the 60s culture that even mentions Manson. Most people know that he wasn't a real hippie and didn't represent the good that was done by the people of that time. Maybe it was emphasized where you live but not back near Philadelphia where I lived. Long hair does not make a hippie. That's all Manson had. I don't know about people my age that are against reform. Maybe people near 70 are but not from my era. The Vietnam War changed everything. You don't need to bring up past discussions just to dig. You should try to leave the past the past and move on for everyone's sake. At least for our websites sake and the people who read and comment here. 
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Comment #21 posted by Paint with light on October 14, 2010 at 16:19:40 PT
People over 60
The acceptance of cannabis decreases drastically once you look at the population that is past the age of 60.That was pointed out in a recent story posted here.There is a reason for that.What do you think the reason is?My theory, and it is just a theory, is that age group is the generation that lived with daily TV, magazine, and newspaper coverage of the Manson family murders.Most of them have never forgot that time whether consciously or unconsciously.Even though the Manson family did not represent the majority of those that embraced the hippie culture it was portrayed that way by the popular media outlets.We didn't have the internet and we only had three TV channels where I lived.We certainly didn't have anything approaching Cnews.We did have "The Great Speckled Bird", and other "underground" newspapers but they really couldn't compete with the messages coming from the MSM.The "family" was always portrayed as drug crazed hippies.It wasn't true, but that is the way it was portrayed.Look at the newspapers accounts from that time or any TV reports from that time and you will see what I mean.We still suffer from some of that same bias today.Luckily most people under 50 were never exposed to the daily misconceptions peddled by those with the communication power of the time.If you think back to one of my early posts here you will remember that I defended the hippie culture from attack by somebody that said it was buried back in the late 60's.I would put a link to it but I don't want to embarrass anybody.I referenced Wikipedia in my post,if you will remember."Manson was a fake and latched on to our good culture to use it for bad things."I agree.I haven't ever said anything against hippies.I just felt the sting of the media bias from the past and pointed it out. Thanks for the discussion.Legal like hippies.
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on October 14, 2010 at 15:26:52 PT
Paint with Light
Here is the dispensary I was thinking about. If you look at the picture you see hippies are alive and well and doing good things like they did for society back in the 60s. We never went away we just kept on dreaming and smiling. I don't dress like a hippie but I have a hippie heart. Mansion was a fake and latched on to our good culture to use it for bad things.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on October 14, 2010 at 12:36:13 PT
Paint with Light
I find that the culture of the hippies is still alive and well. I don't even think of Manson when I think of the original hippie culture or the new hippie culture. Some of the Cannabis Dispensaries are full of color and looks of the past. The Economist can use any image it wants but most people always smile when they see a picture like the one in the article. 
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Comment #18 posted by Paint with light on October 14, 2010 at 12:25:20 PT
FoM re hat
I don't wear hats but the one you described might make me change that.Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #17 posted by Paint with light on October 14, 2010 at 12:17:33 PT
FoM re Manson
I don't feel it was too harsh considering how the image is meant to conjure up the idea of how an average cannabis consumer looks.We know Manson was not like us for the very reasons you stated, but you are not the average person from the sixties.You are more enlightened now than most and probably were then.A lot of thought by the economist went into what image to use.It might have seemed harsh but the Manson family was one of the tools the "establishment" used to scare the general public into being afraid of hippies and accepting a crackdown on drugs and the eroding of our rights.That resulted in a lot of people accepting the harshness of the drug laws to protect them from "them dangerous scruffy looking drug using hippies".Before the Manson murders most people saw hippies as non-violent.Think about it.It completely changed the cultural perception.I am sure you remember the times before and after the Manson trials.If you saw a picture of me from that time period, I looked more like Charlie than the guy in the picture.I speak from personal experience and a good memory of how things changed.I did a lot of studying of Manson at the time because I was getting my degrees in sociology and psychology and I looked a lot like him.I have pages and pages of Manson's language I encountered the change in people's attitudes first hand.Some of the language Charlie used would sound very similar to some of the language I have read here.I won't post the comparisons out of respect for Cnews and some of the community here, but you would be quite surprised.Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on October 14, 2010 at 10:55:47 PT
People should vote for who they want. I know how I will vote. Most people know how they will vote too.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on October 14, 2010 at 10:54:10 PT
Paint with Light
You really are being harsh mentioning Manson. Manson wasn't like us. We have a friend that is a hippie and looks like a hippie and he is one of the best friends we have ever had.
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Comment #14 posted by boorip on October 14, 2010 at 10:43:51 PT
Other major contributers that have seshed boo
Olympic world record holder and gold medalist.The president.Jujitsu master holding very hi level of respect in the martial arts community. NBA and NFL super stars.Is there really a need to continue?
Please don't vote democrat our children beg you. I hate All Gores adventure pass and how it stole my beloved mountains from me!
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on October 14, 2010 at 10:41:02 PT
Judge Says Medical Marijuana Grows Safe for Now
October 14, 2010No medical marijuana plants will be pulled in Fresno County after a judge issued a temporary restraining order.The order stops the county from enforcing an ordinance passed last month, banning outdoor marijuana gardens.CBS Video:
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on October 14, 2010 at 10:34:21 PT
Paint with Light
I thought the hat was really nice. I was at a Neil Young concert a few years ago and a person had on a flashing pot leaf hat that stood out in the dark and made me laugh.
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Comment #11 posted by boorip on October 14, 2010 at 10:30:39 PT
It's cannibus 
I'm not calling it MARIJUANA ANYMORE! Write this law in English seeing as it is an American law we are talking about and not a law being draw up in a Spanish speaking country! IE.
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Comment #10 posted by Had Enough on October 14, 2010 at 10:13:44 PT
Poll in comment 5
Do you support the decriminalization of marijuana in the United States?Thank you for voting! Yes 94.25% (10,609 votes) 
 No 4.45% (501 votes) 
 I don't know 1.3% (146 votes) 
 Total Votes: 11,256
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Comment #9 posted by Paint with light on October 14, 2010 at 09:45:08 PT
Picture in economist article
Why does the Economist use a picture of a person that does not represent the look of the majority of cannabis users?I guess they didn't have a recent picture of Charles Manson.They should have shown a picture of a soccer mom, a young executive, or a more typical American cannabis consumer.The picture doesn't affect me because I know what is inside a person's heart and spirit is more important then the outward appearance.Inner light is more important than reflected light in judging a person.The article's choice does continue a stereotypical image still held by the majority of prohibs.Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on October 14, 2010 at 09:18:06 PT
Economist UK Article: An Altered State
Marijuana in California: An Altered StateOctober 14th 2010Los Angeles -- Of the nine statewide measures on the ballot next month in California, and the more than 100 throughout America, probably the most famous—or infamous, according to some—is Proposition 19, which legalises marijuana. According to the polls, it might just pass.URL:
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Comment #7 posted by Paint with light on October 14, 2010 at 09:05:58 PT
Poll from link in comment 5
Do you support the decriminalization of marijuana in the United States?Yes........10,065No.........488That says it all.We are closer to winning than we have ever been.Prop 19 has brought cannabis into the national limelight where the lies and persecution of the American people are being revealed more and more each day.All we have needed all along is for the darkness of prohibition to be overcome by the light of truth and reason.Thanks to all the fellow light spreaders.Legal like a start.
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Comment #6 posted by GeoChemist on October 14, 2010 at 03:40:10 PT
What I would like to know
On what grounds could the feds sue California? Although I am not a lawyer, as a fairly educated man with a basic understanding of the process of law, I cannot find any basis for a lawsuit. Let's say for a second prop 19 passes and the feds do indeed sue, wouldn't they have to present their "evidence" in court? What will they do when it is shot down? Screech louder? What will happen to the feds once the cannabis/cancer studies are revealed? Add to that the Post acticle titled: "Cancer Curb is Studied; Doctors Eye Drug Found in marijuana" dated August 18, 1974 and all the blood on the feds hands from 1974-present. When this becomes public via the courts, Nurnberg will have looked like a party.
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Comment #5 posted by konagold on October 13, 2010 at 23:46:04 PT
video and pollParker: Legal pot a 'good stimulus bill'"Parker Spitzer" host conservative Kathleen Parker tells CNN's Don Lemon why pot should be decriminalized.
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on October 13, 2010 at 22:00:46 PT
Obama Forced to Embrace Marijuana Legalization
Obama May Soon be Forced to Embrace Marijuana LegalizationBy Scott Morgan, (DRCNet) - Tuesday, October 12 2010 The President is opposed to legalizing marijuana. He's said so himself, and that's not likely to change without a fight. But the fight is on. Amidst mounting evidence that democrats can benefit from warming up to legalization, a new political calculus appears to be taking hold.Democratic strategists are studying a California marijuana-legalization initiative to see if similar ballot measures could energize young, liberal voters in swing states for the 2012 presidential election.Some pollsters and party officials say Democratic candidates in California are benefiting from a surge in enthusiasm among young voters eager to back Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana in certain quantities and permit local governments to regulate and tax it.Party strategists and marijuana-legalization advocates are discussing whether to push for similar ballot questions in 2012 in Colorado and Nevada—both expected to be crucial to President Barack Obama's re-election—and Washington state, which will have races for governor and seats in both houses of Congress. [Wall Street Journal]There's a strong case to be made that democrats can mobilize the marijuana vote in their favor. But in order for it to work, President Obama absolutely must shield Prop 19 from federal interference if it passes in November. Think about it: if DEA is busy waging war on the will of voters in California with the President's blessing, it will cast a huge shadow over any subsequent effort to reform marijuana policies in Nevada and Colorado. Legalization initiatives in those states could indeed produce a heavy turnout of young voters, but Obama can't cash in on those votes if he's made himself an enemy of their cause.In the event that Prop 19 passes, Obama will have no choice but to take a position well in advance of the 2012 election. He can either order the drug war army to stand down and allow legalization to take hold, or he can authorize the DEA to intervene and accept responsibility for the raids and riots that would surely follow. There's really no middle ground here, because any federal interference whatsoever will be regarded as a massive declaration of war. DEA's harassment and prosecution of medical marijuana providers has provoked no shortage of public outrage, even though the vast majority of operators have been left alone. Everyone will be watching, and Obama's first move will be perceived as a definitive indication of what his intentions are.History tells us that politicians will almost invariably bend over backwards to defend prohibition, but that tendency is born out of the political presumption that there's a price to be paid for getting pinned with the so-called "soft-on-drugs" label. In Obama's case, those calculations will have to be thoroughly re-examined as the growing movement for marijuana reform penetrates far too deeply into his support base to be ignored, or worse, offended. A win for Prop 19 will provoke tremendous excitement among a majority of Obama's supporters and, if he has any sense at all, he'll be awfully hesitant to throw cold water on an event of such historic and emotional significance to the same people who put him in power.It's anyone's guess how Obama will handle the marijuana issue in the years to come, but there's no question we've entered into a political climate that requires some significant deviation from the standard script. The old approach of scare tactics and propaganda won't work this time around, and he knows it. With or without a victory for Prop 19, the legalization of marijuana will be a leading issue in the 2012 presidential election and Obama would be wise to begin developing a more thoughtful position than what we've seen from him thus far.For more, Chris Weigant has a good piece in The Huffington Post that makes a lot of similar points. I noticed it only after writing most of this and I generally agree with his analysis.- Article from
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on October 13, 2010 at 17:02:52 PT
Thanks Paul!
Marijuana prohibition is a fraud perpetrated on the American People! Marijuana prohibition has not been constitutionally amened and is therefore null and void!The Feds will not have enough manpower to arrest every pot smoker in Cali. The people have spoken! I surely hope the president, the American people and the world at large can respect democracy; a vote of the people for the people, in this case, of California, USA!Marijuana, Prohibition and the Tenth Amendment By Susan Shelley Sooner or later the question will have to be asked: Does the federal government have the power under the Constitution to stop cities and states from legalizing marijuana? The answer may be no. Federal law bans the possession of marijuana. But if a simple federal law can ban marijuana, why did Prohibition of alcohol require a constitutional amendment? A little history answers that question. The U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1789 to provide a framework for governing a nation composed of thirteen separate, sovereign states, each with its own state constitution and government. This was a new concept known as federalism. James Madison explained that the federal government would have only the powers delegated to it by the Constitution. Those powers would be "few and defined," he said, while the powers remaining in the state governments would be "numerous and indefinite." The states remained suspicious that the new federal government would encroach on their powers. They demanded and got ten amendments to the Constitution that specifically banned Congress from passing laws on matters that were understood to be within state control. The Tenth Amendment flatly declared, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." In 1919, the United States enacted a national ban on the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors. Because the Constitution did not give the federal government the power to regulate alcohol, Prohibition required a constitutional amendment, which was approved by two-thirds of the House and two-thirds of the Senate, then ratified by the legislatures of three-quarters of the states. In 1933, the nation reconsidered. A constitutional amendment repealing Prohibition was approved by two-thirds of the House and two-thirds of the Senate, then ratified by the legislatures of three-quarters of the states. Why did the country go to all that trouble if Congress could simply have declared alcohol a "controlled substance" and made it legal or illegal with a simple majority vote and a presidential signature? If marijuana is grown, distributed and consumed within state borders, and the state government decides that under some circumstances that is not a crime, by what authority does Congress override that judgment? Why is marijuana in 2003 different than alcohol in 1919? The Supreme Court ruled recently that the federal Controlled Substances Act does not contain an exception for medical necessity. Lawyers for the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative argued that, exception or no exception, the Controlled Substances Act "exceeds Congress' Commerce Clause powers" and infringes the "fundamental liberties of the people under the Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments." The Supreme Court did not want to talk about it. "Because the Court of Appeals did not address these claims," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, "we decline to do so in the first instance." The Court may not be able to duck the issue much longer. If the people of each state choose to decriminalize marijuana in some circumstances, the Constitution plainly reserves to them the power to do so. 
Susan Shelley is the author of the novel The 37th Amendment, which includes an appendix on "How the First Amendment Came to Protect Topless Dancing." 
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Comment #2 posted by Paul Armentano on October 13, 2010 at 16:54:05 PT
L.A. Times: Next CA AG Can't Punt on MJ,0,2529515.storyBLOWBACKOctober 14, 2010California's next attorney general can't punt on marijuanaSteve Cooley and Kamala Harris appear reluctant to fully enforce Proposition 19 if it passes. No matter what happens on election day, drug policy is an issue California's next top law enforcement official must be ready to deal with.By Paul ArmentanoRegardless of which candidate wins the race for California attorney general, voters expect that San Francisco Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris or Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley will respect the outcome of the election gracefully.But they appear reluctant to extend that respect to Proposition 19, which would legalize the private, adult use of limited amounts of marijuana statewide and allow local governments to regulate commercial production and retail distribution. At their debate last week at UC Davis, neither Harris nor Cooley would state whether they would, as attorney general, enforce and defend Proposition 19.Democrat Harris was ambiguous regarding what her actions as attorney general might be: "I believe that if it were to pass, it would be incumbent on the attorney general to convene her top lawyers and the experts on constitutional law to do a full analysis of the constitutionality of that measure ... and what action, if any, should follow."Republican Cooley was more blunt: "I really am strongly opposed to Proposition 19 for many reasons. I would be inclined to advise that it is unconstitutional and preempted by federal law."Given that the attorney general is sworn to uphold all of the laws of the state, not just the ones he or she supports, the candidates' responses were disconcerting. In both cases it appears that their personal biases against marijuana legalization could compromise their ability to objectively carry out their duties as attorney general.Further, both candidates' statements exhibit extreme arrogance. On the one hand, both Harris and Cooley believe that voters should be empowered to choose the state's top law enforcement officer; but when it comes to amending the state's marijuana laws, Harris isn't sure that voters have the final word, and Cooley disregards them outright. Both candidates ought to know better; after all, voters pay for enforcing these criminal policies with their tax dollars.Of course, such disregard for voter sentiment is nothing new. Former state Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren vehemently opposed Proposition 215, the 1996 initiative that legalized the physician-authorized use of marijuana, and he threatened to use the power of his office to oppose it. Fourteen years after Lungren's bluster, it is apparent that the law is here to stay irrespective of the verbal threats uttered by the state's former attorney general. One can expect history to repeat itself if voters endorse Proposition 19 on Nov. 2.But even if the measure fails, there is a strong likelihood that California's next attorney general is going to have to face this issue head on. National surveys on marijuana laws show steadily increasing public support for legalization — from less than 20% in the late 1980s to just under half today. Support is even stronger on the West Coast, with nearly 60% of voters in this part of the country responding in a 2009 Zogby International poll that marijuana should be "taxed and legally regulated like alcohol." In other words, even if voters reject legalization this time around, they are more likely to support a similar measure in a future election.Which ultimately brings up the question: If a government's legitimate use of state power is based on the consent of the governed, then at what point does marijuana prohibition — in particular the federal enforcement of prohibition — become illegitimate public policy? Ready or not, California's next attorney general needs to be able to answer that question objectively and definitively.Paul Armentano is deputy director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and co-chair of the health professionals steering committee for the Proposition 19 campaign.
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Comment #1 posted by keydet46 on October 13, 2010 at 15:46:14 PT:
Federal raids
Difference is prop 19 forbids local law enforcement from helping them. They would have to bring in an army to pull the raids.
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