Proposition 19 Defeat Shows Great Divide Over Pot
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Proposition 19 Defeat Shows Great Divide Over Pot
Posted by CN Staff on November 07, 2010 at 06:06:39 PT
By Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, CA -- Trying to glean lessons from the ashes of Proposition 19, the measure that would have legalized marijuana for casual use in California, is tough. California's premier pot-growing region rejected it, the tiniest county in the state embraced it, and overall the idea got more votes than any other attempt to legalize recreational marijuana use in U.S. history.Proponents are taking this to mean they just have to wait until 2012, when young voters - who polls show are much more likely than their elders to favor legalization - are likely to turn out in greater force for a presidential election.
Opponents take the opposite tack, saying the electorate just cannot warm up to the idea of sanctioning recreational dope-smoking.None of the main arguments against Prop. 19 will change by 2012, they point out - legalizing marijuana could lead to more people coming to work or driving stoned, and pot will still be illegal under federal law.A determination of who is right will probably have to wait until the next ballot box fight. A Strike by Feds  Many agreed that one of the stiffest blows to Prop. 19 was U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement Oct. 14 that if Californians passed the measure, he would still "vigorously enforce" the federal ban on possessing, growing or selling the drug.Shortly afterward, the Field Poll and several other surveys that once had Prop. 19 leading showed that the initiative had done an about-face. By election day, the Field Poll had the measure down by seven points - almost exactly the eventual margin of defeat.Varying claims that Prop. 19 would bring billions of dollars into local governments by allowing them to regulate and tax the drug, or would just create a mishmash of confusing rules up and down the state, confused voters, some analysts said.Then there was Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Sept. 30 signing of a law classifying possession of an ounce of pot as a $100 infraction instead of a misdemeanor. Prop. 19 opponents said the new law made the measure all but moot. Proponents said it didn't go far enough. 'It Became Less Sexy'  "There were a lot of people who sort of supported it but weren't sure about the measure because it was an experimental thing, but once it became more complicated it became less sexy," said UC Davis law Professor Vikram Amar, an expert on marijuana policy. "And when an initiative is close on the margin like this was, 50-50 or so, it doesn't take much to swing it one way or another."In the end, the measure was rejected even in the Emerald Triangle of Mendocino, Trinity and Humboldt counties, where pot is the biggest economic engine. Growers' Price Worries  The common wisdom early was that the many marijuana farmers would embrace the initiative. But as the campaign progressed, it became clear that while some thought there was money to be made by marketing the region as the Napa Valley of pot, many thought legalization would drop marijuana's price so much they'd lose income.No such fears prevailed in Alpine County, the smallest county in the state, where Prop. 19 passed handily with the fiercely independent mountain electorate. The measure also got a big thumbs-up in San Francisco, which with a 65 percent "yes" vote gave Prop. 19 its biggest victory margin in California. Opponents' Strategy  "They certainly got schooled a little bit here," No on 19 campaign strategist Wayne Johnson said of his opponents.Johnson said his side had determined early that "reefer madness" arguments that pot was a gateway drug to hard narcotics would be a nonstarter. So opponents concentrated on what they thought were the confusing elements of allowing scores of local jurisdictions to regulate pot as they pleased - and of the uncertainty over how much money Prop. 19 would raise."It helped that virtually every newspaper editorial board in the state agreed with us," Johnson said. Holder's pronouncement, he added, "seemed to be the last nail of the coffin."Prop. 19 proponents had a different interpretation."Anyone who changed their voted based on the federal government saying they remain opposed to legalized marijuana - I don't buy it. I mean, was that news?" said Stephen Guttwillig, California director of the Drug Policy Alliance, one of the main backers of the measure.He and initiative author Richard Lee, founder of Oaksterdam University, the pot-trade school in Oakland, said that even though Prop. 19 lost, the campaign advanced the public's knowledge and acceptance of legalization.They noted that the 46 percent "yes" vote for Prop. 19 was the highest ever for any general pot legalization proposal in the country. Greater Acceptance  The last time Californians voted on the idea, with the coincidentally named Proposition 19 in 1972, the "yes" vote was just 33.5 percent.Polls in recent years have consistently shown voters younger than 30 overwhelmingly approving of pot legalization. A Newsweek/Princeton Survey poll released Oct. 22 put that support nationally at 70 percent - compared with overall support among all age groups at 45 percent."The ingredients are already in place for legalization, which is what makes a lot of people think we should get right back on the horse and aim for 2012," Guttwillig said. Other States Receptive  Guttwillig said voters also should expect similar efforts in other Western states where legalization sentiment is strong, including Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada and Colorado.Whether that means a duplicate of Prop. 19 will be on the ballots remains to be seen, he said."We don't know yet if anything specific to Prop. 19 was problematic," Guttwillig said. "The target may move all by itself in the planning process. We'll just have to see what we come up with."This article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle.Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff WriterPublished: Sunday, November 7, 2010Copyright: 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: letters sfchronicle.comURL:   -- Cannabis  Archives
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on November 07, 2010 at 10:55:27 PT:
Sam Adams, I saw that movie too
And when I did, so long ago, and saw the scenes in it that had to deal with banking, I began to recall what I had read about the formulation of the Federal Reserve, who wanted it, and why. I also recalled that the beginning of Federal drug prohibition began ]at almost the exact same time.'Coincidence'? I haven't believed in such for many years, having had to do my own research on various subjects economic, social and political...which inevitably leads to drug prohibition in general and cannabis prohibition specifically. Time and again, throughout the long, sordid history of drug prohibition we see the same faces, learn of the same 'accidental' associations (even marriages) and hear them tell the same (offically sanctioned!) lies. And we have had no less than former drug czar Gen'rul Barry McCaffery say that the laundered drug money was what kept the big multinational banks from sinking from their deliberately engineered 'credit crisis'. And, isn't it interesting that he only made a few such statements, and then very quickly clammed up? Again, a hireling of the system has been listening to 'his master's voice' again, no doubt, which probably told him to shut his yap or face being pitched off the gravy train. His bankster buddies have quite a bit of clout, as you might guess.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 07, 2010 at 09:11:31 PT
Why Elders Kept California From Going to Pot
November 7, 2010Excerpt: When the current crop of elders gives way to the baby boomers, though, pot is likely to come into its own. URL:
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on November 07, 2010 at 07:40:51 PT
Mr. Kapt. you are spot-on, I always refer people to the movie "Scarface" to understand the role of the banking elite in Prohibition.  Just look at Tony's banker friend and his ever-increasing fee for laundering money.As for the "great divide" on cannabis, I can see that - there's the people that have some cannabis, and then there's the people that want to get some. Great divide!
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on November 07, 2010 at 06:37:22 PT:
One demographic most forgot - the banksters
Cannabis prohibition was, in no small part, arguably a creature of the banking establishment.Anslinger married into the Mellon banking family, which was heavily tied in with the Rockefeller family...which was arm-in-arm with the DuPonts. This unholy alliance had already, in effect, bought up the media outlets of the day and consolidated them, and kept doing so until today, where we have literally a handful of established 'mainstream media sources outside of the Internet.Needless to say, anything tied in with Rockefeller and Big Oil does not want legal cannabis, not so much because of Big Pharma worried about cannabis-based therapeutics but because of hemp. Anything you make from fossil fuels you can make from hemp and its' derivatives...and in this case, it would have been the family farmer and not gargantuan oil companies that would have been the sources. One reason why there's been this push these last 30-40 years to displace the family farmer, buy up his lands, and turn them into vast combines controlled by such as Archer Daniel Midlands, promulgator of genetically engineered 'Frankenfoods'.Here, then, is a major reason why the captive MSM outlets, in perfect imitation of Orwell's Sheep from Animal Farm, bleated in unison that legal cannabis was 'baa-aa-aad'. They heard 'their master's voice' and performed as well as you can expect any trained animal to do. 
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