Pot Legalization Advocates are Undeterred 
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Pot Legalization Advocates are Undeterred 
Posted by CN Staff on November 08, 2010 at 05:32:51 PT
By John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times
Source: Los Angeles Times
California -- Despite Proposition 19's loss at the polls last week, marijuana legalization advocates in California are already working on their comeback plan for 2012 and are almost giddy about their prospects.They see the election as a trial run that could lead to a campaign with a better message, a tighter measure and more money. Both the winning and losing sides say California's voters rejected this specific initiative, but remain open to legalizing the easily obtainable drug.
The proponents have a huge head start compared to where they were two years ago. At that time, regulating and taxing marijuana was the dream of a handful of Oakland activists. Now, the campaign has a broader base of supporters, including labor and civil rights leaders. Big-money donors have shown a keen interest. And the state's electorate and media have seriously debated the issue.In addition, the presidential election is expected to draw far more young voters to the polls. If they had shown up Tuesday, supporters note, Proposition 19 might have come close to passing. Even so, they also point out with bemusement, legalization outpolled Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina."The question about legalizing marijuana is no longer when, it's no longer whether, it's how," said Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a national advocacy group that will play a pivotal role in any 2012 ballot measures in California or other states. "There's a really strong body of people who will be ready to pull the lever in the future."California voters rejected Proposition 19, 54% to 46%. But a post-election survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner found they favor legalization 49% to 41%, with 10% uncertain. And 52% said that marijuana laws, like alcohol prohibition, do more harm than good.The consultants who ran the opposition campaign found that voters who were undecided were susceptible to arguments for legalizing marijuana. They also reacted negatively to "reefer madness" arguments that pot was inherently dangerous or a gateway drug. "Our best opportunity to beat it was on the merits of 19 itself," said Wayne Johnson, the strategist for the No on 19 campaign.A key issue for legalization supporters in 2012 will be to find the money to run statewide television advertising. "The Yes campaign always has the burden of proof. We have to make the case that things should change," said Doug Linney, the strategist for the Yes on 19 campaign.The campaign hoped to spend between $7 million and $15 million but brought in about $4 million. More than $1.5 million came from Richard Lee, the main proponent, who owns a medical marijuana dispensary, nursery and trade school in Oakland. A few wealthy businessmen and young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs wrote sizable checks. "I think we found a lot of friends along the way that we will want to include from the get-go this time," Linney said.On Saturday, Nadelmann told a conference on marijuana policy in Denver that the big donors who supported past measures would step up if the polls looked favorable. "They want to be in this to win," he said.He noted that George Soros, the hedge-fund multibillionaire, donated $1 million to help Proposition 19 to clearly indicate his support for legalizing marijuana and that Peter B. Lewis, a retired insurance company executive, has decided to focus his philanthropy on marijuana reform.Lewis, who donated more than $218,000 to pass Proposition 19, paid for Greenberg Quinlan Rosner to poll California voters. "Ballot measures are an option in 2012, but I can't speak to specific strategy at this time," Lewis said in a statement.The next campaign in California will also start with a base of support.The measure was backed as a job-creation plan by the state leadership of the Service Employees International Union and the United Food and Commercial Workers, but the unions were focused intensely on the races for statewide office. The state National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People and the Latino Voters League embraced Proposition 19 as a way to end a drug war in which African Americans and Latinos are arrested at much higher rates than whites, though the California exit poll showed both groups voted against the measure.The campaign had also counted on young voters. Voters under 25 supported Proposition 19 by a 2-to-1 margin, but they did not turn out in big numbers. The measure would have allowed adults 21 and older to grow and possess marijuana. "As a motivator, it was always a big question," Linney said. "I always thought myself it was a little overrated."But Anna Greenberg with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner said that if young voters turn out in 2012 in numbers typical for presidential elections, legalization "is poised to win."Legalization advocates are also rethinking the measure. A provision designed to protect people who smoke marijuana from discrimination was assailed by opponents who said it would prevent employers from firing stoned nurses or bus drivers. Nadelmann said Saturday it might have to be sacrificed.The Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll found that voters, by 50% to 44%, think employers should be able to fire workers who test positive for marijuana even if they smoked it in their off hours.The strongest message for Proposition 19, Linney said, was that it would control marijuana better than prohibition. But it allowed cities and counties to set the rules for marijuana sales and taxes, and opponents seized on that uncertainty to predict a chaotic patchwork of regulations.Linney expects a vigorous debate among supporters over whether to keep a local approach. "That will be the central issue in drafting the next one," he said.The Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll found the issue splits voters, with 44% trusting city and county governments more to control marijuana, and 38% trusting the state more.Johnson, the opposition strategist, said undecided voters seemed most intrigued by the promise that the measure would raise billions of dollars in tax revenue. But he said they became disillusioned when they learned there was no way to estimate how much would be raised."When that went away," he said, "they went away."Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: John Hoeffel, Los Angeles TimesPublished: November 7, 2010Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on November 10, 2010 at 16:37:26 PT
It's good to see you. I don't want to go back to the 50s in 2012. That seems to be the way they think. 
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Comment #7 posted by rchandar on November 10, 2010 at 16:35:02 PT:
My Post-Election Thoughts
Medical marijuana laws in the states have a good chance of remaining active--if Obama remains the President. So as of now, we've 15 states with MMJ laws and a federal government that isn't prosecuting them.15 is still very tentative. It means that 35 states possess nothing but the usual criminal statutes.I'm mulling it over. I don't think I want to live under another GOP regime. They simply do not reflect my values. I lived under 12 years of Reagan-Bush, and 8 years of GWB. There are many who would rather leave the USA than submit to another GOP administration.Remember? The regime of mandatory minimums? Federal laws incriminating parents and householders for victimless "drug use?" I don't trust these motherf #kers. I think they're mainly interested in sponsoring a mass genocide where anyone they can catch gets the electric chair.--rchandar
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Comment #6 posted by museman on November 09, 2010 at 09:25:22 PT
As has been stated in numerous ways and with many perspectives;It is about freedom. It has always been about freedom. There are no 'halfway' measures to freedom. Steps, and incremental progress, yes. Compromise and capitulation with the Rulers -who rule economically even more than politically- why THEIR motivation is always about money and control- only validates their false authority.Our forefathers petitioned the King for equitable compromise and relief from the mercenary police state that was forced upon the colonies to enforce the Kings Law, and they were denied. There was a point when they had to realize that the only solution was to 'go all the way' with liberty. And they did. The United States was born.The time has past for compromise with a failed, non-people government, and time to take our liberty 'all the way.'It can't be done through dissention (though dissent is important in pointing out corruption -for example), or insurrection. War is no answer. It can only be done through consensus of Spirit. It can only be accomplished in the hearts and minds of the people, and as has correctly been pointed out -that is the victory we have achieved. Almost half the population is now considering sanity and common sense, instead of just rolling over and wagging our tails at the political snafu consistently ladled out by the Status Quo.Something not adequately (and to some degree not at all) taught in our Slave-Making-Institutions known as 'school' is the fact that the US Constitution is supposed to be a 'peoples' document, and not -by any intention of the people EVER- an out-of-reach system of laws, regulated, interpreted, modified, enacted, and stricken, by an exclusive club of lawyers only.The politicians 'art' is based on lies and deception. The political 'system' relies on the 'art of deception,' and the exclusivity of their little fraternity of well-accoutred 'practitioners of "law".'The time is swiftly approaching, when enough people are going to be awake and paying attention to the obvious corruption of every level of government, and that majority -when it happens- are going to demand a bit more than token compromises with their common birthright of liberty. If the rulers don't get down from their fake throne, we might just institute a NEW form of government; one that is actually 'Of the people, by the people, and for the people' -until then we'll just have to listen to the SQAKs while they ramble on about their wonderful 'system' and get incensed when it is pointed out that they themselves are a huge part of the problem, because they only listen to the curriculum and itinerary of a failed and failing system, and are unwilling to make the personal sacrifices of incorrectly valued materialism, for the correct and ethical logic and reason of true liberty -particularly in extending the rights of others without attempting to force them into the SQAK molds through coercion, derision, attempts at public discrediting, and force of arms.There is a modus operandi, that distinguishes the true motives of the status quo, and its vested followers; that is a denial of the Spiritual, or mainstream lipservice to the second national religion (the first national religion is money, power, and materialism.) It is also a state of consciousness that thrives on the negative, propagating fear at every opportunity.The entire basis of 'contractual' society is FEAR. NO Faith, No Trust, No Belief. And therefore no sound basis or foundation for true solidarity. Fearful people, without Faith or Belief, have no basis for trust, and the more one buys into the status quo, they more they accept Fear as the basis for most, of not all of their daily decisions -including who and what they 'work' for, and how much they are willing to compromise their integrity through the process.There simply is no real solution for cannabis prohibition except to repeal the bad law, not rewrite it to ensure the rich continue to get their cut, and that the awareness that can come from a proper use of cannabis is controlled by limiting the THC content, and legislating corporate exclusivity in the production and distribution of it.Kharmicly (IMO), that is the reason why our collective Spirit (I don't care who believes or not, except that they seem to constantly get in the way of real progress) did not support the current intent, wording, and nature of some of these initiatives; there is too much compromising with the initial error of prohibition itself. Too many listen to the lies and deceptions, because they are so woven into the fabric of the system, they would have to deny so much of themselves to get real, it's not going to happen with their support, No solidarity can be achieved, and much time wasted on driveling consciousness, sometimes clever enough with words to confuse a lot of naive or innocent minds, which is Unconscionable.But thank Yah! The consciousness is growing despite the attempts by you-know-who to thwart, belittle, and repress it.LEGALIZE FREEDOM, its the only real sane choice.
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on November 09, 2010 at 02:40:57 PT
Everything the fed, fed us was fodder for fools!
These two programs should be cut and pasted on blog sites were they will make a point. I hate that we are being incarcerated to pump up the PIC while the real evil is in the keepers of the keys.
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on November 09, 2010 at 02:14:06 PT
Thomas Paine is smiling in his grave!
The author of common Sense and The American Crisis, is one of my admirable in history.It is my opinion that what we do here everyday is a carry-on from Mr. Paine's endeavors. At times we even write with the same message and attempt at inspiration to the cause of freedom.We should not allow the discourse to dilute itself into a rambling dialogue of, "no you cannot get high"! "Yes we can get high"! It is not about getting high, never was! It is about control, profits and freedom and that is where we should keep the spotlight.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on November 08, 2010 at 20:40:34 PT
Comment 1
Very true. I agree.
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Comment #2 posted by DrDunkleosteus on November 08, 2010 at 20:25:22 PT:
"Our best opportunity
 to beat it was on the merits of 19 itself,"More like, the ONLY opportunity. Face it, you prohibs have absolutely nothing left in your arse-nal.You completely overlook the sweeping good the initiative would have done for the people, the nation, and the world; and instead you nitpick over whether or not people will drive high or go to work high. They're doing it now! You work with someone who has gone to work high! You drove yesterday next to someone who was high!Don't you prohibs get it? You live in a fantasy world! You don't see these things because you are ignorant, in the definitive sense: Lacking knowledge or awareness. You either don't know because you don't know, or you don't know because you don't see it. Think I'm exaggerating? I ride a motorcycle as my primary mode of transportation. I commute on it all around my city. Atleast once a week, most times more, I'll be on the highway behind an suv, or sitting at a light next to sports car and the fragrant aroma of good cannabis will creep up under my visor. All you prohibs drive around in your cars completely oblivious that cannabis smoking goes on literally under your very noses!If you could experience a day in the city the way I do, even if you're against the concept of smoking cannabis, you would want some regulations because it's going on and will continue to go on until we allow these people a place where they can actually sit down and smoke, aka their homes!How many kids (myself, being a kid once, can attest) would go for a "ride" with some friends just to be able to smoke cannabis away from their prarent's house to be free of the persecution that would certainly follow? It doesn't even have to be about kids, either (I just know you prohibs love to talk about them). Adults will smoke in their cars instead of their apartment complexes, where a judgemental tenant or landlord would certainly get you kicked out. Believe me, my dad IS a landlord.By keeping it illegal you are in effect making the car a safe haven for smokers, where, with a quick flick out the window and a spritz from an air freshener, no one is the wiser!Give the people back their homes and give them back their cannabis!
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on November 08, 2010 at 18:54:19 PT:
What price tag for freedom?
Money, money, money, it's always the (damned!) money. No one talks of the freedom they'd gain from the ever-looming threat of the full force of a vicious, unbridled government coming down on your heads, intent upon ruining you, enslaving you (the 13th Amendment did not abolish slavery; read it again) or killing you for daring to oppose it...merely for your choice of intoxicant.It's a sign of how far we've fallen as a people when the entire argument must be centered around cost/benefit analyses when ultimately we're trying to regain freedoms stolen under false pretenses. It's a measure of our decline when the very use of that word 'freedom' in that context brings a cynical sneer to the lips of far too many in this society. The ghost of Tom Paine must be shaking with fury in the afterlife...
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