Effort To Put MJ Measure on Ballot is in Disarray
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Effort To Put MJ Measure on Ballot is in Disarray
Posted by CN Staff on March 11, 2012 at 05:30:39 PT
By Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times
Source: Los Angeles Times
California -- Just weeks before the deadline for state ballot initiatives, the effort to put a marijuana legalization measure before voters in the general election is in disarray as the federal government cracks down on medical cannabis and activists are divided on their goals.After Proposition 19 received 46% of the vote in 2010, proponents took heart at the near-miss. They held meetings in Berkeley and Los Angeles and vowed to put a well-funded measure to fully legalize marijuana on the 2012 ballot, when the presidential election would presumably draw more young voters.
Instead, five different camps filed paperwork in Sacramento for five separate initiatives. One has given up already and the other four are teetering, vying for last-minute funding from a handful of potential donors.Backers need more than $2 million to hire professional petitioners to get the 700,000-plus signatures they say they need by April 20 to qualify for the ballot. But they are getting little financial support from medical marijuana dispensaries that have profited from laws that pot activists brought forth in earlier years.Certainly, some dispensaries cannot help because they are paying large legal bills to fend off the federal government. But like growers, dispensary operators know that broader legalization could lower prices and bring more competitors into their business.Of the four possible initiatives, the one apparently with the most vocal support within the movement is the Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act, written by defense attorneys who specialize in marijuana cases. The measure would repeal state criminal statutes on marijuana possession, except those for driving while impaired or selling to minors. The state Department of Health would have 180 days to enact regulations before commercial sales became legal.Libertarian activists came up with Regulate Marijuana Like Wine, which would have the department of Alcoholic Beverage Control oversee marijuana sales, same as beer and wine. Backers commissioned a poll they say found that 62% of Californians would support the measure. But time is against them. They filed early, so their deadline for signatures is March 20. So far, they have collected only about 50,000.A third proposal comes from the Reefer Raiders, friends and disciples of the late pot guru and author Jack Herer, who have filed pot initiatives in one form or another since 1980. Led by a wild-bearded Bert "Buddy" Duzy, the California Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative would legalize "cannabis hemp" for industrial, medicinal, nutritional and "euphoric" use.The fourth idea comes from more staid groups: Americans for Safe Access, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 and the state chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML). They are pushing the Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act, which would give more legitimacy to medical marijuana by adding state oversight and controls that the Legislature has been unable to enact.At a recent forum in Marin County, Dale Gieringer, the state director for NORML, elicited consternation from the audience when he said that voters were more likely to go for regulating medical cannabis than allowing commercial sale — a key rift within the movement.Proponents of all the initiatives have lamented that they had to compete with one another. "We're all chasing the same dollars," said Steve Collett, a Libertarian activist and Venice CPA who's behind the marijuana-like-wine measure.Collett said that given the federal crackdown on dispensaries that began five months ago, he hoped the marijuana industry would pour money into the ballot initiatives, particularly his, which includes a provision to prohibit local and state authorities from aiding the Drug Enforcement Administration on pot cases. But the industry hasn't come through in any notable way."This is very difficult to understand," said Steve Kubby, a longtime activist who worked on the medical marijuana Proposition 215 in 1996 and is the main proponent of Regulate Marijuana Like Wine. "Here's an industry that was able to come up with $100 million in taxes last year but is unable to come up with money to ensure its own future in the face of a federal government trying to exterminate them."The state Board of Equalization estimates it annually collects between $57 million and $105 million in sales tax from dispensaries.Backers of all four measures predict that the price of marijuana would drop if any of them passed. In Israel, where medical marijuana is legal, prices are a fraction of what they are in California."A distinct minority of the dispensaries are actually supporting legal reform, maybe 10%," said Steve DeAngelo, executive director of the state's largest dispensary, Harborside Health Center in Oakland. "That's a symptom of an unregulated market. Anyone can jump in. And the people who jump in like gray areas. They like no regulations. They just want to jump in and make as much money as they can."DeAngelo is backing the medical regulation initiative because he says Californians need to see medical cannabis safely and responsibly distributed before they will trust broader legalization. The measure would create a state marijuana board, levy a supplemental sales tax and require mandatory registration for all cultivators, processors and distributors.Debby Goldsberry, a longtime activist and co-chair of the Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act, said some dispensary owners don't put much hope in being saved by ballot initiatives. They view the current crackdown as a backlash to the near-success of Proposition 19.Since October, the feds have waged a multipronged attack.In California, the DEA has raided at least 36 dispensaries and growers, confiscating marijuana, cash and computers. The state's four U.S. attorneys have sent at least 150 letters to landlords of dispensaries, ordering them to evict their tenants or face seizure of their property and prosecution. They've also threatened cities and counties that have tried to set up a permit system for dispensaries and growers.On the financial front, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has pressured banks to close accounts linked to marijuana. And the IRS has audited dozens of dispensaries using an obscure provision of the federal tax code that prohibits drug traffickers from making any deductions.Harborside was ordered to pay $2.5 million in back taxes. "All our funds that we could have used for political purposes are tied up in litigation," DeAngelo said.The wealthy donors who helped fund Proposition 19, including billionaire George Soros and retired insurance executive Peter Lewis, are more likely to fund measures in Colorado and Washington state that have already qualified for the ballot. Those are cheaper states to win, requiring far less media buys.Ethan Nadelmann, founder of the Drug Policy Alliance and an advisor to Soros, said measures in those states are "tightly drafted initiatives and the polling is looking good."This week, in California, the proponents of the medical initiative began turning their efforts to an Assembly bill that would establish similar regulation. They are hoping legislators will be spurred to act by Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, who sent letters to the leaders of both chambers in December urging that "state law itself needs to be reformed, simplified and improved to better explain to law enforcement and patients alike how, when and where individuals may cultivate and obtain physician-recommended marijuana."Still, in a last-ditch effort to get one measure on the ballot, the backers of the three remaining legalization proposals agreed to endorse whichever one got funding."At this point we're at a Hail Mary pass situation," said defense attorney William Panzer, a coauthor of the Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act and Proposition 215. "But if we make the Hail Mary pass, we have a chance."Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles TimesPublished: March 10, 2012Copyright: 2012 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #9 posted by museman on March 21, 2012 at 09:01:57 PT
this is america
A 50 something woman breaks her arm and needs surgery, but has no medical insurance. "Well bring $150 cash for the cast. Don't worry about the rest." say the 'doctor'. Then after a 'consultation' the 'doctor' decides to not put on a cast, says she needs surgery.The 1/2 by 1 1/2 inch stainless steel plate costs $1,000. Each tiny, stainless steel screw costs $100."You will need $4,000 up front before we can do anything.""What about the $150, since there is no cast?""Oh well we'll just keep that fee."***A man goes to apply for a job. There are 60 qualified applicants for the job.Who gets it? The one who lies the best, and knows the employers brother.***There are 20 young men who say they wish to enter into service to humanity as doctors.2 are wealthy, and interested in maintaining lifestyle, and belonging to the elite club that the doctors all belong to. 18 are lower middle class who know no one in the upper echelons of society. Who gets to medical school first?How many of the other 18 manage to make it through medical school, and hold down a job? (not much in the way of 'student finance' for medical students -unless of course they are willing to owe most of the rest of their life to pay it off...) maybe one or two.So we get two doctors who finish medical school, and get licensed based almost solely on their financial worth.And they are about as humane and kind as Nazis.***Laws are on the books that are stupid, asinine, and outdated. The people get together and decide to change that. They go to the court house. They believe what their teachers, preachers and politicians told them, and attempt to abolish the law.But first, since they are not 'qualified' by the 'legal' system to represent their own interests, they must hire a 'lawyer' to interpret the many twists and turns of the language 'required' to make any legal motions or litigation's against the government.The more MONEY they have, the better chance of success, because the motivation of ALL LAWYERS is money, and nothing else. The idea of 'pro bono' only exists in fiction.The entire planet may be aware of the stupidity of the law, but in Amerika, money talks, everything else walks. So the stupid laws -which are written in language that infringes on common people's rights and privileges but enhances the rich - remain.Every where you look, for every contented slave who is willing to defend his master's every whim - because they 'have a job' there are hundreds languishing in uncertainty about their next meal, their rent, and all the other 'bills' that come with -all received by the wealthy as some kind of twisted tithing for their 'specialness.'Rent and ownership of those properties is an abomination - when people are made to suffer from the selfish, callous way it makes people treat each other.A 'landlord' is just another minor, two-bit, tin-horn, selfish mammon worshipper, whose bottom line is reaping profit -at a very high and unfair rate- from those who can find no other choice -and at this point, unless you are willing to be homeless and without almost everything 'desired' in this society, there is no other choice. Nevermind that THIS ENTIRE PLANET BELONGS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US EQUALLY, and is not in the exclusive right of anyone to LORD over another, for any reason.And I don't care how 'hard' your money 'worked' to get you your 'lord' status -you are still a thief.Them lists of crimes against humanity -not even counting war- is longer than the legaleze dictionary called 'law.'And the blood of the beast is capital.The worship of the beast is capital.The power of the beast is the belief of the people in the illusion of the power of money, and the fear that is the underlying curriculum taught in every public, government-funded school.Can you eat money? It doesn't burn well, so it's not much good for fuel. Can money buy you joy? If you say yes you are a fool. Can money change 10,000 years of dominion by the wealthy elite? Hasn't yet, several revolutions and illuminations later.Can money ensure anything except the continuing control of the evil ones parading around like social servants?If you believe that you are a fool.Apparently, according to this criteria, foolishness is a national pastime.No money, no progress? What a bunch of weak minded, shallow spirited, lazy people we have here in this country.Offended? Good. Your insane worship of wrongness is pretty damn offensive to me.I could fill this thread with the many errors and wrongness of this government and society, but people -besides those who know this is correct- need to start looking somewhere else besides all the fake 'experts' and false authority, and BS 'science' that is the result of PAID manipulation of facts and reality to fit the intent of making profit.Money is inert, filthy paper. It's toxic. Credit is the newest form of BS value and control. But it is the BELIEF of the people that makes it work.Stop believing in BS, watch it disappear.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #8 posted by afterburner on March 21, 2012 at 05:36:46 PT
Follow the Money
Exposed: Lobbyist who helped kill California pot legalization ballot measure is getting rich off drug war.
Sunday, March 18, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer.
Learn more:
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on March 13, 2012 at 12:56:08 PT
News Article About Angel Raich
Angel Raich, Cancer Patient, Kicked Out Of Hospital For Using Medical Marijuana March 13, 2012URL:
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on March 13, 2012 at 08:06:42 PT
This ain't good folks!
 Help block bills that would expand the DEA! 
Contact your senators today.
Dear jerry,The U.S. Senate is rushing to pass four bills that would expand the DEA’s power by giving them the authority to outlaw even more substances across the country and subject more Americans to long mandatory minimum sentences. This legislation would waste your tax dollars by escalating the war on drugs and increasing the DEA’s power.Expanding the power of the DEA is a huge and costly mistake and we are not going to let them get away with it!The Senate needs to hear from you so please urge them to block these bills that would expand the drug war.These draconian bills would make it easier for the DEA to ban and criminalize more drugs. The legislation would make it easier for the DEA to bypass the formal drug scheduling process and prohibit substances at their own discretion. If enacted, possession of any quantity could subject someone to a mandatory minimum sentence and incarceration. This misguided legislation would make it easier for the DEA -- a law enforcement agency -- to decide what drugs should be legal or illegal at their whim.The DEA has a history of consistently ignoring sound scientific research and issuing outright lies about marijuana and other drugs. They routinely reject science and common sense in favor of fear and hysteria, and are an obstacle to evidence-based drug policies. Given their anti-science, anti-public health record, why give federal police agents more authority over more substances?Please tell your senators to block legislation that will give the DEA more power -- and demand that ideology not stand in the way of sound science!This attempt to expand the power of the DEA and put even more people who use drugs behind bars is unacceptable. That’s why we need your help to demand that Congress stop escalating the drug war and stop these bills that would expand the DEA’s authority!Sincerely,Bill Piper
Director, Office of National Affairs 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 12, 2012 at 19:52:32 PT
You make a lot of sense to me.
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Comment #4 posted by disvet13 on March 12, 2012 at 15:33:31 PT:
divided they fall
5 different initiatives to begin with, and none brought to fruition. i'd be looking at all those volunteer lawyers who were put in charge, spent a lot of money, and just couldn't get it done, they didn't have enough money, they just needed more money, they will never have enough money. 5 different groups, and they all had the same goal, and yet nothing for the cause of complete legalization. it was the growers who failed to vote on the last ballot initiative, it was there 500.00 dollar an ounce income on the line. greed divides, and divided we're waiting on the medical aspect to be clarified, so lawyers can keep on lawurinating, when a complete legalization initiative would have ended the matter.
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Comment #3 posted by Paul Pot on March 11, 2012 at 15:22:55 PT:
it's going to get worse
The federal crack down was simple and effective and aimed directly at tying up the dispensaries and absorbing their energy and resources so they would not be able to contribute to this election. Very dirty tactics and just what we have to expect from the government. And the feds are going to get worse than this as the end of the drug war draws closer the final battles will be the deadliest. That how war is.
There needs to be an Arab spring for prohibition.
Tweet the revolution and occupy the drug war.
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Comment #2 posted by museman on March 11, 2012 at 12:22:44 PT
I escaped
From So. California, land of the freeway, smog and toxic shaky ground. I came to Oregon in 1973. When I crossed the border I felt a huge, dark weight drop off and slink back across the border. Every time I cross that line I feel the energy.Bu to be fair, what makes californication what it is is the cities. They are nasty places. Unfortunately, Ca isn't the only place with the metropolitan squalor and polluted spirit.I can think of a few cities in Oregon that have wonderful images in the catalog for wealthy tourists but are as dirty, fascist, and corrupt as any, anywhere else.What makes Oregon wonderful is it's many rural communities. They make up roughly 30% of the population. This number has been declining for the past decade due to loss of available income in those areas -corporate outsourcing and other related big-finance, corporate SNAFUs.California on the other hand, only has about 7% rural population. Most of those are either farmers (who are corporations not people) that occupy thousands of acres with only a handful of people. And then there is a handful of 'back-to-the-landers' who stopped just short of the border and settled in what we refer to as 'Southern Jefferson.'Part of the problem we have with convincing people that cannabis is OK and the government is sooo not, is that they grew up never 'touching the earth.' They believe the packaged reality they are made to labor their lives away for, and those who do respect the earth and all of it's true ways and means they treat with disdain, and thanks to cannabis prohibition they can criminalize them, make them suffer, and the state literally goes out of it's way to demonize them.I have witnessed a few times, how the efforts of activists get twisted around egos and money. Sounds to me like maybe some of these 'activists' should find some humility, or suffer extreme fragmentation of the cause - that should be about liberty and freedom -which prohibition exemplifies in it's total lack of common sense and consideration of the people whose will it supposedly represents.It should be about liberty, and if it was, no petty issue or wording of legislation would stop us from the goal.But all the petty human foibles are all wrapped up in it.Too many 'myways or hiways' in the mix. Too much belief in the power token of the rulers -money- as a means to an end, rather than the RESOLVE of seekers of liberty being the drive, it's somebody's bank account. Our adversary -the government, and it's ruler masters (including corporate monsters and beasts) has had a distinct advantage over us since, well, forever, because they have a couple of things we don't.The most important thing they have (you think I was going to say 'money' right?) is referred to as 'The Long View.' They have been ruling for thousands of years, They can afford to make long range plans that span lifetimes, and everything that the people have had to deal with with their rulers over the centuries is all about ensuring that long view. The powers that be are so confident of their control, they decided to tell us about it with Bush Sr.The "New World Order" (Novus Ordo Seclorum) has been utilizing that 'long view' since long before the 'short view' of educated, but not "royal" bloodlines began to realize that 'Divine Rulership' was a crock of shit. The Magna Carta was the first 'law' ever to consider the rights and privileges of non-elite, and it was so rudimentary and full of holes, the 'profession' of lawyering flowered as a viable antidote to liberty that the rulers could control through their second advantage; wealth.All this activism is segmented, fragmented, and short. Their view is short. It's part of the 'immediate gratification' syndrome that so many amerikans swallowed from the madison avenue preachers whose pulpit was the TV set, and has now moved to the internet.When one believes -in fear- that the symptoms of the greater disease should have priority over the cause -because they can't see how to apply the long view to their own situation (because they need such immediate results) those who have patiently watched generation after generation come and go while their plan slowly moved forward to a point where (according to their plan) there simply is no way to go after the cause and root of the evil, because everyone has agreed to be so much apart of it, they would appear to be 'cutting their own throat' in taking on the Status Quo.Each and every one of us is born as a sovereign being. By a tactic of the long view, we are duped into signing contracts with the powers that be for liberties we were born with in the first place. The signature, contracts, and all the associated values that go with them, are all illusion. Fake. Not real. Yet people fear to embrace that FACT, and continue to give their life-force and power to the corporate thieves who are the 'illuminati' the 'Nephalim' the 'Royal line of rulers' Etc. etc.Their entire hold over us is fundamentally rooted in our fear of their 'power' and our lack of faith in what is actually real.This is why the cities will fall. Because there is another 'long view' that has been secretly growing in our collective knowledge and consciousness for just as long as planet earth has been ruled by foul-spirited, inbred idiots, since Sumeria and before.They've fallen before. Every 'mighty nation' has fallen. America is no exception. The ruins of her cities will be places of desolation where no one will want to go. The peoples, the culture, and even some of the technology will survive in the rural parts of america, but the cities are grinding down their inevitable demise.All this could have been prevented, if my generation, who stood on the threshold of power during the VietNam protests, hadn't caved to the Status Quo and settled in for the 'short view.'I really think that most of this is out of our hands at this point. The ground that almost all of the 'protest' stands upon is tainted with belief in the wrong things. "No angel born in Hell could break that Satans' spell."The money is useless against what is coming down. Only Love, Forgiveness, Humbleness, Grace, Generosity (not you favorite 'charity') and great patience can do anything REAL for our future, and our future generations.The political process is a sick joke. Every last bit and parcel. The politicians are ALL in some rich pocket, being controlled towards that Long View. And the 'activists' who bemoan the lack of funding for their cause should probably research what being ACTIVE is really about and apply good old EFFORT instead of giving that power to the banks and their Divine Rulers.But I've seen that most people are in such deep denial about all that, so I honestly can't see how the immediate future -which can be pretty dark and destructive- is going to change except in ways that none of us really want to experience.My advice to those who want to experience freedom; Get the f--k out of the cities! To those who want to experience truth and reality -that has declined proportionately t o the amount of misplaced belief in the systems forced down our throats, get out and touch the earth. Learn to survive with what Nature and Creation has given us instead of the toxic variety of poison handed to us by the Elite.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on March 11, 2012 at 06:20:12 PT
I was born and raised on the Calif. Or. Border.
Sitting on the line I could have gone north or south. I chose Oregon because the people here are by and large much more sane.Whoever said California is like a box of granola, full of fruits, nuts and flakes was right on. Progressive, yes. Like a child refuses to take no for an answer on anything. I am surprised whenever Ca. gets anything together. Look at their array of Govs. Wilson [Nazi] Governor Deukmejian [another corporate Nazi] Auuunod [a big dumb do what he is told dummy] The first Gerry was not too bad but this Jerry is just a butt head. Crazy choices every one. California? In polls...not the favorite state.One last thought. California used to be so unique for it's diversity. Mountains, lakes, rivers valleys. Now You cannot eat fish from their streams, Likes are polluted and growing some kink of algae that they cannot control. Clear Lake is dead. Traffic will eat up half your life. Air pollution at deadly levels. Every one seems to have and ego the size of Texas. What a bunch of know-it-alls! They are systematically paving over all the prime farm and orchard lands. their schools turn out mostly illiterate kids that can read and write. That is the up side to their education. In inner cities they turn out little gangstas. If not street gangstas they turn out gangstas that run our judicial and penal systems.California has expressed a desire to become their own sovereign country. I wish they would!
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