Gove. Davis Pushes Smoke a Joint Lose Your License

Gove. Davis Pushes Smoke a Joint Lose Your License
Posted by FoM on May 04, 2000 at 13:53:20 PT
Action Alert!
Source: California NORML
In an unexpected revival of the reefer madness of the Wilson-Lungren era, a bill to re-impose Californiaís expired "Smoke a Joint, Lose Your License" law was approved by the State Assembly Public Safety Committee today under pressure from Gov. Gray Davis. The bill, AB 2295, is sponsored by Assemblyman Dean Florez (D-Fresno). 
 To the surprise and outrage of civil libertarians, Gov. Davis made it known that he supports a federal mandate requiring states to impose an automatic, six-month driversí license suspension for all drug offenses, regardless of whether they are driving related, and that he would refuse to sign a statement agreeing to an "opt-out" provision previously approved by the legislature. Under federal law, the state stands to lose $100 million in highway funds unless either the legislature passes a license suspension bill, or the Governor agrees to sign an opt-out statement.   In a compromise with Gov. Pete Wilson, who had sponsored the original federal license suspension mandate, the legislature reluctantly passed a temporary "Smoke a Joint Lose Your License" bill in 1997, together with a permanent "opt-out" bill by Sen. Quentin Kopp, which had been widely expected to take effect once the former expired last July.   Gov. Davisí failure to agree to the opt-out measure evoked howls of protest from marijuana rights advocates, who had hoped that the new administration would mark an improvement over its Republican predecessors. In addition to NORML, the bill was opposed by the ACLU, the California AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, the California School Employees Association, the Service Employees International Union, and other labor groups.   "AB 2295 is an outrage to common sense," said California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer, "It makes it a worse driving offense to possess a joint in your pocket or purse at home than to be caught speeding, driving recklessly, or with open liquor containers in the car."   The "Smoke a Joint Lose Your License" mandate was devised by the Bush administration as an attack on Californiaís marijuana decriminalization law, which has saved the state an estimated $100 million per year in court and arrest costs. By requiring a license suspension for minor pot possession offenses, the law effectively forces Californiaís 46,000 minor pot offenders, whose charges would otherwise be dismissed with a ticket, to come back into court to defend their licenses at an estimated cost to the state of millions of dollars per year.   Thirty-two other states, including every state west of Texas, have adopted "opt-out" legislation. A California poll by David Binder found that voters oppose "Smoke a Joint, Lose Your License" by 2-1.   Defenders of the license suspension provision cite a DMV study claiming to show that drug offenders have worse driving records. However, the DMV study fails to control for the age and sex of the offenders, who are predominantly young males. Adjusted for age and sex, the DMV data indicate that drug offenders are no worse than other drivers. California NORML call or fax Gov. Davis to express your opposition to his support for Smoke a Joint, Lose Your License, andplease visit to tell your legislators to "just say no" to this expensive,thoughtless law. Call the Governor at (916) 445-2841,(213) 897-0322 or (415) 703-2218, or fax (916) 445-4633 or (213) 897-0319. CannabisNews NORML Articles & Archives:
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Comment #3 posted by MMMM on May 05, 2000 at 09:42:30 PT
If the worst drivers are young males -- and they're causing most of the accidents -- then punish THEM, not the public in general. This country is going to hell in a handbasket. 
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Comment #2 posted by dddd on May 04, 2000 at 22:27:23 PT
Shocked,,yet not that suprized
As a Californian,I was also faked out by thinking Gov. Davis would bring a tidbit more reason and reality,when compared with the previous Governor. I should have known better.This law breaks new ground in the crass disregard for simple justice. I think this law amounts to an attackon the voters,that was triggered by the federal government,and was followed in Sacramento,for pure ,"bribelike" reasons. This is absolutly disgusting........dddd
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Comment #1 posted by Jeaneous on May 04, 2000 at 18:03:57 PT:
Another Hitler in the Making
This so called man that is suppose to represent our state, has since right after his election, has shown that he does not care for the citizens of his state. He is only concerned with his own power.... as he said after elected, "It is the legislatures duty to implement his ideals".Sounds Hitleristic to me.I'm hoping the states representatives will be overwhelmed with mail demanding this bill be killed. It is what the people wish after all. Write them and let your wishes be known!
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