Ballot Measures

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Vicente Fox on California Legalizing Pot: "May God let it pass”

Location: 
CA
United States
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox has thrown his full support behind Proposition 19. "How great it would be for California to set this example. May God let it pass...The other U.S. states will have to follow step," he said.
Publication/Source: 
Foreign Policy (DC)
URL: 
http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/10/28/vicente_fox_on_california_legalizing_pot_may_god_let_it_pass

Ad Watch: Anti-Proposition 19 Spot Distorts Its Impact

Location: 
CA
United States
A radio ad against Proposition 19 paid for by the California Chamber of Commerce's Business PAC depicts a stoned California work force. But, the chamber's claims contradict rules on marijuana in the workplace upheld by the California Supreme Court and federal law. The chamber's warnings of companies being defenseless against stoned workers – and in danger of losing millions of dollars in federal drug-free workplace grants – don't square with a landmark 2008 state Supreme Court decision.
Publication/Source: 
The Sacramento Bee (CA)
URL: 
http://www.sacbee.com/2010/10/28/3138355/ad-watch-anti-prop-19-spot-distorts.html

Prop 19 Still Trailing in Polls, But with Hopeful Signs

Proposition 19, is trailing in more polls, adding to a run of disappointing poll results as election day draws near. According to the Talking Points Memo Polltracker, five separate polls in the past week have Prop 19 losing by an average of 50.3% to 42.6%. (A Yes on 19 internal poll not included in the Polltracker has the measure ahead 45% to 42%.)

VOTE
A SurveyUSA poll released last Wednesday had the measure trailing 44% to 46%, well with the poll's 4% margin of error. As SurveyUSA put it, "not yet enough breathing room for 'No' to be considered a clear favorite, but enough of a 'Yes' erosion for backers to be gravely concerned."

A CNN/Time poll released last Tuesday was worse. It had Prop 19 losing 53% to 45%, with a +/-3.5% margin of error, among likely voters. (The numbers were slightly better for registered voters, 51% to 47%). The measure trailed among both men (46%) and women (44%) and whites (42%) and non-whites (49%). Only among liberals (76%), voters under 50 (57%), Democrats (55%), and in the San Francisco Bay area (55%) was Prop 19 polling a majority.

[Update: A final Field poll released Sunday also showed the measure down.]

The CNN/Time poll measured responses from 1,328 registered voters and 888 likely voters. The poll was conducted by phone interview.

The SurveyUSA poll is worrisome because a series of SurveyUSA polls as recent as October 18 had Prop 19 winning, but it does hold some grounds for hope. It measured both likely and actual voters -- early voting has been going on for several weeks now -- and it also polled cell phone users. Among people who only had cell phones, Prop 19 led, 48% to 36%. It also led among people who rarely vote in midterm elections, but who said they'd be voting this time, by a margin of 53% to 39%. And it led among people who had not yet voted, 45% to 42%, while trailing among those had already voted, 43% to 54%.

Those poll findings suggest that the initiative could still emerge victorious if it can get the young and tech-savvy and the "unlikely voters" who may be motivated by the issue to actually get out and vote. Prop 19 and its allies have been whipping their get out the vote campaign hard, and this week's million dollar infusion courtesy of George Soros may still give it the oomph to get over the final hurdle on Tuesday.

CA
United States

Latino Police Officers Endorse Prop 19 [FEATURE]

The National Latino Officers Association (NLAO) endorsed Proposition 19 Wednesday, citing a new report that found Latinos are disproportionately arrested for simple marijuana possession in California. Latinos are arrested at two to three times the rate of whites, the report found, even though they use marijuana at a lower rate than whites.

Prop 19 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults 21 or older and allow them to grow up to 25 square feet of pot and possess the resulting harvest. It would also allow cities and counties to permit, regulate, and tax the commercial cultivation and sale of marijuana.

"As police officers sworn to protect public safety and the well-being of our community, NLAO is proud to endorse Proposition 19," said the group's Manuel Rodriguez at a Wednesday press conference. "Prohibition is dangerous and deadly. Keeping marijuana prohibition has allowed a lucrative black market and threatened public safety in our community and the USA," he said. "Instead of making our streets safer, we're spending that money incarcerating tens of thousands of people, including many Latinos."

While Latinos are more likely than whites to be arrested for pot possession in California, they are also arrested at rates disproportionate to their numbers in the state. In Irvine, for example, Latinos make up 9% of the population, but account for 20% of all pot possession arrests. Similarly, in San Jose, Latinos account for 30% of the population, but 55% of all pot possession arrests, the report found.

California is home to some 14 million Latinos, who account for 37% of the state's population. But because many Latinos are foreign nationals, they account for only 21% of the state's electorate. Still, Latinos are the largest ethnic minority in the state, and nearly two-thirds of them are registered Democrats. Support for Prop 19 among Latino voters has varied widely in polls, and Wednesday's press conference and endorsement were designed to bring this key demographic over to the "yes" side.

"This report documents very significant and widespread disparities in arrest rates for low-level marijuana possession," said Stephen Gutwillig, California director for the Drug Policy Alliance, which sponsored the report. "Latinos have been arrested at double and triple the rate of whites in the past few years. There has been an extraordinary escalation in arrests for small amounts of marijuana in the past 20 years," Gutwillig added, noting that pot arrests have tripled to more than 60,000 annually since 1990.

The big increase in marijuana possession busts has come as arrests for all other crimes, including other drug offenses, have dropped dramatically in the state, Gutwillig noted. "At the heart of the dramatic increase in arrests have been substantial race-based disparities, specifically targeting Latinos and African-Americans, and especially young African-Americans and Latinos."

Since federal arrest data does not include a specific category for Latinos, marijuana arrests rates for the group are substantially undercounted, Gutwillig said. Disproportionate minority arrest rates are not the result of racist cops, but a systemic problem, he added. "The disparities documented in this report are the result of routine, pervasive police practices," he said. "This is a statewide phenomenon."

Also at the press conference was Diane Goldstein, a retired lieutenant commander with the Redondo Beach Police Department and a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). "The current war on drugs has not just failed," she said, "but is a policy disaster. We need solutions that deal with our communities' drug problems. We believe that through regulation, control, and taxation, we will actually decrease the likelihood of the youth in our community using marijuana," she said. "Drug abuse is a health problem, not a law enforcement matter. It is time for us to overcome our fears and and honestly assess the results of a drug war against our youth. Proposition 19 is a step in the right direction."

Police have other, more pressing priorities than nickel and dime pot busts, said Rodriguez. "We as the NLOA are backing California on this so we can concentrate on crimes that are violent," he said. "We've got worries about terrorists and explosions and two wars going on. We can concentrate more on terrorism instead of going into communities and locking up Latinos and African-Americans. We can use that money from marijuana revenues for schools and education," he said.

Proposition 19 spokesperson Dale Sky Jones also addressed the press conference. "We've found  in California and across the country that currently policy has failed," she said. "We have an opportunity to take cannabis and its profits out of the hands of criminals and to put it in the hands of those who will control and regulate and tax it. Prop 19 was written to protect our kids, and we have an opportunity to create tens of thousands of green, sustainable jobs for households."

It's less than a week from election day, the vote for Prop 19 is going to be very close, and every endorsement counts. Now, the campaign has one more law enforcement group on its side.

CA
United States

Day of Action: You Can Help Legalize Marijuana in California (Action Alert)

SSDP Action Alert

Dear friends,

Seven days - that’s how little time is left before California votes on Proposition 19, the ballot initiative that would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana.

We know that young people overwhelmingly support Prop 19, so it’s up to us to make sure they vote by November 2.

SSDP and Just Say Now are launching a Prop 19 Day of Action on Saturday to coincide with Jon Stewart's and Stephen Colbert's Rallies for Sanity and Fear on October 30. We’re going to call thousands of young voters and drive out support for Prop 19.

Can you join us? Pledge to participate in the Prop 19 Day of Action this Saturday.

http://action.firedoglake.com/page/s/prop19ssdp

When you make your pledge, tell us if you'd like to start making phone calls to California voters about Prop 19 using the Just Say Now call tool right from your home -- or if you want to step up, tell us if you can organize a phone banking party.

Young people throughout California will be watching the rally and getting fired up to cast their vote on election day. You can call them and remind them to vote Yes on 19.

Calling young people is a sure-fire way to turn out voters most likely to support Prop 19 and help legalize marijuana. Plus, it’s super easy and fun to call right from your home. So please sign up to call on Saturday, or let us know you want to have a phone bank party!

Click here to pledge to join the Prop 19 Day of Action on Saturday!

http://action.firedoglake.com/page/s/prop19ssdp

Are planning to be in D.C. on Saturday? Join SSDP for our pre-rally sign making party and post-rally phone banking party in our D.C. office.RSVP to the Rally to Restore (Drug Policy) Sanity in Washington, D.C.

Thanks for all you do to pass Prop 19.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Perri

Associate Director
Students for Sensible Drug Policy

 

Connect with SSDP

 

Location: 
CA
United States

Stop Stifling Proposition 19 Supporters (Action Alert)

We Are Drug Policy Action.

Tell the Attorney General to stay out of the Prop. 19 debate!

Register to vote!
Send him a letter today!

Dear friends,

Recently, in a letter to former DEA administrators, Attorney General Eric Holder said:

"We will vigorously enforce the [federal law] against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law."

This carefully-timed statement is an attempt to take the steam out of the Prop. 19 movement. But the fact of the matter is states can decide their own marijuana laws, and if Proposition 19 passes it will effectively legalize marijuana in California.

Write Attorney General Eric Holder today and tell him to stay out of the Prop. 19 debate and respect voters' choices!

Polls continue to show Proposition 19 at about even odds of passing, and thanks to the help of supporters like you, we've been able to work with the "Yes on 19" campaign to launch a significant TV and online ad campaign as well as make thousands of calls to California voters and raise money to get out the vote. It's this sort of activism that will tip the scales on Election Day.

With only six days left until Californians take to the polls, we can't let empty threats stop our momentum. Send a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and tell him that marijuana legalization is an issue states must decide for themselves!

Back in 1996, the federal government said the medical marijuana initiative in California was a symbolic gesture at most because they would continue to criminalize all marijuana use. Now, fourteen other states and the District of Columbia have functioning medical marijuana laws. It was politically-motivated saber rattling then -- just as Attorney General Holder's statement is today.

Let's put sound policy before petty politics. Write Attorney General Holder today!

Sincerely,

Stephen Gutwillig
State Director, California
Drug Policy Action

Location: 
CA
United States

Why Pot Legalization Is the Most Important Issue Before Voters This Election Day (Opinion)

Location: 
CA
United States
The writers opine that, though limited to voters in a single state, Prop. 19 is the only policy matter on the table with the potential to restructure the lives of virtually all Americans. If Prop. 19 passes, it will force, at long bloody last, an honest reconsideration of failed prohibitionist policies throughout the United States. In fact, given the drug war's influence on our foreign policy in Latin America and central Asia, Prop. 19's reverberations would even be felt far outside our borders.
Publication/Source: 
The Huffington Post (CA)
URL: 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nick-gillespie/why-pot-legalization-is-t_b_774345.html?ir=Los%20Angeles

Could Legalizing Marijuana in California Help Cure Breast Cancer? (Opinion)

Location: 
CA
United States
The latest research is proving that cannabinoids play a mitigating role in breast cancer. An urgent issue for Breast Cancer Awareness Month: the clock is ticking for the 207,000 women expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone. Mary Jane Borden, a former marketing analyst for largest U.S. marketer of cancer chemotherapy drugs in the U.S. during the 1980s, opines on the issue.
Publication/Source: 
Alternet (CA)
URL: 
http://www.alternet.org/drugs/148628/could_legalizing_marijuana_in_california_help_cure_breast_cancer/

Prop 19 Down in Two New Polls

[Update: Two more polls showing Prop 19 trailing came out after this issue of the Chronicle went to bed. Read about them here. Then volunteer (you don't need to be in California, all you need is a phone), because it's complicated and there's only one poll that counts, the one on Election Day.]

Two polls released Tuesday show Proposition 19, the California tax and regulate marijuana legalization initiative, in trouble. This follows mostly (but not entirely) bad polling news late last week, including an LA Times poll finding the initiative's worst numbers yet. Whether Tuesday's million dollar gift to the campaign by financier George Soros can make a difference in the final days, or whether a postulated "Reverse Bradley Effect" is causing support for the initiative to be unreported in polls conducted by live interviewers, will be seen next Tuesday.

marijuana plants (wikimedia.org)
The latest poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows declining support for Proposition 19, California's tax and regulate marijuana legalization initiative. That poll has the measure losing, with 48% opposed and only 45% in favor.

A PPP poll in July had Prop 19 winning 52% to 36% and a PPP poll in September had it leading 47% to 38%. Tuesday's poll continues the downward trend line.

A new Suffolk University poll also has Prop 19 losing, 55% to 40%. That poll showed majority support for the measure only among voters under 35, 58% of whom said they would vote for it. All other age groups opposed it. The poll also showed Prop 19 losing even in the San Francisco Bay area, with support there at only 44%.

The Suffolk University poll was a statewide poll of 600 likely voters conducted by live telephone interviews and has a 4% margin of error. Prop 19 has come out ahead in automated polls, leading some observers to suggest that respondents are less likely to respond honestly about supporting marijuana legalization in polls with live polltakers. The putative phenomenon has been dubbed the "Reverse Bradley Effect," after former LA Mayor Tom Bradley, who lost a statewide election despite leading in the polls. Observers suggested that people were reluctant to tell pollsters they were voting against a black candidate.

The Prop 19 campaign recently released its own internal poll, which showed the measure passing 56% to 41% when people were robo-polled and leading 48% to 45% when automated and live poll data were combined.

Stay tuned. There will be at least two more polls released before election day, one by PPP and one by the Field Poll. But the only poll that counts is the one voters head to last week.

CA
United States

George Soros Kicks in a Million Dollars for Prop 19

Billionaire investor George Soros has donated $1 million to support Proposition 19, a campaign spokesman told the Chronicle Tuesday. The donation came the same day Soros penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal saying he supported the marijuana legalization initiative.

George Soros (wikimedia.org)
The donation was made to the Drug Policy Action Committee to Tax and Regulate Marijuana, a pro-Prop 19 fund controlled by the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), said Tom Angell, a spokesman for YesOn19. Tony Newman, a spokesman for DPA confirmed the donation.

It is unclear how the money will be spent, but both proponents and opponents of the measure have begun limited TV and radio ad buys as the clock ticks down toward election day.

The measure would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults 21 or over. It would also allow them to grow up to 25 square feet of pot and possess the resulting harvest. Cities and counties would have the local option of permitting, taxing, and regulating marijuana sales and cultivation.

The race is very close. The Talking Points Memo Polltracker, based on the average of all polls taken on Prop 19 this year, now has the measure trailing by one percentage point. Last minute ad campaigns and get out the vote efforts could make the difference between victory and defeat.

CA
United States

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