Feature: Two Marijuana Legalization Initiatives Have Been Filed in California for Next Year's Ballot

Last month, Drug War Chronicle reported that cannabusinessman and dispensary operator Richard Lee, creator of Oaksterdam and founder of Oaksterdam University, had assembled a team of activists, attorneys, political consultants and signature-gathering pros for an initiative to tax and regulate marijuana in California they hoped to place on the November 2010 election ballot. Drug reform organizations were apprehensive, however, worrying the proposed initiative was too soon, the polling numbers weren't high enough, and that a loss could take the steam out of the legalization push for years to come.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/devilsharvest.jpg
Is reefer madness (e.g. marijuana prohibition) winding down?
Lee has pushed forward, such concerns notwithstanding; on Monday he and Oakland medical marijuana pioneer Jeff Jones filed the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.

And then there were two. On July 15 -- two weeks prior, but with less heraldry -- a trio of NORML-affiliated Northern California attorneys filed the Tax, Regulate, and Control Cannabis Act of 2010.

To avoid confusion, we'll refer to the second as the Omar Figueroa initiative (coauthored by Joe Rogoway and James Clark) and the first as the Richard Lee initiative.

"Cannabis prohibition, like alcohol prohibition, is an expensive and ineffective waste of taxpayer money," said Figueroa.

"California's laws criminalizing cannabis have failed and need to be reformed," said Lee. "Cannabis is safer than alcohol. Cannabis doesn't cause overdose deaths or make people violent like alcohol. It makes sense to regulate cannabis like alcohol, instead of prohibiting it completely."

The Figueroa initiative is broader and would bring complete legalization under state law, while the Lee initiative would create semi-legalization, allowing adults to possess up to one ounce and grow their own in a 5' x 5' garden space. The Figueroa initiative would allow the state of California to tax marijuana sales, while the Lee initiative would allow cities and counties to tax marijuana sales. The Figueroa initiative would end marijuana prohibition statewide, while the Lee initiative would give cities and counties the local option to tax and regulate or not, but would also provide that people could still possess and grow the specified amounts even in locales that opt out of regulating.

"Our initiative repeals cannabis prohibition; Richard's just narrows the scope," said Figueroa, a San Francisco attorney specializing in medical marijuana and marijuana cultivation cases. "People would not be free to possess more than one ounce and there would be limitations on growing your own. And our initiative is going to have that big economic impact statement for the state budget that Richard's will not," he said.

"We worked for many weeks with Richard on his initiative, and we support both, but we think ours would result in more far-reaching change and would generate money for the state through tax revenues," Figueroa added. "We want to stimulate debate and provide an alternative to Richard's initiative, which we don't think would create enough change."

The initiative effort is moving forward and preparing to begin signature-gathering, said Figueroa, but its prospects are iffy. "We don't have the deep pockets Richard has," he said.

Lee has signed a $1.05 million contract with a signature-gathering organization and says he has already raised half of that sum. "We are confident we will be on the ballot," he said. "Then we need to raise another $10 to $20 million to win, depending on the opposition."

The initiatives come as the noise level around marijuana legalization in California grows ever louder. An April Field poll put support for legalization at 56%. Gov. Schwarzenegger said this year that the issue should be discussed, and the state Board of Equalization's estimate that legalization could generate $1.4 billion in revenue for the state has generated considerable interest. That estimate was a response to a bill before the legislature, Rep. Tom Ammiano's AB 390, which would legalize marijuana and allow the state to tax it.

Meanwhile, voters in Oakland last week overwhelmingly supported a special dispensary tax, another Richard Lee effort. And now the Los Angeles city council is considering doing the same thing.

The Figueroa initiative would appear to have more appeal to hard-core marijuana legalizers, but the Lee initiative has more money behind it and is more likely to actually make it to the ballot. That is making the Lee initiative the subject of more discussion as to its likelihood of passage. That discussion in turn has opened a window on just how complex the issues around legalization are, how difficult it is to create a "perfect" legalization initiative, and how difficult it is to decide if this is the time to act or whether it would be premature.

The major national marijuana and drug reform groups are generally skeptical that a legalization initiative can win in California in 2010. They also worry about the impact of a defeat on the movement.

"We're concerned about the timing and we're not sure it's the best worded initiative," said Dan Bernath, assistant communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. "It is getting the conversation about marijuana policy reform going, but we're concerned it could set the movement back if it loses. We're more interested in Ammiano's bill," he said.

"We would like [the Lee initiative] to win," said Steven Gutwillig, California State Director for the Drug Policy Alliance, whose funding of Proposition 215 helped make medical marijuana legal in the state, "and we're not that concerned that losing would be an enormous setback to the movement unless it really loses big. We are looking to end marijuana prohibition as quickly and effectively as possible, and if this is the way to do it, we're all for it."

But unlike the Prop. 215 effort, DPA will be cheering from the sidelines. "We're not an official proponent of this and we're not in a position to fund a campaign of this scale anytime soon," said Gutwillig. "We're still relatively fresh from the $7.5 million campaign to pass Proposition 5 sentencing reforms, which didn't go the right way."

Lee is optimistic, and he thinks that now, rather than 2012 as others have suggested, is the time. "We have poll numbers that show a majority, and we have the terrible economy working for us," he said. Lee pointed to the budgetary crisis afflicting California cities and counties, which lost big in the latest state budget. "The governor and legislature stole a bunch of money from the cities and counties, and this could help them recoup some of the money they're losing," Lee argued.

Dale Gieringer, head of California NORML, worries the lack of a provision for taxation directly by the state will hurt the initiative at the polls, even if the potential revenues for counties and cities are equivalent. "The state always writes a financial analysis on initiatives, and I suspect this one will say uncertain or none." Gieringer pointed to the Board of Equalization's $1.4 billion estimate. "The tax benefits make this a sexy issue, and sacrificing that sacrifices most of the appeal of legalization to non-users."

Still, if it's happening, CANORML will support it. "We support anything that improves the marijuana laws," said Gieringer. "There is a lot of enthusiasm right now, and people want to do something for legalization."

"Omar Figueroa and Richard Lee are both pushing the envelope," said national NORML head Allen St. Pierre, who was more sanguine about the effort than MPP or DPA, though only slightly. "These initiatives are a good thing; I just don't know if they will be successful. Even if they aren't, they will move the ball forward on the public discussion of the issue. When we have public discussions about reform, the longer and deeper the discussion, the more it breaks toward reform."

The Lee initiative in particular is a harbinger of things to come and demonstrates changing dynamics within the California marijuana reform movement, said St. Pierre. "What is really changing drastically is that this will be driven by cannabusinesses' ability to raise and spend money, not by one or two elite wealthy people whose stake in this is magnitudes less than say, Richard Lee, who has created Oaksterdam."

There is another reason for the local option, said Lee. "It gets us around federal law. We don't have any other way until federal law changes because the state would be in conflict with federal law. But we had cities taxing medical marijuana outlets; that's why we wrote it that way."

Will the competing initiatives both make it to the ballot? If they do, can they win? Will it fly in Fresno? Will the threat of an initiative spur the legislature to act on the Ammiano legalization bill? Stay tuned. It looks like very interesting times are ahead.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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What if both make it on the ballot?

If by some miracle both initiatives made it on the ballot and actually get approved by voters, how would the conflicting laws be handled? If both make it on the ballot, won't one steal votes from the other? If only 56% are for legalization, it wouldn't take many who like one initiative but not the other only voting for one before support is divided such that neither could possibly garner 51% of the vote. I'd vote for both and worry about fixing the laws later, but we're going to have some people who don't like the restrictions in the Lee initiative who won't vote for it and some who don't like the lack of limitations or the clause about expunging all cannabis convictions in the Figueroa initiative who will vote no on that one.

If either make it on the ballot it will be good for the debate whether it is approved or not. If it only gets 30% of the vote or something like that it might dampen spirits and discourage some investment in the cause, but surely at least forty some odd percent of Californians would vote for an initiative legalizing marijuana, if not a majority. Forty four percent voted for Alaska's last legalization initiative in 2004 and support for legalization has grown since then.

The key will be getting younger voters to the polls, which is an uphill battle in mid-term elections. Younger voter usually don't have great turnout in presidential elections, and the youth vote turnout tends to be abysmal for mid-term elections. The strongest support for legalization comes from voters 18 through 29, and the strongest opposition from the 65 and older crowd who in most cases show up to vote every time the polls open. If one of these initiatives makes in on the ballot we need to see record turnout by younger voters.

too soon

It`s alway`s been too soon. Is it going to be too soon again now? Can`t see the forest for the trees huh? It`s time to drive that shovel into the ground and dig that hole. Plant thy seed and behold the beauty thereof that springeth forth. Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow?

It's Way Overdue

I just cant see how some advocates are saying it may take a couple of more years. I just don't see how in a democracy a minority view can continue to have people arrested and Jailed for much longer. THE TIME IS NOW!! VOTE,VOTE,VOTE. "The People VS" is no longer valid and should be challenged in Court.

It's still not clear that it

It's still not clear that it is a minority view though. The field poll they talk about did put support at 56%, but there have been other California polls putting support at less than 50%. And just because over 50% say they are for legalization on telephone polls does not mean that more than 50% of the people will vote for an initaitive legalizing marijuana. Some who are for legalization will be opposed to one or more of the provisions in the initiative and won't vote for it. Also, while young people might answer their phones and respond to a survey, they don't have a very good track record of going to the polls and voting, especially at mid-term elections where we are not electing a president. The sample surveyed on the legalization poll will probably skew younger than the population that actually shows up to vote. This hurts us because the majority of young voters support legalization while older voters (65 and older) tend to be strongly opposed.

For one of these iniatives to have any chance of passing, turnout from the 18 to 29 group has to be much higher than average for a mid-term election. There would need to be a big push to get young people registered to vote and actually get them to the polls in November. There are enough votes in that age demographic to more than cancel out the opposition from older voters who grew up before marijuana was widely in use.

There is not as much support among voters 30 through 64 as there is among younger voters but probably enough to get the measure through if younger voters will cancel out opposition from older voters. There are more people in the 18 to 29 demographic than in the 65 and older group. It can be done. We just need super high turnout from younger voters like we saw in the 2008 presidential election.

Legalize marijuana in California

The fastest and easiest way to end marijuana prohibition in California is to support Tom Ammiano's Asssemby Bill 390. Visit yes390.org

Good tries, No Cigar

I feel that none of the drug reform organizations, are being completely honest as they continue to support these various "tax and regulate" initiatives. And what is more disturbing is that some of the most potent voices in the reform movement are being ignored or censored. Just consider the following excerpt from one of my latest articles on MERP where Dennis Peron and Ed Rosenthal voice their concerns about a "tax and regulate" approach. How come they are not getting a voice? How come a "no tax, no regulate" model is being completely censored.

You can read the entire article here:

http://www.newagecitizen.com/MERP/RelegalizeNowObama12.htm

You can learn more about the MERP model through the videos and articles here:

http://www.newagecitizen.com/MERP.htm

The other day I was listening to fellow activist Casper Leitch's webcast "Time for Hemp." On the show he had two luminaries of the movement to comment on the recent 80% landslide vote in favor of taxing Marijuana in Oakland, California. The first guest on the show was Dennis Peron, who was one of the original authors of the first Medical Marijuana Initiative: Proposition 215 in 1996. Also on the show was Ed Rosenthal who has been writing about Marijuana Cultivation for decades through High Times and other Magazines.

You can listen to it in its entirety at this link:

http://www.time4hemp.com/podcast/music/31-Time-4-A-Tax-Revolution.mp3

Here are some excerpts of what they had to say:

Time For Hemp Partial Transcript with Dennis Peron and Ed Rosenthal:

Casper Leitch: CL
Dennis Peron: DP
Ed Rosenthal: ER
[About half way through the audio file]

CL: The Medical Marijuana Tax has now passed in Oakland California. Some people think it to be a wonderful thing, overly exciting and a sign of progress. Others consider it to be a little strange. We have on the line today someone that helped place the first Medical Marijuana Law on the books with Proposition 215. Dennis Peron is one of the authors of Proposition 215.

Did you ever think you would see a day, when you woke up in California, and found that Marijuana was being taxed?

DP: It has taken a strange course of events, none of which I anticipated. And it is a strange thing in California because in California and the other states, medicine is not taxed. Now all of a sudden our medicine has to be taxed. And I don't "get" this tax. It seems like we are trying to buy our way into this thing: to buy our way into acceptance. And I don't think that is the way to go. It's like buying our way to "keep the bear away from us" by feeding it. And I have to tell you about the bear. You have to keep feeding the bear or else they're going to get rid of it (e.g., Medical or Legal Marijuana). So if you start feeding it, you're going to have to keep feeding it. And taxes here, taxes there. And we're really being taxed with over 20 million getting busted. That's our tax.

And I know it sounds good to say, "let's just tax our way out of this thing." But you can't. This is a moral crusade. And it's a moral crusade on their side and a moral crusade on our side. We believe in plants and I don't think we should have to tax ourselves to get it to be free. And I just think it is wrong to do it and I support the idea of getting Marijuana to be accepted and it is being accepted because people voted for it. They think it is a medicine. So the idea is that we have to start feeding the bear money to get him to stay away from us. We have won and eventually the courts are going to come down on their side and say hey Mr. Peron says all use is medical. Therefore Proposition 215 Legalized Marijuana and maybe through the back door. So we go through the back door and they go through the back door. But now we have these taxes. So now we can money out of these guys (e.g., Marijuana Consumers) and I think that is wrong.

CL: Now their are some people that say we are working within the system by making this happen and they point out that the government is going to have its hand in everything and this might be a reasonable way to make it acceptable across the entire United States.

DP: Oh, I know. Its a way of acceptance. But it is the wrong way of getting acceptance. We are gaining acceptance because it is a good medicine, a beneficial medicine, a safe medicine that saves peoples lives. You can't get more righteous than that.

CL: OK. Do you have a dispensary in Oakland?

DP: No, I'm not into that I'm glad to say. I'm totally out of that. Now I'm just operating a "Bud and Breakfast" . . .

==========================

Ed Rosenthal: :Ask Ed" Grow Column

CL: Are you excited by the new tax that has taken place there in Oakland?

ER: This initiative that the voters just passed. The 1.8 percent tax on the revenue from all businesses associated with the sale of Marijuana. Now it's not that I'm opposed to the tax, per se. And I know Oakland needs the money. But in California there is no sales tax on prescription medicine. And Marijuana coming from the dispensaries all needs a recommendation from a doctor. So they're not treating Marijuana as they are treating other medicines. Instead this initiative is treating Marijuana much like alcohol because bars and other establishments in Oakland that serve alcohol, also have to pay a 1.8 percent tax. And I think that if they want to tax Marijuana it would be fine to tax recreational Marijuana. But I don't think that patients should have to pay a sales tax. If you hear the club owners, or other public officials, they say, "Oh no, the patients won't pay it." But everyone knows that ultimately the patients will pay it. It doesn't' come out of the profits of the distributors it comes directly from the patients. And I don't think that patients should have to pay a tax for their medicine.

So isn't it rather odd that the Mainstream Media doesn't allow Dennis Peron, the author of the very first Medical Marijuana Initiative, to voice his opposition to "taxing and regulating" Medical Marijuana? Isn't it rather odd that the Mainstream Media doesn't allow Ed Rosenthal to point out that Marijuana is the only medicine that we allow to be taxed.

This is simply part of the plan to "manufacture consent" for a "tax and regulate" model to eventually legalize Marijuana. But, unlike the MERP Model there are 3 important things it cannot accomplish:

(1) It will not Destroy the Drug Cartels
(2) It will not allow the sick access to free medicine
(3) It will not provide a counterbalance to the liberties lost in the wake of 911.

Once the MERP Model becomes law the police will no longer have any excuse to break down you door in order to see if you are growing too many Marijuana plants.

"This is simply part of the

"This is simply part of the plan to "manufacture consent" for a "tax and regulate" model to eventually legalize Marijuana. But, unlike the MERP Model there are 3 important things it cannot accomplish:

(1) It will not Destroy the Drug Cartels
(2) It will not allow the sick access to free medicine
(3) It will not provide a counterbalance to the liberties lost in the wake of 911."

Neither initiative that has been submitted is perfect, but both could do all of these things to some extent. Both provide for a legal market which could seriously cut into drug cartel profits. Both provide that people can grow their own and share what they grow which provides free access to medical marijuana patients to some extent. And both provide a heck of a lot more liberty with respect to marijuana at least then we have now.

You're a little too hung up with your plan. Reading your materials and the things you put out on the Net it seems like you are saying, "If it ain't "MERP" it ain't shit." I say don't get hung up in all the little details. Let's get marijuana legalized. We can tweak the laws later.

We have to realistic though. We have to accept the fact that there is strong opposition to legalizing marijuana and there will be compromises made to get it done. There are going to be regulations. There are going to be taxes. That's just the way things work. We're going to see at least as much in that respect as we see with alcohol when we do finally get marijuana legalized, and probably more at least at first.

I'd rather be discussing the prison terms of the prohibitionist.

It's always the right time to do the right/legal thing when it comes to self-evident inalienable rights!

I'd rather be discussing the prison terms of the prohibitionist criminals responsible for these gross civil-rights violations. Personally, I think 3-5 years w/o parole would be appropriate for those that confess and turn themselves in... while the penalties should double for those that will have to be hunted down and do not go quietly to prison where criminals like them belong.

I was going to propose life in prison for uber-asshole prohibitionists like Joe Biden - who I thought was a hypocrit that consumed the dangerous drug alcohol - but it turns out he claims to have never consumed alcohol... which is extremely odd for an irish-catholic lad who are usually weened on alcoholic drugs!

Bottomline we ought to be discussing what to do with these criminals after the unlawful laws of prohibition - currently under the guise of regulating some socially unacceptable drugs - are over-turned.

I like to think as John Lennon did: "The WAR is OVER"... if you want it to be! The important question is what to do to the criminal enemy agents.... so it never happens again!

B.S. Always remember to ignore illegal laws and to identify & ridicule the criminals responsible!

B.B.S. God like Gov't is not great! They are always the 2 greatest antagonists to our self-evident inalienble rights. And if like a drug addict they can't stop themselves then it will be up to us to stop them by any and all means necessary.

Unless it's relegalizated it will remain a political football...

Unless it's relegalizated it will remain a political football... and we will remain subject to the winds and whims of gods and governments.

I agree that the MERP model is the preferred model and will go further to secure our rights and reducing crimes associated with uncle scams 7 decade crime spree.

'Marijuanas illegal prohibition for profit scheme' should be ignored and the next time someone tells you you can't do that... put that person in their place... by whatever means... using whatever force is required to exercise your right of self-defense.

Brinna's picture

It's impossible to get everything "just right"

Bottom line: we want prohibition ended. A number of forces are coming together, varied in approach, but reaching for the same goal. Second guessing each other is never very effective, but alliances are. Therefore, we should support all of these initiatives, equally, and encourage all the players to do the same. We should address the valid concerns brought up in this article, and the comments to it. The possible dilution of a referendum vote is one issue that should be recognized by both the Figueroa and Lee camps, not by trying to make the "other" go away, but rather by showing supporters how necessary it is to vote YES on both initiatives. This can be done at the time of signature gathering, and in the follow-up marketing, and direct mail material.

If you vote for one – vote for both. Heck support all three (including AB 390).

I personally prefer the MERP model, and wrote about something similar, (http://opensalon.com/blog/brinna_nanda/2009/04/03/marijuana_grow_it_use_...) but that is my personal view, and is not necessarily shared across the board. Never mind. When the boat is sinking it doesn't matter what color your life preserver is. The idea is to get back to the shore any way you can, and that will take all of us working together.

Amen. One thing we can count

Amen. One thing we can count on is that if marijuana is legalized by the legislature or by ballot initiative, those initial laws will end up being changed. There will be new laws and modifications on the initial laws, new regulations, new taxes, etc. Neither of the ballot initiatives submitted in California are without problems, but we're never going to have a ballot initiative or a bill in the legislature on legalization that we all like.

As far as I'm concerned if the darned thing legalizes marijuana I'm all for it. For me to be against a measure legalizing marijuana it would have to have something just over the top horrible in it, like the death penalty for anyone smoking it around children or something crazy like that. There is nothing that horrible in either voter initiative or in Ammiano's bill. Any of them would legalize pot, take care of our biggest hurdle. We can work to tweak the laws more to our liking after we get it legalized.

Vote yes on anything that

Vote yes on anything that moves closer to immunity from harassment, arrest records, etc. even if taxation is included! If you do 1826 (25-mg.) tokes a year (usable sifted herb from two ounces), $50/oz. will cost you about $100, which you can think of as an insurance policy against being spied on and persecuted by the bounty-motivated cop as today.

Meanwhile the biggest advantage of a tax-and-tolerate system will be that you can possess and use health-relevant equipment-- vaporizer, e-cigarette with THC in the cartridge, and long-stemmed one-hitter-- which the masses are afraid to possess today for fear of a humiliating overnight jailhouse experience and cannabis arrest record, etc., whereas the cigarette paper "method" is easier to hide from the cop.

Failure to help promote smoking-harm-reduction equipment at the expense of hot-burning-overdose "joint" and "blunt" is the stand-out failure of cannabis advocates heretofore.

The boat isn't sinking

"When the boat is sinking it doesn't matter what color your life preserver is. The idea is to get back to the shore any way you can, and that will take all of us working together."

The boat isn't sinking. If you ask me, the Oakland Gang of Four are attempting to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. As a patient, I am furious.

Amending initiatives

"One thing we can count on is that if marijuana is legalized by the legislature or by ballot initiative, those initial laws will end up being changed."

WRONG. Initiatives in California are higher law than bills passed by the legislature. They cannot be changed by the legislature.

Oaksterdamn U's initiative grants the legislature the ability to amend it. Otherwise the legislature could not amend it. Otherwise, the legislature could not pass laws in conflict with it, or if they did those laws would be stricken when challenged in court.

MPP Needs To...

..MPP needs to admit that they have been tilting at windmills in Nevada for the last 7 years, that they were wrong about the strength of support in CA, and come the hell down off their high horse and get behind this. Face it MPP, if the $7 million you spent in NV had been spent in California, you'd have a database of 1/2 million voters right now you could call to arms. Enough of the excuse making to cover your own failures... lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

...lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

Looks like they've opted for the "get the hell out of the way" option. Why put several million dollars down on either one of these crappy initiatives that are highly unlikely to be approved by voters? I'd vote for either one of them just because I want marijuana to be legal, but both have some pretty darned objectionable provisions in them that will turn enough people off to keep them from getting approved. Support for legalizing marijuana isn't that high. If a majority of Californians support legalization, it's a slim majority. A legalization initiative only has to turn a few supporters off before that slight majority turns into a minority.

I'd reluctantly support the Figueroa initiative but not the Lee

I don't like the Figueroa initiative but if I still lived in California I'd be willing to help gather signatures for it and I'd vote for the Figueroa initiative if it qualified for the ballot. Despite the provisions I don't like it would be a major improvement over existing law.

The Lee initiative is completely unacceptable and I don't know why organizations like Cal NORML aren't pointing out its extremely serious flaws. People should read it carefully and consider not only what it seems to offer but what the results would be in practice.

Wait Just a Minute.

There are a couple of problems about these proposals that bother me.

1) If they make it to the ballot they will get a LOT of press. Here in Arizona, one state over, we are trying once more for medical cannabis on the 2010 ballot. I can just hear the opposition here fear-mongering the electorate with the threat of California-style all out legalization as the ultimate fruit our our efforts (into which I, an ordinary schmuck, have sunk a bunch of time and money already). So, (rhetorically) the question here becomes: is this effort in CA going to torpedo us here in AZ?

2) If either passes, especially the Figueroa proposition, will that just bring the feds down hard and roll back much of the progress that's already been made?

I can see these would be very tempting measures, but please think of the rest of the country where we are just trying to get things more civilized and legalization is nowhere on the horizon.

Prohibition is an illegal law

from an illegal government. Trusting an illegal government to change illegal laws is like asking an empty eyed hardened criminal such as an armed robber and/or murderer to stop committing crimes against you. They are going to get away with whatever crime they can until they are physically stopped and removed so they can no longer attack you. Drug prohibition was proven to be illegal in 1933 and the prohibitionists were never forced to stop fraudulently occupying the government for whatever reason. The prohibitionist criminals have clearly shown they do not respect the people or the laws. Hope for peace but you are not going to get peaceful treatment from an illegal government that inflicts trauma on people who choose botanical medicine that conflicts with the illegal government thugs forced unconstitutional opinions they try to pass off as laws.

borden's picture

1933

I of course think that prohibition is against the spirit of the Constitution, and I find the Interstate Commerce Clause arguments that have supported it to be unpersuasive. That said, I'm not a Supreme Court Justice, and the Constitution says that the Justices have the final say on those questions.

1933 unfortunately only repealed federal alcohol prohibition as had been written into the Constitution some years before. The repeal process did not prevent states from enacting alcohol prohibition laws -- in fact states were explicitly allowed to continue prohibiting alcohol, under the repeal amendment -- and technically I don't think it even forbid the federal government from prohibition alcohol by statute (though they did not have an alternate constitutional method at that time). Unfortunately the amendment says nothing about drug prohibition, and unfortunately the anti-prohibitionists did not continue their crusade to get rid of the opiate and cocaine prohibitions that were already in place, or the marijuana prohibition that came a few years later.

Again, I believe prohibition violates the spirit of the Constitution, and that the constitutional arguments underpinning prohibition are highly questionable. But we need to be accurate about this, or we will sacrifice our credibility in the public debate, which is the strongest card we have to play.

David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC
http://stopthedrugwar.org

r.e 1933 You are doing excellent work for all humanity.

I'm simply pointing out (perhaps opinion to some fact to others) how the prohibitionists use the legal system to maintain fraudulent occupation of government by unconstitutional threats and violence. Many many people want the prohibitionists arrested,tried,convicted and sentenced to prison for their crimes not redistributed everywhere so they could continue their tyranny. In 1933 it was a huge letdown when that did not happen and still is today. Everyone can see which corporations back the prohibitionists and it becomes very depressing to continue having to be held hostage by legalized crime. Thank you so much Mr. Borden for all of your help and kindness. You Sir are a blessing to all. Peace

Oh I forgot to mention

I believe in you M.r. Borden however i do not believe in the supreme court justices as they, like any other hostages are threatened by the people with guns(i.e. prohibition based law enforcers)to maintain Stockholm syndrome disguised as sanity or at least make the decisions they are forced to make by the hostage takers. Peace

Prohibition is still the same problem no matter what

they call it or what medicine or weapon they are prohibiting. The prohibitionists are always exempt at the highest rank. I hate to run this in to the ground but look at the differences in treatment of Freeway Ricky Ross and Oliver North. Prohibition is the same scam by the same scammers who are getting away with many more sick crimes than just large scale drug running. Entheogenic blessings,peace and love to all.

Look at who(or what) is the source of prohibition

Its nothing but tyrannical double standards. I think the posters mean they do not consider prohibition and war mongering to be legal or recognised as constitutional,and definitely not a way to acheive the goal of sustainable,organic,fair trade. Prohibition is a form of war mongering which if kept in place will cause earth to remain a type 0 civilization . Take care and dont give up people!

Prohibition goes beyond fool me once shame on you

fool me twice shame on me. It takes it over the limit by practicing intimidation and violence to force people to be fooled over and over again by simply keeping the purposely failed drug corporation/cartel imposed policy in place for whatever substance they want to price gouge. If something becomes legal and regulated they will attack something else as a way to keep profiting off of ruining peoples lives. Then they insult peoples intelligence by saying the new prohibition is somehow different from the old one because they changed the name. Sincerely James

Did you all know that Elliot Ness was a severe alcoholic?

Same as the anti-narcotic enforcers who steal peoples stash and use it themselves. Prohibition is over but the drug dealers and addicts that run it enjoy their power so much that they somehow have the supreme court justices in their pockets. Maybe the supreme court justices are in on the scam also? Same old fraud different day.

で数例1月 優れた品質

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