Labor, Black Police Groups Endorse Prop 19, Prison Guards Stay Neutral

Proposition 19, the California marijuana legalization initiative, picked up endorsements from organized labor and a national group representing black police officers last week, while the deep-pocketed California prison guards' union has indicated it may sit out this campaign.

On Wednesday, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU 00 the Longshoremen) 25,000-member Northern California District Council (NCDC) jumped on the legalization bandwagon, joining the Western States Council of the Commercial Food Workers Union (CFWU) in giving labor support to the initiative.

"The ILWU NCDC supports Prop 19 for good reason," said the union's statement. "The continued prohibition of marijuana costs society too much. Billions of our tax dollars are wasted annually on the prosecution and incarceration of many, whose only crime is using, growing and selling marijuana," the stevedores said.

"Peoples' lives are ruined for a lifetime because of criminal records incurred from using a drug that is used recreationally by people from all walks of life. Those criminal records fall disproportionately on the backs of workers, poor people, and people of color," said the ILWU NCDC.

On Thursday, the 15,000-member National Black Police Association (NBPA) climbed on board. While most law enforcement interest groups not unsurprisingly oppose Prop 19, the NCBA is by no means alone. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and its 30,000 members also support it.

"When I was a cop in Baltimore, and even before that when I was growing up there, I saw with my own eyes the devastating impact these misguided marijuana laws have on our communities and neighborhoods. But it's not just in Baltimore, or in Los Angeles; prohibition takes a toll on people of color across the country," said Neill Franklin, a black 33-year veteran police officer who is LEAP's executive director. "This November, with the National Black Police Association's help, Californians finally have an opportunity to do something about it by approving the initiative to control and tax marijuana."

Meanwhile, in what could be a very large piece of good news for the Prop 19 campaign, Rolling Stone reported this week that the wealthy and powerful California Correctional Peace Officers Association is so far staying neutral on Prop 19. Two years ago, the prison guards' union helped kill a well-funded sentencing reform initiative when it ponied up $1 million for an ad campaign featuring Sen. Diane Feinstein (D) calling the measure a "drug dealer's bill of rights."

Legalizing pot would not have as much of an impact on prison guard jobs as the 2010 sentencing reform would have had, at least in the short term given federal prohibition, and the prison guards are staying quiet. "At this time, we haven't taken a position on Proposition 19, and it's not certain we will," union spokesman JeVaughn Baker said.

United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Rich Lee is a HERO for getting this union labor support...

We in Cambodia are so excited about Prop 19...get some deep pocket money into the media effort these last 10 weeks.

prison uniom

of course the prison union aka CCPOA is going to stay least thats what they want us all to believe-they are more crooked than Lombard St in SF. Jammed packed prisons =job security.

borden's picture

But in the past they haven't

But in the past they haven't stayed silent, they've opposed us.

I'm surprised the prison guards' union is staying silent

...That's practically an endorsement, given their history...

prison guards arnt stupid

they have figured out difference between right and wrong

prison guards aren't exactly

geniuses.  Job requirement in Calif is only a GED or HS diploma. They love the overtime and benefits earned by incarcerating 70,000 Californians who were caught with cannabis.

Smart Move on the Part of the Prison Guards Union

This means we won’t have the CCPOA to kick around this election.

More on the Prop 19 Lineup:

Even the parties are split. The California Democratic Party chose to stay neutral on Prop. 19 even as the California Young Democrats and a few local party entities endorsed it; and while many California Republicans have dismissed the measure as a liberal sop, the Republican Liberty Caucus of California endorsed it as a matter of personal freedom.”—Oakland Tribune

The California Labor Federation has also declared itself neutral on Prop 19 to allow individual unions under its umbrella to make their own choices regarding the measure.


Take a closer look.......indirectly CCPOA does support

The California Correctional Peace Officers has and is in fact indirectly supporting Prop 19 before it became an initiative!!!!  Introduce yourself to the California Secretary of State Home page and the reported Truth in American Government Fund account as well as political contributions to the political ambitions of none other than Don Perata, aka Leadership California, Hope 2010, Avalon Village, future Mayor of Oakland, Liquid Logistics, and now a political consultant of CCPOA.  Monthly contributions of thousands of dollars from union dues are provided to Perata.  Perata is a key supporter for Prop 19, the legalization of Marijuana.

The pressure is on over California prison guard wages/benefits

because of the meltdown in their public finances. $ from cannabis legalization would relieve a small part of that pressure. Their standing with the public is not what it was either, as their high wages, overtime and benefits don't seem affordable any more, or appropriate considering what other people are making. They can't be eager to oppose approx. half the population, many of whom feel strongly about this, and they've probably noticed that younger people, who will be around the longest, and who are still forming their political views, are strongly in favor. They probably are feeling pressure from their own younger members.

McD's picture

Take Cannabis

Not all drugs are harmful.

Take cannabis, for example: without it the quality of life for hundreds and thousands and potentially millions of people with MS would be much worse and there’s no harm in enjoying a better quality of life. Just think how much better everyone’s quality of life would be if people who could use cannabis and enjoy a better quality of life could actually use cannabis and enjoy a better quality of life. Everyone would then enjoy a better quality of life, even those whose quality of life didn't seem much better for being able to use cannabis, because they would be surrounded by people who can use cannabis and enjoy a better quality of life. Where’s the harm in that?

I hope the proposition was

I hope the proposition was allowed. This bill could potentially save millions of tax payers dollars and keep many minor offence criminals out of jails, where getting in contact with high level prisoners could turn them worse. They have all my support!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School