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California Marijuana Legalization Initiative Picks Up Big Labor Endorsement

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council announced Wednesday that it is backing Proposition 19, the California Tax and Regulate Cannabis marijuana legalization initiative. The Western States Council represents some 200,000 union members in Western states, including some 26,000 in California.
marijuana plants (photo from US Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia)
"The Western States Council is endorsing Proposition 19 based upon our previous support of the medical cannabis initiative, 1996's Proposition 215," George Landers, the council's executive director, said in a statement. "We view Proposition 19 as an enhanced version of the previous proposition, that creates taxable revenue and produces jobs in agriculture, health care, retail and possibly textile. We further believe that the proposition will deprive narcotics traffickers of a significant source of criminal revenue."

"The marriage of the cannabis-hemp industry and UFCW is a natural one," said Dan Rush of the union's Local 5, which in May began representing about 100 Oakland medical marijuana industry workers. "We are an agriculture, food-processing and retail union, as is this industry."

Rush has been assigned by the union to work on the campaign. "I'll be handling the strategy to bring in other unions, and their endorsements and resources," he told the Los Angeles Times.

Some other union locals in the state have already endorsed the initiative, as has the state NAACP, a number of law enforcement figures and a number of elected officials. (See the endorsement list here.)

Initiative supporters had hoped to gain the endorsement of the California Labor Federation, which met this week in San Diego, but ended up settling for the group to remain neutral, which it did. That means the organization's 1,200 member unions are free to endorse the initiative if they wish.

"Obviously, I would have liked to have had a full endorsement," said Rush, adding that the neutrality pledge would allow him to continue to try to win more labor endorsements. "I'm expecting to garner the endorsements of most of the major unions in California over the next several weeks," Rush said.

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!

power to the people

Anybody got guesses on how long it'll take the rest of the democrats up for re-election this year to jump on the drug policy reform bandwagon? Sarah Palin, FOX and the Tea Party have already widely endorsed drug policy reform with broad success. Thanks largely to the internet, the public has become educated on the subject; now its up to politicians and lawmakers to listen to common sense.

Is our current president going to continue denying his true feelings about the drug war (expressed long before he took office), or will he finally do something right in the eyes of the public and embrace drug policy reform?

Either we are looking at a showdown between the federal government and California after they pass the voter initiative, or we have a leader wise enough to know when the gig is up.

In the immortal words of Bob Marley, "only time will tell."

Support California Proposition 19

There are so many reasons to support Prop 19 in California that we sometimes forget some of them. Here is my list:

  • Reduce violence and crime
  • Reduce racially biased arrests
  • Generate $1.2B to $1.4B in taxes
  • Create 60,000 to 110,000 jobs
  • Reduce police corruption
  • Increase respect for police and the law
  • Free police to focus on property and violent crimes
  • Reduce prison costs and prison overcrowding
  • Expand California economy by $16 to $23 billion
  • Reduce drug cartels’ revenue
  • Reduce environmental damage from illegal grows
  • Allow adults to choose a safer alternative to alcohol

To read the studies documenting these outcomes, and for more information on Prop 19, please visit

More reasons to add to list (above)

* Eliminate recruitment of youngsters into $-billions-costly nicotine addiction by substituting a safer alternative to tobackgo $igarettes

* Create a handworking industry making millions of unambiguously legalized vaporizing one-hit utensils to replace harmful hotburning $igarette papers format

* Use cannabis to kindle the creative imagination, making agriculture and food processing jobs (or any jobs) more exciting for union members (or anyone)

* Promote reforestation by composting and cannabis planting in desert areas, cannabis being a renowned excellent invasive precursor crop for trees

Look for the Union Label

Marijuana Growers #14 is behind Ya

cannibis iam pro choice, just

cannibis iam pro choice, just as long as decisions made do not infringe on others rights !!!!! iam also scared of too much government involvement, regulation or control !!!!! i DO NOT want government to also tell me i can or cant buy soda or happy meals , as an example, but its ok to prop up pot palaces.... and where will the money go ????? like the involvement of government in lotteries, when they say it wil go towards education, & then we have crisises in that arena !!!!! DONT TRUST THE GOVERNMENT !!!!!!!!!!!!l  

Marijuana Is Good

Marijuana Is Good , It will allow people with minor aches and pains to access it's medicinal qualities as well as an alternative to others who are using narcotic pain medication. The effects of the marijuana are slightly different to each individual however I think over-all the High is generally the same, but the pain relief varies greatly from person to person. For some it instantly can relieve a migraine and others who have the nagging arthritis joint pain. Although in another instance it may give the user a headache. Generally this can be fixed by changing the strain of the marijuana there several original strains who have been bread to be superior in psychological effects. It also in moderate use can be used to change the mood of a person. Most all people get kind of a mellow mood from it. As is the same with different breeds have different effects. Some make people want to get up and do something stimulating others become musically enchanted either by playing their own instrument or the radio. Others even yet make you sleepy and mellow. I guess the large benefit is the change of attitude it mellows people out better than Valium or Xanax. It greatly reduces aggressive behavior. I know the Smoking health risk has been an issue but now most of the old heads are using Vaporizers where the Pot is heated to a desired temperature much less than combustion and it releases it's psychoactive cannabinoids with the harmful effects of burning it left in the chamber therefore eliminating most if not all of the harmful toxins. I could go on and on I just think that we to far of an advanced society to allow ourselves to be governed on a weed that helps many people in many ways but by it being illegal it becomes a target for the gangs to profit and buy more guns and kill more people. See how deep the effect of illegal drugs goes. If we take the profit out of it they will not be able fund their illegal activities. Let's Stop trying to save everyone from themselves, let them choose but surely educate them with true test results. Remember the only reason this prohibitions started was because of one man who became the first leader of what is now the ABC Dept. He had a personal war against it he financed and distributed the movie Marijuana Madness. To watch this movie today most just laugh hysterically at it it portrays people smoking marijuana and going into fits of rage and promiscuity and made it seem as if you would become insane from using it regularly. This was being distributed by the Government so people believed it and became highly, highly against it. So many peoples lives have been ruined and they have been labeled as criminals/ felons you never get your god born rights back .I am getting sick to my stomach writing this I think about it. What an unjust  thing one man has caused by giving us false information to even have this Law today is Government at it best . I like to "TRUST BUT VERIFY" I think our representatives should actually go out and find out themselves what the people want and Vote accordingly.

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