Oakland Activists File 2010 California Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Oakland marijuana activists are moving forward on a possible 2010 marijuana legalization initiative. Led by Oaksterdam University's Richard Lee and former Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Co-op head Jeff Jones, proponents today filed a proposed ballot measure with the California attorney general's office that would allow people aged 21 and over to legally possess up to an ounce of pot and grow their own on garden plots no larger than 25 square feet. marijuana "California's laws criminalizing cannabis have failed and need to be reformed," said Lee. "Cannabis is safer than alcohol," says Lee. "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 initiative would also let cities and counties decide whether or not to tax and regulate cannabis sales and commercial cultivation. If a city or county decides not to, sales and cultivation within area limits would remain illegal, but possession and consumption of small amounts would be allowed. To make the November 2010 ballot, organizers must gather 434,000 valid voter signatures by December. That will be the first major test of the initiative's viability. Another indicator of the measure's support will be if major funders step up to back it. When the Chronicle wrote last month about initial planning for the initiative, drug reform organizations were apprehensive that the proposed initiative was too soon, that the polling numbers weren't high enough, and that a loss could take the steam out of the legalization push for years to come. This week, the Chronicle will be revisiting those groups to see where they now stand. The Drug Policy Alliance said Tuesday it would have preferred to wait until 2012, but hopes it wins. "The momentum to end decades of failed marijuana prohibition just keeps building," said Stephen Gutwillig. "While the Drug Policy Alliance would prefer such an initiative to appear on the ballot in 2012, when public support will likely be even greater than it is now, we'd of course like to see it win. There's simply no denying the intense groundswell for change."
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Legalize it!

Indeed... Should have been legalized on 22 March 1972.

Did I miss the part about med users getting a tax exemption? Or would that kink the deal somehow??? Can't have ethics overwhelm pragmatism can we....

Normally...

I don't have any problem with drug policy reform groups like DPA, MPP and NORML.

However, their lack of enthusiasm and support for this measure is hurtful.

Hurtful to the millions that have been arrested previously to this, hurtful to those who will be arrested between now and November 2010, hurtful to those who will be arrested after that and hurtful in general to all of the people whose lives have been shredded by the drug war and who these organizations are supposed to stand up for.

Get up, get excited and let's do it. Let's make a place where at least cannabis consumers can finally stop being hunted by the government that was meant to protect us.

Re: Normally...

How familiar are you with the current polling data? With the cost of running a ballot initiative in California? With the current funding situation facing the major drug policy reform organizations?

It sounds to me as though your criticisms are based on emotion rather than reality. There are many practical and strategic considerations in play here that you haven't even attempted to address.

Just because these groups advocate drug policy reform doesn't mean they must support any ballot initiative that attempts to advance their agenda. This isn't my fight, but I've heard some very strong arguments from experienced marijuana reformers about why there is reluctance about this. I won't judge them for taking that position.

What I'm getting at...

is a seemingly contradictory position on why MPP, DPA, etc are saying, 'We like the idea, but let's wait for 2012.'

This is from people that ran hard in Nevada, a state they had no chance in, in 2006. On the other hand, in California, where legalization is currently at 54%, they want to wait.

Problems:

1) Part of the support for legalization may be due to fiscal hardships of the state government. Guess what, this is unlikely to last forever, and more likely to still be in swing in 2010 than 2012. A better economy may make people more likely to vote no because some voters would vote yes specifically because it will bring in money to a state that is currently desperate for it.

2) There are a lot of people that will be arrested in CA for cannabis violations between January 1, 2011 and January 1, 2013 (the dates on which the measures would be enacted if passed). If these organizations support these people, then man up help them now. I'm not from CA, but if I was, I'd really be asking the reform groups for support.

3) 54% of over half. On a referendum, all you need is 50.000001%. 54 to 40 or whatever it is (with some being unsure) is actually quite a large margin. Consider that Barack Obama beat John McCain 52.9% to 45.7% and that was considered a landslide victory in not only electoral votes but the popular vote. It is very possible that the 54% may not go up in two years also. It may remain neutral or go down. Ten years ago if I had stated a state was polling at 54%, these groups would have immediately gone for the ballot initiative. Now, there is a bit of greediness in that they want wait because they think they will have more support in 2012.

So, I say do it now. It will trigger one of the biggest celebrations for the 420 gang of all time. Independence Day 2 will have occurred in November 2010 for Californians.

why would a close loss slow momentum for change?

A close loss, with young people solidly in favor, and old folks with closed, prejudiced minds demographically leading the opposition, would suggest pretty strongly that legalization is the wave of the future.
I'm also wondering how 2012 being a presidential election year would affect referendums in that year. I see 2 possible downsides: the election for prez will suck up much of the political oxygen and there won't be as much attention paid to the issue, which isn't good, our case is so strong, all it needs is to have sufficient attention paid to it. Similarly, the demagoguery level in general is usually higher in a presidential election year, that's our opponent's specialty, and it could be harder to knock their lies down with so much attention focused on the presidential election
-newageblues

If we want to see it legalized we have to change the way it...

If we want to see it legalized we have to change the way it is being presented. PLEASE stop using the LEAF as the symbol for marijuana. "The Man" coopted that as a symbol and it no longer means marijuana it means fringe and undesirable.

Remember, it's not heads that need convincing -- it's uptightees that are very scared.

There is to much money in it to make it legal

When you look at the Marijuana Laws today, you need to take a look at the history of Stevia in this country and big business being worried about profits. (You May have to Google STEVIA) Since December of last year, Stevia was pretty much illegal to sell. Stevia is a natural plant who’s extracted is three hundred time sweeter than sugar and with multiples other benefits, too numerous to mention, all because of Bad science and with some corrupt hands in it. That is to keep the artificial sweetener company making money.

Today with over 70 plus years of our treasury wasted and with drug wars on are border and million in prison or in the system. And Police department with their own eyes on the bounty from forfeitures. Makes one think of the old adage if it aint broke don’t fix it well it is broken and the way we look at it need to change and Government needs to stop violating our CONSTUTIONAL RIGHTS not to mention our BILL OF RIGHTS to these misguided laws and bad science. Just imagine if we had over the past 50 plus years built Hospital and trained Doctors and heath care people. Would we be in the health care dilemma today?
As a diabetic I have lost over 30 lb since I have started using stevia and I no longer have to poison my body with those artificial pink ,yellow or blue sweeteners. I just go for the green box now and I even have some Stevia growing in my garden that I use for to sweeten my tea and cooking. It’s hard to believe that Stevia was pretty much illegal before 12/31/08. This Was Bushes Gift to Coke Cola and Cargill before he left office. (Please Do Google Stevia this is a wonderful plant that in many ways shares the DIRTY HISTORY of BAD GOVERNMENT and SCIENCE)

I have and old friend who is in his sixties now and has been smoking cannibis when available and he could afford it for over 40 year. He mention to me that for $35 he bought 5 cannabis seeds from Canada and grew them in his closet and no longer drink alcohol He can now sleep better does not have back pain and spasms any more. And no longer has to choose between buying medicine or food and heat.

We can only hope that are polition will take the right step and see the Damage these lobbist have done to are country form there greed.

Take for instance, in a time when most stocks are at a historic lows, China and Japan are subsidizing a little know dirty secret, and investing in PRISON BONDS AND PRISONS FOR PROFIT. When you look a person convicted of selling two ounces of pot. You need to look at who financially benefits, you have to start with the arresting officer to the local court system and this is money to them. But the real money comes from the selling of prison bonds and it’s very had to find any info on it. But when a Marijuana Felon is sentenced to mandated a sentence, which is far greater that some one who robbed and shot a victim that lived. Once his social security number is in the system and he is marketed. A marketable bond can be worth Tens of million of Dollars in his incarceration. When you look at it how to we are carry on two wars and a drug war in a stagnant economy. Are we selling war bond today or having victory garden we are selling prison bonds over seas to foreign investors. We have more people in prison today than any body else. Maybe we should call cannabis Felons political prisoners and compare ours with Chinas rather than Have them laughing at us trying to hold the morel ground.

The list goes on from drug company to prison there is too much money in it to make it legal.
Matt C

weed

our gov. doesnt want u to buy ur weed they want u to buy theres there just asshole that cant handle when they get old and die we will take over and legalize weed there just slow to say that they get drunk and its way worse and the wont listen to the people and the state cause they think that spending money will make it go away no dea u asshole u worthless job is losing over a plant its not like they are going to start putting coke cane in coca cola again its a fucking herbplant that makes money and it taste good its relaxing after and work people shouldnt have to spend alot to go to amsterdam u should make it legal and let people get high the goverment will make money with all you there problems like roads and schools and dea will to go and get the bad drugs not a herb its a plant obama needs to pull his head out his ass make it a state choice not have 1 asshole tells millions of people what they can do or not fucking it will make california smell good happy less fights shootings over people trying to smoke a fucking plant and buy more weed put them in the white house smoke a bowl or vaporizor chill out and legalize

CANNABIS

I love pot. Pot is one of the best things on this earth. Relieves stress and just gets your mind in a kind of state like no other. LEAGALIZE THIS SHIT!

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