Friday, October 29, 2010

Get Out The Vote!!!

This is it! 5 days till it is all over and we need all of you!!!

Saturday, October 30th at 2pm - ALL HANDS ON DECK!
We are have a rally Saturday at our Office HQ in Atwater Village!

3153 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039

If you have any questions, please refer to the Contact Us section!

These last 4 days are the most crucial days of our whole campaign! Regardless of polls we are confident we still have a stronghold on the lead! But to secure this WIN we need all volunteers out and getting the word out.

We have signs, stickers, pins, information and motivation waiting for YOU! So please get involved and show the world:

Monday, October 18, 2010


15 Days Left!!!!!

If you go to Google and type in "Prop 19," then click the news option, you will find yourself engorged with and even overwhelmed by the amount of articles and news reports revealed. Granted, a lot of the articles are repeats or similar stories, but the fact is: Prop 19 is the Buzz. All across the country, in practically every city, newspapers are debating and questioning our current drug policies. Even more audacious and brilliant is the effect our initiative is having on our world.

Proposition 19 is generating international debate, with leaders in Mexico and throughout Latin America and Europe watching California closely as they rethink their own policies. The world seems to be hanging on our decision this November. Places like the Netherlands where the sales and use of cannabis is legal but production (cultivation) remains illegal, many problems have risen and activists are looking to our measure in hopes of a more positive direction. In the UK where it is illegal but slightly accepted (much like here in the US), legalization is being widely called for... California is up front bringing the much needed evidence to the table, that this is the most common sense direction to go.

Within the vast array of Prop 19 news, the Wall Street Journal has a poll asking, "Should California Voters Pass Proposition 19 to Legalize Marijuana?" As of the time this blog is posted the current standings of this poll is at 93.5% - Yes and 6.5% - No.

Commenters like Charlie Rosewater under the WSJ Poll are filling the cyberspace with messages like:
    "We should not legalize marijuana because it will garner tax revenue. We should legalize marijuana because in our great country we recognize the privacy and sanctity of the individual, adult citizen. Who's to say what I should do behind closed doors other than myself? The argument of causing harm to oneself or to others is just not powerful enough: there's not enough evidence to suggest that harm caused by marijuana is sufficient to deny it from those who want it, especially when you factor in non-combustion forms of ingestion, like vaporization or edibility"
and John G. Chase:
    "If CA voters can summon the courage to vote against their police and politicians -- local state and federal -- they will be performing a public service to all Americans. It will be harder now than it was for New York in 1923 when NY opted out of National Prohibition.... harder because the feds have been sending $millions to local governments to "fight drugs", and marijuana is the linchpin of anti-drug policy."
People are unbuttoning their apprehensions and stepping from their safe zone into this debate. The world is speaking. It is time for change. Yes on 19!

Fed vs. State

Arguments for the persisting of prohibition are dwindling and turning now into threats. Fallacious and unfounded threats are being broadcasted from various levels of enforcement, most disconcerting being Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. According to a recent LA Times Blog:

    “'Proposition 19 is not going to pass, even if it passes,' Baca said in a news conference Friday at sheriff's headquarters in Monterey Park.

    Baca, whose department polices three-fourths of the county, was bolstered Friday by an announcement from the Obama administration that federal officials would continue to “vigorously enforce” marijuana laws in California, even if state voters pass the measure.

    Baca said the proposition was superseded by federal law and if passed, would be found unconstitutional."

This would be a tremendous blow to the legalization movement... but unfortunately for the opponents, there is hardly a wince of truth to these threats. It is horrifying to see an elected law enforcement official, in control of the largest county in the United States, have such a blatant disregard for the law he is compelled to abide by. Whether this is because of his ignorance or political influence, his extremist and reckless attitude is unacceptable; he should be removed of his position.

His statement exclaiming that Proposition 19 is "Unconstitutional" is beyond a farce. Marijuana Policy Project's Legislative Analyst Dan Riffle explains "Prop 19 and Constitutional Law for Dummies (and DEA Administrators)"

    [Article VI, Section 1, clause 2 of the Constitution says “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof … shall be the supreme Law of the Land; … Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” In short, if state law conflicts with a constitutionally valid federal law, the state law is void. Now for starters, not even Supreme Court justices will agree on what the CSA can constitutionally prohibit. At least one justice will tell you a law prohibiting the intrastate cultivation and consumption of marijuana (at least for medical use) isn’t constitutional in the first place. But since a majority on the Court has already said Congress has authority to regulate even intrastate marijuana cultivation, does that mean Prop 19 would be void? Hardly.

    The legal term for this analysis is “preemption” – does federal law preempt state law? There are two ways this can happen, express or implied. Express preemption is when federal law expressly says that it preempts state law (example) – the CSA does not. The second is implied preemption, and there are multiple versions of implied preemption. First is when federal laws and regulations are so comprehensive that they intend to “occupy the field” and leave no room for the states to regulate. The second is when there is a direct conflict between state and federal law, so that one law forbids something the other requires, or visa versa. Fortunately, section 903 of the CSA speaks directly to this question"........."the CSA itself says explicitly that it doesn’t “occupy the field.” That’s why in addition to federal laws on marijuana possession, every state in the country has its own laws, most of which differ from one another and federal law. So the question is whether there’s a “positive conflict” between federal law and Prop 19 — does the proposition require something that the CSA forbids? Late night punchlines notwithstanding, smoking marijuana will not be mandatory in California if Prop 19 passes. And Prop 19 doesn’t forbid anything the CSA requires.]

I'm not a lawyer but this explanation of law makes complete sense. The Federal Government can not compel or force a state to enforce Federal Law. As Cannabis prohibition is not in the Constitution, it is a law which the states can decline to enforce, and therefore, the burden is on the federal government to enforce it. And considering it would be unauthorized for local and state LEOs to assist in the states lawful activity via Prop 19, I imagine our Federal Government will encounter quite the difficult task of weeding out our high-level cultivators.

Proposition 19 is the tool that will ultimately shatter the unsatisfactory cannabis policies destroying our country and the world that feels the echo of our progression (or lack thereof).  Please do not let these unfounded, scare tactics dissuade you... and please reiterate to the people you speak to these words of truth. Prop 19 is for the greater good and only the most common sense decision for us to make. As MPP Director of Government Relations' Steven Fox just released:

        “Attorney General Holder is not looking out for the health and safety of the American people. He is nothing more than the lead advocate for a never-ending taxpayer-funded jobs program for law enforcement officials in this country. If you look at the opposition to marijuana policy reform in this country, it is driven almost entirely by people whose jobs are dependent on arresting and prosecuting individuals for marijuana-related offenses. The only other prominent group is elected officials who ignorantly turn a blind eye to alcohol-fueled violence in our communities in order to pretend they are ‘tough on crime’ by going after marijuana users who simply want to enjoy a substance less harmful than alcohol in peace."

        "If Attorney General Holder and the former heads of the DEA truly and sincerely cared about keeping our society safe from more dangerous drugs like cocaine, they would break the link between marijuana and harder drugs. Keeping marijuana in the illegal market does not reduce the use of harder drugs; it increases it by forcing teens and adults to purchase marijuana in the same ‘stores’ that sell those other drugs. This cannot be stated strongly enough: Supporters of marijuana prohibition in law enforcement, who know that alcohol use causes far more problems than marijuana use, are not motivated by concerns for public safety. They are motivated by a dangerous combination of arrogance, prejudice and self-interest. Law enforcement has lost all credibility on the subject of marijuana prohibition and it is time the American people start thinking for themselves on this issue."
 YES ON 19!!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Signs, Stickers, and T-Shirts Oh My!

Hello again Prop 19ers!

Great news! Our supplies are pouring into the office! Signs, stickers, pins, posters, t-shirts, fliers and more! Some stuff is for sale (donation) and some supplies are free! Feel free to stop by the office and pick up a yard sign or some stickers at our office in Atwater Village:

Yes on 19 Headquarters
3153 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 660-4381


We are kickin' butt and taking names... to VOTE! Only 4 days left to get people registered to vote! Make sure to ask everyone you know!

Over the next week we have several events popping off, for more info check the calendar:

10/16: Greenside Harvest Festival - 11AM - 32150 9th Street, Winchester, CA 92596
10/16: Cypress Hill Smokeout - Noon - Nos Events Center 689 South E St, San Bernardino, CA 92408
10/16: Miracle Mile Art Walk - 2PM - 5905 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036

10/17: Sherman Oaks Street Fair - 10AM - On Ventura Blvd between Van Nuys and Kester
10/17: Upright Citizens Brigaide Theater - 6PM - 5919 Franklin Ave Los Angeles, CA 90004

10/18: Laughs For Legalization - 7:30PM - Jon Lovitz Comedy Club in Universal Citywalk

10/20: Culver City Block Party - 5PM - 9546 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232

Our office in Atwater Village is open Monday - Saturday 10AM - 6PM 
Please stop by and volunteer, get information, get yard signs enjoy the cause!!! 

Sunday, October 10, 2010


In a classroom filled by less than 50 observers, a presentation requested by the American Association of University Women was in session discussing the details of Proposition 19. Representing the pro-prop 19 side was Stephen Downing, a retired LAPD commander. In the other corner? Tom Lackey, Palmdale, California's own Mayor Pro Tem (or Vice Mayor), who is also a retired LEO with the California Highway Patrol.

Downing opened with an abridged history lesson in Cannabis while injecting bits of personal experience from his days on the beat. He explained that back in 1970 or 71 when he first became a commander there were virtually no gangs; His first territory -- South Central LA.  Stephen exclaimed, "The only gangs you could find in those days were territory gangs!" Envisioning the kind of harmless gangs depicted in movies and musicals like "Grease" or "A West Side Story."

The rise of gangs was fueled by the implementation of Nixon's "Drug War." Starting with the Crips and Bloods and ultimately becoming the thousands of gangs we see across America. Downing elaborated, "These gang's primary source of income is drugs, including marijuana. The Cartels supply the drugs to The gangs and the gangs send it into your neighborhoods."

Following this elaborate and well detailed testimony was the opponent of this initiative, Tom Lackey. Tom opened with a sort of fumbling of introductions. After trying to explain his background (qualifications?), he jumped straight into expressing his opinion about how important family is and that smoking marijuana destroys families. Lacking....Lackey proposed the typical rhetoric in an upbeat fashion, emphasizing mostly on how families would be ruined and that "If marijuana were legalized youth usage would skyrocket because children would get their pot from home." Just the same way kids steal a drink from their parents bar (legal), or some vicodin from their parents medicine cabinets (legal).

After a couple of surprising additional commenters and Stephen refuting most of the claims by Tom Lackey, the host opened up the floor for questions. One member of the AAUW asked Mr. Lackey what kind of problems Amsterdam is having with their legal pot (not really legal).  The former CHP Sergeant and special education teacher (seriously) really couldn't answer but by saying that they realized all the problems the coffee shops were causing and that they're cracking down on their laws.

After others got a chance to ask their questions, I chimed in by asking, "If family is so important..."

Lackey snapped quickly at me, "You don't think family is important?!"

The audience snickered and I corrected myself "Of course family is important to me. Rather, since family is important, what kind of affect does an arrest record or imprisonment do to a family? What happens when a father or mother or brother or even the child himself gets arrested? Does the family lose income? Does the child lose education benefits?"

Withdrawn, Tom came back with the assertion that our current policies keeps families safe and deters addiction not really addressing the specific question asked.

Post-presentation we mingled and I managed some face time with Mayor Ledford of Palmdale. Our conversation proved to be interesting and oddly jubilant. It was kind of nice to have a conversation with someone who had actual concerns that weren't necessarily fear based... I guess it was enlightening to see some sincere concern for the community he is responsible for. Unfortunately we don't necessarily see things the same way but there were some strong hints of opportunity I noticed.

Other conversations around the room involving me, involving others at this point brought me to an epiphany... we're really going to win this! A general feel to the conversations happening all around me all seemed to be pointing to a solid Yes on 19. And I think most astounding fact was the environment. The members of AAUW that had invited this forum topic, consisted largely from what I could see of women 30s+ of age. Many past 50. Even more so, the event took place at Antelope Valley College in a region outside of LA with conservative views especially known for its opposition to progressive cannabis policies.

But they got it! They saw through the veil of fear based rhetoric and captured the concept that pot... is really not that bad! They understood hat the criminal impediment given to the generally law abiding, hard working Americans doesn't fit the bill.

Is this where the page is turned? Is Proposition 19 really revolutionary? A game changer? Some conversations have chalked Prop 19 up to being of the same caliber as women's right to vote or even the Emancipation Proclamation. I think so. We may not all see it right now but the fact is, that the affects of ending the war on drugs and creating a more sensible policy will shake the foundation of the drug cartels, illegal immigration, street gang violence, prison and school overcrowding. It will take the black market down a peg and invigorate our economy. From farmers to snack food vendors and little Ma & Pop shops to hydroponics equipment businesses... enterprise and growth will ensue.

I see a WIN this November.... how about you?