Weed Activist

PROOF that Prop 19 WILL NOT affect medical cannabis…

September 30, 2010 in Legalization

Colleagues,

At 2:55 in the video link below of the Kelly decision hearing, there is a brief discussion that legalization would not affect medical marijuana laws because it is be a parallel issue, not a conflict. Here is a link to the video, but jump to about 2:55 to hear what Gerald Ullman has to say.

Truth is a powerful tool that only works when people are willing to hear it, but truth is the main tool that the Yes on Prop 19 campaign has to work with against the tide of misinformation coming from the other side. Vote Yes on Nov. 2.

WATCH THE VIDEO at 2:55 for the TRUTH

Weed Activist

THE INDIVIDUALS: I-CLICK tears up Hempfest and beyond…

September 30, 2010 in Legalization, Miscellaneous

The Individuals are using their platform to raise awareness and support the cause. If you do not have them on your box- get them. If you are not their Facebook friends- get there. Big ups for taking the fight to the stage and using your talent to promote our favorite cause.

Weed Activist

What does the Jovan Jackson verdict tell us about our access?

September 29, 2010 in Legalization, Local Regulations

I was devastated yesterday after hearing that a jury convicted Jovan Jackson for providing medicine to sick and dying patients in California- in STATE court! How could this be? How could a provider in CA be railroaded into a conviction? It is a travesty of justice, and the good news is that there is a good chance he will be allowed to appeal it and get a new trial.

The big deal in this particular trial was the Judge’s decision to not allow Mr. Jackson a medical defense because the Judge deemed his actions were outside of the realm of what is allowed under the current medical laws. You see, the Judge’s interpretation of SB420′s allowing of “collective cultiuvation” is that only a situation such as a “community garden” were legal under law. Therefore, since Mr. Jackson SOLD cannabis to patients in a dispensing collective setting that he was outside of what is lawful and not worthy of a medical defense in court. The Judge even went as far as to disallow Americans for Safe Access t-shirts and logos in the courtroom. Amazing, right? In this day and age? Really?

But this is not a secluded incident and the ramifications could be far reaching. There are operators all over the state who should fear for their freedom if this decision is allowed to stand. Conservative and concerned District Attorneys, Sheriffs, and City Officials have long claimed that dispensaries were illegal simply because they sold cannabis to patients. This decision affirms many of those archaic interpretations and could result in further backlash as the opposition is bolstered by this decision. It stands to reason that many operators- from LA to Butte County- could be railroaded based on decisions like this. And what is worrisome is that most in the community do not see the writing on the wall.

SB420 and Prop. 215 do not clearly allow for a distribution system that involves the changing hands of money. Therefore, much like how we have been able to advance our cause based on this unclarity ion the law, also those who oppose cannabis collectives can use it to limit access and criminalize providers who are just trying to make a living. Many should be worried. But some believe that the current situation will last forever. That the opposition will continue to allow for loose interpretations of grey area to carry on with zero opposition- that is naive thinking.

It is already apparent that we are losing the hearts and minds of lawmakers and people in the community because the current system is simply more about being legal than it is about being medical. This is a big issue we all face, and we must move forward or be eaten alive standing still. We have an opportunity in November to pass a law that allows for the enjoyable users to separate themselves from the medical users- for there to be a law that allows for sales and distribution- and a law that adds another layer of protection to medical users and providers. This important step could never be more important than now. So I urge medical users and providers to consider the case of Jovan Jackson as a clear wake-up call that we are far from out of the woods and that we must act on 19 to advance the cause of cannabis freedom.

It could be your collective that is forced to defend themselves in court with your hands tied behind your back. It could be your organization that is targeted because you are more than a community garden. It is silly to believe that the current indifference to the law will last forever. Vote Yes on 19 and help protect providers like Jovan and countless others who are under attack for their right to provide cannabis.

Weed Activist

An article I did on Valerie Corral last year….

September 28, 2010 in Miscellaneous

Fires, Festivals, and Freedom…Oh My!

How Valerie Corral’s WAMM Project Continues to Beat the Odds

By Mickey Martin

The Women’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana is the nation’s oldest organization focused on providing cannabis to the sick and dying for medical use. Their mission began in 1993 to create a model where patients could find relief in cannabis through a compassionate and caring program. They consider themselves to be a unique organization in that they are a “patient self-help alliance” that bases their membership on need rather than the financial capability of the patient. The organization produces cannabis medicines for over 170 patients currently, but they are looking to expand their outreach to help sustain the organization. The model is based on membership donations and volunteerism; therefore more members make it easier to stay afloat.

In August, all was almost lost as massive fires consumed the region and the garden and homes were nearly destroyed in the carnage. Valerie was preparing for a short break to travel to Seattle Hempfest to speak about her work in the community when flames began to consume 100-foot-tall redwoods surrounding the property. “I was awe struck,” she recalls. “I cannot express deeply enough my gratitude for the Oceanside and Encinitas firefighters that saved our homes and gardens. We were incredibly fortunate.” She is glad she stayed, and she believes the relationships formed with the firefighters motivated them to work hard to spare her home from burning. “They were supposed to be working 24 hour shifts on and then resting for 24 hours, but many of the firefighters came to our house during their allotted rest period and volunteered on their own time. They were extremely generous,” said Valerie.

Out of the 106-acre property about 75% of it burned and the group has a lot of work to do repairing roads and cleaning up, but Valerie is grateful for what the fire did not consume. Not only were the houses and gardens spared, but atop a hill where WAMM members whom have passed away are buried the fire would not touch. “The firefighters called it the island and asked us what was up there,” she says. “We told them it was our graveyard. It was profound.” This surreal situation has left Valerie with a renewed sense of commitment and purpose. The tragedy that this fire could have been leaves one to ponder why this special place in history was spared the wrath of Mother Nature’s most destructive force. We can only reason that it is because there is still a lot of work to be done.

The fire will not interrupt the service to WAMM patients. “Even the DEA raids did not deter our services,” says Corral. “Our dedication to providing medicine to the sick and dying is stronger than ever.” The DEA raid of WAMM on September 5, 2002 was a wake-up call and a rallying cry for the movement, as everyone saw firsthand the destructive and intolerant nature of the Drug Enforcement Agency on the most vulnerable in our community. As agents were raiding the garden and holding Valerie and her partner Mike Corral, patients gathered at the gate of the property blocking the exit and demanding the release of their caregivers. After negotiation with local authorities and a promise the Corrals would be released the patients agreed to peacefully disperse.

On September 17th of that year, less than two weeks after federal agents raided and attempted to shut down the collective’s operations, they organized an effort to distribute medicine to patients on the steps of Santa Cruz city hall in a response to the violent raids. The City of Santa Cruz has been one of the group’s largest and most committed supporters, recognizing WAMM as an integral part of the city’s health care system. The City of Santa Cruz signed on as co-plaintiffs in a lawsuit that WAMM filed against the federal government stemming from the 2002 raids on their garden. Valerie works closely with the city on many projects and was an instrumental part in helping them to implement a medical marijuana I.D. program.

The city also allows the organiation to put on WAMMfest, a yearly gathering of patients and supporters in beautiful San Lorenzo Park. The Festival is in its seventh year, but sixth festival, as one year the funding was simply not available and a small party for patients was held instead. WAMMfest is a free event for the community with music, booths, fun, and dancing for all to enjoy. It is a fun and low-key event that is based on love and caring and not money. The event has traditionally performed marriage ceremonies for those in the community, dubbed “weedings” by Valerie, who normally performs the ceremonies. The festival is held annually on the last Saturday in September and has grown every year since its inception.

Valerie’s work in the community goes far beyond simply providing cannabis. She is working on a project now called “Design for Dying.” The project focuses on keeping terminal patients in their home and a warm environment through their final days. “We focus on helping people approach death how they want, instead of them dying in a hospital or hospice situation,” says Valerie. She tells of a patient who for four months received 24-hour care from the project and was able to pass on their terms. “Ask yourself what does it mean to suffer?” she poses. “People are destined to die the way they lived, so we must reflect more deeply on our time on this planet. We get into life through a 10 cm opening but we are not lucky enough to get out of something that big. Death is an equalizer.”

WAMM was almost forced to close in January, as the economy worsened and funding continued to dry up. Her donation based model found trouble sustaining itself, as many patients that they depended on for donations and funding were now unable to contribute. “When we have less, we need to share more,” enlightens Corral. “Unfortunately our culture is based on consumption and we continue to suck the planet dry. I cannot tell people how important it is to live well and care for one another.” Her philosophies are rooted in her 20 plus years of working with patients and seeing firsthand how caring for one another changes lives.

When she began this project there was the belief that there were going to be WAMM like models for patients all over the state, but instead she has seen the rise of the dispensing collective become the focal point of patient access. “Most dispensaries act more like pharmacies these days than patient care services,” says Valerie. “It is difficult for patients who are already poor from their debilitating illness to have to pay the high prices for medicine that some of these so-called collectives charge. WAMM is a true collective model. We do not just use the word.” The collective has weekly meetings and patients are asked to give what they can to support the efforts. The medicine costs about 5 dollars a gram to produce, which is the suggested donation from patients to keep the organization moving forward.

If you want to become a member of this conscious and caring organization visit www.wamm.org or call (831) 425-0850 for more information. The need for open-minded and inspired individuals has never been higher, so reach out and see what you can do to make the WAMM and Design for Dying projects a reality for years to come. Our community needs more impassioned and storied organizations like this one to advance our cause into the future. Whether it is fire, the feds, or funding, this organization continues to beat the odds and continues to provide a wonderful service for its membership. Donate, join, or be an active part of the WAMM effort. It is one of the true gems of the medical cannabis movement and deserves all of our support to ensure they are successful and can continue to serve the community is so many great ways.

This article was published in 2009 in West Coast Cannabis magazine…

Weed Activist

SUCKERS! The No on 19 Clown posse…..

September 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

Read all about it!

Weed Activist

YOU CAN GET WITH THIS or YOU CAN GET WITH THAT!

September 28, 2010 in Legalization

You can get with the cops, feds, and cannabis haters or you can get with the freedom fighters who have advanced cannabis freedoms for decades. THE CHOICE IS YOURS! Vote YES on 19!

Weed Activist

"The Good Old Daze"

September 28, 2010 in Legalization, Local Regulations

Will we one day look back on this moment as “the good old daze,” where for a moment in history we pushed back prohibition and people had more cannabis freedom? I sure hope not. I hope this is the “remember when we had to go to a Doctor to use cannabis legally” era. But far too many people believe that the current landscape will remain as vague and allowing as it is now. Some are so happy with their freedom as a patient that they fail to see the writing on the wall- our access is under attack. All over the State there has been a relaxed atmosphere regarding medical cannabis and people have somewhat found a comfort zone in which they have become lazy and complacent. People are so enamored with the current situation that they choose to ignore the facts- all over the State medical use is under attack, people think the medical system is a sham, and the powers at be are working to shade in the gray area and do away with the current system where collectives are undefined entities that provide cannabis to members through “incremental reimbursement,” or “donation” or whatever the cutesy word they choose to use for “sales” may be. The fact is that this cannot, and will not, last forever. Look around you.

Patient providers like Jovan Jackson find themselves in a court of law facing cannabis distribution charges and felonies for providing medical cannabis without being allowed a medical defense. Heck, the Judge even ruled ASA shirts were not allowed in the courtroom. How is that for safe access? Or Jeff Joseph facing charges for running a collective? Is he a criminal and the rest of you are not? Or Craig X Rubin? Do you believe that how he was targeted could not happen to you? Or the countless others who have spent the year tending their medical garden because people like Lanette Davies told them the “could grow as much as they wanted because that was between them and their Doctor” only to have Sheriff’s come and cut down their hard work and file charges for them being misinformed. You are blind if you do not see that your access is under attack and that YOU could be the victim any day because while the unclarity of Prop 215 and SB420 have afforded the community to explore the boundaries of the law, that same unclarity has allowed for rogue District Attorneys and Cops all over the State to kick in doors, and drag people to jail because their rights to grow and sell cannabis are not clearly protected anywhere in the current laws.

But do not ask me. What do California Lawmakers think? Do they believe the current system is on the up and up? Remember, it was the legislature that passed SB420, and they also can repeal or amend it to restrict freedoms and “control and regulate” the system better. In a recent vote on a resolution that would have called for an end to Federal interference into State “medical” cannabis affairs, “SJR14,” was struck down because lawmakers do not support the current state of affairs of the medial cannabis industry. They feel the freedoms are too loose and that the system is wrought with abuse. Here is what ASA wrote about it:

SJR 14 should have been a winner in a Democratic legislature – it costs nothing, does not change state law, and calls for action only in the federal arena. Unfortunately, ambivalence about medical cannabis is at a high water mark in Sacramento. Even legislators with a track record of support are worried about increasingly unpopular collectives, lenient doctors, or patients that “don’t look sick.” That is why some of the twelve silent Assemblymembers withheld their support for SJR 14.

So it begs to ask….”Who do we think we are fooling besides ourselves?” It is okay to believe in your heart that “all use is medical” like Dennis Peron and his group of loyal followers put forth. But does this really hold water? Can you really accuse all cannabis users who choose to believe they are not ill or injured to believe that they are simply “patients in denial.” Can we continue to push down the throats of society a fact that even most cannabis users do not really believe? Does it water down the real medical use of many patients to hear that EVERYONE is a patient and that they are no more sick than the 20-year-old kid who walked out of his doctor’s appointment “stoked to be legal, dude?” It is disingenuous and further pushes the real medical use and properties to the back burner because we choose to include everyone and everything as a medical issue, to which medical professionals and members of the community see as a huge abuse in the system.

I often address medical cannabis issues on local, non-cannabis blogs, often finding myself arguing with soccer moms and concerned folks that believe the current system is out of control. I am constantly defending the current and obvious abuses in the “everyone is medical” scenario. It is tiring to have to continue to defend this position because, frankly, there is a lot of truth in the argument. I support folks participating in Civil Disobedience and being “legal” by virtue of a doctor’s note, but I also understand that their are limits on how far this can be put forth and that eventually there will be a backlash. On an East bay blog, Claycord.com, I often find myself engaged in a spirited discussion with locals who do not use cannabis and who definitely do not believe that all use is medical. Here are a couple of the type of comments that I hae run across all the time that represent an increasing sentiment in the community and has lawmakers looking to roll back and limit the current state of affairs.

I have no problem with people using medicinal marijuana for their health issues. BUT so many people claim they have a health issue when they indeed do not, just to be able to get high. It’s a sham. What are some of these 21 y/o young males claiming they have?? Hangnails? An acute case of inarticulate, illiterate, personality disorder??

or this:

I would like to see marijuana available to the chronically ill. I wish the The State would find a way to control the sales of pot to only those who NEED it–and have a Rx–for physical pain or discomfort, such as through pharmacies. I, also, wish the State would better regulate the doctors who write bogus Rxs. I see one possibility would be to put a dispensary in a very large open space with zillions of acres in an unincorporated area of the county and that only one person at at time with a Rx could enter and only a very small amount could be dispensed at one time….and I don’t mean an ounce.

or this angle:

Half of the people i know in the bay area have the “medical card” to be able to buy weed in the dispensaries,and NONE of them have a single medical condition

These are the thoughts of people who are not in the cannabis looking glass and are observing the situation from the outside in. These are the types of arguments that we need to stop having. No matter what your thoughts are, we need to get to a place where citizens, law enforcement, and the media can quit demeaning cannabis by playing Doctor and deciding who is and who is not sick enough to use cannabis. Cannabis is safe and effective and enjoyable. We need to pass Prop. 19 and ensure that the real patients are protected and that those who may just go to the Doctor to be “legal” can quit pressing the boundaries and making the situation more difficult to justify.

We owe it to ourselves to advance the cause and move the ball down the field before the access we currently know and love become referred to as “The Good Old Daze,” when we believed the medical situation would never change and that we would be safe forever. it is just not a reality. So live in the now. Open your eyes. Vote YES on 19. Your access depends on it. If you believe it does not then I have a bridge in Florida to sell you….

And for real medical patients…nothing will change (unless of course you do nothing):

Prop 19 does not overturn or supersede Prop 215.  #1) Its Purposes and Intents are to make medical access safer and easier.  #2) It’s loaded with “Notwithstanding any other provision of law” clauses that mean “except where another law already makes something more legal” – like Prop 215.  #3) All powers over cultivation given to localities specifically mention “commercial” purposes.

Weed Activist

A SUPER piece on parents making the wise choice of supporting legalization

September 26, 2010 in Legalization

This piece from Alternet really warmed my heart. This message is SO important to the movement and we must make sure that parents hear it- from other parents/ Please share this with anyone who may be on the fence due to their instincts as a parent to frown upon cannabis. It is a powerful and spot-on argument that makes one think….

Why Parents Should Support Legalizing Pot

By Hanna Liebman Dershowitz, AlterNet
Posted on September 23, 2010, Printed on September 26, 2010

http://www.alternet.org/story/148278/

My son just started kindergarten. So naturally, I have been thinking a lot about the type of world and community in which I want him and our seven-year-old daughter to live. I am involved in a project to improve school lunches in our district to reinforce the nutrition lessons we teach in our home. I am a founding board member of a community group trying to improve our city’s parks. And I am working to help pass Proposition 19, the initiative to control and tax marijuana in California. It is important to me as a mother that my children grow up in a state—hopefully a country soon—that rejects the ineffective and damaging policy of marijuana prohibition. It may be counterintuitive, but legalizing marijuana will be better and safer for our children.

I would like to believe my kids won’t ever choose to use drugs. But whatever happens, it is certain that prohibition does not stop kids from using marijuana, and that my kids will be exposed to it along with other risky behaviors. After all, about a third of high school seniors have used marijuana within the last year, a figure that has been relatively stable over decades across the country and has not been affected by variations in laws and enforcement. Moreover, it has long been easier for kids to get marijuana than it is for them to get alcohol. The plain fact is drug dealers don’t require ID, and legitimate businesses do.  By taking marijuana out of the black market and placing it within the confines of safe, regulated, and licensed businesses that only sell to those 21 and over, Proposition 19 would actually reduce underage access to marijuana.

While we don’t want our kids to try marijuana, if they do later on it can lead to very harsh consequences if they are caught, even for actions that are not harmful to others. And this next part is really scary: when a person is convicted of a marijuana offense, he or she is precluded from receiving federal student loans, will forever have a drug record that diminishes job prospects, and is precluded from many other benefits, not to mention being arrested, possibly serving time, and other harsh and harrowing outcomes.  We don’t prevent even violent criminals from getting student loans. Or underage drinkers, for that matter. I don’t want people to have their lives derailed for a youthful indiscretion. Do you?

To truly serve public safety, we should control and tax marijuana, since under present policies, thousands of violent crimes go unsolved, while police spend valuable and scarce resources targeting thousands of non-violent adult marijuana users. Arrests for simple possession of marijuana have tripled over the last two decades. The $300 million California spends each year on marijuana enforcement would better serve our communities spent on solving and preventing violent crimes. Any new tax revenues would better serve our children if spent on drug education, drug rehabilitation, and of course shoring up our crumbling public education system.

We know our children are going to make decisions for themselves, probably at an age we think is too young. Laws are not going to be nearly as effective in guiding those choices as the messages we send to them as parents and in our public education efforts. We need to help kids navigate into adulthood with the judgment to moderate their intake of so many substances capable of abuse—from sugar to caffeine, alcohol, prescription drugs, and, yes, marijuana. Not to mention making good decisions about sex, Internet usage, driving, studying, and extracurricular activities. As a mother, thinking through the list, I am not most terrified by the choices they might make regarding marijuana. How about you? So let’s treat marijuana like alcohol, explain to our kids why they should avoid both, at least while they are young, and teach them how to be responsible about various choices in life.

This month, my five-year-old new kindergartner has taken up rollerblading. He goes fast, and has a lot of confidence. He has great balance so I resist the impulse to hover too much, even though I know a skinned knee is possible. I breathe a sigh of relief when he stops at driveways to ask if it’s OK to go ahead. And I hope that he will learn to internalize that check against his daredevil tendencies. I will do my part, and I don’t want the state hovering over my shoulder, reflexively criminalizing behaviors that happen to make mothers gasp. As parents, we know that education is often more effective than punishment, and in some cases punishment is not effective at all.

Women were instrumental in bringing about repeal of Prohibition in 1933, and we can be again when it comes to determining when marijuana prohibition is reversed. In my view, Proposition 19 is the right choice—not just for true law and order—but for our kids.

Hanna Liebman Dershowitz is mother of a seven-year-old and a five-year-old. She is an attorney in Culver City and co-chair of the Proposition 19 legal subcommittee.

Source: http://www.alternet.org/drugs/148278/why_parents_should_support_legalizing_pot/


Weed Activist

East Bay Express reports suspicious activity over Oakland and Berkeley

September 25, 2010 in Feds

No Joke: Secret Government Agents Circling Pot Farms in Oakland, Berkeley

Over the past several months, a single-engine, Cessna-type plane registered to an undisclosed federal law enforcement agency has been circling above the epicenter of the national legalization movement: Oakland, and Berkeley. A narcotics interdiction expert says the plane’s model, low altitude and habit of loitering over cities for hours and hours is consistent with DEA anti-pot operations, wherein the federal agency looks for the tell-tale heat signatures of grow houses and the special green color of outdoor gardens.

One Alameda resident, Marcy Englert, says Oakland International Airport staff told her the FBI was thermal imaging the East Bay when she called to complain about the incessant whine of the small craft circling the island in early September. The Englerts work from home and the plane had become a daily annoyance. Legalization Nation confirmed with Oakland Airport spokesperson Rosemary Barnes that there is indeed a federal law enforcement aircraft performing “public safety operations” above the East Bay, but she didn’t have any details on the agency or its specific activity.

During a recent overflight, Legalization Nation called the Oakland Airport noise abatement hotline and posed as an annoyed East Bay resident. Hotline staff said they’d received dozens of such complaints about the craft over the last four months. There’s actually two, single-engine “Jena” or “Idaho” type crafts, one red and one blue, the staffer confirmed. The planes have spent two to three weeks circling Alameda, two weeks above Berkeley and two months circling Oakland this summer, the staffer said. He could not detail what federal law enforcement agency owned the plane or its purpose.

“Whenever he goes up there and circles, we get calls,” the staffer said.

Barry Cooper, a former narcotics officer turned pro-pot activist and creator of the 2009 documentary Never Get Raided, says DEA anti-pot operations often involve low-flying small planes affixed with a camera system called FLIR that detects excess heat from grow house ventilation. They also use a plane-based camera system dubbed ‘pot-buster‘ that can detect from 5,000 feet up the specific wavelength of light reflecting off an outdoor marijuana garden. [See pictures of a camera system attached to the same “Idaho” model aircraft as reported in the East Bay]. These planes will circle an area tagging suspect locations with GPS coordinates.

The Supreme Court ruled thermal imaging a private residence unconstitutional without a search warrant, but the eight-year narcotics veteran says in his experience, “they’re using them anyway to spot suspicious houses. Then they set up and look for another reason to get the warrant. They do not put in the search warrant affidavit that they used the FLIR. They’ll put in the search warrant affidavit that they saw cars coming in and out of the place, or their power usage was too high, or they got an undisclosed tip.”

Authorities could simply be reconnoitering the nation’s hotbed of legalization for intelligence purposes, Cooper says.

“This is something that the feds do. It’s a billion-dollar industry. They like to keep up with where it’s being grown and how it’s being grown. They’re possibly gathering data to discover exactly how much.”

FBI Special Agent Joseph Schadler, a spokesperson on Northern California operations, said he’s not aware of big operations requiring Cessnas and thermal imaging. Schadler can’t confirm or deny the existence of any FBI investigation, but, “we don’t do dope stuff,” he said.

DEA Special Agent Joycelyn Barnes, a local public information officer, said she was unaware of any activity. The DEA also does not comment on ongoing investigations or practices. Barnes said the plane could be another federal law enforcement agency. The resident agent in charge of the DEA’s Oakland office said this was the first time he had heard of such an operation.

The Department of Justice has stated, “it will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana”, but federal anti-potoperations continue nationwide at pre-Obama levels. Cannabis is legal for medical use in California, however the federal government considers it a Schedule-One controlled substance on par with heroin and PCP.

Local growers combat imaging technology with a variety of countermeasures. Some grow in basements and vent heat from lights and fans into the sewers. Other set up glass or reflective materials to block vented heat from a grow. Outdoor gardeners have also started masking the tell-tale color of their crop — which has entered harvest season — with spray-on food dyes, Cooper says.

Source: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/LegalizationNation/archives/2010/09/24/no-joke-secret-government-agents-circling-pot-farms-in-oakland-berkeley

Weed Activist

Stephanie Taylor aka DragonfLIES publishes BS in JEMM. Conrad Responds…again.

September 24, 2010 in Feds, Legalization

A bit of a redux, but …

Dragonfly has revised her blog to include 19 reasons to vote against legal marijuana, which has been published in the LA JEMM. She took out the misinformation about new felonies, but added several new ones, i.e., that it would be illegal not to have a corporate business receipt with your marijuana (you could grow your own, for heaven’s sake) and that no initiative can be amended, when in fact Prop 19 does allow certain legislative adjustments. She overlooks whole sections such as Purpose 8 when it doesn’t fit her narrative and things like that. Rather than repeat her misinformation, I am pasting a bit from an article that I submitted and hope to see published in the upcoming LA JEMM. Lynette Shaw also submitted an article to the JEMM. Someone asked me if Dragonfly is Canadian; does anybody know?

CW: Her real name is Stephanie Taylor from Nashville, TN from what we can tell.

– Chris <chris@chrisconrad.com>
_______________

… excerpt …

A much more complex and elaborate web of opinion, misinformation and conspiracy theories was woven together by someone writing under the name of Dragonfly de la Luz (‘Pro-Marijuana Activists,’ Vol 5:9, p94). Let’s go directly to the factual inaccuracies in her argument and work our way back from there. The most egregious of her inaccurate statements are contained in her so-called “facts” #2, #3, #5, #10, #15, #17, #18 and #19. Misinformation combined with speculation can sound convincing, unless you know the facts.

Dispatching her claims in order, in #2 the penalty for people 21 and above furnishing to minors age 18-21 (HS 11361c) is not mandatory and it approximates the alcohol law. Regardless of #3, business fees are directed to pay for business code enforcement (HS11302), not drug police. Despite #5, adults won’t need to carry receipts for marijuana to be legal, since they can grow their own and share with each other free and untaxed up to an ounce (HS11300a); she mixed up a requirement to keep business records with lawful personal behavior. In #10 / footnote 17, she simply ignores the fact that medical cultivation is protected in Prop 19 Purpose 8. Incredibly, in #15, the ‘corporate threat’ she theorizes about is based on an Oakland proposal under current medical marijuana laws but she blames Prop 19 which has not even passed yet. Prop 19 is written to benefit smaller growers by allowing more local control – nor could an initiative ban corporations from doing business.

One of the key factors in Prop 19 is that unless the state legislature steps in to establish controls, local communities have a lot of control over the shape of their cannabis businesses. This means that local consumers and small to medium size growers can organize into viable constituencies to protect their own interests. This is a window of opportunity flung open.

Dragonfly #17 simply ignores the entire Amendment section of Prop 19 that allows certain legislative and voter actions; i.e., the legislature can modify it, but only to make its limitations less restrictive, create a statewide distribution system or allow farmers to grow industrial hemp (Section 5 a, b, c). Contrary to #18, this is about the 19th time marijuana legalization has attempted the ballot and only the second time in 38 years it has qualified. Only Prop 215 medical use ever passed at the ballot box (1996). Finally, in #19, there is no reason whatsoever that another initiative could not qualify and pass in the future. That is a Constitutional right.

Once you see that 7 of the 19 ‘reasons’ Dragonfly proposes are based on factual errors, her whole argument collapses. Otherwise, she simply makes up her own “myths,” then exposes them as being … myths. But not all are. Prop 19 was not written to end the drug war (Myth 1) but it will certainly affect it. There is no new penalty for smoking around your children or in public (Myths 3, 11), it stays the same as now. It takes a super majority of voters to direct taxes to schools and health care (Myth 7), otherwise taxes go into the state general fund. Of course Prop 19 has regulations and controls (Myths 8, 9), that’s its name. That’s what polls show the voters want. Myths 12, 13 and 14 are speculative opinion with nothing factual to rebut. Same with Myth 16, although she omits a useful fact, the Rand Corporation opinion that the price of marijuana will drop significantly. Myth 15 comingles corporations, conspiracies and cartels, but experts including former President of Mexico Vincente Fox believe that legalizing marijuana will be important in resolving the drug war raging within that nation’s borders.

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