So Sad: Statement from Yes on 19 campaign…

OAKLAND, CA — In response to the voting results on Proposition 19, the California ballot measure to control and tax marijuana, Prop. 19 proponent Richard Lee released the following statement:

“The fact that millions of Californians voted to legalize marijuana is a tremendous victory. We have broken the glass ceiling. Prop. 19 has changed the terms of the debate. And that was a major strategic goal.

“Over the course of the last year, it has become clear that the legalization of marijuana is no longer a question of if but a question ofwhen. Because of this campaign, millions now understand it’s time to develop an exit strategy for the failed war on marijuana. Across the state our opponents, including many newspaper editorial boards that failed to properly understand Prop. 19, repeatedly stated that their quibbles were not with legalization in general. When we come back with a new initiative in 2012, there will be a seat at the table for all of these new stakeholders. And we will be coming back, stronger than ever.

“With limited resources this time around we were able to build an enormously powerful coalition of cops and moms, law professors and civil rights leaders, liberals and libertarians, conservatives and unions; all hungry for change. For the first time we were able to unite in favor of legalization. Groups like the National Black Police Association, the National Latino Officers Association, the California Council of Churches IMAPCT, California NAACP, SEIU of California, United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council, members of the U.S. Congress, local Democratic party committees, state legislators and many, many individual law enforcers, faith leaders, civil rights activists, students, professors of law and business leaders said it’s time for a new beginning. This coalition will only continue to grow in size and strength as we prepare for 2012.

“Even the establishment was divided. While Senator Dianne Feinstein lent her name to the opposition, others, realizing that legalization is on its way, got in front of the message. When Gov. Schwarzenegger signed SB 1449, the bill reducing marijuana offenses to an infraction, a few weeks ago, it was a clear concession to the power of the legalization movement and a recognition of the obvious failure of our marijuana laws. This singular change in law, brought about by the momentum of our campaign, will protect tens of thousands of Californians from arrest each and every year. It will save California taxpayers money, and it will make our streets safer. But it’s only a start, and there’s much more work to be done.

Is today the day? Tired of being a criminal.

Today is a historic step for the cannabis movement. Today we will have the closest election ever on a cannabis issue, and regardless of it passing we have succeeded in changing the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. I am proud to be able to walk into a voting booth and vote yes for real change today. I am tired of being a criminal. I am tired of ducking and dodging cops because I like weed. I am sick of feeling like I have something to hide because i use pot. I am sick of feeling inferior for my choice to use cannabis.

Yes. Our society is in dire need for a change of direction. While 19 is not the bill I would have written, the one I would have written would have no chance of passing. I am far to liberal for most who have fell victim to the hype of the drug war. Prop. 19 has done a good job of realizing the need for certain compromises, and on this election day, most polls show it trailing slightly but within the margin of error. That is HUGE! If people get up, go vote, and make a difference in their world we may just win this yet. Remember, Michigan’s medical cannabis vote came in 10% higher than the polls had it, so anything is possible- especially with cannabis. So get out and vote.

I am proud to be a voice for change and look forward to the day when cannabis is no longer criminal. I hope to wake up tomorrow and no longer be a criminal in my own community. I look forward to watching an industry blossom and for more people to find cannabis as a safe and legal alternative to booze. I love cannabis. i am not a criminal.

How a YES vote on PROP 19 can help FEDERALLY CHARGED DEFENDENTS in other states

How Prop 19 can help Roger Christie, Aaron Zeeman and the other 12 facing federal charges in Hawaii?

A “Yes Vote” on prop 19 will signal to the Federal Government and the world that people are ready to end MARIJUANA PROHIBITION, to end this failed drug policy that targets cannabis users.

If prop 19 passes, politicians will take notice and some may feel the courage to take a stand. Marijuana legalization will take center stage as the Feds most likely assert their power and attempt to stop it.

The media and the public will have ample time to listen to listen to marijuana advocates dispel years of marijuana propaganda.

All this could trigger the day when a United States Representative to the United Nations will walk into the UN and declare that it is time to amend the Single Narcotics Treaty of 1961, to once again recognize the medicinal benefits as of cannabis, and to make the necessary changes that will allow federal law to change and end the 70+ year prohibition.  This is important for all users, medical or not.

IT IS TIME for the United States and other nations to be free to loosen up their cannabis laws.  It is time to end prohibition.  The significance of prop 19 goes far beyond the issue of personal use, or possession of an ounce.   This is the first initiative to make the ballot in 70 years of prohibition that eliminates criminal sanctions for any adult use of a small amount of cannabis.  It would be irresponsible not to vote YES on 19.


Roger Christie, leader of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry is a longtime marijuana activist.  For over 15 years he has been active in reforming marijuana law in Hawaii.  Aaron Zeeman has been active in marijuana politics for at least ten.  In the 90’s Christie worked to end the harassment of personal growers.  In 2006 both Roger Christie, Aaron Zeeman and many others fell short of the needed signatures to get a “lowest police priority” initiative on the ballot.  They failed to gain enough signatures, but they did  attract the attention of the federal authorities.  The Feds placed wire-taps on Roger’s church, home and cell phone lines to gather evidence on his ministries daily operations.

Roger and others were instrumental in getting a Lowest Law Enforcement Priority Cannabis Ordinance’ pass by 34,957 votes on November 5, 2008.  Law enforcement could then be freed up to deal with dangerous issues instead of going after marijuana users.

Move to 2010 where Roger Christie sits in a federal prison, being held without bail for being a danger to society for marijuana related charges.  Roger has had 4 bail hearings.  All attempts to have Roger released before his trial have failed.

And what about the 13 other people arrested with Roger?  Many are facing mandatory minimum prison sentences of 5-10 years for minor amounts of marijuana.  How?  The federal government has charged them with conspiracy.  That means they worked together to provide for each other and share their collective cultivation efforts.  All 14 are charged with conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute 284 marijuana plants, which carries a mandatory minimum prison term of five years and a maximum of 40 years.  Several homes are at risk of being lost in asset forfeiture proceedings.  Many of the people, including Aaron Zeeman below did not have or posess any marijuana plants during the raids.

Aaron Zeeman is a single father and lives a very simple life in Hawaii raising his ten year old daughter.  He has been a registered medical marijuana patient for many years.  Surviving on social security Aaron struggles with health problems.  With all this, Aaron has been a working force in marijuana advocacy and worked on the measure with Roger to get Ballot Question #1 (the lowest law enforcement priority ballot initiative) that won on Hawaii’s Big Island. He had been a “member” of the church for over a decade. Aaron did not know how Roger found him when he will ill,  but he was thankful for his ministry in his time of need.

HOW CAN VOTING YES ON PROP 19 in California help people like Roger Christie and Aaron Zeeman?  Because their will be a ripple effect of media coverage and federal involvement on this issue that may help trigger the end of 70 years of marijuana prohibition.