A Harsh Reality. Conrad on Whittman/Cooley and the demise of cannabis in CA.

Chris Conrad once again makes a lot of sense in this plea for folks to get it together and get the vote out on Prop. 19. I do not mean to focus on Chris, but sometimes when you can’t say it better yourself, then why bother….


We have powerful enemies in the November election: Meg Whitman and Steve Cooley. Whitman is an avowed enemy of medical marijuana and would have veto power over all our legislation for the next multiple years. Cooley is such an incompetent attorney that he can’t even read law correctly but he thinks SB 420 does not protect patients, he thinks it mandates prison for anyone with more than a few ounces. These people are a threat to everything we have built up as a movement. And yet “reformers” are wasting energy opposing Prop 19?

Let’s get real. SB 420 — which allows collectives, ID cards, immunity from arrest and safe harbor — is not from an initiative. It was legislated so it can be modified or upended at any time, with or without Prop 19. The safe harbor quantities that People v Kelly provides could be dropped to a few grams, and gardens reduced to a couple plants and 10 square feet. Read the People v Urziceanu decision’s evaluation of Prop 215 v SB 420 to get an idea of what losing SB420 means. It’s not pretty.
At this point, a no vote on Prop 19 combined with a Whitman/Cooley victory is a no vote on SB 420, a no vote on safe harbors, a no vote on collectives, and the prohibitionists will litigate like it is a no vote on Prop 215 and a yes vote to send adults to jail for small personal amounts of marijuana. Every bit of energy we spend “debating the merits” of Prop 19 is energy that we give to the drug warriors because none of it matters at all if we lose Prop 19. We must pass it.

Here’s why: If Prop 19 passes, it guarantees that localities can license sales to patients because it allows licensed sales to anyone over age 21 (I know, it sucks for people below age 21, but let’s stay on point here). If Prop 19 passes, it guarantees that patients will be able to have at least an ounce just by virtue of being adults. It specifically lists Prop 215/ HS11362.5 and SB 420 statutes in two places in the purposes, by general reference in the purpose “6. Provide easier, safer access for patients who need cannabis for medical purposes.” and “12.   Make cannabis available for scientific, medical, industrial, and research purposes” and by statutes as in “except as permitted under Health and Safety Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 through 11362.9.” That would not even have been necessary because it also protects them by _not naming those statutes as being changed anywhere in the newly created statutes. (Remember the Galambos appeals court held that it was illegal to transport medical marijuana because Prop 215 did _not name HS11360 transportation_ as being changed; luckily the legislature passed SB420 to protect it.) It says in the ballot argument that themedical marijuana laws are “preserved.” That alone could be used in court to defend collectives and safe harbor if the legislature turns sour and try to change SB 420.

Without Prop 19, patients and collectives are at greater risk than with it, and if it loses it sends exactly the wrong message to the legislature, namely that Californians don’t want legal marijuana. That will be cited as a pendulum change, and that could bode disaster. Remember, we have in our midst paid agitators and provocateurs who are determined to undermine us and stop Prop 19 from being passed. They prey on your fear. They claim to be our allies, and to be helping, but they are our opponents determined to keep cannabis consumers criminals. Unfortunately, we can’t tell them from the zealots because some people with good intentions are freaked out, running in circles and screaming that the sky is falling, the sky is falling. Well, the sky might well be falling if Prop 19 loses.

Get over it, pull yourselves together and go out to register every voter you can get your hands on and drag them to the polls to vote Yes on Prop 19 and No to Whitman and Cooley on Nov 2, or better yet to vote absentee Yes on Prop 19 and No to Whitman and Cooley.

— Chris Conrad, court-qualified cannabis expert and consultant

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