Marijuana Legalization Measure Has Support of Mendocino Growers

Categories: Marijuana
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Drug Policy Alliance
That's the idea
Can Protections for Medical Patients Help Succeed Where Proposition 19 Failed?

Cannabis advocates promised they'd be back at the California ballot following marijuana legalization measure Proposition 19's historic failure in November 2010 (the measure received more votes than gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman, and at a fraction of a cost). And while the backers of Prop. 19 have yet to introduce a successor measure -- and, rumor has it, they may not -- other legalization activists are not waiting.

This morning, Mendocino County activist Pebbles Trippet -- the subject of a 1997 court ruling in which medical marijuana users were granted the right to transport their cannabis -- is on her way to Sacramento to file the text for the "Repeal Cannabis Prohibition" act at the Attorney General, according to Sonoma County attorney Joe Rogoway of the Cannabis Law Institute, another of the ballot measure's cosponsors.


If approved for circulation -- initiative statutes need 504,760 valid signatures to appear before voters, no small feat. Repeal Cannabis Prohibition will have competition: One other marijuana legalization ballot initiative is already in the signature-gathering process. But this latest effort is designed to succeed where Prop 19 has failed, according to Rogoway: it's a "repeal of failed policy," rather than a drug legalization measure, and has protection for medical cannabis patients included in the text while keeping as law restrictions on driving while high and providing marijuana to minors.

"We're doing what the other initiatives do not do," Rogoway told SF Weekly on Thursday. And what's more, via Trippet this measure has approval from Mendocino County marijuana farmers, he says, something else Prop 19 lacked.

Could this be, as they say, The One?

Rogoway and Trippet are but two of the medical marijuana movement members to sign onto this latest measure: Oakland attorney Bill Panzer, one of medical marijuana law Proposition 215's authors, is a cosponsor, as is marijuana defense attorney Omar Figueroa and Berkeley physician Frank Lucido, one of the first MDs to write legal medical cannabis recommendations.

Read the act for yourself -- it's a short read, just 700 words. If approved by the Attorney General for circulation, the Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act will compete with the "Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act," which is the brainchild of Jim Gray, an Orange County criminal court judge, and South Lake Tahoe-based Steve Kubby. Yet Rogoway maintains that the repeal of prohibition, not comparing grapes to Granddaddy Purple, will appeal to conservative voters -- and will unite the medical marijuana movement to boot.

Rogoway and Figueroa, both defense attorneys specializing in marijuana crimes, would essentially write themselves out of a job, saving money on cops, courts and prisons: law enforcement would be entirely removed from the business of marijuana. All sections of California law dealing with criminal penalties for adult use, possession, or cultivation of the plant would be repealed, though the California Department of Public Health would still be responsible for regulating public smoking and use of marijuana by minors (still a crime), and driving while high would still be illegal. Anyone possessing, growing or otherwise involved with less than three pounds of pot would face no taxes.

Where this works for small-government and Tea Party types is that it's a repeal of failed laws rather than the imposition of new ones, Rogoway says.  On top of that, framing the conversation in that way puts the onus on opponents to say why keeping marijuana illegal is the way to go.

"In an era of fiscal pragmatism and social responsibility, this is something that will make sense to California voters," he said. "Current policy doesn't prevent people from using cannabis... once we abolish these laws, everyone will become more free."

Once the ballot measure is approved for circulation, its backers will begin fundraising "immediately," Rogoway said.

Whether or not a ballot initiative will eventually emerge out of the "new Prop 19 committee," the Coalition on Cannabis Policy Reform, remains to be seen. The rumor in the medical marijuana community is that a lack of fundraising -- Oaksterdam University founder Richard Lee paid $1.5 million out of pocket to put Prop 19 on the ballot, his life savings -- and bad polling numbers have convinced that committee to wait until the 2016 cycle, That notion has been dismissed by union organizer Dan Rush of UFCW Local 5, the first -- and thus far only -- major labor union to organize medical marijuana workers.

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14 comments
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john robbins
john robbins

What has happened to this country ,how can anyone support this

john robbins
john robbins

What has happened to this country ,how can anyone support this

Gregory Paul Smith
Gregory Paul Smith

My only problem is how are you going to prove someone was driving erratically because they were high and not because they were drunk. I would say if there is any alcohol involved, marijuana is not the culprit. I would only suspect other drugs in the ABSENCE  of alcohol. Then there would have to be a blood serum limit or something and those metrics have not been established at this time. So I see some potential problems with the "high driving" portion of the bill.

PatientPatient
PatientPatient

Vote yes on both!

(CA law holds that when similar, competing initiatives pass, the initiative with the highest "yes" percentage becomes law.)

Either initiative is better than the status quo & I hope that's recognized by the community here. Enough with the hegemony!

Eric Sunswheat
Eric Sunswheat

OMG!   Pebbles has been AGAIN drafting behind the scenes.  Too bad no vaporization use exemption clause was woven in, to allow for vaporizer use in outside no smoking areas unless specific prohibition of vaporization is posted.Overly not realistic to correct omission with remedy of free standing Bill in state legislature, to give a campaign topic strategy focus push for the state voters ballot initiative, but the  'horse has already left the barn' without incorporating vaporization, and so whatever. LOL !

Bongbailer
Bongbailer

It would be very interesting to see the consequences in California if both measures make it on the ballot and both end up being approved.  Okay, I admit that scenario isn't likely, but if it happens, then the result might be a legal cannabis industry with all the "regulations" currently imposed on the heirloom tomato industry, i.e., anyone can grow them in their own back yard or on a farm, consume them privately, or sell them publicly, subject to the same regulations imposed on small wineries or microbreweries.  I can't wait to start!

Chadwick M Hanes
Chadwick M Hanes

Why should we be dividing our efforts? RegulateMarijuanaLikeWine.com has already been approved, and already has the backing of the California Libertarian Party. Rogoway's initiative  restricts possession amounts and offers nothing in return. If we're going to go down the 2012 road, why settle for a crappy initiative when we have the RMLW initiative figured out? 

2012 vs. 2016 debate: 2012 will probably work for Colorado and Washington, seeing they have the most to gain and their citizens seem to be screaming that, and it may for California as well if enough of the young voters come out (which they should this time around). By the year 2016, I'd expect to see it legal (or make it to an initiative) in Nevada, Oregon, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and Michigan. 

Fred
Fred

And when it passes and makes history, Chris Roberts can rightly say, "I broke the story..."

Fred Gardner
Fred Gardner

This initiative is basically negative —it's saying "Off our backs."   And the way cannabinoids work is basically negative —telling other neurotransmitters what not to do.  So I guess you could say that "Repeal Cannabis Prohibition" reflects the spirit of the plant.  Good luck to Trippet et al. 

BANG
BANG

do you also abstain from alcohol? i assume you wouldn't want THAT kind of impairment, which is far worse. sounds less like cannabis & more like alcohol..remember.. we are trying to legalize with the intention of some "intoxication," if you even want to call it that. which is why the purpose is "recreational"cannabinoid receptors are also naturally present in our human bodies.. just to let you know. alcohol & nicotine in our bodies? no way.

Gregory Paul Smith
Gregory Paul Smith

I prefer the term "inebriation", as cannabis is non-toxic. InTOXICation implies you have ingested something toxic.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Are you a neurochemisist, or are you just some jackass talking out of your ass?

Betty Robertson
Betty Robertson

Fred is a highly respected writer unlike many in this movement such as Steve DiAngelo, AKA "The Junkie From New York."  Fred has been an important figure in this movement for decades. Back when Steve DiAngelo was shooting heroin and scamming for his next fix Fred was writing good news stories to boost our movement. Fred never got rich of pot unlike DiAngelo who was only in it for the money. 

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Unfortunately it seems he got too high to be a part of the movement, and now posts incomprehensible pseudo-science babble on internet message boards.

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