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Election Day Discussion

This is an open thread to discuss anything you wish as you wait for the Prop 19 results (although waiting is not all you can do — Get out the vote campaigns continue today).


OAKLAND, CA – The campaign working to pass Proposition 19, the California initiative to control and tax marijuana, will host a Get Out The Vote rally on Election Day, this Tuesday, in front of Oakland City Hall.

WHO: Oakland City Attorney John Russo; Prop. 19 proponent and Oaksterdam University founder Richard Lee; former Wheatland police officer Nate Bradley; United Food and Commercial Workers union organizer Dan Rush; lawyer and mom Hanna Dershowitz and others
WHAT: Election Day Get Out The Vote rally
WHEN: Tuesday, November 2; 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
WHERE: Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland City Hall

While the rally itself lasts from 10:00 AM until noon, the first hour is targeted to press, and will feature short speeches by all the spokespersons.


I’ve also gathered a fair amount of interesting reading for you.


bullet image Comment: The war on drugs is already lost by Ian Dunt

What is losing? No-one really knows. In football there’s a final whistle. In politics, there are elections. But policies have no timer, only consequences. How bad must those consequences be for us to call it quits over the war on drugs? […]

Intellectually, pro-prohibitionists are a dwindling and pitiful breed. Alone and without allies they make their case to an empty room. Behind them, almost every government in the world supports their barbaric and simple-minded agenda. It is baffling. […]

Drug prohibition is philosophically wrong. It denies us the freedom to decide what we put in our own bodies. It is medically wrong. The black market allows drug peddlers to corrupt the substances in a bid to boost quantities, something which would be impossible if the product were regulated. It is socially wrong. It funds the black market and allows drug use to take place in a social netherworld, where addiction and crime are more likely to follow. It is logically wrong, in that decriminalisation tends to see usage and potency drop. When Jacqui Smith obediently followed Gordon Brown’s orders and re-classified marijuana, for instance, its usage was actually falling.

But a mugging here or a burglary there hardly compares to what this insane policy does to us strategically. […]

How much blood does it take before the prohibitionists admit defeat? At what point does their continued failure become a personal moral culpability? They are promoting a policy which kills our children, endangers our troops, counteracts our foreign policy and reduces much of the developing world to anarchy.


bullet image The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!

Comes now Russian drug czar Viktor Ivanov, who flew in and injected a bit of old-fashioned reefer madness into the debate. As only someone from the land of double-speak can put it, Ivanov warned of “psychiatric deviations” should California pass Proposition 19. Foreign Policy reports:

Viktor Ivanov, a former KGB officer and prominent member of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, even took the unusual step of going to Los Angeles earlier this week to “conduct a campaign against legalizing marijuana in California,” as he said in the interview. He also came to Washington this week to meet with U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske and U.S. Afghan envoy Richard Holbrooke to discuss anti-poppy measures in Afghanistan and call for an intensified program of aerial eradication.

He warns California, sternly:

“I’m afraid that the consequences of [legalization] will be catastrophic. Even the Netherlands, where they sell marijuana legally in coffee shops, they are now reversing on this. Because there, and everywhere, drug addiction is becoming stronger and the people who are addicted develop psychiatric deviations. They say, ‘What does God do when he wants to punish a person? He deprives him of his mind.’ “

The aptly titled Russian czar does speak with some authority, as his country does have a drug problem of its own. But I’m not sure that support from Ivanov — whose own government has an elastic definition of personal freedom — is an endorsement the anti-19 forces will embrace.


bullet image Mary Ann Sieghart: Restore sanity in the debate on drugs

America declared war on drugs 40 years ago. You’d think that by now, it might have won. Instead, any US teenager can buy cannabis, at higher strength and at a lower price. Meanwhile, severed heads are rolled across floors in Mexican discos and innocent people are scared to leave their homes in cities such as Ciudad Juarez, where the war on drugs has taken its highest toll.


bullet image Nora Volkow says something true:

One of the issues is that people believe how marijuana affects them is how it affects everyone, said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“They base it on their own experiences, and it is possible you can smoke and have no ill effects. It’s also possible you can smoke until age 100 and have no ill effects.


bullet image 5 Expert Takes on How U.S. Marijuana Legalization Would Affect Mexico

“Experts” are clueless and/or unwilling to actually consider real solutions, as evidenced by this extraordinary confession by “expert” Peter Rueter

Reuter: I am really struck by the lack of suggestions as to what the Mexican government should do other than just give up. I don’t have any good ideas, and nobody else does, either.


bullet image A Letter to the Undecided: Prop 19 by Jesse Levine

People sitting on the fence about proposition 19 remind me of people stuck in dysfunctional relationships. They know they should end the relationship but are plagued with anxiety about the future. I’ve tried to relieve some fear about legalization so that you might understand more clearly how futile and destructive marijuana prohibition is and why it should be ended. Prop 19 is down in the polls but the race is close. Please go end the states dysfunctional relationship with marijuana prohibition.


bullet image Author’s Novel Aims to Settle Debate Debate Over Marijuana Legalization

Of all the arguments that have been made over the past year in support of California’s initiative to legalize marijuana, perhaps the most convincing is the one found on page 237 of Katie Arnoldi’s novel “Point Dume.”

The drug cartels are growing marijuana on our public lands. Right this minute, there are millions of plants in grow-sites all around the country and especially in California. The chemicals they use are destroying wildlife, our national parks and designated wilderness. I’ve been into these grow-sites and have seen, first hand, the enormous environmental devastation. It is a problem that should not be ignored.


bullet image Marijuana legalization: why tea party might support Prop. 19 in… Christian Science Monitor?

Whether or not tea party conservatives and libertarians – the two main strands of the powerful political insurgency movement – will help put Prop. 19 over the top is an open question. But some commentators are seeing anecdotal support among many tea partyers for marijuana legalization in California. […]

Yet the poll numbers don’t necessarily indicate that things will turn out this way. Republicans oppose the measure by 65 percent to 25 percent, and those over age 60 are against it by 63 percent to 29 percent, according to the nonpartisan Field Poll.


bullet image California’s Slap At Our Drug-Fighting Allies — a particularly stupid editorial from Investor’s Business Daily, known for its stupid editorials.

Whatever the merits of legalizing marijuana in California, passage of Prop. 19 will create a legal mess at a time when Mexico’s war is becoming a higher foreign-policy priority for the U.S.

Although the measure’s prospects seem to be fading, passage could discourage Latin American friends from working with us on the drug problem and inadvertently bring back the old days of ignoring the problem.


bullet image Marijuana as a Gateway Drug: The Myth That Will Not Die by Maia Szalavitz in Time.

The problem here is that correlation isn’t cause. Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang members are probably more 104 times more likely to have ridden a bicycle as a kid than those who don’t become Hell’s Angels, but that doesn’t mean that riding a two-wheeler is a “gateway” to joining a motorcycle gang. It simply means that most people ride bikes and the kind of people who don’t are highly unlikely to ever ride a motorcycle.


bullet image Whether Prop 19 Passes or Not, Legalization is Now Mainstream by David Borden


bullet image Hollywood Stars for Prop 19 (video)


Don’t forget to vote.

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61 comments to Election Day Discussion

  • Negation

    Things aren’t looking good for Prop 19, but things have never looked better for the legalization movement. I’m still going to obsessively refresh the results ever 15 seconds, but whatever happens, this is a good place to be.

    On a much more positive note, I live in Madison, Wisconsin, and we (and River Falls) had a county advisory referendum whether the legislature should enact a medical marijuana law. I’m proud to say that Dane County absolutely destroyed the no votes, passing this with 75.42% of the vote (as of this posting, not sure how many precincts haven’t reported yet, not many anyway). I’m sure this won’t mean anything considering the rest of the horrendous voting in Wisconsin, but it’s a great start.

  • LTR

    The trend went against it after Obama sent in Holder and the drug czar, arnold signing decriminalization, newspapers such as the LA Times doing everything in their power to defeat it, by attacking the ballot language among other things, and the fear campaign by the Chamber of Commerce lying to the people of California that employers would be powerless to fire employees that were coming to work impaired, saying that they would have to wait until the user hurt someone first.

    The ballot language is what a lot of the media used to scare people, but also, if the conservative turn out is anything like it was across the national average, midterm elections, and this one in particular, just doesn’t have the right voter demographic that shows up to the polls. The fact of the matter is is young people do not vote in great #’s in the mid-term elections, and only so many people are uniquely motivated.

    Too many were convinced that the prop 19 language wasn’t the right approach. I personally felt like it was just as good of a approach as any other, and in fact was extremely flexible and allowed conservative counties a say in how they wanted their county to look. I thought allowing the state legislature to modify the measure’s regulations were fantastic. The flexibility of the initiative was its strength.

    My fear is too many of you had too much emotional investment in prop 19. I didn’t want to say anything here because I didn’t desire to turn anyone’s spirits down before the end of the election. I think the take-to-heart message here should be that 1) Prop 19 faced an uphill battle during a mid-term election which always favors conservative voters
    2) Prop 19 faced the usual prohibitionist players along with the statewide media that used fear to scare people into voting against prop 19. One positive note is much of the attacks were on the ballot language, focusing on that it was the wrong approach to legalize it rather than simply saying legalizing marijuana was a bad idea.
    3) A marijuana legalization initiative will have a better chance in the future whenever voter turn out is more evenly split between the left and right. Although many people in drug reform are libertarian, the reality is liberals and young voters are the two primarily supportive demographics that support legalization and in order to win, we will need them to turn out in much larger #’s than this mid-term.

    The discussion and debate that prop 19 has generated throughout the world press has never happened before. This in and of itself is a victory. Keep in mind Gallup just showed a record 46% of Americans support legalizing marijuana. With the right language and the right turnout, legalization will pass in the near future assuming that there isn’t a strong reversal.

  • ezrydn

    Remember Dewey v. Truman.

  • darkcycle

    We ain’t lost yet. And even if we lost, we won. I’ll be checking the results all night, but I’m signing off of this infernal machine now. It’s beginning to feel like an appendage.

  • chris

    Looks like its over. Prop 19 is defeated.

  • DdC

    1,164,319 / 44.0% Yes votes …… 1,484,563 / 56.0% No votes

    Results as of Nov 2 9:59pm, 20.3% of Precincts Reporting (5032/24845)

  • DdC

    1,335,073 / 44.5% Yes votes …… 1,663,608 / 55.5% No votes

    Results as of Nov 2 10:39pm, 25.1% of Precincts Reporting (6240/24845)

  • DdC

    1,435,789 / 44.6% Yes votes …… 1,781,370 / 55.4% No votes
    Results as of Nov 2 10:56pm, 29.9% of Precincts Reporting (7434/24845)

  • pfroehlich2004

    Even without garnering a majority, Prop 19 has been a huge winnner. It has generated massive national awareness of the idiocy of marijuana prohbition and moreover it will give us a treasure trove of polling data that we can use to start planning for 2012.

    Make no mistake, victory WILL be ours.

  • DdC

    1,677,168 / 44.6% Yes votes …… 2,083,293 / 55.4% No votes
    Results as of Nov 2 11:28pm, 40.0% of Precincts Reporting (9933/24845)

    GOP Attorney General could be a drag. Lungreen daze of Wilson killing sick people. Mag Whitless’ mentor. At least she didn’t buy it for $140 mil. 8 years of Boosh rape and pillage. I’d be ashamed to admit being a GOPervert after the lies and killing of innocent out of work kids believing Iraq was a threat. Now the sheople vote them in again? Believing the thieves need less alarms on the bank vault. Believing after Rayguns Boosh and Boosh again. Voodoo economics that the filthy rich will finally trickle down jobs they haven’t as of yet? Fucking saps. Another Congressional Knewt contract on Americans.

    I’m in favor of dividing the state. Southern Cali is conservatude money and military with northern more nature and progressive. Separate interests. If only Lincoln didn’t stop the racist idiots from leaving in the first place their offspring wouldn’t be gutting the Constitution and shredding common decency now. Let’s sell southern Cal and Texas to Mexico to pay down the debt.

    P-19 was a success in educating these dumbass selfish yuppies and rednecks. But as said, Prop. 215 still covers anyone for anything. Just follow the money and lies behind the drug worriers attack. Prisons and Pisstasters. But they won’t. I say all political ad profits should be given to the IRS to reduce the debt and tax burden on workers paying for the deadbeat wealthy’ Cayman Island shelters and wars. Buying politicians like dish soap and hardick pills. Protesting liberty, cheer leading for King George, in broad daylight with no guilt or remorse. Pitiful.

    You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons. ~ Jim (Waco Kid)

    Statewide Results as of Nov 2 11:28pm,
    40.0% of Precincts Reporting (9933/24845)
    22.5% Statewide Voter Turnout (3,887,010/17,285,883) tsk tsk tsk

    Governor
    # Jerry Brown, Democratic ………. 1,975,199 votes 51.9%
    # Meg Whitman, Republican ………. 1,643,699 votes 43.2%

    Lieutenant Governor
    # Gavin Newsom, Democratic ………. 1,786,348 votes 48.1%
    # Abel Maldonado, Republican ………. 1,550,472 votes 41.8%

    Attorney General
    # Steve Cooley, Republican ………. 1,733,132 votes 47.3%
    # Kamala Harris, Democratic ………. 1,620,709 votes 44.3%

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