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Going after the city councils (updated)

Tom Angell reports that Kevin Sabet’s “SAM” group is targeting city councils with anti-legalization efforts.

A group dedicated to keeping marijuana illegal has launched an effort to convince city councils across the country to actively oppose measures to end cannabis prohibition that are expected to appear on at least five state ballots this November. […]

It is unclear if SAM has already begun outreach to city councils about the resolution. […]

The group is expected to announce further details about its efforts to defeat state marijuana legalization measures this week.

The city council approach almost seems a little bit like desperation to me, but I can understand why they’re doing it – city councils, particularly in states where legalization has not yet happened, are less likely to be fully informed about issues like marijuana legalization, and might be swayed by SAM’s misinformation tactics. Then they pass a resolution, it gets reported in the paper, and the misinformation gets passed on to the local voting citizens.

I guess it goes to show the importance of all of us getting involved in local politics (although personally, the idea of going to my local city council meetings falls pretty low on my list of fun things to do).

Update:

More from Tom Angell: Anti-Marijuana Group Raises $300K to Oppose Legalization Measures

A group fighting to maintain marijuana prohibition announced on Wednesday that it is hiring field organizers to campaign against legalization ballot initiatives in key states, and has so far raised more than $300,000 to support its efforts.

SAM Action, the political arm of the organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana, will focus its efforts mostly in California and Nevada, it said in a press release.

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7 comments to Going after the city councils (updated)

  • Jean Valjean

    SAM….the tail wagging the dog.

  • Servetus

    Within the current legalization climate, a typical city council member would be committing political suicide by helping pursue SAM’s agenda. Many city and county officials know that.

    There are locations such as Fresno, CA, however, where the SAM agenda of outright lies, distortions, and petty fear mongering about cannabis are part of the city’s policies and politics. Fresno County doesn’t allow the operation of medicinal marijuana dispensaries within its boundaries. The middle and southern rural parts of California that include Fresno and Bakersfield are usually Republican, and populated by half the usual CA ratio of college graduates. They vote their culture. Trump’s supporters are to be found there. During the last attempt to legalize marijuana in California, DEA agents showed up at churches in Fresno County and lectured the faithful on the evils of weed.

    Countering much of that is the Latino vote and millennials. A strong voter turnout in the Bay Area against Trump will also help push the marijuana legalization referendum over the top.

  • Will

    .
    .
    Let’s see, SAM is;

    — Increasingly losing at the state level
    — Unlikely to fare better at the county level
    — Now targeting the city level?

    Has the much ballyhooed ‘Third Way’ finally been revealed?

    ;P.

  • Servetus

    City councils should understand their priorities regarding their citizens. SAM neglects to mention the single priority leading the CA legalization vote: the need to eliminate faux criminality foisted onto people due merely to their cultural affinities. Despite the reduced penalties for personal marijuana possession in California, using cannabis to roust minorities remains a robust tradition for California cops.

    May, 2016—White people consume marijuana at similar rates to black people and more than Latinos in the U.S.;[4] yet black and Latino people are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement for low-level marijuana possession infractions.[5] In 2010, black people were 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people nationwide.[6 ] (Data on Latinos were not available.) In California that year, 16.38 percent of people arrested for marijuana possession were black, 41.5 percent were Latino, and only 35.7 percent were white,[7] even though California’s population is only 6.6 percent black, 38.4 percent Latino, and 39 percent white.[8][…]

    In November 2016, Californians will have the chance to address these disparities by voting for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). The AUMA will not only regulate marijuana in the state, it will also remove marijuana possession penalties prospectively and retroactively for adults age 21 and older. For youth, it will replace criminal penalties with drug education, counseling, and/or treatment in an effort to reduce the harms associated with criminal justice involvement at an early age.

    Source: ACLU of California PDF: http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/CA_Marijuana_Infractions_0.pdf

  • tensity1

    I should try to get the job as field director in Las Vegas for SAM. I’m very good at doing a mediocre job . . .

    Ah, just looked at the job requirements, and I’m not fluent in Spanish. No subversive fun for me.

    Hell, let them spend their money–very doubtful it’ll do much good here or anywhere else.

    • Servetus

      No problem if you don’t speak fluent Spanish, tensity1. Find someone who does speak Spanish, someone who has political experience or knowledge, then collaborate and conspire with them and insert them as a mole into the Las Vegas SAM organization. Moles and provocateurs are a common tactic used by the CIA, DIA, and FBI when they act to disrupt peace or anti-war organizations.

  • Chris

    Looks like michigan’s legalization initiative will be on the ballot! Soon…