Dueling Statements

Here are the ballot statements regarding Proposition 19 in California — the legalization of marijuana.

The con statement is signed by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Laura Dean-Mooney (President of MADD). The pro statement is signed by Joseph McNamara, James P. Gray, and Stephen Downing (all LEAP members).


Even if you support legalization of recreational marijuana, you should vote “No” on Proposition 19.

Why? Because the authors made several huge mistakes in writing this initiative which will have severe, unintended consequences.

For example, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) strongly opposes Proposition 19 because it will prevent bus and trucking companies from requiring their drivers to be drug-free. Companies won’t be able to take action against a “stoned” driver until after he or she has a wreck, not before.

School districts may currently require school bus drivers to be drug-free, but if Proposition 19 passes, their hands will be tied – until after tragedy strikes. A school bus driver would be forbidden to smoke marijuana on schools grounds or while actually behind the wheel, but could arrive for work with marijuana in his or her system.

Public school superintendent John Snavely, Ed.D. warns that Proposition 19 could cost our K-12 schools as much as $9.4 billion in lost federal funding. Another error could potentially cost schools hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants for our colleges and universities. Our schools have already experienced severe budget cuts due to the state budget crisis.

The California Chamber of Commerce found that “if passed, this initiative could result in employers losing public contracts and grants because they could no longer effectively enforce the drug-free workplace requirements outlined by the federal government.”

Employers who permit employees to sell cosmetics or school candy bars to co-workers in the office, may now also be required to allow any employee with a “license” to sell marijuana in the office.

Under current law, if a worker shows up smelling of alcohol or marijuana, an employer may remove the employee from a dangerous or sensitive job, such as running medical lab tests in a hospital, or operating heavy equipment. But if Proposition 19 passes, the worker with marijuana in his or her system may not be removed from the job until after an accident occurs.

The California Police Chiefs Association opposes Proposition 19 because proponents “forgot” to include a standard for what constitutes “driving under the influence.” Under Proposition 19, a driver may legally drive even if a blood test shows they have marijuana in their system.

Gubernatorial candidates Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown have both studied Proposition 19 and are urging all Californians to vote “No,” as are Democratic and Republican candidates for Attorney General, Kamala Harris and Steve Cooley.

Don’t be fooled. The proponents are hoping you will think Proposition 19 is about “medical” marijuana. It is not. Proposition 19 makes no changes either way in the medical marijuana laws.

Proposition 19 is simply a jumbled legal nightmare that will make our highways, our workplaces and our communities less safe. We strongly urge you to vote “No” on Prop 19.

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Laura Dean-Mooney
National President, Mothers Against Drunk Driving


Today, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are spent enforcing the failed prohibition of marijuana (also known as “cannabis”).

Currently marijuana is easier for kids to get than alcohol, because dealers don’t require ID.

Prohibition has created a violent criminal market run by international drug cartels.

Police waste millions of taxpayer dollars targeting non-violent marijuana consumers, while thousands of violent crimes go unsolved.

And there is $14 billion in marijuana sales every year in California, but our debt-ridden state gets nothing from it.

Marijuana prohibition has failed.


Proposition 19 was carefully written to get marijuana under control.

Under Proposition 19, only adults 21 and over can possess up to one ounce of marijuana, to be consumed at home or licensed establishments. Medical marijuana patients’ rights are preserved.

If we can control and tax alcohol, we can control and tax marijuana.


Proposition 19 maintains strict criminal penalties for driving under the influence, increases penalties for providing marijuana to minors, and bans smoking it in public, on school grounds, and around minors.

Proposition 19 keeps workplaces safe by preserving the right of employers to maintain a drug-free workplace.


According to the FBI, in 2008 over 61,000 Californians were arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession, while 60,000 violent crimes went unsolved. By ending arrests of non-violent marijuana consumers, police will save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars a year, and be able to focus on the real threat: violent crime.

Police, Sheriffs, and Judges support Proposition 19.


Marijuana prohibition has created vicious drug cartels across our border. In 2008 alone, cartels murdered 6,290 civilians in Mexico — more than all U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

60 percent of drug cartel revenue comes from the illegal U.S. marijuana market.

By controlling marijuana, Proposition 19 will help cut off funding to the cartels.


California faces historic deficits, which, if state government doesn’t balance the budget, could lead to higher taxes and fees for the public, and more cuts to vital services. Meanwhile, there is $14 billion in marijuana transactions every year in California, but we see none of the revenue that would come from taxing it.

Proposition 19 enables state and local governments to tax marijuana, so we can preserve vital services.

The State’s tax collector, the Board of Equalization, says taxing marijuana would generate $1.4 billion in annual revenue, which could fund jobs, healthcare, public safety, parks, roads, transportation, and more.


Outlawing marijuana hasn’t stopped 100 million Americans from trying it. But we can control it, make it harder for kids to get, weaken the cartels, focus police resources on violent crime, and generate billions in revenue and savings.

We need a common sense approach to control marijuana.

YES on 19.


San Jose Police Chief (Ret.)

Orange County Superior Court Judge (Ret.)

Deputy Chief, LAPD (Ret.)

The con argument is obviously disingenuous. It’s interesting that practically the entire thing is riding on the notion that the public won’t be aware that marijuana stays in your system for days when you’re not stoned.

Is that an opportunity? ie., is there a way to increase that awareness in a positive way (without appearing defensive)?

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43 Responses to Dueling Statements

  1. claygooding says:

    It is a good recommendation for the purchase of the recent marijuana use detection device,don’t you think?
    With the papers filled with just such reasoning as this,Kerli or one of his subordinates will just happen to mention it any time now.

  2. ezrydn says:

    It’s always seemed odd to me that the “detection devices/tests” have always stopped at the detection of the by-products of cannabis, the trash, the metabolites and no attempt has been made to detect the active ingredient, THC. Maybe it’s because the chemical only allows them a small window of detection time. They can detect the active ingredient in beer and whiskey. Produce the same active test for THC and not just the leftover garbage. We can go to Mars and beyond but we can’t seem to detect one active molecule. Can’t…or Won’t!

  3. kaptinemo says:

    WRT Feinstein, she’s a career pol. Let her feel voter anger regarding her inane statements, and her ‘resolve’ will disappear like an ice-cube in a blowtorch. And having an MADD sort on their side is doubly suspect; that organization is desperately trying to maintain its’ (unwarranted) influence in legislatures by branching out into non-alcohol related issues – like ‘drugged driving’. When the progenitors of the organization leave because of this ‘mission creep’, there’s something fundamentally wrong.

  4. mikekinseattle says:

    That’s a pretty weak argument for the con side (‘con’ being the operative word). I note that they don’t include any of the traditional reefer madness hysteria, except the red herring about cannabis metabolites in your system being proof of ‘drugged driving/working’. It is the sum total of their argument. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of this sort of fear mongering, though. I agree, this should be an opportunity to set the record straight about ‘drugged driving’, the last stand of the cannabis drug warriors.

    It is pretty funny that they claim that prop 19 proponents are hoping that people will think the proposition is about medical marijuana. I’ve not seen anybody trying to trick the public into thinking this is a medical marijuana proposition. Quite the contrary.

  5. Concerned Parent says:

    All of the prohibitionists’ arguments boil down to a single point: If my child (or yours) gets a little off track and starts using marijuana, the prohibitionists want to put them in PRISON. Prison is not good for my kids or for yours, and it’s much worse than the effects of marijuana, so we can pretty well disregard all of the prohibitionist nonsense about keeping it illegal to protect our children. I hope my kids steer clear of marijuana, but I REALLY hope that if they do use a little marijuana, they don’t end up in prison.
    If you’re a California citizen (or if you want to pass this along to any California citizens), Californians can register to vote at w w w . sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm by completing the online form and mailing it to the address on the form.

  6. Servetus says:

    I just contacted NOVA at their website and I recommended that the popular PBS science series do a feature on the physiological effects of marijuana consumption.

    Specifically, I recommended they cover the effects, the length of the effects after ingestion, and how the body metabolizes cannabinoids.

    A brief search on the NOVA site indicated that the only revelation about cannabis NOVA has made in recent years is that the genes of the marijuana plant closely resemble the genome of strawberries. Interesting, but it’s not enough to shut down Feinstein and MADD mothers.

    You can make a similar recommendation here:


  7. bureaucrats will save us and create utopia! says:

    If California goes bankrupt first they won’t have to worry about it anymore. Legalize and sell the good Cali bud? Naw makes too much sense let’s have a clusterfuck committee sit around and play footsie fiddle fuck on the taxpayer’s dime instead.

  8. Dano says:

    I live in crazy Cali, and have written both of my senators on this topic today. I’ve asked Feinstein to reconsider her position – not likely to happen though. And asked Boxer to publicly support Prop 19 – again she’s up for re-election so HIGHLY unlikely to support the proposition. Generally Feinstein won’t take a position on federal legislation until the day before or day of the vote, but this time she’s made her mind up months in advance… It’s her prerogative, but with such weak arguments I find it a sad declaration.

    For decades we’ve been arresting, incarcerating, and giving lifetime records to people that get caught with marijuana. It’s time for the insanity to stop. While this legislation isn’t perfect it’s the only semi-viable proposal out there so far, and my only choice to start chipping away at the drug war.

    Vote YES on Prop 19!

  9. claygooding says:

    The article I read on the recent use detection device did
    not specify what part of marijuana it detected,nor did it say exactly how long after use it would detect marijuana’s
    presence. It did say that it was an expensive machine,all new technology is.
    We need the driving simulator study mentioned in the “gold standard studies done by California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.
    Impact of Repeated Cannabis Treatments on Driving Abilities
    The CMCR website reports that the study is still being written up.
    That was six months ago. They must have Fred and Barney chiseling it on a rock tablet.
    The clinical medical efficacy studies on smoked marijuana,which were done under the scrutiny of NIDA and using government approved marijuana from them was dismissed by the ONDCP because of issues with the study.
    If anyone has any connections with or friends at CMCR,maybe they could check on the progress of the driving study. It was also done using NIDA furnished marijuana.

  10. Shap says:

    Diane Feinstein is just another reason why a substantial majority of incumbent politicians need to be thrown out on their asses over the next couple of election cycles. Between her crusty ass and the neo-Prohibitionist organization, I can only hope people are turned off immediately even before reading their position.

  11. Dante says:

    Bottom Line:

    There is a line that divides the prohibitionists from the “cannabists” – violence.

    The prohibitionists have no problem hurting people for what they believe. The cannabists believe in leaving others, who may be different but harm nobody, alone.

    The prohibitionists have no problem when a child (or adult) is accidentally killed during a SWAT raid which recovers two joints (if that). The cannabists recoil in horror at the thought of killing a child for any reason.

    The prohibitionists have no problem jailing humans for ingesting non-approved intoxicating substances. The cannabists have more common sense than this, pointing out the hypocrisy of smoking tobacco and swilling scotch as you jail people for smoking a healthier herb.

    The prohibitionists have had their way for 40 years, using public funds to rape the public. The cannabists have not yet had their way, but despite the militarily coordinated, taxpayer funded, ideologically driven war on us all, we will eventually.

    If the world does legalize, and things don’t fall apart like the prohibitionists say, can we hunt them down, smash into their homes at 4 A.M., shoot their dogs and cage them? Oh, and take all their money and get them fired? Can we treat them exactly like they treat us?

    Just kidding. Karma is a bitch, but not my bitch.

  12. divadab says:

    Dianne Feinstein is a prohibitionist for one good reason: she is a member of an oppressive ruling oligarchy and removing prohibition removes a tool to keep the people under the knout.

    I’m sure she’s very nice when you meet her but I think we need to be honest about the Marie Antoinette’s who rule us.

  13. Cliff says:

    Personally, I don’t think Californians could have found a better screetching, hysterical, jack-boot licking pair of females speaking on behalf of the nanny state. It’s kind of like the South Park flag episode, where the flag of South Park was discovered to depict a lynching and no-one wanted the KKK on their side. The Democratic Party may be such a pariah party this election.

    For decades we’ve been arresting, incarcerating, denying employment opportunities and giving lifetime records to people that get caught with marijuana freakin’ metabolites in their body. It’s time for the insanity to stop.

    There FIFY.

  14. claygooding says:

    The sad part of these accusations is that in order to assuage the fears spread by the prohibitionists concerning drugged driving and drugged work places,we may have to support the ONDCP’s move when he “discovers” the recent use detector.
    What needs to be investigated is how accurate the RU detector is and how long a person is considered to be “impaired” after consumption.
    Many of us have driven while high and know the impairment is not anything like driving drunk,but this machine will provide a way for law enforcement to persecute us even after legalization.
    We really need to see those simulator tests that CMCR did too determine the severity of impairment.
    The only driving studies mentioned by Kerli reported that the impairment from cannabis use was not anywhere as bad as the impairment from alcohol and mostly resulted in slower,more cautious driving,which any rush hour driver knows would be an improvement,not a harm.
    Kerli and his drug policy think tanks are backing us into a corner on this one. IMO

  15. Cliff says:

    A few things which haven’t been mentioned about this device are;

    How much does this piece of jackbootery cost the tax payers?

    Are there calibration functions for the user to perform to make sure the unit is working correctly?

    Is there a detection threshold for a positive result?

    Can other substances or materials create a false positive?

    IHMO this device will be more trouble than it’s worth to LEO’s unless it can be gamed like the portable breathylizer and just make the readings match the jack boot’s suspicions.

  16. Drew says:

    It’s interesting that practically the entire thing is riding on the notion that the public won’t be aware that marijuana stays in your system for days when you’re not stoned. …is there a way to increase that awareness in a positive way (without appearing defensive)?
    My first thought is to just explain it as simply, dispassionately, and concisely as possible.

    I think your first sentence above is on the right track. But from a PC standpoint I would avoid all jargon like stoned, high, etc… and just use more vanilla terms like “after it’s taken.”

    More than a few sentences is too much. Talk of the various stages of chemical changes it goes through in your body is perhaps far too much detail. I would even say talk of meters and detectors is too much.

    ~ Their entire complaint rides on an uninformed, and misinformed, public who is not aware that long after any effects might be felt, marijuana’s components have broken down and benignly stay in one’s system for days afterwards.

  17. BruceM says:

    Shame on Dianne Feinstein. May she rot in hell.

  18. Rev. Run says:

    I have half a mind to quit my job and my degree program and just go work on this shit.

    If we don’t win this year, all of the political “big-wigs” will think that this is a losing issue that’s only popular with young people (who don’t vote) and drug addicts (who don’t vote). They’ll think that the good, hard-working, middle class people support law enforcement and MADD, not stoners and drop-outs.

    Ugh. Disgust.

    All my fellow cannabis consumers aren’t seizing the opportunity the way I’d like. I feel a strong pull to go out there and show ’em how it’s done.

    (I am a former political professional and probably too arrogant about my own abilities.)

  19. Drew says:

    Perhaps also worth pointing out… According to what I’ve read over at David J. Hanson’s EXCELLENT website about alcohol, the woman who founded MADD has since left and complained that the organization was hijacked by a bunch of prohibitionists.

    She initially wanted it to focus on preventing drinking and driving. But it since has become a mouthpiece for condemning any and all alcohol use.

    Here is another website he runs, and here is a link to a page specific to MADD:

  20. denmark says:

    San Diego, California is where I was born. Lived there for 40 some odd years and then got out.

    To read that Gubernatorial candidates Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown are urging a No vote is beyond insanity. They are fairly intelligent people and they’ve chosen to ignore credible facts that support legalizing cannabis.

    Prohibitionists definately have blinders on and I don’t think, if approached by one, that I could forgo a defensive posture.

  21. Cliff says:

    Prohibitionists definately have blinders on and I don’t think, if approached by one, that I could forgo a defensive posture.

    The truth and reality are the greatest weapons at your disposal. Just respond thoughtfully and mindful of your audience’s or opponent’s stance and biases. Don’t get angry or scared and be patient.

    You can use the economic crisis for an example as that appeals to most control freaks and ask rhetorically how locking someone up for consuming a mind altering substance and paying to do so is a good idea while people are being shoved off the unemployment rolls and unable to find a job just to keep a roof over thier heads.

    *in reality locking up people for consuming mind altering substances is just wrong, but you have to use kind of a carrot and stick approach, make them feel really stupid for wanting to lock people up and make others do without is a good strategy*

    The truth is irrefutable and undestroyable, and it cannot be controlled, only contained for a short time before it escapes to run free for all to see.

  22. ezrydn says:

    I’m a CA voter. And, yes, it’s time for both hags to go. As for Boxer, when all her cohorts were out pushing the Healthcare bill, she held NO meetings other than to push her new book. Both have the term “incumbent” attached to their names so it’s time for them to go!

    Asking either of them to reconsider is like facing into the wind and relieving yourself. Both are die hard Prohibs. You’ll never get them to reconsider anything.

  23. claygooding says:

    @ Cliff
    No price has been quoted yet but the article on it said it was expensive.
    The operating instructions and its sensitivity levels have not been released yet.
    It only detects marijuana usage,no other drugs.
    It was developed by Phillips,a subsidiary of Motorola,where Karen Tandy now works as an “adviser/lobbyist”,the same Karen Tandy that was administrator at the DEA.
    The article I read is here:http://www.opposingviews.com/i/new-hi-tech-police-tool-to-detect-marijuana-use

    “The ever-informative Technology Review previews new handheld drug detection devices by Philips that can be employed by law enforcement (or potentially one’s employer) to detect the presence of banned or illicit substances in the human body, notably cannabis.”

  24. claygooding says:

    A better more informative article here

  25. MelFranks says:

    “*in reality locking up people for consuming mind altering substances is just wrong, but you have to use kind of a carrot and stick approach, make them feel really stupid for wanting to lock people up and make others do without is a good strategy*”

    This is what I find the most frustrating when arguing the merits of legalization and regulation of marijuana with prohibitionists.
    It’s necessary to first begin from the position that they actually subscribe to the propaganda that has been rife for the last 40 years.
    Some even argue that the government actually has the right to determine for them what they ingest.
    It just seems that there are so many fundamental matters of freedom and personal liberty that prohibitionists refuse to acknowledge that it becomes impossible to even reach the topic of marijuana prohibition.
    How can one argue with someone who does not even believe that they alone should control their own bodies, so long as they do not harm another?

  26. Paul says:

    Feinstein is a flat-out, 100% enemy of liberty in all its forms. If you want to predict how she will vote, just decide which position benefits the state against the individual, and you know. I can’t think of a single vote, not a single moment, in which she voted in a way I approve of. And she’s been senator for a very long time.

    May MADD and Feinstein go to a bureaucratic hell where statist politicians regulate each other for eternity.

    BTW: Hooray for our side! LEAP really gives me heart, and I’m very happy to see Judge Gray signing the pro argument.

  27. Duncan says:

    Why do the Australians seem to think they have a test to determine if a person is currently under the influence of cannabis? If you drive down the wrong road in Oz you’re liable to run into an unannounced test of everyone’s sobriety.

  28. Voletear says:

    Uh, anybody notice the venomous drugfreeworld.org prohibbot ad running at in the top, upper-right column on this page?

  29. Pete says:

    Yeah, Voletear, I’ve seen it there a few times. All the ads are automatic through either Google Ads or AdBrite. Google Ads often tend to end up feeding drug rehab or prohibition ads, simply because it matches the words in Drug WarRant with the keywords that are desired by those advertisers.

    It does neither of us much good, since I generally get paid by clicks and those sites are not likely to get much useful business from readers of this site. I wish I could get Google to feed me more general interest ads (shopping, etc.)

  30. Drew says:

    RE: Drug Free World.

    Hm, considering their site seems to be solely Flash, I refuse to view it. Isn’t this the site someone called Blade Runner?

    Recently I visited the Reason Magazine site to read a page about why acerbic magicians Penn/Teller would not analyze either Islam or Scientology. I figured why he wouldn’t poke fun at the Muslims, they don’t seem to have a sense of humor and some of them are downright explosively angry.

    But I didn’t know why he would not poke fun at Scientology. I’d not heard much about it, but did know others derided it a lot. According to the magician guy his network would not allow him to criticize their “religion.”

    So on my next trip to the library I decided I would check for DVDs about Scientology, both made by them, not critiques of them. Better to hear about them from their own words, first.

    As soon as I heard them make claims about a “drug free world” I let out a groan. It also seems they think saunas are a cure-all for what ails a person. They obviously have a lot of money since the videos were very slick and the videos were very well lit, mic’d well, etc… And, perhaps every one knows this, they have some sort of treatment centers around the world called Narcanon.

    Since I didn’t watch the DVD linearly, when I watched the intro and they described their core values of human rights and such, I was appalled at how hypocritical they sounded.

    Without doing any more investigating, I wonder if the Scientologists are being the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.

    In related news, when I ran Google ads on a site many years ago, I could log in to Google and prevent certain companies from showing up.

    • Pete says:

      Scientology is linked to Narconon.

    • Pete says:

      You’re right about the ability to blacklist certain URLs from coming up on the ads. I just hadn’t gotten around to finding that before. I’ve gone ahead and done it with drugfreeworld, and am starting to list the rehab sites that show up here (but there are so many of them!). I just hope that Google then gives me more interesting ads and doesn’t just have nothing.

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  32. darkcycle says:

    What logic. Who can argue with a statement like “even if you support legalization of marijuana, you should vote no on Prop 19”? If you support legalization, you should vote for legalization! Duh. That’s like saying even if you support having icecream for dessert, you should vote against having icecream for dessert. Boy, I’d hate to even try to make that arguement. Luckily only the truly weak minded will buy theirs.

  33. Bruce says:

    Nothing more disgusting and ignorant than those Google ads.
    Was reading a piece about a murdered girl,,, and their stinking-bad-taste Stasi babble-spawned ads were for funerals, burials, etc.

  34. John says:

    It is unfortunate that it often appears that their is an active effort by many of the country’s policy makers to create a veil of ignorance in this country. Who would vote for the idiotic laws, or complete the most mundane of labor that a High School diploma grants nowadays.

    I find it amusing that the pothead will finally make a slip up in the laboratory only after completing years of training….More people need to smoke. Can’t knock it till you try it. Ya think Feinstein or Dean-Mooney have ever smoked some dank?


  35. Maria says:

    Oh thank you so much for blacklisting that one! The rehab one’s aren’t too bad in context but that one was creepy. I’m guessing most are not serving your revenue needs.

    I’ve been getting ads for a number of colleges. Like ICDC College with drug counseling and social work training. That sort of stuff. Clicky clicky.

    The issue you might be facing is that there can be an option for companies to choose if they want their ads to appear on “adult” related topics. I’m not familiar enough with that end of Google ads so I’m not sure. Good luck juggling and balancing it out.

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  37. strayan says:

    People can already drive with drugs in their system. The noteworthy ones being Methamphetamine [ICE] and Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid [GHB].

    Xyrem: http://www.xyrem.com/

    Desoxyn: http://www.lundbeckinc.com/USA/products/CNS/desoxyn/default.asp

    Both are approved for use by the FDA and both are legal if you have a temporary licence (aka a doctors prescription).

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  39. RIDL4Life says:

    MADD’s statement makes it very clear that they are nothing more then a prohibitionist lobbying arm for the insurance industry. Because a person has marijuana in their system does not mean they were impaired at the time of an accident. In fact marijuana can stay in a users system for several weeks and the less frequent the use the longer it may linger.

  40. NewOldSalt says:

    And if we were going to take Dying Frankenstein’s and Mad Woman’s logic to its full conclusion, then we’d be giving out amphetamines and crystal meth to bus drivers to make sure their reaction times and alertness was top-notch.

    We would not just test drivers on their ability to stay between the lines and general knowledge of the rules of the road, but we’d measure their reaction times and ban the sluggards based on a few tenths of a second over other drivers who make quicker decisions and can grab a falling ruler a few millimeters faster than others.

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