Prop 19 wrap-up

I haven’t bothered linking to the ton of post-Prop 19 articles out there, but have noticed a positive trend: there has been very little coverage that treats it as a loss to drug policy reform — almost everything is about how Prop 19 energized the discussion, made the “L” word mainstream, and is the first step to at least some kind of reform.

I think the best wrap-up I’ve read is “It’s No Longer a Matter of If, It’s a Matter of When” by Brian Doherty at Reason.

He discusses a fascinating aspect of the lead-in to Prop 19 (I know many here had questioned why some of the top reform organizations were initially on the sidelines…)

When Lee launched 19, most other elements of the drug law reform movement, from NORML to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) told him he was picking the wrong year, that he was moving ahead too early.

They eventually came on board after 19 made the ballot, and at the press conference Ethan Nadelmann of the DPA (whose most prominent supporter George Soros came in with a last-minute million dollars for the campaign that helped sponsor a rush of TV ads) admitted that “I was among those who initially tried to discourage Richard from going forward. We said ‘wait until 2012.’…I called Richard a couple of weeks ago to say, ‘Win or lose, you were right. Even if we don’t prevail, the transformation in public dialogue, not just in California but nationally and internationally, has been nothing short of stupendous. The debate over marijuana legalization has been elevated to legitimacy.’”

And now we also have data. As ezrydn and others here in comments have noted, there is a treasure trove of information available about voting for legalization because of this initiative.

Here’s one of the most disturbing and ironic bits of data:

In fact, 67 percent of those who think government is doing too much were anti-19, as were 60 percent of those “angry” at the federal government and 71 percent of Tea Party supporters.

Of course, part of the problem (in addition to the hypocrisy of many so-called “anti-government” voters) is that it is ridiculous to assume that the vast population out there knows as much about drug policy as we do. Thus, misconceptions can actually drive large portions of the voting population, particularly with an issue that is as “new” to them as voting for drug policy reform.

That’s why we have to do the job of educating people. Even one at a time will work, if enough of us are doing it.

The Prop 19 vote has given me a number of opportunities to talk to people about reform who might not otherwise be interested in the conversation. I hope the rest of you are taking advantage of similar opportunities.

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30 Responses to Prop 19 wrap-up

  1. Cliff says:

    “…71 percent of Tea Party supporters.”

    If only they understood that they will not be free until they trust others to act in a responsible manner.

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  3. allan420 says:

    aye… let them dance on their own graves, we’ve work to do. They pretty much played their hand and it doesn’t hold much. But they have 7, 8, 9 decades of a steady stream of propaganda as their cushion.

    But when all they have is bullshit, it’s time to call ’em on it loud and clear.

    For instance when they trot out the “yeah, the prisons may be full but they’re not there for pot,” tell them they are missing the point. Then direct them to the most egregious of the Prohibition deaths and raids. Donald Scott and the plethora of cannabis related SWAT misfires. Those are the events we all know too well but of which the public has little or no knowledge.

    And the science… omg… that’s the easy part.

    One of my favorite points of attack is the foundation of the WOD itself – all the racist writings and xenophobic rantings of the first anti-druggienuts. Again, we all know these things but the public doesn’t. Point it out as often as you can.

    And the 300% increase in drugged traffic deaths… shit. ALL the studies done say the same thing – an increased awareness of an altered consciousness and an increased sense of caution. Caution while cruising down the road in 3000 pounds of plastic and steel warrrants cautious behavior.

    And for you wwweb surfer pirate types (malcolm…. arrr!) there is a handy tool for maximizng your reach on the wwwweb. It’s called SEO writing – Search Engine Optimization (google it and ejumicate yourselves). Basically the premise is keywords drive traffic to your writing/comments. Phrases on “hot” words like marijuana, war on drugs, Prop19, etc… are the first things grabbed by those little digital spider things that crawl around looking for such things (I guess it’s what they eat, I’m not tech savvy at all).

    The other thing… oh lads and lassies… is write those letters to the editor! MAP has ALL the tools necessary. Join MAP, join LEAP, write letters and keep your eyes on your local fishwrappers for relevant articles to comment on.

    Educate, educate, educate. And then add some education just to be sure…

    Like the little train that could…. i know i can, i know i can…

  4. sweet leaf says:

    It will come down to financial reasons eventually. There won’t be enough money to lock up every nickel bag one hitter box toker. The comment in ‘The last white hope-the American drug war’ where the gentlemen says what a sick society measuring stock values by how many people are incarcerated is fitting.

  5. Carol says:

    There needs to be a movie made with cannabis being a significant part of the story, told in such a way that people are informed about both the benefits of cannabis, and the cruelty of the War on Cannabis. No silly “stoner” bits or anything, just serious stuff. One would think there would be plenty of true stories that could be adapted to this theme.

    People need to see the tragedy of this situation. Surely there are some creative people out there who would be interested in this kind of story and framing it for public consumption.

    Just a thought. People seem awfully uninformed, and unmotivated.

  6. allan420 says:

    @ Carol… ditto that opinion. Saving Grace was the best honest entertainment cannabis movie. A comedy but if you can’t laugh w/ ganja… you’re incapable of laughter!

  7. Just Legalize It says:


    check out The Union: The Business Behind Getting High

    and American Drug War: The Last White Hope

    not sure if they are exactly what you are looking for but they are great nonetheless and are very informative.

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  9. darkcycle says:

    I say call bullshit on the arguement that nobody’s in jail for Marijuana. Point to the fact that if people don’t often go to jail for posession of marijuana, that everybody who posesses must have procured it somewhere and production and distribution of this substance are subject to harsh mandatory sentances and illegal forfieture laws. Point to the three strikes laws and how many people are doing life for shit like stealing pizza money, and that posession, still a felony in many localities can qualify you for a lifer. Point to the economic crimes committed to pay for addictions and that it’s the black market value ascribed to drugs, which otherwise could be made availabe through harm reduction policies, that drives this inflted cost, and thus the percieved “harm” to society. Point to the fact that with five percent of the world’s pop. we incarcerate twenty-five percent of it’s prisoners. That one is the anchor point. A statistic that anybody, right, left or middle of the fence-post, finds both shocking and unsettling.

  10. Chris says:

    Finally getting ready to educate those around me about our drug laws in a real way. I have nearly two years of education on the fallacies and the truth of the drug war now. I can literally counter any argument and cite laws, studies, statistics, personal observations, and more. Not saying I know everything, but I know far more than most people.

    The only thing that makes me sad is that none of that matters to those who rely on emotional arguments and logical fallacies to make their decisions to convince themselves to ignore the reality of the situation.

  11. Paul says:

    The problem with all the anti government people out there is that most of them want less government for themselves, but more government for other people. “Don’t tax me, tax that man behind the tree!”

    And the situation is reversed when people are receiving government benefits. Cut other people’s programs, not mine!

    It is not at all surprising to find our “allies” fighting for less government are fair weather friends at best. Most of the Republicans demanding less government are not pot smokers, and they do not seem to recognize their own hypocrisy in simultaneously voting no on 19 and calling for less government.

    But that is just the way it is and the world we must work with. Most people are not libertarians and never will be. Probably the most important question for our future success is whether the baby boomers continue to have a favorable view of MJ as they move into old age.

  12. kaptinemo says:

    “Most people are not libertarians and never will be.”

    And here is a paradox…and a very dangerous one.

    There’s been a trend for some time on ‘liberal’ blogs blogs to disparage the term ‘libertarian’. (I place the word ‘liberal’ in ellipses for they are not true liberals, as a true liberal is, by definition, a classic libertarian) It’s becoming as much a swear word as the NeoCons made of ‘liberal’. And yet, the very foundation of our (ostensible) freedoms is libertarianism.

    By demeaning the word, and all it stands for (freedoms, rights and liberties) those who do so make it easy for power-hungry, authoritarian Statists to cause more damage to those rights and liberties…and the neolibs just don’t seem to realize that they are placing their own necks and ours in a noose…a noose of the authoritarian neocon’s making.

    As to how this affects us, well, it’s kind of hard to be talking about ‘freedoms’ when the guy or gal you’re talking with thinks somehow thinks liberty is a ‘code word’ for slavery.

    Orwell must be turning so fast in his grave, a gravitometer would show an increase in the local G field.

  13. kaptinemo says:

    And as to where this trend may be taking us, I once more recall a few stories form Heinlein’s Future History series, wherein a religio-cryptofascist takeover of the US via the ballot box and high-tech advertising and psychological warfare (begun in 2012) leads to two generations of a fascist dictatorship, replete with high-tech torture chambers, ghettos (and stoning to death) for Jews, slaughters of Mormons, women reduced to sex objects and de facto slaves, etc.

    It takes a Cabal of all those disaffected groups coming together to initiate the Second American Revolution, the formulation of a new Constitution called the Covenant, after which people take their rights very seriously…as in infringe upon them, and there will be blood.

    I’ve lived and worked in Western European countries where there is still a strong national memory of what fascism was like, and for that reason they are more tolerant of behavior such as cannabis consumption. I fervently hope and pray that we do not require the same ‘lesson’ that they learned in order to prevent our rights and liberties from being further eroded to the point of non-existence.

    But with people using ‘libertarian’ as a swear word, I’m not all that sanguine about the future…

  14. darkcycle says:

    6:38 am…? Nemo? I haven’t had my coffee yet…you’re making my head hurt! It’s tooo EARLY for Heinlein….*head shaking to clear cob-webs*

  15. Duncan20903 says:

    If only they understood that they will not be free until they trust others to act in a responsible manner.

    Even better would be just that they grasp just how disgustingly immoral it is to dictate other people’s lives. I think that their bald faced lie of being moral arbiters is the hypocrisy of the prohibitionists that most annoys me. Render unto Caesar you stinking rectums.

    Over the weekend one of the Know Nothing prohibitionist clowns told me I was a sad example of human being because I spend so much time getting my cannabis. It seems he’s conflated talking about the immorality and stupidity of the prohibition laws on Internet comments forums with going out and “copping a lid.” It’s frickin’ mind boggling to me that there are so many Know Nothings that think it’s hard to find cannabis. Especially out in California. Either that or I’m due some cannabis from someone because to date I haven’t gotten as much as a bong hit for my posting efforts and I’ve been at this ‘full time’ for almost 2 years, and ‘part time’ for a couple more. So Pete, have you been holding out on me? That’s OK, I have plenty, I’ve had no problem finding cannabis since 1989. You can just send my share to WAMM c/o Valerie Corral and let them decide where it goes as I’m sure it will be someone very much in need of medicine. If you need me to I’ll provide their shipping address. Umm, unless it’s Panama Red or industrial hemp then I’ll certainly take the seeds. Yes people I’m actively hunting for cannabis seeds which produce CBD.
    This is yet another disgusting irony of the drug war. The biggest problem in obtaining the seeds of strains high in THC is the vast number of choices of vendors. If I want no THC seeds I think I might actually have to go to Canada or Hungary and smuggle them in myself. Well I guess it’s nothing new. Thomas Jefferson did it in the pre-revolutionary war days and I’ve been told it was a capital offense at the time. Hey maybe that’s why they call it muggles? A slurring of the word smuggles?

    kaptinemo From time to time I ponder the idea that the Founding Fathers could be a green source of electricity and by using them to generate electricity could cut down on pollution and greenhouse gasses. Also it really seems a shame not to get any benefit from making them constantly spin in their graves at such a high rate of speed. Hook ’em up to a turbine. Let there be light!

  16. The term “liberal” has been one of the most confusing ones to understand for me as a person from Denmark. Here a liberal – or liberalist – is understood to mean someone who supports freedom, limited state intervention, lower taxes, civil rights and so on, but usually not as stringent as a libertarian. A liberalist here can support shared welfare services such as a public health care and public schools.

    Libertarians are usually considered “too extreme” and has a counterpart with our left-most political parties. To most Danes the lack of support among Americans for, say, public health care tends to be sorely underestimated. Even so we have our own stupid idiosyncracies when labelling political factions.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I think language is increasingly failing us, and as such reality is forced into an intellectual straight jacket. Currently that stale mate seems very stable. As Machiavelli said nothing is as dangerous as challenging the status quo. Because, frankly, I think everyone in power is quite comfortable with the way things are and they don’t want changes.

  17. kaptinemo says:

    “Maybe it’s just me, but I think language is increasingly failing us, and as such reality is forced into an intellectual straight jacket.”

    Exactly my point…and it’s been deliberate. It started with the neocons back in the early 1970’s seeking to make the word ‘liberal’ an epithet, and they succeeded to the point that today most Americans would declare themselves ‘conservatives’, not realizing that prior to about 1964 a conservative was someone who was totally against anything like the DrugWar for purely philosophical reasons.

    What happened was that former Trotskyites took over the political apparatus from the conservatives and donned the mantle of conservatism, when in fact they were nothing more than Statists trying to ram their belief systems down American throats…in the same way they accused the ‘liberals’ of doing, by using government as a means.

    So, we get this mutation of word meanings over the decades, to the point that the words liberal and conservative have reversed meanings. And now the same process is being used to smear the word ‘libertarian’. Welcome to Wonderland…

  18. allan420 says:

    had to laugh… thinkin’ on “incrementalism” as I’m siting here just now… I look around and figure out that’s the exact word that fits my cleaning style! And that’s when I laughed… ’cause I realized it doesn’t work for me either.

    My old Grampa Semu used to say that what made a medicine person successful was their knowledge of their language. A description fitting for us… for a large part of our task is untwisting the current malformed linguistics of Prohibition.

  19. DdC says:

    “Pot Prohibition Is Cornerstone of a Police State”

    Stoners Against 19′ Hand Victory To The Cops: BOYCOTT THEM
    It didn’t take long after the defeat of Proposition 19, which would have taxed and regulated marijuana in California, for the cannabis community to realize that legalization’s ignominious defeat was fueled by the duplicity – some would say outright treachery – of certain greedy, reactionary elements within the community itself.

    Mendocino: The “Wild West” Of Marijuana
    Nov 5 2010
    Did greedy growers in California kill Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana for to protect their own profits?

    Shame on NPR for Spreading Dragonfly Lies on Prop 19
    Nov 4 2010
    Shame on marijuana activists who didn’t support Proposition 19 and the media who gave them a voice.

    Marijuana Legalization Supporters Fire Back at Attorney General Holder
    CANNABIS CULTURE – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder declared war on marijuana legalization in California on Friday by promising to “vigorously enforce” Federal drug laws if Proposition 19 passes. Now, supporters of drug law reform are firing back.

    Official Statement of the Yes on Proposition 19 Campaign in Response to Vote

  20. right on allan! i’ve been saying it for over a decade: if we really want to win, we need to completely change the dialog

    better messages and better messengers are clearly our top requirements

  21. allan420 says:

    well b… I’d love to be able to do this full time… over the years I’ve had help, from a few here (bless you folks!) and from an org that shall go unnamed but it’s a pittance when compared to the years I’ve spent at this.

    For a paltry $1500/mo I’ll wage the battle securely, full time. Any takers? Huh… anyone? (a hush goes over the crowd) Great contacts, a proven writer, quality photographer, excellent people skills… c’mon George, Peter… I be a steal of a deal at that price!

  22. Sukoi says:

    So I bought this calendar from our good awesome friend and fierce warrior allan420 and it is absolutely beautiful; great subject matter and absolutely superb photography on quality paper. Allan, you did a great job with this and I hope that it gets seen everywhere so that people can see that it’s just a plant and a beautiful one at that. I do have one regret though… I’ll have to wait until January to hang it up…

  23. allan420 says:

    Bless you Sukoi. I appreciate the props hermano!

  24. darkcycle says:

    Allan, you are a steal at that price….would that I were George Soros you’d have that, and an office and ad budget, and a pretty secretary to not harass in a very politically correct fashion. I need to become an Internet billionaire and we’ll do it…anybody out there wanna front an Internet start up? *crickets*
    Still waiting on my calendar, but it hasn’t been that long..

  25. allan420 says:

    aaah… another calendar buyer! Thanks darkcycle. Let us know what ya think.

  26. darkcycle says:

    …sorry..I’ve been informed crossly by my lovely wife that the current term is “office assistant”.

  27. i know allan, i’m in the same boat — that’s me trying to fix the broken rudder

  28. Duncan20903 says:

    Oh skip the plan of moving to Montana to take over the state, I’m headed down under.

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