Posted by: Cartoon Pig Dog | November 3, 2008

Vote “yes” on marijuana reforms.

This post is directed mainly at those voters in California, Massachusetts, And Michigan. Plus a few local (municipal) ballots which I will get to later in the post.
I am sure that there will be those here who oppose me and others who will support my stand here, but I feel it is time to set straight the 70 year old mistake made by the followers of Harry J. Anslinger. Law enforcement angencies recently made their 20 millionth arrest for marijuana, with a record 872,000 arrests made last year alone. The vast majority of these arrests were for simple possession. Most of these arrests involve regular, working, law abiding citizens who just happen to smoke pot.
I have been working on getting legislation introduced here in PA for the legalization of medical marijuana and for the decriminalization of possession for personal recreational use. I have been in contact with Paul Kanjorski, Arlen Spector and Govenor Rendell, and even though all three have verbally supported my efforts, as yet none of them have taken any action toward producing such legislation. Anyway, now to the states that do have bills on the ballot for Tuesday.

In California, voters will decide on PROPOSITION 5, the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act. Sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance, Prop. 5 would expand the diversion of non-violent offenders to drug treatment and increase funding for state-sponsored rehabilitation programs. The proposal would also reduce minor marijuana possession penalties from a misdemeanor (punishable by a $100 criminal fine with a criminal record) to a non-criminal infraction (punishable by a $100 civil fine with no criminal record).

The California Democratic Party, the California Society of Addiction Medicine, the California League of Women Voters, the California Academy of Family Physicians, and California NORML have each endorsed Proposition 5. Opposition to the measure is being sponsored primary by the California prison guards union and the state Beer and Beverage Distributors.

In Massachusetts, voters will decide on QUESTION 2. Sponsored by the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy, Question 2 would replace criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana with a civil fine of no more than $100. If approved, Massachusetts would become the first state to enact the decriminalization of marijuana since Nevada’s legislature did so in 2001, and the first to do so by voter initiative.

Twelve states have enacted similar decriminalization measures since 1973.

According to a Channel 7 News/Suffolk University poll released last week, 54 percent of registered voters support the measure. Since September, a coalition consisting of the state’s 11 district attorneys, along with numerous politicians and members of law enforcement, have campaigned vociferously against Question 2, falsely claiming that the measure will “help dealers bring more drugs into [Massachusetts’] neighborhoods,” endanger workplace safety, sharply increase traffic fatalities, and “tell kids it’s okay to abuse marijuana.” The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Greater Boston Civil Rights Coalition, and the Massachusetts chapter of NORML (MassCann) support Question 2.

In Michigan, voters will decide on PROPOSITION 1, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. Sponsored by the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care, Prop. 1 would amend state law to allow authorized patients to use cannabis therapeutically under a doctor’s supervision. According to a September poll by the Michigan Resource Group, 67 percent of voters say they will decide in favor of the measure.

In October, both US Drug Czar John Walters and Deputy Drug Czar Scott Burns traveled to Michigan to speak out against Prop. 1. Since 2004, five Michigan cities – Ann Arbor, Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, and Traverse City – have each enacted municipal initiatives endorsing the medical use of marijuana.

If enacted by the voters, Michigan will become the thirteenth state since 1996 to authorize the legal use of medical cannabis, and the ninth state to do so by voter initiative.

Voters will also decide on Election Day on several local ballot initiatives regarding marijuana policy. Fayetteville, Arkansas voters will decide on a municipal measure to direct law enforcement to make activities related to the investigation and prosecution of adults who possess up to one ounce of cannabis their lowest priority. Voters approved a similar ‘deprioritization’ measure in Eureka Springs, Arkansas in 2006. Under state law, marijuana possession is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

In Hawaii, Big Island voters will decide on a similar countywide initiative that seeks to make activities related to the investigation and arrest of adults who possess up to 24 ounces of cannabis and/or 24 plants their lowest priority.

Passage of the measure would also forbid the County Council from accepting government funding to promote federal marijuana eradication efforts on the Big Island.

Under state law, minor marijuana possession is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail. However, marijuana cultivation is a felony offense in Hawaii punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to five years in jail.

Over the past decade, grassroots activists in numerous towns and municipalities – including Seattle, Washington; Columbia, Missouri; Santa Cruz, Oakland, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara, California; Missoula, Montana; and Denver, Colorado – have successfully campaigned for local ordinances making the enforcement of pot possession laws their city’s lowest law enforcement priority.

In California, Berkeley voters will decide on Measure JJ, which seeks to eliminate local limits on the quantity of medicinal cannabis that may be possessed by patients, and liberalizes municipal zoning guidelines for patient dispensaries. Voters initially voted on the measure in 2004, but the results were nullified.

Finally, in Massachusetts voters in 15 separate municipalities will decide on non-binding public policy questions regarding the physician-supervised use of medicinal cannabis. Since 2000, voters in over 125 towns representing one-third of the Commonwealth have voted overwhelmingly in favor of marijuana reform.

And of course, let’s not forget about HR5843, it isn’t on the ballot as it has been slated to be decided on in the House and not by the voters, but we can still help it along by calling our Representatives and urging them to support HR5843.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, EVERYONE GET OUT TOMORROW AND VOTE!!!!!

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Responses

  1. a hundred dollar fine in cali and no criminal record. come on people how about a few bring your own bud shops. a place where potheads can meet and use volcano vaporizers like in Toronto Canada. i smoke all kinds of different marijuana types in my vaporizer. have a wonderful day and good luck on election day!

  2. Reefer Madness has been so pervasive and long lasting that it may possibly be the best media spin ever created and launched by the far right conservatives.

  3. Great words Aaron πŸ™‚

    EB Note: You linked to your website in your name, adding it to the smiley is unnecessary πŸ™‚

  4. Sensi Seeds, how did you come up with a name like sensi seeds? Just curious, since, by definition, sensi doesn’t have seeds. πŸ˜€


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