It seems that a majority of Californians are fed up with the recent federal intervention in the states medical marijuana laws as more and more dispensaries are shut down.
That could all change come November when Californians go to the polls and vote to regulate marijuana like wine, which polls suggest will pass by an overwhelming majority.
Perhaps the current rise in yes votes is due to the rigid enforcement of federal marijuana laws in a state that had already decided that medicinal marijuana use was okay.
Perhaps it is because of the economy and a majority of California voters have seen that despite 15 years of medical marijuana use, the sky has not fallen.
Perhaps it is because the more the federal government defends marijuana as not having medicinal value, the more they expose medicinal properties, especially with global research able to circumvent U.S. drug policy relating to cannabis.
Jack Cole, co-founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a 50,000 member organization of police, prosecutors, judges, and supporters, said, “LEAP believes the citizens of California are far ahead of the federal government in assessing a policy that will reduce death, disease, crime, and corruption, when they register 62% support for the initiative Regulate Marijuana Like Wine (RMLW).”
With the recent poll numbers indicating the upswing of voter approval in California, and with aggressive federal enforcement in states that also have regulation initiatives, prohibitionists could see three states legalize marijuana in 2012.
When asked to contrast RMLW with Proposition 19, RMLW Treasurer and Congressional Candidate Steve Collett praised the effort of the 2010 initiative. “Richard Lee is a true hero to medical marijuana advocates and anti-prohibition activists everywhere and we owe a tremendous gratitude to him and all of those who advanced the end of marijuana prohibition with California’s Prop 19.”
Recent election reports reflect that Collett contributed over $100,000 towards California’s 2012 ballot initiative to regulate the flower like the grape and help California get one step closer.
“This is the best money I have ever spent. This is a chance to change the world, to one with fewer prisoners, safer communities, less violence, reduced violations of rights and an end to the new Jim Crow discrimination that accompanies the War on Drugs,” he says. “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine is the modern day equivalent of Rosa Parks refusing to move to the back of the bus.”
One of the keys to this initiative is that local and state law enforcement ‘must not’ cooperate with the federal enforcement of marijuana laws in California. It would also dismiss pending court cases and is a real challenge to the federal position of marijuana on the Controlled Substances Act, which is the main justification for the enforcement of marijuana laws throughout the U.S.
Over 50,000 people have died as a result of the War on Drugs in Mexico since 2006 alone and with no sign of shifting strategies, the U.N. Global Commission on Drug Policy concluded that the War on Drugs has failed and encourages a new way forward involving a harm-reduction approach to dealing with drug use.
Just last week the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors mulled over spending another billion dollars for the prison system in California, while cutting a billion dollars from education.
Another member of LEAP, retired LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing, spoke to the Board, alongside members of the Youth Justice Coalition and A New Way of Life opposing such spending when a majority of the bodies filling the jails will be disproportionately people of color and generally drug-related.
Regulate Marijuana Like Wine has been endorsed by many groups and individuals, including Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson, CA NAACP President Alice Huffman, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), CA Assemblymembers Tom Ammiano (D) and Chris Norby (R), Parents for Addiction, Treatment and Healing (A New PATH), Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Medical Marijuana 411, Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), and many more.
For more information, or to read the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012, please click here.