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Marijuana Legalization Is Not Exactly ‘Inevitable’ In California In 2016


vote for california marijuana initiativesI read several articles today that made it sound like California is a total slam dunk to legalize marijuana in 2016. The word ‘inevitable’ was found throughout the articles. Does California have a good chance of legalizing in 2016? Absolutely. Is it inevitable? Not by a long shot.

There is still a ton of work to be done in California if any of the current initiative efforts are to even make the 2016 ballot. Hundreds of thousands of signatures are required to get a marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot, and those signatures aren’t going to gather themselves. It will take a small army of people to do it, and they will have to gather significantly more than the required amount to calculate for ones that will be deemed invalid for various reasons.

Then, only after ballot access is achieved, does the next phase of the campaign begin, which involves promoting the initiative and convincing voters to vote for it. California will be one of the hardest states to do that in two ways. The first is that in a lot of people’s minds, marijuana is largely legal already via the state’s medical marijuana program. I am not one of those people, but I recognize that there are a lot of swing voters that feel that way, and believe that marijuana opponents will try to use that to their advantage.

The second is that California is the most expensive state to run a campaign in due to the size of the state, the huge population spread out into several different media markets, and the price to run ads in those media markets. When political analysts take into account how much a successful marijuana legalization campaign media effort would cost in California, they are always quick to say that a victory is far from certain, and that doesn’t even take into account all the other hurdles that a campaign will face.

Just because a campaign has a lot of money, doesn’t guarantee victory. Ohio 2015 was an example of that. Obviously, there aren’t any efforts in California that are as poorly written as the 2015 Ohio effort, but the point about money remains the same – money alone does not ensure an automatic victory. In order for California to legalize in 2016, people need to put visions of inevitability and guaranteed victory out of their heads. People need to instead put their heads down, and get to grinding. California needs to unite behind one solid effort, gather as many signatures as possible towards that effort, and if it results in ballot access, then push quality information and awareness to the very end. Anything short of that, and California will continue to be left on the outside looking in when it comes to recreational marijuana legalization.


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. I recently learned that ReformCA has suspended its initiative, and several members of that coalition including CalNORML are now backing AUMA, which they say has been modified to take some of their concerns into account.

  2. Sorry Jon ………….. you fail to comprehend the enormous costs of becoming a “legal” and “licensed” business once Calif. becomes recreational. I’ll assume a dispensary license will cost $50K plus an annual renewal rate of at least $10K. Not to mention all of the hoops and the hands an ounce of weed will have to go through to actually finally get to a dispensary. I’ll spell it out for you and you be the judge if this is not going to result in a FUBR: A grower in the “new world” will not be able to simply harvest and deliver to a dispensary. He will have to hand off his weed to a “licensed” transporter that will in turn deliver the goods to a “licensed” distributor. The distributor will be in charge of sending out via the “licensed” transporter a sample to a “licensed” testing lab. Assuminng the lab passes the goods off as safe, the distributor now will have to perfom a quality assurance test on the balance of the weed including labeling and packaging. Once that is completed, the “licensed” transporter can then deliver the weed to a “licensed” dispensary. At that point it can be sold retail plus of course the 15% weed tax AND 10% sales taxes are added. This is the Parker initiative in a nutshell. How anyone could assume the black market WON’T explode in this world is delusional.

  3. I’m not one so convinced that the best approach is to simply pass “something” … “anything” and then revisit it later to get it ammended. Doesn’t work that way ……….. in most cases once it’s on the books …………. that’s the way it’s gonna stay. I’d be careful with that approach.

  4. You wont get that with Sean’s initiative; it allows local govt to keep bans on you in place.

  5. Plenty of people don’t want Sean’s BS to pass since it allows local bans. He can go to hell.

  6. Sean Parker is a sellout; shafting the little guy by slipping in the ability of local government to totally ban outdoor grows of even 6 plants in his so-called “legalization” initiative. It’s clear he doesn’t want any competition for the stores he plans to open!

    I wont be voting for his turkey of an initiative.

  7. Have you looked at the ReformCA initiative, and can you provide a comparison between the two vis-a-vis your points above, and any others of significance?

  8. Your brain damage is obvious, so good name!
    I hate to break it to you, but no state law HAS preempted federal law regarding cannabis possession.
    It is still illegal.
    Just because we have a memorandum of understanding with the DOJ doesn’t mean that federal law has been changed.
    In fact, continuing federal illegality is precisely what empowers the courts’ decisions on behalf of employers.

    So, you might want to rethink your logic there.

  9. No state law is ever going to preempt the Federal law against cannabis possession and sales so it is…oh wait…might want to re-think your logic there.

  10. Yes, the legalization in Uruguay is good, inherently good, because it is legalization, first and foremost.
    Any problems with it can and will be sorted out over time.

    What is of utmost importance is that it makes the possession of cannabis no longer a crime.

    It doesn’t matter who gets to grow it, or who makes money from it, or how much one can grow at home, or even how much one can possess at any given time.

    Legalization is job one, and it’s the job that far too many activists are willing to skip, while trying to go straight to job 3 or 4, or whatever.

    You say “We have won the War Against Cannabis,” but that’s not even close to being true. It might seem that way to you if you live out west, but for folks like myself, east of the Mississippi, the war isn’t even close to being over.

    Just as happened in Ohio last month, where hyper-idealists prevented the greater war-wide good of simply taking that first step, Californians rejecting yet another proposal because it is not perfect is undeniably counter-productive.

    Finally, you better get used to the ideas of consolidation, regulation and taxation, because full legalization is only ever going to come about through commercialization.

    That has been apparent to me since my first smoke in in DC in 1974.

    When the suits get involved, legalization will happen, and it will happen according to their corporate terms.

    Nothing wrong with that at all.

  11. The CCHI Grassroots Movement is that organization, we are going to pass California’s new Cannabis law in 2016. I agree, we all need to get behind one ballot initiative, we need to get behind the best one and fight like hell for it! That’s what’s called for now.

    To keep propping up these deeply compromised “Legalization Organizations” with out half-hearted support, time and money will assure we have to keep fighting and fighting for basic equality for years, decades to come. People are naive to believe the MPP/DPA/NORML machines actually serve the interests of the average Cannabis user today and stands as the largest stumbling block to true legalization.

  12. Nothing can be further from the truth! We have won the War Against Cannabis, we have the right and duty to set the terms in our favor…that’s the point of winning the fight in the first place,..right?

    How about “legalization” where only government employees can grow Monsanto GMO Cannabis and all the tax money raised goes to crushing the still illegal market? is that still “good legalization”? That’s close to what Uruguay has, you cool with that? Because most California’s are not and we will fight for a fair and reasonable access to diverse Cannabis uses without self-sabotaging clauses and hooks.

    It’s no longer about if or when we’ll legalize…it’s ALL about the HOW! Have you even read the CCHI2016 Initiative or the other choices, This is the biggest cash crop in the state of California, bad “legalization” could destroy that community and lose us the vast diversity and unique quality of “California’s Green Gold” a worldwide recognized “brand”.

    And JohnB…If your three steps forward are a fox trot of Consolidation, Hyper-regulation and Excessive taxation and the two steps back are a slow waltz of us not actually able to consume Cannabis anywhere and we’re criminals if we have too much…then yes, I’m that idiot that says “No, we can do better!” Me, Jack Herer and a million other Idiots are going to give California a better option!

  13. Only an idiot passes on three steps forward just because they come with two steps back.

    Oh wait, that’s another analogy, and you don’t understand analogies, apparently…

    it’s a simple as this; all legalization is good.

  14. The CCHI places NO taxes on medical and limits all excise taxes to less than 10% on personal use.

  15. This isn’t. Football John, this is the future of the most important resource on planet earth, I’ve not only THOUGHT about it, I have spent my life researching it. Prop 19 was terrible but Ohio’s bill was much worse. Willie Nelson among many others praised Ohio’s Cannabis community for rejecting Prop 3 and developing something better. We have the right to defend rights we already have and not lose some while calling it “legal”. I worked on Prop 215 and will not just stand by and watch “stake holders” pass a bill that diminishes our current freedoms. We have the most progressive Cannabis laws in the country still…in CA patients ($30 access everywhere) can smoke anywhere tobacco is smoked 100% legally, nowhere else can anyone actually smoke outside and this year’s DPA/MPP agenda will reverse that freedom we’ve had for 20 years. Prop 19 made it a felony to “smoke in the presence of minors” as well as limiting those who can grow and distribute Cannabis. Maybe instead of football imagery we can actually talk about these bills in detail. “If YOU can’t grow it, it isn’t legal!” ~Jack Herer.

  16. “We shot down…”
    And therein lies the problem.
    People like you prevented cannabis from becoming legal in Ohio, which would have been a monumental step forward, regardless of how it came into being.

    SMART people vote for whatever legalization initiative has the best chance of passing first, and still vote yes to any others that happen to make the ballot.

    THINK about it; you are saying that, by voting against Proposition 19, you voted AGAINST legalization.

    On what planet does that make any sense whatsoever?

    That’s like a football coach who loses a game because instead of going for the chip-shot field goal with seconds left to play, he “stands on principle” and says “we must win by a touchdown.”

  17. The people were robbed.
    Activists must do pre and post polling.
    Exit polls and regular window captures of the poll results are essential in order to detect and prosecute election fraud.
    A few pompous trolls are trumpeting the right thing happened and are covering up a crime committed against democracy.





  18. Ballot initiative can’t be changed once the wording is finalized which is happening for all initiatives in the next month. No last minute changes are possible with a ballot initiative.
    “If YOU can’t grow it, it isn’t legal!” ~Jack Herer

  19. Too late – there are already multiple initiatives being put forward. The “Sean Parker Initiative” and the ReformCA initiative are the two I know about. I’ve only read the latter, and while I get a headache reading the legalese (and I’m a legal word processor, have to type that stuff all day!), from what I can tell it looks pretty good. I’ve been looking for a point-by-point comparison between those two, and any others that are out there.

    I just hope that a better initiative doesn’t lose out to a worse one on account of money.

  20. I voted for Prop 19 and advocated for it, but I admit it wasn’t a well-crafted bill, and can see why so many voted against it.
    So far I’ve only really looked at the ReformCA initiative, and from what I can tell it looks much better, looks really good in fact. I haven’t read the “Sean Parker” initiative, but the fact that a tech billionaire is stepping in with his own thing instead of getting behind what came out of the Blue Ribbon Panel discussions makes me dubious. I’d like to know what the differences are, point-by-point.
    Ending prohibition is crucial. But especially now, it’s also crucial we do it right.

  21. I’m looking around for a point-by-point comparison between the Sean Parker Initiative and the ReformCA initiative, which as I understand it is what came out of the Blue Ribbon Panel discussions and recommendations. No hype or emotion or ego or tribalism, just the facts, point-by-point. Has anyone seen such a thing?

  22. Jack Herer’s CCHI2016 bill “challenges and repudiates Federal Cannabis prohibition” at it’s core while citing the 9th and 10th amendments of the Federal constitution in teh state bill. It’s a strategy to end federal prohibition from a state level. Jack Herer, Richard Davis and so many other brilliant, dedicated activists crafted this over decades and now its’ ready to move California forward in a bold yet fair way.

  23. The great and terrible thing about ballot Initiatives is that you can’t just fix them later…the bils that come out of ballots stand as the highest law in the state and can’t be altered by anything except another ballot initiative. The only thing that can actually take away ballot rights is another ballot and there in lies the true danger of a bad ballot initiative. The only way we can lose the “radical” freedom’s we have via Prop 215 is if we pass Sean Parker’s ballot initiative or another that revokes our current liberties.

  24. lol?
    Are you a child?
    “Will never be free?”
    Suggestion — Google “Manuel Guzman, Nature Cancer Reviews”
    and Google “Medical Marijuana NCI” or “Medical Marijuana NIH”
    While you’re at it, go to the USPTO and do a patent search on “cannabinoids” as a keyword.
    GWPH, for example has 48 broad issued patents and 80 published patent applications, with many more filed but not patented yet.
    This is serious science and serious medicine.
    “Will never be free?”
    There’s an old a cliché, but it fits — “Are you high?”
    Please don’t conflate Medical and Recreational Marijuana.
    For countless Americans who need it for Medical Purposes, including Chldren with Dravet’s Syhndrome Medical Marijuana isn’t about “Getting High” its about “Staying Alive”
    Please don’t let your zeal for Recreational Marijuana cloud your judgment regarding Medical Marijuana.
    They’re different things, and the anti-Marijuana crowd does its best to conflate them.
    Comments like yours help them in their efforts to de-legitimize Medical Marijuana and hurt both sets of efforts for legalization, Recreational, as well as Medical.

  25. California has one clear choice for the 2016 ballot and it’s not Sean Parker’s new fiasco. Jack Herer’s inspired “California Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2016” #CCHI2016 is the only step forward that makes any sense. Why would we possibly give up rights we’ve had for 20 years and replace them with hyper-regulation and call it “Legal”. You can fool some of the People some of the time but you can’t fool Californians about Weed!

    We shot down Prop 19 and other attempts to “Ohio” us…we’ll only accept progress. Fair and equal access to the “new trillion dollar crop” and nothing less!

  26. lol – Don’t attempt to advise me on my activism. I have been working hard in reform for 18 years. – I am proud of the role I’ve played in ending the monstrously destructive, counter-productive, freedom-strangling fraud of marijuana prohibition.

    You are clueless and can’t even recognize the fact medical marijuana patients will never be free until we end the whole insane war on marijuana consumers.

  27. You seem like a troll, making nonsensical arguments. And when you try to dismiss the VERY germane comparison of this country’s two most popular recreational drugs, I know you’re off the deep end.

    That very insightful comparison is what won legalization for Colorado.
    California’s “medical marijuana system” is difficult to handle because it’s a huge joke. – 80 percent (at least) of the customers are there for recreational purposes.
    You just ducked my point that if California can manage legal alcohol which is addictive and MUCH more harmful, it can easily handle legal marijuana.

    Please show the evidence there is a “thriving” black-market in the four Free States. – Whatever small activity exists is because of the prohibition in surrounding states.

    These are just non-arguments thrown together to desperately maintain the dysfunctional, destructive status quo that is profitable for many.

    Make a new plan, Stan.

  28. That’s exactly right, and let’s not forget about all the small families up north who have been growing for generations. The emerald triangle depends on the marijuana economy and full legalization is going to be challenging for them. Economically, it can be a disaster for some regions of this state.

  29. I’m not sure where you are coming from with what you’re saying. We can polish up a medical system and still get much needed research to learn more about the cannabinoids, bring safe access to patients, and become more efficient at our current system. Maybe you haven’t purchased any cannabis from the legal states but I have. The tax is high

    and many of the people who really need marijuana for their conditions will pay the price…literally.
    Comparing Alcohol to Marijuana is Apples to Oranges. Alcohol must go through a process of distillation while marijuana is grown, dried, and cured. You think California can handle a full on legalization when they can’t even handle our medical system? You don’t think their is a thriving black market in the 4 Free States? Man, you must be High as a Kite!

  30. Add another Tax??? I’m not sure what you’re talking about. When we go legal, there will be another tax on MMJ patients. Do you not know how to read? If the current cost is $10 a gram now, it will be $15 a gram after legalization. All I do is try to help patients, give free medicine to the chronically ill, and teach our staff to be compassionate. Read before you make comments about me when you don’t even know me. You obviously got some issues, don’t know how business works, and can’t read.

  31. I’ve been trying to be polite.
    I’m not indifferent to the plight of Recreational Marijuana users, I’m heartbroken at the fact that countless Americans, including American Children are suffering and dying — needlessly — because they’re being denied the medicine they need — and in the case of Children with Dravet’s, the medicine they need to stay alive.
    Prohibition 2.0 is wrong. Its ruining lots of people’s lives.
    But as wrong as it is, it pales in comparison with the wrong being done by preventing people who need Medical Marijuana from being able to safely and legally get it.
    The need to end Prohibition 2.0 is urgent, but the need to make Medical Marijuana available safely and legally, in all 50 states, and around the world is a crisis of epic proportions.
    Do you call the WH comment line every day?
    Do you work hard to get everyone you know to do the same?
    Why not spend your effort on that?
    Americans, including American Children, are suffering and dying — needlessly.
    It breaks my heart. We need change at the federal level now.
    Please do everything you can to help.
    Put your energy there – not at trying to conflate the Medical and Recreational issues.

  32. You’ve simply got tunnel vision and an incredible indifference for the millions of Americans who have had their lives destroyed by a bogus marijuana arrest and criminal record.

  33. You didn’t respond to any of my points. You just called my comment nonsense. – That’s not the way debate works. – When 80 percent of “medical” marijuana patients aren’t really just recreational consumers getting “medical excuse” marijuana, we can talk seriously about medical marijuana.

  34. That comment is nonsense.
    There are many good arguments for full legalization.
    That isn’t one of them.
    As far as Medical Marijuana goes, its a separate issue.
    Please don’t conflate the two.
    I fully support full legalization, but the need to make Medical Marijuana available in all 50 states immediately is at the level of a national emergency and a life and death moral impetrative.
    I’m deeply horrified by the fact that Kids with Dravet’s are suffering and dying because they’re being denied the life-saving medication they need, (and which is completely different than recreational Marijuana) and that Cancer Patients in 27 states are suffering because some jackasses have a pole up their asses about Marijuana.
    This is an issue of life and death.
    Americans, including American Children, are suffering and dying — needlessly.
    Its time to call the current situation what it is — a national ;disgrace.

  35. I have already shown how ending all marijuana prohibition is not just the main event, but is the only way medical marijuana patients will ever be really free.

  36. Sorry, but that’s nonsense. If California can regulate addictive, MUCH more harmful alcohol, it can certainly handle near harmless marijuana.

    The black-market will mostly disappear after re-legalization, just as it did with alcohol after ending its failed prohibition.

    There is no excuse to resist moving from the absurd, inefficient and destructive “medical excuse” marijuana system to a completely legal one.

    The four Free States have shown the way.

  37. The will of the people is better if it has some vioce. Over time elected people have to hear it or not be elected.

  38. Closet Warrior on

    To Daniel Bear: So sorry your collective is costing you money but your idea of adding yet another tax on mmj patients is ludicrous!! Maybe you got in the business for the wrong reasons, maybe you were dropped as a baby but either way a real man would help his patients save money not cost them more!! Should you regain your morals, if you had any, take a page from Steve Di Angelo’s book and operate the medical side of your business profit-free as to better help the patient not bankrupt them you greedy dick!!!!

  39. My name is Daniel and I’m the founder and president of Green Bear Solutions Collective. Many people want legalization of medical marijuana but I’ll tell you what likely will happen in such a diverse and populated State like California.
    If we look at the current costs of high quality flower and wax at this current time, just put another tax on the bill for medical patients with safer and easier access and we have legalization. In our current market, law abiding executives like myself pay 8% sales tax, $800 a year to be incorporated, 1099’s on staff helping, and income tax for owners. Let’s not forget the costs of running a collective professionally and consistently and let me tell you…it’s not a “get rich quick” industry.
    Ultimately, the patient will get hit the most with 100% legalization. I think we will see boutique growers have a hard time keeping up and high quality flower that California is known for may see a shortage of AAA Grade medicine. Also, does California REALLY have the man/woman power to regulate such a large economy and hold the “Black Market” accountable to sales of marijuana? I highly doubt it. Where are those resources which cost high dollars come from? I think we should leave the law the way it is and let cities and counties decide if they want to support it or not. Let delivery thrive in cities/counties that don’t want to offer permits to Collectives and the cities and counties that do, will benefit from the local tax.

    There’s always been a wild wild west culture in this state and I’m competing with many guys that don’t have to pay out the kind of money I am. I’m not playing on the same field under the same rules as many in this business and it’s frustrating to say the least. Many people I work with don’t do what is expected of them either so I’m not “throwing stones” but It is the reality of this situation.

    There’s a good possibility that when the new laws go into effect, the black market will thrive without consequences. Look at what has been happening in LA with their store fronts… and San Diego has their “permitted” Store(s) and that cost the owners and investors $$$ that I won’t discuss but you can imagine it wasn’t cheap. If you dig under the surface in San Diego, you will find hundreds of Store fronts that didn’t pay for the permits and are not being policed by the law because of current rulings, laws, and lack of resources. Don’t blame it on the police…blame it on us as residents for not setting a template for them to follow and holding our elected officials responsible for this challenging industry.

  40. There’s a huge difference between Medical and Recreational use.
    I support both, but Medical Marijuana is by far the more important issue.
    For many Americans, its literally a matter of life and death, and Medical Marijuana is only one part of the War on Cancer.
    That’s more important that either one.
    Cancer will soon be the #1 cause of death, surpassing heart attacks, in large part because of progress in medical treatment for heart disease.
    As far as Marijuana goes, the immaturity of many people who want it legalized is hurting the effort substantially.
    They don’t bother to vote, or they throw hissy-fits like they did in Ohio.

  41. There’s a huge difference between Medical and Recreational use.
    I support both, but Medical Marijuana is by far the more important issue.
    For many Americans, its literally a matter of life and death, and Medical Marijuana is only one part of the War on Cancer.
    That’s more important that either one.
    Cancer will soon be the #1 cause of death, surpassing heart attacks, in large part because of progress in medical treatment for heart disease.
    As far as Marijuana goes, the immaturity of many people who want it legalized is hurting the effort substantially.
    They don’t bother to vote, or they throw hissy-fits like they did in Ohio.
    Do you bother to call the white house comment line every day to ask that Marijuana be removed from Schedule 1?
    They keep track of the number of calls they get.
    I’m very disappointed at how little people who say they are for legalization actually do in terms of contacting the comment line, their senators and their congressional reps.

  42. Right. We’re doing what we can. – No medical marijuana patient is really free until we end ALL of the fraudulent prohibition.
    I’ve been waiting and working in reform for 45 years, so don’t feel too bad.
    You’re preaching to the choir here. – Go see your representatives and make them feel your urgency.

  43. The 2016 election is too far away. Its long past time to stand up and point out that this is a MORAL ISSUE at the level that the need to end segregation was.
    Its long past time to start using the phrase MORAL IMPERATIVE — because that what the need to legalize Marijuana for Medical purposes is.
    I can’t stand the fact that every minute yet another American dies of Cancer.
    We need the government in Washington to stop treating Americans who are suffering and dying as “political footballs”
    We need to start putting some real money behind the war on Cancer.
    Cancer tortures innocent Americans to death at the rate of over 1,500 a day.
    We need to fund the War on Cancer at a level that recognizes the horror and urgency of that.
    We need to do everything we can to help Cancer Victims, and
    Every American Cancer Patient Deserves the right to have Safe, Legal, Access to Medical Marijuana.
    Every. Single. One.

  44. It’s not an either-or anymore. We have such great momentum now, there’s no reason we can’t do both – just as Ohio almost did (probably really did with an honest vote count).

  45. I hope California gets full legalization, but I’m deeply saddened than in 27 states, Americans who are suffering and dying of Cancer can’t get Safe, Legal, Access to Medical Marijuana, that the Parents of Children with Seizure disorders in those same states can’t get the life-saving medication they need for their kids and that Cancer Patients in those states don’t have access to HDMMOT.

    Like the majority of Americans, I support the full legalization of Marijuana — but my heart breaks and bleeds over the issue of Medical Marijuana.

    Even if you only use Marijuana Recreationally, please do everything you can to work for national legalization of Medical Marijuana.

    Americans, including American Children, who need it to save their lives are suffering and dying — needlessly!

  46. Right. – We have to craft an initiative that will pass. – All good things flow from consumer freedom.

    Smart employers of the near future will prefer their employees consume near harmless marijuana (at home, after work), rather than addictive, very harmful, hangover-producing alcohol.

  47. Having lived through this so many times, in various states, it is now clear the “marijuana people” who oppose these initiatives don’t want ANY legalization.

    In states with total prohibition, these are the greedy black-market growers. In medical marijuana states, they are growers and sellers who are happy with their current quasi-monopolies and outrageously high prices. – They don’t give a hoot about the freedom of their “precious” customers.

    They are not marijuana reformers. They are prohibitionist thugs in cannabis clothing – raking in the dollars of the people they help keep enslaved.

  48. If verbiage in a cannabis legalization amendment had any ability to put a “tiny chip or dent in the law,” I would be inclined to agree.
    But the fact remains that no state law can ever preempt federal law, as the courts have ruled over and over again.
    Thus, all such attempts in cannabis law reform only create the kind of legal mess that tends to make employers more anti-cannabis, rather than less so.

    When employees think they have the right to challenge these federal laws, the employer ends up in court. The employers ALWAYS win, but it’s nevertheless a distraction from their true business, and an unnecessary expense. Thus, they, and others, in turn oppose any attempts at legalization, especially if the reform language tries to dictate drug testing law that is contrary to federal regulations..

    Trying to change federal employment law through cannabis reform simply shoots the entire movement in the foot. We need to realize that drug testing, however egregious (and I agree that it is), is not going anywhere until cannabis is legal pretty much everywhere, until our culture accepts it as perfectly normal.

  49. Going to take upwards of $30 milliion to get it to pass according to people I know. No small feat indeed.

  50. It really is turning into a pro legalization site now, as I can no longer open it w/o seeing at least a dozen new advocacy posts each day.

  51. 580,000 Americans will die from Cancer this year alone — more than one every single minute.
    The numbers are horrifying.
    Personally dying of Cancer is even more so.
    And roughly 25% of all American men are doomed to that fate unless we start taking the war on Cancer a lot more seriously.
    Cancer patients need every break they can get.
    Medical Marijuana isn’t just about getting through the horrors of Chemo anymore (although that was already enough to make keeping Marijuana illegal morally indefensible)
    HDMMOT looks extremely promising — especially when combined with Chemo, Radiation, PARP inhibitors, etc.
    We need to get large scale clinical trials going now.
    Every American with Cancer deserves the right to have Safe, Legal, Access to Medical Marijuana.
    Every. Single. One.

  52. 580,000 Americans will die from Cancer this year alone — more than one every single minute.
    The numbers are horrifying.
    Personally dying of Cancer is even more so.
    And roughly 25% of all American men are doomed to that fate unless we start taking the war on Cancer a lot more seriously.

  53. You are WRONG any tiny chip or dent in the law will help. Testing our body fluids as a condition of employment is a horrifing inrtusion into our privacy and repugngnt.

  54. No state law is ever going to preempt the Federal drug free workplace act, so it is ridiculous to put language attempting to do so into any cannabis reform legislation.
    All that does is create a legal morass for folks after the fact.
    The end of testing for cannabis at workplaces has to come about through cultural change, not legal wrangling.
    Employers are perfectly able to test for alcohol right now, for example, but they don’t because it is culturally accepted.
    Getting cannabis consumption to the same place culturally is the only thing that will ever get employers to stop testing.

  55. It’s interesting that, except for the limit to the number of commercial growers, the “Sean Parker Initiative” looks very much like the recently failed Ohio legislation.
    It’s also interesting (distressing might be a better word) to see that people are already complaining that it’s not good enough, or that it’s not perfect.
    When are cannabis law reform advocates going to stop being their own worst enemy?

  56. Here’s good advice from Mr Green; it’s going to take a concerted effort to get full legalization done in the fifth largest economy in the world.

  57. MPP does not act for consumers. It acts for marijuana businesses, and just certain ones. They are trying to increase their profitability by attacking consumers’ rights.

    This is the primary reason I believe we need a new organization – A national marijuana consumers’ union.

  58. You didn’t respond to any of the points I made. You just ignored them and continued to moan senselessly without any nod to reality.

  59. I first acknowledged medical marijuana is an important issue. And then explained how ending the monstrous war on marijuana consumers is more important.

    Why aren’t you responding to any of the points I made? That’s the way refutation works. – Try it some time.

  60. There are innumerable things Obama, and all politicians, should do. – But we stopped waiting on them a long time ago. – Good thing. – We wouldn’t have four Free States and more on the way, if we had.

  61. Although Obama has quietly opened the doors for marijuana reform, I am mostly disappointed in his presidency – primarily with his continuation of foreign wars and perpetuating and adding to the monstrous “Patriot Act” attacks on our freedom and privacy.

    I can’t predict what he will do or trust what he says.

  62. Vote for any and all initiates that make the ballot. If one passes that isn’t optimal, it can be changed in the future, and is still much better than having none pass at all. National medical legalization is just as important, but will come easier once more states have demonstrated that marijuana is not harmful through recreational legalization, and California is the biggest domino to fall. The more studies that come out, and the more evidence we have in front of our faces, the less Republicans will be able to continue denying that marijuana is evil. Also vote for Bernie Sanders because Hillary probably won’t do shit about it (and O’Malley is still quite a long shot).

  63. saynotohypocrisy on

    I was reacting to your calling medical marijuana a small issue. Seems a strange way to talk about something that is a life and death issue for some people and an issue of preventing unbearable suffering for others. It’s an even more fundamental and grotesque violation of rights than the violation of our rights as non-medical users. If anything is worth getting hysterical about, the suppression of essential medicine is it.

  64. Americans who are suffering or suffering and dying shouldn’t be used as “political footballs”

    We need action taken at the federal level now.

    The President needs to get personally involved in addressing this issue.

    His job is to protect Americans from all enemies foreign and domestic and Cancer is the biggest, most ruthless, and most cruel mass murderer of Americans, of all time.

  65. It is hard for me to believe they are just going along with Nevada and Arizona. I agree, how they could support them is unimaginable when they seemed, up to this point, to have the will of the people in mind.

  66. Right. That doesn’t seem a problem for California.

    I’ve moved around the country a bit and feel more a citizen of the nation. States to me are like counties to most people. – I feel wounded by what takes place in all the states so can’t shake my disgust of MPP’s unnecessary attack on home growers.

  67. Side, separate, as you will. But there’s no denying that since both primarily involve marijuana, they are joined at the hip – and natural allies.

    I don’t understand your hysteria. The situation for medical marijuana patients improves exponentially under any re-legalization.

    Now, you are still subject to arrest, and the object of police interest. You can be ticketed, arrested, and run through the courts. Your medical recommendation only gives you an affirmative defense to use to avoid the penalty.

    How much better life will be for medical marijuana patients when they don’t have to worry about any of that! – Especially since the recent MMJ legislation is clamping down tightly on California’s MMJ operations.

    I believe the new regulations go into effect in 2018.

  68. >>>”republicans are afraid of any change and most of them still refer to cannabis as the devil’s weed.”

    I think Republican’s principle motivation for being anti-marijuana legalization is they observe, correctly, more Democrats consume marijuana than Republicans. – So it is just a way to diminish their opposition.

  69. Medical Marijuana is NOT a small issue.
    Anyone who wants to use Marijuana recreationally can get it on the “black market”
    They shouldn’t have to — see Ken Burns documentary series on Prohibition — especially the episode “a national of scofflaws”, but as bad a crime prohibition is, denying the benefits of Medical Marijuana to people who need it is a much bigger one.
    The whole situation is insane. Yes, we should have full legalization — now — but Cancer patients and kids dying of seizures can’t wait.
    Everyone who comments here should call the white house comment line every day to beg the President to take action.
    We need large scale non-violent protests, just like those against segregation and against the Vietnam war.
    580,000 Americans will die of Cancer this year alone.
    We need to get large scale double blind tests of High Dose Medical Marijuana Oil Therapy (HDMMOT) going IMNEDIATELY, and every Cancer patient that wants to try it outside of the clinical trials (to be sure they aren’t getting a placebo) should have that chance.
    I feel incredibly passionately about this issue.
    We need action at the federal level NOW!!!!

  70. One thing I like about this web site. You don’t have to have Facebook to comment. Facebook is a mom and pop share picture and gossip. I hate the heck out of Facebook.

  71. A lot of people are hoping for this but our politicians especially the conservative republicans are afraid of any change and most of them still refer to cannabis as the devil’s weed. These are suppose to be the educated ones, go figure. As long as people continue to elect republicans change in cannabis policies will not come and so far the last election dems have gotten the buts shellacked. I you want to make a difference go vote and encourage other to vote.

  72. He would have to show some guts to reschedule. I don’t see Obama making any effort in that direction. I which he did I think more people would support him on that and his approval number may increase as well but as I said no gut no glory.

  73. saynotohypocrisy on

    Medical marijuana isn’t a side issue. It’s more like a separate issue. And crazy and outrageous as it is when all personal use of weed in banned, it is far more insane and far more outrageous when medicinal marijuana is banned. The people who stand behind banning medicinal marijuana are going to hate themselves in the morning for what they have done.

  74. You ignore that the primary right is to possess small amounts of marijuana with no punishment. – Gaining that is not only monumental, but is the best step you can take toward getting home growing and all the other rights of ending the fraudulent marijuana prohibition.

    Reform is a process, not an event.

  75. I’ll agree with you there, except to say that if, for some twisted reason, the only initiative that makes it to the ballot is one with no home growing, you should still vote for it. – All progress is good.

    Having said that, if that somehow happens, someone is going to have a LOT of explaining to do – and I will make it my goal whoever is responsible for that never makes a penny from marijuana in California.

  76. You’re not giving up anything by passing the no-home grow initiatives like Nevada’s. You’re just getting a two-step legalization – like what Washington state is doing. – Consumers in Washington are very glad they passed their initiative. – It puts them worlds closer to freedom than where they were before.

  77. Nevada, having the insidious “halo” rule inserted by MPP is, indeed, horrible. – But it is still a thousand times better than Nevada’s current war on marijuana consumers.

  78. Medical marijuana is important, but it is a small side issue compared to ending the war on marijuana consumers.

    More than 600,000 innocent Americans are arrested for simple marijuana possession each year and made second-class citizens – for life! They will forever face large obstacles to decent employment, education, travel, housing, government benefits, and will always go into court with one strike against them. They can even have their children taken away!

    20 million Americans are now locked away in this very un-American sub-class because of this bogus “criminal” record. That has a horrible effect on the whole country, being an incredible waste of human potential.

    The fraudulent marijuana prohibition has never accomplished one positive thing. It has only caused vast amounts of crime, corruption, violence, death and the severe diminishing of everyone’s freedom.

    Further, all marijuana use has medical benefit. Every person who switches from addictive, very harmful alcohol to near harmless marijuana, improves their health tremendously – as well as the lives of their family and community.

    There is no more important domestic issue than ending what is essentially the American Inquisition.

  79. “The important thing is to PASS any initiative that gets on the ballot”.

    Yep. Even if there were an overwhelming majority of legalization supporters in the U.S., it still doesn’t justify continuing fraudulent prohibition for a “better law next time”.

  80. Of course. But no one is so naïve as to actually count on a Sander’s win. That’s why we all must get behind AUMA.

  81. No. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) is 90 percent better than what we have today.

    What we have today is “medical excuse” marijuana, and it is scheduled to be dumped in 2017 by the medical marijuana revisions CA recently made. – If we don’t pass an initiative before then, many current “medical” consumers will be out in the streets looking to score.

    Naysayers always ride on the assumption that whatever initiative they are against will cast policy in stone forever. – That’s equally absurd as we are watching Washington state go about instituting home growing.

    We will continue to refine marijuana policy until it reaches its optimum form, just as we did with alcohol after ending ITS prohibition.

    The important thing is to PASS any initiative that gets on the ballot.

  82. Currently I grow all my plants in a closet, but I look forward to the day when I can grow them openly in my yard.

    Come on California! Don’t let Prop 19 happen again! If we don’t work together this next election it likely means another 4 years of prohibition in the state! That’s 4 more years of people going to prison, of people getting their lives destroyed for some dried flowers, and lack of safe access for everyone! We deserve better!

  83. So far, California initiatives are supporting home grows unlike Arizona and Nevada with their location limits. People still need to pay attention for last minute changes and get the word out if they’re about to get screwed over. Stay diligent.

  84. Bush was elected by the SCOTUS. Had they allowed a recount, Gore would have taken it. But I agree with your point. The Parker bill is pretty good. Legalization works in Colorado, the public continues to support it. It brings in tons of taxes – more than retail alcohol. It is well regulated, everything is assayed for quality and purity. Prices on the medical side are pretty good – my dispensary has a maximum price of $150 / oz discounted 10% for members. Arrests are down drastically, as you might expect. So what if you can’t grow 30 plants? How many people need more than 6 plants for personal consumption. If you want 30 plants, apply for a commercial grow license or become a medical “provider.” I do not know about laws regulating shatter, but amateurs, and even professionals have been injured or killed manufacturing it.

    While I believe in real workplace standards and employee protections, after a few years, employers get tired of having to fire employees due to piss tests.See FBI director’s comment: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2014/05/20/director-comey-fbi-grappling-with-hiring-policy-concerning-marijuana/

  85. Fortunately, as you pointed out a few days back, only Nevada and Arizona are trying to grossly limit home grows with the HALO rule as you called it. I haven’t read a CA initiative yet that limits home grows too much to not vote for it. So far so good.

    I just want to make sure such language isn’t slipped in at the last minute to a CA initiative. People need to pay attention all the way to voting day.

  86. I wonder what the chances are of getting the Parker Initiative amended with respect to:

    1. Increasing personal possession limits – by a factor of at least 16.

    2. Less restrictive personal growing provisions (prevent local authorities from any involvement whatsoever of personal grows, and increase personal grow limits).

    3. Employee workplace protections (employees cannot be subject to workplace discipline for the mere presence of Cannabis metabolites).

    4. Reduce the penalties for and narrow the definition of “volatile solvent”. While I don’t want my neighbor’s teenager to blow up their house, I think 3-7 years in prison is way too steep. I would also like to see the definition of volatile solvent changed to “compressed gas volatile solvent”, given that alcohol extraction is relatively safe but still a “volatile solvent”.

    The Parker initiative is only slightly better than what we have today in California. I hope there is a chance to make some reasonable improvements.

    I agree that we need to get behind one initiative, but I am not optimistic about making the Parker initiative better by passing additional initiatives in the future. Thus, I think we need to try and take our best shot now – and the Parker initiative as written falls quite a bit short of what I think is ideal (and passable).

  87. Fortunately, CA initiatives seem to respect home grows from what I am reading. But people still need to pay attention. Especially in states like Nevada where the language prevents home grows near licensed facilities. That is not liberty.

  88. Antignorant is right. Don’t sacrifice your liberty for their greed. We must have the right to grow our own. Otherwise it is not really legal. It is just monopolized. This plant was not put on this earth to be monopolized by government or corporations.

  89. Yes home grows are important and should be allowed in whatever law is passed. But everyone please, please, please, VOTE.

  90. They don’t and neither does anyone else.

    The top priority has got to be to make Medical Marijuana legal In all 50 states and to end Prohibition in all 50 states and do those same things around the world.

    Too many people have suffered or died — needlessly.

    Too many people have suffering or died from diseases that Medical Marijuana can heal or cure.

    Don’t forget what happened in the 2000 election where Nader supporters helped elect Bush.

  91. Medical is already legal in California. They have the luxury to get the recreational initiative right.

  92. I strongly agree with jontomas..
    Cancer Patients Can’t Wait.
    As far as full legalization goes — every 15 minutes yet another American’s life is ruined by Prohibition.
    It should have ended long ago. The guys at LEAP — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition are right.

  93. I agree — strongly.
    Cancer Patients Can’t Wait.
    As far as full legalization goes — every 15 minutes yet another American’s life is ruined by Prohibition.
    It should have ended long ago. The guy at LEAP — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition are right.
    See http://www.leap.cc

  94. We live in an imperfect world.
    Any change in the laws that “moves the ball forward” is a good first step.
    “Perfect” is the enemy of “Good enough”
    That’s what happened in the election of 2000 where Nader supporters helped elect Bush by not voting for Gore.

  95. Back Bernie’s plan. Just remove it from the drug schedule altogether. THAT is the answer for all of us.

  96. The only way you know what you’re getting is if you grow it yourself. Not sure about you, but I want to grow my own (without pesticides and without jail time). If grow restrictions by location are implemented, you’re f’cked and have no personal liberty… still.

    I understand progress, but don’t give up your liberty for their greed.

  97. We need action at both the federal level — as well as the state level.
    Americans, including American Children, are suffering and dying — needlessly.
    The more I learn about the biochemistry of Medical Marijuana, the more convinced I become of its incredible value as a life saving medication — its more than a “Wonder Drug” its a whole bunch of them — “A rain forest in a single plant”
    Dr.. Sanjay Gupta said it best —
    “We should legalize Marijuana. We should do it nationally. And we should do it NOW.”

  98. Since marijuana is so near harmless, the only regulation it needs is to prohibit sales or giving to children.

    There is some justification for extra taxes on alcohol and tobacco. They are both very destructive drugs, responsible for many thousands of deaths each year in the U.S. The higher taxes ostensibly compensate, to a degree, for the huge social costs they inflict.

    Since marijuana has no significant harm, there will be no social cost and hence, no justification for extra taxes. — Of course, we’ll have them, at least at first. It will help if they eventually get rid of them to keep the black-market away.

  99. I know what your saying, but the truth is, nothing is set in stone, anything is better than status quo. My guess is, which ever one that the MMO creates will likely be the best of both worlds, commercialization and home cultivation. You need to make sure that you are helping out with the effort you want, encourage these multiple efforts to come together under 1 measure. Worse comes to worse, if multiple measures are on one ballot, vote yes on them all, to at lest make sure that the oppression stops.

  100. Voting in favor of every one that makes the ballot would give effect you desire.

    OTOH voting for what you desire is not a bad strategy either. Make the funders follow the will of the people.

    Of course any restrictions and taxes will crimp hemp. “It looked like marijuana to me judge.”

  101. No. I have many friends and family in Oregon and they are all much happier with complete legalization than with California’s ‘medical excuse’ mess. – Also, they have just tightened up the regulation of medical marijuana in CA. If we don’t pass legalization in November, many current “patients” will be looking for their herb back out on the streets.

  102. No. Support ANY initiative that makes it to the ballot. – Nothing is ever cast in stone. Any legalization initiative gets us 90 percent of the distance to the best policy. And we will continue to refine marijuana policy until it reaches its optimum form, just as we did with alcohol after ending ITS prohibition.

    There is NO excuse to vote against any legalization initiative.

  103. >>>”California needs to unite behind one solid effort”

    Amen! – Let’s hope rational minds will rule and avoid multiple initiatives that will sap each other’s strength and confuse the voters.

  104. Just get behind one that doesn’t restrict home grows based on resident location in any way. Who cares where a resident lives? They should be allowed to home grow. Read the fine print.

  105. Only support initiatives that do NOT restrict home grows in any way other than number of plants. Beware of language limiting home grows based on location. Read the fine print.

  106. My buddy who moved up to Oregon misses the way it was in California and enjoyed the weed laws better here in California than how it is now in Oregon. I know you’re sitting in Oregon Johnny, but the people here are really going to need to be convinced that this is a better law than our decriminalization and our medical law. If the opponents use it to their advantage, then they have a valid point, especially if a large portion of the pro-legalization base agrees that the recreational law is more restrictive than the medical law. Voters will remember the fiasco in Washington State and be hesitant. I hope the language of the next legalization initiative is prepared for this, or else they’re going to face inevitable backlash for opponents and proponents alike.

  107. Absolutely right, we must all get behind One prop. So, everyone in California lets put on our big boy and girl pants and get this passed. Put the ego’s away. Smoke a bowl and do what’s right.

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