Prop. 19 Opponents’ Verbal Bluster Is Just The Latest Sign That We Are Winning!

In response to Friday’s threat by the Obama administration that they will “vigorously enforce” federal anti-marijuana laws in California, regardless of whether voters enact Proposition 19 this November, I have the following commentary in today’s edition of The Hill.

Obama administration may back marijuana prohibition, but that doesn’t mean that California voters have to do the same
via The Hill

[excerpt: Read the full text and comment on it here.]

Despite the claims from Prop. 19 opponents that the measure would be ‘preempted’ by the federal government, at no time has the administration challenge the fact that Californians have the legal right to determine their own marijuana policies. Rather, the federal government has simply reinforced that they remain of the opinion that pot ought to be criminally outlawed — a position that is clearly out-of-step with the American public’s sentiment.

Furthermore, Californians have been here before and not just in 1996, when a majority of voters decided in favor of legalizing the statewide medical use of marijuana. Seventy-eight years ago this November, Californians overwhelmingly voted for the repeal of a morally, socially, and economically failed public policy – alcohol prohibition. Voters did not wait for the federal government to act; they took the matter into their own hands. And they will likely do so again this November.

Finally, it goes without saying that the federal justice department — verbal bluster aside — lacks both the resources and the political will to take on the role of targeting and prosecuting the estimated 3.3 million Californians who are presently consuming cannabis for non-medical purposes. These duties are relegated to state, not federal, law enforcement officials. Just as medical marijuana has existed as a legal market in California, in obvious violation of federal Controlled Substances Act, Prop. 19 will too remain the law of the land post-November 2.

My commentary is already the ‘most viewed’ and ‘most commented’ story on The Hill’s website, but you can still leave the Obama administration your two cents here.

Speaking of the Administration’s announcement, we now have L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca stating publicly that he will instruct his police officers to disregard the voters decision regarding Prop. 19. “Proposition 19 is not going to pass, even if it passes,” Baca has stated publicly. That’s right; we now have high ranking members of law enforcement bragging that they will openly engage in behavior that disobeys state law. I believe that society has a word for people like that: ‘criminals.’

Of course, reformers ought to take comfort in the Administration’s and Baca’s latest comments, as it shows that the supporters of prohibition — what few that are left — are running scared. After all, if our opponents weren’t convinced we were going to win on November 2, they wouldn’t be spending so much verbal bluster — and believe me, it is strictly bluster — on what they are going to do, or not do, on November 3.

99 thoughts

  1. “Asked if he had ever experimented with the drug, Baca was unequivocal. “Hell no,” he said.”

    Welp, that’s his first problem.

  2. They just had the biggest pot bust recorded in Tijuana, Mx. 105 tons worth 340 million and still counting.

    Ok, we will consume it, and no matter what, it is the safer alternative to booze. Why in the hell would Obama want us to give the money to the drug cartel. Only one reason; he wants to corrupt America.
    Go Prop 19, the Constitution will protect us.

  3. The people haven’t listen to politicians in the case of prohibition in the last 80 years,what makes them think We will now?

  4. LEE BACA is a JOKE!!! publicly stating he will break state law to enforce his own beleifs. I can gaurantee that wont be the first time he breaks state law for his own personal reasons! Please, get this man out of office. It is people like him that are the reason we live under prohibition laws right now. People who cant understand the true definition of freedom and love to enforce their views and opinions on the public regardless of whether or not his opinion is completely against the public majority. Noone cares what your stupid opinion is LEE BACA. Your 1 person. THOUSANDS of people think otherwise. If you dont like marijuana, than dont smoke it. You shouldnt impose your conservative opinions on other people ESPECIAllY when the people of california successfully vote otherwise!!And as to make predictions of what will happen if prop 19 passes, just give up on that angle. You cant predict the future. Not only that, if you had any capability at forecasting, you wouldnt be some tunnel vision sheriff who publicly state that he is above the law and can pick and choose which laws to enforce. I HOPE IT PASSES AND YOU ARREST SOMEONE!!!! you will have more lawsuits than your puny little bank account could ever cover in 100 years.

  5. @49

    I stand corrected.

    To me it is a sad moment to realize that the land that I live in/on, the moment I realize that I have no control of the laws that bind me.

    Look at it this way, if a small country like Portugal took such a bold step to decriminalize all drugs, what can be said about the big USA.

    YES 19

  6. The only question I had in regards to his statements was if this meant a reversal of the policy about medical cannabis enforcement …

    I’m sure that it is all bluster and scare tactic but it does make me wonder. While they have continued their approaches in California “busting criminal organizations” that deal in medical cannabis, I’ve had to really scratch my head. It seems the general public takes all these things at face value. Dont ask, dont tell is viewed by many as acceptance. “We will not pursue those complying with state laws,” seems to have had the same effect: people outside of the activist and medical community believe they stopped enforcement …

    This method of being able to state something that is not actually occurring and having it believed by the general public is really awe inspiring. I just hope the idea that cannabis is safer and needs to be regulated takes as firm a hold in the hive mind.

    Let us hope this is a bluster to appease the conservative voters they are trying to sway to vote this November and nothing more. 1996 didn’t see the state invaded by stromtroopers. I simply do not see the resources available to do anything similar in 2010 especially in the face of the new border threats. They have much bigger fish to fry as it were.

  7. Someday far, far in the future, at St. Peter’s gates…

    God: So, let’s see. Eric… Holder. What did you do with your life?

    EH: I spent my career protecting people as a pros-

    God: Yeah, yeah. So, why, exactly, did you, as one of the most powerful people in the land known as America, decide to abuse your power and send so many non-violent people into cages for large portions of their lives?

    EH: Uh, well, I was just doing my job. The law is the law. If you don’t like the laws, work to change them.

    God: …….

    (a few minutes later)

    Satan: So, let’s see. Eric… Holder. What are you doing down here?

  8. Prop. 19 is all good. Even if it were rejected by voters, or even if the Feds interfere, at least Prop 19 succeeded in restarting the national debate about marijuana. The more people start looking into this issue and researching the history and the science, the better. Anyone who studies cannabis seriously without bias understands that the plant has many beneficial aspects, and it is safer than alcohol.

  9. to the guy above, me. It being able to differ from local govenrments is greaT!! this way cities that dont like marijuana can keep marijuana pubs and marijuana advertising out of thier city, while more liberal cities can profit. No matter what a person can possess an ounce anywhere in california, the cities cant change that. I dont know why people trip over that, its not gunna be 20,000 different laws on it, cities will work with eachother for rational policy

  10. If 19 passes the housing market is going to skyrocket through the roof cause soooo many people are going to want to move here.

  11. After threats by such people as , Holder and hearing threats from others told me one thing & one thing only.. they’re running scared & know that soon they will be defeated with all their lies & propaganda .

    One mention of Cannabis & they tell us , ” it’s about the Children ” .

    Alcohol says the same and they’ll tell you it’s a
    ” safety issue “. More deception & lies .

    Yesterday i tore this article out of the Los Angeles Times & it reads as follows ;

    Police Officers & neighbors throughout a cold wet Sunday were frantically combing Pasadena neighborhoods
    searching for a missing 3 yr. old boy lost by his allegedly intoxicated father . Jon Kurihara 23 , of West Covina lost track of his son after leaving a party in Pasadena drunk . He told Police he has no memory of the boy being with him however Father & son were both seen at the party . Later that night Police arrested the Father , Kurihara for public intoxication & resisting arrest after he was found walking alone near the 300 block E. Green St. or about a mile from the party .

    This guy ( Ron Kuhnel )is a known beer guy whose running for City Council . He also hated me when i ran for Mayor of Eureka because i was a known Pot smoker . He boasts of shutting down medical Cannabis Dispensaries in and around Eureka . His gut is nearly down to his waist from boozing it up .I wrote the following comment under one of his political web sites in , Eureka …..

    Since , Ron Kuhnel worked to limit the number of Marijuana dispensaries in & around , Eureka i have a suggestion that makes even more sense . Limit by reducing the amount of stores that sells or promotes the sale of alcohol , tobacco & pharmaceuticals .
    Examples : Grocery stores , bars & more bars , Pharmacies , Restaurants , liquor stores and anyone that sells / pushes alcoholic beverages , drugs & cigarettes . After all there are
    more murders ,suicides , DUI’S ,Police abusiveness , disrespect for Law & order ,family & spousal abuse ,assaults , robberies and misc. crime in a single 48 hour period in just Los Angeles County alone by the sales of alcohol , legal drugs & tobacco than what would probally occur in 5 years in the entire State of California from sells of Marijuana at these dispensaries .
    It wasn’t long ago in Eureka there were two armed robberies at Pharmacies over Oxycotin ( See ; The Times standard ) yet these same Pharmacies sell a ” Marijuana drug testing Kit ” . Great deception , huh ?

    So , Ron …you need to cut down or eliminate pharmacies , grocery stores , bars & more bars ,liquor stores & restaurants since these are the real culprits responsible in reducing our high rate of crime . Reducing dispensaries makes no sense but shutting down liquor stores ,Pharmacies , bars & more bars makes a lot of
    sense .

    ” I am the Beer Review Moderator for The Beer in Me ” – Ron Kuhnel

    ….and i ain’t too drink to drive . I only tasted beer tasting 10 beers tasting so don’t tell me I’ve been drinkin “

  12. Alcohol & Pharmaceutical tells us Marijuana is bad & dangerous . Yes , Tobacco, Oil & The Health Industry are also involved just like I’ve been telling you forever . All have contributed huge sums of money to the Rand Corporation so that they too can spread their lies .

    Sydney , Aus .

    Judges fed up with drunken violence clogging our courts . By ,
    Geesche Jacobsen, Joel Gibson and Deborah Snow

    JUDGES and magistrates in NSW are appalled at the epidemic level of alcohol-fuelled crime in their courts, which accounts for more than half of their work and includes violence they never imagined when they started on the bench.

    They revealed their concerns as part of an investigation involving 22 on-the-record interviews with judges and magistrates.

    Alcohol plays a role in 50 to 60 per cent of the nearly 300,000 criminal cases that come before the state’s Local Courts each year, Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson said .

    ”The proliferation of alcohol in the community is obvious.

    Another judge, who did not want to be named, said: ”This city, which should otherwise be a sophisticated city, is largely run by a handful of hoteliers.

    ”The violence here is just extraordinary. You see it all the time. The wounds, the significant wounding that occurs on the weekend in the city is quite extraordinary.”

    Crime statistics show about 43,000 alcohol-related assaults and incidents of offensive behaviour last year – 4700 of them in the Sydney local government area. (Each incident can generate a number of charges, and other crimes, including property damage, are often related to alcohol.)


  13. Last but not least is this final comment I’d like those Companies who oppose Marijuana( that spill out lies and distortion out of their mouths ) to read ;

    The other week i watched a 30 or 60 minute long program entitled ” Over the Limit ” on Television . Throughout the entire duration of the program i saw nothing else than DUI arrests , blood & murder on our Highways , Law Enforcement Officials & Police officers being spit at ,assaulted , hit , beat , cussed at and abused .

    Media always tells you how the Police abuse the People but now i tell you it’s not the Police abusing people it’s the people under the influence of Alcohol that are abusing the Police .

  14. I love to see Proposition 19 passes.
    I have faith that people can make the right choices instead of the DEA.

  15. I call for all americans to stand up for your right to choose and I purpose we March ! Yes March on washington A 1 MILLON JOINT MARCH!! When? I think it should be 420 April 20th 2011!! lets start a movement we can do it now!!!! tell everybody, you’ll see it will get it done finily!! JUST SAY NOW!!

  16. The L.A. Times has been campaigning against Prop 19. The latest is todays lead editorial. The core of it is that the Feds will step in and the law will become a maelstrom of chaos that will even threaten the status of medical marijuana. Their secondary argument is that each county and city will enact different regulations.

    All that may be true. However, government and the media have lost a lot of credibility on this issue. I think a lot of people will vote for Prop 19 just to see what will happen.

  17. # 69 It’s a long drive all the way to Washington D.C. Has anyone got any better ideas? I pledge twenty five dollars a month to Norml untill marijuana prohibition is ended nation-wide.

  18. Once law enforcement agencies start getting hit with lawsuits for wrongful seizure (which would be what confiscating legally grown crop would be), the rhetoric will stop. Police departments and the cities that fund them do not have the monies available to contest court cases and/or to pay out awards should Baka and his kind actually do what they are talking about now.

    Make no mistake, this is nothing but pre-election running off at the mouth in an attempt to ‘discourage’ voters, and it is not going to work!

  19. …and, yes, I did mean to misspell Baca’s name as ‘Baka’, which means ‘a fool or idiot’ in Japanese…

  20. Next up should be a vote by any council or commission that has a law enforcement arm that lets those in charge of enforcing state law that either the state law will be the one that is enforced or that the law enforcement folks who do not obey this will be terminated from their position.

    The voters usually elect county sheriffs so in order to handle that side of the situation, the sheriff should be asked how he intends to deal with legal pot and if there is any reluctance on that sheriff’s part to follow state law, then a recall campaign should be immediately put in motion.

    The law only works if the people insist it does. For so many decades we have heard police say that they are just enforcing the law in regards to MJ. Now let’s hold their feet to the fire and make sure that when the laws change, so does the behavior of law enforcement. Fail to do so and you the people will be responsible for any oppression that follows from a state of California law enforcement agency. Take responsbility and claim ownership…or else!

  21. There are quite a few complaints about disallowed posts in the The Hills blog Comments, and there’s no obvious link to the rules, as there is in most comments sections (this one).

    I wouldn’t recommend trying to comment on the excellent NORML editorial. It’s too frustrating and apparently arbitrary or capricious.

  22. Here’s the comment I tried to post at The Hill:

    Generalissimo Obama,

    On the day after we vote to finally legalize marijuana, I’m going to smoke an ice-filled, glass bong with my buddies.

    Like you, it’s been many years since I smoked pot. And like you, I know that marijuana should have been legalized several decades ago.

    Personally, I just simply lost interest in smoking pot and stopped.

    But *you* must have had to have gone through cold turkey, detox and a 12-step program (since it’s so addictive).

    It’s disturbing to hear a man we elected to ‘represent’ us, THREATEN US, if we dare participate in the democratic process and vote our conscience.. but you can be replaced.

    *You* know the thousands of people that are incarcerated for possession of reefer can’t be made whole. Where’s *your* conscience?

    You must prefer weed to alcohol and tobacco, for kids — knowing that it’s easier to get weed, since dealers don’t ask for ID.

    Maybe you’re right. You can overdose on alcohol, as opposed to ganja, and die.

    If you love organized crime, keep it federally illegal — and THREATEN us here in California.

    The *state* police enforce marijuana law here, and you come up for reelection in two years.


    I tried editing it seven times to try to guess might the The Hill blog moderator might have been objecting to, and even asked the admin to email me and let me know. Nothing.


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  24. In The Meantime

    For general questions, please contact the DEA office nearest you:

    Atlanta Division (404) 893-7000
    Boston Division (617) 557-2100
    Caribbean Division (787) 277-4700
    Chicago Division (312) 353-7875
    Dallas Division (214) 366-6900
    Denver Division (720) 895-4040
    Detroit Division (313) 234-4000
    El Paso Division (915) 832-6000
    Houston Division (713) 693-3000
    Los Angeles Division (213) 621-6700
    Miami Division (954) 660-4500
    New Jersey Division (973) 776-1100
    New Orleans Division (504) 840-1100
    New York Division (212) 337-3900
    Philadelphia Division (215) 861-3474
    Phoenix Division (602) 664-5600
    San Diego Division (858) 616-4100
    San Francisco Division (415) 436-7900
    Seattle Division (206) 553-5443
    St. Louis Division (314) 538-4600
    Washington, DC Division (202) 305-8500

  25. Hey PK dont feel alone they refused to print my article also.

    This is all about the money that will be lost in the war on drugs.
    Legalizing marijuana will not require thousands of local leo’s to break down doors dressed in black military gear with masks covering their faces, armmed with assault rifles.They will have time to go after serious criminals.
    Legalizing Marijuana will not require all of the judges and lawyers to try the cases.Not to mention all of the prisons that wont have to be built to house all of these new criminals. let alone the millions of dollars spent on so-called rehab(which only works if the person is really serious about it)
    Legalizing Marijuana will require people to work in the growing facilities.people to build the necessary equipment needed fro said facility.
    The big question is Does the american people want to keep spending billions of dollars every year fighting something that GOD created.OR legalize it across the board and tax ,regulate and educate about GOD’S little weed.

  26. JDNCGAZ,

    I see nothing wrong with what you wrote. There’s no personal attack, it’s not an advertisement, there’s no profanity or porn in it, no libel, nothing patently offensive, you didn’t yell fire in a crowded movie house, and you haven’t impersonated anyone (I assume).

    The Hill just disallows posts in an arbitrary or capricious manner.


  27. i love it when they say we smoke pot to get high,
    but alcohol drinkers DO NOT WANT to get DRUNK;
    they are just drinking to be social.

    any 10 year old knows drinkers drink to get drunk
    (or at least tipsy).

  28. Stat right is what start the civel war here. Not slavery as the Histor books like to tell. Cude this led to another civel war if prop 19 pass. And the law start to bust falks. I belive it wount go that far. But The woud be unrest in the country.Whem you see a cop just put your head down and shak it in sham. oNCE THIS IS STATR IT WILL BE REAL NOTFULL AROUND TOWN. Belive me yall when the cops see you shaking your head in sham at them it will 1.piss them off 2. Make them relize that they are seen a invaders of our constion.

  29. Ok i have a real good ideal you falks in calf must bocotts some stares Pick one that is anti cannabis abd then show them how much power yall have. The gold is to faoce this busnnes out of bisnees. Y ou will here that not nice well to bad. If you want to kept it eagle then you have to pay the price. Likei was told by a cop once if you want to smoke pot then you have to pay the price

  30. The supervisor || gatekeeper || censor at “The Hill” appears to be quite disinterested in allowing alternate POV regarding cannabis re-legalization via CA Prop 19 to be presented in comments related to the NORML article they posted.

    So much for civil discourse over important public policy decisions. If our politicians fail to listen, it is time to throw them out of office with the ballot box. And if that effort should fail by some Machiavellian political machinations, not unheard of in this day of electronic voting machines, then there is only the Founding Fathers’ documents and recommendations to fall back on … “Sic Semper Tyrannis”.

  31. My first rejected comment at “The Hill”:

    Our Congress is filled with mostly lawyers. Obama was a Constitutional Law professor. Attorney General Holder is a lawyer. All, including our Law Enforcement Officers, have sworn to uphold the USA Constitution and the rule of law. Most, apparently, couldn’t care less about either the USA Constitution or justice.

    Cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic, a category it should never have been placed in. US Patent # 6630507, which pertains to a major medical application of cannabis, was issued to the US government itself, in 2003. Two separate DEA judges have ordered the DEA to change cannabis from it’s Schedule 1 classification, in 1988, and again in 1996. That order has been ignored.

    Two separate taxpayer-funded commissions were tasked with the scientific study of cannabis, in order to determine that plant’s potential threat to society, the La Guardia Commission Report and the Shafer Commission Report. One recommended cannabis be decriminalized, while the second recommended re-legalization. Both studies were ignored.

    Not only has cannabis been wrongfully maligned for 80+ years, but 15 million of its consumers have been prosecuted and persecuted and thrown into prison, at a cost well in excess of $1 Trillion USD. Prohibition of alcohol didn’t work, and neither does Prohibition 2.0. Government policies that do not work cannot be made to work by continuing those same policies. Albert Einstein once stated that “insanity can be defined as repeating the same actions repeatedly, and expecting a different result.”

    It is time for change we can all believe in, while hoping for some less insane policies. California’s Prop 19 offers a catalyst for that change.

  32. My second rejected comment at “The Hill”:

    1920 — Prohibition against alcohol begins
    Rise of the violent gangs and corrupt politicians
    1933 — Prohibition against alcohol ends
    Peace in the streets of America
    1937 — Prohibition against cannabis/hemp begins
    Social warfare against minorities begins
    1939 — La Guardia Commission re: cannabis
    Concludes: cannabis not harmful, decriminalize cannabis
    1941 — Cannabis/hemp okayed for war effort
    Hemp For Victory
    1945 — Cannabis/hemp again deigned illegal
    1971 — Nixon initiates Shafer Commission re: cannabis
    Concludes: cannabis not harmful, re-legalize cannabis
    1971 — Nixon begins War on Drugs
    The War Against War Protesters Begins For Real
    1988 — Judge Orders DEA to Re-Schedule Cannabis
    Crickets Chirp While DEA Resists Lawful Order
    1996 — Judge Orders DEA to Re-Schedule Cannabis
    Crickets Chirp While DEA Resists lawful Order
    1996 — California first State to legalize Medical Marijuana
    The Sky Didn’t Fall, While Patients Got Pain Relief
    2003 — Patent 6630507 issued to US Government
    2008 — Massachusetts decriminalizes cannabis
    The Sky Didn’t Fall Fire & Brimstone in MA
    2010 — California decriminalizes cannabis
    The Sky Didn’t Fall Fire & Brimstone in CA
    2010 — California set to pass cannabis re-legalization
    DEA Past & Present, AG, Private Prisons in Uproar

    I hope that our politicians can catch up legally and evolve ethically and morally to change (end) the Cannabis Persecution, before they all become useless dinosaurs.

  33. So! what would be the big deal about tar and feathering these feds, and running them out of town on a rail – they’re breaking our laws. That makes them “criminals” in California. That goes for any California based “criminal” as well – like Cooley if he gets elected – God forbid!

  34. 94 Nic

    Everyone admits they’ve burned a bowl – and – the one’s that deny it are liars. At least if they have tried it and say that they didn’t like it is honesty.

  35. Well, I was sitting in my home yesterday, and two policeman came to my door. They banged on the door. I opened it and they started in on the “awful smell”, and started in with those grimacing looks as they harassed me in the hall outside my apt. Those police took my vial containing 6 joints. I’m 58, totally disabled, and I take 11 different medications for my back, heart, etc. Marijuana is absolutely helpful to me, and as long as it helps my pain, I’m gonna do it. I couldn’t believe that these guys took an hour off their busy schedule to come and bother me. This is a stupid use of police. I wasn’t hurting anybody. I’m just trying to get some relief!!!!! What are they teaching these people????!!!

  36. NEIL DON’T STINK THE PLACE UP I SUPPORT YOUR USE EVEN THOU I DON’T SMOKE BUT IF I SMELL IT MY KIDS SMELL IT THEN THE COPS SMELL IT “My Wife is a officer”we both think its should be legal to anyone over 21.
    Any way to listen to 640am or 960 am you would think the prop 19 is lost i have have hope people get off you ass’s and VOTE

  37. 97 Neil Rosengarden

    Are you in a legal state – and if so – are you legal? I hope so! If not – you could have gone with the cops, after they shot your dog. We all feel for you Neil.

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