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. Baca is waaaay out of line. Really that leaves me without words. A law enforcement leader, is going to decide to disregard a law put forth by the people? That sounds awful totalitarian to me.

  2. YES Proposition 19

    A really big Thank You Paul, your thoughts and words have been a true inspiration in this war.

    GOD Bless You Paul Armentano and the good people @NORML.

    The Law Of The Land,
    “Noun 1. law of the land – a phrase used in the Magna Carta to refer to the then established law of the kingdom (as distinct from Roman or civil law); today it refers to fundamental principles of justice commensurate with due process; “the United States Constitution declares itself to be `the supreme law of the land'”

    (Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776)
    The Unanimous Declaration
    of the Thirteen United States of America

    When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government.

    When the people gather to change the law of the land they live in, it is time to become a citizen.

    YES Proposition 19

    California Send Your Message World Wide.

  3. Similar to Government, The Law, belongs to the people.

    The Law has no life, outside of the majority.

    The Law Of The Land.

    Are you a law abiding citizen?

    If you can vote

    Vote Yes on proposition 19 in California.

    Stayed focused, in the here and Now, The People’s Will Demand Justice, Honor and Change (cmon Obama) in this hour of war, it is darkest before the Dawn.

    As for Baca, Go To Hell.

    19 YES

  4. If the DEA goes to california they will leave the other 49 states bare of DEA activity to cover this agenda. And I highly doubt that Cali will align with any unfavorable to prop 19 court ruling. I think our current supreme court will favor prop 19, out of honor of the 9th amendment at the very least. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

  5. all i feel is sorrow for our kids. Presidents who act like ex basketball players and cops who publicly claim they are criminals. These are our leaders its really sad. I thought the people ruled here? I m still going to smoke if i want to and not get insurance if i don’t want to.

  6. “…and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”

    -Abraham Lincoln

    It seems our leaders have forgotten what kind of a country it is that they “lead”.

  7. Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
    -Genesis 1:29

    Let’s eat!!!

  8. “Baca said legalizing marijuana would have far-reaching repercussions, including increasing the costs of drug rehabilitation . . . .”

    Actually, legalizing marijuana would vastly decrease the costs of “drug” “rehabilitation” since untold tens of thousands of recreational consumers of marijuana no longer will be forced by some scowling nanny in a black robe to pretend to money-grubbing pseudo-psychologists / rehabilitation charlatans that the consumers have a “problem” which needs to be “corrected”.

  9. I would suggest early voting for people who can. This puts the vote on paper (at least based on my experience).

    I am not sure what the state of voting machines is in CA. Probably a smattering of styles.

    Given the evil minded intent of so many in government I would not put it past them to screw around with the machines to make it seem the measure did not pass.

    Given people’s affection for power and money, and looking at history, I don’t have any hesitation to suggest there will be voting “irregularities,” and out-and-out fraud: lost ballots, dead people who vote, computer voting machine viruses, etc…

    I wish I had a good suggestion on how to keep them in check. But the clear fact seems to be the wolves are guarding the henhouses.

    The best answer I can think of is to so overwhelm them with Yes votes that even their “accidentally” wiping machines or votes from their dead relatives are no match for the sheer number of Yes votes.

  10. What I am thinking is that when prop 19 passes the fed will try to make examples of anyone submitting taxes to the cali state gov for marijuana. I believe this tactic is to try to keep the supply in the black market, so when violence comes on the cultivation side they can say told ya so. I was wondering is there anyway the state can hide what where the taxes are actually from.

  11. How are they going to enforce their own criminal ways when there’s going to be a Giant sucking sound from the millions of folks that will migrate to Cali. to enjoy some spleef ? Yes on 19 please ! thank you !

  12. This is a clear 10th Amendment situation; the people of California have every legal right to create and administer their own perspective cannabis laws. The time has come to end the arcane morality laws of the early 20th century. Alcohol prohibition was a complete failure, it’s time for America to wake up and end the “War on “drugs”

  13. @ Drew… a paper trail should be mandatory… there is no doubt in my mind that computer based voting machines are easily rigged….In my opinion every ballot should come with a numbered receipt and copy for the voter.. and all tallies should be entered into an online site where voters can check to see if their ballot number is listed and was counted correctly…… with the era of a swipe card for everything it should be easy to do set up… a simple scanner type system could count your vote and post online at virtually the same time… the technology is already proven with credit cards and such… I totally believe the two Bush Jr.s elections were rigged… call me paranoid, but I do not trust the government, bank’s, and lawyer’s… anyway… just a thought!

  14. Hi everyone, I love all your comments, but I cant help being blown away by the negativity from our yes we cannabis president. I have been a strong supporter of the Democratic party even though I am a registered independant, I hope the see their mistake before the next election. Go California yes on 19!

  15. Baca is blustering. the decriminalization has already been signed into law even if by some messed up twist that prop 19 doesn’t pass.

  16. Pingback: Anonymous
  17. #7 You said that well. 15 more days before California votes, and i seen somewhere that Mexico is keeping a close eye on the vote,and so am i if i were a voter in California i would vote YES because its our Personal Freedom, Choice.

  18. Thanks Norml and all it’s staff,,,,,for all these years
    and the years ahead as the fruit starts ripening on the vine.

    Vote yes on Prop 19 to begin the end.

  19. 1.Curtis Says:
    October 18th, 2010 at 2:56 pm
    Baca is waaaay out of line. Really that leaves me without words. A law enforcement leader, is going to decide to disregard a law put forth by the people? That sounds awful totalitarian to me.

    The whloe country could vote to end prohibition and these fucks would still try and arrest you. Tyrrany at its best.

    They made a law that that makes you a criminal if your support changing it……

    The more the laws…the more corrupt a government.

  20. This is a plant that grows just like plenty of the foods we eat. If everyone just took the time ever now and again and smoked and relaxed the world would be more peacfull.I support what so many sre donig to give us the right to be free and smoke responsibly.

  21. I absolutely agree with the Obama administration because they are talking about UPHOLDING the current laws against marijuana. Isn’t that what we need America? Leaders that stand behind their own policies??? However I disagree completely with the 78-year-old prohibition policy that has publicly failed & ruined the lives of millions of Americans. Everyday there is some worthless, jobless pot dealer getting by very well because growing plants seems easier than any other harmful drugs ie., meth, crack, heroin, etc… Take our marijuana attacking resources (the 2 year’s of effort in Operation Green Venom) & redirect them to the real problems plaguing our neighborhoods!!!

  22. i hope your right about winning on prop 19 iam so tired of being labeled as a criminal and having to cheat on drug tests all the time to prove i dont use pot if it fails than all politicians need to take alcohol and drug tests to keep thier jobs for gods sake legalize it its no ones business that i choose to smoke instead of drink, been smoking since middle 70s never worried about getting caught but now the prohibitionists are stealing our rights away to try to win an unwinnable war u smopke they want to punish yyou with loss of job

  23. When marijuana is legalized nationally, the country will get peaceful.

    reminder: make love not war

  24. Nothing new, tons of cops are taking Baca’s stance, just quietly, anyone do the research on state cops enforcing federal law? I am pretty sure they can’t go on fed raids, some got around this by controlling traffic (lol) around the raid. Seems to be a fine line the state LE are toeing by collaborating with the fed?

    San Luis Obispo county Sheriff skirted that line when, piggybacking with the feds, falsely arrested the med clinic owner, Charlie Lynch, around Morro Bay, California, in 2006-07. That guy did everything right if I recall correctly, fed and state LE totally screwed him.

    What Bothered me most about Baca’s comments (I saw the tape), when he said that people can smoke in their homes, leave the rest of us alone, something like that.

    So all the years that cops hassled smokers and treated them like bank robbers, and giving multiple year sentences for menial amounts was okay for LE?! When you are a hammer everything is a nail.

    I participate in comment sections on many newspapers of my home state, California, where I have resided since the fifty’s. The vote is going to be tight, and the law was written rather poorly, expect an immediate appeal if it passes.

    Even with the way the law is written, something is better than nothing, I am tired of punk kid cops, da’s, judges (that dictate to jurors, vote your conscience regardless) hassling this military veteran.

    YES on 19……

  25. Obama is going to lose California over this if he doesn’t change his mind. I can’t believe he really hates pot that badly that he’ll throw away the 2012 election over it. He’s flipped-flopped on pot before. He’ll do it again. Just watch.

  26. Brussel sprouts are plants too, and I don’t see the Federal government stepping in to prevent parents from forcing their children to eat them. =)

  27. It is a sad state of affairs when most politicians of both main-stream political parties refuse to recognize the political reality that We The People really do have some say in how we are to be governed. I could have sworn that in a democratic republic, it is the People themselves who are supposed to decide government policies, and the politicians who are supposed to represent OUR will.

    Instead, our politicians seem to be of the opinion that they are our bosses, rather than the other way around. If we cannot dislodge this twisted thinking from our politicians, then it is time to replace them all, en mass. There are options, like the Green Party, who do favor the end of the War on Drugs and Prohibition 2.0, as well as some serious campaign law and campaign finance changes, long overdue IMHO.

    Even worse, it would appear that we have LEO’s at every level of government not content to uphold the US Constitution, all of it, as well as their sworn duty to obey the law of the land, rather than try to effect the elections to maintain their draconian and fascistic police state powers over We The People, in a decidedly undemocratic matter.

    It should be evident by now that the November 2nd referendum vote on Proposition 19 represents a sea change in the abolition of fascistic police state powers clung to by both our politicians and our peace-keepers, both of whom were supposed to be the servants of We The People rather than our masters. Vote YES for Proposition 19, and help throw off the yoke of tyranny …

  28. the federal gov’t. did not create the states.

    the states created the federal gov’t.


    therefore; state law is SUPERIOR to federal law.


  29. On other note, if pot is legal soon, the warfare over selling potent but unregulated and untested chemically-soaked herbs will continue.

    Apparently there is crazy bunch of scams going on with verification sites set up by the owner of the same site being verified. All involve some Oregon address… but the wierd part is, the story is so twisted the scammer seems to have invented two opposing scams… a Scam with a scam within a scam.

    Also posting blog posts on Oct 13 to obscure google results.

    I really want to know if someone can sort this out.. i can’t make heads or tails… either way its an interesting mystery. Happy Smoking. says is fake… but is similar, though its websites (~3 affiliates) all say k2verified is fake, and provided links and ways to complain…

    wierd. anyway!

  30. the “war on drugs” is race warfare;
    black and brown v/s white.

    the “war on drugs” is political warfare;
    nixon v/s the war protesters,
    dems v/s reppies.

    the “war on drugs” is class warfare;
    rich people can LEGALLY eat all the pills they can afford, and nobody is asking about these people DRIVING ON DRUGS IN PILL FORM.
    rich people own STOCK the big companies that profit from prohibition.

    prohibition NEVER works.

    prohibition solves NO problems,
    prohibition only CAUSES more problems.

    either your body is YOURS,
    or it belongs to the GOVERNMENT.

    it can’t be explained any simpler than that.

    anybody who really can’t understand this,
    is beyond help.

    anybody who CAN understand this,
    and pretends not to,
    the fuc*ing scum of the earth,
    no matter how much money you have.
    or how fancy your clothes are.
    or how big your mansion is.
    you’re the fuc*ing scum of the earth.
    so do us all a favor,
    eat sh!t and die,
    you fuc*ing scum of the earth.

  31. We have a word for Beca that describes her very nicely..
    Fascist Pigs.. This is supposed to be a democracy.. Not a dictatorship lead by the biggest bitch in california.
    Let them go and arrest 500,000 people for making the safer and healthier alternative.. The 10th Amendment will stand strong! Peace And Love

  32. It is difficult to understand that people need medical marijuana, opiates such as Vicodin, hydrocodone, percocet, are drugs derived from them but when mixed with acetaminophen, side effects make it very dangerous, especially now that these drugs you can buy online with no prescription.

    Lilly Abbott.

  33. Vote YES on prop 19 and stick it to Holder, Baca, and Obama. And think about 2012 and Gov. Johnson for president. He won’t chuckle at our questions.

  34. I’m embarrassed to live in this country and cannot condone stupidity any longer. If California is the country’s most important state and the majority of Californians support Prop 19, then why in hell would our Federal Government threaten to lock up the citizens of California. Obviously a rhetorical question and they clearly don’t have the resources. If the government isn’t careful – they will ensue anarchy. California should become their own damn country.

  35. I quote from an earlier post: ” The Law has no life, outside of the majority.”

    This is not strictly true. Majority rule is tempered by the courts. Otherwise we would have tyranny by the majority. For example, gay marriage was voted down in California (Prop 8) but the courts have not been friendly to the majority decision. This is a good feature of our political system. No bunch of ignorant yahoos can rule simply because they are in the majority, especially if the policy is unwise or unconstitutional.

    Even if Prop 19 passes, it is likely there will be court challenges and the Feds may step in. Prop 19’s main flaw is that it allows every little governmental entity in California to set its own rules. As flawed as it is, however, Prop 19 is a good start. But it will need some revision.

  36. Wish I could be there to vote again like 1996, Livin’ Iowa now but when the first major case over states rights vs. federal prohibition of cannabis makes it to the supreme court I may not have to vote. Make those bastards eat feet when “Judicial Liberalism” AKA. PROGRESS trumps “Conservative Values” AKA. FASCISM. Change is good, so is cannabis!

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