Say ‘No’ To The Lies; Say ‘Yes’ To Prop. 19

In a last gasp desperate attempt to mislead California voters, Prop. 19 opponents — led by the California Chamber of Commerce — have released radio ads alleging that the measure allows employees to be ‘high’ in the workplace, undermines the state’s already downtrodden economy, and will cost the state billions of dollars in federal funding. (Listen to the Cal Chamber ads here and here.)

Both The Huffington Post and the Sacramento Bee have condemned the ads as distortion. Huffington Post writer Ryan Grim has even uncovered a Cal Chamber internal memo acknowledging that most voters support Prop. 19 — that is, until Californians are told outright lies about it by the Cal Chamber. (See excerpt below.)

The Chamber has just completed an extensive survey to determine the likelihood of prop 19 being passed by the voters and what arguments are most persuasive. … Most voters have made up their mind on whether marijuana possession should be illegal and there seems to be a majority of likely voters who no longer think i[t] should carry criminal penalties. On the other hand, though, when voters are told that employers would not be able to control marijuana use at work, proposition 19 is opposed by a majority of voters.

Today’s Los Angeles Times online has an excellent commentary demolishing the Cal Chamber’s disingenuous ad campaign. Below is an excerpt:

The California Chamber’s reefer madness
via The Los Angeles Times

[Prop. 19] explicitly forbid[s] the use of marijuana in public and in the workplace and maintain legal restrictions that penalize those who are under the influence while on the job or on California’s roadways. According to an analysis published by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, “Employers would retain existing rights to address consumption of marijuana that impairs an employee’s job performance.”

In other words, employers would still have the power to punish those who get high on the job. Consuming marijuana at home and then showing up to work impaired by its effects would still be banned under Proposition 19, just as employers can punish their employees for arriving to work drunk. Further, because Proposition 19 would maintain prohibitions on using marijuana in public, employees would also be forbidden from consuming pot during their work breaks. Employers have and will maintain the right to establish, develop and enforce any policy they choose that does not violate any existing statute after Proposition 19 passes, just as before.

So why would the Chamber of Commerce claim otherwise? Opponents of Proposition 19 appear to be fixated on one particular clause in the proposition — language that happens to be clearly written and very specific — which requires employers to acknowledge an employee’s impaired job performance before they can discipline or fire them. Of course, this is the same standard that exists for alcohol. Off-the-job alcohol consumption that has no adverse effect on workplace performance is acceptable, while alcohol use that impairs workplace performance, including the use of alcohol in legally acceptable situations and environments, is grounds for discipline or termination.

Further, Proposition 19 would in no way undermine federal drug-free workplace rules or California’s ability to receive federal grants. Just as the state’s 14-year experience with legalized medical marijuana has never once jeopardized or cost California federal funding, Proposition 19 wouldn’t either. In fact, in 2008, the California Supreme Court determined in Ross vs. RagingWire Telecom that legal protections allowing for the use of marijuana in private do not extend to the workplace. End of story.

It’s disappointing, though entirely predictable, that those with vested interests in the status quo would resort to these sort of lies and distortions in their efforts to confuse voters. Those of you with last minute questions regarding Prop. 19, what it would do and what it would not do, are welcome to read NORML’s word-by-word analysis of the measure here or read specific sections of the act here. If you reside in California and you wish to help the Campaign get out the vote this weekend, you can sign up to volunteer here.

73 thoughts

  1. Listen up people,

    Not like I need to tell you this, but GET OUT AND VOTE!!! According to the most recent polls, Prop 19 will FAIL at only 42%. THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN!!!

    Seriously, all California NORML supporters, you have most of the day to vote. DO IT EARLY AND VOTE YES ON PROP 19!!!

    It is within the realm of the equal vote that both the special interests and common citizen are made equals. YOU CAN DEFEAT THEM THROUGH THE BALLOT! NOTHING IS WRITTEN IN STONE!

    Please lead the way so that the mighty tide of reason may wash over America. WHAT BETTER PLACE THAN HERE? WHAT BETTER TIME THAN NOW?

  2. Thank you Police Chief Joseph D. McNamara for seeing the Light,0,1053160.story

    “McNamara and Downing say the initiative would free up police to focus on serious crimes. “Who the hell am I protecting by booking a guy for a half-smoked marijuana butt in the ashtray?” Downing said.”

    Thank you Chief

    YES Proposition 19 send that message California so that Washington D.C. can hear it <YES <19

  3. Here is a glimpse of what lies ahead if we fail to end our second attempt to control the personal habits of private citizens. Listen to Enrique Gomez Hurtado, a former high court judge from Colombia who still has shrapnel in his leg from a bomb sent to kill him by the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar. In 1993, his country was a free-fire zone not unlike Mexico today, and Gomez issued this chilling — and prescient — warning to an international drug policy conference in Baltimore:

    “The income of the drug barons is greater than the American defense budget. With this financial power they can suborn the institutions of the State, and if the State resists . . . they can purchase the firepower to outgun it. We are threatened with a return to the Dark Ages.”

    Profits from the Mexican drug trade are estimated at about $35 billion a year. And since the cartels spend half to two-thirds of their income on bribery, that would be around $20 billion going into the pockets of police officers, army generals, judges, prosecutors and politicians. Last fall, Mexico’s attorney general announced that his former top drug enforcer, chief prosecutor Noe Ramirez Mandujano, was getting $450,000 a month under the table from the Sinaloa cartel. The cartel can of course afford to be generous — Sinaloa chief Joaquin Joaquin Guzman recently made the Forbes List of Billionaires.

    The depth of Joaquin Guzman’s penetration into the United States was revealed a few weeks ago, when the DEA proudly announced hundreds of arrests all over the country in a major operation against the “dangerously powerful” Sinaloa cartel. One jarring detail was the admission that Mexican cartels are now operating in 230 cities inside the United States.

    This disaster has been slowly unfolding since the early 1980s, when Vice President George H.W. Bush shut down the Caribbean cocaine pipeline between Colombia and Miami. The Colombians switched to the land route and began hiring Mexicans to deliver the goods across the U.S. border. But when the Mexicans got a glimpse of the truckloads of cash headed south, they decided that they didn’t need the Colombians at all. Today the Mexican cartels are full-service commercial organizations with their own suppliers, refineries and a distribution network that covers all of North America.

    As we awaken to the threat spilling over our southern border, the reactions are predictable. In addition to walling off the border, Congress wants to send helicopters, military hardware and unmanned reconnaissance drones into the fray — and it wants the Pentagon to train Mexican troops in counterinsurgency tactics.

    Our anti-drug warriors have apparently learned nothing from the past two decades. A few years ago we trained several units of the Mexican army in counterinsurgency warfare. They studied their lessons, then promptly deserted to form the Zetas, a thoroughly professional narco hit squad for the Gulf cartel, which offered considerably better pay. Over the past eight years, the Mexican army has had more than 100,000 deserters.

    The president of Mexico rightly points out that U.S. policy is at the root of this nightmare. Not only did we invent the war on drugs, but we are the primary consumers.

    The obvious solution is cutting the demand for drugs in the United States. Clearly, it would be the death of the cartels if we could simply dry up the market. Unfortunately, every effort to do this has met with resounding failure. But now that the Roaring ‘00s have hit the Crash of ‘09, the money has vanished once again, and we can no longer ignore the collateral damage of Prohibition II

  4. Addendum

    “The intellectual drug war is now finished. The consensus has been reached. Today, Professor David Nutt, who was sacked by Alan Johnson as chief drugs adviser to the government for performing his task with a foolhardy commitment to truth and accuracy, revealed his alternative commission’s drug classification list. The list is based, rather charmingly, on the actual harm that drugs cause, both personally and socially, rather than the arbitrary and demented ABC system we are rather unconvincingly labouring under. Unsurprisingly, the new list marks alcohol as the most damaging drug, followed by crack cocaine and heroin. Ecstasy is very far down.”

    “Intellectually, pro-prohibitionists are a dwindling and pitiful breed. Alone and without allies they make their case to an empty room. Behind them, almost every government in the world supports their barbaric and simple-minded agenda. It is baffling.”

    “When you actually sit down with politicians, they usually turn out to be much more complex. Most of them understand the pro-regulation arguments and privately admit to agreeing with them – but never in public. That would be political suicide. David Cameron and Nick Clegg, both sensible men with sensible positions on drugs, don’t dare mention it. It is the truth that dare not speak its name.”

    “Drug prohibition is philosophically wrong. It denies us the freedom to decide what we put in our own bodies. It is medically wrong. The black market allows drug peddlers to corrupt the substances in a bid to boost quantities, something which would be impossible if the product were regulated. It is socially wrong. It funds the black market and allows drug use to take place in a social netherworld, where addiction and crime are more likely to follow. It is logically wrong, in that decriminalisation tends to see usage and potency drop.”

    YES Proposition 19

  5. You may agree or not that another scripture that applies to mj is when Christ appeared to Paul on the road to Damascas. He said Saul,Why do you kick against the thorns. Anyone that has reading skills better than congress knows that a vote against Prop 19 is a vote for treason against the republic and geneside against humanity.

  6. Yo, # 7… are SOOOOOO right. I think (if) they want you to live like you are on the clock 24/7….then you should be clocked in 24/7……I wonder if this makes any sense 2 anyone else.?? Why should I have to act like a Mc-employee(Subway in my case), 24 hours a day when I’m only paid for 8 hrs????

  7. I have a lot of friends who have decided not to vote either for or against in these last days. Whether true or not, they feel that decriminalization is a better option than Taxing and (over)Regulating – their opinion.

    Being in NH, I only have a handful of friends in Cali. But my different friends who do not all know each other came to this conclusion on their own.

    I am wondering if this lack of excitement and/or disapproval of prop-19 legislation among pro-marijuana people is the reason for the sudden drop in support. My sample size (n) of friends is small, so I was wondering if other people have noticed the same phenomenon?

  8. Let all business owners who are pro-legalization remember the C of C’s lies in this campaign when asked to join a C of C or to renew their membership. Remember when the membership of AARP opposed a Bush health care proposition that AARP’s leadership endorsed? Guess what, I will NEVER forget and NEVER join AARP. It’s now up to all of you to remember who our friends and our enemies were in this battle to end the MJ side of The War On Some Drugs. Vote with your dollars and do it for the rest of your life to show you can reward those on your side and punish those who are NOT.

  9. Already Voted…
    Mail in Ballot…
    Saved my sample ballot for a Historical Souvenir…
    55 years old
    BIG YES ON PROP 19!!!

  10. Tomorrow is election day, do you wonder

    May I pray

    19 Marks the moment, day and Time

    When citizens reject tyranny

  11. To all of our brothers and sisters in California who vote YES to end criminalization, here’s a big puff for you! Hell yes on 19!

  12. I’m a medical card holder but I know I’m not free until all my brothers and sisters are free.

    Vote yes on Prop 19 and change the world!

  13. I also pledge to all of you in the other states, I will continue to fight for YOUR freedom AS HARD AS I FIGHT FOR MY OWN, until sanity reigns the day. I promise – win or lose tomorrow…(but we better win!)
    YES ON PROP 19!!!

  14. I just saw the chart and it still shows cannabis up toward the top ; above LSD , mushrooms and other drugs .
    Conclusion ; MORE LIES .It’s not at all dangerous . Try driving on Shrooms or LSD .

  15. re;
    ” and Prop. 19 won’t disrupt the way Redlands police enforce marijuana possession much, Catren said. Adults carrying less than an ounce aren’t arrested now “.

    —IF you are ALLREADY DOING IT THAT WAY, now,

    then there is no reason NOT TO MAKE IT OFFICIAL !!!

    there is no reason TO OPPOSE PROP. 19 !!!

    codify it into the law, and be done with it.



  16. 68 Longtime Puffer

    Sorry Puff! Too many people in fear of governmental reprisal. And the shit just keeps rolling on. To throw fuel on the fire – we’ve elected Cooley as A.G. He will go after medical cannabis. We now have a shit wagon in California.

    Best wishes is all I can give you,

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