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. If prop.19 opponents and Cali’s chamber of congress are trying to spread more lies through radio ads, then I think NORML should do the same but with truth. Make radio ads that expose the lies and truths about cannabis and why it should be legalized. Do a good job and prop. 19 will have a better chance! Remember that “flower” video? Well that would be perfect for tv! Let’s do this!

  2. “The Chamber of Commerce does not support the laundering of drug money.”

    Say that 10 times fast in front of a mirror while spinning and Harry Anslinger will appear!

  3. Only two times have I wished to not be a United States Citizen. Once when they said it was my duty to kill people I didnt even know, and again when they said they were taking everything I owned and my freedom because I was taking care of my mate’s migraines. I pray to God that the California voters begin to give me back the America I was raised to believe in. I am old now and dont dare use anything my doctors dont tell me to, haven’t toked in forty years. Please , God, let me see the will of the people rather than the will of the powers that be done, just once, and I will go quietly.
    Peace and Love on you all

  4. Here’s a case of another deceptive or distorted ad i saw recently here in Cali.

    It shows a vehicle that has plowed into a big yellow schoolbus & the driver causing the accident was stoned on Marijuana . Of course Alcohol loves using Children as their defense when it’s actually the opposite of what they are attempting to make you believe .It’s most always alcohol that causes accidents . Of course by using distorted ads such as this many people are convinced Marijuana causes drivers to plow into school buses and their drugs don’t therefor will vote no on Proposition 19 .

    Last night i watched a TV show called ” Speeders ” and aproxaimately 50 % of the drivers Law Enforcement pulled over for speeding were driving under the influence of Alcohol . One boy was underage & driving , drunk ,was beligerant & spat on the arresting Officer’s face . Yet , BIG Alcohol repeatedly tells you that with Marijuana legalization kids will be increasingly using it & it’ll make our Highways more dangerous when the truth of the matter is kids using Alcohol are making our Highways less safe & dangerous so it is the opposite of what they are trying to make you believe . Alcohol is the most concern to Law enforcement when it comes to driving.

    In the words of Lt.Chris Caltren of the , Redland’s police Department , ” While Redlands police arrest drivers under the influence of marijuana, it’s not the most likely narcotic they encounter in traffic
    stops “.

    On Prop . 19 , he says ” We’ll see if it even becomes an issue,” Catren said. “We don’t want to bleed before we’ve been cut.”

    …. ” 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 “.

  5. Stub your toe at work? You might have done that because you smoked reefer 29 days ago… Finger lopped off? Better clear your head and pee in a cup before we’re willing to reattach it…

    People need to make a stand against the paranoia that is the Drug testing industry. It stands to take a severe hit if pot is legalized.

    With only a handful of exceptions, having a job should not = 24 hour lifestyle, like the drug testing industry demands…especially if you’ve got a McJob.

  6. I wish these evil greedy prohibs would just disappear like the dinosaurs they are.

    The thing is that once cannabis is legal, not only in Cali but nation wide, and the sky doesnt fall. Peoples trust of government, local state and federal, will fall to an all time low……..time to run these criminals out.

  7. All this over a plant…

    When is it going to pass that we, as a single human Race, can step forward into the future and just let the petty bullshit lie where it is? Is it not enough that we are constantly told we’re sick, diseased, and going to die if we don’t take the Pharmaceuticals that are advertised on the television day after day? Is it not enough that no matter what news site you sift through, it’s filled with bad news, negative moments, and an all around sense of dread and depression? Where’s the hope? Where’s the change?

    Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m pretty certain that Change and Hope are two things we have to bring about ourselves. It’s my own opinion that if Prop 19 passes, that will be a huge step forward. I think most of America has forgotten that this is OUR country and that we do indeed have the power to change it.

  8. I have lost 3 friends in the last week because I stood up for cannabis!! I am through withholding the truth!


  9. i dont get it why isnt the chamber of commerce neutral on this issue, how does the passage of prop 19 adversley affect the chamber of commerce , iwould think they would support this measure seeing how the legalization would be of benefit as new businesses would crop up. what gives them the right to spread thier lies to try to negatively affect the outcome of the vote on prop 19, they have a right to voice thier opinions but at least voice the truth not what you think could happen over legalization

  10. Why is the chamber of commerce spending money on false ads, in a state that claims to be broke? Why are they wasting there time looking at polls? Don’t they have better things to do? Thats just a few of the questions that come to mind.

  11. The big question, in my opinion, is how many more people would say “yes” to this poll if they believed their responses would be anonymous? By answering yes to someone who knows who you are, and who will retain records, one is creating a possible route of prosecution, seizure and imprisonment for possession. Few people have the courage to speak out on this topic in the South.

    The only way to get honest answers on this one would be to place polling booths in public places and allow anonymous responses.

    Americans are afraid to be honest about this. They want to beLIEve their government would not lie to them.

    I would be willing to be that the margin for error, due to the persecutions over this substance create a margin for error that could be higher than 25%.

  12. Map of botched SWAT and paramilitary raids points to systemic failures in the War on Drugs
    By: E. D. Kain

    The Map

    “These are policies of violence and destabilization. Violent cartels and inherently violent police enforcement of laws that do nothing but tear at the social fabric of our poorest communities, leaving American taxpayers footing an enormous bill to arrest and incarcerate hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders. Something has to give. Perhaps passage of Proposition 19 in California will be a start of something greater to come. An end to the violence at the very least, and a restoration of civil liberties, a sane drug policy, and a more limited government. Conservatives should heed Black’s words, and take a long hard look at the map from Cato. This may one of the most important questions of limited government this generation will face.”

    4 Days NOV 2 2010 YES California Proposition 19

  13. it’s only logical and about time the U.S. does the wright thing and legalize marijuana. the way the government spends money they shere could use another way to make some, instead of giving the rich tax breaks and sticking it to the poor.

  14. I was afraid it would turn out like this. It was just to good to be true. What a shame. I wasn’t even going to read anymore about Prop. 19 because its so damn depressing that people are still buying into to all the lies. I guess that is what the feds wants us to do. Just turn and run away with our tails tucked. No I’m going to stay here until the end. Looking forward to 2012????

  15. I know an employer that won`t hire you unless the THC test is a positive. The business is legit. Its a trust issue.

  16. “In later times, some shall…speak lies in hypocrisy…commanding to abstain from that which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” Paul: 1 Tim. 4:1

  17. don’t give into this same old shit and lies of propaganda!!! don’t let this slip by cali..this is for freedom..#9 is right the sky won’t fall and yes to prop 19 will be the end of this bullshit!! STAND TALL AND TAKE THE RIGHT STAND VOTE YES TO PROP 19! show the world who is right!! THE WAR IS OVER

  18. I went to You Tube and flagged as “misleading”. I wonder how many of those lying bastards liked that? The Chamber has stuck their neck out now let’s each get a “whacka doo” on them.

  19. Don’t believe everything you read on this thing … it’s gonna pass!

    CA resident here, voting for the first time in my life at 34 – YES on 19.
    Got my 28 y.o. cousin to do the same – YES on 19!
    At the small company where I work a fellow employee of 40-something doing the same – YES on 19!!
    Even the company’s 50-something president & CEO voting YES on 19!!!

    Black & white, young & old, in between!
    Make it happen people, it’s our time to sing!

    The propaganda machine is in full swing, but too many people hear a hollow ring …


  20. Very well said , fishcreekbob – you speak truth .

    Here’s a member of the Redlands ( Redlands is next to San Bernadino in San Bernadino County next to L.A. )
    Police department telling you that arrests for driving under the influence of THC ( Marijuana ) is rare ;

    In the words of Lt.Chris Caltren of the , Redland’s police Department , ” While Redlands police arrest drivers under the influence of marijuana, it’s not the most likely narcotic they encounter in traffic
    stops “.

    I don’t know about you but if i get too ” medicated ” on Marijuana i won’t drive which makes sense but with Alcohol intoxication you will drive making no sense . They are opposites .

    Alcohol is using Children in life of death situations to trick , lie & decieve you . Example ; Children in schoolbuses plowed into by a Marijuana driver .

    Remember the televised ad where two guys are smoking blunts and as they are leaving they plow over a little boy on a tricycle ?

    Anyone using Children as pawns in life or death situations should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for humanitarian crimes & those responsible ( Alcohol , Pharma , tobacco , Oil ) for using Children as pawns in life or death situations should be sentenced to death .

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  22. Please send an emergency rescue battalion to the opponents headquarters of Prop 19,bring lots of defibrillators and shots of vodka,,,,prohibition is going to have it’s first heart attack in 3 days.

    I still predict a 70% plus win at the voting booths.

  23. Barring any brand new study released Monday that shows irrefutable proof tha marijuana causes babies to be born nekkid…….one more protect the children group will apply for federal grants to support prohibition:
    Mothers Against Nekkid In Any C-section,,,or MANIAC for short.

  24. If an employee is prescribed a medication that will impair his/her ability to function efficiently, and/or safely then that employee will have to stop taking the medication, or stop working, perhaps they may have sick leave available. If I am prescribed Hydrocodone for pain, which I am, and the amount of that medication I have to consume to control that pain is sufficient to cause impairment, then I can’t work. No employer can be required to allow an employee to continue to work, if that employee presents a hazard to his fellow employees, or the public. PERIOD. How can these idiots embarass themselves by stating something as fact, that anyone with half a brain knows is a LIE.

  25. There are so many good posts here, so many good minds of good intent, yet our government would condem us all. Why? Because we threaten their positions of power, thier greed, their Ivory towers. They would send us all to ruin for thier own gain. If this isnt a definition of evil…what is? Remember, christ was of good, Rome sent him to ruin too. Why? Because he was a threat to thier rule.

    Scarab S. I with you.

    fishcreekbob . That is what is happening, they wish to remove us from gods kindom , only to ruin us in thiers.

    It seems to me that anything good and right these days are being twisted, warped, used, as a means of condeming us all.

    Just look how easily we shred their lies, yet what we say, what we know to be the right thing to do is shown to the world as lies, as evil intent, by those who rule. Rome of the modern day.

  26. ANY step toward legal, regulated consumption, INCLUDING prop 19 is the RIGHT step in the RIGHT direction. Regardless of your position on its literature and framing. THIS MUST PASS. If it does not, then we ALL might as well forget it ever happening within a reasonable amount of time nationally. If this gets defeated then it is the PERFECT example to use AGAINST ANY AND ALL legalization and regulation efforts in any state and across the nation. You medical patients are still protected, you need to stop this inner social bickering and support this bill. You MUST DO IT for ALL of us in need. In need of safe consumption, and freedom. Otherwise you shouldn’t have access to cannabis either. The voting populace helped your medical needs in yesteryear, now help us with humanity and social justice and liberty. VOTE YES on prop 19. It may not be perfect, but the alternative is WRONG. And Karma will revisit you for your deeds. Mark my words.

  27. God Bless California & her people ! The Nation awaits the passage of this important legislation ! One small step for man, One GIANT leap for mankind ! Vote YES , on prop.19 !This buds for you ! 🙂

  28. This is getting down to the wire…the question will be how many people believe this crap vs. how many “unlikely” voters turn out, and how many people won’t admit to the fact that they’ll vote yes…let’s just hope there’s a lot of people that come out of the woodwork when it’s time to vote. But honestly, no one can really blame people for not openly admitting to supporting legalization. They have good reason, especially if they’re in a position in the workplace or family where it would be very detrimental if anyone at all found out they were partial to legalization. Nobody knows for sure who’s looking at these studies, and there’s a lot of people and organizations that have already proven beyond a doubt they have no trouble lying and playing dirty to make it as hard as possible for anyone who supports what’s right in this situation, and these organizations wouldn’t be above somehow exposing people who weren’t completely anonymous in their support, since prohibitionists are big fans of complete immorality/intimidation/breeding hatred and paranoia.

  29. This November 2nd, as California votes yes on 19, the rest of the country should vote Libertarians in Congress and Senate. So, by New Year of 2011 we will be celebrating Marijuana Freedom Year with a joint!We can end the Prohibition nationwide if we all vote Libertarians. Check them out:

  30. the bad thing is that its not just the lies i had hoped it would pass but between the lies and the prohibitionists and the growers i think we are doomed and are still going to be criminals. all 3 groups want it to fail so they can all continue making big money they dont care about about our personal freedoms or our rights or that we go to prison for choosing safe pot they can all go to hell. maybe someday a state will legalize it because it is the right thing to do,

  31. I work in the medical field. Listen. drug testing did not stop one nurse I knew from locking herself up in a bathroom to give herself a heplock to get high on other patient’s stolen meds. Drug testing did not stop one nurse I knew from being caught shooting heroine to be caught by a CNA in an empty room arms bleeding and shaking. While this is the exception rather than common, I think most responsible adults are not going to go to work drunk or high because most rational folks take a lot of pride in our work. Whether we had a cocktail two nights before or enjoyed a good bong hit a week ago should not make us have to suffer for the few idiots who are stupid and seem to get past drug screens anyways. The stupid ones end up getting fired anyways because they do not show up for work or other stupid stuff – no “reasonable suspicion” required according to employment at will.

  32. they can give u 120mg methadone and let u drive away noddig off how safe is that but you cant smoke 1 j and be happy




    It’s all about YOU from here on, there’s no more THEM, it’s all about you.

    VOTE OR FIGHT my dear friends : )

  34. I hope for the passage of Peop 19. I guess what has concerned me is that prudent and responsible usage of cannabis is no more dangerous to society than alchol, or of course pharmaceuticals. Whay hasn’t that been a focal point for proponents. If you would get high at work, then you are the kind of person that would drink on the job, Same with operating a vehicle. My point would be this, resposible usage of hemp is a responsibility that everyone must honor. Our current laws make no sense, but freedom comes with respomsibilities. Good Luck my fellow hemp lovers, may favor smile on all of you that have worked for this. Being in a different part of the country, we pray to follow your lead. God Bless You CA.

  35. It’s NOT disappointing. We will be back and back and back and back!!! We are not going away, we are not leaving. We are never going to give up. You will have to dump money into defeating us 4 EVER. We will not rest until the totalitarians give way. It is a plant. We will grow it. We will smoke it. We are not going away.

  36. BTW, Obama, you can go FY, your failure to champion our rights shall cost you dearly. FU and the rail that was too stupid to run with you, daevil.

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