2010 Election Update: Cooley Leading In Polls Is Bad News For California Medical Marijuana Patients, AZ’s Prop. 203 Continues To Trail

Though the race for California‘s next Attorney General still officially remains undecided, Republican candidate Steve Cooley is now leading Democrat Kamala Harris by some 26,000 votes. The Los Angeles Times reports that at least 850,000 ballots — mostly mail-in ballots that arrived in election offices on election day — still need to be counted, and that the race remains far from over.

The race for California Attorney General has significant implications for the distribution of medical cannabis in California, as Cooley has previously pledged to prosecute dispensaries that engage in over-the-counter cash sales of marijuana to authorized patients. In October, while serving as Los Angeles District Attorney, Cooley declared that state law bars sales of medical marijuana, and opined: “The vast, vast, vast majority, about 100%, of dispensaries in Los Angeles County and the city are operating illegally, they are dealing marijuana illegally. … The time is right to deal with this problem.”

Present Attorney General guidelines, issued under former A.G. (now Governor-elect) Jerry Brown in 2008, authorize the distribution and non-profit sales of medical cannabis in California by qualified “collectives and cooperatives,” but warn that ‘storefront’ business that engage in the for-profit sales of medical marijuana “are likely operating outside the protections” of state law. Cooley has long maintained that California dispensaries that engage in over-the-counter sales to customers do not meet a legal definition of ‘collectives’ or ‘not-for-profit’ entities.

By contrast, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris has previously voiced strong support for protecting the legal rights of patients who use cannabis medicinally.

In Arizona, Proposition 203 is still trailing — now by some 6,600 votes — with more than 100,000 still remaining to be counted. If passed, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, would permit state-registered patients to obtain cannabis legally from licensed facilities.

Arizonans have twice before — in 1996 and again in 1998 — voted in favor of medical marijuana ballot measures, though neither proposal was ever enacted by the legislature. This year’s proposal was sponsored by the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, an affiliate of the Marijuana Policy Project.

In Michigan, voters elected vocal medical marijuana opponent Bill Schuette to be the state’s next Attorney General. Schuette was a vocal opponent against Proposal 1, the 2008 voter initiative that legalized the physician-authorized use of medical cannabis. While running for Attorney General, Schuette continued to campaign against both medical marijuana and broader efforts to halt the prosecution of non-medical consumers. Since the election, however, Schuette has yet to weigh in on whether he will use his office to target and prosecute the state’s emerging medical cannabis dispensaries.

Finally, in Connecticut, state officials have officially declared Democrat Dan Malloy as the state’s next Governor. Malloy had been in an exceedingly close race with Republican opponent Tom Foley.

Malloy has reportedly voiced support for decriminalizing marijuana for adults, and also supports the legalization of medical cannabis. Malloy’s predecessor, Republican M. Jodi Rell, vetoed legislation in 2007 that would have allowed for the legal use of marijuana by those authorized by their physician. In recent years, lawmakers in Connecticut have expressed support for both medical marijuana and decriminalization.

61 thoughts

  1. Next time, the campaign should start a separate campaign: “Stoners Against Voting No on Legalization: If you’re not gonna vote ‘yes’ don’t vote!” LOL

  2. MPP is starting a new campaign.

    To have a shot at removing the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana, we need at least 26 states to legalize medical marijuana. This will give us a clear path to victory in Congress and/or the federal courts.

    [Editor’s note: MPP is incorrect…there is no need to spend another decade persuading another 12-13 states to legalize medical cannabis…especially when these states will pass very restrictive, anti-California inspired medical cannabis laws like NJ, RI, DC have recently done, and soon MD will follow.

    The defeat of medical cannabis initiatives in SD, AZ and OR should be instructive of the waning political utility of medical cannabis as a reform vehicle.

    Reformers should concentrate on decriminalization and legalization initiatives and legislation to maximize personal freedom and patient access to medicine at the lowest possible costs.]

  3. the stance this website has taken is basically if you voted no…you are an idiot.

    I voted no, Im completely disabled and im 25…But why dont you go read that list made of what was wrong with the bill, what can change…because THOSE are the reasons I voted no…NOT because I want to spend more money or MMJ…

    also, quite frankly…your viewpoint that we must squash medical to get full legalization….I really dont try to discriminate, but its YOU GUYS…the STONERS who mess up the MMJ system in california..the people who just want to get high…they are hurting medical marijuana

    if you ask me, someone who suffers every second of the day…I feel its a TAD more important for myself and others with serious issues to get it first, for it to be studied more….for them to find more ways to use it…than for people to get STONED.

    priorities are SO out of whack

    [Editor’s note: There was nothing in the initiative that threatened patient access to medical cannabis–it enhanced it, so great move on your part voting no to lower prices and YES to arrests, civil forfeitures, drug testing, loss of student loans…thanks for being with the ‘Just Say No’ crowd of cops, drug rehab centers, Scientologists and drug czars.

    Because legalization changes the law for the better of all, where medical cannabis benefits maybe one out of nine cannabis consumers, NORML and consumers support legalization to achieve the bottom line for patients and consumers: Best product, lowest cost.


    Medical cannabis does not achieve this, legalization does.]

  4. Scare tactics and distortions.

    Honestly, Cooley is right. Collectives that make profit, as all seem to do, are technically illegal. There are a plethora of abuses in the MMJ community–and, should he win, though I hope he doesn’t, I hope he does go after the illegality in the industry.

    People shouldn’t provide to the extent that they do on people’s pain. Shame on them.

  5. Oh well Cali, you had your chance. Good luck….. Now, as for Connecticut. Good for you. Maybe a state on the east coast will wake up and lead the way.

  6. Nuts. I’m getting out of here. This is crazy. Only crazy people live in California now.
    Maybe it’s too much good pot. Maybe we need to burn some commercial brickweed every now and then. You know, something with seeds in it that smells and tastes like the 70’s. Just to, you know, not forget our roots, not forget that there are still people in this state that still don’t know pot is good, and if their will was reality, we’d still be picking seeds out of our pot and getting 34 years sentences like in Texas.

    Cooley. I’ve seen worse. Dan Lungren was pretty tough. His whole “toothache” angle, that was pretty sharp.
    I’ll bet Lungren could whip Cooley.

    We can still write Lungren and tell him we need him to instruct the DEA to move forward with NORML petitions to reschedule so that we can bring Law and Order to our marijuana community.


    oh FYI- something is messed up with Representative webpages and they don’t always get your emails. The best way to correct this computer “glitch” is to use the zip code from the office of the Representative you are trying to contact when you’re filling out the info.

    Cooley. Hopefully, He’ll do his thing in a way that makes prices come down. If they go up, that’s what he’ll wear next election. He’s surrounded by Democrats, and a Governor that wrote the guidelines on behalf of the AG office. He’s got bigger problems on his plate, but he is going to try and capitalize politically by going after medipot.

    If we keep our motives pure and upright, and don’t sell out, we’ll make it through 50 Cooleys and a Lungren too!

  7. Arizona Med Marijuana prop 203 as of 11/11/ 7:30 P.M.

    no votes – 815953 or 50.03%
    yes vote – 814496 or 49.96%
    diff 1457

  8. #18

    You make some good points. I didnt know about the 25sqft parcel thing. After reading up on it that really would have hurt things in the long run.

    Property invasion would sky rocket by weed picking teens

  9. I’m from Michigan so that article on Schuette’s website really pisses me off……I left a comment on his site that is “pending approval”, but it will never get approved:

    “As a Michigan resident suffering with a spinal cord injury, that left me paralyzed from the chest down, this article makes me sick. You talk about Marijuana as if it’s some evil substance, when in fact it’s the only medicine that makes my life easier as a paraplegic. People like you would rather have me hooked on pain pills or alcohol, which both are much, much more harmful than Marijuana, and the majority of the “substance abuse” you speak of is ALCOHOL related, but that isn’t mentioned in your article because it doesn’t fit in with your hypocritical agenda. It saddens me to think that there is so much ignorance in our law enforcement and state government…..and it goes beyond ignorance to outright dishonesty. Thank God the voters of Michigan had the common sense to vote yes on medical marijuana because we obviously can’t trust you to make the proper decisions for us, and for you to suggest that people like me who are suffering have some hidden agenda (to spread crime or to push illicit drugs) is just disgusting. I wonder how people like you sleep at night.”

  10. Hey Paul, too bad your hero Cooley is losing now. Guess he might not get to go postal on all us Cali blazers. Too bad you might not be getting your wet dream. I wonder why you didn’t post my last comment about what you said about the stoners against Prop 19, in there it says that we are also against large for profit dispensaries as well as corporations bringing there GMO pot to market. But for some reason you decided not to print that one as you will probably not print this one. Seems like your trying to change the facts! I guess since your in charge of this blog you can do whatever you like. Even if you don’t print this I know what your doing. Does Norml have a brand name already? Hows your pot cafe doing in Portland, Or NORMAL?

    [Paul Armentano responds: I’m not ‘in charge’ of this blog. I don’t delete posts and I have no clue what post of your you are speaking of. Cooley is certainly not ‘my hero,’ and NORML has been very public in its opposition to him — which is certainly more than can be said for the so-called ‘stoners against Prop. 19.’]

    [Russ Belville adds: And just for the record, Oregon NORML, not National NORML, opened the Cannabis Cafe in Portland. As of October, the now “World Famous Cannabis Cafe” has separated from Oregon NORML, as it has become a for-profit entity and Oregon NORML must remain a non-profit. It remains open for business at 322 SE 82nd Ave in Portland, Oregon and is doing quite well, thank you.]

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