My Best Guess on Outcomes of Marijuana Initiatives

Marijuana initiatesThis column is being written a couple of days prior to the November 4th election, and will be published on Monday, Nov. 3, election eve. So it only seems appropriate to offer my prognosis on the four statewide marijuana-related voter initiatives, as well as a number of municipal voter initiatives in Michigan and Maine.

Our Opponents Claim the Sky Is Falling

Before setting out on this dangerous endeavor of projecting election results, I should acknowledge the emergence of a seemingly re-energized gang of drug warriors, still willing to exploit fear and misinformation to justify the continued criminal prohibition of marijuana, and to protect their jobs. Our opponents were clearly caught somewhat off-guard by the legalization victories in 2012 in Colorado and Washington, despite their opposition. These smug law-enforcement and drug counseling industry reps had grown accustomed to their ability to shape the public debate over marijuana policy, and to paint anyone who favored the option of legalizing and regulating marijuana as being out of the political mainstream.

But their sleight-of-hand had finally been detected by a majority of Americans, who concluded that marijuana prohibition is a failed and destructive public policy, causing far more harm than the use of marijuana itself. Fear mongering can sometimes work when the audience is ill-informed; but falls flat when people are well-informed.

To read the balance of this column, go to Marijuana.com

 

 

11 thoughts

  1. Keith, you’re my brother-by-another-mother and I love you.

    When I think of the damage you might have done as a drug warrior, I am so thankful and grateful that you chose the side of justice and compassion.

    Win or lose, we will continue to fight.

    Brent Andrews
    Tennessee

  2. Thanks for the update Keith. Overall, it sounds like we are just teetering over the top of prohibition mountain, just baaaarely reaching the half-way mark. We’re exhausted… but time and momentum IS on our side.
    I’m so disappointed to hear that Florida is polling below the %60 mark! Weren’t we at %90 at one point? How does that HAPPEN? Oh… I get it… it all comes down to the people who are actually going to get out and VOTE; not just who THINKS marijuana should be legalized on a poll, then sits on their @$$ on election day! So you can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk Florida? Does the rest of the U.S. have to SHAME you into getting off your @$$ tomorrow? Of course, on this blog, I’m preaching to the choir. Sorry, just venting…

    It’s just SO frustrating that we are at the mercy of some eligible voters in Florida that WANT legalization but they won’t get out and VOTE! We have SMART phones people; You mean to tell America you CAN’T FIND where your precinct VOTES? Is picking up the phone and Googling a little too TUFF for Floridians? Is it like, “Well… I COULD go out n VOTE, but I’ll miss this RErun of C.S.I. MIAMI??!!” PLEASE prove me WRONG Florida!!!

    All those people who think marijuana should be legalized in Florida but don’t go out and VOTE are the puppets of HELL. And if Florida let’s this get away from them, they’ll be stuck in a really BAD puppet show. Like the one Pinnochio gets stuck in for skipping school before he turns into a JACK@$$!

    (OK… there, I’m done…) ehemm…

    Perhaps voting parties would be in order…? Let people come in to work a little late Wednesday morning… (Not that THAT would be different than any OTHER morning in Florida) …as long as they show proof they voted? Whatever works, man. 20 vs. 2 years of waiting for the Supreme Court to hear a Descheduling case is at stake here;

    What do we gotta DO? Tell Florida there’s FREE WEED at the polling stations?!!

    …Heeeeeeyyy…

    Heck, why not? The opposition is lying. (Right now, there’s some guy in Florida setting up a tent and a hookah at some polling station going, “Who said anything about LYING?)

    Check out this article from My News 13 in Florida:

    http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2014/10/3/amendments_explained.html

    “The Florida Medical Association said: “We believe the unintended consequences of Amendment 2 are serious and numerous enough for us to believe they constitute a public health risk for Floridians.”

    “So, what do attorneys say? Do those three little words open the door for “reefer madness”? Our legal analyst, Jaya Balani of the NeJame Law Firm, says the amendment is very specific about who can use the drug.”

    “The article kind of explains who would qualify,” said Balani. “Anyone suffering from ALS, AIDS, HIV, some sort of cancer, someone who would benefit moreso from the use of marijuana than it would be detrimental to them.” ”

    All it takes to break the chains are to walk, ask for a ride, take public transportation, f*&%$ ride a BICYCLE or something! There’s NO EXCUSE NOT TO VOTE FLORIDA! THE ENTIRE COUNTRY NEEDS YOUR VOTE TO DESCHEDULE CANNABIS if you want it done THIS CENTURY!!!

    Outside of Florida, I’m optimistic by all of the other opportunities out there to legalize… We all knew about Oregon, D.C. and even Alaska, (Question: is Alaska’s vote tied to party lines or is it a separate vote?) But I had no idea about Massachusetts, Michigan, and Guam? Wow. Every little bit helps. (GUAM is going to legalize medicinal marijuana BEFORE you Florida?? REALLY?!!? You CAN’T let that HAPPEN);-)

    I’m even more inspired by the development in the Federal case in Sacramento “U.S. government v. Pickard et al.” The heat is ON to deschedule marijuana. My prediction is this case is already being prepared for appellate court, and I’ll bet this case has the full attention of the Supreme Court as well. Now, the TIME it takes for them to HEAR the case… or even whether they do at ALL… depends on OUR votes.

    Not to play with people’s expectations, (and I know there are some of us truly suffering on this vote…) BUT, with Attorney General Eric Holder retiring, and his ability to reschedule cannabis, we just might get an early Christmas present this year while we’re waiting for Judge Mueller to make her decision late this year or January. Has anyone READ the evidence? Dr. Madras gets exposed for the DUMB@$$ she really is. Check out CANORML.org for details.

    One thing is for sure, these are the most interesting times to be involved in the climax of our Great American Cannabis Tragedy, and I couldn’t think of anything more gratifying than voting, supporting NORML and following the pending U.S. v. Pickard case. Of all the predictions, one thing is for sure; It’s going to be a late start to work Wednesday morning. And I’ll be toking away through the hills the whole way to work.

  3. Here are the latest stats on Florida:

    http://ballotpedia.org/Florida_Right_to_Medical_Marijuana_Initiative,_Amendment_2_(2014)

    Florida Amendment 2 (2014)

    Poll Support Oppose Undecided Margin of Error Sample Size
    UF Graham Center
    8/27/14 – 8/31/14 57% 23% 18% +/-3.4 814
    SurveyUSA
    9/12/14 – 9/15/14 56% 31% 13% +/-4.2 750
    Anzalone Liszt Grove Research
    9/12/14 – 9/18/14 69% 28% 3% +/-3.1 1,004
    Florida Chamber Political Institute
    9/18/14 – 9/21/14 59% 35% 6% +/-3.5 813
    SurveyUSA
    10/02/14 – 10/06/14 51% 33% 16% +/-4.1 594
    University of North Florida
    9/29/14 – 10/08/14 67% 28% 5% +/-4.7 471
    UF Graham Center
    10/07/14 – 10/12/14 48% 44% 7% +/-4.7 781
    Saint Peters Poll
    10/08/14 – 10/11/14 54% 40% 6% +/-1.8 3,128
    Gravis Marketing
    10/22/14 – 10/24/14 50% 42% 8% +/-3.0 861
    Anzalone Liszt Grove Research
    10/22/14 – 10/27/14 62% 35% 3% +/-3.4 834

    AVERAGES 57.3% 33.9% 8.5% +/-3.59 1,005

    %57.3?!! HOLY GATORS that’s CLOSE FLORIDA!!

    The good news is:
    We are currently outspending Kevin Sabet and the opposition by about 2 million dollars at $7.8 million for Florida legalization.

    I thought it would be entertaining to read some of the lead doners for Florida’s legalization movement:

    Donor

    Amount

    The Morgan Law Firm, PA $3,574,188
    Barbara A. Stiefel $875,000
    John Morgan $250,000
    Center for Drug Policy Reform $170,000
    Drug Policy Action $150,000
    Henry Van Ameringen $150,000
    Complete Hydroponics $75,000
    International Sports Management $85,000
    Manchester Capital $60,000
    June Simpson $50,600
    John Holloway $50,000
    Howard Kessler $50,000
    Altmed, LLC $50,000
    Harrison’s Organic Acres $50,000
    William M. Selvidge $50,000
    Angela Macaluso $49,000
    Ben Siegel Reptiles Inc. $45,000
    Umvar Inc. $45,000

    Ok, so Complete Hydroponics and Harrison’s Organic Acres? Kinda saw that coming, but I, for one, would like to personally thank Ben Siegel Reptiles Inc. for your very generous donation to the legalization of medical marijuana of $45,000. I have NO IDEA what reptiles and medical marijuana might have in common, but then, I’m not from Florida. So I will boldly speak for the rest of America when I say, We can’t wait to find out Siegel. We hope to be pleasantly surprised. 🙂
    Thank you.

    The opposition:

    Sheldon Adelson $5,000,000
    Carol Jenkins Barnett Family Trust $540,000
    Mel F. Sembler $100,000
    Alfred Hoffman Jr. $25,000
    Thomas A. James $25,000
    Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association $20,000
    Neal Communities of Southwest Florida$10,000
    Malcolm K. Beyer, Jr. $5,000

    I believe what stands out here is dirty-rich casino-owning money laundering Sheldon Aldelson who apparently can’t launder enough dirty cash– drug cartel or otherwise– through our American campaigns. But if it’s any consolation, Sheldon Adelson dumped 1 billion on Mitt Romney in a single donation back in 2012 and got to write the speech for Romney when he stood in front of millions of voters who were losing their homes looking for a heroic solution during the mortgage crisis in both Florida AND Las Vegas and Sheldon had Romney say… (drum roll…)

    “Let the bottom drop out…”

    So this multi-million dollar donation from Sheldon Adleson should be a good sign to legalization proponents in Florida; Because CLEARLY, Sheldon likes to hedge his bets on the LOSER, then WASH all his dirty laundry in the process.

    Drug Free Florida is leading the campaign in opposition to the initiative. The organization hired Republican consultant Tre’ Evers. He has worked on campaigns for Lamar Alexander, Bill McCollum and former US Senator Mel Martinez. Evers also served in the Department of Transportation under former president George W. Bush. The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) and Save Our Society From Drugs, along with other anti-marijuana organizations, launched “Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot.” While Republicans make up the lion’s share of anti-legalization efforts, even Democrat Debbie Waserman Shultz is crying out tired propaganda that marijuana will be “more available” to teens under legalization. (Sigh… can SOme please shut that bitch up?)
    That’s right! Save us from this menacing medicine that treats epileptics and… oh this is just so evil it’s not even funny.

    I got yer campaign slogan Florida:

    VOTES YES AMENDMENT 2!!! STOP THE SEIZURES!!!!

  4. The recent rescheduling of Vicodin to a Schedule II classification (the same as morphine) requiring a new prescription and an office visit to the doctor will affect hundreds of thousands of people using medicinal marijuana. My doctor also told me that people getting Vicodin prescriptions will be subject to a urine drug test, which includes a test for methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. This is mandated by the DEA. A positive test for any of these drugs will result in a total cutoff of any and all Schedule II drugs, like Vicodin. This will deny needed pain medication to cancer patients and others who also take medicinal marijuana. Just as the kind of police state tactics used by the DEA to crack down on marijuana users. Is this true? My doctor swears it is but I can find no confirmation on the Internet so I am asking NORML if this is true.

    [Editor’s note: It is not likely that your physician is correct about all schedule II drug patients being required to provide a drug test to receive treatment. That’s too many patients/government is too inefficient to properly track. However, in hospitals run by the federal government’s Veterans Administration, and in numerous so-called ‘pain clinics’, both private and government-run, some have required patients to qualify for access to pain medication by first passing drug tests for currently illegal drugs (i.e., cannabis).]

  5. I’ve commented on the ongoing situation in NM in earlier posts, specifically regarding proposals to decriminalize pot in Santa Fe (Santa Fe country) and Albuquerque (Bernalillo county).

    In Santa Fe, the city council voted to decriminalize pot about two months ago–so that’s that. Hooray Santa Fe.

    The city council in Albuquerque, on the other hand, failed to pass such a vote–thanks primarily to the GOPers on the council, and heavy pressure from our GOPer Gov, Susana Martinez.

    However, I was pleasantly surprised (I’d forgotten) to find the issue on the ballot when I went and voted early this last week–that is, the one in Albuquerque (or Bernalillo county). I of course voted yes to treat mj arrest as a civic fine instead of a misdemeanor crime.

    So, here’s hoping my brothers and sisters for the cause did their civic duty.

  6. It is sure a lot different than it was in the past when putting cannabis issues on the ballot was an impossible task because the rules kept changing when requirements were met.

  7. Thanks @Julian for the reminder about $heldon Adel$on, don’t forget that cannabis legalization (along with the Vape microdosage equipment legalization and other works that go along with it) will DOOM the scab predator Casino “industry” because cannabis can liberate millions of Big Babies from their Play Ob$$e$$ive Compulsion Habit and enable them to discover their talent for handwork, landscape artistry, climate protection etc.

  8. Jesus Christ, Michael, that is purely evil. I know the editor did qualify your statement a little, but it didn’t make it any better. Drug testing is notoriously ineffective for catching anyone but MJ users, so what they are doing is effectively allowing people on meth, cocaine, etc.–you know, hard drugs that flush out of the system quickly–to access their needed meds while discriminating specifically against MJ users.

    MJ is the lyncypin of the Drug War. Nearly everything that is profitting the warriors or stripping us of our rights is focused on that one little plant. That is, if MJ exceptionalists don’t sit on their hands after they get their way and believe the rest of the Drug War rhetoric, just so long as MJ is no longer picked on.

    But yeah, drug testing should be illegal, and I promise that when we finally do open the books on those drug testing companies we are going to find massive amounts of corruption. Because there is little to no oversight or enforcement or inspection of those facilities, and they can do as they like with zero accountability, because we have no recourse against their fraud. It simply disgusts me how many people just piss in a cup obediently, smiling happily at their owner–I mean, employer–saying “golly gee, I’m sure glad you do this, sir!”, assuming it keeps them safe when it actually makes their workplace infinitely more dangerous.

  9. Demonhype, you are quite correct, that is purely evil. And it is just the type of maneuver the DEA would use. This also means that any wounded veterans from the Gulf War receiving treatment at a Veterans Administration hospital could get caught in this dragnet. What a nice reward for risking life and limb and suffering LOSS of arms and legs and eyes, PTSD, etc. in defense of our country! And with the GOP now in control of Congress, watch the crackdown begin. God forbid the GOP get the presidency and the Congress in 2016! It will be a full on WAR on medicinal and state legalized marijuana.

  10. Assessment time: after the $heldon Adel$on $5,000,000, which mainly bought anti-mj scare ads, how many percentage points negatizing change did those ads achieve (turns out 2% more than enough…)???

    Analysis: Adel$on is a “Casino Magnate”, I think that’s a kind of magnet which attracts ka-ching money right out of suckerpockets.
    Casino suckers are bi-polar Depressives for whom Magnificently Monumental Money-risking (alias Mania) is their (maybe monthly) Manic Outburst. It’s often coupled with SMEDA Strategic Mania-Enhancing-Drug Abuse (mainly alcohol, which increases the bravado and abandon of the Suckers’ gambling “wildness” alias irrationality).

    When the Suckers have lost the money, Manic turns to Panic, after a short devastating dose of which (which may precipitate a major event such as homicide or traffic accident) they revert to monthlong “situation normal”, Depression (~debtor prison)–a sort of Frozen Panic composed of historic/hysteric mental blockages.

    Mr. Adel$on and his partners and shareholders profit off ignorance and helplessness of millions of Sucker/Depressives who may be media-fooled into thinking gambling is needed to “entertain” or “encourage” them in some thereapeutic way. That’s basicly where Mr. Adel$on acquires the funds to fight cannabis legalization, don’t you know.

    As to why Adel$on hates cannabis to the tune of $5,000,000– cannabis offers not just better entertainment and therapy than you can get at a casino, but liberation of artistic talent, encouragement of self-education, and development of multi-tasking power– for example, the ability to do important productive handwork jobs AND enjoy it AND learn from it at the same time. Any person aided by cannabis to develop such self-motivated work effort capacity thus no longer needs entertainment or pseudopsychotherapy, therefore won’t be interested in wasting a Second or a Penny dressed up hanging around casinos feeling dramatic about a bi-polar clickityclack machine good/evil verdict.

    Re Florida: lobby legislators to step in and correct for the boughten specious 2%, send them draft legislation to revise and finalize.

    Suggest Mr. Adel$on and his friends in Florida, after legislative remedy achieved, examine getting into the Moderation Sobriety Vape Utensil bizness and make a billion Flexible Drawtube One-Hinzzners for domestic and export market (g—>wikiHow.com: 12 Ways to Make Pipes from Everyday Objects).

Leave a Reply