“I Gots Mine”: Dispensary Owners Against Marijuana Legalization

Evergreen Collective, one of many advertising at this year's THC Exposé in LA, promoting their $45/4-gram eighth ounce "specials".Evergreen Collective, one of many advertising at this year’s THC Exposé in LA, promoting their $45/4-gram eighth ounce “specials”.On Tuesday, July 13th on our daily webcast for NORML we interviewed Dale Sky Clare, a spokesperson for Proposition 19, the initiative that will ask Californians to vote on a very limited form of marijuana legalization. We discussed the latest polling on the initiative from SurveyUSA, showing a 50%-to-40% lead for the measure.

We dug through the demographics to find that older and more conservative people are the only groups more likely to oppose the measure (no, really?), support is greatest among the young and in the Bay Area (who knew?), and support among comedians named “Cheech” or “Chong” is approaching 100% (OK, I made the last one up.)

But there is one growing demographic group that no poll has begun to track: medical marijuana dispensary owners.

Since the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Initiative was mercifully truncated to a headline-friendly “Prop 19? by virtue of making it on the California ballot, I have been tracking on our NORML Stash Blog the stories of dispensary owners who are publicly opposing the legalization of the product they sell, even shelling out money they’ve made from selling marijuana to oppose its legalization!

Paul Jury just posted Legalize It? Ask a Guy Who Runs a Medicinal Marijuana Dispensary in which he speaks to Craig, a dispensary owner in Venice Beach, who is also opposed to Prop 19:

“I’ll give you two reasons,” Craig said. “One is big tobacco. Did you know that Phillip Morris just bought 400 acres of land up in Northern California? The minute marijuana becomes legal, they’ll mass produce and flood the market. And of course, they’ll add the same toxins they put in regular cigarettes to get you addicted, and very little THC, so you’ll have to buy more… In short, they’re going to ruin weed.” He gestured around his beloved shop, with every flavor of every strain, in its purist form, selling for at-cost prices. “I like the way things are now.”

Remember how alcohol prohibition ended in the 1930’s (probably not, but indulge me) and Anheuser, Busch, Coors, and Miller flooded the market with 3.2 beer and ruined alcohol? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go to shops with every flavor of every micro-brew, in its purest form… oh, wait, I live in Portland, Oregon, the micro-brew capital of America and that’s what we have right now under alcohol legalization!

We have every flavor and potency of beer you can imagine plus people can go buy a kit and brew their own beer if they like. And there is wine, too, with a huge tourist industry that depends on people checking out vineyards and tasting endless varieties of vino. And there is whiskey, rum, tequila, vodka, brandy, and even super-potent Everclear in some states, all in their purest form, which is to say that used responsibly they won’t make you blind like a tub of Prohibition moonshine might.

Discount Relief Collective at this year's "Spring Gathering" in San Bernardino, advertising "Nothing over $45/eighth. $15 for all grams."Discount Relief Collective at this year’s “Spring Gathering” in San Bernardino, advertising “Nothing over $45/eighth. $15 for all grams.”The “Philip Morris / RJ Reynolds Toxic Addictive High-less Marijuana Market Flood” scare has been floating around the cannabis community like a stale hit of schwag for decades now. It’s a form of conspiracy theory thinking embraced by the kind of people who think you could plant 40,000 lbs. of explosives surreptitiously in a busy World Trade Center or convince all the world’s scientists and a very large soundstage crew to keep quiet about that faked moon landing for four decades. Here’s why it’s stupid:

* Prop 19 allows you to grow your own. If Philip Morris’ weed sucks, you’ll smoke your own or your friend’s.

* Prop 19 allows cities to consider sales. Bad toxic Philip Morris weed is the kind of competition a purveyor of hand-trimmed, non-keifed, organic high-potency bud would want, wouldn’t she?

* Prop 19 allows cities to regulate production. They can dictate exactly what is or isn’t added to cannabis, how much is produced, by whom, and where.

* In order for Philip Morris to sell their weed, somebody has to want to smoke it. Nothing about Prop 19 makes Prop 215 or the dispensaries go away. In fact, it gives the existing dispensaries the potential to serve even more customers. So who’s buying this toxic addictive high-less marijuana?

Actually, it worked quite well if your goal is to build large profitable murderous criminal enterprises…

No, if you want to really understand what is going on here, look back to that alcohol prohibition and ask yourself how excited Al Capone was reading the headlines trumpeting its imminent repeal. It’s not a perfect analogy, as Capone was a murderous criminal thug and these dispensary owners are law-abiding businesspeople. And yes, dispensary owners, like Craig, often help destitute cancer patients for free, though one could counter that Capone and his gangs gave out free turkeys on Thanksgiving. My main point is that both are businesspeople dealing in a prohibited product.

Or just look back to the article on Craig:

He gestured around his beloved shop, with every flavor of every strain, in its purist form, selling for at-cost prices. “I like the way things are now.”

“Last month,” Craig explained proudly, “there were 24 operating marijuana collectives in Venice. A month from now, there will only be two. And we’ll be one of them.” With that, he opened the door to the inner sanctum. The “product” room.

Now, if you ran a business where you could sell your product for $5-$15 per GRAM or $200 to $800 per OUNCE, and you only had to compete with one other business in your local area, would you be excited about the prospect of many more competitors and prices dropping as much as 80%? Most of your customers already got their Prop 215 recommendation, so it isn’t as if legalization is going to bring you enough additional customers to offset the change in business margins.

Prop 19 means that marijuana retailers become more like other retail businesses, instead of the loosely-regulated turnkey goldmines they have been. That’s what Craig doesn’t like. Well, that and kids smoking pot:

“Two, legalization will mean more fifteen-year-old kids smoking pot. … If they legalize marijuana, there’s no chance that fewer 15-year-olds will smoke. And there’s a good chance that more will. Anything that will probably make more 15-year-olds put substances in their bodies, in my opinion, is a bad thing.”

Really, the “What About the Children?!?” argument? Right now, under prohibition, 85% of high school seniors and 69% of sophomores (a.k.a. fifteen-year-olds) find it easy to get weed. Right now, under prohibition, kids say it is easier to buy marijuana than alcohol. So it appears to me that locking up healthy adults for their marijuana use hasn’t really done much to stop teens from getting and using pot. How about we try letting adults smoke a joint, and when they go to buy it, they buy it from a regulated shop where only adults are let in and all IDs are rigorously checked, you know, like that alcohol kids find harder to buy.

More 15-year-olds smoke pot than tobacco... because we've really succeeded in preventing tobacco use among teens... and we didn't lock up a single adult to achieve this!More 15-year-olds smoke pot than tobacco… because we’ve really succeeded in preventing tobacco use among teens… and we didn’t lock up a single adult to achieve this!More 15-year-olds smoke pot than tobacco… because we’ve really succeeded in preventing tobacco use among teens… and we didn’t lock up a single adult to achieve this!

Besides, there is no reason to believe that youth use will increase. Since California passed Prop 215 in 1996, the regime Craig likes now, teen use of marijuana has decreased Prop 19 makes the penalty for supplying weed to those under 21 as stringent as supplying alcohol to those under 21. And we’ve seen teen use of tobacco, a legal substance far cheaper and more addictive than marijuana, plummet in the past ten years through education, advertising restriction, social disapproval (no indoor smoking, for example) and strict ID requirements.

Craig and the other dispensary owners who oppose Prop 19 are the “I Gots Mine” element of the anti-legalization campaign. They’ve got the corner on a retail market worth billions, one that is only worth billions if you arrest 850,000 mostly-black-and-brown adults a year for participating in it. They’ve got their doctors happy to take a Benjamin or two to give you permission to use a drug safer than the aspirin you need no permission for. I wouldn’t want people to vote to change that, either…

…except that I think it’s just immoral to arrest people for smoking weed if we’re going to leave them alone when drinking alcohol. I don’t care if it is profitable to the state or detrimental to the dispensary industry – arrests for marijuana are wrong, period.

– Article from NORML.org and The Huffington Post

Comments

25 Comments

  1. Dale allo on

    again keeping things above board and legal will prevent the mess that takes place when its grown underground unregulated and unsupervised. Who’s to say what genetic modification is done with strains right now and as time passes more and more will enter the gene pool. look at what happened when mcdonalds started selling their genetically modified potatos for their fries there was a public outcry and it was put to an end. It is painfully obvious the ones who want this bill put to an end are teh ones who are making money off of it being illegal.

  2. Dale allo on

    isnt tobacco corporately owned? but did you know its legal to grow your own tobacco? its just not as easy for most as it is to grow their own pot. this law is a foot in the door eventually you’ll be able to grow your own or buy from whoever you so choose. voting no sets us back many years and closes doors.

  3. Anonymous on

    Dale, You are very misinformed and you need to understand that this is about a corporate takeover by Richard Lee and whatever corporate farm companies he has already hooked up with. He is not doing the common people any good. The law needs to be written to keep it a mom and pop shop endeavor. No corporate GMO, petroochemical takeovers.
    VOTE NO ON 19!

  4. Anonymous on

    You don’t seem to understand that Richard Lee is trying to make this his own private corporation. He is already in line with Phillip Morris to knock out all the regular people who would potentially be doing it as well. Watch out. You might be dissappointed by what happens. Richard Lee is pure corporate greed and corporate farm evil.

  5. Dale allo on

    It’s not like all the growers nowadays aren’t using chemicals anyways btw. This would atleast regulate so we’d all know whats being used or atleast make it more likely to know whats in it. As it is who knows whats being mixed into the stuff.

  6. Dale allo on

    Just as the tobacco companies can take over there will also be companies taking over that purposely DON’T pollute the plant with poisons and will charge slightly more because of that. This is what healthy competition will do we will have choice just like with alcohol we can choose a beer or a vodka and we have several brands. As time goes by limits will be changed people will be allowed to grow more of their own but the law to not smoke in public is not such a bad law and to not smoke around children why would anyone argue with that? Bottom line once this is set into effect there wont be an easy way to go back and criminalize it again. Please don’t listen to the nay sayers about this they obviously want it illegal because they have other more sinister interests.

  7. Stoner on

    someone commented that this is not a big problem because there is only a few dispensaries saying this..
    well it has the potential to be a huge problem
    because I’ve been seeing these baseless opinions about legalization spreading like wildfire..
    it’s no better than propoganda to spread information like that misleads people that much.
    Not a single part of what that guy thinks is based on any facts
    It’s important to get this info out to everyone who has this opinion
    I’d like to write this guy myself,
    but he probably doesn’t care about what right and wrong..
    he’s probably just out to protect his own buck like you said.
    that’s really sad

  8. Pastor Ray Christl THC Media gaia on

    legal to use. You would grow your own,and never need to pay tax,or purchase from evil corporations. Hemp possibly will then get permission for USA farmers to use cellulose for paper/plastic. Totally agree i’ll never purchase from a big tobacco/alcohol company that moves into cannabis medicine. ONELOVE

  9. MysticGanjaMan on

    PEOPLE I BELIEVE WE AS CALIFORNIAN TOKERS MUST ALL AGREE IN KEEPING THIS HOLY SACRAMENT CALLED MARIJUANA AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE FROM EVIL COORPERATIONS THAT WILL TRY AND DO GENETIC ENGINEERING ON THE PLANT FOR THEIR OWN GREEDY PURPOSES TAKING AWAY FROM IT THE ORIGINAL ORGANIC CANNABINOIDS THAT IT HAS SINCE IT WAS FIRST DISCOVERED IN ASIA. IF PROP 19 PASSES IT IS INEVITABLE THAT COOPERATIONS TAKE OVER IT AND IF THEY START RUNNING THOSE LITTLE PLANES SPRAYING PESTICIDES OVER IT LIKE THEY DO TO TOBACCO NOW, SMOKERS BUYING THIS REGULATED HERB MIGHT FALL UNDER THE SAME DESTINY AS CIGARETTE SMOKERS:LUNG CANCER. PLUS UNDER 215 AND THE COMPASSION AND USE ACT IT ALLOWS PATIENTS TO GROW THEIR OWN UP TO A LIMIT OF SIX PLANTS.LETS FACE IT NOT EVERYONE IS EDUCATED ABOUT CANNABIS IF THIS PASSES PEOPLE WILL START EXPERIMENTING WITH THE REGULATED HERB AND IT MIGHT CONTAIN HARMFUL SUBSTANCES. AND PLUS FOR DECADES SINCE THE 70S OUR BROTHERS HAVE BEEN YELLING TO GOVT.TO FULLY LEGALIZE IT FOR PERSONAL USE TO MAKE REVENUE AND THE GOVT. HAS UTTERLY REFUSED SO WHY HELP THEM OUT NOW? THEY WASTED THEIR CHANCE. SO IF THIS DOES PASS IT DOESNT MAKE CALIFORNIA IMMUNE AGAINST FEDERAL LAW. SO REALLY DEA WOULD HAVE MUCH MORE AND EASIER TARGETS TO TAKE OVER TO THE FEDERAL SUPREME COURT AND PRISON SO LETS THINK REAL HARD ABOUT THIS AND TRY AND NOT BE BIASED BUT BE CONSIDER THAT NATURE QUEEN OF THE PLANT KINGDOM AND GREATEST MIRACLE WONDER IS AT STAKE OF FALLING INTO THE EVIL HANDS OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR YOUR OWN SAKE PRAY TO GOD WE MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE !!

  10. Dale allo on

    cash strapped or not the prices will fall. as it is the stuff is worth more than gold by weight. look what happene when medical marijuana became legal at how every corner had a dispensary. people will find a way to make a buck and the more competition the lower prices will go. if i was growing and selling pot id be charging 50 an ounce and even thats overpriced. just how high are taxes and duties going to be? itd be worthwhile to invest in a giant grow and plenty have the money to invest. to grow 1000 ounces a month youd need around 40 lamps and around 200 square feet. add in taxes and expenses at $50 an ounce make over 15k a month hell even 10k a month thats a crapload of money id sure as hell do it if it were LEGAL. cut it in half make even 5k a month for that work id do it. its more than i make now thats 25 bucks an ounce from one smalltime grower dont you think theres those who can produce ten times that amount at that price and be very happy? i can sure see why the illegal growers want it ilegal though its alot less work to make alot more money.

  11. Anonymous on

    Thank you Dale for being realistic and not reading too deep without thinking logically about core issues of the problem like price, availability, and duties imposed by cash strapped COUNTIES.

  12. Dale allo on

    why grow when prices will be a tenth of the cost they are now with a world of selection? the medical patients need to stop being so selfish and think about the rest of us who smoke for other reasons which may as well be medical too. they smoke to relax and calm down and improve their quality of life. we all know life sucks theoretically all cannabis use is medical. now keep in mind just because this passes does not mean its set in stone things will be modified and amended but you have to stand back and look at the big picture that this is a way in and once this passes it will not be easy for them to cancel it. pot stores will flood in there will be a giant market and tons of competetive companies. this procedure takes time but this definitely is a step in the right direction. prohibitting smoking in public, whats so unreasonable about that? it bothers people ive been around people smoking and i got dizzy when i wasnt in the mood to be high. its disturbing to smell anything wafting into your store from outside tobacco or marijuana the same. there are laws passing now that prohibit smoking tobacco within certain limits of schools and businesses whats so bad about that? smoking at home around your kids that cant be a good thing either why fight for that right? kids shouldnt be inhaling pot smoke. come on guys we got this far do you really think there will be a similar opportunity? noones going to all out legalize just like that this is the first step.

  13. Anonymous on

    Sorry but people need to read this bill like everyone tells us people who are voting NO.

    MMJ patients will be loosing our rights if this passes.

    Proponents of California’s Regulate Control and Tax Cannabis 2010 Initiative (Prop. 19) claim it will have no effect on California’s medical marijuana laws, that it “explicitly upholds the rights of medical marijuana patients”.

    The language of the initiative says otherwise.

    Yesterday, Russ Belville stated in a comment to his blog in The Huffington Post that “Prop 19 does nothing to change Prop 215 or your access to your current dispensary.” Belville is NORML’s Outreach Coordinator and Host of NORML Show Live.

    Meanwhile, in an article that is causing quite a stir among proponents of ending marijuana prohibition, Dragonfly De La Luz lists 18 reasons “Pro-Pot Activists” oppose Prop. 19.

    Regarding whether or not Prop. 19 will amend or supersede California’s medical marijuana laws she had this to say:

    While amendments were made ostensibly to prevent the initiative from affecting current medical marijuana law, a careful reading of the initiative reveals that this is not, in fact, the case. Certain medical marijuana laws are exempt from the prohibitions the initiative would enact, while others are glaringly absent.

    Cultivation is one such law that is noticeably non-exempt.[17] In spite of the fact that the tax cannabis Web site says otherwise, the only medical marijuana exemptions that the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative actually makes are with regard to possession, consumption and purchase limits, which only ensure that patients would still be allowed to buy medicine at dispensaries. The word “cultivate” is conspicuously absent. Whereas today a person with a doctor’s recommendation has the right to grow up to an unlimited number of plants, the initiative would drastically reduce that number to whatever can fit in a 5’x5’ footprint (around 3-6 plants—per property, not per person). This will force many patients to resort to buying instead of growing their own medicine, because of the inconvenience caused by producing multiple grows a year rather than growing a year’s supply of medicine at one time, as many patients currently do outdoors. And growing indoors—which typically requires special grow lights, an increase in hydro use, and a lot of time and attention—is a comparatively expensive endeavor.

    The initiative would further impact medical marijuana patients by banning medicating in the privacy of their own homes if there are minors present, as well as in public (currently perfectly legal[18])—an invaluable liberty to those with painful diseases who would otherwise have to suffer until they got home to relieve their pain.

    Finally, the medical marijuana laws that are exempted from this initiative apparently only apply to cities. For medical marijuana patients who live in an area that has county or local government jurisdiction, according to a strict reading of the initiative, medical marijuana laws are not exempt.[19]

    The amendments she refers to were made after Comparing California cannabis/marijuana legalization initiatives was published 31 Jul 09 in Examiner.com. This article noted that the proponents of Proposition 19 had manged to get through 14 drafts without exempting medical marijuana patients from any of its provisions: not the unlimited taxes & licensing fees, not the possession & cultivation limits, not the prohibition on smoking in public or in sight of anyone under 18.

    The amendments consisted of adding the phrase “except as permitted under Health and Safety Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 through 11362.9” to the end of Items 7 & 8 under Purposes.

    The initiative mentions medical marijuana three times and omits mentioning it once.

    The Mentions

    The three mentions are Items 6, 7, and 8 in Section 2, B. Purposes.

    6. Provide easier, safer access for patients who need cannabis for medical purposes.

    The courts will determine that this means Prop. 19 is intended to amend and supersede California’s medical marijuana laws; Proposition 215 (H&S 11362.5) and SB 420 (H&S 11362.7-H&S 11362.9).

    7. Ensure that if a city decides not to tax and regulate the sale of cannabis, that buying and selling cannabis within that city’s limits remain illegal, but that the city’s citizens still have the right to possess and consume small amounts, except as permitted under Health and Safety Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 through 11362.9.

    8. Ensure that if a city decides it does want to tax and regulate the buying and selling of cannabis (to and from adults only), that a strictly controlled legal system is implemented to oversee and regulate cultivation, distribution, and sales, and that the city will have control over how and how much cannabis can be bought and sold, except as permitted under Health and Safety Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 through 11362.9.

    The first thing to note about these sections is that they are specific to cities. Nowhere does the word “county” appear.

    In Item 7, “city” is specified 3 times, every way they know how: “if a city”, “that city’s limits”, “the city’s citizens”. The rule of thumb is if you say something three times you mean exactly what you said.

    This item exempts medical marijuana patients only in cities, and only with regard to how much they may possess and consume. It makes it legal to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, collectives, and delivery services. Unless the city enacts a sin tax, any buying and selling will be illegal.

    The Omission

    Section C, Intents, has two items.

    Item 1 is a list of the laws Prop. 19 is “intended to limit the application and enforcement of”. The inclusion of the phrase “including but not limited to the following, whether now existing or adopted in the future” opens the door for the argument to be made that Prop. 19 may (and most likely will) be interpreted to “limit” the “application and enforcement” of the now existing medical marijuana laws.

    This interpretation is reinforced by Item 2 under this section, a list of state laws Prop. 19 “is not intended to affect the application or enforcement of”.

    Note that Item 2 is not open-ended. There is no “including but not limited to” modifier for this Item.

    Conspicuously absent from either list are California’s medical marijuana laws: Health & Safety Code Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7-11362.9.

    These mentions and omissions occur in the ‘preamble’ of the initiative, titled Findings, Intent and Purposes. Concerns have been expressed regarding how legally binding these sections are and that nowhere in the sections to be added to California’s legal code is there any mention of medical marijuana or any exemption for medical marijuana patients and providers.

    Exploiting pain and suffering

    Nowhere does the initiative exempt medical marijuana cultivators or distributors from the tax.

    Proponents of Prop. 19 often argue that everything is taxed. This is not true. Illinois is the only state that taxes prescription pharmaceuticals, and that tax is 1%.

    Proponents of Prop. 19 claim they want to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. It costs $450 to license a pharmacy in California and between $340-$580 to license a retail alcohol establishment. Long Beach claims 85 medical marijuana dispensaries and charges $14,742 for a license. Oakland has a limit of 4 dispensaries and charges them $30,000 for a license.

    Proponents of Prop. 19 argue that it is illegal to consume alcohol in sight of anyone under 21 or in public. California is littered with sidewalk cafes and pizza parlors that serve beer, wine, and mixed drinks in public and in the sight of children.

    To date the cities of Oakland (the home or Proposition 19), Sacramento (The State Capital), Long Beach, and Berkeley have announced proposals to tax medical marijuana in order to keep their medical marijuana dispensaries from being shut down should Proposition 19 pass.

    The most liberal of these is Berkeley, where medical marijuana patients will pay 7.5% less tax than recreational users, and it will only cost them 2.5% more than the 9.75% in sales tax they’re already paying.

    Sacramento is proposing a sin tax of between 5% and 10% for recreational users and 2% to 4% for the sick and dying. “We’re trying to get ahead of the process,” said councilmember Sandy Sheedy, who proposed the ordinance.

    Medical marijuana patients use considerably more than recreational users. Irv Rosenfeld receives 11 ounces per month from the federal government. Maine recently determined that it’s medical marijuana patients would use 5 ounces per month, on average. The tax on medicine, besides being ethically inconsistent, falls most heavily on the sickest, who tend to be the poorest.

    At $400 per ounce, a medical marijuana patient who needs 3 ounces a month will pay $138.60 tax per month in Oakland.

    Meanwhile, no city or county in California has reversed itself on a ban or moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries since Oakland (home of Prop. 19) passed Measure F, the first medical marijuana tax.

    Meanwhile, several cases are working through the courts challenging medical marijuana bans, moratoriums, and regulations which are de facto bans, as discriminatory and in violation of California’s medical marijuana laws. Passage of Prop 19 will remove any legal basis for these cases.

    Taking the ‘medical’ out of ‘marijuana’

    Prop. 19 adds five sections to California’s Health & Safety Code, §§ 11300-11304.

    §11300 is titled Personal Regulation and Controls. Item a) begins with the phrase “Notwithstanding any other provision of law”.

    This section makes possession of more than an ounce or by anyone under 21 illegal. It also limits non-licensed cultivation to 25 square feet per residence or parcel, not per person.

    If the authors of Prop. 19 wanted to protect medical marijuana patients, why did they say “notwithstanding any other provision of law”?

    §11301 is titled Commercial Regulations and Controls. It begins with the phrase “Notwithstanding any other provision of state or local law”. It prohibits sales to anyone under 21. Nowhere in this section is there any exemption for medical marijuana patients, cultivators, or distributors.

    In addition to allowing cities and counties to ban commercial cultivation and sales (including medical marijuana collectives and dispensaries) it states the following:

    (g) prohibit and punish through civil fines or other remedies the possession, sale, possession for sale, cultivation, processing, or transportation of cannabis that was not obtained lawfully from a person pursuant to this section or section 11300;

    This means that the taxes and fees paid by the licensed commercial cultivators and distributors will be used to eliminate the competition. For example, Oakland (the home of Prop. 19) is in the process of licensing four cultivators to supply the approximately 6,000 pounds per year sold by the four licensed dispensaries. Bay Citizen put it this way:

    Growing marijuana can be lucrative, but the city’s proposed new rules would eliminate small-timers. It would cost $5,000 just to apply for a cultivation permit, and a regulatory fee of $211,000 for the lucky winners. If one has the cash, it’s a small price to pay for the right to produce a crop with an estimated retail value of $7 million. The fee pays for regulating cultivation in Oakland, which will include enforcement against the guys with grow lights in their garages and backyard sheds.

    The New York times reports that the leading contender for one of these cultivation permits is Jeff Wilcox, a member of the Proposition 19 steering committee. “Mr. Wilcox estimated that AgraMed would cost $20 million to develop.”

    Reasonable Accommodation

    Current California medical marijuana law does not prohibit smoking in public. It is not currently illegal for medical marijuana patients to smoke in public or in sight of anyone under 18:

    11362.79. Nothing in this article shall authorize a qualified patient or person with an identification card to engage in the smoking of medical marijuana under any of the following circumstances:

    (a) In any place where smoking is prohibited by law.
    (b) In or within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school, recreation center, or
    youth center, unless the medical use occurs within a residence.
    (c) On a schoolbus.
    (d) While in a motor vehicle that is being operated.
    (e) While operating a boat.

    While debating Keith Kimber on Time4Hemp Chris Conrad stated Prop. 19 would have to win by a wider margin than Prop. 215 in order to supersede it. He reiterated this in an email that was passed around Facebook.

    Even if it did conflict with or amend the medical marijuana laws, which it repeatedly does not do, Prop 19 would still have to pass by more than 56% to have any effect on Prop 215, which is highly unlikely.

    Conrad is in error. The California Initiative Guide states the following:

    If the provisions of two or more measures approved at the same election conflict, those of the measure receiving the highest affirmative vote shall prevail (Cal. Const., art. II, Section 10(b)).

    This is not a case of two or more measures in the same election.

  14. MOTFA on

    Good points about curing tobacco. I don’t want a still in my garage for booze either.

    But, i would have a weed garden right out in the open every summer and grow enough to last me all year. Now that is a labor of love.

  15. Dale allo on

    Weed will be grown by personal users alot more than tobacco and alcohol is produced. its alot easier imo. if its legal we’ll see alot of regular people with gardens. hell id have grown my own tobacco if it wasnt so difficult to cure. we’re getting smarter as a society eventually all drugs will be legal – healthy or not. we will have our own choice of what to do or not to do. i hope they ban all advertising of drugs though including alcohol on tv. its so hipocritical that they can show an enticing beer commercial that makes you think its alright and perfectly safe to drink but they make pot illegal which is far healthier. im optomistic though that the world is changing.

  16. Anonymous on

    I’m Not surprised a few others are concerned if weed became legal and controlled by the government it would be laced with freebased synthetic’s addictive toxins, shellac your lungs…… cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough, uhhh, uhhhh, cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough…. withdrawl symtoms ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Ryan on

    Great article, but the bit about 9/11 is unnecessary and counterproductive.

    “It’s a form of conspiracy theory thinking embraced by the kind of people who think you could plant 40,000 lbs. of explosives surreptitiously in a busy World Trade Center”

    Who believes that strawman?

    On the contrary, bright, articulate cannabis users were likely among the first to see through the smokescreen of government lies and MSM propaganda regarding 9/11.

    NORML should know better, they’ll make a lot more enemies than friends with the ‘truther-baiting’…

  18. Dale allo on

    unfortunately its against the law and many would rather getting in trouble for buying it in smaller amounts than growing a large amount at once. i really hope it becomes legal or atleast lesser penalties for personal growers. dealers can go to jail though. make mandatory minimums if you’re growing more than 4 ounces thats fine with me but leave the small users alone who just want to smoke.

  19. Anonymous on

    Just order seeds online and grow your own anyways. Whether its legal or not. You will be amazed at how much one pot plant can give you. I will never buy weed from a dealer again….Just grow one plant, I am telling you in 12 weeks you will have over an ounce of fine stuff for free.

  20. MOTFA on

    I would just grow my own mj if it was legal. No way i would be buying weed from the same people who sell tobacco. NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN.

  21. foam on

    even though it’s a really bad bill. Mr Lee definitely needs a better lawyer or whomever wrote this turd..

  22. Anonymous on

    The DEA can still do that even after the state legalizes. Remember that federal law?

  23. Anonymous on

    I’m sure they will be singing a different tune when the DEA comes in and busts their ass and takes all their profits and throws them in jail!!!

  24. ray christl THC Ministry Asia on

    The insider anti-legal voices are trumped by Big Rad-Russ my new favorite presenter at NORML…these guys in NORML are for legal pot..RadicalRuss is a Monster at destroying the anarchist-anti PROP 19 criticism from Canada etc…Very smooth masterful cannabis debate-with logical framework..Mr. Belville you are a H.E.R.O.(hemp extract resin oil) like Roger Christie-Rick Simpson-Eddy Lepp-FREE MARC.

  25. Anonymous on

    Good write up but its not a big problem, thats two dispensaries, call it a few hundred votes, maybe their employees and friends and family. call it a few thousand. the same goes for the black market growers and suppliers.
    they are few and their clients are many. thats how they make a buck.
    the vast majority of clients or even home smokers will rather the competition so they get better prices and service etc. the dispensaries might vote no with the aged people and the others that will benefit yet you have a major element in that the vast number of cannabis friendly people like the idea. people can see past their claims and see that they are trying to protect their interests, which happens to be a different interest to the buyer.
    its why we dont like the idea of a company having a monopoly over a market.