Drug Czars Lie About Prop 19: Bill Doesn’t Make New Law Against Smoking in Front of Minors

A supergroup of top-brass American Drug Warriors including Drug Czars from the last three presidential administrations – Gil Kerlikowske, John Walters, Barry McCaffrey, Lee Brown, Bob Martinez and William Bennett – have penned a yawningly predictable piece at the Los Angeles Times – but with one twist.

The article, for the most part, presents the same weak arguments we have heard before: that Amsterdam coffee shops cause terrible “drug tourism” on Dutch streets, that legalization will turn all drivers on the road to crazed madmen, and that collecting taxes on pot sales won’t make enough cash to pay for all the extra health costs of Mary Jane addicts who will be filling hospitals and rehab clinics. All of these arguments have been debunked time and again.

There was one exception however, and maybe it shows the Czars are getting a little more savvy:

Law enforcement officers do not currently focus much effort on arresting adults whose only crime is possessing small amounts of marijuana. This proposition would burden them with new and complicated enforcement duties. The proposition would require officers to enforce laws against “ingesting or smoking marijuana while minors are present.” Would this apply in a private home? And is a minor “present” if they are 15 feet away, or 20? Perhaps California law enforcement officers will be required to carry tape measures next to their handcuffs.

This is undoubtedly a nod to the anti-Proposition 19 people within the cannabis culture, and an attempt by the Czars to widen a divide in our community.

Yes, there are people within the cannabis community who do not support the California initiative and have been attacking the bill online with a lot of misinformation.

Here is some of the misinformation that relates to the Czars’ claim – check out this post from Stoner Against the Prop. 19 Dragonfly De La Luz, who also claims Prop 19 will make new laws prohibiting smoking in front of a minor:

Fact: […] Under the initiative, even adults consuming marijuana in the privacy of their homes could face arrest if there are minors present (not something one would expect from an initiative that claims to treat marijuana like alcohol and tobacco)[10]. Current marijuana law contains no such restrictions. Thanks to Prop. 215, which legalized marijuana for medicinal use, cannabis consumers have been legally free to smoke in the privacy of their homes since 1997. This initiative seeks to undermine that freedom, making it absolutely illegal to smoke marijuana if there are minors present. (The initiative is ambiguous with regard to whether “present” means being in the same room as the consumer, the same house, the same apartment building, or within wafting distance—apparently leaving this up to the interpretation of judges.) There is no exception for medical marijuana patients or for parents consuming in the presence of their own children.

and here:

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.

Dragonfly and the Czars are making the same claim. The only problem is, Proposition 19 DOES NOT create a new law making it illegal to smoke in front of a minor!

Here’s what the bill actually says in Section 3: Lawful Activities – Section 11300: Personal Regulation and Controls (bold is mine):

(c) “Personal consumption” shall not include, and nothing in this Act shall permit cannabis:

(i) possession for sale regardless of amount, except by a person who is licensed or permitted to do so under the terms of an ordinance adopted pursuant to section 11301;

(ii) consumption in public or in a public place;

(iii) consumption by the operator of any vehicle, boat or aircraft while it is being operated, or that impairs the operator;

(iv) smoking cannabis in any space while minors are present.

This is the only section that pertains to smoking in front of a minor. It does not make any rules prohibiting smoking in front of a minor, it simply states that it does not permit smoking in front of a minor or include it in the definition of “personal consumption”. This means that people who are busted smoking in front of a minor would not be protected by terms of Proposition 19 and could, at very worst, be charged with any laws on the books now (and as the Czars noted, “Law enforcement officers do not currently focus much effort on arresting adults whose only crime is possessing small amounts of marijuana”). The bill does not create a law against “ingesting or smoking marijuana while minors are present” or “burden them with new and complicated enforcement duties”. It also means nothing would change for medicinal users. Again, Prop 19 DOES NOT create a new offense against smoking in front of a minor!

This is a very important distinction, and shows that claims by Dragonfly and the Drug Czars are simply untrue.

Adding to the confusion is a claim in the Bill Summary itself (in the second paragraph of the bill) that says Prop 19 “Prohibits people from possessing marijuana on school grounds, using it in public, smoking it while minors are present, or providing it to anyone under 21 years old.”

Upon reading the bill, it is evident that this claim is incorrect; the bill does not actually prohibit, but makes clear it does not permit.

Later in the bill the authors talk about “Furnishing Marijuana to Minors” but do not mention smoking in front of them again. That is all there is about minors in the bill.

I am not a lawyer but I do have lawyer friends, and the lawyer I ran this past said I was correct in my analysis. It is possible we are both wrong – if you have any info that would challenge this claim and backup Dragonfly and the Drug Czars, please present it in the comments below or send me an email at [email protected]

For in-depth analysis of Proposition 19 read this article by NORML’s “Radical” Russ Belville and this article by Prince of Pot Marc Emery. Please go to the YES on PROP 19 website and find out how you can help support Proposition 19.

UPDATE: Just found this article by NORML’s “Radical” Russ Belville tossing Dragonfly’s SALAD.

Jeremiah Vandermeer
Jeremiah Vandermeer

Jeremiah Vandermeer is Cannabis Culture Chief of Operations and Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine & Pot TV.

Comments

25 Comments

  1. jeremiah on

    Dragonfly said: “but the thing is, THERE IS NO LAW ON THE BOOKS NOW against smoking pot in the presence of minors. that means that although prop. 19 does not set any penalty for this new offense, ***what you and other proponents of prop. 19 fail to admit is that IT EMPOWERS GOVERNMENT, AT EVERY LEVEL, TO DO SO.***”

    You are absolutely right. This does mean that elected officials could make a law against smoking in front of a minor in the future – it also means that elected officials could make legislation allowing the activity in the future – this was essentially the point of my post! Prop 19 does nothing to carve in stone some law FOR or AGAINST smoking in front of a minor – it doesn’t change ANYTHING at all to do with smoking in front of a minor. It simply means smoking in front of a minor is not protected by Prop 19!

    Dragonfly said: “cease with your blatant misrepresentation of things i’ve said. i never said that prop. 19 will make new laws prohibiting smoking in front of a minor. even the quote you use to “prove it” does not say that. what i do say is that people smoking in the presence of minors *could* potentially face arrest.”

    This is what you said in your original article (emphasis mine): “This initiative seeks to undermine that freedom, making it ABSOLUTELY ILLEGAL to smoke marijuana if there are minors present. […] Current marijuana law contains no such restrictions.”

    and

    “initiative would further impact medical marijuana patients by BANNING medicating in the privacy of their own homes”

    Both these statements are incorrect – it definitely doesn’t make it “absolutely illegal” to smoke in front of a minor or “ban” the activity. As you admit in your response above, this activity is not currently illegal. Nothing in this bill would stop legislators from passing laws in the future specifically allowing the practice – something that you fail to mention to your readers.

    Dragonfly said: “wanna just vote for prop. 19 and wait and see what penalties local governments assign to this new offense?”

    No. I want people to vote for Prop 19 and then continue the fight to reform drug laws until they are absolutely perfect. We must take every opportunity we can to push the front line further towards our goal. If we stand around waiting for every single detail to be just perfect before we move forward we will never make any advances and provide the opposition endless opportunities to strike.

    Proposition 19 is by no means perfect – there are many things I dislike about it – but it is a huge step forward that we can’t pass up over what amounts to paranoid speculations and ‘what-ifs’.

  2. Yes on 19 on

    Who the hell is “Dragonfly?” Is she like Pete Brady?

    Why are people putting words in a dead man’s mouth? Sounds like an insidious divide-and-conquer campaign and stinks of agent provocateurism.

  3. Yes on 19 on

    http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/drug-czar-required/

    Most people know that the “drug czar” — the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) — is an advocate for the government position regarding the drug war. But not everyone knows that he and his office are mandated to tell lies as part of their Congressional authorization.
    According to Title VII Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998: H11225:

    Responsibilities. –The Director– […]

    (12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that–

    is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and
    has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;
    Now, let’s take as a simple example, the issue of medical marijuana. If the government finds that marijuana Has “currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” or “accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision,” then by law, marijuana cannot remain in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, which would immediately legalize it for medical purposes.

    But by law, the drug czar must oppose any attempt to legalize the use (in any form).

    Therefore, despite the fact that there is extensive evidence of medical marijuana’s safety and effectiveness (including the fact that even the federal government supplies it to patients), and clearly the drug czar would know about all this information, he is required by law to lie about it.

    The job description also means that since he must oppose any attempt to legalize, he has no choice but declare that the drug war is working, that legalization would fail, etc., regardless of any… facts.

    On April 2, 2003, Congressman Ron Paul wrote a letter to the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) asking for an investigation into ONDCP lobbying activities and their dissemination of “misleading information” (a polite euphemism for “lying”)

    The GAO responded (pdf):

    Finally, apart from considerations of whether any particular law has been violated, you have asked whether the Deputy Director’s letter disseminated misleading information in connection with statements relating to the debate over legalization of marijuana. […]

    ONDCP is specifically charged with the responsibility for “taking such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use” of certain controlled substances such as marijuana —- a responsibility which logically could include the making of advocacy statements in opposition to legalization efforts. The Deputy Director’s statements about marijuana are thus within the statutory role assigned to ONDCP. Given this role, we do not see a need to examine the accuracy of the Deputy Director’s individual statements in detail.

    Translation: Since lying is in the job description of the ONDCP, there’s no point in bothering to see whether they’re telling the truth.

    Keep in mind that this requirement to avoid the truth if it interferes with the mission of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is not limited to the current drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, or most recently, John Walters.

    Unless the law changes, every future drug czar, even if appointed by a President who solidly supports reform measures, will be constrained by the same job description defined by Congress.

    (One may also wonder, of course, if the nature of the job attracts the type of person who perversely enjoys the power of lying to the country.)

    Turning this travesty around requires more than the right person for the job. The offending phrases must be struck from the authorizing language (or perhaps a future President will simply not bother to appoint a new czar).

    Given the frequency that the drug czar is quoted in the press, either much of the media is not aware that he and his staff are required to lie, or they simply feel obligated to print what they say despite the falsehoods.

    After all, don’t all politicians lie some of the time? Yes, but who else is actually required to do so by law?

    Lie (verb)
    : to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive
    : to create a false or misleading impression
    The ONDCP staff lies all the time (and specific examples abound all over the web), but not all lies are mere simple statements. One of the most noxious lies (and a common type of lie used by drug warriors) is the intent to deceive through the use of conjoined statements. Here’s an example of the last drug czar lying to me in an Ask the White House session.

    Actually Pete, you’ve got the question exactly backwards. Marijuana is a much bigger part of the American addiction problem than most people – teens or adults – realize. There are now more teens going into treatment for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined.

    Note the combination of the two sentences. Marijuana is a bigger addition problem than we realize — there are more teens going into treatment… This is a specific intent to deceive, since the drug czar knows that the increase of teens in treatment for marijuana has nothing to do with addiction, and everything to do with an increase in governmental referrals. But by placing the two statements together, he attempts to convince me of the lie.

    Here’s another example of the conjoined statement lie:

    But marijuana is far from “harmless” — it is pernicious. Parents are often unaware that today’s marijuana is different from that of a generation ago, with potency levels 10 to 20 times stronger than the marijuana with which they were familiar.

    Here’s another common ONDCP example:

    “Quite a few people think that smoking pot is less likely to cause cancer than a regular cigarette,” reads the ad. “You may even have heard some parents say they’d rather their kid smoked a little pot than get hooked on cigarettes. Wrong, and wrong again,” it continues. “One joint can deliver four times as much cancer-causing tar as one cigarette.” According to ONDCP drug czar John Walters, the idea behind the ads is to “give parents some hard facts that they can use to have informed conversations with their kids about the negative consequences of marijuana. …”

    Sometimes they’ll talk about “carcinogens.” Same idea. The intent is to deceive — to convince people that marijuana causes cancer — something they know is not true, so they fall back on the deception. The lie.

    New drug czar Gil Kerlikowske seems not to even bother trying to hide it. It’s almost as though he doesn’t care. Note his comments in California where the fact of marijuana’s medicinal capability is quite fully accepted.

    “Legalization is not in the president’s vocabulary, and it’s not in mine,” he said. […]

    “Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit,” Kerlikowske said in downtown Fresno …

  4. smitty on

    …makes me go “hand to face”. Really? “Pro marijuana activists” are considering voting “no” on any initiative that seeks to loosen cannabis laws? I hope anyone who votes “no” is aware of the karma they create with that vote because the cops sure will be aware of it.

    Good luck California. I hope prop 19 pulls through.

  5. Kelly L. White on

    “Drug Czars Lie”
    It’s part of the job description- they’re vetted for that ability.

  6. Anonymous on

    .. you can always grow more, leave your door open i may want to make a sandwich, you can always buy more bread and change your sheets I might want to fuck your girlfriend, you can always go Gay. you’re just a plant. Who cares if your arse gets a little piledriver damage, you are one big asshole anyhow, who cares? You might as well give it away for free to others..maybe somebody will actually like your shit, nobody else cares for it.

  7. Anonymous on

    …Why would break and enter crime skyrocket and why would police have to look for stolen marijuana if it was legal? It’s just a plant, not your grandmother’s pearls or the stash of $20’s you hid in you wanking sock. People would be giving it away to others who want it for free. Plus, if someone did come by and swipe some plants, who cares? You can just grow some more. All your talk about straights makes you sound so gay. Crawl back into your little hole and obey your masters until your time comes.

  8. Anonymous on

    Actually, Jeremiah is right about the ‘not permitted’ language. As he states in his article, the provision in this proposition to ‘not permit’ smoking in front of minors would simply leave those who do open to the exact same penalties they would face now for such actions. Your assertion that ‘not permitting’ and ‘prohibiting’ are one and the same may be mostly accurate semantically (though not entirely accurate), but is absolutely wrong in a practical sense, especially in relation to law. By ‘not permitting’ users to smoke cannabis in front of minors, lawmakers would simply be not condoning this practice. Prop 19 would not protect people who use in front of minors, but neither would it make smoking in front of minors illegal. To make smoking in front of minors illegal, Prop 19 would need to include a statute specifically prohibiting smoking in front of minors as well as a section providing penalties for those caught doing so. While there is language saying smoking in front of minors is not permitted, it is not a specific statute. What I mean by this is that a cop cannot, under Prop 19, see you smoking in front of your kid and say, “You’re violating section 3.2 of Prop 19! I can now arrest you and you will face five years in prison for this violation!” What a cop CAN say is, “You’re endangering the welfare of your child, and I can arrest you for that”. And Prop 19 will NOT protect you in this situation; you cannot say, “I am allowed under Prop 19 to smoke in front of my children.” Prop 19 will not protect you from the application of current law if you are caught smoking in front of your children, but it does not newly prohibit this activity, nor does it provide new penalties for engaging in this activity. Prop 19 will not protect those caught smoking in front of minors, but it will not provide any new statutes for the police to prosecute such people under either. Therefore, Prop 19 does not create any new laws against smoking in front of minors.

  9. dragonfly de la luz on

    “Thanks to the ambiguous wording, there’s no way to know for sure how a judge will interpret it. Or what exactly in it that law enforcement will try to enforce. We all have to wait and see.”

    –we all have to wait and see? our freedom is far too important to leave to chance. we won’t wait and see. we’ll wait til 2012, and vote yes to the CCHH initiative that jack herer supported!

    http://www.jackherer.com/initiative.html
    http://youthfederation.com/cchhi2012.html

  10. Interested Observer on

    Bravo.

    Thank you for stating the obvious. If the law says SMOKING cannabis in the presence of minors is still illegal, then you can simply consume it in some other way. But I can also think of ways to make sure no minors are present when you are smoking: find a room in your home that has a door that locks and make sure your kids are on the other side of it when you’re smoking. The room will usually be a bathroom or a toilet, which may have the added benefit of an extractor fan. I myself prefer to smoke near a fan so the smell doesn’t linger and no one has to suffer my second-hand smoke.

    The arguments for voting No are specious at best. Anyone who claims to be a smoker but who advocates voting No is a plant. They are liars who will say anything to confuse the gullible into voting against their own best interests. Vote Yes on Prop. 19 because it will be the beginning of the end of this stupid war. Vote Yes on Prop. 19 because it will be in YOUR best interest, but not in the interest of those who want you to vote No. Vote Yes on Prop. 19 because Prohibition is WRONG and you want to make sure all those lying/scheming/squirming politicians know that’s how you feel about it.

    Vote Yes on Prop. 19 because it’s the right thing to do. Enough said.

  11. Jordan on

    Although I am not a member of the proud californian nation, I would like to input my opinion. If the law says “smoking of cannabis in front of minors not protected by prop 19” than cannabis users truly still have nothing to fear for I have found a few loopholes. Even with this part of the law in place you could still consume cannabis in front of minors by, eating cannabis consumables, using cannabis tinctures, and vaporizing (maybe). So please vote yes on Prop 19. If I lived in California I would. It’s time that this great nation woke up and became aware of the mess that it has created. Legalize.

  12. JayelleFarmer on

    I totally agree with your comment that Prop 19 is another step along the way to full legalization.

    When society is ready, here comes Jack Herer’s Initiative, which will achieve two major things:

    1) Remove the prison penalties and 2) limit the tax to $10 an ounce.

    After Prop 19, this is the Initiative I hope to support.

    Jayelle

  13. Anonymous on

    I happen to disagree with this author so I will reply with some definitions from Merriam Webster’s deluxe dictionary:

    To permit: to consent, to give leave, authorize.

    To consent: to give assent or approval.

    To authorize: to establish by or as if by authority.

    To assent: to agree to something especially after thoughtful consideration.

    To approve: to give formal or official sanction to.

    To sanction: to give affective or authoritative approval or consent to.

    Prop 19 specifically says “not permitted.” which means ALL of these words would be to NOT do these things. Keep that in mind with this definition:

    To prohibit: to forbid by authority.

    Therefore, in my opinion and many others, not permitted pretty much means prohibited.

    When it comes to the wording, I think this article is bending the facts from what Prop 19 actually says about this subject.

    And I’m not saying prop 19 shouldn’t pass. When it does, it will be a huge step forward. But there are definitely some things in it that are not great.

    People who are huge proponents of the bill realize that there are things wrong with it. And that’s kind of ok. Because it’s still better than what anyone has right now. The State of California analysis does not say that it intends not smoking in front of minors as one of the intended effects. But there’s no way to really know how it will play out until it passes. Thanks to the ambiguous wording, there’s no way to know for sure how a judge will interpret it. Or what exactly in it that law enforcement will try to enforce. We all have to wait and see.

  14. Montana Gates on

    I see Prop. 19 only as a step to Full Legalization. It’s not our final resolution. After this passes then we fight for another bill granting even more freedom if not Full Legalization. Fighting against this bill is against our final resolution and therefore only hinders the citizens suffering under the current Marijuana Prohibition Laws.

  15. Anonymous on

    Hahaha. That was ingenius my man

  16. Anonymous on

    Let’s see the hippies (Carl Sagan, Timothy Leary, the Beatles etc) brought us vegetarianism, environmentalism, Eastern Mysticism, Self Empowerment . . .

    ….none of the people in your list are hippies. The four concepts you associate them with existed for centuries prior to you hearing about them..the 60’s have been over for a half a century- over for two generations

    The straights fear home cultivation because everybody will overproduce and sell to others out of state..kids will swipe it and smoke it- five stolen plants would keep a group of young people very stoned for a very long time: break & enter crime to swipe plants will skyrocket: and police will have to search for stolen marijuana on top of their regular duties. Stolen pot will be sold on the black market just like it is at present. Stoners fear rational debate and they are not responsible enough to consider the right and comforts of others- they just want to push through a bill that lets them get and stay stoned.
    That’s why the rest of the straight world flips you off- the inherent selfishness of the 420 swindle gypsies

  17. Bruce Cain on

    Oh my, those dirty, furry hippies. LOL.

    Let’s see the hippies (Carl Sagan, Timothy Leary, the Beatles etc) brought us vegetarianism, environmentalism, Eastern Mysticism, Self Empowerment . . .

    Yeah they’re the problem?

    The real problem is that the elite always co-opts groups as they have NORML, MPP and DPA. The only real change they want is to substitute “Regulate, Control and Tax” Prohibition for Marijuana Prohibition. Why? So they can monopolize the business, serve as tax collectors for the cities and unwittingly fund the prisons and other counter productive activities.

    This is the real reason we have seen so little change and that the changes we do see violate our original mission: the right to grow untaxed and unregulated. Why do you suppose these groups are so afraid of self cultivation? It seems to me that their main objective is monopolization of the market: much as the hard liquor lobby has done by making it illegal to have a still. And that is essentially the model that Prop19 emulates. How many folk that go a square inch over their ‘5 by 5’ space are going to get busted?

  18. dragonfly de la luz on

    jeremiah claims:

    “it does not permit smoking in front of a minor or include it in the definition of ‘personal consumption’. This means that people who are busted smoking in front of a minor would not be protected by terms of Proposition 19 and could, at very worst, be charged with any laws on the books now…”

    but the thing is, THERE IS NO LAW ON THE BOOKS NOW against smoking pot in the presence of minors. that means that although prop. 19 does not set any penalty for this new offense, ***what you and other proponents of prop. 19 fail to admit is that IT EMPOWERS GOVERNMENT, AT EVERY LEVEL, TO DO SO.***

    wanna just vote for prop. 19 and wait and see what penalties local governments assign to this new offense? i don’t. i’m sure no one who lives in the same house with minors would want to, either.

    and cease with your blatant misrepresentation of things i’ve said. i never said that prop. 19 will make new laws prohibiting smoking in front of a minor. even the quote you use to “prove it” does not say that. what i do say is that people smoking in the presence of minors *could* potentially face arrest. because they could. it all depends on how local governments decide to punish people for this new offense, since the initiative leaves that up to them.

    why take chances? VOTE NO ON 19, YES IN 2012!

    educate yourself on the facts of the initiative:

    votetaxcannabis2010.blogspot.com
    http://thehive.modbee.com/node/20404
    http://votetaxcannabis2010.blogspot.com/p/response-to-chris-conrads-missive.html
    http://votetaxcannabis2010.blogspot.com/p/prop-19-vs-herers-cannabis-hemp-health.html

  19. Anonymous on

    Every American pot advocate I ever heard seemed to be obsessed with being part of hippy history, while denying the contributions of anybody else & stepping on anybody who lookjed like they might get some glory. Its pathetic they are either furry 60s throwback looking or semi straight looking with some hempie teaser notion such as a marijuana print tie or a tied dyed business suit. All of them are vague, angry and dirt poor, begging for donations so they can continue being marginally famous. None of them do anything of any worth except mock their many enemies. They remind me too much of small town church ministers, pretending to be holy & pious but are like every other scammer, scoping out any opportunity to suck up to the merchants and push their own little agendas,

    None of therm are effective and none of them are original- when if or when California ever legalizes marijuana, it will because of the work of civil servants in committee working out the ways and means. Legalization of pot will have nothing to do with the pot clowns, marijuana carperbaggers and weed hustling pseudo healers that clog up public space. All of them are old farts most hitting 50 some hitting 60 and none of them with a track record of any sort of success. The stoner rodeo every April 20 is just a drug drunk, it hasn’t been holy since kids invented it years ago.
    I dunno, all this activist crap and what does it get us except anxious and then disappointed, again and again.Anything this unsuccessful needs a serious renovation and the parasite jerks kicked out.

    You’d think that after 70 years. there would some success over prohibition, but no , Just more lame stoner stunts and displays of excess. It’s kind of stupid when you think about it

  20. Bruce Cain on

    Dragonfly has written some great scorching analysis of Prop19. It really does deserve to fail.

    The trick that “JerryMyISmokePlaeeese” and Marc Emery, are attempting, is something a magician could really appreciate. Their tactics are really based on misdirection: steering your attention away from where the “trick” is taking place. In this case it is done by focusing on a single facet of Prop19 and then saying “See, everything is OK. Vote Now Dumb Stoner.” They both would like you to focus on a single tree so you miss what is going on in the forest. As of late there have been a plethora of such articles by the ProProp19 folk. Don’t be fooled by the tactic.

    The bigger question is really how Marc Emery went from being against any regulation and control to supporting Prop19: which reeks of control just from the name of the proposal: “TAX, REGULATE and CONTROL.” Read more about Marc’s 180 degree change of position here:

    http://www.newagecitizen.com/MERP/RelegalizeNowObama45.htm

    So let us not miss the forest for the trees and ask a much simpler question:

    If “Marijuana is safer” than alcohol as Monkey Boy Armentano (NORML) insists, then why are we allowing Prop19 to treat it like it is more dangerous than alcohol? By the way, Monkey Boy supports Prop19.

    For instance Prop19 only allows possession of 1 measly ounce of Marijuana. But I can go to the local “Drug Store” and buy 50 cases of beer and 100 fifths of Scotch. But wait, if “Marijuana IS Safer” then why can’t I buy or grow 12 pounds of Marijuana as Jack Herer’s CCHH initiative would allow? Hell, why can’t I buy 300 pounds of Marijuana if I’d prefer?

    When I joined Jack Herer’s “grail quest” to truly legalize Marijuana, in 1989, it was clear what we both wanted accomplish. We wanted every adult American to simply be able to grow it: no taxes, no regulation, no limitation.

    There are really 2 vehicles to accomplish this:

    * At the state level we have Jack Herer’s CCHH model which can be transposed to any US State that allows initiatives. It allows up to 12 pounds and 99 flowering plants for each adult American.

    * At the federal and international level we have MERP. MERP does two things: (1) Removes Marijuana from the Controlled substances Act, and (2) Withdraws from all UN Drug Accords.

    You can watch a video on the MERP Strategy here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG4YzkHjIPo&feature=player_embedded

    I have know Marc quite awhile: since about 1990. I often wonder whether Marc may be getting threatened in prison, by the US Government, in order to garner his support for Prop19. Either that or it is possible that he hopes to secure a Canadian Mega Grow just like Prop19 financier Richard Lee is currently doing in Oakland California through Oaksterdam University.

    I tend to be cynical in that I always need to understand motive. But in the end Marc is most certainly free to hold any opinion he likes. That is what freedom is about: being able to express ones self without fear of violence or repression. And that is really WHY I want every adult to grow any amount of Marijuana in their homes or gardens. From my song “The Ride So Far:”

    “Weed is just a symbol now, of those freedoms I hold sacred.”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKFCuV1uvSA

    So in the spirit of freedom and no censorship, let me invite you to the “grail quest” that Jack and I have committed our lives: Legalizing Self Cultivation Worldwide. We will be in Anahiem Saturday to hand out Anti-Prop19 fliers:

    http://www.newagecitizen.com/NoOnProp19.htm

    And to really understand the Drug War:

    http://www.newagecitizen.com/MERP.htm

    Yours in Peace and Freedom,

    Bruce W. Cain
    Editor of New Age Citizen
    Author of the MERP Model

  21. Anonymous on

    In terms of marijuana, if it is to be treated like alcohol and tobacco then it needs to be treated like alcohol and tobacco. I live in a state that it illegal to smoke a cigarette in your own vehicle if your kids are in it! It is already illegal to drink and drive but people do it anyway. Personally, I don’t believe there should be any law prohibiting you to do something in your own home. If someone wants to drink alcohol in front of their kids or smoke a cigarette in front of their kids, it is their choice and RIGHT to do so. I won’t let my kids stay at that person’s house if that is what they choose and that is my right. As far as marijuana goes I believe that a person that smokes in the privacy of their own home should not face any sort of penelty. Smoking weed doesn’t make a person violent like alcohol and it doesn’t have all of the harmful chemicals of tobacco. If my kids grow up to smoke marijuana, I won’t be ashamed. I think that if you make it a secret, something that is “bad” more and more people are going to want to do it due to the mystery. I didn’t know what marijuana was until the D.A.R.E. program. In that program they showed me what marijuana was, what it looked like and even passed a sample around to know what it smells like. The showed us pictures of heroin and cocaine. D.A.R.E. is disgusting and paints a very bad stigma that is related to any type of drug, yet they exclued alcohol and tobacco. I am just afraid that if they pass anything that has any type of language saying that it is prohibited to smoke in front of a minor is a gross violation of our rights. It is going to give DHS another excuse to go into homes and rip them to shreds while basically selling our kids on a market. It’s true go see for yourself and read stories at http://www.fightcps.com. Just like the prohibition of marijuana in the first place, it was wrong to prohibit people from making their free choice. Our nation could be out of debt by now if we didn’t have all of these Harry Anslinger brain-washed baby boomers in our way. I say END THE DRUG WAR! Legalize, regulate, and tax. I am sick and tired of the methadone heads in my community being able to get their highly addictive man-made drug from a “clinic” when the actual drug heroin is half as bad for them. It’s true, methadone kills just as many as heroin yet it is socially acceptable, the only difference is if you are on a methadone regimin created by a doctor, you are eligible to collect Social Security check every month, where if you are a heroin junky then you don’t get anything. I have never been into any other drugs, never cared to even try them. Marijuana is all I need. I hate alcohol and I hate cigarettes. I hate xanex, benzos and all of the other psycho medicine that is highly addictive out there. As far as the children are concerned I say, “Alcohol and tobacco are less accessable to a minor than marijuana, cocaine, heroin or methanphetamines. Why? Because at a store a clerk asks for an ID. A drud dealer doesn’t ask for ID, doesn’t care what age you are, just as long as you have the money they are gonna sell it. A teenager is more likely to score a bag of weed than they are able to obtain a bottle of alcohol.” If you start nanny-stating on things like how many feet away from the kids you should be when smoking marijuan it is just insane. We will legalize nation wide within the next 5-10 years anyway so quit fighting it. Let’s stop putting people in jail and taking their kids away for something that this nation is going to chose to do anyway. I’ve smoked marijuana in public and it didn’t hurt anyone. Quite honestly, smoking in public is a place less likely for you to get caught anyway cause that is the last place that the police would think that you would smoke. I’ve smoked a joint walking down the road, in the park, in the dark, in the light, while having sex, while talking on the phone…even my mid-wife suggested it when I lost over 30lbs when I was pregnant due to such bad morning sickness I wasn’t able to keep any food down. I smoked some weed as she suggested and was able to keep my food down and have a beautiful, healthy 8lb baby. It is not something that should have been made illegal in the first place. It only became illegal due to the stigma placed on it that it was a drug for “blacks and Mexicans”. Racisism is what made the plant illegal and it should have been decriminalized and leglaized and regulated when the civil rights movement took place. Stop this over-grown, nose up your ass government, let us have peace and privacy!!

  22. jeremiah on

    David

    This cut-and-pasted response from a personal email you sent to Jennifer (and forwarded to my inbox) misses the point of my blog post entirely. Although, calling it a ‘response’ to my blog post would be unfair to Jennifer, because as far as I know she hasn’t actually read my post, but was responding to a question you emailed to her that asked, ‘And what do you make of the “doesn’t permit but doesn’t prohibit” smoking in the same space as minors argument?’

    Read this part of my post again: “This means that people who are busted smoking in front of a minor would not be protected by terms of Proposition 19 and could, at very worst, be charged with any laws on the books now (and as the Czars noted, “Law enforcement officers do not currently focus much effort on arresting adults whose only crime is possessing small amounts of marijuana”). The bill does not create a law against “ingesting or smoking marijuana while minors are present” or “burden them with new and complicated enforcement duties”. It also means nothing would change for medicinal users. Again, Prop 19 DOES NOT create a new offense against smoking in front of a minor!”

    Is that true or not?

    Proposition 19 does not CREATE a new offense against smoking in front of minors – someone could be charged only with laws on the books now if they were caught smoking in front of a minor (as they wouldn’t be protected by the exemptions in Prop 19) And as you have argued, police don’t really arrest people for under an ounce right now because of the decrim!

  23. David Malmo-Levine on

    From a California Attorney:

    As far as the prohibited versus not allowing parts, this is something that is highly under debate by activists but not by the actual Yes on 19 campaign. The Yes on 19 campaign does not argue that “not allowing” something is making it illegal. The people that are making such arguments do not understand how laws are made and enforced. By legalizing smoking but banning it in certain circumstances, the proposition has made these actions illegal in a back door way. Even the Yes on 19 campaign quotes the California Legislative Analysts Office report that says: “the smoking of marijuana in the presence of minors is not permitted.” So people are arguing that it is not permitted but it is not illegal? That makes no sense. Look at the opposite of that sentence. Smoking is not permitted but it is still legal? How, then, would they enforce it? If the people making these statements are correct,you might not be allowed to smoke in certain situations, but there would be no way for anyone to stop you. Since the acts would not be illegal, a police officer could not stop you from smoking a foot away from your 7 year old, or walking down the street. This is obviously not what was intended by the proposition. Just because a law does not say “X, Y, and Z are illegal” does not mean it is not so. A law can also say”you can do A, but not X, Y, and Z.” In the end, X, Y, and Z are illegal under both circumstances.

    Jennifer Soares
    CA State Bar #: 266160
    ph: 310.880.1189

  24. Anonymous on

    and then smoke all you want in front of kids, that way you only face half the penalty as its only half weed, the other half is tobacco. Long live the Philly Blunt. Also if you smoke outdoors in front of minors, that’s not a space, it is the great outdoors so smoke away!
    Also give pot away, or conveniently drop it and lose it right in your buddys hand and collect the fee later on another day and that is not trafficking.
    If we are all going to be fake medical marijuana patients anyway , we might as well keep on going faking it and fake it right to the top.