Prominent Law Professors For California’s Prop 19

CANNABIS CULTURE – A group of prominent law professors have penned a letter in support of California’s Proposition 19 to legalize and regulate marijuana.

Calling marijuana prohibition “a wasteful and ineffective policy”, the group of over 65 professors from across the political spectrum including Alexander “Sasha” Volokh, Georgetown’s Randy Barnett, Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz and Cardozo’s Barry Scheck, (see bottom of page for complete list) have signed a letter called “Law Professors Say Control and Tax Cannabis” at the Yes on Prop 19 website.

Law Professors Say Control and Tax Cannabis

To the Voters of California:

As law professors at many law schools who focus on various areas of legal scholarship, we write this open letter to encourage a wholesale rethinking of marijuana policy in this country, and to endorse the Tax and Control Cannabis 2010 initiative—Proposition 19—that will be voted on in November in California.

For decades, our country has pursued a wasteful and ineffective policy of marijuana prohibition. As with alcohol prohibition, this approach has failed to control marijuana, and left its trade in the hands of an unregulated and increasingly violent black market. At the same time, marijuana prohibition has clogged California’s courts alone with tens of thousands of non-violent marijuana offenders each year. Yet marijuana remains as available as ever, with teens reporting that it is easier for them to buy than alcohol across the country.

Proposition 19 would remove criminal penalties for private use and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana by adults and allow California localities to adopt—if they choose—measures to regulate commerce in marijuana. Passage of Proposition 19 would be an important next step toward adopting an approach more grounded in reason, for California and beyond.

Our communities would be better served if the criminal justice resources we currently spend to investigate, arrest, and prosecute people for marijuana offenses each year were redirected toward addressing unsolved violent crimes. In short, the present policy is causing more harm than good, and is eroding respect for the law.

Moreover, we are deeply troubled by the consistent and dramatic reports of disproportionate enforcement of marijuana laws against young people of color. Marijuana laws were forged in racism, and have been demonstrated to be inconsistently and unfairly applied since their inception. These are independent reasons for their repeal.

Especially in the current economic climate, we must evaluate the efficacy of expensive government programs and make responsible decisions about the use of state resources. We find the present policies toward marijuana to be bankrupt, and urge their rethinking.

This country has an example of a path from prohibition. Alcohol is subject to a regulatory framework that is far safer in every respect than the days of Al Capone. Just like the State of New York did when it rolled back Prohibition 10 years before the nation as a whole, California should show leadership and restore respect for the law by enacting the Tax and Control Cannabis 2010 initiative this November.

Sincerely,

Jonathan H. Adler
Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, Ohio

Ty Alper
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Berkeley, CA

Hadar Aviram
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA

W. David Ball
Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, CA

Randy Barnett
Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC

Tom W. Bell
Chapman Law School, Orange, CA

Steve Berenson
Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA

Eric Berger
University of Nebraska, College of Law, Lincoln, NE

Douglas A. Berman
Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

David E. Bernstein
George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, VA

Ash Bhagwat
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA

Richard Boldt
University of Maryland School of Law, Baltimore, MD

Sande Buhai
Loyola University School of Law, Los Angeles, CA

Paul Butler
George Washington University Law School, Washington, DC

Erwin Chemerinsky
University of California, Irvine, CA

Gabriel J. Chin
University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Tucson, AZ

Marjorie Cohn
Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA

Mary Culbert
Loyola University School of Law, Los Angeles, CA

Angela J. Davis
Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, DC

Alan M. Dershowitz
Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA

Steven Duke
Yale Law School, New Haven, CT

Elizabeth Price Foley
Florida International University College of Law, Miami, FL

David Friedman
Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, CA

Mary Ellen Gale
Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa, CA

Pratheepan Gulasekaram
Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, CA

Bill Ong Hing
University of San Francisco School of Law, San Francisco, CA

Paige Kaneb
Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, CA

Madeline June Kass
Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA

Alice Kaswan
University of San Francisco School of Law, San Francisco, CA

Alex Kreit
Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA

Ellen Kreitzberg
Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, CA

David Levine
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA

Jerry Lopez
UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA

Elizabeth Loftus
University of California, Irvine, CA

Erik Luna
Washington and Lee University School of Law, Lexington, VA

Michael Madow
Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, NY

Leigh Maddox
University of Maryland, School of Law, Baltimore, MD

Charles Marvin
Georgia State University College of Law, Atlanta, GA

Lawrence C. Marshall
Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA

David N. Mayer
Capital University Law School, Columbus, OH

Tracy L. McGaugh
Touro Law Center, Central Islip, NY

Andrew P. Morriss
University of Alabama, School of Law, Tuscaloosa, AL

Michelle Oberman
Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, CA

Tamara R. Piety
University of Tulsa College of Law, Tulsa, OK

Ascanio Piomelli
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA

David G. Post
Beasley School of Law, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Jenny Roberts
Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, DC

Cesare Romano
Loyola University School of Law, Los Angeles, CA

Margaret Russell
Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, CA

Barry C. Scheck
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, NY

Steven Semeraro
Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA

Steven Shatz
University of San Francisco School of Law, San Francisco, CA

Jonathan Simon
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Berkeley, CA

Eric S. Sirulnik
George Washington University Law School, Washington, DC

David Sloss
Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, CA

Abbe Smith
Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC

Ilya Somin
George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, VA

Clyde Spillenger
UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA

Edward Steinman
Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, CA

Mark Strasser
Capital University Law School, Columbus, OH

Robert N. Strassfeld
Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, Ohio

Nadine Strossen
New York Law School, New York, NY

Gerald F. Uelmen
Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, CA

Alexander Volokh
Emory Law School, Atlanta, GA

Keith Wingate
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA

Eric Wright
Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, CA

Richard W. Wright
Illinois Institute of Technology
Kent College of Law, Chicago, IL

*All affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.

SIGN THE LETTER

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