By now, everyone knows the marijuana propositions that would have allowed medical marijuana in South Dakota, dispensaries in Oregon and legalized recreational marijuana in California did not pass, but it won.
Proposition 19 took the discussion from “Can it be legal?” “Should it be legal?” “Will it be legal?” to “When will it be legal?”
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that its only a matter of time, a countdown, til legalization. What this initiative did was made it plain to see that the move is imminent in California, and that it will spread like a wave around the world.
Looking in hind sight, one can say that we might have gained a point or two here if this was done or this wasn’t or was in the bill, if the campaign had a more inclusive attitude, if they spent more money on advertising or whatever. The reality is, it doesn’t matter.
We knew that unless a lot more money was put into the campaign that this initiative would lose.
I have heard complaints about how the proposition was put together. I myself, was not enamored with its wording. BUT, of all of the people who complained, I have not heard one person say “I will put up money and do it myself and write a better bill.”
In the end, George Soros put up a million dollars. That million dollars could have been much better spent if it was put up a month before election night than a week before. Nevertheless, it helped. But think about the million dollars that George Soros put up. It came out of his back pocket and it was just part of the money that he earned the previous week.
Think of the million dollars that Richard Lee used to get the campaign started. It was a great part if not the greatest part of his wealth. It was hard earned over many years by him taking the risk of being a dispensary owner in downtown Oakland, California– not what you would call a “great shopping district”.
He earned that money so he could campaign to make marijuana legal. That million dollars was in turn much more meaningful to him than say, money from a billionaire or a celebrity. Think of all the rock stars, comedians, and personalities who have developed part of their persona as pot smokers. They have written about it, joked about it, sung about, acted out roles about it– any one of them could have taken a million dollars and put marijuana on the ballot. They could have asked their friends to help them do it and split the cost. They could have each put up a million dollars and split the costs…
But Richard was the only one.
There are 1000 dispensaries in California, if each of them put up $10,000 (2.5 pounds retail) we would be smoking legal marijuana today.
SO, If you didn’t write Richard’s bill, and you think you can write a better bill, and you have or can get together the million dollars it takes to get it on the ballot THEN DO IT. Then you will have a right to complain about any aspect of Richard’s bill you didn’t like. Until then, I personally am grateful and thankful that Richard put that money up and got the bill on the ballot so that people could actually vote to make marijuana legal.