LA DA Continues Anti-Marijuana Crusade

Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who has assailed medical marijuana dispensaries as illegal, profit-reaping operations, is targeting the legitimacy of the November ballot initiative to legalize recreational pot and allow local governments to tax and regulate its use.

In a letter to attorney general Jerry Brown, Cooley charges that the title and summary for the measure is “wrong and highly misleading” and should be disallowed.

Cooley, a Republican candidate for state attorney general, charges that the initiative offers false promises of providing “major tax and other fiscal benefits” for the state and local governments and regulating marijuana like alcohol.

Cooley argues that the burden will fall on “local governments to promulgate comprehensive cannabis-related regulations.” He said that will “unduly burden local governments” and “lead to a chaotic and confusing result.”

He also argues that the measure, which would allow Californians over 21 to grow pot in 25-square-foot residential spaces, would also “create an absolute right to cultivate marijuana on private property” and, possibly, on public lands.

Cooley’s April 13 letter was followed 10 days later by a memo in The Huffington Post from the Drug Policy Alliance, an group advocating alternatives to the drug war.

In “Dismantling the Talking Points of Marijuana Prohibitionists,” Tony Newman and Stephen Gutwillig of the Alliance argue that “the California ballot initiative simply acknowledges that marijuana is here and that it’s more sensible to regulate this massive market.”

“The bottom line,” they wrote, “is that marijuana is California’s largest agricultural commodity, freely consumed by millions…with no financial benefit to the state…This is a reality we literally can’t afford to ignore any longer.”

– Article from The Sacramento Bee.



  1. David762 on

    because when MJ is legalized in CA in November, there will still be considerable state restrictions — it will not be “legal, like alcohol (at the Federal level)”. In case you haven’t been paying attention, the Right-wingers in CA have been using loosely defined state MJ laws to go after MMJ dispensaries and individuals.

    These LEO-inspired counter-MJ operations will continue in the future. There is a multitude or reasons — LEO justifying their continued relevance and employment, the asset forfeiture aspects represents a tremendous fiscal incentive in a cash-strapped state, and then there is that “holier-than-thou” religious aspect. Any MJ legalization not clearly defined in CA state statutes will be used as a legal gray area in which they will operate. Most LEO are fascists at heart — Cooley is no different.

  2. Lipchitz on

    Hardly mentioned in these reports on medical marijuana patients and facilities being harrassed & raided is the cost to taxpayers for the surveilance, arrest & prosecution of otherwise law abiding ctizens especially since the majority of these cases end up being thrown-out as frivolous! I believe some of the “Law & Order” crowd might re-think this “Reefer Madness” mentality if confronted with the true cost of their folly.

  3. Christopher Carr on

    We need to at least relax prison sentences for non-violent crimes. California, and America, have a tragically overstimulated system of corrections. A fresh approach to how we understand prison and the goal of incarceration is the basis for a new system that balances crime prevention with the cost of locking up so many Americans.

    Read more:

  4. Anonymous on

    The bullshit of prohibition has gone on for way too long. The suffering caused to people and this planet is truely evil. Every time I have smoke I call on divine forces to kill prohibition and for bad luck to afflict its minions – of who Cooley would be one.

    I think at pro-pot gatherings there should be a “cursing ceremony”.

    “Blood! Fire! Raas clot!”

    [of course, all the “orthodox” change efforts should be made as well]

  5. Anonymous on

    What a fat lump of useless legal costs, that guy look like he’s the one who will be confused and chaotic. How could he use extra costs as a negative factor, billions spent on prohibition

  6. tub-o-lard on

    will have to hire people who can actualy think .instead of thugs and murderers .lets at least get our moneys worth from these blue shirted crimnals

  7. Steve on

    I would suggest the motive is religious. Its the “Devils Weed” you know. Can’t have people thinking on their own. If they did that, religion would be eradicated in short order. Hes just a statist. All he knows is control, control, control. Gotta keep the cows in line you know.

    Watch this, it might make more sense to after….

    The Story of Your Enslavement


  8. Atlanta Toker on

    Unless he has the same beef aainst Liquor and Beer, tell Cooley to cool his heels we’re just going to legalize it and then there will be no confusion what so ever. Then las enforcement can actually go back to work for the first time in 40 years and try to wipe out check and credit card fraud. This goes on all over this country and it is so widespread that law enforcement just blows it off as a lost cause.

    I would much prefer that law enforcement put their time and effort in to stopping these crimes than to hassle an individual for mere possession. All these Law enforcement heroes need to go work for their money for a change and get off the tax payers back. All theyve been doing the last 40 years is picking off the low hanging fruit. Instead of excepting state and federal funds fighting a battle that was doomed for failure from the very beginning, go back to work trying to wipe out fraud and theft. Do some actual work.
    You wont be getting to pull out those weapons and call out that SWAT bunch as much but I can live with that and so can every other American. Actually we have a far batter chance of living this way than in the current situation.

  9. Mark on

    I never thought in 2010 their would be so many radical opposition groups against marijuana legalization. With the internet, and massive media coverage, everyone should know by now that marijuana is much safer than alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical drugs, and caffeine for that matter. What’s their REAL motive I wonder…

    What kind of “free” country is this?