2 Cops, Judge Sign California Marijuana Ballot Argument

A retired LAPD deputy chief, a previous San Jose chief of police and a former superior court judge from Orange County have signed the official ballot argument in favor of Proposition 19, the statewide measure to legalize, tax and control marijuana.

“Outlawing marijuana hasn’t stopped 100 million Americans from trying it,” reads the pro-legalization ballot argument from the veteran law enforcers. “But we can control it, make it harder for kids to get, weaken the cartels, focus police resources on violent crime and generate billions in revenue and savings. We need a common sense approach to control marijuana.”

The signers, Los Angeles Deputy Chief of Police Stephen Downing (Ret.), San Jose Chief of Police Joseph McNamara (Ret.) and Judge James Gray (Ret.) are all members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an international organization of police, prosecutors and judges who are working to change failed marijuana laws.

The three signatories constitute only a handful of the dozens of California police officers, judges and prosecutors who are actively campaigning to help voters understand that the current prohibition on marijuana represents a grave threat to public safety by empowering the violent cartels and gangs that control the illegal market.

A CBS-5/Survey USA poll out this week shows Prop. 19 leading 50% to 40% among likely voters.

The full ballot argument in favor of Prop. 19 can be read at

– Article from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Click here to listen to a radio interview with Judge James Gray in CC Blogs.



  1. Anonymous on


  2. Anonymous Don on

    …needs more people with a logic approach like this. A very well spoken statement!

  3. moldy on

    Just because it’s not perfect you’ll vote no? That’s too bad. You must be under 21 or you sell weed. If you’re a “patient” you lose nothing and actually gain more rights and MUCH cheaper medicine. A prop 215 patient might get a decent deal where maybe they can buy food now because the cannabis won’t be $50 an 1/8th any longer. Oh, I’m sorry you didn’t make a 500% profit off the back of someone with cancer?

  4. moldy on

    Nothing changes for prop 215 patients. Quit the fear mongering. You sound like a cop. Don’t be stupid.

  5. Dale allo on

    legal marijuana is almost here and you’re telling people to vote against it. we need to get our foot in the door we can work out technicalities after. its alot harder to get this bill passed than changing the bill to suit our needs later. this is the furthest we’ve gotten why the hell would you want to put a stop to it and set the movement back ten years?

  6. Blossom on

    “But we can control it, make it harder for kids to get, weaken the cartels, focus police resources on violent crime and generate billions in revenue and savings. We need a common sense approach to control marijuana.”


  7. Kelly L . White on

    How will they do that? They don’t have the resources to arrest every Californian who might decide to partake of the now legal substance. I doubt California will be willing to pay for the trials and incarceration of all those people and local cops will not be allowed to help arrest their own people for using a legal substance.

  8. cybergenesis on

    Sorry I meant to say there is no proven causal link between cannabis CAUSING the above mentioned health issues, marijuana is CORRELATED with certain diseases, this simply means that people with certain attributes are statistically associated with marijuana, there is a difference between this and marijuana being a CAUSE of a health problem. Besides issues with smoking, I am not aware of any CONCLUSIVE HARD SCIENCE which proves marijuana CAUSES any serious disease of condition that would not exist had marijuana not been consumed.

  9. cybergenesis on

    Everyone who believes in marijuana legalization is waiting with great anticipation to the referendum about to be held later this year.

    *IF* it passes, it will bring the marijuana legalization issue to the WORLD STAGE.

    If it fails however, it may put the movement in limbo for many more years to come, with the best hopes remaining on lessening criminal penalties and allowing medical usage.

    Also it could be struck down or various other things may happen, when the people in power with vested interested decide to stamp the issue out and impose their will on the populace.

    But there is a hope, it could challenge the general illegal status of cannabis worldwide.

    Cannabis is highly safe compared to either alcohol or cigarettes. Unlike alcohol or cigarretes, there is no definite proved correlation with marijuana- even chronic use over many decades- and death. Marijuana is also significantly less addictive than both alcohol and cigarettes though it does have some habbit forming properties.

    There is no solid evidence that marijuana is the primary or a major cause of any serious disease or disorder, including psychiatric. While marijuana may not interact well with a few very specific disorders, the vast majority of non-psychotic adults over 21 can consume cannabis if they like the effects without any legitimate serious health concerns except respiratory if SMOKED LONG TERM, however there are now safe and more advanced ways of consuming it, ie vaporizing it.

    People cannabis is not a sinister drug that gives some lustful, devil inspired dirty junkie high. I hold great affection for cannabis. I am a kind and decent person, please for FUCKS SAKE its time the government got out of my own private home and threatening me with prison for my passion for a non-toxic plant.

  10. Dale allo on

    All this for a god damn plant! our world is falling apart and people are throwing so much into making this plant illegal its ridiculous we’re all going to die soon and people want to take away the little joy people get from smoking pot.think of it like a population thinning if anything.. if the prohibitionists think potheads are non productive wastes of space then the more smokers the more jobs will be available because the potheads will be all sitting around doing nothing. its common sense if we legalize the country will save money and cut down on crime what else do you need to know? in a free country people should be free to do what they want as long as they’re harming noone. now some may say that there are those who may see pot smokers an want to emulate them and ruin their lives but people need to be responsible for themselves and take responsibility for their own actions. we nee to find a way to get the successful potheads out of the closet but who can blame them for keeping quiet when they could lose everything over it.

  11. Anonymous on

    My understanding is that the MM laws won’t change, and also they cannot tax you on the stuff you grow for yourself, only stuff that’s sold commercially.
    The fact is this is probably the best chance we will have to get pot legal. If this bill fails, it will be more difficult to get another on the ballet.
    Laws are modified and amended all the time, once the law passes, we can work on getting amendments passed to improve the law.

  12. Anonymous on

    were you realy going to pay all those taxes? lol

  13. castklearr on

    This law limits me and invites the police to tax $50 a ounce on me for what I can now grow for nothing under prop 215. What if I need 6 pounds a year…..thats $4800 tax.

    This Law has “POLICE ME” written all over it….from no public smoking to home privacy regulated by police. Besides it limits weight and size of your growing capacity. It also takes away your medical rights under law.

    I’m for keeping the black market… voting NO and keeping my Dr.s reccomendation where I can grow as much and posses as much as I need under prop 215!


    Oregon law to reschedule BETTER!

  14. Interested Observer on

    There’s no need for name-calling, Ray. The above post was merely pointing out the likely outcomes, not expressing a preference for those outcomes. It is clear from the polls being conducted that the “Nay’s” have the lead at this point. There are many vested interests who stand to lose a great deal(pardon the pun) if legalization goes ahead and they are pouring large amounts of money into the campaign against it. The middle ground is where the fight is being conducted and, if the “Yea’s” can’t convince those without a vested interest of the righteousness of the cause, the measure will indeed fail. I, along with many others, would be sad to see it happen but, it may happen nonetheless. It’s not the fear that stoners will vote “Nay” that worries me, but that they won’t vote at all. Stoner apathy is well known to me from personal experience.

    As for what might happen if the measure gets up, well, that is a different and very interesting kettle of fish. The federal government may indeed try to strike the law down, to impose its will upon the people of California. But, given this is a voter-initiated referendum, they may find that more difficult to achieve than they think. My guess is it will go all the way to the Supreme Court before being settled and I would like to believe that the SCotUS will be very reluctant to overturn a law brought about by citizen-initiated referendum for fear of the precedent that sets. It would definitively end any pretence of democracy in the US if the will of the people was overridden in such an obvious manner.

    So, there is no need to belittle the above poster for their comments. Save them for that Nazi cop troll who is being paid to spout the usual party lies on this site. He’s around here somewhere, waiting to play the “He who shouts longest and loudest wins the argument!” game.

  15. Dave on

    Didn’t Martin push him out before he had time to decriminalize. Martin watered it down then Harper with Zachardeli’s help pushed Martin out. Now we might end up with minimum sentences. And if you question Harper and Cabinet you’ll get a visit from the arrest and incarcerate industry. Like this is a 3240 degree turn; shit I’m getting nauseous spinning around like this!

  16. Freshray on

    that’s all I wanted to say,was that u sir are an idiot,just like anslinger and dupont and all the fogies of the world,”we already have alcohol and tobacco,do we really want another stimulant”dea yo yo quote sounds just like you,If frankenstein was alive today,and he seen what we did to marijuana,he would die of fright!

  17. Freshray on

    that’s all I wanted to say,was that u sir are an idiot,just like anslinger and dupont and all the asshole fogies of the world,”we already have alcohol and tobacco,do we really want another stimulant”dea yo yo quote sounds just like you,If frankenstein was alive today,and he ween what we did to marijuana,he would die of fright!

  18. MOTFA on

    was for legalization until lil’ bush put a stop to that. I even remember he said “don’t start to smoke just yet” In my mind, that makes jean a coward. No face on a bill or coin for you, no eternal hero worship, no nothing but disappointment. CC even did a article on it here: https://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/articles/2951.html

  19. Freshray on

    We need to stop letting the fogies of the past think for us and our children and realize it was prohibited so the fat cats could be rich,imagine if they would have done this with tobacco,I myself would still have a voice box instead of breathing through a hole in my neck. Millions of people that have died from cancer would still be here if they would have done this to tobacco and alcohol,they’re decisions seventy some odd years ago have killed millions of people,wake up and stop the blindness,and soak in knowledge,and free the plant!

  20. Anonymous on

    The reason why the say this once their retired and never say it when the are currently working police or judges is because they wouldn’t have their jobs long if they did. Its the same reason why no President of the USA or Prime Minister of Canada will ever be in favour of legalization. There are too many brain washed people that are against it and it would mean votes and their careers coming to an end even before they get started. It really is too bad it is like this because things always stay the same it just perpetuates this cycle of a unjust law, wasting tax money and putting innocent people in jail.

  21. MOTFA on

    always the retired people who come out for mj? Don’t they know that it would be much more effective if they were all actually still working? The same as politicians, all the same b.s.

    I am more apt to think that these men are cowards since they no longer have to worry about getting shot in the line of duty (including the judge and any politician).

    Closet mj people who come out after they no longer have to care about their jobs.

    Whatever. Just take your damn social security check and be a coward somewhere else.

  22. Anonymous on

    Even if the state of California
    does manage to squeeze this by
    and declare marijuana legal
    the Feds will come in with
    mowers and chop that all down
    the next day.

    That is, _if it wins,,
    and so far its not winning..
    in fact the legal pot 4 Cali initiative
    is losing support every day
    and there’s still
    three months to go before the vote.

    Polls don’t mean much-
    if polls actually meant anything
    we wouldn’t need to vote