The United States government has just declared war on medical cannabis, throwing nearly everyone in the cannabis movement into a panic and with good reason.
Even those with years of unblemished operations, including some of our finest and most respected MCDs, are being targeted. According to the latest proclamation from the Bluecoats, “Nobody is immune.”
The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine campaign team saw this coming when Bush holdover, Michele Leonhart, boasted she would ignore the administration’s formal medical marijuana guidelines, but was still appointed to head the DEA. As a result, our campaign team carefully crafted a revolutionary new voter initiative that will legally allow California to Opt Out of the Controlled Substances Act. Of course, the Feds can challenge our voter initiative once it passes, but we believe we have the necessary legal tools within this initiative to defeat them.
When the Obama Administration announced their drug war budget for 2011 was going to be bigger than last year, despite the severe cuts being forced upon all other government agencies, it became clear that funding for a major offensive was on its way. Likewise, on October 3rd, when the Justice Department announced $72 million in grants awarded for 182 narcotics officers to be hired in California, we knew the offensive was imminent.
Now that war has come, we are not surprised and our campaign team is ready, willing and able to execute our plan to qualify Regulate Marijuana Like Wine for the 2012 ballot. Meanwhile, most of our fellow activists did NOT see this coming and are in shock that they have been so completely betrayed by this President. Everyone agrees on one thing, this is serious, unprecedented and a battle we cannot afford to lose.
NORML has posted an inspired call for full legalization, but given that legalization is currently polling at 46% in California, this is hardly a viable plan. In contrast, a poll by the Economist magazine shows 62% support for regulation instead.
Activists have called for demonstrations, letters, federal legislation and acts of civil disobedience, but that has not worked in the past and there is no reason to believe it will work in the future.
Our major reform organizations are attempting to embarrass Obama into reversing his position, but this lame duck President has long since lost the ability to command anyone to do anything. So focusing on Obama is probably an exercise in futility.
September 30th was the last day to file an initiative for the 2012 California ballot. Two other initiatives have been filed, but both appear to be flawed. The Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act, which I have publicly supported, received their Title and Summary on October 3rd, but they previously refiled a modified version of their initiative on September 30th. For reasons we do not understand, both versions of their initiative failed to include 11999 H&S and is already raising serious questions. Fortunately, the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act includes this statute in our list of laws repealed. The other initiative, The Marijuana Penalties Act, decriminalizes two ounces for cultivation, which is worthless, since one plant can easily exceed this amount. This Act also appears to raise the current $100 fine for possession of one ounce to $250.
We are very grateful and energized by the endorsements we have received from the Libertarian Party, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Keith Stroup, Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher, Assemblyman Chris Norby, and Jim Doti the President of Chapman College. We are also delighted with our celebrity endorsements by Tommy Chong and Kenny Loggins.
Together we can and will defeat these Federal bullies and their cowardly new war against everything this great country was founded upon. Truly, the most patriotic thing any of us can do is to join together and use the voter initiative process to authorize California to Opt Out of the CSA.
The road ahead may be difficult and even dangerous, but we have the right plan, the right initiative, and the right moment in history to succeed.