Endorsements 2010: State ballot measures


PROP. 19



The most surprising thing about Prop. 19 is how it has divided those who say they support the legalization of marijuana. Critics within the cannabis community say decriminalization should occur at the federal level or with uniform statewide standards rather that letting cities and counties set their own regulations, as the measure does. Sure, fully legalizing marijuana on a large scale and regulating its use like tobacco and alcohol would be better — but that's just not going to happen anytime soon. As we learned with the legalization of marijuana for medical uses through Prop. 215 in 1996, there are still regional differences in the acceptance of marijuana, so cities and counties should be allowed to treat its use differently based on local values. Maybe San Francisco wants full-blown Amsterdam-style hash bars while Fresno would prefer far more limited distribution options — and that's fine.

Other opponents from within marijuana movement are simply worried about losing market share or triggering federal scrutiny of a system that seems to be working well for many. But those are selfish reasons to oppose the long-overdue next step in legalizing adult use of cannabis, a step we need to take even if there is some uncertainty about what comes next. By continuing with prohibition Californians and their demand for pot are empowering the Mexican drug cartels and their violence and political corruption; perpetuating a drug war mentality that is ruining lives, wasting resources, and corrupting police agencies that share in the take from drug-related property seizures; and depriving state and local governments of tax revenue from the California's number one cash crop.

Bottom line: if there are small problems with this measure, they can be corrected with state legislation that Assemblymember Tom Ammiano has already pledged to carry and that Prop. 19 explicitly allows. But this is the moment and the measure we need to seize to continue making progress in our approach to marijuana in California. Vote yes on Prop. 19.


PROP. 20



Prop. 20 seeks to transfer the power to draw congressional districts from elected officials to the 14-member California Citizens Redistricting Commission, the state agency created in 2008 to draw boundary lines for California state legislative districts and Board of Equalization districts.

Supporters argue that Prop. 20, (which is backed by Charles Munger Jr., the heir to an investment fortune) would create more competitive elections and holds politicians accountable. And indeed, there's been some funky gerrymandering going on the the state for decades.

But the commission is hardly a fair body — it has the same number of Republicans as Democrats in a state where there are far more Democrats than Republicans. And most states still draw lines the old-fashioned way, so Prop. 20 could give the GOP an advantage in a Democratic state. States like Texas and Florida, notorious for pro-Republican gerrymandering, aren't planning to change how they do their districts.

That's why former state Assemblymember John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), who lost his recent bid for the State Senate thanks to gerrymandering and an August special election, calls Prop. 20 "the unilateral disarmament of California."

It could also create a political mess in San Francisco, Laird said. "An independent commission could end up dividing the city north/south, not east/west. Or it could throw Sen. Mark Leno and Leland Yee into the same district." Vote no.



Thats all pretty confused justifications there.

In some states the republicans set boundaries and make it so republicans win, and thats bad, so we need to go back to the way things were so that the democratic legislature can set boundaries so that democrats can win.

That makes total sense and is not in the least self serving.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 11:49 am

It is 100% self-serving and I am sad but proud to say so. If TX voted to do the same thing at the same time, I would vote yes happily and whole-heartedly. But I ain't unilaterally disarming. Sorry.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2010 @ 10:50 am

After all, in Texas its important that republicans get their way and in California that democrats get their way. Those of us who are not true believers can tough it out, because left wing democrats and right wing republicans know best how we should all be living and should get to ruin their respective states.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 15, 2010 @ 5:14 am

I used to vote for unilateral disarmament among liberals, but I think it isn't serving us well: we need to combine the various clean-up efforts or Dems get walked all over. Are conservatives willing to vote for basic democracy = majority votes instead of hostage taking on the elections, and simultaneously progressives vote for basic democracy = giving up a slight advantage at redistricting? That would work better for me than another round of unilateral.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2010 @ 7:43 pm


Posted by matlocl on Oct. 17, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

The thing that puts me off about prop 20 is that it creates a panel of half Republicans and half Democrats.

I realize we don't have a viable 3rd party right now, but why insert another road-block?

In my opinion, our current binary political system is the root of most of our problems. Why would we want to write it into law yet one more time?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

the two parties and a number of decline to state types. There is also some arcane way to that they pick the members that is kinda odd.

The whole "too many republicans" is Guardian fear mongering.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 27, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

The fact is that there is a national battle for control of Congress and the Senate. If the blue states give up possible democratic seats while the red states gerrymander to create more secure republican seats, this will benefit republicans nationally.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 01, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

I think if you were giving away 1000 dollar bills some idiots would find a reason to gripe about it.

Marijuana is far SAFER than both alcohol and tobacco, so why do we make it illegal to make the SAFER choice?

Anyone that wants marijuana is already getting it, so legalizing would not be adding another drug to society, it would just allow the legal SAFER choice.


Because of prohibition 113 Billion tax free dollars funds criminals, gangsters and terrorists every year from US marijuana sales alone!

The drug war is a complete FAILURE! It's time to rationally regulate all drugs according to the factual dangers each drug poses to society.

The Constitutional right to freedom of religion, free speech, a free press, to keep and bear arms, to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects against unreasonable search and seizure, to life, liberty and property, to be protected from having your property taken by the government without due process of law and without just compensation, to confront the witnesses against you, to be protected from excessive bail, excessive fines, cruel and unusual punishment, to vote and others have been unjustly denied to millions of Americans in the name of the drug war.

All major authorities agree that the vast majority of so called “drug-related” violent crime is caused by the prohibition of drugs, rather than the drugs themselves. This was the same during alcohol prohibition. Alcohol prohibition created a violent criminal organization just like every other drug prohibition has. These violent crimes should be labeled prohibition related, not drug related. Ending alcohol prohibition is exactly why you don’t see shootouts over that drug trade any more.

Google: “WHY IS MARIJUANA ILLEGAL, Pete Guither” and “MARIJUANA AND HEMP THE UNTOLD STORY, Thomas J. Bouril”, or click the links to those articles on the webpage below:
Internet Explorer web browser: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/home
With All Other Browsers: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/index.html

The World Health Organization Documents Failure of U.S. Drug Policies http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/90295/

Watch this video: “Irvin Rosenfeld Medical Marijuana Testimony”, then get back to me about what you think of medical marijuana and heavy long term marijuana use.

Posted by jsknow on Oct. 07, 2010 @ 11:04 am

I'd gripe about someone giving away $1000 bills. There's no such thing, and it would be a major let-down. However, I'm not opposed to prop 19.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

I'm glad you're voting yes on 19 and I'd hate to see anyone that votes yes on 19 lose $1000.00, so read below and don't throw away any big bills you happen to get!

From the US Treasury website:

On July 14, 1969, David M. Kennedy, the 60th Secretary of the Treasury, and officials at the Federal Reserve Board announced that they would immediately stop distributing currency in denominations of $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000. Production of these denominations stopped during World War II. Their main purpose was for bank transfer payments. With the arrival of more secure transfer technologies, however, they were no longer needed for that purpose. While these notes are legal tender and may still be found in circulation today, the Federal Reserve Banks remove them from circulation and destroy them as they are received.

Posted by jsknow on Oct. 24, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

I'm glad you're voting yes on 19 and I'd hate to see anyone that votes yes on 19 lose $1000.00, so read below and don't throw away any big bills you happen to get!

From the US Treasury website:

On July 14, 1969, David M. Kennedy, the 60th Secretary of the Treasury, and officials at the Federal Reserve Board announced that they would immediately stop distributing currency in denominations of $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000. Production of these denominations stopped during World War II. Their main purpose was for bank transfer payments. With the arrival of more secure transfer technologies, however, they were no longer needed for that purpose. While these notes are legal tender and may still be found in circulation today, the Federal Reserve Banks remove them from circulation and destroy them as they are received.

Posted by jsknow on Oct. 24, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

When Prop 19 passes, Obama will have to decide if he will sue California like he sued Arizona for passing an immigration law.

If he goes ahead and sues California, his political career is finished.

If the GOP were true to their principles, they would respect individual responsibility and the Constitution and end their nanny state war on drugs.

With 30% of California Republicans already supporting Prop 19, all it would take is some education to bring the rest aboard.

It was the Republican Party that brought civil rights through MLK.

What if the GOP championed individual liberty with marijuana legalization?

Posted by Jose on Oct. 12, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

What I find interesting is at different levels of government the two sides try and get away with whatever they can.

When it doesn't work out at the federal level they go state and then local, or local, state then federal. Doesn't matter, just getting your way is the key.

When it works out at the federal level for liberals and anti gun laws, the right says "states rights."

When it works out at the state level, say legalized pot, its time for the liberals who like national gun laws to claim "states rights."

I am all for legal weed and the associated benefits, such as fewer low level drug dealers bothering me on the street, it will be entertaining seeing the crying when the feds step in on this.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 15, 2010 @ 11:59 am

Don't believe the hype! Prop 19 will REcriminalize growing and possession for many who for whom it is currently decriminalized under 215 and arnold's recent law which "reduces possession of an ounce or less from a misdemeanor to an infraction, with a maximum punishment of a $100 fine."

Under Prop 19, parents who smoke when their children are at home can be arrested — unlike those who have a beer at the backyard bbq.

It's already decriminalized for us regular citizens. Prop 19 only legalizes marijuana for large "licensed" businesses — licensing requirements and procedures are nowhere defined or even mentioned within the bill.

see stop19 dot org for some cogent arguments/info.

a yes vote is a symbolic vote for federal legalization, not a realistic vote in any sense for actual legalization. wait for it, people. vote no on 19.
if 19 passes, it will bring the wrath of the federal government where they've been leaving us alone since obama took office.


"Due to California's strong law against legislative tampering with what voters enact via the ballot initiative process, if Proposition 19 is passed and is later found to have unexpected negative secondary consequences, the California State Legislature will be unable to effectively address those problems" -- in response to sfbg's assertion that issues in the law can be fixed later. on ballotpedia.com, but didn't find their source.

Posted by caly on Oct. 12, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

This is BS. Prop 19 does not cancel out Prop 215.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2010 @ 9:18 am

I did not say it cancels prop 215. It does place a very small specific limit on the amount allowed to grow for individuals (25 square feet). It will bring the wrath of federal enforcement (which will affect 215). And, it will affect those growing under 215 currently. It is vague enough that there will be a lot of time spent in courts and legislature trying to figure it out (there go those dollars).

Even those endorsing say it's far from perfect but that ammiano's proposed bill will fix it. I would never vote for a prop that will need immediate fixing - what if the fix doesn't pass?! another prop for legalization is coming in '12; I'm waiting for that. In the meantime, get a medical card/rx and/or keep your possession to 1 oz or less and you're fine.

Obama's in a tough place whether he sues ca or not if it passes.

Posted by caly on Nov. 02, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

Prop 19 is for corporate growers. Not the people.lawyers who flex the law want in on a huge scale.propaganda about the people is bull. Don't go commercial.

Posted by Guestjoe on Oct. 15, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

Prop 19 is a smokescreen for huge industrialized growers who now are the attorneys who work in this industry and their clients. They want to stop hiding the millions they are making off medical marajuana whichis supposed to be non profit and become legit as far as the IRS goes and be able to show a profit. Say hello to big box store style business. This is how the rich get rich propaganda politics.

Posted by Guestjoe on Oct. 15, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

They passing this law so they can get rich not high trying to fool us by only talking bout smoking but if you read the prop its about corporate growing

Posted by crazy chris on Oct. 17, 2010 @ 9:53 am

Prop 19 equals capitalism. Michael Moore should do a film to expose the truth about how the rich will take the poor out by making their hippy product unprofitable unless you are doing mass quantities like Marlboro. The cops need to go after the criminals that illegally grow cuz they will do something worse if they can't grow pot.

Posted by mendo mama on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

I'm as liberal as the next person, but I don't see why props should be endorsed or opposed simply on the basis of whether they favor democrats or republicans. By that logic, if the balance of registered republicans and democrats inverts over the next 15 years, all of these endorsements would be wrong. Try considering the props on their own merits, rather than worrying about what political parties they benefit.

Posted by jeepers on Oct. 26, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

So I have a pretty solid system of determining how I will vote in elections. I compare sample ballots from the green party, democratic party, SFBG, and occasionally other sources. If they all agree on something, then it's safe for me to assume I would also agree with it. If they do not, then I go on a crusade to understand the meaning of the measures more fully so that I can make an educated decision on which way I will vote. This saves me a lot of time and ensures that I will feel good about my choices walking out of the polling booth.

So, I'm trying to understand what these measures could mean to me if they pass or fail. The Greens, Dems, and SFBG all make compelling arguments for why they are endorsing the way they are with regard to these measures, yet the Greens differ from the Dems and the SFBG.

Can anyone help me understand the division on these?

Posted by Jessica on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 8:53 pm
Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

I'm turned off by the argument about the specter of a north-south geographic division of San Francisco as opposed to an east-west one. As a long-time resident of the so-called "conservative" west side, I suppose I'm just not getting the scariness of a district represented by both Leno and Yee. The west side is San Francisco, too, multicultural and largely liberal, and yes with a slightly greater tendency to fiscal conservatism because of a greater proportion of property-tax-paying residents, PERIOD. Watch yourselves, SFBG--you almost start to sound racist.

Posted by Guest Emily on Oct. 30, 2010 @ 9:11 am

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