BY JAY SMOKER
Initiative to regulate marijuana like wine. The law enforcers say that by passing the new voter initiative, California voters will have a strong argument that they can opt out of the Controlled Substances Act.
WHO: Retired LAPD deputy chief of police Stephen Downing, retired superior court judge Jim Gray and retired Redondo Beach PD lieutenant commander Diane Goldstein
WHAT: Press conference on voter initiative telling the feds to back off its marijuana threats
WHEN: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 10:00 AM PT
WHERE: Plaza of the Flags, which is behind the Santa Ana Courthouse, 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701.
James Gray, a retired superior court judge from Orange County, says, “For the federal government to interfere with state and local implementation of California’s medical marijuana law is tantamount to a government bailout for criminal gangs and violent drug cartels. For some reason the federal government wants to force legal medical marijuana patients toward a dangerous criminal market and away from an above-ground industry that pays over $100 million per year in state taxes and provides jobs for thousands of our citizens. California voters can tell the feds to back off and let Californians implement our own laws by voting to regulate marijuana like wine next November.”
The initiative, the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012, which is endorsed by the Libertarian Party and medical marijuana business training professionals, 420 College, would repeal failed marijuana laws for adults aged 21 and older, strictly regulate the sale of marijuana similar to the wine industry and authorize a vibrant new economy of eco-friendly hemp agriculture and products. The initiative would not change laws regarding medical marijuana, impairment in the workplace, driving while impaired or use by persons under 21 years old.
Despite the escalation in federal threats, initiative proponents are pointing to recent legal cases as well as comments by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as an indication that the federal courts are increasingly open to seeing states take more control in setting their own drug policies. Justice Scalia recently told a U.S. Senate committee that, “it was a great mistake to put routine drug offenses into the federal courts.”
Retired LAPD deputy chief of police Stephen Downing says, “Now more than ever, it is important for Californians to stand up and tell the federal government that enough is enough when it comes to their interference with our marijuana policies. Next November, California voters have the opportunity to hurt the cartels in their pockets in a way that no level of prohibition enforcement and dedicated skill on the part of my police colleagues ever can.”
More information about the initiative is online at