With just eleven weeks until the November 2 election and even less until voters can begin turning in absentee ballots, official endorsements for candidates and measures are heating up. Last night, the San Francisco Democratic Party spent three hours endorsing candidates for local races and measures, concluding at 9 p.m. with a hearty endorsement of the statewide initiative Proposition 19.
The legalization fight in California is making some bizarre bedfellows out of once disparate groups like anti-gay rights activists and democratic candidates like Jerry Brown, Dianne Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer. Yesterday, California's anti-gay marriage leaders announced their intent to defeat a ballot initiative allowing for private, over-21 possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis, which means all leading Democrats running for reelection have aligned with the anti-gay crowd on the issue.
Oakland City Hall officials have begun a six month-long administrative process that will lead to the awarding of four permits to cultivate large-scale amounts of medical cannabis in Oakland. Winning such permits will involve enduring large amounts of red tape, culminating in public meetings where pot farmers' potential neighbors could ultimately decide their fate.
Key drug law reform donors like George Soros have so far been stingy on Proposition 19, the Los Angeles Times reports. "I'm going to let Californians stew in their own juice," said one rich reformer. In contrast, Soros and crew had raised $3.4 million by June 2008 for Prop. 5, the failed 'rehab not jail' ballot measure. Prisons and cops also spent millions of dollars fighting Prop. 5, while today even drug warriors have gotten tight, donating just $60,000 to No on 19 campaign. So, why?
The City of Oakland's mainstreaming of medical marijuana has extended to its mayoral races, where leading cannabis dispensaries, hydroponics stores, and the Prop. 19 campaign are showing up in campaign finance disclosures for mayoral candidates Rebecca Kaplan, Jean Quan, and Don Perata.
A Bay Area man stuntman, skydiver and alleged big-time marijuana trafficker defending himself on medical marijuana grounds was arrested by federal authorities at Marin County Superior Court Wednesday. The attorney for Avery Badenhop, 47, says his client would've beat local charges with a medical marijuana defense. Now federal investigators have him in custody and the local charges have been dismissed. California Highway Patrol pulled Badenhop over for speeding on Interstate 580 in San Rafael when they discovered he had twenty pounds of dope, a half-pound of hash, and four ounces of hash oil in his possession. A search of Badenhop's home turned up an additional 32 pounds of cannabis, $750,000 cash, and hand guns leading investigators to several other residences and five more arrests, the Marin Independent Journal reports. More headlines after the jump.
A new national campaign to legalize adult use of cannabis launched yesterday called 'Just Say Now.' The DC-based group intends to turn out the youth vote this November in states where marijuana is an issue, including California, where Prop. 19 is on the ballot. 2010 is a midterm election, meaning a significant drop-off in the liberal voters who elected Obama in 2008, but Just Say Now aims to counter that trend by unleashing the group Students for Sensible Drug Policy on college campuses, backed by popular progressive political blog FireDogLake, which claims more than 100,000 readers per day.
The passage of California Proposition 19 would cause a full-blown constitutional conflict with the federal government, and would be in violation of numerous international drug control treaties, the Rand Corporation reports. What the feds have done and will do becomes a subject of debate Friday in the forum 'Marijuana and Federalism: California a Test Case,' featuring Assemblyman Tom Ammiano as well as Mendocino law enforcement, medical cannabis lawyers, and other experts. Opponents of Prop. 19 claim the federal government could pull billions of dollars in funds from the state. Proponents note that the same thing was said of Proposition 215, which passed to no such repercussions, and that states often lead the way repealing unjust laws like alcohol prohibition. Full details after the jump.
Hundreds of California citizens allied with the state's booming medical cannabis industry outspent law enforcement establishment by a ratio of five to one during ongoing efforts to roll back at the ballot box 80 years of pot prohibition in the now-broke Golden State.
1. Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan repeated a rumor to the L.A. Times that celebrity Montel Williams wants to grow cannabis in Oakland. "He has wanted for years to open up a facility where he could produce really high-end medical cannabis extracts," she said, explaining that Williams heard through the grapevine that Oakland was the place to do it. "I would love to have Montel Williams here running a business." Williams could not be reached for comment. The L.A. Times also reported that the DEA has requested a copy of Oakland's ordinance. More news after the jump.