Could Be Marijuana That Determines the November Election

The wild card in November’s election is marijuana.

How much more money Meg Whitman spends on her gubernatorial campaign is significant but the kind of voters drawn to the polls by Proposition 19, which legalizes marijuana and allows localities to tax and regulate it, may be the determining factor.

Asked at the state Democratic Party convention in April how Democrats can re-energize President Obama voters from 2008, Party Chair John Burton replied: “Pot.”

Without arguing the merits of legalization, Burton said the ballot measure “will turn out people.”

The already high-profile proposition would allow cities and counties to adopt ordinances that license and regulate the “cultivation, processing, distribution, transportation and sale” of marijuana.

Some estimates say taxing retail sales, which are limited to one ounce to persons 21 years of age or older, could raise up to $1.4 billion annually.

“There will be national media interest and public curiosity,” said Mark Baldassare, president and chief pollster of the Public Policy Institute of California.

“The question is how much the campaigns will work to engage voters,” Baldassare said. “Will the ‘yes’ side seek to mobilize young voters who are more inclined to support legalization? Will the ‘no’ side counter with efforts to get out the vote among older voters less inclined to support legalization?”

Supporters of Proposition 19 say no mobilization is necessary – the voters are coming to them.

The “yes” campaign recently noted its number of Facebook friends surpassing 100,000. Proposition 19 supporters note the opposition has only six Facebook friends.

“This will translate into motivated volunteers, donors, increased voter turnout and 100,000 people spreading the word to their friends and neighbors with a passion and intensity that our opponents’ lonely six fans will never match,” said Dan Newman, a spokesman for Tax Cannabis 2010.

“Our research shows that a large number of occasional voters, particularly younger voters, will show up at the polls specifically to vote for this initiative,” Newman said.

An April 2009 Field Poll found 56 percent of California voters supporting legalizing and taxing marijuana. But Newman counters the appeal of the proposition to “low-propensity” voters means polls don’t show the full level of support.

“It will be the darling of the national media, that’s for sure,” said Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce.

One of the proposition’s major sponsors is S.K. Seymour LLC in Oakland, which does business as Oaksterdam University which bills itself as “America’s first cannabis college.”


Filed under: Politics



    Comment by Wally Webgas — 6.30.2010 @ 6:37 pm

  2. Definitely, absolutely and certainly need to move the HQ of the Yes on Prop 19 to . . . wait for it . . . WEED, CA.

    Comment by Doobie — 7.01.2010 @ 11:15 am

  3. Keep your eye on S.B. 1449, too.

    Comment by jacobslauson — 7.01.2010 @ 12:42 pm

  4. Yes, Legalize it. Once the “forbidden fruit” is taken from it, and it gets taxed and regulated, its appeal to rebellious youth will fall by the wayside. The “bad guys” will profit from it no more.

    Comment by Robert M — 7.01.2010 @ 2:27 pm

  5. there is much dead wrong about this article. For instance older folks will be more inclined to support legalization for the fact that they are all getting older and with that comes aches and pains and tons of things that they will probably look to cannabis to help with. Also you can be assured that 1.4 billion isn’t nearly close to what a burgeoning cannabis & hemp industry will rake in, there is a reason why it is the #1 cash crop legal or not. Also Industrial production of hemp will seep into lots of industry’s and probably create some of their own. Travel would increase that is almost assured because the millions (and it is millions) who aren’t sick will come because their over 21 and want to come because it is legal. So the additional millions in profits for restaurants and hotels and businesses. Also a new industry will create jobs it’s a fact. Plus the government would immediately save billions in eradication efforts and the costs of prosecuting and jailing users. And the biggest and clearly the most profound of the things that legalization would do is immediately cut off the biggest revenue source for Mexican drug cartels as well we would see the illegal immigrants brought here to grow in national forests disappear as well. Gangs that make lots of money from marijuana would be out of business cause nobody would go to a dangerous gangster if they can get it at a liquor store. alcohol consumption would decline as in places with a more tolerant drug policy as well as the use of prescription drugs and other narcotics of which marijuana isn’t because it is not a derivative of opium the definition of narcotics. Also it would free up a taxed police force so they can concentrate of getting rid of murderers and child molesters instead of hassling sick people. This state logically and rationally can not afford to not pass this law. It’s a long time coming and when the positive effects are felt and they will be felt quickly people will wonder why it was ever prohibited in the first place.

    Comment by ted hart — 7.01.2010 @ 3:20 pm

  6. I’m a commercial driver by trade. I found myself unemployed and unable to reenter the driving Industry for at least 5 years. Taking that time off allowed me to be the parent I needed to be for my 4 boys at home. After exhausting many weeks looking for work in various other industries from retail and restaurant, I chose to venture off into an Industry that I have a passion for and am proud to be able to do charity work helping others in need. So I began this project….check it out. I’m a firm believer that when you do good things….good things happen to you. Joining the hundreds of people that attended the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Rally this past weekend was an experience that everyone should take part in. The Control and Tax Cannabis Campaign is coming to your town soon! Keep an eye out for it. Vote by mail in November. So I say YES ON 19!!! YES ON 19!!!

    Comment by green lite tim — 7.01.2010 @ 3:56 pm

  7. Legalize it and control it, keep it away from our kids. Drug dealers don’t ID, responsible storeowners with a state license do.

    I don’t think taxing it will bring in as much as some think. The only reason it is America’s #1 Cash Crop is because it is illegal. Once legal and it can be grown privately it won’t cost 2500-5000 a pound.

    I do think a lot underestimate the profit from hemp production. The list of usage is very long and the industrial demand high since it can only be imported.

    Comment by The Caretaker — 7.01.2010 @ 4:16 pm

  8. It can only be imported? Illegal or legal, that’s not the case. The better bud is grown right up here.

    It will remain a lucrative industry, despite citizens being able to grow it themselves with limitations. No way will everyone take the time to grow it. The convenience of buying some great stuff without any hassle or effort will generate a lot of money.

    Comment by butter — 7.01.2010 @ 4:34 pm

  9. If I lived in Cali I would vote YES on Prop 19. Unfortunately Idaho will be the 50th state to ever even come this close. I hope this sets a trend and a model for the rest of the U.S. Vote in November!

    Comment by Chris — 7.01.2010 @ 4:38 pm

  10. So even if this demographic turns out to vote for the marijuana proposition, how likely is it that they won’t be too loaded to remember how they intended to vote on other matters on the ballot?

    Comment by rlee — 7.02.2010 @ 6:03 am

  11. did anyone of you know that henry ford was going to use bio fuel from hemp to power his first model t oh and that you can get more paper from a acre of hemp then a acre of trees using less chemicals then you need for trees even if you disagree to the narcotics side the other things we can make with it would help save out planet oh did you know a hemp plant absorbs more co2 then a pine tree you know the “green house gas” that they want to tax us on

    Comment by grimm — 7.02.2010 @ 9:58 am

  12. Most of you must be smoking the stuff now. Soccer Moms will be out in force to say not just NO, but HELL NO — both because of the fear that it will spread through the middle schools like the epidemic it already is in high schools —

    Especially when we are trying to stop kids from taking up smoking!!!! — Suddenly you think a hallucinongenic is going to be less toxic to their lungs?

    If it is no longer the “forbidden fruit”, the next step is meth, or ecstasy, or (even) cocaine —

    Boy, that’s going to make everything just so much better –. How stupid do you think we parents are?

    Comment by Joyce Stoer Cordi — 7.02.2010 @ 11:25 am

  13. Joyce, try teaching your kids right & wrong rather than trying to ban everything you disagree with.

    Most people have tried pot, or know people that have, & it isn’t destroying everyones lives, so get over it & legalize it already!

    Comment by SoCali — 7.02.2010 @ 12:41 pm

  14. these folks are just blowin smoke …………..

    Comment by potatoe — 7.02.2010 @ 5:25 pm

  15. Studies have shown that it is easer for kids to get Cannabis than Alcohol. A simple possession charge is only $100 ticket but goes on your permanent record and results in loss of job opportunities and college financial aid. Yea, Rapists and Murders can get college financial aid but not if you have a misdemeanor pot possession conviction. So if your kid makes a bad decision and gets busted they become a 2nd class citizens.

    Mexican cartels are great at growing crap street weed. They would never be able to compete in a regulated licensed environment. They would have to be citizens for one thing. Cannabis sales makes billions of $$, would you rather have Cartels and the black market making it/fighting over it or have governments tax and regulate it. You don’t see cartels/gangs fighting over selling Alcohol. Just like Alcohol probation made gangsters rich and violent Cannabis probation makes the cartels rich and violent.

    Since 1990 arrests for nearly ever serious crime has declined in California. Yet arrests for possession have tripled. Legalize it and tax it…take the cartels $$ away and stop the violence….make it harder for kids to get…stop making 2nd class citizens…finally get police to stop wasting time and money busting us and go fight real crime.

    Comment by The Caretaker — 7.03.2010 @ 10:42 am

  16. Its not enough to say ‘Yes on 19!’ Now is the time to give dollars to the campaign, sign up to volunteer, put a sign on your window, bug your friends and neighbors about registering or re-registering to vote. Its going to be a long hot summer, but there is still plenty of time to get these things done!

    Comment by Luke in San Diego — 7.03.2010 @ 3:42 pm

  17. It should be legalized. However, Keeping the age at 21 is going to continue further problems, as the 21 drinking age does. If a candidate really wanted to further their likelihood of being elected, nay ushered, into office a lower age for marijuana would be more successful.
    -And although marijuana is not yet legal, for sake of argument I will pretend it is. I am also mainly basing this off of youth that attend college or out on their own from their parents-
    This is for a few reasons:
    1) The age a person is allowed to die for our country is 18. They may offer us their life, but not partake in alcohol or weed.
    Something which is absolutely wrong, in my opinion.
    2)Psychologically, the ability to make all other major decisions about life (voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in the military), but not being able to drink/smoke deteriorates the person in two manners:
    – They are deemed “not responsible enough” to have choose for themselves
    – Their respect for authority greatly deteriorates — dangerous after the teenage years in which many choose to rebel as it is.
    – Morally, some who do not feel convicted by smoking/drinking willingly break a law which they feel is unjust. Also, if attending college many know friends above the legal age and in order to bond with them, partake in the activities. The result is a criminal record for many good, respectful citizens. This is a selfish way for the government and states to profit off of us, and approximately 40-60% of those that go to jail return (this also depends on facility and amount of time spent there). That’s a good percentage though, and if an “adult” who is considered legal for everything else goes to jail for something that is determined for adults it’s not only going to increase their likelihood of returning, but also, as previously mentioned, is going to create hatred for authority figures, particularly police officers.
    This is a major problem since the mentality is “fuck the po-po” and it almost becomes a game/goal to get away with anything and everything. For those who work hard to reach a police position, and genuinely wish to protect their community receive admiration from children, but animosity from new adults. This anger continues well past young adulthood and makes our police officers the victims of ridicule, hatred, and objects of distrust. The end result is a more dangerous job for them, and a higher crime rate for our nation.
    3) Many older generations complain about the nation’s youth and the apathy they display towards politics/current events.
    This has much to do with the age gap separating “adults” from “adults.” Those three years are viewed by those 18-20 as years of childhood still, not adulthood. Presenting the Peter Pan Syndrome, in which no one really learns to grow up.
    Our society is allowing our youth to be apathetic and childish and develop into “mature” adults with the same mentality, by failing to truly push the bird out of the nest.

    The end result of legalizing Marijuana at the age of 21 is going to be continued frustration and contempt towards authority.
    I understand the want to keep both alcohol and weed out of high schools. So, legalize it for those who are 19. A one year gap is going to be much less detrimental to the psyche of our youth.
    It would also coincide with the realization at that particular age of being in the “real world” on their own.
    This would seemingly happen at the age of 18, but because it often takes that first summer back home with the parents(or returning to the parents’ rules for an amount of time) to realize the difference in lifestlyes.

    This would offer a healthy compromise which would lessen the availability of alcohol/weed to minors as well as promote a more promising, less revolutionary youth.
    More of the young adults in America would care about more trivial matters than a lowered drinking/smoking age.
    Binge partying is likely to be reduced since there is no need to buy as much substance as possible at one time in order to be more convenient to those who are 21 and can actually run to the store and make the purchase.
    Also, the taboo will be removed,as many people who are over 21 openly admit.

    Marijuana is better for the body than alcohol, and less addictive. Both are MUCH better for you than cigarettes. Yet. our young adults can partake in the second major cause of death in the WORLD before two much less harmful and addicting substances. The least harmful and addictive substance is that which is legal.
    Marijuana is natural. A plant that God has provided for us. Why destroy something which is a living thing itself? Vyvanse, Adderall, and Ritalin are prescriptions given to CHILDREN. These are legally distributed forms of speed. Something which is lab-made. Yet the government allows the distribution of this to young children who are nowhere near fully developed, and in the meantime continues to outlaw that which is natural.
    The “it’s bad for you” or “it’s dangerous” counter arguments are ineffective as long as cigarettes and alcohol are legal.
    So if we are to keep those, we should legalize Cannabis.
    If we are to allow the legal age for cigarettes to be 18, we should lower the ages of both alcohol and cannabis.
    We have three prominent addicting drugs in America: 1. ADHD medications being the top threat, since young children take it and the fact that many of the medications are very young and we do not know the long-term effects; although some have already been found including anxiety and the development of tics 2. Cigarettes – even second-hand smoke can kill, the 2nd contributor to death 3. Alcohol – a great violence factor, contender in crime rates, and another cause of death to those who do and do not partake
    Each one has its faults. Yet society continues to allow and produce them. Why, then, should we make the safest option illegal?

    Legalize and lower the age.

    Comment by Reese — 7.05.2010 @ 3:56 pm

  18. I’m originally from California, and cannot wait to go back. California is the most forward thinking humanitarianistic state in this country. Not only is legal marijuana already the largest cash crop our nation produces, but legalization will put a lot of illegal activity out of business. @Joyce Cordi:sorry to say but you are ignorant if not stupid. Marijuana is not a gateway drug. People are hopped up on caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol all day everyday, those are the true gateway drugs. And btw, meth is a thousand times worse then coke could ever be. Check your facts.

    Comment by jay — 7.06.2010 @ 11:29 am

  19. Good luck CA, WA didn’t make it in 2010, but we’re going to make it in 2011!

    Soccer moms consume responsibly and are still good parents. Drug dealers don’t check ID. Kids can get high on any illegal drug at school but alcohol is not so easy to get because it’s REGULATED! Take back control from the black market.

    Green jobs for America? WA state imports $100 million in hemp from China EVERY YEAR. I want those jobs here. How much is imported by CA?

    And how about going to work instead of being in jail? $150 million a year-opens up over 14,000 prison cells for real criminals instead of your friends and neighbors who make a choice safer than alcohol. That’s in WA, what about CA? And what crimes would Law Enforcement be able to solve/prevent when they are no longer distracted by Cannabis? And how will repect for them change when they’re going after REAL criminals instaed of kicking down the doors of responsible consumers and putting gums to the heads of parents, children and pets!
    And how will “the Gateway” be altered when drug dealers have to sell their other wares without the Cannabis crutch? (the true gateway drug actually, are Happy Meals)

    People supporting their families instead of being in jail go to work and pay their taxes. People in jail COST society and do not CONTRIBUTE to society. What is the cost of someone in jail losing their home, straining relationships, possibly resulting in at risk youth? How do you want YOUR resources directed? Who do you want in jail?

    Don’t be in such a hurry to put high taxes in place. If what cost $40 now costs $10, that’s a lot of $30 in peoples pockets to spend in the LEGITIMATE economy. That’s where your tax base is. That savings/spending is where the jobs will come from, not from a tax paid to Government.

    How about medical research? Let’s find out the truth and use Cannabis in the beneficial ways it has been for thousands of years and stop killing ourselves from the side effects of commercial pharmaceuticals.

    Regulate we must, tax if you will, but just Stop Arresting People!

    Comment by Don Skakie — 7.10.2010 @ 12:04 am

  20. I have to go with what someone said and second the fact that Joyce needs to get off her high horse.

    I’ve watched an entire generation turn into utterly hopeless dependents under the control of the high and mighty soccer moms. When I grew up, I knew how to use the VCR my parents didn’t. I knew how to get Nintendo to work when others couldn’t. No one TOLD me if you blow on a catridge for nintendo that it would work because your removing the dust preventing a clean connection between the leads. No one was there to explain to me why using rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and wiping the leads would remove corrosion. My generation figured that crap out by itself.

    I am 27, I’ve had the opportunity to see just how bad its gotten when I drove a school bus for a while. All the reasons above in favor of it seem more sound and legitimate than any crap excuse to remove your kids from an influence because YOU can’t teach your children responsibility.

    Suck it up. If your a crappy parent, well sucks to be your kids. Too many parents run around with the delusion their kid is perfect or they are the best parent, when all they do is make the kids entire life devoid of experiences that teaches them to be wise and make their own sound reasoning.

    Marijuana is like a germ. If you do nothing but remove them from your kids life, hes going to grow up a sniveling, constantly sick person because he has ZERO immunity and no tolerance to germs. Explain things to your kids, NOT THAT THEY ARE THE DEVIL, but explain WHY its good to wait until they are of the proper age to test the waters themselves.

    Cut the friggin cord.

    Yes on Prop 19.

    Comment by Digital18 — 7.10.2010 @ 3:14 pm

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