Thursday, November 4, 2010

more on Cannabis propositions in four states

Since yesterday, I brought up the situation with Prop 19 in California, just in case some people found that information relevant to their interests, I felt like I should mention others. Voters in four states rejected efforts to at least liberalize cannabis in polls on Tuesday.

There were proposals to allow marijuana use for specific medical conditions that may have been defeated by a narrow margin in Arizona, and were rejected in South Dakota; but in Oregon, where medical marijuana is allowed, voters did not want marijuana dispensaries even for those who are legally approved its access. What the heck is that about?

"It's still a historic moment in this very long struggle to end decades of failed marijuana prohibition," said Stephen Gutwillig, California director for t\he Drug Policy Project. He continued, "Unquestionably, because of Proposition 19, marijuana legalization initiatives will be on the ballot in a number of states in 2012, and California is in the mix.

video: "Pro Pot lot blames older voters for Prop 19 defeat" (may take a moment to load)

Getting back to Arizona...excuse me a brief aside. I would simply stay out of Maricopa County, until the Sheriff there, Joe Arpaio, has a heart attack, receives no help from anyone walking by, and dies. Arizona is where a lot of attention has been these past few years due to Maricopa County and the wild and wacky (and dangerous) Sheriff Joe Arpaio. If you are a victim of Sheriff Arpaio's harassment or abuse or any of his deputies call the FBI at 602 279-5511. Subscribe to Phoenix Arizona. As for Arpaio, think, bully. Think, Eugene McCarthy (no really). Think, criminal.

The following is a letter from the Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project:

"I've hosted only two election-night parties in the 17 years I've lived in Washington, D.C.  And strangely, both nights ended with disputed elections in the main jurisdictions MPP worked in.

"In November 1998, the D.C. government didn't release the vote tallies of the local medical marijuana initiative we campaigned for because Congress had just enacted a federal law that prohibited the D.C. government from spending taxpayer money to count the ballots.

"And last night, the vote on the medical marijuana initiative in Arizona we drafted and helped place on the ballot was too close to call – and it's still too close to call!

"Based on the ballots tabulated by election officials last night, the initiative was trailing slightly, with 49.75% in favor, with 50.25% opposed ... a difference of less than 7,000 votes out of more than 1.3 million cast.

"For the next few days, Arizona government officials will be counting an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 votes that were cast by people whose mail-in ballots arrived at polling stations or elections offices in the final hours of the campaign. They may also need to examine thousands of "provisional" ballots that were cast by people whose residency was in dispute at the polls on election day.

"In sum, if our initiative receives 52% of the votes that have yet to be tabulated, our initiative passes.

"This is a nail-biter, and the stakes are high: MPP contributed more than $600,000 in financial contributions and staff time to the campaign to draft the initiative, help place it on the ballot, and pay for consulting services. If the initiative passes, approximately 120 nonprofit dispensaries will spring up across Arizona, selling medical marijuana to patients in need.

"MPP has almost completely depleted its coffers working on the Arizona campaign, in addition to pushing our medical marijuana bills to the brink of passage in the Illinois and New York legislatures.  Would you please donate as much as you can right now, so that we can push those two bills over the top in the next two months?

"Your donation will also mean that you're telling the MPP staff, "Never give up.  Never give up.""

Rob Kampia signature (master)
Rob Kampia
Executive Director

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