Marijuana and the ‘Manhattan Madam’

Having qualified just last week for November’s ballot, the folks behind the measure to legalize and tax recreational marijuana launched their first radio ad today.

The 55-second ad, running on stations in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area media markets, features former Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff and police officer Jeffrey Studdard explaining his support for the measure:

“Like many other cops and law enforcement professionals, I’ve seen firsthand that the current approach on cannabis is simply not working.

“It’s led to violent drug cartels, dealers in our schools and our streets, and cost millions of dollars – without reducing consumption.

“That’s why cops support Tax Cannabis 2010, the initiative to control and tax cannabis.
It will provide billions to fund what matters, and allow police to focus on violent crime.

“It’s time to control it, and tax it.”

Listen to it here:

The proponents say the public is on their side (at least, as of a year ago) even if this year’s crop of candidates isn’t. But at least one candidate likes the measure, though she’s not from California.

(Cue Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.”)

New York gubernatorial candidate Kristin Davis – formerly the “Manhattan Madam” who provided escorts to former New York Attorney General and Gov. Elliot Spitzer, for which she was convicted of promoting prostitution and served four months on Riker’s Island – said today she sees the Golden State’s marijuana-legalization ballot measure as a milestone to be emulated in the Empire State. From her news release:

Kristin Davis“Californians have figured out what New Yorkers need to figure out. Marijuana is a $10 billion-a-year industry in New York State. Its legalization and taxation will help New York’s current financial crises.


“California is setting a precedent that hard times call for innovative solutions. California is facing an enormous budget deficit and rather than raise taxes in a struggling economy, the voters have taken measures into their own hands and put the issue on the ballot so that the people can decide. Californians are sending the message that they are unhappy with the status-quo and are taking their State back”.

“It’s time New York follows suit. As our budget deficit rises to over $9 billion, it’s time we look for ways of bringing in new revenue rather than increase taxes on struggling New Yorkers. None of the career politicians offer any solutions to our troubled economy; they only offer more of the same – tax increases and service cuts.”

“Our budget shortfall has gone from $7 Billion, to $9 Billion, to an estimate $15 Billion in just a few weeks. Legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana will generate $1 billion in new revenues, save millions in wanted law enforcement, cut court costs and help balance the budget.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    From several aspects, our Country and State has gone to pot. We are in The Decline and Fall of the American Empire.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Ralph is right. Wayne Raney put it best 40 yrs ago: “We need a nationwide revival, to put the love of God in our soul; We need a whole lot more of Jesus and a lot less rock’n’roll.”