Despite Chairman John Burton urging an endorsement, the California Democratic Party’s Executive Board chose this weekend to remain neutral on Proposition 19, the marijuana-legalization initiative on November’s ballot, and don’t hold your breath waiting for a California Republican Party endorsement.
But that doesn’t mean some Democratic and GOP blocs aren’t solidly behind it. The California Young Democrats, for example, endorsed it this weekend.
“A major part of our campaign strategy will be engaging young and first-time voters who are excited to come to the polls to support our initiative, and we think the Democratic Party will really benefit from the extra turnout that our campaign will provide,” said Yes on Proposition 19 Field Director James Rigdon.
The Young Dems tout the law-enforcement cost savings as well as the potential local tax revenue legalization and taxation could bring in. Far over on the other side of the aisle, the Republican Liberty Caucus of California – the Ron Paul-loving “Constitutional Republicans” – endorsed the measure this weekend, too, but in a legalzization-without-taxation stance.
“Clearly the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle free men and women living on free soil to grow and smoke marijuana,” said RLCCA Secretary Parke Bostrom. “Prop. 19 respects this right, while at the same time highlighting that under our Constitution, the federal government does not have authority to control the sale and possession of marijuana.”
RLCCA Chairman Matt Heath noted that although Prop. 19 would allow regulation and taxation of the drug, it doesn’t require it. “The RLCCA recommends voting ‘YES’ on Prop. 19, while at the same time strongly opposing any taxes and regulations that local governments may try to impose.”
John Dennis, the Republican nominee to challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the 8th Congressional District, said Prop. 18 would help “restore freedom to adults over what they choose to consume. In addition, it will help reduce violence between rival drug gangs and law enforcement along the U.S./Mexico border. While not perfect, Prop. 19 is a big step in the right direction.”
More on a new, well-known endorser of Prop. 19, after the jump…
Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders has joined with California NAACP President Alice Huffman and a retired Los Angeles Police narcotics detective in co-authoring the rebuttal to the measure’s opponents’ statement for publication in the state’s official voter guide.
The rebuttal essentially says that just like alcohol prohibition, outlawing marijuana hasn’t worked, merely creating a criminal market and high law-enforcement costs.
“Proposition 19 is a more honest policy, and a common sense solution to these problems. Proposition 19 will control marijuana like alcohol, making it available only to adults, enforce strong driving and workplace safety laws, put police priorities where they belong, and generate billions in needed revenue,” the rebuttal says. “We can make it harder for kids to get marijuana, or we can accept the status quo, where marijuana is easier for kids to get than alcohol. We can let police prevent violent crime, or we can accept the status quo, and keep wasting resources sending tens of thousands of non-violent marijuana consumers — a disproportionate number who are minorities — to jail. We can control marijuana to weaken the drug cartels, or we can accept the status quo, and continue to fund violent gangs with illegal marijuana sales in California. We can tax marijuana to generate billions for vital services, or we can accept the status quo, and turn our backs on this needed revenue.”
Opponents of the measure announced last week that the Democratic and Republican nominees for state Attorney General had co-authored the rebuttal arguments against Prop. 19.