Tuesday, March 22, 2011

California 2012

Posted to the MassCann/Norml activist listserve by: "Scott" samortimer@comcast.net   

Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:55 am (PDT)

Marijuana legalization advocates organize to put new measure on California

March 18, 2011 | 12:34 pm

http://latimesblogs .latimes. com/lanow/ 2011/03/new- medical-marijuan a-initiative- in-california. html

The campaign behind a failed initiative to legalize marijuana in California
announced Friday it had formed a new committee to put another measure on the

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform 2012 aims to build on the unusual
support that coalesced around Proposition 19, which would have allowed
adults to grow and possess marijuana and authorized cities and counties to
legalize and tax sales.

That campaign drew backing from the California NAACP and the Latino Voters
League, which saw it as a way to end disproportionate arrests of African
Americans and Latinos for marijuana crimes. Labor leaders in the Bay Area
also got behind it, bringing endorsements from some major unions, which saw
a legal pot industry as a potential source of union jobs.

The committee announced Friday included Alice Huffman, who heads the
California NAACP; Antonio Gonzalez, who formed the Latino Voters League; and
Dan Rush, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union official who worked
during the campaign to build labor support. It also includes several key
players behind Proposition 19, including Dale Sky Jones, who was the
campaign's spokeswoman and will be the chairwoman of the new coalition.

"The purpose of our organization is to learn from our experiences in 2010
and take the lead toward victory in 2012," Jones wrote to supporters in an
e-mail sent Friday. "We will expand our coalition, raise the necessary funds
to move toward a possible 2012 campaign, and conduct polling and other
opinion research that will guide the drafting of a new initiative."

Proposition 19 lost 46%-54% in November, but it drew worldwide media
attention and stimulated a vigorous debate over the nation's drug policies.
Polls have shown growing support for marijuana legalization nationwide, and
a post-election poll in California suggested the measure might have passed
if proponents had had the money for a campaign to reach swing voters.

Many activists are convinced that, with more money and broader support, a
similar initiative could pass during a presidential election year when the
turnout tends to be more liberal. The coalition includes several
representatives who will be critical to raising money, including Stephen
Gutwillig, the California director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which has
close ties to the major donors who have supported past medical-marijuana and
legalization initiatives.

Proposition 19, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act, was the
brainchild of Richard Lee, an Oakland medical-marijuana entrepreneur who led
the effort to draft it, paid for a signature-gathering effort to qualify it
and footed the bill for most of the campaign. He and Jeff Jones, an Oakland
activist who co-sponsored the measure, are on the coalition's board.

Lee's singular role in the campaign led some drug-policy- reform activists to
keep their distance initially, but as the initiative sparked a nationwide
conversation, they decided to embrace it. Although still involved, Lee has
stayed behind the scenes as the new effort gets underway.

The Proposition 19 campaign struggled to win support among medical-marijuana
activists, growers and dispensary owners, many of whom worried it would
disrupt their lucrative business. Marijuana legalization activists held a
conference in Berkeley recently to reach out to medical-marijuana activists
and will host a second one Saturday in Los Angeles.

The new campaign plans to hold a series of meetings to draft a new
initiative and expects to launch a new website soon. "What many thought was
an unlikely dream in 2010 is poised to become reality in 2012," Jones wrote
to supporters of the previous initiative. "We will need your ideas, your
passion and your support going forward."

Members of the new organization are:

Executive director: Mauricio Garzon, Proposition 19 campaign manager

Board of directors: Tom Angell, media director, Law Enforcement Against
Prohibition; Graham Boyd (honorary), visiting fellow, Stanford Criminal
Justice Center; David Bronner, president, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps; Antonio
Gonzalez, president, William C. Velasquez Institute; Stephen Gutwillig
(honorary), California director, Drug Policy Alliance; Alice Huffman,
president, California NAACP; Dale Sky Jones, Proposition 19 spokeswoman;
Jeff Jones, Proposition 19 proponent; Richard Lee, Proposition 19 proponent;
Jim O'Neill, managing director, Clarium Capital Management; Perry
Rosenstein, consultant, Trilogy Interactive; Dan Rush, special operations
director, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5.

Key advisers:

Doug Linney, president, the Next Generation; Chris Lehane, Fabiani and
Lehane; Dan Newman, partner, SCN Strategies; Dave Fratello, Coast Campaign
Group; Marjan Philhour, fundraising consultant, California Group; Anna
Greenberg, pollster, Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research; Ruth Bernstein,
principal, EMC Research; Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director,
Drug Policy Alliance.

http://latimesblogs .latimes. com/lanow/ 2011/03/new- medical-marijuan a-initiative- in-california. html

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