Current polls show that Prop 19 is likely to pass. With around two weeks left to campaign, supporters are stumping hard to try to convince voters to turn out in favor of the initiative to tax and regulate marijuana. Awareness
and support seem to be reaching a critical mass, or a hundredth-monkey turning point. When people Americans trust come out in support of legalization, it becomes “The right thing to do,” even if you don’t smoke pot.
Last week, Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who says she never smoked marijuana, expressed her feelings that we need to end prohibition. Now it comes to our attention that Joseph McNamara, former San Jose chief of police, and Stephen Downing, former Los Angeles deputy chief are both proactively supporting proposition 19. USA Today released their article, “Opposing View On Marijuana: ‘Prohibition Is a Disaster’” Oct. 19, 2010.
As former big-city police officials, we’re saying yes to the rational approach that regulates marijuana like alcohol and cigarettes. After decades of marijuana prohibition, with millions of arrests and billions of dollars spent, the results are in. Prohibition is a disaster.
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The two ex-cops say that proposition 19 is simple common sense, and will destroy “a $14 billion black market run by violent thugs” and replace it with a legal market, eliminating enforcement costs and bringing in revenue.
Though he did say years ago, “It’s not a drug. It’s a leaf,” and he did sign Senate Bill 1449 just a few days ago, Governor Schwarzenegger doesn’t support Prop 19. However, Prop 19 enjoys the support of a broad coalition including the state’s largest labor union, the state NAACP, and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which is a 35,000-member group made up of police, prosecutors, judges, prison officials and others. Among many, many other people and groups, The League of United Latin American Citizens, the Oakland and Berkeley City Councils, The American Federation of Teachers, the ACLU, The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, The Green Party, The Libertarian Party, The Longshoremen, Students For Sensible Drug Policy think Proposition 19 is a good idea.