Posts Tagged ‘cannadome’
Last night the three main proponents of the three main legalization initiatives being put forth in California, agreed on a Statement of Unity that if any campaign gets a cash infusion from an angel investors, that they will all support the other campaign 100%. Below is the statement for review. I think it is a great step in the right direction, and it is good to see everyone play nice in the sandbox. I hope that if a miracle happens, and an angel investor does take up this cause, that the other camps will unify behind that action and step aside until signatures are gathered.
So here we have it Big Money Players. It is like shopping for freedom. You choose the direction and you have our community’s unwavering support. You drop the coin and we will create the quan. Just select the initiative you believe is the best option, and we will fall in line. I promise.
SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!! I LOVE CANNABIS!!!! Let’s make it legal for adults in 2012. Be a hero….
Statement of Unity
Recognizing that to allow these oppressive prohibitionist laws to remain in place any longer would be a travesty of justice, we have come together in the spirit of unity to offer a challenge.
All three of the legalization initiatives trying to make it on to the ballot in November recognize that time is short.
It will take an expensive signature gathering campaign for any of these initiatives to qualify for the November ballot.
We invite any freedom loving American with some serious assets to take a look at all three of our initiatives.
Choose the one that you are willing to finance.
The other two initiatives will support the one you choose 100% to ensure a victory in 2012.
Steve Collett, Treasurer, RMLW
Bill Panzer, Proponent, RCPA
Buddy Duzy,Treasurer, CCHHI
by Phillip Smith, Hawaii Daily News
Proponents of four out of five of the California marijuana initiative campaigns came together to tout the merits of their various measures at a public meeting in Mill Valley, just across the Golden Gate Bridge and up the road from San Francisco, Tuesday night. But the take away message from the confab was that every single one of the initiatives is in serious trouble if it doesn’t get a large cash injection — and soon.
Three of the initiatives, Regulate Marijuana Like Wine 2012 (RMLW), the Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012 (RCPA), and the California Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative of 2012(CCHHI), offer competing, though mostly similar, versions of legalization, while the Marijuana Penalties Act of 2012 would expand decriminalization. The fifth initiative, the Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act of 2012 (MMRCTA), seeks to bring statewide regulation to the state’s confused and chaotic medical marijuana marketplace.
Disinterested but detailed summaries of each initiative are available at the state Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) initiative fiscal analysis web page, and are highly recommended reading for those interested in the finer picture of what each initiative does. But in summary, according to the LAO, each of the three legalization initiatives would change state law to legalize marijuana possession by adults and regulate the legal commerce in it.
Equally striking, in the LAO’s analysis, each of the three legalization initiatives would save the state either “potentially tens of millions of dollars” (RMLW) or “potentially the low hundreds of millions” (RCPA, CCHHI) annually in pot prohibition enforcement costs foregone. At the same time, any of the three would generate “potentially hundreds of millions of dollars” annually in tax revenues, while the MMRCTA would generate “tens of millions of dollars” in potential additional revenues.
The LAO took care, however, to point out that its fiscal impact estimates, and especially its revenue estimates, depended highly on the nature of the federal response to marijuana legalization in California. The figures cited above happen only if the federal government allows a legal marijuana commerce to thrive.
With that pot of green gold from legalization enticingly foreseeable, even if the path past federal intransigence is unclear, the frustration of initiative campaigners at their inability to raise money to get on the ballot is evident. With each day that passes without a paid professional signature-gathering campaign underway, the cost of gathering each signature goes up. And the clock is ticking. The initiatives have only until April 20 to turn in 504,000 valid voter signatures.
“Time is running out to get these initiatives on the ballot,” RMLW campaignpresenter Steve Collett, a Los Angeles attorney, told the crowd. “We’re going to need to raise some money to do it. We think we need about $2 million to get on the ballot, and then we can reap $230 million a year forever.”
Collett pointed to RMLW’s list of endorsements and a poll it commissioned showing 62% support for the measure as enticements to potential funders. RMLW is going to need those funders, and it’s in the best shape of any of the legalization initiatives.
The RMLW campaign had only raised $131,000 by the end of December, according to the California Secretary of State, and only another $20,000 since then. It currently has only 40,000-50,000 signatures gathered. The other campaigns are in even worse shape.
“We’re all down to the last minute,” said Oakland attorney Bill Panzer, spokesman for the RCPA campaign. “If we don’t get money to get professional signature-gatherers, we don’t get on the ballot,” he added. “But,” he reminded the audience, “with Proposition 215, we got most of the signatures in five weeks with the professionals.”
[image:2 align:right caption:true]CCHHI campaign spokesman Buddy Dusy was mum about fundraising, but said the campaign had 130 paid signature-gatherers. “We need to do it for Jack Herer,” he said.
California NORML head Dale Gieringer, who acted as spokesman for the MMRCTA campaign, said it was in do or die negotiations with potential funders right now and has a team of experienced campaign professionals ready to go.
“These are very critical negotiations going on right now, and we will know within another week or so if this comes through,” he said. “If we don’t get the money, we’re not going to get on the ballot.”
“Proposition 19 was the wrong election year, it was poorly drafted, and it was opposed by people in our movement who feared for patients’ rights, but it still did very well,” said Panzer. “Any of these initiatives can pass if they make it to the ballot.”
But Gieringer argued that fixing medical marijuana needed to come first.
“All the polls I’ve seen show that legalization is very dicey in California, but when you talk about medical marijuana and the need for regulation, support is in the 60s,” he told the crowd. “It’s hard to call on the public to further liberalize the marijuana laws when they feel things are chaotic enough with medical marijuana. We have to demonstrate that we can regulate medical marijuana to make the public comfortable enough to move on to the next step, legalization.”
Although there was talk Tuesday about forging unity, none of the initiative campaigns was prepared to give up and go to work for the other. That leaves three legalization campaigns and the medical marijuana initiative all competing for the same funding, and all of them — so far at least — coming up short.
While, barring a miracle, seeing marijuana legalization on the California ballot this year looks extremely unlikely, perhaps the movement can get its act together for 2014 or 2016. At least, the campaigns are starting to talk about it.
“We need a coalition of all the legalization people to create an organization that will be a true legalization coalition in California,” said Collett. “We have the same long-term objectives, but differences about how to go about it. Sometimes egos get in the way, but we have to focus on the 70,000 Californians getting arrested for marijuana every year.”
So last night’s Cannadome debate went off without a hitch, was well attended by the community, and was the best birthday party I ever had. Many thanks to the folks who participated in the event, and those who came to try to find answers and agreement.
The two things I really learned last night was that Dale Geringer has “seen a lot of poles,” a fact he mentioned about a dozen times; and the rest of us want weed legal for the most part. I learned much more than that, of course, but those are the two major points I found to be of interest.
The four initiatives were represented by respectively, Steve Collett for Regulate Like Wine, Buddy Duzy for Jack’s CCHHI, Dale Geringer for ASA and UFCW’s MMRCTA, and Bill Panzer of Repeal Cannabis Prohibition. The format was a panel discussion, with the four initiatives presenting their case and questions submitted online or by the audience answered afterwards. There were no real fireworks or contentious moments, and the base line factor is that unless one of the initiatives get at least $2 million bucks, they are all dead in the water.
One of the most stark revelations of the night came from Dale Geringer in his approach to supporting the Medical Marijuana Regulation Control and Taxation Act. A member of the audience submitted a question asking why CA NORML, a group dedicated to legalization, was representing the MMRCTA effort, rather than an effort for adult use legalization. The answers he gave repeatedly were so depressing. “I have seen a lot of polls, and they show legalization is too controversial to back in 2012.” Huh? Is that right. The leader of the most prominent legalization organization in California has virtually thrown in the towel on legalization, and instead, is only actively supporting (through representation at events like this and as an advisory role, and maybe funding?) an effort to EXPAND PROHIBITION in CA through a medical system, that in his own admission is “short on specific detail” as to how it will affect the community?
His grasps for a system, “Like Colorado, but better” were not very well explained IMO, and I believe caused some to question the direction of NORML…again. I mean, if we cannot get the foremost legalization organization in the country on board to legalize cannabis in CA, then there is a real fucking problem. It is sad, when one of the leaders of the CA reform movement basically washes his hands of any effort to legalize cannabis because he has “seen a lot of polls” and he does not believe that legalization is possible. Well, I generally review most polls as well, and would be interested to see CA NORML release those polls and explain to the community why these polls have resulted in, at the very least, lackluster support and zero public endorsement of any legalization initiative. If you want us to believe your rhetoric, Dale, write a report based on these polls you have seen that explains to us why we should turn our back on legalization in 2012 in favor of an effort to expand prohibition. Otherwise, please do not insult our intelligence and expect us to just take your word for it. Many in this community look to NORML as a group fighting for the interest of all cannabis users, not just those deemed sick enough. If that mission has changed then it is your duty to let us know why…and just referring to all of the poles you have seen is not evidence enough.
The conversation with Dale spilled over into the parking lot after the debate, and I asked him directly, “Why was NORML not listed as a proponent on the initiative with ASA and UFCW?” His response almost made me throw up my hands and just walk away…he stated, “Because we are primarily a legalization group we did not feel it would be appropriate to be listed in public as a proponent.” WTF? Are you shitting me? Did you base your entire argument FOR supporting MMRCTA on the fact that you do not believe legalization has a prayer, but then DID NOT publicly endorse MMRCTA because your organization is primarily focused on legalization?” My head exploded for a brief moment, as many others pelted him with questions about his allegiance, and why he was there representing MMRCTA in public, and why he did not think legalization had a chance.
But in the midst of the confusion, another member of the CA NORML Board made a revelation. Dr. Frank informed me that another CA NORML Board member, the great Valerie Corral, also opposed MMRCTA because, and get this, it would put WAMM out of business. I believe she is 100% correct. Because of the registration process and the definitions for medical marijuana facility, Val’s organization WAMM would not be allowed to operate as it is now. THAT IS POWERFUL and very sad. Dr. Frank confirmed with his counterpart Bill Panzer that this was true, and has since pulled any support for MMRCTA. I think, like most everybody there, Dr. Frank wondered why Dale was standing in a parking lot defending an effort to expand prohibition and basically denouncing all legalization efforts as not having a snowball’s chance.
During the debate, Dale stated that the proponents and funders were going to spend the next week behind closed doors seeing if they are going to pony up the $2 million bucks for this half-hearted and lousily written wannabe response to Federal interference. He said they either “will cut the check and we will be on the ballot, or nobody would likely be on the ballot in 2012.” Here is my question…why is this secret money source not at least considering taking a shot at real adult use reform? Who is this “medical only money” that people are looking to? Why is this money only considering a program that expands prohibition through limiting who can provide medicine only to who and where? And why are those who we have charged with promoting legalization rolling over based on loose polling and regurgitated nonsense? It is frustrating to say the least for anyone who believes in cannabis freedom for all.
I think what is more telling is that NOT ONE person from ASA or UFCW had the nerve to show up and defend their initiative. NOT ONE. Why? Because they do not need, or want, our support. They are going to make this decision in the back room after reviewing more polls and assessing the situation for viability, and our input means very little. Their absence was telling, and I felt bad for Dale having to be the only one out there trying to convince people that MMRCTA was a good idea. Maybe all the other folks had some weak dinner at one of Montel’s dispensaries to go to and talk shit about community division with the 7 people who bothered to show up, instead of looking the activist community in the eye and explaining their positions.
That was too bad….so now that I went over all that medical only madness, on to the legalization efforts….
Steve Collett did a good job of representing “Like Wine” I thought, and was very open in his approach. He did a good job of complimenting the other efforts, and did his best to explain why Like Wine was a viable option. Some of his rhetoric seemed a bit defeated, especially after he told the crowd that RMLW has only until March 20th to pull it off, meaning they were less that 30 days away, and only had about 30,000 signatures so far. Also telling, was his call to form a coalition of the proponents from all the legalization efforts to basically convene for the next effort, almost stating that he felt this year was already lost. Considering their polling came out weeks ago, and nobody has cut a check, I can see why he would feel that. But he did a fine job staying on message and answering the questions, and if nothing else, he made me feel a little better about Like Wine.
Buddy Duzy made a passionate call to action for the Jack Herer initiative, based on his belief that the provisions for the hemp industry would force rescheduling, and also that we, as a community, should support Jack’s vision. There is no doubt that the CCHHI crew has the most grassroots energy, and continue to carry the fighting spirit of Jack Herer to every part of the state and nation. Those cats energy inspires me and warm my heart. And even if I do not think that the Jack initiative is our most viable option based on pure electability, I tend to agree with Buddy’s call to arms to pay homage to Jack and to put the initiative on the ballot. I would love to see a campaign where the great Jack Herer was front and center. I think that this would be a wonderful message for our community to come together and support ,and I would love to see an angel donor find the spirit of Jack and throw down some real cash to put this on the ballot. Maybe Peter Lewis or George Soros are at home rereading their copy of the Emperor Wears No Clothes and will cut that fat check to support the legacy of the man who gave the plant a voice and who inspired most of the modern cannabis and hemp movement, as we know it.
Bill Panzer made his normally solid legal arguments to support his drafting of RCPA. I still agree with Bill that this is the best written of the three legalization efforts, and will be the most viable option to actually accomplish the goal of ending prohibition. Bill was very forthcoming in his approach, and basically stated that if an angel investor does not put up the money, that there was no chance of any of the efforts, including RCPA, to make the ballot. Bill made some points that were valid and he also said he would support any of the efforts, should they make the ballot. I think his explanation of why and how RCPA would hold up to legal scrutiny was compelling, and I stand by my position that RCPA is our best shot to pass. But like Bill said, if any make the ballot this year they have a good opportunity to pass. He must be looking at different polls than, Dale….thank goodness. He made some valid criticisms of Prop. 19, but also praised the courage of Richard Lee and acknowledged the lessons we had all learned from that effort. And he said, on top of all of the opposition and BS during the campaign in an off election year “Prop 19 did quite well.” He believed that this showed that a legalization initiative could indeed pass on a more liberal Presidential election year, and I for one, agree.
But the bottom line is that unless a miracle happens in the next couple of weeks, we may not have a legalization effort to support. We may have a questionable and rushed medical prohibition effort to support, but I can assure you I will not be getting up early and writing anything to support that effort. It will be all I can do to not be critical of it should it make the ballot, so if this ends up being the case, and only the deep pockets in the back rooms of the UFCW/ASA (and kind of CA NORML but not really) MMRCTA effort get on the ballot, expect a lot of dead silence from me and some grumbling and bitching in person.
I thought the event was a smashing success, even though there was no real resolution. If I had to pick a team who won the debate I would call it a tie between CCHI and RCPA, with RMLW not far behind (yes…this is my bias opinion). And I think the MMRCTA effort came in dead last and had the least support and energy for it. I just do not think our community is ready to throw in the towel, turn over our industry to a mystery bureau that Dale G. “has confidence” will do the right thing for those in the industry. I do not think people are very excited to spend out time, energy, and resources to develop a murky detailed program that has zero real assurances in it, except that dispensaries already open would be grandfathered for 3 years. Nobody seemed excited to turn over everything to an effort where the organizations who are putting the initiative forward could not be bothered to show up. I just think it was a losing proposition, and from discussing the thing with Dale and many others afterwards, will be poison to the community and end up getting killed in public, thus putting the entire current industry on trial on the National stage.
What we learned was who was who, and what was what, which I thought was awesome. We are all adults, and can make decisions for ourselves, but I will tell you that I personally am deeply troubled by the organizations putting forth MMRCTA because they basically feel legalization cannot win and that they must do something…even if it is not necessarily a positive for the community. These organizations have mostly lost my support, as I can not in good conscious support groups that lack that much courage and who work to put forth efforts to appease their major donors, rather than do what is right for cannabis users. I learned that there is a void of leadership in the movement, as suspected; and that those we have donated to and given our time and energy to have decided to turn their back on progress. I just cannot get down with that.
What I did not learn was what is next; or if any angel donors out there had a big enough sack of nuts to help make history in the Nation’s largest and most cannabis friendly state. Only time will tell, but I still keep hope that there is a person out there reading this right now thinking about cutting that check. Maybe I am naive. I am okay with that. I would rather be naive for legalization than sophisticated for prohibition any day.
It was a good time and very educational. Many thanks to those who wished me a happy birthday. It was my best birthday since I was 7-years-old. I must have issues if a cannabis debate is my idea of an awesome birthday, but I just love cannabis and the politics surrounding it, that much. Call me crazy…everyone else does.
The infamous “Cannadome” is set to happen Tuesday February 21, 2012. Tensions are high and emailing lists have been ablaze with rhetoric and arguments in support or opposition to the five, yes FIVE, marijuana ballot initiatives now collecting signatures for a chance to be on the 2012 ballot.
Supporters of the Marijuana Penalties Act of 2012, Regulate Marijuana Like Wine 2012, Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012, California Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative of 2012 and the Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act of 2012 are all to gather and duke it out debate style in Mill Valley, California next week.
The event was prompted by calls from many in the community and movement frustrated by the lack of unity in the political process. The fear in California is that with money and efforts spread through five initiatives none will win and even deeper rifts will be gouged than during the Prop 19 campaign in 2010.
So far, the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act has been gaining the most steam due to money from outside the community and an active PR wing. However, many from within are wary of the association of cannabis to alcohol and are unlikely to support it should it make the ballot because of polarization from some of the initiative’s main proponents.
Stay tuned with ThePuffingtonHost.com for live updates and a complete run-down after the event.
So the Cannadome idea is gonna happen, kinda….meaning there will be a debate, but none of the groups will pull their effort if a vote is taken. That was completely expected. What was unexpected was the cowardice rejection by one of the campaigns. “Like Wine” proponents have refused to participate. Here is what Like Wine proponent, Steve Kubby had to say:
RMLW will not be attending any more activist debates. We believe that while this proposed debate may sound good in theory , in reality it will only ensure further fractionalization of the movement. In our view, activists are not addressing the issue of the voters outside the cause, that is the soccer moms, both the Republican and Democratic socially conservative women that voted against 19. -Steve Kubby
So there we have it. The lead proponent of Like Wine stating they do not want to be a part of the process of allowing those pesky “activists” to examine and question their efforts. Instead, they trust that they are right, and they will do what they want to do, and could give a shit about what the cannabis community thinks about it….They DO NOT want your opinion. They could care less. They want no feedback. They do not believe they should have to stand up and debate their initiative. They are right. We are all wrong…stupid activists and their stupid debates. What is funny is that Steve believes he can swing the soccer mom vote.
But this has been the problem with the RMLW effort from the beginning….the people involved. I do not necessarily think they have a horrible initiative, but when your spokespeople are a man who said he made a lozenge to cure Bird Flu, and a militant Canadian asshole who threatens and/or annoys everyone he speaks to, there is a fucking problem. In a campaign that is sure to be won or lost on messaging, RMLW sends the Goof Troop out to speak on behalf of cannabis users. Great.
It is no wonder they do not have the juice to show up for the debate. I have a great deal of respect for Judge James Gray, also a proponent of Like Wine; but I will have to say that from a “birds of a feather” standpoint, it is troubling that he would allow for his campaign to be represented by such poor ambassadors. For a minute I thought they had succeeded in controlling the message, as Kubby was silent for a period, at least in public and the press. But he has now begun to creep back in, so I imagine it should get interesting real quick. While Steve Kubby is undoubtedly a smart guy, one never knows what will come shooting out of his mouth at any moment. I love it, personally; but for a very public campaign on a very contentious issue, his random outburst potential I would find disturbing if I were thinking about funding the effort.
While it is disappointing that RMLW has chose to not participate, it is not completely unexpected. The RMLW campaign has been walking back their participation all week, as the discussion unfolded. Their lead spokesmodel is a CANADIAN, named DMV. He stated early on, “None of the more respectable people want anything to do with you or the cannadome.” I assured them I would have nothing to do with it, so now the reason is not because it is MY cannadome, but because they feel these “activist debates will further fractionalize the movement.” WHATEVER….why not just say “We are not coming because we do not have the juice to stand face to face with the community and debate our initiative.” That is the reality.
It is sad really, but NOT TO WORRY! We have been assured that the RMLW initiative will be debated. There WILL be a person assigned to be the proponent for this effort, as all of the real proponents have turned their back on the idea of an open and adult conversation about the four different initiatives. So, while the ACTUAL proponents will not be there, a qualified individual who knows the RMLW initiative will be there to help people understand what it is, and what it does. Obviously one of the real proponents would be better, but it is good to know that the organizers will still work to represent their side of the equation.
I am excited….Cannadome is scheduled for February 16th, 2012 at the MillValley Community Center at 6:30 pm. I am looking forward to it. That is ALSO medical marijuana week, and there are a number of cool things planned I hear. AND…Obama is in town that day too, so we can all go protest in the day, and discuss cannabis freedom by night. I am SO excited.
Many thanks to Scott Candell for picking up the ball and making this happen. I hope they can convince Like Wine to come to the table, as well. I was really looking forward to their presentation in context, and with people able to ask questions about it. Only time will tell…If you know the Like Wine folks, let them know you want them to be a part of the historic Cannadome debate. If they want the community to support them they should at least have the courtesy to attend an event that showcases their effortto the community….