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Campaign to stop pot legalization scrambles to raise money

Opponents to Proposition 19 are scrambling to revitalize their campaign amid signs that public sentiment could be shifting in favor of the controversial initiative to legalize marijuana in California.

“We’re telling folks who are opposed, ‘if we’re going to get our message out, we need additional resources,’” said Roger Salazar, spokesman for No on Proposition 19.

So far, the campaign against Proposition 19 has been anemic, raising less than $160,000 in contributions this year, according to campaign finance disclosures as of September 30. Meanwhile, campaigners for legalization have raised more than $860,000 this year, led by Oakland cannabis entrepreneur Richard Lee.

That might be a big reason the campaign against the measure commands such a low profile – only seven events are scheduled statewide in October by No on Proposition 19, according to the group’s website

Salazar said the campaign has been successful in individual outreach, pointing to marquee politicians who have lined up against the initiative and newspaper editorials also opposing pot legalization. 

But it’s unclear whether voters are listening. A September 26 Field Poll [PDF] showed the initiative leading by a 49 percent to 42 percent margin. That contrasts with a poll conducted last July that had the measure losing, 48 percent to 44 percent.

Salazar conceded the vote had become “pretty tight,” but predicted an “aggressive few weeks” in October would undermine support for the measure.

He declined to give specifics, but sources close to the campaign said they were hoping for a bipartisan push in the closing weeks, with the likes of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sen. Dianne Feinstein speaking out forcefully against the initiative and warning of a dire showdown with the federal government if marijuana use is legalized in California. 

Opponents are also trying to squeeze more cash donations from law enforcement and other groups, citing the latest poll numbers. Salazar said it’s unclear whether there will be enough money to buy time on television.

Last week Schwarzenegger signed a measure downgrading marijuana possession to an infraction, on par with a speeding ticket. The governor said he remained opposed to marijuana legalization, including Prop. 19, and approved the measure simply to reduce spending on prosecutions and courts.

Tim Rosales, the campaign manager for No on Proposition 19, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the new law “takes away the last reason anyone would have to vote for Prop. 19,” because it removes the argument by proponents that the state’s marijuana laws cost too much to enforce. Wishful thinking, or a new talking point?


Filed under: Public Safety, Daily Report


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ihatechico's picture
Maybe they can raise money by selling pot
Bear's picture
You guys are done! The government lies when it says cannabis has no medical value. Look up US patent 6,630,507. The department of health and human services owns this one. Look up Dr. Donald Tashkin and watch his multi-part interview. He is the DEA pulmonologist who after 30 years of research concluded that cannabis does not cause cancer, copd, or anything. The same old fear-mongering tactics and misinformation have found your campaign wanting for facts.
doctorK's picture
Cannabis is less physically addictive than caffeine, while the so-called "gateway drug" theory is a complete fantasy, and it was just recently called "half-baked" as a result of a scientific study. CNN reported that Cocaine use has dropped sharply, by 30% since 2002, which is really good news. I worked in addiction medicine for years, and this is what I can advice on the matter: Any suppression of Cannabis use will be immediately followed by an increase in alcohol/hard drug/prescription drug abuse! You don't believe me? Then maybe you will believe the Big Alcohol lobby that is financing the Cannabis Legalization opponents for exactly this reason. Right now Cannabis is just simply perceived as a much safer alternative to alcohol/hard drugs, which is precisely how it should be perceived. To have a society in which there is NO psychoactive substance use is an illusion, and it will be good for our government to realize this. So then, it becomes a matter of "safer choices", just like with the sex education. And Cannabis is, without a shadow of a doubt, a much safer choice than alcohol or hard drugs! Just very recently a research study in addiction medicine has determined that Cannabis may actually serve as an "exit" substance for recovering alcoholics/hard drug addicts! And there is another extremely important property of Cannabis that the prohibitionists would love to keep secret: Cannabis use suppresses violent urges and behaviors and, as one prestigious textbook says, "Only the unsophisticated think otherwise" Then, of course, there is a potential of Cannabis in chronic pain, where other drugs may be ineffective (or physically addictive), with very important potential consequences for our wounded veterans, many of whom have chronic pain. It is also worth noting that Cannabis may have certain preventative value for such devastating conditions as cancer and Alzheimer's disease. And all this comes with no danger of overdoses or induction of a physical dependence! Let's be very happy that the cocaine abuse rate is dropping. Let's not interfere with these dynamics, and then we can possibly achieve what has already been achieved in the Netherlands where the drug overdose rate is 85%(!!) lower than in the US, and that is with much more liberal Cannabis possession laws than in this country! Maybe it is time to give up "dogma" about Cannabis, and to start listening to the experts, if we really want to lower the alcohol/hard drug use in this country, and the accompanying dependencies and overdoses!
Conservative Christian's picture
Jesus said to treat other people the way we would want to be treated. I know I wouldn’t want my kid to go to jail with the sexual predators, or my aging parents to have their house confiscated and sold by the police, over a little marijuana. Let’s change the world. Let’s get registered and vote. Voter registration for California (deadline: October 18) w w w . sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm . (just fill out the form and mail it in). California request a ballot by mail (deadline: October 26): w w w . sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_m.htm . To vote early (like, Today!) contact your county election official at http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_d.htm Students can usually register as a citizen of either your hometown or your college residence town. Share the voter registration info through your student newspaper, twitter, etc. Five minutes. Register. Vote. Change the world. We can do it right now. Pass it on
Conservative Christian's picture
Tim Rosales is mistaken in his statement that the new decriminalization rule takes away the need for Proposition 19. 1) Under the "decriminalization" rule, there is no legal production of marijuana, so all of the money still goes to the drug gangs, so they can buy more guns and kill more Americans. 2) Under the "decriminalization" rule, if someone grows even one marijuana plant, they can still be sent to prison, the police can confiscate their house and sell it, and their children can be taken from them and put into "the system." 3) Under the "decriminalization" rule, a police officer can simply say, "I smelled pot" and use that as probable cause to search you, your car, and your home, trampling your Constitutional right to freedome from unreasonable searches. Don't let Mr. Rosales fool you, the current "decriminalization" rule protects the alcohol industry and the private prisons. We need to ask ourselves how God expects us to treat our neighbors and vote accordingly.
masini's picture
If so we will legalizacest become a country of drug addicts. You can wake up each day with murder and rape, all excused by the state in which the killer is. It's like saying to alcohol - drinking was poor. piese auto vwrca ieftin online
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