Prop. 19 Opponents’ Verbal Bluster Is Just The Latest Sign That We Are Winning!

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 18, 2010

    In response to Friday’s threat by the Obama administration that they will “vigorously enforce” federal anti-marijuana laws in California, regardless of whether voters enact Proposition 19 this November, I have the following commentary in today’s edition of The Hill.

    Obama administration may back marijuana prohibition, but that doesn’t mean that California voters have to do the same
    via The Hill

    [excerpt: Read the full text and comment on it here.]

    Despite the claims from Prop. 19 opponents that the measure would be ‘preempted’ by the federal government, at no time has the administration challenge the fact that Californians have the legal right to determine their own marijuana policies. Rather, the federal government has simply reinforced that they remain of the opinion that pot ought to be criminally outlawed — a position that is clearly out-of-step with the American public’s sentiment.

    Furthermore, Californians have been here before and not just in 1996, when a majority of voters decided in favor of legalizing the statewide medical use of marijuana. Seventy-eight years ago this November, Californians overwhelmingly voted for the repeal of a morally, socially, and economically failed public policy – alcohol prohibition. Voters did not wait for the federal government to act; they took the matter into their own hands. And they will likely do so again this November.

    Finally, it goes without saying that the federal justice department — verbal bluster aside — lacks both the resources and the political will to take on the role of targeting and prosecuting the estimated 3.3 million Californians who are presently consuming cannabis for non-medical purposes. These duties are relegated to state, not federal, law enforcement officials. Just as medical marijuana has existed as a legal market in California, in obvious violation of federal Controlled Substances Act, Prop. 19 will too remain the law of the land post-November 2.

    My commentary is already the ‘most viewed’ and ‘most commented’ story on The Hill’s website, but you can still leave the Obama administration your two cents here.

    Speaking of the Administration’s announcement, we now have L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca stating publicly that he will instruct his police officers to disregard the voters decision regarding Prop. 19. “Proposition 19 is not going to pass, even if it passes,” Baca has stated publicly. That’s right; we now have high ranking members of law enforcement bragging that they will openly engage in behavior that disobeys state law. I believe that society has a word for people like that: ‘criminals.’

    Of course, reformers ought to take comfort in the Administration’s and Baca’s latest comments, as it shows that the supporters of prohibition — what few that are left — are running scared. After all, if our opponents weren’t convinced we were going to win on November 2, they wouldn’t be spending so much verbal bluster — and believe me, it is strictly bluster — on what they are going to do, or not do, on November 3.

    99 responses to “Prop. 19 Opponents’ Verbal Bluster Is Just The Latest Sign That We Are Winning!”

    1. Curtis says:

      Baca is waaaay out of line. Really that leaves me without words. A law enforcement leader, is going to decide to disregard a law put forth by the people? That sounds awful totalitarian to me.

    2. Nic says:

      YES Proposition 19

      A really big Thank You Paul, your thoughts and words have been a true inspiration in this war.

      GOD Bless You Paul Armentano and the good people @NORML.


      The Law Of The Land,
      “Noun 1. law of the land – a phrase used in the Magna Carta to refer to the then established law of the kingdom (as distinct from Roman or civil law); today it refers to fundamental principles of justice commensurate with due process; “the United States Constitution declares itself to be `the supreme law of the land'”



      (Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776)
      The Unanimous Declaration
      of the Thirteen United States of America

      When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government.

      When the people gather to change the law of the land they live in, it is time to become a citizen.

      YES Proposition 19

      California Send Your Message World Wide.

    3. Hangman says:

      To Protect and to “Serve”

    4. Nic says:

      Similar to Government, The Law, belongs to the people.

      The Law has no life, outside of the majority.

      The Law Of The Land.

      Are you a law abiding citizen?

      If you can vote

      Vote Yes on proposition 19 in California.

      Stayed focused, in the here and Now, The People’s Will Demand Justice, Honor and Change (cmon Obama) in this hour of war, it is darkest before the Dawn.

      As for Baca, Go To Hell.

      19 YES

    5. Gweedo says:

      The only “sign that we are winning” would be another increase in the polls.

    6. Steve says:

      If the DEA goes to california they will leave the other 49 states bare of DEA activity to cover this agenda. And I highly doubt that Cali will align with any unfavorable to prop 19 court ruling. I think our current supreme court will favor prop 19, out of honor of the 9th amendment at the very least. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    7. todd says:

      all i feel is sorrow for our kids. Presidents who act like ex basketball players and cops who publicly claim they are criminals. These are our leaders its really sad. I thought the people ruled here? I m still going to smoke if i want to and not get insurance if i don’t want to.

    8. Yoni says:

      “…and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”

      -Abraham Lincoln

      It seems our leaders have forgotten what kind of a country it is that they “lead”.

    9. Tim says:

      Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
      -Genesis 1:29

      Let’s eat!!!