2010 Election Update: Cooley Leading In Polls Is Bad News For California Medical Marijuana Patients, AZ’s Prop. 203 Continues To Trail

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 8, 2010

    Though the race for California‘s next Attorney General still officially remains undecided, Republican candidate Steve Cooley is now leading Democrat Kamala Harris by some 26,000 votes. The Los Angeles Times reports that at least 850,000 ballots — mostly mail-in ballots that arrived in election offices on election day — still need to be counted, and that the race remains far from over.

    The race for California Attorney General has significant implications for the distribution of medical cannabis in California, as Cooley has previously pledged to prosecute dispensaries that engage in over-the-counter cash sales of marijuana to authorized patients. In October, while serving as Los Angeles District Attorney, Cooley declared that state law bars sales of medical marijuana, and opined: “The vast, vast, vast majority, about 100%, of dispensaries in Los Angeles County and the city are operating illegally, they are dealing marijuana illegally. … The time is right to deal with this problem.”

    Present Attorney General guidelines, issued under former A.G. (now Governor-elect) Jerry Brown in 2008, authorize the distribution and non-profit sales of medical cannabis in California by qualified “collectives and cooperatives,” but warn that ‘storefront’ business that engage in the for-profit sales of medical marijuana “are likely operating outside the protections” of state law. Cooley has long maintained that California dispensaries that engage in over-the-counter sales to customers do not meet a legal definition of ‘collectives’ or ‘not-for-profit’ entities.

    By contrast, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris has previously voiced strong support for protecting the legal rights of patients who use cannabis medicinally.

    In Arizona, Proposition 203 is still trailing — now by some 6,600 votes — with more than 100,000 still remaining to be counted. If passed, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, would permit state-registered patients to obtain cannabis legally from licensed facilities.

    Arizonans have twice before — in 1996 and again in 1998 — voted in favor of medical marijuana ballot measures, though neither proposal was ever enacted by the legislature. This year’s proposal was sponsored by the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, an affiliate of the Marijuana Policy Project.

    In Michigan, voters elected vocal medical marijuana opponent Bill Schuette to be the state’s next Attorney General. Schuette was a vocal opponent against Proposal 1, the 2008 voter initiative that legalized the physician-authorized use of medical cannabis. While running for Attorney General, Schuette continued to campaign against both medical marijuana and broader efforts to halt the prosecution of non-medical consumers. Since the election, however, Schuette has yet to weigh in on whether he will use his office to target and prosecute the state’s emerging medical cannabis dispensaries.

    Finally, in Connecticut, state officials have officially declared Democrat Dan Malloy as the state’s next Governor. Malloy had been in an exceedingly close race with Republican opponent Tom Foley.

    Malloy has reportedly voiced support for decriminalizing marijuana for adults, and also supports the legalization of medical cannabis. Malloy’s predecessor, Republican M. Jodi Rell, vetoed legislation in 2007 that would have allowed for the legal use of marijuana by those authorized by their physician. In recent years, lawmakers in Connecticut have expressed support for both medical marijuana and decriminalization.

    61 responses to “2010 Election Update: Cooley Leading In Polls Is Bad News For California Medical Marijuana Patients, AZ’s Prop. 203 Continues To Trail”

    1. Pain-fully Stressed says:

      sucks for the “i gots mine” crowd. you should have voted to legalize marijuana or want it legalized.

    2. Brian says:

      What the hell is wrong with California? Why cant we get these props passed? Why do we keep bringing this politicians that keep putting us back years in regulation and reform. This has been going since the 70’s. Why cant we get these bastards flushed down the toilet. They are swayed by money and greed. Cooley is just another tool for big business. He is just a puppet for corporate greed.

    3. Just like , fatty Cooley we got other some FAT guy out here in Cali. that’s trying to shut down medical MARIJUANA dispensaries and he admits to his love of
      beer .

      I don’t get it . The problem is Alcohol in this world but they’re trying to make everybody think that MARIJUANA is the problem .

      It doesn’t make sense .

    4. Ben says:

      You know what? The “No on 19” stoners will get exactly what they deserve with Cooley. I hope he wins and goes after medical MJ HARD. It’ll only increase the vote share for legalization.

      Only sick people should be guying “medical marijuana” anyways. The whole California system is a ridiculous fig leaf, and it’s the main reason why Prop 19 failed.

      If you think pot should be legal for recreational purposes, then support that. But do not support recreational smoking via loose medical MJ laws. Not anymore. We’re past the point where that helps our movement.

    5. rick says:

      to all the medical marajuana growers and other growers who voted no on prop 19 because of thier selfish greed , what u gonna do now when your attorny general cooley comes after you . guess you should have voted for prop 19 huh

    6. JDNCGAZ says:

      Being from Az.and having voted ‘YES’ on 203 . I can say I am very disappointed in Arizona and Cali’s prop 19. As paul said any one voting against these measures are really saying they would rather spend their tax dollars on stupid prohibitionist laws.
      I purposely educate all people I know about the misconceptions of marijuana.
      It is time to LEGALIZE PERIOD.
      All of the tax dollars we spend on marijuana arrests would go along way to balancing a few budgets around the U.S. But GOVERNMENT is too busy spending those dollars to arrest you.WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE IS NOONE LEFT TO VOTE FOR THESE POLITICAL LOSERS
      The longer marijuana is illegal the more the war on drugs tries to stop the flow of marijuana into this country the bloodier it is going to get on this side of the border,but that is what these bordere politicians want so they can get more money to fight the war on drugs!!!!!Quit voting for the same losers over and over again.If they make a promise then renig.VOTE THEM BASTURDS OUT.QUIT MAKING CAREER POLITICIANS OUT OF THESE RIP OFFS

    7. GUY says:



    8. Ben Smokes Pot says:

      I hate to say this, but Cooley winning that election might actually be good for 2012 legalization efforts. Like that the medical community won’t be sitting on their pompous ass next election rounds. I hope a couple of those greedy growers and collective owners that voted No 19 get raided to. Fuck em. Sorry Californian’s you fucked yourselves over, better luck next election. Learn from your mistakes.

    9. claygooding says:

      And what all disp owners ignore is that all the Federal
      protection they have is a memo,changeable at the whim of the govt.