Elections Marijuana Laws Must Reads

Tuesday Must Reads: The Prop 19 Version


Gazillionaire George Soros is about to donate some big bucks to Proposition 19, the pot legalization initiative. He explains why in an op ed that appears in, of all interesting places, the Wall Street Journal. Since it’s the WSJ, Soros leads his reasons with those relating to the fiscal side of the initiative.

Here are some clips:

Our marijuana laws are clearly doing more harm than good. The criminalization of marijuana did not prevent marijuana from becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the United States and many other countries. But it did result in extensive costs and negative consequences.

Law enforcement agencies today spend many billions of taxpayer dollars annually trying to enforce this unenforceable prohibition. The roughly 750,000 arrests they make each year for possession of small amounts of marijuana represent more than 40% of all drug arrests.

Regulating and taxing marijuana would simultaneously save taxpayers billions of dollars in enforcement and incarceration costs, while providing many billions of dollars in revenue annually. It also would reduce the crime, violence and corruption associated with drug markets, and the violations of civil liberties and human rights that occur when large numbers of otherwise law-abiding citizens are subject to arrest. Police could focus on serious crime instead.


Who most benefits from keeping marijuana illegal? The greatest beneficiaries are the major criminal organizations in Mexico and elsewhere that earn billions of dollars annually from this illicit trade—and who would rapidly lose their competitive advantage if marijuana were a legal commodity. Some claim that they would only move into other illicit enterprises, but they are more likely to be weakened by being deprived of the easy profits they can earn with marijuana.


This story by Vince Beiser isn’t directly related to Prop 19, but there’s a thin thread of relationship. In any case, it’s upsetting—and worth reading.

Here’s the opening.

She should have been scared. Rachel Hoffman, a slim, pretty redhead freshly graduated from Florida State University, had $13,000 in cash and a police wire in her purse. She was about to make a major buy from two armed drug dealers.

Rachel, 23, had never done anything remotely like this before. She was in her silver Volvo S40, way out in the thickly-wooded outskirts of Tallahassee, following the grey BMW of the two men who were going to sell her a pile of cocaine, Ecstasy, and a gun. But she felt safe. Once the deal went down, all she had to do was say “looks good,” and the dozen-plus cops tailing her would pounce. It would be a thrill, like a real-life episode of one of her favorite shows, DEA.

But what mattered most was that the police had promised that if she did this sting, they wouldn’t prosecute her for the marijuana they’d found in her apartment…..


Or so the YES on Prop 19 folks say of their internal polls, according to FireDogLake:

Yes on Proposition 19 has just released a set of internal numbers for polling they conducted last week, which compared responses given to live interviewers versus automated telephone polling. Interestingly, there is a huge divide between the level of support expressed for Prop 19 with the two methodologies. They find that if an individual is responding only to a computer program, they are much more likely to express support for Prop 19.

In other words, people are more likely to admit their support for weed to a machine (that won’t have a judgment) than to an actual person (who people imagine might have a judgment).

Or so they say.

And earlier LA Times/USC poll showed Prop 19 losing support.


The LA Times Sam Quinones follows a deputy sheriff through the slightly unreal world of law enforcement in Humboldt County:

Fantasy often mixes with reality in the work life of Deputy Sheriff Robert Hamilton of Humboldt County, the center of California’s marijuana outback.

It happened again a few months ago in the isolated coastal resort of Shelter Cove, where Hamilton lives and patrols. The deputy came upon nine young men tending a marijuana plantation….


Turns out it’s not out of policy for the LA County Sheriff’s Department to use department resources to do special investigations for big campaign donors.

Um, really?

The LA Times is as perplexed as I’m guessing the rest of us are about that little policy.


  • Soros is funding Prop 19 because, at heart, he is an activist who profits from chaotic conditions. The idea that the Mexican drug cartels will be driven out of business is nonsense and he knows it. The cost of growing ‘legal’ marijuana in California (or anywhere in the USA for that matter) will always be higher than the illegal grows in Mexico. That is especially so now that big labor has also weighed in with their support – unionized labor growing marijuana compared with dollar a day workers in Mexico?
    Prop 19 is welcomed by the Mexican drug cartels because it will increase the demand for their product which the FBI and Eric Holder both agree, continues to be the single largest source of revenue for the Mexican drug cartels.
    The less well funded “No On 19” ad makes the point rather well, and also shows the attitude of the typical “Yes On 19” voter:


    Soros does not care that there will be murder and mayhem in California while the Mexican drug cartels use their own brand of “marketing” to stifle the competition, there clearly something in it for him.

  • I herad that the Mexican marijuna is like Andre Cold Duck and the U.S. indoor grown marijuana is like Dom Pérignon. I also heard that most of the “medical” marijuana clincs sell Dom Pérignon and Cristal type marijuana.

    I wonder if the drug cartels are saying this (at 17sec) ?

  • Jack, good job. You just about copy and pasted the right wing’s position on 19, just changing a few words to give the impression you can write. I’m sorry if you were trying ton convince us you were free thinking and omniscient on this issue. No luck this time.

    WTF, thanks for giving us the usual white take on the issue.

  • Script, the link please to the “right wing’s position on 19” that you say I copied? If and when you have the decency to apoligize for making a false accusation, I’ll accept it.

    But it is interesting that in your zeal to attack my expression of free speech, you immediately try to politicize this issue as a ‘left versus right’ issue.

    So far as I am aware, neither Eric Holder, Kamala Harris, Jerry Brown, nor President Obama’s Director of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske (the “Drug Czar”) are right wingers, yet they are all saying ‘No’ on 19. Can you explain please?

    I think you’ve just undermined the validity of any argument you may have, and totally validated the ‘I don’t care’ attitude of the Pro 19 people who couldn’t care less how many people have to suffer just so that they can get their pot.

    And WTF is quite correct about the differing qualities of ‘home grown’ versus Mexican pot. But for those with blue collar pockets, it’s the Mexican pot that sells. And boy does it sell – 134 tons intercepted in TJ last week, possibly one tenth of what makes it across the border every month.

  • Hack, I mean Jack, Sure, I won’t find a link that doesn’t have what you typed word for word, that’s because you obviously changed some of it. It’s an old trick 5th graders use to make themselves seem smart. They just cut and past an entire opinion, then add their own words. You’re a parrot of the right. There isn’t a free thought in your head.

  • WTF is a Mexican with one goal in life, Hack, and that’s to be white. He’s not correct about anything, ever. He just basically asks himself, “What would a right wing, white asshole say” before he types.

  • See that Rand Paul supporter kicking that dude? I wish the tea baggers would go into Oakland, East LA, or Compton like that. They get their rocks off beating up on white liberal pacifists.

  • Were you sick Reg, I was worried about you? What did you find out about all that pension stuff you were so all knowing about?

  • As a general comment, it’s very telling when the response to ‘bad news’ like sensible cross party opposition to Prop 19, becomes mired in triviality injected with personal attacks. It’s straight out of the Saul Alinsky ‘Community Organizing Activism for Dummies’ copybook.

    I find Soros throwing a few million at Prop 19 very interesting, considering he has otherwise declined to spend his money on the mid term elections, at least not overtly. There’s no question that he’s a financial genius, and a master at market manipulation, so what’s his end game?

    Is it, perhaps, designed to deflect attention from the Obamas’ vastly expensive trip to India? If you read the details, perhaps even a few hard core lefties will baulk at the cost of flying a motorcade out to India to further screw up the already screwed up Mumbai traffic, not to mention the cost of booking all 570 rooms at the Taj Hotel for Obama and his entourage, with an additional 175 rooms spread amongst 3 more hotels.

    Before anyone here says “that’s just a right wing rant” here’s the source.


    Can someone comment coherently on the justification for this largesse while the rest of us suffer? Is this another “let them eat cake” gate?

  • Jack, you know marijuana’s going to be legal eventually, right? You know with each generation, it gets closer to passing? Surely you’re not in denial of that. Most people believe pot is safer than many drugs legal right now. You can post all your half baked data from doctors paid off by the right all you want to. Bottom line, it’s just what most people believe. Even if they’re wrong, they’re getting their way eventually. People believe in Christ where there’s not an ounce of proof he exists. So you know how far evidence goes with the American people. Pot’s going to be legal because people like it. I’d calibrate yourself around that reality if I were you.

  • Script, you may find it hard to believe that I do believe that marijuana use should be made legal. However, not at any price and not this way. Prop 19 is a disastrously badly written piece of legislation – I think I’m ‘parroting’ Jerry Brown and Kamala Harris there, but they are correct.

    One of the problems with Prop 19 is that was written by advocates who had no care for unforeseen consequences. One such consequence is that it will create an untenable patchwork of conflicting laws amongst the 58 counties and 478 incorporated cities that will be empowered to authorize marijuana cultivation and sales.

    I do agree that “people like pot” and that when used responsibly, it is no more or less dangerous than alcohol. But that alone is no justification for passing Prop 19. There has to be a better way of doing this.

    Perhaps Prop 19 will pass, but whether Cooley or Harris are elected as AG (it’s close), and whether Jerry Brown or Whitman are elected as Governor (not even close) you can expect them to challenge Prop 19 and likely be successful with a challenge based on the Supremacy Clause.

    All of which makes me wonder why Soros got involved? What’s in it for him?

  • You sound like Hillary supporters in ’08….

    “I want to see a black president in my lifetime, but not this way, we don’t know Obama”, etc. And if it were a well known black candidate, they would have said that he’s lifetime politician, more of the same, etc. Anyways…. That whole “I want it, but not this way” just seems to be the words of disingenuous people.

    Sorry, Jack. You’re way too passionate about this issue for me to believe that you’re into it for any other reason than not wanting to see pot legalized. Nice try, though.

  • “Soros does not care that there will be murder and mayhem in California,” Jack advises us in his first post, with his usual teabagger gibberish and propaganda which lacks basis. Illegal cartels benefit from a total ban, which raises prices and limits supply, just like prohibition gave birth to a far more powerful Mafia.

    Soros is right on the money on this in principle, BUT the way this Prop is written apparently is a legal quagmire/nightmare waiting to happen, just like previous bills, and L A’s own local ordinance which led to first, an explosion to nearly 1000 shops and now, under Trutanich-Jane Usher’s draconian restrictions on where they can operate, to so few she was “surprised.”

    This is why Brown and Harris oppose the Prop as well – it’s the poorly crafted details. Might allow too easy access to pot for recreational use, and resales on a black market to those who don’t want to be on an approved buyers’ list, even if they could. (Baca wanted to get all users’ personal data, every time they buy – he even wants same for those who buy certain cold meds. Nothing like the law invading privacy just “in case” they might want to go after you.) If small amounts of pot were legal to possess with relative anonymity, like any other doctor-patient relationship, I believe illegal resales would largely dry up.

    Soros is correct, though, that even if the Prop loses, it’s sparking national debate and momentum.
    BTW I was surprised to learn that personal possession of small amounts pot is legal in Mexico for the very reasons Soros supports it: to free up law enforcement to go after the big bad guys.

    Lots of people wonder though, why is Soros joining the party so late? Then again, he IS generating a LOT of PR for his Million Bucks.

    As for the “news” that Sheriff Baca has his dept. “investigate” for certain big donors, no big surprise. But we deserve an accounting of how much is spent on that – it seems the DA has a similar “secret investigative force” answerable to him alone in secret, and it’s what his puppet protege wants at the city/nominally misdemeanor level, cost what it may. These 3 who just happen to be buddies, cross the line it seems to me and circle the wagons, but who’s to stop them BECAUSE they are all so cozy with each other? Short of the state AG stepping in and he’s got his own priorities. Outrageous misuse of power for personal political ambition.

    Additionally, they’re said to NOT investigate big corporate donors who are environmental scofflaws – Harris’s allegation that Cooley even disbanded his whole environmental prosecutor unit because they were too effective and made donors nervous has teeth. In fact, his puppet Carmen made his money defending these people and teaching them how to evade environmental prosecution, then used “environmental attorney” as ballot designation and got away with it thanks to spin from the Times. Which is also brushing under the carpet Harris’s allegations, and only half-heartedly allowing any independent research and critical comments by its own reporters. We never see anything about Baca, either, except in small blogs or what he learn in lawsuits filed by current or former staff.

    These guys must be fuming at Soros – who looks thoroughly exhausted and baggy eyed in his photos, maybe he needs some pot too to relax a little. Ah, the stress of being a billionaire, what to do with all that money, how to make your mark in the world after you can’t think of what else to buy for yourself.

  • sbl, you know why Brown and Harris oppose the bill. They’re playing the field. They have nothing to lose by opposing it. More to lose by supporting it, especially Harris, considering she’s running for AG. What cracks me up is these fliers I’m getting, voting guides, I guess their called, by various interest groups, which say, “neutral” on marijuana. LOL. If they’re neutral, they’re supportive, imo. Neutrality is one of the side effects of pot.

  • The entire string of comments in which two commenters in particular continued to refer to the other as “racist” has been deleted. This no doubt meant deleting reasonable comments as well.

    That’s the way it goes with these food fights. Everybody around gets splattered.

    (They’re also incredibly boring.)

    (AND they send me into coughing fits. I’m going to send you two my cough drop/cough syrup/herbal-tea-and-honey bill.)

  • Poor Rob says:

    “Some things are worth being paranoid about. Extreme right wingers scare the shit out of me. I won’t lie”.

    lol. Paranoid people are scared shitless say the damndest things don’t they.

  • I’d be happy to debate you a on if I could make that case or not Celeste. Remember though my I.Q. is less than 80 so I’ll need some time.

  • “I hate the fucking left.”

    So why are you here? When I dislike a person or thing I avoid it at all costs. When you come here is it some form of self-flagellation exercise?

  • “So why are you here?”

    I know. Isn’t it amazing how a person could badmouth the very blog he’s posting on when he has the freedom to blog on any blog on the net.
    It’s crazy isn’t it. Makes no sense whatsoever.
    I mean christ almighty, there’s plenty of blogs out there.

    Holy shit!!!!! You could apply that same argument to people who continously badmouth this country. But don’t leave. Amazing!!!!! Thanks for bringing it up.

  • Transgendered would be a surprise to my wife but I’m still feeling so bad for Nikki I can’t let go.

    Maybe Visitor likes staying safe, I like the battle. You really don’t get much of it here except from SBL. I never agree with her but she lays out her points, pretty much the same beef all the time but she does it.

    You don’t get that from anyone else on the left here. Reg is a hit and runner and flees when he gets his ass kicked, Rob is just here to attack conservatives, cops and whites and Randy just wants everyone to get along.

    Celeste puts some cool writing up here and I read it all, comment on what i feel like talking about. She isn’t, imho, fair with the delete button but it’s her board.

    The left in California are pretty much living in the 60’s still. Their all afraid of the big bad conservatives that they think want to regulate what they do in the bedroom while they want to be in every other aspect of a persons life with idiotic laws and regulatins that drive most people crazy.

    One Term Obama is their hero and at a 37% favorable rating the left voters here show they lack real substance compared to even other lefties who are tossing their idiot reps nation wide.

    Nice job guys.

  • “I hate the fucking left.”

    You’ve let the inmates take over again, Celeste. C’mon, roll up your sleeves and clean up. It’s starting to read like a FOX news blog comment section again.

  • I think the most important vote anyone can cast is a Yes on 23. 60 Minutes did a show and said our unemployment rate is 22% in California. This misguided fear of the enviornment launched by the RICH WHITE LIBERAL LEFT in the assinine SB 32 that Arnold signed needs to be stoped in it’s tracks. This will cause higher unemployment, more businesses fleeing our state and higher taxes.

    Rob has to be a 23 supporter.

  • Bring it Kyle, or are you one of the lefties that want to shut the debate down rather than battle? My post was mild compared to what some on the left have posted here, I mean it was only 5 words.

    Maybe Celeste needs a Fairness Doctrine.

  • For my bff Reg.

    In a last-ditch effort to salvage the Democratic majority, President Obama is encouraging Hispanic voters to remain inspired by stalled immigration “reform” to vote against Republicans on Election Day. More importantly, President Obama is inspiring his constituents to “punish our enemies and reward our friends,” encouraging a similar kind of “thugocracy” we have seen with labor unions.

    Wow, almost makes you cry to hear Obama use this type of hateful rhetoric when you remember what he said in 2004…

    Obama: Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us — the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of “anything goes.” Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.

    This guy is so full of it.

    Posted by a guy with an I.Q. that is at tops (because Rob said so) 80.

  • Sure Fire/Nikki Says:
    October 27th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Rob is just here to attack conservatives, cops and whites


    You’re just here to attack liberals, basically anyone who isn’t a cop, and minorities.

  • Not true Rob, there are some liberals I like and never attack people based on their color, just their words. You know, the ones they actually post, not something I make in my head to entertain myself.

    You should try it sometime.

  • Again, why did you point out that the actor who defended himself was white, and that the hecklers he stood up to were minorities, mr. above racism?

  • Because that’s what happened Rob, why would I lie about it? Why are you and Reg not man enough to answer the questions asked of you? You guys run off like those gangster posers.

    Fact was these gangster saw a bunch of Hollywood type white boys as targets to screw with, it went sideways on them and showed them to be the cowards they all were. I’d say the same for a bunch of whites targeting a lone Black or Hispanic. I would hope that lone guy would act in the same manner the white dude did and send the assholes on their way. A bully is a bully but usually needs back up to pull anything off. You’re to busy hauling around that chip on your shoulder to get that. To you everything is about color or class, pretty sad.

    You don’t have a clue about anything having to do with me Rob. Trash talking is your only goal here.

  • “Why are you and Reg not man enough to answer the questions asked of you?”

    I don’t know what question you’ve ever asked that I haven’t answered – you’re the one who has been caught in lies – over and over – like the SEIU “thug” video you posted that was edited dishonestly. But I’ve quit following the comments here, because the last go round with you showed that you’re too weak to admit you’re posting phony links. You got caught in a lie. Frankly, reading your comments is like stepping through puke, so I don’t go into these threads anymore. You’ve been too easy to discredit as a little punk and you’re not an interesting person at all. I’ve got better shit to do than deal with a guy driven by nothing but resentments. I just read that last comment – don’t have time to go through all of this crap – but you clearly “need” me a lot more than I need your sorry little punk ass. Now start typing feverishly – someone else who gives a shit might actually read it.

  • “Holy shit. Who let the dogs out?”

    Exactly. Or more aptly, who decided to let the monkeys smear excrement on the walls?


  • “Script” and SureFire, I’ve asked nicely, then asked again, then warned, then repeatedly deleted. None of it has made an dent in your behavior. Both of you continue to engage almost solely in personal attacks like out of control children.

    Stop it, or I have no choice but to ban both of you, which would be a pity, as both of you are extremely capable of bring something worthwhile to a discussion.

    However, if either you you continues this idiocy you are gone.


    ATQ, I’ve just had to delete a bunch of yours as well. Watchale.

    Kyle, you’re not helping.

  • Give me a break Celeste and you post this after Reg comes over here and attacks me and he’s not mentioned? That he has to travel back in time to an SEIU videpo, which was explained to him and has to lie about that as well as avoiding the Oakland pension b.s. he had no clue about?

    You seem to be a whole lot more acceptable at excepting the attacks of certain posters than others. What if I started attacking people like you, not by name but just saying snide, obnoxious and blatantly false stuff about people that feel about issues in the manner you do that’s evident by your writing? That would be ok with you?

    It’s only an opinion but if you took the time, and I realize you might not have it, to actually see who instigates this crap you’ll see it’s Rob just about 100% of the time. I’ve said before I’ll play nice when people play that way with me, he just won’t.

    As for you Reg, you took off after I schooled you on the cop pension stuff you posted wrongly on and come back to re-hash a settled issue cause you couldn’t accept defeat, I mean the mighty Reg was shown to be wrong and fled the scene of the crime.

    Get over it dude, you’re obviously not as well versed as you think you are on certain subjects.

    I couldn’t be any nicer than that Celeste. I mean I even let a guy who couldn’t man up and admit defeat call me punk ass. What more do you want?

  • On another note I wonder if George Lopez would be as excepting of a white UFC fighter having a White Pride tatoo as he was with Cain Velasquez’s Brown Pride tatoo?

    Watching Velasquez, a well spoken articulate guy, kind of squirm a bit while Lopez, who gets more and more racist with each show, do his racial song and dance made me feel kind of bad for Cain.

    Lesnar showed himself to be classless and racist idiot leading up to the fight with his remarks and though Velasquez tried to steer clear Lopez couldn’t resist being Lopez.

  • I ain’t gonna argue, SF.

    (And, as for reg, at least be honest about the matter: you’d been baiting him for days, then he when he came over, you baited some more—one or two of which I believe Ii deleted—and then still more again when there was no reaction. Finally he took a single swing at you.

    After all that, you seriously want to ask why I name you and Rob and not reg? It’s right up there on the thread for anyone to read, no need for artistic interpretation.)

    BTW, for the record, I delete Rob more than anyone.

  • Of course I baited him, he talked a load about something he knew nothing about, calling me out on it at every turn and ran out when he found out I was right. He lacked the character to admit that and as many times as he’s insulted me here I’m overboard for baiting him? He can take a swing at me anytime but an honest one is asking too much I guess.

    I have to be second if Rob’s first.

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