Media Awareness Project


DrugSense FOCUS Alert #459 - Friday, October 8th, 2010

This November 2nd voters will decide state wide initiatives of importance to the reform community.

Newspaper clippings about California's Proposition 19 are MAP posted at

Clippings about Arizona's Proposition 203 are at and Oregon's Measure 74 at

Your letters in response to the newspaper articles and opinions are an important part of educating the voters.

Americans for Safe Access has a new Proposition 19 FAQ page which answers questions California's medicinal marijuana community may have

Common Sense for Drug Policy has produced a special edition of Drug War Facts for Proposition 19. It is called "Marijuana Facts on Drug War Facts" and can be found online in the Drug War Facts Marijuana chapter at

A related 2 page Fact Sheet designed to answer common questions about marijuana is at

Here are some ways you may support Proposition 19:



Register to vote - the deadline for California voters is October 18th

Distribute Proposition 19 endorsements and

Below is a small selection of letters by folks like you had printed since we wrote about letter writing September 18th

In a close election your letters could make the difference.


Regarding the editorial on Sunday, "Just say 'No' to medical pot":

Why not say "Yes" to medical pot (Proposition 203)?

It's time to get serious about the fiscal benefits of legalizing medical marijuana.

Marijuana is the largest cash crop in the U.S. Estimates vary from $25 billion to $100 billion, mostly illegal growing from non-U.S. sources. Domestic growers will contribute taxes to Uncle Sam.

Marijuana prohibition costs the U.S. $7 billion to $10 billion per year to "control." Incarceration costs are nearly $1 billion per year. Can we save taxpayer money here?

Nearly 40,000 Americans are incarcerated in state and federal correctional facilities for marijuana violations. Prisoners comprise about 14 percent of all state and federal drug inmates. How much can we save by decriminalizing pot?

Is marijuana a "gateway" drug? Possibly, but so are cigarettes, beer and wine. Purchasing marijuana is not a problem at most schools. Kids can already get it easily without IDs or any controls. Are we better off controlling the distribution of this product, or allowing unsupervised control to continue?

You have to start somewhere. We can do this. Just vote "yes" on 203.

J. Brian Amster, Scottsdale


In its recent editorial on Proposition 19 ("No on Prop. 19: Pot initiative's issues too hazy," Sept. 28), The Californian was worried about the fact the taxation of cannabis wasn't written into the measure. Then, the editorial went on to say that the taxes would be too high to close the black market. So which is it? Does the proposition not implement taxes or does it implement too many taxes?

Anyone who has read the proposition knows that it allows cities and counties to set regulations (including tax rates). Since when is local control a bad thing?

Concerns about a "surge in DUIs" were also bandied about. This argument was also made when Proposition 215, authorizing medical cannabis, was on the ballot. Since Prop. 215 was passed, DUIs have actually gone down in California. Many more people drive while intoxicated by alcohol, but I don't see the newspaper advocating a return to alcohol prohibition.

There is a reason we ended alcohol prohibition; the violence caused by gangs seeking to control an illegal market was much worse than the harm caused by the use of alcohol. We don't have our cops busting bootleggers and moonshiners and we don't have wine cartels growing grapes in our national forests.

California is wasting hundreds of millions of dollars by arresting and imprisoning people for producing and using a substance that is demonstrably less harmful than alcohol. It is time to end this failed policy. Vote yes on Prop. 19.

Matthew Pytlak



The blatant discrimination and ignorance of cannabis (marijuana) prohibition has continued for too long ( Sept. 21 article in The Californian, "Law officers divided on fight over legal marijuana" ).

A sane argument to perpetuate cannabis prohibition doesn't exist. Presently employed police agencies and their unions and the California beer industry are acting on greed, for they stand to lose job security and profits. To believe otherwise defies intelligence.

Examine any other group which publicly opposes Proposition 19 and it will lead to an agenda which is clear for the world to see.

Cannabis prohibition has damaged America extensively; it is vulgar and fueled by greed and must be treated like a vampire.

Stan White

Dillon, Colo.


It's hardly surprising that growing numbers of Californians want to legalize marijuana for adults.

When Proposition 215 passed in 1996, legalizing medical marijuana, prohibition supporters issued dire warnings of increased crime, teen drug use and traffic fatalities.

None of these things happened, and life has gone on as normal. With Proposition 19, prohibition supporters are again crying wolf and again being ignored - as they should be.

Anders Froehlich, San Rafael


Kudos to Debra J. Saunders for her outstanding column about marijuana.

It seems to me that the main issue of Proposition 19 is freedom - the freedom of adults to pursue their own happiness any way they want as long as they are not harming someone else.

Kirk Muse, Mesa, Ariz.

Prepared by: Richard Lake, Focus Alert Specialist


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