Pubdate: Wed, 10 May 2000
Source: Fresno Bee, The (CA)
Copyright: 2000 The Fresno Bee
Author: Jeff Crow


Gov. Davis is pushing for the passage of a very drastic measure called 
"smoke a joint, lose your license." This measure is the result of a federal 
law, pushed for originally by Newt Gingrich, in which states stand to lose 
their federal highway funds if they don't pass laws mandating license 
suspensions for people who have been caught with any amount of marijuana, 
whether they were driving or not. States can keep their funds if they pass 
laws opting out of the program. Thirty-two states, including every state 
west of Texas, has passed such legislation opting out.

As we speak, the state Assembly's Public Safety Committee has been 
strong-armed by Gov. Davis into passing the license-suspension law in its 
committee. This law is unnecessary because it is already a misdemeanor 
offense to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The law itself unfairly targets people who are not driving under the 
influence and are thus not a direct threat to public safety. This law is 
opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, California AFL-CIO, the 
Teamsters, the California School Employees Association, the Service 
Employees International Union and other labor groups. I urge every 
reasonable person of any political persuasion, particularly those opposed 
to ridiculous government intrusion, to oppose this latest drastic attempt 
to punish personal use marijuana users by contacting Gov. Davis and letting 
him know we oppose this law. (The governor may be reached by phone at (916) 
445-2841 or by fax at (916) 445-4633.)

Jeff Crow, Fresno
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