Pubdate: Thu, 14 Oct 2010
Source: Anderson Valley Post (CA)
Copyright: 2010 The E.W. Scripps Co.
Author: George L. Winship, Editor
Cited: Proposition 19
Bookmark: (Proposition 19)


Hoping to sway the minds of some voters in the Nov. 2 General 
Election, the five members of Anderson's City Council unanimously 
adopted a resolution Tuesday, Oct. 5, opposing Proposition 19, also 
known as the "Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010."

Such a course of action was recommended by Anderson Police Chief Dale Webb.

Webb said Proposition 19 is opposed by such groups as the League of 
California Cities, the California Police Chiefs Association, the 
California Chamber of Commerce, both gubernatorial candidates, the 
California State Firefighters Association, Mothers Against Drunk 
Drivers, both of California's U.S. Senators and a long list of 
individuals and groups that he did not specify.

Among many reasons Webb gave for opposing Proposition 19, which Webb 
described as "very poorly written legislation," one consequence that 
would directly impact Anderson is that "any employer, including the 
City of Anderson," could be disqualified from "receiving federal 
grants and/or contracts because of the inability to comply with the 
Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988."

"People much smarter than I have said this legislation is full of 
holes," Webb said.

Federal law continues to classify marijuana as an illegal substance 
and provides criminal penalties for various activities relating to is 
use, cultivation and sale. These laws are enforced by federal 
agencies that may act independently or in cooperation with state and 
local law enforcement agencies, Webb read from a statement regarding 
Proposition 19 prepared by California's Legislative Analyst.

Additionally, Webb briefly summarized a six-page memorandum from John 
Lovell addressed to the California Police Chiefs Association.

"The title of the act is classic Newspeak," Lovell writes. "The 
ballot measure (Proposition 19) doesn't regulate, control or tax 
cannabis. Instead, it authorizes some 475 local jurisdictions, if 
they choose to, to develop their own regulatory schemes. . . . (T)he 
scope of that local regulation is unclear. Similarly, there is no 
mechanism for control of cannabis distribution; and, as for taxes, 
although the measure authorizes the various local jurisdictions to 
impose (a) type of marijuana taxes, there is no such authorization 
for (the) state (to collect) marijuana taxes."

A portion of Lovell's statement, however, appears to directly 
contradict or at least call into question a set of proposed 
regulations currently under consideration by Anderson's Planning 
Department to regulate the cultivation of marijuana through city zoning laws.

"What is clear is that local government cannot use zoning to restrict 
the cultivation ... (s)o long as the cultivator asserts that this 
cultivation is for personal consumption, they have a virtual 
unfettered right of cultivation," Lovell writes of Proposition 19.

In his summary, Webb failed to mention one very chilling scenario 
that Lovell describes in some detail - provisions relating to seizure 
and destruction of any marijuana plant, seeds or product that 
"lawfully cultivated, processed, transported, possessed, possessed 
for sale, sold or used in compliance with the Act.

"This section effectively assures that a marijuana operation that can 
claim any colorable authorization from any local government is beyond 
the reach of law enforcement. Under this provision, a drug cartel 
could obtain a license from a single jurisdiction in California and 
have their entire operation placed beyond the reach of law 
enforcement," Lovell writes.

Instead, Webb chose to spend time on Lovell's description of how 
Proposition 19 would tie the hands of employers, including cities, to 
deal with employees who were using marijuana in the workplace.

"An employee can test dirty for marijuana, can bring marijuana to 
work can probably consume marijuana (at least in a non-smokeable 
form) at the workplace with no consequence from the employer," Lovell writes.

"We have created a ridiculous situation where an employer can send an 
employee home (or even terminate that employee) if they have liquor 
on their breath, but can do nothing about an employe who tests dirty 
for marijuana and is even in possession of marijuana at the 
workplace," Lovell writes.

Partly, this is due to the lack of chemical testing equipment that 
can accurately detect and determine how much THC, the active 
ingredient in marijuana, Webb said.

Once Webb finished, City Attorney Michael Fitzpatrick commented 
sarcastically that the current Proposition 19, as written, "is a 
great piece of legislation for attorneys" since it is written with so 
many holes.

During a public hearing, Pastor Al Roundtree of Valley Christian 
Center in Anderson encouraged the council to oppose Proposition 19 
and to send copies of the analysis provided by Lovell "to anyone and everyone."

Citizen Stan Neutze of Anderson also endorsed opposing Proposition 19 
and strongly urged that Lowell's entire report be "printed in the Valley Post."

"This proposition (19) and Proposition 215 (passed in 1996) were 
deliberately trying to create a sense of chaos in our courts and in 
our society," Neutze said. "This is another one of the progressive 
movement's trying to cause chaos in our communities."

During the short public hearing, no one spoke in favor of Proposition 
19, although such statements have been common in the past whenever 
medical marijuana was on the council's agenda. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake