Thursday, September 1, 2016

Kubby against CA cannabis legalization initiative

Pot Twist: Some marijuana activists urge 'no' vote on legalization | Fox News - Dan Greenhut:

September 1, 2016 - "As voters consider marijuana-legalization efforts in several states this November, they can expect opposition from the usual pot opponents like law-enforcement groups and anti-drug activists – but some of the most ardent foes come, unexpectedly, from within the marijuana community itself.

"Opponents include some in the medical-marijuana industry, concerned about what a wide-open recreational market would mean for their businesses. Advocates for recreational marijuana also fear the latest legalization measures come with so many restrictions that pot smokers might be better off, for now, within the existing medical-marijuana system....

“'I’m on the record totally opposing this law [California Proposition 64] that does not legalize marijuana,' said Steve Kubby, an original proponent of the 1996 ballot measure that legalized medical marijuana.... Kubby, who backed an alternate legalization measure that never made it to this year’s ballot, complained the Prop 64 proposal creates tougher punishments for people who have more than an ounce.

"California’s marijuana industry is centered in Humboldt County, the redwood-forested coastal region 200 miles north of San Francisco. Yet a July 12 report in the Humboldt Independent found deep divisions within the California Growers Association, a cannabis growers’ trade group, over the 'Adult Use of Marijuana Act.' An opinion poll found its members evenly split over Prop 64....

"Diane Goldstein, executive board member for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), touted the proposal. 'This initiative is the best chance California has to end a failed war on marijuana resulting in the criminalization of almost half a million people in the last decade,' she said.

"Such wide differences of opinion from within pro-marijuana circles are playing out in other states, also. The Massachusetts measure gives existing medical dispensaries preferential licensing treatment, so a number of existing companies have actively supported the measure.

"But Dan Delaney, a Boston lobbyist who has helped medical-marijuana clinics seek licenses and is chairman of Safe Cannabis Massachusetts, opposes the measure. He is particularly opposed to language that limits the ability of local governments to regulate it and said many of the state’s hardcore pro-marijuana activists have joined with the anti-marijuana activists to oppose the measure. They view it as being 'crafted by industry folks'....

"The latest polls show legalization ahead in California and split in Massachusetts and Nevada. It’s behind in Arizona, but was ahead in Maine in May."

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