I believe there is a more innocent explanation than the one you are positing. When I read the initiative that contained the language allowing people in the cannabis industry to obtain deputization as members of law enforcement, I saw it as a sincere, possibly even ingenious strategy to allow growers and sellers to obtain legal credentials that would immunize them against federal raids -- and I still believe that's what it was.
When you attacked it as a "narc squad" provision, however, my guess is that Steve Kubby, et. al., saw how easily this provision could be misconstrued, deliberately or otherwise, and used to scare people about the initiative, and so they made the decision to drop it. Not being versed enough in state and federal law to guess how that provision would've played out, I don't know whether dropping it was a good decision or not, but overall I like the latest version I've seen of the initiative better than previous versions.
As I said however, I do agree with you that significant changes have been made since the Libertarian Party endorsed the measure, and that another endorsement vote is therefore needed if the party is to be on record in support. Personally I wouldn't have a problem voting to support it, although I'm still open to being convinced otherwise.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
P.S. - Have you actually met Steve Kubby? He's a hardcore libertarian as well as a hardcore cannabis supporter. I have extreme difficulty believing he could be guilty of the kind of big-pharma-profit-motivated duplicity you accuse him of engaging in (e.g. selling out both causes to which I know he is dedicated) and if you knew him better I don't think you'd be saying that either.
I'm not sure which version of the Narc Squad provision you read!
The one I read didn't say that the Harm Reduction Officers (HROs) could only be chosen from "people in the cannabis industry." And the one I read also gave the HROs power to look for both state AND federal law violations, and to report them to law enforcement!
Really, what good was intended by giving state officials the power to enforce FEDERAL law? There's no innocent explanation for that -- and if there was, let's hear it from Steve Kubby, DML, Judge Gray and Bill McPike, who are all copied with this e-mail.
Remember, despite the on-going refusal of state offiicals to follow state law vis-a-vis cannabis, the California appellate courts have clearly held that state officials cannot legally enforce federal law and that state resources cannot legally be used to partner with the feds on this issue. If that "HRO" provison had been adopted as law, those decisions would all have gone out the window!
I am, no doubt about it, much more cynical about things involving the use of words to trick consumers than are most people. That's because my work for the courts involved "reverse engineering" as I would go through piles of documents or piles of legal arguments or lengthy contrct, statutes and -- yes - initiatives to find out the truth about what had been going on and what would go on based on the meaning of the words.
This brief description doesn't do justice to the analytical struggles I've had over the years dealing with, for example, folks like the scamsters who stole money from savings and loans with real estate Ponzi schemes, or boy scout leaders who stole millions from friends and families and fellow church members using tax-deferred section 1031 real estate transactions. I've even worked through criminal schemes; for example, I "solved" an effort to pin a murder on an innocent man -- work that, FINALLY, resulted in a published Ninth Circuit opinion after the defendant's appeals had been denied by the state court of appeal, the California Supreme Court, and the federal District Court judge.
I've been steeped in scams for 30 years -- I can practically smell them by now. The HRO provision WAS a scam, and Kubby et al. -- and for shame, Judge Gray! -- got caught.
If the SF Libertarians want to revisit RMLW and consider endorsing the new version of RMLW, how about a big debate with all three initiatives' proponents involved? A live debate? That way I'd ahve a great excuse to come to SF for a visit -- that's where I went to law school (Hastings College of the Law) and where some fo my frineds went to New College of the Law (a great, more radical law school, at least back in the 70's and 80's).
Ooohhh -- PLEASE host a debate in San Francisco, Libertarians! If you need help putting one on, I know people who'd probably be willing to help!
My assumption was that Harm Reduction Officer would be a strictly unpaid position, and thus that virtually no one would be interested in going to the effort to obtain the credentials except people in the cannabis community seeking a means of self-defense against being raided. I mean, how many drug warrior types do you see out there now expending significant time and effort to go after cannabis when they don't have a financial interest in doing so? My impression is that in this point in the struggle there's little grassroots support for prohibition and we're mainly up against the law enforcement types who do what they do only because they're getting paid.
I can't really speak to the issue of state officials being given authority to enforce federal law, as I don't remember offhand what the language said in that much detail, and if there was more than one version containing the provision, I'm not sure which I read either. Even if your analysis is correct, it seems rather presumptuous to assume it was a "scam" and not simply an idea that hadn't been fully thought through. I'm somewhat interested in hearing a response from the RMLW folks as a matter of curiosity, but since that provision is history now anyway, I'm rather more interested in discussing the current initiatives that are on the table.
As for hosting some kind of debate in SF, I'm open to it if you all can agree on the terms. I would personally welcome the opportunity to become more familiar with the issues that such a live give-and-take would offer. I strongly feel however that we have a collective interest in keeping things civil and avoiding a nasty confrontation that just deepens fissures in the cannabis community and potentially harms our chances of passing *any* reform measure. Thus the format I'd suggest (possibly even insist on!) would be factual arguments only -- no attacks on character or speculation about motives. I also think it would be best to have it be fairly low-key (i.e. publicized to cannabis folks and libertarians, not announced to the media or promoted to the general public).
What is the third initiative on the table, and who is developing it? If no one here is of the view that it's the best of the three from a libertarian perspective, do we need to bother with it?
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
P.S. - For folks on the Grassroots Libertarians Caucus list, which is not regional, please let me know if you think this is too much discussion about an issue specific to California. I believe it's a significant issue with national, even global, ramifications, and one that's in sync with Key Value #2 (striking a balance in the LP between appealing to left and right) but I don't want to go back and forth too much if people are uninterested in this level of detail.
It would be a mistake to assume that because the Harm Reduction Officers were unpaid, that virtually no one would be interested in becoming an HRO and doing all the work needed to obtain the credentials\.
I just know so much background on this stuff and forget not everyone knows it yet\. Ive ben ahving HORRIBLE luck with jduges locally in cannabsi cases, and as aresult of that and soem research discovered that the LDS Church's official posiiton on MEDICAL marijuana is that it is teh work of Satan and thta not only should efforts to pass medical marijuana laws be opposed, but EXISTING state laws legalizing MEDICAL marijuana should be opposed, too\! So I've got LDS judges refusing to follow state law\!
So, could the LDS Church make a church project of setting up HRO classes for its members and getting them to volunteer?
Plus, the HRO provision actually gave HROs STATEWIDE jurisdiction! There are people who HATE their relatives who are growing and using cannabis - how about a trip up north to "check" on that annoying brother-in-law?
Plus, there are plenty of officious people who are STILL calling the police on their neighbors for growing in the backyard (I hear these stories from people in the CPR e-mail group I contact). The local cops are now so much better; tehy jsut ask for a doctor's recommednation and then leave – but the HROS were going to be allowed to CALL IN THE FEDS! Specifically!
Some people don't NEED a financial interest in going after other citizens – look at teh LDS Church and the whole gay marriage issue? These people GAVE money just to deprive their neighbors of theri rights!
I can speak to the issue of the HROS being given authority to enforce federal law, because I was reading Version 2 VERY carefully.
My analysis is correct, and while it might be presumptuous for someone who hadn't reviewed as much material as had I to assume the quiet addition of the HRO provision to Version 2 AFTER Version 1 had been endorsed by the Libertarians was a "scam," it was definitely not presumptious of me to make such an assumption.
I'd like a response from the RMLW folks, too – but they actually have already tried to explain this addition by trying to characterize it as an effort to help the cannabis industry itself avoid problems with law enforcement – a "nice" explanation but one which doesn't actually make sense when you carefully read the HRO section and think about it critically.
The addition – and removal – of the HRO provision is indeed history – but history of anything is very, very educational. So, the hsitory of this initiaitve indicates several things about its proponents . . . I won't belabor that point.
In terms of agreeing on terms – that leaves teh pwoer of veto in teh hands of any one person (or team). Better for the libertarians to decide on fair terms and then ask people to debate. If I could propose anything, it would be a live debate with unvetted questions and plenty of time for audience participation, plus that the event could be made available ( no copyright!) to be video-ed and posted anywhere and everywhere by anyone.
I agree that we have a collective interest in keeping things civil, but I think it's too late to avoid nasty confrontations over the EXISTING fissures in the cannabis community. Better to avoid getting a bad law now and increasing our chances of getting a good law in the future than to try to get "ANY" reform measure passed now.
And I agree that debaters should rely on factual arguments only and not engge in ad hominem atatcks, but I disagree that there should not be inferences drawn (which is different than mere speculation) about motives. If you can show that a team member has a financial interest in one inititive ovver another, why shouldn't you be allowed to rtaise that point? That's why laws try to make people who place poilitcal ads reveal who they are – so people can figure out theri motives for paying for politcal advertising.
I don't care one way or the other about publicity, although I do think that ALL Libertarians, cannabis-friendly or not, should have a chance to know about and attend if they want, since the whole party endorsed the RMLW initiative and this debate might lead to a change – or not – of endorsements.
Third initiative on the table is CCHHI2012, and Mikey Jolson, with the help of Robert Raich and a CCHHI2012 discussion group, has been developing it; I'll cc Mikey and that groupwith this email and he can send you a copy of their most recent revision. (I don't have Raich's e-mail address).
And, since no one on this discussion group may have heard of CHHI23012, it's early days to tell it it MIGHT not seem to be the best of the three from a libertarian perspective. So, in fariness to the Libertarians, it should be included, I think.
I'm also copying the McBlue brothers, who publish JEMM, and who were thinking of running some articles about the initiaitves; I wrote them about co-sponsring a debate, so if the Libertarians set up a debate, maybe they could publish an article about it BEFORE hand so people could attend.
I'm also copying Doug Cosgro, who set up the debate on Prop. 19 at L.A. Hempcon in 2010. He's willing to set up a debate, too, and he's in SoCal; maybe there could be a NoCAl debate hosted by the Libs and a SoCal debate hosted by Doug and ???