Hi Starchild et al.,
I'll try to respond to some of Steve's comments about me and my analysis and keep my stuff in blue and his in black. I'll put your comments, Starchild's comments, in orange. I am also copying this e-mail to the authors/campaign committee of Repeal Cannabis Prohibition 2012, so that they, too, will see what the various comments are. I think RCP 2012 is a far better choice than RMLW, but the best way for this to be determined by everyone is with a lively, open, GROUP discussion. And now I'll begin with Starchild's initial question and Steve's response.
response to the message I posted below, touting the "This is War" post
you forwarded, Letitia Pepper posted a strong critique of the "Regulate
Wine Like Marijuana" measure (immediately below). I don't know whether
any of what she says here is correct, but she raises a number of
troubling points I would like to see answered. . . .
Steve: "Ms. Pepper continues to make
dishonest statements about our initiative, but refuses to debate us,
except on her terms and her rules. David Malmo-Levine and Mike Seebeck
can tell you more and I invite them to comment. . . . "
David Malmo Levine invited me to debate HIM, and told ME to pick the time and venue\. So I picked the Drug Policy Foundation of California's November 5\-7, 2011 conference in L\.A\., since I was already planning to attend and since it would be a great venue for such a debate on an important, drug\-policy\-related topic\. There would be a built\-in audience of educated people to ask in\-depth and relevant questions of both sides \-\- and it could be recorded by anyone who cared to do so for wide re\-broadcast on YouTube or other sites\. After I selected the time and venue, Mr\. Malmo\-Levine decided that HE did not want to debate me in a LIVE debate in front of a LIVE
audience, and that HE wanted Don Wirtshafter to debate me instead of him doing it himself. So, who is trying to impose whose rules and conditions on who? And why?
Steve: Here are four specific
(1) Does the measure define medical cannabis as having less than 1% THC, and would this disqualify many cannabis plants?Steve: . . . here are
your answers: Here is the actual text from the initiative:(c)
All wholesale and retail products with a final THC level below 0.3
percent shall be authorized for sales as hemp products. All marijuana or
hemp products with a final THC level of 0.3 percent or above shall be
restricted for sales to persons 21 years of age or
older and regulated in a manner similar to wine, so long as the results
support these declarations, purposes and goals. Both hemp and marijuana
are declared agricultural crops.Notice 1% doesn't even appear. That's because Ms. Pepper is working off an old version.
Letitia: First of all, my analysis for Version 1 (the no-Narc-Squad, original version as shown to the Libertarian Party in spring) was and is equally applicable to both Versions 1 and 2 and Version 3. The reason that my analysis applied to all three versions was that the only difference between Version 1 and Version 2 (Version 2 was the version Kubby et al. quietly sent to the AG for a title and summary) was the
addition of about 400 extra, new words at the end.
Those 400 words comprised a new and severable section about "Harm Reduction Officers" -- what I call, more accurately, the Narc Squad provision. And Version 3 was exactly the same as Version 1 -- when Kubby got caught adding in the Narc Squad provision, he just deleted the Narc Squad section, which made Version 3 the same as Version 1. Confusing? Confused? That's the intent behind these kinds of switcheroos -- just like the old shell game. Make people so bored, annoyed or confused they just give up.
And see-- we haven't even GOTTEN to the IMPORTANT stuff -- how the inititiatve will redefine medical marijuana as having less than 1 percent THC! To understand how that works, you should read my analysis of the language of RMLW Versions 1, 2 and 3, which is all the same once you take out the Narc Squad
To put it briefly:
Step one: The RMLW initiative splits marijuana into two categories: less than one percent (1 %) THC and more than three percent (3%) THC. It then defines who can use marijuana with less than 1% THC as "anyone" regardless of age, which is the current definition of medical marijuana.
Step two: It is not legally possible to legalize the recreational use of any federally scheduled drug. Federal law pre-empts such efforts. If RMLW passed, anyone could sue in state or federal court to invalidate all the provisions related to recreational (i.e., "like wine") use of marijuana.
Step three: RMLW has a severability section that says that if any part of this initiative is ruled illegal, then that section is severed from the rest, leaving everything else as the law in California.
Step four: If the recreational components are are severed, we are still left with the section that divides marijuana into two categories: less than one percent \(1 %\) THC and more than
three percent (3%) THC.
Step five: We are also still left with the section that defines who can use marijuana with less
than 1% THC as "anyone" regardless of age, which is the current
definition of medical marijuana. Thus, under this new Trojan Horse initiative, medical marijuana will be defined as marijuana with less than 1% THC.
Now, WHY would Steve Kubby want this to happen? If you do some background investigation of Steve Kubby, one of the RMLW’s proponents, you will discover that he has a corporation that works on licensing and patents for pharmaceutical cannabinoid medicines, and that he is working with big pharmaceutical companies AND that one of his pet projects is a "non-toxic" cannabis lozenge. Guess what the "toxic" part of cannabis is? Three guesses . . . yup, it’s the THC.
Why am I convinced the Kubby people did this intentionally? Because as an attorney, I know how to do this. This is like reverse engineering. You decide on the results you really want, and then work backwards from there, making things SOUND okay but drafting to get what you want. Big Pharma does NOT want people using whole herbal cannabis, because it is the preventative and cure for cancer, from which Big Pharma makes at least 40 percent of its profits (read "The Politics of Cancer").
I'd almost bet that Mr. Kubby had outside help from his pharmaceutical contacts in drafting this initiative, and that even he may not have fully realized what it would do, but that he was told that they'd "help" him with drafting and some funding.
Starchild: "(2) Does the measure keep non-medical use criminalized?"
Steve: "Here is the actual
text from the initiative:"(4) This Act does not control, repeal, modify, or change statutes pertaining to: (A) Operating a motor vehicle;
(B) Using marijuana or being impaired while in the workplace or in public;
(C) Medical marijuana statutes as set forth in Proposition 215 (H&S11362.5) and its progeny.
Letitia: The ultimate effect of this initiative -- meaning after it passed, and after a lawsuit was brought to invalidate the
recreational provisions -- would be that only medical use of cannabis would be legal, i.e., non-medical or "recreational use" will not be legalized and will still be criminalized.
As long as marijuana is a federally-scheduled drug, any state law that purports to "legalize" recreational use will be subject to being invalidated as pre-empted (see above).
What did Prop. 215 do? It did not purport to "legalize" medical marijuana. Instead it had the effect of making medical marijuana legal under state law by simply decriminalizing the cultivation and possession of marijuana by
sick people who intended to cultivate, possess and use it as medicine.
What makes medical use of marijuana "legal" in California is the absence/lack of any law that makes it ILLEGAL. In the Garden of Eden, almost everything was "legal" because there was no LAW to make it illegal. True legality is the absence of any law. Is driving legal? Only if you comply with all the applicable laws and rules. Is growing zucchini legal? Well, what laws are you potentially breaking if you grow zucchini?
Has the text of the measure changed since the Libertarian Party of
California approved it, and if so, what specific changes were made?
Steve: "Yes, but in all cases the changes were minor and they were approved by an LPC representative, Michael Seebeck"
Letitia: Please note that Mr. Kubby failed to answer a simple and direct question: "if so [if the text of RMLW was changed after the Libertarians endorsed it], what specific changes were made?"
IRMLW was changed significantly by the addition of the Narc Squad provision. This was an additional 400 word section, not some minor changes of an "a" to an "an." Furthermore, the presence of such a section constituted circumstantial evidence of the real meaning and intent of the initiative as a whole, which the Libertarians should have been given a chance to review and consider and discuss before they endorsed this initiative.
It this section had been included in Version 1 that was given to the Libertarians to endorse, they could have discussed such questions as: why would a group of volunteers trained in code enforcement be needed? Why would they be exempt from liability for any harm they might cause? Why would they be given state-wide jurisidiction -- something that no other law enforcement group (besides State humane officers) has?
Such a provision should have been
given the the Libertarian Party as a whole to review and consider when they were asked to endorse this initiative. Kubby's response is that "the changes were minor and they were approved by an LPC representative, Michael Seebeck." There are several problems with this response.
First, shouldn't the group of Libertarians tasked with reviewing the initiative for endorsement have been given the final version for endorsement?
Second, who gets to decide if subsequent changes are "minor"? Mr. Kubby? A single Libertarian member, Mr. Seebeck, who was not selected or elected by a group of Libertarians to make this decision for the whole party?
Third, who made Mr. Seebeck the Libertarian party's representative to approve changes to an
initiative already endorsed by the party as a whole?
Fourth, in fact, Mr. Seebeck didn't merely approve such changes, but took credit for MAKING them to the initiative on BEHALF of the Libertarian Party! (I can forward the relevant e-mails between Mr. Seebeck and myself in connection with the GlobalMarijuana Relegalization Yahoo discussion group if anyone wants them.)
Would the measure make the fine for minors possessing marijuana higher
than the fine for minors possessing alcohol or tobacco, which are less
Steve: We have repealed felonies for minors and replaced them with civil fines of a maximum of $2,500
Letitia: Please notice that Steve did not actually answer this very simple, "yes or no" question.
I think this is a fitting place to end this e-mail. When someone can't answer a simple yes or no question "yes" or "no," it typically means that they do not want to answer it, because the answer will make them look bad.
I hope the members of this discussion group will consider whether it is too late for the Libertarian Party to renounce its endorsement of the RMLW initiative because that initiative is no
longer the initiative that the party reviewed and endorsed. The title's the same, but the text is not.
People should endorse things because of the ultimate legal effect they will have, not because of their title. They should also not let themselves be used. I think the Libertarians should withdraw their endorsement of this initiative and make Mr. Kubby come back with the FINAL, non-changeable version of RMLW, and only then, after discussion and debate, and getting an answer to that last "yes or no" question, decide whether to endorse his initiative or not.
Thanks for letting me share, Starchild. I wasn't looking forward to another late night, but I think this is a critical issue. I feel that the issue of the liberation -- not legalization -- of cannabis is fundamental to how and by whom our world will
be run. Whoever controls plants controls food and medicine -- and if you control food and medicine, you control people.
We need to decentralize control; the ultimate decentralization is when each person controls their own access to and choice of foods and medicine. People should be free to choose these things, and, as government takes more and more choice away from individuals, it takes our power, too. Would it be trite to say, "Power to the people"? No.