Friday, September 10, 2010

VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 19 by Richard M. Davis, USA Hemp Museum

The people of California have the right to legal marijuana from Prop. 215.  Every citizen with no age limit and a doctors note has the right to use and obtain legal marijuana, including cultivation with no plant or square foot limitations, as much as you need for medical use.  The Supreme Court called these guarantees.

The problem is that these guarantees can be taken away by the people in another initiative such as Prop. 19.  How can that happen?  In California the people hold all the power.  CA Constitution, Article 2 VOTING, INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM, AND RECALL, Section 1,  “All political power is inherent in the people.  Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform it when the public good may require.”

One point here is that what we have the right to alter is not always for the public good.  Like 538 new local laws Statewide in California.  Or like destroying the Constitution to give me an ounce of pot and a postage stamp garden.


Listen to this scenario.  CA Constitution, Article 1 DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, Section 26, “The provisions of this Constitution are mandatory and prohibitory, unless by express words they are declared to be otherwise.”  Does Prop. 19 contain words that declare this section other than mandatory and prohibitory?  How about in Section 11301: “Notwithstanding any other provision of state or local law,” isn’t the Constitution included in state law? And are not your inalienable rights included in state law?  How can Prop. 19 get away with changing the Constitution? 

CA Constitution, Article 18 AMENDING AND REVISING THE CONSTITUTION, Section 3, “The electors may amend the Constitution by initiative.” 

Since Prop. 19 doesn’t tell us they are destroying the Constitution to turn total control over to 538 local governments in California, let’s point to some changes in Prop. 19 that would be unconstitutional without the above paths to alter the Constitution.

1.    The legal age limit of 18 years old is changed to 21.  CA Constitution, Article 2 VOTING, INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM, AND RECALL, Section 2, “A United States citizen 18 years of age and resident in this State may vote.”  All citizens must be granted the same terms, regardless of age.

2.  CA Constitution, Article 1 DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, Section 7:  (b) A citizen or class of citizens may not be granted privileges or immunities not granted on the same terms to all citizens.  Privileges or immunities granted by the Legislature may be altered or revoked.”  18 TO 21 year old citizens have been left out of Prop. 19 because of focus groups that may not have read the Constitution.

3.  CA Constitution, Article 4 LEGISLATIVE, Section 16, “(a) All laws of a general nature have uniform operation.  (b) A local or special statute is invalid in any case if a general statute can be made applicable.”  The Constitution does not want 538 different laws about anything.   Local control on such a statewide concern would lead to chaos.  A general statute would be applicable here to protect equal rights of all citizens across the state.
     CA Constitution, Article 1 DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, Section 3:  “(4) Nothing in this subdivision supersedes or modifies any provision of this Constitution, including the guarantees that a person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denied equal protection of the laws, as provided in  Section 7.”  Against local control 538 ways there is no equal protection.  Prop. 19 is bad law.

5. CA  Constitution, Article 13 TAXATION, Section 20, “The Legislature may provide maximum property tax rates and bonding limits for local governments.”  Prop. 19 changes this Constitutional provision to give local governments the unlimited power to tax (“Notwithstanding any other provision of state or local law.”), “including imposition of appropriate general, special or excise, transfer or transaction taxes, benefit assessments, or fees, on any activity…to raise revenue.”  That means the taxes by local governments could be prohibitory and essentially ban even medical marijuana cultivation or sales in 538 different ways from 538 different local governments.


Don’t let the word Cannabis in the title fool you.  This is a marijuana act not a Cannabis act. 
No hemp!  No on Prop. 19. 

GO TO:  Yahoo Groups and join

End Article

Richard M. Davis is the founder and curator of the USA Hemp Museum

Davis' is a hemp hero who has been involved with ending hemp prohibition since the 1960's as a consumer, scientist, historian and activist.  Davis is the author of three HEMP FOR VICTORY books A GLOBAL WARMING SOLUTION, THE WONDER HERB and THE TRILLION DOLLAR CROP.

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