Statewide and National Organizations Join Coalition in Support of Prop 19, to Legalize Cannabis in California.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Today, nine very diverse groups and political parties emerged to announce that they stand strongly in support of Proposition 19, the initiative to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis throughout California.

The Green Party of California, Peace and Freedom Party of California, Republican Liberty Caucus of California (RLCCA), Progressive Libertarian Caucus, National Black Police Association, Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), The Free and Equal Elections Foundation and Hempire Media, today, announced they all agree, the passage of Proposition 19 is a vital step towards ending the War on Drugs, bringing peace and safety back to our neighborhoods, and producing an extra revenue source for struggling businesses in California.

Further, a number of signatories agreed:

“The Republican and Democratic Parties have sided against the people by failing to endorse Proposition 19. This historic proposition, if passed, would allow possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and over in California, for personal consumption, and in turn, would allow for the taxing and controlling of cannabis, similar to alcohol and tobacco, thus allowing all Californians and small businesses across this state the right to realize the potential of Cannabis, California’s number one cash crop.

“We ask that voters join us, as well as police officers, cancer patients, teachers, doctors, judges, nurses, journalists, students and everyone else across California to tell our government that we demand an end to prohibition of cannabis because it simply doesn’t work. Our prisons are bursting at the seams with cannabis arrests, which now comprise more than 50% of all drug arrests nationwide.

“We strongly urge California voters to legalize this herb in California by voting YES on Proposition 19 this November. Together we can make our streets freer, smarter and safer.”

Mark Hinkle, Libertarian National Committee chair; Mike Feinstein, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States; C.T. Weber, state chairperson of Peace and Freedom Party of California and candidate for lieutenant governor of California; Laura Wells, Green Party candidate for governor of California; Carlos Alvarez, Peace and Freedom Party candidate for governor of California; Ann Menasche, Green Party candidate for California Secretary of State; Christina Tobin, Libertarian candidate for California Secretary of State and founder and chair of The Free and Equal Elections Foundation; Lex Green, Libertarian candidate for governor of Illinois; and Todd McCormick, founder of Hempire Media, all have joined the coalition and signed on to the group quote, with more standing up in support of the proposition daily.

“While some Proposition 19 advocates are calling for taxes on marijuana (cannabis) as a means of managing the pain of California’s chronic budget crisis, Prop. 19 itself creates no such taxes or regulations. The RLCCA recommends voting “YES” on Prop. 19, while at the same time strongly opposing any taxes and regulations that local governments may try to impose,” said RLCCA Chairman Matt Heath. “It is important that voters and politicians alike remember that even after Prop. 19 passes, Article 13C of the California constitution grants voters the opportunity to block each and every new tax proposed by local governments.”

“Proposition 19 is a hot-button issue,” Tobin said. “Candidates, businesses and voters seem to be split down the middle in their opinions of the Act, but a number of polls in the last few months suggest a growing momentum of support for Prop. 19.”

“Marijuana prohibition is one of our nation’s – and world’s – greatest propaganda campaigns,” Tobin added. “The U.S. government has been pulling the wool over the eyes of the American and global public for more than 70 years when it comes to marijuana. Proposition 19 is a chance for California voters to fight back.

Gubernatorial candidates Wells and Alvarez along with challenger Dale Ogden, the Libertarian candidate, all publicly favor Proposition 19. Chelene Nightingale, California gubernatorial candidate of the American Independent Party, is currently neutral. Despite numerous attempts by Free and Equal representatives, the major party contenders Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman have been unavailable, or unwilling, to comment regarding Proposition 19 and all-inclusive debates.

All four minor party candidates have confirmed their participation in the all-inclusive California gubernatorial candidate debate, to be hosted at California State University, Sacramento, the third and final debate in a Free and Equal national debate tour. The two major party candidates have been invited but issued no response. The event will take place Thursday, October 28, 2010, time and venue to be announced.

This debate is sponsored by Students for Liberty and Free and Equal, and will provide an equal platform for all ballot qualified candidates to discuss alternative issues and ideas including Proposition 19 and proportional representation in addition to those questions that plague the minds of Californians and Americans across the board.

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