Prop 19 continues to gather steam. Mothers join in next.

There’s been a lot going on with Prop 19 — it gets hard to keep up at times.

Peter Bensinger wrote a letter trying to convince people that marijuana impairment lasts over 24 hours. Cully Stimson, instead of slinking away in embarrassment and disgrace after his last absurd attempt, actually tried again and was once more soundly dismantled. Los Angeles Sheriff Baca publicly announced his intention to break his oath of office. Mark Kleiman, in some kind of bizarre attempt to avoid any personal responsibility for the policies he promotes, reiterated his likely intention to attempt to vote with the losing side.

However, there’s even more good stuff happening on the positive side of Prop 19, including some wonderful endorsements (although one of those below is generally spun a different way…)

  • Peter Lewis kicked in over $200,000 to join some other big donations for Prop 19.
  • Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders called for an end to marijuana prohibition.
  • Surprising positive news from the feds. Attorney General Eric Holder like Prop 19 so much he said that if people would vote for it, he’d have the federal government take over marijuana arrest and prosecution in California, potentially saving the state millions of dollars.
  • San Diego Citybeat had the most entertaining media endorsement in the state regarding Prop 19, and yes, they’re for it!

    And, yes, we also disclose that legalization will a) help CityBeat’s bottom line—and consequently allow us to serve you better—and b) make our nights and weekends way more fun. For those who value personal liberty, yes on 19 is the only moral vote.

  • And now, the mothers join in… Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10:30 am, a group of mothers will be at West Hollywood Park to announce their support for Proposition 19. This is a critical subset of voters, and it’s great to have them on our side. It’s so important that they understand that it’s criminalization that puts kids in danger, not legalization.

If you’re a mother and would like to make your voice heard, sign on to the letter here

To the Voters of California:

As mothers, we treasure, nurture, and protect our kids, and, as mothers, we support Proposition 19, to control and tax cannabis in California.

The prohibition of cannabis has been an abject failure. These days, it’s easier for our kids to buy illegal cannabis than legal and age-regulated alcohol, because street dealers don’t ask our kids for ID. Proposition 19 will make it harder for kids to get access to cannabis, by taking it out of the shadows and off the streets and controlling it like alcohol.

Proposition 19 will cut off funding to the murderous drug cartels that make 60 percent of their revenues off the illegal sales of marijuana in the United States. The revenues that now go to criminals will be captured in the form of taxes and fees and these new public funds could be used to shore up our struggling schools, hospitals, and other important public services. Meanwhile, the massive resources—to the tune of $300 million a year—spent on marijuana enforcement in California today could be redirected to fighting violent crime in our neighborhoods and communities.

Proposition 19 will keep our streets and highways safe by maintaining strict criminal penalties for those caught driving under the influence of cannabis. In addition, Proposition 19 bans smoking marijuana on school grounds, in public, and while minors are present.

Criminalizing marijuana does not deter kids, and the array of consequences stemming from arrests is damaging to future education, employment, and other prospects. We advocate using public education and other tools instead. According to the American Lung Association, U.S. consumption of tobacco has declined by more than 100 billion cigarettes over the past decade. That dramatic decline in smoking is due to education and taxation, not incarceration. Moreover, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office reports that it costs an average of $47,000 per year to incarcerate an inmate in prison in California, which is the equivalent of tuition and fees for nine students at California State University.

As mothers, we believe it’s time to end California’s failed war on cannabis, enable responsible adults to consume small amounts of cannabis in private, and keep cannabis away from our kids by controlling it and taxing it like alcohol.

California voters should vote Yes on Proposition 19 on November 2nd.

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