Tuesday, June 08, 2010

NPR: "The Man Bankrolling California's Pot Initiative" (with audio)

Richard Lee has created a multimillion-dollar empire in Oakland, Calif., built largely on medicinal pot. And now, he wants to take it a step further, by turning marijuana into a totally legal, taxable commodity for any Californian age 21 or older.

NPR, with audio (05:41):
In November, California voters will decide whether to make all pot legal, even for recreational use, 14 years after medical marijuana was legalized.

The measure would violate federal drug laws, but that hasn't stopped Oakland, Calif., businessman Richard Lee from spending millions to get the issue passed.

In a revitalized neighborhood on the north side of downtown Oakland where medical marijuana is king, an old storefront throbs with the pulse of rock music. The unmistakable scent of ganja fills the air. Some call the neighborhood "Oaksterdam." MORE...
Howie P.S.: Bruce Ramsey opines in the Seattle Times:
Dawdy's group has had a tough time. At the beginning of the signature drive, a bank refused to process online donations, fearing it was money laundering for a dope business. Later a police bust of a medical-marijuana dispensary seized signed petitions as evidence (of what?). And now the I-1068 people are dumped by our local Left.

The last move does not surprise me too much. I keep telling people that a lot of the lefties in this state, and particularly in this city, are not liberal. They aren't interested in individual rights--at least, not rights to do very many things outside a bedroom. Progressive activists are believers in government. They want to save the Earth by controlling people more, including by banning the use of tobacco outdoors in the public parks. I think the broad group of people who vote leftward are far more tolerant than the activists, and would vote for I-1068 if they could. Maybe now they won't get the chance. MORE...

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