From Cannabis University and Michelle LeMay:
User ‘Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator’ added comment to the
‘NORML Knocks Amendment 40’
(written by: ‘Steve Bloom’)
Subject of the comment:
‘Orlando, why do you assume “grassroots a’
The text of this comment is shown below:
Orlando, why do you assume “grassroots activists” were left out of
Amendment 30’s drafting? Is SAFER not a local Colorado grassroots
organization? Are the activists from Mile High NORML who will be
supporting and working to pass this measure not grassroots activists?
Having reported on numerous similar situations in other states, let me
tell you how this works.
ANYBODY can propose an initiative.
So, Mason Tvert & Brian Vicente, both Coloradoans, worked with fellow
local activists and national backers to craft A30.
Other people are free to do just the same (and say they will, sometime in
2012, because why rush it when you need to collect probably a half million
signatures?), just like this lady’s A40.
But what happens is the former have money, influence, connections,
experience, and a successful track record, and the latter do not.
So the former (let’s call them “National”, even though most of the legwork
is being done by locals) do some polling, analyze public sentiment, review
previous initiatives, learn from mistakes, assess the current situations,
write drafts of legislation, run it by attorneys who tear it apart clause
by clause, re-write and work out what they believe to be the language that
best balances the absolute freedom for cannabis we’d all like versus what
will pass with 50%+1 of the vote from the public, a sizable portion of
which still believe marijuana is a demon gateway drug straight to heroin
and causes their kids to become long haired dirty stinky slacker losers
who do bong hits in the SUV and drive down I-25.
The latter (let’s call them “Locals”) then get pissed off because National
has already written, vetted, and proposed their language, gotten it
approved by the State, and begun collecting signatures before Locals have
even stopped arguing among themselves about the basic concepts they wish
to put on the ballot. Then they scream about “not being consulted”, even
though National has heard many times from many different Locals in many
different states most of the exact same proposals the Locals are floating.
But since National didn’t knock on the door of Mr. or Ms. Self-Appointed
Arbiter of Who, When, & How Initiatives Are Filed and directly ask him or
her whether or not they should consider his plan to make all weed legal
for all people all the time in any amount anywhere for any reason with no
taxes, regulations, licenses, or restrictions, and all the pot prisoners
set free immediately with their records expunged… Locals don’t believe
they were “consulted”.
Rather than come to the realization that The Stones were right; we can’t
always get what we want, the Locals will then begin attacking the National
because they are proposing an initiative far more conservative than the
True Cannabis Freedom™ they would like to see eventually fail with
30% of the vote. Locals are pissed, because, by God, they are the ones
who’ve been to the Longmont City Council meetings and the Colorado
legislative hearings, and who are these National guys, just swooping in
and proposing amendments, like Colorado’s Amendment 20 and every other
marijuana law reform initiative that has passed (only 2010’s California
Prop 19 was funded by someone / some group NOT Soros / Lewis / National
Group… and it failed.)
If National actually did “consult” Locals the way Locals dream of, what
would happen? Locals would propose their water-pipe-dream True Cannabis
Freedom™ clauses, National would laugh them out of the room, and
Locals would then go ahead and attack National anyway, not for failing to
“consult” this time, but for not adopting the Local’s True Cannabis
Freedom™. Locals would never accept that “consult” means “ask for
advice”, not “receive marching orders”, and if their proposals were heard
and not accepted, the last thing they’d do is accept that and move on,
working to support the measure they’d been “consulted” on.
Or to make a long comment short (too late): Locals want National to give
them all the money, media, labor, and expertise to pass the initiative
they want and then get the hell out of the way.
The Locals, now dissed and “marginalized” in their minds (they were
already disrespected and marginal to begin with), will attack not just
National, but the legalization proposal they’ve put before the voters.
“It’s not true legalization!” they’ll say. “Carpetbaggers!” they’ll
scream. “Trying to corner the marijuana market!” they’ll predict. Then
they will actively lobby and fight AGAINST the National proposal, because,
gosh, the conservative proposal of legalizing one ounce away from the
home, six plants and all the harvests in the home, and all industrial hemp
just isn’t worth supporting, and all the people who’d be arrested for
those amounts should continue to get arrested until Locals can pass True
Another twist in this is that Locals in many cases are the grassroots
activists who’ve been shepherding the current MEDICAL marijuana law and
have, at numerous occasions, told National to stay out of the medical
marijuana pool, lest they poison it with “legalizer” rhetoric. But now
that National, with its legalization focus, comes in to attempt a
legalization measure, suddenly the medical Locals are the experts to be
Note that this isn’t all “Locals”. Most of them are reasonable and work
with National orgs to pass the best legalization proposal that has a
chance of passing. No, these “Locals” usually form their own org with an
important-sounding name and title and may even be local news media
contacts (thinking it’s because they’re important, not because local news
loves to parade a batshit crazy True Marijuana Believer in front of the
camera to discredit the movement) and feel that the reasons their org
doesn’t have money, influence, connections, experience, and a successful
track record have nothing to do with them and everything to do with the
evil machinations of the National.
You can usually identify the True Marijuana Believer type of Local.
They’re the ones shouting at legislators, disrupting public meetings,
leading rallies against National orgs, proposing sit-ins to disrupt
National conferences, suggesting dead kids on bicycles are to blame for
getting themselves hit by cars, and seriously believing a majority of
voters will support ideas like 12 pounds, 99 plants, $10/ounce tax limit,
total amnesty for pot prisoners, and regulations that treat cannabis less
strictly than alcohol. They often put “Rev.” before their names.
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