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Stop19.com claims “big tobacco”, “cannabis cartels” behind Prop 19 marijuana legalization | The NORML Stash Blog

I am the producer of The NORML Network, the host of the NORML SHOW LIVE and The NORML Stash Blog, and NORML's Outreach Coordinator. I'm married, live in Portland, Oregon, and I am a registered medical marijuana caregiver in this state. I've worked days as an IT geek and nights as a professional musician. Previously, I have been the host of my own political talk radio show on satellite radio. I've been the High Times "Freedom Fighter of the Month" and I travel across the country to educate people on marijuana reform. I've dedicated my life to bringing an end to adult marijuana prohibition and re-legalizing cannabis hemp, and I'm honored to be chosen by NORML to give voice to the Marijuana Nation and to speak for those who can't speak up.


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28 responses to “Stop19.com claims “big tobacco”, “cannabis cartels” behind Prop 19 marijuana legalization”

  1. TheConstantGrower

    Russ, i’v never posted on this site in the past, or any site for that matter, but with prop19 nearing is day in the sun i cant help but be engorged with fear, (and a bit of anger)

    People cant see the trees through the forest (pun intended). IF anyone actually took the time to data pound on prop 19 they would see what Herers son wrote. (or ever take the time to follow the last 35 years of “battle”) ; Take what we can get, smile, and give us a modicum of freedom. Then, November 3rd, fire up the war machine and get us a little further.

    We live in a very isolationist society, asking people to think about OTHER people is a tall order. When i’m taking my morning cruise on the porcelain throne, enjoying the herbal wake up, i often think of the unfortunate people, check that, the KIDS, our 18 – 25′s that were just trying to do the same thing, that got the shaft of shafts.

    Jack would be shitting 1000watt ballasts if he could see the way that people are throwing away a chance at the emerald dream. He might even shit you out the metal halides you have always wanted if he could see the SHEER GREED the “care” clubs and private growers are showing right now.

    I am very sad about all of this, for i fear, in my lifetime, we wont get to see the golden days.

  2. El lord

    Rush, you are the criminal, you work for this criminal organization NORML. The inform from stop19.com could be some random but what do you say about the powerful “The Bulldog” in Netherlands? They are not only a powerful marijuana monopoly in NL, they are exporting marijuana worldwide with impunity. The same thing will do the elite behind prop 19. And yes, Richard Lee is one of the most important persons behind it and he is worst than the Drug Mexican Cartels.

  3. Eric Moore

    HAHAHA I like you commentary, I dont live in Cal but I hope the voters do this thing right… then the rest of the
    west coast will follow suit.

  4. nickcblazer

    exactly. plants don’t ruin marriages people that cant ever work anything out and have a obsession that everything has to be there way ruin marriages. people dont get married to be controlled so get over yourself pot is not addictive i know over 20 close friends and myself that stopped cold turkey for various reasons and never felt the need to smoke. The only thing addictive about pot is the lack of self control. your probably the kind of person that is still stuck in the past that pot is the most deadly drug in existence and will turn you into a psycho killer. Dont believe the bull the government feeds people. My personal opinion is that if you have never tried it you cant say ANYTHING regarding weather its wrong or right. Also no matter what anyone says there is medical benefits and no one has ever or will ever die from smoking pot.

  5. Todd

    If Marijuana ruined your first marriage, then I am guessing because you used to hag your husband about it until he left you, or you caught him smoking it and threw him out. So you are depriving any kids living in your house of a father because you are an intolerant moron. Hate to tell ya lady, YOU ruined your marriage. Blame it on pot as much as you want. Live in denial all you want. You are blaming a PLANT for ruining your marriage. We are mostly all adults here. Take ownership. Stand up and admit that YOU fucked up, not the marijuana plant. As far as what your neighbors are up to……WHO CARES!? Mind your own gaddamned business! Good fences are supposed to make good neighbors, so LEAVE IT ALONE! I’m guessing you probably don’t ever, but if you were having freaky, kinky, nasty sex in your house that involved you getting sodomized, would you want your neighbors to say “I’ve looked from my second story to her first story and saw her getting laid. I should shoot a firehose through her backdoor. Anal sex destroyed my marriage!” The answer is going to be a resounding “NO!” I would guess.
    Tend your own closeminded garden. I did community service once, and this girl couldn’t help but get involved in everyone else’s stuff, and the guy running the program told her, “Do your own time.”
    That applies to life too.
    And to you.

  6. Jayelle Farmer

    The anti-Prop 19 lobby has lost their claim to Jack Herer – who they falsely perceived as an important ally in their opposition to prop 19.

    The following statement was released yesterday by the family of Jack Herer:

    http://blog.norml.org/2010/08/17/from-the-family-of-jack-herer-the-hemperor-would-support-prop-19/

    Jayelle

  7. theconlib

    Point 4 is completely bogus. I WILL NOT GET CRIMINAL RECORD NOW because I am approved by a doctor. This makes it hard to support you guys with all this complete BS.

  8. theconlib

    Screw the “personal pot farm” part! I don’t want ANY restrictions on how much I can grow! You’re counter-argument to point number 3 is just weak. It basically says to me – “Let us get rich while you try and grow your crappy little farm.” Also, whoever wrote that ounce part is tripping too. Give us unrestricted access to any amount! Why do you need to restrict it? Is somebody scared I’m going to grow / posses more than they want and god-forbid compete in the free-market? I’m not helping you guys get rich. Screw that.

  9. chris c

    at least i know now im not the only person out there who isnt retarded when it comes to the idea of, as well as the pros and cons of prop 19. i dont even live in california and im all for prop 19. maybe once people see the good it does there it will open the doors for the rest of us.

  10. Tossed SALAD: Stoners Against Legalization Article of the Day - Marijuana.com

    [...] like an irony sundae with nuts on top. Like the nuts who write for Stop19.com. I already covered, in far too many words, the breadth of their website in a previous post. Their home page at the time displayed modified [...]

  11. Russ Belville: Tossed SALAD: Stoners Against Legalization Article of the Day

    [...] already covered, in far too many words, the breadth of their website in a previous post. Their home page at the time displayed modified [...]

  12. Pamela

    I am against the legalization of Pot. The people who say it is not addicting are crazy, I know first hand that it is. It ruined my first marriage.

    I already have neighbors with a pot farm in their yard, they think they are hiding it. But the addition to blue plastic on top of their already high fence was a dead give away. I can see it from our 2nd story window.

    What is this teaching the children living in their house?. They used to have a pool in their back yard, now they cannot even play in their back yard. it is full of pot plants that are almost taller than their house,
    I guess when they get older they will be popular with all the other pot heads.

    I would like to spray some weed killer over their fence and ruin their crop.

  13. Bud Green

    Growers selfishly oppose legalization because it hurts their bottom line — much of it driven by illegal sales of product diverted away from Prop. 215 channels — and/or have the notion that mom-and-pop growers will be swept away by Big Business, even though the right to cultivate pot for personal use is one of the cornerstones of Prop. 19. And frankly, I’m getting sick of those arguments.

    Pot prohibition is not some abstract concept to be debated by armchair lawyers and accountants. People are dying in this insane drug war, on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and the carnage and the costs are such that a sense of urgency is entirely appropriate. If you think pot is “legal enough” in California, you’re buying into a lie with deadly consequences: http://goo.gl/fb/oDxVM

  14. delpart

    Quoting the $211K license fee appears to only apply to Oakland at this time. To be sure, that means there are a lot of ‘grow-ops’ that will have to consider moving somewhere cheaper. Or just continue what they are doing now really. Fairly well hidden. No taxes paid. Etc.

    Admittedly this is not fair to someone who has been a dispensary provider and should have a fair shake at competing without that much capital investment. Even microbreweries dont pay that much to setup shop. But I think in the long run, things will shift. This is a radical departure. One with a lot of facets. Both good and bad.

    Outside of greed, I’m still wondering what the political motivations are to alienate and restrict this to a known handful of people is in Oakland. It would appear it is beyond greed though. Controlling and backing a select few with enough resources to handle a Federal challenge has been discussed etc. I think part of it is ensuring that some have a fair chance in that event.

    $10 per gram is still excessive for the mass market. ~ $280/oz is not much lower than street prices for established buyers. This would also mean ~$56/oz tax. A tad high as it will only increase more over time. Combined with sales taxes on top of that … This is where the “what will be fair market value” comes into play. What everyone wants is brick prices. Somewhere in between is where it has to settle or the black market will still flourish. Even if diminished.

    Also, retailers will be hit with other taxes on top of those etc. Assuming the dispensary model for point of sale, there is still a ton of overhead. 40% markup sounds great but it may not cover enough of their expenses. Then you are back into the problem of either higher prices (the current ones) or only businesses tied directly to a larger scale grow, which that model doesn’t allow.

    The dollar figures being thrown around on the profit margins of the proposed ‘factories’ are based on the current pricing model. Somewhere else in the state a county/city is going to opt to compete with that. This will drive the market down to a more reasonable level. The Triangle’s reaction alone would be the most curious to consider. I dont think the consensus there will be to allow for only a handful of licenses to be created.

    As for the mishmash? Understand that this is one of few ways that the state as a whole can get away with legalization. Alcohol regulations offer similar mishmashes in various states to this day. There are “dry” counties/cities, and blue laws that do not make any sense in the same regard. Politicians and their moralist counterparts made those happen. The same will occur here. I’m sure there will be “dry” counties in California years down the road that refuse to profit in the face of a moralist or Federalist arguments. Their loss.

    Oakland will not be the only place in the state to offer a method to produce and resell. Various cities are hashing it out now. Oakland is just moving out in front in the press and gaining the most attention. They are also proposing the highest bar imaginable for whatever reasons.

    Difficult to change laws like this? Perhaps. But momentum carries. While California may get stuck with some restrictions and oddities, there are other states eager enough to follow suite. They may choose more “optimal” measures. It will all probably depend on how it is received by the Feds and the backlash issues that get sorted out in California post election. Californian may be a trend setter. But not always the blue-print. In that same vein, some things have to come back to California changed for the better.

  15. dnL

    Hey, I’m w/ you, Russ. Bring on the Wal-mart Weed! I’m also not going to smoke the stuff, just like I’m not a Wal-mart shopper, nor do I drink Franzia boxed wine or Natty Light, b/c I’ve grown an acquired taste for quality for certain items. But I don’t want to exclude the big companies like the Altria Groups (a.k.a. Philip Morris) or the RJ Reynolds b/c they’d serve a purpose economically and market-wise.

  16. SpaceMace

    This looks great Russ. These guys are truly selfish, “I Gotz Mine”, ‘knot’ heads.

    I get so angry every time I hear someone say that “cannabis is already legal”. Medical Marijuana cards are for those who have MEDICAL CONDITIONS. Not for anyone who wants one. To truly have legal Cannabis, people who don’t have cards and are not residents of Cali should be able to go there and buy/consume cannabis without fear of being prosecuted. :bongin: That is legalization! :greenmj:

  17. NegatroN

    Great breakdown Russ! You are some kind of work horse buddy!
    stoners against legalization…gays against gay marriage…was there such a thing as slaves against abolition?
    Here’s another good reason to see the word “Stoner” as a disparaging word instead of an endearing one…heh

  18. john hunter

    The licensing of mega farms and prop 19 are separate issues, but here is my take. The new farms are unlimited in size. So if they go with 100,000 sqft the gross income would exceed $90 million. The rent would be less than 2 million and the jobs, about 150 at $12 per hour. Or the council could license growers with a quota of 20 kilos. If the price is $4 per gram to the grower, the goobermint should then step in and get $2 excise tax and the retailers could sell it for $10. I dont think $10 is outrageous for a gram of the finest. So the idea that it would be expensive is absurd. Its a false choice.

    The opportunity in America should be allocated to all, not just those that have $211,000 for the license, and some buddies on the selection committee. The net income befor tax on the farms will be over $80 million net. A winning lottery ticket for the lucky four and a ram up the butt for the rest. Choice is yours. If the only way to win or compete is to start with the most them America has failed. Land of opportunity?

    I am constantly amazed at Americans inability to think anything through for themselves. This is easy math. You read this story and wonder if anybody can add and subtract.

    Left to the local politicians, it will be the most mediocre mish mash of half measures and irrelevant proceedures and statutes. A politician knows as much about the commerce of weed as a vegatarian knows about meat. Its really not their fault, they are misinformed. What is their fault is how they could ever believ they are the best choice to make these decisions.

  19. dnL

    Let’s be realistic, if legalization (the Prop 19 version or even the Tomato Model) were to happen, the corporations/big companies are going to arrive to try and make a profit from it. Just try and stop them; if there’s profit to be made they’re coming. Hell, I’m a little surprised that they haven’t already tried some attempt to jump in the MMJ industry, especially after the Eric Holder “Promise”. But who knows? Maybe they already have by investing or financing certain dispensaries or growers.

    Actually, I’ve been wondering how medical consumption, recreational consumption, and the possibility of pot tourism is going to be sustainable w/out them. I think a question we should be asking as it pertains to Prop 19 is: With the current infrastructure, along w/ people who will grow their 5×5 gardens, is the supply going to be enough to cover the inevitable spike in demand? Also, does Prop 19 give special provisions to those who want to create a legit business producing and selling cannabis?

    See, that’s the reason why I’m not jumping on the corporation bashing bandwagon and screaming the ills of “Walmartization”. Someone’s gonna have to do the mass producing or else two things might happen: 1) prices may skyrocket (the opposite of what many have projected should happen if Prop 19 were to pass) or stay where they are, and/or 2) the state will always have some kind of bud shortage, which is almost unheard of out here.

    On a less serious note, I live in the Bay Area and I have lived and worked in Oakland. But I had no clue that Oakland was such a political powerhouse, little less a “political machine” that’s so powerful and influential where it’s feared by the rest of the state. Not SF, not San Jose, not the more affluent North Bay cities like Napa or Marin… but little ‘ole problematic Oakland? I wonder if the people of Oakland know.

  20. moldy

    It blows me away to see that it takes twice as much space to debunk the anti prop 19 “knot heads” than it does to debunk prohibitionist.

    There has to be a large silent majority of MMJ patients that are just dying to get fair priced medicine. Let’s hope they can think for themselves and not fall for these new lies. An unkown factor that was mentioned today on NSL is the closet smokers. They have nothing to lose on a yes vote and everything to gain. Hmmm, just the wealthy dealers (despensary owners), growers, and middle men seem to be ones trying to snatch freedom away from the masses. Sound familar?

  21. matterofliberty

    lol its obvious that big tobacco isnt behind this! if it were you would see more support from the legislature that they already lobby so hard!

  22. tensity1

    Jesus H., WTF? Thanks again, Russ, for your analysis and smackdown of dumbassery out there.

    These assholes are worse than some of the prohibitionists out there: at least most prohibitionists are (mis)guided by “morals” and are typically just ignorant of facts, but these guys are simply motivated by greed. They should know the harm and cost of prohibition to people and society, yet they will spew bullshit just to protect their turf. Then again, could be some of these idiot voices are just actual prohibitionists masquerading as pro-MJ, trying to derail Prop 19 whatever way they can.

    Who knows. Either way, still fooking iceholes.

  23. Mr. James Crosby

    I will read this later, but my initial thought is that this looks like an amazingly detailed analysis. Thank you for putting this together!

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