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Vice Presidential Hopeful Dispenses Advice: Pass Marijuana Measures

Jim Gray of the Libertarian ticket visited Imperial Beach to endorse Prop. S and similar efforts.

Visiting Imperial Beach, the Libertarian Party candidate for vice president said Friday that if local voters have any “integrity or open-mindedness at all,” the city’s marijuana measure will “pass by 70 or 80 percent.”

Jim Gray, running mate to Gary Johnson on the Libertarian ticket, held a noon press conference at The Legacy Center to endorse Proposition S and similar ballot measures in three other cities Nov. 6.

Voters in Lemon Grove, Del Mar and Solana Beach also will pass judgment on measures seeking medical marijuana dispensaries.

Gray said marijuana should be regulated like alcohol, and calls America’s war on drugs “the biggest failed policy in the history of the United States of America second only to slavery.”

“You can abolish all these dispensaries if you want to. It will not—mark my words—decrease the amount of marijuana used in this town at all. It’ll just push it underground,” he said.

“There won't be any quality control, there won’t be any age restrictions to address, there won’t be any taxation. All of these sorts of things will be left to the bad guys.”

City Council candidate Erika Lowery, who said she plans to vote yes on Prop. S, was among those attending the gathering of about 10 people at the Palm Avenue center.

Gray also was in San Diego for Libertopia 2012 at Shelter Island and discussed issues ranging from immigration and taxes to jobs and what he would have said had he been part of Thursday evening’s debate.

He said he watched the failure of American drug policy firsthand while presiding over cases as a judge in Orange County in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Gray urged voters to “take away a whole lot of money, lots and lots of money from juvenile street gangs. Let’s take away a whole lot of money from Mexican drug cartels and a lot of other thugs.”

Gray is not an Imperial Beach resident, but urged IB voters to see drug issues as something to manage, not moralize about.

“I’m just asking that people here in Imperial Beach and these other cities considering this—that you give it serious consideration. That’s all they have to do.

“[Because] if they do that [with] any form of integrity or open mindedness at all, it’ll pass by 70 or 80 percent,” he said.

People who aren’t seriously in need of medicine will game the system, he said, but that shouldn’t prevent patients from gaining access.

“That’s a regulation problem,” he said. “And the answer is: If they’re breaking the state law, for heaven’s sake prosecute them.”

San Diego Democrats endorsed Prop. S. But San Diego Republicans have urged a “no” vote on the measure, which calls for legalization of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Opponents of the proposition, which include Mayor Jim Janney and current and former members of the IB City Council, argue that the ordinance does not give the city the ability to reject business licenses and would lead to marijuana “hangouts.”

Opponents call the measure “a deceitfully conceived attempt to allow for proliferation of large-scale pot shops.”

Funding in the race is lopsided.

As of Oct. 5, the Yes on S campaign has received more than $60,000, primarily from people outside of IB. Citizens Against Prop. S raised about $300.

Click here to see for/against arguments and to read the Safe Access Ordinance of Imperial Beach in its entirety.

Jack Fisher October 26, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Eugene thank you fro clarifying the tax issue. I plan to be there on Tuesday, but like I mentioned before I hope it will planned and enforced as an opportunity to get information, discuss ideas, and share opinions without it being an attack to either sides.
Eugene Z. Davidovich October 26, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Jack, you are very welcome. I'm glad you're coming. The opposition has refused to join the panel, so if you are hoping to see Diane, Dee, the Mayor, or anyone else from the so called 'Citizens Against S" speak, then you will be disappointed. This will be a town hall meeting where you and anyone else from the public can ask questions of the people who helped author the initiative. If your plan is to come and attack the people who helped author the initiative like some of the politicians have, I would suggest staying at home.
Libi Uremovic October 26, 2012 at 04:02 AM
5% is the state sales tax that is charged to marijuana sales... and what ever percentage the cities charge... it's the state sales' tax...i didn't mean to imply it was an 'extra' tax...but weed sales pay state and local sales taxes ,...
Sharpie November 05, 2012 at 07:01 AM
On the ballot for the Presidency, Gov. Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Dr. Jill Stein (Green). Make a special note to remember to watch the Free and Equal Election Debate between third party candidates, Gov. Gary Johnson and Dr. Jill Stein to be aired tonight on Monday evening, Nov. 5th from 9:00 - 10:30 pm Eastern Time. Perform a worthwhile civic duty, and be certain to listen in on this historic debate so that you can make an informed decision on voting day. Third party candidates who will be on the ballot in most states deserve to be heard. http://freeandequal.org/?v=1
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