Los Angeles D.A. Really Hates Pot Legalization Initiative


Photo: L.A. District Attorney’s Office
Los Angeles County D.A. and California Attorney General candidate Steve Cooley hates pot and opposes legalization. He probably thinks you suck hard, too.

​Pot-hating, publicity-loving Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who has claimed medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal operations, is now targeting the legitimacy of a November ballot initiative to legalize recreational cannabis and allow local governments to tax and regulate it.

In an April 13 letter (PDF) to Attorney General Jerry Brown, Cooley claims the title and summary for the measure is “wrong and highly misleading” and should be disallowed, reports Peter Hecht at The Sacramento Bee.
Cooley, an ambitious hot-dogger of a Republican who’s hoping to replace Brown as attorney general, claims the initiative falsely offers “major tax and other benefits” for state and local governments by regulating marijuana similarly to alcohol.

Media whore Cooley claims the burden will fall on “local governments to promulgate comprehensive cannabis-related regulations. He says that will “unduly burden local governments” and “lead to a chaotic and confusing result.”

Photo: AP
L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley talks about one of his favorite subjects, busting medical marijuana dispensaries

​The grandstanding district attorney also claims the measure would “create an absolute right to cultivate marijuana on private property” and possibly on public lands as well. The initiative would allow Californians 21 and older to grow cannabis in a 25-square-foot space.
“I fully intend to inform the public of the dangers of this incredibly poorly written initiative,” Cooley said on April 19.
“I look forward to joining with many others in the fight against this initiative,” Cooley said. “I have every hope that the Attorney General will disallow the initiative’s title and prepare an accurate summary. We need to work hard to defeat this fraud against the public.”
Most Californians disagree with Cooley, according to a recent poll. A third-party, independent poll found 56 percent of the state’s voters believe marijuana should be legalized, with 42 percent opposed.
Members of California’s marijuana community who oppose The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, most of whom are libertarian fundamentalists opposed to any tax on the herb, now find themselves in the awkward position of being allied with Cooley, one of the Golden State’s most obnoxious weed warriors.
According to Tony Newman and Stephen Gutwillig of the Drug Policy Alliance, a group opposing the Drug War, legalizing marijuana equals just being realistic.
“The California ballot initiative simply acknowledges that marijuana is here and that it’s more sensible to regulate this massive market,” they wrote in The Huffington Post.
“The bottom line is that marijuana is California’s largest agricultural commodity, freely consumed by millions… with no financial benefit to the state,” they wrote. “This is a reality we literally can’t afford to ignore any longer.”