You Lost, Cooley.
k, thanx, bye
Medical marijuana patient advocates finally exhaled Wednesday as Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley acknowledged defeat in his bid for California Attorney General.
Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a medical marijuana advocacy organization, partnered with the American Cannabis Research Institute (ACRI) to strongly oppose Cooley’s campaign with a website, NotCooley.com, as well as video clips indicating how Cooley was bad for medical cannabis, the environment, and marriage equality.
“A defeat for Steve Cooley is a tremendous victory for patients,” said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. “Not only will we have an ally in Kamala Harris to be able to advance civil rights protections for patients, but we have also shown that medical marijuana advocates are a powerful political force.”
Harris, Cooley’s Democratic opponent, is California’s first female Attorney General.
|ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer: “This race shows that medical marijuana patients cannot be marginalized without a political consequence”|
”This race shows that medical marijuana patients cannot be marginalized without a political consequence,” Sherer said.
Advocates said the race for California Attorney General was the most important campaign in California for patients. Cooley has waged a long-fought battle against patients and advocates on the issue of medical marijuana.
As Los Angeles D.A., Cooley condoned dozens of SWAT-style raids on local dispensaries, aggressively prosecuted patients and their providers, and tried to criminalize the “sale” of medical marijuana.
Cooley is also a long-time ally of the notorious California Narcotics Officers Association (CNOA), an extremist anti-medical marijuana group calling for the “eradication” of dispensaries.
By contrast, Harris, as San Francisco D.A., has shown consistent support for the state’s medical marijuana laws and oversaw one of the first local dispensary regulatory ordinances in the country.
Some of Cooley’s positions caused environmental and marriage equality advocates to ally themselves with ASA and the hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana patients throughout California. Cooley’s stance on Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative, and his weak record on environmental justice and enforcement created a groundswell of opposition in a race Cooley was expected to win.
This loose coalition worked diligently in the final hours of the race to show how Cooley’s extreme positions on a variety of issues made him “Not Cool” for California.
Notably, Cooley was defeated on his home ground, Los Angeles County, by 14.5 percent — more than 250,000 votes — despite local residents having elected him three times as District Attorney.
And despite last-minute attack ads against Harris, paid for by a contribution of at least $1 million from the Virginia-based Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) — a corporate front group funded by tobacco, insurance and gambling interests, and coordinated by Karl Rove — Cooley was ultimately unable to win the election.
While the race for Attorney General was the most important for California patients, a number of local ballot measures were decided on November 2 that will have a significant impact on the patient community.
For example, two measures banning dispensaries in Santa Barbara and Morro Bay were handily defeated. Also, in what appears to be a local taxation trend, measures were adopted in 10 California cities (Albany, Berkeley, La Puente, Long Beach, Morro Bay, Oakland, Rancho Cordova, Richmond, Sacramento, San Jose, and Stockton).
The taxes are expected to heavily increase the cost of patients’ medicine, especially in La Puente and San Jose, which will both now impose a 10 percent marijuana tax on top of the state’s existing sales tax.