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Russ Belville

Russ Belville

Posted: August 9, 2010 05:26 AM

I have been blogging recently about dispensaries in California that are hostile to Prop 19- - California's marijuana legalization initiative. What I suspect are sock puppet fronts for these businesses have also sprung up, the so-called "Stoners Against Legalization" blogs. I've decided to feature these in a semi-regular post I'm calling "Tossed SALAD -- Stoners Against Legalization Article of the Day", because I can't resist a catchy acronym.*

It's a perfect storm of sorts for me. I'm a die hard cannabis activist, so I'm excited about the possibility of the world's eighth largest economy legalizing marijuana. I'm a talk radio host and blogger for the cannabis community, so I'm constantly researching and discussing marijuana on the web. Most of all, though, I'm a huge fan of irony, so ranting against fellow blogging tokers over their opposition to legalization is 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 Camel and Marlboro ads warning of the "600 addictive and poisonous additives in your cannabis as we put in your tobacco!" This, of course, being the result after Big Tobacco takes over cannabis in California and mass produces toxic schwaggy joints. Except that Richard Lee and a "politically connected" "cannabis cartel" are taking over cannabis in California with industrial mega grows. Or maybe Big Tobacco actually hires Richard Lee. Something like that.

The latest screed from Stop19.com warns us all that if cannabis is legalized and all adults can grow a 5'x5' personal garden, that might not apply to renters:

FACT: Prop 19 puts you at the mercy of your landlord by forcing you to seek permission to grow cannabis. (Currently, no statewide law specifically mandates that Prop 215 patients ask permission to grow their medicine.)

While growing your own supply is fun as hell, it can also be messy, dangerous, and can easily cause damage if done improperly. (Not to mention homeowners insurance is likely to rise and homes containing cannabis could face seizure by the federal government.) Considering this, do you really think many landlords will allow it? Ask yours and find out for yourself. Then vote NO on Prop 19.

I've been a renter all my life and my parents were renters before me. I'm still trying to recall even a single rental application's fine print that read "If you want to grow a 5'x5' garden of marijuana, that's fine with us."

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the Möbius strip of logic that makes this objection a reason to vote no. If my landlord catches me right now with a marijuana plant in the closet and an ounce of marijuana, I will be evicted and arrested. If Prop 19 passes, but my landlord denies me permission to grow marijuana on his property, at least I can have my ounce of weed without his permission or any intercession by the police. So I should vote... no?

At least when Stop19.com is arguing that we should vote no on legalization because it infringes on the joy of toking up with teenagers and puffing in front of pre-schoolers, I can understand the motivation. If you're an adult over the age of 21 and you're fond of smoking joints with high school kids, you would have to vote in your best interest, I suppose. (We're looking at you, David Wooderson.) Here they seem to be arguing that since your landlord might not (but might) let you grow cannabis, you should vote to keep that activity a felony for everyone, even people who own their own property.

As usual, this is more "I Gots Mine" grumbling; the parenthetical reference to Prop 215 gives it away. Never mind that home-renting Prop 215 patients are evicted for growing medical marijuana now or that most California adults who are tokers aren't Prop 215 patients.

I couldn't leave the site without a comment, but reports from some of my other activists buddies tell me that Stop19.com is not posting any opposing comments. So I left the following in my nom de provacateur, hoping the editors are sarcasm-impaired enough to let it through:

If we let landlords control the properties they own, the cannabis cartel wins. Who do these property owners think they are, trying to take renter's rights to doing fun, messy, dangerous, federally-illegal activities in the properties they own?

We're better off now, keeping our gardens secret from our landlords so the cops don't find out. How would we ever keep our grows secret if Prop 19 passes? We wouldn't, because Philip Morris will control all the marijuana grown in California and we'll be forced to drive to millionaire Richard Lee's cannabis cartels to buy schwaggy mass-produced joints with 600 addictive and poisonous additives in them.

Keep up the good fight! Don't let stoners be taken in by these fascist socialists!

Wilhelm Scream
Rancho Cucamonga


I don't think it will get past moderation, but since these are people who think "space" in the context of smoking around a minor could be interpreted as "apartment building", maybe their language processing deficiencies will turn in my favor.

* Or maybe because tricking stoners into voting no on Prop 19 means they're voting yes on the chance to room with this guy. Don't worry, it's not some graphic photo or video. It's just a man in a prison documentary discussing fresh young inmates and tossed salad. How bad could it be?

 

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