Weed Wars

Dispatches from the California Marijuana Front

June 17, 2010
Unions see opportunities in marijuana industry, ballot measure

California's marijuana movement is picking up the union label.

Last month, the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 5, in Oakland announced that it would represent 100 employees working in local medical cannabis industries.

Now Communications Workers of America Local 9415, which represents 1,800 members in California, Nevada and Hawaii, is endorsing the November initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California and allow local communities to tax and regulate pot sales.

In an campaign statement for initiative proponents, the union said it was backing the measure to help save public sector jobs through taxes on legalized pot.

In an interview, Local 9415 executive vice-president Christina Huggins said unions also see opportunities for new jobs and members in a California marijuana market expanded beyond current legal medical use.

"There's a potential for a lot of jobs," Huggins said. "When beer and alcohol was legalized, those were unionized jobs. We feel the people working in the upcoming industry should have good benefits and good pay and justice on the job."

Public Safety First, the campaign committee for legalization opponents, has support from law enforcement groups including the California Peace Officers Association, the California District Attorneys Association and the California Narcotics Officers Association. The "no" campaign is also backed by the California Bus Association and the CoachAmerica bus service.

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.