Weed Wars

Dispatches from the California Marijuana Front

October 8, 2010
As Latino group endorses Prop 19, Mexican leader decries it

The news being circulated by "yes" and "no" campaigns for Proposition 19 today offers an interesting juxtaposition in the California marijuana debate.

Marijuana legalization advocates are touting the endorsement of the League of United Latin American Citizens for the initiative to legalize pot for recreational use and allow local governments to tax retail marijuana sales.

The No on 19 campaign is distributing an Associated Press story, in which Mexican President Felipe Calderon expresses some strong concerns about the closely-watched California ballot measure.

In announcing LULAC's endorsement for the issue, California LULAC director Argentina Dávila-Luévano said: "The current prohibition laws are not working for Latinos, nor for society as a whole."

She went on to say: "Far too many of our brothers and sisters are getting caught in the cross-fire of gang wars here in California and the cartel wars south of our border. It's time to end prohibition, put violent, organized criminals out of business and bring marijuana under the control of the law."

The endorsement by the Latino political group followed an earlier endorsement for Proposition 19 by the California Chapter of the NAACP.

In his Associated Press interview, posted on the No on 19 website, Calderon said Proposition 19 created "a terrible inconsistency in government policies in the United States."

"'It's very sad to see how drug consumption is, little by little, tearing apart American society and, if we don't watch ourselves, it will tear apart ours," the Mexican president said. He also suggested that taxing legal marijuana in California may only create new incentives for smuggling cheaper weed from Mexico.

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