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Re: Santa Cruz Gives the Feds a WAMM

Since we are taking a walk down memory lane, I thought I'd post the following campaign statement that was distributed in August of that year.

Had I put the statement out a month or two later I would have also pointed out that the extremely restrictive zoning laws against medical marijuana passed by the Santa Cruz Council made the City Council's own medical marijuana giveaway illegal according to their own laws. I'd say this not to oppose the giveaway, but to point out the hypocrisy of City Council members who did their one-day photo-op on a popular issue, while in practice actually keeping patients from getting their medicine on a daily basis.



Legalize It! Statement of City Council Candidate STEVE ARGUE:

While I do not smoke marijuana I feel that the use of marijuana is an adult person’s individual decision where the government should not be involved.

The positive effect of medical marijuana in helping people combating a number of illnesses has been well established. Yet the Santa Cruz City Council has shut down medical marijuana dispensaries in Santa Cruz through extremely restrictive zoning. I oppose this interference with people getting their needed medicine and take issue with the idea that users of medical marijuana are dangerous people.

While I do not promote the use of any drug for recreational, use of marijuana does not have the deadly side effects found with the legal drugs of tobacco and alcohol. This fact to me makes the enforcement of marijuana prohibition hypocritical.

While the United States claims to be a bastion of freedom it locks up a larger percentage of its population than any other industrialized country in the world. Two million people sit in the prison system. Of these the majority are locked up for non-violent drug offenses, many for marijuana. In these numbers families are torn apart and there is countless suffering.

It is my opinion that all violations of marijuana laws are victimless crimes, until the police step in. At that point the marijuana user becomes the victim.

The drug war has failed its stated goal. Illegal drugs continue to be available to people who want to buy them, and people continue to want to buy them. Yet despite this failure the U.S. government continues to ruin people’s lives.

I say if there is no victim there is no crime. While the City Council will not have the authority to legalize marijuana there are important things that can be done to halt marijuana stings and slow marijuana enforcement. If elected I will fight for a majority on the City Council to make police enforcement of marijuana laws the lowest priority of the police department. In addition Police Chief Belcher will have to be replaced by someone who, unlike him, is sympathetic to political rights, the poor, and the right to smoke pot.

Only our collective action can bring change.
 


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