Wednesday, October 28, 2009

VIDEO: Judge Gray Testifies for Marijuana Legalization

Here's the clip of Judge James Gray's testimony in favor of legalizing marijuana, from today's hearing at the California Assembly:


  1. FREAKING AWESOME ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    So well said!!!

  2. It's been a long day spent thinking about this hearing, thanks for the video.
    Now we wait, a little while longer.

  3. This was fantastic testimony. Thanks Judge Gray!

    I'll be extremely interested to find out what sort of coverage this hearing gets. Great job everyone.

  4. I'm glad Gray mentioned advertising. Alcohol advertising has been steadily increasing and in underage demographics because we foolishly let that industry "self regulate". Surely the bans on tobacco advertising have played a part in de-glamorizing cigarettes. There is evidence that Holland's marijuana usage--as low as it is--was even lower before the coffeeshops were allowed to advertise on the streets.

    LEAP should always encourage a complete ban on advertising and promotion of drugs as they are depenalized. Cannabis shops on Venice Beach supposedly yell into the streets, "the Doctor is in!" This is not how we should allow any recreational drug to promoted.

  5. Steve - welcome to the blog!

    Personally, I agree with you 100%. It is clear that we've made some mistakes in how we regulate alcohol - advertising and branding being the #1 and #2 mistakes in my opinion.

    However, LEAP does not take an official position on regulation. Our goal is simply to educate people to the fact that prohibition is a failure. I think the reason for this is that LEAP is a "big tent" organization, and if we were to get into the details of exactly how to regulate various substances there could be widespread disagreement. The other issue is that regulation will vary from city, state and country so it is difficult for LEAP to suggest that one form of regulation is the best.

    Thanks again for visiting, and please sign up to follow us using "Google Friend Connect" on the right hand side of this blog.

  6. Yeah I think that with marijuana, we have the chance to show America how a drug can be treated. Big alcohol, tobacco, and pharma will fight new advertising restrictions tooth and nail. One only needs to turn on a sporting event to see how out-of-control alcohol advertising has become.

    But what sane marijuana reformer would reject a system of legal sale and production that carries with it heavy restrictions on advertising, sales licensure, zoning, ID checks, treatment funding, etc? Those safety measures would be more than acceptable, compared to the prohibition we're dealing with now.

    Like I said, marijuana is giving us the opportunity to prove to Americans that we can treat a drug like adults for once. That could have implications far beyond ending the disaster of marijuana prohibition.

  7. David, thanks for clarifying that. LEAP was where I first dug into the harms of prohibitions, but now that I've got a better view of drug policy, the phrase used by some LEAP speakers "tax and regulate drugs like alcohol" rubs me the wrong way. No, "tax and regulate drugs to minimize the harms on society" might be better, but y'all are obviously making a big impact with what you're doing, so I can't fault you too much.

  8. Thank you very much, Judge Gray. You probably read the same Jim Sanders Sacramento Bee article that I did, where the Funny Man made several clever puns about this very serious matter. The Bee heard from me about that.

    Please keep up the good work. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.


  9. BTW, the headline you see on the Sac Bee version of the article is not the same as what was in the Thursday paper. It was asinine:

    Legalize recreational pot?
    Bill creates buzz at hearing

    A fair-minded editor would have written a headline more like this:

    Legalize marijuana?
    Bill debated at hearing

    Note that this type of biased headline on a Drug Prohibition issue fits a long-standing pattern at the Sacramento Bee.


  10. @kpmsprtd

    Yeah I saw that Bee article too. "Three hours of lively but mellow debate." "No joint consensus was reached." Etc. Get it? They're pot puns! How amazingly clever of Mr. Sanders.

    I don't care what stance you hold, the issue deserves respect.


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