Updated again after the jump with some debate about whether the endorsement is official. First posted Friday at 1:17 p.m.
Surprise surprise. Latinos are getting behind the California ballot initiative to legalize pot. You mean the same folks who gave the world Cheech (not Chong), Acapulco gold and the very word marijuana? Orale!
Washington, D.C.-based League of United Latin American Citizens of California (LULAC) endorsed Prop. 19 Friday, with state director Argentina Dávila-Luévano saying, "The current prohibition laws are not working for Latinos, nor for society as a whole."
"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," she says. "It's time to end prohibition, put violent, organized criminals out of business and bring marijuana under the control of the law."
Wait, how's legalizing it going to end the cartel wars? Wouldn't demand go up, with supply following?
Call us stupid (and we know you will), but when medical marijuana dispensaries started to blossom like a bud in the Humboldt sun, violence related to pot increased -- and it seems to us the cartels are plenty busy sending serious weight across the border.
So ... is Anheuser-Busch going to take over pot cultivation and distribution, or what?
On another note, LULAC board member Angel Luévano played the economy card in arguing for Prop. 19, which would tax pot and let you have up to an ounce at a time if you're 21 or older.
"In these tough economic times we must find ways to provide new jobs for our people and prosperity in our communities," he says. "Supporting Prop. 19 will put more Latinos to work ... "
Update: The Weekly has been contacted by a few LULAC national officials, including its national executive director, Brent Wilkes, who say that Dávila-Luévano is not authorized to make such an endorsement for LULAC or LULAC California.
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Wilkes said she lost an election for state director and is in "bad standing" with the group.
However, Dávila-Luévano is listed on LULAC California's website as its state director. So you can't blame us for trusting the info we got. But ... we're still looking into it. So stay tuned.
Update #2: Dávila-Luévano maintained in a phone conversation today that she is still the state director -- that a May election at LULAC that did not give her the win was invalid and that she was challenging it in court, with a preliminary win.
"What they're telling you is wrong," she says of the D.C. LULAC folks.