Here's a scenario: Prop. 19, the marijuana legalization initiative, loses. Steve Cooley, the Los Angeles District Attorney who wants to become Attorney General, wins.
Cooley has been no friend of the L.A. pot shop, at one time pronouncing that the city's cannabis retailers are almost all illicit: California's medical marijuana law never intended to green-light for-profit pot trade, he says.
Down go L.A.'s weed dispensaries, on a state level: Cooley's now the top cop in California. Except …
… Maybe it doesn't go that way if 19 passes. The initiative would legalize possession of up to once ounce of pot for the 21-and-older set.
More importantly, it would allow cities, towns and counties to legalize, tax and regulate pot sales. No need to read the fine print on 1996's medical marijuana initiative (Prop. 215) — on whether or not voters really intended the pot-shop scene we see today; 19 would legitimize it, so long as localities go along.
That, at least, is the argument of our commenter du jour, PabloKoh, who writes:
Proposition 19 protects retail sales from State law unlike Proposition 215. If Cooley gets in he will go after any dispensary that deals in cash. 215 does not protect retail sales. 19 does. Growers and dispensaries should immediately recognize this and push for 19 instead of against it. Cooley is coming for Medical Marijuana. 19 is the best shield for protecting patients' access. Good Luck to 19.
Would you hedge your bet against Steve Cooley with a vote for 19?