Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley helped to write the official ballot argument against Prop. 19, the November ballot initiative in California that would fully legalize marijuana possession for those 21-and-older, the campaign against the measure announced Thursday.

Cooley was joined by San Francisco District Attorney Kamela Harris and California State Firefighters' Association President Kevin Nida in writing and submitting the official rebuttal arguments on behalf of the No on Proposition 19 campaign.

The text of the argument, submitted to the California Secretary of State for approval, follows:

As California public safety leaders, we agree that Proposition 19 is flawed public policy and would compromise the safety of our roadways, workplaces, and communities. Before voting on this proposition, please take a few minutes to read it.

Proponents claim, 'Proposition 19 maintains strict criminal penalties for driving under the influence.' That statement is false. In fact, Proposition 19 gives drivers the 'right' to use marijuana right up to the point when they climb behind the wheel, but unlike as with drunk driving, Proposition 19 fails to provide the Highway Patrol with any tests or objective standards for determining what constitutes 'driving under the influence.' That's why Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) strongly opposes Proposition 19.

Proponents claim Proposition 19 is 'preserving the right of employers to maintain a drug-free workplace.' This is also false. According to the California Chamber of Commerce, the facts are that Proposition 19 creates special rights for employees to possess marijuana on the job, and that means no company in California can meet federal drug-free workplace standards, or qualify for federal contracts. The California State Firefighters' Association warns this one drafting mistake alone could cost thousands of Californians to lose their jobs.

Again, contrary to what proponents say, the statewide organizations representing police, sheriffs and drug court judges are all urging you to vote 'No' on Proposition 19. Passage of Proposition 19 seriously compromises the safety of our communities, roadways, and workplaces.


Steve Cooley, District Attorney, Los Angeles County

Kamala Harris, District Attorney, San Francisco County

Kevin Nida, President, California State Firefighters' Association

LA Weekly