California moms voice support for marijuana legalization proposition

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      Mike Riggs

      Mike Riggs is a staff writer at The Daily Caller. He has written and reported for Reason magazine and reason.com, GQ, the Awl, Decibel, Culture 11, the Philadelphia Bulletin, and the Washington City Paper, where he served as an arts and entertainment editor.

The push to legalize marijuana in California has borne witness to a bevy of strange sleeping arrangements. Medical marijuana dispensaries are now bedfellows with unions; retired law enforcement officers have linked arms with longhairs; and Democrats like Sen. Barbara Boxer have ditched their progressive stances on personal freedom in order to appear tough on crime, even as one of Boxer’s own staffers was arrested on Capitol Hill for possessing weed.

As the days tick down to a vote on Prop. 19, yet another coalition of drug reformers has stepped forward with a new angle. The reformers are mothers, and their rallying cry is “do it for the children.”

On Tuesday, a contingent of California moms outlined the parental case for legalizing marijuana. During a press conference early in the day and a later conference call with reporters outside of California, the marijuana moms argued that it is in every child’s best interest for California to legalize the very same drug that schools and parents have religiously dogged since before the creation of first lady Nancy Reagan’s “Drug Abuse Resistance Education” program in the 1980s.

“It might be counterintuitive,” said Hanna Dershowitz, an attorney and mother of two, ages seven and five. “I have the conversation [with my kids] every day about how much sugar is appropriate,” she said. “The right thing is to have a reasonable conversation in the context of controlled, regulated marijuana.”

A member of the Women’s Marijuana Party, Dershowitz was one of several mothers who said during a conference call with reporters that the state’s punitive reactions to drug possession are not only drastic, but also anti-parent and anti-family.

“I am the mother of two sons, both are in their 30s, but once a mom, you’re always advocating for your children and your children’s children,” said Gretchen Burns Bergman, a substance abuse counselor who helps families overcome addiction. In 1990, Bergman’s oldest son was arrested for marijuana possession. That charge, she wrote on the Huffington Post, “led to a decade of cycling in and out of the prison system for non-violent, low-level drug possession charges.”

It’s first-hand experience with the horrors of incarceration that sold Bergman on the need to change California’s drug laws. “Mothers are leading the charge, just as during the 30s,” she said. “Not because we love drugs and alcohol, but because we love our children and we cannot stand the costs of our punitive policies. The money raised through taxation could be spent on prevention, harm reduction, [and] education.”

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  • killtruck

    The bottom line is there is no reason for pot to be illegal when alcohol isn’t. Most people get that. The ones that refuse to even explore the idea never will.

  • Pingback: Mike Riggs wants to do pot with your mom « KillTruck

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leonard-Krivitsky/1661531725 Leonard Krivitsky

    Cannabis should have never been illegal in the first place. Its “illegality” is not based on any science, just on lies, distortions of fact, and blatant racism. The truth is that Cannabis is less physically addictive than caffeine, and that it may also serve as a much “safer alternative” to alcohol and/or hard drugs. Another Cannabis product, hemp, was used by humans since time immemorial! It is fully recognized that Cannabis use SUPPRESSES VIOLENT BEHAVIOR, and that Cannabis may be used to help not only treat, but to also prevent some devastating illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

    The fact is that Cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years exactly because there are so many ways in which this remarkable plant can help us and our planet. So, it is naive to presume that a bunch of fear-mongerers can change this fact, no matter how loud and untruthful they become! I worked in addiction medicine for years, and Cannabis use was the least of my problems, so I do recognize that classifying Cannabis in the same group as heroin and cocaine is one of the greatest scientific fallacies of our times. The so-called “gateway” drug theory was found to be totally invalid, and a very recent large study called this “theory” half-baked. It is simply untrue scientifically.

    As Kathleen Parker aptly observed on CNN couple of days ago, “To say that most hard drug addicts start with marijuana is the same as to say that all rapists start with masturbation”. Yeah, that’s about it! Cannabis is not physically addictive, as there is no clearly definable and reproducible physical withdrawal syndrome, observed with alcohol or opiate withdrawal, for example. A recent large study denied any connection between smoking Cannabis and a risk for lung cancer. Quite the opposite, Cannabis use is being found to have some preventative role with such serious conditions as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, and according to the latest research, Cannabis may even be an “exit substance” for recovering alcoholics/hard drug/prescription drug abusers. Cannabis criminalization leads to horrendous Civil Rights violations around the country. YES to Cannabis re-Legalization! YES on Cali Prop. 19!


  • Libby1959

    Apparently some moms will lobby for the legalization of anything their kids are involved in. I guess the moms of convicted rapists will lobby for legalization of rape now. Same for convicted robbers and murderers. We must never tell the little darlings that something is illegal so just stay away from it. No, if they want it, we’ll lobby to get it legalized. Why don’t we just throw out all laws and everybody just do as they please. Wait, that’s already happened in Congress!

    • robb32

      ThE Mom’s are absolutely right. Teach the children personal responsibility, not to be pawns of the do-all, be-all cradle to grave nanny state. Prohibition NEVER works. Only the farthest of fascist freedom-hating people can back this sort of nazi/communista style restrictive life; jailing citizens for nothing more than recrational or medical use. I do bet however they back the rights of people driving around on prescription meds and putting their kids on cocaine like ridylin

    • robb32

      ThE Mom’s are absolutely right. Teach the children personal responsibility, not to be pawns of the do-all, be-all cradle to grave nanny state. Prohibition NEVER works. Only the farthest of fascist freedom-hating people can back this sort of nazi/communista style restrictive life; jailing citizens for nothing more than recreational or medical use. I do bet however they back the rights of people driving around on prescription meds and putting their kids on cocaine like ridylin

    • killtruck


  • nomore

    Whether you oppose or support legalizing marijuana, proposition 19 and others like it are just that, propositions. The devil is in the details in just how to regulate the production, sale, and consumption of the product. What will be the legal age of consumption? Will it be legal to smoke in public? After smoking a joint will it be o.k. to fly an airplane, drive a car, work in a daycare center? When are you considered to be over the limit? How will law enforcement measure for being over the limit? And, you know government is going to want to “protect” the consumer. So just how much THC can the plant contain to be considered safe for consumption? How much must it contain to be considered worthy of consumption? Can food products that contain marijuana be sold in grocery stores? And so it goes but I think ya’ll get the point.

    • robb32

      worked fine for alcohol..

      • nomore

        I knew I would get a response like this but marijuana is not alcohol. As a former marijuana smoker and current imbiber of adult beverages, I can attest that alcohol can put you in a much more altered state of mind. That’s not the point. We aren’t just going to legalize marijuana and have a free wheeling smoke-fest. Inept lawmakers are going to take charge of regulating it, while lobbyists will fight for what will inevitably be large farmers and it won’t be the law the proponents had intended. Why? Because this is supposed to create a tax base and just like it is illegal to make hooch in your bathroom to sell to the public or even consume in the privacy of your own home, so it will be with marijuana. Even still, there will have to be a way to measure whether someone is “over the limit”. There will have to a way to measure the potency just as there is with alcohol. Who determines who will get licenses to grow or sell marijuana? Will employers or private citizens be publicly condemned or even prosecuted for “discriminating” against marijuana smokers when they don’t want them to fly planes they’ve boarded or watch their children in a daycare setting? Will it be illegal to bring marijuana into California from another state? How will they be able tell if it is? There are far more questions than answers and in the end, no one will be happy.

        • killtruck

          So what the hell do you want?

  • Willys

    Thanks to the moms, and others, in support of marijuana legalization. The mind boggles at the opposition to pot use. It’s just unfathomable.

    Marijuana is no more a gateway to ‘other drugs’ than is a psychiatrist. I chose pot. My only drugs today are for cholesterol and bp.

    • killtruck

      I think it’s only a gateway drug because you have to go through the gateway to the black market to get it.