â€‹â€‹By Jack Rikess
|Photo: Jack’s Blog|
|Toke of the Town correspondent Jack Rikess blogs from the Haight in San Francisco.|
Richard Lee’s office is issuing the statement about howÂ close we came. That the fight isn’t over. Forty-four percent ofÂ Californians are for legalization. This is all very positive. ThisÂ is just the beginning… I’m paraphrasing.
We owe a lot to Richard Lee and I’m sure he owes a lotÂ to many different people today. He put his name and moneyÂ on the line and paid the penalty of being demonized by hisÂ own side, pot smokers who were suspicious of his motives.
Yet it was Richard who was aggressively pushing PropositionÂ 19 throughout the state with his army of Oaksterdamians, hisÂ political power and his dough. Every good campaign needsÂ a leader.
Richard, along with many others who knocked onÂ unfriendly doors, called the voters during game time andÂ made an effort where others sat; they deserve our respect andÂ gratitude.
For the weeks leading up to the election, everydayÂ there would be door-hangers with a new political message orÂ candidate advertisement, seeking my vote and endorsement.Â Because I’m a registered Democrat, I only had the Dems’Â literature hanging from my knob daily seeking my vote. Not oneÂ of the candidates, whether it was Jerry Brown, Barbara Boxer,Â some Democrat running for dog catcher, etc… NotÂ oneÂ of themÂ would endorse Proposition 19.Â
That’s a bad sign. That needs toÂ change.
I reported last week that the growers up north were havingÂ a change of heart concerning Prop 19. Many of the people whoÂ I spoke to told me, “We’re voting for it, no matter how manyÂ people say we’re not.” Well, that didn’t happen.
I called upÂ north this morning to talk to some of the growers and apparentlyÂ they had another change of heart, and voted against Prop 19.
“When the economical climate is rough, people getÂ desperate,” one grower said. “The growers up here aren’tÂ any different than anyone else when it comes to money. TheÂ Rand think-tank had something to do with it. When they statedÂ growers would get less if Prop 19 passed, that woke a lot ofÂ people up.”
I asked Mendocino iconÂ Tim Blake
Â what he thought.
“I knew every grower was against it,” Blake said. “There really isn’t anÂ upside for us up here. If it passed, many, many people wouldÂ lose money. The language of the bill was bad and the growersÂ couldn’t be sure where the market was going to go.”
“Then thereÂ was that Eric Holder thing where he said he’d bust us even if itÂ passed,” Blake said. “Most growers would rather go back to the old days, theÂ old way of doing things. And why not? You’re making threeÂ times what you used to in the old days.”
What do you think is going to happen next?
“I think people are going to rework the bill,” Blake said. “This timeÂ have it much clearer concerning commerce, transportation andÂ cultivation. Don’t leave it up to each county to decide theirÂ individual laws. We’re in a shocked and rocked economy. ThatÂ is why the scare tactics from the other side worked. Let’s takeÂ two years and get this right. Fair for everyone.”
What do you think the ramifications are for you and theÂ growers up north because of Prop 19 not passing?
“I don’t know, too early to tell. But I’ll tell you one thing.Â For being on the losing side, we’re doing pretty good.”