Mariellen Jurkovich: Read Flawed Prop 19 For Yourself And Decide – July 21, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I am continually being asked by the press, my patients, and community members how I feel about California’s Proposition 19, also known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010. The questions range from: How will it affect medical marijuana? Will it save California’s incredible budget woes? How will it impact our county? Will it get rid of cartels? Will it be dangerous for my children? What are the pros and cons of this initiative? How should I vote?

These are all valid questions and concerns. My first suggestion always is for anyone interested in this complex subject to read Proposition 19. Know that this is a voter-driven initiative which cannot instantly or easily be changed without a vote from the people or by statute passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor… so, in other words, know who the shareholders are and where personal agendas lie, read between the lines, review your own values and concerns, be careful what you vote for, and in short, become informed.

I took my own advice and read Proposition 19 and did some of my own research.

First, I want to address that this act will allow people 21 years of age or older to possess, cultivate or transport marijuana for personal use. There are restrictions on the amounts that one can possess (1 oz.) and the square footage one can grow in (25 square feet). Many people recognize that the “war on drugs” or prohibition on cannabis for non-violent offenders is not really working.

To allow and limit the amount would, hopefully, eliminate some of the burden and money woes put onto the legal and prison systems. Since, I, personally, feel that too much taxpayers’ money is being spent on prosecuting and imprisoning marijuana users, this seems like a positive move.

It also addresses commercial grows in that they will need to be licensed and regulated by the area they are situated in.

This initiative has excited some because of the prospect of helping California climb out of its deficit problems by promising jobs and a huge tax revenue to the state. Some estimates are that the taxes on cannabis sales could generate billions of dollars in revenue.

The backers of Proposition 19 also feel that millions will be saved by not arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating non-violent cannabis users. This would open up resources and time to combat the dangerous criminal elements that we fear. It is also thought by some that the cartels and dealers will no longer be doing business in an accepted, legal and controlled cannabis industry.

This is all theory, and only time will tell. How is this envisioned? By allowing outlets for sales and commercial growing, cities are allowed to regulate control and tax cannabis. Oakland is a good example. Oakland has been very pro medical marijuana. This city is looking at possibly approving a seven-acre parcel that would make available 371 union jobs, pay an average salary of $53,700 a year, produce 58 pounds of cannabis a day and generate 59 million dollars a year which the city could heavily tax.

This could be the wave of the future. Cities that want to increase revenues may take this model to heart. There is also the possibility of cities and counties encouraging hemp production since this seems to be allowed under Proposition 19. Fear that Marlboro or RG Reynolds could move in and take over are probably premature. This product is still federally illegal and considered a schedule 1 drug by the U.S. Government.

In order to cover public concerns, the writers of Proposition 19 have included the right of cities to tax and regulate cannabis within the city limits. They have also given cities control over cannabis through land use. It would still forbid driving under the influence, disallow interstate or international transportation, retain employers’ rights to not allow cannabis consumption that would affect job performance and medical marijuana laws would remain intact.

This initiative has some positive concepts and ideas. We do need a way to save our fiscally strapped state and stop needless prosecution. I am not sure, though, if this would be the solution and what kind of negative impact could come from the passage of this initiative. I do know that, on one hand, the writers of this initiative pride themselves on having recreational users protected from arrest and prosecution.

What it does not do is protect our young adults. The harsh penal sanctions put on our youth are the reason why I will personally vote NO ON PROPOSITION 19. Only adults who are 21 years or older are allowed to be covered and protected under this initiative. If anyone 18 years or older furnishes a minor with cannabis, they “shall” be punished by imprisonment in state prison for a period of three, five or seven years.

That means that if your 18-year-old is at a party and smokes with a 17-year-old then he or she could be in jeopardy of losing part of their youth in prison. Sending our young adults to prison for three to seven years for cannabis use, in my opinion, is dangerous to our youth and not good for our society. This initiative also states that you cannot use cannabis in front of children. You can smoke and drink alcohol, which are far more dangerous. What happens if you do smoke in your own home in front of children? Can they be taken from you?

There are some good points in this initiative and if these specific points were different, I might be able to support it. This, of course is only my opinion.

I encourage everyone to read The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, also known as Proposition 19. Reach your own conclusions and go out and vote. This is a historical moment in time that you do not want to miss out on.

Mariellen Jurkovich is director of the Humboldt Patient Resource Center, a medical marijuana collective in Arcata.

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29 Responses to “Mariellen Jurkovich: Read Flawed Prop 19 For Yourself And Decide – July 21, 2010”

  1. frank

    “Director of the Humboldt Patient Resource Center, a medical marijuana collective in Arcata.” …
    do you fear to loose your precious patients, don’t you?

  2. Carrol

    So he is all for it until he sees the penalty for giving it to kids, is that possibly part of his clientèle? He would vote no because he is in the business of selling it for 300 to 400 per ounce, if this passes he will be looking at 100 per ounce, thats a big hit for someone who’s been living a kush life off of our hard earned money because they take advantage of people just because they the law makes it possible. If he really “cared” he would sell it for dirt, but its all about the money.


  3. Robert

    19 is a beginning of the legitimization of the plant on a global level.Good for most all, but very risky for a few. Oakland wants a big piece of the action.Growers don’t like it. Kind of like when a city or region wants to run its own utility. PG&E says bad idea. Too many growers use the term Weedmart, then shop at their local Walmart, and don’t get the hypocrisy of it. If Oakland can grow for $30.00 an ounce, does that mean it can be grown for $30.00 a pound outside the US, like computer parts? You can buy wine from $1.99 per 750ml – $2500.00. and yes one is better. I am sure Napa would like to ban 2 buck chuck anyway.

  4. Jay

    Only people licensed, permitted or authorized to sell marijuana will have civil or criminal penalties.

  5. Dan

    The current law is 3 or 5 years if you supply a minor under 21 with pot. People read prop 19 and seem to think that is a new penalty. It is not.

    Prop 19 only references current laws, then it reduces the penalty for selling to someone between 18-21 with a fine from prison time. This on its own is an improvement.

    The other thing to keep in mind, at the very end of prop 19, it says that the state can reduce any punishment or increase growing space.

    It just can’t increase them. The proponents didn’t tackle all issues, as they didn’t want the prop 19 debate to be focussed on whether kids should smoke pot.

  6. Mark Godfrey

    That’s one weak argument.

    Or to be more precise, it’s a great argument *FOR* Prop 19.

    Suddenly two-thirds through the article the author takes some bizarre, unsupported detour into the youth for some unexplained reason. “Think about the children” is the tired, nonsensical argument that has nothing to do with adult regulation.

    It’s kids, it’s just an emotional argument designed to scare us parents from thinking about it logically.

    If this is the best the other side has to offer, cannabis has won thank it’s Creator!

  7. Richard Steeb

    Prop 19 is not perfect, but the prohibition of Cannabis is an abomination.

    Any questions?

  8. I love california

    Well I suppose every one gets there option but it is clear Mariellen Jurkovich didn’t really read Proposition 19.

    The way the Proposition reads says the if an 18 year old is smoking with a 15 year old he could get in trouble.(3 years of separation.) I don’t believe an 18 year old should be hanging around a 15 year old in the first place smoking pot so, the law is setup to give a small slap(probation) on the wrist. The 3,5,7 year sentences are for repeat drug dealers that are preying on the younger kids.

    The 18 to 21 laws are about the same as alcohol. Slap on the wrist first offense,harsher penalties after that.

    People with a vested interest will always have one sided views.

    If Ms. Mariellen Jurkovich weren’t more that a capitalist that is looking to get rich, she could see that Legalization of marijuana is a plus no matter how you get it.

    If we can pass a bill, we have the power to change what we want as The People.

  9. I love exposing

    I love how everyone who read this and posted a comment exposed this person! She is a Medical Marijuana Profiteer, thats it, she knows how legalization will affect HER PROFITS! Thats why she is bad mouthing it! Its simple with legalization every joe smho over 21 can grow and buy, there will be much more weed in supply thus bringing the price DOWN! This bitch will not be able to charge $300-400 an ounce any longer! GREED GREED GREED!!! I really hope prop 19 passes we need this, we need the money, we need the safety, we need to hurt evil cartels! YES ON PROP 19. I cant wait for her to read this and see all the comments left showing her we dont buy her bullshit scare tactics!

  10. Peter

    I agree with the above posters. Prop 19 would be much more lenient all around. If your starving, you don’t refuse a sandwich because you wanted a steak.

  11. Adam lorenzen

    look prop19 may not be perfect but it’s the best we got and it will not supersede prop215 so “”read”” this one real “”good”” if you are 18-20 go get on 215 one more time if you are 18-20 go get on 215 as prop19 will not supersede prop215 as it is now if you are 55yr old and give some that’s 30yr old a joint guess what you can go to jail
    Mariellen Jurkovich had to be real high wen he to a look at prop19 to over see a lot of it all i see is a guy that’s selling weed to children and don’t want to lose his money from kids funny how all the people that are for cannabis but not for prop 19 are the people that make money on prop215 hay Mariellen Jurkovich i got the Original prop 215 bill in my hand maybe you need to take a look at before you try to talk smack on prop19 i now fill dumber after reading you article

  12. Leonard Krivitsky, MD, DD

    It is interesting that the opponents of CA Prop. 19 call themselves “Public safety first”. And this is when it has been conclusively shown by experts that Cannabis use suppresses violent behavior (as opposed to alcohol), and that Cannabis can even be potentially useful in addiction treatment, that is in helping people stay off booze and dangerous hard drugs or prescription drugs. Mexican drug cartels also oppose Legalization because if Cannabis is legalized all their illegal distribution networks are no longer needed. Recent scientific Conference in LA also stressed that current situation is unacceptable and unsustainable, and that it is supported by “prison-industrial complex” in this country because those are the people who benefit financially from more prisons and more prisoners. The so-called “public safety first” campaign against Proposition 19 is simply not entitled to use this name for their lies and distortions, because if we talk about “public safety”, it is the supporters of Prop. 19 and not its opponents who really care about it. Public safety will be much better served if the Proposition passes, rather than if it fails!

  13. If public safety is their concern, they ought to consider that people are shooting each other over cannabis around here on a regular basis – not because of the drug itself, but because of the prohibition that sets up the black market.

  14. Karri

    Really? After making a living off of prop 215, you now want to use the “what about the children” argument to suppress responsible adults access to legal cannabis? You realize that a larger majority of people use cannabis recreationally, and not medically, and all of us recreational users are subject to prison, fines, loss of jobs, loss of our children and loss of quality of the rest of our lives due to criminal records? Prop 19 does NOT ADD penalties that are not already in place. We need every vote we can to end the war against citizens who choose a safer alternative to alcohol. If prop 19 does not pass, I will blame it on the greedy dispensary owners who want to protect their bogus profits by adding to the reefer madness by spreading lies. It was many “recreational activists” who fought hard to make sure the sick got to go to the front of the line of legalization, and frankly it is a slap in the face to us that YOU who have obviously benefited are now taking an “I gots mine” attitude. Shame on you Mariellen Jurkovich!

  15. Without commenting on the specifics of her beliefs as stated here, I’d only point out that Mariellen and her Humboldt Patient Resource Center have gone far beyond any of the other cannabis centers in town by using some of their proceeds to subsidize the Humboldt Wellness Center. It offers an amazing variety of resources to the community, all for free.

    Mariellen is doing a lot more for the community than most if not all of Arcata’s other cannabis centers. Plus she takes the risk of contributing to the discussion, not hiding behind false names. For that she has distinguished herself and HPRC.

  16. Karri

    Thank you Kevpod for pointing that out. I would then URGE Mr. Jurkovich to re-read the current laws against cannabis and it’s consumers and really think about what is good for the children and youth of Arcata and the rest of California. California has the blessings of forward thinking individuals that want to legalize cannabis for adults, California also has the burden of taking the rest of the country down this path with them. Activists all over the nation have a stake in the passage of Prop 19. This vote is about so much more than California as cannabis activists all over the Nation are holding our breath and crossing our fingers to help our argument that the time is NOW to reform the cruel and unjust cannabis laws. If prop 19 does not pass I fear that the “better, more perfect” proposition that may or may not come after will surely fail as well. Who is the next multi-millionaire that wants to stake a fortune on passing a similar but only slightly changed worded measure? If this fails, most will say that “we tried that already” when asking for the millions of dollars spent on getting this on the ballot.

  17. Karri

    And taken from Mariellen’s argument,
    “You can smoke and drink alcohol, which are far more dangerous. What happens if you do smoke in your own home in front of children? Can they be taken from you?”
    ….the answer to that is YES, they can be taken from you, right now, whether Prop 19 passes or not….

  18. I agree with you. It’s well beyond time to move forward on this issue.

  19. Sandra

    I understand that the city believes that legalizing pot will decriminalize much of the African American population as well as nonviolent pot users. My main concern is that legalizing pot is not going to stop drug dealers from pushing harder drugs like meth, crack and coke to younger people. I was born and raised in Oakland and I still live here. I was fortunate enough to be able to not get stuck in the system. Yes, I do smoke pot occasionally, but I feel that legalizing pot is just going to worsen society and not help the community.

    One of my friends teaches 4th grade at a public school south of International Blvd. This past school year, she had to send half of her 30 student class to the principals office for suspension for the distribution and use of pot. These are 10 year olds smoking and selling pot. What makes people think that that these children won’t be selling and using crack or meth?

  20. Hey there a bug with the blog on OPera the sidebar is weird :/

  21. Eurekite

    that is just a ridiculous conclusion. talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater!

  22. Peggy

    I read you loud and clear. This will hurt your bottom-line, so you are voting no. Traitor.

  23. Conservative Christian

    Proposition 19 will allow ordinary American citizens to grow a little marijuana in their own backyards. It will carve the guts out of the drug gangs, get the drug cartels out of our communities, put an end to most of the border violence, and reduce illegal immigration.
    As the discussion goes forward, let’s remember to ask our fellow parents and grandparents, “If our child or grandchild got caught with a little marijuana, would we want him or her to go to jail, lose their college financial aid, spend a few days locked up with the sexual predators…?” If our kids or grandkids get a little off track, Proposition 19 makes it less likely that they will end up in jail over something as minor as marijuana.

    Californians: register to vote at
    h t t p s://w w w Just fill out the form and mail it in!

    Citizens of other states can Google your state name and “voter registration” to find out how to register; a lot of states allow instant on-line registration. Do it now so you can vote in November!

  24. shannon

    No is the only choice. The people of California are blind. This is all about Richard Lee and Company. Oh, they will employ a couple thousand ? What about the 10’s of thousands of people it employs now. We should put 10 people on unemployment and take 1 off. That in itself is insane… Your city will TAX the Fuck out the weed you want to smoke or grow. They control it all with this proposition. Rancho Cordova, Ca is already trying to impose a $600.00 per square foot Tax on your grow space. YEA, CHECK IT OUT !!! If you think EVERY city won’t do the same shit, you’re STUPID !!! So, you won’t be able to afford to grow. Then what do you do ? You buy from Richard Lee and Company. His “Partner” will be growing 58-60 pounds a day for you. At a cost of $175.00 per ounce. Do you think that’s what you will pay for it ? Uh, no. Why would he give it to YOU at cost ? Expect to pay around $400.00 at least. I’m SURE it will be AAA FIRE, Huh ? Not a FAT CHANCE IN HELL !!! It will be MASS PRODUCED SHIT WEED !!! Get a clue California……

  25. real cali guy

    You got it right Shannon people just don’t get it they act like they have spent the whole lives in a cave, its so fucking insulting what lee and party are doing and so obvious!!!! this is all about big busyness and control.

  26. I have a question. Do you oppose any form of cannabis legalization/decriminalization, or just the measure that’s on the ballot? Please clarify.

  27. […] opposing Prop 19. An article from my favorite newspaper……0july-21-2010/ More later. Remember, PROP 19 is a SCAM. VOTE NO! A new "radio" station is on […]

  28. Matt C

    I’m lolling at the disinformation campaign that just started to unfold in the last few comments. Normally I think people are dumb enough to fall for crap like that, but after reading all the comments on this page I know the readers will see right through it.

    [Profane personal attack deleted by moderator.]

  29. Dr. Rome

    Over the years the government both state and federal have classified marijuana as an illegal substance. Many regular and hardworking people have been put in jail/prison and made into criminals. Lives have been shattered and billions of dollars have been wasted.

    We are now living in a time where marijuana and marijuana consumption/cultivation/possession are low priority offenses. People all over the state of California can score pot anytime they like and smoke in many different venues. Anybody can go out and get a medical license and set up shop in their back yard or extra office space or attic or wherever it is people like to grow their pot.

    The price of marijuana has been fairly consistent over the last 15-20 years. And the money that is made off of marijuana currently, for the most part, stays within the marijuana community. Growers get paid to grow good pot and they do a fine job of it. It is hard work and they deserve to be paid well. These are locally created jobs for and by the people. The money that does not remain within the marijuana community is pumped back into our local economies.

    Now, what happens when Uncle Sam gets involved? You can guaruntee that he’ll be taxing marijuana heavily. Who pays that tax? If you buy pot, that’s you! Will that make the price of pot go up or down? I’m going to go ahead and go with my gut here and say that taxing pot will increase the cost of a lid to the average buyer.

    What about the growers? Well, with pot being legal and all, the market will become flooded, driving the growers selling prices down. Meaning they don’t get paid so well for all that hard work they’re doing now. The pot being sold will still be taxed so don’t think that you’re getting a break just because the farmers can’t keep the prices where they have been.

    This makes for a perfect set-up for corporate take over. Large corporate entities will have a marijuana market that is primed. Mom and Pop growers will not be able to compete with large scale industrial production methods and will be driven from the market. All of those profits that used to circulate within small local communities will be redistributed to CEO’s, CFO,s, and all sorts of other corporate minded folk that don’t live near you or your community. They’re goal is simple: to make money off of you. And those guys will be working hand in hand with, you guessed it, Uncle Sam!

    Wasn’t it Uncle Sam who was fucking us from the get go? Wasn’t it the US government that told us that pot smokers are criminals and that they deserve to go to prison? And now the government wants to reap the benefits. The government wants to tax marijuana sales? And do what with the money? I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked I couldn’t figure out what the government was doing with my money, but I can be sure that they weren’t spending it on items that I felt were of any value such as education, social services, health care, etc.

    My advice, keep marijuana where it belongs, in your communities. We have a good thing going here people.


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