Bill McPike, an old marijuana attorney, who has worked with lots of people in “the movement,” has posted on Facebook that:
“I’m voting YES for Prop. 64 – recreational use as it lowers all MJ [marijuana] felonies to misdemeanors, and saves hundreds of millions of dollars in law enforcement – incarceration costs. The rest is bunk, but this is a stepping stone, not to be cast aside by those who argue about ZERO controls, taxes and regulations. Time to grow up.”
Did anyone find that persuasive? No? Good. When someone, especially an attorney, suggests in under 100 words that a YES vote on a 62-page-long and confusing initiative is a GOOD idea, BEWARE! That’s a lawyer’s trick. When the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. When the law is on your side, pound on the law. And when NOTHING is on your side, pound on the podium or, in this case, toss a little “word sand” into the audience’s eyes.
Bill McPike, I’d tell you to be more careful about your legal analysis and your legal advice when you offer it to the general public, except that, of course, it seems clear to me that either someone who writes like Chris Conrad is spoofing being Bill McPike, or your Facebook posts are actually work that you’re doing for a client who is paying you to confuse the public.
Yes, for readers who don’t know how lawyers work, they can be hired by clients to try to confuse judges to get a court case to go in a client’s favor. But lawyers don’t only do this to judges; they also do it to us, the public. That’s because lawyers are also hired to represent clients in “the court of public opinion,” where they try their best to make a weasel-ly client look like Mother Teresa. Or to make Sean Parker look like Madame Curie.
Based on Bill’s Facebook post, all I can think is that apparently he’s been hired to help the pro-Prop. 64 people, because his statements about Prop. 64’s “benefits” are ridiculous. If this post really was from Bill McPike (I’ve sent this to Bill, too, so he can see it to make sure and disavow it if he got spoofed), then I hope the pro-AUMA people are paying Bill well, but I doubt it; I hear they’re cheapskates. Right, Chris Conrad?
So let’s see what’s wrong with Bill’s (or whoever it really is) FB post. People would think from Bill’s FB post that there are NO marijuana-related felonies anymore, none at all, if Prop. 64 passes. That nothing anyone can do with marijuana can get them any jail or prison time. But that isn’t true, is it? Do you think that selling marijuana without an expensive state license under Prop. 64 is no longer a felony? Do you think that transporting marijuana across state lines without an expensive permit and license under Prop. 64 is no longer a felony? If so, I have a bridge to sell you.
In the first place, anyway, it’s silly to only talk about felonies to most people, who are primarily going to get popped –a lot! — for all those marijuana-related misdemeanors if Prop. 64 passes.
Imagine anyone saying, “I got arrested and charged with two misdemeanors, but no problem, at least they’re not felonies.” Having a misdemeanor on your record is bad, and it can cost you a lot of time and money, too. If Prop. 64 passes, there are not only lots of potential misdemeanors waiting for people who use and grow marijuana, but, after too many misdemeanors, the system will start charging your offenses as felonies.
And in terms of time in the joint, most people would rather go to prison than to county jail – which is where you go for misdemeanors. Under Prop. 64, if it passes, God help us, a 16-year-old kid who gets caught growing only ONE plant can be sent to jail for 16 months, or two or three years! And once the Legislature takes away the Prop. 64 revocable privilege to grow a MAXIMUM of six plants, that same jail time will apply to all adults caught growing ANY marijuana.
Second, I dare Bill McPike or anyone to show me how Prop. 64 will save any money in law enforcement costs. If anyone who looks under 21 can be stopped and questioned about whether what they looked like they just hid in their pocket was a joint or a cigarette, that uses police time (and that costs $). And anyone who’s been carded at the grocery store when they buy beer knows, if you even look under 30, the police, like the grocery store clerk, will be able to say – and be believed by a judge – “I stopped him because he looked under 21.” And then anything they discover when they stop you to question you can be used to arrest you!
That’s right: Prop. 64 is designed to work with the increasingly bad laws about searches and seizures; it creates an open hunting season on everyone! No wonder NORML, the National Organization for Referral to Marijuana Lawyers, loves Prop. 64! (I’m sending this to some of those NORML traitors, too.)
If Prop. 64 passes, anyone, patient or not, can be busted for more than the number of plants their local jurisdiction allows. Under Prop. 215, since patients can grow as much as they need, with no plant number limits, it’s made it hardly worthwhile for the police to even investigate people. The police who know what’s going on LOVE Prop. 64, and how it will increase the use of police time, too, AND the possibility that they can find some really great stuff.
Yes, if Prop. 64 passes, and if the Legislature doesn’t revoke the privilege to grow, then, to get that permit or license to grow from your local city or county, you’ll have to sign an agreement to allow warrantless searches – and those searches cost money, too. And don’t think the police will only look at your plants – they’ll be looking everywhere, to make sure you don’t have any other plants hidden in a closet. All these searches cost law enforcement money –and all the people who get busted as a result will cost incarceration costs, too.
And since the industry is going to be so tightly controlled, and since Prop. 64 is set up so the Bureau of Marijuana Control can have its own enforcement arm, that’s going to cost law enforcement $$$ too, isn’t it?
And let’s not forget this: under Prop. 64, it will be illegal to smoke pot in any public place (that means anywhere that is not inside someone’s house or in their yard). And even then, if smoke or vapor can be smelled outside your own yard or home, Prop. 64 makes that illegal, too.
Prop. 64 also makes possession by anyone under 21 illegal, and makes possession of even a gram over an ounce by adults a crime, too. There will be lots of reasons for the police to be deeply, passionately, fully involved in enforcement if Prop. 64 passes.
And when people get a ticket for any of the many, MANY things that Prop. 64 makes illegal, and when they don’t show up in court, then they’ll get an FTA, failure to appear, and that’s a crime, too.
And what about when people can’t pay the $500 that a $100 ticket is going to cost, once you add in all the court costs? Any attorney should know better than most about all the hassles this will cause people who use marijuana, and any attorney who’s made their living representing such people does know better. So why would such an attorney make this kind of Facebook post? Looking for future business, perhaps? As usual, NORML and some attorneys are promoting laws that will mean full employment for attorneys – which is why NORML really stands for the National Organization for Referral to Marijuana Lawyers!
Bill McPike, if you are the person who posted that to Facebook, please go tell your clients to pound sand. We are not buying any of the BS that their paid hucksters are putting out there. LOL, Sean Parker has had to shut down his Face-Book page to outside posts and comments, because so many people are on to him and his billionaire friends’ effort to take control of California Cannabis, and to try to single-handedly support the prison/jail/law enforcement industry!
FYI, I am an attorney, but I’ve never charged or made a single penny representing people charged with marijuana crime. I worked as an attorney for the state of California for many years, saved my money, didn’t drink or gamble it away, didn’t buy fancy cars or loose women, and I like and use marijuana for my multiple sclerosis. In other words, there is no financial incentive for me to lie, and every social and personal reason for me to tell the truth about Prop. 64.
As far as I’m concerned, it should have been numbered 666!
Let’s see if Dale Gierenger of CalNOMRL, or Kandice Hawes of OC NORML, or Allen St. Pierre of NORML, or any of these traitors can actually defend Prop. 64 in a public forum, like this yahoo group, which is run by a moderator who does not censor people.
Don’t forget, when you go to a website that has a “moderator,” that’s just polite word for a censor. The prop-Prop. 64 people must censor posts to keep all the bad news about this sick initiative from spewing out like vomit.