OC & Riverside Democrats Struggle to Reverse California's Potpocalypse

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Jay Brockman
When it comes to mainstream American politics, usually it's the Libertarian Party that one would associate with a pro-marijuana (medical or otherwise) agenda, but now you can add the Democratic Party to that very brief list.

To wit: in Riverside, the very town whose fight over a local ban on marijuana dispensaries produced last week's California Supreme Court ruling saying all cities have the right to prohibit such clubs, activists are now struggling to reverse the anti-420 tide.

Trying to get Democrats to turn the anti-pot tide isn't going to be easy. According to Paul Lucas, a longtime OC Dem activist, he struggled to get the 35 signatures needed to form a California Democratic Central Committee Hemp and Cannabis Caucus, but was only able to garner 20 names. He credits Joe Shaw, a member of the Huntington Beach city council, with being the only elected official brave enough to add his name to the list.

Meanwhile, word comes today that the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee (RCDCC) is holding a meeting today to hear a proposed resolution calling for state lawmakers to enact regulations that would allow cannabis collectives to operate in California without fear of criminal or civil penalties.

"If the RCDCC passes the resolution, then we can get medical marijuana patents who are Democrats in other counties to take the resolution to their Democratic Central Committees and kick start the groundswell of support needed to get statewide regulations passed," says Lanny Swerdlow, a medical marijuana activist in Riverside, who announced the meeting in his Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project (MAPP) newsletter.

"Getting the grassroots of the Democrat Party to support regulation would be a big boost in convincing Democratic legislators to vote for statewide regulations," Swerdlow argues. "With Democrats in super-majority control of the state legislature, their support is absolutely critical, but let's not write off Republican support either. A groundswell of support for statewide regulations might also convince some Republicans to realize that it would be in their re-election best interest to support statewide regulations too."

Swerdlow is hoping to get as many local medical marijuana activists as possible to show up to this evening's RCDCC meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. at Brandon's Diner, which is located at 24626 Sunnymead Blvd in Moreno Valley, CA 92553.

Let the anti-potpocalypse begin!

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