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It's A Gray Area: A chance to support regulating marijuana

July 30, 2011|By James P. Gray

On Sept. 1 you will have a chance to help us make history. On this date there will be an event to support the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Initiative that will be on the November 2012 ballot. Please join us.

The event will be hosted by Richard Moriarty at his Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery, 2128 Mesa Drive, Newport Beach, which overlooks the Back Bay from behind the Newport Beach Golf Course. This truly interesting winery isn't open to the public, and doesn't give public tastings, but Richard is opening his doors for us because he believes in this cause.

The honorary host for the reception will be Assemblyman Chris Norby, and Steve Downing, the former deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, will be joining me as a co-host. The reception will be in the Wine Cave from 6 to 8 p.m. But it will be preceded by a VIP tour led by Richard. This will consist of not only the grounds of the winery, but he will also show us the Lamborghini that he has hanging from the wall of his living room. In addition, he will be "firing up" the Lamborghini's engine, which he has turned into a coffee table in his garage.

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So this experience will be fun and obviously something to share with your friends. But the main reason to attend is to help turn our great country away from its failed and hopeless policy of Marijuana Prohibition. As you know, even though it is fully illegal under federal law, marijuana is still California's largest cash crop (grapes are No. 2!).

And marijuana is also the largest source of revenue for juvenile street gangs, Mexican drug cartels and lots of other thugs. By passing Regulate Marijuana Like Wine, we can take much of that money away from these violent groups. Of course, the additional benefit of being able to tax the sale of marijuana is not the reason to vote for this initiative, but the extra tax revenue won't hurt either.

Of course regulating marijuana like wine will not eliminate these criminal organizations, but today Mexican drug cartels are not planting illegal vineyards in our national forests in competition with Robert Mondavi. In addition, teenagers are not selling Jim Beam to each other on their high school campuses, but they are selling marijuana to each other all the time.

Why? Because it is illegal!

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