FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2010
Radio Ad Features Former Deputy Sheriff
(California) On the heels of the Secretary of State’s announcement that the Initiative to Control and Tax Cannabis has qualified for California’s November ballot, the campaign today launched its advertising campaign with a radio commercial featuring a former law enforcement official.
The campaign’s first commercial, running on stations in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area media markets, features former LA Deputy Sheriff and police officer Jeffrey Studdard. In the ad, available at www.TaxCannabis.org/Radio, Studdard explains his support for the Initiative:
Like many other cops and law enforcement professionals, I’ve seen firsthand that the current approach on cannabis is simply not working.
It’s led to violent drug cartels, dealers in our schools and our streets, and cost millions of dollars – without reducing consumption.
That’s why cops support Tax Cannabis 2010, the initiative to control and tax cannabis.
It will provide billions to fund what matters, and allow police to focus on violent crime.
It’s time to control it, and tax it.
Studdard comes from a law enforcement family – his father served as a Sergeant with the LAPD. He survived a shooting while on duty during the Rodney King riots, and was appointed to the Officer in the Classroom position to educate students about drugs and alcohol.
The California Secretary of State announced last week that the Initiative to Control and Tax cannabis has qualified for the November ballot. Reflecting the Initiative’s broad and diverse support, the Secretary of State revealed that vastly more than enough signatures were submitted from voters from across the state in near-record time.
The news was hailed by a number of veteran law enforcement officials across California, including Retired Superior Court Judge James P. Gray and Kyle Kazan, a retired Torrance Police Officer.
(For more on the public safety benefits of the Initiative, please see http://www.taxcannabis.org/index.php/pages/public-safety-benefits-fact-sheet)
Similar to the current regulation of alcohol and tobacco, the Initiative will give local governments the ability to control and tax the sale of small amounts of cannabis to adults age 21 and older. The Initiative includes significant safeguards and controls: it will increase the penalty for providing marijuana to a minor, expressly prohibit the consumption of marijuana in public, forbid smoking marijuana while minors are present, and ban possession on school grounds.
Studies by the Board of Equalization and the Legislative Analyst Office show that the Initiative will generate billions of dollars in revenue to fund schools and public safety. Several recent polls have shown the Initiative has the support of a majority of California voters.
California’s tax regulator, the Board of Equalization, which currently collects alcohol and tobacco taxes, estimates that cannabis taxes could generate $1.4 billion in revenue each year, available to fund schools, law enforcement, and other critical needs.
The California Legislative Analyst's Office, which provides nonpartisan fiscal and policy advice, states that in addition to generating new tax revenue, the Initiative would allow correctional and law enforcement resources to be redirected to more pressing needs. The LAO says that in addition to generating “a few hundred millions of dollars annually” it could also save “several tens of millions of dollars annually” and permit the “redirection of court and law enforcement resources.”
(For more on the fiscal benefits of the Initiative, please see: http://www.taxcannabis.org/index.php/pages/fiscal-benefits-fact-sheet)
polls show that a majority of California voters support controlling and
widely-respected Field Poll revealed that 56% of voters support the
Private research conducted by the campaign has confirmed the Field Poll’s data showing majority support for the Initiative. Additionally, the campaign’s research revealed that 80% of voters believe California’s current laws criminalizing cannabis have failed, 69% of voters were more likely to support the Initiative when they learned that it “will not allow cannabis to be sold to minors or near schools,” and 68% are more likely to support it when they hear that it will “take business away from street dealers, breaking their hold on our neighborhoods.”