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STEVE ELLIOTT

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Arturo Rodriguez, United Farm Workers [Hector Amezcua / The Sacramento Bee]
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Arturo Rodriguez, United Farm Workers:
“Proposition 64 will bring legal justice and job training to communities of color that have been cynically targeted by the failed war on marijuana” [Hector Amezcua / The Sacramento Bee]

United Farm Workers (UFW), founded by Cesar Chavez, on Monday officially endorsed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which will be on California’s statewide ballot in November.

“Proposition 64 will bring legal justice and job training to communities of color that have been cynically targeted by the failed war on marijuana,” said UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez. “It also extends strong worker and safety protections for those who toil in the fields of this industry and work in every part of the supply chain. UFW is pleased to endorse it.”

The UFW is the nation’s first successful and largest farm workers union currently active in 10 states. The UFW continues to organize in major agricultural industries across the nation.

Proposition 64, according to its backers, “includes strong safeguards for children, workers, local governments and small businesses and strict anti-monopoly provisions and the toughest warning label and marketing-to-kids laws in the nation.”

It is supported by the United Food & Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), California Academy of Preventative Medicine, California Nurses Association and the California Medical Association, as well as a bipartisan group of federal, state and local elected officials, and an unprecedented coalition including environmental leaders, business owners, small farmers, civil rights groups, public safety experts and social justice advocates.

There is, however, a significant amount of opposition to Prop. 64, and not just the expected resistance from pot haters. It’s also run into resistance from some cannabis activists who fear a replay of the loss of patient access that happened in Washington state after recreational legalization measure I-502 passed there.

According to these activists, mom-and-pop medical marijuana businesses, which have been allowed to do business as patient collectives for 20 years now in the state, will in many lose their legal ability to grow weed and distribute the medicine to patients. They are concerned about the California legalization measure being, like Washington’s, more friendly to deep-pocketed investors and corporations than to the community which established cannabis in the state in the first place.

 

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