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Legalizing Marijuana - A New Republican Strategy?
by Mike Rhodes (MikeRhodes [at] Comcast.net)
Thursday Aug 3rd, 2006 6:06 PM
The Republican Party has a new voter registration project in Fresno. It involves luring people to sign a LEGALIZE MARIJUANA petition and then re-registering them as Republicans.
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Legalizing Marijuana - A New Republican Strategy?
By Mike Rhodes

The attractive young woman says to me, "would you sign our petition to legalize marijuana?" I don’t have to think twice and say "sure, where do I sign?" That is when it got interesting. She says, "Do you have your ID with you?" "Well, yes I do, but what does that have to do with..." I say as she responds with "oh, we just have to verify your ID." Thinking that this has something to do with making sure they have valid names for a ballot initiative I comply.

As I’m filling out my name and address on the petition I notice that the young lady is filling out a very official looking form. Probably just the ballot initiative form, I think to myself. Then, she says "is it OK if I register you as a Republican?" "What?!?" I say "yes, I do mind! What are you doing?" She says that if I register Republican she will get an extra 10 cents. But, I complain, "I don’t want to re-register." She explains that this is just to update the records for the County Clerks office. I repeat that "I do not want or need to update my records." I am repeatedly told that it is OK and that they just want to update my voter registration records. She also tells me that she is working for the Republican party, being paid hourly, and that the ploy about the "10 cent bonus" was not accurate.

This Republican party employee goes on to tell me that she is there to attract people to the table that is set up in Fresno’s Courthouse Park, and that the legalize marijuana petition is just a prop. She confirmed that there is no ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. She said that the petition will be given to an elected official in Sacramento. I have my doubts about that.

At this point in the conversation, she called over her "boss" who was talking with someone a short distance away. I introduced myself as the editor of the Community Alliance newspaper and said I was interested in writing a story about the petition campaign and their registering people with the Republican party. I guess that wasn’t the right approach to get him to open up to me. The "boss" gave me no information. He even refused to give me a copy of the marijuana legalization petition I had just signed.

Later that day I called Victor Salazar, the Fresno County Clerk. Salazar said that the process sounded deceptive and that I might want to call the Secretary of State fraud investigation unit. I called the number for the fraud investigation unit repeatedly today. Apparently, nobody was in the office today and all I got was an answering machine. I will continue to call.

I also went back to Courthouse Park today to see the Republican Party project was again in full operation. They seemed to have different approaches to different groups. To white men that looked like they might be attorneys, they asked if they were registered to vote. When Latinos walked by they would throw out the legalize marijuana angle.

###

§The Petition
by Mike Rhodes Thursday Aug 3rd, 2006 6:06 PM
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Republican Party employees used this petition to lure people to their table. Once there, they re-registered them with the Republican Party.
§Courthouse Park
by Mike Rhodes Thursday Aug 3rd, 2006 6:06 PM
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The Republican’s are increasing their party’s numbers in Fresno Courthouse Park by what some would say are deceptive practices. Photos by Mike Rhodes

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by elliot
Friday Aug 4th, 2006 12:26 AM
Cool! We need more pot smoking Republicans!
by Mike Novack
Friday Aug 4th, 2006 7:21 AM
What you need to tell us (add to the story) is you evidence for concluding that the STATE Republican party is being dishonest assoiciating itself with decriminalization of marijuanna.

NOT that their decision to cease opposing mrijuanna is self serving, designed to get them more votes, etc. IF (a big if) it is true that they really are ceasing to support criminalization of marijuanna use.

Like DUH -- that's how most changes occur in society. One side or the other quits.

Those of us who oppose the Republicans (maybe we oppose the Democrats too) have no "right" that the Republicans refrain from supporting things that we want. It isn't unfair. We have a gripe if they are running a FAKE campaign but if you want to make that sort of charge you need to provide evidence. Like all of us, the people who are Republicans are getting older. Damn few left in charge who grew up before the 60's. So you can assume that MOST of the movers and shakers in the CA Republican party lit up in their day and may not consider it any big deal.
by Richard Gomez
(nate136_66 [at] yahoo.com) Friday Aug 4th, 2006 12:48 PM
Hey, I thought those guys looked familiar! I hadn't been downtown for a while but I remember giving them a hard time. I think they wanted to legalizing lynching the poor or something like that. This guy didn't bother asking me if I was registered, just "sign my pettition to legalize pot, sir." When he asked for some ID, I simply said that I had been voting for ten years at the same place and the guy said nothing more. I noticed that it looked kind of like a "generic" pettition but didn't think much of it. It wasn't lynching the non-believers or stoning to death the fornicators of the world so i figured- no big deal. Of course, as a Republican I can now get away with robbing and slaughtering the poor and the innocent. I can now hobnob with the snobbish arrogant a--holes of the world and if I vote via the computer, my vote will count two or three time as any one elses. Whhheeeee!!
by Mike Rhodes
(MikeRhodes [at] Comcast.net) Friday Aug 4th, 2006 5:15 PM
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Update

I received a call from an investigator from the Secretary of State Fraud Investigation Unit at 4 PM on Friday. He told me that it sounds like this group is in violation of an infraction of the law, related to signing people up to vote without telling them what you are doing. He said that he would get on the trail of these desperado’s first thing Monday morning.

As far as the question (see comment above) that maybe the Republican Party has “seen the light” and now supports legalizing marijuana - not a chance. The Republican Party does not support the legalization of marijuana.

I have also had several people ask me for phone numbers for the SOS Fraud Investigation Unit. If you are in Fresno, you should call Tom Quiroz at (559) 445-6884. I was also given two numbers in Sacramento. Those numbers are: (916) 657-2177, Paul Rutledge or (916) 654-1845, Mark Loren.
by Rich
Saturday Aug 5th, 2006 11:37 AM
Hello Mike,

First off, thank you for the article. As a former Fresno State Student I have seen luring techniques by Republicans and even people who were not Republican but simply doing this as a job for the Republican Party.

Who is going to protect the voting rights of our citizens if its not the State's Attorney?

Fresno State needs to get off their butts too. They only randomly check to see if people are in accordence with the School Rules, or if someone complains. But that too would not stop these criminals from going elseware to break the law.
by Jason
Sunday Aug 6th, 2006 7:21 AM
Its unlikely that this will help Republicans, unless I'm wrong in thinking most of these people are being bamboozled. They will look like and htink they have big numbers till people get to the polls and find out they are now Republicans.
by Jason
Sunday Aug 6th, 2006 9:34 AM
This has been going in on inside Orange County for the last seven or eight months. The Republicans set up petition gatherers at grocery stores and colleges and pay them 10 dollars for every Rep. registration. A lot of times they didn't even tell the person they wer re-registering as a Republican. They were concentrated in the 34th State Senate District, which will be a close race this November. Of course the OC Registrar of Voters didn't do squat to stop this from happening. Hopefully the Fresno County Registrar will, or the Sec. of State's Fraud Division.
The GOP did this all over the place in 2004. Yes, this "legalize marijuana" play as well as other ploys. ONce they got people's data, they switched their party representation. It's also possible where you chose to register as a Democrat, they could dispose of your registration. THey did different things to different people, as is shown here, and they had earnest kids and other paid people often doing it, through the agencies of a well known political operative. In some cases, they took over the "Green Party" - in various states - to do the same things.

Winning elections for the GOP is a process of weaning the vote from people they don't want to vote, on a regular basis, day-by-day. Most people are just not motivated enough to overcome the barriers they find on the day they want to vote, and the ones that are - are usually frustrated anyway - no matter what they think.

This is how Democrats "lose". This is one of a thousand techniques the better funded GOP and it's various private entities that are "non-partisan" and well funded by corporate interests, make sure that on election day, they can explain their victory.

In 2004, in the runup to the election, all reports were that Democrats were outregistering Republicans by huge numbers, after Kerry "lost" - due to a variety of complex techniques of reducing the vote and perhaps even switching the votes (see, on exit polls - http://uscountvotes.org/ ) ( learn one of many techniqus for hacking your own vote on video - amusing http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marty-kaplan/how-to-hack-a-diebold-vot_b_26301.html ), declaring a national security emergency during the vote count in Ohio, and also preventing bona fide recounts - Republicans and the media also began to claim the the GOP had engaged in "the most successful stealth registration campaign in history". They went on to say that "values voters" won the day, even though later, polls showed that this was just fiction. But the story about Republican stealth registration campaign helped make it pretty muddy and seemingly (though not rationally) hard to argue about the extremely improbable exit polls.

Good luck. Be persistent on the fraud investigation. That is a real story. It's very ikely nothing will effectively done unless you keep the pressure on. These things are extremely political, and Democrats are not that good on the issue either, which probably means that either they are extremely naive or possibly somewhat complicit.

Democracy is hard, and powerful interests prefer to manipulate public opinion and manipulate perceptions of what public opinion is rather than to know what it might actually be, if people knew what was actually going on in their names.


No, they won't vote republican, but the electronic voting machines will say that they did, and the voter registration numbers will back up the voting numbers but both will be false. Or maybe I'm just paranoid.
by John
Sunday Aug 6th, 2006 12:57 PM
They pulled this in Pennsylvania and several other states in 2004. They switched the polling place as well as party affiliation.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04297/400512.stm
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/102404Y.shtml
by Artful Goddess
Sunday Aug 6th, 2006 1:39 PM
It doesn't matter how they vote. High Republican registration numbers serve as cover for stolen elections.
These are power hungry people with no love of democracy and no ability to win without deception, fear and false claims of righteousness. They want a one party rule - and an authoritarian rule at that. Basically, they do the exact things they accuse others of doing in an attempt to confuse and distract, knowing most people lack either the time or the critical thinking skills to perform simple deductive reasoning. The GOP is a scourge and must be stopped if we have any hope of retaining what has been given to us at such a dear price by our forefathers. I think a good public beat down of these pricks is a good first step...
by Vemrion
Sunday Aug 6th, 2006 2:58 PM
Man, who can you trust when the Republican Party lets you down? [snort!] [snort!]

It looks like the Republicans are desperately using every trick in the book to make people register as Republicans so that their electoral ploys this November will look more plausible. I'll keep an eye for any of these fake campaigns in my neck of the woods.

At least the Republicans know how popular their drug policy is; which is to say, not at all! Both parties remain committed to the continuation of the failed War on Drugs, despite its unpopularity with voters. Gee, sounds a bit like Iraq, doesn't it?

These ideological wars aren't waged because they're popular -- though they may be at the start -- they are waged to serve as a distraction and a power amplification conduit. The distraction part is obvious, but the power conduit part is less recognized. These wars transfer massive amounts of political, financial and military power to certain people within the government; that is the point of these wars. Bush/Cheney's wartime expansion of executive power is the prototypical example for this type of power amplification, and it is repeated down the chain of command, at least where it's relevant. The Dept. of Education hasn't gained much power from the War in Iraq. But the Drug Czar, the FBI, DEA and the CIA have all benefitted hugely from the War on Drugs.

Of course, the fact that the War on Drugs and the War in Iraq don't make sense from a rational point of view also constitutes an unanncounced War on Logic. Many of the neocons' statements seem to portend an upcoming War on Reality. We can only guess at what comes after that. Perhaps a War on Everybody is in the works?

Before that war, we've got a series of additional wars that need waging. The War on Syria and the long-awaited War on Iran are coming down the pipeline shortly. What other wars will we need after that? Well, perhaps a War on Every Other Islamic Nation will be needed because I suspect they will assume they're next even if they aren't. And who can blame them? We've been invading Islamic nations for awhile now. If we go into Iran and Syria that will make 4 that we've taken out in the last half-decade.

War, war, war!! It's a dirty business, but it hasn't to be waged, doesn't it?

Well, what about the power amplification conduit I mentioned earlier? What about the incredible amount of power we've transferred to the Pentagon, the White House, NSA, CIA and all the corporations helping them wage the war? Doesn't it seem clear that they are addicted to power? They constantly need more of it. They feed, but they're still hungry. More power!

When does it end?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. It ends with the War on Everybody.

from: http://weblog.timoregan.com/2006/08/power-wars-republicans-using-fake.html
by game_hunter
Sunday Aug 6th, 2006 3:03 PM
The reason they're doing this is to inflate the number of registered Republicans in the county so that when they alter the voter counts on election day to try and retain control over the Senate and House it won't look as suspicious. Check out the Florida county by county numbers from the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections. Also check out the Ohio numbers from 2004. One county registered 80% Democratic for no good reason voted nearly 80% Republican. It was a consistent trend in almost all of the rural Democratic strongholds. It was as though the voting numbers were literally swapped. Hmmm. Only evidence of a tamper were the unexplained exit polls and the bizarre discrepancy in the registration numbers compared to the voter turnouts. Since they can quickly destroy the electronic evidence on site that only leaves covering up the voter registration numbers for a completely undetectable crime. Watch the election this time very closely and remember what I posted.
Whats funniest about this to me is...the LOWEST bounty for a Republican registration in California is $3. Is this worker getting scammed by their supervisors or is she just lying?

by Rick Hodgson
Sunday Aug 6th, 2006 8:34 PM
I had the exact same experience as described. When I asked them why they were trying to re-register me as a Republican, the girl said that they were not trying to change anyone's party affiliation, but that she was a Republican herself so she just always asked people if she could register them that way. Meanwhile, the guy behind the counter with her became really defensive and testy with me, saying that if I didn't like what they were doing to take it up with City Hall. Meanwhile, a man in a suit with a briefcase who had been standing next to me began to question them about who they were working for and why they were conducting their operation in an obviously deceptive manner (I had not given anyone permission to re-register me and had told them up-front that I was already registered. She had also told me that they just needed to "update their records in case I had moved or something", and, until pressed on it, made no mention of the fact that the form she was filling out was for voter registration). Again, the guy who was with her became belligerent and refused to tell the man who he worked for or how much, if anything, he was being paid to collect registrations (in fact, he said that he "didn't know" who he worked for, but only who paid him-- a person he would not identify). When he was informed that the man questioning him was an attorney, he basically refused to say anything more or answer any more questions. I asked for the registration form the girl had filled out, and he rather angrily handed it to me and said, "here, take it with you!" It should also be noted that she had not signed the receipt she had handed me, in violation of the law.
by Beel
Monday Aug 7th, 2006 4:26 AM
Here's how the Rs are thinking: since pot is an illegal drug, anyone who signs such a petition is already anti-American. So switching their registration is just a little bit of slick in a good cause. And if CA is like some states, if you're registered R you cannot vote in the D primary, and viceversa. Plus, as has already been noted in the comments, this makes more complex hacking scams look better, e.g., "see, we have all these new R voters." And it's all grounded in "druggies are unAmerican, so who cares." Oh, except for Limbaugh of course.
by Beel
Monday Aug 7th, 2006 5:52 AM
I don't mean to pick on folks in the comments, but the first two responses above are really missing the point in a big way. Even if the Rs decided to support legalization, I hope no-one would let that be the single issue they vote on! These people--Republicans--are mostly proto fascists who want to destroy the country as we have known it. They want an imperial America more or less running the world, they do not trust the democratic process, but believe they are an elite who always knows best, and therefore is morally justified in manipulating voters to achieve their ends. As far as "not supporting either Ds or Rs"--well the real deal is, the only choice you have is D or R. That's how the situation is. It's as true as gravity, and it ain't gonna change right now. Ds are marginally better, i.e., more connected to the people and to democracy. It's imperative that people get the Rs out of control, now, in 2006. That's the whole deal.
by Mattymatt
Monday Aug 7th, 2006 9:32 AM
Looks like they stole the text for their marijuana petition from someone else; an online petition to legalize it in Australia has the same text (scroll to the bottom): http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/351366981?ltl=1154968215
by kaptinemo
Monday Aug 7th, 2006 10:04 AM
Cannabis users are potentially the single largest voting bloc imaginable thanks to spanning almost every demographic in existence. They truly are the 'sleeping giant' of American politics, and would shake the present system to its' foundations were they to finally organize and exert their latent power. It would seem the Reps would covertly agree; why else would they try this stunt to increase their numbers?
by kevin watkins
Monday Aug 7th, 2006 6:03 PM
Cannabis users cross all voting demographics by kaptinemo You are correct. I am working the same angle as the state district representative for the Libertarian party. Besides that the only thing wrong here, and it is a moral judgement not a legal one, is people are being paid by the voter registration card they produce and turn in. This is going on in several states as it is not illegal. Ohio just made it illegal and there it is the Democrats that are complaining about that rule. They made a law that says the person that gets the signature on the registration card has to be the one that turns it in. There are fines to that person if any of the cards wind up being phony. This puts the organizations like rainbow push and acorn out of business because this is a source of income for them. They send out canvassers into the community and get paid by the registration. This pay for registration thing will always lead to fake registrations.
by Tara
Monday Aug 7th, 2006 6:24 PM
Yep, signed a petition and ended up a republican.....shivers.....

This should be illegal!
"Please, just answer the question. Yes or No?"
by Josh
Tuesday Aug 8th, 2006 11:03 AM
OKAY, let me clear this up for some people. As a paid signature gatherer, I can explain what happened to Mike and what these people were doing.

First, there is no connection between registering people officially as republicans and the petition to legalize marijuana. Second, this is not an issue of fraud. Here's why:

At any given point there are groups that want to get an issue to the ballot, and these groups often pay signature gatherers to get the numbers they need. This is paid for by the political parties and by interest groups. Also, it's not always bad-- when I was involved I was taking signatures to protect wildlife areas in San Diego county from further development. Part of the money I was paid was collected at the local unitarian church by members of the community who did not have time to get the signatures themselves.

While I was doing that, I was part of a group of 10-12 people that were gathering signatures. There were petitions that were republican-funded and democrat-funded. Apart from me, all the other signature gatherers were collecting signatures for every single initiative we had. Which is to say they had zero party affiliation-- they did not care about the issues, only the quantity of signatures gathered.

One signature with vaild address confirmed by the office of the registrar of voters paid $1-2.

Now, the republican party was paying at the time $1-4 for registering someone to vote as a republican. It was more in districts that had a democrat majority. They have an interest in growing the number of official republicans in the various districts and are willing to pay for it.

SO-- the reality of most of the signature gatherers you meet is that this is how they put food on the table. They are not concerned with the issues they put in front of you. Furthermore, they have a vested interest (sometimes) in registering people republican... but this is always apart from the petitions. It is very likely that some nothern california group is funding the marijuana issue, and has absolutely nothing to do with the republicans. Furthermore, the paid registration of republicans has existed and been going on for much more time than this particular mj petition.

Lastly, the democrats have also paid to have people register with their party. This was prior to the Bush/Kerry election, however they paid hourly. As far as I know, the republicans have never paid hourly, only per person registered.

If you have any more questions about this process, post them, and will try to answer.
by Josh
Tuesday Aug 8th, 2006 11:12 AM
Re-read comments, need to clarify a couple more things.

First, it is only fraud if someone checks the republican box without telling you. If you understand that you are being registered as republican, it is legal. They can sell it to you however thay want, but if you decide it is okay, then it is legal.

Second, you cannot kick them off a campus, or basically anywhere. This is why: Technically, they are engaging in a ¨peaceful poitical activity¨ in an ¨area open to the public¨, which therefore protects it under first amendment law. Think like this-- if you can raise a picket sign, you can also gather signatures/register people to vote.

Again, any questions, post them.

Josh
by Karen
Tuesday Aug 8th, 2006 11:13 AM
Josh: "It is very likely that some nothern california group is funding the marijuana issue, and has absolutely nothing to do with the republicans."

No. If there were a group that were funding a marijuana initiative, it would have actually said something and had a real goal. Look at the photo of this petition. All it says is that "Restrictions should not be placed." It doesn't demand that the state remove restrictions, for example. Several initiatives will be on ballots around the state this fall: in Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and Santa Cruz. Look at taxandregulate.org for more info about them.

I have done signature gathering where I've been paid by the signature. I do registrations as a way to get more people who can sign the petitions. That tends to not produce good signatures in some places, because a lot of times it seems to be that if someone is not registered to vote, there is a reason (ie, they might be on parole or probation, or they might not understand that you have to be a US citizen in order to be able to vote).
by ronald
Tuesday Aug 8th, 2006 1:27 PM
Anybody signing the petition will come under investigation and be added to various databases. That's why they want your id. They are not obtaining registrations for Republicans, though the scum developing the operation undoubtably do vote Republican and reflect Republican mentality.

If it's not NORML, it's not a legitimate petition. NORML is the only organization involved in this issue with a meaningful infrastructure that will look into serious abuses of their name.

The scum have got Halliburton concentration camps for 20 million people waiting to be filled up. If you don't want to see this height of Nazi expression as extending down to a phony setup in "Courthouse Park", then by all means, don't support your local Democrat because he or she is against gun control. Vote Nader in protest, or vote otherwise because the Democrat is only left of center rather than fully progressive. Vote normally in the face of the camps, if you wish. After the next election or two, it won't matter what you vote or how you wished you did.




by txexspeedy
Tuesday Aug 8th, 2006 1:54 PM
If you have already voted in the democratic primary or are registered as a dem, I would think this may cause you to be flagged or removed from the roles because of the conflicting registrations. And if you are doing this close to the general election this may cause your registration to be late and then not be able to vote in Nov.

Pretty sleazy.
by VG
Tuesday Aug 8th, 2006 2:57 PM
Hi folks - I just had to relate my experience. Several points:

FIRST, I ~have~ done completely voluntary, unpaid, petitioning for "decriminalization" of marijuana (it goes over better than legalization with voters and does sorta make more sense). First of all, it is common practice to try to get people to sign by registering them to vote if they are not already and they qualify. However, the voter registration cards are ALWAYS filled out by the person registering (YOU), not the person collecting the sigs. Also you do NOT have to show your ID. We do often offer to pay the postage and mail them in (or hand-deliver), and there is potential of checking the affiliation box if the person forgot to, but we don't, cuz we're honest. If I ask you if you're registered, I believe you when you say yes, and assume not if the answer is "I don't know". And since the goal is to get as many sigs as possible, we try not to "waste" our time on ppl who won't produce valid sigs - such as those who are not registered and are iffy about registering at that time. If I confirm they're not registered, I ask if they'd like to, but point out it's a completely separate process than signing the petition. If they're still iffy, I just send them on their way with a blank registration card.

Secondly, a petition of any sort will usually have an official seal by the state, city or other govt body that has approved the petition for sig. gathering, and will usually read something like "I instruct my [state representative] to introduce legislation..." ALWAYS READ WHAT YOU SIGN. Another ploy is to have a perfectly legit petition, but they tell you it's for something it's not, counting on you not to read it.

Thirdly, NORML is usually the main sponsor of such petitions, but don't exclude other, potentially valid organizations, such as DRC (Drug Reform Coalition), and MPP (Marijuana Policy Project). MPP, by the way is doing a LOT of good, productive work in this area.

Finally, I'd like to respond to the question "What does it matter if I'm registered Republican?" For general elections - it doesn't. When you vote for mayor, governor, president, etc, you can belong to any party (or none) and vote for anyone from any party. It only matters during primaries, which can also make a big difference. I like to remain unaffiliated (no party), but one year I felt strongly about voting in the Republican primary. You cannot vote in both during the same primary season. This automatically registered me as a Rep, which I did not realize. The next time I wanted to vote in a primary, I wanted to vote in the Democratic primary, and was told I could not because I was registered Rep. They explained that I could re-register as no party immediately after voting, and ALL polling stations will have such forms on hand. So I took one of the forms and started to walk out. The lady there was surprised and said "well aren't you going to at least vote in the Rep. primary?" I said "no - I don't want any of them to win", and left them gasping. Oh well - lesson learned. Now after every primary, I immediately re-register as independent and it works like a charm.

Thanks for your attention. Hope this helps. :)
-VG-
by VG
Tuesday Aug 8th, 2006 3:16 PM
One last thing I thought might clarify something. To sign a petition (and have it count), you MUST be registered to vote, within the govt locale that the petition is for. For instance, if it is by State Senate district, then you must be registered to vote in the senatorial district of the State Senator you are "instructing" (they are our employees after all - we pay their salaries via taxes). So if you are signing a petition, be wary if they don't ask you if you're registered to vote (which you can NOT tell by your ID, so again, the ID is irrelevant).

Also, because signing a petition is exercising your right to vote, it is mostly anonymous. I say mostly, because people will see your name, but they should only be the signature gatherers and the govt officials who confirm you are registered while "counting" your "vote". These people are not allowed to use your name for any purpose other than counting your vote. That's not to say there aren't some shady govt workers who might, but if it's a cause you believe in, don't think about the possibility of such shady characters. It is against the law for the govt to acknowledge that they know you signed a petition about a specific issue, or use this information against you (or for you). I know it's hard sometimes, but you have to trust the govt to follow its own laws. Often this is the hardest thing to convince a potential signer of.
by cp
Tuesday Aug 8th, 2006 8:52 PM
well... I've registered as a republican briefly myself to vote for Bill Simon in a primary - because I knew he would lose while the other republican could have won if he had been the candidate. In fact, the republicans opposed the -open primary system which made it easier for people to switch parties close to election day, just so that democrats wouldn't do something like this.

This sounds far more suspicious. Since party membership doesn't have anything to do with votes on the real election day, and since they are actually putting a lot of money into paying these signature gatherers, they must have a good motivation that isn't clear right now for doing so. It almost sounds like they want to gather a list of names of people supporting a liberal proposition. I hope someone figures this out soon.
The only reason a party really would want more members is if they are a minority party like Peace&Freedomsocialist party that almost is under 1% where they will fall off the ballot listing. Other than that, it sounds ineffective for them to be able to claim that republicans are becoming more popular lately or something.
by Dave_D
Wednesday Aug 9th, 2006 6:33 AM
The democrats are no better, hell in lot's of places they have been voting the dead for years. (Chicago comes to mind) As much as I would like to see republicans support legalization the sad fact is that neither party gives a damn about anything except power. Who do you think wrote all the laws that make it hard for 3rd party candidates to even get on the ballot? They couldn't have pulled it off in so many places without collusion between partys. If we want change we need lot's of 3rd party candidates and we have to work to support them.
by Josh
Wednesday Aug 9th, 2006 7:46 AM
There is no such thing as conflicting registration and you can always take the registration card yourself and mail it in. You can also always go the DMV or County Registrar of Voters to change party affiliation or address. You can change as often as you want. You can call the registrar to verify you have enough time to change before an election.
by Josh
Wednesday Aug 9th, 2006 8:35 AM
Okay, maybe it is not a funded ballot, and not even legitmate at all. If this is the case, I doubt this is a ploy by ¨the republican party¨, but a ploy by the group of independent contractors to register more republicans. For the most part, the signature gatherers I met were very manipulative with they way the sold things, and the MJ issue could by a ploy-- but my guess is if so, it's isolated.

Also, for consolation, a lot of the signature gatherers are marijuana smokers themselves, and any money they're getting is going back into one of the most non-corporate economies around.

Also, I disagree about registering providing bad signatures. The reason they have the registration cards is because the signature is invalid without a corroborating registered address. In my experience, if someone can't vote because of a felony or citizenship they tell you immediately...
I have never had the experience of registering somone providing a bad signature, only the opposite.
by Joachim Smoasz
Thursday Aug 10th, 2006 4:00 AM
What has Sacremento done to protect MD.s who prescribe medicinal Hemp from the DEA contrary to the will of the voting public? Cut to the chase; Don't sign the petition!
by Voletear
Wednesday Aug 16th, 2006 8:58 AM
Perhaps Democrats could use this same tactic against the GOP's: "Would you sign our petition to eliminate the minimum wage?"
Or the Greens: "Would you sign our Democratic petition to pave ANWR?"
Or the Libertarians: "Would you sign our petition to name the Drug Czar as Supreme Leader?"
Or AARP: "Would you sign our petition to euthanize useless old people?"
Or NAACP: "Would you sign our petition to put n@$#!@s back in their place?"
Or NRA: "Would you sign our petition to shoot Charlton Heston?"
And so it goes...
NORML is definately one of the mos highly respected groups in the country working very hard to legalize marijuana, and their efforts are amazing! BUT don't forget MPP. Marijuana Policy Project is serious business about the legalization of marijuana and has made some astounding strides! They also circulate petitions from time to time in different states, and have an incredible track record and web site - http://www.mpp.org. So if you are serious about wanting to legalize marijuana and see something from these folks OR NORML - take a look and support them - better yet - be proactive and stop by their websites!
by Sas
Tuesday Aug 22nd, 2006 6:01 PM
I have been reading alot about the Republicans vote-rigging techniques recently, including their collection of data of people that they want off the electoral list- which, if last election is anything to go by, was successful.
I would be inclined not to think that this ploy was about attracting people to register, but rather, the government making a list of pro-marijuana people who, most likely won't be voting for them.

Its just astounding to me that America thinks it can export 'democracy' to the rest of the world, when it can't even get it right here.
I'm sorry but this country is majorly " up shit creek"
by Dale Drew
Friday Aug 25th, 2006 9:45 PM
The gentleman who was evasive and was running the more dope for Republicans campaign was none other than Sean Stevens. Mister Stevens has been convicted of voter fraud in San Joaquine county. A quick call to the San Joaquine county Registrar's office will fill you in on all the details. Thought you might want to know Mike.
Dale Drew
p.s. great article
by Mike Rhodes
(MikeRhodes [at] Comcast.net) Wednesday Aug 30th, 2006 11:19 AM
August 21, 2006

Mike Rhodes
P0 Box 5077
Fresno, CA 93755

Dear Mr. Rhodes:

I am responding to your recent complaint about certain actions and practices by petition circulators you recently encountered at the Fresno Courthouse Park. One of our investigators followed up on your complaint and subsequently made contact with these same circulators. Of special interest to our office was their tactic of asking for ID, ostensibly to verify a person's eligibility to sign the ballot initiative. While this practice appears to be intentionally misleading, the Elections Code is silent on the practice of circulators asking for ID to sign a petition. By the same token, even though there is no law against asking for ID, there clearly is no requirement that a potential signer have ID or comply with a request to show ID as a condition of signing a
statewide ballot initiative.

The issue becomes even more blurred because, as we discussed, the medical marijuana petition they were circulating was not a state-sanctioned initiative but a so- called plebiscite petition. These types of petitions are purportedly used to measure support for an issue, but are legally non-binding. Even the rules concerning petition circulator conduct in the Elections Code only refer to city, county or state petitions; plebiscite petitions are not addressed
anywhere in the Code.

Another area of concern was the female circulator's attempt to begin registering you as a voter using the information from your ID. Elections Code § 2 162(c) states:

The affidavit portion of a voter registration card shall not be marked, stamped, or partially or fully completed by any person other than an elector attempting to register to vote or by a person assisting the elector in completing the affidavit at the request of the elector.

It's not clear if her asking you, "Is it OK if I register you as a Republican?" constitutes a request or an implied request of the elector, but even if there was a violation, Elections Code § 2162(c), unfortunately, contains no sanctions for the conduct it prohibits.

In our visit with these circulators, our investigator reminded them that, although they were being paid to register Republicans, it was ultimately up to the individual citizen to select what party, if any, with which they wish to register. The investigator also put the so-called circulators on notice that someone from our office would be monitoring future activity by their group to ensure compliance with state laws and regulations.

Based on your report and the observations of our investigator, there is insufficient evidence of a criminal violation of the Elections Code to launch an investigation at this time. Even so, I believe that the warning this group received from our office did serve to deter them from cutting corners in their voter registration efforts.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

Sincerely,




Election Fraud Investigation Unit
by Robert W. Stanford - LocalBlack
(toymaker99 [at] yahoo.com) Saturday Sep 2nd, 2006 2:05 PM

I register voters all of the time - and so do several people that I know - no one gets paid for these (that I know of) - however, I did talk to a coordinator of petition gatherer's - the pay kind and he said that the best way to get people to register to vote is to make up a bogus petition. His suggestion was cheap gas - legalizing pot would be another popular one, but pushing people to republican - I would think that they would think of something more appealing to republicans to actually attract republicans - since currently I believe that they are paying up to 6.00 or more vote -

if not illegal - it certainly is unethical - and it is these kinds of things that destroys our freedoms.
by df
Wednesday Nov 29th, 2006 6:10 AM
i think that they should legalize marijuana cause maybe then people will not use it as much. it will be less addicting just like alcohol.
by Jenni
Tuesday Dec 5th, 2006 1:59 PM
This absolutley disgusts me. How low will republicans go next?
If the government would legalize marijuana, the jails would be greatly reduced and therefore money saved; the police could focus on more violent criminals out there and there would be a lot of happy people around who wouldn't have to worry about drug testing for smoking a joint 30 days before going on a job interview!

If pot is regulated, similar to the way alcohol is sold, tax it and maybe the federal deficit would diminish greatly. Hemp could be used instead of cotton and other hemp products will be used that are less expensive to manufacture. Maybe even hemp can be used as an alternate fuel!

by kilbush
Sunday Jan 21st, 2007 4:09 AM
well its better than starting wars over oil for the rich
by Chucky
Monday Mar 12th, 2007 3:33 PM
A few politicians obtain over $400,000 a year from big pharma who are screaming the loudest blocking legislative action to legalize medical marijuana. I hope the FBI can look into what seems to be an illegal way by the big pharma companies to continue to keep medical marijuana, an herb that can help our elderly in nursing homes as much if not more than the prescribed drugs that create poisons in their bodies because their kidneys cannot handle over time the toxicity levels created by those precribed drugs. Those patients would live longer, and better lives if allowed to utilize medical marijuana, but with billions of dollars on the table in the form of those big pharma prescribed drugs, corruption seems to be the Supreme Law of the Land. A government is free because of the rule of law, but only if the people are a party to those laws, otherwise all you have is tyranny, and corruption. Over 70% of Americans from coast to coast want medical marijuana legalized.
by mandi newhouse
(sexiimandi211 [at] aol.com) Thursday Mar 29th, 2007 2:38 PM
you should legalize marijuana then it wont be used as much because lil kids smoke cigarettes because they know they are not allowed 2
by Alyssa
Tuesday Apr 10th, 2007 7:34 AM
hey i'm a high school student doing a research paper on reasons to leagalize marijuana for the medicinal purposes and also because if buying alcohol, which is possible to harm you much greater than pot smoking, why is that legal? if anyone has any strong arguments that they would like to throw out there.. feel free!
-Alyssa Heimrich
chatham high school
by me(lexi)
Wednesday Apr 11th, 2007 9:57 AM
we need weed! it's just a way of life.
by Baby jade
Monday Apr 16th, 2007 2:45 PM
It's a way to cope with your stresses in every day life. Alcohol has more danger signs then weed. When you smoke a blunt, u just sit back and chill. Alcohol leads to car accidents and other problems. I stick to my green every day, all day. For my true smokers, keep your head up.
by Concerned DEMOCRAT
Monday Apr 16th, 2007 3:24 PM
This is disturbing, oh wait its not like the Republicans have never rigged a vote or have scammed their own citizens in any way shape or form.
by MANDI NEWHOUSE
(sexually_active344 [at] YAHOO.com) Friday Apr 20th, 2007 12:35 PM
LEGALIZE IT PEOPLE WONT DO IT AS MUCH THEY ARE ONLY DOIN IT CUZ THEY KNOW THEY CANT LIKE MINORS AND LIQUIOR
by vanessa ireland
Friday Apr 27th, 2007 10:33 AM
I agree with you so much about every thing
by VANESSA
Friday Apr 27th, 2007 10:40 AM
LEGALIZE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by peter fisher
Monday May 14th, 2007 11:29 AM
The prohibition of cannabis has only made problems worse for the world. Humans have been smoking/eating marijuana for thousands of years. Humans even have THC receptors in our brain which only take in THC. It is our freedom to put whatever we want in our body. I thought this was a free country.
by me=]
Tuesday May 15th, 2007 7:39 AM
fucking legalize it!!i love weed u cant get addicted its better then ciggs. and alcohol so y is it illeagel pretty beat if u ask mme
by omega1
Thursday May 17th, 2007 6:22 AM
yo word up, weed is a beautiful thing and sey need to legalize it!!!!
by smokus maxamus
Friday Jun 1st, 2007 10:18 AM
I think that weed shuld be legalized becuse its better for you than cigarreets. I may hae high potency, but its good and I think that polotitions should try it before they judge it. I think that they need to try it and I can almost garentee tha they like it....
by rossi
Wednesday Jun 13th, 2007 12:21 PM
Legalize weed, theres nothing bad about it!
by Jeff
Tuesday Jul 10th, 2007 6:17 AM
When I was in college, and had just turned 18, I was asked if I would like to register to vote. I said sure, I've been meaning to do this now that I'm 18. So I fill out the register to vote form, and the guy asks me if he can mail it in for me. I said sure because I was running to class. About a year later I notice I'm getting all these calls from the democrat groups asking for money. I was like why are you calling me? I registered as independent. Come to find out the guy changed my form when I turned it into him. I guess to boost the numbers. That pissed me off so much... The games these people play!
by Not smoking because of Drug Testing at work!!
Wednesday Jul 18th, 2007 11:44 AM
It's Time!!! Legalize Marijuana not just for Medical uses but also for all, of legal age!!

Want to stop the Republican and Democrats Voter Registration Scams,? LEGALIZE MARIJUANA!!!

Legalize marijuana!! Buying alcohol is legal which will harm you much greater than pot smoking. Why is alcohol legal? You know what I am saying? Big Money Donating Lobbyist!! Why were the laws change regarding Liquor ads on TV again? Lobbyist!! With Millions or Billions of Dollars going into politicians pockets!!

You have most likely been drunk at some time in your life, and you have most likely been stoned. Which is worse? I dam sure can not drive drunk, but I can get by drive after a couple of hits. I have never gotten sick after Smoking a joint, but I have been so sick after a night of drinking. I have never missed a day of work after smoking a joint on the weekend, but I have after a night of drinking. I know you know what I am saying.

If the government would legalize marijuana, the jail populations would be greatly reduced and therefore lot money saved; the police could focus on more Violent Criminals! There would be about 40 million happier people in the US who wouldn't have to worry about drug testing for smoking a joint before going on a job interview, or drug testing while employed!!!

If pot is regulated, similar to the way alcohol is sold, tax it and maybe the federal deficit would diminish greatly. Hemp could be used instead of cotton and other hemp products will be used that are less expensive to manufacture. Maybe even hemp can be used as an alternate fuel!

It's a way to cope with your stresses in every day life. Alcohol has more danger signs then weed. When you smoke a joint, u just sit back and chill. Alcohol leads to car accidents and other problems. I would stick to my green a little every day.
by Martha
Saturday Aug 4th, 2007 11:01 AM
If Marijuana was legalized I wonder how many jobs would be created. How much income tax could the goverment get? And then there is sales tax. Would legalizing marijuana not line the pockets of drug dealers? It just don't make sense to me. I quit smoking over two years ago. Two reasons. The cost and to keep my job.
by Hey U who me?
(heyuwhome [at] yahoo.com) Saturday Aug 25th, 2007 5:42 PM
Im not sure how many of u now this but back in the day when the good ol' U.S was at war with the indians and even after that in the south when we were fighting ourselves, we were killing other people and taking there food+(marijuana),cloths,livestock and burnin there towns...... SPOILS of WAR.????
by heyuwhome???
Saturday Aug 25th, 2007 5:48 PM
Why do they call this the land of the Free when it clearly isnt????
by mntnman444
Sunday Sep 2nd, 2007 1:10 PM
I just posted this story on Netscape so that thousands of people will see it.
I would like more info such as ,did you ever get a hold of the Atty Gen fraud division?If so,what was the result?

http://politics.netscape.com/story/2007/09/02/legalizing-marijuanaa-new-republican-strategy/
by marijanamatt420
Thursday Nov 8th, 2007 8:13 PM
The worst effect of green is getting caught with it. Everyone knows themselves better then anyone else. You know how smokin will affect you after the fisrt couple times, so you know when you can get blazed an when you cant. What we need is a politicion that isnt so money hungry to start a change in the way middle america thinks. All we need is a influence that is respectable, someone to really just bring everyone togeather. There are plenty of people out there just like me we just need to speak up. *Peace
by Jacob
Friday Nov 9th, 2007 2:48 PM
The government has no right to make pot illegal. I consider the laws against weed to be illegal. Police enforcement of marijuana laws is illegal according to the Constitution. Under the Constitution we are protected to have, grow, and use cannabis for ourselves. Anti-Marijuana laws are anti-america. Its my body, my choice, my right. Vote Ron Paul if you believe in the Constitution !!!
by Anita
Tuesday Jan 8th, 2008 8:47 PM
I wish our politicians would go ahead and legalize ole mary jane I work every day support my family and enjoy coming home @ the end of the day and smoking me one but hate being treated like a criminal because of it I am able to go to work the next day(no hang over) and have never met a violent pot smoker cant say the same about drinkers. I thought we lived in the land of the free I say let the people vote on it
by shaun kalmerton
Friday Feb 15th, 2008 7:15 AM
ok look the government is never going to stop the marijuana trade so the government sould just make it leagal to not only save money on prisons but to make money if they were smart they would see that but the government has there head to far up there ass and cant see the light
by assnacho
Friday Feb 22nd, 2008 8:31 AM
fuck the idea of the government making marijuana illegal
by no name
Monday Feb 25th, 2008 1:43 PM
i think that everyone should try weed at least once in there life.. cuz i mean like honestly i have friends t hat were all against weed then they tried it and now they smoke more weed than i do..like i understand that it leads to other drugs but not everyone will do them like i am completely satisfied with smokin weed. so fuckin legalize it already..
by Rui Lima
Tuesday Mar 25th, 2008 5:59 PM
the question is wrongly put!!!

in the Netherlands what they call "drugs" is taxed and they live an wonderfull life

in the rest of the world the drugs are consumed but the quality is shiet!!!

if illegal substances were taxed it would be health control and we would know if it was a good thing for us to consume

and also it would destroy the profiters of this situation!!! or is the actual situation like this because those people are getting wealthier and the rest of the world pourer's???
by me g
Saturday Apr 12th, 2008 7:49 AM
ONLY WEED SHOULD BE LEGALISED.....LETS FACE THE FACTS...CIGERETS
,HEROIN,COKE,EXTACY,METH,SPEED,LSD,ALL HAVE ALOT OF HORIBLE SIDE
EFFECTS... CAN ANYBODY GIVE ME (5)BAD SIDE EFECTS OF SMOKING OR
EATING WEED THAT ARE 100% PROVEN? ...NO...NOBODY CAN BECAUSE THERE
ARE NONE. WEED HAS BEEN USED AS A MEDICEN FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS,
ITS A NATURAL HERB.THERE ARE NO OTHER NATURAL ILLIGAL DRUGS THAT EXIST.
WEED IS A PLANT NOT A DRUG.IT IS USED AS MEDICEN.THERE ARENT ANY ADED
CHEMICALS TO THE PLANT.IT IS SIMPLY GROWN,DRIED AND SMOKED.CIGERETS KILL
HOUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE A YEAR.PEOPLE DIE FROM SMOKING CIGERETS
TO MUCH.THATS PRETY MUCH THE SAME THING AS OVERDOSING.NO BODY HAS EVER DIED
FROM OVERDOSING ON WEED.YOU KNOW WHY? ITS BECAUSE YOU CANT OVERDOSE ON WEED.
SO WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE SOLD IN GAS STATIONS AND GROCERY STORES...CIGERETS
THAT KILL HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE EACH YEAR, OR A NATURAL PLANT
THAT HASNT KILLED ANYBODY?..and the government are actualy responsible for thousands
of deaths by making tabaco legal and weed not so there prety much stupid murderers puting
the blame on themselves for thousands of deaths and they dont realise it yet...and these people
are running countrys!!!!????
by Donald D. Smith
Saturday Aug 9th, 2008 11:17 PM
I would vote for anybody who would legalize marijauna.
by christy
Wednesday Mar 18th, 2009 7:12 PM
If all the pot lovers in the U.S. would get together all at once from all places sign petitions, Post legalize it signs everywher and just strike until they legalize it.............weed is safer than alcohol, and ciggerettes.........HELLO look at how much money the government could make, and........less people in jail for weed charges. I think the people that smoke are more than the people that do not so come on smokers..........toke on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by Katelyn Painter
Thursday Mar 26th, 2009 10:30 AM
my friends do can someone tell me the big deal with pot?

I VOTE YES LEGALIZE IT.
by Tia A
Tuesday Mar 31st, 2009 12:24 AM
Well, I don’t think it’s a good idea. We all know how bad it is especially to young ones. Is there anything that government can do on this matter? People at the White House should find better things to do than a White House Easter Egg Roll. There were some interesting queries, from cash advances to college students, up to one of the most popular questions as to whether Obama was going to be legalizing marijuana, which he promptly shot down. Doesn't he have work to do instead of putting on a White House Easter Egg Roll?
by Cody Henderson
(CodyHenderson7 [at] hotmail.com) Thursday Apr 30th, 2009 7:27 PM
chup_2.jpg
Alright basicly I am not saying to make weed legal just to get high. Not saying its not cool or anything, I mean I love Mary Jane. But if we legalize Marijuana we can learn about its true side. Not only will it help in releasing pain such as what pain killers do. But everyone, yes EVERYONE has THC in their system, which is also released into you body when you smoke weed. If we legalize this we can learn different types of medications, of course tax it and make ALOT OF MONEY! $20 for 5 joints?? Think about it, it would cost us (Americans) less to buy it from the government to help the economy. Also drug dealers and gangsters lose LOTS of money, along with power! Tabacoo is a plant also, grown by the government. Marijuana has been around long before tabacoo was even looked at.

(to make it legal)
Of course there are going to be restrictions on legalizing it.

1. Age limit. 18 is still a bit young because everyone will be getting high before school and school's would re-vote it and through this all into a tangle. 21 is the drinking age and most people are more responsible.

2. Driving/ Same as drinking and driving/ Smoking and driving might be revoked. But who cares!!!! If I'm high i love to adventure and not rely on driving. But if you get caught with weed in your car, they can give you simple tests to see if you are high or not, if you pass the test they let you go, if not they take it away and take you to jail/or home.

3. If they are underage and are caught smoking the charge should be like getting caught with tabacco/ get a ticket and go to court. If probation is required then it must be. Probation will never really go away.

4. Locations and jobs. Jobs should be able to restrict you coming to work high. Some may not care but if it is a really high safty program and you come to work high. they can choose to let you leave for the day, or if you keep coming to work high, just to fire you.

4.2 They may restrict areas to smoke at, such as parks and local residents or business areas. If you can get high while smoking in your yard I'm sure no one will complain about it.


This took about 30 min. to type. Tell me what you think

CoHenderson [at] gaggle.net or CodyHenderson7 [at] hotmail.com (Subject the message "DO NOT DELETE"
by G2-Man
Friday May 1st, 2009 1:53 PM
Just think about it, there was a study done that states that more people die a year from smoking cigaretes than cocaine,heroine and alcohol combined. Now I am not saying legalize or de-crimalize heroin or coke but if you notice I did not mention marijuana and that is because it is not even in the same catagory as those DRUGS, oh and by the way alcohol is a drug which kills quite a few people a year as well (but legal) so what is the problem with legalizing Mary Jane?
by thomas rich
(stonerlo [at] yahoo.com) Thursday Jun 4th, 2009 8:24 AM
weed is not a drug for one ok its grown from the earth with nothing done to cut it or produce it its natural but they should legalize it this world would be so much better everyone would just get along and i say to all the people who dont want it to be legalized fuck off pussys
by John Allison
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 1:03 PM
Who cares if your a Republican or Democrat, I'm an American and so are you. Stop with the Bi-partisan garbage. It's the number one problem of this country. And marijuana can help our economy, so I will be at any rally to support the cause, no matter what religion, party or state.
by Alex
Monday Sep 28th, 2009 2:15 PM
They do this because it's too easy to catch a stupid liberal off guard... who loves pot.

That simple
by me
Tuesday Mar 30th, 2010 7:49 PM
make it legal cuz my freind got busted and sent to jail
by fdfdfdg
Friday Jan 14th, 2011 7:39 PM
TRUE Republicans want weed legalized. For we are about freedom and liberty.
by mikie
Monday Feb 21st, 2011 12:52 PM
hell no bro u do that then they lose busness but also the age limit is bull shit im 17 and ive been smoking since i was 13 and i have no problem with school i do some times smoke in the morning and at lunch but i actually pay more attention in class then when im high truth. and u should be able to drive with it or high cuz there is no symptom when driving for me but maybe if u do tripp out when u drive dont drive. thanks mikie 4:20 for life baby yea
by skye vehr
Thursday Apr 7th, 2011 2:48 PM
marijuana is the cure for diabetes atleast the blood sugar issues and leg numbness, and glaucoma is probably not the only problem with vision it cures; I needed glasses updated every year I didn't smoke, and the oils are a lung surfactant, and we all have naturally occurring lung surfactant but sometimes it just aint enough and the fact that is a lung surfactant means it is a medicine that time releases with each breath and helps you deal with breathing related conditions: if it's too dry smoke a bong if it's too humid puff a pipe, but for me joint paprer raises heart-rate, causes eye redness and drymouth all of which gets blamed on weed itself.