SF Weekly: Steve Kubby, Prop 215 Author, Drafts New initiative to Decriminalize Marijuana

Chris Roberts at SF weekly:

Steve Kubby has earned his stripes: Before he was a Libertarian Party candidate for governor of California and President of the United States (and South Lake Tahoe City Council), Kubby was a model activist and poster child for the medical cannabis movement. The latter because he has lived with a rare form of adrenal cancer for over 40 years, thanks to medical marijuana, and the former for co-authoring Proposition 215.

Now, Kubby, 64, is circulating a proposed ballot initiative for 2012 that, he told SF Weekly on Monday, can not only succeed where Proposition 19 failed last November, but could lead toward a changed federal policy on marijuana.


Exactly how this will play with the Prop. 19 folks and the money-makers who bankrolled them is unclear. A message for Steve Gutwillig, chair of the state Drug Policy Alliance (which funneled millions to the Prop. 19 effort, from the likes of George Soros and others), was not immediately returned. A spokeswoman for the Prop. 19 campaign did not immediately return an e-mail, either.

But Kubby says he’s willing to play ball. “I’m not married to our initiative,” he said. “If [other efforts] cover the same ground we cover, and poll at 60 percent or above, I will get on board.”

Kubby says he’s currently fundraising to pay for polls, with plans to have a finalized initiative in the hands of paid signature gatherers by the fall. The initiative would require 504,760 validated signatures by February 2012 to qualify for the November 2012 ballot.

IPR note: See our previous story, Steve Kubby: Liberty, Leadership and Libertarianism and facebook for more about this effort.

20 thoughts on “SF Weekly: Steve Kubby, Prop 215 Author, Drafts New initiative to Decriminalize Marijuana

  1. Gene Berkman

    I have no reason to believe that Steve Kubby was co-author of Propsition 215. I worked in the campaign from an early period, and never heard of him.

    Dennis Peron and Ca. NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer deserve the credit for putting together the campaign for Prop. 215, and Mr Kubby has been claiming unearned credit for years.

  2. Gene Berkman

    regarding the letter from Dennis Peron to Steve Kubby –
    (a) in 1986 I received a similar letter from Vice-President Bush thanking me for my invaluable support of Republican candidates in that year’s election;

    (b) if Mr Kubby played the crucial role in Prop 215 that he claims, he would have written a letter to Dennis Peron, thanking Mr Peron for his invaluable support for the initiative.

  3. paulie Post author

    @ 5 Audio was kind of hard to make out on my end, but it sounded to me like Dennis Peron said Dale Gieringer doesn’t deserve the credit.

  4. Porn Again Christian

    Honestly I don’t care whether he wrote 215 or not, nor is Kubby the only person involved with this new effort; it sounds like a worthwhile proposal to me, if anyone thinks otherwise, why not?

  5. Gene Berkman

    @ #8 – I agree – I support any effort to legalize marijuana.

    My complaint about Mr Kubby is that he has tried to be a big macher in the California LP based on unverified claims to being the organizer of the Prop 215 campaign.

  6. Fun K. Chicken

    Just legalize it already, I don’t care who gets the medals, we can discuss that when they stop putting my brothers and sisters in cages for a natural plant that they freely chose to buy, sell, grow or share.

  7. Michael H. Wilson

    re; gene Berkman @ 6 wrote; “(a) in 1986 I received a similar letter from Vice-President Bush thanking me for my invaluable support of Republican candidates in that year’s election.”

    Gene are you sure you want to let that little secret out of the bag? Maybe you should ask paulie to delete that one? 😉

  8. paulie Post author

    @11 Too late. Once you hit that submit button, our reptilian overlords have a record of it. Probably, even if you just hit the keys and don’t send, they still have it on tape.

    Don’t even ask me about the Monkey Business, though. I’ll never tell.

  9. paulie Post author

    Got another update via email and facebook. Will put up as an article later. In the meantime…

    by Steve Kubby on Friday, March 4, 2011 at 8:37am

    The ink is barely dry on our preliminary draft of our initiative and we are already a serious subject of an editorial by the Orange County Register, a conservative newspaper based in the most conservative part of Southern California. We all understand that So Cal will determine whether legalization passes or fails in California, so this editorial support is definitely a very positive sign we can succeed, especially with former Orange County judge James Gray as our Chief Proponent. See the full editorial here: http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/marijuana-290505-use-legalization.html

    Our initiative, The Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act of 2012, was written by Jack Herer’s personal attorney, Bill McPike, who is our Chief Counsel and was recently featured in The National Law Journal. Bill and other attorneys believe that Jack’s initiative, the CCHHI 2012 is fatally flawed and would be overturned in court, since it deals with multiple issues. That’s why Bill wrote our initiative and that is why he is asking Jack’s supporters to switch to our initiative. (See The National Law Journal story about Bill McPike at: http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202462842284&slreturn=1&hbxlogin=1)

    There are no new laws or taxes in our bill, only the full repeal of all the laws against cannabis for those 21 and older. Our team believes that so long as a single marijuana law remains on the books, police and prosecutors will find ways to use those horrible laws to punish and hurt otherwise law abiding citizens. Also, we heard the message of the No on Prop. 19 folks loud and clear. Out of respect for their concerns, we have specifically protected small growers by making their first 50 pounds and 99 plants exempt from taxes and regulations. The only crime we add is for police and public officials who attempt to subvert legalization. You can easily compare our initiative with others by going here: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150140126001955&set=a.71411121954.106184.620261954&theater

    Some have raised their concern that our initiative creates or modifies laws about smoking cannabis in public, operating motor vehicles, using cannabis in your home, etc. Not so. Unlike Prop. 19, our initiative “…expressly does not repeal, modify or change any present laws or regulations…” so nothing is changed for these activities from the way the law stands currently. And our initiative makes it clear that nothing in our act may be used to limit or restrict the rights of medical marijuana patients.

    Several members of our team will attend the “Next Steps” meeting in So Cal on Saturday, March 19th. Unfortunately, I have a prior engagement and cannot attend. Judge Gray is scheduled to speak at 4:30 PM. To purchase a ticket to this event see: https://secure2.convio.net/dpa/site/Ecommerce/1275103829?VIEW_PRODUCT=true&product_id=1781&store_id=1101

    We are already raising money and our first checks have arrived. I raised $500,000 for Prop. 215 and I raised $600,000 for my legal defense fund. Within Libertarian circles are people who have written me checks of $10,000 or more in the past. I can and will raise the $2 million we will need for this campaign.

    Nothing in this initiative is set in stone and we invite comments and suggestions, now, while we still have time to make changes. Please send your comments and suggestions to me at steve@kubby.com. To see the current version of our initiative, please go here: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150144731535239&id=620261954

    To learn more about our Chief Proponent James Gray, please watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6t1EM4Onao

    To become an official founding supporter of The Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act of 2012, send your contribution of $100 or more to Tax Marijuana 2012, PO Box 13591, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96151.

    Let freedom grow,

    Steve Kubby

    Chief Officer

    Tax Marijuana 2012



    We Libertarians hate taxes and consider most taxes to be a form of theft. Why on earth would any Libertarian ever support an initiative that includes “tax” in the title? Doesn’t supporting a new tax law create the false imprssion that Libertarians think some taxes are okay?

    Libertarians understand the terrible harm caused by taxes, most of which are passed during wartime hysteria as temporary measures that soon become permanent. Many of us have tried for years to change our current tax policies and, sadly, we have failed to make any gains except for the occasional bond issue we are able to put down. I suggest it is time for a new tactic, focused on real and achievable results. It’s time for our tax policies to be set by those who are committed to reducing the size of government, NOT those who want to continue the endless expansion and intrusion of government.

    Our initiative will place government on a short leash, forbid any new or special taxes and confine the taxation of marijuana to regular sales tax on commercial sales only. In return for agreeing to sales tax, we have attached some very LIbertarian requirements, such as not accepting federal funding and criminal charges for police and public officials who oppose legalization. No new tax is created by this initiative and the practice of enacting “sin” taxes against marijuana will finally be prohibited. That is real progress towards liberty and I trust that Libertarians can bring themselves to see past our odious title, which our polling company strongly recommends, and enthusiastically support the genuine tax reform that this revolutionary new initiative will bring.

    For additional perspective on how the LP can directly benefit from this initiative, please see here: https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2011/02/steve-kubby-liberty-leadership-and-libertarianism/

  10. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorcement

    Yes, OCR can be extremely CONSERVATIVE (what ever that means) but LP honcho Steve Kubby does not spot light the EXTREME LP direction and presence of Orange County, Chapman College, Freedom Press, and OCR ?????????

    Every thing I have said in a positive vein ’bout the New Improved / Better Photo Kubby has to be balanced with the following. If not high on pharmaceuticals, then Steveo is dumb and or ignorant.

    The OCR, the national guiding light of American print organ LIBERTARIANISM as merely ‘conservative’? No wonder, from Ken Bourke (Sandy Ego County) to Bob Barr, Lib are known as GOP Lite!

  11. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorcement

    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    (Redirected from Orange County Register)
    Jump to: navigation, search
    The Orange County Register CA OCR.jpg

    The Register
    Type Daily newspaper
    Format Broadsheet
    Owner Freedom Communications
    Publisher Terry Horne
    Editor Ken Brusic
    Founded 1905
    Headquarters 625 North Grand Avenue
    Santa Ana, California 92701
    Circulation 250,724 Daily
    311,982 Sunday[1]
    Official website ocregister.com

    The Orange County Register is a daily newspaper published in Santa Ana, California.

    The Register has the third largest paid daily circulation in California, behind only the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle.

    The Register is the flagship publication of Freedom Communications, Inc., which publishes 28 daily newspapers, 23 weekly newspapers, Coast magazine, and several related Internet sites.

    The Register is notable for its generally libertarian-leaning editorial page.[2] Although it sometimes supports Republican politicians and positions,

    ……… it is the largest newspaper in the country to have opposed the Iraq war from the beginning and opposes laws regulating issues such as prostitution and drug use.

    It was one of a handful of newspapers that opposed the internment of Japanese aliens and Japanese-Americans during World War II.[3][4]

    It also opposed Proposition 8 in 2008, which proposed a ban on same-sex marriage.[5]

    [Lake: This is not new news. Complaining ’bout American concentration camps in WWII? These folks were libertarian B4 LP was born —- by decades. Few sane, clear headed Californians with both feet on the ground would not not immediately know that OCR was Lib, major Lib. Steve, why do you continue to be Steve Kubby’s worst enemy?]

  12. Alan Pyeatt

    I’m a big fan of both Jim Gray and Steve Kubby, and I really like the direction they’re going with this. However, there’s one thing from the quote Paulie posted @ 15 that bothers me: “In return for agreeing to sales tax, we have attached some very LIbertarian requirements, such as not accepting federal funding and criminal charges for police and public officials who oppose legalization. ”

    Surely, that was an awkward wording, and we are not going to penalize cops for opposing legalization? At least, not on their own time, without using the apparatus of the state?

    A clarification would be appreciated.

  13. Porn Again Christian

    No, they do support having charges for public employees who use public resources against legalization. What they do on their own time with their own dime is their own business.

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