Steve Kubby: Judge Gray Files New Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Wine With Attorney General

Retired Superior Court judge wants marijuana strictly regulated and kept away from minors. Filed voter initiative Wednesday with Attorney General to regulate marijuana like wine.

Sacramento, Calif., May 18, 2011 — He was once a determined drug warrior, but now former Assistant US Attorney and Superior Court Judge James P. Gray believes the time has come to take marijuana out of the black market and regulate it instead. After years of witnessing the harm caused by outlawing marijuana, Judge Gray filed a voter initiative on Wednesday, May 18, with the California Attorney General’s office that will regulate marijuana like wine.

From a press conference held in front of the Attorney General’s office at 1300 I Street, Judge Gray stated, “Instead of my categorizing the initiative, I think it would be better for any people interested to review it themselves. It can be downloaded at When people review it, they will see that it allows anyone who is 21 years of age or older to raise up to 25 plants per year or possess up to 12 pounds of dried marijuana without being licensed, regulated or taxed, except for income or sales taxes, where applicable (which is basically the same as the home brewing provisions for wine and beer); it prohibits any government entities from taxing marijuana to a greater extent than they do wine; and it expressly does not change the provisions of Prop. 215 and its progeny, which would include, of course, the provisions for those under 21 years of age to be able to use their medicine as long as they are in compliance with those laws. It also expressly prohibits the public advertising of the sales or use of marijuana, except for medical marijuana under Prop. 215 and products made from hemp. And finally, it would not only prohibit the arrest or seizure of property, etc., of anyone 21 years of age or older who is in compliance with the initiative, it would also prohibit anyone employed by or under contract with the State of California from cooperating with federal agents in enforcing federal law.

In short, I think this is a good initiative that will repeal the failed policy of Marijuana Prohibition in California for adults, and basically be of benefit to California and everyone in it, except the Prison Guards’ Union. That is our intent, and I actually think we have been pretty successful in accomplishing it.”

“Our policy of marijuana prohibition has failed from every standpoint imaginable: unnecessary prison growth, increased taxes, increased crime and corruption here and abroad, loss of civil liberties, decreased health, and diversion of resources that are needed to address other problems in society,” Gray said.

Gray added that he is especially concerned about the disastrous effects of outlawing marijuana on families and kids, effects he has witnessed for himself as a judge and federal prosecutor. “Far from protecting our children, our present policy is actually recruiting them to a lifestyle of drug usage and drug selling,” charged Gray.

When challenged over the wisdom of allowing for sales to adults 21 and older, Gray has no doubts that it is time to regulate marijuana and take it out of the black market. “Many things in our society are dangerous, but making them illegal is not the answer. Does anyone really believe that making tobacco illegal would reduce the harm it causes? What about glue, gasoline, chain saws and high cholesterol foods? Further, if you think about it, we have at least some controls with regard to the sales and use of alcohol and tobacco, because they are regulated by the government. We have no controls at all with marijuana, because it is currently controlled by the mob,” Gray emphasized.

A copy of Judge Gray’s voter initiative and one minute video can be viewed at the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine website:

Sponsored by the Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Wine 2012, campaign ID #1336887.

Photos: William McPike, Judge James P. Gray and Bishop Ron Allen look on as Steve Kubby signs off on an official request to the California Attorney General for a Title and Summary. The initiative, called the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act, would allow cannabis to be grown, sold, taxed and consumed like wine. Adults who grow 12 pounds or less would be exempt from any regulations or taxes. Photo by Jennina Chiavetta, May 18, 2012.

14 thoughts on “Steve Kubby: Judge Gray Files New Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Wine With Attorney General

  1. Lidia Seebeck

    Congratulations are in order for the entire committee that worked so hard to make this happen. Best of luck getting through Title & Summary!

  2. Starchild

    I’m delighted to see a marijuana legalization measure moving forward that libertarian-minded voters in California can support without the reservations we had over 2010’s Proposition 19.

    This measure avoids creating new penalties, exempts small growers from taxation and regulation and generally does not attempt to make a virtue of taxation or regulation — for instance, Jim Gray and Steve Kubby sensibly agreed to remove the word “tax” from the title of the measure — instead keeping the main focus where it rightly belongs, on ending the failed crusade against cannabis and treating it like legal alcohol.

    The language it employs toward that end looks tight and well-written, and contains an innovative new approach of allowing people to be deputized as harm-reduction officers, as well as specifically banning state officials and employees from cooperating with federal law enforcement, both of which should make it much more difficult for the Feds to continue persecuting Californians in violation of state laws allowing cannabis use.

    But of course we still face the hard work of collecting enough signatures and raising enough money to get it on the ballot!

  3. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I love it, particularly the St Pat’s decos! I keep thinking I’ll try making a little video–hopefully I can soon!

  4. Ted Brown

    I hope they are planning to circulate the initiative for the November 2012 ballot, since voter turnout will be much higher (and California will probably again vote 60% plus for Obama). It seems too early to start now.

  5. Michael Seebeck

    Ted, the reason to file it now is exactly that. The process to get it through title and summary, fiscal impact, and SoS pipeline ASAP to get it out there for sigs, since we need about 800K to make sure we hit the 505K valid level to qualify.

    That and we wanted to beat those other inferior proposals to the PR punch, and the sooner we get the fundraising going the better.

    You can donate via Paypal at

    And yes, this one is model legislation, it covers a lot of ground, and we need all hands on deck to make this one a reality next fall.

    I’m proud of our efforts on this, but this is only the beginning! (And yes, I have been *very* involved in this from step one!)

  6. Letitia Pepper

    Judge Grey, the Chief Proponent of the “Regulate Cannabis Like Wine” initiative just sent, on May 18, 2011, to the Attorney General for review the final version, Version 2, of the “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine” initiative, signed off on by Steve Kubby, the CEO of a corporation that is working on cannabinoid pharmaceuticals.
    Version 2 — the FINAL version — is VERY different from the Version 1 they first circulated to activists for comment. And that’s no accident, when you see what the changes are. (I actually think they circulated the first version to wear us all out, in the hope that then no one would bother to read the damned second and final version. I almost didn’t read it myself, I’m so bored with all this stuff.)
    What’s new? Well, for one thing, the cultivation of GMO cannabis is no longer expressly forbidden. Wonder why they took that out?
    And “medical marijuana” — i.e., marijuana that is legal for anyone, including minors, to use — could be defined, by implication, as marijuana with less than 1 percent THC (no kidding).
    Best of all, the new version adds 473 words (an increase of more than 30 percent) to make SURE you COMPLY with all those new regulations.
    Can you imagine your neighbor who calls you a pothead getting deputized to check up on you? And that being part of an initiative to “legalize” marijuana like wine? Well, better imagine it, because it’s in Version 2 of the Kubby Initiative.
    Yes, of those 473 new words, 393 are used to create a new cadre of officious, deputized agents who can conduct law and code enforcement activities under both state AND federal law — including checking on your cultivation techniques, apparently –and who will be immune from liability for violating any state or federal laws — which in my book would include your civil rights.
    Nice touch from retired Judge Grey, wouldn’t you say? And here I thought he wanted to get AWAY from prosecuting people for marijuana-related crimes. . . . Maybe if it’s only code enforcement-like penalties, with big fines, it doesn’t bother him or Kubby to subject everyone to a little regulating . . . .
    I know I sound sarcastic, which is my way of dealing with the tiresomeness of having to repeatedly read and then report on the ever-changing methods these would-be, pot-profiteers come up with to try to take away people’s existing rights under Prop. 215.
    GMO Cannabis Cultivation Is Back on the Table, THC Levels Are Dropped, and Anyone — Including People Who HATE Marijuana Use, Can Get Deputized to Come Harass Anyone They Want
    First, I’d like to suggest that everyone who really wants to see what’s going on go back and print out a copy of the original Kubby initiative and the most recent version — which must be the Kubby camp’s final one, since they sent to the AG to prepare ballot statements. I’m going to attach a file that has both in it.
    Next, the following comments are NOT a definitive explication of ALL the problems with the final version. This is just going to hit a few of the VERY immediately-noticeable-with-no-good-reason changes from the original version to the final version.
    GMO Cannabis Cultivation Is No Longer Forbidden;
    Monsanto Says, Thanks, Kubby!
    a. GMO Cannabis Cultivation First Allowed in Prop. 19
    When I went over the original version, those of you involved with this discussion group from the beginning may recall that one of the few GOOD things I had to say about the original version was that at LEAST Kubby et al. had stated, very clearly, that genetically-modified cannabis could not be grown in California.
    Well, that provision’s been removed in Version No. 2.
    Those of you who’ve been involved since Prop. 19 may remember that I’d made an issue about GMO cannabis because Prop. 19 allowed its cultivation in a sneaky little provision down near the end of Prop. 19 that used the Prop. 19 definitions of “marijuana” and “cannabis” and “hemp” and the non-specifically defined term “non-active cannabis” to create a difficult-to-follow wording that, upon applying the rules of interpretation, would have meant “non-active cannabis” was “marijuana,” not hemp, and that would have allowed the production of “non-active cannabis” which was going to be non-active marijuana which would HAVE to be GMO marijuana that had been genetically-modified to have a knock-out gene so it wouldn’t produce THC.
    This GMO cannabis issue was something that Conrad Kiczneski had already discussed in his investigative report about the connection between Prop. 19, George Soros and Monsanto; I might not even had spotted the sneaky language included in Prop. 19 to allow such cultivation to happen if I hadn’t been made aware of the issue by Conrad’s work. But why GMO cannabis? What’s the point?
    b. What’s the Point of GMO Cannabis? THC Reduction
    First, the biotech companies have already developed GMO cannabis. A good excuse is that that way people can get the benefits of teh cannabinoids withotu getting high from the THC. The problem with that rationale is that the research indicates that it is the THC, in combination with the other cannabinoids, not by itself, which is the cancer-fighting agent (in combination with the other cannabinoids, not by itself — it’s important enough to reiterate this point) in whole herbal cannabis.
    So, do you think that Big Pharma and the cancer/pharma industrial complex — who have already developed synthetic THC THAT DOES NOT WORK AS WELL AS REAL THC — WANT average people to have access to REAL THC when they smoke the commercial “marijuana cigarettes” that will be allowed under the Kubby initiative? I don’t, because a huge percentage of the profits they make are from cancer and drugs to “fight” (not cure) it.
    The planning to get real THC and natural herbal cannabis out of people’s control is already visible if you look for it. Look at the U.S. Patent, which downplays the role of THC in cannabis’s contents to treat diseases. Look at how the National Cancer Institute’s official pronouncement about the anti-tumor qualities of marijuana — that’s the THC plus at work) was removed from its website a few days after it was posted. I suspect that upon reading the complete Request for Proposals issued by the Department of Health & Human Servicces to grow marijuana and produce marijuana cigarettes, we would find language indicating that the desired product will be low in THC.
    c. Kubby Initiative, Version 2, Removes Explicit Rule Against GMO Cannabis AND Drops Percent of THC Allowed in Sales from 3 percent to 1 percent
    Back to the original Kubby initiative: it had talked about sales with of marijuana with less than 3 percent THC would be allowed — in the new version it’s now dropped to less than 1 percent THC. How do you get marijuana with less than 1 percent THC? Hmmm. GMO is how. And by the way, the only marijuana that is treated as available to everyone, including people under 21, is marijuana with less than 1 percent of THC. [Fn. 1]

    Footnote 1: Now, there’s no definition of “medical marijuana” in Version 2 of the initiative, EVEN though it talks about “medical marijuana.” Follow closely, because this is part of the process the draafers engaged in to confuse us. Here’s what the Version 2 says, in relevant part:
    “(c) The People of the State of California hereby declare that this Act expressly prohibits the following: . . .
    (2) Any and all commercial advertising of the sales, distribution, and use of marijuana, except for medical marijuana and products that contain less than one percent THC. This provision shall be enforced hereafter by penalties to be set forth by the Legislature.” [Ask yourself how bad those undefined penalties might be . . . .]”
    This is really confusing. Does it man that someone could advertise marijuana with a 13 percent THC level as long as the ad says “for medicinal use only?” Or does it mean that medical marijuana is a product that contains less than 1 percent THC? I suspect it will be interpreted as the latter — but why word this thing so confusingly? And so susceptible to a really BAD interpretation?
    Remember, under Version 2, anyone – including minors — can obtain and use marijuana with less than 1 percent THC. And under California’s medical marijuana laws, minors have been able to use marijuana, period, without regard to THC levels. So if the Kubby initiative changes the law, and minors can only use marijuana with 1 percent or less THC, the flip-side of that would be that therefore medical marijuana, usable by all, is, be definition, marijuana with less than 1 percent THC. A court could certainly reach this interpretation. And if so, what that means is this: If the Kubby initiative passes, and if the cannot-be-legalized-under-federal-law-recreational provisions, the “treat it like wine” provisions are invalidated — which they will be as long as marijuana is a federally-scheduled drug — then medicinal users’ rights will have been changed, and all that they will be able to obtain legally will be marijuana that contain less than 1 percent of THC. Which a biotech company can grow, at which point the federal government will probably change marijuana from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 2, to benefit its partners in the biotech and pharma industries. [End of Footnote 1]

    Well, back to how Kubby et al. CHANGED the initiative.
    Remember, after I said I liked the “no GMO cannabis provision,” one of the Kubby camp even reiterated that they’d put that in there because I’d pointed that problem out in the Prop. 19 initiative. So you’d think they would have KEPT it in the new version if they were so proud of it. But NO, they TOOK IT OUT.
    Here’s the language from Version 1:
    “2. This Act expressly enjoins and prohibits the following: . . .(c) Any and all use, sales, distribution or cultivation of genetically modified strains of hemp or marijuana.”
    Nice and clear, right?

    So what does version 2 of the Kubby initiative NOW say about GMO cannabis?
    “(1) This Act adopts the definitions of marijuana and THC as they are presently set forth in Health and Safety Code Sections 11018 and 11006.5, but those definitions shall be broadly interpreted to include the species Cannabis Indica, Ruderalis, and Americana, as well as any plant part, derivative, interspecies hybrids or cross-breeds, and all nongenetically-modified strains of the Cannabis genus and plant.”
    That’s ALL the new version says. So, to translate, the term “marijuana” includes all nongenetically modified strains of cannabis.
    So, does that forbid the cultivation on GMO cannabis? No, it does not. Why would they change it then? Because, just as behind Prop.19 lurked the Big Biotech and Pharma folks, (and no doubt the cancer industry as well), so, too, the special interests are waiting for Kubby. There is no other reasonable explanation for why the very clear prohibition against cultivating GMO cannabis has been removed and this new language — which does not prohibit the cultivation of GMO cannabis, but simply is silent about what GMO cannabis is and what is allowed as far as it goes — is used instead.
    So, Judge Grey — want to explain?
    The “Harm Reduction” Patrol — Deputized Agents Coming to YOUR House Very, Very Soon IF Kubby and Grey Get Their Way,
    To Compel You To Comply with the New Law — Including Checking into “Compliance Requirements and Perceived Violations”
    Well, the GMO provision is not the only big change from Version 1 to Version 2. The new version has 473 more words than the old one. Version one was 1,369 words, and Version 2 is 1,842 words long. That’s a more than 30 percent increase in teh number of words! So what did they need all those new words for?
    Well, for a whole new section, for one thing. That section contains 393 words — which means the Kubby people have hidden another 80 words that may or may not do something sneaky elsewhere.
    But let’s look at the 393 word section. Here it is — and if this reminds you of stories of Cubans ratting out their neighbors under Castro, you’re not alone. I’ve underlined the most obnoxious provisions. You probably all know some officious person who would LOVE to get this kind of power — well, by voting for this initiative you’d be creating SCORES of them.
    ” (f) In order to protect the public health and safety, the People of the State of California hereby require the state Department of Health to deputize persons who are 21 years of age or older and apply as unpaid, unarmed, volunteer peace officers, hereinafter known as Harm Reduction Officers (HROs) , who are required to compel implementation and enforce all provisions of this Act.
    “(1) These persons, upon registration and payment of a nonrefundable training and materials fee, not to exceed $200, must complete a minimum of two days training in the following curriculum areas:
    (A) State and federal Cannabis laws and regulations;
    (B) Indoor and outdoor cultivation hazards and safe practices;
    (C) Applicable fire, building, environmental, labor, and safety codes; and
    CD) The state and federal Bills of Rights and appropriate civil rights, including 18 USC §241 and 242 and Civil Code Sections 52.1 et seq., and 54.
    (2) Training shall be privately contracted. Training shall be repeated by HROs every three years, and curriculum updates shall be provided to HROs annually.
    (3) Upon completion of training, a certificate of completion shall be issued to the trainee, who may then take the certificate to any state Department of Health office, law enforcement agency, or to any Superior Court judge, where they shall be deputized as Department of Health peace officers and shall take the oath of office as specified in Article XX, Section 3 of the California Constitution. Upon payment of the processing fee to the Department of Health, not to exceed $100, a HRO shall be issued a photo identification card, which shall be identical throughout the state. [This would mean that these people would be like State humane Officers, with STATE-WIDE JURISDICTION! Even regular law enforcement officers don’t have such broad jurisdiction!]
    (4) The HROs shall be charged with the duty of compelling persons to comply with this Act by informing persons of compliance requirements or perceived violations, and reporting actual uncorrected violations to law enforcement for follow-up action.
    (5) By their status of being peace officers, HROs shall be considered to be in full compliance with both 21 USC §885(d) and Health and Safety Code section 11367, and therefore shall be immune from all state and federal liability and prosecution for enforcing and operating under the provisions of this Act. [This seems to mean that they can violate your civil rights with immunity, folks; nice touch, Judge Grey!]
    (6) The training and certification requirements of this paragraph shall be applicable only to HROs, and the provisions of Penal Code sections 832 et seq. shall not apply to HROs or to this paragraph.” [I didn’t even bother to look up section 832; this thing is already bad enough.]

  7. Steve Kubby

    Dear Friends,

    We’ve tightened up the text for our initiative. Although we still think the Harm Reduction Officer program is a great way to create federal immunity, feedback does not support including this section, so we have removed it. That brings RMLW2012 down to 1,456 words, below the 1,500 word limit we originally set for ourselves.

    The new text to the RMLW2012 is simple, easy to understand and lightyears beyond anything ever proposed before. No other initiative has ever ordered a state to de-schedule cannabis or use the high offices of the state to demand federal rescheduling. These are new tactics that we believe will be very effective in turning the tide in our favor.

    Our public campaign will also be unlike anything ever attempted before. That’s because a former judge and LAPD deputy police chief were involved in the crafting of the initiative and will be directly involved in presenting it to the voters. Our spokespersons will all be former drug warriors who have served on the front lines and know the truth about the war on cannabis.

    Unlike any other initiative, we set clear limits on taxing and regulating cannabis. Those limits cannot be anymore strict than current taxes and regulations for wine. The Legislature still gets to write the rules, but we set the limits and that is unprecedented.

    No other initiative orders state officials, police, workers and contractors to refuse to cooperate with the feds, but we do. We believe that without the cooperation of the state, federal enforcement will not be viable.

    So far, all we’ve seen are initiatives allowing for one ounce to be legal. In contrast, our initiative creates a regulated industry, while exempting up to 25 plants or 12 pounds for personal use. The 12 pounds per adult per year corresponds with the amount of cannabis sent by the U.S. government to federal cannabis patients.

    We also have suspended the artificial distinction between low THC hemp and high THC cannabis crops. In our view, it is the final product and THC content that determines if it is restricted just to adults. If a business wants to use fibers from a medical marijuana crop to make hemp shirts, then our initiative will allow that to happen without armies of crop inspectors or cumbersome regulations. Thus, farmers can grow one crop to provide for fuel, fiber, food and/or medicine.

    Voters are familiar with wine and support treating cannabis like wine. No other cannabis initiative model has the 62% support that we have with the wine model. We can win with this approach. Join us and be a part of a real and historic change that we can all be proud of.

    Let freedom grow,
    Steve Kubby

  8. longbud

    Legalize it like wine
    make it so it’s not a crime
    to use a little to unwind
    for patients with glacoma who are going blind
    or for someone with a crack in their spine
    stop wasting all this time
    trying to make it hard to find
    cause we can all just grow it on a vine
    oh legalize it like wine legalize it like wine
    no more killing for a dime
    no more bad boys on channel nine
    no more underground mine
    crossing our borderline
    just listen to my ryhme
    get the president to sign
    to legalize it like wine
    and everything will be fine

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