OC’s Young Dems endorse decriminalization of pot. Will the DPOC have the cojones to join them Monday?

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You know why so many Americans who should be voting Democratic for their own interests don’t?  It’s because the Party as a whole, and so many of its politicians, are too chicken-shit to take a bold stand for things that are right but may be slightly controversial.  Why is that?

Proposition 19 to Decriminalize, Regulate, and Tax Marijuana is an excellent example.  There was a long debate at the state convention last month, over whether to endorse it or stay neutral (nobody really wanted to oppose it.)  The pro folks had scads of substantive arguments on their side, which you can really read anywhere, while the “neutral” side mainly belly-ached about how the controversy may hurt “the candidates” – that is, the major, statewide candidates who have come out against it for whatever reason.

Jerry Brown, Kamala Harris, and Dianne Feinstein may really disagree with marijuana legalization, or they might just think it’s politically dangerous as they try to look tough on law and order, but it doesn’t matter – this is in the hands of California voters. PLUS, if they really think it’s smart politics to oppose this progressive measure, it shouldn’t hurt them to show independents that they’re bucking their Party’s position.

In any case the cautious “neutral” side prevailed at the state convention, which at least allows each County Party to take a stand one way or the other. So, many of us progressive grassroots types here in the OC have been pushing the DPOC to endorse it.  Us pros had our say last month, and the showdown will come at this Monday night’s DPOC when a vote will take place after the cautious conservative old guys have their say.  I’ll be there and hope to have breaking good news for OJ readers.

I want my Party to endorse Prop 19 because it’s a step forward for freedom, justice and sanity;  also because it will bring desperately needed revenue to local governments; and ALSO because I want everybody to know that the Democratic Party is the COOL Party – especially young people!

Here’s the Young Dems’ press release, kudos to them:

Orange County Young Democrats Unanimously Endorse Proposition 19

Santa Ana, CA:

Last week at their monthly membership meeting the Orange County Young Democrats (OCYD) unanimously endorsed Proposition 19, the initiative to control and tax cannabis in California.

“We knew this issue would be a no-brainer for our membership,” said Nick Anas, Chair of OCYD. “According to most polls, a clear majority of 18-34 year old Democrats support this initiative. There will be a lot of first time voters who are going turn out for this issue, and it is our job as Young Democrats to connect Prop 19 to the Democratic Party. If we don’t do that we stand to lose an entire generation of voters.”

He added: “There is a reason why the largest growing party today is no party, it’s because many in our generation feel that neither of the major political parties have the courage to take stands on politically sensitive issues.  More importantly, with Proposition 19 we have the chance to bring in more than $1 billion dollars in new revenue, create thousands of jobs that can’t be shipped overseas and take a huge burden off law enforcement to focus on serious crimes”

Below are the official 2010 November 2nd Proposition Endorsement List for Orange County Young Democrats.

Support: Proposition 19

Oppose: Proposition 20

Support: Proposition 21

No Endorsement: Proposition 22

Oppose: Proposition 23

Support: Proposition 24

Support: Proposition 25

Oppose: Proposition 26

Support: Proposition 27

The Orange County Young Democrats (OCYD) is the official voice for young people in the Democratic Party in Orange County. OCYD is comprised of young workers, young families, college and high school students, ages 14 – 35, who are dedicated to the Democratic values that make America strong and provide opportunity for all. OCYD is committed to establishing a bloc of young voters who will elect Democrats for an entire generation.

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.