Weekend Open Thread: Remembering Frank Barbaro on 4/20 & 420


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Former DPOC Chair and Santa Ana ganjapreneur Frank Barbaro with his good bud. (Photoillustration of a not at all stoned Barbaro adapted. not kidding, from OC Register’s “The Buzz.” (It has long been the philosophy of this blog than whenever one can substitute the head of former OCGOP Chair and Congressional candidate Scott Baugh with a gigantic bud of cannabis, one probably should.)

Former DPOC Chair Frank Barbaro died of pancreatic cancer this past week.  Barbaro was, among other things such as successful lawyer and big donor, among the first legal cannabis entrepreneurs in Santa Ana — but that is a story for a different time.  (De mortibus nisi bonum.  His “bud” there, from the collar down, is former RPOC (back when it was “OCGOP”) Chair Scott Baugh, who doesn’t actually look like that.)  I choose to remember Barbaro today as a strong and consistent proponent of legalization — so much so that he brought in then-Libertarian Party Vice Presidential candidate Judge Jim Gray as a guest speaker to DPOC one day to promote the “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine” measure, which was just a few years ahead of its time).  Judge Gray gave a very good speech on the topic — and so far as I recall nobody in DPOC said “boo” about it, so to speak.

Barbaro’s death so close to 4/20 — and while I don’t know, I expect that he made the most of both the curative and palliative properties of cannabis, and I hope that the latter worked well for him — offers a good occasion to ask the question: how do we all think that cannabis legalization (in its various forms across states) is shaping up?  Any pleasant (or unpleasant) surprises?  And pleasant or unpleasant confirmations of what you expected?

This is your holiday Weekend Open Thread.  Do that thing you do.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)