Visiting Imperial Beach, the Libertarian Party candidate for vice president said Friday that if local voters have any “integrity or open-mindedness at all,” the city’s marijuana measure will “pass by 70 or 80 percent.”
Voters in Lemon Grove, Del Mar and Solana Beach also will pass judgment on measures seeking medical marijuana dispensaries.
Gray said marijuana should be regulated like alcohol, and calls America’s war on drugs “the biggest failed policy in the history of the United States of America second only to slavery.”
“You can abolish all these dispensaries if you want to. It will not—mark my words—decrease the amount of marijuana used in this town at all. It’ll just push it underground,” he said.
“There won't be any quality control, there won’t be any age restrictions to address, there won’t be any taxation. All of these sorts of things will be left to the bad guys.”
City Council candidate Erika Lowery, who said she plans to vote yes on Prop. S, was among those attending the gathering of about 10 people at the Palm Avenue center.
Gray also was in San Diego for Libertopia 2012 at Shelter Island and discussed issues ranging from immigration and taxes to jobs and what he would have said had he been part of Thursday evening’s debate.
He said he watched the failure of American drug policy firsthand while presiding over cases as a judge in Orange County in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Gray urged voters to “take away a whole lot of money, lots and lots of money from juvenile street gangs. Let’s take away a whole lot of money from Mexican drug cartels and a lot of other thugs.”
Gray is not an Imperial Beach resident, but urged IB voters to see drug issues as something to manage, not moralize about.
“I’m just asking that people here in Imperial Beach and these other cities considering this—that you give it serious consideration. That’s all they have to do.
“[Because] if they do that [with] any form of integrity or open mindedness at all, it’ll pass by 70 or 80 percent,” he said.
People who aren’t seriously in need of medicine will game the system, he said, but that shouldn’t prevent patients from gaining access.
“That’s a regulation problem,” he said. “And the answer is: If they’re breaking the state law, for heaven’s sake prosecute them.”
San Diego Democrats endorsed Prop. S. But San Diego Republicans have urged a “no” vote on the measure, which calls for legalization of medical marijuana dispensaries.
Opponents of the proposition, which include Mayor Jim Janney and current and former members of the IB City Council, argue that the ordinance does not give the city the ability to reject business licenses and would lead to marijuana “hangouts.”
Opponents call the measure “a deceitfully conceived attempt to allow for proliferation of large-scale pot shops.”
Funding in the race is lopsided.
As of Oct. 5, the Yes on S campaign has received more than $60,000, primarily from people outside of IB. Citizens Against Prop. S raised about $300.
Click here to see for/against arguments and to read the Safe Access Ordinance of Imperial Beach in its entirety.