Los Angeles, CA - January 10th 2012 - Coalition for a Drug Free California (CDFC) reported last month that California State Attorney General, Kamala Harris has been meeting with pro-marijuana organizations, seeking their advice and input on soon-to-be-released guidelines tying the hands of California law enforcement officers from shutting down pot stores. Recently, Kamala Harris's office withdrew her guidelines; a good move. However, in doing so, Harris asked the California Legislature to clarify pro pot laws, which we believe is an attempt to curtail criticism of her office for secretly meeting with the pro pot lobby, to craft her poorly written marijuana guidelines.
 
San Jose Mercury News broke the story (click here to read full-story), reporting, "Harris, a Democrat who was elected with backing from the state's medical marijuana industry, has been under pressure to defend it since October, when the four federal prosecutors based in California announced a coordinated effort to shut retail pot shops they described as ruses for public drug dealing..."
 
Linda Taylor of CDFC stated, “Although Attorney General Kamala Harris has made the decision to withdraw her marijuana guidelines, she recently sent a letter to state legislators insisting that they clarify whether marijuana dispensaries and marijuana delivery services are legal. It would appear that our top cop doesn’t understand the law. Let me remind her that marijuana is illegal under federal law and federal law supersedes state law. Asking the California legislature for clarification doesn’t change that fact. Harris’s campaign contributions confirm a link between her and the pro marijuana lobby that elected her to office and it could also explain her temporary amnesia of the law.”
 
Harris's office admitted to meeting with pro-drug advocates to help craft the now rescinded guidelines. Her office also used official California State offices for these meetings. Harris's office has denied our public records request asking for additional information on these meetings, the locations and their attendees. Specifically, CDFC asked for records showing the dates and times that Kamala Harris, and/or any of her staff met with pro-marijuana groups to include marijuana dispensary groups, marijuana attorneys, marijuana lobby groups, Drug Policy Alliance, NORML, and other similar groups, etc., to include the names of the groups, the names of the persons from the AG office and the names of the individuals they met with. A letter dated November 22nd, denied our request for the public records. You can download a copy of the denial by clicking here. To date, her office has consistently refused to meet with anti-drug coalitions. CDFC submitted a formal Public Records Request, which by law, requires public agencies to release information. (You can read the California Public Records Act by clicking here)
 
CDFC is concerned with these key points:

1) Our Top Law Enforcement Official is motivated by securing more "patient rights" and "accessibility" to an illicit schedule I drug
 
2) The AG is unaware of or not willing to admit the blight that pot shops have in our communities
 
3) The AG is on record as pro-actively seeking clarification on the law from pro marijuana groups, but NOT FROM Public Health or Drug Prevention - substance abuse professionals, and not willing to do so
 
4) With this blatant agenda, the AG is advising our two democratic leaders in the State Senate (Steinberg) and State Assembly (Perez) to clarify the law by changing current law
 
5) The AG doesn't appear willing to recognize the harms of pro drug use messaging across our 58 counties; the harm of thousands of retail outlets across the state selling an illicit schedule I drug with high propensity for abuse (addiction); the link between increased use and increased cartel involvement; the role that substance abuse plays in children in foster care, children in poverty, domestic violence, incarceration for crimes committed while under the influence and the high school and college drop-out rate.
 
If these are her positions, California's 9 million kids are in trouble. California now leads the nation in youth marijuana use and addiction.
 
“We will continue to vigorously pursue our official public records request which Ms. Harris illegally denied. We will not tolerate the Attorney General working with drug legalization advocates to undermine our communities and our children's futures,” said Taylor.
 
Susan Ballard of Los Angeles stated, "As a mother, I'm concerned for my children. We have pot stores on nearly every major street in the city. These are not helping sick people. Instead, they are making communities sick. Attorney General Harris has her priorities all wrong. I made a big mistake supporting her."
 
Dr. Paul Chabot, CDFC President stated, "We are consulting with the legal and legislative community to ensure the AG complies with the Public Records Act. It is of great concern to me as a parent when our California Attorney General blatantly sides with those who openly break the law to harm our children and our communities."
 


 
CDFC continues effort to obtain public records from Attorney General Kamala Harris.
What is California's top cop hiding?

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