Families in Action
A Guide to Drug-Related State Ballot Initiatives
for New Drug Policies
After its successful sponsorship of California’s Proposition 36 in 2000, the Soros group targeted 3 states east of the Mississippi – Michigan, Ohio, and Florida – in which to sponsor similar “treatment not jail” initiatives. Their reasons:
“'Politics is perception, and the perception up to this point is that voters want tougher and tougher drug policies,’ said Bill Zimmerman, executive director of the Campaign for New Drug Policies. ‘The votes we saw (Tuesday) night represent a sea change in that perception.’”
“‘It shows that the war on drugs is slowly being strangled and eventually the federal politicians are going to have to face up to their 20-year failure,’” added John Sperling, one of three men in the Soros group who finance these initiatives.
say the campaign’s focus may shift to Middle America. ‘Michigan and Ohio
are probably the places where you have the largest number of people affected,
and you would send the loudest message,’ said Dave Fratello, campaign
manager for the California initiative.”
Provisions of this initiative include:
Not on Ballot.
The Florida Supreme Court must review the wording of all petitions before proponents may begin collecting signatures. The state Attorney General makes recommendations for the review.
In this case, the Attorney General recommended against approving petition language because certain provisions violated citizens’ Constitutional rights. This triggered a hearing before the Supreme Court with both sides presenting arguments. While awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision, proponents withdrew their petition, stating even if the Court approved their proposed language, they would not have enough time to collect the required number of signatures to place the initiative on the ballot. The court handed down its decision later, approving the langauge, and proponents plan to re-introduce the petition drive in 2004.
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