My name is Dragonfly De La Luz, author of “Why Pro-Pot Activists Oppose Prop. 19.” It has come to my attention that Chris Conrad has been spreading rumors and attempting to impugn my credibility with his feeble response to my article. Although I normally wouldn’t bother to interrupt my busy life to reply, in this case, I feel compelled to set straight some claims that Conrad twisted, and thereby defend my name.

Chris Conrad ought to be ashamed of himself for even calling his rant a “rebuttal.” He rebuts nothing, and instead creates his own arguments to blindly rail against, falsely attributing ridiculous claims to my name in a move that is nothing short of libel. It appears that either he has read nothing, or his reading comprehension skills are in need of serious improvement.

I NEVER SAID that Blacks and Latinos are not targeted by police. I NEVER SAID anything at all about smoking bongs with teenagers. And most of the things Conrad attempts (and yet fails miserably) to “call me out” on are from the MYTHS section of my article, while he conveniently neglects to address the FACTS I present in response to those myths.

In his dismal and misleading effort to “rebut” my article, Conrad creates a new collection of myths to be debunked, not to mention solicits my defense of my own credibility. Conrad’s fallacious claims are italicized, and my responses follow.

1) Prop 19 WILL legalize marijuana for use and cultivation by adults over age 21.

*Not exactly. Prop. 19 would actually make it ILLEGAL to possess marijuana if it was purchased anywhere other than a licensed dispensary:

Section 3: Lawful Activities: Section 11301: Commercial Regulations and Controls: (g):

PROHIBIT AND PUNISH through civil fines or other remedies THE POSSESSION, sale, possession for sale, cultivation, processing, or transportation OF CANNABIS THAT WAS NOT OBTAINED LAWFULLY FROM A PERSON PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION OR SECTION 11300.

(The key words being, “[c]annabis that was not obtained lawfully…”)

That means that some cannabis will be lawful, and some cannabis will be unlawful—depending on who you “obtain” it from. According to the initiative itself, a person who can “lawfully” provide cannabis is “a person pursuant to this section or section 11300.” And who is “a person pursuant to section 11300?” Read on:

Section 11300: (i) ...a person who is licensed or permitted to do so [sell marijuana] under the terms of an ordinance adopted pursuant to section 11301.

Thus, the initiative's exact words—“prohibit and punish... the possession... of cannabis that was not obtained lawfully... from a person who is licensed or permitted to do so”—mean exactly this: IT WILL BE ILLEGAL TO POSSESS MARIJUANA THAT WAS PURCHASED ANYWHERE OTHER THAN A LICENSED DISPENSARY.

2) Prop 19 DOES preserve Prop 215 and SB 420 intact and states it several times in the purposes and reinforces that fact in the ballot argument. (sic)

*If it were that plain, then why have there been months of debate about it in the medical marijuana community and among attorneys and other legal experts who believe otherwise? The purposes section of Prop. 19 implies preservation, but the actual wording of the initiative—the part that would be codified into law—preserves only PARTS of Prop. 215. Clearly, if the fate of medical marijuana has been the subject of so much debate, then Prop. 19 obviously is not clear-cut and unambiguous in this regard. And therein lies the problem.

3) Marijuana is not more legal when it is decriminalized than when it is legal. That's just plain stupid.

*Nowhere in my article do I claim that marijuana is more legal when it’s decriminalized. I said it is more legal now because it IS legal now. Marijuana has been legal in California since 1996.

Take a look at the rights Prop. 215 gives and compare them to the rights Prop. 19 would create, and then decide for yourself which is more “legal.” Furthermore, under Prop. 215, the legality of the pot you possess does not depend on who you buy it from. Under Prop. 19, on the other hand, if you buy it from your neighbor or at a party, your pot is illegal and so are you. If Prop. 19 passes, buying marijuana will only be legal if you buy it from Richard Lee and a handful of select others.

4) It is NOT currently legal to smoke bong hits in the park with teenagers.

*I never said that it was. There is absolutely nothing in my article that says anything about smoking bongs with teenagers. What I do say is that it is common to see cops walk right past “young adults” hitting bongs in Golden Gate Park—“young adults,” which we are. And thanks to Prop. 215, we ARE legally free to light up in public.

[Proposition 215 (Compassionate Use Act): Section 11362.79: Nothing in this article shall authorize a qualified patient or person with an identification card to engage in the smoking of medical marijuana under any of the following circumstances: (a) In any place where smoking is prohibited by law. (In other words, anyone with a 215 recommendation can smoke anywhere cigarette smoking is allowed.)]

5) It is NOT currently legal to smoke around minors.

Actually, it IS legal for medical marijuana patients to medicate freely in the presence of their children, or when their kids are home. But that’s beside the point. The point is that the wording of Prop. 19 regarding this ban is so vague that it could be left up to interpretation.

Prop. 19 prohibits smoking “in any space while minors are present.” But what is meant by “space” and “present”? If you light up on the back patio and kids happen to be playing soccer next door, are you in the same “space” while minors are “present”? Is “present” the same house? The same room? Wafting distance? Yes? No? Maybe? Depends? My article merely claims that such ambiguous wording is far from sufficient. And it is.

6) Blacks and Latinos ARE indeed targeted by police.

Wow, did ANYONE ever say that we were not? I certainly did not. How dare Conrad, a supposedly educated man, call this a rebuttal! It would be far more accurate to call it a made-up, libelous mess of statements I never made!

What my article says, for those who have not read it, is that the NAACP’s belief that Prop. 19 will keep young black people from getting arrested over a joint is erroneous. Because the only people—of any ethnicity—who can get arrested over a joint are the ones selling it. And because Prop. 19 keeps personal distribution illegal, Prop. 19 will in no way keep anyone out of jail for selling a joint. (Nor will it keep anyone out of jail for having a joint, as decriminalization has already achieved this.)

7) There is NO $50 an ounce in the initiative.

Nowhere in my article is there any mention of $50 ounces. In fact, what I say is that the price of marijuana will likely be as high, if not higher, than it is in the current market. I do, however, mention that Richard Lee himself said in an interview that $50 was the “recommended” tax per ounce (although researchers suggest the tax could be much higher).

8) There are NO corporate favors over citizens, in fact the word corporation is not even in the initiative.

Again (surprise, surprise), I never said there were. Of course, the initiative does not explicitly call for corporate favors; the authors of Prop. 19 are not foolish enough to be so transparent. But the fact that the people behind the initiative are businessmen with corporate aspirations speaks for itself. It is obvious that big business is written all over this initiative. Perhaps if Conrad had actually ever read my article, he would know that Jeff Wilcox, CEO of cannabis corporation AgraMed—which just received Oakland’s first commercial cultivation license—is on the steering committee for Prop. 19, and now expects to make $59 million annually through this corporatization of cannabis.

9) Prop 19 was NOT intended to “end the drug war,” it is intended to legalize adult cannabis.

*Here again Conrad addresses a MYTH included in my article. I never said that’s what I believe.

10) People DO get arrested for marijuana every day in California.

*And people will continue to get arrested every day for marijuana under Prop. 19. Perhaps in even larger numbers. I never said that no one gets arrested for pot in this state. I did say, however, that no one gets arrested for having 1 oz. or less (the amount Prop. 19 would legalize), because it is already decriminalized and not an arrestable offense.

11) The initiative DOES NOT make it a felony to grow or possess larger amounts.

*I never claimed it did. It is already a felony to grow larger amounts, and can be a felony to possess larger amounts, so Prop. 19 doesn’t need to make it a felony anew. Nor does it remove those felonies.

12) Personal cultivation, use and sharing of cannabis would NOT be taxed under Prop 19.

*Again, I never said it would be.

13) Parents smoking around their children will NOT be an arrestable offense under the initiative, it would remain a misdemeanor possession charge with a $100 fine -- the same as now.

*Nowhere in the initiative does it lay out what the punishment would be for smoking cannabis in the presence of children. But currently there is no law against it, so we can expect new penalties to follow.

14) No one ever said the initiative allows 25 square feet of garden per person, the initiative is per residence or parcel.

*Yet again, Conrad responds to one of the MYTHS of my article. To say “no one ever said” is a bit arrogant, is it not? If he has read a single thread of any pro-Prop. 19 post, then Conrad should know that countless people believe the myth that this allotment is per person, not per residence.

15) The price of marijuana WILL drop after Prop 19 passes, that's why so many drug dealers don't like it. The Rand Corporation says to $30 per ounce, but most people think that good bud will go for around $100 per ounce.

*To think that marijuana will drop to $30 an ounce is ludicrous. The Rand Corporation’s study found that “most of today's pot costs are actually risks to growers, distributors, and sellers who face arrest and jail time.” They concluded that because the risk factor would be removed for corporate/commercial “legal” growers—such as AgraMed—there would be no need for inflated prices. But here is the reality check:

While it is true that these risks would no longer be a factor in pricing marijuana, it is also true that we live in a free market economy. Not having to pay for a middle-man and the associated risks of black market transactions simply translates to a higher-profit margin for corporate growers. To expect that licensed dispensary owners—who already know that the public will pay $300+ for an ounce, and who, in the case of Oakland’s four licensed dispensaries combined, currently enjoy gross sales of $28 million per year—will pass that “savings” on to the cannabis consumer is unrealistic at best.

Besides, AgraMed has already let the cat out of the bag with regard to just how much cannabis might cost. By their own estimation, in order to make their projected $59 million a year off 58 pounds per day, they would have to charge roughly $2,800 per pound wholesale—and that’s if they produced 58 pounds 365 days a year. If they managed to produce that output only 5 days a week, that price would leap to about $3,900 per pound.

With shelf-prices at dispensaries often set at double the wholesale purchase price—not to mention the compulsory tax added onto every ounce—the price of marijuana could potentially be higher than it is in our current market, in which a pound has already fallen to $2,000, according to a recent National Public Radio report.

16) Jack Herer is not against the campaign, he died before it got fully under way.

*Jack Herer practically died telling us to vote against it. He was explicitly and vehemently against Prop. 19. This is an undeniable fact.

17) No one knows what he (Jack Herer) would be saying now, so it would be to stop speaking in his name. (sic)

*You wouldn’t be accusing ME of speaking in Mr. Herer’s name, would you, Chris? Because the way I remember it:

“Jack would never, ever walk into a voting booth and vote to keep prohibition as it is. He would have complained, he would demand that we pass CHI in 2012, but Jack would hold his nose and vote yes. The problem is that Jack Herer died before he came to support Prop 19, otherwise he would tell you so himself. So let’s do what Jack really would have ended up doing, and give Tax Cannabis unwavering support.” – Chris Conrad, court-qualified cannabis expert and consultant

(I rest my case.)

Chris, I invite you to read my article—in its entirety, including excerpts from Prop. 19 and the footnotes section—and then come back when you have something to contribute to the debate.

Oh, and while you’re at it, may I recommend you take a few bong-rips? It might help with your arrogant and condescending attitude.

For the rest of you, you can find my original article, “Why Pro-Pot Activists Oppose Prop. 19,” at votetaxcannabis2010.blogspot.com

Thank you for your attention,
Dragonfly De La Luz


  1. thank you, dragonfly...I would hope to meet you. I financed Jack's book, spent years with him, and although I am not directly channeling him, as some others, he thought the bill disgusting, and his son dan herer is changing his legacy...we are meeting in anaheim with lettitia pepper, a patient, and attorney, who has also analysed the bill, and starting to hand out fliers...if you wish, email me at edna2422000@yahoo.com thanks...you are a warrior woman!

  2. Thank you, dragon fly...we are meeting in anaheim with lettitia on saturday, to pass out fliers. please email me at edna2422000@yahoo.com if you will, we would love to meet you. Jack would be happy to know you are advancing the agenda he worked so hard for for decades...I financed jack's book, etc..and now his legacy is being changed by his son, and chris conrad

  3. Dragonfly: Would you like to come on Free Radio Santa Cruz to discuss this issue? I do shows Thursday evening 6-8 PM and Sunday mornings 9:30 AM to 1 PM. --

  4. Everyone one needs to know that prop 19 is basically the" make richard lee rich" prop.