Courtroom sparring partners (l-r) District Attorney-Elect Lisa Green and Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman (who is also president of Rotary Club of Frazier Park and the Mountain Communities).
By Gary Meyer
A friendly debate was held in Lebec on September 23 about the future of marijuana laws in California.
Kern County Prosecutor Lisa Green is now District Attorney-Elect. She made a presentation at the Los Pinos Restaurant hosted by her friend—and a frequent adversary in the courtroom—Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman of Frazier Park.
Cadman is the new president of the Rotary Club of Frazier Park and the Mountain Communities. The two attorneys have become friends over the three years Cadman has served at the Public Defender’s Office.
Green entered the race for the position of D.A. when Ed Jagels, who has served as Kern County’s District Attorney for over 30 years, announced he is retiring. No challengers stepped forward.
So, though Green may not need to campaign for her own election, she does campaign against Proposition 19, the ballot initiative that seeks to legalize and regulate the cultivation, possession and personal use of marijuana in California.
Green began by presenting arguments in favor of Proposition 19—such as tax revenue benefits and the decrease in time and money spent by law enforcement.
She did not mention other claims—such as the supposed end of illegal drug cartels and benefits to the state budget by alleviating the present congestion in the judicial system and decrease in the staggering expense of incarcerating those convicted of trade in and use of marijuana.
Green’s real focus was the downsides she believes would come if Prop 19 passes.
She said she believes there would be an increase in crime with legalization, as more demand for the drug would result in more burglaries and theft, causing greater impact upon law enforcement.
The District Attorney-elect said marijuana is currently readily available to youth inside and outside of schools. Making it legal, she said, would only increase access, as she said happens with alcohol.
Green pointed out that Alaska permitted adults to possess small amounts of marijuana between 1979 and 1990, and that use among children was measured at 51%. She said this was one of the reasons Alaska voters repealed the law in 1990.
Public Defender Cadman argued that "people are going to use marijuana anyway and therefore, just like alcohol following the prohibition years, it should be decriminalized."
The two agreed to disagree.
The Rotary Club of Frazier Park meets each Thursday at 5:45 p.m. at Los Pinos Mexican Restaurant in Lebec.
This is part of the October 01, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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