Prop 19 Puts Pot in the Spotlight

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This is a monumental step for marijuana advocates as they move past the current state legislation which permits marijuana for medical use. However, even if the proposition is passed, it doesn't guarantee that marijuana will be legalized.

Proponents of the proposition seem to be near certain that, should the initiative pass, federal authorities will immediately request an appeal.

''I have no doubt that the feds will file suit if Proposition 19 passes,'' says Sale Gieringer, the director of the California branch of NORML, the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.

The reasons for a federal suit go beyond opinion, according to nine former DEA administrators.

The former DEA authorities state that, ''The California proposition is not a close call. It will be a clear conflict with established federal law.'' One of those authorities is the former supervising U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, Robert Bonner.

''The United States has treaties that would be violated if Proposition 19 were enacted. It would send a terrible signal to countries of the world,'' said Bonner.

Last year, the medical marijuana movement accomplished a big feat when Attorney General Eric Holder stated that the federal government would cease targeting medical marijuana operations in states that permit medical use.

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