California UFCW organizes med marijuana workers - endorses full legalisation

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California UFCW organizes med marijuana workers - endorses full legalisation



More info: California federation of labor stays neutral, UFCW seeks endorsements from individual unions.

John Hoeffel, [url=,0,71..."Big union supports California measure to legalize marijuana,"[/url] LA Times, July 15, 2010.

Proponents of the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot won the endorsement Wednesday of the council that oversees the political work of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in California, as well as one of the union's major locals, giving proponents a significant boost to their campaign.

They also had hoped to win the endorsement of the California Labor Federation, which met this week in San Diego, but decided not to press for a vote and settled instead on persuading the powerful organization to remain neutral - which it did.

"Obviously, I would have liked to have had a full endorsement," said Dan Rush, who oversees special operations for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 5, and has pushed efforts to gain union support for the measure. But he noted that the neutral stance means the 1,200 member unions are now free to endorse the initiative, and contribute money and campaign volunteers.

"I'm expecting to garner the endorsements of most of the major unions in California over the next several weeks," Rush said.

[url=,0,71... the rest.[/url]



LA Times Blog: [url="Union endorses initiative to legalize marijuana in California."[/url]

The 200,000-member United Food and Commercial Workers, Western States Council, on Wednesday announced its support for Proposition 19, the initiative to legalize marijuana in California.

"The Western States Council is endorsing Proposition 19 based upon our previous support of the medical cannabis initiative, 1996's Proposition 215," George Landers, the council's executive director, said in a statement. "We view Proposition 19 as an enhanced version of the previous proposition, that creates taxable revenue and produces jobs in agriculture, health care, retail and possibly textile. We further believe that the proposition will deprive narcotics traffickers of a significant source of criminal revenue."

Ron Lind, president of the union, and Dan Rush of its Local 5 also spoke out in favor of Proposition 19.

"The marriage of the cannabis-hemp industry and UFCW is a natural one," said Rush. "We are an agriculture, food-processing and retail union, as is this industry."

The council is the political arm of UFCW in several Western states. It comprises the UFCW local unions in the states it covers.

Last month the UFCW announced it had [url= approximately 100 "bud tenders" in the San Francisco Bay Area and was looking to organize more.[/url]

Does the Canadian labour movement have a position on legalised pot, medical or otherwise?