Stoners Against Legalization Shamefully Misquote Hempfest Founder

dragonfly-viv-quote-new

UPDATE 9/20: Vivian McPeak has been in contact with Dragonfly and posted the following:

OK, I have received a very kind and thoughtful response from Dragonfly De La Cruz [sic] regarding the quotes of mine that were used in her anti-Prop 64 (anti-AUMA) blog. I am pleased and very satisfied with the changes she made. So, please refrain from publicly criticizing her for that particular issue. I don’t care if we disagree, but I care so very strongly that we treat each other as if we are all on the same side of the legalization issue — even if we disagree vehemently on strategy and implementation. This shit is inherently complicated, and the only real enemy is prohibition IMHO. I am very encouraged that she was so comprehensive and thoughtful in her response to me.

I cannot tell you what changes Dragonfly made that satisfied Vivian – SINCE THE SAME SIX MCPEAK QUOTES STILL APPEAR UNCHANGED IN THE SAME ARTICLE. But if Vivian’s satisfied, I’ll drop the subject – of her mis-quoting Vivian, that is. There will be plenty more articles attacking the erroneous, fallacious, and scaremongering content of her blog designed to encourage voters to maintain prohibition.

UPDATE 9/15 #2: I don’t know if this closing quote was added or was in the original post, since it was so damn long I never scrolled down that far. But Dragonfly did a wholesale rearrangement of the post to fit the new “14 REASONS” title, so who knows. Anyway, there is a SECOND Vivian McPeak quote to close the piece, again referring to Washington’s I-502, again not mentioning that, and again referring to the op-ed where Vivian says “don’t copy us”, which California isn’t, in order to imply opposition to California’s Prop 64.

Dragonfly Viv Quote 2
Once again, Dragonfly de la Luz takes a Vivian McPeak quote out of context to imply opposition to California’s Prop 64.
Dragonfly de la Luz
Stoner Against Legalization Dragonfly de la Luz (Image: NPR)

UPDATE 9/15: Dragonfly de la Luz originally posts Vivian McPeak’s quote to intro this piece attacking California’s Prop 64, with no mention of that quote referring to Washington’s I-502.

When Vivian objects and asks for the quote’s removal, she instead just adds an attribution of his quote referring to Washington and leaves the quote up, with a new hyperlink to a different op-ed of Vivian’s that critiques Washington.

Now, a day after I object, she changes the title of her post to “14 REASONS WHY CALIF. PROGRESSIVES SHOULD VOTE NO ON PROP. 64”.

So we know she’s been editing her piece since she’s been called out for misrepresenting Vivian McPeak – and she continues to do so.

There is no compelling reason to keep a quote up about Washington’s I-502, linked to Vivian himself saying it’s the worst model and California shouldn’t copy it, since California isn’t copying it.

California’s Prop 64, with its guaranteed indoor home grow, lower taxes, no “state canopy”, no 5ng DUID, allowed pot lounges, and legal sharing, is far superior to I-502. The rest of the piece – misinformed as it is – can stand alone without Vivian’s quote.

Dragonfly de la Luz, therefore, is willfully hijacking the goodwill of Vivian McPeak’s stellar reputation as a successful grassroots activist to oppose a marijuana legalization initiative against his express demand.

This is worse than when Donald Trump uses music from popular artists at his campaign rallies against their wishes. Take down the quote, Dragonfly.

Once again, as they did during the Prop 19 in campaign in 2010, the Stoners Against Legalization in California are agitating for a rejection of Prop 64, the marijuana legalization initiative. And once again, they are recklessly and willfully distorting, obfuscating, twisting, and outright lying about how legalization will work in California.

But the latest act by these enablers of marijuana prohibition sets a new low.

The culprit in this case goes by the pseudonym (I assume) of Dragonfly de la Luz. The last we heard from her was during the Prop 19 campaign where she was up to the same despicable yellow journalism she’s now peddling at a Blogspot site called ‘PROGRESSIVES AGAINST THE PROP. 64 ADULT USE MARIJUANA ACT” (which I won’t link to).

At the beginning of her most recent post entitled “WHY CALIFORNIA PROGRESSIVES ARE VOTING NO ON PROP. 64”, she opens with the following quote:

Dragonfly Vivian McPeak Quote
Screenshot from a Stoners Against Legalization blog quoting Hempfest Founder Vivian McPeak out of context to disparage Prop 64 in California.

“I thought for decades that legalization meant that we would all keep doing what we were doing without fear of arrest or prosecution. I failed to grasp that the powers that be would see it as just another angle [from] which to gain control and hand opportunity to the wealthiest, most ruthless, [and] most connected…

– Vivian McPeak, Executive Director, Seattle Hempfest

What Dragonfly failed to grasp is that Vivian McPeak hasn’t established a public position on Prop 64. The quote she is using came from Vivian’s Facebook posts in reference to Washington’s I-502. When another Stoner Against Legalization, Steve Kubby, shared Dragonfly’s post far and wide on Facebook, Vivian made it quite clear in a reply that he wasn’t too happy about it.

Screenshot from Steve Kubby's Facebook wall showing comment from Vivian McPeak, objecting to being used to defeat Prop 64. (Revised by Vivian)
Screenshot from Steve Kubby’s Facebook wall showing comment from Vivian McPeak, objecting to being used to defeat Prop 64. (Revised by Vivian)

This article is taking select posts I have made on Facebook that had NO REFERENCE TO AUMA AT ALL and is ascribing my comments out of context to the AUMA Proposition. I never gave permission for my words to be used in this fashion, in this piece, or by these authors. I was NOT referring to AUMA (Prop 64) when made the statements included in this article or whatever it is. Nobody has EVER contacted me and asked me what my position or opinions are about Prop 64. I have never publicly stated that I was for or against Prop 64.

Vivian McPeak at Seattle Hempfest 2016
Seattle Hempfest Executive Director Vivian McPeak (right) poses for pictures on Main Stage at the 2016 event.

When I was first alerted to Dragonfly’s transgression, the quote of Vivian’s read exactly as I have it transcribed, but without the hyperlink. Since then, the quote has been altered to include the hyperlink and the modifier “on the aftermath of Washington’s recreational initiative” following Vivian’s title.

Weirdly, the hyperlink she has supplied doesn’t go to the source of Vivian’s quote, as you’d expect, but to a Seattle P-I op-ed that Vivian wrote in May entitled “Washington: The worst legal cannabis model. Don’t copy us.

In that piece, Vivian laments Washington state’s lack of personal home cannabis growing rights and notes how all the other legal states have that right. He observes that Washington makes it a felony for adults to share cannabis and notes how all the other legal states allow adult sharing. He criticizes the Washington legislature for the reductions in patient supply and access that arose from merging the medical and recreational systems. He indicts Washington’s 5 nanogram per se marijuana DUID limit as an “unscientific” standard that can merit a DUID conviction with “no sign at all of impairment.”

In his opening, Vivian opines, “I am hoping that none of those states will look to my home state as a model, because I think we have done the worst job of the 4 states that have decriminalized cannabis so far.” In his closing, Vivian advises, “If you live in a state that has not legalized you need to start your own citizen’s initiative if you can.”

California did and got Prop 64 on the ballot.

Under Prop 64, unlike Washington’s I-502, Californians will be able to grow cannabis plants at home.

Under Prop 64, unlike Washington’s I-502, Californians will be able to share cannabis between adults.

Under Prop 64, unlike Washington’s I-502, California already established statewide medical marijuana regulations and Prop 64 in three different sections states that the Compassionate Use Act (medical marijuana) is not affected by this initiative.

Under Prop 64, unlike Washington’s I-502, Californians will not be subject to an unscientific per se DUID standard.

It looks like California’s Prop 64 took Vivian McPeak’s advice and didn’t model itself after the worst of Washington’s I-502. For Dragonfly to link to that column in response to getting called out on using Vivian’s quote out of context to disparage Prop 64 is amusingly ironic.

Updated to correct typos and grammar and remove the “stooge” comment that Vivian McPeak’s removed from his original post.

Russ Belville
About Russ Belville 199 Articles
Russ Belville - or "Radical" Russ, as he is known on-air - hosts The Marijuana Agenda, a live news and talk radio program for the cannabis community, weekdays at 3pm Pacific on MJAgenda.com.  The show is based in Portland, Oregon, but "Radical" Russ has traveled over 300,000 air miles in the past five years, bringing his show to report live from hundreds of cannabis conferences, marijuana expos, hemp festivals, and legalization events in over 70 North American cities.