My colleagues and I at UC Hastings made a series of nonpartisan, informational videos on the California propositions on the November 2016 ballot. Here’s a video made by my colleague Marsha Cohen, an expert on food and drug law, about Prop. 64, the legalization of marijuana:
On this blog I make endorsements as well, and my recommendation would be to vote Yes on 64.
In 2010, there was a legalization proposition on the ballot which I supported, Prop 19, and it failed by a fairly narrow margin. I supported that one even though I found it problematic and vague: Prop 19 legalized personal use and limited cultivation of marijuana, but left the business end unregulated and up to the counties. As a result, it was unclear how much we would gain in tax revenue.
Prop 64 offers a much clearer legalization regime. Flowing from the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission and relying on the experience of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and DC, it has set realistic price points and tax rates on sales, thoroughly regulated cultivation, possession, and sales, and provided safeguards for sales to minors.
Let’s talk about the money first. The Legislative Analyst’s Office anticipates gains of many hundreds of millions of dollars, up to a billion, in tax revenue. These gains are based on assumptions about patterns of use and commerce that we see in other countries and states. For substances, there is typically a group of hard-core users (See Philip Cook’s analysis of alcohol: 60% of American’s either don’t drink at all or drink very, very little, and only 10% of Americans constitute the vast majority of drinking in the market, with an average of ten drinks a day.) Those folks will use (and pay for it) no matter what, and making sure that they buy (and pay taxes) lawfully is pretty essential. Which is why setting the price point and the taxes properly is important. It seems that this is a key consideration in the states that already have recreational marijuana: you don’t want to tax too much, because that’ll keep the market alive. But even though those states are considering lowering the tax, they still got revenue that far exceeded expectations, and the hope is that the same will happen here. Prop 64 sets excise tax at 15% for retail and 2.75-9.25 percent for cultivation. Sales tax for nonmedical will hover around 8%.
The proposition sets up a licensing program. Selling without a license will be an offense. Selling to minors would be an offense. Setting up shop near a school will be an offense. And, driving under the influence would be an offense.
The most convincing argument against the measure is a recent Washington state study showing a rise in THC-positive drivers involved in accidents. Here’s the full study. But that someone is THC-positive does not mean that marijuana was a factor in the accident. THC is detectable in the blood up to three weeks from the time of use, and a positive finding does not mean that the person was under the influence of marijuana when the accident happened. The study took into account differences in levels of THC, but those are imprecise. Also, keep in mind that drivers were not tested for THC presence before the legalization of marijuana in Washington, so we don’t have great comparative data (who knows how many people were THC-positive before legalization?) Moreover, the findings on THC alone are dwarfed by the findings on alcohol, or on alcohol and THC combined (in which case the causality issue is murkier.) The National Institute on Drug Abuse website claims that marijuana impairs driving ability, but cites a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study that found that carefully controlled studies relying on measurements find no appreciable difference in driving. NORML, who is far from an unbiased group but who does cite unbiased research, cites far less convincing evidence of impairment under marijuana than under alcohol.
As for arguments for legalization, the existing prohibition regime has been far from successful in curbing drug use and has led to huge monetary and personal costs for people charged, convicted and incarcerated for growing and selling. We wouldn’t be the pioneers of a different path, but it’s a thoughtful effort and definitely worth a try. I’m going with a Yes on 64.
My colleagues and I at UC Hastings have prepared a series of informational and neutral videos to educate voters about the CA ballot. Here’s a video I made about Prop 60:
Before educating myself about the proposition, my inclination was to vote yes, and I’m sure many voters feel the same way. What could possibly be wrong with condoms? Aren’t they wonderful things that prevent pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases? Shouldn’t we communicate a message to the public that it’s cool and sexy to use them, by requiring that they be used in adult films?
Then, I talked to my awesome student Stephan Ferris, who wanted to write a research paper on this. We discussed the advantages and drawbacks of this regime for the better part of last spring, and Stephan’s resulting excellent paper on Prop 60 is coming out on the Hastings Women’s Law Journal (I’ll add the link once it’s published.) My student convinced me that the right move on this one is a NO on 60, and here’s why.
My natural inclination, as well as that of other well-meaning do-gooders, is to assume that porn actors are defenseless, vulnerable folks with no bargaining power, for whom condoms are the last frontier in the fight against HIV. Neither of these claims is true, and there’s actually a regional issue here that is important.
The ecology of porn in California is such that, for the most part, straight porn is produced in Los Angeles and gay porn in San Francisco. What works for the industry on a regional basis in Los Angeles would not necessarily apply statewide. In the world of gay porn, the working assumption in the industry is that anyone involved is HIV positive, and therefore the performers have an incentive to protect themselves. The state-of-the-art standard for protection against HIV is the use of PrEP. This medication, which in San Francisco is covered by citywide insurance, protects HIV-negative people from getting infected and lowers the detectability of the virus in HIV-positive people to the point that the risk of infection is extremely low. While health care advocacy giant AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is fighting for this measure, other AIDS-prevention groups claim that the proposition is upholding antiquated health standards that don’t work for the industry. My student, who interviewed industry performers for his article, found that the industry effectively self-regulates the risks away, and putting people who have financial stake in adult film in a position that exposes them to lawsuits (particularly moralistic ones) creates a bad incentive. Adult entertainment companies concerned about the prospect of litigation will simply move somewhere else in the country–Nevada, perhaps?–and California will lose tens of millions of dollars in tax money
In case you think this is a positive because “we don’t want them here”, I’d like to remind you that porn watching knows no borders. Porn is viewed almost exclusively online regardless of where it is produced and filmed. You’ll still be able to see plenty of unprotected sex, much of it done by amateurs filming themselves; what you won’t get is the tax revenue. This proposition smells like unwarranted moral panic. I’m going with no on this one.
The new law would make the following behaviors legal:
(a) To personally possess, process, share, or transport not more than one ounce of cannabis or cannabis products, solely for personal use, and not for sale. (b) To consume cannabis or cannabis products that are obtained and possessed in compliance with this Act when such consumption occurs at a private residence or such other location as permitted under this Act. Nothing in this section shall alter current law regarding the rights of a property owner or landlord to regulate or prohibit smoking on their property. (c) To cultivate homegrown cannabis in an area not to exceed one hundred (100) square feet; to possess the living and harvested plants and results of any lawfully harvested homegrown cannabis pursuant to this Article; and to transport homegrown cannabis between a lawful cultivation site and the cultivator’s residence.
The new law also eliminates the penumbral legal implications of marijuana:
26012. (a) No person shall be prosecuted for child endangerment pursuant to Section 273(a) of the Penal Code, or any similar or successor statutes, for an action taken that is in compliance with the provisions of this Act, unless it is determined that there exists an immediate and actual threat to the health and welfare of a child. (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an action taken that is in compliance with the provisions of this Act, by itself, shall not be sufficient evidence of parental unfitness, or child abuse, or otherwise be used to restrict or abridge custodial or parental rights to minor children, and shall not be the basis of a criminal act nor the basis to diminish parental rights or remove a child from his or her home, unless it is determined that there exists an immediate and actual threat to the health and welfare of a child. The law also sets up an office that will steer policy, manage interstate issues, and determine impairment standards, among other things, and a fund for the tax revenue (5% plants, 10% edibles). The money will go toward environmental restoration of damages resulting from cannabis industry.
Still defined as a criminal offense are supplying to a minor and involving people under 21 in cultivation enterprises; and there are still duties imposed on public employees to be sober during the performance of their duties.
The case involves the federal Armed Career Criminal Act, a habitual offender law that provides a sentencing enhancement upon committing the third violent offense. The residual clause of the law defines “violent offense” as any offense that “involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.”
In Johnson’s case, the sentence was enhanced because his third offense was possession of a firearm (Johnson is a felon, and the firearm in question was a sawed-off shotgun. If you want more background, Johnson was being monitored for belonging to a white supremacist organization and being a source of concern re terrorism, and confessed to some pretty scary plans in that regard–so you can be sure thta this decision is not about his niceness).
The initial question put before the court was whether possession of a firearm fits the definition in the residual clause, but the Supreme Court asked the parties to brief on a broader issue: the definition of “violent offense” itself. Today, the Court sided 8-1 with Johnson, finding that the definition of “violent offense” was too vague and did not provide sufficient warning about conduct.
The vagueness, according to Justice Scalia who wrote for the majority (!!!), lies in the fact that the clause provides no guidelines for what counts as “risk” posed by the crime (statistics? similarity to enumerated offenses? precedents have taken various and different tacks) and for assessing the amount of “risk”. Even seemingly easy issues turn out to be difficult to call. Notably, Scalia gives the example of “prison rioting”, which he is willing to say is an offense that is defined so broadly that it doesn’t necessarily generate “risk” of injury (!!!). Moreover, it is not necessary that a vague statute be “vague in all its applications”.
The court also rejects the suggestion that “risk” be interpreted based on what each defendant actually did, rather than based on the average case. This is important in the facts of Johnson itself: It may well be that many felons in possession of a firearm don’t pose as much risk as Johnson, a white supremacist with violent plans against progressives and minorities, but Johnson needs to be judged by the overall risk of the offense, not by his particular plans.
Finally, the court states that its decision is prompted by the massive confusion among lower federal courts on how to interpret the clause.
Justice Thomas arrives at the same conclusion via a different path–finding that possession of a firearm does not the definition in the residual clause. He agrees with the sole dissenter, Justice Alito, that the statute is not so vague as to merit its invalidation.
A few thoughts:
It’s hard to ignore the particular facts of this case given the tragic events of last week in South Carolina. Johnson’s plans were similar to those that Roof put into action. Is the 8-1 decision here explainable, politically, via pro-gun sentiments among the conservative Justices?
This decision might suggest that the Court has lost its appetite for sentencing enhancements. In Criminal Procedure II, I teach cases that have bent over backwards to uphold enhancements–including, in the case of California’s Three Strikes, the ability to add two strikes at the same time (which obviously can’t be justified by the need to deter–just by the wish to incapacitate.) Here we see that the Court pays a lot of homage to the idea of behavior modification, invoking the principle of legality. If I were teaching first year criminal law next year, I’d teach this case on the first day of class.
The decision also highlights a disenchantment with the language of risk and panic, which has characterized so much of American criminal justice in the era of the “New Penology“.
Many commentators on the new state of criminal justice, including me in Cheap on Crime, have pointed out that much of the new project of scaling back mass incarceration addresses nonviolent offenders, and retrenches opinions about violent offenders by lumping them all in the same category. I find it remarkable, and heartening, that this decision strikes at the heart of the issue, arguing against an overbroad category of violent offenses. I’m not sure Johnson should necessarily be on that side of the distinction, but as the Court states, this is about the offense, not about the offender.
Finally, I find it notable that Justice Scalia–who, in Brown v. Plata referred to inmates as “speciments”–chose, as one of his examples, prison rioting, explicitly stating that the definition of rioting is so broad that it is not necessarily a violent offense. Attorneys in Ashker v. Brown, the lawsuit against long-term solitary confinement, should take note of this comment. I think it’s important. It’s the third Supreme Court statement this week that is sympathetic to prisoners.
As we were all still reeling from the horrific mass murder in Charleston, still too shocked to properly mourn the nine innocent victims–priests, coaches, students, parents, sons, daughters, siblings, spouses, coworkers, and friends, who got together to worship and were viciously attacked for no other reason than the color of their skin–the nomenclature debate began: what shall we call their killer? A terrorist? A mentally-ill person? A mass murderer?
Inevitable racial comparisons are made: Islam-motivated crimes tend to earn the label “terror” faster than white supremacy-motivated crimes (was the horrific murder of the Charlie Hebdo caricaturists “terror” or “mass murder”?). Personally, the word “terrorism” carries for me international law connotations, so I don’t tend to us it in the context of domestic crimes; others may disagree. And while I would prefer devoting more energy to remembering the victims and supporting their families, I understand why it is inevitable, in the aftermath of a horrific crime, for all of us to try and make sense of what happened. One way in which people try to do that is debate the mental health of the perpetrator.
(1) distinguish right from wrong (e.g., a person with mental illness who believes that he or she are God’s emissary, and that killing the victim is a moral right); or– (2) understand their act in the framework of right and wrong (e.g., a person with mental illness who thinks his victim is a hologram or an inanimate object, and it is therefore not wrong to shoot her.)
Even though the standard for the insanity defense is legal, not purely medical, psychiatrists are in some ways the gatekeepers. After all, many people who commit horrific acts of mass murder might believe that their acts are justified (as the defendant in this case is, outrageously, arguing, evoking the tired cliché of the hypersexualized black male to justify his actions), without suffering from a recognized mental illness. But it is also important to keep in mind that what constitutes a mental illness is malleable, and changes periodically. The DSM has seen several editions over many decades; the elements of diseases change; some are categorized differently, and some (thankfully) cease to be defined as mental illnesses at all. Sometimes, the classification of a behavior as a mental illness is welcomed not because it delineates pathology, but because it allows people to receive health care in a country with no universal provision for health care.
But it’s important not to leave unexamined the impulse of some commentators to see mental illness before any official diagnosis is on the horizon–that is, the idea that just the fact that a heinous crime has been committed in itself suggests that the perpetrator is mentally ill. South Carolina law explicitly rejects this notion, stating that “[e]vidence of a mental disease or defect that is manifested only by repeated criminal or other antisocial conduct is not sufficient to establish the defense of insanity.” Nonetheless, in our appetite to make sense of a horrible tragedy, we try to go there. In my current study of the Manson “family” parole hearings, I’m coming across many people for whom the question whether Manson himself is mentally ill, or whether his followers suffered from some form of collective psychosis, is still relevant and hotly debated; I can see how and why people would use the mental health framework to try and understand a shocking crime, which is now seen by many as having put an end to the romantic notions of the sixties. Assuming that someone who is capable of committing heinous murders has to be mentally ill might be a protective mechanism, distinguishing”us”, the healthy, from “them”, the sick, and reassuring us that “we” could never do such a thing. As sociologist Emile Durkheim argued in the late 19th century, defining another’s deviance fosters social solidarity. And as Michel Foucault argued in Madness and Civilization, one of the main features of modernity is the need to cleanse and categorize and separate the sane from the insane.
It is also, of course, telling that the labels are applied in a racialized manner; even though the murders in Charleston easily lend themselves to being understood as a murder in the context of racial supremacy (if you will, a mental illness that has characterized this country for centuries), there are commenters who intuitively gravitate to individual mental illness as an explanation, preferring the medical context to the political one. Ely Aaronson’s new and terrific book From Slave Abuse to Hate Crime speaks extensively of the mechanisms that led to the framing of anti-black violence as hate crime. Aaronson problematizes the usual arc-of-progress linear narrative, that “things are better than they used to be”, by showing how, with every iteration of an effort (usually by white moral entrepreneurs sympathetic to black plight) to criminalize white-on-black crime as hate crime, there are new barriers for the effective enforcement of the new label.
Most of the killers I listen to commit their crimes in states of mind that mimic the conditions that define legal insanity: they believe that in their world what they are doing is necessary and therefore right. They are so emotionally damaged that in their minds they have lost sight of the relevance of “right and wrong.” They are responding to powerful emotional forces—often unconscious forces—over which they have little if any control, at least in the moment of their violent action. It is in this sense that they make “crazy” choices. The more than fifty murder cases in which I have been involved over the past twenty years have included many different explanations for the violent choices made. When looked at from the outside observer’s point of view, many seem crazy. However, each makes sense when looked at from the inside of their minds (and hearts in some cases).
Garbarini lists, in his typology of “crazy” reasons to kill, the following: survival (preemptive violence when feeling threatened); lust for power; monstrous narcissism; existential honor (real concerns that without honor one will cease to exist as a person); retaliation for sexual abandonment; panic; criminal practicality (crime as part of a criminal business enterprise); and even curiosity, or thrill. Really, it’s hard (but not impossible) to think of a “not crazy” reason to kill (self defense, duress, and necessity are all efforts to define such reasons; there’s a reason why they are so few and so narrowly defined).
That we are horrified, shocked, angry, sad, upset at a horrific crime, that we cannot understand how someone could do such a thing, does not mean that the perpetrator is necessarily legally or medically insane. Mental illness is not a blanket explanation for everything that the “sane” world does not understand. Also, plenty of people who are severely mentally ill do not commit crime. Moreover: whether or not a particular perpetrator suffers from mental illness does not negate the observation that this country suffers from a collective sociopolitical illness of white supremacy. The two categories are not mutually exclusive, and people often do good and bad things for a variety of reasons. As Maslow said, “while behavior is almost always motivated, it is also almost always biologically, culturally and situationally determined as well.”
Deep condolences to the families of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Hon. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., Rev. Sharonda Singleton, and Myra Thompson. If only our efforts to make sense of the murder of your loved ones could bring them back.
Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy. The bill’s passage over the weekend marks the first time Congress has approved nationally significant legislation backed by legalization advocates. It brings almost to a close two decades of tension between the states and Washington over medical use of marijuana. Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so. The Obama administration has largely followed that rule since last year as a matter of policy. But the measure approved as part of the spending bill, which President Obama plans to sign this week, will codify it as a matter of law.
Some initial thoughts about what this means:
1. Businesses focused on medical marijuana can now operate with no fear of raids. This might lead to new types of business initiatives. 2. Even though the feds are still too wary to call off the war against recreational marijuana, loose gatekeeping in getting medical cards might make it a de-facto thing.
As an aside, the L.A. Times is quickly becoming my favorite California paper, because of excellent stories like this. Well, done, Evan Halper.
The Blue Ribbon Committee Report on legalization is out, and it raises a lot of interesting issues. It’s a short and interesting read. It doesn’t dwell much on the failed effort to pass Prop 19, and it looks at the initial experiences of the four states (and DC) who legalized marijuana as possible guidelines.
Among the topics discussed in the report are questions of enforcement with regard to minors and travel; concerns about workplace and environmental safety; level, type, and usage of taxation; structuring the business end of things; issues concerning the distinction between medical and recreational marijuana; and the need for statewide uniformity.
A few things worth noting:
1. The report hardly discusses tobacco and alcohol regulation as comparisons, and the references to tobacco are limited to the issue of advertising.
2. Very little attention is paid to the political configuration that makes statewide policymaking in California particularly weak – namely, polarization and neopopulism.
3. Not enough attention is paid to what we already know from economic studies of legalization and taxation: there is already some useful information coming in from CO and WA, and there will be more from other states (I will post some links in a future discussion.)
4. The distinction between marijuana and other drugs, and the retrenchment of the latter category, is worth discussing, even if there are good arguments to justify it.
I will be speaking about the report on KQED this afternoon.
The most important of these for CCC readers is the passage of Prop 47 with 58.5% voter support. The proposition will downgrade several nonviolent, nonserious offenses to misdemeanors, and will allow people currently serving felony time for these misdemeanors to petition for resentencing.
A few things that bear mentioning: First, many of the people whose offenses are affected by Prop 47 are already doing time in jails, as a function of Realignment, and some of them might even be doing a split sentence, which means they’re not in confinement at all. As such, they are also already under the authority of local probation offices and not of the statewide parole apparatus. It would be interesting to know, therefore, how much resentencing would really need to happen. My suspicion is that the effects of Prop 47 will be mostly felt in the counties that did Realignment wrong–building more jails and not using split sentencing–rather than in counties that embraced the reform. The late awakening of the Los Angeles D.A. preceded this proposition only by a few months.
Second: if that’s the case, and if Realignment already did most of this, what practical impact might this have? Well, for starters, think of all the offenders doing time who could not vote in 2014 because they were classified as felons–even though they were physically doing time in jail. Reclassified now as misdemeanants, these folks will be allowed to vote in 2016. This is excellent news that affect many thousands of Californians. Also, there are several Third Strikers whose third offense would now qualify as a misdemeanor, not a felony, and would therefore not trigger the law at all. Those folks are applying for resentencing anyway, as a result of Prop 36 and thanks to the efforts of the Stanford Three Strikes clinic, but I think their chances of prevailing may have improved.
And third: The passage of Prop 47 doesn’t mean that people have become more humane or care more about offenders. The proposition was a classic humonetarian move, appealing to people’s financial prudence, and it was supported by folks of all political stripes, including Newt Gingrich. I only regret that the proofs for Cheap on Crime are already set, otherwise I could add a few hefty paragraphs about this campaign. It’s right out of the Cheap on Crime playbook.
Other than that: Prop 46 did not pass; it was a mixed bag of arguably good things and litigation-hungry things, and I’m not quite sure whether to celebrate or mourn its defeat.
Dear Governor Brown, I congratulate you for earning a second term. As California limits governors to two terms, this is your opportunity to take the prison crisis seriously without worrying about reelection statistics. This is an opportunity to reform felon voting laws, to abolish the death penalty (which I know you think is ridiculous and expensive) and to make good things happen for formerly incarcerated people in their communities. This is an opportunity to outlaw Pay to Stay and to abolish long-term solitary confinement in California. Please, take this opportunity and let’s make history. Don’t let a serious financial crisis go to waste.
An interesting invention is making the rounds on social media website: four college students have invented nail polish that would allow its wearer, by inserting their finger into their drink, to detect whether a roofie–frequently used by rapists to overpower their victims–has been mixed into it. The company is called Undercover Colors.
This is a very practical, simple cautionary tool, and may help to spare many women, and some men, too, a traumatic and horrible experience. But the new invention has found some detractors, who in the name of radical feminism criticize the inventors as facilitating rape culture by placing the preventive responsibility onto the shoulders of the victims (see here and here.)
I’m sorry, I have to call bullshit when I see it. And this presumably feminist critique of prevention is grade-A bullshit.
It should probably go without saying that, like any decent human being on the planet, I am committed to ending rape culture, and that I believe that the fault for rape lies squarely on the shoulders of the rapist, which is why I really liked this campaign. Happily, evaluative research has found it to be effective in teaching men to be more respectful toward their partners.
But I get very, very upset when the people who purport to be fighting rape culture seem to be okay with not fighting rape itself, and especially with the radical demagogy that equates sensible self-protection with embracing rape culture.
Of course it is not the victim’s responsibility to prevent crime. It is, of course, anyone’s right to go anywhere they wish, wearing whatever they wish, without inviting physical or sexual assault. Nonetheless, we know that crime happens when there is opportunity, and many rapists are opportunists. And each of us takes preventive measures daily, to the extent that they are compatible with our lives and appreciation of freedom. We lock our house doors, we don’t leave valuables in the car, we don’t escalate arguments with angry drivers. And sometimes we make the choice not to engage in excessive self-protection, when we feel it infringes upon our lives too much, such as, for example, going out anywhere we wish, at any time of the day, wearing whatever we like. Doing so, of course, does not make us blameworthy if something bad happens to us. But taking measures that don’t infringe upon that feeling of freedom has the potential of minimizing our odds of victimization, and doing that shouldn’t make us blameworthy, either, for inventing such measures, using them, or recommending them to others.
Moreover, as my friend and colleague Edi Kinney mentioned in a Facebook conversation about this:
[T]aking the opportunity to recenter discussions about rape culture to blame rapists is something activists have to do, but to me, we need to take advantage of allyship in its diverse forms and applaud practical efforts to engage in efforts to address sexual violence. What we’ve been doing hasn’t worked. I think we should be emphasizing the fact that the men who developed the product were inspired to do because so many of their own friends had been drugged & sexually assaulted and they wanted to do something to empower their friends and other women w/ tools to identify risks. They apparently had scientific/lab/other expertise that they could deploy to that end, and were motivated to do so out of an effort to give women tools to help them protect themselves. IMHO, their allyship intentions — AND the fact that bros who see social media accounts of this now might think twice re. engaging in predatory behavior at parties, bars, etc. — trump the potential to reinforce ‘blame the victim’ rape culture. Rapists are opportunists, and I’d reckon there’s a slippery slope between date rape and predatory behavior, and any tools to identify folks who engage in such behavior seems like a good start (and at least it’s raising awareness?)
I think we have enough room for short-term and long-term strategies in the war against rape culture. In the long term, our commitment should be to eradicate it off the face of the earth. But in setting our sites on that and firing up our keyboards with feminist rhetoric, let’s not forget that this thing we’re fighting is not just an ideology. IT’S REAL AND IT’S VICTIMIZING WOMEN RIGHT NOW. And our first and foremost commitment to potential victims is to prevent their victimization as effectively and practically as possible, without stigmatizing them for it. Let’s not lose sight of real rape when talking about the culture that produces it.