Of course, this is a Mark Kleiman post, so there's guaranteed to be something in there that I can't quite wrap my head around. Kleiman condemns the alcohol model, which he says "would provide a strong incentive for the marketing effort to aim at creating and maintaining addiction." He estimates that rates of marijuana addiction would double if it were sold like alcohol, so he proposes this instead:
So I continue to favor a "grow your own" policy, under which it would be legal to grow, possess, and use cannabis and to give it away, but illegal to sell it. Of course there would be sales, and law enforcement agencies would properly mostly ignore those sales. But there wouldn't be billboards.
That beautifully-crafted policy has only two major defects that I'm aware of: it wouldn't create tax revenue, and no one but me supports it…
Well, I'd favor this over our current policy without hesitation, but is Kleiman serious that he only sees two significant flaws in his plan? What about the fact that marijuana would still be sold by criminals? It's the biggest cash crop in America and its distribution (absent for medical use in some states) occurs exclusively on the black market. Even under a "grow your own" model, marijuana entrepreneurs will proliferate. And when their door gets smashed down in the middle of the night, they still won’t know if it's an armed robbery or the DEA. People will still get shot and killed over an otherwise completely non-lethal drug.
Can anything be done about that, Mark?
Breaking: California Legislator Files "Tax and Regulate" Marijuana Legalization Bill in Wake of Poll Showing Majority West Coast Support
Read the Paper, and Respond!
Medical Marijuana Week - Saturday/Sunday February 21-22
Dear ASA Supporter,
This weekend when you’re reading the Sunday paper, flip to the Letters to the Editor section and skim the opinions of some readers. The Letters to the Editor (LTE’s) section is one of the most widely read, and its how others learn about what issues are important in their area. As someone who cares about medical cannabis, it’s up to you to write one in support! Take some time on Sunday to write and submit a brief LTE to your local paper!
Letters to the Editor are usually short, only a few sentences or a couple paragraphs that stress an issue in a succinct way. Just a couple of talking points is all you need – and opportunities to write a good LTE are all around!
LTE’s that are most likely to get published are ones that “piggyback” off of current events already in the news. For instance, President Obama issued a White House statement earlier this month that was covered by numerous papers across the country. Now is a good time to send an LTE praising President Obama for his statement and connecting it to needed action by the community. Get talking points here!
Also, President Obama continues to appoint officials who will influence medical cannabis policy. Obama’s choice for Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Gil Kerlikowske was the former Seattle Police Chief who worked under and in compliance with the medical cannabis laws of Washington State. It’s a great opportunity to get talking points and write an LTE!
ASA provides an excellen t tool to find contact information for papers in your area. All you have to do is put in your zip code! And also check out ASA’s site for tips on writing LTE’s and keeping them short, succinct, and to the point.
Keep an eye open for other opportunities to write a medical cannabis LTE. State laws, publicized arrests or raids of medical cannabis patients, caregivers, or collectives, public events or hearings related to the issue, and events hosted by the local ASA chapter – all are great subjects for LTE’s!
As a medical cannabis supporter, if you don’t raise your voice on this issue, no one else will. It’s up to you to bring medical cannabis to the attention of your community through local media! Good luck and get writing!
Americans for Safe Access
You Can Make a Difference
Meet Nancy. She lives with multiple sclerosis and risks arrest every time she uses medical marijuana to relieve her symptoms. Watch this video and make a donation to join us in fighting for medical marijuana.
We are now in an all out push in the New Jersey legislature to relieve the suffering of many people, like Nancy, for whom currently available medicines just don't work. We have an important vote in the senate on Monday and then we'll take this fight to the assembly.
DPA Network already passed legislation -- with your help -- in New Mexico, protecting the right of critically ill patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.
Thirteen states currently allow the use of medical marijuana -- and you are a big part of why we've been so successful.
Please make a donation today. Let's do everything we can to relieve Nancy's suffering. Any amount will help. Bit by bit, state by state, together we are improving the lives of seriously ill patients around the country.
Drug Policy Alliance Network
Connect with a Prisoner of Bush’s Other War
Medical Marijuana Week - Friday, February 20th
Dear ASA Supporter,
On February 5th, the White House issued a statement of President Obama’s position on ending federal interference in state medical cannabis laws. But this still leaves innocent people in prison who would have been protected by their state laws, if they had not been raided by the policies of George W. Bush. They’re still in prison, and they need to know we’re behind them. Today, write a short note to let them know they are not alone.
There are many people currently serving time in federal prison for crimes that would have been protected by the medical cannabis laws in their states. Check ASA’s website for a list of individuals currently serving time. You’ll be able to read their stories and write to an individual whose situation really catches your attention.
Find the mailing addresses for these medical cannabis caregiver prisoners here, along with some helpful tips for writing to inmates in federal prison.
When writing to inmates, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1. Don’t write about anything illegal or incriminating in the letters
2. Be yourself, focus on giving them sympathy and emotional support, and try to be understanding about what they may be going through.
3. Use common sense and be forward and clear with your intentions
It is not only those who are currently serving time that need our support, but also those who have yet to be sentenced or who are currently awaiting trial. If, as Obama says, the federal government stops undermining state medical cannabis laws – then what does that mean for those “in limbo;” those who have already fallen victim to George W. Bush’s war on innocent Americans? Get a list of upcoming court cases here – where you’ll also find additional details and information on individual cases.
In addition, call President Obama to tell him about the status of these cases and ask him to grant pardons or clemency to these individuals. Call 202-456-1111 and use this sample script:
Hi, my name is _____________ and I live in __________. I would like to thank President Obama for agreeing to end federal interference in states with medical cannabis laws. It is a much needed step forward and will help alleviate the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Americans. However, there are still many individuals currently serving time in federal prisons or awaiting sentences from federal prosecutions for crimes that would have been protected by the laws in their own states. I ask that the President consider the fate of these people, and whether or not federal prison terms for these individuals is consistent with the White House position on federal interference and the values of the American justice system. Thank you.
Don’t forget that these people need our help. They are political prisoners, and casualties of Bush’s War on Patients. Communicating with one who’s been unjustly imprisoned can be a profound experience.
Americans for Safe Access