As you probably know, cereal giant Kellogg's has announced that it won't renew Olympic swim champion Michael Phelps' endorsement contract because he was photographed smoking marijuana.
If Phelps had been photographed hoisting a Budweiser, no one would have said a word. In fact, Phelps was arrested for drunk driving in 2004 — which could have resulted in someone being hurt or killed — and Kellogg's never took issue with that. Alcohol is far more toxic and addictive than marijuana and tends to make users reckless, aggressive, and violent.
Would you take a minute to speak out against this hypocrisy, by adding your voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who are pledging to boycott Kellogg's products until the company changes its decision? Just visit MPP's action center here and fill out the easy online form.
Meanwhile, MPP has been all over the news to point out the hypocrisy of the situation.
For instance, check out this video of MPP's Bruce Mirken discussing the issue on CNN last week.
Please join me in rejecting the farce of the condemnation of marijuana users — one that has already long been abandoned by the general public.
Marijuana Policy Project
P.S. As I've mentioned in previous alerts, a major philanthropist has committed to match the first $2.35 million that MPP can raise from the rest of the planet in 2009. This means that your donation today will be doubled.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 9, 2009
MPP to Boycott Kellogg's Over Dismissal of Phelps
Policy Reformers Accuse Cereal Giant of Hypocrisy
CONTACT: Bruce Mirken, MPP director of communications ............... 415-585-6404 or 202-215-4205
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Joining a growing coalition of individuals and organizations, the Marijuana Policy Project today lent its support to the burgeoning boycott of cereal giant Kellogg's over its treatment of Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. Kellogg's announced last week that it would not renew its endorsement contract with Phelps in light of a published photo of the swimmer inhaling from a bong, saying his behavior is "not consistent with the image of Kellogg."
"Kellogg's dismissal of Phelps is hypocritical and disgusting, and our members are angrier than I've ever seen them," said MPP executive director Rob Kampia. "Kellogg's had no problem signing up Phelps when he had a conviction for drunk driving, an illegal act that could actually have killed someone. To drop him for choosing to relax with a substance that's safer than beer is an outrage, and it sends a dangerous message to young people."
MPP noted that compared to alcohol, marijuana is scientifically documented to be less addictive and far less toxic. While alcohol is a well-documented contributor to violent, aggressive and reckless behavior, marijuana "reduces the likelihood of violence during intoxication," according to the journal Addictive Behaviors. Organizations endorsing the boycott include the Drug Policy Alliance, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
"Kellogg's is telling young people that drunk driving is okay, but using a social relaxant that's safer than beer gets you fired," Kampia said. "That's not just outrageous, it's potentially lethal. We all know that boycotts are difficult to pull off, but the 100 million Americans who've made marijuana this nation's number one cash crop represent a lot of buying power -- buying power that Kellogg's may wish it hadn't alienated."
On Saturday, the Huffington Post reported that the company is getting so many complaints that it had set up a special line to handle them all -- with the line for comments about Phelps actually listed ahead of one for concerns or questions about the recall of salmonella-tainted peanut butter.
With more than 26,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit http://MarijuanaPolicy.org.
You Can Make a Difference
Olympic champion Michael Phelps was photographed taking a hit from a bong.
Amidst the media uproar that ensued, Kellogg's announced that it would not renew its sponsorship deal with Phelps.
Like you, we're sick and tired of the public outings and forced apologies and recantations, which perpetuate this shameless hypocrisy.
More than 70 percent of Americans say that marijuana should be decriminalized and that no one should go to jail for its use.
We agree. Even the residents of Kellogg's home state of Michigan recently passed (by an overwhelming margin) a ballot initiative legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.
Dropping Phelps hurts the Kellogg's image far more than associating with someone who smoked marijuana. Call them to tell them what you think (you'll find helpful instructions and talking points if you follow this link to our website).
Drug Policy Alliance Network
P.S. You can also read my piece in the Huffington Post on this issue.
By now you're probably aware that Olympic hero Michael Phelps was photographed lighting an orphanage on fire, and has now been suspended from competing and is getting dropped by a major sponsor.
Oh, wait. Actually, he was photographed lighting marijuana on fire, not an orphanage.
Smoking marijuana is hardly unusual behavior for a 23 year old. In fact, Phelps is being crucified for something that more than half the adult American population has done at some point in their lives.
Yet, Phelps is facing suspension from competing in the Olympics and Kellogg's cereal has decided to drop their sponsorship of the athlete, claiming "Michael's most recent behavior is not consistent with the image of Kellogg."
Kellogg's needs to hear from the public that their decision will hurt their company far more than Phelps's marijuana use. Please contact Kellogg's today and tell them that you will boycott all of their products until they reverse their decision on Phelps's sponsorship (you can find a list of Kellogg's products at the bottom of this e-mail). You can contact Kellogg's by visiting http://www2.kelloggs.com/ContactUs.aspx
Just cut and paste the following message into the webform on the Kellogg's website (or edit it if you like):
I am deeply disappointed by your decision to drop your sponsorship of Michael Phelps simply because he was photographed smoking marijuana. Over half of all adult Americans, including our last three presidents, have smoked marijuana during their lives. It is outrageous that Kellogg's would hold Michael Phelps to such an unreasonable standard, rather than standing by a 23 year old who has brought more inspiration and joy to millions of Americans than most will accomplish in a lifetime. Until you reverse your decision to drop Michael Phelps' sponsorship, I will be boycotting all Kellogg's products.
Meanwhile, USA Swimming, the governing body of American swimming events, has suspended Phelps for three months for his use of marijuana. While this will not cause him to miss any major competitions, he still faces a potential four-year suspension from the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency. If you have a Facebook account, please join thousands of others in signing a petition demanding that the IOC and WADA not suspend Phelps from international competition. http://apps.facebook.com/causes/petitions/62
Have a great weekend, and please keep an eye out for further action on this next week. We're working with a coalition of organizations to send a strong message to the media that a single bong hit should never ruin a person's career.
Kris Krane, Executive Director
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
P.S. If you support SSDP's work to bring sanity and reason back to the national discussion around drug policy, please consider investing in our work with a tax deductible donation to SSDP today at http://www.ssdp.org/donate
P.P.S. Below is the list of Kellogg's products that we hope you consider boycotting until they reverse their decision to drop Michael Phelps as a sponsor:
Kellogg's Corn Flakes(R)
Cracklin' Oat Bran(R)
Kellogg's Raisin Bran(R)
Heart to Heart(R)
7 Whole Grains
Pop-Tarts(R) Toaster Pastries
Kashi(R) Chewy Granola Bars
Kashi(R) GOLEAN(R) Bars
Kellogg's(R) Crunch™ Bars
Kellogg's(R) Crunchy Nut™
Sweet & Salty Bars
Kellogg's(R) Granola Munch'ems
Rice Krispies Treats(R) Squares
Special K(R) Bars
Nutri-Grain(R) Cereal Bars
Nutri-Grain(R) Muffin Bars
Nutri-Grain(R) Yogurt Bars
Fruit Flavored Snacks
Stretch Island(R) Fruit Leather
Chips Deluxe(R) Cookies
E.L. Fudge(R) Cookies
Fudge Shoppe(R) Cookies
Golden Vanilla Wafers(R) Cookies
Soft Batch(R) Cookies
Vienna Fingers(R) Cookies
Famous Amos(R) Cookies
Murray(R) Sugar Free Cookies
Munch'ems(R) Baked Snacks
Town House(R) Crackers
Sunshine Krispy(R) Crackers
Kashi(R) TLCTM Crackers
Morningstar Farms(R) Organic
Kashi GOLEAN Waffles
Keebler(R) Graham Crackers Crumbs
Ready Crust(R) Pie Crust
Kellogg's(R) Stuffing Mix
Kellogg's(R) Corn Flake Crumbs
Tom Cruise's attorneys are looking to take legal action over a new strain of medical marijuana that has been put on the market under the star's name.Thanks to Prop. 215, it might even be possible to sue in California courts for trademark infringement over the name of a marijuana strain. But all you can really do is go after the clubs offering it, which can in turn just change the name to something else like TCP. Regardless, if Tom Cruise really wanted to screw these people, he would have been well advised to keep his mouth shut rather than make the strain famous by complaining about it.
The "Tom Cruise Purple" brand, which features a picture of the actor laughing on the vials, is currently being sold in licensed marijuana clubs in Northern California. [sfgate.com]
Until all of this plays itself out, aspiring marijuana breeders should just name their strains after me, which I assure you is totally ok. Call it "Scotty Mo Skunk" or something like that. I won't complain unless it sucks.
The Marijuana Policy Project invites you to attend a reception for radio host and MPP VIP advisory board member Jim Hightower, who will be giving a talk about his new book, Swim Against the Current, tomorrow, March 18, at the Carnegie Institution building.
The talk is from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., and the cost $20 per person. Admission for students and senior citizens is $15, and children under 16 are free. The event also features a VIP reception from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., which costs $50 per person or $80 per couple and includes a copy of Hightower's new book and admittance to the talk.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a national alliance of local state and federal resource professionals.