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Michael Phelps Saga: "Send a Strong Message" to USA Swimming

[Courtesy of SAFER] Tell them to reinstate Michael Phelps and stop driving athletes to drink! USA Swimming suspended the 14-time Olympic gold medalist following the publication of a photo showing him using marijuana at an off-season party. USA Swimming was not required to punish Phelps, according to Executive Director Chuck Wielgus, but it "decided to send a strong message to Michael..." That message: athletes must only use alcohol when they party, and they will be punished if they make the safer choice to use marijuana instead. After all, the 23-year-old swimmer would never have been punished had he been photographed chugging Budweiser beer -- an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee. If you agree Michael Phelps should be reinstated and that athletes should not be driven to drink, please take a second to click on the following link and "send a strong message" to Chuck Wielgus and USA Swimming: Mason Tvert, Executive Director SAFER ⎮ SAFER Voter Education Fund office: 303-861-0033 ⎮ fax: 303-861-0915 [email protected]

Dump Kellogg's like it dumped Michael Phelps

Dear friends:

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.


Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.

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.

ALERT: #394 Kellogg's Gets Stupid Over A Bong

DrugSense FOCUS Alert #394 - Monday, 9 February 2009 By now just about everybody who may read this Alert is aware of the photo of Michael Phelps inhaling from a bong which was printed on Sunday, February 1 by the British tabloid newspaper News of the World. A high resolution .jpg copy of the photo, which you may download - and perhaps print out for your own use, like pasting on a Kellogg's cereal box - is here The News of the World article is here: The result has been a firestorm of articles and opinions printed in newspapers as you may read at this link: Please target the newspapers with your letters to the editor. Other suggested actions you may wish to take: Please take time today to contact the Kellogg Corporation. Tell them that you oppose their decision to drop Michael Phelps and that, as a result of their actions, you will not be purchasing any Kellogg's related products for the next three months (or until the company decides to reinstate the Phelps as their spokesperson). There are several ways you may make your opinion known to the company. You can call Kellogg's main telephone number during east coast business hours, Monday through Friday, at: (269) 961-2000 or toll free at: 1 (800) 962-1413. You may email Kellogg's consumer services department by visiting: You may contact Kellogg's media relation department at: 269-961-3799 or via e-mail at [email protected] You may email Kellogg's corporate responsibility department at: [email protected]. You may email Kellogg's investor relations department at: [email protected]. Or you may write the Kellogg Company a letter at: One Kellogg Square P.O. Box 3599 Battle Creek, MI 49016-3599. Join the Students for Sensible Drug Policy's petition campaign. Phelps 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.

MPP to Boycott Kellogg's Over Dismissal of Phelps

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


Just Say No to Kellogg's

You Can Make a Difference


Dear friends,

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.

Call Kellogg's now and tell them that if they dump Phelps we dump them

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).



Ethan Nadelmann
Executive Director
Drug Policy Alliance Network

P.S. You can also read my piece in the Huffington Post on this issue.

Help Michael Phelps!

Send a strong message to Kellogg's and the Olympics.

Dear friends,

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

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.

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

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:

Apple Jacks(R)
Kellogg's Corn Flakes(R)
Cracklin' Oat Bran(R)
Crunchy Blends(R)
Eggo(R) Cereal
Froot Loops(R)
Frosted Flakes(R)
Frosted Mini-Wheats(R)
Fruit Harvest(R)
Honey Smacks(R)
Product 19(R)
Kellogg's Raisin Bran(R)
Rice Krispies(R)
Smart Start(R)
Special K(R)

Organic Promise(R)
Good Friends(R)
Mighty BitesTM
Heart to Heart(R)
7 Whole Grains

Pop-Tarts(R) Toaster Pastries
Kellogg's Go-Tarts!™

Snack Bars
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

Breakfast Bars
All-Bran™ Bars
Nutri-Grain(R) Cereal Bars
Nutri-Grain(R) Muffin Bars
Nutri-Grain(R) Yogurt Bars

Fruit Flavored Snacks
Fruit Steamers™
Fruit Twistables™
Kellogg's™ Yogos™

Fruit Leather
Stretch Island(R) Fruit Leather

On-the-Go Snacks
Rite BitesTM

Keebler(R) Cookies
Keebler(R) Cookies
Chips Deluxe(R) Cookies
E.L. Fudge(R) Cookies
Fudge Shoppe(R) Cookies
Golden Vanilla Wafers(R) Cookies
Sandies(R) Cookies
Soft Batch(R) Cookies
Vienna Fingers(R) Cookies

Carr's(R) Cookies

Famous Amos(R)
Famous Amos(R) Cookies

Murray(R) Cookies
Murray(R) Sugar Free Cookies

Keebler(R) Crackers
Club(R) Crackers
Keebler(R) Grahams
Munch'ems(R) Baked Snacks
Town House(R) Crackers
Wheatables(R) Crackers
Toasteds(R) Crackers
Zesta(R) Crackers

Austin(R) Crackers

Carr's(R) Crackers

Cheez-It(R) Crackers
Sunshine Krispy(R) Crackers

Kashi(R) TLCTM Crackers

Loma Linda(R)

Morningstar Farms(R) Organic

Kashi GOLEAN Waffles
Morningstar Farms(R)

Keebler(R) Graham Crackers Crumbs
Keebler(R) Cones
Ready Crust(R) Pie Crust
Kellogg's(R) Stuffing Mix
Kellogg's(R) Corn Flake Crumbs

Good Kathleen Parker Editorial on Michael Phelps

Online here. Always good to see a conservative trash the drug laws...

Press Release: National Organization Decries NFL's $300K Fine for Marijuana Possession

For Immediate Release: September 4, 2008 National Organization Decries NFL's $300K Fine for Marijuana Possession In wake of Faulk punishment, group calling on NFL to stop steering players toward using alcohol -- which can contribute to violence -- instead of marijuana SAFER circulating on-line petition and delivering letter -- on Friday, Sept. 5 -- to NFL commissioner highlighting hypocrisy of league that accepts millions in alcohol sponsorships and punishes players for using less harmful drug NEW YORK -- A national marijuana policy reform organization is decrying the fine of more than $300,000 levied this week by the National Football League against New England Patriots running back Kevin Faulk for marijuana possession. Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) is calling for changes to the NFL's marijuana policy via an on-line petition and an official letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell that the organization will hand-deliver to the league's head office in New York City tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 5, at 11 a.m. EDT. The petition and the letter highlight the hypocrisy of the NFL's excessive punishments for marijuana use by its players, while accepting and promoting the use of alcohol, a much more harmful drug (see and petition language below). According to SAFER, the NFL's policy is steering players away from making the rational choice to use a less harmful substance, and driving them to use alcohol, which has been found to contribute to violent crimes and aggressive behavior. "The NFL has no problem with players using alcohol and it accepts hundreds of millions of dollars to promote booze to football fans of all ages," said SAFER Executive Director Mason Tvert. "Yet the league punishes those players who make the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol to relax and recreate. The NFL is driving its players to drink." The NFL announced this week that Faulk would be suspended for one game and would have two games' salary withheld -- more than $300,000 -- because he was found to be in possession of a few cigars sprinkled with marijuana at a February concert in New Orleans. "Every objective study on marijuana has concluded that it is far less harmful than alcohol both to those who use it and to others around them," Tvert said. "It is a mystery why Commissioner Goodell and the NFL would want to steer the biggest, toughest guys in the country away from using marijuana and toward using alcohol, which contributes to aggressive behavior and countless violent crimes." SAFER first publicly criticized the NFL's marijuana policy in October 2007, when it erected a billboard across the street from Invesco Field in Denver that featured an image of NFL superstar Ricky Williams in a Denver Broncos jersey, urging the recently reinstated player to "Come to Denver: Where the people support your SAFER choice." (see story at WHAT: Delivery of letter to NFL Commissioner calling for changes to NFL marijuana policy WHEN: Friday, September 5, 11 a.m. EDT WHERE: NFL Head Office, 280 Park Avenue, New York City WHO: SAFER Executive Director Mason Tvert Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public about the harmful consequences associated with alcohol, as compared to the safer —yet illegal—substance: marijuana. For more information, see ----------------------------------------------------------------- SAFER's On-Line Petition Players with the National Football League who use marijuana instead of alcohol to relax and recreate are making a rational choice to use a less harmful substance. Suspending these players and taking away hundreds of thousands (or sometimes millions) of dollars for using marijuana is driving them to use alcohol, a drug that -- unlike marijuana -- contributes to violent and aggressive behavior. SAFER - Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation Unless the NFL plans to suspend every player who receives a speeding ticket -- which is considered an offense on par with marijuana possession in some states -- it has absolutely no reason to suspend players for the simple use and possession of marijuana. Doing so is not only irrational, but given the NFL's acceptance and blatant promotion of alcohol, it is exceptionally hypocritical. Marijuana is safer than alcohol and the National Football League's substance abuse policy should be changed immediately to reflect that fact. # # #

You Have My Permission to Name a Marijuana Strain After Me

I know, I'm a D-list pot celebrity at best, but at least I won't throw a raging hissy fit:
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.

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. []
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.

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.
United States

Meet MPP Advisory Board Member Jim Hightower in Washington, D.C.

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.

To watch a short video about Jim Hightower's views regarding marijuana policy reform, please click here, or to read a print version, click here.

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.

Tue, 03/18/2008 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
1530 P Street NW
Washington, DC
United States

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