RSS Feed for this category

Yes on 19 Campaign Launches New "Stop the Insanity" Video (Video)

The Yes on 19 campaign launched its closing argument with a brand new web video. It emphasizes that for far too long the war on marijuana has cost the state billions of dollars and incarcerated hundreds of thousands of non-violent Californians, and that by stopping the insanity of marijuana prohibition the state can be led in a new direction.

The ad, which has an edgier flavor than previous messaging, was designed to address the human toll inflicted by marijuana prohibition. Unofficially called "Stop the Insanity," the ad is being targeted to younger CA voters who are less political, but moved by the subject of marijuana legalization. The rollout will be seen by 2 million Californians.

You can watch the video here:

United States

Zach Galifianakis Supports Prop 19 by Smoking a Joint on Bill Maher's Show (Video)

United States
Proponents have been stepping up the call to show favor for California's Prop 19. Taking to national television, actor Zach Galifianakis staged a rather dramatic show of support by lighting up a marijuana joint while debating the proposition on Real Time With Bill Maher.
The Washington Post (DC)

The World Can Learn from Switzerland's Drug Policy

In the late 1980s, Switzerland saw a significant increase in injection drug use, and the crime and public health harms that are associated with it under our prohibition system. A new video from the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union features a range of Swiss experts discussing the science-based policies that the country has adopted to deal with those issues, including Professor Ambros Uchtenhagen, head of the first heroin maintenance program in Switzerland; Felix Lengweiler, the chief of security police and policing of narcotics crime at the Zurich City Police; and Uwe Serduelt, deputy director, Centre of Research on Direct Democracy at the Zurich University.

The video's release coincides with a new report on the subject by the Open Society Institute, Read From the Mountaintops: What the World Can Learn from Drug Policy Change in Switzerland.

"Emperor of Hemp" Live Chat Tonight,'s Movie Night, 8:00-9:30pm

"Movie Night" tonight, on the widely-read blog, will feature Jeff Meyers, producer of the classic and now re-released video about hemp pioneer Jack Herer, and Emperor of Hemp director Jeff Jones. Tune in between 8:00pm and 9:30pm.
We have just begun offering Emperor of Hemp -- the new Memorial Edition -- on our web site with donations of $15 or more. Visit to place your order.

Visit to learn more about the Emperor of Hemp DVD, and about Jack Herer himself, the justly renowned Emperor.

In case anyone didn't make the connection, Firedoglake is the group providing a phonebanking web site to help you support Prop 19, and the three state medical marijuana initiatives, by doing get out the vote phone calls. All you need is a phone and Internet connection, and you can be volunteering for these important efforts now! Click here for further information.

"Stoners Against Prop 19" Debunked in New Video

Last week we reported on the forces lined up for and against California's Prop 19. A surprising element found in the "against" mix are portions of the cannabis reform community. Some of them are clearly self-interested medical marijuana sellers, and we believe that all of them are thoroughly mistaken or misguided. It's a loud group of people, but one whose actual size and significance is unclear.

I did not closely follow the evolution of the "Stoners Against Prop 19," but one event that's said to have given it steam was a video interview by California medical marijuana patient KC Kimber with Dennis Peron, the father of medical marijuana in California and sponsor of the Prop 215 medical marijuana initiative, who regrettably has opposed Prop 19. (I'm having trouble find the video, hence no link.) Kimber discovered later that Peron had fed him a lot of disinformation, and has been campaigning since then for Prop 19's passage. Yesterday he released an interview with cannabis expert and Prop 19 proponent Chris Conrad which debunks Peron's claims.

We hope that common sense (perhaps with some help from our reporting) has already made it clear to our readers that Prop 19 is a legalization initiative (albeit the first stage of legalization with more work to be done); that it will help, not hurt, medical marijuana patients (as I've gone into on Huffington Post); and that any compromises it makes are small and necessary ones and that we'll be far better off, now and in the continuing effort, if it passes. We don't want to contribute an exaggerated sense of the importance of the "Stoners Against Prop 19" movement by focusing too much attention on them, but because the vote is likely to be close, and because some of their claims have made it into the mainstream media, we are posting the video here just in case. If you want more information on this subject, we recommend Chris's Prop 19 Fact Check and Rumor Control page.

Regarding Peron, we see him as a hero for what he did to bring medical marijuana into being in California, work without which Prop 19 might not even be possible today. We've heard that he's ill, and we wish him well. Prop 19 is too important to hold back on, and so even Dennis Peron cannot be let off the hook when he spreads false information about it, at least not until the election's done.

Taiwanese Animated Report on Prop 19 Marijuana Initiative

This video more or less speaks for itself. I doubt that marijuana smoking would be allowed in some of the public places where it depicts people doing that, but they were trying to present the arguments being made by both sides. One commenter on the video noted that they presented the stoned driver as going too slowly, not fast and recklessly, an insightful detail.

 As an east coaster it took me a few moments to remember this, but the bear is a symbol for the state of California.


No Accepted Medical Use? Three Perspectives on Medical Cannabis (Video -- ReasonTV)

As medical marijuana proponents have pointed out since the Controlled Substances Act was passed by Congress in 1970, cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and there has never been a reported case of a marijuana overdose. Moreover, in recent years clinical researchers around the world have demonstrated the medicinal value of cannabis. ReasonTV talked to a doctor, a pharmacist, and a patient to get three firsthand perspectives on medical cannabis.
ReasonTV (CA)

The Right to Survive Overdoses

Our friends at the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, in honor of Overdose Awareness Day (August 31), have produced a new video, "Take Home Naloxone -- The Right to Survive Overdoses." There are many legal, political and attitudinal barriers that currently stand in the way of getting this life-saving medication to the people who need it, when they need it, and numerous lives have been needlessly lost as a result. You can help overcome those barriers by distributing this video and helping to eliminate the prejudices and inertia that currently stand in the way of Naloxone distribution.

Nation's First Medical Marijuana TV Commercial

While some California TV stations are censoring pro-legalization-of-marijuana ads, at least one Sacramento station has aired what is claimed to be the nation's first TV ad for marijuana itself:

CNN also covered the story.

Give up, prohibitionists. This one is so over.

Sacramento, CA
United States

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School