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Don't Just Smoke a Joint on 4/20 - Take Action Against Marijuana Prohibition
by Cannabis Culture (repost)
Tuesday Apr 13th, 2010 8:32 PM
Stand up with others around the world and get the word out there. This war will end; how soon depends, in part, on you.
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April 20th (4/20) has long been associated with marijuana, both marijuana use and marijuana activism. Thousands of Americans will gather on that day at rallies in Boston, Boulder, New York, Santa Cruz, Seattle and other cities. For people who prefer to relax with a joint instead of a beer or martini it's a time to celebrate. For those who don't use marijuana it's a time to stand up in support of their friends, family, and fellow citizens who face arrest for nothing more than what they put into their body. For the Drug Policy Alliance and the drug policy reform movement 4/20 represents something even bigger.

The movement to end marijuana prohibition is very broad, composed of people who love marijuana, people who hate marijuana, and people who don't have strong feelings about marijuana use one way or the other. We all agree on one thing though - marijuana prohibition is doing more harm than good. It's wasting taxpayer dollars and police resources, filling our jails and prisons with hundreds of thousands of nonviolent people, and increasing crime and violence in the same way alcohol Prohibition did. Police made more than 750,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2008 alone. Those arrested were separated from their loved ones, branded criminals, denied jobs, and in many cases prohibited from accessing student loans, public housing and other public assistance.

Fortunately, the tide is quickly turning against the war on marijuana. Legislators in California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Virginia are considering legislation to decriminalize or legalize marijuana. The Economist magazine noted that "marijuana could follow the path that alcohol took in the 1930s" out of prohibition into a regulated market. Celebrities are speaking out. The musician and activist Sting, for instance, recently urged people to oppose the entire war on drugs. In November Californians will vote on whether to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol; the measure is ahead in the polls. Local California papers like the Orange County Register and the Long Beach Press-Telegram have editorialized in favor of the initiative, seven months before the vote. Nationally, support for making marijuana legal is about 44 percent, with support increasing about two percent a year. A recent Gallup poll predicts a majority of Americans will favor marijuana legalization within just four years if current trends hold.

The war on marijuana won't end, however, if everyone who supports reform stays silent. Maybe you smoke marijuana and are tired of being considered a criminal. Maybe you work in law enforcement and are tired of ruining people's lives by arresting them. Maybe you're a teacher or public health advocate tired of politicians cutting money for education and health to pay for the construction of new jails and prisons. Maybe you're a civil rights activist appalled by racial disparities in marijuana law enforcement. Or maybe you just don't want your tax dollars wasted on ineffective policies.

Regardless of your motivation, April 20th (4/20) is a good opportunity for you to make a pledge to end marijuana prohibition. The Drug Policy Alliance is asking people to use 4/20 as the time to commit to doing something in 2010 to end the war on people who use marijuana. There are many ways to help end marijuana prohibition. Donate to a drug policy reform organization. Tell your elected representatives to end marijuana prohibition. Talk to your friends and family about why people who use marijuana shouldn't be arrested. Twitter this oped. Change your Facebook status to announce your support for ending the war on marijuana. Stand up today with other Americans and get the word out there. This war will end; how soon depends, in part, on you.

Bill Piper is director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Robet Norse
Wednesday Apr 14th, 2010 5:23 AM
See...

"AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS (ASA) FORMS NEW CHAPTER - SANTA CRUZ COUNTY"
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/04/04/18643767.php

"ROGER MENTCH MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACTIVIST PREPARES FOR THIRD TRIAL IN SAN JOSE" http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/03/17/18641665.php

"Final Vote on New Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban"
at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/03/21/18642319.php

"Scotts Valley extends dispensary moratorium"
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/03/18/18641809.php

"Monterey dispensary remains open, minus the dispensing"
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/03/19/18641933.php

Marijuana busts in Santa Cruz City in spite of Measure K are up. Time to do some local organizing around fighting the Drug War and reining in D.A. Bob Lee, Sheriff Phil Wowak, SCPD Boss Howard Skerry, and the Rotkin-Coonerty Santa Cruz City Council.

The New Prohibition in spite of the forthcoming November vote on limited legalization will be fought at the local level--Santa Cruz has banned new medical marijuana dispensaries. The November Initiative even if passed allows local over-regulation measures.

Those in jail need to be freed and receive restitution. The Marijuana Prohibition Racket at the County Courthouse funding the vacations of attorneys, judges, cops, and other corporate criminals needs to end.

To do this we need to document and expose the costs, abuse, and reality of the Racket. There's plenty of local work here to do, statistics to gather,info to put out, and mass protest to organize.
by Richard Perry
Monday Apr 19th, 2010 8:45 AM
By: Richard Perry, Campaign Manager
Stewart A. Alexander for California Governor

In October 2009, Stewart Alexander launched his campaign to become the next Governor of California calling for the legalization of same-sex marriages and the legalization of marijuana. Stewart Alexander is one of three gubernatorial candidates representing Peace and Freedom Party, the only socialist party on the California ballot.

Stewart Alexander has been on the political scene for nearly 30 years; working for the Florida Consumer Action Network in the mid 80s and running as a candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles in 1989. Alexander was a candidate for California Lieutenant Governor in 2006 and was the National Vice Presidential Nominee for Socialist Party USA in 2008. Presently, Stewart Alexander is a member of the Peace and Freedom Party and the California State Organizer for Socialist Party USA.

While most of the Democrats and Republican gubernatorial candidates are opposing same-sex marriage rights and the legalization of marijuana, Stewart Alexander has placed these two important issues at the center of his campaign. The Peace and Freedom Party has always supported the human and civil rights of all.

Supporters for the legalization of marijuana should support Stewart Alexander to be the next Governor of California by changing your voter registration card to Peace and Freedom Party and voting in June Primary and the November Mid-Term Elections for Stewart Alexander for Governor; Stewart Alexander is the strongest advocate on the ballot for legalizing marijuana. StewartAlexanderCares.com