MPP Releases Presidential Candidate Report Card


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Last Friday, MPP released the 2016 Presidential Candidates Report Card, which grades the various major candidates based on their support for marijuana policy reform or the willingness to allow it to move forward. Since then, a wide variety of news outlets have written about it, including the New York Times, Huffington Post, Washington Times, and others. In particular, there was quite a bit of interest in Republican Sen. Rand Paul receiving the highest grade of any candidate: A-.

Washington Times reports:

Mr. Paul, received a grade of “A-” from the Marijuana Policy Project. The group said his grade was based largely on his sponsorship of a medical marijuana bill, support for reducing marijuana-related penalties and support for allowing states to regulate marijuana for adult use.

Mr. Christie and Mr. Santorum, meanwhile, two other GOP contenders, both received a grade of “F” “because they oppose reform efforts and they are the most vocal supporters of enforcing federal prohibition laws in states that have made marijuana legal,” the group said.

“Some of these guys who tout states’ rights, fiscal responsibility, and getting the government out of people’s private lives want to use federal tax dollars to punish adults for using marijuana in states that have made it legal,” said Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the group. “They say using marijuana is immoral or just too dangerous to allow, but serve alcohol, a more dangerous substance, at their fundraisers. The hypocrisy is astonishing.”

Not surprisingly, Sen. Paul has gotten a lot of attention this week by being the first presidential candidate to actively court the marijuana industry for campaign donations.

report card

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President Obama to Restate Support for Medical Marijuana


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This Sunday, President Obama is expected to voice his support for allowing medical marijuana and moving away from jailing people for drug abuse.

The Daily Caller reports: 

In a CNN special to be aired on Sunday, not only will President Barack Obama state his full support of medical marijuana, he’ll also advocate for alternative models of drug abuse treatment which don’t involve incarceration.

The television special, called “Weed 3,” features CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon who came to support medical marijuana after reviewing the evidence. This time around, he’ll be delving into the politics of medical marijuana research and interviewing President Barack Obama, according to an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Obama has previously predicted that more states will follow the lead of Washington and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana, and confirmed that although marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, the Department of Justice will look the other way.

You can read Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s newest article on medical marijuana here.

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Mexico Could Legalize Marijuana Soon, Says Former President Fox


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Last week, former President of Mexico and well-known marijuana reform advocate Vicente Fox told reporters that Mexico could legalize marijuana within the next five years.

Programa RadiofÛnico "Fox Contigo"
Vicente Fox

Fox said that although Mexico’s current leader, President Enrique Pena Nieto, has stated his opposition to legalizing marijuana, impending legalization efforts in key U.S. states could force Mexico to follow their lead. “Once California gets into this,” Fox said, “Mexico is going to speed up its decision process.”

During Fox’s presidency from 2000 to 2006, he was tasked with battling Mexico’s powerful drug cartels. The country’s various efforts to hinder the cartels, including ramping up military attacks, have so far been unsuccessful and have resulted in even more bloodshed. By some estimates, the death toll for casualties of Mexico’s drug war has reached 100,000.

In response to the failure of traditional government tactics, Fox has become a staunch advocate for reforming drug laws, arguing that prohibition has been responsible for creating and sustaining the deadly gang activity. In addition to speaking out publicly against prohibition, Fox has been involved in political advocacy. Earlier this month, the former President met with marijuana reform advocates in San Francisco to discuss the formation of an international partnership dedicated to decriminalizing and regulating marijuana.

Although polls in Mexico reveal little popular support for marijuana legalization, there are pockets of strong support. One of Mexico’s major political parties recently announced its plan to introduce legislation that would make marijuana legal in Mexico City.

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Henry Rollins Supports Marijuana Reform


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Singer, poet, public speaker, and talk show host Henry Rollins has joined the growing ranks of public figures who support ending marijuana prohibition.

Rollins is not a marijuana user, either. As more and more people realize that marijuana prohibition is a harmful failure, the myth that only potheads want to make it legal is continuing to fade into the hazy realm of reefer madness.

From a column he penned for last week’s LA Weekly: Read the rest of this entry »

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Obama Ignores Popular Marijuana Question. Again.


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This should come as no surprise by now, but President Obama has once again failed to address questions about the need for marijuana policy reform in a public forum. Once again, this issue was among the most popular, but it seems that after laughter, disagreement, and capitulation, the president’s responses are wearing thin, and the question will no longer be asked or answered.

Last week, the White House asked for people to submit questions to be asked during a Google+ Hangout with the president. As usual, marijuana questions dominated the site. Unfortunately for the majority of Americans who support making marijuana legal, the popularity of this issue no longer matters.

First, NORML’s question was removed for being inappropriate.

Then MPP’s question suffered the same fate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call President Obama TODAY


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Today is the day to tell President Obama that you’re fed up with his broken promises and his attacks on medical marijuana providers. Please join thousands of Americans in a National Call-In Day taking place from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm ET.

As you no doubt have heard by now, all four U.S. attorneys in California announced on Friday that they plan to aggressively target state-legal medical marijuana providers for violations of federal law. With virtually no justification, the Obama administration is going to deny patients safe access to their medicine and force them back into the criminal market.

This new development is especially disturbing, considering President Obama’s previous position: In 2009, based on an earlier campaign pledge, his Justice Department issued a memo declaring that individuals acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws would not be prosecuted. Now, the president has gone back on his word.

Please join supporters of medical marijuana everywhere by making a quick call to the White House and telling President Obama how you feel. Finally, pass this along to all your friends so that we can generate as many calls as possible in opposition to this new policy!

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Obama: From First to Worst on Medical Marijuana


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During his run for the presidency, Barack Obama instilled hope in medical marijuana supporters by pledging to respect state laws on the matter. And for the first two years of his term, he was generally faithful to his promise. Yet suddenly, and with no logical explanation, over the past eight months he has become arguably the worst president in U.S. history regarding medical marijuana.

1. In 1970, Nixon signed into law the Controlled Substances Act, which placed marijuana in Schedule I — the most restrictive of the five schedules, which declared that marijuana has no medical value whatsoever. Since then, all seven presidents have been content to keep marijuana in Schedule I, even going so far as to have (1) DEA bureaucrats overrule the DEA’s own administrative law judge on the matter, and (2) Health & Human Services reject scientific petitions for rescheduling.

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WE THE PEOPLE: 12 Marijuana Policy Petitions on the White House Website You Should Sign Right Now!


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“When I ran for this office, I pledged to make government more open and accountable to its citizens. That’s what the new We the People feature on WhiteHouse.gov is all about – giving Americans a direct line to the White House on the issues and concerns that matter most to them.” – President Barack Obama
The White House recently announced We the People, where individuals can create and sign petitions seeking action from the federal government. If a petition gathers 5,000 signatures, White House staff will review it, send it to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response. Once you have registered on the White House We the People page, you can vote for as many petitions as you’d like.

Here are 12 marijuana policy related petitions currently on the White House We the People petition page:

  1. Give States the Freedom to Establish Their Own Marijuana Laws.
  2. Stop denying the medical value of cannabis (marijuana.) Remove it from schedule one of the controlled substances act.
  3. Release all known beneficial information regarding cannabis (hemp, marijuana) and its derivatives.
  4. End the destructive, wasteful and counterproductive “War on Drugs”.
  5. Remove Marijuana from the Schedule 1 list of drugs in the Controlled Substances Act.
  6. Allow United States Disabled Military Veterans access to medical marijuana to treat their PTSD.
  7. Eliminate or Reform Departments whose Officers are Required by Law to Lie to the American People.
  8. Pardon Marc Emery.
  9. Allow Industrial Hemp to be Grown in the U.S. Once Again.
  10. Stop Interfering With State Marijuana Legalization Efforts.
  11. Legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana.
  12. Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol.
The White House plans to respond to each petition that crosses the 5,000 signature threshold. Please share this list of petitions with everyone you know, especially on Twitter and Facebook. Also, we know we missed a few petitions, so please add them in the comments below.

To donate, please visit http://www.mpp.org/donate

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President Jimmy Carter Calls for End to War On Drugs


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The failure of marijuana prohibition and its inherent hypocrisy are certainly becoming clearer than ever these days, and the discussion is starting to include some pretty big names. The report released by the Global Commission on Drug Policy two weeks ago is evidence of that, and the discussion is spreading to others.

The last three U.S. presidents have admitted to using marijuana, and it did not stop them from going on to lead successful lives. This is largely attributable to the fact that they were not arrested for it, but they have still owned up to it publicly. Now, a former president is standing up and declaring that the drug war must end.

Yesterday, Jimmy Carter, former president and life-long humanitarian, wrote in the New York Times that the time to end the war on drugs had come. He suggested following the advice of the Global Commission, a major facet of which was the need to end marijuana prohibition.

Let’s hope that some leaders who are still unconvinced listen to him. If not, the rest of us are prepared to keep shouting about the necessity of marijuana reform until they do.

Image: CBS News
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