Prohibition

MPP's Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers for 2015

FB link preview.Top 50 MPP 2015-01

MPP is pleased to announce the release of our annual list of the “Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers” in the United States!

President Barack Obama is at the top of the list, followed by several 2016 presidential candidates. At least eight (and as many as 17) of the 23 major-party presidential hopefuls have said or strongly indicated that they have consumed marijuana: Jeb Bush, Lincoln Chafee, Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Rick Santorum.

Nine others do not appear to have said whether they have consumed marijuana, and they did not respond to inquiries from MPP: Joe Biden, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Martin O’Malley, and Jim Webb. Only six candidates have said they never used marijuana: Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker.

The list is intended to identify individuals who have used marijuana and achieved high levels of success or influence. It was created using the same criteria employed by Out Magazine to produce its "Power 50” list of LGBT Americans, such as “power to influence cultural and social attitudes, political clout, individual wealth, and a person’s media profile.” To qualify for MPP’s list, individuals must (1) be alive, (2) be a U.S. citizen, and (3) have consumed marijuana at least once in their life according to either their own account or that of a legitimate source. They do not need to currently consume marijuana or support marijuana policy reform.

The list is available here.

Read more

Prohibition

MPP Releases Presidential Candidate Report Card

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-.

The 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

Read more

Prohibition

Not Very Metal: Megadeth Frontman Endorses Rick Santorum

UPDATE: Dave Mustaine has clarified his position, saying that he likes Santorum but does not officially "endorse" him.

 

I was shocked to learn that Dave Mustaine, the singer of Megadeth, endorsed Rick Santorum for president.

If you're not a fan of heavy metal, you might not know that Megadeth is one of the most popular metal bands of all time -- and they're certainly one of the most political bands in any music genre.  Dave Mustaine actually covered the presidential race for MTV News in 1996.

As one of two MPP staffers who regularly  listens to heavy metal, I can say with confidence that Dave Mustaine should have endorsed Ron Paul -- if Mustaine wanted to be at all representative of his fans.

Disciples of heavy metal are disproportionately libertarians:  The anti-authority music lyrics go hand-in-hand with the anti-authoritarian policy positions of libertarians like Ron Paul.

Also, fans of heavy metal are more likely to be marijuana users than the average citizen.  (If you don't believe me, go to an Ozzy Osbourne concert and breathe deeply.)  So when Mustaine endorses Rick Santorum, Mustaine is basically saying that it is just fine with him if literally millions of his fans continue to face arrest ... for doing no harm to others.

On principal, Mustaine should have endorsed Ron Paul. And, even if only for selfish reasons, Mustaine should not have endorsed Rick Santorum, who seeks to incarcerate a large portion of the people who pay Mustaine's salary.

Read more