Tax and Regulate

Nevada's 'Yes On 2' Campaign Steps Up Ad Campaign

The campaign in support of Question 2 has recently stepped up its advertising efforts in support of the measure.

The campaign has launched a series of online video ads, as well as a a "Schools vs. Cartels" billboard that recently received some attention in the media.

The latest video ads focus on the benefits of taxing marijuana sales, which would generate significant new revenue for schools. Previous ads have highlighted support from local and state officials, capitalized on recent political events, and detailed the success of a similar ballot initiative that was adopted in Colorado in 2012.

You can watch all of the ads here on the campaign's website.

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Medical Marijuana

Obama’s New Tactic Against Medical Marijuana Patients: Suspend Free Speech

In the latest move of the Obama Administration’s incomprehensible attack on medical marijuana, U.S. attorneys announced today that they will begin to prosecute media outlets that publish advertisements for medical marijuana! It seems that when it comes to medical marijuana users, or the states in which they live for that matter, the Bill of Rights means practically nothing.

First, there was the memo released by the ATF this month warning firearms dealers that it was against the law to sell guns or ammunition to medical marijuana patients, effectively eliminating the Second Amendment rights of hundreds of thousands of patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. Then on Friday, when the U.S. attorneys from California unveiled their intent to shut down the medical marijuana industry and drive patients into the hands of gangs and other illicit dealers, they said that one of their core tactics was to intimidate landlords and property owners who rent to dispensaries by threatening them with seizure of their assets. While this may not be a direct violation of the law (unfortunately), it certainly treads on the spirit of the Fourth Amendment’s protections of life, liberty, and property. Now, those same attorneys are stomping on the First Amendment as well.

The actions of the Department of Justice are simply baffling.

In its vain and misguided attempt to stymie medical marijuana and stop the reform movement from making any further policy gains, the DOJ is basically trying to shut down two industries that make money, employ many people throughout California, and earn tax revenue for a state in a disastrous economic situation. Neither of these moves makes any sense. Shutting down the medical marijuana industry is not going to stop marijuana production. Denying them the ability to advertise by prosecuting those who publish the ads will not stop marijuana distributors from making a profit. It will, however, be disastrous for the publishing industry. Both the medical marijuana and publishing industries provide much-needed jobs and revenue to California. These methods are quite simply poor tools to accomplish an illegitimate goal. The fact that the media, which has the ability to sway public opinion against the administration, is being targeted seems particularly stupid.

Now, there are of course justifiable reasons for not allowing advertisement for some illegal activity. It is interesting to note, however, that pharmaceutical companies that sell drugs for billions in profits (the very reason the DOJ claims the marijuana industry is so evil) are allowed to advertise freely in all mediums.

Constitutional and federal law aside, it is morbidly fascinating from a philosophical standpoint that the administration is subverting the right to use marijuana to treat one’s illness by attacking two other, more deeply-held rights. After all, it certainly seems that more Americans care about free speech and property rights than they do about bodily autonomy. Will this policy end up being counterproductive to the stated goals of the administration?

Probably. Just like every facet of prohibition, it is pretty much doomed to failure in the long run.

If you’d like to tell the president how you feel about this, please go here or call (202) 456-1111.

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Tax and Regulate

MPP TV Ad Hits California Airwaves Today

Jul 08, 2009 Kate Zawidzki

California, Schwarzenegger, television, Tom Ammiano

In the shadow of California's historic budget crisis, MPP is airing a TV ad calling for an end to marijuana prohibition in the state.

The 30-second spot features a marijuana consumer who - along with millions of others in in the state - wants to pay taxes to help bridge California's massive budget gap. Nadene Herndon, 58, declares that "instead of being treated like criminals for using a substance safer than alcohol, [marijuana consumers] want to pay our fair share."

The ad will be running on cable and network TV all over California beginning today:

There's a litany of reasons to end marijuana prohibition, but the financial benefits have recently amplified calls for reform in California. In February, State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) introduced a bill that would make marijuana legal for adults over 21, and tax and regulate it comparably to alcohol. The annual state tax revenue from legal marijuana sales is estimated at about $1.3 billion - enough to pay the salaries of 20,000 California schoolteachers.

Not everyone in California wants both sides of the debate aired. Some networks actually refused to run the ad based on the bizarre assertion that it somehow supports illegal drug use

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Prohibition||Tax and Regulate

The Marijuana Policy Reform Revolution WILL Be Televised

In yet another sign of the growing acceptance for marijuana policy reform, MPP's Rob Kampia appeared on MSNBC and CNBC yesterday to discuss California Gov. Arnold Schwarzegger's recent statement supporting an open discussion about ending marijuana prohibition.

You can see his MSNBC appearance here and the CNBC one in which he debates former drug czar official and lifelong drug warrior Kevin Sabet here. (Just to prove it's really live TV, you'll notice Rob's audio feed cuts out at one point, causing him to talk over Sabet for a bit. Aw, shucks.)

By the way, here's a shot of Rob during his MSNBC appearance that we kind of got a chuckle out of. I mean, drug warriors love accusing marijuana policy reformers of supporting terrorism, but actually being a terrorist? Now that's playing hardball.

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