Archive for October, 2010

Montana NORML Newsletter: Why Vote?

October 29th, 2010

This coming Tuesday, voters (that’s YOU) will decide a number of important issues. Here in Montana, we’ll decide on who will be responsible for deciding how your medical marijuana law will be rewritten.

I know some of you have already voted (awesome!). I know some of you intend not to vote at all (lame!). And I bet there’s a bunch of you who know you should vote, but you think you don’t know enough about the issues, or it’s a hassle, or it makes no difference, or you don’t like crowds or new experiences.

I’m here to tell you it’s important to vote, if you care about marijuana policy.

Montana is a small state, population-wise. Legislative races are sometimes decided by a dozen votes. In some districts, that means if you were to call your grower friend and tell him to call his registered patients, you could switch an election result from bad to good! That’s real voter power!

For example, in HD 63 (Bozeman – click for map), there’s a tight race in progress. The Democrat, Jennifer “JP” Pomnichowski, voted YES on a bill in the last legislative session to improve and expand the medical marijuana program. The Republican, Tom Burnett, recently distributed campaign literature indicating his support for restricting medical marijuana access.

This is a theme you can count on, actually. Montana NORML is a non-partisan organization, but in general, our sense is that Democrats generally support our position, and Republicans are much more likely to oppose us.

So, if you’re wondering how to vote on the marijuana issue alone, vote Democrat (or Libertarian). I say that with a certain hesitance, because there are Republicans who support us. But if you don’t know anything else about a candidate and you want to end marijuana prohibition, vote for the Democrat. (Apologies to my esteemed Republican friends!)

Historically, voter turnout in non-presidential elections is low. Don’t be part of the problem. But hey, when fewer people vote, that means your vote counts more than ever! So step up!

Click here right now to visit candidates.montanadrugpolicy.org and learn more about the candidates that are asking for your vote.

Please also register at the “I live in this district” link on your district page! By working together, we can make positive changes; please join me right now, tonight!


Elsewhere in the West, voters in Arizona and South Dakota will be voting on medical marijuana, and California voters will decide on Prop 19, which will make marijuana legal to grow and possess for all adults 21+.

There is a lot of debate among marijuana policy reformers about whether Prop 19 is “good enough”. In fact, a small number of people for whom I have great respect do not support it.

For us at NORML (click for video), the key factor is that, upon passage, it will become legal under California state law for adults to grow a small garden and possess marijuana. That’s just incredible! Amazing!

If this initiative passes, a big chunk of the wall of cannabis prohibition will be knocked down. About 10% of all Americans live in California. Changes that occur there have a significant impact nationwide.

Legalization in California next week sets the stage for ending cannabis prohibition in Montana in 2012, or maybe even sooner.

That’s why I personally gave $50 to the campaign tonight. I hope you will too.

And now, the news…

Mixed Bag of Marijuana News:

Thanks to all for your support.  And a very, very special thank you to our newest LIFETIME SUPPORTER. You know who you are. :)

An Open Letter to Democrats (and Republicans)

October 19th, 2010

I heard a joke recently:

Q: What two things do all politicians want?
A: To get elected, and to get re-elected.

I’m sure there’s some truth in the joke, but I think that most people who run for state office do so out of a sense of civic pride, responsibility, and moral purpose. They want to protect what’s good, and fight what’s bad, regardless of their party or ideals.

It is a rare candidate or elected official who will state publicly, Cannabis prohibition is a tragic and expensive failure. We should tax and regulate marijuana for all responsible adults.”

That was a politically dangerous statement just a few years ago. Today, not so much. In fact, I think it’s a position that can attract more votes than it repels.

My message to Montana candidates for public office is this:

Right now, today, start considering the inevitable prospect of taxing and regulating marijuana as a rational option worthy of your thoughtful consideration. Don’t succumb to the lies saturating the status quo. Demand facts, and don’t tolerate hysteria.

Why? Because it’s the right thing to do, and a majority of Montana voters probably want you to.

It’s the right thing to do because:

Candidates, please contact me if you would like to discuss further. Montana NORML would like to help you.

P.S., Same message to you Green, Libertarian, Constitution, Independent, and Tea Party candidates, and everyone else. Let’s talk.

Montana NORML Newsletter – Conference Highlights, Voting and the News

October 15th, 2010

Good evening Montana, we love it when you forward this email to your friends!

It was great to meet so many of you at the MMGA conference earlier this week. It’s clear that marijuana is now an industry, a tangible force that has the power to affect the Montana economy and Montana families.  That’s always been the case, but now it’s coming out of the darkness, into the light.

Highlights of the conference for me included:

  • I spoke with at least 50 different people over the 48-hour conference, and all were 100% in agreement: of course we need to make cannabis legal for everyone. We will get there.
  • The legislative panel, at which candidates Mat Stevenson, Dave Lewis, Mary Caferro, and Don Judge appeared. It’s great to know that some legislators are willing to consider marijuana regulation thoughtfully and with our feedback in mind.
  • The after-party event. Thanks Chris! :)

Speaking of legislators, I want to be sure that everyone reading this votes this November. Some of you may have already voted via absentee ballot, which anyone can get.

I know some people believe that “voting makes no difference”, and I’m here to tell you you’re wrong.  Montana is a small state, population wise, which means that serious votes for legislative office are regularly decided by a few hundred votes, or less.

That means that if you have five friends, and each of them has five friends, and each of them has five friends that vote with us, we could tip a lot of elections our direction. If we get organized.

We all need information about candidates’ positions on cannabis. The best current source is here:

http://candidates.montanadrugpolicy.org/

I hope you’ll all forward that link to five friends, right now.

A serious message for all you cannabis farmers out there:  protect your art, protect your craft, protect your business, and organize your patients. They need to be registered to vote, and know what district they live in, and who to vote for. Each and every one of them. This week!

If not you, who? If not now, when?

And now, the news:
(For real-time news, become a Facebook Fan or Twitter follower.)

Montana Marijuana News

National Marijuana news:

Become a supporting member of Montana NORML now! http://mtnorml.org/join

And, as always, let us know if you get a letter to the editor published that supports NORML’s goals. We’ll send you some goodies.

Be the change you wish to see.

Montana NORML Newsletter – Activism, Caregivers, Voting and the News

October 8th, 2010

Dear Montana,

First, to everyone who showed up at Tuesday’s event in Missoula, thank you (you know who you are!) To everyone who said you’d show up and then didn’t, well, weak sauce.

The Women’s Marijuana Movement and the NORML Womens Alliance can be powerful. I encourage all you ladies out there to get involved. Yes, I mean set aside a few minutes a day,  go beyond mere talking about action, step up, and do something. You have the power.

I also have a message for all you cannabis farmers (a.k.a. “caregivers“) out there. The more patients you have, the more important your political role is. You cannot just work in the garden, you must inform your patients about the goings-on in Helena. You must ensure all your patients are registered to vote. And you must ensure they do actually vote.

Why? Because Montana’s medical marijuana law will come under vigorous scrutiny and assault in January. While unlikely, it could also be repealed entirely. Rest assured it will be changed significantly, with serious new restrictions.

Who should they vote for? Well, that depends on where you’re located.  Luckily, there’s a database of legislative candidates and their positions on cannabis:

http://candidates.montanadrugpolicy.org

If anyone knows of online interviews or other info we’re missing on any candidates, just send me an email with the evidence.

Patients, I have a message for you too.  I know some of you are very ill. I know some of you are kinda-sorta ill. I have respect for you all — you’re choosing one of the safest therapeutically active plants known to humankind.

My message for patients is just a reminder — that the best way to ensure high quality, low prices, and uninterrupted availability of cannabis is to make it legal for all adults, regulated in a manner similar to how we treat beer. Cannabis is definitely not the “same as” beer, but the regulatory model is one we all understand. Stores that check ID, microbrewery licenses, homebrew, and so forth. Please keep focused on that as the end goal, not some quasi-pharmaceutical catastrophe.

My message for everyone else is to be encouraged — the tide continues to turn our direction. American society is flipping the switch. Soon, more and more mainstream political candidates will come out in favor of regulating cannabis for all adults. I swear it’s an election-winner, if only some Dem (or Repub) had the guts to come out and declare their support. More on that later this month.

Events!

The big one coming up is the MMGA Symposium in Helena on Oct 10th and 11th. It’s FREE, this coming Sunday and Monday, featuring one of the federal government’s medical marijuana patients (Irv Rosenfeld), and lots of medical and legal info. I’ll be there, and would like to see you. Arguably, the MMGA is the biggest, strongest, most public pro-medical-marijuana group in Montana right now, so please come out and see what they’re doing.

And now, the news…

Montana Marijuana News

More News You Can Use

As always, if you write a letter to the editor in support of humans’ right to cannabis that gets published online, send us the link and your physical address, and we’ll send you some goodies.

Kindly.

Montana NORML Newsletter – Legislation, Voting, Women’s Marijuana Movement and the News

October 1st, 2010

Montanans,

I know we here in Montana sometimes express disdain, even disgust, with all things California. However, it cannot be denied that the state has been on the forefront of numerous social issues, and now, ending marijuana prohibition is on California’s agenda.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve called for Montanans to donate to help California activists pass their “Proposition 19“.  The idea is, if California can end marijuana prohibition in their state, other states will likely follow, eventually. I predict Montana could do it in just a few years. Maybe, if you and I really work at it, sooner than that.

The result of our fundraising campaign was encouraging. Together, we raised about $500 for the campaign (click through to learn more and donate directly). I can only imagine the response when we’re working (soon) to make marijuana legal for all Montana adults!


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Montana legislative candidates are trying to get elected, and some of them will soon be trying to change our marijuana laws.  Some of them want to eliminate medical marijuana altogether while others want to end prohibition entirely.

How do you know who’s who? Consult this site: Montana Legislative Candidates’ Positions on Marijuana

The site is a partnership between Montana NORML, the Montana Medical Growers’ Association, and other organizations that work to reform cannabis laws in Montana. It’s your go-to tool for guidance on how to vote for marijuana law reform. Check back often, because we’re updating it with new info frequently.

Today, we added info for two Flathead districts (HD 3 and HD 4), and one Missoula district (HD 96). Click the map to figure out your district!



Important Alert!

Ladies, if you’re ready to step up and speak out for cannabis liberty, now’s the time. The Women’s Marijuana Movement is preparing a nationwide Day of Action on Tuesday, October 7th at 12:30PM.  If you’d like to be involved, email us (norml@montananorml.org) ASAP,  and/or show up at the northwest side of the Higgins Street Bridge in Missoula, by Caras Park. Bring your ovaries, attitude, and SAFER-compatible signs, please!

Facebook Fans, here’s the event page.


And now, the latest marijuana news from around the GREAT state of Montana:

Montana Marijuana News

Marijuana News from Beyond

Thanks for your interest and support.  Remember always that we have Truth, Justice, and Liberty on our sideNobodyshould be arrested for marijuana use. Let’s “Just Say Now“, and end marijuana prohibition, tomorrow.

Onwards and Upwards.