Cannabis News Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  Anti-Drug Office's Videos Defended
Posted by CN Staff on February 04, 2005 at 18:08:12 PT
By Christopher Lee, Washington Post Staff Writer 
Source: Washington Post 

justice In all of the hubbub over federal public relations contracts, at least one agency has gotten a bad rap, says Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform.

Davis said yesterday that the Government Accountability Office was wrong Jan. 4 when it ruled that the Office of National Drug Control Policy broke federal law last year by preparing prepackaged news stories that did not disclose to television viewers that the government had produced them.

The video news releases, which featured narrators "reporting" on the Bush administration's anti-drug campaign, constituted "covert propaganda" and violated a ban against publicity and propaganda, the GAO found.

Davis disagreed, saying in an interview that if anyone had a duty to disclose that the videos were government-produced, it was the news organizations that put them on the air. Davis noted that the external packaging clearly labeled the videos as government products.

"I don't think there's any legal violation," he said. "I would not want to start muzzling government organizations on this because of the way that this stuff is handled by the media."

Davis said Congress directed the drug-control office to engage in media campaigns to help prevent and reduce drug abuse among young people.

In a Jan. 19 letter, Davis and Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.) urged the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, to withdraw its ruling and reconsider the law.

"GAO's analysis in this case is fundamentally flawed because it is inconsistent with ONDCP's express authorization to conduct a media campaign . . . and does not distinguish between deliberate concealment of the source by the government from the news media and subsequent concealment of the source from the public by the news media," the lawmakers wrote (emphasis theirs).

Critics cite the videos -- and similar prepackaged news stories issued by the Department of Health and Human Services last year to tout the Medicare drug benefit -- as evidence that the Bush administration is using tax dollars to promote its policies by surreptitious means. Recent revelations that the Education Department produced a similar video news release on the No Child Left Behind law and paid conservative commentator Armstrong Williams to promote the law further stoked the controversy.

Thomas A. Riley, spokesman for the anti-drug office, said it stopped using the videos, which cost $155,000, in May after the GAO ruling on the Medicare videos. Officials believe the videos are legal, he said, "but if it's going to be controversial or going to be a distraction, it's just not worth it for us."

Riley said the office's use of such videos began in 1998 during the Clinton administration. He provided a copy of one from 1999. The video, about an anti-drug Web site, includes suggested language for anchors to read, as well as images and a sound bite from an America Online official. Unlike some Bush-era videos, it does not have a narrator resembling a reporter, and the material amounts to raw footage rather than a story that could air with no changes.

Bush said last month that agencies should no longer hire commentators or journalists to promote policies. Democrats have asked the GAO to investigate agencies' public relations contracts.

Susan A. Poling, managing associate general counsel at the GAO, declined to comment on the Davis letter, saying it is an open case.

Last month, when the GAO issued its letter on the drug-control office's videos, Poling said: "What is objectionable about these is the fact the viewer has no idea their tax dollars are being used to write and produce this video segment."

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on Davis's committee, said the GAO has the right standard -- and Davis and Souder have the wrong one.

"Their position is straight out of George Orwell," Waxman said in a statement. "It's astonishing that members [of Congress] would defend using federal taxpayers to deceive the public. Fabricating news reports is illegal and unethical."

Davis said that he has not evaluated the Medicare case, and that the Williams contract was wrong. He said his House committee may take up the issue of how government messages should be labeled.

Note: Davis Says Ruling That Law Was Violated Is Wrong

Newshawk: Nicholas Thimmesch II
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Author: Christopher Lee, Washington Post Staff Writer
Published: Friday, February 4, 2005; Page A15
Copyright: 2005 Washington Post
Contact: letterstoed@washpost.com
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com

Related Articles:

Priming The Propaganda Mill
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20183.shtml

Drug Control Office Faulted For Issuing Tapes
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20100.shtml

Bush's Drug Videos Broke Law
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20098.shtml


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Comment #35 posted by FoM on February 06, 2005 at 19:54:50 PT
sixtyfps
What you just said didn't register with me at all. Today I finally copied a video from Michael Moore on to a CD but it won't play in my DVD player. As you can tell I don't know anything about videos. Maybe an e-mail to NORML might help. They have a webmaster and the suggestion is definitely worth it even if they can't do it.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #34 posted by sixtyfps on February 06, 2005 at 19:34:03 PT
FoM
That's the thing about lossy compression. You could have an hour-long conference, and in the right hands, you could have a very nice-looking compressed .avi file for between 200 and 350MiB being shared on the internet.

Compare this to the usual ~3.5+ gigabytes normal DVD-Video (MPEG-2) usually eats up, and you certainly have a preferred format for public affairs archival and sharing.

If you can find someone who can do a good job with compression parameters, I'm very familiar with the rest of the process.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #33 posted by FoM on February 05, 2005 at 19:28:15 PT
sixtyfps
Since I follow Neil Young groups I know Bittorrent is used but I have no idea how. This is a new computer and I could download a dvd but I haven't tried. It would be nice to have the conference on DVD. Could it be a long conference and still be downloaded?

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #32 posted by sixtyfps on February 05, 2005 at 19:13:42 PT
FoM; NORML conference
"Try to record on DVD the whole NORML Conference. Break the sessions up into categories and offer them to us for a contribution. I'd be happy if it could be live on the Internet though."

If someone encoded the NORML conference to a popular format (XviD, for example) and shared via Bittorrent, I'm sure an informed community would be willing to sustain it.

http://dessent.net/btfaq/#what

I'm surprised more people don't use this method to spread the word.

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Comment #31 posted by FoM on February 05, 2005 at 13:55:04 PT
afterburner
Great song and message. Don't let your guard down is the best advice I can give.

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Comment #30 posted by afterburner on February 05, 2005 at 13:46:16 PT
This Note's For You -- Neil Young, Proud Canadian
My reaction to "Is the Annexation of Canada part of Bush's Military Agenda?":

This Note's For You http://www.lyricsdepot.com/Neil-Young/this-notes-for-you.html

THIS NOTE'S FOR YOU Lyrics Artist: Neil Young (Buy Neil Young CDs) Album: THIS NOTE'S FOR YOU

"Don't want no cash Don't need no money Ain't got no stash This note's for you.

"Ain't singin' for Pepsi Ain't singin' for Coke I don't sing for nobody Makes me look like a joke This note's for you.

"Ain't singin' for Miller Don't sing for Bud I won't sing for politicians Ain't singin' for Spuds This note's for you.

"Don't need no cash Don't want no money Ain't got no stash This note's for you.

"I've got the real thing I got the real thing, baby I got the real thing Yeah, alright."

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #29 posted by FoM on February 05, 2005 at 09:24:36 PT
A Link
http://www.folklorama.ca/

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #28 posted by goneposthole on February 05, 2005 at 09:17:41 PT
to all Canadians
Get up, stand up

Stand up for your right

Get up, stand up

Don't give up the fight - Bob Marley

Visit Winnipeg during Folklorama and you will understand.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #27 posted by FoM on February 05, 2005 at 08:41:13 PT
goneposthole
I agree. It seems almost too late for Canada now to me. I hope it won't happen but the U.S. didn't know about Canada's oil when the line was drawn in the sand.

I pray for Canada too.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #26 posted by goneposthole on February 05, 2005 at 08:30:48 PT
Canada is in big, big trouble
The peace between the US and Canada is stable and lasting.

The financial arrangement has been always good for Canada, but it might change. The Athabasca oil sands in northern Alberta is believed to have more oil than Saudi Arabia.

http://collections.ic.gc.ca/oil/

"Canada.Canada has become a major source of natural gas, supplying 16% of present US consumption."

http://www.worldoil.com/Magazine/MAGAZINE_DETAIL.asp?ART_ID=2462

This silly anschluss stuff is about controlling resources. When you want those, you must have control of governmental processes. With the stupidest man alive occupying the White House, Canada is in big trouble.

Then there is this little dittty:

Canada And The Big Business Of War by Richard Sanders March/April 2004

Millions of working Canadians are being fiscally conscripted into the shameful business of war. We are forced into this unwitting participation in the arms trade and imperialist American wars, thanks to the Liberal government's legislation governing the Canada Pension Plan. Through our mandatory CPP contributions, we are entrapped in complicity with many of the world's most notorious warmongers.

http://www.canadiandimension.mb.ca/v38/v38_2rs.htm

You can't have legal cannabis and an informed Canadian populace thinking for themselves. It just doesn't work. It's a Jacobin thing, you know.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #25 posted by mayan on February 05, 2005 at 07:04:05 PT
Fascism
Davis disagreed, saying in an interview that if anyone had a duty to disclose that the videos were government-produced, it was the news organizations that put them on the air.

I blame fascism. The same corporations that own the media have also bought the government. Neither entity is concerned with the truth.

In a Jan. 19 letter, Davis and Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.) urged the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, to withdraw its ruling and reconsider the law.

Souder rears his ugly head again. The fact that these men advocate using our very own tax dollars to lie to us is very indicative of the type of swine ruining this country.

THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...

9/11 Was an Inside Job - A Call to All True Patriots: http://www.911sharethetruth.com/



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #24 posted by afterburner on February 05, 2005 at 06:52:50 PT
RE Attention: All Activists
Attention: All Activists http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread20194.shtml#15

If we don't Take Action against the lies of MP Randy White and his "mad" dogs, Canada will soon cease to be an independent country. The Texas Trooper in BC story was just the tip of the iceberg of US domination of Canada. For those who missed it, kaptinemo posted a very distubing link recently: Is the Annexation of Canada part of Bush's Military Agenda? by Michel Chossudovsky http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO411C.html

Excerpts:

"Under an integrated North American Command, a North American national security doctrine would be formulated. Canada would be obliged to embrace Washington's pre-emptive military doctrine, including the use of nuclear warheads as a means of self defense, which was ratified by the US Senate in December 2003."

"And ultimately what is at stake is that beneath the rhetoric, Canada will cease to function as a Nation:

-Its borders will be controlled by US officials and confidential information on Canadians will be shared with Homeland Security.

-US troops and Special Forces will be able to enter Canada as a result of a binational arrangement.

-Canadian citizens can be arrested by US officials, acting on behalf of their Canadian counterparts and vice versa."

kaptinemo's reasoned response http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/20/thread20174.shtml#4

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Comment #23 posted by kaptinemo on February 05, 2005 at 03:34:08 PT:

Such brass
What they call someone with more chutzpah than brains, with no sense of shame, where I hail from.

Mr. Davis says it's the *media* that is to blame for the revelation that the GAO gave the ONDCP a black eye? It was not the lame-as-usual mass media that disseminated that report; the GAO did.

The mass media has the wherewithal to investigate - and castigate - the ONDCP for its' past sins and DOES NOTHING. Remember the ONDCP scandal of violating the Hatch Act by using government funds to interfere in State elections? How about the Barry-ola scandal of paying off TV producers via kickbacks in licensing time for inserting anti-drug messages in popular TV shows? Thus propagandizing an audience without making them aware of who pressured the producers to do so? Where was the media then?

It took investigative reporter (a sadly vanishing breed) Dan Forbes, to haul this travesty out of the muck and hold it up for the scrutiny the mass media refused to give it. And true to form , the ONDCP tried to 'shoot the messenger' for his efforts at public service by attempting to assassinate his character and impugn his credentials - for pointing out *their* blemishes and warts. Here's a search string that will illustrate what I am talking about: http://www.google.com/search?num=30&hl=en&safe=off&q=dan+forbes+mccaffrey&spell=1

Forbes was scarily prescient, years before we invaded Iraq, as to how the media could be manipulated by government to mold public opinion in its' favor, for its' uses. I leave the reader to determine whether we might ever have invaded Iraq had his articles received the serious attention they rightly deserved. The pattern is there for all to see...if you have the proper preparation.

And as far as the WaPo is concerned: it was once the bane of every pol's existence; time was, you could expect it to clamp it's journalistic jaws on wrondoing and not let go until an offical investigation was mounted - at it's instigation. IMHO it is now panting happily in the laps of those pols, content to be thrown scraps from the table. Sickening; how the mighty have fallen.

One thing I've noted about what seems to come out of Washington these past 25 years: for a bunch that makes a lot of noise about being Christian, they are actually Confucians, That's right. Because under that philosophy, you only make contrite noises IF YOU'VE BEEN CAUGHT. To paraphrase the sage Robert Anton Wilson, "Politics is whatever you can get away with." But the latest gaggle can be caught out and they STILL try to tough it out. 'Brass' indeed.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #22 posted by afterburner on February 04, 2005 at 22:18:07 PT
Attention: All Activists
http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread20194.shtml#15

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #21 posted by FoM on February 04, 2005 at 21:51:58 PT
ekim
I looked on NORML's web site and it hasn't announced the schedule yet. I'm sure it will be soon.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #20 posted by afterburner on February 04, 2005 at 21:27:23 PT
ekim, Check with Drug Policy Alliance, Too
They have experience with live webcasting.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #19 posted by ekim on February 04, 2005 at 21:19:13 PT
hello this is the united states calling-----hello-
does anyone have info on the upcomming norml conference. who will be speaking were is Gov. Gary Johnson.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #18 posted by FoM on February 04, 2005 at 20:41:18 PT
I Have An Idea
Try to record on DVD the whole NORML Conference. Break the sessions up into categories and offer them to us for a contribution. I'd be happy if it could be live on the Internet though.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #17 posted by ekim on February 04, 2005 at 20:38:18 PT
i guess it could be done on the internet too
thanks AB i was up north at Traverse City last summer and they beamed this conference from SF.to Northwesten we were one of 18 citys that got beamed.

it would be so right if the other groups would all get together and host this event, if no movie producer will than the reformers must.



[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #16 posted by FoM on February 04, 2005 at 20:35:53 PT
afterburner
World Symposium on Humanity sounds like it was very worthwhile. Thank you for what you have and are doing to better this world. I appreciate it.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #15 posted by FoM on February 04, 2005 at 20:30:05 PT
afterburner
I don't watch cartoons but a guy ( I don't remember his name ) going after a character called Sponge Bob was too much! You think soon someone will find fault with Bambi?

Oh how strange it all is.

PS: Nicholas is the only republican I like. He takes my razzing very well. LOL!

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #14 posted by afterburner on February 04, 2005 at 20:28:10 PT
ekim
"do you know what it would take to beam the Norml Conference from San Fran CA.out to spots around the country, maybe like [pay per view] or to some colleges and universities. at least to the Hash Bash that will be taken place the same time."

During the late 1970's I did some volunteer work for the World Symposium on Humanity, a multi-city conference linked by satellite (Toronto - Los Angeles - London, England). The project was underfunded and lost money, but if you can find some of the people involved in the technical setup, you may find an answer to your question.

Here is a Google link to the World Symposium on Humanity http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=%22world+symposium+on+humanity%22&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on February 04, 2005 at 20:01:44 PT
Birds of a Feather...
"Davis and Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.) urged the GAO"

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #12 posted by ekim on February 04, 2005 at 19:56:00 PT
run run run run run better run all day and allnite
hey you--allow cannabis ads at the bowl you allow 4hr c--alice--

with the new ruling that Metro had to carry reform ads, and the feds law was put down.

seeing how clean the super bowl sponsors are getting because of the bigger fines, could Norml have bought a spot on half time.

please Henery congress has passed laws to help the youth, Allow Leap.{ Law Enforcement Against Prohibition} to present the video of how the Police on the front lines of this drug war, would go about regulating and controlling drugs thus taking them out of the black market. Setting the stage for addressing the education of the children

this education must include the running of factual ads of how ordinary adults under common circumstances treat each other while using cannabis.

Nicholas ---- do you know what it would take to beam the Norml Conference from San Fran CA.out to spots around the country, maybe like [pay per view] or to some colleges and universities. at least to the Hash Bash that will be taken place the same time.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #11 posted by FoM on February 04, 2005 at 19:47:28 PT
Nicholas
I don't listen to Rush. He's very arrogrant and arrogant people turn me off. I've gotten good at blocking out what annoys me. You're the political person. I'm just the cannabis issue lady! I have a one track mind anymore!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #10 posted by Nick Thimmesch on February 04, 2005 at 19:41:30 PT:

Oh, Rush...
...is alright: he claims to just be a cute cuddly Teddy bear, after all. He's just got a bad drug problem (as in Oxy is a very bad drug when abused) and has never really fessed up when he should.

http://archive.salon.com/news/sports/col/kaufman/2003/10/02/thursday2/story.jpg

As for football players: I know what you mean....

http://negativewaves.com/images/76_vanamonde6.jpg



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by FoM on February 04, 2005 at 19:11:58 PT
Nicholas
Rush is a pill popping jerk! I'm sure glad you said that and I didn't! LOL! I would enjoy football if the men had to play in a t-shirt and shorts. The padding they wear makes them look like Arnold but take off the padding and they only look really overweight to me.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #8 posted by Nick Thimmesch on February 04, 2005 at 19:03:39 PT:

FoM...
...it's the New England Patriots vs. the Philadelphia Eagles @6:30 PM Sunday in God-for-saken Jacksonville, Florida. Root Boy Slim put it best about Jacksonvile:

http://members.aol.com/geekox3/injailin.htm IN JAIL IN JACKSONVILLE

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All I had was a roach it's true Told the pigs what they could do Then they found a couple of pounds Too bad that cocaine was around In jail in Jacksonville- way down in Jacksonville, Florida, y'all In jail in Jacksonville I was pretty high when the bust went down Noddin' and smilie, shufflin' around Now my life is an utter mess You can't reach me at my new address In jail in Jacksonville (I don't belong in this Jail- I'm an innocent man-- somebody set me up!) In jail in Jacksonville

For a total goof, you can always check out Rush Limbaugh's take on the game:

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_020405/content/super_bowl_pick.guest.html

Here's what he sez:

I know the Super Bowl is Sunday and everybody's asking me, "What's going to happen, Rush? You were three out of four during the divisional round weekend," and yeah, but I blew both the championship games, folks. So my recent weekend record, two weekends ago, is not all that bad. No, it was 0-2. Now, it's the Super Bowl, the Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are the home team which all it means is they wear the green jerseys. Patriots will be in white. On this Super Bowl pick, I actually think that the Patriots could win this game by, you know, whatever score Bill Belichick wants to win the game by. They're just a complete team. (interruption) They're just a complete team. Does it...? (sigh) No, I'm not dissing anybody. I'm not dissing Philadelphia.

Remember: it was Limbaugh who was essentially fired by ESPN for the following flap over Eagles QB Donavan McNab

http://espn.go.com/gen/news/2003/1001/1628537.html

Rush is entertaining, but he's also a pill popping jerk sometimes.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 04, 2005 at 19:02:41 PT
Sir Paul McCartney Played at Neil Young's Benefit
Then Neil Played at Paul's benefit. I bet it was great.

Here's a picture I saved.

http://www.freedomtoexhale.com/nypm.jpg

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by FoM on February 04, 2005 at 18:50:54 PT
potpal
I don't know who is playing in the Superbowl or where it will be played but I know who is doing Half Time. It should be good. He said he was going to play naked! LOL! That's just too funny. You know old hippie types do have a great sense of humor!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #5 posted by Nick Thimmesch on February 04, 2005 at 18:47:56 PT:

To the best of our knowledge...
...at NORML, that is, there are no national "anti-drug" ads from our pals at the bloated ONDCP this year: maybe they are taking a break from it all and like you, will just be enjoying the game like all Americans with their friends and family (anti-drug ad free for once!). However: there is always the possibility that good olde Paul McCartney will chuck his NFL approved son list and play one of his marijuana songs at half-time:

http://www.gandymusic.com/wheel.htm

or

http://www.webfitz.com/lyrics/Lyrics/1974/221974.html

Now that will make them anti-dugs prudes faint quicker than they did last year with the Jackson Flash!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #4 posted by potpal on February 04, 2005 at 18:43:53 PT
Ads...
That's my understanding. On the other hand, maybe Sir Paul will sing I Just Seen A Face...that would work.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #3 posted by FoM on February 04, 2005 at 18:31:54 PT
Nicholas
You're right. It wasn't picked up by Google or the other search tools I use because I only search for marijuana or medical marijuana. Thank you for sending it to me. I understand we won't be getting any anti drug ads this Superbowl. That's good. I'm planning on putting half time on a DVD so I will be watching some of it for sure. Am I right no anti-drug ads this year?

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by Nick Thimmesch on February 04, 2005 at 18:25:12 PT:

This story...
...probably was not picked-up by Google and other search engines we/I use because the word "marijuana" was nowhere to be found in the article: wasn't that the target of these bloated budget ONDCP ads in the first place? Why no "counter" quotes from the usual suspects (NORML, MPP, DPA, etc) to at least bring some semblence of balance to the issue? Nope: the Washington Pest only seeks to compare the ONDCP scandal to other Bush administration propaganda efforts (i.e. Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, the phony "Medicare news" stories), which is their real interest. The Post could really care less how corrupt the ONDCP is and how morally corrupt the overall "War on Some Drugs" is: they always abdicate to the prohibitionists.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #1 posted by Taylor121 on February 04, 2005 at 18:19:19 PT
Texans, I'm calling on you
Guys and gals from Texas,

The 2005 legislative session is in play. Marijuana law is being considered in two different ways, and by God, you need to get behind this NOW if this is going to happen.

Medical Marijuana-

HB 658, a medical marijuana bill authored by Democratic Representative Elliott Naishtat and joint authored by Republican Chairman Terry Keel, has been filed at the State Capitol.

HB 658 is an important step for medical marijuana patients in Texas. If passed it would:

Allow a person who is arrested for possession of marijuana, and who has a bona fide medical condition and a recommendation from his or her physician, to present an affirmative defense to his or her prosecution.

Enable Texas jurors to hear evidence and determine whether or not the individual has a valid medical defense. Presently Texas law does not allow jurors to grant an affirmative defense related to the medical use of marijuana.

Protect doctors from being investigated solely on the grounds that they discussed marijuana as a treatment option with their patients.

Allow police and prosecutors to exercise discretion and save our taxpayer money when law enforcement officers come into contact with a legitimate medical marijuana user

Don't hesitate to go here: https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=5159061

Fine instead of jail- H.B. 254 was introduced and is currently in committee. If this is going to pass, it needs your support. I won't lie, if this passes many Texans will be surprised, however the prisons and jails are so overcrowded that it actually has a chance.

Once again, this chance won't be made a reality unless you come out right now and help by writing a letter to your legislator and spreading the word to all your friends and family that are supportive.

http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=6847791

Once again, don't just send the letter and move on, but forward this to everyone you know! That includes spreading the word to ALL Texans that you can find on the internet that would be supportive! This has to get more support if it is going anywhere.

Thanks to all Texans in advance.

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