Pro Pot Group Pushes Marijuana Reforms

  Pro Pot Group Pushes Marijuana Reforms

Posted by CN Staff on October 19, 2005 at 07:23:25 PT
By Britanny A. Rajchel 
Source: Gainesville Sun 

Florida -- Efforts to legalize marijuana and fight anti-cannabis federal government initiatives are making slow progress, thanks to traditional lobbying tactics and a concentrated effort in several states, said the executive director of the largest marijuana reform policy organization Tuesday evening."We're working to end marijuana prohibition so adults can use it responsibly and not fear going to jail," said Rob Kampia, the executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a nongovernmental organization that lobbies in Washington, D.C., during a speech in the Reitz Union Auditorium at the University of Florida.
Many of the successes in legalizing the drug have come by changing laws against medical marijuana or plants grown and smoked by people with painful illnesses under the supervision of a doctor, Kampia said.Ten states have legalized the drug for patients who suffer from illnesses like cancer or multiple sclerosis, he said.However, changing marijuana laws also focuses on changing what Kampia called the "regulation of general marijuana use" or the smoking of the drug for recreational purposes."We use the word regulation and not legalization because otherwise it makes people think we want to sell marijuana next to the candy in the grocery store," he said.Kampia recounted tales of people arrested for using marijuana recreational, including his own. He spent three months in jail for growing marijuana while he was a student at Pennsylvania State University, he said.Another anecdote Kampia brought up was a Gainesville incident where a 19-year-old student was raped by his cellmate - a violent offender - while serving four weeks in jail for possession of marijuana."Marijuana really does result in people getting arrested. It really does result in people dying, and it really does result in people getting raped," but only because the federal government unnecessarily prosecutes marijuana users, he said.Some states, however, are working to legalize and tax responsible use of marijuana, he said."Alaskans have a constitutional right to possess and use up to 4 ounces of marijuana in their home if they are over 21," he said, causing the audience of more than 100 to cheer and two students to shake a black-and-white poster emblazoned with Kampia's face.He also told students how to initiate change in Florida. He urged students to lobby their state representatives and senators before January - the deadline for when legislatures must submit bills for debate.By working for pro-marijuana initiatives in each state, eventually the federal government will be forced to legalize the drug, Kampia said.Junior Erica Carlsson said she thought Kampia gave students good resources to fight for pro-marijuana initiatives in Florida."Marijuana and Florida is just a scary combination," he said.Matt Jones, the co-founder of UF's chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, one of the sponsors of the speech, said he felt Kampia stood as a professional example for students who want to legalize marijuana."Marijuana reform is possible," Jones said. "It is not a pipe dream. I think he showed that by succeeding in Washington, by wearing the suit and tie and by his lobbying efforts."Marijuana reform, however, still remains an uphill battle, Kampia said, as the government spends $120 million to produce anti-cannabis advertising.The television commercials depicting teenagers "shooting each other and running over little girls on pink bicycles while high on pot" are paid for by the U.S. government, he said."The government likes prohibition," he said. "It's law enforcement job protection. It keeps them in business. It keeps the courts clogged."Source: Gainesville Sun, The (FL)Author: Britanny A. RajchelPublished: October 19, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Gainesville SunContact: voice gvillesun.comWebsite: Policy Project NORML -- Cannabis Archives

Home    Comment    Email    Register    Recent Comments    Help

Comment #14 posted by observer on October 21, 2005 at 11:06:14 PT
more ''Pushing''...
Movement for Legalization of Medical Marijuana Pushes OnThey just can't help themselves. I wrote about this in "Drug War Propaganda," see around page 285, "Hated Dissenters Pushing Drugs". 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by FoM on October 20, 2005 at 07:06:47 PT
Related Article from The Oxford Press
Movement for Legalization of Medical Marijuana Pushes On***By Meghan Meyer, Cox News ServiceThursday, October 20, 2005 BOCA RATON, Fla. — Despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that many considered a blow to the medical-marijuana movement, supporters of such laws have pressed on with state ballot initiatives and lobbying campaigns, the director of a marijuana-policy reform group told an audience at Florida Atlantic University Wednesday.Rhode Island is teetering on the edge of becoming the eleventh state to allow patients to use marijuana medically, and two Michigan cities have medical-marijuana ballot initiatives coming up in the next few weeks, Rob Kampia, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project said."If we had won the Supreme Court case, the federal government's war on medical marijuana would have effectively been over," Kampia said. "The case doesn't change anything. It just maintains the status quo."The Supreme Court decided by a 6 to 3 vote in June that the federal government has the authority to ban using and cultivating marijuana, even for patients growing small amounts for their own medical use in states that allow it. In the case, Gonzales v. Raich, two California women who grow marijuana to treat serious medical conditions sued the government to stop enforcement of the federal ban on the drug. The ruling didn't overturn laws like California's that allow medical use of marijuana.Kampia, who spoke to an audience of about two dozen FAU students, became involved in the politics of marijuana after he spent three months in jail for growing pot while a student at Penn State. His experience made him angry, but it was nothing like what other marijuana users endured recently. Among the stories Kampia told was one about a quadriplegic man in Washington, D.C. who died in custody after he didn't receive the medical attention he needed while in jail on marijuana-possession charges."DC has bigger problems than a quadriplegic who's using marijuana for medical purposes," Kampia said.The Supreme Court ruling indicated that Congress, not the Court, must change the federal law, Kampia said. And his organization has moved closer to garnering the 218 votes needed to pass a bill in the House of Representatives. A recent vote on an amendment that would have prohibited the federal government from spending money to go after medical-marijuana users in states where it's legal failed. But the amendment had 161 votes, more than ever before."We're probably not going to succeed within the year," Kampia said. "but the end is in sight."Meghan Meyer writes for the Palm Beach Post. E-mail: meghan_meyer pbpost.comCopyright: 2005 Cox Newspapers, Inc.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by Hope on October 19, 2005 at 21:03:44 PT
or maybe that's Bio-mass
and is different.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by Hope on October 19, 2005 at 21:02:44 PT
Elephant Grass
Something called Elephant Grass is very high on the bio-diesel plant list, I believe. Even moreso than soy or corn.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by FoM on October 19, 2005 at 20:08:40 PT
John Tyler 
Hemp is a part of bio-diesel or it could be. The Hemp Car was powered by Hemp oil. I believe that soybean is easier or at least more productive for oil but I could be wrong. is even on the Hemp Car. That was so kind of them to put our name on their car.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by John Tyler on October 19, 2005 at 20:00:52 PT
another observation
I have noticed cannabis getting into mainstram media too. Jay Leno usually has at least one cannabis joke every night.On a different topic... I was talking with someone at work today who said that when your representative, state and national, get at least 10 letters on the same subject they start to notice. At least their staff does. So keep writing letters and emails to your representatives. Like drops of water on a rock they will wear down the wall of senseless prohibition. Hopefully a lot faster though.Our state is having an election for the next governor. One of the candidates was saying that if we got a bio diesel industry going in the state we would use less foreign oil. Is bio diesel a code word for hemp seed oil?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by FoM on October 19, 2005 at 18:46:31 PT
Just a Note
Sukoi if you or anyone wants to see the clip you must paste it in your address bar and press enter or it just takes you to the web site.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by FoM on October 19, 2005 at 18:30:44 PT
Yes something is happening. When Conrad was trying to explain why they needed to start growing their own to compete with others who supplied the clubs that was a merging of medical and recreational cannbis issues. As long as the show is renewed it will move the dialogue along. If Weeds wins any Hollywood awards that will help too.Video clip of Andy and Doug and the Iraq scene.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Sukoi on October 19, 2005 at 17:46:38 PT
Something good is happening in this country and after seeing all of the programming as well as all of the recent news, I can't help but think that some radical change is in the making and I simply can't wait!!!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by FoM on October 19, 2005 at 15:09:51 PT
Yes I sure have noticed. This is the Canadian page for Weeds. I check out Showtimes message boards and here are the current posts on the last episode.WD: Weeds: Episode 10: - The Godmother - 72 - 1020 PostsCanada:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by Sukoi on October 19, 2005 at 14:55:29 PT
RE: Comment #1
Has anyone else noticed that there has been an awful lot of programming about cannabis lately or is it just me? 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 19, 2005 at 11:33:54 PT
I do get very tired of many of the titles to articles. They actually make me not want to read them sometimes. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by observer on October 19, 2005 at 11:28:56 PT
''Pushing'' Pot
Pro Pot Group Pushes Marijuana ReformsMore "pusher" connotations. Editors choose how articles are slugged. They want to frame (spin, bias) the issue for Mr and Mrs America who have little time or inclination to read about them dope-smokin' hippies, etc.similar uses of "push": editors here seemed to have (tacitly?) agreed to describe any attempt to lessen the jailing of people who use cannabis as "pushing", especially in the article headline or title. This helps goad the herd in the "right" direction: government is Righteous to jail those evil "pushers" (i.e. people who want pot legal), all of them. That is what the editors are doing when they frame our attempts to stop jailing people who use cannabis as "pushing". Remember that next time you see "push" in a slug used to describe marijuana law reforms.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 19, 2005 at 08:53:40 PT

Off Topic: Entertainment News
Since many of us miss seeing Weeds there is a movie starting this Friday on Showtime called Festival Express. I'm very much looking forward to seeing it and I thought others might be interested too.***Composed of vintage concert footage, never-before-seen interviews and candid backstage scenes, this documentary tells the true story of a traveling rock festival. In 1970, the Grateful Dead, The Band, Janis Joplin and others boarded a passenger train that stopped at several Canadian cities to stage massive live shows. An artistic smash, the event was a financial disaster, resulting in this rare footage being locked away unseen for 35 years - until now. "A momentous achievement in rock film archaeology" -
[ Post Comment ]

  Post Comment