Marijuana Advocates See 'Tipping Point'
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Marijuana Advocates See 'Tipping Point'
Posted by CN Staff on April 20, 2009 at 13:17:10 PT
By Brian Montopoli
Source: CBS News
CBS --  On yesterday's episode of Fox's animated sitcom "Family Guy," one of the main characters - a dog named Brian - is arrested for possession of marijuana. He subsequently goes on a mission to legalize the drug, at one point earnestly arguing that it is only outlawed because William Randolph Hearst wanted to keep hemp production from hurting his paper interests in the 1930s.Yes, the argument was articulated by an animated dog. And yes, the response from one of the other characters was, well, a fart. But still: Last night, a serious argument for marijuana legalization was articulated on a major American cable network during prime time.
It's safe to say we've come a long way from "Reefer Madness," the church-financed 1936 anti-marijuana propaganda film (also known as "Tell Your Children") that suggested marijuana leads to murder and depravity."There's some data out there that shows 47 percent of Americans have smoked marijuana at some point in their life," said Keith Stroup, founder of the marijuana legalization organization NORML, pointing to a Time/CNN poll from 2002. "That was five years ago, and that means there are likely more living Americans today who have smoked than have not. That tells me that we are very close to a tipping point on this issue."Today is April 20th, or 4/20, a date that has become something of a rallying point for marijuana enthusiasts. (The number 420 has increasingly become synonymous with pot smoking over the past two decades, though its origins are murky.) It's the day when college students all over the country - most notably at the University of Colorado, where 10,000 showed up a year ago - gather for "smoke out" events to protest the law and, in many cases, light up in public.Also scheduled this year is a protest meant to take place on the White House lawn in which Americans are encouraged to "just spark up at 4:20" - and, it seems, just see what happens.In addition, NORML has chosen April 20th to unveil a new ad calling for marijuana legalization; it is set to air on CNN, Fox News Channel and elsewhere. In the spot, Americans say of the drug, "you can tax it, you can regulate it, apply age restrictions…create millions of new jobs… save our economy.""President Obama, it's time for legalization," one advocate says, looking directly into the camera. Watch the ad here. - founder Stroup suggests that Mr. Obama is the ideal president under which to reform marijuana laws, because he smoked the drug when he was a teenager and "knows it didn't destroy his life [or] turn him into some sort of reefer maniac."Stroup added that he doesn't expect the president, who presently opposes legalization, to do anything "dramatic" on the issue, because he presently has more pressing priorities. But he argued that Mr. Obama could well take action if he is elected to a second term."I think within 5 years we're going to stop arresting responsible marijuana smokers in this country," he said.That remains to be seen. But there does seem to be a clear movement toward greater acceptance of marijuana use; positive representations of pot smokers are increasingly popping up on television (The Sarah Silverman Program, Real Time With Bill Maher) and in movies (Pineapple Express, The "Harold And Kumar" series.) In a move that surely brought a smile to the faces of legalization backers, one of the stars of the "Harold and Kumar" movies, Kal Penn, is going to work in the White House.And it's not just pop culture: Politicians, long wary of taking anything other than a zero-tolerance attitude on marijuana for fear of being labeled soft on drugs and crime, are increasingly willing to wade into the legalization debate. Libertarians like Ron Paul are advocating legalization; as the New York Times notes, more than twelve states are considering legalizing medical marijuana or are lessening penalties for possession of the drug.In two states, legislators have floated legalizing and taxing the drug as a way for states to deal with their economic struggles. The Obama administration's Justice Department, meanwhile, has largely abandoned the Bush-era practice of interfering with medical marijuana production and distribution in one of those states, California. (The Office Of National Drug Control policy did not return calls for comment.)It would be a mistake to assume there is widespread support for legalization. A CBS News poll last month found that 58 percent of those surveyed oppose legalizing marijuana use, even if it can be taxed and generate revenue for states. The federal government continues to fight an aggressive war on marijuana and other drugs, the trafficking of which has led to an increase in gang-related violence on the U.S.-Mexico border. And despite the pop-culture inroads, widely-aired anti-pot ads from the non-profit Partnership For A Drug Free America continue to portray use of the drug in a negative light.Despite these facts, however, legalization advocates remain optimistic - and primed for a party. High Times magazine will be spending the evening crowning "Miss High Times 2009," a New York City event that looks much more like a celebration than protest. And pot smokers around the country seem content to mark the date by indulging in a drug that, despite its status, is relatively easy for most Americans to secure.Said Stroup, laughing: "This is our holiday."Source: CBS News (US Web)Author: Brian MontopoliPublished: April 20, 2009Copyright: 2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc.Website: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 20:08:55 PT
Thank you. I'll check the links tomorrow. Right now we're watching Super High Me. It's been entertaining.
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Comment #16 posted by cliff on April 20, 2009 at 19:51:47 PT
If you want to watch this episode Family Guy it's posted for free (as are many other great shows) on's the link:, several NBC shows I watch are posted free online: usually try to catch nightly news, Olbermann, and Maddow - they are uploaded a few hours after the broadcast (without commercials)
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Comment #15 posted by Dankhank on April 20, 2009 at 19:50:18 PT
would that be in Boulder?'That's amazing, I was in Boulder last year with my son. It was so coooooooool.
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Comment #14 posted by ChristenMitchell on April 20, 2009 at 18:48:55 PT
It Has Tipped
 A few hours ago I burned one ten feet from two cops along with 17 thousand people. I pay taxes on my reefer when I buy from a dispensary. The DrugWar is unaffordable. We Will replace oil with hemp oil.Colorado Dispensaries - 
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Comment #13 posted by Had Enough on April 20, 2009 at 15:51:03 PT
Florida…PUFMM Update
People United For Medical Marijuana - PUFMMFrom: Kim RussellSent on: Thursday, April 16, 2009 8:33 PMHi Everyone, Just wanted to give you an update on what is happening here in Orlando. We have been getting leaders signed up all over the state. We now have leaders in all large cities. I have been talking with major funding sources from around the country. We are getting great responses from everyone. Two months ago, Florida was considered a lost cause. Now, they are coming out of the woodwork to support us. We have done many TV interviews in Orlando, resulting in a recent poll by the Orlando Sentinel where 92.5% of respondents think medical marijuana should be legal. We do intend on getting around the state and will need your help in setting up photo opportunities for the press, along with interviews. In the meantime, if you get any press requests you can forward them to me. Most of our copies have been donated so far, and it has been such a huge help!!!! For the areas that need copies, I have started ordering them from for two cents each - free shipping on $125 (makes around 3,100 copies). It takes a couple of days and is so convenient.Here are some things we need from you: 1) A list of legislators that have been spoken to about medical marijuana and which of them may introduce a bill or would vote yes if a bill was introduced in the house and senate. The main objective is to get them to introduce and pass a bill this fall. If you have not contacted your legislators yet, please send them an email and arrange to have meetings with them while they are home for the summer. It is an absolute must that everyone focus on medical marijuana. We will only hurt this cause if we talk about other legalization efforts. Let me know if you do not feel comfortable speaking to your legislators. Some of the more experienced members will be happy to help with tips and suggestions on effective communication. We can also find someone else to do the talking. 2) There are many things people are donating such as clipboards, pens, and copies. We need a value, the name, and address of the donor. All monies spent are considered in-kind donations and must be reported to the Division of Elections. It also helps us look good when people look at our numbers. I am sorry, donations are not tax deductible. We are a political committee, therefore can not register as a non-profit. Businesses that provide generous donations can be listed on the website upon request.3) We are starting a fundraising drive on 4/20. We want everyone to donate $100 in 100 days. It can be broken down to $33 per month. Any less than that would be a reporting nightmare. We are taking credit cards on the website. Our budget to get this on the ballot is $2 million, we need to raise over $500,000 in the next three months.4) For the events calendar, make a list of events happening in your area, including the date, time, and location. Check out radio station events, concerts, festivals, or anything else you think would be a great place to have people posted. 5) The signed petitions need to be verified before we turn them into the supervisor of elections in each county. We have to pay ten cents for the county to verify each signature, so we want to make sure we are only paying for valid signatures. I would like to have someone in each area verify signatures and deliver them to the supervisor of elections with a check. We do have access to the voter records for this process. The best way to get in touch with me is by email to kruss70 You may also leave a message at 407-405-0110. Thanks so much for joining this mission!Sincerely, Kim Russell United for Medical Marijuana - Florida HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND SIGN THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA INITIATIVE!!!
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 15:40:42 PT
Movie: High: The True Tale of American Marijuana
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Comment #11 posted by paul armentano on April 20, 2009 at 15:28:22 PT
AP: Pot advocates nationwide light up for 4-20
Pot advocates nationwide light up for 4-20By MICHELLE LOCKE Associated Press Writer
Posted: 04/20/2009 02:33:51 PM PDT
Updated: 04/20/2009 02:33:51 PM PDTOAKLAND, Calif.—Afternoon smoke breaks took on added meaning Monday as pot advocates observed what has become their unofficial national holiday.
"It's a time for us to celebrate our pastime, I guess you could call it, or adult substance of choice," said Richard Lee, president of Oaksterdam University, a trade school for cannabis club workers. "It's like St. Patrick's Day is for drinkers."Stories on the origin of 4/20 vary. But according to Steven Hager, creative director of New York-based High Times magazine, the term originated in Northern California with a group of friends at San Rafael High School in 1971. The friends got a tip about an abandoned marijuana patch and began meeting at 4:20 p.m. to go foraging. The patch proved elusive; the term stuck.By the late '70s, people were spontaneously gathering at Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County on 4/20; High Times printed a flier advertising one of the events in 1991. "We recognized right away that this was a ritual encoding of the cannabis culture," said Hager.For years, the term was a kind of code—roommate listings might specify "420 friendly," for example.But the term, and the holiday, have become more mainstream as more attention has been focused on marijuana issues, from more states allowing medical use to California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's recent proposal to treat marijuana like alcohol—illegal for those under 21, driving under the influence prohibited—and reap the tax dollars."I knew something had changed culturally three to four years ago when major corporations, like film and music companies began tailoring their marketing of certain products on 4-20," said Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.)Events marking the holiday ranged from concerts charging admission to private parties and informal get-togethers at city parks. In New York, High Times was throwing a bash at a secret location that included the crowning of "Miss High Times."Among the many events in California was a fundraiser being thrown by Oakland medical marijuana clubs for City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, a supporter of medical marijuana use."I think it's a really important moment in time right now for the medical marijuana movement," said Kaplan, citing recent developments such as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announcement that the Obama administration would target medical marijuana distributors only if they violate federal and state law, a departure from the past when dispensaries were targeted even if they complied with California law allowing marijuana use for medical purposes.But not everyone is a fan of 4/20.University of Colorado administrators urged students not to participate in the annual event.At the University of Santa Cruz, impromptu gatherings on campus have become such a problem that administrators were closing some campus entrances Monday afternoon, hoping to discourage visitors and reduce the risk of people driving around impaired pedestrians.They also sent a letter to parents of freshmen."Marijuana use is illegal and the presence of so many unwelcome visitors severely impacts the mobility and safety of students, faculty and staff," said campus spokesman Jim Burns.
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Comment #10 posted by E_Johnson on April 20, 2009 at 15:21:16 PT
Happy 420 Colorado
Oops it's 4:21. Oh well.
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Comment #9 posted by charmed quark on April 20, 2009 at 15:13:57 PT
Family Guy Bag O' Weed song like Loony Tunes
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 15:01:46 PT
AP: Pot Advocates Nationwide Light Up for 4-20
April 20, 2009URL:
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 14:58:46 PT
Thank you. I would think young people would watch Network TV more then someone older. 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 14:57:00 PT
I hope maybe one gets aired on MSNBC. 
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Comment #5 posted by Dankhank on April 20, 2009 at 14:54:15 PT
NORML on Glenn Beck
just saw an awesome NORML ad on ..... Glen beck .......
sorry, I do watch him, sometimes, and this time it payed off
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Comment #4 posted by Dagman11 on April 20, 2009 at 14:43:20 PT:
Every high school and college kid in America knows what Family Guy is. The older generation predictably is not as versed in popular culture, no offense:) I am seeing little signs of changing perception, which is damn exciting. However, we still have to continue to work hard. Keep up the good work guys!
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on April 20, 2009 at 13:40:12 PT
real progress
this article is the first seriously encouraging piece of news I've seen in all the "tipping point" hype, which is ridiculous IMO:, we've rounded up 4 Congressmen plus Barney Frank who favor legalization.  That's 5 down, about 250 to go. However, the first brick has been laid down, more are sure to follow.Please don't give me this "tipping point" crap. We're supposed to get excited because 12 legislatures are "considering" medical MJ, and probably 1 or 2 of those will pass? I'll get excited when 10 state legislatures actually pass decrim and stop arresting.I thought Rohrbacher's comments about a secret vote were interesting - he said people would support legalization more in a blind vote because it's so "controversial"legalization has been mentioned in prime time, but it's still verboten in the media to mention the actual reason why we don't have legalization - law enforcement power. They are the opponents of repeal. They are why Congress would do better in a secret vote.Congress is afraid of law enforcement. There is nothing controversial about it. No one's going to get voted out of office for decrim, ending arrests is supported by the majority of the population.Law enforcement controls criminal justice policy, not elected officials.  Just as the financial services industry controls fiscal policy, and not voters, who were against bailouts by 2 to 1.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 13:40:06 PT
NPR: What If Marijuana Were Legal? A Hypothetical
April 20, 2009URL:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 13:23:01 PT
Just a Comment
I've never seen the show Family Man. It doesn't ring any bells. I don't watch network TV (I stay on MSNBC mostly) very often so that is probably why I haven't seen it. 
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