About Our Campaign
Just Say Now is a campaign for marijuana legalization, made of a transpartisan alliance of organizations seeking to improve our nation’s drug laws. Our effort is spearheaded by Firedoglake, a progressive blog and activist hub dedicated to bringing greater transparency and accountability to government. Our campaign will work to organize an effective online/offline movement to help pass marijuana legalization in the elections of 2010, 2012 and beyond.
Our blog is written by Jon Walker, who has been reporting and advocating for marijuana legalization as senior policy analyst at Firedoglake’s Just Say Now campaign since 2010.
For media inquiries, or to book any of our advisory board members, please see our media page.
Our nation’s prohibition of marijuana has cost the country billions, resulted in a massive increase in incarceration rates, funded criminal syndicates, and yet failed to stop people from using marijuana. It is a failed, costly and misguided policy that must end now. We are a group of all individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and political leanings that share the simple conviction that marijuana prohibition must end. That is why we are promoting the legalization and sensible regulation of marijuana through grassroots organizing and direct democratic action.
Advisory Board Members
Bruce Fein was Associate Deputy Attorney General and General Counsel to the Federal Communications Commission under President Reagan and is the author of The American Empire: Before the Fall. He writes weekly columns for The Washington Times and Politico.com, and is frequently quoted in The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, and other major national publications.
Glenn Greenwald was a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and is currently a contributing writer at Salon.com. He has also contributed to other newspapers and political news magazines, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The American Conservative, The National Interest, and In These Times. He is the author of two New York Times bestselling books: How Would a Patriot Act (a critique of Bush executive power theories) and A Tragic Legacy (examining the Bush legacy). In 2008, he authored a study, commissioned by the Cato Institute, on the implications of Portugal’s 2001 law decriminalizing all drugs.
Jane Hamsher is the founder and publisher of Firedoglake.com, a leading progressive blog. Her work has also appeared on The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, AlterNet, The Nation, and The American Prospect. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Al Jazeera, PBS, and the BBC. She is the author of the best-selling book Killer Instinct, and she has produced such films “Natural Born Killers” and “Permanent Midnight.”
Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), is a 33-year police veteran who led multi-jurisdictional anti-narcotics task forces for the Maryland State Police and ran training for the Baltimore Police Department. After seeing several of his law enforcement friends killed in the line of fire while enforcing drug policies, Neill knew that he needed to work to change these laws that cause so much harm but do nothing to reduce drug use.
Michael co-founded and is National Director of the Liberty Coalition, a transpartisan coalition of groups working to protect civil liberties, privacy and human autonomy (2005- present). He is presently the coalition coordinator and public policy counsel for the Campaign for Liberty working on transparency and open government issues. He also sits on the Steering Committee for Openthegovernment.org. Michael is the Executive Director of the Transpartisan Center in Washington DC. He served as President of Reuniting America (2007-2008) as well as Co-Director (2006-2007). He is also a founding member of the Integral Institute. He has written for a wide variety of publications ranging from USA Today to The American Conservative Magazine and speaks frequently about health-care and national security related issues.
Eric E. Sterling is the President of The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, a private non-profit educational organization that helps educate the nation about criminal justice problems. He helped found a number of drug policy organizations, including the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative, the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers, and Forfeiture Endangers American Rights. As a former Assistant Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee (1979-1989), Mr. Sterling was responsible for writing federal drug laws. He has debated U.S. Senator Joseph Biden, Jr.(D-DE), then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee; former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III; and other officials about the “War on Drugs.” In 1999 he was honored with the Justice Gerald LeDain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law by the Drug Policy Foundation. Mr. Sterling has also served as an adjunct lecturer on criminal justice, sociology, and drug policy at George Washington University and American University.
Danny Goldberg is president of Gold Village Entertainment, a management company in the music business whose clients include Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, The Cranberries, The Hives, Peaches and Tom Morello. He is author of the books Bumping Into Geniuses and How The Left Lost Teen Spirit, and serves on the Boards of The Nation Institute, Brave New Films, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, Americans for Peace Now, and is Chair of the Board of the American Symphony Orchestra.
Bill Adler has devoted the last 25 years to a career in hiphop during which he’s worked as a journalist, critic, publicist, biographer, archivist, label executive, curator, editor, film documentarian, and teacher. As Director of Publicity for Rush Artist Management and Def Jam Recordings he worked with Kurtis Blow, Whodini, Run-DMC, Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Slick Rick, Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim, Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, Big Daddy Kane, EPMD, Stetsasonic, De La Soul, the Jungle Brothers, 3rd Bass, and others.
Scott Morgan is associate editor of StoptheDrugWar.org, one of the web’s leading resources for drug policy reform advocacy. Scott serves as the primary contributor to the organization’s popular Speakeasy Blog and his analysis of marijuana and other drug policy issues has been cited in many of the internet’s most popular websites. Scott is also associate director of Flex Your Rights, where he develops and produces innovative know-your-rights educational media. In this capacity, he served as the co-writer and co-executive producer of the highly-acclaimed new film, “10 Rules for Dealing with Police.”
Norm Stamper, Ph.D., was a police officer for 34 years. He served as chief of the Seattle Police Department from 1994 to 2000. “The major police corruption scandals of the last several decades have had their roots in drug enforcement.” As a cop dedicated to protect and serve, Norm believes the war on drugs has done exactly the opposite for people. He explains that statement in his new book, Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing.
Joe McSherry, M.D., Ph.D.
Joseph McSherry, MD, PhD, is a professor and neurologist at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine. Dr. McSherry has advocated for and served on various advisory panels to the Vermont Legislature regarding Medical Cannabis since 1980. He also serves as the specialty representative for Neurology/Neurosurgery in the Vermont Medical Society. He has lectured on Cannabis and Pain and Cannabis and Cancer at the College of Medicine and commented on journal articles on marijuana, including a 2005 article on applications for Parkinson’s disease in the journal Neurology. He has also advocated for Medical Cannabis for the New Hampshire Legislature and the Iowa Board of Pharmacy. His friends at Just Say Now simply call him “Dr. Joe.”
Jill Harris is managing director of public policy at the Drug Policy Alliance, based in New York. In that capacity she oversees the program efforts of the Drug Policy Alliance’s state-based offices around the country, as well as the Offices of Legal and National Affairs. Before joining DPA, Harris worked as a political campaign manager and was the early vote director for Barack Obama’s Campaign for Change in Ohio. She also spent 13 years as a public defender with the Legal Aid Society in New York City, including two years as the attorney in charge of the Manhattan Criminal Defense Division, the country’s largest public defender office.
Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and the NORML Foundation. He is the co-author of the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (2009, Chelsea Green) which rose to #13 on Amazon.com’s best-sellers list and was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of “20 titles from independent presses that show big promise.” Mr. Armentano also serves on the faculty of Oaksterdam University in Oakland, where he lectures on the science surrounding the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis. He is a 2008 recipient of the ‘Project Censored Real News Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism,’ and his writing has appeared in over 500 publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor. He lives in northern California with his wife and son.
Jordan Marks, is the Executive Director of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). YAF is the nations oldest and most recognized conservative youth activist organization. Marks is a frequent trainer and guest lecturer on conservative youth activism and recruitment at numerous conferences, including the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2010 and the Tea Party National convention, Council for National, Policy, and many universities across the country and overseas. In addition, he appears on CNN, FOX News, NPR, and many other news outlets to comment on conservative youth activism and the Tea Party movement. He has worked on U.S. numerous presidential and Congressional campaigns including (Steve Forbes, Fred Thompson, and Duncan D. Hunter for Congress 08’). As a visiting student at Georgetown University Law School, Marks clerked for the House Committee on Financial Services working on legal and legislative matters. He is the publisher of YAF’s The New Guard Magazine. Marks earned a J.D. from SUNY Buffalo School of Law with a certificate in finance and a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA with College Honors.
Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation and served as a Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. Previously a columnist for antiwar.com, a nationally syndicated columnist with Copley News Service, and editor of the monthly political magazine Inquiry, he has been widely published in such periodicals as Time, Newsweek, and Fortune, as well as leading newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. He has written several books, including Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire (Xulon Press), The Politics of Plunder: Misgovernment in Washington (Transaction), and Beyond Good Intentions: A Biblical View of Politics (Crossway). He received his B.S. in Economics from Florida State University in 1976 and his J.D. from Stanford University in 1979. He is a member of the California and Washington, D.C. bars.