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Just Say Now Featured on CBS’s “The Good Wife”

By: Wednesday February 9, 2011 8:19 am

In last night’s episode of CBS’s legal drama The Good Wife, Just Say Now was briefly featured in the episode’s plot. Peter Florrick, the character played by Chris Noth, is the main character’s husband making a run for his old seat as the State’s Attorney after being imprisoned for corruption. Peter seeks to make a political comeback by turning out  the youth vote on the wave of a medical marijuana initiative in the state.

The show briefly featured a big board featuring the Just Say Now logo, and in a mock-web video, shows Peter speaking with students at a meeting of the fictional “Cook State College” Just Say Now chapter. Below are two screen captures of Just Say Now on The Good Wife.

The Good Wife Video - Real Deal -

The Good Wife Video - Real Deal -\

Just Say Now authorized the use of our logo and name in the show, and in return, we’re getting the nice big “Just Say Now” sign that we’ll give away as a prize for student organizing for marijuana reform.

Watch last night’s episode on – the Just Say Now segment comes about 15-20 minutes into the episode.

Cop’s Drug Policy Question to Obama #1 in YouTube Contest

By: Thursday January 27, 2011 9:23 am

Barack Obama has a sorry history of laughing off or otherwise ignoring questions about marijuana and drug policy reform, despite the issue coming out on top in every online vote the White House or his campaign has run. But here’s one he’ll be hard-pressed to ignore.

MacKenzie Allen, the retired deputy sheriff and a currently a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), has the #1 question in YouTube’s “Ask Obama” contest, in which President Obama will answer the top-voted questions in a live interview to be broadcast this afternoon from the White House. Allen’s question got twice as many votes as the next-highest voted question.

Allen asks Obama:

Good evening, Mr. President. My name is MacKenzie Allen, I’m a retired law enforcement officer and member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). The so-called “War on Drugs” has been waged for 40 years at a cost of a trillion dollars and thousands of lives, with nothing to show for it but increased supplies, cheaper drugs, and a dramatic increase in violence associated with the underworld drug market. Sir, do you think there will or should come a time for us to discuss the possibility of legalization, regulation, and control of all drugs, thereby doing away with the violent criminal market as well as with a major source of funding for international terrorism? Thank you so much for your time, Mr. President.

LEAP notes Obama’s previous inability to take the issue seriously:

The Obama White House has previously asked citizens to submit and vote on questions via the web several times, with marijuana and drug policy issues rising to the top virtually every time. During a town hall meeting following one such round of voting in 2009, President Obama laughed off a marijuana legalization question, saying, “I don’t know what this says about the online audience.”

This week Jon Walker at FDL noted that marijuana and drug questions were the top 5 overall; NORML’s blog reported that as of yesterday, the top 100 questions were all about marijuana and drug policy. Allen’s question, as a law enforcement professional, will be hard for Obama to ignore. That’s not to say he won’t do his damnedest to do so.

Congratulations to Just Say Now supporters, who helped solidify Allen’s question as the #1 video for Obama’s interview today. We’ll report back on what happens with this question.

New York Times Needs to Get over the 5th Grade Pot Jokes

By: Sunday November 14, 2010 11:22 am

Today the New York Times published a respectable article looking at the future of the marijuana movement, and what’s next for 2012. The Times used a meeting in Denver of marijuana advocates last week as the basis for its story. Overall, I have no complaints about the article. It’s the photo and accompanying caption that are just embarrassing for the times.

The photo for this story on the future of marijuana legalization is two dudes smoking a bowl in a car, with the caption, “Marijuana advocates gathered in Denver recently for an event that was partly a review of the California campaign for legalization.” Screen capture:

No. It’s a photo of two random guys getting high, not of marijuana advocates planning legalization.

More than most issues, marijuana tends to bring out the giggles among copywriters in print and online media coverage. E.g.: “Will California go to pot?” or “Politics may blunt medical marijuana support.” I tried to keep track at first, but it was just too much to handle.

It’s this kind of embarrassing, fifth-grade level jokes that are pervasive throughout media coverage of marijuana; that it reaches as high as the Times isn’t surprising as much as it’s a sign there’s a long way to go before legalization is treated on equal footing with other political issues. But with each vote for legalization, it’s another step forward.

In the mean time, send some email to the good folks at the New York Times to let them know what you think about their photo selection.

Arizona Passes Prop 203 for Medical Marijuana

By: Sunday November 14, 2010 11:06 am
Arizona Marijuana Flag via Toke of the Town / Reality Catcher

Medical Marijuana is Coming to Arizona! (img: Toke of the Town/Reality Catcher)

The marijuana movement can chalk up one victory at the polls for the 2010 Election: Arizona’s Proposition 203 to bring medical marijuana to the state pulled ahead by 4,000 votes in last-minute counting. And as of last night, it’s official: medical marijuana is coming to Arizona.

Arizona voters have approved Proposition 203, which legalizes marijuana for medical use.

The secretary of state’s unofficial results indicate that the “yes” vote on the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act has won by a narrow margin of 4,341 votes, or 50.13 percent of more than 1.67 million votes counted.

This after Maricopa County officials finished counting about 11,000 outstanding ballots Saturday.

Yes, Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s county delivered the final push over the top for medical marijuana. Arpaio, the country’s biggest hater of undocumented workers, must’ve been angry about the result. Yesterday, Apraio’s office pushed a hard-to-believe story of seizing 1700 lbs. of pot involving a trailer and a limousine.

This is a tremendous victory, as Arizona becomes the 15th state (plus DC) to allow medical marijuana. So what’s next for Arizona?

“We were optimistic that this is what the result was going to be today, and we’re thrilled that it came to reality,” said Andrew Myers, campaign manager for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project. “Moving forward it’s our responsibility to help implement a program that Arizona can be proud of.” [...]

The measure will allow patients with diseases including cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and any other “chronic or debilitating” disease that meets guidelines to buy more 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks or grow plants.

The patients must get a recommendation from their doctor and register with the Arizona Department of Health Services. The law also allows for no more than 124 marijuana dispensaries in the state.

The state has 120 days to put together regulations, and expects to start reviewing applications for the 124 allowed dispensaries as soon as April.

We’re incredibly pleased about this result; Just Say Now activists worked with the Prop 203 campaign and the Marijuana Policy Project, including our phone bank tool that placed calls to thousands of Arizona voters. In as tight a race as this, every vote counted, and we are proud to have helped put Prop 203 over the top.

Finally, a fun fact: the opposition to Prop 203 only raised $20,000, and more than $13,000, or 65% of that funding, came from the Arizona Cardinals NFL team.

Senate Likely to Approve Obama’s Pot-Hating, Insubordinate DEA Head Next Week

By: Thursday November 11, 2010 10:07 am

Michele Leonhart DEA Administrator

The National Journal reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee will move the nomination on Michele Leonhart for DEA administrator next week after a seven-month delay. Leonhart, a drug warrior to the core, has served as the temporary head of DEA since she was promoted to that position by George W. Bush in 2007.

In her time at the DEA, Leonhart has organized the campaign against medical marijuana, and ignored the clear directive from Attorney General Eric Holder to stop raiding dispensaries. Despite this flagrant insubordination, President Obama saw fit to nominate Leonhart to serve as the official DEA head earlier this year.

Groups advocating for medicinal marijuana have waged a spirited campaign to derail Leonhart’s confirmation. In a July letter to President Obama, several pro-marijuana groups and liberal organizations, such as FireDogLake and the 10th Amendment Center, accused Leonhart, a Bush administration holdover who is serving as DEA’s acting administrator, of ignoring an October 2009 Justice Department directive urging federal authorities not to waste government time and resources “on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws.”

President Obama offered a similar view while campaigning in 2008.

Though the number of DEA raids on medicinal marijuana growers has dropped, the agency has carried out dozens since the directive was issued. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and other groups accuse Leonhart of continuing a policy she helped oversee while a top DEA deputy under Bush.

And now, it looks like Leonhart will move through the Senate next week, with few signs that anyone in the Senate will actually fight her nomination, let alone stop it.

What the groups have not been able to do, however, is get the attention of the White House or the Senate.

“The federal government ignoring the concerns of people in the marijuana-reform community is nothing new,” said Mike Meno, a spokesman for the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project.

Public-opinion polls show growing support for marijuana legalization, and a small medicinal-marijuana industry is taking leaf in California. But Leonhart’s likely confirmation, and the defeat of a California’s Proposition 19, a ballot measure that would have weakened anti-marijuana California’s laws, show that the political clout of legalization advocates remains well short of their numbers, particularly when it comes to the Senate.

California’s liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., for example, opposed Proposition 19 during her successful reelection bid.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., this fall said he did not yet have a position on Leonhart; other committee members, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said the same. Committee aides said that criticism of her over marijuana policy had not registered much with staffers, let alone members.

Let’s be clear here: the public overwhelmingly supports medical marijuana, and the President and Attorney General of the United States have said the federal government should not waste resources targeting medical marijuana dispensaries. Leonhart doesn’t give a shit, and continues to harass medical marijuana dispensaries anyway, and neither Obama nor Holder see the clear hypocrisy of giving Leonhart a promotion under these circumstances.

Now the same Senate that unanimously voted to increase penalties for pot brownies will likely let Leonhart coast through the chamber in a lame-duck session next week. Chairman Patrick Leahy said he doesn’t have an opinion on Leonhart, and we all know what Dianne “Reefer Madness” Feinstein must think. There really isn’t a play to stop her nomination, unless anyone has some embarassing photographs that should turn up in the next week.

Leonhart’s nomination by Obama – and her inevitable approval by the Senate – is yet another sign that the public is far ahead of politicians on marijuana and the need to end the War on Drugs. Letting voters choose to legalize marijuana is the only way to end the war on marijuana.

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