Pubdate: Mon, 29 Oct 2012
Source: Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)
Copyright: 2012 Times-Standard
Author: Dave Stancliff


The 2012 election is, without a doubt, shaping up to be the most 
important yet for Americans who want to legalize and decriminalize marijuana.

Three states -- Colorado (Amendment 64), Oregon (Measure 80) and 
Washington (Initiative 502) -- will vote to legalize marijuana on Nov 6.

Massachusetts has a medical marijuana initiative, as does Arkansas. 
Local initiatives on the ballot in Michigan are: Detroit (Proposal 
M), Grand Rapids (Proposal 2), and Ypsilanti (LLEP).

"At a time when polls show that a majority of Americans support 
legalizing marijuana and mega-majorities support allowing medical 
marijuana or at least decriminalizing possession, it makes no sense 
whatsoever that so many national politicians look at this issue as 
some kind of dangerous third rail of politics," said Tom Angell, 
founder and chairman of Marijuana Majority.

Coupled with the presidential election, these efforts to bring 
marijuana into the mainstream take on a more critical role for the 
future of Americans who desire change and a choice.

There's a new project that focuses on helping more people understand 
that supporting marijuana reform is a mainstream, majority-supported 
position. The organizers -- Marijuana Majority 
( -- believe the project will play a 
key role in convincing more elected officials and prominent people to 
publicly state they think the marijuana laws should be changed.

Visitors to the site can see just how mainstream this debate is by 
viewing and sharing lists of elected officials, actors, medical 
organizations and business leaders who support solutions like 
decriminalizing marijuana possession or legalizing and regulating 
marijuana sales.

A majority of U.S. voters support legalizing and regulating marijuana 
like alcohol. Polling also indicates that voters in Colorado and 
Washington are poised to make history by voting to legalize marijuana 
on Election Day.

If you're pro-pot and still undecided about who to vote for 
president, it may help you to know which candidates are for, or 
against, marijuana legalization and decriminalization.

Here's the presidential candidates public positions on the issue:

President Obama: "We're not going to be legalizing weed anytime soon. 
What we are trying to do is that when it comes to drugs is that we 
are not just thinking about it with law enforcement, but we're also 
thinking about treating it as a public health problem." ("Late Night 
With Jimmy Fallon," April 2012)

Gov. Mitt Romney: "People talk about medicinal marijuana, and, you 
know, you hear that story: People who are sick need medicinal 
marijuana. But marijuana is the entry drug for people trying to get 
kids hooked on drugs. I don't want medicinal marijuana. There are 
synthetic forms of marijuana that are available for people who need 
it for prescription. Don't open the doorway to medicinal marijuana." 
("Ask Mitt Anything" event in Bedford, N.H., 2007.)

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson: "Right now, 75 percent of the 
cartels' activities revolve around marijuana. I think as a nation, 
when we legalize marijuana, we're going to take giant steps toward 
drug reform, which will start off with looking at drugs as a public 
health issue, rather then a criminal justice issue. I just think 
legalizing marijuana [will cause] at least a 75 percent reduction in 
border violence due to the drugs [trade]." (Raw Story, April 2012.)

Green Party candidate Jill Stein: "President Obama promised to use a 
science-based approach to public policy. But when it comes to 
marijuana, he has continued the unscientific policies of George Bush, 
and has even gone far beyond Bush in his attacks upon medical 
marijuana clinics. He supports the irrational classification of 
marijuana in the most dangerous drug category, and he supports the 
ban on commercial hemp growing. This is mania-based policy, not 
science-based policy." (Speech to Denver 4/20 rally, April 2012.)

It's time we recognize that marijuana has been a victim of politics. 
Scientific studies continue to reveal its numerous medicinal 
properties. In addition to this election, advocates for medical 
marijuana may score a major victory if the United States Court of 
Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rules on taking marijuana off of the 
Schedule I category of illegal drugs (currently in oral argument phase).

As It Stands, with nine days left until Election Day there's still 
time to make informed decisions about the future of marijuana in America.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom