Search Results for: Allen St. Pierre

Allen St. Pierre Joins Freedom Leaf As New VP Communications & Advocacy

NEVADA: Allen St. Pierre, long time NORML Executive Director, has joined Freedom Leaf as Vice President of Communications and Advocacy following his resignation from The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws after 25 years with the world’s leading and oldest marijuana reform organization. Mr. St. Pierre will be formally joining Freedom Leaf on July 18th.

Freedom Leaf CEO, Cliff Perry, announced, “In his new position, Mr. St. Pierre will remain in Washington, DC, where he will devote time to advocacy and use his relationships with business and political leaders to drive Deal Flow to Freedom Leaf as well as to the company’s media, advertising & merchandising platforms. These actions will increase revenues and value for our Shareholders.”

Over the past 25 years, Mr. St. Pierre has been the most frequently interviewed person in history on the matter of marijuana policy, averaging an astonishing two thousand interviews annually. Since 1991, Mr. St. Pierre has been interviewed by most every major international, national and regional media outlets well over forty thousand times in print, radio and television always professionally representing the concerns and interests of cannabis consumers and the now exploding legal cannabis industry in America. On a daily basis, media, political and business leaders contacted him about the state of Marijuana legalization and what has now become the emerging Cannabis industry. Mr. St. Pierre maintains extensive relationships with many members of the Press as well as business and political leaders. Hundreds of companies entering into the Cannabis Industry have contacted him and he manages to maintain a relationship with many of them. Mr. St. Pierre has lobbied local and state governments nationally, Congress and the Executive Branch of the United States and he will be using those contacts to further the reputation of Freedom Leaf, The Marijuana Legalization Company™.

Freedom Leaf co-founder, Richard C. Cowan, met and hired Mr. St. Pierre in 1992, when Cowan was NORML’s Executive Director. Cowan stated, “I am enormously pleased that my old friend will be bringing to Freedom Leaf his incomparable knowledge of the issues pertaining to the legalization of marijuana and the industry as well as all the relationships with political leaders, the press and those leaders in the Industry. There is simply no one else in the world who knows the issues… and the burgeoning marijuana industries, as well as Allen.”

IRS Advisory Council OKs Marijuana-related Businesses For Accountants

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: On Wednesday the IRS Advisory Council (IRSAC) released a report making a number of observations and recommendations to the Internal Revenue Service and federal policy makers relating to the need for greater latitude and legal protections (under the current federal anti-marijuana laws) for tax professionals who choose to work for clients who are in the cannabis industry.

“With over 20 states allowing medical marijuana and now states beginning to legalize recreational marijuana, this industry needs qualified, ethical professionals to help them fulfill their income tax obligations.” IRSAC concluded, “…tax professionals need reassurance regarding their own roles in giving tax advice to and preparing tax returns for such businesses.”

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500. The applicable section regarding IRSAC’s recommendations to policy makers about changing cannabis laws and customs are found at pages 25-27 of the report @http://www.irs.gov/PUP/taxpros/2014-IRSAC-Full-Report.pdf.

How Will Presidential Politics Affect 2016 Push For Pot Legalization?

Advocates expect another major push for marijuana legalization in 2016, a strategy that is likely to force presidential candidates to take a position on the drug. Some wonder if their efforts will be tripped up if Hillary Clinton turns out to be the Democratic nominee.

CNN’s Dan Merica takes a look at presidential politics and the campaign to legalize marijuana. In her public comments on the pot, Clinton has taken a “wait and see” approach to recreational pot.

“She is so politically pragmatic,” said Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, told Merica. “If she has to find herself running against a conservative Republican in 2016, I am fearful, from my own view here, that she is going to tack more to the middle. And the middle in this issue tends to tack more to the conservative side.”

NORML Head Rips John Hickenlooper for Calling Colorado’s Pot Legalization “Reckless”

By Michael Roberts

COLORADO: Yesterday during a debate with Republican gubernatorial rival Bob Beauprez, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper described Colorado voter’s legalization of marijuana as “reckless.” In response, Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, calls Hickenlooper a hypocrite — and that’s not all.

As originally reported by the International Business Times’ David Sirota, Hickenlooper was asked during the debate, sponsored by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, what he would tell other states thinking about legalizing cannabis.

“Any governor that looks at doing this before we see what the consequences are, I would view it as reckless,” he replied.

Would that same term apply to Colorado voters? In response to that query, Hickenlooper said, “I think for us to do that without having all the data, there is not enough data, and to a certain extent you could say it was reckless. I’m not saying it was reckless because I’ll get quoted everywhere, but if it was up to me I wouldn’t have done it, right. I opposed it from the very beginning. In matter of fact, all right, what the hell — I’ll say it was reckless.”

This isn’t exactly a new position for Hickenlooper. Back in 2012, he actively opposed Amendment 64, the measure that ultimately legalized limited marijuana sales to adults 21 and over in Colorado; it passed with more than 55 percent of the vote. His statement about the proposal reads:

Colorado is known for many great things — marijuana should not be one of them. Amendment 64 has the potential to increase the number of children using drugs and would detract from efforts to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. It sends the wrong message to kids that drugs are okay.

Federal laws would remain unchanged in classifying marijuana as a Schedule I substance, and federal authorities have been clear they will not turn a blind eye toward states attempting to trump those laws. While we are sympathetic to the unfairness of burdening young people with felony records for often minor marijuana transgressions, we trust that state lawmakers and district attorneys will work to mitigate such inequities.

St. Pierre’s take? He understands that Hickenlooper is in a tough battle against Beauprez, who opposes marijuana legalization. But that doesn’t mean he thinks Hickenlooper’s making the right move.

“I think he’s surely caught up in an election,” he allows, “which is unfortunate, because he’s a former brewer and a seller of a drug far more dangerous than marijuana. And he also contacted NORML specifically asking for donations to his reelection, because he is championing a change of law. So it seems rather hypocritical to turn to an audience and say he thinks what the people did was reckless. What we’re seeing is a politician in full election mode.”

Do Hickenlooper’s actions belie his comments at the debate? St. Pierre argues that they do.

“In fact, Hickenlooper supports these reforms,” he says. “He has championed them against a federal government that has otherwise opposed them, and against his own law-enforcement community, which definitely opposed them. So he’s trying to have it both ways, like most politicians want it. Behind the scenes, he’s a legalizer with a capital ‘L.’ But when he’s in public, he speaks about recklessness and Cheetos.

“If I were a resident of Colorado and had a business related to cannabis in the state, I would want my governor to commit one way or the other and stop trying to have it both ways. Either he’s a person who believes adults can access these products just like they do alcohol, or he’s not. And behind the scenes, he believes otherwise. He believes this is an industry, he believes the industry’s viable, he appreciates the industry’s taxes. So he needs to be much clearer regarding what he believes adults in Colorado should be able to do in the privacy of their homes, which is what the law relegates people to right now. That’s a lot different thank walking around with the President of the United States in a beer hall.”

St. Pierre acknowledges that in comparison with all the other issues with which a governor has to grapple, marijuana is “a small slice of the pie. But in many ways, he’s been almost spineless on this topic. I can’t believe a smart politician would say to people that they were reckless — which might be a code term for dumb — but ‘now I want you to vote for me.’ That’s a very strange dynamic to set up politically.”

To St. Pierre, Hickenlooper can be characterized as “an overly repentant liberal” — his list includes Jerry Brown, Diane Feinstein, Michael Bloomberg and Project SAM’s Patrick Kennedy — “who are liberal in every sense of the word but cannot get over their previous use of a herbal drug that didn’t seem to impair them in their lives in any way.”

Moreover, St. Pierre continues, the typical politician “would kill to be as popular as marijuana. Usually in votes about marijuana, we get 54 percent, 55 percent — I’ve seen votes as high as 64 percent. Hickenlooper is a very smart, aspiring, ascending politician. But on this issue, he’s got a very blind side.”

For Pot Delivery Apps, Making Green Means Wading Into Legal Gray Area

CALIFORNIA:  A fresh crop of pot entrepreneurs wants to provide a new way to get a buzz from your smartphone: marijuana delivered on demand.

Brand-new companies including Eaze and Canary aim to make pot delivery as easy as the tap of a few buttons. Upload ID proving you’re an eligible medical marijuana patient, select the strain of your choice and wait for the goods to arrive at your door.

 The potential business opportunity is massive: the on-demand craze popularized by Uber and Netflix, combined with a budding industry built on more states legalizing marijuana use.

But these startups must wade through a complex patchwork of laws that vary by state and even by city.

“All of these folks are operating in a gray area, going to bed each night knowing that their business model might collapse under the politics that gird all of this,” Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of marijuana legalization lobbying group NORML, told NBC News. “‘Is this commerce legal?’ is a hard place to get your business started.”

Marijuana Backers Hit A Political Chord

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Not long ago, Allen St. Pierre couldn’t get an audience with many politicians. When he tried to send them campaign contributions, the checks were returned. His efforts to persuade the political establishment to take seriously the legalization of marijuana were met with blank stares, or worse.

But now lawmakers are beating a path to his door for meetings and advice, hoping to harness this new energy behind an issue that had been on the fringe of American politics. The once-quixotic goal of St. Pierre’s group — NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws — is now one of Washington’s most-discussed issues. [Read more…]

Marijuana Backers Hit A Political Chord

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Not long ago, Allen St. Pierre couldn’t get an audience with many politicians. When he tried to send them campaign contributions, the checks were returned. His efforts to persuade the political establishment to take seriously the legalization of marijuana were met with blank stares, or worse.

But now lawmakers are beating a path to his door for meetings and advice, hoping to harness this new energy behind an issue that had been on the fringe of American politics. The once-quixotic goal of St. Pierre’s group — NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws — is now one of Washington’s most-discussed issues. [Read more…]

Denver vs. Seattle: Do We Call It The Weed Bowl, Salad Bowl, 420 Bowl, Chronic Bowl?

WASHINGTON:  The weekend’s playoff football victories by the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks have created a teachable moment about the two leading marijuana law reform states in America, as well as a windfall for those who love dumb puns.

“Weed Bowl”, “Salad Bowl”, “420 Bowl”, “Chronic Bowl”, weed heads can’t get enough of the delicious matchup. [Read more…]

Congressional Bill Introduced To Restore 2nd Amendment Rights To Cannabis Patients

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Last Friday, Colorado Congressman Jared Polis (D) introduced HR 3483, Protecting Individual Liberties and States’ Rights Act. The legislation was introduced in the wake of a federal memo to licensed gun dealers circulated nationwide last year warning them not to sell guns or ammunition to customers who legally use medical cannabis with their physician’s recommendation, many of whom pay annual fees to be in state-run registries and receive state-issued identification cards. [Read more…]

Experts: Maine, Michigan Votes Another 'Green Light' For Marijuana Legalization

MAINE: Marijuana is moving on “greased tracks” toward legalization, according to the advocacy group that’s been riding the train for more than 40 years.

The reason is a stark shift in public opinion, said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.  On Tuesday, Portland, Maine, followed Washington and Colorado’s lead and legalized recreational use of the drug, while the Michigan cities of Lansing, Jackson and Ferndale resoundingly voted to let people older than 21 possess an ounce of the green stuff on private property. [Read more…]