DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement regarding the recently announced draft legislation titled Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: One of the US Senate’s leading marijuana prohibitionists, Iowa Republican Charles Grassley, will not be heading the Judiciary Committee in the 116th Congress.
Representative Grassley announced on Friday that he is stepping down as leader of the Committee. As Chair, Grassley refused to hold any hearings or votes on marijuana-related legislation, including bipartisan legislative efforts like the STATES Act. Virtually all Senate legislation specific to marijuana policy must pass through the Judiciary Committee.
Representative Grassley received a D- grade on NORML’s 2018 Congressional Scorecard.
Next in line to Chair the Committee is Republican Lindsay Graham (R-SC), who received a C grade from NORML.
Representative Grassley’s decision to step down follows the retirement of House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and the failed re-election bid of House Rules Chair Pete Sessions (R-TX) – both of whom also used their leadership powers to stifle any legislative debate on marijuana policy.
For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.
NEW YORK: The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit committed to helping families struggling with their son or daughter’s substance use, launched a campaign that illustrates the evolution of the drug landscape, including the challenging questions parents get asked by their kids. The new campaign breaks today and features a :30 TV ad and a :30 radio spot that were created by Campbell Ewald, an advertising agency with offices in Detroit, Los Angeles and New York. The campaign also includes a print ad and online banner ads created by BFG Communications, an agency headquartered in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with offices in New York and Atlanta. The TV spot was directed by Janusz Kaminski, who has won numerous awards, including two Oscars (“Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan”) and for the past two decades has worked as Steven Spielberg’s cinematographer on most of his films. All creative for the new campaign was developed and produced entirely pro bono by all agency and production partners.
In a groundbreaking move for a group of its kind, a leading organization opposed to marijuana legalization released a report Thursday that seeks a major overhaul of marijuana research in the United States, calling on the federal government to recognize the medical value of cannabis.
Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, called his group’s research recommendations a “third way,” positioning them between the concepts of legalization — which the group continues to oppose — and full prohibition, on a call Thursday.
While calling full legalization of marijuana “dangerous,” Kevin Sabet, president and CEO of SAM, also said that “there are so many things the government could do to offer the seriously ill experimental medications” and help to further marijuana research to potentially unlock its medical potential, without legalizing the plant.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Alison Holcolmb, author of Washington’s I-502 initiative, passes this along note to MJ Headline News: “You may have already seen the below press release that apparently has been sent to several, if not all, Washington state legislators, and which a few of them, at least, are forwarding on to city council members (and likely county council members and others). This is coming from Kevin Sabet, whose most recent prohibitionist strategy is Project SAM.
I think it’s a good example of how Sabet is focusing on commercialization as the strongest argument against legalization and regulation. His goal is not only to stop progress toward sane cannabis policies, but also to roll it back in Colorado and Washington. My take, as you all know, is that the nascent cannabis industry needs a robust and sincere strategy for building social responsibility in at the ground level.
PRESS RELEASE Contact: Kevin A. Sabet
September 18, 2014
Colorado Voters Turning Against Marijuana Legalization
Suffolk University/USA Today poll finds support for legalization plummets 17% among Colorado voters
DENVER- In the first indication of a backlash brewing in Colorado against legal pot, a Suffolk University/USA Today poll finds that now only 46% of likely voters support Amendment 64, the constitutional amendment legalizing and commercializing marijuana. 50% of likely voters oppose the measure entirely. That is a marked difference from election night 2012, when 55% of voters supported the measure. Even fewer people – 42% of likely voters – approve with the way the state is handling the legal change.
“We have always believed that when voters were given the facts about marijuana, the marijuana industry, and the failings of commercialization, they would oppose legalization. It is unfortunate Colorado has been the lab rat of the marijuana industry, but we’re confident legalization will only be temporary as opposition to legalization grows and our education of people across the state increases,” said Bob Doyle, Chair, Colorado SAM Coalition.
Colorado has grown into a massive opportunity for marijuana businesses, who sell candy, chocolate, and other kid-friendly marijuana items. This has led to a rise in poison center calls and emergency room admissions.
“The theory of legalization looks a lot prettier than the policy in practice,” remarked Kevin A. Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). “Revenue numbers are low, the underground market is thriving, and health issues are mounting. And, it appears, the public is paying attention.”
Project SAM, has four main goals:
* To inform public policy with the science of today’s potent marijuana.
* To prevent the establishment of “Big Marijuana” – and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
* To promote research of marijuana’s medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.
* To have an adult conversation about reducing the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.