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Largest U.S. Marijuana Policy Reform Group Outlines Ambitious Plan for 2012

 
 
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Now is a crucial time for marijuana reform strategy. Last year, American support for marijuana legalization reached a record high fifty-percent, evidencing mainstream support for reforming pot laws. And still, the federal government continues its attack on state medical marijuana programs, cutting off crucial access to medication for many marijuana patients, and criminalizing marijuana providers. 

Marijuana Policy Project -- the largest marijuana policy reform group in the United States -- aims to increase public support for marijuana law and effect legislatie change, and has just recently released a $4,300,000 strategic plan for 2012. On 420 Times, Joe Klare wrote that the plan is "an ambitious list of goals that – if accomplished – will change the face of the movement forever." It is worth a read.

From MPP:

 

LOBBY STATE LEGISLATURES

  • Enact medical-marijuana laws in IllinoisMaryland, and New Hampshire. (If we succeed at all three, the number of medical-marijuana states will increase from 16 to 19.)

  • If additional funding becomes available, enact a medical-marijuana law in New York.

  • Enact marijuana-decriminalization laws in Rhode Island and Vermont.

  • If additional funding becomes available, improve California’s medical-marijuana law.

  • Defeat all bad bills in all 50 states and D.C.

  • Assist our allies in Connecticut with enacting a medical marijuana law this year.

  • Assist our allies in Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin with building support for medical-marijuana legislation, with the hope of passing bills in some of these states in 2013 and 2014.

IMPLEMENT, PROTECT, OR EXPAND EXISTING MEDICAL-MARIJUANA LAWS

  • Implement new medical-marijuana laws in Arizona, Delaware, Rhode Island, Vermont, and D.C.

  • Assist our allies in HawaiiMichigan, and Montana to protect and/or expand these three states’ existing medical-marijuana laws (all three of which MPP originally helped pass).

PASS THREE STATEWIDE INITIATIVES ON NOVEMBER 6, 2012

  • Pass a statewide ballot initiative in Colorado to regulate marijuana like alcohol.  (The signature drive was completed in 2011.)

  • Collect signatures to place medical-marijuana initiatives on the Arkansas and North Dakota ballots, and then campaign to pass both initiatives.  (If MPP succeeds at passing the three aforementioned bills in Illinois, Maryland, and New Hampshire -- and then we also pass these two ballot initiatives -- the number of medical-marijuana states will increase from 16 to 21 over the course of 2012.)

LOBBY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

  • Increase the number of U.S. House members cosponsoring H.R. 2306, the first-ever bill in Congress that would allow states to determine their own marijuana policies without federal interference.

  • Defeat all bad bills in both chambers of Congress.

EDUCATE THE PUBLIC

 While educating the public, influencing the states, and protecting existing medical marijuana programs are all crucial goals, success in state programs will face the wrath of the federal government so long as federal law refuses to recognize marijuana as medically beneficial. Lobbying and putting public pressure on the federal government may thus to prove to be the biggest, but most significant, challenges.

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at January 25, 2012, 10:02am

 
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