13 March 2009

MPP Update

March 13, 2009.

Dear fellow Americans,

MPP's communications staffers have been busier than ever in the last few months, as media interest in marijuana policy continues to rise, and I want to tell you about a few upcoming and recent TV appearances that might interest you.

  • On Sunday night, I'll be appearing on an Al Roker special on marijuana, airing on MSNBC at 10 p.m. EST.
  • Medical marijuana will be part of the focus of John Stossel's ABC special that airs tonight. He'll be examining the case of Charles Lynch, the former operator of a medical marijuana dispensary — operating legally under California state law — who was raided by federal law enforcement officials and convicted on federal drug charges. A respected member of the community who operated with the support of local officials and the chamber of commerce, Lynch was known to refuse payment from patients who could not afford it. MPP provided research assistance for the show, which airs tonight on ABC at 10 p.m. EST.
  • On Wednesday night, MPP's Bruce Mirken appeared on "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC. You can watch his interview here.
  • And last, Bruce will also appearing later this month on D.L. Hughley's show on CNN (tentatively scheduled for March 28).

Meanwhile, thanks to the generous support of our 26,000 dues-paying members, MPP is moving a slate of bills forward in states across the country:

  • Minnesota's medical marijuana bill has a strong chance of passing into law this year. The Senate bill has already passed three committees, and the House bill now heads to what is expected to be its most difficult committee. We're in the final push now and hope to have exciting news to report from Minnesota within weeks.
  • In Illinois last week, for the first time ever, a House committee approved an effective medical marijuana bill, and the bill is now on the House floor, where the next step is a vote by the full chamber.
  • In Iowa, more than a dozen seriously ill patients and advocates and a doctor testified at a subcommittee hearing in favor of a medical marijuana bill, generating extensive news coverage. Although it is too late for the bill to receive a full committee vote, we'll continue to build support and momentum for next year.
  • In New Hampshire on Monday, a neurosurgeon, seven patients, MPP's grassroots organizer, and MPP's lobbyist testified in favor of a medical marijuana bill. The House health committee is scheduled to vote on the bill next Wednesday.
  • Rhode Island legislators, who in 2006 enacted MPP's model medical marijuana bill over the governor's veto, seem poised to improve access to medical marijuana. On March 4, doctors, patients, and representatives from the state medical society and nurses association testified in favor of allowing organized distribution through compassion centers. Not a single witness opposed the bills. Last year, the Senate passed a similar bill 30-6, and this year, 50 of the 75 House members are co-sponsoring the bill.
  • MPP has been featured in local, statewide, national, and even international news discussing the bill to tax and regulate marijuana in California. Whatever the bill's fate is this year, it has started a long overdue conversation about the wisdom of marijuana prohibition.

Thank you,
Kampia signature (e-mail sized)

Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.


Thanks for all you do!
your values. Love your country.
And, remember: TOGETHER, We can make a DIFFERENCE!

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