tom angell

U.S.: Marijuana Majority Launches Online Tool To Contact Mayors

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The online cannabis activism site Marijuana Majority has launched a new tool which makes it easy for people to contact their mayors in support of marijuana reform.

"We've seen a number of individual mayors speaking up in recent months about the negative impact that prohibition has on their cities and towns, and we thought a focused action trying to get more mayors to add their voices to the debate might be fruitful," Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority told Hemp News.

"After people send a letter using our tool, they are then prompted to tweet to their mayor and also given the option to be connected with the mayor's office by phone," Angell told us.

To use the tool for contacting your mayor, visit http://marijuanamajority.com/mayors/.

U.S.: Marijuana Eradication By Law Enforcement Down By 60 Percent

(Photo: Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Law enforcement's eradication of marijuana plants has plunged by more than 60 percent in the last few years, from a record high of more than 20 million plants in 2009 and 2010 to fewer than 4 million plants in 2012, according to newly released federal statistics.

The number of cannabis plants eradicated dropped to 6,735,511 in 2011 and 3,933,950 in 2012, far less than goal of 9 million plants that the Drug Enforcement Administration had hoped to destroy, report Ryan J. Reilly and Matt Sledge at The Huffington Post.

Red-faced DEA officials blamed the steep decline in part on California, claiming in the agency's 2014 budget proposal that the Golden State's financial troubles resulted in "the decreased availability of local law enforcement personnel to assist in eradication efforts."

(Illustration: The Huffington Post)The DEA also claimed that "drug trafficking organizations" are shifting their cultivation efforts from public lands to private grow areas, and that those who do still grow in parks and on other public land tend to locate in "vast mountainous regions, which are more difficult for law enforcement to detect and reach."

U.S.: Obama Continues To Fund Punishment Over Treatment In Drug Budget

There is a truth that must be heard!By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Despite the rhetoric from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) about a "21st Century Drug Policy" and their use of the hashtag #DrugPolicyReform on Twitter, President Barack Obama's budget continues to emphasize punishment and interdiction (supply reduction) programs over treatment and prevention (demand reduction) programs, to the tune of 58 percent to 42 percent.

It's a classic case of throwing good money after bad, of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Forty-two years after President Richard Nixon declared a "War On Drugs," the chief casualties are civil liberties and individual privacy rights, with drugs being more easily available than when the "War" (which is really on people, not on drugs) was declared.

The portion of federal drug control spending going to domestic law enforcement in the fiscal year 2014 budget increases slightly from 2012's 38.5 percent ($9.4 billion) and 2013's 38.1 percent ($9.3 billion) to 2014's 37.7 percent ($9.5 billion), an overall increase of 1.3 percent in two years.

U.S.: Majority Now Supports Marijuana Legalization

There is a truth that must be heard!By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

For the first time in more than 40 years of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. A new national survey has found that 52 percent say cannabis should be legal, while 45 percent say it should not.

"It's time for politicians to catch up to the voters on this issue," Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority told Hemp News on Thursday morning. "Not too long ago, it was widely accepted in political circles that elected officials who wanted to ge re-elected needed to act 'tough' on drugs and go out of their way to support the continued criminalization of marijuana.

"The opposite is quickly becoming true," Angell told us. "A majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, and you're going to start seeing more politicians running toward our movement instead of away from it, just as we've seen happen with marriage equality recently."

"I've always tended to be cautious in claiming that we've hit the 'tipping point' on marijuana legalization," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). "But we're there now. And I'd like to say we're trailing marriage equality by just a half-step, even if far fewer elected officials are willing to join publicly with us as yet."

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