To draw attention to the need for ending marijuana prohibition, SSDP teamed up with Firedoglake for our Just Say Now campaign. The campaign has been gaining international media coverage but just yesterday, Facebook banned our ads that support marijuana legalization.
The social networking site says we can no longer advertise our campaign for marijuana legalization using our Just Say Now logo, because it has a pot leaf.
We need to fight back against Facebook's political censorship. Can you sign our petition protesting Facebook's unfair policy against legalization ads? We'll send the petition to Facebook and tell the media about the site's censorship of this popular political issue.
Facebook's decision is actually a flip-flop: the Just Say Now ads appeared more than 38 million times before Facebook issued a new policy banning them.
Our ads show marijuana leaves as part of a political campaign to change public policy. It's like telling a political candidate for office that it's unacceptable to show the candidate's face in advertising.
SSDP Associate Director
Protect your community!Tell Congress to stop supporting
militarized police drug raids.
How would you react if a large group of men in camouflage and combat boots came bursting through your front door with machine guns pointed at you? Helen Pruett, a 76-year-old woman who lives alone in Polk County, GA, suffered a heart attack when her house was mistakenly stormed by about a dozen local and federal agents looking for suspected drug dealers. Militarized police units are used every day to conduct drug raids and it is getting out of control.
The Polk County raid is not an isolated incident, and it’s not a result of rogue police officers overstepping their orders. There are more than 100 SWAT raids in America every day, most commonly to serve drug warrants. When police invade homes in riot gear with machine guns and flash bang grenades, they’re following standard procedure.
What’s even more disturbing is that these raids can happen anywhere, to anyone, no matter how minor the offense. Sometimes a crime hasn’t even occurred. Police raid the wrong house or act on information from untrustworthy informants, and completely innocent people wake up in the middle of the night to armed men breaking down their front door.
Congress’s funding of the war on drugs has allowed police excess to escalate out of control.Federal drug war grants for SWAT team equipment and drug task forces create incentives for local police to militarize. Local squads even have access to weapons from the Pentagon’s surplus arms stock.Demand an end to federal funding for this misuse of police resources.
The war on drugs isn’t just an ideological battle. It’s a real war, with real weapons and real casualties, waged against American civilians. These dangerous raid tactics show just how far it’s escalated -- they're the end result of the drug war’s militarization of local law enforcement.
Paramilitary raids should not be happening daily in our neighborhoods. They should not be happening when no threat to public safety exists. Police should be keeping the peace instead of treating our communities like war zones.
It's time to push back on politicians who let these raids continue. Urge your members of Congress to stop supporting SWAT raids for nonviolent drug law violations.
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance
About this Petition:
As he prepares his new administration, Obama has the opportunity to appoint a "Drug Czar" who will shift drug policy toward a public health model and away from a criminal model. Please sign this petition and let our new president know that a change in drug policy is needed!
The Desired Outcome of this Petition:
Obama appoints a "Drug Czar" who will treat drug abuse as a health issue rather than a criminal issue and will move away from a "War on Drugs" paradigm.
To sign, follow this link: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/petitions/show/15?m=85799a5f
Last week, Mexico’s President Calderon called on President Obama to join the debate on legalizing marijuana. The US drug policy has lined the pockets of the drug cartels with billions of dollars, and they are threatening to destabilize not only Mexico but countries across Latin America.
In many regions, the drug gangs are seeking to replace the government, imposing their own taxes in towns they dominate.
Three former Latin American presidents — Cesar Gaviria of Colombia, Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and Fernando Cardoso of Brazil — wrote an oped in the Wall Street Journal, urging the legalization of marijuana as a way to undermine a major source of income for cartels.
Recently, the U.S. Joint Forces Command warned that the Mexican government could experience “a rapid and sudden collapse” due to drug cartel violence. And the outgoing head of the CIA, Gen. Michael Hayden, warned that drug cartels “threaten … the well-being of the Mexican people and the Mexican state.”
The problem is so bad that following President Calderon’s statement, two Mexican cardinals have endorsed his call to open a debate on the merits of legalization.
There have been 28,000 people killed since 2006 in the war with the drug cartels, including 1200 in July – the deadliest month yet. The recent shooting in Arizona that triggered the debate between right and left over immigration was the result of marijuana smuggling, not people trying to get over the border to find jobs. It’s insane that the conversation instantly devolved into a right-left battle over immigration. The Arizona law does nothing to address the underlying problem.
Yesterday the Guardian had a piece on the push to end prohibition, including the Just Say Now campaign we launched last week. Further, the Guardian editorial board called on David Cameron and Nick Clegg to “launch a national debate on whether we should try legalisation,” and to “tear up the current policy. It has failed.” “That debate must be opened in Britain and the recent change of government provides a rare opportunity,” they say.
But as Peter Guither notes, although there is strong interest in the issue among both progressive and conservative voters, leadership on both sides of the aisle have been unwilling to address it. Most are terrified of walking into a meat grinder of social taboos left over from the culture wars, and they won’t brave it until the public demands it.
That’s why we launched the Just Say Now campaign. Over 30,000 people have already signed the petition to President Obama, saying it’s time to end the war on marijuana. America’s prison population has quadrupled since 1984 when Nancy Reagan’s war on drugs began, and the private prison system exploded.
Last fall, Eric Holder issued a directive that the DEA should respect state medical marijuana laws. But as Jacob Sullum notes, that directive had a lot of wiggle room and as a result the DEA’s raids on medical marijuana suppliers continue.
Please show your support and sign the petition asking President Obama to end the war on marijuana.
The US Senate passed S.258, the "Saving Kids from Dangerous Drugs Act of 2010." We are concerned that without amendments, this act goes too far and infringes on the rights of medical marijuana patients by doubling federal penalties. Now is the time to act -- Tell your Representative that medical marijuana patients deserve protection!
Many patients, particularly the elderly and those with compromised lung function, prefer to use medical cannabis in edible forms as opposed to smoking or inhaling their medicine. S. 258 unfairly puts these patients and their providers at a heightened risk of arrest and prosecution.
The House has an opportunity to make important changes to the legislation before they vote on the bill. Patients and advocates are leading the call for sensible and responsible amendments to the legislation, and they need your help. Take Action Now! Phone and email your Representative today! Please forward this action request to your friends, family and networks across the Country.
ASA needs your support!
On The Web:
President Obama's nomination of Michele Leonhart to be permanent head of the DEA is a trial balloon - a test of strength and resolve.
The nomination of a ruthless prohibitionist is a test of whether he takes himself seriously when he says that the federal government is going to stop wasting time, money and people on medical marijuana raids in states where it is legal. It is, more significantly, a test of whether he takes the drug reform movement seriously.
And the only way he will take us seriously is if we write now telling President Obama to replace Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart with someone who respects the rights of the ill and vulnerable.
If you have received appeals from our allies in drug policy reform, please send those along as well as ours.
Every email they receive counts.
Obama's pandering to the prohibitionists is a trial balloon.
We need to shoot it full of lead.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
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We need help growing our all-encompassing movement of citizens who want to end the failed "war on drugs," so please invite your family and friends to learn about LEAP.
Please Support S. 1789, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010
Call Your Representative Today
Early next week, the House of Representatives may vote on legislation, recently passed unanimously by the Senate, to reduce the 100-to-1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine to 18-to-1. The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, S. 1789, also would eliminate the mandatory minimum for simple possession of crack cocaine (5 years for 5 grams without intent to distribute). The U.S. Sentencing Commission estimates the changes could reduce the average crack cocaine sentence by nearly 30 months and reduce the federal prison population by 3,800 over 10 years.
NACDL has been working hard with a diverse group of allies to pass this legislation, but we need your help now. Please call your representative today to ask them to vote yes for the Fair Sentencing Act. If you have never called your Member of Congress before, it's quick and easy. Now is the time to make your voice heard.
Please Take Action by clicking the link and/or entering your zip code to contact your U.S. House of Representatives. Suggested talking points are provided once you follow the instructions and links.
Thank you for taking a few moments to help pass this long overdue, historic legislation.
Associate Executive Director for Policy
The DEA has gone rogue. Despite clear guidance from the Department of Justice directing them to do otherwise, agents are conducting raids of homes and businesses where the occupants are acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws.
These agents are storming onto the property of law-abiding citizens with guns drawn, destroying marijuana plants being grown for patients, stealing computers and cash, and even leaving trash on the floor behind them when they are done.
A recent raid in Mendocino County, California targeted a woman who had filed formal paperwork to grow medical marijuana, had paid a $1,050 application fee under the local ordinance, and whose operation had been inspected and approved by the local sheriff. When informed about this, the DEA agent in charge said, "I don't care what the sheriff says."
It is only a matter of time before one of these raids ends tragically with someone seriously injured or killed.
One woman is responsible for all of this. Her name is Michele Leonhart. She became the acting-administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration under George W. Bush and was shockingly nominated by President Obama to be the permanent head of the agency. She clearly has no respect for authority at the Department of Justice and is equally willing to use federal law enforcement power to trample on states' rights.
Yesterday, MPP and its allies called on President Obama to withdraw this nomination. We are hoping you will join us.
We have set up a page where you can send an e-mail to the White House, urging the President to withdraw the nomination. The pre-written e-mail we provide -- which you can modify -- also mentions that Leonhart has personally obstructed research into the therapeutic benefits of marijuana by denying an application from the University of Massachusetts to cultivate marijuana for this purpose.
Michele Leonhart does not deserve to be DEA administrator. Please take action so that President Obama gets this message.
Director of Government Relations
Marijuana Policy Project
To contact MPP, please click here or reply to this e-mail. Our mailing address is Marijuana Policy Project, 236 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20002. Any donations you make to MPP may be used for political purposes, such as supporting or opposing candidates for federal office.
The DEA’s vendetta against medical marijuana patients and providers keeps getting more and more infuriating.
Mendocino County, California passed a new medical marijuana ordinance this year that allows local growers to apply for a cultivation permit with the sheriff. But earlier this month, the DEA swooped in and raided the home of the program’s first applicant. Agents took money and property but made no arrests.
What a slap in the face to the local government! The DEA has gone too far, and President Obama needs to replace Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart.
The president has directed federal officials to stop wasting time and money on medical marijuana prosecutions. Yet even though Leonhart is blatantly flouting his directive, he’s nominated her to become the permanent head of the DEA.
Together with our allies in the movement to end marijuana prohibition, we’re calling on President Obama to withdraw her nomination. Our whole movement is united and working together to demand a DEA administrator who respects the right of patients to use their legal, doctor-recommended medicine. Will you join us?
The raid in Mendocino County is part of a disturbing trend. DEA agents have raided four other medical marijuana providers in the past few weeks. The timing is hardly coincidental — California voters could pass a ballot initiative in November that would make marijuana legal throughout the state, and I suspect the DEA is conducting the raids to intimidate growers and activists.
President Obama has called federal medical marijuana raids a waste of resources. Yet his nominee continues to relentlessly harass patients and providers. If she refuses to respect the administration’s stated principles, the president needs to find a new nominee who will.
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance
Tell Congress To Vote Yes for Crack Cocaine Sentencing Reform
This week, the House of Representatives may vote on legislation, recently passed by the Senate, to reduce the 100 to 1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine to 18 to 1. The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, S. 1789, would also eliminate the simple possession mandatory minimum (5 years for 5 grams without intent to distribute), limit the excessive penalties served by people convicted of low-level crack cocaine offenses, and increase penalties for high-level traffickers. The U.S. Sentencing Commission estimates the changes could reduce the federal prison population by 3,800 over 10 years.
Champions for sentencing fairness are urged to contact their representative in the House today to ask them to vote yes for the Fair Sentencing Act. Call the U.S. Capitol Switch Board at 202-224-3121 and ask for your representative. They will patch you through to the correct office.
Once you reach your representative, tell them you support the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, S. 1789 because:
• The current 100 to 1 cocaine sentencing disparity is unfair. The five-year penalty for possessing as little as five grams of crack cocaine is the same for selling 500 grams of powder cocaine. The law imposes excessive prison sentences for low-level crack cocaine offenses that often exceed penalties for offenses involving powder cocaine trafficking.
• The current 100 to 1 cocaine sentencing disparity exacerbates racial disparity in federal prisons. Over 80% of those serving time for a crack cocaine offense are African American, despite the fact that two-thirds of users are white or Hispanic.
• The Fair Sentencing Act, S. 1789, is an historic opportunity to advance justice and restore faith in the criminal justice system. A broad consensus among criminal justice experts, law enforcement organizations, and policymakers has emerged that concludes the current 100 to 1 disparity cannot be justified. Organizations endorsing reform include: the NAACP; Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; American Bar Association, American Civil Liberties Union; the National District Attorneys Association; and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.
• The Fair Sentencing Act will also save taxpayers money. Replacing the irrational 100:1 ratio with a new 18:1 ratio will save $42 million over five years, according to Congressional Budget Office.
When you have completed your call to your representative, please email email@example.com and say how it went. Also, please consider forwarding this email to a friend.
Thank you for joining the effort to reduce the crack cocaine sentencing disparity.
The Sentencing Project is located at 1705 DeSales Street, NW 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20036. Send an email to The Sentencing Project.
The Sentencing Project is a national, non-profit organization engaged in research and advocacy for criminal justice reform.