Be a part of the Marijuana Majority project…

An exciting and hip new campaign to raise awareness and support for cannabis freedom is launching and it is very cool. The Marijuana Majority is aimed at compiling prominent people and organizations in the community that have made positive statements in regards to legalizing cannabis.

What is very cool is the ability to use social networking to influence other celebrities, politicians, groups, companies, and other folks that can help make a difference in this battle to add their voice to the increasing conversation to end cannabis prohibition. You can join thousands of other cannabis activists in working for social change by demanding accountability and support from the movers and shakers of the world. It is brilliant.

The group leading the charge is dynamic and are some of the finest young and energetic talent the cannabis movement has to offer. It is an all-star team of great activists that understand the issues facing our movement and I believe the project will be wildly successful. Some may challenge the purpose of this project and see it as superficial for one reason or another, but the truth is that the key to ending this thing is for us to make people understand that this is happening and good people who they like and agree with support ending cannabis prohibition.

By compiling a comprehensive list of supporters of our cause, while also creating a vehicle to reach more folks and get them on board, this group can create the dialogue needed to make the marijuana majority larger by the day. I look forward to the evolution of what I feel is a very important outreach medium for cannabis freedom.

Here is a press release from the group on the project:

Press Release: Marijuana Majority Launches!

Posted on 

CONTACT: Tom Angell – (202) 557-4979 or

New Website Tracks Politicians & Celebrities Who Support Legalizing Marijuana

Marijuana Reform Is An Increasingly Mainstream, Majority-Support Position

Site Lets Supporters Tweet Prominent People to Encourage Speaking Out

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Just over two weeks before voters in three U.S. states decide on ballot measures to legalize marijuana, a new website launches on Monday that tracks prominent people and organizations speaking out in favor of changing marijuana laws. allows visitors to see just how mainstream this debate has become by viewing and sharing visually appealing lists of elected officials, actors, medical organizations and business leaders who support solutions like decriminalizing marijuana possession, allowing medical marijuana or legalizing and regulating marijuana sales for adult use.

In addition to tracking prominent people who have already spoken out, has a social component that lets individual supporters play a role in convincing even more opinion leaders to publicly say they favor reform. Visitors to the site will be able to easily send targeted tweets to celebrities and politicians with just a few clicks, encouraging them to speak out and join the Marijuana Majority. Among the initial “Get Out the Quote” targets are Ben Affleck, Mark Cuban, John Cusack, Van Jones, Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”), Shaquille O’Neal, Rihanna and Kanye West.

“At a time when polls show that a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana and that mega-majorities support allowing medical marijuana or at least decriminalizing possession, it makes no sense whatsoever that so many national politicians look at this issue as some kind of dangerous third rail of politics,” said Tom Angell, founder and chairman of Marijuana Majority. “By allowing people to see in one place the prominent, respectable and numerous supporters of changing these laws, we hope to convince more elected officials that there’s political opportunity, and not political peril, in jumping on board the marijuana policy reform bandwagon.”

The site launches as national polls show — for the first time ever — that a majority of U.S. voters support legalizing and regulating marijuana like alcohol. Polling also indicates that voters in Colorado and Washington are poised to make history by voting to legalize marijuana on Election Day.

Aaron Houston, executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and a Marijuana Majority board member, said, “Anyone who looks at the polls can plainly see that trends heavily favor the marijuana legalization movement. For a long time, young people have overwhelmingly supported replacing failed marijuana laws with a new approach. Savvy politicians who are looking to earn support should realize that a growing demographic wants them to speak out for marijuana reform, and that doing so can only help them at the ballot box.”

Marijuana Majority advisory board member Sean Dunagan, who served as a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) intelligence analyst for 13 years, added, “Ending marijuana prohibition enjoys support from religious leaders like Pat Robertson, business leaders like David Koch, entertainers like Morgan Freeman, world leaders like Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos and — by the way — the majority of U.S. voters. No one who realizes that our failed marijuana laws cause tremendous violence and waste should be afraid to say so. The time to speak out and join the Marijuana Majority is now.”


Marijuana Majority exists to help people understand that replacing marijuana prohibition with solutions like legalization, decriminalization and medical marijuana are mainstream, majority-support positions, and that no one who supports reform should be afraid to say so.  More info at

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Voting FOR weed…

The 2012 election season is upon us full force, and it is a very exciting time for weed. Legalized adult use weed is on the ballot in THREE states (CO, OR, WA), and medical cannabis initiatives made the ballot in TWO states (MA, AR), for a total of 5 major weed elections happening in 10% of our nation’s states. That is awesome!

But as with any election, there is bound to be controversy, disagreement, and ill-will within the cannabis movement, as well as from external forces. There will always be a group that opposes a certain law for one reason or another, and sometimes there is even good reason for dissension. But you, as a weedhead voter, need to make the best decision for you, your family, and the world we live in. You must make the actual vote for or against weed at the ballot box. When all of the hype and spin are done, at the end of the day, it is just you and your ballot who will ultimately decide the election.

It is a Presidential Election year, so we all have a big decision to make concerning who will be the leader of the nation moving forward. Unfortunately, we are stuck with some poor choices for President where weed is concerned. Both Republican and Democratic candidates have made public statements against legalizing weed. In the current state of politics in America this is not a big surprise, as it is suicide for a candidate to promote drug use and the legalization of said drug use. Obama’s Justice Department has disappointed many in the cannabis community with his crackdown on cannabis providers, and understandably so.

Yet, Mitt Romney has also made very strong statements opposing cannabis legalization, even when trying to claim that he is for state’s rights. Dude is just a liar and actually does NOT believe in state’s rights on this issue, or many other issues, such as abortion and gay marriage, where he fully supports federal interference. When you got a guy who will say anything to get elected, it is not surprising to see Romney try to muddy the waters by sending out contradicting messages. Here is Romney’s “official” statement on weed:

“Governor Romney has a long record of opposing the use of marijuana for any reason,” a spokesperson said. “He opposes legalizing drugs, including marijuana for medicinal purposes. He will fully enforce the nation’s drug laws, and he will oppose any attempts at legalization.”

Now Obama’s statements are not much better, but he has said, “I think this is an entirely legitimate topic for debate, [but] I am not in favor of legalization.” Not much more comforting, but if we ever do have this entirely legitimate debate, we will win because truth, justice, and the failure of this nation’s drug policies are on our side. Does anyone really think a sitting President (the first black president at that) would come out and openly be for legalization in his first term? I hear a lot of activists condemn Obama for not taking a more open stance in favor of cannabis, but really…Did anyone really believe he would be a cheerleader for our cause the day after he was elected?

For those who continue to heavily criticize his administration for the crackdown, many also forget that it was the Ogden memo that allowed for a VAST expansion of medical cannabis programs. The entire Colorado regulatory system NEVER would have taken place without the Ogden memo. Washington never would have expanded, especially Seattle. Rhode Island, New Jersey, Arizona, Maine, and even Connecticut’s programs benefited greatly by the Ogden memo’s seemingly hands off approach.

And of course our movement takes ZERO responsibility for acting irresponsibly after the Ogden memo, and forcing the hands of the Justice Department to do something. In California, I can tell you that many in the cannabis game failed to act responsibly, and for a minute there in 2010 you could have sworn weed was completely legal here in Cali. Every newspaper and rag across the state had unprofessional and poor taste advertisements for this dispensary or that weed product, complete with half-naked chicks. Our movement, in classic fashion, decided to take the inch we were given and made sure it was pushed well beyond the mile marker. That is not an excuse for the administration’s actions; but it is necessary for us to do some soul searching and maybe look at areas where our industry failed to self-police and where things may have gotten out of control.

So when left with the choice of these two major party candidates, who is the best choice? I believe it is Obama by a longshot. Mitt Romney would be a disaster, not just for weed, but for the entire society and world. Obama has plenty of issues, but I still think a brother from Hawaii who used to run with the Choom gang is a much better possibility for finding a path to weed freedom than the bought and paid for Romney.

There are also third-party candidates, such as the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson and the Green party’s Jill Stein. Both have made clear statements for legalizing cannabis and both would be great choices for progressives like myself; but the reality is they just WILL NOT WIN. In California, where I live, Obama will likely win by a landslide, so I can choose to make a more calculated vote for a third-party and not risk that my vote could elect Romney. In a closer swing state that is a tougher choice to make. Do you take a vote from Obama in protest, even if it could mean Romney is elected? That is a tough choice weedhead voters will have to make.

Voters in Colorado, Oregon and Washington have BIG choices to make on election day. These voters will have the opportunity to vote for legalizing cannabis for adult use. These are all big elections for cannabis, as they have consequences either way.

If these initiatives pass, we make a clear statement that the time has come to change course on weed in this country. If they fail, it can embolden the opposition who can then say, “See. The people have spoken and they do not want weed legalized.”

Nothing would be more devastating to me than seeing the headlines the day after the election saying “Weed Rejected By Voters.” I went through this disappointment in 2010 with Prop. 19 here in California. It is hard to wake up and realize that over half of your state thinks we should keep taking people to jail for weed.

The Prop. 19 effort was hampered by infighting and external forces also helped defeat it. California conveniently passed decriminalization of up to an ounce as an infraction, and the Feds came out and made big statements about how they would “vigorously enforce the CSA if 19 passed.” The ultimate result was a narrow defeat at the ballot box.

I think two years later many voters in California wish they had their vote back. I know many in the cannabis movement who opposed it for one reason or another who now believe they made a mistake based on bad information. California is a tough nut to crack. Our state is 6x more populated than Colorado and Washington, and nearly 10x as large as Oregon; and while the state votes heavily democratic, there are still a lot of conservative principles in play here. Just look at Prop. 8.

I have heard activists herald Colorado as “more advanced” or “way ahead” of California because it looks like they will pass legalization. First, I would hesitate for people to get too far ahead of themselves on that. The election will be close, and as we saw in CA, there is no shortage of dirty tricks that can happen between now and the election. Secondly, the folks running the campaigns in Colorado, Oregon and Washington have all benefited greatly from California’s Prop. 19 experience.

All three of these campaigns have used those experiences to advance their cause and avoid some issues. So before people go getting down on California for not making the ballot again and getting a legalization measure passed, understand that none of the efforts in other states would be on the ballot without Richard Lee laying the groundwork in 2010 here in California. That effort changed the national dialogue and paved the way for the efforts we see now.

The people who fund these campaigns made a calculated decision that it was much less expensive to run campaigns in smaller, yet still progressive states, than to try and tackle the beast that is California. If one, or all, of the legalization efforts pass this fall I would expect Cali to be next on the list, more likely sooner than later.

But more so, I expect to see the national understanding of weed shift and I expect that next year we will see a much more robust call for legalization, even than we are seeing now. It is only a matter of time before it is no longer viable for lawmakers and law enforcement to continue this charade. They are already exploring the exit strategies. If two or three states have legalized cannabis for adult use it will only be a matter of time before more follow suit, and eventually the Feds have to decide if they can do all of the cannabis enforcement in these states. This is exactly how alcohol prohibition ended.

So for me, these efforts are a no-brainier. I VOTE YES FOR WEED.

For the most part, Colorado and Oregon’s laws (Amendment 65 and Measure 80) have little contention from within the community There are some who oppose them based strictly on fear of what will happen if they pass. Many people who have invested into operating medical cannabis businesses have created a myth that if these efforts pass there will be armageddon and the Feds will unleash the hounds on the entire industry. It is an absurd notion really, and not based in reality.

In Washington State, activists have a bit of a tougher choice on their hands. the law there has been dubbed “the worst pro-cannabis law ever written.” It only allows for up to an ounce of possession of weed, turns over sales of weed to state run stores, does not allow for personal cultivation, and includes a terrible DUI provision that could set a precedent for how our entire nation treats cannabis and driving. Many activists there are outraged at this initiative, and rightfully so. It is like the authors went so far overboard to appease some perceived threat because they felt that Prop. 19 was won or lost on the DUI issue (absurd). So they wrote a terrible law, and now voters are left to decide what to do.


Even in Washington, on a terrible law, I would VOTE YES FOR WEED. Why? Because in the bigger picture of things, I firmly believe that the rejection of legalization at the ballot box is far more damaging to the psyche and understanding of where our community is on weed than the passing of a bad DUI law. I see the breaking down of a MAJOR barrier, being prohibition, as more significant than the creation of the world’s stupidest DUI barrier. I also believe that the DUI provision will be found unconstitutional if challenged. Only time will tell, and I could be terribly wrong about that. But I would vote yes on I-502…even with great reservation.

I am a weed activist. making weed legal is very important to me. If there is a vote of mine that can advance the cause of cannabis freedom believe I am going to vote for it. I am not a one issue voter by any means. I understand it is a big world. But I am also not foolish enough to vote no on a legalization effort because it is not exactly what I would like to see in a law. I know that it is hard to make votes on things that you may not support whole-heartedly and 100%, especially when it is an issue near and dear to your heart. It is natural to desire perfection and wish that the law allowed for more freedom than it may. But we cannot always throw the baby out with the bathwater and hope that a more perfect opportunity will arise.

You can look here to Cali for the answer. All of the big talking blowhards that said “Vote No on 19. We will pass a better one in 2012” were lying. None of them had the resources to make it happen and here we are voting on zip, zilch, and nada; while at the same time our medical industry is under attack because it is perceived there is too much recreational use in the system.

So do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I say vote FOR weed. The good news is that you are a grown-ass adult and can make your own decision when you walk in that booth. Just make sure when you make that decision you ask yourself, “Is this decision good for weed and the people who like weed?” Good luck out there….

Save Cannabis Education and Planning Conference


Education and Planning Conference

San Jose, California

October 19, 2012 

Friday October 19, 2012 @ 1PM

UFCW Local 5 Hall – San Jose, CA

An open invitation to all California Medical Marijuana and Cannabis Prohibition Repeal advocates:

Please attend this crucial and informative planning conference in San Jose, CA at 1PM on Friday October 19, 2012. There is no charge for this conference scheduled to be presented in three parts. The first portion will provide updated status of the pending Riverside Supreme Court case effecting potential bans of Medical Cannabis dispensaries statewide. The second part offers critical information regarding current tax cases, interpretation and legislation. The final portion will be a key planning session designed to coordinate ideas and actions from all sources with the specific objective of documentation and assignment of responsibilities. The ultimate goal is to coordinate this information in preparation for a major Spring Conference. At that event we will use the communicated results to facilitate completion of a workable California Cannabis Initiative for 2014 that protects and includes all medical and social use.

Advocates throughout California agree that there is a continuing need to enhance the coordination of all the various ideas and efforts being created statewide. We must consolidate and document those concepts into workable and passable legislation and then maintain a communication network to continually provide current status of the actions being performed. The best way to achieve this is by bringing all the ideas together, coordinating them in a presentable format and providing direction and leadership for taking those actions to completion. The Education and Planning Conference has been created for just this purpose.

The Education and Planning Conference is a major step to achieving the mutual goals of all California cannabis users. Your participation is greatly encouraged! You will be able to contribute ideas and opinions that will be used to formulate strategies and actions designed to provide the most positive impact. Through direct participation, you will become a part of a network that believes in not only discussing and formulating ideas, but who are interested in taking responsibility and the necessary actions to achieve results.

By initially focusing on the two key topics related to Medical Collective Bans and Taxation, new and valuable information will be shared for all concerned. We will address these at the conference with prepared speeches by informed leaders and then through moderated discussion sessions that will be documented to formulate responses and potential action items.

With many issues to be prioritized and a variety of different opinions as to which is most important, the final portion of this conference is designed to establish a set of priorities through mutual agreement of the attendees. The goal will be to then maintain responsibility for these priorities and objectives by regular updates through the communication network already established by Current information will then be available to anyone interested in observing or contributing to the progress of real actions taking place.

The final portion of the Conference will be to identify those individuals who are willing to accept responsibility for specific documented action items, can commit to providing regular updates to the communication network and will take the ultimate responsibility for following up on that task to completion. This event is expected to provide the opportunity that all advocates have been asking for – to give everyone a real opportunity to participate directly in the process and to take positive, results-oriented action!


1:00               Welcome, Opening Statement & Agenda                               John Lee

1:15               Riverside Supreme Court Case                                   Lanny Swerdlow

Effecting ALL attempts to Ban Medical Cannabis Clubs

1:45               Moderated Follow-up Discussion

2:15               Legal Taxation Update                                     Special Guest Attorney

Professional input and status of current legal tax environment

2:45               Taxation Presentation                                                         Dave Hodges

City of San Jose Tax and BOE communication and response

3:15               Moderated Follow-up Discussion

3:45               Break

4:15               Spring Conference Planning                                                     John Lee

4:30               Moderated Summary Discussion                                                        All

5:00               Conclusion & Adjournment

A variety of independent evening activities will be suggested but everyone will be free to make their own plans after the conference to socialize with old and new friends!


All accomplished leaders realize that any proven path to success is built on ACTION. The Education and Planning Conference is designed to provide guidance and support for the development of a common set of goals and objectives documented from conference attendees and supporters. We will work to identify “Action Items” with designated “Project Leaders” who will be responsible for coordinating, directing, documenting and reporting all activities. They will then report to an established communication network committed to providing regularly updated status to all. Several key steps have been identified to achieve positive results:

  • Solicit input of ideas from advocates from all points of view and demographics
  • Establish a core set of common goals and objectives
  • Identify key and achievable “Action Items”
  • Assign responsibility for Managing each “Action Item”
  • Establish and maintain a regularly updated communication network and forum


Due to potential space limitations, please confirm your attendance by October 12th via email to Enter Oct 19” in the subject line of your email. In order to guarantee your seat at the event, it is necessary for you to then provide each name of the attendees as they will want it to appear on the attendee list. Last minute walk-up attendance will be allowed based on availability.

There is no charge for this event and the UFCW Local 5 location has appropriate disability access. No outside photography or video taping is allowed but there will be a professional video and audio recording made of the conference to be made available to all attendees. As there will be a large amount of information presented over a short period of time, only light refreshments will be served. Each attendee will be responsible for their own meals and lodging.

Please forward any questions to

Phone Bank for Weed Freedom! Do your part to make history….

Here is a great way you can be part of the solution, no matter where you live. Help call voters inb Colorado to pass Amendment 64. Your voice, as a weed activist, can go a long way to assuring people that they are supported in their vote to legalize weed for adults to use. They need to hear from other rational human beings why it is time to end the disastrous policies of prohibition and vote for a more sensible solution. 

Below is a letter from the Amendment 64 campaign manager that tells about the volunteer effort. If you have the time and energy, and if you love weed and want to see it returned to being a safe, enjoyable and helpful resource for adults to have access to then do your part to make this happen.



Dear Weed Activist,

You can help legalize marijuana in Colorado no matter where you live, from the comfort of your own computer.

Just Say Now and the Amendment 64 campaign need your help contacting voters in Colorado to support marijuana legalization on Election Day. We’re organizing activists to call voters on weeknights and weekend afternoons over the next 2 weeks.

Can you sign up to call voters in Colorado sometime over the next two weeks? We’ll send you an email reminder 30 minutes before you’re supposed to start calling.

RSVP to make calls this week Oct. 2-7
RSVP to make calls next week Oct. 9-14


Start making calls right now!

Sorry, I can’t make calls – but I can chip in $5+ to help get out the vote.

Note that all call times are Mountain Time. Just Say Now will have staff on-hand and available during these times in case you run into any trouble or have questions.

Calling voters could not be any easier with our online phone banking tool: just login using Facebook, Twitter or your e-mail address and begin calling voters right away.

Even if you don’t live in Colorado, calling voters in support of Amendment 64 is a great way to get involved in reforming our nation’s marijuana laws. The more people we have calling voters, the better chance we have of success on Election Day.

Thank you in advance for your support.

In solidarity,

Brian Sonenstein
Campaign Director,
Just Say Now

Listening to Our Own Rhetoric


We live in a world where you can order news and information that meets your own ideological beliefs. Liberal Progressives, like me, can find outlets that are heavily slanted to our ways of thinking. Conservative thinkers can find outlets that serve their needs. Even in the weed movement, we are very guilty of only talking about news, current events, and positions that serve our own purpose.

The problem with insulating ourselves in this manner is that we fail to see the entire picture, and often, we are ill-prepared for the ongoing debate because we are not able to understand both sides of the argument. In order to win the war, it will be necessary for us to begin to know our enemy as well as we know ourselves. Sun Tsu’s art of War summed it up like this:

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

The cannabis industry is stuck in the “win one- lose one” scenario, where we do not know our enemies very well, but we sure as hell know ourselves. Our situation is overwhelmed by tunnel vision mentality that fails to recognize the strength and strategies of our opposition. We underestimate their message, and allow our own pie-in-the-sky beliefs rule our day. We continue to preach to our own choir with messages of victory and accomplishment, when the reality is anything but. We have fallen victim to being convinced and swayed by our own rhetoric.

That is a dangerous position. We have drank our own kool-aid, and in-turn, we continue to miss opportunities to make real progress.

If we fail to really understand the position of our enemy then how do we ever expect to defeat it? Our opposition has been extremely effective in misleading the world that cannabis is dangerous, and that weedheads are criminals. Yet, we are so enamored by our righteous postion that we do not truly get where we are, and/or how the hell we got here. The movement loves to sing its own praises for the smallest victories, yet it rarely acknowledges its own clear and devastating defeats. It is like we choose to pretend that our own failures have nothing to do with the problem; and then we wonder why we lose the ground we have gained.

We are constantly defending our position against bizarro attacks because we fail to even see them coming. Our inability to recognize the clear and present threats, and to disarm volatile situations before they manifest into major issues, have left us at a severe disadvantage. Because we fail to confront many of the issues within our own movement until they are beyond problematic, we find ourselves playing from behind most of the time. Our movement is terrible at looking at itself through the eyes of the society we live in. The blind followers of the cannabis rhetoric wear nothing but rose colored glasses. The world is a figment of their imagined reality.

This is no position to take on a battle of this proportion from. In order to end cannabis prohibition once and for all, we will need to begin to understand the opposition more clearly, and to develop more sound strategies to combat their entrenched positions. We will need to learn to better consolidate our resources, or message, and our human experiences into a more focused force that works to accomplish the sole goal of defeating our enemy.

Weedheads are generally passive in our approach. We have allowed for our enemies to take advantage of our kindness, and to exploit our rational ways of thinking for their own gain.

It is time that we moved out of the church and away from our own choir. We must take our message of freedom and justice to the masses, and begin to combat these enemies face to face. We must grasp the position of our enemy, and begin to confront them in a more pro-active manner. The time for trying to be nice and kind has passed. If this battle for cannabis freedom is to be won, we must begin to move our troops behind enemy lines. We have got to quit listening to our own rhetoric and stop being lulled to sleep by our own hyperbolic crap.

We CAN win this thing, and relatively soon. But we must stop bullshitting ourselves. We have got to quit buying into our own bullshit, and begin to effectively attack our enemies position. If we can do that, victory will be easy. If we continue to march around the playground declaring ourselves king of the kickball court when everyone else is playing tether ball, do not be surprised if we are still fighting this fight for several more decades.