When thousands of police veterans agree it’s time to end the War on Drugs and legalize marijuana, you know it’s time. Our interview with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) staff Neill Franklin (Exec. Dir.) and Diane Goldstein (Sec.).
About the AuthorMichael is a journalist and filmmaker. His award-winning documentary, Sleeping with Siri is playing film festivals across the country. Stusser runs TechTimeout campaigns in high schools across the country, asking teenagers to give up their digital devices (for a little while) in order to find balance, and perhaps even make eye-contact with their parents.
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By Zoe — 7 years ago
The Hershey Co. has filed a trademark suit against an edible marijuana company for selling weed-infused snacks with packaging that mimics some of Hershey’s signature candies.
In the lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Denver, Hershey claims that the Colorado-based medical marijuana manufacturer Tincture Belle is selling products that look suspiciously like its Reese’s, Heath, Almond Joy and York Peppermint Pattie brands.
Not only are the products packaged in similar colors as the Hershey originals, the candy-making giant contends, their names are also reminiscent of their analogs: Hashees, Hasheath, Ganja Joy and Dabby Patty.
Hershey says that the packaging is not only a clear trademark violation, but also a safety risk to consumers — especially children — “who may not distinguish between Hershey’s candy products and defendants’ cannabis- and/or tetrahydrocannabinol-based products.”
Although recreational and medicinal marijuana sales are legal in Colorado, the burgeoning edible pot industry has raised some safety concerns.
In April, a Denver teen plunged off a balcony after eating six times the recommended amount of a marijuana brownie. And another man was accused of killing his wife in a hallucinatory episode after eating marijuana candy and rolling a joint, according to CBS News.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s own encounter with a caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar prompted her to argue in her column for greater regulation of the edibles industry.
According to Tincture Belle, their pot products are gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, GMO-free and peanut-free — although they do come with a hint of imitation.
By Zoe — 7 years ago
With the general election five months away, more Outside cash is making its way into the Alaska campaign to legalize marijuana.
The Marijuana Policy Project injected $140,000 into the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska at the end of May, according to filings with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. It marks the second largest donation the campaign has received this election season and pushes the contribution total for the campaign just over the half-million dollar mark.
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In comparison, the group opposing the measure, Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2, has raised a mere $31,000 since organizing in April. Most of that money came from a single donation from the Chenega Corp., an Alaska Native village corporation based in Anchorage, which gave $25,000 to the campaign last month.
At stake is Ballot Measure 2, an initiative that would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Alaska. If approved, the initiative would regulate the production, sale, and use of marijuana to adults 21 years of age and older and tax its commercial sale. Alaska would become the third state to legalize marijuana, behind Washington and Colorado. The initiative’s language is largely based on Colorado’s law.
Proponents say the measure is long in coming and that the “prohibition” on marijuana isn’t working. Opponents argue that it’s too much, too soon, and that Alaska doesn’t need to be the testing ground for marijuana legalization. Polls conducted earlier in the year put support for the initiative at around 50 percent.
The $140,000 doesn’t mark the biggest donation from the Marijuana Policy Project, a national group that works to advocate for marijuana legalization across the U.S. In March, the organization contributed $210,000 in cash to the Alaska campaign. It also sent one staff member, Chris Rempert, to serve as campaign director.
Pro-legalization campaign spokesman Taylor Bickford said the donation will be used to “continue educating Alaskans” about the benefits of legalizing marijuana here. He said it was not intended to serve as a response to the large donation from Chenega.
“We have our own strategy and our own plan that we will be executing between now and November,” he said.
Deborah Williams, spokeswoman with the Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2 campaign, was not surprised to hear about the large donation Thursday, nor was she concerned, she said.
“We always anticipated we would be grossly outspent,” Williams said.
The anti-legalization campaign has focused on maintaining a grassroots presence, working more to start conversations and participate in forums that “get the truth of this initiative out” Williams said.
Williams noted that other Alaska political battles have proved that Alaskans don’t take well to Outside groups pushing agendas in Alaska.
“No matter how much money the Marijuana Policy Project and other Lower 48 entities put into this battle, they can’t eliminate those truths,” Williams said.
Bickford rejected the idea that the Marijuana Policy Project was pushing any sort of agenda. He said the group has been working to reform marijuana policy in Alaska for 20 years, and in that time has built meaningful connections in the state.
“Alaskans are going to focus on the issues. They’re not going to focus on distractions and fundraising,” he said.
What the campaign will look like from here remains to be seen. Bickford noted that with the U.S. Senate race dominating traditional advertising media right now, most campaigns are in the process of figuring out “how to deal with that.”
“All the campaigns are struggling with the limited air space due to the influx of money in the senate race,” Bickford said. “We plan on running a comprehensive campaign that connects with voters in various ways.”
By Michael A. Stusser — 5 years ago
Higher Ground has created a new ad to support legalization reform efforts across the country. “Cannabis Clicker” will air in the five States with recreational legalization ballots: California, Maine, Nevada, Arizona and Massachusetts. The ad will also run in States with medical marijuana votes – including Oklahoma, Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota and Montana. All told, nine states will be voting on ballot initiatives related to legalizing and regulating cannabis on November 8th.
“We wanted to use the old reefer madness propaganda as part of our ad,” noted Editor-in-Chief Michael A. Stusser, “and juxtapose it with what’s really going on.” The ad, titled “Cannabis Clicker,” shows side-by-side living rooms, one playing anti-drug commercials and films from a now by-gone era, while the set in the modern living room plays news stories about legalization from the past few years. “Sometimes it’s best just to let the story tell itself,” Stusser notes. “Teen drug use has actually gone down since legalization, massive taxes have been raised, there has been no increase in traffic fatalities – and the sky has not fallen.”
The Cannabis Clicker ad uses clips from the original Reefer Madness movie, the infamous “Your Brain on Drugs” PSA, as well as modern day news clips featuring studies and research related to the legalization of marijuana.
Based out of Seattle, where recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012, Higher Ground is attempting to “Elevate the Dialogue” and broaden the movement nationally. While legal in Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Oregon, the use, sale or distribution of cannabis is still a felony at the federal level, and over 700,000 Americans are arrested every year for marijuana-related offenses. The parody ad has been provided to all the pro-legalization campaigns, and is being used both on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and VIMEO) as well as paid television in selected markets in California and Nevada.