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Just Say Now Launches GOTV Effort to Make 2012 the Year We Legalize Marijuana

8:17 am in Uncategorized by Brian Sonenstein

11:46am: Huuuge thank you to the nearly 100 people who have brought us almost halfway to our goal in just our first day! Please help us turn out as many voters as possible on Election Day in support of marijuana reforms across the country.

In less than 60 days, we will have the chance to make history.

With marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot in an unprecedented 3 states, this November could be a turning point that begins a national wave of reform. To get there, we need to raise at least $5,000 over the next week to set up our phone bank, identify supporters, register voters, promote these initiatives and get folks to the polls on Election Day.

Remember, Just Say Now is a 100% grassroots-powered campaign, so we’re counting on you. Can you please chip in $20+ to help us raise at least $5,000 to make 2012 the year we legalize marijuana?

Donate $20+ to Just Say Now’s Get Out the Vote campaign and help us reach our $5,000 goal to build support for marijuana reform initiatives before Election Day.

Just Say Now played an important role in the 2010 election, launching over 30,000 calls to voters in support of marijuana reforms in various states. We hope to smash our record this year, but our ability to make an impact hinges on our capacity to contact prospective voters.

Our straightforward 5-step plan is designed to push support for these initiatives over the top and drive voters to the polls- but the more help we get from activists like you, the more we can do. Here’s what Just Say Now plans to do from now until Election Day:

Step 1: Raise at least $5,000 to set up our phone bank, identify supporters, register voters and run advertisements in support of these initiatives.

Step 2: Drive volunteers to our phone bank to call hundreds of thousands of voters across CO, WA, OR, AR and MA in support of ballot initiatives there.

Step 3: Provide strategic support to the campaigns to give them the best chance possible to pass these initiatives.

Step 4: Educate everyone on when, where and how to vote for these initiatives, and make sure they do so on Election Day.

Step 5: Analyze lessons-learned and prepare to support the next round of marijuana reforms taking root across the US.

It’s time to finally begin to end the war on marijuana and bring sensible reform to our nation’s racist, oppressive drug laws. Can you help us achieve this historic victory by donating $20+ to our Get Out the Vote efforts for marijuana reform initiatives nationwide?

HELP MAKE HISTORY: Donate $20+ to support Just Say Now’s GOTV efforts to legalize marijuana in 2012.

I can’t stress the monumental opportunity we have before us with 3 marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot in Colorado, Washington and Oregon during a general election, when turnout is at its highest.

But even though we have the advantage of multiple ballot initiatives and strong, well-organized state campaigns, we still have quite the uphill battle before us. For example, Colorado’s Amendment 64 enjoys a 9-point lead over the opposition in the polls, but is still hovering just under 50% support overall. The polls are very, very close there and in other states, and could easily break either way, which is why your active participation in our campaign matters so much this year.

It’s our job to make sure eligible supporters in these states are registered to vote and know when, where, how and why to vote for these initiatives. If we can hit our fundraising goal of $5,000, we can start to turn out the vote for marijuana right away.

Click here to donate $20 or more to turn out voters in support of marijuana legalization this year.

LIVESTREAM: Medical Marijuana Rally Outside Obama’s Oakland Fundraiser

8:22 am in Uncategorized by Brian Sonenstein

Free live streaming by Ustream

Today at 12pm Pacific, medical marijuana patients, caregivers and supporters will gather outside a fundraiser for President Obama at Oakland’s Fox Theater to protest the administration’s multi-agency war on pot.

Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, one of the nation’s largest medical marijuana dispensaries (serving thousands of patients) is one of the organizations calling for this action. Harborside has been a prime target of the Obama administration’s war on medical marijuana, and just this month, the federal government threatened to seize their property “under federal laws prohibiting the distribution of marijuana.”

If you’re in the Oakland area, please head down and show your support, or you can make a last-minute contribution to help Just Say Now target supporters in the area with Facebook ads, urging them to attend. As Jane wrote, “…we firmly believe that elections are the time when candidates are the most responsive to the needs of the constituents whose votes they hope to woo,” and with only a few months until November, this an excellent opportunity for the marijuana community to express those needs.

From Harborside Health Center’s action alert:

Dear Harborside Supporter,

Our Time is NOW! A Call to Action:

Watch Steve DeAngelo’s Call to Action

Last October CA’s four US Attorney’s announced a crackdown on medical cannabis, saying they would target organizations using medical cannabis as a shield for criminal activity and profiteering. But the list of those actually targeted reads like an honor role of the most legitimate and legally compliant medical cannabis providers in the state.

On July 9th, Harborside Health Center was added to that list, when federal agents taped a notice of property forfeiture to our front doors. This action was a major escalation by US Attorney Melinda Haag, who previously had said she would focus enforcement actions on dispensaries that too close to schools, or out of compliance with state law

Ms. Haag failed to cite even one specific act of wrongdoing on the part of Harborside. The only reason she gave for moving against us is that we are too large. But the reason we have become so large is because we have provided patients with the very highest level of care, and have meticulously obeyed state law and local regulations.

Help stop the Federal attacks on the medical cannabis community!

Join us
MONDAY, JULY 23 at 12:00pm
Oakland City Hall
1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza
Oakland, CA 94612

Please tweet using hashtag #SaveHarborside

Oaksterdam Update: Richard Lee Calling it Quits?

11:50 am in Uncategorized by Brian Sonenstein

Following the raid on Oaksterdam University earlier this week, in which federal agents from the IRS and DEA seized bank accounts, plants, computers and records from the industry training center, founder and Prop 19 sponsor Richard Lee announced today that he will be leaving the business.

The government has yet to release the justification for this raid, but the damage is already done. The unbearable legal and financial burdens have forced Lee to step down, silencing an important voice in the movement; and the total lack of transparency will likely cast a chill over others in the medical marijuana industry as well.

It’s important to note that these raids – which candidate Obama repeatedly opposed – do not only intimidate. They also crush businesses and investors operating in a perfectly legal state and local environment, and sever a patient’s safe access to medicine – either driving them into the black market, forcing them to tolerate the dangerous and uncomfortable side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs, or leaving them to suffer.

These actions make it difficult for states to continue to pass medical marijuana laws. Some governors are blocking important medical marijuana reforms out of fear of federal retribution, and the window of opportunity for this state-by-state approach may be closing.

But simply rescheduling marijuana, which currently stands as a Schedule I drug alongside heroin and ecstasy, would allow doctors in any state to prescribe medical marijuana to patients. Governors from VT, RI and WA have already signaled their support for rescheduling to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.

However, President Obama can reschedule medical marijuana right now with an executive order – no congressional approval needed. On his own, President Obama could end the war on patients in this country, save untold law enforcement resources, and maybe even convince young voters, a few of his erstwhile 2008 supporters, that he might not be totally awful on marijuana.

Both President Obama and AG Holder have deeply confused the public, local governments, and law enforcement on their stance on medical marijuana – claiming to let states self regulate while allowing these disastrous federal raids to continue. It’s time for President Obama to take real action if he wants the trust and support of the marijuana reform community.

Sign our petition urging President Obama to immediately reschedule medical marijuana and end the war on patients and caregivers.

It’s Easy to Spot a Just Say Now Supporter…

2:05 pm in Just Say Now by Brian Sonenstein

I just wanted to share this wonderful picture and brief story I received from one of our Just Say Now supporters today.

From Lynda in PA:

Here’s a photo taken yesterday at the Philadelphia Zoo.

After I walked through the entrance gate, I heard a voice calling, "Miss, miss, does that shirt say what I think?" I turned, she read the shirt, then embraced me. Her colleague ran up and did the same. I posed for pictures with both of them, then they took this shot of me. They now have the website address and may be ordering shirts for themselves. And I got thumbs up and smiles as I walked through the zoo. A great day!

We really love hearing from supporters like Lynda, so don’t be shy!

If you have pictures of your Just Say Now gear in action, send them our way or upload them to our Flickr group. You can also pick up this t-shirt and other really cool items like tote bags, stickers, coffee mugs and more at our brand new campaign store.

Check out these photos submitted to our Just Say Now Flickr page: