A Great Year For Pot, Freedom, and Ending the Drug War

Q&A with Marijuana Policy Project's Rob Kampia

"It was a wonderful feeling, being in that celebration with people in Colorado," says Rob Kampia, head of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), of his Election Night 2012 experience.

Thanks in part to the efforts of MPP, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to fully legalize recreational marijuana use and possession.

In a Q&A with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie, Kampia talks about his organization's "religious" devotion to "sticking to the message," relentlessly reminding voters of the fiscal benefits to be reaped by taxing marijuana like alcohol and the shameful waste created by the mass incarceration of non-violent drug offenders.

Kampia also reveals a surprising answer to the question, "What did you do to celebrate the legalization of marijuana?"

About 5 minutes.

Produced by Anthony L. Fisher. Camera by Josh Swain and Zach Weissmueller.

Scroll down for downloadable versions, and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube Channel to receive immediate updates when new material goes live.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • sloopyinca||

    Good for CO and WA. I live in California, where they're doing everything they can to curtail freedom by shutting down MMJ dispensaries every chance they can and threatening asset forfeiture to landlords of tenants that are legally selling pot to those who want/need it. I look forward to having the freedom come to our state, and I see it happening as soon as the legislators figure out how to fuck taxpayers as bad as they can on it.

    I don't smoke pot, but freedom is freedom, so I'm really happy another form of prohibition got kicked in the balls this year.

  • Hyperion||

    I believe that the WA and CO legalization is the greatest win or liberty in my lifetime and I don't smoke weed either.

  • Hyperion||

    for liberty

  • deified||

    I'm very optimistic that Massachusetts just took the good parts of CA's MMJ law (that a doctor can prescribe it for any medical condition). It'll be nice for east coast stoners.

  • Xenocles||

    I was just pleased to vote for it.

  • Hyperion||

    Not trying to hijack the thread, but I was just talking to my wife and she was on her laptop talking to her friends in Brazil on some forum.

    They are all calling Obama a phony and hypocrite because of his fake crying on the TV about the children killed in CT, while he sends drones to kill children in other parts of the world.

    I told her that now maybe she is starting to understand my Libertarianism, if only a little, at least a start.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I don't like Obama and he's definately a hypocrite but I don't thinks he's some souless monster. Those were real tears.

  • Hyperion||

    I think he is a souless monster, sorry, but that is my real opinion.

    His extreme arrogance and narcissism are screaming souless monster. I think he would be exactly like Stalin or any other ruthless dictator given half the chance.

  • RBS||

    I'm with Hyperion and the Brazilians on this one.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Happily, sane people think someone like war-mongering Dickless Cheney is the real soulless monster.

    But I know, he is on Team Red so you won't go there.

  • Xenocles||

    Cheney has been a nonentity for nearly four years now, just like Bush. Why are you living in the past?

  • RBS||

    It's like the last 4 years never happened.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The category was "soulless monsters", Alex. And Cheney is the right answer.

    The stench of Bush cost the GOP dearly again. Look at the exit polls. The Dem will still be able to leverage that again in 2016.

    When the worst POTUS of all time is haunting your party it costs votes. Contrast Clinton - who is beloved despite the White House blowjob he received.

  • Xenocles||

    The LP's numbers went up, so if that's what Bush haunting us does then let's have more of it.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Your shoulders must be fucking HUGE from all of the goalpost moving you do.

  • ||

    " I think he would be exactly like Stalin or any other ruthless dictator given half the chance."

    What do you mean you think? Heh, he said so himself .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfVDuOUdR-U

  • ||

    Wrong link. Damn.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....54012.html

    Actual real news story on it.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I think he is a souless monster, sorry, but that is my real opinion.

    Yep.

    You don't get to drone countless children in to oblivion, under the cover of nothing but shadows and obfuscation, without a semblance of oversight, and on nothing but your own authority, then shed a tear because 20 kids were gunned down in a random act performed by a disturbed kid.

    Fuck Obama, and fuck his tears.

  • ||

    You are making the mistake that John made, that any decent person could make, by giving him even a sliver of the benefit of doubt.

    He is a soulless monster. The tears were fake.

  • RBS||

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who's first reaction was "those tears are fake."

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who's first reaction was "those tears are fake."

    Every single movement he makes, every smile, every word is PERFECTLY calculated so as to extract as much political capital as he can.

    His tears were as fake as the left's concern for another massacre when they talk about gun control.

  • SIV||

    The last time I saw real tears from a politician was when Congress told John Boehner they'd be no $750 Billion dollar bailout for Wall Street banks. Unfortunately, they took a second vote and gave it to him.

  • ||

    I just saw the footage for the first time today. As i suspected the tears were fake. Sorry AlmightyJB but they were fake.

  • John C. Randolph||

    They're only saying that because he's a phony and a hypocrite.

    -jcr

  • American||

    Sorry but they are in no way morally equivalent. I'm am an anti-imperialist, but i understand that war can be necessary. In world war two, thousands of children were killed in Germany and Japan. And no, I would not have gone submissively into the gas chamber. I would have murdered every single child in Germany before I let them invade my country.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    I hope I don't see a repeat of the fools begging, "TAX MY POT, PLEASE, OH PLEASE, TAX MY POT!"

  • Hyperion||

    I think most of that was just an excuse to get the pols on board with legalization.

    I pay tax on beer and while I don't want to, I would rather pay the tax than for them to try banning beer again, which is of course, impossible. Even if I buy brewing equipment and make my own, I am still paying a tax on something.

    Although, the state that has the 6 plant grow provision, I think someone could get by without ever paying a tax, unless it was for paraphernalia.

    And once weed has been legal for a while in a couple of states, it will also be impossible to ever go back to prohibition again on that.

    I think that weed will be legal in a lot of states within the next 5 years.
    I also think that the bluest of states, like CA, MA, NY, etc. will be the last hold outs of MJ prohibition. Of course it's easy to think that way when those states are constantly trying to ban something, anything will do, just ban something.

  • ||

    "... the bluest of states, like CA, MA, NY, etc. will be the last hold outs of MJ prohibition."

    And when they are the last ones standing on prohibition and you demand from your liberal friends an explanation......it will be pure comedy gold. I can already see the whites of their eyes glaring and the spittle spraying.

  • Hyperion||

    They could just go with the gold standard in excuses, 'They wanted to legalize it, but the Republicans wouldn't let them!'.

    Yeah, right, what Republicans would that be?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    CA and NY will be the last holdouts? Get out of the GOP anti-reality bubble, man!

    The anti-freedom conservative South will be the last holdouts.

    Get a grip.

  • Robert||

    I like the shot at 1:05, which shows literally marijuana over alcohol. However, note that when it comes to Kampia's celebrating, you can't beat booze.

  • Hyperion||

    just in:

    Snow Miser confirmed as SOS. Heat Miser pizzed.

    Check the front page of Drudge. Has there ever been a more punchable face? In all of history?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Hillary passed out and banged her head.

    Sympathy ploy?

    You decide.

  • General Butt Naked||

    What's the dope; was hillary forced out or what?

    I have a feeling that Kerry won't make it through this administration without scandal and disgrace. They're gonna chew him up and spit him out and he'll take the blame for it.

    /predictionblog

  • Hyperion||

    Hitlary bowed out willingly. She has to polish her act for POTUS 2016, because the fan boys are already tired of first black prez and the majority of Americans just cannot get enuf of stoopid. So we need first wiminz prez even if she has to be one of the most disgusting human beings to ever grace the planet.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Hil-Dog won't run.

    It will be Santorum vs Brian Schweitzer in a match up that will return the GOP to its conservative roots.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Did you hear something, Hyper?

    Kinda like a buzzing gnat?

  • Hyperion||

    Yeah, it was our resident Libertarian wannabe, but just can't help being stupid, troll.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I am pulling for the GOP to adopt a libertarian stance on something just to save their sorry asses.

    And bitching about 2 points on the top end is not nearly enough.

  • Hyperion||

    Yeah, right. That is why the GOP have the ONLY Libertarians in either house of Congress, moron.

    You do know that most all of us here criticize the GOP as much as the Dems, don't you? Or is your head so far up your arse that you don't know?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    There are no Libertarians in Congress. None - zero.

    Ron Paul(R) scores highest on the purity test though - I give him that.

  • Hyperion||

    You are so stupid. There is Rand Paul, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie, all of those guys are proven Libertarians.

    Now who is the Dem Libertarians? There aren't any.

    You really don't even want to be taken seriously here, do you? I've about had it with your stupid shit, I try to give everyone a chance, but I think you are only here to troll, really, it's getting old.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    They all ran as Republicans and still have not switched party affiliation.

    You fail.

  • Hyperion||

    Derrrr! That's what I just said, they are Republicans! IDIOT! How many of your progessives are in Congress???? None, they are all Democrats! Meh Gawd, you are ignorant.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No, you called them "proven Libertarians" you train-wreck idiot. It is posted right above this and cannot be edited.

  • RBS||

    Hil-Dog? He probably thinks that texts from Hilary meme was the coolest thing ever created.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Why would someone troll this site?

    The people who comment here are way too smart to engage obvious trolls. Wouldn't the troll get bored rather quickly?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    STFU. I think that the party that moves to libertarianism the most will dominate for the next decade.

    So far VOTERS (not the peanut gallery here) think the Democrats are.

  • Hyperion||

    Well, then switch your blue pom-poms to red, and start your GOP worship now so that you can make us sick by worshipping the other side.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Then A) the voters are stupid, and B) if voters think that the left is more libertarian, the left will have succeeded in nothing but hijacking yet another moniker of freedom and re-appropriated it in their own image. They've already ruined "liberal."

  • BakedPenguin||

    The people who comment here are way too smart to engage obvious trolls. Wouldn't the troll get bored rather quickly?

    Ah, yah kills me, Butt Naked, yah kills me.

  • BakedPenguin||

  • SIV||

    lol

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Hopefully legalization is on 20 more ballots in 2014/16 and Democrats capitalize on even more youth turnout. Obama just told Barbara Walters he won't enforce federal MJ laws in WA and CO.

    The GOP needs to steer the demographic Titanic they are captaining away from the iceberg they are headed to.

  • Hyperion||

    Obama just told Barbara Walters he won't enforce federal MJ laws in WA and CO

    Did you even watch it? That's not what he said, dummy.

    Look, your guy is no friend of liberty, you team-bot. Get it? Put your pom-poms away, and pull your head out of your ass. Are you capable of that? I doubt it. You have consistently proved, by your own words, that you cannot.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Did anyone catch Portlandia last night?

  • Hyperion||

    Is there a new season? I watched the first 6 episodes. I was lmao. I remember the one episode about the couple who wanted to get chicken for dinner.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    There's a new season in Jan. Last night was a Winter special.
    There was a great sketch about gender/sex.

  • Hyperion||

    Before I saw the first episode, I always wondered why my son and his friends in Seattle, called it Portlandia.

    Portland area is beautiful, wow. Most fucked up system of city streets that I have ever seen, you cannot make a left turn on major streets in the city, you need to turn right and go around the block.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...you cannot make a left turn on major streets in the city, you need to turn right and go around the block.

    I have vague memories of New Jersey being like this... hmmm. Manned gas pumps, too... Is Oregon the West coast Jersey?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    That's a bad thing?
    I hate waiting for moron's turning left.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Here's the chicken dinner sketch.

    That show is great, but I only had cable for the first season. Are there more?

    *SPOILER ALERT*

    the chicken's name is colin

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    They are starting 3rd season.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Dang, I didn't even know there was a 2nd season. Gonna have to hit up youtube.

    great show

  • SIV||

    Obama just told Barbara Walters he won't enforce federal MJ laws in WA and CO.

    Cite or STFU Puppet.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics.....M1GXnd0iKQ

    He used soft language like any pol does. Not a "priority" is good enough to let growers know they won't be hit if they keep it small time.

  • Hyperion||

    He used soft language, my ass. He lies. That's what he does best. He's so much like Bush that they should get a room now and shag. I bet you'd love to watch that because you worship authoritah no matter what form it comes in.

  • SIV||

    From shriek's cite:

    While the administration has not prioritized prosecutions of marijuana users and small-scale distributors in states where it's legal, it has not ceased prosecutions altogether. The Justice Department has continued raids on pot providers – including in states where they are legal – in an approach that experts say is more aggressive than Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush.

    Obama's federal marijuana enforcement makes Bush look like a patchouli-stinkin' hippie.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama may hate black people. Seriously. The WOD and sentence discrepancies is one bit of evidence. Also all the whites in his administration.

    What do you think? Does Obama hate the blacks?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Obama hates freedom, fuck nut.

  • SIV||

    Ssssss is on the single side band network on my rabbit ears TV.

    I actually saw this movie in the theater when I was 11.Unfortunately Heather Menzies doesn't get naked.

  • Robert||

    There's SSB TV? Or were you making a joke? If so, I'd like to know what you were referring to.

  • SIV||

    It's a joke. That's what I call the digital broadcast subchannels.

  • ||

    one other positive side effect of the legalization of MJ that i never thought about (but should have).

    dog sniffs.

    NOW, since dogs are trained to detect mj as well as other ILLEGAL drugs, a positive dog sniff cannot be (solely) used as PC to get a warrant?

    why? because the dog could be hitting on entirely legal MJ

    setting aside the efficacy OF the dog sniffs, this makes them no longer the "instant PC" here in WA

    a huge boost to freedom..

    now, a dog sniff in addition ot OTHER drug indicia could lead to pc, like when there was already a fair bit of reasonable suspicion as to another drug, but in brief - dog hit no longer PC to get a warrant (in WA state we need to get a warrant or consent - no motor vehicle exception)

    CO has the m.v warrant exception iirc, but they would still be out of luck doing a search merely based on a dog hit

    big win

  • ||

    why? because the dog could be hitting on entirely legal MJ

    Correct me if I am wrong, Dunphy, but the law allows for a certain amount on a person at any one time, no? (I am not saying I agree with this, just to clarify.) If there is PC based on visual inspection of the suspect, e.g. obviously intoxicated or stoned (or even sleep deprived, as sleep deprived people can exhibit S/S similar to being under the influence), would the "sniff" (first yours if you believe you detected the odour of cannabis, then a dog's if you call for back-up) allow PC to check for amount present concurrent with a suspected DUI stop?

    My question is basically framed in the context of enforcing the amount one can carry at any one time; I guess the most analogous example would be driving with an open container, since how would you know, if you observed someone driving while smoking whether or not the combustible is tobacco or cannabis?

    My thinking is if you pulled over someone, and you detected the odour of booze, then you might have PC for a search and discover some open container not in plain view, and would the same apply to a suspect DUI but you detect schwag smoke instead? Do you have PC to search for an amount on person/in vehicle that may be over the legal limit?

  • American||

    Some people always say that the GOP should move libertarian because it needs to to win. Have they got any shred of evidence for this?

Click here to follow Reason on Instagram

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE