Drug War

Just Say Now Aims to Mobilize Pot-Tolerant Voters


Today Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the left-liberal website Firedoglake launched Just Say Now, a campaign aimed at mobilizing young voters to support marijuana legalization. According to a press release from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), "Organizers aim to drive turnout for the mid-terms to support marijuana initiatives on the ballot…in Arizona, Oregon, California, Colorado and South Dakota" and "to get initiatives on the ballot in 2012 presidential battleground states." Firedoglake founder Jane Hamsher says "young people want marijuana to be legalized in overwhelming numbers" and "are much more likely to turn out to vote if marijuana is on the ballot."

Although LEAP says Just Say Now "has united a powerful group of strange bedfellows" and Ryan Grim calls it a "left-right coalition" at The Huffington Post, the cast of characters is pretty familiar to anyone who follows the drug policy reform movement. The campaign's advisory board includes LEAP Executive Director Neill Franklin, former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, Criminal Justice Policy Foundation President Eric Sterling, Scott Morgan of StoptheDrugWar.org and Flex Your Rights, Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald, and Michael Ostrolenk??, co-founder of the Liberty Coalition. The only conservative I see is Bruce Fein, who served in the Justice Department during the Reagan administration and in recent years has distinguished himself as a vigorous critic of the Bush adminstration's extravagant claims to executive power, writing for The Washington Times and Politico.

A little more support from conservatives, as opposed to progressives or libertarians, would be helpful and should not be that hard to arrange (easy for me to say, I know). Prominent conservative critics of marijuana prohibition include syndicated columnist Kathleen Sullivan, several National Review editors, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Republican antiprohibitionists should leap at the chance to bash Barack Obama's record in this area.

Last week I discussed California's marijuana legalization initiative and related polling data.

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  1. Never happen: Obama is counting on the prison guard union vote…

    1. Yeah, he’s definitely not counting on the youth vote, right?

      1. I think that’s all he has left. Anyone who isn’t perpetually stoned and trying to get into the pants of that hot hippy chick has figured out he’s just like the last guy. Just a little more tan.

        Is that racist?

        1. yes, it is racist. any criticism of obama is racist, even more egregiously so because you said “tan”.

  2. For a magazine named Reason…..

    Sorry, but I am half way there and only alcoholics drink alone.

  3. “””A little more support from conservatives, as opposed to progressives or libertarians, would be helpful”””

    It’s a watering hole they just don’t like to drink at. William Buckley tried leading the way over 25 years ago.

    You know what would help more? Quit electing tough on crime candidates.

  4. Firedoglake founder Jane Hamsher says “young people want marijuana to be legalized in overwhelming numbers” and “are much more likely to turn out to vote if marijuana is on the ballot.”

    Interesting. She seems to be treating marijuana legalization purely strategically, as a way to get voters who will vote her way to the polls.

    Much like the Repubs use gay marriage initiatives.

    1. But they are EVIL!!!!

  5. Maybe pro-legalization conservatives aren’t suckery enough to join a crypto-prohibitionist (in that their sloganeering piggybacks on anti-alcohol and anti-tobacco sentiment) TEAM BLUE! vote drive.

    I’d be surprised, but very slightly stranger things have happened.

  6. I’d be curious to see which side of the political fence the LEAP member reside.

    Also, while I would be happy to see more conservatives embrace the fact that decriminalization is essentially a conservative position since it attempts to conserve the use of force by the government to change personal habits, I think the current social stigma is too much for many on that side to over come.

    This isn’t an excuse, as it’s not a good reason to avoid this fight, but when people say “I really just don’t want to stand next to Greenwald” I can’t necessarily disagree with them.

    1. I’ve found the few LEAP members to come from both sides of the fence – the half dozen I met came from union blue collar backgrounds and were nominally democrats but nothing too strident…

      1. I guess that makes me wish that the “side of the fence” was irrelevant for this particular political movement. I know that this isn’t the case and probably never will be, but again…..do I really have to stand next to Hamsher and Greenwald? I mean, jesus that’s almost more than I can stand.

        1. Greenwald is a libertarian on foreign policy and good journalist – and FDL is almost tolerable to a libertarian like me compared to a lot of liberal blogs and yes – you do have to stand with them and a lot of other people left and right if we are to makea dent in this drug war…

          1. So the only thing I have in common with them is the drug war.


  7. Gary Johnson is an adviser to the Students For A Sensible Drug Policy group. As is Noam Chomsky and noted “libertarian Democrat” and HIV-Truther Terry Michael.

  8. Oh god please legalize it. So these fuckers in black outfits stop killing my relatives.

  9. Saying Marijuana is safer than beer or cigarettes has found to be effective among voters – i.e. SAFER success in Colorado, etc. and also true. the FDL folks don’t want beer illegal…

    1. Sfaer?
      How many dogs get shot over a pack of Marlboros or a six-pack of that over-priced, over-hopped,wannabe-homebrew, opaque sludge you cosmotarian fucks are so fond of swilling?

      1. The dogs are shot because of the laws, not the weed. Over-hopped? Is that even possible? Stick to your watery light swill, I’ll stick to my micro brews.

  10. “What do we want?”

    “To be totally mellow!”

    “And when do we want it?”

    “Time is such a linear concept, man, don’t tie us down with that uptight stuff.”

    1. Dave’s not here!

  11. With apologies to Method Man:

    “I was gonna go vote,
    but I got high”

    1. That was AfroMan, Dipshit.

  12. Bruce Fein’s wife Mattie is the Republican nominee for Congress against Mrs. Newsweek (Jane Harman). If you want to move the GOP in a more libertarian direction on drug policy, foreign policy, executive power, and a wide variety of other areas, help her out.

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