The Marijuana Policy Project
Take Action to Reform the Marijuana Laws ... with the MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT.
There have been more than ten million marijuana arrests in the United States since 1965.
The 1994 total of 481,098 marijuana arrests was the highest in U.S. history. That's one arrest every 66 seconds!
And the criminal penalties for marijuana are often far more damaging than the use of the substance itself:
bail money * attorney fees * court costs * fines * property forfeiture * life-long criminal records ... and prison.Every year, tens of thousands of nonviolent, productive, otherwise law-abiding citizens are locked in cages with the most dangerous criminals in our society.
More than 35,000 marijuana offenders are in prison or jail right now. (http://www.mpp.org/arrest94.html)
Altogether, taxpayers spend nearly $8 billion a year to hunt down, arrest, try, and incarcerate marijuana consumers.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in January 1995 to lobby for marijuana law reform on the federal level. The MPP serves to develop and promote policies to minimize the harm associated with marijuana. (http://www.mpp.org/mission.html)
The present marijuana laws and policies cause more problems than they solve. The MPP argues that marijuana prohibition should be replaced by reasonable regulations and restrictions.
The MPP has filled a long-standing void as the first organization in more than a decade to serve primarily as a federal marijuana law-reform lobby.
Thus far, the MPP has focused on reducing federal sentences for marijuana cultivation and lobbying Congress and the Clinton administration to make marijuana legally available for medicinal uses.
The MPP was successful in helping to change the federal sentencing guidelines, which allowed 950 marijuana prisoners to apply for early release and which will ensure shorter sentences for thousands more in years to come. (http://www.mpp.org/nov1vict.html)
We need your support! You can be an important part of the anti-prohibition movement for freedom, justice and compassion.
The MPP is working to chip away at the excesses of the current prohibitionist policies, gradually replacing them with reasonable regulations.
The MPP is pursuing four priority goals:
(1) REFORMING FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES (http://www.mpp.org/guidelines.html)
(2) PAVING THE WAY FOR FDA APPROVAL OF MARIJUANA AS A PRESCRIPTION DRUG (http://www.mpp.org/FDA.html)
- In 1995, the MPP worked with Families Against Mandatory Minimums to persuade the U.S. Sentencing Commission to amend the formula for determining marijuana cultivation sentences to more accurately reflect the weight of the plants.
- THE MPP PREVAILED. The commission voted unanimously in favor of the amendment, which became law on November 1, 1995. In many cases this change reduces the severity of prison sentences by more than two years for people who grow more than 49 plants.
- The MPP then submitted seven new amendments and proposals which the U.S. Sentencing Commission is considering as part of its current guidelines simplification process. (http://www.mpp.org/newamnds.html)
(3) BUILDING SUPPORT FOR MEDICINAL MARIJUANA LEGISLATION (http://www.mpp.org/building.html)
- Only eight Americans currently have permission to use marijuana for medicine, through a program now closed to all new applicants. A pending medicinal marijuana research project would investigate marijuana's utility in treating AIDS wasting syndrome. Such research is a necessary step toward eventual FDA approval of marijuana as a prescription drug.
- The study design has already been approved by the FDA. However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has thus far refused to provide the necessary marijuana. The MPP has been lobbying the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Congress to compel NIDA to stop blocking the research.
(4) MODIFYING NEW CRIME LEGISLATION IN CONGRESS (http://www.mpp.org/crimebills.html)
- The MPP has been lobbying Congress to reschedule marijuana to allow doctors to prescribe it. In November 1995, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank introduced legislation (H.R. 2618) that would accomplish this.
- The MPP has been visiting congressional offices to stimulate support for this bill and organizing grassroots lobbying efforts among constituents. SEVENTEEN MEMBERS OF CONGRESS HAVE SINCE CO-SPONSORED THE BILL. (http://www.mpp.org/2618cosp.html)
- Republican members of the House and Senate introduced crime bills in January 1995. The MPP scrutinized the bills and distributed thorough analyses to all Senate offices and D.C.-based organizations with drug policy interests.
- The MPP is working with a D.C.-based criminal justice working group to defeat or modify the harmful marijuana-related provisions of all new crime bills.
The MPP's daily activities typically include:
- direct lobbying in congressional offices
- testifying before National Institutes of Health panels and the U.S. Sentencing Commission
- monitoring and analyzing legislation and preparing position papers
- compiling and examining state and federal marijuana laws
- attending congressional hearings
- researching marijuana policy implications and preparing reports
- giving media interviews
- meeting, networking, and developing strategy with drug policy reform groups and other allies
- writing and distributing news releases and letters-to-the-editor
- preparing brochures and pamphlets
- developing and expanding the organization.
"The MPP has arrived on the Washington stage at the right time. After a quick start-up, they are having a real impact on policymakers." -- Eric E. Sterling, J.D., counsel, House Judiciary Committee, 1979-1989 "As a person with AIDS wasting syndrome, I find the work of the MPP vital to me and to the thousands of others who have found marijuana an effective and important tool in our therapeutic arsenal. MPP leads this fight against an irrational and politically motivated policy." -- Kiyoshi Kuromiya, member of the NIH AIDS Research Program Evaluation Working Group "I have been extremely gratified to see the MPP working in effective collaboration with DPF and a variety of other reform organizations. Not only do they work hard, but they know the issues and how to craft their arguments." -- David Condliffe, executive director, Drug Policy Foundation
HOW TO SUPPORT THE MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT:
To support the MPP's work and receive the bimonthly (hard-copy) newsletter, "Marijuana Policy Report," please send $25.00 annual membership dues to:
Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) P.O. Box 77492 Capitol Hill Washington, D.C. 20013 202-462-5747 TEL 202-232-0442 FAX INFO@MPP.ORG http://www.mpp.org
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