The thought of people being arrested for marijuana turns my stomach.
That's why I've spent most of my adult life working to end this wasteful, dangerous and inhumane intrusion into our lives.
We've made a lot of progress since I got involved in 1995, but the big prize -- the first state to legalize adult sales and personal cultivation -- has remained elusive.
On Election Day, Colorado voters will decide exactly that. Amendment 64 is ahead in the polls, but barely. To win, it's going to take everything we've got to reach as many voters as we can with compelling messages. (A more conservative initiative is on the ballot in Washington and it is polling way ahead and is very well-funded.)
If Washington and Colorado make marijuana legal on Election Day it will be the biggest issue story of the entire election. It will mark the most significant positive policy shift in drug policy since the repeal of Alcohol Prohibition.
The day when not a single adult is punished for using a substance that is safer than alcohol is now within reach. And you can be part of making that possible by donating what you can today.
Now is the moment when your donation can make the most difference. Thanks for considering.
What We Need & What You Get
My goal is to raise at least $12,000 in the next few days. Ideally, I'd like to raise $25,000.
The money goes to the Marijuana Policy Project's 501(c)4 lobbying arm which is the main spansor of the ballot initiative. Even though this money won't get processed until just a day or two before election day, they will be keeping track of the donations via this crowdfunding effort and allocating money to the campaign to buy ads in proportion every few days.
Here are some of the ads that your gift will keep on the air:
In this ad, Tony Ryan, a 36-year veteran of the Denver Police Department, explains how we can create safer communities if we have police focus their resources on serious crimes -- not on marijuana arrests. http://tinyurl.com/8eluwjp
This radio ad features former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo, as he explains why he considers marijuana prohibition a failed government program. http://tinyurl.com/8ocf2g8
In the ad, singer Melissa Etheridge explains how the benefits of marijuana she experienced during her battle with breast cancer have led her to believe adults should not be punished for the responsible use of marijuana, and that it should be regulated similarly to alcohol. http://tinyurl.com/8w8uprj
This ad encourages voters to "Vote for Colorado," so that profits from the sale of marijuana go to legitimate Colorado businesses instead of flowing to violent criminals Mexico. http://tinyurl.com/9e8dma9
Here are some of the ways I'd like to thank you for donating:
$25 - Personal thank you from me.
$100 - My Body My Choice: End Marijuana Prohibition tote bag from the Marijuana Policy Project
$250 - Invitation for two to the official campaign Election Night party in Denver on November 6th or I'll take you out to lunch in the Bay Area.
$500 - One ticket to MPP's Bootlegger Ball on November 10th at the William Westefield Mansion in San Francisco.
$1,000 - 2 tickets to MPP's Bootlegger Ball or a set of MPP's Club of 1000 poker chips
$2,500 - Behind the scenes tour of Harborside Health Center and lunch with Steve DeAngelo in Oakland, CA along with no more then 3 other people who give at this level.
$5,000 - 1-on-1 strategy meeting over a meal with MPP's executive director, Rob Kampia in any major U.S. city.
Your gift will help seal the deal on a long fought battle to legalize marijuana in the first state.
Here's the track record of efforts to legalize adult cannabis use:
1972 California 33.5%
2002 Nevad 39.13%
2004 Alaska 44.3%
2006 Colorado 41.08%
2006 Nevada 44.08%
2010 California 46.5%
Could 2012 be the year? You can help decide that by donating today.
If the very coservative intitiative in Washington passes and the Colorado effort falls short then the headlines will be "Mixed Bag for Marijuana". If we win in Colorado, it will mark a major sea change.
Over 1.8 million dollars has been spent on the colorado ballot intiative so far. If we lose, we will have to raise all the money again largely from a similar starting point two to four years from now. But if we raise enough money now to put this over the top not only do we win now, but we go into other states in future years with the wind at our backs. That means it will cost less and progress will happen more quickly. Colorado is the lynchpin. What people like you do in the next few days will have a disporportionate impact on the outcome of history.
The Marijuana Policy Project, founded in 1995, has played a lead role in the passage of more state marijuana policy reforms then any other organization including passing medical marijuana laws through the state legislatures of Vermont, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Delaware and via ballot initiative in Montana, Arizona, Michigan, and Washington, DC. MPP also spearheaded the successful ballot initiative to decriminalize marijuana in Massachusettes.
Other Ways You Can Help
1. Please share this on your social netowrks. Indiegogo has really simple ways that you can spread the word.
2. If you have a skill like massage therapy or professional photography or a vacation rental, etc. that you'd like to offer as a perk that I can offer to people who give at various levels that would be an amazing way to help. Send me a message with your suggestion and how many you would be willing to donate to the effort.
3. Reach out to voters you know in Colorado to make sure they get to the polls and vote yes.
4. Start your own crowdfunding campaign like this. I can help. Let me know.
Thank you for helping to make this world a better place!