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Ethan Nadelmann

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director July 1, 2013
    In what should be an interesting debate today at the Aspen Ideas Festival today at 12:20 (eastern) Drug Policy Alliance director Ethan Nadelmann is debating former DEA administrator Asa Hutchinson.
    Youtube has live stream starting @ 12:20PM (eastern)
    Having debated Asa numerous times, and having worked with Ethan for twenty years, this is a decidedly unfair debate as Ethan has forgotten more about cannabis policy than Asa will ever know, and Asa brings all of the enthusiasm and intellectual commitment to the debate as a corporate lawyer. His m.o. of  parroting DEA-provided talking points is what I find so disappointing ‘debating’ Asa.

    Having cannabis legalization debated at this venerable Aspen Institute forum is another socio-political ‘tea leaf’ indicative of the mainstream discussion underway to reform cannabis laws.
  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director June 5, 2012

    In an unprecedented and frankly unexpected political move yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held a press conference and announced that he supports legislation to amend and modernize New York’s thirty-four year old cannabis ‘decriminalization’ laws.

    From New York Post

    The state and national press reaction has been both overwhelming and uniformly positive. Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg and long-serving NYPD chief Raymond Kelly, the barely cloaked targets of Cuomo’s actions for their overly aggressive and racially disparate enforcement of cannabis laws in New York City over the last decade, have publicly stated that they too support Governor Cuomo’s call for change in cannabis laws in New York.

    My own speculation is that Governor Cuomo, eying the Democratic nomination to the  U.S. presidency in 2016, wants to properly position himself as a bona fide cannabis law reformer as cannabis law reform is actually a very popular political topic among the American electorate as approximately seventy-five percent of the public supports medical access to cannabis; seventy-three percent support decriminalization cannabis use and possession; and now fifty percent of the public supports outright cannabis legalization.

    You know the end of Cannabis Prohibition is on the near horizon when ascending politicians believe the need for beefing up on their cannabis law reform successes is a necessary prelude to run for president.

    Apparently, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell and Drug Policy Alliance director Ethan Nadelmann agree too with my speculations about Governor Cuomo…

    Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director October 3, 2011

    The Reform Conference is just a month away – have you secured your spot yet?

    Click here to register to attend.

    If you haven’t, you should soon. Booking your travel a month out will save you money. And you won’t want to miss what former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and current California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom have to say at the Opening Plenary!

    The rest of the conference program is packed full with trainings, roundtable discussions addressing controversies within the movement, and panels exploring and sharing innovative approaches to reform challenges. Thursday evening you can stand up for justice at the No More Drug War rally at nearby MacArthur Park, hosted by dozens of local California organizations and emceed by KPFK radio personality Lalo Alcaraz.

    And the activities and highlights don’t stop there…

    Very soon we’ll be announcing three special Mobile Workshops – learning sessions that will take a select group of conference-goers out of the hotel and into the local community.

    You’re also invited to host informal Community Meetings of your own during the conference. These meetings are meant to be your opportunity to organize reformers around action plans. They take place in open session rooms in the mornings, evenings and at lunch.

    What do these Mobile Workshops and Community Meetings have in common? They’re only available to registered conference attendees – and they’ll be limited by space availability!

    So register now…and I’ll see you in Los Angeles!

    Stefanie Jones
    Event Manager
    Drug Policy Alliance

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director April 30, 2011

    Now that the 40th annual NORML conference has concluded and is committed to the history books, the next big organized drug policy conference on the reformer’s calendar is the biennial Drug Policy Alliance’s 2011 International Drug Policy Reform Conference.

    This year’s DPA conference will be held Wednesday, November 2 through Saturday, November 5 in Los Angeles @ The Westin Bonaventure. Over 1,000 reform-minded activists, non-governmental organizations, scholars, government officials, and religious and business leaders are expected to gather to explore and discuss effective and moral alternatives to warring against some drugs—notably marijuana.

    This year’s attendees will have the opportunity to spend three days interacting with people committed to finding alternatives to the war on some drugs while participating in sessions given by leading experts from around the world. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of this event.

    For more information on the DPA conference, scholarships and to enjoy earlybird savings for pre-registering, check out www.reformconference.org

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator October 16, 2009

    This week we’ve seen three usually staid mainstream media outlets – Newsweek Magazine, the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and FOX Business News – examining the growing movement in California and nationwide to discuss the inevitable re-legalization of cannabis in America.  [UPDATE:Apparently the FOX Business Channel (not FOX News) will have a series called “High Noon” beginning Monday at Noon ET / 9am PT.]

    We begin with the PBS NewsHour and their fine report featuring the Honorable Rebecca Kaplan from the Oakland City Council and Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University. For balance (I suppose) they also interview the police chief of El Cerrito, California, who provides the obligatory doses of “reefer madness” at around the 5:00 mark.

    Once again, I have to ask the cop at the end of the piece: How many people who don’t smoke pot now are going to start smoking pot once it is legal, and how much is that going to cost? Whatever it is, make the tax on pot equal to that amount, minus the expenditures we’ll save on not arresting people and sending helicopters on weeding missions, and we’ve covered the costs! (Actually, since Miron estimates that we’d reap in revenues and savings around $14 billion annually from legalized pot nationally, you have to convince us that the brand new legal pot smokers who aren’t already smoking now would cost society more than that.)

    We're still trying to figure out how you inject marijuana (from Newsweek photo essay on pot propaganda)
    We’re still trying to figure out how you inject marijuana (from Newsweek photo essay on pot propaganda)

    That stupid retort that legal weed will cost society more than the taxes only works if you believe that nobody is smoking weed now and suddenly when it’s legal, everyone will smoke weed. 22,000,000 PEOPLE ARE SMOKING WEED THIS YEAR ALREADY! Whatever that costs us as a society, we’re already paying NOW without taking in any tax money!

    Cannabis does not “add another vice” to tobacco and alcohol that costs our society so much more than their taxes bring in. Alcohol and tobacco use create huge medical bills and death. Cannabis does not. With three legal choices and cannabis being obviously safest, we’ll cut costs as people choose it over alcohol and tobacco, and raise tax revenues that are currently going to black marketeers.

    Read more about Newsweek and FOX Business News after the break…
    (more…)

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