Loading

Lawrence O’Donnell

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director June 17, 2013

    There are four new videos worth checking out, two provide comic relief…two provide contrasting views about cannabis prohibition.

    The same day last week I caught a CNN news piece about high school science students sending and recording an egg with a smiley face launched into space, I received something way cooler:

    The first earth-grown cannabis launched into space (unless the US and Russian governments have been ferrying cannabis into space all these years…).

    From our friends at High Times:

    *Proviso: While ‘space’ cannabis is neat, driving while consuming cannabis is an unwise safety and legal decision in all 50 states.

    In what you knew would be a confrontational interview, former Congressman and SAM spokesman Patrick Kennedy bravely goes into the wheelhouse of one of America’s most ardent pro-cannabis supporters: comedian, TV host and NORML Advisory Board member Bill Maher.

    The results. As expected. Kennedy came on larding his advocacy with a plethora of old and/or taken out of context ‘science’ claiming that he used to think ‘pot was not a big deal’, but now has learned otherwise. When confronted by Maher that Kennedy’s anti-cannabis advocacy is misplaced and that his rhetoric sounds like a barely warmed over “Just Say No’  rant from the 1980s, Kennedy claims newly gained insights:

    Really? If this is true–Mr. Kennedy used to think cannabis no big deal and he possess new insight into why prohibition should go on another seventy five years?–the long-serving former state representative and congressman from Rhode Island, with no public or legislative record record indicating anything other than rote support for cannabis prohibition, certainly never conveyed to his constituents or media that he thought cannabis was ‘no big deal’.

    And this new insight that he claims to have gained…might this have come from the ardently anti-cannabis legalization drug rehabilitation industry that Mr. Kennedy is not only had a client of because of his own alcohol and prescription drug abuse, but that he has always been closely associated with this rarely observed side of the pot prohibition perpetuation machinery in Washington,  D.C.?

    Currently, probably living with the real fear that the government will stop bring clients to them forced with the Hobson’s Choice of ‘rehab’ or to get criminally prosecuted, and to often have the government pick up the financial tab, one of the last (and obvious) proponents for the status quo to maintain the government’s failed cannabis prohibition are some active quarters of the ‘drug rehabilitation’ industry.

    Where this newly formed SAM gets its funding (the group appears to be mainly a front group for drug rehabbers and anti-tobacco advocates) will help largely answer the questions: Who likely benefits from cannabis prohibition? Who wants to keep the prohibition policy going, when a majority of the American public no longer does?

    A now nearly regular featured anti-prohibition satirist who specializes in using popular music video parodies to make fun of pot prohibition (and advance his political career in Miami Beach, Florida), Steve Berke has forwarded NORML another of his unique takes:

    Also, Steve is trying to now produce a documentary movie. If you like his style and how is he is trying to shake up Miami Beach’s political scene, check out his new KickStarter campaign here.

    Lastly, and appropriately, the TV originator of the “Last Word’ (a nightly segment on MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Show), gets the last word on the absurdity and inevitable collapse of cannabis prohibition in America.

    Watch O’Donnell’s powerful indictment against the federal government’s continued support for the failed public policy of cannabis prohibition here.

  • 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 November 18, 2011

    THE BEST 4 MINUTES ABOUT MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION YET SPOKEN—Do your part—Help this piece go viral! G.R.

    By George Rohrbacher, NORML Board of Directors, medical marijuana patient

    In the decade that I’ve been on NORML’s board, I’ve worked with scores of bright, accomplished and passionate advocates for ending America’s 74-years of marijuana prohibition. Like never before, these voices are building into a chorus calling for the end of this cruel prohibition, whose penalties are suffered most by the poor, the young and people of color. This disastrous prohibition has led to the arrest of over 22 million Americans on marijuana charges since 1965.

    Last week, dripping with irony, at the very same time the Obama Administration was stiffing the American public’s most popular action petition (for marijuana legalization) and was declaring all-out war on medical marijuana through the DOJ, IRS, etc., at this very same moment in history, we saw the huge verification of the success of NORML’s steady approach, the fruit of decades of work changing public opinion on subject of pot legalization. FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1969, WHEN GALLUP POLLS STARTED ASKING THE QUESTION—50% OF AMERICANS NOW BELIEVE MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGAL!!

    Reflecting on achieving this auspicious milestone of public opinion, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell gives America the very best 4 min. on marijuana legalization we have ever heard. He asks the question, how public opinion could have grown to 50%, while support in the US Senate for legalization still stays at 0%. How, he asks, can America’s politicians, law enforcement and judges callously stand by while millions of young lives are wrecked by marijuana prohibition?

    O’Donnell, formerly chief of Staff for the Senate Finance Committee, has gone toe-to-toe with the movers and shakers in government many times before. But this time, on the subject of marijuana legalization, O’Donnell does some of his finest work. With arguments as razor-sharp as a battle axe, he relentlessly chops away at the system that gives us marijuana prohibition and enforced by alcohol-sodden public officials stewing in hypocrisy. O’Donnell’s piece should be linked to all marijuana-related communications you send out in the coming year, sent to everyone on your email list, every single public official.

    Please, help this piece go VIRAL, where it belongs!