Marijuana advocates launch video campaign targeting Rep. Lamar Smith

By Eric W. Dolan
Sunday, July 3, 2011 12:26 EDT
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The marijuana advocacy website 420petition.com and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) have teamed up to launch a video campaign aimed at House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX).

Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced legislation to the U.S. House of Representatives in June that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana, allowing each state to propose and enforce its own marijuana laws without federal interference.

But Rep. Smith, head of the House committee that needs to approve the bill, has vowed to kill it. He said “decriminalizing marijuana will only lead to millions more Americans becoming addicted to drugs and greater profits for drug cartels.”

NORML and 420petition.com launched the “Give Pot A Chance” campaign so that people all across the country can create videos urging Rep. Smith to give the bill a hearing.

“NORML and our supporters decided to reach out to Representative Smith this month and let him know we considered HR 2306 sound public policy,” said NORML Communications Coordinator Erik Altieri. “Instead of addressing the concerns of the general public, Smith removed his page from Facebook and wiped it clean of any and all comments posted in support of the bill. Why is Rep. Smith ignoring the will of the people on this issue?”

The campaign allows people to go to 420petition.com and submit their personal video responses to Rep. Smith.

“Lamar Smith, has provided both cannabis law reformers and the general public a typical up-close view of why the US Congress—the creator of Cannabis Prohibition laws in 1937 and later the Controlled Substances Act of 1970—rarely seems to work the way it was intended,” said NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre. “One person, either ignorant or uninformed, can block consideration of a controversial political issue if he or she wishes to do so.”

HR 2306 would limit the federal government to enforcing cross-border or inter-state smuggling laws, and allow people to grow, possess, use or sell marijuana in states where it is legal to do so.

An ABC News poll found last year that eight in 10 Americans favor legalizing medical marijuana.

Use of the drug as recommended by doctors is currently permitted in 16 states and Washington, D.C.

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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