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Marijuana And The Democratic National Convention


democratic national convention marijuana harold and kumarDemocrats, And Political Observers Of All Persuasions, Will See A Yes On 64 Campaign Ad During The Democratic National Convention

Despite being ignored and trivialized by both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, marijuana law reform will not be ignored during this year’s Democratic National Convention.  In spite of the deafening silence from the two major presidential candidates, marijuana will be an issue during this year’s general election campaign as marijuana legalization will be on the ballot in Washington, Oregon and the crucial swing-state of Colorado while medical marijuana measures will be placed before the voters in Massachusetts, Arkansas and Montana.

Colorado activists, hoping to regulate marijuana like alcohol, will air a campaign ad for Amendment 64 during the Democratic National Convention.  Recent polls demonstrate that Colorado voters support ending cannabis prohibition and may very well be poisedto end the failed policy this November.  Concentrating on the common-sense notion that cannabis is safer than alcohol, the Yes on 64 ad, “It’s Time” starts with President Obama’s famous “Beer Summit.”  The ad:

President Obama, on the other hand, appears to be hoping to solidify his young base, that overwhelmingly supports ending cannabis prohibition, by utilizing John Cho and Kal Penn in promoting DNC coverage.  Cho and Penn star in the Harold & Kumar movie series, popular with the cannabis community.  Unfortunately, for President Obama, cannabis law activists arenot pleased with the President courting the cannabis community while waging a federal war against medical cannabis that exceeds the scope of his predecessor , George W. Bush. Hopefully, the use of Harold and Kumar signifies that President Obama will evolve on marijuana policy if he gets a second term, but cannabis reform activists certainly aren’t holding their collective breath.

Tom Angell, media relations director for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) was quoted by the Denver Westword Blog voicing his displeasure with President Obama’s marijuana policy and his use of Cho and Penn,  ”Under Obama’s marijuana policies, Harold and Kumar could easily be two of the 850,000 marijuana arrests that happen in this country every year. See also: young Barry Obama during his Choom Gang days. If the rampant marijuana arrest policies that Obama’s federal grant programs now fund had gotten to them at some point, it’s pretty safe to assume they wouldn’t be going to Charlotte to witness any balloon drops this week.”

The President’s DNC promo featuring Harold & Kumar:

Whether marijuana continues to be trivialized by the two mainstream candidates, it is clear that cannabis law reform is a serious political issue that will not go away. Sooner or later, or national policy leaders will be forced to tackle the issue as activists and voters at the local and state level will always ensure that cannabis law reform remains at the forefront of every election cycle until the failed policy of prohibition is finally repealed.

Published with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri.

As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties.

You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. This is causing much head scratching amoung us stoners. We estimate there are 15 to 25 million of us in this country. 15 to 25 MILLION VOTES INSTANTLY to the democratic or republican candidate who comes out in support of legalizing marijuana. Golly gosh, in a close race we could damn well be the clincher. I wonder if that has crossed the mind of either? I would think that in 2012 we, the stoners, have sort of reached critical mass and to ignore us would be a very, very stupid thing to do. We shall see. Arresting and criminalizing almost a million of our sons and daughters every year has gotten so 1930ish, perhaps it is time for a change. Perhaps 70+ years of prohibition never worked at all except to alienate almost an entire nation against it’s government. Perhaps the time has arrived in this country where being on the fence on this issue will cost you a vote or two. We shall see.

  2. YOU are not kidding! I’ll fall out of my leopard-print snuggie if he calls for legalization at the DNC… then I’ll do a dance… then I’ll faint… then I’ll wake up… and dance again.

    But I’m not dusting off my dancing shoes. I think it’s a cheap ploy to get us to vote for him. He did it to us once and it worked… We just have to have faith that our fellow marijuana advocates will not be sheep a second time.

  3. This is Obama going through his Lucy routine. — “C’mon and kick the ball, Charlie Brown. I PROMISE I won’t pull it away this time!”

  4. Thinking Clearly on

    If President Barack Obama is planning a big announcement in favor of the legalization of marijuana at the up and coming DNC, Harold and Kumar are the perfect choices.

    On the other hand, if President Barack Obama has no such intentions, his choice of speakers in going to Harold and Kumar represents a slap in the face to every medical marijuana patient or recreational user. Its a slap in the face to the more than 50% of Americans who favor some form of marijuana legalization. Its in poor taste and it does not sit well with me.

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