Samuel Goldman: For those that don’t know can you please give me a brief history of the Marijuana Policy project ?
Marijuana Policy Project/ Morgan Fox: https://www.mpp.org/about/history/
Samuel Goldman: What sparked your initial interest in marijuana ?
MPP and Morgan: I witnessed the total failure of marijuana prohibition and the collateral consequences it had on otherwise law-abiding citizens.
Samuel Goldman: Your mission statement mentions regulating marijuana like alcohol. How do you envision medical marijuana being regulated ?
MPP and Morgan: Here is our model medical marijuana legislation – https://www.mpp.org/issues/medical-marijuana/model-state-medical-marijuana-bill/
Samuel Goldman: Why is rescheduling marijuana so important ?
MPP and Morgan: Rescheduling will have almost no impact on marijuana policy in practice. Removing marijuana from the CSA schedule and putting it under the purview of an agency like the ATF would dramatically increase state abilities to determine their own marijuana policies and help ensure safe access to recreational consumers and patients. You can read a detailed analysis of this issue by our executive director Rob Kampia here – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-kampia/the-deas-decision-not-to-_b_11573762.html
Samuel Goldman: Are you concerned that the next president will flick the switch on marijuana ?
MPP and Morgan: It is possible, but both candidates have consistently made statements in support of allowing states to determine their own policies and be laboratories of democracy. https://www.mpp.org/2016-presidential-primary-candidates/
Samuel Goldman: What 2016 marijuana policies are you currently involved in ?
MPP and Morgan: While some legislative sessions are already over, MPP is devoting significant resources to ending prohibition in 12 more states by 2019. We’re supporting ballot initiative campaigns to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol in 2016 in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. MPP is also lobbying and building coalitions to regulate marijuana like alcohol in several states that do not have the option of voter initiatives: Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont. In the states where cannabis has not already been decriminalized — New Hampshire and Texas — we are working to achieve that reform first. MPP is also advocating for medical marijuana-related bills in several other states, including Georgia, Louisiana, Nebraska, Texas, and West Virginia.
Samuel Goldman: How can people join your efforts ?
MPP and Morgan: Anyone looking to get involved can go to MPP.org and contact their lawmakers, state and federal, and urge them to support ending marijuana prohibition. https://www.mpp.org/takeaction/contact-legislators/
You can also help our efforts by donating here: https://www.mpp.org/support/donate/
Samuel Goldman: The Minnesota MMJ program is disgusting and unethical. How do you plan on cleaning up the mess ?
MPP and Morgan -I agree that there are problematic aspects of the program, and MPP is working hard to improve patient access and protections. https://www.mpp.org/states/minnesotahow
Samuel Goldman: How will you prevent future states from implementing the same program ?
MPP and Morgan -You can’t really prevent states from passing such laws, but we consistently work with state lawmakers to ensure that medical marijuana programs are effective.
Where can people find your organization online ?