MPP Accepts Drug Czar's Debate Challenge

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by RMJL, Sep 20, 2003.


    MPP Accepts Drug Czar's Debate Challenge
    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) today responded to White House Drug Czar John Walters' call for "a national debate" on marijuana policy by offering to debate the drug czar on national television as soon as possible.

    Walters, who has repeatedly avoided debates or joint appearances with representatives of MPP and other drug policy reform organizations, issued the challenge during a September 10 press conference in Seattle. Walters used the press conference to denounce Initiative 75, a measure to make arrest and prosecution of personal marijuana possession the lowest priority for Seattle police and prosecutors. As reported in today's Seattle Weekly, Walters told the press conference, "the real issue is, should we legalize marijuana? Let's have a national debate about that."

    In a letter faxed to Walters' office this morning, MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia wrote, "You were absolutely right when you told your Seattle audience that marijuana policy has never been properly and thoroughly debated in this country. ... I have no doubt that -- once armed with all the facts -- the American people will make wise choices."

    To read the full text of the letter, please see

    "We have been trying to debate John Walters since he took office, and he's refused every time," Kampia said. "If our nation's drug czar is finally ready for an honest debate about marijuana prohibition, I'm ready to meet him anywhere, anytime."

    Walters has made a crusade against marijuana the signature issue of his tenure in office, saturating the airwaves with commercials linking marijuana to teen pregnancy, date rape, and gun violence. But such efforts appear to be failing: The PRIDE Survey of teen drug use, released September 3, showed sharp increases in adolescent use of both marijuana and hard drugs in the past year, particularly among junior high students.

    With more than 13,000 members nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP works to minimize the harm associated with marijuana -- both the consumption of marijuana and the laws that are intended to prohibit such use. MPP believes that the greatest harm associated with marijuana is imprisonment. To this end, MPP focuses on removing criminal penalties for marijuana use, with a particular emphasis on making marijuana medically available to seriously ill people who have the approval of their doctors. For more information, please visit



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