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January 2009
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The Change.org suggestion section now has the ability to rank suggestions for developing a campaign to promote the winning ideas. Unfortunately, there are tons of pages of suggestions for the Legalize the Medicinal and Recreational Use of Marijuana.
But if you have time to wade through all the suggestions that aren’t really suggestions, try doing some up and down ranking to bring the better ideas to the top.
Here are three suggestions I made:

[currently on page 25 – these will get moved back further as more suggestions are added]
We have to provide cover for Congress. The thing that scares them most is the 30-second ad saying “My opponent is soft on drugs/crime.” Or “My opponent wants children to smoke pot.”
One approach is to be turn around the “tough on drugs” mantra and be “smart on drugs.”
It also helps to focus on regulation as a way to reduce the problems of drugs. If marijuana abuse can be a problem, then why is it unregulated?
TV ad: “Who do you want deciding if your child is old enough to use marijuana? Him?” [image of a drug dealer on a school corner] “Or them?” [Image of doctors and police.] “Regulate and tax medicinal and recreational marijuana. Stop putting the criminals in charge of it.”

I also figured that a lot of folks may have missed the stories about Howard and Misty, and more could never hurt.

[Currently on page 18]
Work with LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) on this campaign. Having a group picture of law enforcement officers supporting legalization is a very powerful image for the people we need to reach.
Additionally, Howard Wooldridge is a great icon for legalization. A LEAP member with a beautiful horse named Misty and a cowboy hat and a shirt that reads “Cops Say Legalize Drugs. Ask Me Why.” His wife has a bumper sticker reading “Moms Say Legalize Pot” Howard rode across the country on Misty engaging people with that question. And now he walks the halls of Congress trying to change the laws. He would make a great story.

Finally, this idea — which I really like and may try to do something about regardless.

[currently on page 16]
Possible idea for a rotating ad campaign (could work with print or electronic media):
Ad#1: [Image of DEA agents with guns hacking down marijuana plants in a national forest]. “Why don’t we see tobacco being grown by criminals in national forests?” … [Image of tobacco field and farmer] “Because it’s legal.” [Tag] Legalize and regulate medicinal and recreational marijuana. Take it out of the hands of the criminals.
Ad#2: [Image of drug dealer on schoolyard] “Why don’t we see whisky dealers hanging around schoolyards?” … [Image of liquor store with a ‘We Card’ sign] “Because it’s legal.” [Tag] Legalize and regulate medicinal and recreational marijuana. Take it out of the hands of the criminals.
Ad #3: [Image of marijuana and various other drugs (cocaine, heroine, etc.) displayed by a drug dealer] “Why isn’t coffee considered a gateway drug?” [Image of a coffee shop] “Because it’s legal.” [Tag] Legalize and regulate medicinal and recreational marijuana. Take it out of the hands of the criminals.
Ad #4: [Image of a person in a wheelchair on a seedy street corner scoring some pot] “Why don’t people have to buy aspirin from dealers on the street?” [Image of a drug store] “Because it’s legal.” [Tag] Legalize and regulate medicinal and recreational marijuana. Take it out of the hands of the criminals.

I’ve started searching for some good royalty-free stock photos that could be used for an ad campaign like this (in particular, I’d love to get one of DEA chopping down marijuana field in a forest, but any news photos like that would be copyrighted. I’m also looking for a liquor store counter where I could photoshop in a “We Card” sign)
….
Also, if you’ve actually joined Change.org, there’s a lot of other things you can do at that site. For instance, if you’ve joined the Criminal Justice Cause, you could take action on End Federal Raids on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries by sending a letter to the President. Or you could support Law Enforcement Against Prohibition or other non-profit organizations.

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