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MPP Challenges Attorney General Brown to Debate Failed Anti—Marijuana Program

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MPP Challenges Attorney General Brown to Debate Failed Anti—Marijuana Program

Record Plant Seizures Increase Crime and Violence, Haven't Deterred Marijuana Use, Reform Group Charges

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- With California's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) poised to set a new record for plant seizures with no discernible effect on marijuana availability or use, the Marijuana Policy Project today challenged Attorney General Jerry Brown, who oversees CAMP, to debate whether the program is worth continuing.

"Every year in late October or early November, the Attorney General announces a record number of plant seizures and pretends that it means something, but the achievement is entirely phony," said Bruce Mirken, MPP's San Francisco-based director of communications. "It's just like saying, 'Our crew set a record by bailing 200 gallons of water out of the Titanic,' while ignoring the fact that the ship still sank. Rather than the usual press release that pretends to see success amid overwhelming evidence of failure, we're challenging Mr. Brown to provide evidence that CAMP actually accomplishes anything useful.

"All the evidence we've seen indicates that CAMP only makes things worse," Mirken continued. "After a 1,200 percent increase in plant seizures over the last decade, marijuana was California's number one cash crop in 2006, and cultivation by criminal gangs in the most dangerous and environmentally sensitive locations, such as national parks and forests, has skyrocketed.

"CAMP is simply a welfare program for drug war bureaucrats. If we really wanted to take control of marijuana and end the problems associated with illicit marijuana cultivation, we'd regulate marijuana like we do wine. There's a reason you never hear of criminal gangs planting vineyards in our national forests."

In order to accommodate the attorney general's busy schedule, MPP has offered to have the debate at a time and location of Mr. Brown's choosing. The full text of MPP's letter to Brown follows this release.

With more than 23,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit Marijuana Policy Project - Home.

TEXT OF LETTER FAXED TO JERRY BROWN TODAY:

Attorney General Jerry Brown

By FAX

Oct. 17, 2007

Dear Attorney General Brown,

I am writing on behalf of the Marijuana Policy Project and also as a lifelong Californian to challenge you to a public debate and discussion of California's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP), which is overseen by your office. As your schedule is busy, we are happy to have this discussion at any time or location that is convenient for you, so long as it is readily accessible to the public and the media.

We are issuing this challenge because press reports indicate that when this year's numbers are tallied, CAMP will have continued the near-exponential growth it has logged recently, with an approximately 1,200 percent increase in plant seizures over the past decade. Given this huge increase, this is an appropriate time to assess what this effort is actually accomplishing. Specifically, we invite you to present evidence that CAMP has:

**Reduced the availability of marijuana in California.

**Reduced the numbers of illicit marijuana growers and their profits.

**Reduced the cultivation of marijuana in dangerous or environmentally sensitive locations, such as national parks, forests, and private homes.

**Decreased the involvement of criminal gangs in marijuana production and distribution.

**More effectively curbed misuse of marijuana, including availability to young people, than would a system of regulation and taxation like those now used to control alcohol and tobacco.

It is our belief, based on the publicly available evidence, that CAMP has done none of these things, and in fact has worsened most problems associated with marijuana cultivation. But if you have data that proves us wrong, we are sure you will be willing to present it publicly and engage in this long-overdue discussion of marijuana policy.

You or your staff can phone me at my San Francisco office anytime to discuss this matter, 415-668-6403. Thanks in advance.

Sincerely,

Bruce Mirken

Director of Communications

Marijuana Policy Project

Source: MPP
Copyright: MPP 2007
Contact: info@mpp.org
Website: Marijuana Policy Project - Press Releases Frontpage Content Listing
 
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