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Progressive Telemarketing

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Starting on the morning of Nov. 20, pre-recorded phone calls were placed
to every voter in the Congressional districts of Wally Herger (R,
Chico/Marysville), Elton Gallegly (R, Simi Valley), Joe Baca (D, San
Bernardino), and David Wu (D, Portland, Oregon). The targeted
representatives had all voted against a bill -HR 2799, known as the
Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment- that would have cut funding for DEA raids in
states that have medical marijuana laws. The four Congressmen also represent
districts where patients and caregivers have been victimized by the feds.

So in 600,000 households the phone rings and the constituent picks it up
and hears, "Hi. I'm Marney Craig and I just convicted an innocent man. I was
one of the jurors in a medical marijuana trial and we were hoodwinked by
the federal prosecutors. They told us Ed Rosenthal was a drug kingpin when
in fact he was appointed by the city of Oakland to provide medical marijuana
to patients.

"Your Congressman, Wally Herger, had a chance to end this federal
deception -but he voted to let it continue. Please join us in the fight to
help our most vulnerable citizens- possibly even your own loved ones. Talk
to your friends and associates about the mistake Congressman Herger is
making. Believe me, one person can make a huge difference.

"Thanks so much for caring."

Or, "Hi. I'm Angel Raich. I'm a medical marijuana patient, and your
Congressman, Wally Herger, is threatening my life. My weight has dropped to
98 pounds and my doctor says that marijuana is keeping me alive. But even
though it's legal in California, Congressman Herger is supporting the
federal government's war on patients like me. They refuse to even let our
caregivers use the words 'medical marijuana' in their

"Please join us in the fight to help our most vulnerable citizens
- -possibly even your own loved ones. Talk to your friends and associates
about the mistake Congressman Herger is making.

"Thanks for caring."

The whole pitch takes about two minutes.

At a Nov. 20 press conference to publicize the phone-call effort,
organizer Steph Sherer of Americans for Safe Access expressed hope that
constituents would respond by telling their Congressmen to reconsider their
positions on medical marijuana. "We hope the congressmen realize how strong
public support is," she said.

Although the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment was defeated in Congress, the
152 'yes' votes -almost all from Democrats- seemed like a win to drug-policy
reformers. "The same amendment failed to make it to the floor for a vote in
the last session," Sherer observed.

She also called on the targeted Congressmen to "support patients in=
district by co-signing House bills HR 1717, also known as the Truth and
Trials Act, or 'Ashley's Bill' [which is] named after the nine-year-old
daughter of Brian Epis, who is serving a 10-year federal sentence for
growing medicinal marijuana. Ashley lives in Wally Herger's district. And HR
2233 the States' Right to Medical Marijuana Act.

Sherer said that if the Congressmen aren't moved by the phone campaign, "We
have developed a series of ads that we're hoping we won't have to use, to
move these congressmen into line with their constituents."

The logistical aspects of the telemarketing project were handled by a Los
Angeles firm called Left Bank Solutions. The cost, according to Sherer, was
"under $100,000 and the money came from our membership."

C-Notes polled the staff at Biblomania, the used-book store at 18th and
Telegraph in Oakland, as to the impact of the nearby cannabis clubs on their
business. "They don't read," said the gent, flatly. "Sometimes they come in
to wait," said the lady, "while a friend is making a purchase." She nodded
in the direction of Telegraph. "And sometimes they'll buy a book." This
poll has a margin-of-error of =B150%.

Anderson Valley Advertiser 11/29
by Fred Gardner