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National and International Organizers To Meet with Local Organizers Sunday
December 10

Contact: Scott Logan of The Hemp Company in Desert Hot Springs
at 329-3358 or page Lanny Swerdlow at 836-8166.


December 9, 2000

Since 1996, opponents of marijuana prohibition have been marching during
the first week of May to demand the decriminalization of marijuana and
enactment of medical marijuana laws. Beginning with a solitary march in New
York City, it grew to 30 cities in 1999 and 105 cities in 2000 with marches
numbering from a few hundred in small cities to tens of thousands in major
metropolitan areas. In 2001, organizers hope to have marches staged in
almost 500 cities and have undertaken a nationwide tour to help local
people with organization of a march in their communities.

Begun over 30 years ago by President Richard Nixon, governmental agencies
created by the war on drugs have sought to keep information about the
problems caused by drug prohibition from the public. However, the sheer
number of people whose lives have been affected by these laws has grown to
such huge numbers that the government no longer controls the flow of
information. The purpose of the Space Odyssey 2001 Marijuana Prohibition
March is to bring these facts to the attention of the public and organize
opponents of marijuana prohibition to engage the public and politicians in
an open discussion of this issue.

The meeting on Sunday, December 10 at 6 p.m. will provide information to
local community members on how to publicize and stage a local march and how
to coordinate with the hundred's of marches to be held throughout the world
on Saturday, May 5, 2001.
The meeting will be held at The Hemp Company, a store located in Desert Hot
Springs at 12327 Palm Drive. All interested people are invited to attend
and learn about the upcoming worldwide march and how they can help organize
and participate in the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley march.

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December 9, 2000

Meeting with local activists is Shane Collins, the main organizer of the
march in London England and a member of the Green Party's Drug Policy
Reform Group. Also meeting with local activists is Danny Rodriguez, a
representative of Cures-Not Wars in New York City and also a director of
the New York City Marijuana Buyer's Cooperative. Two other representatives
from the New York march are also part of the team.

The organizers are traveling throughout the country and have just come from
organizational meetings in Arizona and New Mexico. While in New Mexico they
met with Dennis Miller, advisor on drug policy to Governor Gary Johnson.
Governor Johnson is one of a growing number of elected officials seeking
the reform of our nation's drug laws and the legalization of marijuana for
personal use.

Every year marijuana prohibition costs the United States tens of billions
of dollars to imprison and pursue citizens who, except for their use of
this ancient naturally occurring herb, are law abiding and productive
citizens. Tens of millions of American citizens use marijuana every year.
Unlike the legal substances of alcohol and tobacco in which there are over
1/2 million deaths a year, there is not one recorded death in the medical
literature due to marijuana use.

Reform of the nation's drug laws are occurring by the direct vote of the
people in state after state where initiative petitions placed on ballots
are being passed by margins that politicians only dream of for their own
personal campaigns. Ten states have passed laws legalizing marijuana for
medical use. A number of states such as California have reduced possession
of small amounts of marijuana to non-criminal offenses with small fines.
California has followed Arizona's lead and recently passed an initiative
petition that mandates non-violent drug offenders to receive treatment
instead of being sent to prison. Free wheeling drug forfeiture laws are
being reigned in and put under strict controls.

More and more politicians are recognizing the folly of the nation's war on
drugs and have rightly concluded that the public is way ahead of the
politicians on the need for reform. This recognition runs from police
departments and local officials all the way to the nation's highest elected
office. Even though the number of yearly arrests by the federal government
for possession of marijuana increased from 250,000 to 700,000 during
President Clinton's two terms in office, the President recently told
Rolling Stone Magazine that he supports marijuana decriminalization.

"I think that most small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in
some places, and should be." President Bill Clinton, Rolling Stone
Magazine, Issue 858/859, December 28, 2000/January 4, 2001.

Many Coachella Valley residents support these reforms and now they are
beginning to organize.