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NYC Activists Call for a Safer St. Patrick’s Day

Over the past several years, SAFER has used the alcohol-fueled mayhem surrounding St. Patrick’s Day to highlight the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol. Click HERE and HERE to see news stories about them. This year, a group of activists in New York City are carrying the torch by calling on the city to allow partygoers to make the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol that day, if that is what they prefer. Their press release is after the jump, or read it on-line at the FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 11, 2011 MARIJUANA REFORM ADVOCATES CALL FOR A SAFER ALTERNATIVE TO ALCOHOL FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY WHEN: St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17th, 2011 at high noon WHERE: City Hall Park – Broadway between Park Place and Barclay (east side) WHO: Empire State NORML and numerous speakers (see list below): WHAT: Rally and Press Conference On March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day) at high noon, Empire State NORML (the New York State chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)) will remind New Yorkers that marijuana is a safer alternative to alcohol for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. “While scores of New Yorkers are out getting hammered, we want to remind the Big Apple that there is a safer, greener and cleaner choice for adults: marijuana,” said Doug Greene, Legislative Director of Empire State NORML, who organized the event for the first time in 2010. “In an era of budget cuts and worsening public health, why is the Bloomberg administration driving New Yorkers to drink while spending tens of millions of dollars per year arresting peaceful, healthy cannabis consumers? New York City made over 50,000 marijuana possession arrests last year alone, and over 500,000 since 1996,” said Greene. Marijuana arrests are 15% of all arrests in New York City. The NYPD is now jailing people for marijuana possession at the rate of nearly 1,000 arrests a week. With 2.7% of the U.S. population, New York City represents 6% of nationwide marijuana arrests. Greene was first inspired to organize “Marijuana is SAFER” events after reading the book of the same name (subtitled “So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?), co-authored by Paul Armentano, the Deputy Director of NORML, by Mason Tvert, Executive Director of SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation) and by Steve Fox, Director of State Campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project. Speakers include: · Dr. Julie Holland, a nationally recognized authority on drugs and drug safety, who has appeared multiple times on Today. She is the author of “Weekends at Bellevue” (which may be coming to TV on Fox this fall ) and editor of “The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis” and “Ecstasy: The Complete Guide.” · Dr. Harry Levine, Professor of Sociology at CUNY Queens College, the co–author of the NYCLU report “Marijuana Arrest Crusade: Racial Bias and Police Policy in New York City, 1997-2007.” He is also the co–author of a new report on the costs of New York City’s marijuana arrests, which will be released on March 15 by the Drug Policy Alliance. · Tony Newman, Director of Media Relations for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the nation’s leading organization calling for alternatives to the drug war and policies based on science, compassion, health, and human rights. · Daniel Jabbour, New York State Coordinator for Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), an international grassroots network of students who are concerned about the impact drug abuse has on our communities, but who also know that the War on Drugs is failing our generation and our society. · Chris Goldstein, Board Member, NORML-NJ/Coalition for Medical Marijuana-NJ (CMM-NJ). Chris is a radio broadcaster and marijuana advocate. Chris is considered an expert on the topic of marijuana and can comment on New Jersey and national issues regarding cannabis. ###
Broadway between Park Place and Barclay (east side) City Hall Park
New York, NY 10007
United States
Read the original article at
marijuana Mason Tvert is co-author of Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People To Drink?.

Women Speak Out for Marijuana Legalization in California, Nationwide

Women throughout California and across the nation held news conferences Tuesday to speak out in support of Proposition 19, the California ballot measure that would regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol.In California, they stressed the importance of getting out to vote for Prop. 19, and how its passage would enhance the safety of their families and […] Read More..

Big Alcohol’s Anti-Marijuana Spokesman on the Hill

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) took to the airwaves Tuesday to decry increases in marijuana use amongst the American public and call for a ramping up of marijuana enforcement nationwide.At first glance, some might think Smith is genuinely concerned about marijuana use and its impact on public safety. Yet it’s hard to take him at his […] Read More..

Big Alcohol Fueling Opposition to California Marijuana Initiative

According to a recently filed campaign finance report, the campaign to defeat a marijuana legalization initiative in California is receiving substantial funding from the alcohol industry. Now marijuana advocates are fighting back, calling on the opposition campaign to explain why it is working with Big Alcohol to keep marijuana illegal. On September 7th, the California […] Read More..

RN Cites Relative Safety of Marijuana in Defense of California Legalization Measure

A great column from registered nurse Lanny Swerdlow appeared in today’s edition of the Palm Springs newspaper, The Desert Sun.  In it, Swerdlow highlights the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol and suggests California would be a safer and healthier state if Proposition 19 — the measure to control and tax cannabis — is […] Read More..

College Students Nationwide: Allow Marijuana as a Safer Alternative to Alcohol

Colleges themselves, organizers say, unwittingly encourage drinking by enforcing zero-tolerance policies against students who are caught smoking marijuana. Read More..