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Pot Activists Enlist Moms for Legalization Push

Von: Dan Clore (clore@columbia-center.org) [Profil]
Datum: 11.05.2010 06:30
Message-ID: <4BE8DD71.9050707@columbia-center.org>
Newsgroup: alt.society.anarchy alt.anarchism alt.fan.noam-chomsky alt.activism alt.politics.libertariansoc.rights.human alt.drugs alt.fan.rawilsontalk.politics.drugs talk.politics.libertarian
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Pot Activists Enlisting Moms For Legalization Push
Activists Say Marijuana Is Safer Than Booze
by KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press Writer
May 8, 2010

Moms got tougher drunk-driving laws on the books and were directly
responsible for passing and then repealing alcohol Prohibition. Now
marijuana activists are trying to enlist the nation's mothers in
legalization efforts with a sales pitch that pot is safer than booze.

The nation's largest marijuana legalization lobby recently started a
women's group. The Moms4Marijuana website draws thousands. And just in
time for Mother's Day, a pot legalization group in Denver has created a
pink-carnation web card asking moms to support legalization.

These marijuana moms argue that pot is no worse than alcohol, that teens
shouldn't face jail time for experimenting with it and that marijuana
can even help new mothers treat postpartum depression.

"I know so many mothers who support this but aren't willing to come out
and say it," said Sabrina Fendrick, head of the Women's Alliance at the
Washington-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws,

Marijuana activists say they need more moms to publicly back pot use if
they are to succeed with public officials.

"The mother is the first teacher, who you turn to for direction in
life," said Serra Frank, a 27-year-old mother of two in Boise, Idaho,
who founded Moms4Marijuana in 2005. It has no formal membership, but
Frank says its website has had more than 12,000 visitors.

Pot activists say both genders sometimes find it easier to attend
protests or lobby lawmakers about pot than to tell their mothers they
smoke weed. So legalization groups hope that if moms, arguably the
nation's most powerful lobby, get on board with making pot legal, laws
will change in a hurry.

"All the things moms get behind, people listen," said Diane Irwin, 48, a
medical marijuana grower in southern Colorado who also is a mother of two.

There's still a marijuana gender gap. According to an Associated
Press-CNBC poll released last month, women opposed legalization in
greater numbers than men. Just under half -- 48 percent -- of male poll
respondents opposed legalization to 63 percent of women.

"We have enough problems with alcohol. I feel if we legalized it, it
would make people say it's OK," said 37-year-old mother Amanda Leonard
of St. Augustine. Fla., one of the poll respondents

Trying to soften moms up a bit, Denver-based Safer Alternative For
Enjoyable Recreation, or SAFER, is asking members to "come out" about
their pot use this Mother's Day and argue that pot is safer than booze.
The group says it has about 20,000 members nationwide.

SAFER's online Mother's Day card has a typical start -- "Thank you for
raising me to be thoughtful and compassionate" -- then transitions to:
"I want to share some news that might surprise you, but should not upset
you: I believe marijuana should be legal."

For $10, card senders can add a book for their moms titled "Marijuana is
Safer." The book, published last year, argues that marijuana is
healthier than booze. SAFER says several thousand copies have been sold,
and group members handed out free copies as Mother's Day gifts to
Colorado's 37 female lawmakers last week.

There's no good national count of how many mothers use pot, but
anecdotal evidence suggests plenty do. Moms from Florida to Washington
are facing criminal charges for using marijuana or supplying it to their

In February, 51-year-old Alaska mom Jane C. Cain was arrested along with
her 29-year-old son for allegedly growing pot in the house. The Wasilla
woman says she initially feared reprisals from neighbors and didn't
answer the door.

"But it turned out people were just coming by to bring homemade food,
casseroles and cakes and such," Cain said with a laugh. Her case is
still pending, but Cain says that even conservative neighbors say she's
not wrong to use marijuana for her frequent migraines, though medical
marijuana isn't legal in Alaska.

"Now I go wherever I want and hold my head up high," Cain said. "Five or
10 years from now, people who oppose marijuana will be considered
old-fashioned. It's a benign substance, so why shouldn't we have it?"

Irwin, the Colorado medical pot grower, said mothers who use marijuana
face a stigma men don't. Irwin says she secretly used marijuana while
pregnant to fight morning sickness and after giving birth to battle
postpartum depression. Since she started growing pot, Irwin said she's
run into many moms who admit to using the drug. She argues that even
children could benefit from marijuana use, though Irwin never gave
either of her kids pot nor smoked it in front of them.

In fact, she remembers flushing her son's pot down the toilet when he
was a teen. But last year, after her now-grown son started a Denver
marijuana dispensary, Irwin sold her hair salon, bought a greenhouse and
started raising pot for him.

"I look at the kids now who are so medicated, on Ritalin and all the
rest, and I'm wondering why we don't explore what's natural, and that's
marijuana," said Irwin, who is moving to Denver to work full-time at her
older son's dispensary.

Associated Press Writer Greg Risling of Los Angeles contributed to this

Dan Clore

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