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You're now with the Marijuana Policy Project as their national spokesman. With MPP supporting ten different legalization initiatives this year across the country, how are you approaching it from the national level? What are things you've done right that you're taking with you to other states?

Placing more emphasis on the "marijuana is safer than alcohol" message; MPP never really made an effort to make that message before. With MPP, there is more emphasis being placed on that message. I now have to talk a lot more about medical marijuana, which I've talked about publicly and answered questions about — but it's never been the area of marijuana policy that I've focused on. I defer to Brian [Vicente, the Denver attorney he worked with on Amendment 64].

But now we have bills all around the country that we are working on, so I have to talk about medical marijuana more and more. Talking about decriminalization, which isn't hard — but it's different. A lot of our work is taking place in state legislatures, which I've never really done. Contrary to the Westword comment board, I was not ever involved in any of the medical marijuana legislative activity; it's not my area of expertise. I'm not an attorney. There are people who are working on it, and I trust that they are representing what I want.

It's a lot different educating the public when there's going to be a ballot initiative at some point; it's a lot different than relying on legislators to vote to do the right things. A legislator recently went off on a decriminalization bill. He was all against it and said that he wished for one year he would not have to hear from marijuana legalization advocates.

So I was like, let's take a big coupon to this guy's office that says "Good for one year off," saying we will not lobby in Maryland on marijuana for a full year if you can prove that marijuana is more harmful than alcohol. But we didn't do it, because would other legislators not want to work with us?

Would you say you have had to mature in your approach?

Well, I guess it depends on the definition of "mature." Like, show restraint? If I was mature, I probably wouldn't even think about it.

You've said that you don't often talk about your own cannabis use, but after 64 was declared a winner on election night, did you light one up?

No. Because when it passed, that started the most important — or arguably the most important — 48 hours of my year. When it passed, there was now a substantial amount of media coverage. Not just around Colorado, but around the world. And what was going to be conveyed in those stories? I felt it was absolutely critical to address all of the media that asked. I didn't sleep election night. There was probably a two-and-a-half-hour period of a break for me; that was it. Given the magnitude of what had happened, it needed to be conveyed to the rest of the world in a manner that gave it a good face. Yeah, honestly, that was all that I was focused on.

I don't want to say I didn't have a good time, but I wish I could go back and be able to hang out and catch up with people. Unfortunately, that was part of the job.

What about since then?

It's funny, because it will come up when I'm talking with friends who will give someone some marijuana and say, "Oh, that's legal now." It's weird to think about that, and a lot of people haven't gotten used to the notion that it's not illegal to hand a small bag of marijuana to a friend. When a friend will come to town, they know it, but to say, "I could pull out some marijuana and hand it to you" — they're fascinated.

When you think about it from the perspective of someone who hasn't been around it at all, it is fascinating.

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15 comments
ChoosingWisdom
ChoosingWisdom

I am very happy that we are getting closer to legalizing weed, but A64 still kept criminal penalties in place, so it did not make weed legal.  The law was written for business and tax revenue.  Otherwise, they would have also freed those in jail for non-violent marijuana related laws.  A-64 was created by the wealthy, for the wealthy.  Mason, being as fat and gluttonous  as he is, is a great spokeperson for the amendment.  Afterall, he personifies the the sociopathic greed behind the law.  I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the financial backers of A64 also had stakes in the prison industrial complex, which would make sense considering the criminal penalties in place.  Can't get rid of that gravy train!  I know that's hyperbole, but let's call a spade a spade.  If the intention was to legalize marijuana, then that is what it would have done.  However, the law was to REGULATE marijuana, not legalize it. 

sicclos
sicclos

U can never go wrong blazin some bomb weed!!! ;)

Testecleese
Testecleese

Mason, thank you for all your hard work and effort with A64. After using cannabis for over 40 years, it is a relief to finally not have to constantly look over my shoulder and stay mostly hidden. Because of your efforts we can all inhale just a little more freely now.

mnetters
mnetters

I always wondering how different the world would be if weed was the drug in place of booze

tabbysan1
tabbysan1

Thank you Mason for my freedom.

ANDROLOMA
ANDROLOMA

It's about legalizing freedom.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Testecleese  ... utter NONSENSE!

Before A64, you could possess up to 2 (two) ounces for recreational use and not face any jail time, merely a paltry fine *if* you were stupid enough to get caught in public.

With A64, you can only possess 1 (one) pathetic ounce, and you still can NOT use or consume openly in public.

Given that PUBLIC use, display and consumption is STILL ILLEGAL, how do you inhale "more freely" now ?

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay <===== LIES AND DISTORTIONS! Prohibitionist turncoat spreading DISinformation!

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay = PATHOLOGICAL LIAR! 

A64 legalized all 21 and over to carry/purchase/give away up to an ounce, grow 6 plants, and keep an unlimited quantity of what they grow! 

@DonkeyHotay <=== LYING prohibitionist turncoat

 
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