LEGISLATE THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE WHERE IT MATTERS MOST -- IN THE
The U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration is targeting and arresting medical marijuana
patients, physicians, growers and suppliers. California has
been a focus for these attacks, but federal inteference affects
all the states that have removed criminal penalties for patients.
States that have
passed medical marijuana laws either by intiative or legislative
action are Alaska, Arizona (though wording problems have prevented
it from implementing), California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine,
Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, and
Washington state. The District of Columbia also passed a voter
intiative, but Congress overturned it.
In response to attacks
on state-legal patients and providers, key leadership from the
medical marijuana and law reform movements came together in
2002 to form Green Aid: The Medical Marijuana Legal Defense
and Education Fund, Inc.-- a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation
that provides groundbreaking services designed to protect the
civil rights of medical marijuana stakeholders in our local
The mission and
vision of GREEN AID are as follows:
--To set new precedents
in marijuana freedom for all Americans by moving the fight for
medical marijuana rights into the legal and judicial realm exclusively.
As a nonprofit with unprecedented focus, GREEN AID will
work solely on the legal and judicial front of the fight for
medical marijuana change. As such, GREEN AID will enlist services
by the finest lawyers available. GREEN AID's unmatched presence
in the Courts will reassign public marijuana debates as part
and parcel of the range of human rights concerns that grip the
very core of our nation in the 21st Century.
--To provide legal representation, ancillary services and
financial resources on a small number of TIPPING POINT criminal
cases. Whether local, state or federal, these cases are
potentially high-impact for creating change with regard to medical
marijuana laws, policies, and ultimately with regard to the
public's overall perception and opinion on these issues. As
part of GREEN AID's strategy, a TIPPING POINT case is further
defined by its acute ability to reach beyond the usual suspects
and capture the imaginations of the broadest possible sphere
of interested stakeholders, supporters, funders and allies.
GREEN AID will use its small number of cases, in part, to effectively
engage this cause outside of its conventional circles of support--especially
in order to break new ground with the public trust, educate
the community-at-large, and build a growing base of philanthropy
on behalf of this vital social movement.
--To provide necessary public relations and related services
that will brand the media as a viable partner and friend of
the medical marijuana movement. Through effective work with
media outlets, both large and small, the public dissemination
of key GREEN AID messages and milestones will build upon a
natural momentum that comes with the intensity and drama of
high profile court cases. With each breaking news item put forth
by GREEN AID's legal prowess, judicial victories will highlight
the humanity behind this cause, placing marijuana reform rightly
at the forefront of social and cultural debate.
--To place much needed emphasis on the strategic enforcement
of existing state laws that command safe access to medical marijuana
for the sick and infirm. Since Proposition 215 was voted
in by Californians in 1996, the integration of medical marijuana
laws into local law enforcement has been largely set aside by
elected officials, handed over cautiously to city governing
bodies. It is the position of GREEN AID that state lawmakers
have missed the opportunity to use medical marijuana as a tool
to more clearly define themselves in relation to their Federal
counterparts - purely as sovereign lawmakers. As uncharted terrain
in general, the effective administering of medical marijuana
on a local level provides states with all kinds of promising
terrain to build new areas of power and influence, especially
in the realm of Federal policy where it matters most.
* * *
Founded on an activist
impulse, GREEN AID seeks to be bold and daring in its efforts
"to legislate on behalf of the will of the people."
With its focus on the legal and judicial realm, Green Aid will
serve as an important vehicle for new points of public dialogue
regarding marijuana, not to mention new platforms forms of civic
engagement. GREEN AID is a key partner among others already
hard at work for marijuana reform over the last three decades.