NH Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy
Sen. Mike Gravel Rails Against Drug War, Says Marijuana Less Harmful than Liquor
Pembroke,NH (June 12) – An interview with former Alaska senator and presidentialhopeful Mike Gravel will be broadcast today by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) on their daily podcast.
Previously, Matt Simon from the New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy (NH Common Sense) appeared on Monday's show to discuss SendTheRightMessage.com, the group's new project to promote anti-prohibitionist ideas through the presidential primary process. Audio of Monday's interview with Simon is available at normlaudiostash.com, and today's show with Gravel will become available late this afternoon.
This appearance by Gravel comes on the heels of two recent public appearances in New Hampshire at which he spoke out against the War on Marijuana. In the Spin Room following the June 5 Democratic debate at St. Anselm's College, Gravel compared the nation's current War on Drugs to Alcohol Prohibition: "Is there an American alive who doesn't know that Prohibition did nothing but criminalize this country in the 20's? The addiction problem is a public health problem; it's not a criminal problem." He added that of all the currently illegal drugs, marijuana in particular is less harmful than liquor.
Four days later, in a June 9 appearance at DemocracyFest in Bedford, the candidate echoed these same sentiments to a crowd of over 100 activists. "We have 2.3 million people in prison, and half of them shouldn't even be there," he exclaimed.
Prior to Gravel's appearance on the NORML podcast, another presidential candidate had already appeared twice on the program this year: Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX). In his May 24 interview, the 71-year-old obstetrician explained how a candidate who is honest about his opposition to Prohibition can win election after election in a conservative Texas district. "In my district they know where I stand, and I've always been very clear that the Drug War is alot worse than the drugs themselves," Paul explained.
Simon used yesterday's interview opportunity to tell cannabis policy activists nationwide about the effort by NH Common Sense to raise marijuana policy issues by identifying candidates who oppose Marijuana Prohibition, or at least its worst excesses. "I'm hoping cannabis activists will see fit to learn more about these potentially appealing candidates and perhaps choose to support one of them, rather than remaining apathetic in this very important election," he explained in the interview.
Articles on Gravel, Paul, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson have been posted at SendTheRightMessage.com, which will be sharing information on all the presidential canididates as the race develops.