MPP Takes On The NFL

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is being admonished by with a billboard outside of Mile High Stadium in Denver, CO, urging fans and players to celebrate with a safer alternative to alcohol, according to a story by Tully Corcoran at Fox Sports News. MPP called out Goodell for punishing players who use marijuana which is a safer alternative to alcohol. MPP’s press release included this statement. “For years, the NFL has been punishing players for using marijuana despite the fact that it is far less harmful than alcohol, a substance widely embraced by the league,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The league would never punish a player simply for having a couple beers, so why does it penalize them for using a substance that is less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to contribute to violence?  There is also a petition initiated by MPP and directed at Roger Goodell to change the NFL drug policy

The NFL has warned the Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks that NFL policy about marijuana has not changed, “Its Legal” will not be a valid excuse. Sadly the NFL is facing another problem with lawsuits brought against them because of concussions brought on by head trauma. Ironically marijuana may end up being a key tool to prevent permanent brain damage associated with head trauma.

It is a shame that the MPP’s ad at the Brickyard 500 race in Indianapolis, IN was pulled due to pressure from the Drug Free America Foundation. MPP needs our support in its publicity campaign, to gain acceptance for users of marijuana. These ads are not cheap, but I believe they are a vital tool to reach people who would not ordinarily listen to arguments about legalization and acceptance of marijuana in society, and what could be a better place to do that than sporting events where alcohol is advertised or served.

Randy Johnson

Censorship Sucks At Nascar Brickyard 400 Event

An ad promoting marijuana as a safer alternative to alcohol from the Marijuana Policy Project, was aired outside the Brickyard 400 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The ad was scheduled to air 72 times but was pulled early because of pressure from the Drug Free America Foundation. It seems ironic to me that with the massive amount of alcohol served at Nascar events and the propensity for alcohol related advertising at Nascar events and alcohol related sponsors of race car teams associated with Nascar and the history of Nascar being associated with alcohol prohibition, that a pro marijuana ad would be deemed unsuitable at a family oriented event.

In an article form NYDailyNews, Calvina Fay stated,“This campaign falsely claims marijuana is safer than alcohol and promotes  illicit drug use in a state where marijuana is illegal,” Calvina Fay, executive  director of Drug Free America Foundation and Save Our Society From Drugs, said  in a statement. “It is irresponsible marketing and I commend Grazie Media for  their swift action towards the removal of this ad,” concluded Fay.

And in rebuttal, Mason Tvert from Marijuana Policy Project, that produced the ad and purchased the air time from Grazie Media replied, 

Tvert told the Daily News that Fay’s claim that marijuana is more harmful  than alcohol “absolutely absurd.”

“We are absolutely baffled by the claim that marijuana is not safer than  alcohol, which accompanied the announcement of the ad being pulled,” Tvert said.  “If Save Our Society From Drugs truly wishes to ‘save our society from drugs,’  why on earth would they want to prevent people from learning that alcohol use is  far more toxic and likely to contribute to violent behavior than marijuana? It  is clear this organization is more concerned about maintaining marijuana  prohibition than it is about maintaining public health and safety. We are sorry  to see Grazie Media abandon its agreement with a client when confronted by such  reefer madness.”

Read more:

Read more:

Randy Johnson

Government Mandated Drug Testing Is Wrong

Since the laws governing use and sale of marijuana have been largely ignored, our government found other ways to punish those they could not catch and prosecute. They coerce employers into bypassing the need for a warrant to search a person by mandating drug testing as a condition of employment. For the government to randomly test people for drug use, drug testing would be an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, but by the government mandating that all businesses that do business with the federal government, drug test as a condition of employment, they get away with forcing us to submit to drug testing or being punished through denied employment. Don’t get me wrong, I do not condone or want to encourage drug use on the job, but the urine test for marijuana does not determine if a person is under the influence, only that they have used marijuana in the last few days. Saliva tests for detecting marijuana are a much better determination of the tested person actually being under the influence than a urine test. The saliva test detects marijuana use from 2 to 24 hours while the urine test detects marijuana metabolites up to 30 days or more in chronic users. There is actually a urine test for alcohol that can tell if a person has had a drink in the last 80 hours, but no one seems interested in using that test, except the probation or parole authorities. I really don’t care what employers want to do as far as drug testing. Employers should be able to determine what is acceptable behavior in their employees. If they want to prohibit alcohol, drugs, tobacco use or even obesity, it is fine with me. What bothers me is for the federal government to mandate drug testing through legislation, as a way to punish those they can’t catch and prosecute. Denied employment punishes the whole family. If the only way to tell if a person has used marijuana is to send their urine to a lab, is the marijuana use really a problem?

The Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice study of drug testing in the workplace, indicates that significant benefits are achieved through random and post accident drug testing of individuals such as increased productivity, lower accident rates and lower absenteeism. What is not clear from the study, is how much marijuana use influences those statistics when in aggregate with alcohol and other illicit drugs. It is also worth noting that all the people conducting the study, work in the drug testing field as professionals, although they all signed a no conflict of interest declaration.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation study, Drug Testing In The Workplace  by The Independent Inquiry into Drug Testing at Work drew starkly different results. Among their conclusions are that alcohol is likely a much stronger influence on job safety than illegal drugs and there is no justification for drug testing in the workplace as a means of policing the private behavior of employees. It also points out that many factors have an impact on safety and productivity such as bad working conditions, sleeping and health problems, excessive workloads and work-related stress. It also points out the flaws in workplace drug testing such as drug testing is not an indicator of current intoxication and that empowering employers to investigate and punish private behavior is in conflict with liberal-democratic values.

While I think we can all agree that people working under the influence of drugs can be a hazard not only to themselves but also others. Tests that indicate a person being under the influence would be a much better way to police unwanted activity in the workplace.

Randy Johnson

White House Responds to Petitions About Legalizing Marijuana

The White House has responded to several of the petitions to end federal prohibition of marijuana. The response cites sources on their concerns about marijuana use. From the health aspect the White House cites The National Institute of Drug Abuse where the health problems associated with marijuana smoking are discussed such as memory loss, bronchitis, psychosis and the risk of cancer. Also cited are the instance of emergency room treatment in association with drug abuse at.  And voluntary substance abuse treatment at.

The White House also denies that marijuana has any medical use, citing that no sound scientific studies support medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States. It also states that marijuana is a dangerous drug that belongs in the schedule 1 of the Controlled Substance Act . Reality paints a much different picture where 18 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana programs, 2 states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes and mountains of evidence now support marijuana as a treatment for a myriad of different ailments.

“Marijuana is listed in schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the most restrictive schedule. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which administers the CSA, continues to support that placement and FDA concurred because marijuana met the three criteria for placement in Schedule I under 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1) (e.g., marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision). Furthermore, there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful. A past evaluation by several Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), concluded that no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use. There are alternative FDA-approved medications in existence for treatment of many of the proposed uses of smoked marijuana.”

The response also claims that marijuana potency has tripled over the last 20 years raising serious concerns about the safety of marijuana use. This argument has little meaning when we consider that most people smoke only to the point where they reach a comfortable high. It is like comparing beer to hard liquor. Would it be reasonable to assume people would drink the same amount of alcohol by volume if they were drinking 3.2% beer or 151 proof rum?                  

The White House also has specific claims to the efficiency of substance abuse treatments.

And the use of drug courts which require the defendant to plead guilty and pay for substance abuse treatment or counseling and submit to periodic and random drug testing also at their own expense for at least 1 year, where any failure will result in the original sentence being administered resulting in incarceration. This also drives up the number of people involved in voluntary substance abuse treatment even if they volunteered to avoid incarceration or just to save their job.

It is worth noting that the only sources listed are government-funded and controlled. In the reports about emergency room treatments it is also worth noting that the results are skewed because adult use of alcohol (age 21 and up) is deliberately left out of the results, leaving the impression that emergency room treatment associated with marijuana use is almost as prevalent as that of alcohol. It is also interesting that marijuana is listed alone but alcohol is listed alone and as used with other drugs. It would be a better comparison if all parameters were equal. It is also worth noting that just because the drug was listed as associated with an emergency room visit, it may not be the cause or the reason for the emergency room visit, just that it was noted that the patient was under the influence.

Table 1. Drug-Related Emergency Department (ED) Visits, by Type of Visit: 2009
Type of Drug-Related ED Visit Number of ED Visits* Percent*
Total Drug-Related ED Visits 4,595,263 100.0%
Drug Misuse or Abuse 2,070,439   45.1%
Misuse or Abuse of Pharmaceuticals 1,244,679   27.1%
Illicit Drug Use    973,591   21.2%
Alcohol Involvement**    658,263   14.3%
Alcohol Involvement with Drug Use    519,650   11.3%
Underage Drinking    199,429     4.3%
Adverse Reactions 2,287,273   49.8%
* Because each visit may represent multiple types of visits and multiple types of drugs, the estimates add to more than the total number of visits and the percentages add to more than 100. ** Alcohol involvement includes use of alcohol in combination with other drugs for patients of all ages and use of alcohol only for persons aged 20 or younger. Underage drinking includes both use of alcohol in combination with other drugs and use of alcohol only for persons aged 20 or younger. Source: 2009 SAMHSA Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN).


Table 2. Misused or Abused Drugs Most Commonly Involved in Emergency Department (ED) Visits: 2009
Drugs Number of ED Visits Number of ED Visits per 100,000 Population
Alcohol in Combination with Other Drugs*    519,650 169.3
Underage Drinking**    199,429 227.2
Illicit Drugs    973,591 317.1
Cocaine    422,896 137.7
Marijuana    376,467 122.6
Heroin    213,118   69.4
Pharmaceuticals 1,244,679 405.4
Pain Relievers    595,551 194.0
Narcotic Pain Relievers    397,160 129.4
Oxycodone Products    175,949   57.3
Hydrocodone Products    104,490   34.0
Drugs to Treat Insomnia and Anxiety    433,600 141.2
Benzodiazepines    373,328 121.6
Antidepressants    104,940   34.2
* Use of alcohol in combination with other drugs is recorded by DAWN for patients of all ages. ** Underage drinking includes both use of alcohol in combination with other drugs and use of alcohol only for persons aged 20 or younger. Source: 2009 SAMHSA Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN).

The White house also reported that they have increased the funding for the Drug Free Communities Support Program where 7.9 million dollars was added to the already 76.7 million dollar annual funding for organizations such as That is a lot of money that these organizations have available for advertising to keep public opinion against marijuana. If you are tired of the prohibition of marijuana and want change, then we must act. Inaction will always produce zero results. If we do nothing, nothing will change. We must tell our elected officials that we want change and describe what kind of change. We must also raise public awareness of our desires and encourage public debate. The best way to accomplish that is through advertising. Please donate generously so that I can resume advertising. The opposition already has 84.6 million dollars to use for advertising given to them out of your taxes. Also please call or write to your elected representatives and let them know how you feel.

Randy Johnson

Who Wants A Drug Free Society?

Who really wants a drug free society? Are they serious? Would they eliminate all drugs or just the ones they don’t like? Would alcohol and tobacco be included in the drug ban? What about pharmaceutical drugs that only add value to life and have no curative properties such as Viagra or Celebrex. Would pain medications be forbidden? Should all drugs be given under a doctors advice? What about all the over the counter medications currently available for a myriad of different maladies? Don’t we have the right to self medicate? Isn’t that what over the counter medications are all about?

It is almost impossible to watch television or read a magazine without seeing an ad for some kind of drug. We live in a society where almost any medical complaint we may have, has a drug available to either cure it or at least control the symptoms, drugs to grow hair on our heads and drugs to cure athletes feet and everything in between. It is hard to believe anyone would want to eliminate drugs from society and I do not believe that is the intention of organizations such as.   The Partnership at is a drug abuse prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery resource, existing to help parents and caregivers effectively address alcohol and drug abuse with their teens and young adults. A noble cause I would say. Why would anyone want to give recreational drugs to children? The problem I have with is that they are also prohibitionists who advocate for the elimination and criminalization of all recreational drugs and they consider any use as abuse. All drug use is not abuse. People have been using alcohol and other drugs to celebrate life and self medicate for thousands of years. As long as we can do so responsibly, what is the problem?

One of the problems with prohibition is that it removes the regulatory process where drug sales can be limited as age appropriate like alcohol. With no legal outlet for a product that many Americans want such as marijuana, a black market emerges to supply the demand. This will always happen when things are forbidden that people want. Laws that people believe are unjust will always be ignored and respect for law enforcement is eroded in the process. Crime increases as respect for unjust laws decrease. It becomes a society polarized by public desires and a prohibitionist attitude. Hatred, fear and mistrust grow as each side struggles for the upper hand in this conflict. Prisons are built to house those that are unfortunate enough to get caught and families are torn apart in the process. An honest educational health based prevention process would likely be more effective. When our government says that marijuana is a dangerous drug with no medical use, their credibility comes into question. Reality paints a much different picture where 18 states and Washington DC have medical marijuana programs and 2 states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. The people who use marijuana are harmed more by society at the hand of our judicial system than the harm caused by marijuana. I am not saying that marijuana use is harmless, but the harm caused by prohibition far outweighs the harm caused by marijuana use. As adults that choice should be ours. As adults we should be able to celebrate life on our own terms as long as we do so responsibly. To take away that right is at odds with the principles of freedom that our country was founded on. We still have a long way to go to prevent drug use by underage users but I believe honest, health based education is the key. Our children are smart enough to know when they are being deceived.

Randy Johnson