News Release

Ballot Initiatives * GMO Labeling * Marijuana Legalization


The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting: “A measure that would require most foods made with genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled in California was losing early Wednesday.”

MICHELE SIMON [email], @MicheleRSimon
Simon is a public health lawyer, president of Eat Drink Politics and author of Appetite for Profit: How the food industry undermines our health and how to fight back. She said today: “Prop 37 was attacked by a massive disinformation and propaganda campaign waged by the likes of Monsanto and PepsiCo, who out-spent the Yes side by 6 to 1. It’s hard to beat lies and deception, with the money to spread them.” Simon wrote the piece “California Newspaper Editorial Boards Spread False Claims and Faulty Logic on Proposition 37.”

MARTIN LEE [email]
Lee is the author of the new book Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana — Medical, Recreational and Scientific and the director of Project CBD, a medial science information service. He is also co-founder of the media watch group FAIR. He said today: “Residents of Colorado and Washington made history on Election Day by voting to legalize the adult use of marijuana. It could mark the beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition. From a historical perspective, marijuana prohibition is an aberration. For thousands of years men and women in many cultures have used cannabis as a folk medicine and a source of fiber and oil.

“It wasn’t until well into the 20th century that U.S. legislators and their international counterparts imposed a global ban on ‘the evil weed.’ The first antimarijuana laws in the United States were primarily a racist reaction against Mexican migrants. After millions of middle class Americans began smoking the herb in the 1960s, marijuana became the central focus of a deceitful war on drugs, a venal and destructive policy that fostered crime, police corruption, social discord, racial injustice and, ironically, drug abuse itself, while impeding medical advances and economic opportunities. The drug war that President Richard Nixon set in motion would escalate under Ronald Reagan and his Oval Office successors. Reefer madness has nothing to do with smoking marijuana — for therapy or fun or any other reason — and everything to do with how the U.S. government has stigmatized, prosecuted, and jailed users of this much maligned and much venerated plant. The fact that a disproportionate number of black and Latino youth are arrested and jailed for marijuana possession is reason enough to end the war on drugs.”