Firedoglake founder Jane Hamsher took to CNN Monday tonight to announce Just Say Now, our campaign for marijuana legalization with the awesome folks at Students for Sensible Drug Policy and other notable allies. It was quite the showing, as Jane absolutely destroyed No on Prop 19 consultant Tim Rosales, who called our campaign “tasteless.”

Jane opened by describing the goals of Just Say Now: advocating for legalization and the myriad benefits to ending the war on marijuana:  driving new voters to the polls, and waking up politicians to the millions of new voters up for grabs who support marijuana legalization.

But from the start, No on Prop 19’s Tim Rosales wasn’t content to debate the issues: here’s the first thing Rosales said, and it’s about our campaign:

First off, I think it’s pretty tasteless to take a “Just Say No” campaign that was created in the 1980s to get kids off of drugs, and use a play on words as this campaign is doing now to say “Just Say Now” to try to legalize marijuana.

Thank you, Tim, for explaining our campaign and plugging the name again. But I’ll let Jane explain why it’s right on:

Since 1984, when the Just Say No campaign started, our prison population in the United States has quadrupled and that burden has fallen disproportionately on minority communities. It is a crime that these people are rotting away in jail. There were over 800,000 people arrested last year for marijuana possession alone, and those people are in jail at tremendous costs. Is this how we want to be raising our children?

When Rosales tried to claim that “any cop on the streets” opposes legalization, Jane corrected him with some of Just Say Now’s advisers: former Reagan Deputy Attorney General Bruce Fein; 33-year Maryland State Police veteran Neill Franklin, and former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper.

Trying to engage in one-upsmanship, Rosales bragged about the support of Senator Dianne “Reefer Madness” Feinstein:

Rosales: I’ll take Dianne Feinstein and…

Hamsher: You’re welcome to Dianne Feinstein.

When the host asked, “Are we at a devastating point if the only way we can get young people is to vote to let them to have drugs,” Jane answered by summing up exactly what Just Say Now is about:

I think that [marijuana leglalization] is an important issue regardless of whether young people are for it or against it. Our drug policy has not worked. It is destabilizing the Mexican government. It is racist. And it is condemning the future of young people who are being busted for a joint and not able to apply for student loans or a job anymore, and disproportionately people of color, African Americans and Latinos….

So yes, I think it is something we should be looking at right now, and it is a moral matter. That young people care about it is a good thing.

Marijuana prohibition is racist, unfair, and unpopular. Just Say Now is proud to be organizing for the fight for marijuana legalization. Click here to join our campaign and find out how you can help.

Michael Whitney

Michael Whitney

My name is Michael Whitney. I'm a progressive online organizer working with FDL Action. Rush Limbaugh called me "clueless" once. He went into rehab two days later.