High Times, March 1986, pp. 24 & 27

OMI: On the Ballot

O Am I Thrilled

We've won step one!

The 1986 Oregon General Election Ballot will definitely include the Marijuana Initiative, listed as ballot measure #5. The Oregon Marijuana Initiative (OMI) has qualified for ballot status, and nothing can change the fact that the people of the state of Oregon will be able to vote on whether an individual's private, personal possession, cultivation and use of marijuana should be legal in that state. OMI is the only viable chance to change the oppressive laws in this country. It is time to close ranks and deliver a coherent, solid base of support to OMI. It is up to each of us to provide them with everything that we can.

OMI must galvanize support from around the nation if they are to compete against the millions of dollars that are sure to pour into Oregon from the Reagan administration and its supporters. When such a unifying issue as OMI presents itself, we must take action. The NORML Board of Directors and Legal Committee have shown their commitment. Michael Rose's appointment to the Board is just one signal of that commitment. At the Legal Committee meeting in Key West it was decided that annual dues would be raised by $100 for the coming year. All the revenue for this one-time special raise will go to OMI. Three hundred and fifty members of the Legal Committee x $100 = $35,000. We thank the Committee for this generous gesture.

This is only the beginning. NORML promises OMI much more assistance in raising its targeted funding level of a million dollars. Sound like a lot of money? You bet, but think of how much of our federal tax dollars - without our vote on its appropriation - will go toward opposing OMI. OMI needs a million dollars to counteract the expected glut of government propaganda. OMI has gotten this far almost on its own. Let's help them the rest of the way. Unite behind the banner of OMI, and let's win in 1986!

Assessing the Opposition

Don Delser, with DARE to Care of Canby, Oregon, had been named to a national position with the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth (NFPDFY). If you remember, Nancy Reagan visited Canby, Oregon two years ago when OMI was fighting for its place on the November 1984 ballot. She took aside a nine-year-old girl from one of the classes that she spoke to. The child had stated that her father smoked marijuana. Nancy "consoled" the child and pointed to her as evidence of the tragedy and travesty sweeping the nation: many nasty marijuana smokers. But her father then threatened to sue Reagan after she frightened his child. Congratulations, Don, you've earned your new position.

Million $ Club

Come and join. That's the amount of money needed to fund OMI '86. We need you. Be part of the club. During the next several months, every time you sit down with friends to smoke a joint, ask them what it would be worth to them to be able to smoke without that underlying, vague feeling of paranoia (even paranoids have real enemies). Ask them if it would be worth a dollar - one dollar - to alleviate that fear. If every one of the estimated 30,000,000 marijuana smokers donated $1, OMI could raise millions. (If it's worth $5 or $10 or $25 to them, that's even better.) Collect the money, go to the post office once a month, obtain a money order and mail it to us: Reform Report, c/o Northeast NORML Coalition, P.O. Box 20525, New York, NY 10025.

Our goal is to present OMI with $10,000 worth of money orders every month. The first donor will receive a free copy of the book The Emperor Wears No Clothes, by Jack Herer, member of the OMI. (The book is also available through this column for $10.) The next 100 donors will receive a free copy of the last two editions of the OMI report and a commemorative poster of the July Fourth rally held by the Fourth of July Coalition. The first 10 donors of $100 or more will receive a free subscription to OMI's newspaper, The Marijuana Report. So join the Million Dollar Club now! There's not much time left till the November election.

What Can I Do?

1) Come to Oregon for the annual NORML conference on June 20, 1986. Come early. Stay longer. OMI needs volunteers to help orchestrate the conference and parties, work in the office, help on the newspaper, sell T-shirts, hand out literature, put up posters, etc.

2) Join the Million Dollar Club - or form your own PAC (political-action committee) among friends. Get them to each donate a large sum. Think big - what's $100 or even $1,000 dollars compared to attorney fees and the possibility of a criminal record that will haunt them forever?

3) Sponsor a fundraiser. You can invite several friends to your home, invite a larger group to a local restaurant, or throw a party. Either a local representative from OMI or (if it's a big bash, or if a series of fundraisers can be set up in one area) someone from Oregon will show up at your door and speak to the group that you have gathered. They will answer questions, show films - whatever is appropriate entertainment for your group.

4) Call all your friends in Oregon. Tell them what's happening. Urge them to call OMI and volunteer to organize their precinct or to register voters.

5) Get ready for direct marketing schemes coalescing now within OMI - suggestions include Candy for Munchies sales. And OMI T-shirts are beautiful and useful, and can aid OMI considerably (not only monetarily, but think of the free publicity).

6) Subscribe to the OMI report. Become better informed about the marijuana-law reform issue in general and OMI in particular. Become better prepared to answer questions and explain why it is not a frivolous issue. Subscriptions cost $15 a year or $20 for two years and are available from The Marijuana Report, P.O. Box 8698, Portland, OR 97207.

Look here, on the Reform Report pages, next month for more ideas, a toll-free number for OMI, and an update on OMI's progress. Write to us if you have any question or would like to offer suggestions or assistance.

By the time you read this column, a number of fundraisers will already have been set up. Some may be in your area. (We in the Northeast NORML Coalition are sure to have several set up in the New York area. Some of our ideas which may be helpful to you include parties with music at a brewery and on a charter boat, a photo contest and an auction. Be creative!) Write to us for details or call the NORML or OMI offices (NORML: 202-483-5500; OMI: 503-239-5134). Volunteer to coordinate activities in your region, or again, write to us for the name of your nearest regional coordinator. Reform Report, c/o Northeast NORML Coalition, P.O. Box 20525, New York, NY 10025.

OMI Needs Your Help Right Now!

[A graphic accompanying this story features a woodblock-style print of a rose with this text underneath:]

What If It Were a Felony to Grow a Rose?
It Is a Felony to Grow Marijuana!
Even One Plant. (ORS 475.992)



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