Who We are. Our mission
SMPL is an organization dedicated to statewide coalition building, sound policy research, education and advocacy for substantive drug law reform. We are headquartered in the capitol of Baton Rouge where we lobby at the local and state level, but have affiliates in every major city throughout Louisiana. The SMPL board is a dynamically diverse mix of professionals who share one passion in common for making our laws for marijuana both modernized and civilized. We bring to the task a varied mix of seasoned and younger advocates, different political orientations, ethnicities, sexes, socio-economic backgrounds, birthplaces and skill sets or expertise. By going public with our growing coalition and amplifying publicly available information, we seek to help expose the ulterior motives of the vested drug warriors and undo some of the deep damage that results from the stigmatism of any non-violent fully consenting private consumption of a naturally occurring medicinal plant. learn more
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Latest News Releases
by Art Swift STORY HIGHLIGHTS Highest percentage of support recorded in 47-year trend Favoring legalization is up among all age groups in the past decade Large majorities of Democrats, independents favor legalization WASHINGTON, D.C. — With voters in several states deciding this fall whether to legalize the use of marijuana, public support for making it legal has reached 60% — its highest level in Gallup’s 47-year trend. Marijuana use is currently legal in four states and the District of Columbia, … read more
In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two U.S. states – and the first two jurisdictions in the world – to approve ending marijuana prohibition and legally regulating marijuana production, distribution and sales. In the 2014 election, Alaska and Oregon followed suit, while Washington D.C. passed a more limited measure that legalized possession and home cultivation of marijuana (but did not address its taxation and sale due to D.C. law). The report’s key findings include: Marijuana arrests have plummeted … read more
By Brad Townsend, Staff Writer Contact Brad Townsendon Twitter:@townbrad As a Cowboys veteran and NFL Players Association representative, cornerback Brandon Carr says he often counsels young teammates about accountability. Show up on time, he tells them. Know the playbook. And make it a priority to learn the NFL’s substance abuse policies, especially in regard to marijuana use. “We have honest discussions,” Carr says. “And you caution. I just kind of give guys the deadline dates of when they’re supposed to … read more
We’ve seen some big, public pushes for marijuana policy reform from certain legislators and pro-marijuana organizations in recent years. But we hear less from the other side — the groups fighting to keep marijuana illegal. That’s probably because these anti-marijuana lobby groups are interested in preserving the War on Drugs for their own financial interests. Here are the top 5 anti-marijuana lobby groups: 1. Pharmaceutical corporations Pharmaceutical companies stand to lose a lot of market share if marijuana is legalized … read more
On a recent afternoon in Kibbutz Naan, near the city of Rehovot, Israel, Moshe Rute took a hefty puff from his pot pipe, with the blessing of the government. His hands stopped convulsing, and he drifted into the story of how cannabis had done for him something that no person could—help him forget. A “Holocaust child,” he said the memories of his past—of hiding in a chicken barn in his native France to escape the Nazis, and the later death … read more
The clinical failure rate of Alzheimer’s drugs is exceptionally high, yet early data from researchers at the Salk Institute suggests marijuana could provide a cure. The statistics associated with Alzheimer’s disease are downright depressing. The disease, which typically affects the elderly and is characterized by a progressive decline in cognitive function, currently afflicts 5.4 million Americans, and the Alzheimer’s Association expects the direct and indirect costs of treatment to reach $236 billion in 2016. Some one in nine people over the … read more
Burgeoning business in states with legal sales sparks momentum for reform Just two years ago, pot lobbyist Michael Collins was a pariah on Capitol Hill. Marijuana reform was too much of a risk. Lawmakers wouldn’t meet with him. Not anymore. “I’ve got offices reaching out to me,” said Collins, the deputy director of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit group that supports the legalization of marijuana. “It’s definitely a big change.” Marijuana-related legislation was on a fast track to … read more
These aren’t your filthy hippies and stoners looking for an excuse to toke (not that there’s anything wrong with that!): The American Legion is calling for the federal government to reclassify marijuana to acknowledge its potential benefits as a medical treatment. As Jacob Sullum previously noted, The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is stubbornly refusing to change the federal classification of marijuana as a drug that has no “accepted medical use” until science proves them wrong. Fortunately they’re easing off on … read more
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With Election Day just around the corner, here’s an update on the status of marijuana legalization efforts around the country. STOCKSY/HEIM – STOCKSY.COM As many as 12 states could be voting on marijuana-related ballot initiatives this year — six to legalize recreational marijuana, five for medical use, and one that would amend an existing medical marijuana system. As it stands today, 25 states have legal marijuana systems, including four (Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska) plus D.C. that have already legalized … read more