Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Press Advisory: Medical Card Carrying Congressional Candidate Mikel Weisser to Address AZ NORML

Press Advisory: Medical Card Carrying Congressional Candidate Mikel Weisser to Address AZ NORML

Contact: Mikel Weisser, 928-234-5633, mikelweisser@gmail.com


Congressional Candidate Mikel Weisser Addresses AZ NORML

Wed. June 13, 7pm.

 Caballero Grill

1800 North Litchfield Road Goodyear, AZ 85395

For event details contact: Jeni Pfister, NORML Arizona, 509-531-8544

Outspoken reform candidate for US House of Representatives (AZ-CD-04), Mikel Weisser, added another issue to his  campaign’s laundry list of grievances his when he applied for and received an Arizona Medical Marijuana Card to treat chronic pain from a long time back injury.  “I knew with my back I could get one any old time, but I had to decide if it was an issue I was really ready to take on. Remember, a person’s life is not a stunt, no matter what your opinion of their actions.  I was diagnosed with chronic pain due to a poorly healed back, shoulder, and knee injuries. I have had repeated treatment for the back since I was first injured in 1976 during in high school marching band practice. The other two injuries are more recent, but decidedly limiting. I've visited regular doctors, specialists, physical therapists and a chiropractor over the years for the back. It was a major decision to get the medical card, but having one is the only way I can truly speak out on the issue.” Weisser revealed the news last week in a fiery speech he delivered to the monthly PHX NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) meeting.

“Our country is headed right off of a cliff and it is being driven by the people who sell the public the war on drugs, Wall Street Bailout, WMDs and Rick Santorum and they are wrong on every count. My day job is teaching kids American history and to love our country. Sooner or later we get around to discussing Prohibition. This prohibition is just like that one. Prohibitions create three things: outlaws, criminals, and prisons and those last two are the folks who make money off of the prohibition. Average citizens become outlaws when they are taught to fear and disrespect their government because of this unjust law. The cannabis prohibition inflicted on the American people for these last 75 years has been incredibly destructive to our country and it’s time to move into the 21st Century,” Weisser roared to the full house assembled at the downtown PHX art spot, The Firehouse.

In PHX for a Glendale poetry performance and an ASU/Flinn Foundation bioscience symposium for legislative and Congressional candidates, Weisser attended the monthly meeting of PHX NORML at the request of leading cannabis reform advocate/former Green Party Congressional candidate Thane Eichenhauer. “This is a huge issue, but it is NOT the only thing. It’s just one thing, the list’s a mile long. I worried about the injustice of the wars going on. The US military is like 1% of the population, three million people, so I thought, better take action on that. But then i thought about the exploited undocumented immigrants in the country and they're like eleven million, and that’s really big so I better take action on that. But tell me how many people suffer injustices every day because of this unjust law? How will we fix that? I don't know; but I am trying to find out."

In the audience the night Weisser spoke to the PHX chapter, Jeni Pfister from the state chapter office of NORML, was quick to contact the Weisser campaign to offer the invite. “It's inspirational to hear people fighting for our beliefs!” NORML, a nationally recognized non-profit 501 c3, works to promote knowledge of “the benefits of medical cannabis, the safety of recreational use and value of industrial hemp.” Founded in 1970 on a grant from the Playboy Foundation, the organization now boasts 135 chapters and over 550 lawyers. In Arizona, in addition to a state wide association there are also local chapters in Flagstaff and Tucson in addition to the Phoenix group. As a 501c3, NORML cannot offer Weisser an endorsement or direct support, but Weisser expects to receive plenty of support from individual members

Recent statistics show as many as 800,000 people a year are arrested on marijuana charges and more than half of all criminal charges are drug related. In a short speech and extended Q&A session, Weisser encouraged the crowd to take their own actions to challenge for drug law reform and other progressive issues. “The Right have been wrong in so many ways. Fiscally, in foreign relations and most of all socially, the decisions made in the name of ‘conservative values’ have been a poison on our nation. I have known for much of my life that the drug laws were wrong and causing immense misery, but like so many people I was afraid to address the issue because I didn’t want to be stigmatized. But I think America is ready for a shift. I heard in 2010 more people voted for medical marijuana that voted for Jan Brewer.” In 2010, Weisser’s wife, Beth Weisser included support for Prop 203 in her state senate campaign and debated Ron Gould over it at repeated public forums. Currently Beth Weisser is again running for the state senate seat for western AZ, now known as AZ-LD-05.

Before bringing the issue to the public, Mikel Weisser contacted several party members and close advisers about best ways to discuss his new card and the issues it creates.  While Arizona is one of the seventeen states that now provide patients access to medical marijuana, federal law still holds the substance as illegal. As a candidate for US House, Weisser will directly be able to challenge and possibly revise US law, should he win election. “I generally try to get people to talk about the now and not the ‘what if.’ I was only interested in championing this issue if I felt I could make enough of a difference now no matter what and I think we have a strategy to address that.” So far, prior to receiving the card, Weisser has received wide-spread support in various Democratic audiences for taking a stand on an issue that is still for many a 3rd rail in American politics. “It is yet another example of why the Right have been wrong about our country and why they need to be stopped. The failed US drug war has failed because it is a war on America itself. Wars, education, Wall Street, they’re wrong. They’re wrong about LGBT rights, wrong on immigration and they’re wrong about weed and now is the time to tell them.”


Mikel Weisser for US Congress

Mikel Weisser

4490 Sundown Drive

So-Hi, AZ 86413


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