PR to profit from medical marijuana ruling

WASHINGTON: Organizations advocating medical use of marijuana are

preparing to turn up the heat on federal and state lawmakers - and pour

money into PR - following the Supreme Court's unanimous vote last Monday

to uphold federal law prohibiting the practice.

The ruling, which has no affect on the nine states which currently allow

medical use of marijuana, may seem a devastating blow to groups pushing

to reform marijuana laws. But the silver lining is that it gives birth

to a whole new fight, according to advocates.

Keith Stroup, executive director of the National Organization for the

Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said the ruling is his group's cue to

take the fight to Congress. 'The courts were simply applying federal law

as it was adopted by Congress in 1970,' he said. 'We're going to use

this decision to get Congress to revisit this issue.'

NORML will spend an additional dollars 600,000 on PR and advertising

with Fenton Communications, with which it has worked in the past.

Chuck Thomas, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy

Project, said his team had been working overtime since the ruling to let

the media know that the decision did not overturn states' medical

marijuana laws - a fact he found largely ignored in press coverage of

the ruling.

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