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Yes on 205 Campaign Requests Equal Treatment From Arizona State Official Who Used Public Email Account to Distribute Info From Prop. 205 Opponents

PRESS RELEASE

DES Director Timothy Jeffries came under fire Wednesday for forwarding an email he received from a leader of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy with a link to their claims about marijuana and alcohol; today, a leader of the Yes on 205 campaign emailed Jeffries a link to its information about marijuana and alcohol and asked him to forward it to the same email list

PHOENIX — Arizona Department of Economic Security Director Tim Jeffries came under fire Wednesday for using his public email account to widely distribute an email from a leader of a committee formed to oppose Prop. 205. The email, written by Seth Leibsohn of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, included the subject line, “Alcohol ‘safer’ than marijuana,” and featured a link to information about marijuana and alcohol.

On Thursday, the chairman of the committee formed to support Prop. 205, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA), sent the following email to Jeffries to request equal treatment.

Subject: Marijuana safer than alcohol

Director Jeffries –

We appreciate your interest in Proposition 205 and your desire to provide information to your subordinates about the measure. In order to ensure that you are not attempting to influence the outcome of the election, we hope you agree it is appropriate to distribute to that same email list the information that we have compiled on the same topic covered in the email you forwarded from Seth Leibsohn of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy. To be fair, we have made the subject of this email similar to Mr. Leibsohn’s so that you can simply forward it in a similar manner. Thank you in advance for providing equal treatment to both sides in this debate.

Here is a link to information we have compiled about the relative harms of marijuana and alcohol:

http://www.Marijuana-vs-Alcohol.org

Sincerely,

J.P. Holyoak
Chairman, Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

In July 2015, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued an opinion in which he concluded that it is impermissible to use public resources for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. As noted in that opinion, “‘Influencing the outcomes of elections’ means … supporting or opposing a ballot measure, question or proposition.” Experts believe that a government distribution list of more than 7,000 employees constitutes a “public resource” and sending information to that list is considered use of that public resource.

Statement from CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak:

“By circulating ‘information’ heavily slanted against Prop. 205, Director Jeffries has clearly acted in violation of the Attorney General’s July 2015 opinion prohibiting the use of public resources to influence the outcome of an election. To rectify the situation, we have asked him to circulate a link to facts we have compiled on same topic as the earlier email — the relative harms of marijuana and alcohol.

“In truth, virtually every objective study ever conducted has concluded that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Marijuana is less addictive, less toxic, and far less likely to be associated with violent behavior. By providing this additional information, Director Jeffries will expose employees to both sides of this important issue so they can judge the facts for themselves.”

# # #

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is supporting Proposition 205, an initiative on the November 2016 ballot that would end marijuana prohibition in Arizona and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed like alcohol. For more information, visit http://www.RegulateMarijuana.org.

Contact
Barrett Marson, Communications Director
602-743-4120, [email protected]

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. My biggest question to this audience is how is prohibition and the current illegal state of cannabis a Responsible Drug Policy? The responsible policy would be to make it legal and controlled similarly to that of alcohol or valium. This even though cannabis is NO WHERE near those are in relation to their negative side effects.

  2. It’s too bad J.P. and the others of the “Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” about how alcohol in Arizona was legislated, not for the concerns of our fellow 18 year old “citizens”, but for more monies from federal highway funds by changing the age limits, required to get funds, in our laws denying 18 yr. olds their say as this law did not less then 17 times, they should have been included as the Arizona Constitution prescribes by “Equal rights, privileges, and imunities to all citizens” Art. 2, sec. 13 and Art. 7, sec. 2 “a citizen is male or female, and of the age of 18”.

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