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Cannabis Education Project is AGAIN Recipient of DPA Special Opportunities Grant!

posted Sep 16, 2012, 1:35 PM by Mariajuana San Diego
The Cannabis Education Project is proud to announce that we have once again received a special opportunities grant from the Drug Policy Alliance in support of our work to educate, identify, and cultivate support for medical marijuana patients in San Diego. 

The short-term strategic goal of this project is to educate, identify, and cultivate support for medical marijuana dispensaries in targeted communities to support the initiative campaign to allow safe access in San Diego. This project also serves the long term strategic goal of normalizing attitudes towards marijuana to foster support for ending marijuana prohibition in the greater San Diego area.  
We propose engaging in an aggressive community outreach campaign to community and advocacy groups in San Diego neighborhoods with medical marijuana initiatives, including Lemon Grove, La Mesa, Del Mar, Solana Beach and Encinitas.
We propose developing presentations and informational workshops targeted at specific communities to address misconceptions, fears, and overall negative perceptions of marijuana.  The material we present will be based on existing research and publications from Drug Policy Alliance and other allied groups. This will be an opportunity to engage many diverse communities including Latino, African American, Filipino, and other minority audiences not normally engaged by our movement. 

We will be presenting at meetings of civic groups, religious groups, and community advancement groups. We will target groups and leaders within the community who have political and social leanings would indicate an opportunity for support for medical marijuana.  Our goal is that by identifying pro-marijuana forces within the target communities, we can help build grass-top support to counter the community leadership fighting against safe access and legalization.

The Cannabis Education Project first received such a grant 2011, to engage person-to-person outreach in communities of color in San Diego county, to explain the facts and debunk the myths of medical marijuana. To this end, over the course of three months, we fulfilled our project goal of presenting 32 presentations, by presenting 30 formal presentations and sponsoring/participating in 8 other outreach events. We have an additional 4 presentations scheduled in upcoming months.  To fulfill our project goal of receiving 19 endorsements from organizations and civic leaders in communities of color, we received 11 endorsements from Latino and African American Advancement and Civic Organizations, as well as the endorsements of 16 prominent civic leaders and elected officials.

Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is a national organization to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.

The Special Opportunities grant allocates modest funds to support drug policy reform efforts that seek to influence local, state and/or national legislation. Requests for such funding are likely to be highly competitive given the limited amount of funds available.

The DPA Special Opportunities fund prioritizes organizations focused on one or more of the following:
  • Public education campaigns and litigation to raise awareness of the negative consequences of current local, state and national drug policies.
  • Organizing and mobilizing constituencies that raise awareness about the negative consequences of local, state or national drug policies.
  • They favor public education efforts that speak to: 
    1. the failures and consequences of drug polices in the U.S. and the potential benefits of alternatives to prohibition; 
    2. reducing over-reliance on the criminal justice system by raising awareness of the need for alternatives to incarceration and/or health-based approaches to drug use; 
    3.  discrimination in employment, housing, student loans and other benefits against those who use drugs or who have been convicted of drug law violations;
    4. the negative consequences of current drug policies on human rights; and 
    5. efforts that mobilize people around the disproportionate impact of the drug war on communities of color and youth. 
We are please that New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing) has once again agreed to be our partner in this project.  

We look forward to working with both DPA and New PATH in the upcoming months.