In 2014, we brought together musicians and performing artists from around San Diego to perform in support medical marijuana access in North and East County. Their personal stories and artistic creations were used as mediums to reach the public about this important issue.
In June 2012, the Cannabis Education Project applied for a Special Opportunities Grant from Drug Policy Alliance to engage in a public outreach campaign to garner civic support for medical marijuana access and ending marijuana prohibition. These efforts were undertaken in conjunction with ballot measure campaigns to allow medical marijuana access in the communities targeted for outreach.
From August 2012 through October 2012, we targeted civic groups, prominent members of the community and institutions in the targeted communities of Lemon Grove, Solana Beach and Del Mar, with the goal of changing attitudes on marijuana prohibition and demonstrating to the greater community the prevalence of attitudes of acceptance of medical marijuana usage.
We met our project goal of presenting 48 presentations in two months. To achieve this goal, we also created presentation packets, brochures and handouts, creating 10 pieces of outreach material in total, targeted at different outreach demographics. We exceeded our project goal in terms of endorsements gathered with 27 endorsements to allow medical marijuana access in the communities. That said, while exceeding our goals in terms of political endorsements, it proved more difficult to gain religious endorsements than previously anticipated.
The short-term strategic goal of this project was to identify and cultivate leadership for medical marijuana collectives in targeted communities to support fair regulation of medical marijuana collectives in San Diego. However, this project also served a longer term strategic goals of developing and evaluating messaging against marijuana prohibition to communities of color, and identifying and cultivating a base of Latino and African American leadership and support for ending marijuana prohibition in the greater San Diego area.
We engaged in an aggressive community outreach campaign to community and advocacy groups in San Diego neighborhoods with high concentrations of Latino, African-American and Filipino voters.
We developed presentations and informational workshops targeted at specific communities to address misconceptions, fears and overall negative perceptions of marijuana. The material we present was based on existing research and publications from Drug Policy Alliance and other allied groups. This was an opportunity to refine outreach messaging to Latino, African American, Filipino and other minority audiences.
We presented at meetings of civic groups, religious groups and community advancement groups. We targeted groups and leaders within the community who’s political and social leanings would indicate an opportunity for support for medical marijuana. Our goal was 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.