Just 12 days before elections an esteemed group of celebrities, public servants and activists spoke out Thursday morning to support the legalization of marijuana.
A Pre-Buddha Fest Press Conference to Raise Awareness on Proposition 19 was held at Ivan Kane’s Café in Hollywood on Thursday at 10 a.m.
THC Expose hosted the press conference to show the public why their favorite celebrities and fellow politicians believe that it is now time to legalize marijuana for responsible adults 21 and over by passing California’s Prop 19 this Nov. 2. Proposition 19 hopes to regulate, tax and control marijuana.
Among the most prominent individuals were multi-platinum, Grammy winning musician Melissa Etheridge; actor Danny Glover; actor and comedian Hal Sparks; former Governor of New Mexico and Honorary Chairman of Our America Initiative, Governor Gary Johnson; former Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Steve Downing; Buddha Fest organizer and longtime activist Brian Roberts; and marijuana legal advocate, Sarah Lovering. Filmmaker Melissa Balin moderated Thursday’s conference.
“Legalize marijuana. Vote Yes on Proposition 19.” Every guest at the conference carried the same message, for people to realize the importance in legalizing the substance instead of just trying to find ways for law enforcement to crack down on users and ignoring other “real crimes,” as said by Gov. Johnson.
“Law enforcement should go out and enforce laws against real crimes,” said Johnson.
Celebrity guests feel that Prop 19 should be passed in order to “Stop crimes and to help kids,” said Glover.
Marijuana, in the eyes of Hal Sparks, is just like alcohol and the state should just let people choose to buy it. Since it is a substance being used by huge portions of the population is should be treated just like alcohol, since “alcohol is an addictive substance,” and marijuana is not.
But some celebrities, like Melissa Etheridge, feel that the state is just afraid of people that are different: people that are using the substance are seen as “foreigners.”
Gov. Actor Danny Glover and musician Melissa Etheridge discuss why Prop 19 should be passed and the impact it will make (Video taken by Nancy Martinez).
Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 2004 and openly discussed her use of medical marijuana while she underwent chemotherapy. She said the substance improved her mood and increased her appetite.
The press conference was also a way to raise media and celebrity awareness for the first –annual Buddha Fest being held on Saturday, Oct. 23 from noon to 2 a.m. at the Los Angeles Center Studios in Downtown L.A.
Buddha Fest is a world music and peace gathering event to raise awareness for marijuana and its many different uses through ten staging areas featuring live music, disc jockeys, guest speakers, and comedians among other performers and featuring 20 of Los Angeles finest food trucks.
Buddha Fest is neither for nor against Proposition 19 but the members and co-founder, Brian Roberts, decided to go out and raise awareness and rally to get out the vote. The organization feels that people 21 and over should be allowed to choose what they want and it is open to both sides of the issue.
“People should face the drug problem like adults. It’s time to grow up,” said Sparks.
By Cynthia Balderas