Update on the Perez Molina Initiative and petition, 3/1/2012
Welcome to the new signers and thank you again to those who received the previous updates. I hope they are useful and informative. Most of all, I hope they keep you motivated and eager to do more to promote this initiative. Make no mistake folks, this is one of the most significant developments in drug policy reform in a long time, and we cannot afford to waste this opportunity.
Underneath, I will give you some hints on actions you can take to help spread the word. You can find more tips and links at: http://www.world-war-d.com/2012/02/28/petition-in-support-of-guatemalan-presidents-call-for-drug-legalization/. Feel free to be as creative as you want and come up with your own strategy. Let me know what worked for you, to share with others.
LEAP endorsed today the petition in support of the Perez Molina initiative. People can now sign directly from LEAP website http://www.leap.cc/. It will be broadcasted to their 50,000 + members over the next few days, so we should expect some amazing bumps in the numbers.
The petition is also posted on the ENCOD website (European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies) http://www.encod.de/info/SUPPORT-GUATEMALA-S-PRESIDENT-S.html. Thank you to whoever posted it there.
I encourage everybody to contact any groups or forums that may promote the petition.
I contacted AVAAZ and could use your help to get their attention. You can go to http://www.avaaz.org/en/contact/ and fill up the form. The more request they get to support the petition, the more likely they are to take it over. There is the option to create a new petition on http://www.avaaz.org/en/contact/, but that wouldn’t give us just the AVAAZ platform, not the AVAAZ logistical support. It might be best to be consistent when we contact them. Underneath are the title and copy of my message:
Support the Guatemalan President Perez Molina Initiative for drug legalization
You may be aware of the recent developments on the drug policy reform front in Latin America, starting with the Tuxtla declaration on December 6th, and the recent proposal put forward by Guatemalan president Perez Molina, to raise the issue of legalization at the sixth Summit of the Americas on April 14-15, 2012. For the first time ever, legalization will be debated at a major international Summit, with the leaders of the 34 countries of the Americas in attendance! This is an unprecedented event. All activists should take advantage of this opportunity to generate massive mobilization of support for significant and meaningful debate on drug policy reform, especially as obstruction can be expected from the US.
In support of this action, was initiated on Monday February 27, 2012, a petition in support of Guatemalan president’s call for drug legalization http://signon.org/sign/support-guatemalan-president. Considering your history of support for drug policy reform, I kindly request your help for its promotion. Having the logistical support of AVAAZ would give this action the exposure it deserves. This can and should be one of the largest AVAAZ campaign ever, similar in scope to the action you had last year on drug policy reform.
Please feel free to contact me for any clarification you may need. Thank you for your consideration.
You may also contact AVAAZ founder Ricken Patel on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/rickenpatel77
Update on the Perez Molina Initiative
Despite the hurried dispatch, one day ahead of Roxana Baldetti’s own tour, of Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on a tour of the region on February 28th to drum up support for the War on Drugs, Guatemala managed to get the support of Costa Rica so far. http://telenoticias7.com/detalle.php?id=122813
The UK government quickly aligned behind the US position, but the powerful British Inter-parliamentary group on drug policy reform was just as quick to warmly embrace the Perez Molina initiative. http://www.guatemala.gob.gt/index.php/2011-06-30-23-44-4/agenda/item/74-parlamento-brit%C3%A1nico-apoya-%E2%80%9Ciniciativa-p%C3%A9rez-molina%E2%80%9D
Colombia and Mexico are still on the sidelines and haven’t reacted yet to the Guatemalan proposal. A lot will depend on the attitude of these two most influential countries in the region. Should these countries decide to seriously explore alternatives to the War on Drugs and move resolutely towards more pragmatic and realistic policies, the balance of power would be drastically altered and other countries could be persuaded to align behind them, but nothing can happen without Colombia and Mexico onboard.
Therefore, if you live in Colombia or Mexico, or if you have friends and contact there, please sign and diffuse the petition. Reach out as much as you can in Latin America. Perez Molina talked about a regional meeting to discuss his proposal on March 6 and 7. Between now and then, we must drum up as much support as we can.
Finally, I have been sending press releases and 2 have been published so far. Feel free to send as many press-releases as you want. You can also write opinion pieces or letters to the editor. Feel free to use the material found on my blog (www.world-war-d.com) or write your own. If you could help me translate some of this material in Spanish, that would be great. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Feedback from signers
I got a lot of wonderful feedback and I apologize for not being able to reply to everybody.
LEAP co-founder and chair, Jack Cole wrote: “I am the co-founder and Board chair of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). I am also a retired detective lieutenant—26 years with the New Jersey State Police and 14 in their Narcotic Bureau, mostly undercover. I bear witness to the abject failure of the U.S. war on drugs and to the horrors produced by this self-perpetuating, constantly expanding policy disaster. You have the backing of LEAP’s 50,000 police, judges, prosecutors and supporters in 86 countries.”
Neill Franklin: “As the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), our organization of over 50,000 supporters worldwide, support this petition.”
Jude Hider, from the UK, summed up the sentiment of many: “Dear President Otto Perez Molina & Vice-President Roxana Baldetti thank you very much for this courageous action.”