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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Marijuana lobbyist plans smoke-in

    Tuesday, January 22, 1985

    Michael Moran, the only full-time registered lobbyist for home growers of marijuana and the national director of Grassroots since 1966 is back in town.

    He hopes to organize a smoke-in either on campus or downtown this moth that would feature raffling off some “”herb”” as a fundraiser.

    The last University of Arizona smoke-in Moran said he organized was in 1979.

    Originally established in Oregon in 1966, Grassroots has had a home in Tucson since 1972.

    Moran came here that year to support an Arizona marijuana initiative that called for a change in state laws to allow adults to cultivate marijuana for personal use.

    In 1972 the Arizona initiative got 29,000 signatures, Moran said. In 1974, 33,000 were solicited, he said.

    “”If we had gotten 10,000 more signatures, the initiative would have been put on the ballot and voted on.””

    This time, Moran is here to reactivate the organization on campus.

    But Moran, 53, said the students of this generation are different.

    “”These kids weren’t taught the Constitution, and they don’t have any concept of danger – of the limiting of freedom. They’re more into toot and alcohol. Affluence causes this, and grass calls attention to you—you giggle and you laugh,”” he said.

    Moran, who by his own admission has smoked marijuana since 1948, states he always “”has a little in my system. Life is for pleasure.””

    “”The only time I’ve not used it is when I’ve been locked up or by my own choice,”” he added.

    Five million of the 20 million regular users of marijuana have been convicted on felonies for use or passion, Moran said, citing government surveys.

    Moran said he has been convicted of five felonies, three of those for marijuana and LSD possession with intent to sell.

    Ready to organize against President Reagan’s nomination of Edwin Meese for U.S. attorney general and to get a new marijuana initiative on the Arizona ballot by July 1986, Moran intends to “”give a dew interviews and find out if there’s any interest at the school.””

    Moran said his duties as volunteer lobbyist include appearing before senate subcommittees, petitioning student-body councils to get clearance for rallies and writing endless streams of letters to senators and candidates for public office.

    “”It’s almost like being a publicist, except you have very little support from your own supporters because they’re paranoid,”” Moran said.

    “”It’s only in this country, this Republican party, that’s created grass and an evil weed,”” he said.

    The other states targeted for the 1986 initiatives are: California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Vermont, Virginia and New Jersey. Washington D.C. is also on the list.

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