This week’s interview is with Donnie Griffith & Tashia Monaghan from ‘Legalize Louisiana.’ This is the transcript from our e-mail conversation:
Q: What is the official name of your organization?
A: Legalize Louisiana
Q: What is the primary goal of your organization?
A: To legalize medical marijuana in the state of Louisiana
Q: How many members do you have?
A: That’s a little hard to tell. Online, as of today, we have about 80 members on our Facebook and on our website we have 47 active members and there are countless others on the ground in all parts of the state.
Q: What is the biggest issue facing your state today, in regards to cannabis?
A: Re-educating the citizens of Louisiana on the medical use of cannabis.
Q: What are you doing to tackle this issue?
A: We have already started holding informative meetings in our home base, Monroe, and soon we plan to hold more of these meetings across the state. We have an online meeting every Friday at 5pm CST on the Legalize Louisiana website to discuss with our members what business was accomplished the week before, what our plans for the upcoming week are, and take suggestions and ideas from everyone who participates.
Q: If marijuana were legalized in your state, what is the projected tax revenue?
A: According to research in October 2009 by Jon Gettman, the projected tax revenue for the state of Louisiana is about 13 Million.
Q: How close is your state to legalizing marijuana?
A: If medical marijuana isn’t legalized yet, it isn’t as close as we’d like it to be.
Q: What would be the benefits of having marijuana legalized?
A: Our state would save funding on marijuana arrests and the efforts of the police would be focused more on violent crimes. The state would no longer have to pay almost $23,000 a year per marijuana arrest to house the inmate. The projected state funding saved on those two benefits alone would be around $208.41 million. That money could go back into state funding for education. An entire new job field would be available. In an already highly agricultural state, growing medical marijuana would provide another option for the state’s farmers. Small business owners would be able to open shops, therefore employing five to eight people. A person that suffers from chronic pain or post traumatic stress syndrome would be able to function as a productive member of society while taking medicinal marijuana.
Q: What would the drawbacks be if marijuana were legalized?
A: The only people who are destined to lose with marijuana legalized are the pharmaceutical companies, with no use for some of their pills they would stand to lose money.
Q: If marijuana were legalized, how would that affect your organization?
A: There would definitely be a celebration on our part, but I don’t think the fight would stop there.
Q: Is there ANYTHING readers can do to help your organization?
If you want to know more about us or want to help our cause, please visit http://www.legalizelouisiana.com. That is where you can get our most up-to-date information on our movement.