I first met Anthony Johnson during the 2012 Oregon Attorney General primary. I was working on the anti-Dwight Holton campaign, and received an e-mail from a guy named Travis and a guy named Anthony asking if I wanted to meet up in Portland and discuss reform efforts. Little did I know that the meeting would turn into significant friendships with both men. At the time, they expressed their desire to legalize marijuana in Oregon in 2014 if/when the 2012 effort didn't succeed.
At the time there were two Oregon efforts underway, and I told them that if for some reason neither effort worked out, I would do everything I could to support their 2014 pursuit. One of the 2012 initiative efforts fizzled after Oregon's Secretary of State fined the chief petitioner 65k and the other, which made the ballot (Oregon Measure 80), didn't have enough 'yes' votes on Election Day to pass. Zoom forward two years, and here I am consuming marijuana in my house without fear because Oregon voted to legalize marijuana during the 2014 Election via the same initiative effort that Travis and Anthony talked to me about that day in Portland.
Both men are not done yet. They are originally from Missouri, and plan on making an attempt at a legalization campaign in Missouri in 2016 from afar. Anthony talked about it recently in the Columbia Missourian:
After winning his fight to legalize marijuana in Oregon, Anthony Johnson is rooting for the same to happen in Missouri, where an effort to place the issue on the 2016 ballot is underway.
Johnson, a former Missouri resident and MU graduate who took an interest in the reform of marijuana laws while a student in Columbia, worked for more than two years on the marijuana campaign in Oregon. That effort culminated in approval of the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot. He's planning to help a similar measure pass in Missouri.
"It'll be important for people living in Missouri to take the lead, but I will definitely provide advice from my experience," Johnson said.
Anthony offered up additional quotes:
"I had been working on the issue for about 15 years, starting when I was in a dorm room at the University of Missouri," Johnson said. "I saw firsthand African-American friends treated more harshly for marijuana than my white, middle-class friends, and that was what started my activism."
"For me, first and foremost it's a civil liberties issue," Johnson said, adding that states also can gain revenue through regulating marijuana.
The Show Me Cannabis team is very strong. They have some of the best political minds the marijuana movement has to offer helping them out and serving on their team. If you are not watching Missouri yet, you should be, because Missouri has a great chance of victory in 2016, and if that happens, it will show the rest of America that virtually all states are in play, and have a great chance at ending marijuana prohibition.