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Friday, Jan 04, 2002
Illegal or not, domestic pot cultivation has made marijuana America's No. 1 cash crop, and proof is beginning to show in Washington.
Unprecedented fund raising and increasing national support for marijuana-policy reform has led the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project to increase its full-time staff from five to 11 in just three months.
The project credits several unnamed "major donors" for doubling the project's budget from $500,000 in 2001 to more than $1 million this year. Now, organizations seeking to change state and federal marijuana laws — articulating tactics and strategies to regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol — will be eligible for first-of-a-kind grants of up to $50,000 each under a new program administered by the project.
We also see where longtime political strategist Billy Rogers, former fund-raising director for former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, has become the pot project's new director of state policies. In 1998, Mr. Rogers served as campaign manager for Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Garry Mauro, and prior to that helped launch and served as editor in chief of the Moscow Guardian, the first English-language magazine in Russia.