EVEN BY THE EXCEPTIONally low journalistic standards of Washington City Paper‘s slander campaign against the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the story “Going to Pot” (City Desk, 8/11) was appalling.
First, my resignation as national director has no impact whatsoever on the “unity” of the organization. The board of directors, the chapters, the membership, and the office will continue to function just as before. I will continue to work with NORML to end cannabis prohibition.
Second, I specifically did not tell your “reporter” that I was quitting because I “ was “burnt out’ by the infighting.” Initially, I told your “reporter” that I would not comment because I had been misquoted every time I was interviewed by City Paper. Then I went on to say that I am “burnt out” by having to deal on a daily basis with the radical evil of the persecution of sick and dying Americans who use marijuana medically. I am disgusted by the media—especially City Paper—for not reporting this, but rather wallowing in libelous gossip. This article certainly proved my point.
Finally, the allegation that “[r]eporters would come by and the office reeked of pot” is utterly false, defamatory, and libelous, and the fired former employee knows better. There have frequently been reporters in this office over the last two years and none of them have ever commented on the smell of pot, because it is not here. We can also provide affidavits from current and former employees who worked in this office with “the complainant” before she was fired. They will affirm that there was never a reporter here when the “office reeked of pot”—because it never did. That someone who claims to care about ending the persecution of marijuana users would make such a statement, absolving the media from their responsibility to report on the arrest of 10 million Americans, including the sick and dying, clearly demonstrates why she was fired.
In the future, I hope that you will at least have the decency to let this office respond to any such specific allegations. However, to save us both the time, don’t bother to call me for comments and then misquote me. Just eliminate the middleman and make up whatever you are going to attribute to me.
Senior Policy Adviser, NORML, Dupont Circle