|Rose Bird ProCon.org||A public service of ProCon.org, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit|
1. Who We Are:
ProCon.org is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that has no government affiliations of any kind.
Our purpose is educational. We do not express opinions on ProCon.org's research projects, but believe that most people care about their community, their state and their country, have common sense and good judgment and can better exercise their judgment if the large volume of data and rhetoric on an issue is reduced to a fairly crafted pro/con presentation.
We therefore research issues that we feel are complicated and important and work to present them in a balanced, comprehensive and straight forward pro/con format.
Our goal is to publish the best available pro and con responses to core questions on a variety of complex topics.
3. Mission:4. Staffing:
The Mission Statement of ProCon.org is:
Promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan primarily pro-con format.5. Informational Sources:
Staff for the 1986 publication:
Co-Publishers: Steven C. Markoff and Maurice Weiner
Editor/Chief Researcher: Jon Slotnick
Editorial Assistants: Michael Kelly
Design Consultant: Carol Newsom
Our questions, responses and facts come from numerous sources, including books, news reports, magazines, government officials and reports, research data, websites and responses directly from the sources listed and people with various opinions, knowledge and education.7. History/Background:
This site is funded by ProCon.org.
Mr. Steven C. Markoff initially funded ProCon.org with $459,978 of his personal assets. In its early days, the ProCon.org's primary purpose was to support other non-profit organizations and needy individuals doing good work for society. From it's inception through December 31, 2002, ProCon.org awarded a total of 44 grants totaling $287,077.
In March 2002, ProCon.org's primary purpose became educational, and its first web site -- on medical marijuana -- was launched on April 30, 2002.
In 1984, Steven C. Markoff, Chairman and CEO of A-Mark Corporation, and Maury Weiner, former chief deputy to then Los Angeles mayor, Tom Bradley, were discussing how difficult and time consuming it was to understand important public issues.
Specifically, separating rhetoric and opinion from facts and informed views can take hundreds of hours of research and is, therefore, practically impossible for the average citizen. Although it is the job of the media (newspapers, periodicals, television, radio, cable news programs and the internet) to define issues and present all sides, these are "for profit" organizations with a need to push forward their own agenda, which often conflicts with comprehensive and fair reporting
Additionally, many of those in the news production business don't have the time, resources or inclination to adequately explore all sides of an issue and hit an editorial deadline.
In 1985, Maury Weiner and Steven Markoff incorporated a 501(c)3 organization called the Association of Media Accuracy (later renamed ProCon.org). The Association worked hard to find and present the best pro/con arguments to complex topics of national and international importance.
Mr. Markoff and Mr. Weiner researched and issued two reports, printed in booklet form, at a cost of about $75,000 each. The reports were entitled:
"Should Chief Justice Rose Bird Be Re-Confirmed In The Upcoming November 4, 1986 California Election?," issued in September of 1986, and
"How Practical Is Nuclear Power For Our Future?," issued in May of 1988.
True to the original objective, neither of these publications drew any conclusions, allowing readers to make their own decisions based on balanced research and evidence from all sides.
The reception for both of these publications was enthusiastic, but because of the cost involved in research and distribution, the organization was discontinued.
In 1996 the controversy over the use of medical marijuana was brought to Mr. Markoff's attention. He began asking questions about issues in the debate and found that although many people had strong, often emotional, views on the subject of medical marijuana, few seemed to have sound information on which to base their opinions.
Mr. Markoff then began his own research on some specific medical marijuana issues and published four informational booklets between May, 1997 and August, 1998. The booklets were entitled:
- "State-by-State Marijuana Laws,"
- "Addictiveness of Marijuana vs. Five Commonly Used Drugs,"
- "Some Of The Drugs America Takes,"and
- "Marijuana's Contribution To Preventable Deaths In The U.S. In 1990."
In April 2002 Mr. Markoff launched a pro/con Medical Marijuana website to set out the issues presented by this debate in order to help all interested parties make their own more informed decisions.
A public service of ProCon.org, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit