A Vision for a New NORML

  • by Norm Kent, NORML Board of Directors February 28, 2013

    A Message from the Chair of NORML’s Board of Directors, Norm Kent:

    NORML is the pioneer, the grand patron and founder of the marijuana policy reform movement in America. We are still here and by your side, and we are needed now, more than ever.

    Some have said that as our nation moves towards medicalization, decriminalization, or legalization, our tasks will be diminished, our duties lessened, our essence threatened.

    The truth is that it is just the opposite.

    Now, with cannabis reforms about to blossom in city after city, from small communities to large counties, our nation needs a respected consumer advocacy group more than ever.

    Our nation needs a lobby such as the new NORML, firmly planted, and nationally respected, which will protect the rights of cannabis consumers, as no one else has in the past or can in the future.

    Our nation needs a new NORML, which ensures that the distribution of cannabis to anyone is universally safe, readily accessible and fairly affordable to everyone.

    Our nation needs a new NORML that ensures that the laws which legislatures pass favor freedom and fairness, not moneymakers or mercenaries.

    Our nation needs a new NORML that ensures patients have access to safe medicine, consumers acquire healthy products, and distribution mechanisms protect gender, age, and race, available not just to corporate conglomerates but individual entrepreneurs.

    The new NORML today contains a NORML Women’s Alliance representing the power of feminism and professionalism, bringing passion and gender diversity to the cause of personal freedom and individual choice.

    The new NORML brings vast youth advocacy to the table, with hundreds of chapters in 50 states, young men and women fighting with their heart and soul to ensure scholarships are not revoked, driving privileges are not taken away, and jobs are not lost because they make legal decisions to use cannabis responsibly.

    The new NORML will bring activists and academicians, economists and entrepreneurs, to political forums, explaining how justly taxing cannabis legally today can stop the bleeding of state, city and village budgets tomorrow.

    The new NORML will still need and provide the national canvas with a network of criminal defense attorneys to represent clients who are wrongly arrested and unjustly prosecuted, from patients with medical conditions to adult drivers illegally stopped.

    The new NORML needs to remind Americans that decriminalization in 18 states means we still have a ways to go in 32 others, where nearly a million Americans a year still go to jail for consuming cannabis.

    Thus, the new NORML needs to remind everyone that apathy and inertia has no room for intrusion; that our advocacy must still be engaged, that our voices still be heard.

    The new NORML thus needs to blend innovative social media tools to drive activists with initiatives from coast to coast and in community after community. With hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook, and millions of cannabis consumers living and supporting our cause all across America, our word must be spread on the web and throughout the country. We must remind Americans everywhere that it is unjust and unfair for adults consuming cannabis privately and personally to get arrested anywhere, anytime, or in any place.

    The new NORML needs to be advocates not just for patients who want access to safe medicine and fair distribution systems, but adults who demand the right to responsible use along with just access for righteous, recreational use, needing no apologies for exercising their individual sovereignty openly and freely.

    The new NORML also needs to be advocates who rectify the injustices of past decades, for individuals whose futures were destroyed by a drug war that failed to do anything but ruin good lives with bad laws.

    The new NORML needs to marshal public policy so that the laws are changed everywhere not in the next few decades, but in the next few years. To achieve national reform, we need to harness the energy and network of drug policy reform organizations throughout this country. We need to speak with a common voice and universal message.

    The message to be shared and the story to be told is not just that prohibition was wrong all along, or that the drug war has been a financial and moral failure. That is a past we have learned all too well.

    The message for the new NORML is to state that Americans citizens have always come to support equal civil liberties for all, from women to African Americans, to our friends in the gay and lesbian community. After decades of pain, that morning has come for cannabis consumers. The new NORML will celebrate the future, not condemn the past.

    For 40 years, NORML has been on the side of those who embraced individual choice and the responsible use of cannabis, as an extension of personal freedom.

    Now, more than ever, the new NORML will remain by your side in order to ensure that as cannabis is distributed and disseminated to consumers from state to state, or coast to coast, it becomes readily accessible, equitably affordable and universally safe.

    Thank you,
    Norm Kent
    Chair, NORML Board of Directors

    Please consider making a donation to NORML today to help support our ongoing efforts to legalize the responsible adult use of marijuana by clicking here.

    71 responses to “A Vision for a New NORML”

    1. lockedoutofheshed says:

      i personally would feel alot safer having norml beside us should cannabis ever become legal..thank you norml for no intention of fading away….

    2. Anonymous says:

      The new norml needs to go international and that’s all you need to do for now.

    3. texasmom says:

      So eloquent. If you don’t like cannabis, you’re not gonna like the future. I
      Visited the state Capitol Tuesday. Call, email, visit your reps. Educate. Cannabis, is there anything it can’t do?

    4. rrlbt420 says:

      in colorado weed may be legal, but it won’t be sold. most counties have already banned stores, denver is sort of the last hold-out for weed stores. how about covering that? i haven’t even heard a mention of it here, nor any other weed related site, sort of a shame. ‘thanks for voting colorado, but we do what we want anyway’ seems to be what’s happening. builds a lot of faith in government i’m sure. at least they can’t stop personal possession and growing, but you’ll probably never see a retail weed store in CO, it’s gonna stay medical only.

    5. Mark says:

      We really need a stronger push here in Florida. The medical marijuana approach is fine but lets go further like Colorado and Washington. I still believe the term Medical Marijuana is just another media hype and by only having that right they are still in control. Many of us are well educated on the benefits of Marijuana that dates back to the Ancient Egyptians. That said I don’t think a doctor needs to approve anything lets be free and in control. Its a plant its a herb its a sacrament. Just plain LEGALIZE IT. Well I’m glad the ball is rolling finally so its a start.

    6. chris says:

      First off Iwould like to say a big thanks to Keith Stroup for ever standing up for all of the beliefs ofthe people who write on here daily.
      As hard as everyone works or donates money time and ideas, the one thing that haunts us all is that we have been plauged with one simple problem, our image.
      A long time ago Mr Harry Jacob Anslinger produced an image of cannabis users to be monsters and it has stuck with the public ever since. I dont want to offend the 60’ish style or image rather of people but it also is an image of society that the anti-cannabis people hold and use againts the movement.
      Just like everything in life image is everything. I am just trying to make a point but incase it is missed sometimes its best to just say it.
      The people who wear pot leaf glasses and your tiedye clothing and the hula hoop girls at all events are what scare people.
      Dont ya see,Mr Harry Jacob Anslinger did his best to portray the group of people for cannabis to be different than your everyday hardworking class, and that the IMAGE would show the anti cannabis people what side to be on because of image…..but it is the fear of image that society grabed onto.
      I am all for Individualism even if it means it turns into a social group. or the hippi look or pot glasses , however it is an image that will confuse the fence sitters.
      cannabis is a plant,……it is a plant with many properties.
      start with the image that people like mr Keith Stroup, and our Presidnt of the United States, and people who hold professinal position in and around us, this will be the ultimate gain for popularity of cannabis.
      Image is what cannabis needs,
      an the one it has right now will only keep this movement from where it needs to be.
      remember we only have fireworks on the 4th of july and it’s the image of freedom.
      Clean up the image of cannabis and we will have our fire works for the end of prohibition .
      dont be offended, just ask your self are you willing to become the new image of cannabis for a new start or unwilling to change to stay in a fight for a war that cant be won with an image that mr Harry Jacob Anslinger predicted would keep the anti cannabis suporters in control.
      sorry if I hurt the feeling of the 60’ish style I am just an outsider looking in.
      as always
      thanks for reading

    7. Mark says:

      Its great to see this movement going strong we really need a push here in Florida

    8. Joey says:

      The details of how the regulations for managing cannabis will have impact for decades. Critical issues like rights to grow your own cannabis. For those who juice the raw cannabis, growing your own is the only option.
      The legislators around the world will need access to the best information about cannabis, and it’s up to their constituents to ensure their leaders are well informed – often, the grassroots movement in a local community in any-town North America, will look to the leaders, like NORML, for the strategies and research to help regulators make the best choices about organizing all details of cannabis production, distribution, taxation and more.

    9. John McClane says:

      Wow what a drag down by methheads Monsterman! I can’t imagine that. They are the a$$holes making us look bad. Write some editorials all! Show those politicians who writes laws in all those states where its criminalized! Advocate a sliding scale of fines 20$ for less than a gram, up to 1500$ per pound. That just might be pallatable for some.

    10. MpR says:

      I know for myself as well as others………..WE THANK YOU NORML for all you do in the fight against a government who has so much money to blow that they need to get rid of some by harassing Innocent people. This is so totally ridiculous that in the year 2013 our unintelligent communist government is putting people in jail and wasting millions upon millions of borrowed Chinese money to put people in jail for nothing.

      Well thank you NORML its good we have you.

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