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This is What Grassroots Marijuana Law Reform Looks Like; Join Us

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 10, 2014

    Marijuana laws are changing across the nation. They are changing because stakeholders are becoming actively involved in their own liberation by joining groups like NORML, forming NORML chapters, and making their voices heard.

    NORML has always relied on the efforts of our regional affiliates – people like you – to personally spread the NORML message to local and state lawmakers. On Saturday, members of one such regional NORML affiliate, the northern Virginia chapter of NORML, presented an articulate, persuasive, and coordinated message to their elected officials: ‘It’s time to stop arresting responsible adults who consume cannabis.’ Their efforts are commendable – and necessary.

    As we begin the 2014 state legislative session, a session that promises to be the busiest session for marijuana law reform in our history, it is vital that stakeholders play and active and participatory role in the legislative process. You can do so by joining any one of the dozens of NORML chapters nationwide or by starting your own. You can also do so by regularly logging on to norml.org/act to learn about the latest pending marijuana law reform measures pending in your state. By visiting this page, NORML will also identify your local elected officials and provide you with the tools to contact him or her in support of marijuana law reform. By visiting NORML’s facebook page, following NORML on Twitter, and/or by signing up for NORML’s newsletter, you will also receive timely e-mail alerts informing you of when legislative hearings and key votes are taking place in your state.

    Today, the mainstream media, pundits, and elected officials are all talking about marijuana policy in unprecedented numbers. They are doing so because of people like you. Make your voice heard. Make your voice count. Get active; get NORML!

    39 Responses to “This is What Grassroots Marijuana Law Reform Looks Like; Join Us”

    1. Ray Walker says:

      Really good stuff guys. I love the MIT Engineer standing up and say he’s a marijuana user. Putting the right face on this issue is spot-on to progress. Storys of real people is the honest truth that has been largely ignored. My thoughts these days are filled with what I can do toward this effort. Educating myself so as to be the coherent voice of reason is one thing I do. Another is always trying to find the right moment steer the conversation toward this issue and maybe change the misconceptions that have for so long crippled us all. A great mind once said that we must become what we want the world to be. I want the world to be fair, honest, forgiving, and tolerant. Being brave and wise at the same time is something I’m still working on.

    2. jack says:

      He’s not the only engineer smoking out there ;). Make the waters safer for us we have a lot to risk coming out, make it safer for us we’ll come out and help the cause soon :).

    3. QuaxMercy says:

      As a Fairfax County resident, I salute these articulate citizens for their passionate eloquence on behalf of a more reasoned, scientific & compassionate approach to this
      public health and social justice issue.
      Oh! And! Jobs,jobs,jobs.

    4. bobwv says:

      Anderson Cooper on cnn just had a great report.

    5. Gweedo says:

      Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

      Sorry NORML, but with all the incredible excitement surrounding Colorado and Washington and all the other states with legalization on the table this year, a video of a legislative session is a bit of a snoozefest.

    6. kerry says:

      like to hook up with local chapter near Milw. wis any suggestions. Thanks

    7. Anonymous says:

      people might not want to out themselves and lose their employment so get more if anonymous like polls and surveys. cameras in public at public events. are private cannabis legalization clubs practice to keep membership private so members keep livelihoods don’t lose jobs, business, customers? then after legalization they become grow clubs or whatever.

      yeah tv cameras got you placed there in news footage, downtown surveillance cameras, boss, coworkers neighbors, your own kids, whoever notices you go in there. mom got a meeting. politicians need to loosen up and legalize. the polls show it

    8. Joel: the other Joel says:

      The voice of reason. Think cannabis.

    9. Mark Jordan says:

      Unfortunately I am a federal employee who will be fired immediately if I join any protests for marijuana use. I want to join in but don’t know how and want to start a NORML chapter in Harrisburg Pa. I am forbidden by contract to join any such demonstration or organization. I will have a job with good pay and retain my beliefs in silence or starve to death with no job but correct beliefs. I fully believe in the right to use marijuana. This society is terribly illogical in its conclusion to allow alcohol use but not marijuana. I am a student of logic. I have never seen such bad logic used.

    10. Ray says:

      Once the federal government recognizes that the multi-million dollars that people are using to buy “legal” marijuana, is all cash, they have a duty to respond. Either they crush Colorado or reschedule it so the banks can get their share.

      This war on marijuana is America’s longest and most expensive war with no end in site.
      The definition of stupid is to do the same thing the same way and expect a different result. We need to rethink our priorities and protect people from drugs through education and mental help, not prisons and violence.

      What happened to my America that the war on drugs is fought with the very same police that are sworn to protect me? If you want to protect me get me help, educate me, don’t throw me in prison.

      Follow the money, it’s all cash. This is not going to end well if the banks and credit cards don’t get involved. When the criminals make a large violent robbery then the government will blame it all on marijuana. We all know it is a situation set up by the feds so they can point their finger and say,”See, we told you marijuana causes crime.”

    11. dk says:

      Upon hearing the news of legalized marijuana, grandma predicted that there would be “accidents all over the place”. If I ask her what happened, she’ll just get mad at me.

    12. @Ray
      This goes much higher than the low level profits of the states and the marijuana industry itself. Looking at the big picture, in order to really legalize pot. The feds are going to have to change a lot of foreign policy’s. The feds has used these policies to manipulate foreign officials and I don’t think these official’s are going to just give up the benefits from this War On Drugs has provided. Not to mention the safe havens for the DEA thugs and they’re associates. A lot of people are going to loose money and they’re not going to like it.

    13. mexweed says:

      After legalization of cannabis, if 500-mg H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide joint $moking is replaced by 25-mg-serving-size long-drawtube one-hitters– which many today fear to be caught owning because of “paraphernalia laws”– violence and shocking accidents that would have stained the name of cannabis can be prevented;

      therefore the time to advocate Dosage Moderation Equipment and set up One Hit Head Shops everywhere is NOW in the pre-legalization advocacy stage when we are trying to encourage everyone to look forward to the health and safety advantages of legalization. Please google “long-drawtube one-hitter” for descriptions and illustrations.

    14. Chris Holley says:

      Impeach bently,he can’t be allowed to override majority of people’s vote,he needs to get a life ,if he don’t want to smoke marijuana,he don’t have to buy any ,how can we allow him to cheat Alabama out of ,much needed revenue,he’s to old to be working or hold office,he has to be a health risk at his age anyway,people can’t let one idiot overrule majority of people’s vote,out with old in with New

    15. Chris Holley says:

      Standup Alabamaians,get rid of bently so,we can get the much needed revenue from legal marijuana sales

    16. Chris Holley says:

      It’s idiot’s like him that keep the lotto out of Alabama,much needed revenue also,if u don’t want to play lottery,don’t buy a ticket,catchup Alabama ,lets get this much needed revenue

    17. Chris Holley says:

      MAJORITY RULES ,let’s legalize marijuana the lottery this yr. In Alabama& stop losing the much need revenue

    18. Chris Holley says:

      Does our votes not count ? Legalize marijuana & the lottery ,we need the revenue bad !

    19. john h. says:

      Please! Do not try for recreational legality in Massachusetts. I am a supporter but I believe any effort for recreational in 2016 will be crushed here and will be a great setback. You have to know this state – it was not that long ago that the blue laws were repealed.

      [Editor's note: Polling indicates that over 60% of Massachusetts voters support cannabis legalization. With both decriminalization and therapeutic access to cannabis initiatives passing with well over 60%, MA voters want and are ready for legalization as soon as possible.]

    20. mexweed says:

      @Chris, I agree with the first half of your suggestion. As for lottery, ask yourself why anyone would find that interesting– other than Depression. You pay money, then wait passively to find out if you win– where’s the creativity in that?

      Legalizing cannabis (if you don’t access it because of not wanting to break the law) would make it easier for you to ENJOY handwork or some other pro-active exercise that makes money for you.

      As for the State, promoting one-hitters (see above) could help solve a HUGE drain on state resources (medical care for low-income residents with preventable $igarette-related diseases) because they are a cheap DIY alternative for both cannabis and tobacco users instead of deadly rolling papers.

    21. pablo says:

      Now that Chris has spoken . . .
      If we could get all the top world leaders in one place and pass around the OG it would quickly b legalized

    22. mexweed says:

      @john h.–

      1. I would suggest instead of belaboring the term “recreational” (that means alcohol– wreck-creational, get it?), emphasize Occupational– genius handworkers and inventors– and you will get more respect.

      2. Promoting the 25-mg serving size concept (one-hitters) and vaporization will get traction politically because it represents DOING SOMETHING about alleged “dangers” of cannabis which are really caused by heat shock, carbon monoxide and 4221 combustion toxins.

    23. VAres says:

      @Gweedo That video gave my soul a boner, Also there is a VA NORML lobbying event in Richmond the 18th and 20th.

    24. Douglas says:

      Wake up and go regester to vote. I dont know if this is a requirment to join NORML But u shuld be requir to regster and vote if u can. If u cant then thats understandble.

    25. Willa says:

      what the DEA doesn’t want you to know…
      the World Health Organization estimates 2.5 million deaths from alcohol each year, 6 million deaths from tobacco use each year, and ZERO deaths from cannabis use.
      There are more fatalities from the TOMATO plant than from cannabis!

    26. Willa says:

      >>>john h. says: January 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm Please! Do not try for recreational legality in Massachusetts. I am a supporter but I believe any effort for recreational in 2016 will be crushed here and will be a great setback. You have to know this state – it was not that long ago that the blue laws were repealed<<<
      a recent poll from a Boston (FOX25) television station showed support for cannabis legalization at 58%… not too shabby!

    27. OH says:

      One hitter is okay, but realize, you’re making non-one-hitters out to be a “less responsible” form of marijuana, like sex without a condom. Also it appeals for respectability, while “douchebags with rights” has been a working formula for the movement so far. Go ahead and tell people that engineers use marijuana for problem solving, but be don’t be surprised if you sometimes get a negative reaction to that.

    28. mexweed says:

      @OH, the definition of a one-hitter is that the crater– or do you call it chamber– is small and narrow enough to vaporize more and burn less– don’t you want to save money? (google—>”More Marley, Less Monoxide”.)

    29. jerri says:

      I just want to say I use to ease pain from my back and bladder complications from blotch surgeries I would rather smoke than pop some pain pill that makes me sleep and mess my head up for days smoking eases the pain without side effects from some pill filled with only a bunch of chemicals cannabis is all natural and god put it on this earth not to hurt but help

    30. Eric says:

      Men should be judged by the quality of their work. Not the quality of their pee. My best and most reliable employees have used marijuana.

    31. Mark I says:

      People should be judged by impartial peers, not eletist legislators building a leadership class through threats and coercion.

    32. William lee says:

      Back in the 70’s I worked at a federal research center and during that time we found that The tox levels were much, much, lower than the toxic levels of salt, alcohol, nicotine, it , is also lower than the levels of meth, codeine, hydrocodone, have a much, much lower tox level than pot. Later as an E.R. Nurse we would see violent acts caused by alcohol, meth, hydrocodone, and amphetamines. I have never seen a high speed mva’s caused by pot. Now drugs like alcohol, and meth we would see many cases every week and often on a nightly basis. I have never seen anyone overdose on marijuana, though I have seen numerous O.D.’s on meth, alcohol, Demerol, hydrocodone, talwin, OxyContin, codeine, Nicotine I have even seen people O.D. On water. Yet you see people going to jail over pot. I have never seen anyone using pot that were violent, abusive, nor have I ever seen anyone who went on to hard drugs just because of pot.

    33. MotherEarth'sChoiceNow says:

      Grateful to be a Norml member.
      Let’s make sure we can use Cannabis when we need it, and in the form conducive to our environments. To many stupid infraction type laws are keeping us from expressing ourselves; when you want to light up be mindful of the ones around you! Toke, Puff, and Pass that joint..
      Go Norml, Go Maryland we need our God given Medicine! Now!

    34. Jim Aveni says:

      I would like to help the cause in Phoenix who can i contact.

      [Editor's note: NORML chapters in AZ.]

    35. Skoallio Voll says:

      What about Project Sam? The anti marijuana organization fighting against you? They want to make it so you cant buy marijuana in a store. You will be forced to get it off the street or risk jail for homegrowing it. They want the police to confiscate, fine and arrest anyone possessing a small amount of marijuana. Thats what the laws will be if Patrick Kennedy and Kevin Sabet gets its way. What is NORML going to do about this? ty

      [Editor's note: Project Sam is little more than a virtual front group for anti-tobacco organizations and donors who wrongly think cannabis smoking is as harmful as tobacco. It is currently developing chapters run by drug rehab center owners.

      NORML debates representatives from Project SAM anytime, anywhere letting audiences know that Project SAM is championing an unpopular public policy that failed decades ago, is racist in its implementation, is anti-free market and counter to constitutional values held dear by citizens and corporations.

      Kevin Sabet's entire anti-marijuana career is marked by pronounced failure as each ensuing year Americans more and more reject his advocacy of the status quo. In fact the more Kevin Sabet shows up in public advocating for the continued prohibition the more the public and elected officials support cannabis legalization.

      He must be crying in the corner after hearing President Obama reject Sabet's advocacy for the federal government to clamp down on cannabis consumers and businesses. Instead, Obama and Co. have done the opposite with arrests coming down and allowing greater state autonomy to legalize and tax cannabis sales.

      Cannabis law reformers are at times blessed by their opposition and Kevin Sabet has been a blessing to help hasten an end to cannabis prohibition laws for almost 15 years.

      Right now in America, it sucks to be an anti-cannabis advocate like Kevin Sabet.

      Do something about him? Sabet is a highly disingenuous advocate championing a failed public policy that an ever-shrinking percentage of the population supports. The more he appears in public against pot, the more public supports cannabis legalization. More often than not Project Sam appears in the media only after NORML has referred the media to them for oppositional balance.

      Frankly, NORML wishes it could clone Kevin Sabet, he has been that beneficial for ending cannabis prohibition.]

    36. @Editor’s Note
      I’m glad to hear from the inside. we need more in put to the intelligent comments. Now that I know someone is listening I will make sure my comments are note worthy.

      Thanks for all you have done

    37. Im so sure that all cannabis users out there who would read about this post will support it! I am not a user nor against marijuana but one thing I believe in is the fact that if it would be used properly, it is more likely to do good than harm. and people can have an optimistic view about it. btw, aside from being a great post, the video is also great! it supports the entire post which helps me cut out the time reading. I have also read another post about this subject here http://www.clary-associates.com/Commercial-Litigation.html and want to share to you people what i found out here!

    38. Greg Wardlaw says:

      I do not use marijuana myself. However. It is obvious and outdated that the drug is classified as a schedule 1 narcotic. No one has died from an overdose. Personally, I had rather meet a stoner driving down the road than a drunk. Stoners seem to react a little slower but they seem to drive slower to compensate. We all know it is all about money. The people making it now don’t want someone else to get it. Money is the driving force and you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise. Taxpayers deserve a break not people fighting the so called “war on drugs” and the ones selling marijuana. We need to quit putting people in jail for weed. We need the space for thieves and violent offenders. It is past time to make significant changes. If lawmakers do not want to do it, we should elect people who will.

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