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Grassroots Support for NORML’s Congressional Lobby Day

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Coordinator May 23, 2016

    lobby_day_2016

    Today marijuana activists, patients and business owners from around the country are gathering in our nation’s Capitol to officially kickoff NORML’s 2016 Conference and Lobby day in Washington DC. We’re extremely excited about our line up of speakers and panelists for our conference, followed by a busy day of meetings with members of the House and Senate.

    To start off, NORML members and supporters will be meeting at George Washington University, for a full day of presentations and panel discussions with policy experts and seasoned lobbyists. I’m especially excited to hear from John Hudak with the Brookings Institute. He recently wrote an open letter to presidential candidates urging them to take the issue of marijuana law reform more seriously. You can read more, here!

    Tomorrow morning, NORML members will gather at the Longworth building on Capitol Hill where they will be addressed by: Congressman Blumenauer (D-OR), Congressman Polis (D-CO) and Congresswoman Delbene (D-WA). They are expected to speak in detail about the various pieces of legislation that are highlighted below. With more than twenty pieces of federal legislation aimed at reforming America’s archaic marijuana and hemp laws, it is imperative that we do our part by educating them on the many benefits of embracing a new approach. The same applies to everyone who will not be able to attend, except the focus will be on making phone calls, writing letters and/or sending emails using our online action center.

    To access the information below, simply click on any of the links and you’ll be directed to a three-page document that includes everything you and your fellow activists will need to assist us with our lobbying efforts (talking points, phone script, letter template etc.). Feel free to contact your representatives about each one, or pick a few that you’re most passionate about!

    House:

    H.R. 3561: The Fair Access to Education Act

    H.R.1013: The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act

    H.R.1538: The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act

    H.R.1940: The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act

    Senate:

    S. 2557: The Stopping Unfair Collateral Consequences from Ending Student Success Act

    S. 2237: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act

    S.683 – Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act

    During last year’s congressional letter writing campaign, our network of affiliates and chapters generated more than 2000 letters and emails to congressional offices so I hope we can do the same or better this year!

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    6 Responses to “Grassroots Support for NORML’s Congressional Lobby Day”

    1. Julian says:

      Congratulations to all of you who made it to DC for lobby day; dress right but comfortably; there will be lots of walking, but a much greater more empowering reward. You have the spirit of the American people on your side. Study the laws and their chance at passing your Representatives or Senators desk, then print out the list and bring copies. Bring copies of polls that favor legalization in your state, and check your party’s platform on the issue. If you listen to your heart, then listen to your Congressman and the words will come to you. Be encouraged and polite with Congressional staffers; they are usually in ear-shot of your Congressman, so speak clearly; This is funny advice coming from a blog hog like me but it is better to speak few words and be fully understood than speak volumes and not be understood at all. Explain that you “get it” they have lobbies from law enforcement associations to prison unions to deal with, and that if they hesitate to fully deschedule marijuana don’t let that discourage them from at least protecting states rights and getting reelected.

      But also remember to make it personal. If you have a loved one battling illness treatable with marijuana or you are yourself are be brave and look your staffer or Congressman in the eye when you tell them your story.
      Remember to sign in to your Congressman’s guest book usually at the front desk, and have a great time at the afterparty!! You will have earned it!!

    2. Julian says:

      Incidentally here is what the competition increasingly looks like in Congress;

      http://kxan.com/2016/05/20/77-year-old-congressional-candidate-found-with-marijuana-grow-operation/

      Flo Matheson is running against Representative Dianne Black- R-TN, and defiantly admits getting busted with weed at her home. (Although she claims the grow op in the barn was not her doing).
      Black, a registered nurse, supporting reforms to battle opiate drug abuse, but she receives a D on NORML’s Congressional scorecard.

      http://norml.org/congressional-scorecard/tennessee

      PLEASE don’t hesitate to use NORML’s scorecard to strike a conversation!

    3. Mark Mitcham says:

      If you’re thinking about whether or not to send an email letter to your representatives, I want to tell you how easy it is… I just now clicked on Senate S.2237, entered my name address and zip code, and the website found my representatives and sent the well-written template letter to Bennet and Gardner. Then I did the same thing with H.R. 1013, and voiced my opinion to Degette. Now I have bragging rights! I participated! You can too! Go for it!

    4. Chief Tuner says:

      Rather write my own. Mine are also my active Veterans Administration and Social Security Administration disability claim updates.

    5. Michael says:

      AUSTRALIA AND ITS PEOPLE WILL SUPPORT LEGALIZATION SO PLEASE TRY TO INCLUDE US (FOR LEALIZATION)

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