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Four days since The White House threatened marijuana consumers…

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director February 27, 2017
    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer

    It has been a whirlwind since the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday indicated that the Trump administration may engage in “greater” efforts to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in jurisdictions that have legalized and regulated its adult use.

    In the last four days, NORML has helped to generate over 20,000 emails to members of Congress in to support HR 975, The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act, which would prevent federal agencies from enforcing prohibition in states that have changed their marijuana laws. In addition, over 5,000 individuals for the first time have also emailed their state elected officials via our Act page in support of various statewide legislative reforms.

    While neither the White House nor the Department of Justice have yet to act on their threats, this trial balloon could be a prelude to aggressive action in the not so distant future. In the context of recent actions by the Department of Justice in regard to immigration enforcement and private prisons, it is within the realm of possibility that a full scale assault on marijuana users could be coming shortly.

    Even if the Department of Justice does little more than send letters to elected officials in legal states declaring its intention to act, this alone will have a serious chilling effect on the implementation of statewide legalization laws. These are exactly the sort of tactics that our opponents in states like Maine and Massachusetts have sought for in order to justify delaying implementing the will of their voters.

    We must be vigilant and pressure Congress to protect adult use marijuana states from undue federal interference.

    Click here to email your member of Congress right now to support The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act.

    Also, in the wake of Spicer’s comments, NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano has two new op-ed’s, appearing in The Hill and The Daily Caller.

    Trump Administration’s dubious claims about pot and opioids are dead wrong

    …Proponents of marijuana prohibition have long alleged that experimentation with pot acts as a ‘gateway’ to the use and eventual abuse of other illicit substances. But the evidence does not support this claim.

    In reality, permitting marijuana sales to be regulated by licensed, state-authorized distributors rather than by criminal entrepreneurs and pushers of various other illicit drugs results in fewer, not more, Americans abusing other, potentially more dangerous substances…

    Read more in The Hill

    Trump’s Proposed Pot Crackdown Is Out Of Step With Voters, Including Many Republicans

    …Rather than picking an unnecessary fight with the majority of American voters, including a significant portion of Trump’s own base, the administration should consider embracing common sense marijuana law reforms. Endorsing bipartisan legislation, HR 975: The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,” would be a good place to start. In accordance with the electorate’s wishes, passage of the act would prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals or businesses that are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana.

    Despite more than 70 years of federal marijuana prohibition, Americans’ consumption of and demand for cannabis is here to stay. It is time for politicians to acknowledge this reality and amend federal marijuana laws in a manner that comports with majority public opinion and the plant’s rapidly changing legal and cultural status. The Trump administration has the opportunity to take the lead on this issue. It would be an enormous political misstep for them to do otherwise….

    Read more in The Daily Caller

    Additionally, the newly formed Cannabis Caucus put out a statement regarding last the announcement from Spicer:

    “Today’s statement by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer regarding marijuana policy reaffirms the need for the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. Last November, eight more states passed measures to increase access to state-legal cannabis, and today more than 300 million Americans live in states with access to adult-use marijuana or some form medical cannabis.  Among them are four additional states that have fully legalized the adult-use of marijuana. We hope today’s comments do not reflect the views of the President and his administration.  As co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, we stand ready to educate this administration on the need for more sensible marijuana policies and share the many experiences states have had with the legalization of cannabis. Together, we will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to reform our failed marijuana policies and provide a voice for Americans who have overwhelmingly voted for a more sensible drug policy.”

    It’s institutions like NORML, the Cannabis Caucus, and most importantly, your efforts as part of the democratic process that will prevent the rollback of progress in marijuana legalization. Don’t stop calling your members of Congress and getting involved locally. Do not accept this as a new normal. This is not normal. Smoking pot is NORML.

    Email your member of Congress right now and tell them to protect marijuana progress and join the newly formed Cannabis Caucus.

    29 Responses to “Four days since The White House threatened marijuana consumers…”

    1. Steve says:

      Is the statement from the Cannabis Caucus correct? 300 million in states with access to adult-use or medical. Seems a bit high with a total US population of 350 million, especially since at least some of the total population must be non-adults.

      • Anonymous says:

        I thought that was a typo at first too.. but by the time you add in CBD, Only 7 states have nothing. Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Indiana, and West Virginia. And except for Wisconsin, and Indiana, none of the other states have high population density. Wisconsin and Indiana are only held back by Republican Governors.

    2. Giuseppe Cimino says:

      I need marijuana, I have major muscle spasms, it’s just that my job has ransoms and even though I have a medical card from my doctor my employer will not honor it. We have to get it recognized as a medicine I’m 78 clean and can not endure much more, please give me a answer as to what I can do.

      • Jeedi says:

        Dear Giuseppe,

        Go find another job! In my life I have NEVER worked for places that drug test. I would rather live a meager life, than be subjected to drug testing in a so-called good job. Just say no to your current employer….

    3. Mark Mitcham says:

      Done!
      My representatives have gotten more than one email from me. It’s okay to do that — it’s not like voting twice! It’s more like, keeping up the pressure. It’s a reminder that we’re not software robots, we’re serious about this!

    4. Youwanthimyougothim says:

      Ahhh this is going to be fucked up four year rollercoaster ride. I’m sitting in the back so I really get the full effect of this dastardly bastard.

    5. Julian says:

      Gotta admit that I’m both inspired by Strekal and Armentanos on target messages in the wake of this assault from the White House… and yet sadly disapointed by the relatively low number of people clicking on the Act tab from this webpage.
      I seem to recall some years back NORML celebrating when we hit 420,000 members. I tried looking that up to verify it and found this 2013 annual report:
      http://norml.org/pdf_files/2013_NORML_Annual_Report.pdf
      And the stats are even more disturbing. 6 million people can visit this webpage in one year BUT WE ONLY HAVE 135,000 PEOPLE EMAILING OUR CONGRESSMAN during that SAME year?! How do people think we lobby Congress to reform bad laws? Is it donate a dollar then piggy pack on a few billionaire donors? And then what? Maybe post a comment or two about how its all Obama’s fault and wait for the legalization harvest?
      If we value our freedom we need to LET OUR CONGRESSMAN KNOW! Everyone who visits this page blaming the government must first ask themselves “Did I Click on the green ACT! Tab below and today and support HR 975, marijuana legalization and states rights? Did I contact my local NORML chapter and find out how to meet my state legislators in person at their local office and pass state marijuana reform laws?” Because if the answer is “no” than thats the answer to our freedom and all the hard-earned legalization we already passed that goes with it.

      • glenn says:

        Slow clap….., for you sir! tremendous writing and topic point!
        Thank you, for pointing these examples out, of how we can improve our efforts immediately. I donate sometimes and have signed every petition so far that I could, but I rarely send emails to reps. I WILL TODAY! and from now on! #420FRNDLI

    6. Cat Cassie says:

      The gateway theory is being resurrected.

      • Four More Years says:

        As is Zero Tolerance, Asset Forfeiture, Militarized Police and Convicts R Us Prisons.
        If Trump isn’t defeated in 2020.. Hello burning at the stake…

    7. Matt says:

      NORML, firstly, let me thank you for the outstanding efforts listed above. I want to also say….I deliberatly waited until the calm of night to make this post, as it is a calmer time for me….I do not know the post limit for words on here, but I only ask if I make two or three posts, please post them, I do attempt to keep appropriate lengths, but tonight is a time of great pain and fear for me…..the terrifying words four days ago about a possible Federal crackdown…..keep me up at night. I am contacting my representatives, and thank you for the link. It brings me to TEARS when I think of them actually carrying out a DEA crackdown, raids on shops, mass arrests of users. You are correct it may follow the same pattern of the ICE arrests, etc. I am very, very afraid and I do indeed often cry when I think of a full-scale crackdown and them tearing up and destroying everything we have done, all the progress we have made.

    8. Matt says:

      (continued from above) For YEARS, I have had the deepest passion for not only marijuana but for our legalization fight. I won’t go into the details of a 2011 raid my college roommates and I experienced to save space. But I truly am in near-constant pain every hour of the days now. I am sorry for being so emotional, but when I think of the DEA raiding and destroying shops, shutting down all the work we have done, it truly is a very sad feeling. We MUST do something to fight back. I forsee either the letters or a full-scale assault on the retail end of the industry. Then, Sessions might ORDER the governors to repeal the laws, the state police forces to crackdown if we wisely decide to go underground in the fight.

    9. Matt says:

      (continued from above, and final post, btw, thank you if you post all three, it means alot to me). I have seen some positive signs that might be of use to our fight. The AG of Wash. state is very angry, and may stand in defiance of Trump and Sessions. California could indeed become a sanctuary state, and ignore Sessions completely. In addition, there is our underground approach with users and retailers ignoring the attack and enjoying marijuana anyway. Also, we have the Respect Marijuana bill, but we MUST get it passed in time. It would be very helpful if we could get California onboard with retail. More states in the NE. I am sorry for my emotional, long posts, everyone, but I hope they are posted tonight. A crackdown could come tommorow, this week, at any moment. This is a HORRIBLE admin, from their immmigration deportations, to the transgender repeal, to the environmental issues, to so much else. They are creating a police-state. We MUST protect legalization and do something. I truly am not the only one crying, perhaps, I am terrified of the ignorance of this administration, of a possible crackdown on the good people of the shops….it is very scary indeed. Contact your reps. Take to the town halls, the streets, shout as loudly as you can, hold signs, make your voices heard. This is the battle that perhaps was inevitable. And we MUST stand strong. Stand and fight, and let’s keep our progress going. Thank you.

      • Evening Bud says:

        Matt, I found your posts very compelling, and I agree with most of what you said.

        When I read Spicer’s initial words, I felt an sense of anger I haven’t felt in a while. Not only does it possibly foretell something terrible for our cause, but, even if not, it appears that it was done with a certain malice.

        I don’t trust Drumpf as far as I can spit, and I certainly don’t trust any of the people he’s stacked his cabinet and administration with. We are already seeing some of the effects of his immigration policies unfold (more than a few of them quite tragic); hopefully, we won’t soon also see the effects of Spicer’s warnings unfold.

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