Dear NORML members and supporters,
Over the last month $26,650 has been raised by NORML members and supporters in a $100,000 donor match put forward by new NORML board members Rick Steves and Justin Hartfield.
Thank you to the hundreds of donors who’ve contributed thus far—and employing football season jargon, I’m employing a national director ‘audible‘ to extend the match grant two additional days until midnight October 2nd.
Because October 2nd marks the day on the nation’s calendar seventy-six years ago when the federal marijuana prohibition law took full legal effect…and quickly claimed one of it’s first victims: Samuel Caldwell.
If you’ve not taken this opportunity to get your donation to NORML matched by these new and enthusiastic board members, please do so by Wednesday night if only as a personal statement –
-Against marijuana prohibition dragging on any further;
-For the nearly forty-three years of NORML’s hard and dedicated public advocacy work in favor of cannabis law reforms and helping the victims of prohibition laws
NORML—consisting of it’s network of over 140 local chapters and 600 plus lawyers—stands ready to continue to lobby and litigate in favor of these long overdue legal reforms as more and more states seek to join Colorado and Washington in the short coming years in legalizing the possession and sale of marijuana for adults.
With national and state polling continuing to affirm a sea change in Americans now embracing marijuana legalization and the Obama Administration recently announcing it is letting these states move forward as potential models for other states, the end of marijuana prohibition is indeed within reformers’ sight.
Please take advantage of this match grant in these remaining few hours to not only double your giving power at NORML, but to also register your clear disgust with the current national marijuana prohibition laws on their ignoble birthday.
Thanks for caring and sharing!
Allen St. Pierre
Thanks to NORML members and supporters who pushed NORML’s proposed Super Bowl ad in an ongoing Intuit ad contest to the number one position. This morning, Intuit informed us that we have advanced to Round 2 of the contest. Entries who are deemed finalists from this round will be informed on October 29th.
We can put marijuana legalization before the masses at this year’s Super Bowl, but we still need your help. You can click here to vote for NORML’s entry (Note: You can vote once a day).
“NORML would like to thank everyone who voted for our entry in Intuit’s contest. Millions of Americans now believe that it is time to legalize and regulate marijuana, winning this contest will help put that message in front of millions more,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “As a non-profit with a small staff and limited budget, we would greatly benefit from this contest just the same as any of the other small business entries. One would argue that NORML would benefit even more so than many, as our brand is looking to broadcast a truly national message and bring to light an issue that directly and adversely impacts countless thousands in our country every year. We hope Intuit will give NORML the same fair chance as any other entrant. Our victory would be a win for all parties involved: Intuit gets lots of media coverage and good will for themselves and their contest, FOX would bring in hundreds of thousands of new viewers who would otherwise not watch the Super Bowl, and NORML gets to take our message about the tragic failings of marijuana prohibition to the masses. Keep voting and we can make marijuana law reform the topic of discussion at watch parties across the nation during the big game.”
Our entry has caught the attention of mainstream media around the country. NORML staff have conducted dozens of media interviews in the last week about Intuit’s Super Bowl Small Business Ad Contest, to wit:
Including this humorous (and spot on) news video that is being shown nationwide on selective TV stations:
“One of the organizations competing in the online vote, NORML, a national lobbying organization working towards the legalization of pot. Yep, we can see the first commercial for the legalization of marijuana during the Super Bowl.
How dare they right? The Super Bowl is an American institution, a family friendly event, brought to you the makers of beer and junk food and male enhancement pills. How could they let such an atrocity happen? Well, it’s quite simple hypocrites…alcohol induced deaths in 2010? More than 25,000 people, heart disease? Over 780,000. Erections lasting over 4 hours…the jury is still out. But pot? Zero, nada, zilch, zip. Ever.
It is time we stop wasting an estimated 10 billion dollars per year on the enforcement of marijuana laws. It’s time we stop putting people away for the recreational use of a natural product that has legitimate health benefits.”
Oklahoma, City, OK: A majority of likely Oklahoma voters back legalizing the use of medical marijuana and also support de-penalizing pot possession penalties for recreational users, according to survey data released by SoonerPoll.com and commissioned by the Oklahoma state affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Seventy-one percent of respondents said that they support amending state law to allow for physician-authorized patients to consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Twenty states and Washington, DC, have enacted similar policies since 1996.
Oklahoma citizens also strongly backed amending state criminal laws that presently outlaw the plant’s social use. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that they preferred treating minor marijuana violations as a non-criminal, fine-only offense. Violators of such a policy would not be subject to arrest, face jail time, or receive a criminal record. Sixteen states already impose similar ‘depenalization’ policies. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have eliminated all criminal and civil penalties surrounding the possession of small quantities of marijuana by adults.
Finally, over 81 percent of Oklahoma respondents agreed that state lawmakers, not the federal government, ought to be the final arbiters to decide whether “[state] laws regarding whether the use of marijuana [are] legal or not.”
Over 400 hundred likely voters participated in the statewide scientific poll, which possesses a margin or error of ±4.9 percent.
Oklahoma’s marijuana penalties are among the most punitive in the county. Sales of any amount of cannabis are punishable by two years to life in prison. Subsequent minor marijuana possession offenses are punishable by two to ten years in prison.
For more information, please contact: http://norml.org/chapters/ok.
The monthly protest of draconian federal cannabis laws continues in front of the Liberty Bell with the ninth Smoke Down Prohibition Rally on Saturday September 21st.
PhillyNORML, comedy activism crew The Panic Hour and marijuana legalization advocates from around the country will peacefully gather at 5th& Market Streets on The People’s Plaza at Independence Mall National Historic Park to seek redress from our United States government.
Speeches will begin at 3:30PM with scheduled speakers: Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate John Hanger, PA medical marijuana advocate Louanne Speese-Stanley, registered New Jersey medical marijuana patient Rowyn Capers, NJ medical marijuana activist Jim Miller, PhillyNORML Co-Chairs Mike Whiter and Chris Goldstein along with some light comedy and acoustic music.
The rally comes just after organizers received information on the costs of the police presence at previous events:
In April 2013, the last “Smokedown” event held without police interaction, the cost of overtime for National Park Service Police totaled $1,522.43. The very next month, when NPS Police decided to start making arrests, costs increased to $5,350.62 worth of overtime. Keep in mind these events last generally from 2 to 3 hours at most.
On June 30th, 2013 the Park Service decided for reasons unknown to dramatically up their presence and brought in even more police, some dressed in full riot gear. On this date, the cost of overtime combined with travel expenses shot up to an astounding $21,563.64. Over twenty-thousand dollars were wasted to police a group of peaceful pot smokers, expressing their right to petition the government and engage in free speech.
However, the costs are barely even scratching the surface. On June 30th, multiple police agencies were present in sizeable numbers. Among the NPS Park Police were the Department of Homeland Security Police, Philadelphia Police Department, SEPTA Police, and the US Fish & Wildlife Services. Also present in June, and at every event held since, was Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Goldberg. It would be interesting to know how much a U.S. Attorney gets paid to stand around and watch potheads get ticketed on a weekend.
These are the costs for just one of the agencies present. Future FOIA requests are forthcoming to determine exactly how much was spent in total across all the agencies involved. However we do know how much the NPS earned for their $20k+ investment in June, roughly $1700. Only 10 citations were made at that event, some of which have since been thrown out.
Source: The Daily Chronic
You can RSVP to Smoke Down Prohibition IX, being held this Saturday in Philadelphia, by clicking here.
John Hanger, candidate for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania Governor and scheduled speaker, commented on the police activity stating that it is a “ridiculous use of federal resources … it makes no sense whatsoever to have that kind of law enforcement present at a peaceful protest.”
The FBI released their crime and arrest statistics for 2012 today and, despite the fact that a majority of Americans believe that marijuana should be legalized, the total marijuana related arrests in the United States is largely unchanged year over year.
In 2012, marijuana arrests as a percentage of all drug arrests dipped very slightly from 49.5% in 2011 to 48.3% last year. This puts the total number of marijuana arrests at about 749,825 (compared to 757,969 arrests in 2011). 87% of these arrests were for possession only, meaning that about 658,231 Americans were forced into handcuffs last year for nothing more than simple possession. Another 91,593 were arrested for sale or manufacturing charges.
That means a marijuana consumer is arrested for possession every 48 seconds. In the time it took you to read this short blog post, another marijuana consumer was taken to jail. Meanwhile, the occurrences of violent crime ticked up to 1,214,462 reported incidents, an increase of 0.7% over 2011 totals.
You can view the FBI Crime Report for 2012 here.