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  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director October 29, 2013

    Reported this week in the Daily Herald:

    Community banks and credit unions are ready and willing to provide financial services to entrepreneurs in the state’s new legal pot industry. But they aren’t able to, at least not yet.

    Marijuana businesses, even ones that will soon be legally licensed in this state, are considered criminal enterprises under federal law, which makes handling their money a crime in the eyes of the Department of Justice.

    Until the agency changes its outlook or Congress changes the law — and efforts are under way to do both — those getting into the pot business can’t open a bank account, secure a line of credit or obtain a loan from a federally insured financial institution in their neighborhood.

    Full Article

    Fortunately, there is already a bill Congress could act upon to resolve this issue. Earlier this year, Representatives Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) and Denny Heck (WA – 10), along with a bipartisan group of 16 other Republicans and Democrats, introduced legislation that would reform federal banking laws relating to marijuana businesses. HR 2652: The Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act of 2013 updates federal banking rules to resolve conflicts between federal and state laws and would allow marijuana businesses acting in compliance with state law to access banking services.

    Under current federal banking laws, many legal, regulated legitimate marijuana businesses that follow state law are prevented from opening bank accounts and operating as any other businesses would, which could ultimately lead to crime such as robbery and tax evasion in addition to the already onerous burden of setting up a legitimate small business.

    Please take a minute of your time today to utilize NORML’s Take Action Center to contact your elected officials and urge them to support this important legislation. You can do so by clicking here.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director October 18, 2012

    The only polling data we have for Oregon’s legalization initiative, Measure 80, shows a very close race with a massive number of undecided voters. In a September survey of 633 registered voters by SurveyUSA, 37% of voters said they were definitely voting yes on the measure, 41% said they were definitely voting no, and 22% remain undecided.

    Now there is a way you can help convert those undecideds into strong YES votes! JustSayNow has partnered with Oregonians for Law Reform to provide a web-based phone banking system to enable cannabis advocates around the country to volunteer their time to pass Measure 80.

    Click here to easily register and begin calling voters today. Once you create an account, simply click start calling voters for Measure 80 and you will be given a step by step script and the information for a registered voter in Oregon.

    JustSayNow’s program also provides options to call voters in support of Colorado’s Amendment 64, and even has a unique “Women Calling Women” feature so female cannabis reformers can directly reach out to other women.

    If each person who saw this blog post committed to making just 5-10 calls a day from now until November 6th, we will see legalized marijuana in 2012.

    Sign up today: START CALLING VOTERS

    Note: The phone banking for Oregon is available during proper call hours.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director October 15, 2012

    Through much of the year, Colorado’s Amendment 64 has enjoyed a comfortable lead in the polls. As election day nears, as was to be expected, we are seeing the race tighten. Polling data just released by the Denver Post has Amendment 64 holding onto a small lead, with 48% in support, 43% opposed, and 9% still undecided.

    We can close the gap needed for victory and win over undecided voters, but with only a few weeks left until Election Day on November 6th, we are going to need your help. The key to making sure our supporters get out to vote and to persuading those not sure on the measure, is an increased effort on the part of grassroots outreach. To further this mission, NORML is joining with SSDP and the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol to sponsor an online phone banking program.

    Using this intuitive website, you can sign up and begin calling voters in support of Amendment 64 today! Everything you need is provided. You will be presented with the name and phone number of a registered Colorado voter and given a step by step script to follow. If every person reading this blog post made just ten phone calls a day from now until the election, our victory could all but be insured.

    Even if you are not a resident of Colorado, this is the perfect and most effective way you can help us pass Amendment 64 and make Colorado the first state to legalize marijuana. To sign up for SSDP and NORML’s phone banking program, targeting voters under 35, please visit www.legalizecolorado.org and register today. You can begin making calls immediately. Remember: the best times to call are weeknights from 7pm – 8:30pm MT and weekends from 10am – 8:30pm MT (the phone bank will operate from 10am – 8:30p MT daily). Always speak slowly and clearly, and just be yourself. Get comfortable with the script by reading it over a couple times before you begin calling, and be very careful to accurately record voters’ responses.

    REGISTER TO USE OUR ONLINE PHONE BANK: www.legalizecolorado.org

    Consider hosting a phone banking party to multiply your efforts. Invite your friends, family, and neighbors to join you to call Colorado voters in support of Amendment 64. You can host a potluck, order pizza, or just provide space for people to make calls. Click here for the steps you can take to make your house party a success.

    Our allies at FireDogLake have also established a phone banking program targeting Colorado voters over the age of 35, you can sign up for that program here.

    The campaign is coming down to the wire. It’s time to really ramp up our outreach to Colorado voters, and now there is a way you can do that from anywhere in the country. Together we will end the war on cannabis consumers. Together we will legalize marijuana and we can do it this fall.