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  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 7, 2015

    The 2015 state legislative session has been the busiest on record.

    State lawmakers have debated nearly 100 different marijuana law reform bills this session and some 60 bills remain pending.

    NORML’s Take Action Center here provides you with the ability to track pending legislation in your state and to contact your elected officials and urge them to support marijuana law reform.

    So far this legislative session, some 65,000 letters have been sent by NORML members to their elected officials in support of pending legislation. These efforts are paying dividends.

    Below are some examples of pending legislation that need your support:

    Delaware: Legislation to decriminalize minor marijuana offenses has passed committee and awaits a House floor vote. Take action here.

    Hawaii: House and Senate lawmakers have approved legislation permitting medical cannabis production facilities and dispensaries. The measure now awaits the Governor’s signature. Take action here.

    Illinois: Marijuana decriminalization legislation passed the House and now awaits action on the Senate floor. Take action here.

    Minnesota: Legislation to legalize hemp farming has passed the House and now awaits action from the Senate. Take action here.

    Missouri: Legislation establishing a licensed hemp cultivation program has been passed by the House and now awaits a vote on the Senate floor. Take action here.

    New Hampshire: House lawmakers voted 3 to 1 to decriminalize marijuana possession offenses. The bill now awaits Senate action. Take action here.

    Texas: Legislation to remove marijuana-related offenses from the Texas criminal code has passed out of committee and now awaits action from the House of Representatives. Take action here. Separate legislation decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses has also passed out of committee and awaits further House action. Take action here.

    Additional legislation seeking to legalize the adult use and retail sale of cannabis remains pending in over a dozen states, while decriminalization and medical marijuana measures are pending in nearly 20 others. For a full listing of pending legislation and approved legislation, visit NORML’s Take Action Center here.

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director

    A new report by the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) adds considerable information to the base knowledge accumulating at the state level on new changes in laws and custom regarding cannabis legalization circa 2013, starting in the states of Colorado and Washington after citizens voted to end cannabis prohibition via binding ballot initiatives.sheet-of-money-hemp

    The ITEP report joins other mainstream reviews and analysis of changes in cannabis laws from The Brookings Institution, RAND Corporation and Drug Policy Alliance.

    ITEP’s principle donors are found here.

     

     

     

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 22, 2015

    Majority Of Americans Back Legalizing MarijuanaThe majority of Americans say that marijuana is safer than alcohol and believe that its use should be legal, according to nationwide polling data compiled by CBS News.

    Fifty-three percent of respondents answered ‘yes’ to the question, “Should marijuana use be legal?” That is the highest level of support ever recorded by CBS pollsters since they began posing the question in 1979. Forty-three percent of respondents opposed legalization.

    Males, younger voters, and Democrats were most likely to support marijuana’s legalization. Seventy-four percent of those who acknowledged having tried marijuana said that the plant ought to be legalized, compared to just 35 percent who have never used it.

    The majority of respondents (51 percent) agreed that cannabis is less harmful than alcohol. Only 12 percent of respondents said they believed that marijuana was more harmful than booze, while 28 percent said that both substances were equally harmful.

    Forty-three percent of respondents acknowledged having consumed marijuana, an increase of nine percent since 1997. Seventy-five percent of respondents said that it would not matter to them if a Presidential candidate admitted having tried it.

    On the question of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, 84 percent of respondents supported allowing physicians to authorize cannabis therapy to their patients.

    The CBS News poll is the latest in a series of national surveys showing majority support for legalizing and regulating marijuana.

  • by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel April 20, 2015

    It's 420 Again! Let's Proudly Celebrate!

    As Joe Cocker famously pleaded in 1969 at Woodstock, "Let’s go get stoned."

    Happy 4/20 to marijuana smokers throughout the land. Today is our annual holiday, an occasion to celebrate all things related to marijuana and marijuana smoking.

    I am delighted to be spending my day at the High Times Denver Cannabis Cup, the largest of all the cannabis celebrations each April 20th, where NORML has a booth each year, and where we have the opportunity to meet and greet thousands of other marijuana aficionados. If you are in Denver, please do stop by our booth today and introduce yourself.

    Legalizing marijuana is serious business, and it requires the cumulative, ongoing effort of thousands of hard-working, committed citizen-activists to end prohibition and change state and federal policies that have been in place for more than 75 years. More than 700,000 Americans continue to be arrested each year on marijuana charges, needlessly damaging the lives and careers of these otherwise law-abiding citizens who prefer to smoke marijuana when they relax in the evening, just as millions of other Americans enjoy a beer or a glass of wine when they relax. And certainly the need to stop arresting responsible marijuana smokers must remain our top priority.

    Continue reading at marijuana.com »

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director

    NORML 420 T-shirt

    Today marks the 20th anniversary of NORML publicly celebrating the now international ‘cannabis consumers day of celebration‘ known as ‘420.’

    With a remarkable degree of cultural and media penetration April 20 is now a well recognized day in America for celebration and/or protest regarding cannabis laws; in states where cannabis has been legalized (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington State) this day marks an opportunity to celebrate hard fought victories. In the other forty-six states that unfortunately have not yet shifted from cannabis prohibition to tax-and-regulate, NORML members and supporters will be protesting or engaging in community service activities to bring attention to the need for marijuana law reform.

    NORML Advisory Board member Bill Maher had some fun with Monday’s festivities by calling for April 20 to become a national holiday via a change.org petition online, as well as to poke some good fun at fellow Advisory board members Willie Nelson and Woody Harrelson.

    NORML’s chapter network serves as national hub for 420-related activities across the country. Also, this Monday, NORML and our chapters will be converting our respective webpages to reflect the #GoGreen2015 social media campaign.

    Also, one of the more significant fundraising projects for NORML occurs today when the organization makes available a collector’s item t-shirt reflecting this unique celebration, on this unique day, at this specific time at the end of cannabis prohibition (i.e., this year’s design highlights the four states that have thus far legalized cannabis). This year’s shirt design is also available in a hemp and cotton blend too.

    NORML 420 T-shirtWith as many as half a dozen or more states expected to pass legalization initiatives in 2016, and survey after survey showing an increasing majority of Americans favoring legalization, this is by any measure the most exciting time ever in cannabis law reform!

    When NORML was founded in 1970 about 10% of the population supported cannabis legalization, today most polls indicate 55% plus.

    It is not a matter of if cannabis will be legalized nation-wide, it is just a matter of when.

    Please make a charitable donation to NORML on this April 20th to help the organization keep the momentum rushing forward towards legalization, and away from nearly eighty years of a failed cannabis prohibition policy–and receive a one-of-a-kind NORML ‘420’ t-shirt for 2015.

    Thanks for supporting NORML’s longstanding public advocacy for cannabis law reform, have a safe and fun 4/20!!

    Four down, forty-six more to go…

    Cannabem liberemus,

    -Allen St. Pierre
    Executive Director
    NORML
    Washington, D.C.

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