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  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director April 11, 2013

    The Obama Administration has released its National Drug Control Budget for the FY 2014 and despite their claims that “the war on drugs is over” and that they have “bigger fish to fry” the Office National Drug Control Policy is still prioritizing failed drug war tactics over prevention and treatment.

    whbud2The new budget calls for 9.6 billion dollars to be spent on domestic law enforcement, 3.7 billion for interdiction, and 1.4 billion for international drug control efforts.

    Prevention, in the form of education and outreach efforts, receives a paltry $1.4 billion dollars. While this is a 5% increase over the previous year’s budget, it is still a minuscule sum when you consider we are spending nine times more on arresting people than we are to educate them on risks of drug use and stop them from ending up in the criminal justice system in the first place. The budget calls for an additional 9.3 billion to be spent on treatment programs for those considered to have drug abuse issues (though $80 million of this funding goes to the drug court program, infamous for giving defendants the “choice” of serving time in rehab or spending time in a jail cell).

    For all their rhetoric, this recent budget shows that little has changed in the federal government’s priorities when it comes to the War on Drugs. Funding is still disproportionately spent arresting people or diverting them into treatment programs after the fact, while only a small fraction (13%) of the overall drug budget is spent trying to fix the problem before it starts.

    It is time for the Obama Administration’s policy to match its language on the issue of drug law reform. President Obama once promised that he would allow science and factual evidence to guide his administration on issues of public policy, but when it comes to marijuana laws, we are still waiting for him to deliver.

    You can view the full text of the budget here.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director September 25, 2012

    Today, September 25th, is National Voter Registration Day and never has it been more important to make sure you are registered to vote and are ready to let your voice be heard this election. With three states voting on outright legalization, several voting on medical marijuana measures, many local municipalities voting on decriminalization, and a presidential campaign, this fall will be one for the history books.

    You can utilize NORML’s 2012 Election Guide: Smoke the Vote by clicking here or on the poster image at the bottom of the page. This guide provides you with a variety of tools to prepare you for November 6th. Use our resources to register to vote, find your polling place, learn about all the marijuana voter initiatives, and see the presidential candidates‘ public statements on marijuana policy all on one convenient page. To make it even easier, you can register to vote quickly, right from this page, by using NORML’s rock the vote widget below.



    Together we will legalize marijuana and we can start this fall. Won’t you help us Smoke the Vote?


    (Note: You can download a printable copy of the above flyer here)

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

    This Week in Weed

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    The latest installment of “This Week in Weed” is now streaming on NORMLtv.

    This week: a study shows no correlation between marijuana dispensaries and crime, new polling data shows growing support for marijuana legalization, New Hampshire sends their medical marijuana measure to the governor, Rhode Island’s Governor signs their decriminalization measure into law, and the New York General Assembly approves medical marijuana legislation.

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    Be sure to tune in to NORMLtv every week to catch up on the latest marijuana news. Subscribe to NORMLtv or follow us on Twitter to be notified as soon as new content is added.