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  • by NORML January 24, 2014

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Colorado and Washington NORML: Cannabis Gets a "Super-Bowl" to Highlight Marijuana Law Reforms!

    Bud Bowl. Weed Bowl. Fill a Bowl. Stoner Bowl. Super Stupor Bowl. Whatever you call it, the teams from Denver and Seattle are in it to win it! And so are cannabis consumers! The annual Super Bowl is always a great time for a few friendly wagers, and cannabis consumers are no exception. Happy to uphold this proud tradition, Colorado NORML and Washington NORML have made a little side bet on this historic game:

    If the Denver Broncos win, WA NORML has agreed to dress in Bronco colors of blue and orange and sing Karaoke-style Colorado’s (second) official state song "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver. If the Seattle Seahawks win, CO NORML will do the same, but in Seahawk blue and green and singing "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix, a native son of Seattle.

    A video of the performance must be posted on the respective state chapter’s web site, Facebook page and on YouTube for a minimum of one week, with an acknowledgment that the winning team’s state is simply awesome.

    The unfortunate irony is that, despite the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Colorado, the NFL continues to ban its use among players, although it is not a performance enhancing drug. Both teams have each lost key players this season to marijuana-related suspensions. The Denver Broncos Von Miller, 2011 NFL defensive rookie of the year, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond, and Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner have all received suspensions for failing drug tests.

    The NFL would be wise to be more open to marijuana use among players. Its value as a safer treatment than opiates for pain resulting from the brutality of the game, must be acknowledged. With concerns over repeat concussions and the resulting traumatic brain injury to players like Junior Seau, the league should be particularly interested in marijuana’s potential to prevent long-term damage associated with brain injuries. Some NFL players might use cannabis for its medicinal benefits, but others may choose it to unwind as an alternative to alcohol, just as others might drink a beer or a martini. However, cannabis use doesn’t have the same risks associated with mixing prescription drugs, particularly painkillers, and alcohol.

    So while we celebrate this historic Super Doobie Bowl, cheering on our respective teams, and laughing about the irony of it all, let’s not forget those players on and off the field whose employers will not allow them to consume a legal substance that has never had an associated death in all of recorded history.

    Let the schwag talking begin!

    Media Contacts:

    Colorado NORML

    Washington NORML

    • Kevin Oliver, Executive Director, kevin@wanorml.org, 206-641-0935
    • Rick Steves (PBS Travel Guide) and Advisory Board Member, 206-641-0935
    • Alison Holcomb (I-502 Author) and Advisory Board Member, 206-641-0935
  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director September 25, 2013

    normlbowlThanks 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).

    Click here to vote for NORML’s Super Bowl Ad!

    “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:

    USA Today 

    Time

    BusinessWeek 

    Advertising Age

    San Francisco Chronicle

    Seattle Pi

    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.”

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director September 16, 2013

    intuitUPDATE: We did it! NORML’s entry is #1 Most Popular! Keep voting to make sure it stays that way.

    Intuit Quickbooks is currently running a contest, with the grand prize being a professionally produced ad run during the big game this year. The first round of the contest is public voting and we are pleased to say NORML, after just a few short days, has skyrocketed to the #6 most popular submission.

    Together, we the people, are ending America’s war on pot. With the last election and with the recent announcement from the attorney general in Washington DC, we are beautifully positioned to make sure a responsible, adult American citizen is never again arrested for the use of recreational marijuana.

    But this doesn’t just happen. Please take a moment of your time to support our campaign to bring the message of legalization to the masses during the most watched TV program of the year.

    The voting process is simple. Click the link below and you will be taken to NORML’s entry. Click “Vote for Us” and you’re done (no login, no Facebook connect). Then share with your family and friends via your social media pages. Don’t forget that you can vote once a day. Together we can make marijuana legalization a topic of conversation at every game watching party across the country!

    If you vote, we will win.

    Click here to vote.

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director April 26, 2010

    On Tuesday evening, April 27, in its heralded 30 for 30 sports documentary series, ESPN will broadcast in prime time the behind-the-scenes story—and tragedy—of Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams’ unfortuitous rise to pro football fame during this prolonged epoch of cannabis prohibition (which began in 1937).

    For college and NFL football fans of the late 1990s, no player has grabbed more controversial headlines, over a longer period of time, for really nothing more than preferring cannabis to alcohol, than Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams.

    In a fascinating, multi-year documentary by Sean Pamphilon, a former ESPN producer, for the first time the general public and massive NFL fan base can watch the story that tracks Ricky’s amazingly erratic football career in Run Ricky Run, from his unwillingness to cut his dreads to play for the top-ranked and legendary University of Texas Longhorns (where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1998, college football’s top honor) to the New Orleans Saints where he was a top five draft pick, and finally the Miami Dolphins—all the while dogged by Ricky’s personal choice to continue to use cannabis while hugely influential and powerful institutions in American society (NCAA, U of TX, NFL and corporate sponsors) wrestled with his very personal (and consequential) choice, largely punishing him and making him something of a martyr in professional sports.

    I’ve had the pleasure of seeing parts of this fascinating documentary in the past and recommend this final production’s viewing as a way for us all to better understand the intersection of professional athletes, morality, the law and corporate public relations.

    *Premieres Tuesday Apr 27 8PM ESPN

    -Tuesday Apr 27 (11pm ESPN 2)

    -Wednesday Apr 28 (4:30pm ESPN U)

    -Wednesday Apr 28 (11pm ESPN U)

    -Thursday Apr 29 (7:30pm ESPN 2)

    -Thursday Apr 29 (11pm ESPN Classic)


  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator September 11, 2009

    Mark StepnoskiNORML is proud to confirm that Mark Stepnoski
    will be speaking at the 2009 NORML National Conference in San Francisco, CA.

    Mr. Stepnoski is a decorated pro athlete. Mark played for thirteen years in the National Football League, during which he won two Super Bowl rings (with the Dallas Cowboys) and was nominated for the Pro Bowl on five occasions. Mark was also named second team center on the NFL ‘All-Decade team’ for the 1990s.

    Since retiring from pro football in 2001, Mark has dedicated much of his energy to reforming America’s antiquated and draconian marijuana laws. He is a former President of Texas NORML and presently serves on NORML’s national advisory board. "I took great pride in my performance on and off the field, and often questioned why our culture embraces alcohol while simultaneously stigmatizing those who choose to consume a less harmful alternative, marijuana," he says. "[It] is inconsistent, both legally and socially, for our laws to punish adults who make the ‘safer’ choice."

    Mark will be leading an all-star panel discussion at this year’s conference pertaining to the use of cannabis among top athletes. "Since I was a kid, I wanted to play in the NFL," says Mark. "Even though I occasionally used marijuana, it never prevented me from attaining my goals."

    Mark says, "Yes we cannabis" and so should you! Meet Mark and hundreds of other likeminded people at NORML’s 38th annual conference, taking place September 24-26 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Francisco. For registration information, please visit: http://www.norml.org/conference.

    More about Mark Stepnoski:

    New York Daily News: Smoking Is NORML

    Reason.com: Lineman for Liberty — Former Cowboys center Mark Stepnoski tackles prohibition

    Valley Advocate: Tokers Got Game