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Politicians

  • by admin July 29, 2014

    connieNORML PAC is pleased to announce its endorsement of Democratic State Senator Connie Johnson in her campaign to be the next United States Senator representing Oklahoma.

    “Sen. Johnson has been an outspoken supporter of legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use during her tenure in the Oklahoma legislature,” stated NORML PAC Manager Erik Altieri. “Few state legislators have rivaled her passion and acumen on marijuana law reform and, if elected, Sen. Johnson would be an invaluable ally in the fight to legalize marijuana nationwide.”

    “We encourage Oklahomans to support her campaign and send Sen. Johnson to Washington, D.C. to work toward ending our country’s failed prohibition on marijuana.”

    “I’m incredibly thankful for NORML’s endorsement, ” said Sen. Johnson. “After years of stonewalling in the state legislature, I’m taking this fight to the people. It’s time for the people of Oklahoma to speak on this issue.”

    Sen. Johnson began circulating a petition in early July to put marijuana legalization and commercialization on the Oklahoma November ballot.

    “As taxpayers, we’re spending over $30 million each year policing, jailing, and incarcerating our citizens on marijuana-related offenses—often on simple possession. Yet, marijuana is almost universally available,” Sen. Johnson stated. “It’s time for a smarter approach, particularly in regards to how we spend our taxpayer dollars.”

    “We have teacher shortages in Tulsa and Oklahoma City public schools, as well as in our smaller school districts. Why? Because Oklahoma pays teachers some of the lowest salaries in the nation. How many Oklahoma teachers does $30 million a year pay for?”

    While serving in the state legislature, Sen. Johnson introduced measures to legalize marijuana for recreational and medical use and has been the outspoken champion of marijuana reform in the Sooner State.

    The Oklahoma Democratic Primary will have a runoff election on August 26th. You can click here to check the status of your voter registration and to find your polling place.

    To learn more about Sen. Johnson’s campaign, you can view her website here or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director March 19, 2013

    WinslowAt a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston this past weekend, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) took a jab at pro-legalization Republican State Representative Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk), who is currently vying for the Republican nomination for Senate in Massachusetts’s upcoming special election.

    Addressing the crowd, Senator Warren said, “I advise everyone to pay very close attention to Dan Winslow’s platform. He has a 100 percent ranking from the gun lobby and he’s for the legalization of marijuana. He wants us armed and stoned.”

    According to statements received by VoteSmart, Rep. Dan Winslow’s stance on marijuana policy is as follows:

    I disfavor decriminalization of marijuana because it increases demand from illicit sources. Instead, I think we need to legalize marijuana (likely starting with medicinal marijuana in view of the current federal prohibition) and then regulate it and tax it. Only be lawful production of marijuana will the cartels, crooks and drug dealers be put out of business in the US. – State Representative Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk)

    Representative Winslow is currently engaged in a primary for the GOP nomination, if he were to receive it he would face either Democratic Congressmen Stephen Lynch or Edward Markey in the June 25 special election.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director March 12, 2013

    Lets Be HonestIn an interview with the Denver Post, published this week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke about the marijuana legalization initiatives passed in Colorado and Washington in November.

    When asked, “What are the measures in Washington (DC) that might address states that legalize marijuana and what is your view of federal policy?,” Minority Leader Pelosi expressed her support of state laws regarding marijuana and encouraged a tax and regulate policy:

    Q: What are the measures in Washington (DC) that might address states that have taken steps to legalize marijuana and what is your view of the federal role?

    Rep. Pelosi: I support the leadership of Jared Polis, who has been a leader on this issue as well as other members..I understand some of the Republican members support the law now that is passed, even if they didn’t before.

    But in any case, to answer your question, what is my position regarding the states that have medical marijuana or recreational marijuana as the law of their states: I think that has to be respected. I think tax and regulate.

    In order to do that, there has to be a level of respect for the fact, that if you are going to have recreational marijuana, someone is in business to do that and they have to have tax treatment in order for them to function as a business.

    How the state of Colorado interacts with the federal government on the taxation issues is something they have to work out, but I think they should.

    You can view the full interview here.

    Representative Pelosi now joins the growing list of prominent politicians who are coming out in support of rational marijuana policy. Take a minute of your time and click here to easily contact your Representative and urge him or her to support Representative Polis’ legislation, HR 499: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, and put an end to our nation’s war on cannabis consumers.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director January 29, 2013

    A group of five bipartisan lawmakers have introduced legislation to make New Hampshire the third state to legalize and regulate the adult use of marijuana.

    House Bill 492 legalizes the possession of up to an ounce or less of marijuana and the private cultivation of a limited number of marijuana plants for adults 21 years of age and older. HB 492 would also allow for licensed commercial cultivation and sale of marijuana. Full text of this measure can be read here.

    Polling conducted in January of 2013 by Public Policy Polling reported that 53% of New Hampshire voters support changing state law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, only 37% were opposed.

    Including New Hampshire, there is now a total of six states considering legislation to fully legalize marijuana. It is imperative that your elected officials hear from you in support of this measure. If you live in one of the six states (Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont) considering the legalization of marijuana for all adults, you can click on the appropriate link below and go directly to your state’s action alert. You can also click here to see if your state is considering any legislation pertaining to marijuana law reform.

    Tell Your Elected Officials to Support Marijuana Legalization!

    Hawaii
    Maine
    New Hampshire
    Pennsylvania
    Rhode Island
    Vermont

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator December 6, 2010
    Gary Johnson

    I climbed Everest. I run triathlons. I fell fifty feet while paragliding and lived. Why would my pot use concern you?

    Former NM Gov. Gary Johnson told the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard that he used marijuana for medical purposes from 2005-2008, before his state had passed a medical marijuana law.

    Johnson has long portrayed himself as someone who has used marijuana.  “I don’t drink.  I don’t smoke pot.  But I have drank and I have smoked pot,” is a line we’ve personally heard the governor use in stump speeches at the NORML National Conference in Portland, the Seattle Hempfest, and the Cypress Hill Smokeout in San Bernardino, just three of the many pro-marijuana events Johnson has attended in support of his “Our America Initiative”.  The Standard interviewed the possible candidate for the Republican nomination for president and became the first journalists to press Johnson on the time frame of his past-tense marijuana references.

    “It’s not anything I volunteer, but you’re the only person that actually asked about it,” says Johnson, who governed New Mexico from 1994 to 2002. “But for luck, I guess, I wasn’t arrested.” Although smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes was illegal in New Mexico until 2007, Johnson says he needed the drug following a 2005 paragliding accident in Hawaii. His sails got caught in a tree, he stalled—and fell about fifty feet straight down to the ground, he says. Johnson suffered multiple bone fractures, including a burst fracture to his T12 vertebrae. “In my human experience, it’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt.”

    “Rather than using painkillers, which I have used on occasion before, I did smoke pot, as a result of having broken my back, blowing out both of my knees, breaking ribs, really taking about three years to recover,” Johnson says. He explains that painkillers had once caused him to suffer nasty side effects and the pain of withdrawing from the pills was unbearable. So, Johnson says, in 2005 “someone” who cared for him gave him marijuana to deal with the pain.

    The Standard points out that Johnson’s honesty about his illegal medical marijuana use may be a handicap in appealing to Republican primary voters but it may be easier to sell to the typically more-conservative primary voter than his stances on other traditional Republican issues.

    Gov. Gary Johnson and the NORML Board of Directors, NORML CON 2010, Portland, OR

    NORML is a non-partisan organization but our founder, Keith Stroup, has long counseled cannabis consumers to never vote for a politician that wants to treat us as criminals.  The issue of marijuana in presidential politics has been with us ever since Republican Richard Nixon declared drugs “Public Enemy #1″.  We’ve seen pot-friendly candidates when Democrat Jimmy Carter called for federal decriminalization of marijuana in the 1976 campaign through Republicans Sen. Mike Gravel and Rep. Ron Paul calling for an end to marijuana prohibition in the 2008 campaign.  We’ve seen pot-using candidates like Democrats Bill Clinton (who didn’t inhale), John Kerry, John Edwards, and Al Gore (who admit they inhaled), and Barack Obama (who inhaled, frequently, that was the point) and even Republican George W. Bush (who didn’t want the kids doing what he did).

    Gov. Johnson, however, presents us with a potential candidate who is not just pro-decrim like Carter, but actually pro-legalization.  A candidate who not only admits he inhaled like Obama but did so just two or three years ago, after his terms as governor of New Mexico.  The fact that we can have a major presidential hopeful with a legitimate political chance talking openly about legalization and his recent marijuana use shows just how far we’ve come in forty years of marijuana law reform.