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  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director June 19, 2012

    Hot on the heels of the Texas Democratic Party’s endorsement of marijuana decriminalization, the North Carolina Democratic Party endorsed two resolutions in support of marijuana law reform of their own. On Saturday, June 16th, the party held their state convention in Raleigh, NC. During this meeting they passed two reform minded resolutions, one calling for the legalization of medical marijuana and one for the industrial cultivation of hemp. The official text of the resolutions are as follows:

    51. IN SUPPORT OF LEGALIZING MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN NORTH CAROLINA (11TH CD)

    WHEREAS, “Medical Marijuana” has been demonstrated to be an effective drug for treatment of certain human ailments; and
    WHEREAS, Current North Carolina law denies doctors the right to treat patients by prescribing
    Medical Marijuana; and
    WHEREAS, Many states currently allow doctors to prescribe Medical Marijuana, a policy resulting in relief from pain and suffering for their patients; and
    WHEREAS, Many other treatments legally prescribed by doctors are known to be extremely dangerous when misused.
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the State of North Carolina grant doctors the right to prescribe Medical Marijuana in the same way they prescribe other drugs; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That the State of North Carolina legalize the use of Medical Marijuana.

    52. IN SUPPORT OF THE RENEWAL OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP AS AN AGRICULTURAL CROP IN NORTH CAROLINA (11TH CD)

    WHEREAS, in 2006, the N.C. State Legislature passed a Bill (House 1723/Senate 1572) to create an independent commission to study the beneficial uses of industrial hemp, among other studies, but there has never been any report or follow through to the study, and
    WHEREAS, American companies are forced to import millions of dollar’s worth of hemp seed and fiber products annually from Canada, Europe, and China, thereby effectively denying American farmers an opportunity to compete and share in the profits; and
    WHEREAS, nutritious hemp foods can be found in grocery stores nationwide and strong durable hemp fibers can be found in the interior parts of millions of American cars; and
    WHEREAS, buildings are being constructed using hemp and lime mixture, thereby sequestering carbon; and
    WHEREAS, retail sales of hemp products in this country are estimated to be over $400 million annually; and
    WHEREAS, industrial hemp is a high-value low input crop that is not genetically modified, requires little or no pesticides, can be dry land farmed, and uses less fertilizer than wheat and corn; and
    WHEREAS, the reluctance of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to permit industrial hemp farming is denying agricultural producers in this country the ability to benefit from a high value, low-input crop, which can provide significant economic benefits to producers and manufacturers; and
    WHEREAS, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration has the authority under the Controlled Substances Act to allow this state to regulate industrial hemp farming under existing laws and without requiring individual federal applications and licenses.
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That N.C. Democratic Party urge legislators to recognize industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity; to define industrial hemp in Federal law as non-psychoactive and genetically identifiable species of the genus Cannabis; to acknowledge that allowing and encouraging farmers to produce industrial hemp will improve the balance of trade by promoting domestic sources of industrial hemp; and to assist United States producers by removing barriers to State regulation of the commercial production of industrial hemp; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we urge the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to allow the State to regulate industrial hemp farming under existing state laws and regulations, or those to be passed, without requiring federal applications, licenses, or fees; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State shall forward copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Attorney General of the United States, the Administrator of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, and to each member of the state’s Congressional Delegation.

    Source: North Carolina Democratic Party 2012 Resolutions

    When politicians long considered opposed to marijuana law reform, such as those in Texas and North Carolina, openly endorse rational marijuana policy measures, you have to ask yourself: Just how many more dominos need to fall before our federal politicians finally wake up and end our country’s war on cannabis consumers? At lest one thing is certain, however, and that is all the momentum is behind reform and these recent victories for sensible marijuana laws are only just the beginning.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director May 30, 2012

    In early May, Ellen Rosenblum rode to a landslide victory in the Oregon Democratic Attorney General Primary with marijuana law reform being a central plank in her platform. It looks like it has happened again, this time in the Lone Star state.

    In the Democratic primary for the House seat representing El Paso, eight-term incumbent Silvestre Reyes faced an unexpected challenger in Beto O’Rourke, who formerly served on the El Paso city council. The race garnered media attention, largely focusing on O’Rourke’s support for marijuana legalization.

    O’Rourke had been vocal in his critique of the drug war, telling the Huffington Post in April that, “you have 10,000 people killed in the most brutal fashion in Ciudad Juarez in the last 10 years, without a single word from the congressman about what we can do to change the dynamic and stop the bloodshed.” He also stated that, “it is clear to me that what we’re doing is a failure.”

    During his second term on the city council, O’Rourke championed a resolution that urged the re-examination of the drug war and went on to author a book on the subject.

    Beto’s support of marijuana law reform became the focus of attacks from his opponent, Reyes, in the final days of the campaign. Reyes lambasted O’Rourke’s position as soft on crime stating that “my opponent seems to think that recreational use of marijuana is okay with him, and that’s the group he hangs around with — but it’s not for me, it’s not for my grandkids.”

    Reyes feared ending prohibition would lead to widespread use around schools and children. “I don’t want to live in a community where people think that it’s okay to light up a joint and parade around elementary schools and junior highs,” he said.

    Despite these attempts to turn O’Rourke’s rational support for the reform of marijuana policy into a political liability, the voters decided otherwise. Last night, O’Rourke claimed victory, with 50.4% of the vote. Silvestre Reyes, despite the advantage of holding the office for eight terms, only received 44.4%.

    Let’s hope this is just another in an ongoing wave of pro-reform candidates being elected into office, replacing those who employ tired drug war rhetoric to continue the costly failure that is cannabis prohibition. The people want it. If the politicians aren’t willing to take a stand and change the policy, it is time we start changing the politicians.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director March 16, 2012

    This Week in Weed

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

    This week in weed: new research looks at drinking laws and how they alter cannabis use and New Hampshire takes a step towards marijuana decriminalization.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK-E7dS4BqU[/youtube]

    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.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director March 2, 2012

    This Week in Weed

    Click here to subscribe to NORMLtv and receive alerts whenever new content is added.

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

    This week in weed: Colorado’s legalization initiative officially qualifies for the November ballot and a new report shows how the federal government stifles research into cannabis’ medicinal applications.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLXHmWnyvSA[/youtube]

    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.

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director January 28, 2011

    NORML’s very popular homepage is now open for advertising from cannabusinesses such as medical cannabis dispensaries and delivery services, cultivation centers, lawyers, physicians, patient ID card companies, medical delivery device makers, consultants, expert witnesses, hemp companies and publishers.

    Currently there are two front page banner spaces available.

    Reach out today to one of the largest and most dedicated cannabis-adoring and knowledgeable communities online, while at the same time, providing much needed financial support for America’s oldest and largest cannabis law reform organization.

    Advertising on NORML’s web pages – A bright business decision that also equals good karma!

    Learn more about this new opportunity:

    125 X 125 ad space

    150 X 200 ad space

    20% discounts are available for first time advertisers by using the code: getnorml

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