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  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director September 24, 2010

    The leaves are starting to change color, harvest season is upon us, and fall has officially begun. As the days grow shorter and the temperature gets a bit cooler it is a good time to reflect on the year that was in cannabis law reform.

    2010 turned the steady momentum we had built in previous years and amplified it to a near unstoppable force. Nowhere was the enthusiastic spirit more prevalent than at this years annual NORML Conference in Portland, OR. The theme, “Just Say Now!”, was perfectly encapsulated in both the mood and tone of speakers and attendees. With the addition of states such as New Jersey and the District of Columbia to the list of localities legalizing some form of medical use and Proposition 19 only five weeks from the polling booth, there is much to be optimistic about.

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

    The conference’s content reflected this immense progress, but also illuminated the turning point at which we have arrived. It is time for coalition building and outreach, the war on cannabis can only be ended by reaching out to formally overlooked and marginalized groups. These groups, while not necessarily consumers themselves, still suffer from the negative consequences of prohibition and would benefit greatly from its repeal.

    Those privileged to attend the conference were treated to some very poignant speeches and discussions. It was hard not to come away impressed by speaking notables such as Alice Huffman of the CA-NAACP, travel guide Rick Steves, musician Greta Gaines, Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Governor Gary Johnson. Fortunately, for those who were unable to attend, we are beginning to populate our YouTube page with new video content captured in Portland. We invite to you visit our site at www.youtube.com/natlnorml and experience some of the conference’s best moments. For now, treat yourself to speeches from show stealers Alice Huffman and Greta Gaines, as well as a recap of the first day of the conference. More will continue to be posted in the coming days.

    NORML would like to extend our unending gratitude to all those who contributed to making this event possible. Enjoy the thought provoking speeches and educate others with what you learn. The time has come to liberate cannabis, all we have to do is “Just Say Now!”

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director March 16, 2010

    Dear NORML Supporters,

    At the busiest and most productive time in the cannabis law reform movement’s history, there has never been a better time to attend a national NORML conference!

    The 39th annual national NORML conference will be held September 9-11, 2010 at the historic landmark Governor Hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon.

    This year’s annual conference is expected to be a quick sell-out because there are a limited number of rooms at the host hotel and conference registrations available than previous national conferences in San Francisco, Berkeley and Los Angeles.

    The conference registration, list of speakers and agenda will not be released for a few weeks, but if you really want to attend this year’s conference in Portland I suggest doing the two following items ASAP:

    • Save the dates on your calendar
    • Reserve your room(s) at the beautiful and centrally located Governor Hotel (all rooms have balconies or windows, and allow medical marijuana smoking)

    NORML has negotiated excellent room rates at this historic registry hotel:

    • Superior Room ($147/night)
    • Deluxe Double or King Size bed ($157/night)
    • Junior Parlor Suite ($166/night)

    Reserve your room right now for NORML 2010 in Portland by calling 503-802-5802, and please indicate ‘NORML 2010 Annual Conference’ to receive the discount.

    Procrastination will not pay! If you snooze, you lose! First come, first served!

    Thanks again for all your help and support reforming America’s antiquated cannabis laws, and NORML’s staff and I look forward to seeing longtime supporters, along with new ones, at the organization’s 39th annual national conference in beautiful, progressive and cannabis-friendly Portland, Oregon this September.*

    Kind regards!

    -Allen St. Pierre

    Executive Director

    NORML/NORML Foundation

    Washington, D.C.

    director@norml.org

    *Double Bonus: Hempstalk, the largest pro-cannabis rally in Oregon, which is held at a beautiful state park at the confluence of the mighty Columbia and Willamette Rivers, is the same weekend as NORML’s national conference!

    medical marijuana smoking

  • by NORML May 2, 2008

    Below is this week’s summary of pending state legislation and tips to help you become involved in changing the laws in your state.

    Illinois: Senate Bill 2865, which seeks to allow for the therapeutic use of cannabis for qualified patients, awaits action by the full Senate. This bill was recently amended to address concerns voiced by some of the Illinois law enforcement community. Illinois NORML supporters are urged to contact their state senator in support of SB 2865 through NORML’s online advocacy system.

    Minnesota: Medical cannabis legislation is anticipated to go before the full House for a floor vote imminently, and if approved there, to the Governor’s desk. This legislation would ensure that medical marijuana patients in Minnesota would no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from state law enforcement. However, Governor Pawlenty has indicated that he intends to veto this bill if it gets to his desk. You can view an ad urging Governor Pawlenty to rethink his position here. Minnesotans are strongly encouraged to urge their Representatives and the Governor to support these bills via NORML’s online advocacy system.

    Hawaii: House Bill 2675, which would establish a legislative medical marijuana task force in Hawaii, is now before the governor. If signed into law, this task force would examine issues regarding adequate supplies of medical marijuana for qualified patients, distinguishing between mature and immature plants under current law, the feasibility of constructing secure growing facilities for medical marijuana patients to use to produce their medicine, and study inter-island travel issues related to medical marijuana. Hawaiian supporters can email their state senators via NORML’s online advocacy system.

    Vermont: The Vermont Senate is expected to vote on House Bill 267, which would define industrial hemp as an “agricultural product” and establish regulations for its production by state-licensed farmers. If approved, Vermont will join more than a dozen states that have enacted laws or resolutions endorsing the study and/or production of industrial hemp. Vermont NORML supporters are strongly encouraged to send their state senator a prewritten letter urging passage of HB 267 via NORML’s online advocacy system.

    New Hampshire: NORML is disheartened to announce that the New Hampshire Senate has defeated House Bill 1623, which would have decriminalized minor marijuana possession, in a voice vote this week. The Senate vote, which was not unexpected, followed weeks of veto threats from Governor John Lynch. The measure had previously passed the House by a vote of 193 to 141. NORML would like to take this time to thank NORML supporters who contacted their House Representatives in support of HB 1623. Your efforts made a huge difference in persuading the House to pass this vital piece of legislation. To remain involved in cannabis law reform efforts in New Hampshire, please visit: http://nhcommonsense.org.

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