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  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director October 10, 2012

    New Approach Washington, the campaign behind Washington State’s marijuana legalization initiative (I-502), has just released two new television ads that began airing today. What makes these advertisements even more notable is that they both prominently feature former federal law enforcement officials. The importance of this is perfectly summed up by former NORML Board Member and writer for Washington’s “The Stranger,” Dominic Holden:

    This is a big deal: The new ads for Initiative 502 that begin airing today, which encourage Washington to become the first state to legalize marijuana, star former federal law enforcement.

    I know—if you watch politics around here, you know they’re on board and their endorsement seems… banal. Don’t be jaded. Former US Attorneys John McKay and Kate Pflaumer, along with the FBI’s Charlie Mandigo, make the most persuasive case for legalization: Pot laws result in using limited law enforcement resources that should instead be focused on violent crime.

    Every time that pot legalization—even decriminalization—has gone to voters in other states, federal law enforcement have delivered the coup de grace, largely by virtue of their credibility. This time, it’s the opposite. These prosecutors and an agent get in the first word for legalization, and with $1 million in the bank and up to $2 million more on the way, the New Approach Washington campaign is going to hit this message hard. This is a coup.

    SOURCE

    You can view the new TV spots below. Please share as widely as possible with your friends and family. Together we can end marijuana prohibition, let’s Smoke the Vote in November. Previous polling for I-502 in September had support for the effort at 57%, help us keep up the momentum going into election day by educating everyone you know about the importance of cannabis reform in the 2012 election. You can learn more about these initiatives and the presidential candidates’ statements on marijuana by reading NORML’s voter guide available here.

    YES ON I-502!

    YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

    You can visit the campaign’s website for more info here.

  • by Sabrina Fendrick September 4, 2012

    STREAMING LIVE

    9/4/2012 at 5:30pm

    Watch Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, former special agent Jamie Haase, and southern rock artist Greta Gaines as they speak live on behalf of North Carloina NORML to raise awareness and support for ending marijuana prohibition at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte.


    Live video by Ustream

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 30, 2012

    The mainstream press has been abuzz in recent days regarding the findings of a recent study suggesting that early-onset, persistent cannabis exposure by those under age 18 could potentially pose adverse effects on intelligence quotient.

    Yet, absent from the media’s discussion of the study — a discussion that has even included some fairly critical reviews of the study’s methodology (See here and here for just two examples.) — is any talk of the role that marijuana prohibition plays in inadvertently steering young people toward cannabis, an issue I address in depth in a column published today and excerpted below:

    Pot & IQ: A Flawed Debate
    via hightimes.com

    [excerpt] Even if one is to accept the study’s findings at face value, it’s hard to see how concerns regarding the potential impact of cannabis on the developing adolescent brain are any way a persuasive argument in support of present day marijuana prohibition. After all, virtually no one wants kids as young as 12 or 13 years of age consuming a mood-altering substance like cannabis. Yet, under cannabis criminalization – a policy that prohibits its use for people of all ages and compels all consumers to acquire the product on the black market instead of from licensed businesses – teens are more likely to have easy access to pot, not less.

    … Specifically, a June 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control reported that more teens are smoking pot than cigarettes.

    Not so coincidentally, teens’ declining use of cigarettes has run parallel to increased state and federal efforts to penalize those licensed businesses that improperly sell to minors and to educate the public about the health risks associated with tobacco. Ditto for booze.

    In short, it’s legalization, regulation, and public education – coupled with the imposition and enforcement of appropriate age restrictions – that most effectively keeps mind-altering substances out of the hands of children and reduces the likelihood of their abuse.

    Isn’t it about time we took this same approach for pot?

    You can read the full essay and comment on it here.

  • by Sabrina Fendrick August 29, 2012

    Charlotte, NC: On Tuesday, September 4th at 5:30 pm, during the Democratic National Convention, North Carolina NORML will be hosting Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, former special agent Jamie Haase, and southern rock artist Greta Gaines as they speak on behalf of the organization to raise awareness and support for ending marijuana prohibition.

     

    The chapter issued the following statement:

    “The North Carolina chapter of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws is excited to have such an esteemed group of individuals speak on behalf of the marijuana movement at this politically symbolic event, and especially during such a historic time in our fight for legalization.  Marijuana prohibition continues to feed a violent criminal economy and waste precious tax dollars.

    Legalization could generate approximately $10 billion annually in tax revenue and law enforcement savings.  Seventeen states, along with the District of Columbia, have already passed pro-marijuana legislation. With Colorado, Oregon and Washington all voting on legalization initiatives this November, it is more important than ever that we bring as much attention to this issue as possible.”

    Event Information:

    Date: September 4th at 5:30pm.

    Location: Speaker’s Podium (The corner of E. Stonewall Street and S. Caldwell Street in uptown Charlotte) 

    About the Speakers:

    Gary Johnson: The former Governor of New Mexico, Mr. Johnson is the current Libertarian candidate for president in the 2012 election. In the marijuana discussion, Mr. Johnson believes that by making the plant a legal, regulated product, we can restrict availability, curtail underage use, and reduce the legal costs associated with prosecuting marijuana offenders.

    Jamie Haase: As a former ICE Special Agent, Mr. Haase brings a unique perspective to the conversation of marijuana reform. Having worked as a federal agent along the Mexican border, he’s been involved in multiple narcotics investigations. In 2011, he resigned from the United States government to become an advocate for marijuana legalization. He is now a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

    Greta Gaines: Ms.Gaine’s career has crossed the entertainment industry in many forms.  She performed with Sheryl Crowe and Alanis Morissette on the Lilith Fair tour, hosted her own show on the Oxygen network, Free Ride with Greta Gaines, for three years and worked as a correspondent on ESPN2.  She has also produced four albums as a southern rock musician.  In 1992, Gaines became the first winner of the Women’s World Extreme Snowboard Championship. Currently, she serves on the National NORML Board of Directors and is actively involved with the NORML Women’s Alliance.

  • by Sabrina Fendrick August 13, 2012

    [Editor’s note: New video from Reason depicts the Caravan for Peace’s start at the US -Mexico border.]

    NORML and the NORML Women’s Alliance are pleased to announce their support and official endorsement of The Movement for Peace and Justice with Dignity, along with the American-based organization Global Exchange’s “Caravan for Peace.”

    “This campaign will draw public attention to the damage marijuana
    prohibition is causing not  only in our country, but in Mexico as well.  This multi-national coalition of drug reform, human rights, religious and progressive organizations have come together with one objective; raising awareness about, and ending, our 75 year violent and failed drug prohibition,” said Sabrina Fendrick of the NORML Women’s Alliance.

    [From the website:] The Caravan represents one element of a broad strategy responding to Mexico’s violent national emergency resulting from Drug War policies (in Mexico and the U.S.) gone tragically wrong. The idea of the Caravan is to make Mexico’s national emergency tangible in the United States and to create a platform where those affected by the Drug War from Mexico, the U.S. and elsewhere can join their voices to inform public opinion on both sides of the border.

     

    The Caravan takes place at a politically charged moment. It begins in San Diego, six weeks after Mexico’s July 1 presidential election and arrives in Washington, D.C. in September, six weeks prior to the U.S. elections. This summer we will bring communities together around events large and small, turning awareness into action and building a movement that will continue pushing for changes at the local, state, national and international level long after the Caravan has passed through.

    The U.S. Caravan’s mission is, among other things:

    • To make the connections between the impacts of the Drug War in Mexico (violence, deaths and rise of organized crime) and in the U.S. (criminalization, incarceration, and life-long marginalization- disproportionately affecting African-American and Latino communities);
    • To promote a civil society discourse with the American public and opinion leaders about the policies (easy access to assault weapons, militarization of drug enforcement and U.S. prohibition policies) at the root of the crisis;
    • To foster collaboration and effective solidarity among a broad range of progressive, grassroots, religious, humanitarian and other organizations; and
    • To leave, in the Caravan’s wake, informed, organized, and mobilized communities of activists who will pursue reform strategies in the near and long-term on both sides of the border.

    NORML chapters across the country, as well as NORML Women’s Alliance community groups will be taking part in the campaign as the caravan arrives in their respective locations.  If there are other groups who are interested in getting involved with the Caravan, please click here to find your local contact.

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