All Is NORML On Capitol Hill

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 13, 2009

    NORML is once again taking its message to Capitol Hill via the highly influential Hill.com blog.

    Marijuana Law Reform No Longer a Political Liability, It’s a Political Opportunity
    via The Hill‘s Congress Blog


    Rather than rebuff the public’s calls for drug policy reform, the new administration ought to be embracing it. After all, many of the same voters that put Obama in the White House also voted by wide margins in November to liberalize marijuana laws in two states — Michigan and Massachusetts — and in nearly a dozen municipalities.

    In short, marijuana law reform should no longer be viewed by legislators a political liability. For the incoming administration and for Congress, it is a political opportunity. The public is ready for change; in fact, they are demanding it. Are their representatives listening?

    As I’ve written before, The Hill is widely read by lawmakers and by the national media. In fact, my last Hill.com commentary received national television coverage on Fox News. Therefore, it is vital that we demonstrate the popularity of the marijuana legalization issue by commenting prolifically. Please post your feedback to The Hill and make a point of disseminating this essay to your friends and colleagues.

    (Note: Comments to The Hill are moderated. That means that there will be a delay, sometimes a significant delay, between when you post and when your comment appears live online. That said, all comments will eventually be published so please join the discussion.)

    Finally, if you have not done so, please vote for marijuana law reform in the final week of Change.org’s online poll. (Voting ends at 5pm eastern time on Thursday, January 15.) The legalization of cannabis continues to lead all other public policy issues, and will likely be the subject of a major Washington, DC press conference on Friday.

    14 responses to “All Is NORML On Capitol Hill”

    1. pedro says:

      is the press conference gonna be on TV???

    2. A. Silva says:

      I am utterly dismayed. Does anyone know which countries are taking applicants for citizenship?
      What is the point to work, pay taxes, vote and contribute to your community, only to have it all stolen by oil corporations and banks that suddenly will kill our economy if we don’t “bail them out”. Then, if I want to utilize something that grows from the EARTH I will be arrested, harassed, ineligible to vote and travel out of the country?
      If I don’t pay taxes because of civil disobedience, I go to jail?
      ARE YOU CRAZY??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    3. shaw6038 says:

      Katie Cuoric from CBS news will be hosting a webcast for the presidential inauguration. CBS news asked people to email them with any political questions, at questions@cbs.com. So lets ask a couple questions all.

    4. Jeremy says:

      I posted a comment under the same name and I’m pretty happy with my post.Kept it short and sweet look for it later the hill takes a while to update.

    5. Mike K says:

      Meet the new boss same as the old boss. The only “change” that’s coming is who’s in charge. Vote for Ron Paul if he runs in 2012 or somebody like him. Don’t be fooled again!

    6. Over 200+ comments at The Hill. Thanks for chiming in!

    7. Adam says:

      Why the fight must continue.

      Now, with just five days until Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, a feeling of hope and optimism has swept the entire country. For many of us, this seems to be the start of a new era in American politics. Has change finally come to America? For the last eight years, we have protested against the actions of our government at every turn, and as their failures continued to stack up we were reassured that we were right to criticize their actions. Finally, we have a government we can trust not to screw us into the ground so their friends can make a quick buck. There is no need to protest anymore, right?

      Wrong. The protests we had over the last eight years have fallen of deaf ears and were suppressed. Now that we have a government that will actually listen to it’s constituents it is time to step up the protests and allow our voices to be heard. Obama’s transition team gave us a convenient way for us to submit our concerns and suggestions to the President-Elect through the website change.gov.

      The first feature on this site to allow questions was “Open for Questions” where questions were submitted and then voted on by citizens for the Obama team to respond to. The number one question, as voted by us:

      “Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?”

      Obama’s team responded with a one-sentence statement saying that the President-Elect is not in favor of legalization. A few weeks later, they reopened the poll for more questions and votes. Guess what issue came in fourth place? Yet again, we were blown off with the same response. However, this proves something very important: the American people are ready for change in the drug laws. They are ready for a society where marijuana is legal, controlled, and safe.

      Now is the time to keep the pressure on the politicians and get them to listen to us. With more states legalizing medicinal or decriminalizing recreational marijuana use each year it is obvious that now is the time to act. The fight is not over now that Obama in is office, it is just beginning.

    8. Brian says:

      Don’t give up! Keep the pressure on our current elected officials!

    9. Luke A. says:

      You know what could come about if pot was legalized? Tax payers money would actually be put to good use, instead of paying for overcrowding jail cells. This could also help the economy, no shit. Not just by taxing marijuana, but in the industrial use of hemp is almost endless. This would bring the unemployment rate down for jobs in the industrial area. Pot is a VERY universal element in this world. Not just a drug. Then there is the medical uses of marijuana. Helps decrease the possibility of Alzheimer’s. And also an anti-depressant!? Come on people it is not that bad.

    10. Charles C says:

      It just makes sense. The people want it and are having it anyway inspite of the laws against it. The economic and ecological benifits cannot be denied. Prohibition was established and supported using racist views and conjured up stories of fear and hate. When can we get over this?? Support the constitution, end the persecution, needless pain and suffering brought by prohibition. Return to government by the people and for the people, and reap the economic benifits that we need to get this country back on track.