Welcome To The NORML Women’s Alliance

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 7, 2010

    The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the nation’s oldest and most well respected grassroots marijuana law reform organization, is pleased to announce the launch of the NORML Women’s Alliance.

    The NORML Women’s Alliance is a nonpartisan coalition of prominent, educated, successful, and geographically diverse professional women who believe that cannabis prohibition is a self-destructive and hypocritical policy that undermines the American family, sends a mixed and false message to our young people, and destroys the cherished principles of personal liberty and local self-government.

    Says NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre: “The prominent role of women in the effort to end marijuana prohibition is pivotal, necessary, and long overdue. According to recent national opinion polls by Gallup and others, the dramatic rise in the public’s support of marijuana law reform is being driven primarily by an increase in support among America’s women. The NORML Women’s Alliance will bring a contemporary approach to the public policy debate, and will proudly represent the interests of modern, mainstream women who believe that the negative consequences of marijuana prohibition far outweigh any repercussions from marijuana consumption itself.”

    Charter members of the NORML Women’s Alliance include: NORML Foundation chair and film producer Ann Druyan, attorney and political activist Jessica Corry, editor Shelby Sadler, best-selling author Barbara Ehrenreich, Beverly Hills NORML director Cheryl Shuman, NORML Foundation board member Jeralyn Merritt, Esq., cannabis activist and author Mikki Norris, Cannabis Action Network and Berkeley Patients Group founder Debby Goldsberry, NORML board member and director of Oregon NORML Madeline Martinez, law professor Marjorie Russell, and former ACLU president Nadine Strossen. This founding group of women also includes medical physicians, researchers, business leaders, editors, publishers, mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers.

    The NORML Women’s Alliance holds the following positions:

    1. The NORML Women’s Alliance believes that the fiscal priorities of marijuana prohibition are wasting billions of dollars on a failed policy.

    2. The NORML Women’s Alliance believes that marijuana prohibition violates states’ rights, and improperly expands the reach of government into the families and personal lives of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

    3. The NORML Women’s Alliance advocates for an open, honest conversation about marijuana with America’s youth that is void of all propaganda and misleading information.

    4. The NORML Women’s Alliance endorses the science-based evidence regarding the therapeutic applications of medical marijuana as well as the continuation of research into the subject.

    5. The NORML Women’s Alliance strongly opposes the sexual exploitation and objectification of women in pot-culture and business marketing.

    “A marijuana policy that fosters children selling marijuana en mass must immediately change and be replaced by one that effectively stops children from trafficking in marijuana,” says Sabrina Fendrick, coordinator of the NORML Women’s Alliance. “The NORML Women’s Alliance seeks to replace a failed, tax coffer-draining and child endangering 73-year old cannabis prohibition with functional, tax-producing and youth-friendly cannabis policies consisting of legal and social controls that are not at all dissimilar to our existing and ever-evolving alcohol policies.”

    Further information about the NORML Women’s Alliance is available online here.

    66 responses to “Welcome To The NORML Women’s Alliance”

    1. Kiefair Keepsakes…. Why we give back

      The government is saving a ton of money due to the growth in the medical marijuana industry, but no one is talking about it in a real way. So I decided that I may have a unique perspective on this issue and have decided to throw my two cents in on the topic. I posted much of the content you will read here all over the internet in an effort to help myself and others in my position. I sat in the online forums begging “Is there someone, anyone out there who hears my plea and wants to help me actually do something other than sit in online forums and b*&@h about the problem and hope someone does something” I finally decided to stop beating a dead horse and set up a store front to help me get the funds I need for my own medicine and to donate 10% of our profits to GreenBelly Coop in Eldorado Springs, Co to help others like me.

      When I began to write the essay that I posted in the online forums, I decided that my joining the Medical Marijuana Registry was my Christmas Present to the American Taxpayer for the year 2009.

      First of all, I am a female under 40 with severe and debilitating Fibromyalgia, the kind that forces doctors to shake their heads and prescribe one ineffective man made medicine on top of another while I waste away and my quality of life diminishes.

      My sole health insurance is provided to me is under medicare/medicaid. This is because I am completely disabled and the doctors do not allow me to work, or even to attend school (for the time being… I am getting stronger all the time!). So I was forced to be on government programs like Social Security Disability and Social Security Income (SSD/SSI) at a young age (I was in middle school when I was put on SSD/SSI for the first time). Being on the program at a young age, I did not accumulate much in the way of work money in my SSI account, although I did attempt to work several times. Unfortunately every time, an employer or doctor would get tired of me being sick and put a stop to it one way or another. That is why my monthly amounts from SSI/SSD are so low. Also did you know the government actually Penalized people for getting married if you are both on disability? They treat you as one person and give you one person’s pay!

      Before I was placed on the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry in June 2009, I would have to visit a doctors office several times a month, sometimes several times a week, sometimes with several appointments booked the same day with specialists and tests, physical therapy, etc., and there were to many trips to the emergency room to count.

      I went to the ER out of sheer desperation, I went just so I could get comfortable enough to have a bit of sleep after a week or more of lingering in a painful place that seemed to be located in deep within the realm of a narcotic distorted pain haze, a no-where-land that seemed to be somewhere between life and death. The docs treated me as though I was an addict, and not a pain patient, AND I WAS MISERABLE!

      Since I was approved for the medical marijuana registry I haven’t needed near the amount of services from the medicaid/medicare program. In fact, aside from bit of dental work, a doctor visit and medications for a bad cold, I haven’t seen a doctor at all. I haven’t needed to.

      Before I was on the MMJ registry, I was on so many medications that I felt like I was taking a pill every 2 minutes…. Number of traditional prescriptions I take daily now – ZERO.

      Now the government was paying for all those medications I was on before through medicare/medicaid, plus all the doctor visits to get, maintain, and change dosing on those prescriptions right? Some of those medications by themselves cost the government thousands of dollars a month!

      I always felt guilty about my personal burden on the American Taxpayers. But now I don’t have to feel guilty cause I have given a present to the American Taxpayer. I got on the MMJ registry. Now I do not go to the mainstream doc unless I need antibiotics, am off all prescriptions, and am well enough to manage this site as well as volunteer with my caregiver at GreenBelly Coop. There I regularly trade my services in clerical/computer work either from home or in his office for medications when I am strapped for cash.

      The government is saving many thousands of dollars a month on me alone, and yet I have to struggle to obtain this money saver for the American taxpayer. That much cut in government spending on the part of an individual… I should get a freaking medal or something LOL

      How many others are there like me? Meanwhile, the price of my medicine increases as the MMJ movement grows. My family and I have been stuck having to make really hard decisions like, do we pawn our wedding and engagement rings to get my medicine? Or do we pawn them and buy some food? (I ended up pawning the rings, having nothing else of value to pawn, and buying both medicine and food.) We promised ourselves we would get them back, but I ended up crying my eyes out when I realized I can’t afford to get them out of hock. I live in a Winnebago and have been in danger of starving to death at times. Now don’t get me wrong, my life has been profoundly changed by this medicine, and any hardship I may have to endure is truly worth the benefits of this plant!

      Now the other side of the coin. It is no secret that the people who own dispensaries are making money on patients like me too. If you are low income and can’t afford your “mainstream pharmacy” medicine, you can go to various organizations and they will help you to buy your medicine, sometimes even on a regular basis if they are necessary and not covered by insurance, but that doesn’t include medical marijuana. If your medicine is MMJ no one is willing to help you unless you happen to be lucky enough to find a care giver who actually gives a care if you have medicine or not!

      “So what,” you say? Well let’s look at this… The high price can force a person in my position to go back to buying their medicine off the street where it is less expensive, but also less potent, less safe, more dangerous to obtain, and the process of obtaining it can be a risk to your health with long periods in the cold and encounters with strange germs. I personally counted avoiding purchasing on the street as one of the largest pluses to getting on the registry, and yet I see people like me being forced back there.

      There is no fund or organization to help people like me get my medicine when I can’t afford it. There is no way for a person who wants to help to donate money to people in a position similar to mine. So I created this gift company and talked with my caregiver Green Belly Coop about setting up a fund, and here we are.

      I have no problem with the idea of paying for my medications… The person who grows it should be compensated, and so should everyone involved in getting the medicine to me that is only fair. But I wanna know the money I spend helps others like me or the movement in general. I also don’t need to be paying 50% of my income to stay barely comfortable. I’d like to be able to pay a reasonable percentage of my income and have all the medicine my body requires. I know that may seem a little unrealistic, but a girl in pain can dream. lol

      Here in Colorado it is the wild wild west right now. If I happen to have to go somewhere other than my primary caregiver, my $$ will probably end up in a growing bank account of some green gold rush eyed caregiver who could really care less if I have effective medication or not.

      So the government ignores the money it saves, and many of the dispensaries in the area seem to have little social conscience about the price a person like me can pay to have their medicine.

      A Big social Problem, and a plan to begin to solve it… the lack – $$

      When your total family income is at or below poverty levels, you can absolutely be forced back on the streets to get your medicine. My medical condition requires a minimum of 1/8 oz of smoke-able every 3 days to just to keep me off narcotics, not crying, and not be stuck in bed. I have NEVER had the pleasure of having enough medicine on hand to decide on what a good “comfortable” dosing schedule would be, even though I do have a compassionate caregiver. I just don’t want to put my poor caregiver out of business taking care of my needs.

      What I am trying to say is that there is something fundamentally very wrong with the fact that there are people who are to poor to even know what the appropriate dosage of medication for their amount of pain, yet the government is saving a bunch of cash and the Medical Marijuana industry is getting the “lion’s share” of the rest of their income. It is frustrating to feel like you and others are falling through the cracks even further. It is frustrating to see others get wealthy while your tier of society starves. Sometimes I feel invisible, and I know for a fact I am not the only one out there feeling this.

      Kiefair Keepsakes, stepping stone to a dream

      My dream is to be able to get some land and set up an initial grow op with an all environmentally friendly building/management philosophy that would end up growing into a Nonprofit Medical Marijuana retreat/community/caregiver for patients like me to be able to get their medicine and/or live in a more affordable and kind setting, using their personal talents to benefit the community.

      While I have the heart and the ability to do this work (given time and medication), I unfortunately have no capital for such a venture and am praying the universe will see fit to make it happen.

      I have researched many aspects of this and it is very feasible, however getting investment in such a venture is not my forte. This kind of setting would be great tool for a “for profit” dispensary to use. It would be publicity, demonstrate social conscience, and you could also offer my nonprofit medications cheap to their own low income patients. inquire further at kiefair.keepsakes@gmail.com

      I live in an RV and am willing to set up shop in any state with a registry.

      I have this planned out so that if I were able to obtain some land, I could be self sufficient (NO MORE SSI/SSD and I could actually contribute to charities instead of needing help from them!) and never have to worry about being hungry or without my necessary medicine as well. In time, many others could be helped with food and medicine grown on the land. I could be fulfilling needs rather than begging to have my needs filled.

      I just wanna say Thanks to all the people out there helping to make it possible for people who need this medicine to have it. Whatever you celebrate this season, may it be meaningful and may Blessings come to you all!

    2. James Crosby says:

      Very good.

    3. stompedonmyrights says:

      Now that we have NORML, our “grass Roots” and this new NORML Women’s Alliance, can we have the plain not in vain “humans Alliance”?, that see not a human’s traits but recognizes the Inalienable Human Liberty that each …”educated, successful, and geographically diverse human beings who believe that cannabis prohibition is a self-destructive and hypocritical policy that undermines the American family, sends a mixed and false message to our young people regardless of sex, and destroys the cherished principles of personal liberty and local self-government.”
      After all those in prison that suffer from this injustice are human beings caged in conditions you would not put your pet in.

    4. stompedonmyrights says:

      Where is PETA?

    5. Rev.Sleezy says:

      Holy Smokes. As the song goes. “The women are smarter.
      Let’s give them all our support. You go girl!


    6. Robert Lee says:

      We all are fighting for you!! : )

    7. claygooding says:

      The Tide is Turning

      It is kinda like watching a turtle race ,but it is happening. And which state will be the first to legalize,and how many states will marijuana be legal in before our elected officials in the congress remove marijuana from schedule 1?
      There are 14 states that recognize marijuana as medicine . The US Attorney General has formed a ” medical marijuana ” policy. And still
      the congress and the ONDCP refuse to remove marijuana from schedule 1 and the drug czar stands up in front of America and continues telling them that marijuana has no medical applications.
      The insanity has to end. Continuing to imprison people for the use of marijuana is morally and ethically wrong.
      And the Drug Czar says that if the drug enforcement people can redouble their efforts they can achieve what?
      Our government has spent over 1 trillion dollars putting people in prison and there are more drugs on the streets of America than ever.
      Our country has the largest prison system in the world with the highest numbers of citizens imprisoned. Five times higher than any other country,even the communist block doesn’t imprison that many of their citizens.
      Our prisons are full too the point that county jails are holding already convicted citizens because their isn’t room in the prisons for them.
      The ONDCP and all of it’s satellite agencies have a multi-billion dollar budget that is justified by the interdiction and reducing of the availability of drugs in our country.
      And over 1/2 that budget is used protecting our nation from marijuana.
      When is our congress in Washington DC going to realize that marijuana can’t be stopped?
      And it is good that more and more successful individuals,men and women,are coming out of their closets and standing up for their rights!

      “America doesn’t have a marijuana problem,we can find marijuana
      in every town in America.”

    8. danny danko says:

      Great news! Thank you again to the many brave female activists who have been working tirelessly for years to end marijuana prohibition!

    9. Nick Federico says:

      right on.
      are men allowed to join?
      or am i? 🙂
      go norml!

    10. randy nc says:

      You go ladies!