2015: NORML at Legalization Crossroads

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director December 23, 2014

    Dear NORML members and supporters,

    2014 NORML Annual Report

    Thanks for providing this venerable 44-year old non-profit organization the support necessary–both financially and spiritually–in helping achieve its two stated public policy goals:

    • End cannabis prohibition and replace with system of taxation and regulation similar to alcohol and tobacco products
    • Help the victims of cannabis prohibition enforcement (from those busted for possession to workers being denied employment over drug testing to patients who need to access cannabis as a therapeutic)

    To the former, the math is simple: four states down (AK, WA, OR and CO have legalized cannabis commerce and taxation), forty-six more to go.

    To the latter, NORML and its 160 plus chapters are both sympathetic to and helpful outlets for the many hundreds of thousands of cannabis consumers, cultivators and sellers arrested annually on criminal charges.

    Attached is an end-of-year synopsis of many of the projects and efforts put forward by the organization in 2014 to advance cannabis law reforms.

    Important issues going forward post legalization present a myriad of public policy concerns for groups like NORML to advocate for adult cannabis consumers:

    • To be able to imbibe in a licensed establishment in the same manner alcohol consumers do (in other words, it is not sufficient or prudent to banish cannabis consumers to use the herbal drug only on private property, which does not even include most public accommodations like hotels. Americans want Dutch-like ‘coffeeshops’ to buy and use the product responsibly on-site);
    • Employment protections for cannabis consumers not impaired in the workplace;
    • Child custody rights;
    • Second Amendment rights (under federal law, cannabis consumer and state-sanctioned patients can’t buy guns or ammunition);
    • Reasonable taxes for consumers and businesses (so as not to encourage continuance of black market);
    • Legal protections for cannabis consumers who currently fall under federal government’s specter (military personal, government contractors, university students, federal workers and contractors)
    • Scientific based drugged driving testing

    The public’s support since 1970 has aptly guided NORML thus far, looking into the political crystal ball for 2015, here are four items to be prepared for:

    1. There will be in excess of fifteen states that debate legalization bills in their 2015 legislative sessions (a state, likely in New England, will pass cannabis legalization legislation for the first time as all previous legalization successes have come about via voter ballot initiatives)
    2. The US Congress will have nearly twenty cannabis law reform bills introduced, ranging from legalization to rescheduling to sentencing to industrial hemp reforms.
    3. Reform organizations, including NORML, will be increasingly focused on passing a voter initiative in California in 2016 legalizing cannabis
    4. Non-partisan advocacy of presidential candidates for 2016 to support ending cannabis prohibition

    Donate to NORML

    Going into the New Year, possibly the penultimate year for cannabis law reform in the United States, please consider in 2015 the remarkable contrast occurring in the few states that have ended cannabis prohibition with the nightmare scenarios our fellow cannabis consumers still face in a vast majority of states in America.

    Bittersweetly, here at NORML we’re caught betwixt and between prohibition and legalization where we field as many daily inquiries from citizens still getting screwed by antiquated cannabis prohibition laws as we do now very eager entrepreneurs wanting to know how they can become a legitimate cannabis-related business.

    Please help NORML continue to push forward with achieving our stated policy objectives with your continued financial support in 2015.**

    Thanks in advance for both caring and sharing!

    Kind regards,

    Allen St. Pierre
    Executive Director
    NORML and NORML Foundation
    Washington, D.C.

    **Donations of cash, stocks, securities and property to The NORML Foundation are fully tax deductible.

    34 responses to “2015: NORML at Legalization Crossroads”

    1. Byron W. Harrell II says:

      It seems anachronistic to me that people who are so informed about our constitutional rights regarding cannabis and its uses/non-uses etc..are so completely ignorant to the fact that we also have the constitutional right to vote out any and all governmental representatives who refuse to forward our desires as voters and also tax payers in voting assemblies!!! Evidenced by D.C.’s refusal to vote to legalise, per 70+% of voter desire, they have chosen again to put their own desires and agendas before those of the voters!!! It’s time for this to stop!! If our elected officials REFUSE to do what the voters want… they must be removed, as the corrupt equivalent to the Icelandic govt was a couple years ago!

    2. Anonymous says:

      you guys are my heros. thank you. keep up the good work

    3. Rocky Coast says:

      Hello NORML,

      Thanks indeed, a billionfold, for your efforts these past 44 years.

      We see eye to eye on cannabis and its place in society. Our only difference is I think you all praise Obama waaaaaaaaaaay too much. Democrat politicians are filthy, corrupt fakes. Yes, I despise Republican politicians too. I’d rather vote for my cat, honestly. Considering the scum we’ll be getting to choose from in 2016, I think Rocky is a good choice =^..^= http://www.rocky2016.net

      As a medical user, I have faced discrimination in my personal and professional life for nearly two decades. I’m lucky compared to some, and it makes me sad every day that so many are in jail for nothing.

      Cannabis prohibition is cruel and unusual punishment. We have punished our own people to the point it’s destroyed countless families. If that isn’t cruel and unusual punishment according to the Constitution, then NOTHING is. Why has the 8th Amendment not been invoked? I present the past 45 years of the War on Drugs as evidence. It’s being continued out of spite, not to protect us.

      Happy Holidays from Rocky’s Campaign Manager =^..^=

    4. Evening Bud says:

      I likes me those four items being prepared for in 2015. Oh, to live in a state with MJ legalization . . .

    5. Dave Evans says:

      “If that isn’t cruel and unusual punishment according to the Constitution, then NOTHING is. Why has the 8th Amendment not been invoked?”

      Because marijuana users are the new niggers. It is written into law we must be subjected to endless threats to our safety simply for using marijuana. We are not people, not 100$ people as per the law. Simply owning a gun and marijuana at the same time is somehow a crime. The are entitled to take our money, our freedom, our children and our lives. In courts, murderer’s rights get more respect than the subhuman marijuana user.

      Because the laws in place are so weak, the whole system has had to prop them up, illegally never actually testing the value of these crap laws until 2014. The courts have been avoiding responsibility for decades now, showing a clear bias toward supporting Prohibition and many of it abuses.

    6. Brenton says:

      There will still never be another CO. 😉 #NotNativeButGotHereAsQuickAsICould

    7. Mark I. says:

      Thank you NORML. These last few doors opening have enlightened the ignorant, shelved the intollerant, and shown the world a repectful and truthful acceptance of patients rights and the dychotomy of our healthcare and prison industrial complexes.

    8. matt says:

      Pot is a plant that grows in the ground, if god didn’t want it it wouldn’t be found. He put it on earth for you and I. So fuck the world lets ALL! get high. Legalize marijuana in KANSAS! But even if you don’t I dont care I’m still smoking that shot for life!

    9. MSimon says:

      No more taxed than tomatoes.

    10. Miles says:

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Years NORML and fellow legalization advocates!

      I am optimistic, for the first time since the 70s, that the end of prohibition is truly near; largely thanks to the good folks at NORML and to the widespread information that is readily available via the internet (which our Govt used to keep from us in earlier days in favor of their propaganda).

      It sort of bothers me that a lot of people will get rich via “big marijuana” but, that bothers me much less than the constant fear of police and knowing that good people are locked up in prison with real criminals. Let them get rich as long as I can grow a few plants of my own without fear of a raid!