The Marijuana Revolution Continues

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director November 9, 2016

    Election Day dealt another body blow to our nation’s costly, failed, and discriminatory policy of marijuana prohibition. If anyone thought our victories in 2012 and 2014 were a passing fad, it is now clear that they were mistaken. With adult use measures being approved in four states (CA, MA, ME, NV) and medical marijuana initiatives passing in another four (AR, FL, MT, ND), the era of marijuana legalization is upon us. By standing together and fighting for our shared beliefs, we spread the seeds of the cannabis revolution far and wide.

    But now is not the time to become complacent. As we celebrate our recent successes, we must remind ourselves that legalization is not inevitable. It is dependent upon maintaining the fight. Our opponents are not going away. They remain well funded and ready for battle. So should we.



    From day one, NORML’s mission has been to shape public and political opinion so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer criminalized and stigmatized. NORML does so by standing up for the rights of the responsible cannabis consumer, and by presenting credible, evidence-based information about marijuana and marijuana policy reform to the general public, the mainstream media, pundits, and policymakers. And I firmly believe that nobody does it better.

    That is why I’m honored to be named NORML’s new Executive Director.

    I’m no stranger to this cause or to NORML itself. From 2007 to 2015 I served as NORML’s Communications Director, PAC Manager, and chief lobbyist. Following a brief sabbatical, during which I fought to decrease the influence of big money in our political system, I am honored and excited to return to lead NORML during one of the most exciting and critical times in the group’s forty year history.

    I urge you to stand with me, NORML’s staff, and with our nationwide network of chapters. We must capitalize on our newly minted successes and seize upon our growing public support. No one person or organization can win this fight alone. We must come together as advocates in a unified force so that we can make our desired policy reforms a reality.

    Even with these victories, most Americans are still living under the specter of marijuana prohibition. Obviously, there is much more work that needs to be done. We need your help to finish the job.

    NORML only exists and succeeds because of the support of passionate and dedicated individuals like you. With you standing shoulder to shoulder with us, we will continue to take our fight to city councils, state legislatures, and to Congress. Together, we are unstoppable. Together, we WILL legalize marijuana nationwide.

    The revolution continues,

    Erik Altieri
    NORML Executive Director



    115 responses to “The Marijuana Revolution Continues”

    1. Kevin McGinnis says:

      E, your Mom just emailed me that you a back at NORML, Congrats and give me a shout (JA has my #)



      • Julian says:

        Yes, congratulations Erik, I know you worked hard under Allen for years, and drawing from the revenue streams he added and the federal challenges were about to face against state legalization, campaign finance and consumer protections I cant think of anyone better for the job to lead the way.
        As Im driving through Deleware from DC to NY I cant help but feel our movement can still grow under the radar. And when Trump’s AG goes after legalization? Screw it, just let Trump slap his name on it like hes already doing to Obamacare. “Trump Legalized” …as long as he sees people love him for it he’ll ignore his own advisors… or perhaps even the courts or Congress… or himself… (sigh… were doomed…)

    2. Cat Cassie says:

      So happy for all the states that voted to end prohibition. Not sure what happened in AZ. I thought sure they would have passed theirs but they didn’t. They are a very red Republican state so I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising. Anyway way to go to all the other states that voted for freedom.

      • John Son. says:

        Cassie the reason why the AZ one did not pass was due to the language of the bill of drivers under the influence and that sort of stuff. Much like Ohio the voters rejected it due to how some thought it would create a monopoly and it did not have enough protections for the consumer.

        I believe though because AZ it was close vote wise( 929,518 to 1,011,836) it does not mean anyone should give up here. A lot of people i talked to are slowly coming around to the idea of legalization. Maybe one day we can have our legislature legalize it for us thanks to California leading the way.

        • John p says:

          It’s unfortunate about the bad wording. Best news is east coast legalization and quality medical marijuana in the SOUTH!! That geographic diversity plus California will truly advance our cause. I hope the moderator allows my posts this time.

    3. warren says:

      The states that did not legalize. Lets help them out. Please donate shoes and large copper vats and copper tubing.

      • John P says:

        You will never have marijuana legal in all the states until each state allows a form of direct democracy, such as ballot initiative. Therefore, if you want to help states legalize marijuana and truly end marijuana Prohibition in the next 10 years we have to discover a way 2 put pressure on state legislatures to provide for ballot initiatives. That is the only way I think you can end marijuana Prohibition in each state. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is something that this NORML organization has the capacity to help with. But I’m sure there are others out there that can.

    4. Miles says:

      This is a historic step towards Americans getting to experience the freedom that has been so wrongly taken from us. I hope with all my heart that the rest of the states follow suit ASAP; especially Virginia which is where I am stuck for now.

      • Gary says:

        It sure would be nice if Maryland would get on board. Of course I’m still waiting for our medical cannabis to get “up & running. Hey, it’s only been, what, three years, and counting, to open “a dispensary.”

    5. Jake says:

      I live in Nevada and was looking to begin personal cultivation on Jan 1, but I’m curious about one of the details of the new reform. I realize I’ll need to be outside a 25 mile radius of a dispensary. Currently I fall outside that limit within my state, but there is a dispensary within 25 miles on the other side of the California border. I’m not 100% sure how this could affect me, especially if it still can’t be transported over state lines. Would you know where I could find the answer to this question?

      [Paul Armentano responds: The state-imposed halo rule applies to those facilities operating in your state, not neighboring states.]

    6. St. sick-and-tired-of-this Dime says:

      I hope Trump doesn’t send in the DEA and undo ALL of this. I would have preferred Bernie Sanders but stupid millenials have WASTED their vote on Gary Johnson or didn’t vote and black people just couldn’t get out of the house cause Clinton wasn’t black. How annoying. It happens once every two years. Not that hard.

      • Evening Bud says:

        I agree with everything you said.

        We’ve had plenty of libertarians and republicans on this site tell us that Donald will be better than Hillary on legalization–I guess we’ll see. I hope as hell they’re right.

        This is a time when we should be celebrating–having doubled the number of recreationally legal states, and adding on to the states with MMJ. But somehow I’m afraid of this “thing” we’ve allowed into the Oval Office.

        How will the dictator wannabe act on the marijuana issue? If he makes Cristie, possibly the most corrupt politician in America, his attorney general, I guess we’ll find out pretty quickly.

      • Rocky Coast says:

        Don’t blame others for HRC’s loss. Votes are earned. The Democrat Party needs to be held accountable.

        The Dems never fought hard enough for us. They pandered to other groups while denigrating us.

      • mike says:

        Trump’s all for medical mj so on with taking cannabis out of scheduling.

      • Sick of Dummies! says:

        It appears to me that you are already in possession of a very good supply because your talking wack stuff…what does the legalization of Marijuana have to do with a person’s ethic identity and/or voting ???
        May I suggest you stay away from all drugs because you already sound ignorant enuff~go take a seat in s corner somewhere and shut up!!!

      • Julian says:

        Were all “sick and tired” but we cant expect black people to rescue us every time a fascist runs for office without being burdened by voter fatigue or blame all the millinials because too many think “facebook live” is news.
        Trump won, apparently even to his own suprise because after all, he was only running to wash his tax debt; He didnt actually believe there would be that many people foolish enough to VOTE for him, evident by his nervous and uncharacteristically subdued visit with Obama to the oval office.
        But he won because white working class citizens from the rustbelt and throughout rural America took the racist bait of blaming Mexicans for everything from taking manufacturing jobs to “bringing taco trucks on every corner” because “we have very dominant culture.” (Still dont know how that last one is a bad thing…) Forget about research using that broadband internet access we all pay for… THATS for researching where to get the best taco, not the best president. We lost to people who think news is some racist right wing poison they hear off of AM radio. We lost our Democracy because vulnerable, disenfranchised blue collar workers truly believe that if we follow the rich, racist bully, somehow they will reap the spoils of mass deportations and finally belong to the “rich boys’ club.”
        I warned everyone I knew tirelessly from the begining of Trump’s campaign when he said the words “Mexicans are bringing their rapists” that he was playing right out of the book of the racist drug war beurocrat Harry Anslinger that started marijuana prohibition in the first place. But all I got was “who is Barry Anne Slinger?” Followed by “Mexicans took my manufacturing job and still get medicaid. You wanna taco?”

      • Julian says:

        I felt like I was talking to racist parrots that couldnt realize they werent even eating crackers anymore! And some of them were my own brothers!
        So now another fake “leader” is going to appoint every prohibitionist quack that woke up from a coma since the Reefer Madness era because a bunch of no-researching white people cant figure out tax evasion and automation took their jobs, not underpaid Mexican labor. Mexicans havn’t even been immigrating more than theyve been leaving this country since a Bush administration and a runaway Wall Street caused the last recession. Remember? Or did cable “news” suck everyone’s brains out?
        Now, when California finally has a chance to drop the price of weed and destroy the black market cartels every Jack@$$ who voted Trump gave the main drug cartel, our DOJ, to prohibitionist Guliani or Christi taking all we worked so hard for to legalize marijuana in one court case because some backwoods, hate-filled @$$#oles cant figure out that prohibiting whole-plant medicine and supporting insurance-controlled Republican demagogues is driving up their cost of health care, not the citizen children they want to tear away from their immigrant parents.

        But go ahead; lets make America White Again. Because its clear now that blaming Mexicans while the Trump Chumps tank our economy on false pretense, false idols and false wars is the only way Americans will realize the Republican party and America got hijacked…. AGAIN. Wait… but this already happened with Bush in 2000 and we didnt learn jack $#!+… and we call them “smart” phones?! (Sigh) …All hail Trump University…

      • L Miik says:

        @St. sick-and-tired-of-this Dime
        I am black, and my family members are black, and we all voted in the recent election and most of us in the primaries for the major parties.
        I understand you’re worried, and possibly upset by the results of this election, but discounting the contribution of large swathes of the electorate to the democratic process isn’t a productive way to express your negative emotions.

      • Gary says:

        I vote every two years, without fail! The young, plain and simple, do not vote, presidential or midterms.

    7. Tim says:

      Will the Bellagio let you smoke in your room now?!? Or will you have to take the elevator down to a dedicated smoking lounge?!? I use to hate to have to leave the room for an hour just to jazz up for hotel TV…But at least now Iwon`t be hot boxing a joint to hurry up and not get caught…

    8. Mike says:

      I am now willing to predict that when the Federal Govt finally re/declassifies marijuana a Republican will be in the Oval office. Who’d a thunk it?

    9. Kevin says:

      What will happen to state regulated recreational marijuana under Trump?

      • doug says:

        Trump said he will undon every thing Obma put in place. Well come to the 50

      • John P says:

        In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state,” Trump told The Washington Post. “… Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen – right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.”

        We will have to see what really happens, that is what he said in the past.


      • John P says:

        In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state,” Trump told The Washington Post. “… Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen – right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.”

        I think it would be political suicide for him to interfere with or override the ballot initiatives.

      • John p says:

        Trump has said he would leave marijuana up to the states, on business insider i believe. He may even see it as much needed tax revenue. We are 20 trillion in debt thanks to Obama.

        • Julian says:

          I dont know why I feel compelled to educate you, but Congress pulls the purse strings of our nation’s budget, not the President. The President controls some monetary policy through trade deals… if Congress allows it. President Obama could have been as obstructive as the Republican Congress and vetoed every budget, or allowed us to default on our debt like a Republican Congress did, or waste money enforcing prohibition on state marijuana legalization like a Republican controlled Congress did, but President Obama did not. And Im one of your greatest defenders of reasonable Republicans that will work across the aisles to end the drug war and cut our defecit, such as my state Rep. Jason Isaac.
          Truth is we all own our national debt; anyone with a mortgage, a credit card or a student loan is responsible for our national debt. And the bank of China… yknow the one Trump kept attacking throughout his campaign? They own most of our mortgage debt. So when Trump pulls the same crap Bush did and uses the money the bank of China loans us penny for penny to pay off our unregulated mortgage debt and we fall into another recession, dont cry too hard because youre going to miss President Obama.

          • Ed d says:

            though legalization or decriminalization are up to congress, there are some things the president can do. The DEA is part of the Executive branch and is undrer the control of the president. This means that it would be possible for President Trump, excuse me that felt weird, could reclassify MJ if he were inclined to do so. That being said, no one really knows what he will do

            • Julian says:

              Ed, Ive been posting on this NORML blog for nearly a decade straight and the idea that the President could deschedule marijuana with a prohibitionist Congress is the greatest myth of legalization I have ever encountered. I know, because until I started posting here long ago, I used to believe it too.
              NORML, we need to figure out how to get the message out that Congress, not the President, has to deschedule or even decriminalize marijuana or an executive decision by any new present could either end up shooting down the memos to the DOJ that are providing state legalization or worse, end up in federal court where state legalization will surely be phased out by AG Jeff Sessions.
              This fatal lack of basic civics knowledge is a major reason why Trump and not Hillary Clinton are president, and why so many will have to suffer in the resistance.

    10. Cannablissed says:

      How can you continue to be So Obtuse?
      All of you who cast your votes for Donald Trump, also voted to undo the recent advances to legalization made at State level.

      Did you bother to review Trump’s policies on cannabis decriminalization/legalization? Obviously not. If you believe a Giuliani-controlled DoJ and Christie-controlled State Department (or vice versa) will do anything other than redouble their attacks on cannabis users and growers, you’ve been drinking too much tequila.

      Here’s hoping the fascism about to be unleashed on the USA doesn’t do too, too much harm to the cannabis elite, but I’m not holding my breath for you. Every white cannabis-user who voted for Trump, voted for continued persecution of large numbers of people, and it’s ironically fitting you’ll also have targets on your backs.

      • JC says:

        Thanks for speaking out, I hope they can’t undo the passed laws, but you can forget any other state moving forward for four more years or who knows with the supreme court etc, hope I am wrong, happy for the winning states.

      • MSimon says:

        Christie – like Trump – used to say Prohibition was a failure. What (or who) made them change their minds?

      • John P says:

        In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state,” Trump told The Washington Post. “… Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen – right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.”

      • MSimon says:

        We are going to need at least some of those Trump voters to get legalization passed.

        Going to war with them is stupid. Changing their minds (difficult I admit) will have better long term results.

        Make it a right/wrong issue not a left/right issue.

        • Evening Bud says:


          Before you admonish us for going to war with Trump voters, you should remember the vitriol that was directed at Hillary on these boards before this election. Wounds don’t always heal quickly.

          A recent High Times online articles explains how it was Hillary voters foremost who assured legalization in all of those states in these recent votes. If we need you, you REALLY need us.

          I will cut Trump (and his supporters) slack only so long as he does not do anything to hurt our cause. If he does, you can expect full salvos from me.

      • Scarednowwhat says:

        Yup yup and yup. There’s no telling what may happen since republicans control EVERYthing including the Supreme Court.

        I think it’s naive for us to separate politics from cannabis reforms passed. All it takes is a few pen strokes and the DEA being unleashed against mj , even medical mj, like they did for a while in California.

        Don’t be scared, be SMART as you people move to capitalize on reforms. Remember Michigan and how they’re seizing mmj providers stuff there.

        Find legal ways to lease assets and place profits where police state fascists can’t come take them and sell them. There are lots of decent fair Lawmen in America, but many like those in Michigan and others who just HATE mj and would love any excuse to persecute us.

      • John p says:

        Trump said marijuana should be settled by the states. He’s really iin favor of medical marijuana, and it would be political suicide to reverse the ballot initiatives which is why Congress allowed d.c. to change their marijuana laws. Don’t worry, as Aaron Rogers says, “Relax”.

        • Julian says:

          John P,
          First allow me to welcome you to this blog and inform you that it takes at least 24 hours before “moderators” edit and post, and between all the hard work NORML gets whipsawed between helping people get disproprtionately and unjustly arrested for possession, families getting torn apart for self medicating, advising our leguslators for cannabis reform and suing corrupt election supervisors for ommitting legalization from state ballots, I think they do a damn good job letting us speak… vent… or hopefully research and educate ourselves on policy and taking action to citizen lobby.
          With that said, I can see you place a lot of stock in Trump’s contradictory comments about state’s rights, and before you get sorely disapointed, I would like to invite you to conduct some more research on what Trump is already doing to federal marijuana policy. Don’t take one comment, one source and drill it until you feel youve made your point. Look at who Trump is appointing to his cabinet.
          Then I invite you to work with EVERY legislator that represents your state legislature, Republican, Independent or Democrat. My state Representative is a Republican with no Democrat that ran against him. But rather than throw my hands up, being a Progressive Democrat, I used my vote for him to persuade him to legalization. And between Rep. Isaac, and Democratic Rep. Moody’s recently introduced legislation we have a real chance to decriminalize in Texas.
          We will do everything we can to stop, prevent or delay a Federal law suit against state legalization. But meanwhile enforcement among these many states is not tenable.
          Please focus on Congress, not rhetoric.

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