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. Colin says:

      Congratulations on so many victories, and thank you so much for your continued dedication to this movement. In fact, thank you for essentially starting this movement. I’ve been a huge fan of NORML for almost a decade now, and I’m extremely grateful for all you’ve done and continue to do.

      That being said, I really wish that you had given more support to Michigan this year. We’re a bit of a purple state that unfortunately supports Republican and conservative politicians at a fairly high rate, but we’re also remarkably progressive when it comes to individual measures and policies; including cannabis policy. The average Michiginian is pretty accepting of cannabis use, and we passed our rather broad and inclusive medical law with 63 percent back in 2008. We also have the tenth largest population in the U.S. with almost 10 million citizens, and we’re in a pretty untapped region (the midwest) which could have been a great starting ground for legalization.

      If we’d had even a little support from one of the large organizations for the signature gathering phase, I firmly believe that our initiative would have EASILY passed this year. When you consider the extremely conservative nature of Arizona, and the fact that their medical law barely passed in 2010, it seems very strange to me that more resources and attention were given to them than to the much more accommodating population of Michigan.

      Again, I’m a huge supporter of NORML, but I hope that you might decide to give Michigan more support in the future. We easily could have had five recreational victories this year rather than four.

    2. Cat Cassie says:

      I just read that a research company or something says mj use causes weak heart muscles. Funny how that comes out now instead of before the election. Prohibitionists are surely dancing with glee.

      {Paul Armentano responds: You can read my comments RE this paper here: https://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/marijuana-news-759/pot-smoking-may-up-risk-of-rare-temporary-heart-malfunction-716629.html.%5D

      • mexweed says:

        The title cited in Paul’s link says it all: “pot smoking…”. Again and again headlines announce a survey where cannabis gets blamed for alleged effects of cannabis $moking. Oten such stories are headed by a photo of a H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide P-uffjoint, and contain no mention whatever of Vaporization.

    3. it falls to me says:

      since no one else has mentioned this;
      it falls to me…

      just before the election,
      on fox news,
      the text ‘crawler’ on the bottom of the screen said;

      “the arizona state supreme court has DISQUALIFIED the mj innitiative,
      due to a lack of valid signatures…

      while it is on the ballot…
      the votes for it, WILL NOT COUNT !!! ”

      did this affect the outcome ????

      i bet it did.

      WAS THIS A LIE ????



      • Evening Bud says:

        This is the same network that routinely changes the “R” to a “D” when some congressperson is busted for sex crimes, then later says oops, our mistake. (Tho I doubt they even bother to do that anymore.)

        I force myself to watch Fox now and then just to see the latest propaganda they’re spouting, but can rarely watch for more than ten minutes. I can stand CNN and MSNBC for maybe 20-30 minutes these days, before turning off the TV in disgust.

        Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to have a free press in this country?

        • Julian says:

          No such thing, Bud. Subscribe and donate. Independent news, investigative reporting and real journalism has to be supported.

          • Evening Bud says:

            Hey Julian,

            I agree wholeheartedly.

            I have wanted very badly to be able to donate, not just to NORML, but to others. My financial situation hasn’t permitted me to do so as yet, alas.

            But the good news is that my financial situation should be brightening some time after the new year (three or four months thereafter, I’m calculating). I look happily forward to donating when that happens. Best wishes.

            • Julian says:

              Glad to hear it brother. I will remember to ask to donate what we can when we can. Most American income is always rising and falling. Its hard not to sound arrogant asking for donations without using words like “reasonable” but we should include the word “planned,” because a donation to NORML is so special and vital to our freedom and a healthy Democracy that planning a donation should be a celebration. Its time to solicit some celebrity calander events…

    4. Brian says:

      Update the map with 4 more doobies please!

    5. Julian says:

      So Christi is out now that Trump reveals a purging vendetta since Christi apparently arrested Trump’s son-in-law years back. Its like were still operating under the blood-revenge rules of killing who killed your friend before the Haudenousenee founded the Iroquoi Confederacy. Before our Indian ancestors invented the Democracy that inspired Ben Franklin to help write our Declaration of Independence, there existed the supersticious belief that the most evil warchiefs should be elected to power to take out all the lesser evil chiefs. And so with an electoral college selecting Trump, that is what our government has reverted to.
      But there do exist sensible Republicans. This is why I urge every one of us to work with ANY legislator in their voting district to legalize marijuana;


      I could not be more proud of my Republican state Representative Jason Isaac. He declared this week that he will work together with Democratic Rep. Joe Moody to get newly introduced legislation HB81 to decriminalize marijuana in the state of Texas. He is quoted on Texas Monthly with Evan Williams as saying “now is the time.” If you are from Texas, please take action here;


      And urge Rep. Isaac to CO-SPONSOR HB81!!

      Believe me, there are sensible Republicans we can work with on marijuana policy. And I will be the first to criticize hidden agendas from Koch brother think tanks that are aimed more at decriminalizing “overcriminalization” of white collar crimes. But that is why we RESEARCH. That is why the line that defines Trump Chumps from REAL conservatives is our ability to READ.

      • Julian says:

        How cool is that? According to this MPP blog, state Rep. Isaac, R-TX has already co-sponsored HB-81;


        It feels so good that despite the mayhem surrounding our federal elections that we can make such good progress at the state level. Arkansas and Florida are already moving the south Forward, but I know this took years of calls and meetings and citizen lobbying Isaac because I was there, and he is listening. Never give up. Donate to NORML and citizen lobby your state legislators. It really works!

      • Julian says:

        Correction: Christi is out because he once arrested Trump’s son-in-law’s FATHER… does THAT make more sense? No? Me neither. Second correction; Even the blood-revenge of Indian nations in the New York area before the Revolution or before a confederacy was established relied on more principals and rules that were witnessing only one week after a Trump election. Can someone please explain to Trump the definition of a blind trust? (No Trump, its not a cheap reference to the people who voted for you…)

    6. Synth-8 says:

      How about the fed pulls cannabis from the controlled substances schedule and hand regulation to the ATF alongside alcohol and tobacco.

      Makes sense I think.. tobacco and cannabis are both crops, why reinvent the wheel

      And it’s used like alcohol so they would already know how to regulate it

      • mexweed says:

        In the spirit of Incrementalism (or incremental environmentalism, which mentalism do you prefer?) I could accept TEMPORARILY bracketing my herb (NOT DRUG) with alcohol, tobacco, firearms which each kill tens and hundreds of thousands of Americans each year.
        Keep your eyes on the long-run prize: legalize and normalize.

      • Julian says:

        While the ATF operates under the Department of Treasury, not the DOJ, Trump’s nominees are all staunch prohibitionists. And if you recall the Fast and Furious scandal where the ATF was caught selling weapons under a “tracer program” to the Sinaloa cartel and El Chape Guzman himself which resulted in the death of tens of thousands of innocent people and a DEA agent, let’s just say the ATF don’t exactly have the best track record to regulate marijuana.
        Due to a little known law written in the 80’s, the ATF have exclusive rights of disclosure for all the weapons sold in the United States, effectively making them the world’s arms cartel. They get a big piece of their budget from asset forfeitures, and they lead the battle in courts to unconstitutionally rob marijuana consumers of their right to bear arms by pressing down on gun bans for anyone in possession of a schedule 1 drug in the CSAct.
        Regulating marijuana does NOT belong in any executive branch whether it’s criminal justice in the DOJ or some rogue gangsters selling guns and drugs out of the Department of the Treasury. Marijuana needs to be descheduled.

        • Julian says:

          …marijuana needs to be descheduled by Congress.
          …which means by us, and every registered voter in America. So click on the “Legalization” tab at the top right hand corner of this webpage. Write, call and visit with your state and Federal representatives. They really are human. Even Ted Cruz. Isn’t that amazing?

    7. build a bigger base says:

      RE; mexweed and Julian;


      alcohol is a POISON !!
      you can DIE from ALCOHOL POISIONING !!

      it can STOP YOUR HEART,
      and it can STOP YOUR BREATHING.

      you can even DROWN to death,
      in your own puke.

      if ANYTHING is a schedule 1 substance,
      IT IS ALCOHOL !!

      DO NOT put pot, in that category !!

      2. POT IS NOT A ‘DRUG’, IT IS AN HERB !!

      (unless by ‘DRUG’, you mean a MEDICINE, there are many diseases it either cures, treats the symptons of, or prevents)

      but, ALL of the commonly available, well known, HERBS and SPICES, were known to have beneficial, MEDICINAL effects, many years ago.
      ex; rosemary, oregano, paprica, turmeric, black pepper, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, ect.
      and just like pot, no known deaths, from their use.

      some of them,
      CAN give you a buzz.
      (is that what is meant by ‘drug’ ??
      it gives a buzz ??)

      coffee, tea, energy drinks, give you a buzz.
      some people even get a buzz, from; mangoes, salami, or chocolate, or even gambling, and skydiving.

      SO; regulate marijuana LESS HARSHLY than alcohol is regulated, because it is less harmfull.

      regulate marijuana LESS HARSHLY than
      tobacco is regulated, because it is less harmfull.

      regulate marijuana LESS HARSHLY than prescription pills are regulated, because it is less harmfull.

      and it should be regulated just like ginsing, goldenseal, echinacea, ginko biloba, and other MEDICINAL HERBS are regulated.

      (for PURITY from contamination ONLY)

    8. Ice says:

      Internet is written with the capital letter in a sentence, by the way. And huedhndtrs are written not with a point but with a comma. This is according to the standard. And actually everything is very good..!

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