2017: A NORML Year in America

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director December 29, 2017

    revolutionbumperIn the wake of landmark cannabis victories in 2016, there was much momentum to build upon when state legislatures opened up at the beginning of 2017. With NORML chapters in nearly all 50 states, activists took the fight to the halls of state capitals and city councils from Florida to Washington State and everywhere in between. In all, lawmakers in 26 states have passed legislation to advance cannabis reform.

    Victories include: Nevada expediting the implementation of adult distribution of legal marijuana, becoming the first of the newly legal states to respect the will of their voters and come online in 2017; New Hampshire becoming the 22nd state to decriminalize marijuana, making it so that an individual can be in any state in New England without fear of being arrested for a simple possession charge; West Virginia becoming the 30th state to pass a medical marijuana program, which will soon serve patients suffering from a range of conditions including cancer, HIV/AIDS, and chronic pain; In Ohio, the Athens Cannabis Ordinance (aptly named TACO) passed to completely de-penalize marijuana possession; among many other advancements and legislative tweaks around the country.

    Nationwide, with public support for reforming marijuana laws at an all-time high, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) have formed the first-ever Congressional Cannabis Caucus to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform and ease the tension between federal and state governments. As of this writing, (December 2017) 96 members of the House of Representatives, or 22% of the legislative body, have either authored or co-sponsored legislation to reform our nation’s outdated marijuana laws.

    This progress has come as a result of years of organizing and conversations with our fellow citizens about the role of government in relation to a plant. The tough conversations about the scope of the government’s right to stop, search, and incarcerate individuals for possessing or consuming marijuana for either personal or medical benefits may not always be easy, but they are necessary in order to advance reform efforts.

    And all said, the public is now strongly with us. The national polling outfit, Gallup, recorded for the first time ever outright majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents supporting the legalization of marijuana, representing 64% of Americans. For context, in 1969, the year before NORML was founded, only 12% of Americans supported legalization.

    2018 is going to be no different. With over two dozen states on the books with scheduled lobby days and more to come, now is the time to take action. To help increase the likelihood of success for these volunteer-led lobbying efforts, NORML has updated our citizen lobby guide, a comprehensive booklet that will assist activists in the planning and execution of a successful lobby day. It also provides organizational checklists and a legislative questionnaire so that marijuana activists, regardless of the state they’re located in, will be fully prepared to meet with state lawmakers to discuss meaningful marijuana law reforms and to most effectively communicate NORML’s message of ending the prohibition of marijuana on the local, state and federal level.

    So use us as a resource – NORML.org has fact-sheets, talking points, and visit our Action Center at norml.org/act to track legislation moving in 2018 and to plug in with a chapter near you or start your own.

    As we look toward an uncertain future, we know we must work to both sustain our existing gains and to win future victories. Thanks for all that you do.

    18 responses to “2017: A NORML Year in America”

    1. Mark Mitcham says:

      2017 was the year of the paradox for the marijuana legalization movement.

      On the one hand, our big state wins suggested America is coming to its senses. On the other hand, Donald Trump in the White House suggested that America is losing its mind.

      Regardless of how you explain this discrepancy, on thing is certain: the endgames for each of these movements are mutually exclusive. Fascism cannot coexist with legalization.

      Fuck Trump!

    2. Julian says:

      Happy Weed Year! _\|/_ (continued)

      Number Six is for church pricks
      Tax-slicks and mix poly-tricks
      Washing money while Time ticks
      For the sick cant take their picks
      They just get pills and death quicks
      Given tythes like Netflix
      And the Bishops take back-kicks
      From Insys Therapuetics
      Tried stoppin Massachussets
      From gettin all our joints lits
      From the bricks to the sticks
      1milllion through church profits
      The tax exemption admits
      From where Archiocese sits
      I guess they did it for $#!*$
      But in their own eye they spits
      Cuz now theyre having their fits
      We legalizers dont quits
      Like Jesus showed the prophets
      He flipped the tables to bits
      When temples turned to markets
      Holy anointing our grits
      Poppin fake Churches like zits

      We know that Jesus took hits
      So tell them fake priests take splits

    3. Shannon Mann says:

      I live in Alabama and I am so sick of the minor poss laws here.
      I used to believe we would change the laws here before then I heard Miss had decriminalize it .
      I was sick.

    4. Julian says:

      Happy Weed Year (5)

      Number Five is synthetic
      The pill mill is prosthetic
      A whole soul diahretic
      Anti-weed it’s pathetic
      If they’re selling fentanyl
      They leave you tied to a medic
      They prohibit weed and kill
      So many till it’s prophetic
      Even China’s blaming weed
      So much greed it’s kinetic
      Insys Therapuetics need
      It spelled out in phonetic
      If they all went to prison
      Freed the weed; copasetic
      Novo Nordisk makes poison;
      Weed treats a diabetic
      But Debbie Washerman Shultz
      Takes Novo stocks and spread it
      They invest in pills like cults
      Arrest weed, it’s genetic
      They can’t patent a plant
      But they would if we let it
      We don’t need a prescription
      Let it grow, there I said it,
      Happy Weed Year, NORML!

    5. Julian says:

      Happy Weed Year (4)

      Number Four, we hit the floor
      When the Feds are at the door
      We may have to hide a pound
      But now with Cali in store
      Not sure they can anymore
      When the 19th rolls around
      The revenue’s gonna pour
      So Jeff, you Big Pharma whore
      You lie and whine while we roar
      Until our throat is so soar
      We smoke a joint and explore
      How to make Congress ignore
      Your lies and see what theyre for
      We’ll take these rights that we found
      And show them we’re voting more
      Like Alabama did Moore
      We’ll put the fear in your core
      Until we settle the score
      This revolution is lore
      You may not like how we sound
      We turn enforcement to your
      Drug Education Weed Tour
      Legislation you deplore
      We fight on capitol ground
      This Sessions over, drug war

    6. Julian says:

      Taking a break in my weed-ryme marathon-countdown, since Im down here in Mexico for New Year’s, I thought I’d do a little follow up reporting on a previous post about Mexico legalizing medical marijuana this New Year;
      I speculated that Mexico would import their weed from Canada until they sorted out cultivation regulations. Internally I suspected that the flea-markets or “tiangis” that exist in every town in Mexico were going to take the “green light” with lack of enforcement.
      I admit I was pleasantly surprised this morning when the familiar waft of Mexican sativa smoke traveled up the beach. It’s been so long since I enjoyed the distinct smell since I partake of legal strain varieties back home to support our movement. Plus the smuggled stuff is always packed with perfumes or molds that I dont miss. I joined the fisherman in their morning bud circle for a while before wandering off to the tiangis later.
      Again, to my pleasant surprise, there was marijuana gel for sale. It’s under a brand called “Gel de Peyote.” The main ingredient? “Marihuana.” Also claims to contain peyote, lidocaine and dicoflenac, all anti-inflammatories. I put some on my hip where I struggle with meralgia paresthetica. I can’t say I’m trippin but the pain is gone. Before paying the 30 pesos (about a buck fifty) for the jar, I noticed cannabis oil with the marijuana leaf symbol behind the jars of gel. It is also recommended as a topical disinflammatory but as an oil, not a gel.
      Ive heard about this brand from Mexican friends back in Texas. I think it’s always been around but never seen a bold weed leaf on a label like that.
      Dont bring it on the plane with you but travelers should expect mire to come from Mexican medical marijuana.

    7. Julian says:

      Follow up on the follow up: No way to confirm from the smell or the feel of the “Gel de Peyote” that it contains marijuana. Definitely had lidocaine and decoflenac. I spoke to a woman who says shes been vending the product with the weed leaf label for 2 years who admits that she has no way to confirm marijuana is in the product. Conclusion: Mexico needs labeling laws almost as badly as the US… with one exeption: in Mexico its possible to find healers or “curanderas” who make marijuana tinctures in alcohol or oil. I knew of one old indigenous Mexican woman who provided these remedies to a local church as healing oils. In this case one can see the marijuana still diluting in the glass jar, homemade. Thats one way to beat mislabeling.

    8. Julian says:

      Medical disclaimer on the “Gel de Peyote”; I’m more certain there is no peyote in this common Mexican product than I am that it contains little to no marijuana. (At least not a psychoactive strain. Perhaps CBD oil?). I know the people who regularly post here could have figured that out from my previous post, but I felt obligated to clear this up since this stuff is real popular and found all over Mexico. Granted, I’ve never tried peyote (at least I’m pretty sure…). And I don’t recommend trying it without an experienced person to prepare the small desert cactus properly. I had a Navajo friend who tried it and explained it should be used in a spiritual context. Lidocaine and dicoflenac are effective for disinflammation but naturally shouldn’t be used excessively. Unfortunately, going back to what I was saying before, when it comes to non-psychoactive strains in marijuana gels or CBD oil and in a world of flea markets and rampant mislabeling the one sure way to know it’s real is see and smell the plant and with a little guidance, make it yourself.

    9. Mark Mitcham says:

      2018! Time to punish Trump.

      To punish Trump, we must punish all Republicans, everywhere, in 2018. (And then again in 2020, it’s not as far off as it sounds.) The fascist Republicans are Trump’s enablers, and they are openly complicit in his crimes against America.

      Mueller can nail Trump to the wall; but it is we, the decent American people, who must move in for the kill. Indictments and convictions alone won’t do it. The 25th Amendment won’t do it (because: Pence. Duh.)

      Trump’s punishment will take place at the ballot box in 2018.

      Trump has been shitting on our heads for a solid year, and wiping his ass with taxpayer dollars. Our money. Our freedoms. Our Democracy.

      We protest; but Trump only mocks and threatens us. He is abusive, demented, and dangerous.

      This horrific insanity must end. But the Republicans charged with checking his power won’t stand up to him, no matter how vile or blatant his corruption is, and will inevitably become.

      There is only one way to stop this shit-show: Vote!

      1. Register to vote, do that now while you have time.
      2. Look up where you vote; Look up who’s running.
      3. On Election Day, Vote! Punish Trump and the Republicans!

      It’s payback time!

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Here’s a NORML link, where you can register to vote:


        Do it! Vote! Participate in your own liberation!

      • Julian says:

        Assuming Democratic turn out will be anything like what happened in Alabama…
        While the Mueller investigation drags on this year and Republicans scared of either getting implicated or nuked by a “bigger button” move for the 25th amendment, here are some very interesting and likely scenarios you might enjoy;

        1. Mueller probably already has Kushner talking which means Kushner turns on his own and throws “the princess and poppy in law off a cliff. Kersplatter.” (If you can say that in the voice of Gilbert Godfried it’s much more gratifying). Bitter betrayal, but then they should know all about that when they laundered money for Russian oligarchs for so many years.

        2). Since Mueller’s investigation is predicted to take another year, if Trump fires Rosenstein and every assistant AG until one fires Mueller, a Democratic minority report can preserve the administration’s impeachable… and indictable… offenses, which includes high treason from Pence for failing to notify authorities of felony treason by the administration with Russia to lift sanctions on hostile Russian launderers.

        3). Once a Democratic Congress is sworn in by next year, Trump and Pence can be indicted with the help of a %51 majority vote from a Democratic Congress after our marijuana-friendly Judicial Committee chair Nader hands off authority for the indictment. No 2/3 majority impeachment necessary if a Federal Judge has Congressional consent to indict the administration.

        4). With the President and VP gone, that leaves the Speaker of the House next in line, which by then, providing she doesn’t lose in a primary, would be Nancy Pelosi. Not the best outcome, but a hell of a lot better than what we got now! And the next Congress will be the most marijuana reforming to date, without exception.

    10. Miles says:

      The day marijuana is legalized for adults is the day I will once again be proud to be an American!

      Until that day I consider this idiocy to be very embarrasing for a country that purports to be “The Land of the Free” and supports “The Will of the People”.

      I didn’t serve in the Marines only to live a lifetime of being considered a criminal by our Government for my choice to use cannabis!