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2020

  • by Jenn Michelle Pedini, NORML Development Director February 21, 2020

    The 2020 Presidential campaigns are in full swing. Candidates are hitting the campaign trail, and blasting you with ads social media, radio, and television, vying for your votes. Whether they’re red or blue, yellow or green, they need to know that ending America’s unjust war on marijuana is a top priority for you. That’s why we’re launching this campaign.

    Claim your sticker!

    Claim your I’m Voting for Marijuana sticker when you become a sustaining donor of $10 or more

    National polling shows two-thirds of Americans support legalizing marijuana at the federal level and presidential candidates like Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Klobuchar who are ready to end prohibition won big in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

    We know that when marijuana is on the ballot, people show up to vote. Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and Oklahoma  will all be likely to vote on marijuana issues come November.

    And while not every state is voting to legalize marijuana in November, every state is holding an election. Whether it’s a local, state, or federal race, your vote is your voice and that vote matters. We must stay strong in our fight for freedom. President Trump is again threatening to derail the progress we’ve made. His recently released 2021 federal budget proposes slashing all legal protection for state medical marijuana programs, potentially jeopardizing the patients that rely on them.

    Show your pledge to vote for marijuana in 2020

    NORML’s mission is fueled by good people like you – not corporate cannabis – not willing to endure our country’s failed policy of prohibition any longer. We’re counting on you to head to the polls and to help ensure NORML has the resources to represent you in the fight to legalize America. Your contribution will help us fund important election year programs such as our upcoming in-depth look at the presidential candidates and the re-launch of the most comprehensive candidate marijuana scorecard in the country, Smoke the Vote.

    We’re in this together and we won’t stop until Americans are no longer criminalized for the responsible use of cannabis.

    Thanks for your support.
    The team at NORML

    P.S. A huge thanks to NORML’s fundraising partner, Sticker Mule for supporting this campaign.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Marijuana CBD OilMembers of the Kentucky House of Representatives voted by a margin of more than two to one in favor of legislation, House Bill 136, facilitating medical cannabis access. The vote marks the first time that a legislative chamber in the state has ever advanced medicinal marijuana legislation.

    “This is a historic day for Kentucky”, said Matthew Bratcher, Executive Director of Kentucky NORML. “We are so proud of the work all the advocates did this year, and all the years prior, in helping to educate their families, communities and their legislators on the facts about medical cannabis. We commend the House of Representatives for listening to their constituents and standing up for patients in passing this bill. This will be the most restrictive medical cannabis bill in the country, which is not ideal but certainly an excellent start. We look forward to the continuation of this process and will closely watch what happens in the Senate.”

    Under the plan, which now awaits Senate action, qualified patients would be able to obtain cannabis products from state-licensed dispensaries. Smoking herbal cannabis will not be permitted under the proposal.

    According to statewide polling compiled in January by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, 90 percent of state residents support regulating medical marijuana access.

    Although the bill is anticipated to face pressure in the Senate, the plan is expected to receive support from newly elected Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who has previously expressed a willingness to vote in favor of legalizing medical cannabis.

    Additional information on House Bill 136 is available from Kentucky NORML. Follow them on Facebook here.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 20, 2020

    NH Capital New Hampshire House lawmakers today approved legislation, House Bill 1648, eliminating criminal and civil penalties for activities involving possession and home cultivation of personal use quantities of cannabis.

    Legislators passed the bill by a veto-proof majority, voting 236 to 112 in favor of it. The legislation now awaits action by the Senate.

    The measure legalizes the possession of up to 3/4 of an ounce of marijuana by those age 21 or older. It also allows for adults to home cultivate up to three mature marijuana pants and/or to possess up to five grams of hashish, and up to 300mg of cannabis-infused products.

    If advanced by the Senate, the measure is likely to face resistance from Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who has previously said that he will “absolutely” veto any legalization legislation, “regardless of what the language looks like.”

    Last session, the Governor vetoed legislation, House Bill 364, which sought to allow patients registered in the state’s medical cannabis access program the option to home-cultivate up to three cannabis plants. In his veto message, he opined that allowing patients to grow their own medical cannabis would “make the job of law enforcement significantly more difficult,” and also suggested that it might reduce the number of patients soliciting the state’s dispensaries.

  • by NORML February 19, 2020

    Jobs in the state-licensed cannabis industry rose 15 percent during the past 12 months, and the industry now employs over 243,000 full-time workers, according to data compiled by Leafly.com.

    Commenting on the jobs data, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said: “The legal cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing employment sectors in America in spite of the challenges it faces due to marijuana’s federal criminal classification. These new numbers only further underscore the need to end prohibition and allow the state programs to operate as intended.”


    According to its 2020 report, the regulated cannabis industry added 32,700 new jobs over the past year. States adding the greater number of new cannabis-related jobs were Massachusetts (10,266 jobs) and Oklahoma (7,300 jobs). Overall, the total number of full-time jobs in the licensed cannabis industry has doubled since 2017.

    “The refusal [of the federal government] to acknowledge the existence of legal cannabis jobs is a powerful act of shaming and stigmatization,” the report concludes. “There are now nearly a quarter of a million Americans whose professional lives are categorized as [either] illegal or nonexistent by the government of the United States. … If cannabis industry jobs were tallied like other jobs, … legal cannabis would be acknowledged as the fastest growing industry in America.”

    Full text of the study, “Leafly Jobs Report 2020,” appears online here. Additional information is available in the NORML fact-sheet, ‘Marijuana Regulation: Impact on Health, Safety, Economy.’

  • by NORML February 18, 2020

    It’s been three years and counting but President Trump is once again threatening to derail the progress we’ve made in reforming marijuana laws across this country. The latest offense is his recently released 2021 federal budget proposes slashing all legal protection for state medical marijuana programs and potentially jeopardizing the patients that rely on them.

    Because cannabis is still illegal under federal law, the DEA and other federal law enforcement would be able to use federal funds to shut down medical marijuana programs. We’ve largely been able to include an amendment to the annual federal budget that would prevent the Department of Justice to utilize any of their funds to go after medical marijuana programs, their compliant operators, and the patients that depend on those programs, but this new budget proposal puts all of that at risk.

    Sign our petition to demand Congress protect state-legal medical marijuana programs.

    We all know that patients are not criminals and that marijuana indisputably has medical value when it comes to treating a wide range of ailments, but Trump’s proposed federal budget would reprioritize law enforcement and prosecutors to target medical marijuana at the state level. 

    Despite Trump mentioning during his campaign that he supported medical marijuana and a general states rights approach to cannabis policy, his presidency has consistently proven these words to ring hollow. 

    Sign our petition, and make it crystal clear to our representatives that if they support this budget, we will not support them. 

    The data speaks for itself. It is not an alternative fact that medical marijuana has been proven to provide important benefits. No patient should have to worry about losing access to cannabis treatment options. 

    Thanks for being in the fight with us,

    NORML

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