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  • by Josh Kasoff, Nevada NORML April 28, 2020

    Even in the midst of a global pandemic that’s resulted in devastating shockwaves felt across every economic sector, Nevada NORML has nevertheless continued to strongly advocate for cannabis reform in these uncertain and unknown times. And with the month of April having the worldwide cannabis day of celebration, we knew that a 4/20-centric event was exactly what our great cannabis community in Nevada and beyond deserves.

    While public in-person events are currently on hold, the dedicated members of Nevada NORML assembled something incredible and comprehensive, all over the course of less than three weeks. Since we unfortunately couldn’t have an in-person event given the current pandemic, yet still wanted to celebrate The Highest of Holidays with our cannabis-loving community, we had the honor of hosting our 420 Stay Home Stay High Extravaganza.

    Co-hosted with our good friends and passionate cannabis advocates at Culture and Cannabis at the always gracious Rigel Studios, we had the pleasure of featuring a vast array of talented and unique content. Consisting of over 50 segments in total, our community had the pleasure of tuning in to a true cannabis-centric variety show, one that would put Dean Martin and Carol Burnett’s long-running variety shows to shame. Embracing the pure creative power of the cannabis community throughout The Battle Born State, the five-hour extravaganza was certainly one to remember.

    Product reviews of local cannabis companies’ wares from weed influencers, delicious at-home cooking lessons and recipes with cannabis chefs, yoga and hiking videos from 420-friendly instructors and hikers, to short films from community members discussing local cannabis-related issues and topics.

    Thought-provoking interviews with notable people such as Jerome Baker Designs founder Jason Harris, State Assemblyman Steve Yeager, Las Vegas City Councilman Tick Segerblom, and those on the ground fighting the good fight to ensure that this essential plant can still be accessible to consumers during these unforeseen times. Messages from NORML founder Keith Stroup and our multi-segment “Virtual Doobie Sesh”, a compilation of our community members hitting the joint and virtually passing it to their friend on the left, is just some of the content available to viewers far and wide.

    Through it all, we at Nevada NORML couldn’t be any happier with all of our segment submissions and that everything miraculously came together in a matter of weeks. Even in the most self-isolating and socially distant of times, Nevada NORML is nonetheless proud to stand for cannabis consumers and their rights, but we couldn’t do it without the wonderfully creative community that we’re lucky to have. 

    Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Hydrated, Stay Woke and most importantly, Stay High.

  • by NORML April 17, 2020

    In celebration of NORML’s 50th anniversary, L.A. NORML is putting on a 100% FREE virtual live-streaming event where we will take a journey through time and honor cannabis pioneers, new leaders, and future change makers! We have an absolute OG lineup of speakers and guests! Tommy Chong, Todd McCormick, Brett Harrelson, Mr. Sherbinski, Rob Van Dam, Keith Stroup, Bruce Margolin, Chris Dell’Olio, Felicia Carbajal, Erik Altieri, and Stephanie Landa. 

    NORML 50th Anniversary 4/20 Party
    The 90-minute program is absolutely packed with education and history. The half-time show is going to be a straight-up, dope AF, Hollywood, open-mic, celebrity OG sesh! Don’t miss it!

    The event will stream live today, Sunday, April 19th at 3:30 PM PST (6:30 PM EST) until 5:00 PM PST (8:00 PM EST).

     

  • by NORML April 15, 2020

    The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) recognizes that it is important to be compliant with state and federal guidelines regarding social and physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why, in the best interest of public health and safety, NORML is encouraging cannabis consumers not to congregate in groups either outdoors or indoors this 4/20.

    Instead, NORML encourages those who wish to express their support for marijuana policy reform this 4/20 to engage in the many online/virtual celebrations taking place throughout the day. A sampling of NORML-affiliated online events taking place this 4/20 is included below. NORML will update this list with additional events as they are announced.

    Furthermore, because NORML recognizes that cannabis consumers worldwide often celebrate 4/20 by engaging in some form of cannabis use, we are once again providing ‘best practices’ for consumers’ safety. These include:

    • Do not share your personal consumption devices with others;
    • Seek alternative delivery devices that mitigate or eliminate one’s exposure to combustive smoke;
    • Plan in advance — Avoid unnecessary trips to either marijuana retailers or dispensaries on 4/20, when these establishments may be more crowded than usual and physical distancing may be more difficult;
    • Avoid obtaining cannabis products, and vape-pens especially, from the unregulated market, as these products are of variable purity and quality and may be tainted with mold or adulterants.

    A complete guide to NORML’s ‘Responsible Consumer Safety Tips’ is online here.

    As of this writing, NORML staff and NORML affiliate chapters will be participating on 4/20 in the following live-streamed events:

    • Los Angeles NORML Digital Event: A NORML Party 50 Years in the Making (start time: 3:30PM PT, 4/19/20)
    • Texas NORML’s 420 Stream-A-Thon (start time: 12:30PM CT)
    • Nevada NORML & Culture and Cannabis Las Vegas present Stay Home/Stay High 420 Extravaganza
    • Time4Hemp Living Room Lovefest (start times: 8AM PT)
    • Seattle Hempfest Livestream Event (start time: 1PM PT)
    • Suncoast NORML 4/20 After Party (start time: 7PM ET)

    Enter the NORML 4/20 Giveaway

    Listings of other virtual events taking place on 4/20 is available from Leafly.com here.

    Be sure to follow NORML on Facebook on 4/20 at 4PM ET to join a live chat with NORML staff.

    Enter and share NORML’s 4/20 Membership Pack Giveaways on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

  • by Tyler McFadden, NORML NE Political Associate July 13, 2019

    As New Jersey continues to fail its constituents each day they do not pass cannabis legalization for adult-use, the name of one state senator at the forefront of the fight against legalization remains permanently inked in shame: State Senator Ron Rice of the 28th District.

    Despite 62% of New Jersey residents supporting legalizing cannabis for adult-use, State Senator Rice is now firmly in the pockets of the “Prohibition Now, Prohibition Forever” lobby, taking his marching orders and talking points from They Who Shall Not Be Named. As someone who likes to say he’s “of the people”, the state senator seems to have found a new group to whom he has pledged loyalty – and it’s not the people of New Jersey. 

    Click here (if you live in the 28th District) or here (if you are a New Jersey resident outside the 28th District) to send an email to State Senator Rice and let him know that you are in full support of cannabis legalization in the Garden State.

    State Senator Rice released an op-ed on the 4th of July, in which he made a plea to his peers in the New Jersey State Legislature to prioritize decriminalization-

    “We can make this happen and put our state at the vanguard of social justice in America. We can infuse our independence with a deeper level of freedom grounded in real justice for all. We can give the Fourth of July even greater meaning and let our fireworks reflect our own impossible formations of brilliance that make us one vibrant, colorful nation.”

    State Senator Rice is right about one thing. Arrests for cannabis possession must stop immediately, and the New Jersey State Legislature must put aside petty politics and get this done. But what the state senator fails to realize it that decriminalization alone is simply not enough to undo the havoc that prohibition has wreaked upon communities across the state, including Newark, in his home district.

    In a letter he wrote to his legislative colleagues earlier this year, State Senator Rice laid out a list of reasons to vote no on legalization bills S2703/A4497 and they read like they were taken straight from Kevin Sabet’s Twitter page. What State Senator Rice and the prohibitionist lobby fail to note is that their cherry-picked studies and alarmist prohibition propaganda ignore the larger studies that find that legalization has little to no negative impact on communities in legal states, and in most cases, bring positive change to the states who choose to legalize cannabis and implement common-sense regulatory structures.

    Click here (if you live in the 28th District) or here (if you are a New Jersey resident outside the 28th District) to send an email to State Senator Rice and let him know that you are in full support of cannabis legalization in the Garden State.

    All of this is unsurprising. State Senator Rice has a long history of a gross misunderstanding of the science behind cannabis and the real-world effects of legalization. In an interview given last year to NJTV, State Senator Rice said “that he believes marijuana is a gateway drug [(a theory consistently disproven)] and claimed that when recreational marijuana is legalized, ‘the number of people who’ve never used any type of drugs goes up substantially in terms of drug use.’” He went on to demonstrate his severe lack of knowledge by saying-

    “If in fact we legalize recreational marijuana, right across the street from my office they’re going to put up stores… They want to call them dispensaries, but they’re going to be stores that do retail selling cupcakes with marijuana, candies with marijuana, sex toys and oils with marijuana, lipsticks with marijuana, all those kinds of products that kids can get and people can get.”

    For a man who truly believes he is “of the people”, State Senator Rice seems to be completely out of touch with what the people of New Jersey actually want. That’s why it’s so important for you as a New Jersey resident to tell him that you support full cannabis legalization in the Garden State.

    Click here (if you live in the 28th District) or here (if you are a New Jersey resident outside the 28th District) to send an email to State Senator Rice and let him know that you are in full support of cannabis legalization in the Garden State.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 27, 2019

    State lawmakers late last week advanced legislation to the Governor’s desk amending marijuana possession penalties and establishing procedures for the automatic expungement of prior, low-level cannabis convictions.

    The legislation, Assembly Bill 8420-A, reduces the penalty for minor marijuana possession violations (up to one ounce) to a $50 fine. It also amends penalties for offenses involving the possession of more than one ounce but less than two ounces of cannabis from a criminal misdemeanor to a non-criminal violation punishable by a $200 fine – regardless of an offender’s prior criminal history. Under existing law, the possession of over 25 grams of marijuana is punishable by up to three months in jail.

    The measure further amends the classification of offenses involving the use or possession of marijuana in public from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail, to a fine-only offense. In New York City alone, police typically made tens of thousands of marijuana arrests annually under the ‘public view’ exception. Over 87 percent of those charged with the crime were either Black or Latino.

    Finally, A. 8420-A establishes procedures to allow for the automatic expungement of criminal records specific to crimes involving the possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana.

    While several lawmakers expressed disappointment that members failed to move forward a more expansive legalization proposal, they acknowledged that the changes proposed in Assembly Bill 8420-A are an important first step. “The drug laws that are currently on the books have devastated our communities by disproportionately targeting people of color, forcing them to live with a criminal record that makes it harder to get a job or find housing,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement. “Decriminalizing marijuana, paired with expunging records for these low-level offenses, will help undo some of these decades-long injustices, and allow for people to be productive and successful. This is not the final step, but it will lay the groundwork for full decriminalization and legalization in the future.”

    statement issued jointly by various New York NORML affiliates states that the proposed changes fail to either adequately address “the legacy of harm from prohibition and targeted enforcement” or provide “a pathway forward to a more equitable future. … Our legislators and Governor Cuomo have failed in that regard, and have sent a message to New Yorkers that racial and economic justice are not priorities for them.”

    The measure takes effect 30 days after it is signed into law by the Governor.

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