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Community Organizing

  • by Delaware NORML April 3, 2020

    Medical marijuana

    In case anyone has been living under a particularly heavy and sound-proof rock, medical cannabis is essential. While we commend our state officials for declaring that centers will remain open during the state of emergency, we need to ensure our patients have uninterrupted access to their life saving medicine. This is especially important during these uncertain times. Delaware NORML sparked up the community for a call to action, urging Governor Carney to offer delivery options to adequately serve medical cannabis patients in this time of crisis.

    We are thrilled to pass on this joint effort. Delaware officials, lawmakers and compassion center owners are working together to quickly roll out delivery options for cannabis patients.  We offer our highest appreciation to everyone who helped make this happen!

    With the recommended guidelines, many patients have been left without an option to obtain their medicine. Some patients may not drive and many do not have an authorized caregiver. Ordering online with pick up options isn’t enough when a vast majority of patients are now homebound with little resources to facilitate those services. Medical patients are the most at risk and we should be doing everything we can to ensure their safety. Hopefully these new updates to our medical cannabis program will be implemented quickly.

    Columbia Care will be the first center to offer this option, hopefully in the coming weeks. They are working quickly but must ensure they can safely implement delivery services. Please note this is a brand new service, being launched for this first time during an active crisis. Columbia Care will unfortunately be unable to service all patients, especially at first. Once the other two centers are also set up for delivery services, the process will improve.

    Please have patience with the centers’ staff during this process. We are all trying to do the best we can with what we have.  Please be mindful that for many patients this will literally be their only option. If you can facilitate the online ordering with pick up option safely, please continue to do so and save this service for those who need it most.

    Please visit the centers’ websites for updates and more information to be posted soon.

    DE Medical Cannabis Centers:

    Help us continue to cultivate our cannabis community and join us on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (@denorml) to find out how you can help us spark up reform.

  • by NORML March 24, 2020

    While these challenging times present many difficulties for those of us seeking to advance the goal of ending federal marijuana prohibition, NORML’s newly launched election tool provides our supporters with an easy and convenient way to assist in our fight for reform.

    Despite the ongoing crisis we are faced with, the November elections will still hold major implications for the future of legalization and other cannabis policy reforms. That is why, today, we have an important ask for you: Are you ready to make a difference? 

    We’ve seen more candidates and elected officials than ever before express their support for marijuana policy reform. Unfortunately, there are still far too many politicians clinging to the ‘reefer madness’ of a bygone era. That is why NORML wants you to not only be an informed cannabis consumer, but we also need you and hundreds-of-thousands of others to be informed cannabis voters.  

    This is why NORML has updated and retooled our platform: Smoke the Vote. Now you can learn where your state and federal candidates stand on the issue of marijuana freedom with NORML’s new Smoke the Vote: NORML’s 2020 voter guide and candidate scorecard.

    In recent years, members of Congress and thousands of state lawmakers have cast important votes for and against substantive marijuana policy reforms. This means that, wherever you reside, you most likely have elected officials that have personally weighed in on this issue. Do you know where they stand on the cannabis question? Are they representing your interests?

    As we approach November, it is crucial that our friends, family, and neighbors know which candidates have voted the ‘right way’ on cannabis issues so that those of us who care about marijuana policy reform may cast our votes accordingly. 

    We’ve provided you with the voting records of all of the federal candidates, but we need your help with many others, especially those elected at the state and local level. That is where you come in. If you know something about your local politicians’ marijuana policy positions, help us inform the public!

    With our easy to use tool, you can input key information about your elected officials and local candidates. Just find a candidate and at the bottom of the page, click “Know more about this politician’s position on marijuana? Tell us!” to enter their position and links to the source. 

    With your help, we’re going to build the most comprehensive database ever with regard to  candidates’ marijuana records. Once we’re ready, we’ll spread the information far and wide to ensure that every American can be an informed cannabis voter. 

    Check out Smoke The Vote and start helping fill in information about your state lawmakers now! 

    Marijuana won big at the ballot box in 2016 and 2018, and we expect that 2020 will be even bigger. We need to show elected officials in all levels of government that those that continue to maintain prohibitionist perspectives will be held accountable and will be voted out of office.

    It’s simple. No one deserves to be treated as a second class citizen because they responsibly consume marijuana.

    We encourage you to join us in our efforts to build this new and comprehensive platform. For those of you who can donate your time, we thank you in advance. For those of you who are able to donate in other ways, such as by making a financial contribution to this effort, we are dearly grateful. That said, we know that these are difficult times for many of you economically, and we do not want our members to experience any further undue financial stress or hardship. Therefore, we only ask that those who are comfortable to do so consider making a financial contribution at this time. 

    Together, we will be on the front lines fighting for the freedom to consume marijuana responsibly without fear of being branded as a criminal.

    Together, we’re going to make history,

    The NORML Team

  • by Josh Kasoff, Nevada NORML January 29, 2020

    Although we’re only one month into the Roaring 20’s, Nevada NORML has already hit the cannabis advocacy ground running at full sprint. Following a wild and groundbreakingly successful 2019 with several memorable events across both The Battle Born State and the nation as a whole, Nevada NORML wanted to ensure that their operations in 2020 surpassed even that of the previous year. After coming down from the high of coordinating all the panels for the CBD.io convention and hosting a festive Happy Holidays party at Nuwu’s historic cannabis consumption lounge, taking it to an even higher level in 2020 was absolutely vital.      

    Starting within the first few days of the year, Las Vegas NORML hosted their monthly meeting with a very special guest and a representative who’s become a huge legislative champion for cannabis, Assemblyman Steve Yeager. During the meeting, Yeager spoke about the new pieces of cannabis legislation signed by Governor Sisolak from the 2019 legislative session that Nevada NORML was instrumental in the passing of, such as Assembly Bill 132 and 192. As usual, Acres Underground was packed to capacity with passionate volunteers who span from across the cannabis community and those new faces eager to learn about cannabis advocacy.

    On January 22nd in the state-of-the-art Cannabis Business Den in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada NORML then hosted the first meeting of their extensive campaign for the countless elections occurring throughout all branches of government in November, lovingly called Smoke The Vote. During the meeting, Madisen, Executive Direcor, and Tina, Communications Director, spoke about how to register, the various strategies throughout Nevada that NORML and the many volunteers will be using for mass voter registration and awareness for further cannabis reform within the state and desperately needed reforms on the federal level.

    “Smoke the Vote has been a strong national campaign by NORML for years, and we here in Nevada are proud to do our part to contribute to it.” says Nevada NORML Director Madisen Saglibene. “By building bridges between consumers, industry, and government officials, we anticipate extremely high participation in the 2020 election cycle and beyond.”

    The innovative ways in which Nevada NORML will be finding consumers and turning them into new voters and volunteers will be vast far reaching across the state. 

    “Through partnerships with local dispensaries along with other supporters, we will be popping up at various locations to spread the word about the voter registration process. As we get closer to November, we will be providing voters with a scorecard based on candidates positions on cannabis reform. We look forward to working with candidates and consumers alike to work towards sensible solutions within marijuana policy.” describes Saglibene. 

    And just this past weekend, Las Vegas NORML ventured to visit friends up north, Reno NORML, and assist in their defining activities over the weekend. While there, Nevada NORML exhibited its true strength for providing the unique blend of cannabis culture and cannabis advocacy at Hookava hookah bar. And to their credit, Reno NORML hosted an inaugural fundraiser/party this past Saturday with a turnout and an exhilarating energy that could easily match any party at a hookah bar in Vegas. 

    “The amount of people that came together for our very first fundraiser to support responsible cannabis use was unbelievable.” described Reno NORML Treasurer, Heather Carona. “It was a great kickoff event for NORML officially coming to Northern Nevada and was an opportunity to share what we are about. So many vendors and people were willing to offer their time, and products for raffles or sponsorships. It was very inspiring.”

    To document, a couple of Reno NORML volunteers put together a video of the event, perfectly detailing the success of the fundraiser. 

    “NORML is tat he core of legal cannabis and we are at the forefront. Our first fundraiser’s success shows how hungry the community is for cannabis law reformation. History is being made.” said Reno NORML Communications Director, Conchita Maberry. 

    With events focusing on everything from the next steps in the Smoke The Vote campaign to Black History Month and the racial injustices that have come with cannabis prohibition, February is guaranteed to be one to remember and especially one to become involved in.

  • by Chris Jonsson, NORML South Africa December 19, 2019

    NORML South Africa was established in 2008 and has been active in the growing cannabis culture scene. Over the past year, NORML has hosted activism events in conjunction with other cannabis organisations and still supports the Dagga Party of South Africa, a registered pro-cannabis political party.  

    Cannabis Law

    On the 18th of September 2018, Judge Dennis Davis passed a landmark ruling in the Cape Town High Court that cannabis essentially be decriminalized for private adult use. Although there are no defined limitations to this progressive ruling, a lot of arrests have still been taking place. Fields of Green For All in South Africa is an activist group that has been fighting the laws for several years and they support people through their organisation that have been either charged or arrested for possession of cannabis. They are still dealing with daily calls and emails from victims who have been arrested. 

    Cannabis 2019

    Over the past year, South Africa’s cannabis culture has come out of the woodwork and established itself as an industry on its own. Start-up seedbanks, locally manufactured extraction companies, both CBD and THC oil companies, headshops, coffeeshops and even a cannabis dispensary retail store are now doing business in all major cities across the country. Just last month, Canna Tech and the Cannabis Expo were hugely successful events in both Cape Town and Johannesburg alike. Many local and international companies displayed their cannabis products and services to thousands of attendees. 

    Canna Tech 2019

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctkzsXmgztc

    Cannabis Tourism

    South Africa even had the pleasure of welcoming international cannabis activists like Marc Emery, Joseph Pietri and the DabStars crew, just to name a few. From all their feedback, they were not only treated like royalty, but also overwhelmed with the hospitality, friendly people, and of course, the great ganja South Africa is known for.

    Cannabis Cups

    Many local cannabis cups have taken place during the course of the past year, some only flowers and some concentrate cups. All of these cups had top-quality entries from local cultivators and processors. Cannabis even won two first prizes at the 113th Agricultural Show show held in Bathurst, rural Eastern Cape. The live plants were entered into the culinary herb and exotic fruits categories. They were on display over the 3 days the show took place, whereby thousands of farmers and spectators took notice of the prize winning plants. 

    Cannabis First Prize at the 2019 Agricultural Show

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv3gm5eg38u/ 

    Cannabis Beer

    Its been one hell of a high year in South Africa! South Africans can even cheers with an award-winning locally brewed cannabis beer. On the 15th of August 2019, Poison City Brewing was honored with the award when put up against 189 other local brewed beers.

    “This is absolutely fantastic! We set out to make a great tasting, refreshing, highly drinkable beer that is true to us, true to our hometown of Durban and true to the art of beermaking – we always knew that our cannabis beer could compete with the best beers out there”, said Andre Schubert, co-founder of Poison City Brewing, along with fellow rebel brewer, Graeme Bird.

    The Cannabis Expo

    The Cannabis Expo was hosted last month in Johannesburg at the Sandton Convention Centre. Over the course of 2 days, thousands of people attended the largest cannabis event throughout Africa. Hundreds of cannabis companies displaying their products, ranging from international and local seedbanks, NGO’s, headshops, CBD retailers through to cannabis magazine publications and cannabis podcast crews.

    Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN9gmtb_GhU&t=94s

    Cannabis in South Africa 2020

    The scene is heating up in South Africa and one can positively expect good things to come in 2020 for the cannabis industry. While we all wind down for the end of the year and festive celebrations, NORML South Africa would like to wish the cannabis community worldwide safe and happy celebrations. See you in the new year with some more great things to come.

    Highest Regards,

    Chris Jonsson
    NORML South Africa
    chrisj@norml.org.za
    https://www.facebook.com/normlza

    https://twitter.com/normlza

  • by Tyler McFadden, NORML NE Political Associate December 6, 2019

    Trenton, NJ – Garden State NORML and cannabis consumers across New Jersey are calling on legislators to find an immediate solution to stop arresting nearly 100 people every day for possessing small amounts of marijuana. 

    “Taxpayers are spending millions to put handcuffs on marijuana consumers, the same people who are expected to come out to the polls and vote for a constitutional amendment,” said Garden State NORML Executive Director Charlana McKeithen. “With another delay for full legalization, we hope elected officials will explore every option to stop these needless arrests.”

    In addition to supporting full legalization, Garden State NORML supports decriminalizing marijuana – utilizing civil fines – for all ages. The decrim process requires no arrest, no handcuffs, no custody, no court, no jail, no supervision, no treatment, and no permanent record. Fines are usually between $25-$100. Twenty-one states and over one hundred cities have enacted such provisions. 

    For regional context, Philadelphia decriminalized marijuana in 2014, and 20 additional cities in Pennsylvania followed suit. New York took the first step towards decriminalization at the state level in 1977, and further expanded on their decriminalization policies this year.

    “Unfortunately, lawmakers in Trenton have elected to kick the can further down the road and allow tens of thousands more New Jersey residents to be saddled with criminal records for marijuana offenses due to their lack of action,” said Erik Altieri, Executive Director of NORML and a New Jersey native, “While we are confident the voters in New Jersey will send them an unambiguous message in 2020 in favor of legalization, state legislators must decriminalize marijuana possession in the interim to prevent even more lives from being ruined due to draconic prohibition policies.” 

    “New Jersey’s continued criminalization of cannabis is done at the expense of its most vulnerable population, namely its black and brown residents,” said Tyler McFadden, Northeast Political Associate at NORML. “Enough is enough. If New Jersey legislators are sincere about their work to make their state a better place for all its residents, they need to start by decriminalizing cannabis possession for all ages.”

    Meanwhile, under the antiquated policy of absolute criminal prohibition, New Jersey is seeing a record number of citizens arrested for cannabis. According to recent data released by ACLU-NJ, marijuana possession arrests have risen 35% in just four years. Racial disparities in these arrests are striking in many urban communities. Some towns see black and brown residents enduring 11 times the arrest rate for marijuana than their white counterparts. 

    Longtime NORML organizer and NJ resident Chris Goldstein noted that local governments are also important for progress. 

    “New Jersey’s municipal police departments and prosecutors can stop this needless enforcement against marijuana consumers by passing local decriminalization ordinances at any time,” said Goldstein. “Towns and cities also have a key role in legalization by helping grow a new small business sector with cannabis.” 

    New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) is now promising to offer voters a chance to weigh in on the issue. A constitutional amendment is being considered for 2020. This will require two votes by both chambers of the NJ Legislature and voter approval in the general election. 

    After three years of lively debate and several bills, a voter referendum will extend the process into 2021. 

    ”Marijuana consumers deserve justice right now. People are being arrested for low-level marijuana possession every twenty-two seconds in New Jersey, and that is completely unacceptable,” said McKeithen.

    Garden State NORML will be working to form new coalitions to surge voter turnout in 2020. The proposed ballot question, ACR840/SCR183, will be debated in committee on December 12, 2019, at 10AM. The bill text can be found here

     

    Garden State NORML is the NJ division of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), a non-profit organization fighting to reform cannabis laws nationwide. Our efforts include education, community outreach, and working with lawmakers. Visit Garden State NORML’s Facebook page to stay up-to-date.

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