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NORML Blog

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator August 13, 2019

    Medical marijuanaIllinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) has signed two separate medical cannabis expansion bills into law.

    Senate Bill 2023 expands the state’s medical cannabis program by adding several new qualifying conditions, allowing physicians assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to recommend medical cannabis to their patients, allowing minor patients to have up to three caregivers instead of two, among other changes.

    The new law went into effect on August 9, 2019.

    Senate Bill 455 permits children with serious conditions for which medical marijuana has been recommended to have medical cannabis infused products administered to them while on school property. The measure also requires the State Board of Education to develop a training program for school nurses and administrators on administering medical cannabis infused products to patients at school.

    The new law will take effect on January 1,  2020.

     

  • by Josh Kasoff, Nevada NORML

    Las Vegas NORML has once again found themselves busy with many types of advocacy for patient and consumer rights, both statewide and federally. Following a rapidly successful Nevada legislative session where the historic AB 132 and AB 192 were passed, Las Vegas NORML has kept the legislative momentum moving. Seeing the sheer willpower of the advocates and people themselves to become politically involved and speaking with their representatives directly, the local NORML chapter has been collecting signatures for a significantly more monumental federal bill that could result in drastic criminal justice reform and further legalization and access to financial services for legal cannabis businesses.   

    Introduced by New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler and California Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris, The MORE Act (Marijuana, Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement Act) would directly address and provide a remedy to the many troubles and difficulties still associated with cannabis, everything short of stopping Taco Bell from sounding appetizing. 

    For starters, cannabis would be decriminalized on the federal level and therefore removed from the entirety of the Controlled Substances Act. Furthermore, those convicted of cannabis charges on the federal level could apply for expungement of records and apply for re-sentencing if needed. For those who desire to work in the industry, yet have a federal felony record, and are therefore unable to in many states due to felonies being instantly prohibited, this reform may allow that desire to become a reality.  

    Any issues related to receiving public benefits due to cannabis usage will be stopped and a five percent federal tax will be implemented, the revenue of which will be directed to a program called the “Opportunity Trust Fund”. This fund would establish financial services such as grants and loans to “socially and economically-disadvantaged” communities most affected by the life-wrecking failures of the War on Drugs.

    Last Saturday at NuLeaf, Las Vegas NORML collected dozens of signatures from consumers who support such a comprehensively reformative bill. With the consumer’s information, the team will hand-deliver the pre-written letters of support to their respective representative in both Congress and the Senate during our trip to Washington, DC, and show irrefutable evidence of this bill’s popularity and need.

    Our packed August meeting went excellently and we were so thrilled with the number of fresh faces we got to see. Being able to hear Representative Neal and McCurdy’s testimonies about how they championed for the need for AB 132 and 192 spoke volumes to advocates, and Ashley Ciliberti of MA Analytics showed the absolute importance and interest in cannabis lab testing. Countless more signatures were collected in support of the MORE Act, and a good amount of funds were raised for Las Vegas NORML’s Washington DC national convention and lobbying efforts.

    “Our volunteers look forward to our annual trip to DC each year because it provides the one-on-one opportunity to interact with policy makers.” said Nevada NORML Executive Director Madisen Saglibene. “Traveling to the nation’s capital for these meetings sends a strong message to our leaders that constituents care about these developing cannabis policies.”

    Learn more at www.lvnorml.org
    Contributions being accepted at paypal.me/lasvegasnorml
  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director

    When NORML was founded in 1970, roughly 12% of Americans supported legalizing marijuana. After decades of hard work by thousands of committed activists around the country, we are gradually winning the hearts and minds of a majority of the public today. Currently sixty-five percent of adults nationwide support ending marijuana prohibition and establishing a regulated market where responsible consumers can legally purchase marijuana. But there’s still plenty of work to do.

    With a network of more than 160 affiliate chapters, NORML offers plenty of opportunities to join the fight to end marijuana prohibition. First, you’ll need to become a member of NORML. As a member you’ll be the driving force behind meaningful marijuana law reform efforts on the local, state and federal levels. Regardless of the policy you’re advocating for (e.g., adult-use, patient access, decriminalization etc.) you’ll find an extensive collection of recent studies and fact-based information that will reinforce your position in NORML’s Online Library.

    Second, get involved with a NORML chapter in your community. As an active member of a NORML chapter, you’ll engage in educational outreach, lobby local and state lawmakers, and work within your community to bring awareness to the failings of marijuana prohibition. If there isn’t a NORML chapter in your community, we can work together to organize a new network of NORML activists to support your efforts. Click here to find the NORML chapter nearest you!

    Third, use NORML’s Action Center to contact your members of Congress in support of marijuana law reform efforts. Priority legislation includes: the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act and more! At any given time NORML is monitoring dozens of bills around the country so we’re able to provide our network with legislative updates and relevant fact sheets

    2019 NORML Conference

    Lastly, register for NORML’s 2019 Conference and Lobby Day! You’ll join NORML members from around the country for a three-day event where you’ll learn about effective lobbying strategies, hear the latest scientific and political advancements and meet with Congressional offices to advocate for the end of marijuana prohibition. Get your tickets today!

    Ready to start a NORML chapter in your hometown? Click here to find out how!

    Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Dispel the myths with the NORML Fact Sheets.

    Follow NORML on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and become a member today!

     

  • by Representative Jerry Nadler August 12, 2019
    Jerry Nadler is the Representative of New York’s 10th Congressional District

    Last month, I introduced comprehensive legislation in Congress to once and for all end the destructive policy of federal marijuana prohibition in America and to remedy the widespread inequities and injustice this policy has brought upon tens of millions of Americans — becoming the first Judiciary Committee Chair in history to take this critical step.

    America has a moral responsibility to pass my legislation to end the prohibition of marijuana and take on the oppression at the heart of the War on Drugs.

    I’m proud to work with NORML to create a more just national marijuana policy.

    Send a Message to Your Member of Congress and Tell Them to Support Reform

    My bill, The MORE Act, is the most comprehensive marijuana reform bill ever introduced, and it’s backed by a broad coalition of civil rights, criminal justice, drug policy, and immigration groups.

    Here’s what it does:

    1. Provides much-needed relief to the communities that have been ravaged by the oppressive enforcement of marijuana prohibition.
    2. Removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, which decriminalizes it at the federal level and thereby enables states to set their own policies. This also will pave the way for more scientific and medical research.
    3. Allows the existing state-legal marijuana industry to access financial services and enjoy the standard tax treatment available to all legal businesses.
    4. Gives veterans more readily available access to medical marijuana by no longer having Veterans Administration doctors risk federal prosecution for filling out state-legal medical recommendations.

    In 1977, I cast my first vote as a freshman member of the State Assembly to decriminalize marijuana in my home state of New York. Since then, I have been committed to ending the criminalization of marijuana. The criminalization of marijuana is a mistake and caused grave harm, disproportionately to those who are poor or people of color, and we must take action.

    Tell Your Member of Congress to Add Their Name

    The hysteria around marijuana is starting to lift as states across the country lead the way in reforming their marijuana laws. It is time for the federal government to follow suit.

    Marijuana is a public health and personal freedom issue, not a criminal one. We can no longer afford the moral or financial costs of the War on Drugs. That is why the introduction of The MORE Act is a critical step toward creating just laws around marijuana.

    TAKE ACTION: Support the MORE Act and critical reforms to marijuana laws!

    Yours in Reform,
    Jerry Nadler

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director August 7, 2019

    For the first time since Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 in 2012, which legalized marijuana for adults 21 and up, NAACP Denver has joined forces with Amanda C. Phillips, state director of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, and other thought leaders to host “The Color of Cannabis.” Organizers of the event hope to educate community leaders and other stakeholders about the lack of diversity and need for social equity within the marijuana industry.

    “The most important thing I want to iterate is the cannabis industry is expanding at leaps and bounds, and more states are coming online across the country,” said Phillips. “This is a pivotal moment in time where the conversation should include communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs. There should be opportunities for all of us to participate in this growing industry.”

    Support the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act Today

    Other panelists include: Bia Campbell, Public Affairs Program Administrator, Denver’s Office of Marijuana Policy, Rosalie Flores, Social Equity and Justice Reform Advocate and Cannabis Marketing Specialist, Sarah Woodson, Social Equity Advocate and CEO, Kush and Canvasses. Panelists will explore the collateral consequences associated with a marijuana-related conviction, which can lead to a lifetime of discrimination when it comes to employment and basic services like housing assistance and student loans

    What: The Color of Cannabis

    When: Saturday, August 10, 2019 from 11am-1pm MDT

    Where: New Hope Baptist Church, 3701 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205

    As the failed policies of marijuana prohibition continue to disproportionately impact communities of color, we must take the necessary steps to address the damage caused by the criminalization of marijuana. That’s why NORML and Minorities for Medical Marijuana proudly support the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act. 

    If passed by Congress, the MORE Act will remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and allow states to set their own policies free from federal interference. The bill would also create a Trust Fund to assist state and local governments in expunging criminal records and setting up regulatory structures for marijuana’s lawful production and distribution.

     The Trust Fund would have three functions:

    1. A fund administrated by a newly created Office of Cannabis Justice to issue grants to communities negatively impacted by the war on drugs for the development of expungement processes, employment programs, reentry guidance, youth resources and more. The Office of Cannabis would be one of the Justice Programs in the Department of Justice. This provision is modeled on the Marijuana Justice Act, by Senator Cory Booker (NJ) and Representative Barbara Lee (CA).
    2. A fund administered by the Small Business Administration to encourage socially and economically disadvantaged people to enter the cannabis industry, similar to legislation introduced by Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (NY).
    3. A fund administered by the Small Business Administration to create equitable licensing programs in states and local governments that benefit communities most impacted by the prohibition.

    It’s time to end the broken and discriminatory policies of marijuana prohibition. Click here to send a message to your representatives in support of the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act.

    Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Dispel the myths with the NORML Fact Sheets. Follow NORML on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and become a member today!

     

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