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NORML Blog

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director November 1, 2018

    Everyday NORML Chapters from around the country invest countless hours in advocating for meaningful marijuana law reforms on the local, state and federal level! Below is a brief rundown of some of their most recent accomplishments.

    Arizona NORML’s Candidate Report Card Takes Center Stage Before Midterm Elections

    “The latest poll conducted on cannabis legalization in Arizona indicates 63 percent of Arizonans support adult-use cannabis legalization, according to OH Predictive Insights in February. This is way up from 2016, when an Arizona Republic poll showed just 50 percent of voters in favor of legalization.”

    Read more from Tucson Weekly!

    Follow Arizona NORML on Instagram and Twitter and become a member today!

    Members of Indiana NORML testified before Indiana’s Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human Services

    Steve Dillon, Executive Director, Indiana NORML

    “Medical marijuana could reduce opiate overdose deaths, said attorney Steven Dillon, chairman of Indiana NORML. Last year, 1,840 Hoosiers died from opioid overdoses, an 18 percent increase over the previous year, he said. There was a 25 percent decrease in opioid overdoses in medical marijuana states.”

    Read more from the Tribune Star!

    Follow Indiana NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    David Phipps, Communications Director, Indiana NORML

    “Giving that vague response, that is lighting a fire under the public and that is encouraging them to get more involved going into the General Assembly and that’s where I think the magic will happen.”

    Read more from News and Tribune!

    Follow Indiana NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Members of Indiana NORML Host Community Discussion About Medical Marijuana

    “Jack Cain, vice chair of the Indiana chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which has been lobbying for changes in marijuana laws, said Indiana lawmakers won’t abandon their opposition until they begin hearing from their constituents.”

    Read more from The Goshen News!

    Follow Indiana NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Members of Springfield NORML Host Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Amendment 2

    “At the town hall were t-shirts, buttons, and flyers; all up for grabs to advertise the need for medical marijuana. While there are three different medical marijuana measures on the ballot, most of the advocates at the town hall are for  Amendment 2”

    Read more from Ozarks First!

    Follow Springfield NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    NORML Women of Washington Expands Efforts With New Chapter  

    “In recent years, the groups have promoted a need for people to legally grow their own plants at home; removing non-violent marijuana convictions handed down prior to legalization; and updating employment protections for responsible cannabis use by adults.”

    Read more from The Spokesman Review!

    Follow NORML Women of Washington on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Members of Texas NORML’s Veterans Outreach Rally in Support of Access to Medical Marijuana

    “The group believes marijuana is a better medicine to help manage PTSD and other disabilities veterans often face. More than two out 10 veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder also have substance use disorder.”

    Read more from Spectrum News Austin!

    Follow Texas NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    NORML Leaders in the Media

    Ashley Weber, Executive Director, Colorado NORML

    “That narrative is “demonizing cannabis” and unfairly feeding “reefer madness” in the state, said Ashley Weber with Colorado NORML, a pro-marijuana organization that advocates for cannabis law reforms.”

    Read more from The Gazette!

    Follow Colorado NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Brian Seamonson, Board Member, Madison NORML

    “This is changing people and actually saving people’s lives everyday. It’s time that Wisconsin steps up and gives us an opportunity like that, too,”

    Read more from 27 News!

    Follow Madison NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Brian Seamonson, Board Member, Madison NORML

    “They vary from strict recreational questions, to medicinal questions. Some of the referendums have both a medicinal and a recreational question on them,” said Brain Seamonson with Madison NORML.

    Read more from NBC 15!

    Follow Madison NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Chris Goldstein, Executive Director, South Philly NORML

    “There is a capricious and arbitrary nature to this that plays out every day,” said Chris Goldstein, an area organizer with NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

    Read more from The Inquirer!

    Follow South Philly NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Corey Mendes, Executive Director, Southeast Texas NORML

    “Corey Mendes is the Executive Director of the non-profit organization NORML, he believes people should not be arrested for possession of marijuana, but says the governor’s proposal is a good step forward.”

    Read more from KFDM News!

    Follow Southeast Texas NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Dale Geringer, Executive Director, California NORML

    “Nowhere does Prop 64 say that it is intended to impede free donations of medicine to needy patients. The purposes and intents section of the initiative is clear that it pertains only to adult-use marijuana, and does not override Prop 215,”

    Read more from The Bay Area Reporter!

    Follow California NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Dan Linn, Executive Director, Illinois NORML

    “It’s going to be part of a broader wave of young people going to the polls,” Linn said. “When there’s such an obvious difference between the two major party candidates, this issue will cause a lot of younger people to support the Democrat.”

    Read more from the Chicago Tribune!

    Follow Illinois NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Edward Wicker, Executive Director, San Diego NORML

    “I think that the mayor was pretty clear that he has no genuine interest in having a dialogue that would better inform him and city officials about the benefits of having a regulated cannabis business,” Wicker said. “His mind appeared to be closed.”

    Read more from The Coast News Group!

    Follow San Diego NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Eric Marsch, Executive Director, Southeastern Wisconsin NORML

    “It would mean it’s a lot easier to pressure legislators to legalize cannabis here,” Marsch said. “It’s going to help move the ball forward.”

    Read more from TMJ4 Milwaukee!

    Follow Southeastern Wisconsin NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Eric Marsch, Executive Director, Southeastern Wisconsin NORML

    “I really do think we’re coming to a turning point,” says executive director of SE WI NORML Eric Marsch. “The number of positive responses we’ve gotten is very encouraging.”

    Read more from Urban Milwaukee!

    Follow Southeastern Wisconsin NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Evan Nison, Executive Director, New Jersey NORML

    “Cannabis consumers are not looking to dose children with cannabis,” said Evan Nison, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of NORML, a group pushing marijuana legalization, the Associated Press reported last year. “That is not something that I’ve ever heard of anybody ever being interested in doing or wanting to do or would think is ethical.”

    Read more from The Kansas City Star!

    Follow New Jersey NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Jack Porcari, Executive Director, Western New York NORML

    “When people look at the stereotype of lazy stoner. If we get rid of prohibition, then we will allow people to have higher level jobs.”

    Read more from WIVB 4!

    Follow Western New York NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Jack Porcari, Executive Director, Western New York NORML

    “Jack Porcari, the executive director of the Western New York chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said Thursday currently legal substances, such as alcohol, present the same, if not more substantial risks in the same categories.”

    Read more from the Niagara Gazette!

    Follow Western New York NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Jax Finkle, Executive Director, Texas NORML

    “He said he doesn’t want people sitting in jails, and we agree with that. People should not be in jail for possession of a plant, and so we look forward to those conversations with his office.”

    Read more from the Texas Standard!

    Follow Texas NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Jay Selthofner, Executive Director, Northern Wisconsin NORML

    “I’m advocating for voting yes because it’s the right thing to do,” explained Selthofner. “Nobody should go to jail for a plant. This is cannabis, this is marijuana. This is not a dangerous substance.”

    Read more from Fox 11 News!

    Follow Northwest Wisconsin NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Jeri Shepard, Board Member, Colorado NORML

    “The so-called Drug War has nothing to do with sobriety and everything to do with control AND is designed to go after people of color and poor people. Note that law enforcement and the private prison industry have incentives to lock people up.”

    Read more from Herald and News!

    Follow Colorado NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Kevin Oliver, Executive Director, Washington NORML

    “Kevin Oliver, executive director of the Washington chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said the sudden nature of the announcement, and the targeting specifically of candy and not other products that would also appeal to children, made the liquor board’s actions suspect.”

    Read more from The Spokesman Review!

    Follow Washington NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “The point is to design a system that encourages people to come into the legal, regulated marketplace and design the economics so that there’s less incentive to participate in the black market.”

    Read more from Hometown Life!

    Follow Michigan NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “Legalization does not increase youth access. We now have more than 10 peer-reviewed studies which found that liberalized marijuana laws do not lead to increased teen use. Licensed merchants check for ID — bootleggers do not.”

    Read more from Petoskey News-Review!

    Follow Michigan NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “Medical is not affected by legalization. It specifically is protected. So patients and caregivers will maintain all the rights and options that they currently have,”

    Read more from the Morning Sun!

    Follow Michigan NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “Even if there are more people in accidents with cannabis in their system, the drug is not necessarily to blame for those accidents,”

    Read more from Spartan Newsroom!

    Follow Michigan NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Mikel Weisser, Executive Director, Arizona NORML

    “The meeting, he said, spelled the end for the 24 bills NORML had worked on for the past year, which included mandatory testing, lower card fees and other reforms to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.”

    Read more from Tucson Weekly!

    Follow Arizona NORML on Instagram and Twitter and become a member today!

    TJ Desormeaux, Deputy Director, Southeast Texas NORML

    “We want to help the community with factual-based knowledge and letting them know what they can and cannot do,” says Desormeaux. “Again, try to get it where doctors can prescribe patients marijuana if needed.”

    Read more from 12 News Now!

    Follow El Paso NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    For more than 45 years NORML chapters have been the driving force behind policy decisions on the local and state level. Have you connected with your local NORML chapter? If there isn’t one in your community, please email NORML Outreach Director Kevin Mahmalji at KevinM@NORML.org for help with starting your own!

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

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Justices for Mexico’s Supreme Court have ruled that laws criminalizing the private use and cultivation of cannabis by adults are unconstitutional. Justices opined, “The effects caused by marijuana do not create an absolute prohibition on its consumption.”

    In accordance with the ruling, lawmakers may enact regulatory policies governing adults’ personal marijuana use, but they must repeal those laws that broadly prohibit marijuana use per se. By contrast, neither commercial marijuana production or sales are addressed by the Court’s ruling.

    In September, South Africa’s highest court similarly struck down laws criminalizing the personal, private consumption of cannabis by adults.

    Mexican lawmakers in 2009 decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis (5 grams or less) and other substances. Last month, Canada began licensing the retail production and sale of cannabis to those 18 years and older.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director

    NORML Recommends:
    YES on Amendment 2
    NO on Amendment 3
    NO on Proposition C

    Voters this November have the opportunity to make Missouri the 32nd state to allow for the physician-recommended use of marijuana, and based on the latest polling data, they will likely do so.

    Therefore, the important question before voters is no longer if the Show-Me State should legalize medical cannabis access, but how Missouri will do so.

    That is because not one, not two, but three medical marijuana measures (two constitutional amendments and one statutory measure) will appear on the ballot on Election Day. But not all of these measures are created equal, and it will be up to voters to decide which one of these three is ultimately in the best interest of Missouri’s patients.

    On Election Day, NORML urges voters to stand with New Approach Missouri and vote “yes” for Amendment 2. Quite simply, Amendment 2 — unlike its competitors — puts the interests of patients first.

    Amendment 2 will let doctors — not legislators or bureaucrats — decide if marijuana is the appropriate option for their patients. Every day, we entrust physicians to use their discretion with regard to assisting their patients in making the right decisions. Amendment 2 upholds the sanctity of the patient-doctor relationship and leaves these important medical treatment decisions up to those who know best: Missouri’s practicing physicians.

    While a competing effort, Amendment 3, proposes the highest tax rate in the nation for medical cannabis products sold at retail (15%), Amendment 2 would set one of the lowest. The revenue raised by the retail sale of medical cannabis will go directly to the Missourian Veterans’ Health and Care Fund and will be used to help provide those in the state who put their lives on the line with necessary health services.

    While much has been written about the obvious flaws of the competing constitutional amendment, Amendment 3, these criticisms are worth repeating. While Amendment 2 is supported by a diverse coalition of patient advocates, Amendment 3 was funded entirely by one person, who drafted his amendment for his own personal benefit. It also puts this same funder largely in charge of overseeing the state’s medical marijuana program. This is hardly in the best interest of Missouri patients.

    Amendment 2, on the other hand, places the program’s oversight in the hands of the Missouri Department of Health. It also creates a robust statewide system for production and distribution of medical cannabis, with strict deadlines in place to ensure that qualified patients do not have to unduly wait for dispensaries to become operational.

    Finally, and most importantly, Amendment 2 is a constitutional amendment, which makes it more resilient to legislative tampering and intervention. By contrast, lawmakers can choose to amend Proposition C largely at their discretion, regardless of what voters decide.

    If you read each of these proposals closely, one clear choice emerges. Amendment 2 creates a broad and patient-centric program that is designed to be implemented in a timely manner and withstand any legislative challenges along the way. The other two can’t say the same. Not all ballot measures are created equal and that is why we encourage all voters to support the superior one this Election Day. Vote YES on Amendment 2. Vote No on Amendment 3 and Prop C.

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML Political Associate

    On October 31, NORML hand delivered over 10,000 comments written by YOU, recommending that the World Health Organization (WHO) re-think their current prohibition of marijuana.

    Along with two of our fantastic interns, I drove to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) building in Rockville, Maryland. Earlier this month, The FDA put out a request for public comments on the international scheduling of cannabis. They’re going to use the comments as a response to the WHO as they review the abuse potential, medical efficacy, and other aspects of 16 controlled substances, one of them being marijuana.

    Currently, under international treaties, cannabis is scheduled in the most restrictive category. And as we all know, it does not belong there due to it’s widespread therapeutic and medical uses and very low potential for abuse.

    In NORML’s latest comments to the FDA, it opined that “cannabis be removed from the international drug conventions so that nations that wish to do so may further expand their regulations governing cannabis’ use, possession, production, and dispensing for either recreational or medical use.”

    Comments from NORML members totaled 10,117, making up just under 50% of the total comments submitted to the FDA nationwide.

  • by NORML October 31, 2018
    Jeff Sessions is TERRIFYING!

    It’s time exorcise this demon!

    It’s not the myth of “marijuana-laced candy,” devilish ghouls, or vampire bats that are terrifying Americans this Halloween. It’s Jeff Sessions.

    This monster wants to lock up law abiding citizens who choose to responsibly consume marijuana. This fiendish freak shrieks “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” This reefer madness zombie believes marijuana has no medical use and is as dangerous as heroin. And, this Department of Justice demon thinks marijuana is fueling the opioid epidemic, not helping to save lives.

    While you’re enjoying your trick-or-treat haul, burn a few calories by standing up to this goblin. Tell Congress to cast a spell to stop Jeff Sessions.

    The trick’s on Sessions. Today, one in five Americans live where the adult-use of marijuana is legal, the majority of citizens live where medical marijuana is legal, and over 66% now believe that marijuana should be legal.

    Hanging garlic around your neck can’t protect you from Jeff Sessions. Help NORML exorcise prohibitionists like him. It’s time to drape the death shroud on prohibition.

    Happy Halloween!
    The NORML Team

    P.S. Our efforts are supported by thousands of mere mortals throughout the country as we work to advance marijuana reform in all 50 states and the federal level. Can you kick in $5, $10, or $20 a month to help nail the coffin shut on prohibition?

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