2019 Chapter Lobby Day

  • by Jax Finkel, Texas NORML Executive Director April 12, 2019

    Many Texans spent a long day at the Capitol to offer thoughtful and powerful testimony on the seven bill addressing medical cannabis, including our priority legislation HB 1365 authored by Rep Eddie Lucio III. The Subcommittee heard from pain specialists, Rice’s Baker Institute, Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, and more – all in support of medical freedom for Texas patients. Patients and caregivers passionately shared their personal experiences.

    Ask your Representative to coauthor HB 1365 today!

    Texas NORML Executive Director, Jax Finkel, submitted the testimony of over a hundred of our fellow Texans to the members of the Subcommittee. It was our honor to bring the voices of those that could not attend into the hearing room.

    Make a donation to support our work at the legislature!

    Right now, we have strong bipartisan support for reform in the Texas Legislature and a record setting number of bills have been introduced for consideration. There’s a very small window to make this happen before the session ends in May. It will take all of us doing this important work to get across the finish line!

    Now that the Medical Marijuana Subcommittee has heard HB 1365, what happens next?In the Texas Legislature, committees tend to leave bills pending after the hearing. They will typically vote on bills in batches. This means that it can take about 2 weeks for a bill to be voted on, though this can vary. This means that we can expect a vote on HB 1365 in the near future. Once the committee votes, they will issue a report on the bill that will be distributed to every member in the chamber. When HB 1365 progresses, it will be sent to Committee on Calendars to be place on the floor calendar. Learn more about the process.

    What can you do to help today?

    Representative Eddie Lucio III has expressed the need for Texans to reach out the their Representatives and ask them to support HB 1365. Ask your Representative to coauthor HB 1365 today! This will help continue to solidify the strong bipartisan support as the bill progresses.

    Next Steps…

    Please consider making a donation to our legislative crowd funding campaign.

    View pictures from the hearing.

    Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Help dispel the myths with NORML’s Fact SheetsFor more information follow Texas NORML on Facebook, Twitter, and visit their website!


  • by Jax Finkel, Texas NORML Executive Director March 4, 2019

    In the Texas State Capitol Building, dozens of patients joined us to ask their legislators to coauthor legislation that makes the Texas Compassionate Use Program more inclusive and effective. HB 1365 (authored by Rep Lucio, III) and SB90 (authored by Sen Menendez) would allow patients with debilitating conditions access to medical cannabis to therapeutically treat the symptoms of their condition.

    Ask your legislators to coauthor HB 1365 and SB 90 now!

    Patients met up to learn from our briefing about how the legislative process works, a review of our priority legislation, and an overview of messaging and crafting testimony. Patients then broke out into groups by district and went to visit their legislative offices. Many patients also stayed to register their support of HB 63, which would reduce possession of one ounce to a small, civil fine.

    Make a donation to support our work at the legislature!

    We will be posting live updates from the HB 63: Civil Penalty hearing today. Stay tuned to watch the hearing. We will also keep you posted on the progress of these medical bills.

    View pictures from the event!

    Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Help dispel the myths with NORML’s Fact Sheets!For more information follow Texas NORML on Facebook, Twitter, and visit their website!


  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director February 26, 2019

    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.

    NORML Chapters Organized and Energized for State Legislative Sessions in 2019

    “That’s why dozens of NORML chapters are organizing citizen lobby days to advocate for the end of marijuana prohibition and other reforms ranging from depenalization and expungement, to workplace drug testing and social consumption.”

    Read more from NORML.org!

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

    Chicago NORML Continues Push for Diversity in Cannabis Industry

    “Donte Townsend, the co-founder and media director of the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, agreed with Kenyatta and added that his organization would support establishing a Cannabis Equity Commission to figure out how to best use the marijuana tax revenues in minority communities. ”

    Read more from the Wednesday Journal!

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

    Members of Rochester NORML Debate Marijuana Legalization with Law Enforcement

    “We sit down with members of Roc NORML, a group that supports the decriminalization of cannabis; and members of local law enforcement, who who say legalizing marijuana would negatively impact traffic safety and impose additional costs to police departments.”

    Listen to the full debate from WXXI News!

    Follow Rochester NORML on Facebook and become a member today!  

    NORML Leaders in the Media

    Alan Robinson, Communications Director, Madison NORML

    “It does have incredible medical properties we haven’t been able to study because the federal government won’t allocate more funding for research.”

    Read more from The Eagle!

    Follow Madison NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Ashley Weber, Executive Director, Colorado NORML

    “Oral fluids and metabolites are not accurate. We can’t move forward with science that is not accurate and force people to have to pay for attorneys.”

    Read more from the Westword!

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

    Dale Gieringer, Executive Director, California NORML

    “Ultimately, the only thing that will stop large-scale profiteers and the environmental and public safety harms they cause is marijuana legalization at the federal level.”

    Read more from City Watch LA!

    “Although an overdose of pot edibles can indeed cause unconsciousness, cannabis has never been known to cause a fatal overdose — unlike tobacco, alcohol, and many other common household products that are not sold in childproof packages.”

    Read more from The Sacramento Bee!

    “Frankly we’ve seen very little at all about illegal activity in the way of growing in the wilderness the way we used to. Cartel involvement is a bugaboo they like to throw around.”

    Read more from WXXV 25!

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

    Dan Linn, Executive Director, Illinois NORML

    “If you continue to have a limited number of (growers’) licenses, it’ll be more expensive, and you’ll get more people continuing to buy on the black market.”

    Read more from the Herald-Whig!

    “We think that this could save people’s lives, and we’re not exaggerating.”

    Read more from The State Journal-Register!

    “God put it on this planet for a reason. I don’t know why the bishops are concerned about undermining God’s credibility.”

    Read more from the Chicago Tribune!

    “We also think it would be good for consumers to be able to cultivate their own cannabis, as well as to have a cap on the licensing fees for the new businesses that would be created by that legislation.”

    “Read more from the Chicago Sun-Times!

    “We feel that patients and adults should be able to grow cannabis if they would like to.”

    “Read more from the Illinois News Network!

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

    Edie Moore, Executive Director, Chicago NORML

    “We are proposing that there be expanded types of licensed businesses. Smaller grow facilities and consumption lounges.  We support those types of businesses in neighborhoods that are starving for revitalization.”

    Read more from Rollingout!

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

    Michael Minardi, General Counsel, NORML of Florida

    “They’re going to either get it from the black market, as they already are, because they know it’s what works for them. Every other state in this country is laughing at us, saying that we gave our patients tinctures, and we have wax and shatter on the shelves, and not flower.”

    Read more from the Herald-Tribune!

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

    Mikel Weisser, Executive Director, Arizona NORML

    “They’re aware that the future of the nation and Arizona are heading toward marijuana legalization,” Weisser said. “You can fight against it, but if you lose the battle you lose the ability to shape the future.”

    Read more from Weedmaps!

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

    Ellen Komp, Deputy Director, California NORML

    “We’re happy California’s Senator Harris has evolved on the marijuana legalization issue and hope to dialog with her and her staff as her campaign moves forward.”

    Read more from City Watch LA!

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

    Jay Selthofner, Treasurer, Northern Wisconsin NORML

    “Although I’m excited to hear Governor Evers talk about these things, I would’ve been more excited to see at least one Republican standing amongst their colleagues at an important crossroads like this for our state.”

    Read more from Fox 11!

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

    Jenn Michelle Pedini, Executive Director, Virginia NORML

    “Right now, Virginia has not set any laws specific to CBD other than the ones for the medical cannabis program,”

    Read more from NBC 29!

    “These common-sense clarifications to the regulations will make for a smoother system, and better outcomes for patients, providers, and the community at large.”

    Read more from Weed News!  

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

    Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “I think the attorney general decided they were the bit players and not the main culprits — and not worth them spending their time on negligible cases.”

    Read more from MLive!

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

    Michael Bachara, Board Member, Oregon NORML

    “Consumption of cannabis in public is illegal, yet tourists and patients and adults that rent rather than own their homes have the right to purchase and possess cannabis but no space they can legally consume.”

    Read more from KVAL 13!

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

    Rick Thompson, Board Member, Michigan NORML

    “This will just put some additional weight on the scales of justice, and I fully anticipate this measure to succeed. I’m confident in our new attorney general.”

    Read more from the Lansing City Pulse!

    “The state is collecting millions more than they expend every year. The fees should only be designed to recoup their costs.”

    Read more from the Detroit Free Press!

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

    Roger Green, Executive Director, Hudson Valley NORML

    “Kudos to state Assemblyman Kevin Cahill for courageously supporting cannabis legalization in New York. It is always refreshing when a political leader takes a principled stand.”

    Read more from the Daily Freeman!

    Follow Hudson Valley 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 Matthew Maulding, Executive Director, NORML of Catawba Valley February 22, 2019

    Marijuana bills have a history in North Carolina of getting sent to committee’s where they die. While public support for marijuana reform has never been better, the Senators and Representatives in Raleigh aren’t so quick to jump on board. Our organizations focus is to raise awareness of bills and mobilize marijuana supporters to act. Since Senate Bill 58 was introduced, we have sent over 3,000 letters to the committee on “Rules and Operations of the Senate” (where S58 currently sits) from hundreds of citizens across the state in support of this bill. We have also been making daily phone calls and emails to Senator Rabon (Chairman) and Senator Brown’s (Vice-Chairman) offices.

    Catawba NORML Lobby Day Registration

    For the more “hands on” activist, we suggest registering for our Lobby Day. This puts you, as an activist, in the offices of our legislators to help us get this bill out of this committee and on to the next phase of its life. Even if you have no experience, but you love marijuana reform, register. We will provide you with all the training and resources necessary to be effective. There is a lobby day training session at Catawba NORML’s next public meeting on Wednesday, March 13th as well as video guidance to be sent to all attendees. The bottom line, we need activists asking these Senators every single day about this bill.

    “We’re giving the citizens of North Carolina an opportunity to meet directly with legislators in Raleigh about marijuana reform, specifically Senate Bill 58”, said Matthew Maulding, “There are tens of thousands of citizens and families in North Carolina that would benefit from this bill, as well as hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of ‘new’ money that our state would benefit from. It works for everyone in North Carolina and hurts no one, other than the prison industry.”

    Catawba NORML Lobby Day Registration

    Senate Bill 58, introduced to the Senate on February 13th, would further decriminalize personal marijuana possession up to 3 ounces and allow citizens with prior marijuana convictions to be

    able to pay a fee of $100 to get those non-violent, victimless convictions off their records, which could ultimately put more people to work.

    To register, go to Catawba NORML Lobby Day Registration.

    What: Catawba NORML Lobby Day, citizens lobbying for Senate Bill 58

    When: April 5th, 2019 from 11am-6pm (Deadline to register is March 5th, 2019)

    Where: North Carolina State Legislative Building, 16 W Jones St, Raleigh, NC 27601

    For questions or interview requests, please contact Matthew Maulding at 828-455-8203 or normlofcatawbavalley@gmail.com

    Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Help dispel the myths with NORML’s Fact Sheets! For more information follow NORML of Catawba Valley on Facebook and Twitter!

    NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.


  • by Jax Finkel, Texas NORML Executive Director February 8, 2019

    On Thursday, hundreds of Texans joined us at the Texas State Capitol to discuss marijuana policy with legislators! For this historic day, over 400 Texans registered to participate, covering all thirty-one senate districts and three-quarters of the house district. It was a beautiful representation of how important reform is for Texans.

    We provided a training session for our participants that covered an overview of the legislative process, review of priority legislation, what to expect from their visits and Q&A. We provided training packets for them to use in preparation for their visits, including voting records to check where their legislators have historically stood on the issue. Participants then crafted a message to place on their postcards which they delivered to offices along with policy overviews and then requested their Senator and Representative co-sponsor important legislation. Pictures of the event can be found here. Livestream of the event can be found here.

    The changes that I have seen over the last 14 years in Texas are stark. The first lobby day I ever participated in only had a few dozen dedicated Texans holding the torch for freedom. At that time, legislators had a harsh opinion of our work. But today, we have a record number of bills and have created a huge change in public opinion in the Capitol. The import of these drastic changes over the years are not lost and I am so thankful for all of the work that Texans have done to destigmatize marijuana.

    We want to thank our coalition, Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, for helping to continue to elevate and expand these lobby days. We are so appreciative of all of our volunteers who made this event possible. Additionally, RAMP and DFW NORML made it possible for more Texans to participate by arranging buses to bring them to Austin.

    Lastly, we still have a lot of work to do this session. Brush up on our advocacy training. Catch up on the bills and participate in our action alerts! Stay tuned to us via social media and our newsletter to track how the bills are progressing and know when new action alerts are put out.

    Please support our work during this session by becoming a member, making a one-time donation or becoming a sustaining donor.

    Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Help dispel the myths with NORML’s Fact Sheets! For more information follow Texas NORML on Facebook, Twitter, and visit their website!


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