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Grassroots

  • 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 Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director September 30, 2018

    Every day 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 Focus on Voter Registration and Education for Midterm Elections

    “To help educate our members and supporters about candidates who are supportive of marijuana law reform efforts, NORML is working with “Smoke the Vote” to create state-level and congressional scorecards, similar to our Governor Scorecard, that outlines each candidate’s marijuana policy positions. Furthermore, several NORML chapters, like Arizona NORML and Texas NORML, have created their own regional voter guides for the 2018 midterm elections!”

    Read more from NORML.org!

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

    Members of Arizona NORML Rate Lawmakers Before Midterm Elections

    “Earlier in August, Mikel Weisser, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws of Arizona, published a lengthy report card on the many candidates vying for a public office in 2018. Now that the votes are being counted and most of the races have clear winners, Weisser said he likes what he sees.”

    Read more from the Phoenix New Times!

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

    Members of El Paso NORML Focus on Education in Advance of Midterm Elections

    “Right now, we’re working with local politicians and our state representatives, and also our state senator José Rodríguez, to advance during our legislative sessions,” DeMorris said. “Other than working with our representatives we’re out, educating the public. We have monthly meetings trying to reach out to the public, trying to educate them about policy reform here in Texas, how it works and stuff like that.”

    Read more from The Prospector!

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

    Members of Lancaster NORML Advocate for Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance

    “Rubi Nicholas, executive director of Lancaster chapter of the pro-legalization group NORML, said City Council did the right thing in passing the ordinance, though she said the “ultimate” right thing would be legalization.”

    Read more from Lancaster Online!

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

    Members of Mass/Cann NORML Host Committee Meeting to Discuss Medical Marijuana

    “The Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition/National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Mass Cann/NORML) held a committee meeting on the fifteenth floor in the One Beacon Street building. Open to the public, the meeting had around 25 people in attendance.”

    Read more from UMass Media!

    Follow Mass/Cann NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!  

    NORML Chapters in Pennsylvania Rally in Support of Marijuana Law Reforms

    “Marijuana activists in Pennsylvania are poised to introduce an aggressive agenda for reform in 2019 when they fill the Capitol Rotunda at 10am on Monday, September 24,” said Jeff Riedy, Executive Director of Lehigh Valley NORML. “With cannabis arrest counts rising across the state and neighboring states threatening legalization, the time is right for this discussion in Pennsylvania.”

    Read more from NORML.org!

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

    Southeastern Wisconsin NORML Releases Candidate Questionnaire  

    “The Southeastern Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, released results this week of a legislative candidate questionnaire which shows more than 50 candidates for the Legislature support either medical or recreational marijuana legalization or both.”

    Read more from Urban Milwaukee!

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

    Members of Virginia NORML Team up with Local Brewery for Legalize Virginia Festival

    “The polls overwhelmingly indicate that the citizens of Virginia are ready for faster progress,” said Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML. “We are grateful to the O’Connor family for providing this megaphone for reform. In states across the nation, we are seeing business owners like them step up and lend their voices to help lead the way.”

    Read more from AltDaily!

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

    Ashley Weber, Executive Director, Colorado NORML

    “Access for medical patients will become more of a problem because medical patients need a higher quality.”

    Read more from Michigan Public Radio!

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

    Bailey Hirschburg, Lobbyist, Washington NORML

    “With homegrow, we were regularly told, “Why should we vote for it if the other chamber won’t take action?” Hence two bills both trying to move simultaneously.”

    Read more from Weed News!

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

    Bill Downing, Board Member, Mass/Cann NORML

    “Some of the wealthiest people in the entire world live on Beacon Hill and they treat the Boston Common as though it were their backyard,” Downing said. “The people who decided to buy or rent near the Common should know that the Common is going to have events on it. For them to complain is just ridiculous.”

    Read more from the Boston Herald!

    Follow Mass/Cann NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Dale Geringer, Executive Director, California NORML

    “Illegal water diversions to marijuana gardens have been an issue in the past,” Gieringer said. “It will be an interesting experiment to see what actually happens. I have friends in the growing community who said there will be a huge outdoor marijuana drought this year, but that was when the state was bleached white before the last round of rain.”

    Read more from Fort Bragg Advocate-News!

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

    Doug Greene, Legislative Director, Empire State NORML

    “Doug Greene, legislative director of the Empire State National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), suggested sealing records of those who have been convicted.”

    Read more from AMNewYork!

    Follow Empire State NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Eric Marsch, Executive Director, Southeastern Wisconsin NORML

    “Eric Marsch, executive director of Southeastern Wisconsin NORML, said the expected public approval of the November referendums should convince legislators there is no need to wait on approving the legalization of marijuana, along with taxing its sales and regulating its production and distribution.”

    Read more from the Journal Sentinel!

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

    Frank Latta, Executive Director, Wyoming NORML

    “Latta served several years on the Gillette council and was mayor of Gillette for eight years. He served four years in the Wyoming legislature. Now, he’s director of the Wyoming chapter of NORML. He said he resents the implication that a support for a change in law makes you a pothead. For him, it’s about what’s the best policy for the citizens of Wyoming.”

    Read more from County 17!

    Follow Wyoming NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Jenn Michelle Pedini, Executive Director, Virginia NORML

    “It is in the best interests of patients, of consumers, for there to be transparency throughout this process,” Pedini said. “Patients deserve to know who is making their medicine, if that company has been operational in other states, if they have been compliant, if they have had to stop production or have been cited for other issues.”

    Read more from the Richmond Times-Dispatch!

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

    Jenn Michelle Pedini, Executive Director, Virginia NORML

    “The marijuana midterms, so they’re called, are coming up this November, and it’s time for voters to be heard and to put folks in office who want to take action once they’re there,”

    Read more from Virginia Public Radio!

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

    Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “I understand the concerns about dangerous occupations, but short of that, I think employers should take a more tolerant view,” he said. “It’s shortsighted to eliminate those people because you’re eliminating a lot of creative, motivated people from your candidate pool.”

    Read more from the Detroit Free Press!

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

    Michael Chazukow, Board Member, New Jersey NORML

    “Michael Chazukow, a member of the New Jersey division of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said bans on cultivation centers and retail businesses will not keep marijuana out of communities but will prohibit the traffic, jobs and revenue they generate.”

    Read more from NorthJersey.com!

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

    Patrick Nightengale, Executive Director, Pittsburgh NORML

    “Right here in the City of Pittsburgh, people of color are five times as likely to be charged with a minor possession offense than their white counterparts despite similar rates of usage. This is absolutely ridiculous.”

    Read more from CBS Pittsburgh!

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

    Patrick Nightengale, Executive Director, Pittsburgh NORML

    “A new industry here in PA that could easily generate recurring revenue of $600 million annually without having to add one single penny of new tax revenue.”

    Watch the video from WPXI.com!

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

    Tom McCain, Executive Director, Peachtree NORML

    “I’m glad to see the Kingsland City Council unanimously approve this ordinance. They join Clarkston, Atlanta, Savannah, Forest Park, South Fulton and Fulton County in enacting sensible marijuana ordinances here in Georgia,”

    Read more from NORML.org!

    Follow Peachtree 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 Matthew Bratcher, Executive Director, KY NORML September 14, 2018

    State News:

    On Sept. 7th, 2018, the Interim Joint Judiciary Committee held a meeting to discuss medical marijuana and the bill being proposed by Rep. Nemes (R-), Rep. St. Onge (R-), Rep. Hart (R-) and Rep Sims (D-). They discussed their bill and invited Louisville resident Cassie Everett and her family to speak at the event. Link to article Link

    Kentucky Farmers Find Hemp More Profitable Than Tobacco. Link to article

    McLean Businessman Among State-Approved Cannabis Growers Link to article

    Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, presents information on proposed legislation on medical marijuana for the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly during the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations. Link to article

    National News:

    A Rare Moment of Bi-Partisan Agreement is Underway for Sen. McConnell Sponsored “Hemp Farming Act” (Link to article).

    Upcoming Events:

    September 14th – Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations – 10 am – The Capitol, Frankfort, KY

    September 18th – KY NORML General Meeting –  One Love Hemp Dispensary, 1908 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, KY 40205. Meeting from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM.Ice Cream Social Put on by Cozmic Gardens from 5 PM – 6:30 PM. 20% of all sales at One Love Hemp Dispensary from 5PM-Close (8 PM) go to benefit KY NORML.

    October 5th – Commemorating the Victims of Prohibition – On October 2nd, 1937, the United States enacted the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act which effectively outlawed cannabis. Three days later, on October 5th, the FBI and the Denver police raided the Lexington Hotel and arrested Samuel R. Caldwell and Moses Baca. Caldwell and Bacca are recognized as the first citizens convicted of selling and possessing cannabis. Both men served the entirety of their sentences, with Caldwell dying shortly after his release from four years of hard labor.

    October 18th – Economic Development and Workforce Transportation – 10 AM, Lexington, KY (more info to come)

    October 25th – Appropriations and Revenue Committee Meeting – 1 PM, Northern Kentucky (more info to come)

    KY NORML‘s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to influence legislators for the expansion of our hemp industry, implementation of medicinal cannabis, and laying the foundation for responsible adult use.

    To support KY NORML you can DONATE HERE or purchase some of our apparel below! Your donations help pay the bills and allow us to function and continue to make a difference in our state! Can you kick in $5$10 or $20 to help us keep going?

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director September 2, 2018

    Legalize Marijuana

    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.

    2018 NORML Award Recipients

    Every year since 1998 NORML has recognized activists from around the country who are working to advance marijuana law reforms at the local, state and federal level for their outstanding activism, academic study or political and cultural leadership in the field of marijuana policy reform.

    Read more from NORML.org!

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

    Access to Marijuana Shows Promise in Combating America’s Opioid Crisis

    In support of International Overdose Awareness Day, NORML leaders from around the country hosted community forums to highlight the growing evidence that regulated marijuana access is positively associated with decrease in opioid overdose fatalities, hospitalizations, dependency and use.

    Read more from NORML.org!

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

    Members of Charlotte NORML Educate Attendees of Town Hall Meeting

    During a town hall meeting organized by State Representative Kelly M. Alexander, members of Charlotte NORML educated attendees about medical marijuana, decriminalization, legalization and more.

    Read more from Qcitymetro.com!

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

    Indiana NORML Hosts Largest Event of its Kind in Indiana History

    Members of Indiana NORML recently organized a statewide town hall meeting with lawmakers, veterans, candidates, patient advocates and community leaders to discuss medical marijuana and the need for legislative action in 2019.

    Read more from NUVO News!

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

    New York Governor Names Group to Draft Pot Legalization Measure

    Members of Empire State NORML have worked closely with state lawmakers to draft legislation being considered by New York’s Senate Finance Committee, but remain cautiously optimistic about the governor’s work group.

    Read more from The Crime Report!

    Follow Empire State NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    New Approach Missouri Medical Marijuana Initiative Certified for November Ballot

    Members of NORML Chapters across Missouri were instrumental in gathering more than 350,000 signatures in order to qualify the New Approach Missouri Medical Marijuana initiative for this November’s ballot.

    Read more from NORML.org!

    Follow New Approach Missouri on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and donate today!

    Law Reform Group Pushes for City to Stop Prosecuting Minor Pot Crimes

    Virginia NORML’s newest chapter is working with members of the Winchester City Council and officials in Frederick County to convince local law enforcement officers to consider marijuana-related crimes their lowest priority.

    Read more from The Winchester Star!

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

    NORML Leaders in the Media

    Glen Schwarz, Executive Director, Arkansas NORML

    “Schwarz, the 64-year-old executive director of the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, supports the decriminalization of marijuana and some other nonviolent crimes to free up resources to take violent criminals off the streets.”

    Read more from the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette!

    Follow Arkansas NORML on Facebook and become a member today!   

    Dale Geringer, Executive Director, California NORML

    “We’re not too far off his projection, and I think things are heading upwards,” said Dale Gieringer, director of the California branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. “I am a little worried. There are a lot of kinks in the system that they have to work out, but the regulators are working on it, as is the Legislature, and I think we will get there.”

    Read more from LMTOnline.com!

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

    Aaron J. Romano, Board Member, Connecticut NORML

    “Connecticut NORML extends their wishes for a speedy recovery to those who overdosed on the New Haven Green from ingesting synthetic cannabinoids. The sad fact is that these overdoses could have been prevented by the legalization and regulation of cannabis.”

    Read more from the New Haven Independent!

    Follow Connecticut NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Rick Thompson, Board Member, Michigan NORML

    “What’s really lost are the patients and families affected by a shutdown,” said Rick Thompson, a board member of the Michigan chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).

    Read more from 13 On Your Side!

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

    Patrick Nightengale, Executive Director, Pittsburgh NORML

    “This legislation passed the (state) Senate … with no one suggesting there be an opt-out provision for counties or jurisdictions that have cold feet,” Nightingale said. “I cannot imagine that anyone would put their political capital into taking medicine away from Pennsylvanians by making it more difficult for them to access it.”

    Read more from The Times-Tribune!

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

    Crystal Oliver, Board Member, Washington NORML

    “She is a member of Spokane County’s Voluntary Stewardship Program Workgroup and Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board Cannabis Advisory Council. She also is a volunteer for Washington NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and served on the State Building Code Council Technical Advisory Group and Spokane Clean Air Agency’s Marijuana Advisory Committee”

    Read more from the Chewelah Independent!

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

    For over 45 years NORML chapters have been leading marijuana law reform conversations and continue to be 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 reach out to KevinM@NORML.org for help starting your own!

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

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director August 24, 2018

    Every year since 1998 NORML has recognized activists from around the country who are working to advance marijuana law reforms at the local, state and federal level for their outstanding activism, academic study or political and cultural leadership in the field of marijuana policy reform. This year’s awards were presented during NORML’s 2018 Conference and Lobby Day that took place in Washington DC.

    Michael J. Kennedy Social Justice Award

    The award, named after the late Michael J. Kennedy, the legendary civil rights and criminal defense attorney (and general counsel for High Times magazine from its inception in 1974 until his death in early 2016), was established, with the blessing of the Kennedy family, to honor those individuals who, like Michael Kennedy, dedicate their lives to advancing the cause of social justice in America.

    This year’s award was presented to Michael E. Tigar in recognition of his unwavering commitment to social justice and advancing human rights around the world.

    The inscription on the award reads as follows:

    “To Michael E. Tigar, in recognition of your lifetime commitment to achieving social justice for all people, including especially those without the resources or social standing to achieve justice on their own. Your willingness to speak for the underdog, the disenfranchised and the unpopular, like Michael Kennedy himself, has defined your exemplary personal and professional life.”

    Mr. Tigar was a professor at American University’s Washington College of Law where he helped found the UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic and professor emeritus at Duke Law School. Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Tigar also made several trips to South Africa, where he worked with African lawyers who were fighting to end apartheid.

    Outstanding Chapter Award in Recognition of the Important Role Of Volunteer Activists Organized as Local and Regional NORML Chapters in the Fight to Legalize Marijuana

    This year’s Outstanding NORML Chapter Award went to Chicago NORML, an organization that truly hit the ground running. Immediately following the approval of their affiliate application, several board members traveled to Washington DC to attend NORML’s 2017 Conference where they lobbied their members of Congress in support of pending marijuana law reform legislation. Since then, Edie Moore and her colleagues have focused their time on expungement and elevating the conversation concerning the disproportionate impact the war on marijuana has had on communities of color and the ways Chicago NORML can make sure they have a seat at the table.

    Outstanding Cannabis Advocate Award for Advancing the Cause of Marijuana Law Reform

    Selecting NORML’s Outstanding Cannabis Advocate Award recipient for 2018 was not an easy decision. As NORML’s Outreach Director and “chapter guy,” I have the pleasure of working with some of the marijuana law reform movement’s brightest and most dedicated volunteers from all over the country. But in the case of Jeff Reidy, executive director of Lehigh Valley NORML he has certainly worked hard to set himself apart.

    Since re-establishing Lehigh Valley NORML in 2017 Jeff has formed strong alliances with the many marijuana-related nonprofits operating across Pennsylvania, such as Philly NORML, the Keystone Cannabis Coalition and Pittsburgh NORML. He has also forged strong, long-lasting relationships with local and state lawmakers that has resulted in marijuana law reforms in Allentown, Bethlehem and York.

    Pauline Sabin Award in Recognition of Exceptional Community Organization Dedicated to Repealing Marijuana Prohibition

    This year’s Pauline Sabine Award went to Cynthia Ferguson, executive director of Delaware NORML. In a state like Delaware, that has no voter initiative or referendum process, Cynthia has spent years lobbying local and state lawmakers in support of ending marijuana prohibition. Recognizing her passion and dedication to the issue, Cynthia was invited by Delaware Governor John Carney to participate in a roundtable discussion about the Marijuana Control Act, which would have legalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for adults over the age of 21.

    With a strategy that combines fact-based arguments in support of social justice and economic opportunities, and keeping pressure on lawmakers by attending town hall meetings and hosting lobbying opportunities, Cynthia is doing her part to win the hearts and minds of Delaware  lawmakers.

    Lifetime Achievement Award in Grateful Recognition of A Lifetime Dedicated to Reforming Unjust Marijuana Laws and Advancing the Cause of Personal Freedom

    NORML’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Dale Geringer of California. For more than three decades Dr. Gieringer has served as the Executive Director of California NORML and continues to be a prominent voice and respected thought leader on marijuana policy and harm reduction. Dale also serves as the Vice-Chairman of NORML’s National board of directors, Director of the California Drug Policy Forum (DPFCA) and Treasurer of the Oakland Civil Liberties Alliance (OCLA).

    In addition to his work with various advocacy groups, Dr. Gieringer has published research on medical marijuana usage, marijuana smoke harm reduction, potency testing, marijuana and driving safety, and drug urinalysis. He’s also one of the original co-authors of Prop. 215, California’s medical marijuana initiative that was approved by voters in 1996, and lead proponent of Oakland’s Measure Z cannabis initiative in 2004.

    Peter McWilliams Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing the Cause of Medical Marijuana

    For those of you who have been following NORML’s work over the years, especially in the state of Missouri, it should be no surprise that this year’s Peter McWilliams Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing the Cause of Medical Marijuana was presented to New Approach Missouri Campaign Board Chair and Executive Director of Missouri NORML Dan Viets.

    As a result of his leadership and overall influence, the New Approach Missouri campaign worked closely with Missouri NORML and other active NORML Chapters across Missouri to gather more than 372,400 signatures to place the measure before voters. The Initiative was recently certified by the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office and will appear on the November 6, 2018 ballot. Polling suggests support for medical marijuana in Missouri is well above 60%.

    Dan also serves as the Secretary of the National Board of Directors of NORML and has been recognized by, among others, Best Lawyers, Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers, and America’s Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys.

    Rufus King, Sr. Award For Outstanding Public Leadership in the Field of Marijuana Law Reform

    This year’s Rufus King, Sr. Award For Outstanding Public Leadership in the Field of Marijuana Law Reform was presented to Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) who shared the following with attendees of NORML’s 2018 Congressional Lobby Day after introducing the Marijuana Data Collection Act:

    “For decades, bad data and misinformation have fueled the failed War on Drugs that has ruined people’s lives, torn families apart, and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars incarcerating Americans for nonviolent marijuana charges. In 2016 alone, nearly 600,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession. Our laws must be informed by facts — not emotion, manufactured stigma and myths. Our bipartisan legislation, the Marijuana Data Collection Act, will lay the groundwork for real reform by producing an objective, evidence-based report on current marijuana laws that exist in 31 states across the country, and their impact on our communities.”

    Click here for Video of the Press Conference

    Have you connected with your local NORML chapter? If there isn’t one in your community, please reach out to KevinM@NORML.org for help starting your own! For over 45 years NORML chapters have been leading marijuana law reform conversations and continue to be the driving force behind policy decisions on the local and state level.

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

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