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Grassroots

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

    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 Announces Plans for 2019 Conference and Lobby Day

    “This September, we invite you to join NORML members from across America to learn effective strategies, hear the latest scientific and political advancements, and meet in person with influential members of Congress.”

    Read more from NORML.org!

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

    NORML Leaders in the Media

    Radio: Chris Morrow, Executive Director, Kansas NORML

    Radio: Kiana Hughes, Educational Director, Chicago NORML

    Radio: Mary Kruger, Executive Director, Rochester NORML

    Radio: Mary Kruger, Executive Director, Rochester NORML

    Alan Robinson, Executive Director, Wisconsin NORML

    “It’s not adversarial,” Robinson said. “It’s always us trying to provide information for them, us trying to be an informational resource or us trying to help them overcome the objections that they don’t understand.”

    Read more from WFRV Local 5!

    Follow Wisconsin NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Ali Nagib, Deputy Director, Illinois NORML

    “To a large degree, that has been a war on cannabis, but it’s also been a war on people, it’s been disproportionately a war on certain communities,”

    Read more from WTTW News!

    “This would be a big deal in terms of changing our policies to follow states like Colorado, Washington, California, that we’ve seen move forward ending prohibition, not only stopping the arrests, as we’ve done significantly in Illinois with our decriminalization laws, but to open up the marketplace.”

    Read more from Cheddar!

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

    Ashley Weber, Executive Director, Colorado NORML

    “This bill offers retail consumers the option to consume legally in a social setting,” said Ashley Weber, executive director of the Colorado office of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “With the cannabis industry reaching a billion dollars in revenue, Coloradans understand that they cannot continue to re-criminalize the use of a legal substance.”

    Read more from The Daily Sentinel!

    “Adding a condition for which a physician could recommend medical marijuana instead of an opioid is a safer pain management tool that will be useful for both our doctors and patients.”

    Read more from the Denver Post!

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

    Cameron Pinkerton, Event Coordinator, DFW NORML

    “So we’re not getting our medicine from the street. And so we’re not throwing veterans into cages for trying to access a plant that grows in the soil they fought to keep free.”

    Read more from CBS DFW!

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

    Chris Goldstein, Executive Director, South Philly NORML

    “Chris Goldstein, a local organizer with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said the ban was bad for patients and sent a signal to the industry that it’s not wanted in Philadelphia.”

    Read more from The Philadelphia Tribune!

    “There shouldn’t be any neighborhood that bans medical cannabis dispensaries or makes it more difficult for them to open. They should be limited only by the patient population in Philadelphia, which is growing every day.”

    Read more from WHYY!

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

    Chris Morrow, Executive Director, Kansas NORML

    “The biggest thing is with marijuana becoming more prevalent, more accepted, legal in a number of different ways across the country, the chances that somebody is going to get caught with a personal use amount of marijuana in their possession increases.”

    Read more from Wyandotte Daily!

    “We’re on an inexorable glide path towards legalization,” said Chris Morrow, the executive director of Kansas NORML. “Kansas is lagging behind.”

    Read more from KMBC 9!

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

    Dale Geringer, Executive Director, California NORML

    “More and more local governments are coming around, but progress has been slow,” says Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML.

    Read more from Reason!

    “The taxes are so high that there is a big incentive to avoid them,” said Dale Gieringer, director of pro-marijuana group California NORML. “The black market is presently at least as large or larger as the legal market.”

    Read more from NBC Bay Area!

    “This is really a Los Angeles phenomenon … I can’t tell you where there would be an unlicensed dispensary operating in Oakland or San Francisco.”

    Read more from the Los Angeles Times!

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

    Dan Linn, Executive Director, Illinois NORML

    “It may very well end up not achieving the desired results, because of how much of a stranglehold the current medical cannabis industry will have on the adult-use market, since the current licensees will have the ability to double their current operations before any new entrants are even licensed for the new industry.”

    Read more from Rolling Stone!

    “People say to pass the best bill you can and come back later to try and make it better,” Linn said. “But we’ve had significant problems with the (existing) medical cannabis program that we still have not been able to fix.”

    Read more from the Chicago Tribune!

    “It may come as a surprise to some folks, but there’s probably already a lot of students selling or using on campus,” Linn said. “Prohibition hasn’t worked. But if we were to legalize it, these students could get jobs in this industry, and we could harness their entrepreneurial spirit.”

    Read more from the Daily Chronicle!

    “I’m concerned with how much of a handout this is to the current industry,” Linn said. “They crafted this legislation to give them an extreme advantage. If we have a limited amount of suppliers, prices are going to continue to be high.”

    Read more from the Chicago Tribune!

    “Limiting homegrow to just patients seems like too big a concession to law enforcement.”

    Read more from The Center Square!

    “Even after this bill passes there will still be work to do to give adults in Illinois access to cannabis without having to purchase it from a limited amount of stores and cultivators.”

    Read more from Complex!

    “The barriers to entry into this marketplace will only continue to expand the problems of the wealthy being able to profit from this new opportunity while others with fewer resources are unable to move from the illegal to legal marketplace in terms of growing and selling this product.”

    Read more from Rolling Stone!

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

    Ellen Komp, Deputy Director, California NORML

    “We have concerns,” Deputy Director Ellen Komp says. “If it’s state law, it [should be] state law everywhere,” she says, criticizing all the exemptions. “I think it’s a little heavy-handed. [Marijuana] is still going to have to achieve acceptance city by city, county by county. When you try to force it on a locality, it feels threatened.”

    Read more from the Los Angeles Times!

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

    Evan Nisson, Board Member, New Jersey NORML

    “We need to make marijuana legal in New Jersey now to stop tens of thousands of unfair arrests a year and to be able to adequately compete with other states that have had legal, regulated cannabis industries for years.”

    Read more from NJ Today!

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

    Jax Finkle, Executive Director, Texas NORML

    “Hemp has extraordinary political momentum behind it,” says Jax Finkel, executive director of Texas NORML, a cannabis law reform group. “McConnell’s now making it a campaign item for himself, and I think we’re seeing Texas legislators getting behind it for the same reason.”

    Read more from The Austin Chronicle!

    “With less than one percent of Texans being eligible for the current Texas Compassionate Use Program, the vast majority of Texas patients have been left behind since 2015.”

    Read more from Spectrum News!

    “Some of them are quite devastated because this has been a life changing medicine for them and I think that the senators recognize that,” Finkle said. “We are thankful for the expansion that we’ve gotten but there’s still a lot of work to do make sure that patients have the true medical freedom that we need in the state.”

    Read more from Fox 7!

    “(The bill) maintains the current .5% THC ratio. That’s concerning, because .5 THC will help some people but it will definitely not help everyone.”

    Read more from the Dallas Observer!

    “Many more patients are still being left behind, however, and will now have to wait until the next legislative session in 2021 for their next opportunity to find relief.”

    Read more from Raw Story!

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

    Jenn Michelle Pedini, Executive Director, Virginia NORML

    “I think it’s an example of a Commonwealth’s Attorney leveraging what powers and discretion they are afforded to make as much of an impact on their community as possible,” said Jenn Michelle Pedini, the executive director of Virginia NORML.

    Read more from WTKR News 3!

    “The unfortunate thing is that investigation after investigation show that many of these products don’t contain the amount of CBD that they claim to. Or they contain adulterants like dextromethorphan, melatonin, arsenic, heavy metals, or pesticide residue.”

    Read more from Fox 11!

    “We have decriminalization bills filed every year and this year I was given the opportunity to provide feedback to the administration on a decriminalization bill that they proposed. It was a good bill. I loved some of the policy.”

    Read more from The Virginia Pilot!

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

    Lisa Sewell, Board Member, DFW NORML

    “Cannabis overall is a great alternative therapeutic option replacing opioids and other medications…there’s a lot of research to show how much cannabis can help these patients but here in Texas we were so limited and a lot of Texans were getting left behind because there wasn’t enough ailments listed.”

    Read more from WBAP News!

    “The more education we get to them, the better. Period,” Sewell said. She said she has seen politicians become more open to legislation that would legalize marijuana, such as recent bills that have passed in the Texas House.

    Read more from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram!

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

    Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “All of this is affecting the 50 temporary operators who applied over a year ago,” says attorney Matt Abel, executive director of MI NORML. “It’s about time they wrapped up their applications one way or another.”

    Read more from Detroit Metro Times!

    “A lot of people aren’t aware of their right to have a ballot initiative,” says Matt Abel, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). “More people need to become aware of it. We believe that will help stimulate more ballot initiatives.”

    Read more from Detroit Metro Times!

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

    Norm Kent, Board Member, NORML

    “The student is being unlawfully treated by the school, and the only thing more offensive and unconscionable than the university expelling her is that 10,000 students have not already gathered in the administration building and smoked the damn place out until they let her back in.”

    Read more from Miami New Times!

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

    Patrick Nightingale, Executive Director, Pittsburgh NORML

    “It’s clear they are not ready to address this,” Nightingale said. “What we do think we have a very good chance of moving forward with is decriminalization. At the very least take the criminal component away from prohibition.”

    Read more from the 90.5 WESA!

    “It’s clear they are not ready to address this,” Nightingale said. “What we do think we have a very good chance of moving forward with is decriminalization. At the very least take the criminal component away from prohibition.”

    Read more from WITF!

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

    Rick Thompson, Board Member, Michigan NORML

    “Drug crimes, in particular, can be really damaging to a person’s employability, their ability to enroll in school or the military and just in their personal relationships in general,” Thompson added. “If you have a drug felony and people know that, I think you can expect to be treated differently. That’s just how it is. Expungement can help.”

    Read more from the Lansing City Pulse!

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

    Tom McCain, Executive Director, Peachtree NORML

    “If Macon-Bibb does it, they will be the 10th jurisdiction in Georgia to have initiated some type of ordinance to reduce it,” he said. “Because it’s not really decriminalizing, it’s harm reduction.”

    Read more from WGXA News!

    “It sends a message to the state legislature that the people of this state are starting to want this. They’re tired of seeing people get locked up.”

    Read more from WGXA News!

    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 Jamie Kacz, Executive Director of NORML KC June 5, 2019

    With the arrival of summer time in Kansas City, we want to welcome everyone to take part in our Summer Seminar Series. All of these FREE events will focus on rules and regulations of Amendment 2, now Article XIV, for patients and caregivers. These events will have a special topic each month and everyone will have time for Q&A. One of our main objectives for these seminars is to ensure patients have free resources and education around the new medical marijuana program.

    Donate today to support our efforts!

    We will kick off our Summer Seminars with a discussion on how to navigate the finalized rules of Amendment 2/Article XIV from a patient and caregiver perspective, and how to be compliant under the new law. Attendees will also learn how to work with their physicians and clinics to acquire legal MMJ recommendations for qualifying patients, what steps are involved in the process, and what to expect after receiving a recommendation. We will be breaking all of this information down into easy-to-understand steps. Join us at Unity Temple on June 8 from 2pm-5pm! This location is accessible and the general public is welcome to attend.

    Special Guest Speakers:
    Emily Branch, Director of The Green Clinics
    A physician from The Green Clinics
    Jana Lappin, Pharmacist and Co-owner of Missouri Cannabis Clinic
    Pat Talks Law

    Save the Date for our next Summer Seminars on July 20 and August 17!

     We would like to thank everyone that attended the Missouri NORML Spring Conference in April. Our keynote speaker for the event was NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. The day was filled with several additional speakers including Missouri State Representative Brandon Ellington, Director of Missouri’s Medical Marijuana Program Lyndall Fraker, and Paul E. Callicoat, M.D. Thank you to Chris Smith for documenting our event and sharing the pictures in this newsletter!

    Please support our efforts by making a one-time donation! We’re also looking for volunteers to help move our chapter forward. If you want to help by donating time, your expertise or sponsor an event, please email us at newnormlkc@gmail.com. 

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

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director May 1, 2019

    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 Announces Plans for 2019 Conference and Lobby Day

    “This September, we invite you to join NORML members from across America to learn effective strategies, hear the latest scientific and political advancements, and meet in person with influential members of Congress.”

    Read more from NORML.org!

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

    DFW NORML Builds Community Support for Upcoming Rally

    “Shortly after the decision, East found new support in the DFW NORML group, which expressed interest in supporting the protest. East planned to officially join the group over the weekend, plus participate in their Marijuana March on May 11 to meet other members and get them involved in his own protest.”

    Read more from the Statesman!

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

    Southeastern Wisconsin NORML Rallies with State Lawmakers for 4/20

    “The restaurant will also host speakers who advocate for the decriminalization and  legalization of marijuana, including state Sen. Lena Taylor and Eric Marsch, executive director of Southeastern Wisconsin’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.”

    Read more from the Journal Sentinel!

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

    Virginia NORML Hosts Marijuana Decriminalization Panel Discussion

    “As advocates across the commonwealth push for the legalization of marijuana, officials are taking a look at what that could look like.”

    Read more from NBC 29!

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

    NORML Students at the University of Wyoming to Host Mario Kart Fundraiser

    “We hosted a super smash tournament back in February. It was a fun way to raise money, so the group decided to host another tournament based around a popular game,” she said. “We are trying to raise money for the club and awareness about our club.”

    Read more from the Branding Iron!

    Follow NORML Students at the University of Wyoming on Facebook and become a member!

    NORML Leaders in the Media

    Radio: Alan Robinson, Executive Director, Wisconsin NORML

    Radio: Jax Finkle, Executive Director, Texas NORML

    Radio: Jeff Reidy, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley NORML

    Radio: Jenn Michelle Pedini, Executive Director, Virginia NORML

    Radio: Mary Kruger, Executive Director, Rochester NORML

    Video: Mary Kruger, Executive Director, Rochester NORML

    Radio: Steve VanDeWalle, Deputy Director, Rochester NORML

    Alan Robinson, Executive Director, Wisconsin NORML

    “Alan Robinson, executive director of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said he uses cannabis to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and post-traumatic stress order.”

    Read more from The Post-Crescent!

    “When you meet somebody who has been an outstanding member of the community, who is an adult and who uses cannabis for their own purposes, and you find them getting prosecuted like violent criminals, you see that as a miscarriage of justice, and you must act.”

    Read more from the Door County Pulse!

    Follow Wisconsin NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Dale Geringer, Executive Director, California NORML

    “To invalidate home delivery of any legal product whatsoever is really well beyond the line,” he said. “I think they are stretching local authority to an outrageous and unprecedented extent.”

    Read more from The Orange County Register!

    “California is regulating and taxing the hell out of cannabis, which makes it hard for legal suppliers to compete with the state’s longstanding, extensive, and highly developed black market.”

    Read more from Reason!

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

    Dan Linn, Executive Director, Illinois NORML

    “Allowing people to grow cannabis at home. If it is legal for adults to buy and consume, but not to grow, that is an injustice.”

    Read more from Crain’s Chicago Business!

    “Linn contends that studies show experienced marijuana users do not experience significant deterioration in driving skills after consuming pot.”

    Read more from 98.7 WNNS!

    “Prices are so high in Colorado that there’s more than enough room for a middle man. Don’t get me wrong, the weed man is gonna be grinding a little harder and charging less, but still.”

    Read more from the Chicago Tribune!

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

    David Phipps, Communications Director, Indiana NORML

    “PTSD is not the only neurological disorder CBD can assist with. David Phipps, communications director of Indiana Norml, said CBD oil can help with epilepsy, noting cases where some child patients went from over 100 seizures a day to near zero when they started taking CBD.”

    Read more from the Indianapolis Recorder!

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

    Doug Greene, Board Member, Empire State NORML

    “Nassau will lose out on tax revenue and that many people will likely drive into Queens or other parts of New York City to buy marijuana, since he says the city “definitely” won’t opt out.”

    Read more from News 12!

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

    Edie Moore, Executive Director, Chicago NORML

    “Chicago NORML supports a direct redistribution of cannabis tax dollars into the communities most impacted by the drug war, along with automatic expungement of all cannabis-related misdemeanors.”

    Read more The Chicago Sun-Times!

    “It really makes sense that you have a safe space to go and consume it. Now we’re talking about consumption lounges … like a cigar lounge or a hookah lounge.”

    Read more from WTTW – Chicago PBS!

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

    Frank Latta, Executive Director, Wyoming NORML

    “Recent legislation at the federal and state levels, House Bill 171 in particular, has the two men excited for the future of hemp as an agricultural crop and product, particularly because of the potential it has to stimulate a state economy in need of diversification.”

    Read more from PC Record Times!

    Follow Wyoming NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Jax Finkle, Executive Director, Texas NORML

    “We need to work out what issues there might be so that we can make sure we have some kind of quality policy that’s helping Texans right now, not in another two years.”

    Read more from Fox 7!

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

    Jenn Michelle Pedini, Executive Director, Virginia NORML

    “It’s encouraging to see municipalities taking action in the absence of legislative progress from Richmond. We look forward to these municipalities including decriminalization in their legislative priorities and joining us in the General Assembly to lobby for the substantive marijuana policy reforms Virginians demand.”

    Read more from WAVY TV 10!

    “Virginia NORML said way too many lives have been severely altered just because you’re caught with a little weed, something that’s recreationally legal in eight states as well as Washington D.C.”

    Read more from 13 News Now!

    “The unfortunate thing is that investigation after investigation show that many of these products don’t contain the amount of CBD that they claim to,” Pedini explained. “Or they contain adulterants like dextromethorphan, melatonin, arsenic, heavy metals, or pesticide residue.”

    Read more from 13 News Now!

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

    John Conroy, Executive Director, Canada NORML

    “The illicit market is still thriving in Canada.”

    Read more from Newsweek!

    Follow NORML Canada on Facebook and become a member today!

    Kebra Smith-Bolden, Executive Director, Connecticut NORML

    “The cannabis nurse educator also takes time each week to speak to church groups and traditionally underserved communities – including people on probation and parole – about marijuana, its benefits and how to get access to it without breaking the law.”

    Read more from News One!

    Follow Connecticut NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Keith Fagan, Regional Director, Canada NORML

    “You know, I was lied to when I was a kid and I believed the ‘reefer madness.’ But then when I saw for myself that it wasn’t true, well, everything else wasn’t true. I didn’t believe the government. I didn’t believe the teachers.”

    Read more from the Calgary Herald!

    Follow NORML Canada on Facebook and become a member today!

    Keith Caughran, Board Member, Charlotte NORML

    “What’s going to get the Republicans to change their mind on this – I would say it would be a fiscal conservative argument that around North Carolina, a lot of the municipalities and counties, the police are spending tens of thousands of hours either on arresting people or issuing citations.”

    Read more from ABC 11 WTVD!

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

    Kevin Oliver, Executive Director, Washington NORML

    “This measure is designed to protect larger local cannabis players who have violated regulations in the past, says Kevin Oliver, co-founder of Washington’s Finest Cannabis in Spokane and the director of the Washington chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).”

    Read more from the Inlander!

    Follow Washington NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Lee Otts, Executive Director, Memphis NORML

    “You shouldn’t be locking people up for a plant,” Otts said. “It’s such a racial thing. Minorities are four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis use than non-minorities, despite the same statistical usage. That’s not right.”

    Read more from WREG News!

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

    Madeline Martinez, Board Member, Oregon NORML

    “This is about equal rights, because whenever you pick a certain group and treat them differently, that is discrimination.”

    Read more from Portland Mercury!

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

    Mary Kruger, Executive Director, Rochester NORML

    “These conversations have been happening and our allies are willing to negotiate with the governor, but he needs to do just that — negotiate.”

    Read more from The Daily Star!

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

    Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “We spoke with Detroit-based criminal defense lawyer Matthew Abel, one of 15 people to sit on the drafting committee for Proposal 1. Abel also serves as executive director of the Michigan chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.”

    Read more from the Detroit Metro Times!

    “To a great extent, I think their opting out is about fear. I think these boards are out of touch with the public they serve. But that’s nothing new.”

    Read more from the Detroit Free Press!

    “He said the government — both former Gov. Snyder and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, which has continued to change rules and first oversaw the medical marijuana licensing process — are to blame for the system’s continuing chaos.”

    Read more from the Bridge!

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

    Melissa Villars, Executive Director, NORML Tallahassee

    “She said the measure would hike costs for medical-marijuana users and drive many of them to seek the drug on the black market.”

    Read more from Florida Phoenix News!

    Follow NORML Tallahassee on Facebook and become a member today!

    Mikel Weisser, Executive Director, Arizona NORML

    “He regularly receives calls from people who’ve been arrested for marijuana possession, he said. Many of them are patients, and more than a handful have been in Maricopa County.”

    Read more from the Phoenix New Times!

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

    Neal Smith, Executive Director, Indiana NORML

    “The interim study commission was nothing more than a sham,” said Neal Smith, executive director of Indiana NORML. “The final result was, as this and the last General Assemblies have been, not accomplishing much in any area.”

    Read more from the Pharos Tribune!

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

    Patrick Nightingale, Executive Director, Pittsburgh NORML

    “Patrick Nightingale, executive director of the Pittsburgh chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), said defendants often aren’t aware of expungement procedures and filing fees.”

    Read more from the Observer-Reporter!

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

    Rick Thompson, Board Member, Michigan NORML

    “These extensive financial and background checks, exhaustive cannabis testing and transport procedures, seed-to-sale tracking and compliance protocols have extended the time needed to approve candidates for one of these businesses.”

    Read more from Michigan Capitol Confidential!

    “If your pricing is not in line with the typical price these patients are used to paying, stores will be empty and rooms full of pricey, unsold cannabis will be the norm. … Seducing those people into brick-and-mortar stores will take time, marketing money and high-quality, inexpensive cannabis.”

    Read more from the Lansing City Post!

    “The medical business infrastructure is being built at a slow pace and for 300,000 patients. There are 7 million adults in Michigan and this is a popular tourist state. If the medical side is underdeveloped when retail sales of adult-use cannabis come online, industry-crippling product shortages will happen.”

    Read more from The Marijuana Times!

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

    Roger Green, Executive Director, Hudson Valley NORML

    “President Roger Green said that in the ten states that have legalized pot, there has been no significant increase in drug use by minors.”

    Read more from Yonkers Times!

    Follow Hudson Valley on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Steve VanDeWalle, Deputy Director, Rochester NORML

    “There’s a lot of cannabis users, there’s a lot of people that use but are afraid to come out of the cannabis closet. Come out of the closet, be loud, be proud, because it’s coming.”

    Read more from WXXI News!

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

    Tom McCain, Executive Director, Peachtree NORML

    “I see it as a step forward for the possibility of getting some type of cannabinoid medicine to patients in Georgia who have been authorized to have it since 2015 but have had no way to legally get it.”

    Read more from the Daily Caller!

    “We advocate for the freedom of adults in the United States to make their own decisions about cannabis,” said Tom McCain, executive director for the state group. “It’s not the dangerous thing that ‘Reefer Madness’ and all of the hype makes it out to be.”

    Read more from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution!

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

    Marijuana Hemp

    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 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 Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director January 2, 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 are 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!

    California NORML Supports Legislation to Protect Cannabis Compassion Programs

    “These programs are now threatened by Prop. 64, which requires that all donations be taxed at the same rate as if they were sold. Thus every pound of cannabis which is donated free of charge to legal patients is liable for nearly $1000 in state taxes.”

    Read more from City Watch!

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

    MassCann NORML Joins Mass. Grower Advocacy Council and the Mass. Patient Advocacy Alliance to Host Second Annual Harvest Cup

    “We believe small and medium businesses are the lifeblood of the industry – the ‘mom-and-pop’ shops. That’s who we are and that’s who we believe will really make this industry flourish.”

    Read more from the Telegram.com!

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

    Virginia NORML Issues Advisory Concerning Synthetic Cannabinoids and other Psychoactive Constituents in CBD Products

    “Four products contained the synthetic cannabinoid agonist 5F-ADB, a schedule I controlled substance that has also been identified in Spice and other so-called herbal cannabis products.”

    Read more from the News Leader!

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

    NORML Leaders in the Media

    Radio: Dan Viets, Executive Director, Missouri NORML

    Radio: Paul Kirchberg, Executive Director, Connecticut NORML

    Radio: Rick Thompson, Board Member, Michigan NORML

    Alan Robinson, Communications Director, Madison NORML

    “He believes marijuana is only dangerous because it is illegal, explaining that a friend of his consumed marijuana that was laced with fentanyl, something he said would not happen if cannabis was legalized and regulated.”

    Read more from The Badger Herald!

    Follow Madison NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Brad Forrester, Board Member, Michigan NORML

    “One of the best and most important aspects of our law is that it really makes it very difficult for some average person who’s either using or growing a little bit of marijuana for themselves to get a criminal charge,” he says. “I happen to have been a victim of arrest for cultivating cannabis for my own use, so this is personal to me.”

    Read more from the Rolling Stone!

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

    Cindy Cutler, Board Member, Virginia NORML

    “She’s advocating to decriminalize simple possession of marijuana, and Tuesday the Norfolk City Council officially endorsed that position with its 2019 Legislative Agenda.”

    Read more from 13 News Now!

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

    Dan Linn, Executive Director, Illinois NORML

    “Dan Linn, executive director of the state chapter of the pro-cannabis lobbying group NORML, said cultivation centers have been frustrated because they have more capacity than is currently necessary for as few as 45,000 patients receiving state-approved medical cannabis cards.”

    Read more from The Charlotte Observer!

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

    Dan Linn, Executive Director, Illinois NORML

    “Illinois would have to pass the law almost immediately in the spring session, have it have an immediate effective date, and then set rules and regulations drafted by the agencies that are going to oversee the program.”

    Read more from One Illinois!

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

    Dan Viets, Executive Director, Missouri NORML

    “Dan Viets says it will still be until next year for people to access cannabis. He believes that people who are allowed medical marijuana from states with legalized marijuana will be protected.”

    Read more from KOMU!

    Follow Missouri NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Dante Townsend, Founder, Chicago NORML

    “Illinois currently has no black-owned medical dispensaries or cultivation centers. Townsend hopes cannabis legalization can both embolden black and brown entrepreneurs and spark reforms to the criminal justice system.”

    Read more from the Chicago Sun Times!

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

    David Phipps, Communication Director, Indiana NORML

    “Phipps isn’t confident new Republican leadership under Sen. Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, will benefit the movement. He said the committees that review the bills are most responsible for hindering an open cannabis debate in the Senate, citing past decisions by Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, while she chaired the Health and Provider Services Committee.”

    Read more from The State House File!

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

    David Phipps, Communication Director, Indiana NORML

    “Phipps said Indiana NORML coordinated much of the pro side of the argument brought before the committee. He said he agreed with Tallian’s assessment.”

    Read more from NUVO!

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

    David Phipps, Communication Director, Indiana NORML

    “A lot of our followers are already going up there, and a lot of them are veterans seeking medical help, and they can’t get it here in Indiana, so they are going to go up north and get it.”

    Read more from Fox 59!

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

    Edie Moore, Executive Director, Chicago NORML

    “If legislation is introduced that does not address our policy concerns, Chicago NORML, its supporters and community partners are prepared to push back until we are satisfied that every opportunity for advancement has been exhausted,”

    Read more from NORML.org!

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

    Ellen Komp, Deputy Director, California NORML

    “Ellen Komp, the deputy director of nonprofit marijuana advocacy group California NORML, said her organization regularly fields phone calls from tenants that fear they will be evicted from their homes as a result of their marijuana use”

    Read more from the Desert Sun!

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

    Jax Finkle, Executive Director, Texas NORML

    “Finkel said her group will be concentrating the bulk of its efforts during the upcoming session on expanding access to medical marijuana, as well as on decriminalizing possession of small amounts of pot and on winning approval of hemp production.”

    Read more from the Statesman!

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

    Jenn Michelle Pedini, Executive Director, Virginia NORML

    “We are in the middle of an (opioid) epidemic and we are taking up all these resources to send a person to rehab for using pot that could be used for a heroin addict,”

    Read more from WY Daily!

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

    Jeri Sheppard, Board Member, Colorado NORML

    “Shepherd, a criminal defense attorney in Weld County who is also on Colorado NORML’s board, claims that most of what she sees while representing clients accused of cannabis crimes can be traced back to the failed War on Drugs.”

    Read more from the Westword!

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

    Jesse Scaccia, Fundraising Director, Virginia NORML

    “Three quarters of Virginians are in support of decriminalization and I expect that number to rise as more people try medical and see the benefits and the days of reefer madness fall to the wayside,” said Scaccia.

    Read more from 13 News Now!

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

    Lauren Morgan Kie, Deputy Director, Kentucky NORML

    “Kentucky’s children, patients and veterans deserve the right to seek relief with medical cannabis, which has been proven by countless studies to be a safe and effective alternative to damaging and dangerous pharmaceuticals”

    Read more from the Richmond Register!

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

    Mary Kruger, Executive Director, Rochester NORML

    “We’re spending a lot of money right now on the black market and none of it is going back into the community.”

    Read more from News 10 NBC!

    Follow Rochester NORML on Facebook and become a member today!  

    Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “If you’ve got a few joints layin’ around, I’m happy to take them off your hands,” says Abel, who says he is celebrating tonight with an end-of-prohibition party. “This is a monumental day, but there’s still a long road ahead of us.”

    Read more from the Detroit Metro Times!

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

    Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “The polling has changed pretty quickly over the last 10 years, and I think much of that is due to the fact that we’ve had medical marijuana in this state and people have grown accustomed to it being in our society and they have experience that their friends and relatives have benefitted from it and the sky has not fallen,”

    Read more from MLive.com!

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

    Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “This is the last day of prohibition,” he said on Wednesday. “It’s significant and a milestone for marijuana laws in Michigan. But we still have a ways to go.”

    Read more from the Chicago Sun Times!

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

    Mikel Weisser, Executive Director, Arizona NORML

    “Weisser expects the new initiative would also include provisions on home cultivation, reforming DUI laws and also funding. He tells us, he’d like to see some of the money raised through sales to fund law enforcement.”

    Read more from ABC 15 Arizona!

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

    Rick Thompson, Board Member, Michigan NORML

    “Thompson supports new legislation that would get the records expunged of those who were previously criminally convicted of low-level marijuana charges.”

    Read more from WWMT News 2!

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

    Steve Vandewalle, Director of Development, Rochester NORML

    “Advocate against workplace drug testing, because I think it could be counter productive.”

    Read more from ABC 13 WHAM!

    Follow Rochester NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Take Action

    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!

     

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