HR 5843

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 13, 2008

    More than 100 readers have posted comments in support of NORML’s recent guest editorial, “Criminalization of Marijuana Must End,” which appeared in The Hill‘s influential ‘Congressional Blog.’ Editors at The Hill inform NORML that it’s the highest volume of readers’ response they’ve ever received on any commentary on any topic!

    So it’s hardly surprising that the Drug Czar’s office has grudgingly and belatedly offered their two-cents worth in a factually bereft editorial entitled “Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Ignores the Facts.” It’s an unintentionally amusing essay — though judging by the comments it appears that few people, if anyone, have actually bothered to read it — topped off by this half-baked claim, “[L]egalizing marijuana [is] a topic more often heard in college dorms at 2 o’clock in the morning than in the hallowed halls of our Congress.”

    Excuse me, but if debating the merits of America’s failed cannabis policy is, in the Drug Czar’s opinion, a topic only appropriate for midnight musings, then why is the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy straining their already diminished intellectual capacities responding to this discussion in The Hill (which, last time I checked, was not a publication frequently read by college students in their dorm rooms at 2 am)??!!

    Of course, I suppose The Hill should thank their lucky stars that the Drug Czar responded at all, given that no representatives from the ONDCP, CADCA, or other ‘pro-prohibition’ groups will ever agree to engage with NORML in a face-to-face debate in a public forum. I mean, it wasn’t all that long ago that federal officials were distributing a guidebook, “How to Hold Your Own in a Drug Legalization Debate,” that recommended that prohibition advocates decline invitations to publicly debate drug policy issues.

    My how times have changed!

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director August 6, 2008


    Editors at The Hill asked me to write a blog post regarding the recently introduced cannabis decriminalization bill in Congress, HR 5843. My blog post is squished in between Rep. Duncan Hunter’s and Sen. Kenneth Salazar’s posts.

    There is a comment section as well…have at it and let policymakers and their staff know what NORML supporters want in the way of a functional cannabis policy.

    Along with Roll Call and The Politico, The Hill is widely read by Congressional staffers and the national media. Washington Times columnist and San Diego radio show host Rick Amato interviews me this evening at midnight (eastern) on the topic of cannabis decriminalization.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 29, 2008

    WHAT: Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and other House members will convene a press conference on Wednesday, July 30, in support of legislation to remove federal penalties for personal marijuana use, and take questions from the media.

    HR 5843, An Act To Remove Federal Penalties for the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults, seeks eliminate federal penalties for possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana, and for the not-for-profit transfer of up to one ounce of marijuana.

    Representatives from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) will also participate in this press conference.

    WHEN: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 10:00am

    WHERE: Room 2220 Rayburn House Office Building

    CONTACT: R. Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 11, 2008

    Barney Frank is a man of courage.

    This longtime NORML ally is sponsoring legislation in Congress to allow for the medical use of marijuana, and to strip the federal government of their power to criminalize the possession and use of pot by adults.

    In the video below, provided by Tom Gregory at Huffington Post, Frank explains why he believes, “There should be no federal laws against the personal use of marijuana, whether it’s for medical purposes or not.”

    Hear, hear!