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NORML Chapters

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director December 28, 2018

    Looking back at 2018, it was another productive year for marijuana law reform advocates. In addition to advancing legislation in state houses around the country, NORML chapters played a significant role in passing marijuana law reform initiatives in Michigan and Missouri, and were instrumental in numerous municipal marijuana decriminalization victories.

    With more and more local and state governments taking steps to reduce the arrest and incarceration of marijuana patients and consumers, many are predicting 2019 to be a watershed year for marijuana law reform legislation. 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.

    Below is a preview of what to expect from NORML chapters in 2019.

    Michigan

    Following the passage of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act last November, which legalized the possession, consumption and cultivation of marijuana for adults 21 and up, state lawmakers will be focused on implementing various aspects of the new law in 2019. This includes robust policy debates ranging from health and public safety, to the allocation of tax revenues and consumer protections. At the local level, several municipalities have already opted out of recreational marijuana sales resulting in members of Michigan NORML working overtime to defend the progress that has been made well in advance of next year’s legislative session.

    “2018 was an historic year in Michigan marijuana law reform. Voters passed an initiative to legalize the cultivation, possession and use of cannabis by adults 21 and over,” said Attorney Matthew Abel, who also serves as the Executive Director of Michigan NORML. “In 2019, advocates hope to expedite the opening of retail stores and microgrow facilities, and begin opening clubs allowing for open social use.”

    New York

    For months state lawmakers and officials with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office have been soliciting feedback and hosting roundtable discussions with various stakeholders with the hope of drafting legislation for next year’s legislative session. Most recently, Governor Cuomo outlined his agenda for 2019 which prioritizes the legalization of adult-use marijuana. Looking to capitalize on the Governor’s newfound support, NORML chapters across New York have organized a series of lobby days during next year’s legislative session.

    “Empire State NORML continues to push not only on the advocacy and lobbying fronts by meeting with multiple cannabis centric organizations and state leaders, but also in providing critical direct input during the drafting of the legalization law that will soon be voted on by the legislature. We will continue in our mission to educate individuals and leaders about the opportunities and innovations that a legalized cannabis marketplace will bring to all of New York,” said David C.  Holland, Esq., Executive and Legal Director of Empire State NORML.

    Members of Empire State NORML, Rochester NORML and Western New York NORML will be meeting with state lawmakers in Albany on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 and Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

    Missouri

    Missouri lawmakers will be considering numerous bills to implement Amendment 2, also known as Article XVI of the Missouri Constitution, which legalized medical marijuana for qualified patients and provided the framework for a patient registry. Working with a strict timeline, marijuana law reform advocates from across Missouri will be in be in Jefferson City to make sure lawmakers and officials with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services implements the new law in a way that respects the needs of future patients.

    “With the recent passage of New Approach Missouri’s Amendment 2, that legalized medical marijuana for qualified patients, it’s as important as ever to make sure our voices are heard in 2019,” said Jamie Kacz, Secretary of Missouri NORML. “We need to ensure the implementation process is executed in a timely manner that best serves the needs of patients in Missouri.”

    Click Here to Protect the Privacy of Missouri Medical Marijuana Patients

    Texas

    During a debate leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who was once considered to be one of the biggest obstacles facing marijuana law reform efforts in the Lone Star State, expressed his support for reducing criminal penalties for low-level marijuana possession. Since then, NORML chapters across Texas have been busy organizing activist trainings and hosting town hall style meetings as they prepare for next year’s legislative session.

    With the Texas State Legislature convening every two years, Jax Finkel, executive Director of Texas NORML has adopted an aggressive strategy to take advantage of the small window of opportunity for legislative action.

    “Texas will start out 2019 with the kickoff of our 86th Legislative Session. With a dozen bills filed and more expected, it will be an action packed 140 days. If there is ONE day to mark your calendar for and make sure you can be in Austin, it is our Citizen Lobby Day on Thursday, February 7th, 2019,” said Finkle. “We are planning this event in conjunction with our coalition partners. Last session, we had several hundred activists at the Capitol working to elevate the conversations surrounding cannabis in Texas. Let’s make this year even bigger!”

    Click Here to Support Access to Medical Marijuana for Texans

    Kentucky

    Members of Kentucky NORML, led by Executive Director Matthew Bratcher, will be focusing on legislation to establish a medical marijuana program that will allow physicians to recommend the use of medical marijuana to treat or alleviate symptoms of any diagnosed condition.

    “We have a great opportunity to pass a meaningful medical marijuana bill in 2019. Representative Jason Nemes H-33 (R) is sponsoring a “let doctors decide” bill that will allow physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to any patient based on their condition instead of relying on a predetermined list of qualifying conditions,” said Bratcher. “It’s well past time for lawmakers in Kentucky to do the right thing for our patients and our veterans. The time to pass a comprehensive medical marijuana bill is now.”

    Consumer Advocacy

    In states where medical and adult-use marijuana have been legalized, such as Washington, California, Oregon, Colorado and Massachusetts, advocates are pushing for reforms that will address the needs of patients and consumers. For example, social consumption, which has created confusion surrounding the dos and don’ts when it comes to consuming a product that’s readily available to adults 21 and up in almost a dozen states. Longtime NORML Board Member and outspoken social consumption advocate, Madeline Martinez shared her thoughts.

    “In Oregon it rains at least seven months out of the year and the most vulnerable patients are expected to find a private space outside where they can consume in the shadows, this practice is inhumane,” said Martinez. “Also in Oregon there are not a lot of safe spaces to consume cannabis, especially for low income people living in federally subsidized housing and renters, this disproportionately affects people of color and poor. The insidious Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act must be corrected by removing all mention of cannabinoids.”

    There’s also the issue of workplace drug testing. A discriminatory practice that’s putting millions of law-abiding and responsible adults at risk of losing their employment due to a THC-positive drug test. That’s why NORML chapters in several states are focusing their attention on legislation that will protect honest, hardworking marijuana consumers from antiquated workplace drug-testing practices, in particular the use of random, suspicionless urine testing.

    “About every six weeks or so I get a call from someone who lost their job or was denied an employment opportunity because of a positive urine test based on past cannabis use,” said Attorney Lee Berger, who’s also a member of NORML’s Legal Committee. “It’s been three years since Oregon voters legalized the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. The time to address these discriminatory practices is long overdue.”

    Click Here to Protect Marijuana Consumers from Employment Discrimination

    The following NORML Chapter Lobby Days have been scheduled for 2019:

    Connecticut NORML – 1/9/2019

    Delaware NORML – 1/10/2019

    Virginia NORML – 1/14/2019

    NoVA NORML – 1/14/2019

    Harrisonburg NORML – 1/14/2019

    Jefferson Area NORML – 1/14/2019

    RVA NORML – 1/14/2019

    Winchester NORML – 1/14/2019

    Western New York NORML – 1/15/2019

    NORML Women of Washington – 1/21/2019

    NORML Tallahassee – 1/22/2019

    Central Florida NORML – 1/22/2019

    NORML Appalachia of Ohio – 1/23/2019

    Denver NORML – 1/23/2019

    Kansas City NORML – 1/30/2019

    Missouri NORML – 1/30/2019

    Illinois NORML – 1/30/2019

    Chicago NORML – 1/30/2019

    Mid Missouri NORML – 1/30/2019

    Greater St Louis NORML – 1/30/2019

    Nevada NORML – 2/1/2019

    North Carolina NORML – 2/4/2019

    NORML of Catawba Valley – 2/4/2019

    Charlotte NORML – 2/4/2019

    NC NORML of the Triad – 2/4/2019

    NC NORML of the Triangle – 2/4/2019

    Maryland NORML – 2/4/2019

    Texas NORML – 2/7/2019

    DFW NORML – 2/7/2019

    Arizona NORML – 2/7/2019

    Peachtree NORML – 2/7/2019

    Madison NORML – 2/21/2019

    Kentucky NORML – 2/26/2019

    Lehigh Valley NORML – 3/18/2019

    Pittsburgh NORML – 3/18/2019

    Philly NORML – 3/18/2019

    South Philly NORML – 3/18/2019

    Empire State NORML – 3/27/2019

    Rochester NORML – 3/27/2019

    California NORML – 5/6/2019

    To support these efforts, we’ve created several resources like NORML’s Citizen Lobby Guide (http://norml.org/pdf_files/NORML_CitizenLobbyGuide.pdf) and Fact Sheets (https://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets). We’re also working with chapter leadership to develop policy one-pagers, FAQs, and other resources specific to their needs. And of course there’s NORML’s Action Center (http://norml.org/act) that supporters of marijuana law reforms can use to urge their lawmakers to support pending legislation.

    For more than 45 years NORML chapters have been the driving force behind marijuana law reforms 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 Chapters@NORML.org for help starting your own!

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

    Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Dispel the myths with the NORML Fact Sheets. For more Information follow NORML on Facebook and Twitter and visit our website!

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director December 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.

    Members of  NORML Chapters in Missouri Host Community Discussion About Amendment 2

    “MU NORML, the Mizzou chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, hosted a cannabis conference Saturday with Missouri NORML and Show-Me Cannabis.”

    Read more from ABC 17!

    Follow University of Missouri NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    NORML Leaders in the Media

    Abner Brown, Executive Director, North Carolina NORML

    “We’re going to set ourselves up for the best chance possible,” Brown said. “We’ve sent letters out and have contacted all of our elected officials in North Carolina, and those that were running, to get their responses about how they felt about cannabis reform.”

    Read more from WSPA 7 News!

    Follow North Carolina NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

    Alan Robinson, Communications Director, Madison NORML

    Robinson could not be happier about Walker’s election defeat, since he historically has not supported legalizing marijuana and in May referred to it as a “gateway drug” during an interview on WISN-TV.

    Read more from The Badger Herald!

    Follow Madison NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Ali Nagib, Deputy Director, Illinois NORML

    Nagib said regulations might include limits on the potency of marijuana. And he wonders whether the “number of licenses will be limited and if there’ll be something favoring small businesses.”

    Read more from the Rockford Register Star!

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

    Chris Goldstein, Executive Director, South Philly NORML

    “Goldstein, however, said the new bill is part of a blinkered mentality that will prevent the city from taking full advantage of the medical marijuana industry and, he claims, eventually full-scale legalization.”

    Read more from WHYY Public Media!

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

    Andy Lee, Communications Director, NORML Canada

    “A diverse cannabis sector will, ultimately, provide the most innovation, establish high-quality products and a better experience for consumers,”

    Read more from The Province!

    Follow NORML Canada on Facebook and become a member today!

    Christeen Landino, Deputy Director, Michigan NORML

    “Landino recalls getting busted for pot in 1968 and attending her first demonstration about marijuana in Detroit in 1974. That one was in support of a decriminalization effort that never made it to the ballot.”

    Read more from the Detroit Metro Times!

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

    Dan Viets, Executive Director, Missouri NORML

    The measure will officially go into effect Dec. 6, according to Dan Viets, president of New Approach Missouri. But it could be as much as a year later before patients will have access to cannabis.”

    Read more from KOMU 8!

    Follow Missouri NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Dan Viets, Executive Director, Missouri NORML

    “Prices will reflect the content of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetryhydrocannabinol (THC), both active compounds found in marijuana, said Dan Viets, president of Amendment 2’s campaign committee and president of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Foundation, or the NORML Foundation.”

    Read more from the Missourian!

    Follow Missouri NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Dan Viets, Executive Director, Missouri NORML

    “‘Certification’ is the correct term,” Viets said. Doctors will provide patients with a document allowing marijuana use if the patient has been diagnosed with one or more of a list of diseases listed in the amendment.

    Read more from Springfield News-Leader!

    Follow Missouri NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Dan Viets, Executive Director, Missouri NORML

    “Viets has been working with Missouri NORML to answer as many questions as possible about the new laws, and admits that there are still a few things that are still coming together but said they’re working to get everything in motion as quickly as possible.”

    Read more from ABC 17 News!

    Follow Missouri NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    David Holland, Board Member, Empire State NORML

    National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) lawyer David Holland was recruited by Tesoriero to explain the impacts marijuana arrests can have on people.”

    Read more from The New Paltz Oracle!

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

    David Phipps, Communications Director, Indiana NORML

    “Some marijuana advocates downstate, meanwhile, think Michigan’s legalization could spur Hoosier legislators — maybe within the next year or two — to take action on the issue of medical marijuana, which has gradually gained attention over the last decade.”

    Read more from News Bug!

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

    Doug Greene, Legislative Director, Empire State NORML

    “New York — which already allows medical use of marijuana — will legalize its recreational use next year. He noted that the newly elected senators headed to Albany in January include a number of young progressives who will support legalization.”

    Read more from Times Herald-Record!

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

    Eric Marsch, Executive Director, Southeastern Wisconsin NORML

    “It’s clear that its popularity is overwhelming. It’s even more popular than many of the candidates who were elected in those areas.”

    Read more from WISN 12 News!

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

    Eric Marsch, Executive Director, Southeastern Wisconsin NORML

    “Both are very supportive of medical cannabis and open-minded on recreational cannabis,” Marsh said in an interview. “The close margin in those statewide races means they both owe their jobs to the hundreds of thousands of cannabis voters who came out to support the referendums.”

    Read more from the Daily Cardinal!

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

    Jax Finkle, Executive Director, Texas NORML

    “I don’t think that’s going to be a conversation this session,” Finkle told the Dallas Observer. “Texans like to consider themselves their own nation state. We like to do things our own way, and that means that [recreational legalization] will probably be later.”

    Read more from Civilized!

    Follow Texas NORML on Facebook and become a member today! 

    Kandice Hawes, Executive Director, Orange County NORML

    “Hawes founded Orange County NORML in 2003 after losing her college financial aid due to a marijuana possession charge. OC NORML has been instrumental in getting recreational marijuana legalized in California, organizing the Medical Cannabis Conference for Seniors in Laguna Woods Village, and working to end the lengthy incarceration of nonviolent marijuana prisoners.”

    Read more from The Indy!

    Follow Orange County NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Luis Nakamoto, Executive Director, San Antonio NORML

    “San Antonio NORML, the local chapter for reform on marijuana laws, is hopeful this go-around in terms of the next legislative session. State Senator Jose Menendez filed S.B. 90. He hopes to expand the Texas Compassionate Use Program.”

    Read more from KENS 5!

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

    Madisen Saglibene, Executive Director, Nevada NORML

    “It’s unlikely that President Trump’s new attorney general will spread reefer madness and misinformation to the same extent that Mr. Sessions has,”

    Read more from the Las Vegas Review-Journal!

    Follow Nevada NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Mary Krueger, Executive Director, Rochester NORML

    “It’s already in our communities, kids are already getting it. When you regulate it, you take it out of the black market, you put it into a store and then you can go after the people who are giving it to kids.”

    Read more from News 10 NBC!

    Follow Rochester NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Mary Krueger, Executive Director, Rochester NORML

    “She and other justice advocates urge lawmakers to vacate or seal records of low-level possession and sale charges brought in the past. They also push for people who are currently incarcerated for such crimes to be released or have their sentences reduced to time served.”

    Read more from The River Reporter!

    Follow Rochester NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Matthew Able, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “I expect a rush on the grow stores in December because people are going to be getting lights and fans for Christmas.”

    Read more from the Detroit Free Press!

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

    Matthew Able, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

    “It has not been a smooth roll out on the part of the state,” Abel said. “You’d think Michigan would learn from other states — simple things, like license growers first.”

    Read more from Revue!

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

    Michael Ford, Executive Director, Minnesota NORML

    “Michael Ford and lifelong marijuana activist Oliver Steinberg, offers a moralistic wish list that includes home growing, release of nonviolent offenders, retroactive expungement, public consumption, and a purchasing age of 18.”

    Read more from City Pages!

    Follow Minnesota NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Mya Smith, Board Member, Purdue NORML

    “I have no doubt in my mind that it would become legal if they put it on a ballot.”

    Read more from WLFI 18!

    Follow Purdue NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

    Rick Thompson, Board Member, Michigan NORML

    “This isn’t done. Just because we passed legalization we have many more hurdles to accomplish. expungement is one, federal banking is one, criminal justice reform on the national scale.”

    Read more from NBC 25 News!

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

    Rick Thompson, Board Member, Michigan NORML

    “A person who may have consumed cannabis several days ago might still test positive for the presence of cannabis,” said Thompson. “That does not indicate they were using their automobile in an impaired way.”

    Read more from WSBT 22!

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

    Rick Thompson, Board Member, Michigan NORML

    “It was very predictable that this would happen and just underscores that there needs to be a change in federal law.”

    Read more from the Detroit Free Press!

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

    Pam Dyer, Executive Director, Eastern Washington Women of NORML

    “Dyer says consuming raw cannabis has also relieved a friend’s rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. While she doesn’t get high from eating the leaves and stems, Dyer does say that she has to reduce how much cannabis she ingests through other methods.”

    Read more from The Spokesman-Review!

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

    Paul Kirchberg, Executive Director, Connecticut NORML

    “We know it’s safer than alcohol,” he said “If we can honestly have an open conversation about cannabis, we can realize that right now there are 30,000 people in Connecticut who are living proof that it’s not something to fear. Adult consumption, however, requires a certain level of responsibility.”

    Read more from the Connecticut Post!

    Follow Connecticut NORML on Facebook 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 Dan Viets, Executive Director, Missouri NORML November 17, 2018

    Two years after suing to keep medical marijuana off the ballot, on Tuesday, Jean Peters Baker, the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney, announced that her office will stop prosecuting most marijuana possession cases. In June of this year, the St. Louis City Prosecuting Attorney, Kim Gardner, took similar action on simple possession cases of up to 100 grams.

    This development follows the November 6 landslide victory of Amendment 2, a state Constitutional amendment, which legalized access to medical marijuana for Missouri patients in a form similar to laws already passed in 31 other states. Missouri voters supported this measure by 66% statewide. Amendment 2 received more yes votes than any of the other issues on that ballot and any candidates on that ballot.

    Approximately 75% of the voters in Jackson County endorsed Amendment 2. In April of 2017, Kansas City voters overwhelmingly approved passage of a city ordinance reducing punishment for possession of marijuana to a $25 fine. That initiative, placed on the ballot by members of NORML KC, also received support from 75% of the voters, despite the campaign having almost no money and being opposed by The Kansas City Star and at least one former prosecuting attorney on the Kansas City Council.

    The decision by Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker to cease prosecuting most marijuana possession cases is all the more interesting when one considers the fact that only two years ago, Ms. Peters Baker joined with a handful of other Missouri prosecuting attorneys to sue the Missouri Secretary of State to keep medical marijuana off the ballot! That lawsuit did not succeed in keeping the measure off the ballot, but it did create an additional hurdle and a distraction for the campaign. The 2016 effort ultimately failed because it fell short of the number of petition signatures required in one of Missouri’s eight Congressional districts.

    Smart politicians around the state will surely soon recognize that a solid majority of Missouri voters favor progressive marijuana law reforms. NORML hopes to see this fact reflected in the actions of the Missouri General Assembly. Pre-filing of bills in the legislature begins December 1. The legislature convenes its 2019 session the first week of January. NORML calls on other Missouri Prosecutors to follow the example of the St. Louis City and Jackson County Prosecutors.

    For More Information Contact Dan Viets, 573-819-2669 or DanViets@gmail.com

    Keep up-to-date with marijuana law reform efforts in Missouri by following Missouri NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

  • by NORML November 13, 2018

    Prohibitionist Pete Sessions has been ousted from office by Collin Allred and a huge number of volunteers, voters and cannabis activists! Cannabis was a huge part of this race’s conversation. We are hopeful that this huge shake up will help marijuana bills move more expeditiously at the Federal level as Sessions has been a huge roadblock for change.

    Support our mission in Texas!

    “Texans has re-affirmed that they are no longer satisfied with the status quo for marijuana laws in Texas. Many advocates in North Texas and across Texas worked hard to remove Sessions, who has been an major impediment at the Federal level,” said Jax Finkle, Executive Director of Texas NORML. “Session’s stance was not based in science, constituent opinion, common sense policy making nor the Texas GOP platform. We are hopeful for the upcoming Legislative Session here in Texas and hope that we will see more movement at the Federal level as well.”

    We also had some important changes in Texas. At the state level, we have 12 incumbents that have been replaced with Freshman in the House, 2 in the Senate and 2 at the Federal level. These are important changes before our legislative session that kicks off in January 2019.

    Become a sustaining donor and support our work during the session!

    The 86th Texas Legislature will convene on January 8th, 2019, but the pre-filing period began yesterday. Lawmakers have begun introducing legislation for consideration during the upcoming legislative session. (Learn more about preparing for the session here.)

    Several marijuana related bills have been introduced:

    HB 63 (Rep. Joe Moody) — Relating to the civil and criminal penalties for possession of certain small amounts of marihuana and an exception to prosecution for possession of associated drug paraphernalia; creating a criminal offense. Participate in our action alert!

    SB 156 (Sen. Jose Roriguez) – Relating to the civil and criminal penalties for possession of certain small amounts of marihuana and an exception to prosecution for possession of associated drug paraphernalia; creating a criminal offense.

    SB 90 (Sen. Jose Menendez) — Relating to authorizing the possession, use, cultivation, distribution, transportation, and delivery of medical cannabis for medical use by qualifying patients with certain debilitating medical conditions and the licensing of dispensing organizations and testing facilities; authorizing fees.

    HB 186 (Rep. Terry Canales) — Relating to the determination of the weight of marihuana and other tetrahydrocannabinolsfor the purpose of the prosecution and punishment of the offense of possession of those substances.

    HB 122 (Rep. Gina Hinojosa) — Relating to the medical use of marihuana; providing an affirmative defense to prosecutionfor possession of marihuana.

    SB 116 (Sen. Jose Menendez) — Relating to industrial hemp; requiring an occupational license; authorizing fees.

    HJR 21 (Rep. Ron Reynolds) — Proposing a constitutional amendment to authorize and regulate the possession, cultivation, and sale of cannabis for medical use.

    HB 209 (Rep. Ron Reynolds) — Relating to authorizing the possession, use, cultivation, distribution, transportation, and delivery of medical cannabis for medical use by qualifying patients with certain debilitating medical conditions and the licensing of dispensing organizations and testing facilities; authorizing fees.

    Become a sustaining donor and support our work during the session!

    For future updates on marijuana law reform efforts in the Lone Star State, follow Texas NORML on Facebook  and Twitter and become a member today!

  • 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!

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    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!

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    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!

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    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!

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    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!

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    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!

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    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!

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    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!

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    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!

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    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!

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    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!

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    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!

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