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NORML Chapters

  • 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!

     

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director December 30, 2018

     

    As Illinois lawmakers continue to consider input from various stakeholders for legislation that would legalize the possession and use of marijuana for adults 21 and up in 2019, some advocates are feeling left out of the process. This is especially concerning because the majority reside in communities that have been devastated by marijuana prohibition. Are minorities already being excluded from the state’s blossoming marijuana industry? It appears so.

    With members of Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker’s Restorative Justice and Public Safety Committee excluding prominent advocates from minority communities, some are starting to question the committee’s commitment to addressing minority inclusion altogether. The committee’s decision also seems to contradict statements made by Governor-elect Pritzker, who recently unveiled an equity program that would greatly benefit minority communities by offering technical assistance and subsidized loans for minority entrepreneurs.

    When asked by the Chicago Sun Times about the committee’s decision, Edie Moore, executive director of Chicago NORML had this to say:

    “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.”

    Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Dispel the myths with NORML’s Fact Sheets! For more information follow Chicago NORML on Facebook and visit their website today.

  • 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!

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