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  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director January 12, 2013

    Pot Parody VideoNORML supporter and groundbreaking video creator Steve Berke has just launched his most intense, humorous and well produced viral video indictment against marijuana prohibition to date. A graduate of Yale, former two time All-American tennis player, comedian and Miami-based politician, Steve Berke’s cutting video parodies of popular songs re-purposed into pro-cannabis reform videos are becoming legendary in the cannabis law reform community and well beyond.

    Steve’s previous pro-pot videos have garnered over a million views, and with this new and outrageous take on rapper Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’, after less then 72 hours, Steve’s ‘Pot Shop’ is well past 300,000 views!

    When will Saturday Night Live producers be contacting Steve Berke to replace the now departed and popular viral video producer/comedian Andy Samberg?

    Check out the fun and in-your-face public advocacy for cannabis law reform as envisaged and performed like no other cannabis law advocate in the world today.*

    *Video contains vulgarity, but nothing compared to the vulgarity of a free market oriented democracy like America arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating millions of cannabis consumers, cultivators and sellers under an eight decade-old failed public policy of prohibition.

    Check out a previous Steve Berke video in support of cannabis that has attracted a million views across YouTube.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director August 27, 2012

    Click here to subscribe to NORMLtv and receive alerts whenever new content is added.

    The latest installment of “This Week in Weed” is now streaming on NORMLtv.

    This week: Colorado’s Amendment 64 would bring in big revenue for the state, Grand Rapids will be voting on marijuana decriminalization, and Arkansas’ medical marijuana initiative qualifies for the ballot.

    Be sure to tune in to NORMLtv every week to catch up on the latest marijuana news. Subscribe to NORMLtv or follow us on Twitter.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director January 31, 2012

    Last night, President Obama took to Google+ and responded to the questions submitted to him from the general public. Despite accounting for a majority of the top questions, the moderator never asked Obama about marijuana legalization and the president certainly didn’t volunteer any comment of his own volition.

    It is immensely disappointing that, yet again, the administration has declined the opportunity to discuss the very serious issue of ending marijuana prohibition in this country. For the ninth time, the White House has solicited the American people for direct input on the issues they cared about, and then, when the resulting answers called overwhelmingly for marijuana law reform, President Obama ignored the will of the American. Over half of the country now supports regulating and taxing marijuana; we can only hope that during the general election the issue is addressed with the respect and urgency it demands. (Alternet)

    You can read more details here.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director January 29, 2012

    Last week, the White House launched the next in its long line of social media engagement initiatives, this one entitled “Your Interview With the President.” The concept was simple, anyone could upload their question to the President on YouTube, others would vote on them, and the highest rated ones would be posed to the Commander in Chief in a Google+ Hangout on January 30th.

    This seemed to be a logical opportunity to ask the administration about marijuana legalization. Last Tuesday, I posted NORML’s question to the White House YouTube page for consideration. We asked, “With over 850,000 Americans arrested in 2010, on marijuana charges alone, and tens of billions of tax dollars being spent locking up marijuana users, isn’t it time to regulate and tax marijuana?”

    The reception was overwhelmingly positive, in just several hours the question received over 4,000 “thumbs up” votes and was one of, if not the, most popular question on the service. Then a peculiar thing happened, the question was removed. After becoming the most positively voted upon question in less than a day, the White House removed the question, deeming it “inappropriate.”

    We informed our audience of the censorship and encouraged them to engage the White House on their own, using our question or a one of their own choosing. Over the next several days the program was inundated with marijuana law reform questions. At first, many met the same fate as our original question and were removed from the site. It seems our persistence ended up paying off and the page administrator finally gave up trying to censor the incoming questions and most marijuana inquiries have remained up since.

    Voting closed last night at midnight and I made some rough calculations of the final results to see how we performed. Of the top 160 questions asked, marijuana reform questions accounted for 105 of them. Reposts of our question brought in an estimated 17,524 up-votes in addition to the 4,028 the original received before being removed. Combined, that is over 21,000 votes for one question, which is 5 times as many votes as any other question on the page. The 105 marijuana reform questions in the top 160 brought in over 74,000 votes, dwarfing any other topic. Our friends at LEAP posted a question as well and it ended as one of the top rated questions. You can read their coverage here.

    Now, we wait. “Your Interview With the President” is scheduled to take place tomorrow, January 30th. Considering this is the same individual who previously stated that, “we need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws” and that legalization is a “perfectly legitimate topic for debate,” maybe he will take this opportunity to address the issue seriously for once. In an election year, this could go a long way towards winning back those who feel disenfranchised with the administration over a perceived lack of progress on the issue and amped up raids on medical programs in states such as California and Colorado.

    The American people are ready for our debate Mr. President, are you?

     

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator January 24, 2012

    NOTE: If you feel marijuana legalization was an entirely “appropriate” topic for debate, tweet your dissatisfaction of the White House’s censoring of NORML’s YouTube question by tweeting them using #WHchat and @WhiteHouse.

    “Pres. Obama, what is inappropriate about saving billions and not arresting nonviolent american citizens for marijuana? #WHChat @WhiteHouse”

    – E. Altieri, Comm. Coordinator

     

    As of 7pm Pacific, I checked the YouTube.com/WhiteHouse page to see how many votes our question received in President Obama’s latest YouTube Forum.  The good news?  Our question, “With over 850,000 Americans arrested in 2010, for marijuana charges alone, and tens of billions of tax dollars being spent locking up non-violent marijuana users, isn’t it time we regulate and tax marijuana?” received 4,023 votes, making it one of the most popular submissions to the forum.

    The bad news?  See for yourself:

    “The submission has been removed because people believe it is inappropriate.”  Hmm, well, who are these people?  The question got 241 “thumbs down” votes from viewers, was that it?  I notice that of the 615 questions submitted that asked about “With over 850,000 Americans arrested in 2010” in the text, some still remain with 28 “thumbs down” and others are removed with as few as three, so it doesn’t seem like “people” refers to viewers or the public, does it?

    Who are these people, President Obama?  They’re not the people out here who keep making marijuana legalization the number one topic of these online forums.  They’re not the millions whose lives are impacted by a marijuana arrest; the tokers and their families who lose jobs, houses, kids, freedom, assets, respect, security, and peace of mind because of marijuana prohibition.

    Sadly, I think these people are actually just one person… a guy who smoked weed (and snorted coke) back in the day as a teenager in Hawaii and was damn lucky he didn’t get caught or today he’d be Barry the Drug Criminal.

    (more…)

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