Archive for the ‘new’ category

A Vision for a New NORML

February 28th, 2013

A Message from the Chair of NORML’s Board of Directors, Norm Kent:

NORML is the pioneer, the grand patron and founder of the marijuana policy reform movement in America. We are still here and by your side, and we are needed now, more than ever.

Some have said that as our nation moves towards medicalization, decriminalization, or legalization, our tasks will be diminished, our duties lessened, our essence threatened.

The truth is that it is just the opposite.

Now, with cannabis reforms about to blossom in city after city, from small communities to large counties, our nation needs a respected consumer advocacy group more than ever.

Our nation needs a lobby such as the new NORML, firmly planted, and nationally respected, which will protect the rights of cannabis consumers, as no one else has in the past or can in the future.

Our nation needs a new NORML, which ensures that the distribution of cannabis to anyone is universally safe, readily accessible and fairly affordable to everyone.

Our nation needs a new NORML that ensures that the laws which legislatures pass favor freedom and fairness, not moneymakers or mercenaries.

Our nation needs a new NORML that ensures patients have access to safe medicine, consumers acquire healthy products, and distribution mechanisms protect gender, age, and race, available not just to corporate conglomerates but individual entrepreneurs.

The new NORML today contains a NORML Women’s Alliance representing the power of feminism and professionalism, bringing passion and gender diversity to the cause of personal freedom and individual choice.

The new NORML brings vast youth advocacy to the table, with hundreds of chapters in 50 states, young men and women fighting with their heart and soul to ensure scholarships are not revoked, driving privileges are not taken away, and jobs are not lost because they make legal decisions to use cannabis responsibly.

The new NORML will bring activists and academicians, economists and entrepreneurs, to political forums, explaining how justly taxing cannabis legally today can stop the bleeding of state, city and village budgets tomorrow.

The new NORML will still need and provide the national canvas with a network of criminal defense attorneys to represent clients who are wrongly arrested and unjustly prosecuted, from patients with medical conditions to adult drivers illegally stopped.

The new NORML needs to remind Americans that decriminalization in 18 states means we still have a ways to go in 32 others, where nearly a million Americans a year still go to jail for consuming cannabis.

Thus, the new NORML needs to remind everyone that apathy and inertia has no room for intrusion; that our advocacy must still be engaged, that our voices still be heard.

The new NORML thus needs to blend innovative social media tools to drive activists with initiatives from coast to coast and in community after community. With hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook, and millions of cannabis consumers living and supporting our cause all across America, our word must be spread on the web and throughout the country. We must remind Americans everywhere that it is unjust and unfair for adults consuming cannabis privately and personally to get arrested anywhere, anytime, or in any place.

The new NORML needs to be advocates not just for patients who want access to safe medicine and fair distribution systems, but adults who demand the right to responsible use along with just access for righteous, recreational use, needing no apologies for exercising their individual sovereignty openly and freely.

The new NORML also needs to be advocates who rectify the injustices of past decades, for individuals whose futures were destroyed by a drug war that failed to do anything but ruin good lives with bad laws.

The new NORML needs to marshal public policy so that the laws are changed everywhere not in the next few decades, but in the next few years. To achieve national reform, we need to harness the energy and network of drug policy reform organizations throughout this country. We need to speak with a common voice and universal message.

The message to be shared and the story to be told is not just that prohibition was wrong all along, or that the drug war has been a financial and moral failure. That is a past we have learned all too well.

The message for the new NORML is to state that Americans citizens have always come to support equal civil liberties for all, from women to African Americans, to our friends in the gay and lesbian community. After decades of pain, that morning has come for cannabis consumers. The new NORML will celebrate the future, not condemn the past.

For 40 years, NORML has been on the side of those who embraced individual choice and the responsible use of cannabis, as an extension of personal freedom.

Now, more than ever, the new NORML will remain by your side in order to ensure that as cannabis is distributed and disseminated to consumers from state to state, or coast to coast, it becomes readily accessible, equitably affordable and universally safe.

Thank you,
Norm Kent
Chair, NORML Board of Directors

Please consider making a donation to NORML today to help support our ongoing efforts to legalize the responsible adult use of marijuana by clicking here.

NEW I-502 TV Ads: Former Federal Law Enforcement Officials Support Marijuana Legalization

October 10th, 2012

New Approach Washington, the campaign behind Washington State’s marijuana legalization initiative (I-502), has just released two new television ads that began airing today. What makes these advertisements even more notable is that they both prominently feature former federal law enforcement officials. The importance of this is perfectly summed up by former NORML Board Member and writer for Washington’s “The Stranger,” Dominic Holden:

This is a big deal: The new ads for Initiative 502 that begin airing today, which encourage Washington to become the first state to legalize marijuana, star former federal law enforcement.

I know—if you watch politics around here, you know they’re on board and their endorsement seems… banal. Don’t be jaded. Former US Attorneys John McKay and Kate Pflaumer, along with the FBI’s Charlie Mandigo, make the most persuasive case for legalization: Pot laws result in using limited law enforcement resources that should instead be focused on violent crime.

Every time that pot legalization—even decriminalization—has gone to voters in other states, federal law enforcement have delivered the coup de grace, largely by virtue of their credibility. This time, it’s the opposite. These prosecutors and an agent get in the first word for legalization, and with $1 million in the bank and up to $2 million more on the way, the New Approach Washington campaign is going to hit this message hard. This is a coup.

SOURCE

You can view the new TV spots below. Please share as widely as possible with your friends and family. Together we can end marijuana prohibition, let’s Smoke the Vote in November. Previous polling for I-502 in September had support for the effort at 57%, help us keep up the momentum going into election day by educating everyone you know about the importance of cannabis reform in the 2012 election. You can learn more about these initiatives and the presidential candidates’ statements on marijuana by reading NORML’s voter guide available here.

YES ON I-502!

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

You can visit the campaign’s website for more info here.

Marijuana Legalization Proponents in Washington Unveil First TV Ad

August 6th, 2012

The campaign behind I-502, a ballot measure that would end cannabis prohibition in Washington State this fall, unveiled their first TV advertisement in support of the initiative. This commercial kicks off a recently announced million dollar ad campaign, which aims to keep marijuana legalization at the forefront of Washington voters’ minds as we approach November. You can view the ad below:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Polling data taken in July by SurveyUSA shows an upward swing in support for the initiative, with 55 percent of likely voters approving of the measure, 32 percent opposing, and 13 percent undecided.

Get all the latest information on cannabis law reform in the 2012 Election by viewing NORML’s voter guide, Smoke the Vote, here.

New Jersey General Assembly Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Measure

June 25th, 2012

The New Jersey General Assembly this evening voted 44-30 in favor of Assembly Bill 1465, which removes criminal penalties for the possession of approximately one-half ounce of marijuana. Members of the state Assembly Judiciary Committee had previously approved the measure by a unanimous vote.

Presently, the possession of this amount of marijuana carries a penalty of up to a $1000 fine and six months in jail. A conviction also results in a criminal record that cannot be expunged for at least five years, the loss of driving privileges, and other penalties.

The measure now awaits action from the state Senate. If you reside in New Jersey, you can click here to contact your state Senator and urge them to support this important legislation.

If the bill obtains Senate approval it will still face a major hurdle, as Governor Chris Christie publicly stated he intends to veto the bill should it reach his desk. (An override of the Governor’s veto would require 54 ‘yes’ votes in the Assembly and 27 ‘yes’ votes in the Senate.) It is unfortunate that the Republican Governor and former federal prosecutor refuses to listen to the will of the voters, as a November 2011 Eagleton poll found that 58 percent of New Jersey residents believe that penalties regarding the use of marijuana should be decreased and 55 percent of them believe that marijuana possession penalties ought to be be eliminated entirely.

Just days earlier, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee enacted a similar marijuana decriminalization measure into law, amending pot possession penalties from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by one year in jail and a $500 maximum fine) to a non-arrestable civil offense — punishable by a $150 fine, no jail time, and no criminal record.

Eight states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, and Oregon — similarly define the private, non-medical possession of marijuana by adults as a civil, non-criminal offense.

Five additional states — Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio — treat marijuana possession offenses as a fine-only misdemeanor offense. Alaska imposes no criminal or civil penalty for the private possession of small amounts of marijuana.

NORML PSA: Together We Will Win

April 4th, 2012

NORMLtv is now streaming a brand new PSA, entitled “Together We Will Win.”

All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self evident. Join NORML in our fight to legalize marijuana today and put an end to the War on Drugs. Together we will win.

Watch and Share!

Click here to view the embedded video.

You can receive the latest updates direct from NORMLtv by following us on Twitter or subscribing to our Youtube channel.

Coming Soon: A New NORML.org

October 20th, 2011

NORML is getting a new website makeover! We have been working hard on developing a more modern, user-friendly internet destination that will integrate all of the information presently stored on norml.org, our two popular blogs, and our all-important membership and online donation platforms.

We will be gradually rolling out this new platform over the next month, starting first with the brand new norml.org informational website and donation system, and then integrating all of our blogs into a unified blogging platform. With the site relaunch visitors will be able to readily find the nearest NORML chapters and legal committee members in your area with geo-targeting, conveniently find any state’s current marijuana laws, browse NORML’s immense research library, and check out the revamped NORMLshop (the brand new documentary film “A NORML Life” will be available to purchase when the page launches).

If you have any questions about this transition, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Keep your eyes on norml.org in the coming days to see what new things we have in store.