Archive for the ‘NORML Women’s Alliance’ category

Canadian Lottery Winner Commits $1 Million For Marijuana Legalization

April 19th, 2013

The NORML Women’s Alliance of Canada announced via Marketwired:
NWA Canada Prohibition CarTERRACE, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – April 18, 2013) – On Saturday April 20(th) , activists and cannabis enthusiasts will gather in cities across Canada, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax and Yellowknife. It is hoped the events will be a watershed moment for cannabis law reform as Canadians seek to follow their American counterparts and end the social injustice of cannabis prohibition.

This year, the annual nationwide 420 celebrations are entirely sponsored by lottery winner Bob Erb.

When Bob Erb started buying lottery tickets in the early 1970s, ending the war against cannabis may have seemed more likely than hitting the jackpot.

On November 2, 2012, four decades of playing the lottery paid off: Bob Erb won a $25,000,000 jackpot. Two days later, Canadian laws regarding cannabis changed too as mandatory minimum sentencing for cannabis offences came into effect.

To some, winning the lottery would mean retiring from a life-long career of cannabis activism. But to a man who describes the criminalization of cannabis as the “biggest social injustice” of his lifetime, the money meant a chance to do more.

Bob Erb has championed social justice issues, including cannabis law reform, for decades. He has seen firsthand the harm and waste caused by cannabis prohibition, and has set about making change. Particularly, he has tried to create change from within: in 2001 he ran as a Marijuana Party candidate in the BC provincial election and the following year he ran for mayor. Both times his message was clear: its time for a change on cannabis.

Looking to the future, Bob has pledged one million dollars to fund national campaigns to end the criminal prohibition of cannabis and enact positive regulations regarding use, production and consumer safety. His goal is to see a pro-reform party elected in the next Canadian federal election.

So far, Bob Erb’s contributions to the cannabis reform movement can be felt nationwide. In February he had a conference in his hometown of Terrace, BC. The conference brought together activists and policy experts from across Canada to discuss strategy for the future.

As a result of the conference, Bob committed one million dollars to legalize cannabis in Canada and pledged support to various reform organizations including Sensible BC, the NORML Women’s Alliance of Canada, NORML Canada, Stop the Violence BC and the 420 rallies.

This Saturday, tens of thousands of Canadians will gather from coast to coast advocating cannabis law reform. Hopefully, individuals will feel part of something bigger than themselves or the local rally they attended.

Bob Erb’s generosity has jump-started a national campaign to elect a new government ready to undertake modern approach to cannabis regulation. Advocates are confident cannabis law reform will be an issue in the next federal election. This year’s 420 rallies will be a call to voters and the beginning of a movement in the name of Bob Erb.

NORML Women’s Alliance of Canada

Kelly Coulter

(613) 331-1489

Pot Patient Wins Custody Case

December 12th, 2012

Defense Attorney Lauren K. Johnson won a major court victory for parents who legally use marijuana for medical purposes last week in Los Angeles.  In the case of Drake A. (case # B236769), Division Three of the Second Appellate District, California Court of Appeal ruled on December 5, 2012 that there was no evidence showing that the defendant, a father, is a substance ab­user for simply being a legal medical marijuana patient. The court confirmed that while parents who abuse drugs can lose custody of their children, a parent who uses marijuana for medical reasons, with a doctor’s approval, isn’t necessarily a drug abuser.

The father, “Paul M.” was placed under DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) supervision after he testified in an October 2011 hearing that he used medical marijuana about four times a week for knee pain.  During that same hearing, he also stated that he never medicates in front of his children, nor is he under the influence while they are in his care.  DCFS supervision requires drug counseling, parenting classes and random drug testing.  During subsequent drug screenings the father tested positive for marijuana, and negative for all other drugs.  As a result, the Superior Court of Los Angeles ruled that the child was to become a “dependent of the court based on the trial court’s finding that [the] father’s usage of medical marijuana placed the child at substantial risk of serious physical harm or illness…”.

“Paul M.” appealed the former court’s ruling, which was challenged in the Second Appellate District of California.  The Appellate court subsequently ruled in favor of reversing the Superior court’s judgment.  The official ruling stated “[that the] DCFS failed to show that [the] father was unable to provide regular care for Drake [the minor child at issue] due to father’s substance abuse.  Both DCFS and the trial court apparently confused the meanings of the terms ‘substance use’ and ‘substance abuse’.”

Johnson issued a press release noting that this is the first case to distinguish between marijuana use and abuse with regards to child protection laws. “In overturning a Los Angeles Superior Court ruling against the plaintiff, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, the Appellate Court said the ‘mere usage of drugs,’ including marijuana, is not the same as substance abuse that can affect child custody, as alleged in this case by the lower court.”  She went on to say, “The ruling illustrates a growing recognition of the legitimate use of medical marijuana in this state and other states. We want kids to be safe, but we also want parents to be able to use legally prescribed medications when children appear not to be at demonstrated risk of harm.”

This has been a pervasive issue in California, as well as other medical marijuana states. Legal patients have lost custody of their children and been forced to turn their children over to a juvenile protection agency.  The NORML Women’s Alliance has been working hard to bring this issue to the forefront.  NORML Women’s Alliance Director Sabrina Fendrick issued the following statement; “This ruling is a small victory in our fight for legal marijuana patients’ parental rights.  We hope that future judicial hearings, as well as child protection agencies will utilize this judgment and adopt new policies that reflect the Appellate court’s ruling.”

Women Needed to Legalize Pot

October 26th, 2012

Colorado, and the multi-state effort to legalize marijuana in November needs you now more than ever.  In Colorado especially, polls are showing an encouraging growth in support for Amendment 64 among women (from 49% support in September, to 50% support in October), but female support still trails their male counterparts by 5% points.  Fact: this election will be decided by the female vote.  Marijuana can only be legalized if we have a majority of support among women.  It is crucial we do everything we can to support the work of Colorado’s Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and make history on November 6.

Our friends at Just Say Now have created an online phone bank you can use to make calls from anywhere in the country.  This tool includes its own woman-to-woman phone bank that we can use to reach out to women voters in Colorado and inspire them to support Amendment 64. The website makes it extremely easy to jump in, organize and get involved.

The NORML Women’s Alliance is calling on women nationwide, who believe in the controlled regulation of marijuana to host a phone banking party with your like-minded sisters and encourage women to vote “Yes” on CO’s Amendment 64.  Organizing a phone banking event to call women voters in CO is the most important contribution you can make in this election (and the cheapest).  We need to reach as many women as possible.

Links:
Phone Bank House Party – Sign Up
Phone Bank House Party – Host Packet
Phone Bank –  Log In 
(When you log in you’ll have 3 options on the left side.  Choose the second option down that says “Call Women Voters for Amendment 64″)

Click here to view the embedded video.

NC NORML is LIVE at the Democratic Convention

September 4th, 2012

STREAMING LIVE

9/4/2012 at 5:30pm

Watch Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, former special agent Jamie Haase, and southern rock artist Greta Gaines as they speak live on behalf of North Carloina NORML to raise awareness and support for ending marijuana prohibition at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte.


Live video by Ustream

NORML and Women’s Alliance Join ‘Caravan for Peace’ Campaign

August 13th, 2012

[Editor's note: New video from Reason depicts the Caravan for Peace's start at the US -Mexico border.]

NORML and the NORML Women’s Alliance are pleased to announce their support and official endorsement of The Movement for Peace and Justice with Dignity, along with the American-based organization Global Exchange’s “Caravan for Peace.”

“This campaign will draw public attention to the damage marijuana
prohibition is causing not  only in our country, but in Mexico as well.  This multi-national coalition of drug reform, human rights, religious and progressive organizations have come together with one objective; raising awareness about, and ending, our 75 year violent and failed drug prohibition,” said Sabrina Fendrick of the NORML Women’s Alliance.

[From the website:] The Caravan represents one element of a broad strategy responding to Mexico’s violent national emergency resulting from Drug War policies (in Mexico and the U.S.) gone tragically wrong. The idea of the Caravan is to make Mexico’s national emergency tangible in the United States and to create a platform where those affected by the Drug War from Mexico, the U.S. and elsewhere can join their voices to inform public opinion on both sides of the border.

 

The Caravan takes place at a politically charged moment. It begins in San Diego, six weeks after Mexico’s July 1 presidential election and arrives in Washington, D.C. in September, six weeks prior to the U.S. elections. This summer we will bring communities together around events large and small, turning awareness into action and building a movement that will continue pushing for changes at the local, state, national and international level long after the Caravan has passed through.

The U.S. Caravan’s mission is, among other things:

  • To make the connections between the impacts of the Drug War in Mexico (violence, deaths and rise of organized crime) and in the U.S. (criminalization, incarceration, and life-long marginalization- disproportionately affecting African-American and Latino communities);
  • To promote a civil society discourse with the American public and opinion leaders about the policies (easy access to assault weapons, militarization of drug enforcement and U.S. prohibition policies) at the root of the crisis;
  • To foster collaboration and effective solidarity among a broad range of progressive, grassroots, religious, humanitarian and other organizations; and
  • To leave, in the Caravan’s wake, informed, organized, and mobilized communities of activists who will pursue reform strategies in the near and long-term on both sides of the border.

NORML chapters across the country, as well as NORML Women’s Alliance community groups will be taking part in the campaign as the caravan arrives in their respective locations.  If there are other groups who are interested in getting involved with the Caravan, please click here to find your local contact.

NORML Women Spring Wrap-Up

July 16th, 2012

Follow the NORML Women’s Alliance on Facebook and Twitter


Sorry AP, Telling Kids the Truth About Marijuana is Not Complicated

June 18th, 2012

[In response to the AP article “Easing of State Marijuana Laws Poses Challenge for Parents”]

No one can deny that the number one goal of a parent is for his or her children to grow up healthy, and be able to make responsible decisions about everything from their friendships and lifestyle, to their safety.  Parents do this by sitting down and having open honest conversations about issues that will inevitably affect them in the future.

Education gives children the tools and understanding to help them cope with the challenges they have already experienced, and will continue to face further down the road.  Creating a government regulated system for marijuana legalization, which will include everything from age limits to promotional and advertising restrictions (and obviously impaired driving regulations), will actually help parents address this issue with their kids.  Several studies have already shown that states with regulated marijuana programs have not seen an increase in teen use.  Some have even seen a decrease in pot use among their youth population.

The prohibition of marijuana sends the message “marijuana is morally wrong” and implies that there is no such thing as a responsible marijuana consumer.  This ignorant policy improperly allows the government to interfere in the parent’s job of teaching their kids about moderation and responsibility.  Scare tactics and rhetoric are disingenuous and do not help children understand the realities of the world we live in.

It is socially acceptable for parents, alcohol distributors, and even the government to teach children about safe drinking practices (with a full understanding that alcohol is directly responsible for thousands of deaths every year), and the state regulation of marijuana will allow parents and educators do the same for the plant (whose non-lethal and relatively harmless side effects inevitably make the latter substance the safer choice).

We did not have to outlaw cigarettes to reduce the use among minors. A policy of education and regulation (not prohibition) has created an environment in which cigarette usage has fallen to an all time low.  The same goes for alcohol.  A sustained and concerted effort on responsible drinking practices by the government, alcohol companies and educational institutions have driven teen alcohol use down to a record low as well, according to the 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey.  Age restrictions, government regulation and education have proven to be one of the most effective elements in reducing youth access to adult-only recreational substances.  None of these controls apply to marijuana.

As it currently stands, marijuana is illegal and sold on the black market to anyone willing to pay for it.  Drug dealers don’t ID.  Today, young people report that they have easier access to illicit marijuana than to legal beer or cigarettes.  This is because the latter is legally limited to adults only.

Children need accurate information to make informed decisions. They need to be educated on how consuming marijuana can effect their body’s development specifically, and how to reduce any harms associated with its use – as well as how to distinguish between use and abuse.  Just as it is socially acceptable for parents to speak with their children openly about their use of alcohol, with an emphasis on that fact that it is only appropriate for adults in moderation, the legalization of marijuana will allow parents to openly discuss their (possible) past or current use and be able to objectively and rationally speak to their children about pot.  The controlled regulation of marijuana will send a message of moderation and responsible use.  It will also undercut the black market, which in turn will reduce teen access.  It’s as simple as that, and it’s a win-win for everybody.

 

Facebook.com/normlwomen
Twitter.com/normlwomen

Donate to the NORML Women's Alliance - Donate with WePay

 

 

Look Out Canada: The Women are Coming!

June 1st, 2012

The NORML Women’s Alliance has been growing at an unprecedented rate.  Women have been organizing around the country, targeting the female demographic and spreading the word of marijuana law reform.  The enthusiasm for this NORML Foundation program has crossed the border and gone international. The Women’s Alliance has become the latest sensation for marijuana law reformers in Canada, and is spreading like wildfire across the territories. From Vancouver to Toronto, the NORML Women’s Alliance has brought together an amazing group of strong, empowered, like-minded women.

In early May, the NORML Women’s Alliance of Canada had the honor of serving as one of this year’s Grand Marshals for the Global Marijuana March.  Along with Jodie Emery and other well-known Canadian marijuana figures, the women of NORML lead 20,000 people through the streets of Toronto in support of marijuana law reform.They dressed up in 1920s and 1930’s costumes and were followed by a vintage car of the same era, so as to make a clear connection to America’s ill-fated alcohol prohibition, and women’s role in ending that failed policy.  The goal was to reenact a similar campaign image put on by the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform, which has since become a staple image for reformers today.

Just last week, our Canadian Sisters were invited to have a presence at the annual Treating Yourself Expo of 2012, a three-day event that brought tens of thousands of people to the Toronto Convention Center.  The women were not only given the opportunity to hand out literature, several of them were even invited to speak on a panel about the purpose and significance of the NORML Women’s Alliance.  This panel featured an amazing group of leaders including Jodie Emery of Cannabis Culture Magazine, NORML Women’s Alliance Coordinator of Canada, Kelly Coulter, Andrea Matrosovs, Lisa MamaKind Kirkman, Joanne Baker, Loretta Clarck and Sandra Colasanti.  Keep up the great work ladies!

NORML Women Putting Judges On The Cannabis Hot Seat

May 22nd, 2012
The UnLockrIt's time for the cannabis community to be more aware of the stands taken by judges and other public servants when it comes to marijuana, and the NORML Women's Alliance is taking steps to m

A Mother’s Day Declaration: “The Drug War Hurts Our Families”

May 1st, 2012


Mother’s Day: How the Drug War Hurts Families

NORML Women’s Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and other Reform Organizations Team Up for: “Cops & Moms Week of Action

Washington DC – Mothers from around the country will join with law enforcement and students at the National Press Club on May 2nd in honor of Mother’s Day. The press conference will launch a new coalition of national organizations that will represent mothers, police and students that seek to finally end the disastrous drug war. The NORML Women’s Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Student for Sensible Drug Policy and others will share powerful stories of losing loved ones to the criminal justice system, and the social repercussions of prohibition.  The coalition will highlight a series of activities around the country timed to Mother’s Day.

Sabrina Fendrick, Coordinator for the NORML Women’s Alliance gave the following statement:

 “‘Mother’s Day’ was derived out of an intensely political effort to organize women on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line against the Civil War. The reason mothers were made the vehicle was because they were the ones whose children were dying in that war. Women were also largely responsible for ending alcohol prohibition.  This is more than just a ‘greeting-card holiday,’ this is the beginning of an institutional change in our society. The government’s war on drugs is unacceptable. For our children’s sake, the concerned mothers of the world are being called on to demand the implementation of a rational, responsible, reality-based drug and marijuana policy.”

Leaders of the campaign who will be speaking at the press conference include former Maryland narcotics cop and Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Neill Franklin; Vice-Chair of the NORML Women’s Alliance and proud mother, Diane Fornbacher; Aaron Houston, Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), Kathie Kane-Willis a Chicago social worker whose son died from an overdose two years ago; Joy Strickland, CEO of Mothers Against Teen Violence, Nina Graves (Delaware), a mother and former assistant chief of police and others.  Moms United to End the Drug War will also be unveiling a “Moms Bill of Rights.”

Event Details:

What: Mother’s Day press conference announcing coalition between moms, cops and students against the war on drugs.  Followed by a nationwide “Cops & Moms Week of Action”.
When:  May 2, 2012 at 10 a.m.
Where: National Press Club – Washington, D.C.
Who:   NORML Women’s Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Moms United to End the Drug War, and the Drug Policy Alliance.

Support the NORML Women's Alliance with - Donate with WePay