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420: Take Action to End Prohibition!

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  • Setting The Record Straight One of NORML’s primary missions is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults. One of the ways we successfully achieve this goal is by debunking marijuana myths and half-truths via the publication of timely op-eds in online and print media. Since the mainstream media seldom casts a critical eye toward many of the more over-the-top claims about cannabis, we take it upon ourselves to set the record straight. The majority of NORML’s rebuttals are penned by Deputy Director Paul Armentano. In the past few weeks, he has published numerous op-eds rebuking a litany of popular, but altogether specious claims about the cannabis plant – including the contentions that cannabis consumption is linked to heart attacks, psychosis, violence, and a rise in emergency room visits and traffic fatalities, among other allegations. Below are links to a sampling of his recent columns.: Major ‘drugged driving’ report’s findings prove overblown Attorney General Jeff Sessions thinks legalizing pot increases violent crime – he’s wrong The evidence is overwhelming; cannabis is an exit drug fro major addictions, not a gateway to new ones Pot, heart attacks, and the media hype cycle The five biggest lies about pot – and how to rebut them Trump administration’s dubious claims about pot and opioids are dead wrong Debunking the latest viral pot paranoid theory Three new scientific studies that debunk conventional marijuana myths You’d be crazy to believe the ‘reefer madness’ study For a broader sampling of NORML-centric columns and media hits, please visit NORML’s ‘In the Media’ archive here. If you see the importance of NORML’s educational and media outreach efforts, please feel free to show your support by making a contribution here....
  • Vermont Governor Phil Scott Vetoes Marijuana Legalization Republican Gov. Phil Scott today rejected legislation, Senate Bill 22, that sought to eliminate criminal and civil penalties for the adult use and possession of marijuana. The Governor said that he did not support the legislation as written, but that remains open to working with lawmakers over the summer on ways to amend the state’s cannabis policies. Representatives from the Vermont Association of Police Chiefs, the Vermont Medical Society, and the Vermont American Academy of Pediatrics were among those groups opposing S. 22. “It is disappointing that Gov. Scott would not only defy the will of of state legislators, but also the will of the majority of Vermont voters who support ending criminal penalties for those adults who consume cannabis responsibly,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. “Minor marijuana possession offenders should not be saddled with a criminal record and the lifelong penalties and stigma associated with it. Rather than looking to the future, Gov. Scott seems intent on repeating the failures of the past.” Senate Bill 22 would have amended state law so that the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and/or the cultivation of up to two mature plants (and up to four immature plants) would have no longer been subject to penalty, beginning July 1, 2018. It also established a nine member commission to make recommendations to the legislature regarding how best to regulate the adult use marijuana market. State lawmakers approved the measure earlier this month. It was the first time that a legislative body ever approved legislation eliminating criminal and civil penalties for adults who possess or grow marijuana for non-medical purposes. House lawmakers in 2016 rejected similar legislation. That measure had been supported by former Gov. Peter Shumlin....
  • President Trump Compliments Leader Who Executes His Citizens for Drug Charges If the latest comments and memos coming out of Attorney General Sessions’ Department of Justice didn’t raise concerns about the Trump Administration’s potential plans to reignite our nation’s failed war on drugs, his recent call with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte should sound alarm bells. A reminder: President Duterte has extrajudicially executed thousands of his own citizens on drug charges during his tenure leading the country. The Washington Post received a transcript of the phone call and describes Trump’s comments on Duterte’s drug “policy” as follows: …in their call [Trump] praised Duterte for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.” “Many countries have the problem, we have the problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that,” Trump said, according to the transcript. After Duterte replied that drugs are the “scourge of my nation now and I have to do something to preserve the Filipino nation,” Trump appeared to take a swipe at his predecessor, Barack Obama, who had canceled a bilateral meeting with Duterte after the Philippines leader insulted him. “I understand that and fully understand that and I think we had a previous president who did not understand that,” Trump said. Read the full story in The Washington Post here. ...
  • Online Debate: NORML Versus Project SAM The Asbury Park Press and other Gannett newspaper affiliates, including USA Today, published a fairly extensive online debate on Sunday between myself and Project SAM co-founder Kevin Sabet under the header “Should We Make Marijuana Legal?” I respond to numerous alarmist claims throughout the interview, including allegations that regulating the adult use of cannabis send s mixed message to youth, leads to increased use by young people, that cannabis is a gateway drug, and even the notion that marijuana prohibitionists are out-funded by reform advocates (as if)! Here’s an excerpt: Gov. Christie, who has consistently opposed legalization of marijuana, contends pot is a so-called gateway drug, that people who use pot will eventually graduate to harder, more dangerous substances. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it hasn’t found a definitive answer on that question yet. What is your position and what are the most definitive studies you can cite to bolster it? Armentano: It is time for politicians to put to rest the myth that cannabis is a gateway to the use of other controlled substances — a theory that is neither supported by modern science or empirical data. More than 60 percent of American adults acknowledge having tried cannabis, but the overwhelming majority of these individuals never go on to try another illicit substance. And by the time these individuals reach age 30, most of them have significantly decreased their cannabis use or no longer indulge in the substance at all. Further, nothing in marijuana’s chemical composition alters the brain in a manner that makes users more susceptible to experimenting with other drugs. That’s why both the esteemed Institute of Medicine and the RAND Corporation’s Drug Policy Research Center conclude, “Marijuana has no causal influence over hard drug initiation.” By contrast, a growing body of evidence now exists to support the counter notion that, for many people, cannabis serves as a path away from the use of more dangerous substances — including opioids, alcohol, prescription drugs, cocaine and tobacco. You can read and comment on the entire online debate here. If you are a New Jersey resident, you can also take action in support of marijuana law reform in the Garden State here....
  • Las Vegas NORML Ramps up Advocacy Efforts With state lawmakers in Nevada quickly approaching their fast-tracked deadline of July 1st to implement the state’s new adult-use marijuana program, NORML is focused on ramping up our activism efforts in Las Vegas! Over the past two months, we’ve been busy planning, attending legislative hearings, tabling at events, doing community outreach, volunteering at our local community garden, and more to get the word out about our new chapter, and post-legalization activism in Las Vegas. So far during the 2017 legislative session, there have been several key pieces of legislation introduced. One of the most important bills that we’re currently pushing is Senator Tick Segerblom’s SB 329, which would safeguard many protections for marijuana patients and the legal marijuana industry. These protections include re-establishing patient grow rights, allowing medical marijuana research facilities, allowing marijuana establishments to be organized as a corporation, and adds PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. Another important piece of legislation that we’re watching closely is SB 236; if adopted by lawmakers, this legislation would permit social use marijuana clubs across Nevada. With the issue of social marijuana consumption quickly becoming a main issue for marijuana advocates in post-legalization states, Las Vegas NORML believes this legislation would be the first step in providing marijuana consumers with a safe and legally defined space to responsibly consume their legally purchased marijuana. To learn more, join us for our next meeting on Tuesday, May 23rd where we’ll discuss the various pieces of marijuana-related legislation in Nevada! Get involved and invite your friends! Creating a Space for Marijuana Activism We’re at a crucial time in the legislative session, so we need our members and supporters to speak-up for Nevada marijuana consumers by urging their representatives to support marijuana-related legislation. To help facilitate this, Las Vegas NORML has organized a postcard writing party! This will give everyone a chance to share their personal stories and reasons why they support marijuana legislation with their lawmakers. We also have two guest speakers from Nevada’s marijuana industry that will be joining us: DB Labs and Sahara Wellness. DB Labs will be educating our members on marijuana testing in Nevada, and Sahara Wellness will be sharing their story of helping patients in the community. Plus we’ll have event sign-ups, membership packages, legislative updates, and even FREE SNACKS! Who can say no to that? Be sure to RSVP using our Facebook Event Page, and invite all of your friends in Las Vegas! For more information on Las Vegas NORML, please find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or email us at LasVegasNORMLchapter@gmail.com. ...

420: Take Action to End Prohibition!

April 20
17:44 2017

420: Take Action to End Prohibition!

  • by NORML
    April 20, 2017
    Comments

    Happy 420 to all!

    Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition and replacing it with regulation. The historic votes on Election Day 2016 — when a majority of voters in California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada decided at the ballot box to regulate the adult use of marijuana, and several other states passed medical marijuana legalization laws — underscore this political reality., as do just-released polling data from CBS finding that a record high 61 percent of Americans say marijuana use should be legal.

    It is time for the Congress, and your elected officials, to respect the will of the majority of American citizens.

    Email your members of Congress and demand an end to federal prohibition.

    At NORML, we started working to legalize marijuana in 1970, when only 12 percent of the public supported marijuana legalization. For several decades, as we gradually built support for our position, our political progress was modest at best. We decriminalized minor marijuana offenses in 11 states in the mid-1970s, following the release of the report of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. But then the mood of the country turned more conservative (think Nancy Reagan, “Just Say NO,’ and the emergence of the parents’ movement) and we made little further statewide progress over the next 18 years. The tide turned in 1996 when California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Today, a total of 30 states now recognize medical marijuana by statute and eight states have legalized its adult use.

    We’ve achieved these successes solely for one reason: the hard work and struggle of you and so many others

    We need to continue the fight until no American is subject to arrest for responsibly consuming marijuana, so tell your member of Congress to end prohibition now.

    Happy Holidays to you and your friends and family,

    The NORML Team

    P.S. Our work is supported by thousands of people throughout the country as we work to advance marijuana reform in all 50 states and at the federal level. Can you kick in $4.20, $10 or $20 a month to help us keep going?

    P.P.S. Have you picked up your NORML gear? Check out our store today

    Tags : 4/20, action, cannabis, Congress, contact, elected officials, marijuana, NORML, prohibition
    Posted in : ACTIVISM
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