President-Elect Trump: Will You Support State Marijuana Laws?

Generic 10 December 2016 | 0 Comments

take_actionOver the last several weeks, we have received dozens of calls from journalists with the same question: “What does NORML think that President-Elect Trump and his Attorney General nominee Jefferson Sessions will do in regards to marijuana once in office?”

However, the best public indicators we have to go on give mixed messages. Additionally, in nearly all of the articles that NORML has been quoted in about Trump and Sessions, not one indicates that the writer had even attempted to contact the presidential transition team or Sen. Sessions.

So we’ve released our own request for clarification and we need you to join us in demanding answers as to how the federal government is going to respect the will of the voters in states that have ended prohibition.

Add your voice to the thousands calling on Trump to provide cannabis clarity TODAY.

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to take a federalist approach to marijuana stating:

“In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state… Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen — right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.”

Yet his nomination of Sen. Sessions sends a very different signal. Just this past April, he stated that  “Good people do not smoke marijuana” in the questioning of current Attorney General Loretta Lynch. His legislative track record and public comments show no intentions of ending marijuana prohibition or respecting the millions of responsible cannabis consumers throughout the country. If Senator Sessions’ personal beliefs were allowed to dictate the policies of the Justice Department, we could be in for a rough four years.

With 8 states now having legalized the adult use of marijuana and over half the country having medical marijuana programs, the American people deserve to know what President-Elect Trump’s policy towards these states will be.

Join thousands of others in signing the petition to ask President-Elect Donald Trump to answer this question and clarify his position on respecting state marijuana laws.

Going forward we must be vigilant to protect the progress we have made, keep fighting to protect the rights of responsible adults, and end finally end the prohibition of marijuana nationwide.

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Beware: Children can passively ‘smoke’ marijuana, too

Did you know that? 7 December 2016 | 0 Comments

Relaxing with a joint around children is not very wise. Not only do youngsters inhale harmful secondary smoke in the process, but the psychoactive chemicals in the drug are taken up by their bodies as well.

Kansas City: NORML Chapter’s Decriminalization Effort Qualifies For City Ballot

Generic 6 December 2016 | 0 Comments

chapter_spotlightPetitioners seeking to decriminalize municipal penalties specific to the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana have gathered sufficient signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot, a representative from the Kansas City Clerk’s office confirmed today.

The proposal, spearheaded by Kansas City NORML, amends citywide penalties from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine, punishable by a $25 fine. Similar municipal measures are currently in place in St. Louis and in Columbia, Missouri.

Members of the city council have 60 days to either act on the measure or to place it before voters this spring in a special election.

Under state law, the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. On January 1, new sentencing provisions will take effect reclassifying the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana as a Class D misdemeanor, punishable by a fine but no jail.

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Baby boomers on dope: Recreational marijuana use is on the rise among adults over 50

Did you know that? 5 December 2016 | 0 Comments

There is a common misperception that widespread marijuana use is limited to younger generations. However, the Baby Boomer generation has reported higher rates of substance use than any preceding generation.

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President Obama Says Marijuana Should Be Treated Like Alcohol

Generic 2 December 2016 | 0 Comments

president_obamaIn a just published “exit interview” with Rolling Stone Magazine, President Barack Obama opined that marijuana use should be treated as a public-health issue, not a criminal matter, and called the current patchwork of state and federal laws regarding the drug “untenable.”

“Look, I’ve been very clear about my belief that we should try to discourage substance abuse,” Obama said. “And I am not somebody who believes that legalization is a panacea. But I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it.”

He added, “It is untenable over the long term for the Justice Department or the DEA to be enforcing a patchwork of laws, where something that’s legal in one state could get you a 20-year prison sentence in another. So this is a debate that is now ripe, much in the same way that we ended up making progress on same-sex marriage.”

Although the administration, largely in its second term, has permitted states to experiment with marijuana legalization policies without federal interference, it has not pushed strongly for any permanent changes in federal law, such as amending cannabis’ schedule I classification or permitting banks to work closely with state-licensed marijuana businesses. As a result, some marijuana law reform advocates believe that President Obama has not done enough to move the issue forward during his tenure. Responding to this criticism, Obama said: “Look, I am now very much in lame-duck status. And I will have the opportunity as a private citizen to describe where I think we need to go.”

Why Obama believes that he will have greater opportunities to address cannabis policy as a private citizen than he did as President of the United States leaves us scratching our heads, but we certainly hope that he follows through on his pledge to focus on drug policy reform in the next phase of his political career.

You can read President Obama’s exit interview with Rolling Stone in it’s entirety here.

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