Category: law enforcement

Voters Legalize Marijuana, States Dismiss Hundreds of Pending Marijuana Cases

Many wondered just what the exact effects of passing a marijuana legalization law would be. Some speculated no good would come of passing a state law while it is still in conflict with federal law. Now that we are a few weeks out from passing the two very first marijuana legalization measures in this country, we are beginning to have answers to these questions. In addition to the legalization of personal possession (and cultivation of 6 plants in Colorado) that is set to go into effect on December 6th in […]

Colorado and Washington Legalized Marijuana Tuesday, What Happens Now?

Tuesday night, the states of Colorado and Washington sent a loud and clear message to the federal government that they no longer wish to enforce the futile prohibition on cannabis. The symbolic impact of these victories are immediate, but what are the practical effects on the ground now that these two initiatives have been approved? WASHINGTON In Washington State, regulations for the marijuana retail outlets are going to start being drafted by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. This process is expected to last about a year. The immediate impact […]

Marijuana Arrests Decline In 2011, But Still Total Half Of All Illicit Drug Violations

Police made 757,969 arrests in 2011 for marijuana-related offenses, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The total is a decrease from past years. During the years 2006 to 2010, police annually made over 800,000 arrests for cannabis violations. According to the report, marijuana arrests now comprise one-half of all illicit drug arrests in the United States. Approximately 43 percent of all drug violations are for cannabis possession. “As in past years, the so-called ‘drug war’ remains fueled by the arrests of minor marijuana […]

Study: Over 200,000 Marijuana Arrests In Colorado Over Past 25 Years

In the 25 years from 1986 to 2010, police and sheriffs’ departments in Colorado made 210,000 arrests for the crime of possessing small amounts of marijuana, according to a report released today by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project. The study finds that cannabis arrests have risen sharply in the state, from 4,000 in 1986 to 10,500 in 2010, and that young people are most likely to among those arrested. According to the report, eighty-six percent of those arrested for cannabis offenses were age 34 or younger; 79 percent were 29 […]

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

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 Cannabis Prohibition Turns 75-Years-Old Today

In a milestone that will no doubt go largely unnoticed by the mainstream media, today marks the 75th anniversary of the enactment of federal marijuana prohibition. On October 1, 1937, the US government criminally outlawed the possession and cultivation of cannabis — setting into motion a public policy that today results in some 850,000 arrests per year and has led to more than 20 million arrests since 1965. But times are changing. Now, for the first time, a majority of Americans say that they favor replacing this failed policy with […]

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

“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.

Feds Target Harborside Health Center — California’s Largest, Most Prominent Medical Cannabis Dispensary

Many of California’s most prominent and well-respected medical cannabis dispensaries and related facilities — including Oaksterdam University, Berkeley Patients Group, and Harborside Health Center (HHC) — flourished under the George W. Bush administration. But they’ll be lucky to survive President Barack Obama’s first term. On Tuesday, federal prosecutors targeted Harborside Health Center in Oakland, as well as its sister facility in San Jose, for closure and civil asset forfeiture. In court papers filed by the US Attorney for the northern district of California, Melinda Haag, the federal government alleges that […]

Chicago: City Council Votes To Remove Criminal Misdemeanor Penalties For Pot Possession

The American public is fed up with the criminalization of cannabis. And now, more and more politicians are finally starting to get the message. This afternoon, members of the Chicago City Council voted overwhelmingly to halt the practice of arresting minor marijuana offenders. By a vote of 43 to 3, members of the Council approved a new municipal ordinance that reduces most marijuana possession offenses to a ticket-like offense — no arrest, no jail, and no criminal record. Under present law, the possession of any amount of marijuana is defined […]

Reefer Madness in America: Another Arrest Statistic Speaks To The Horror and Waste of Cannabis Prohibition

At NORML, we’re always a little hesitant to broadly publicize the plights of what are hundreds of thousands of victims annually of Cannabis Prohibition laws. NORML’s snail mail overflows daily with letters and pleas of help from our brothers and sisters incarcerated on cannabis-only related offenses and while the organization replies to all with 1) support and encouragement for them to keep persevering, 2) affirming to them that America’s cannabis laws are overly harsh and punitive, and 3) that their legal plight is recognized and, in turn, fodder to help […]