Author: Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

President Obama Breaks His Silence on Marijuana Legalization: We’ve Got Bigger Fish to Fry Than Cannabis Users

Breaking his silence on the topic of marijuana legalization since two states approved ballot initiatives to regulate cannabis, President Barack Obama addressed the issue in an interview with Barbara Walters this week. While the administration’s broader policy is still being developed, the president stated that arresting recreational users in these states would not be a priority. “We’ve got bigger fish to fry. It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal. – President Obama […]

President Jimmy Carter: I’m in Favor of Legalizing Marijuana

Today, speaking to a CNN panel, Former President Jimmy Carter stated that he is in favor of legalizing marijuana. On the topic of the recently passed initiatives in Washington and Colorado, President Carter said it was in the best interest of the country for those states to be allowed to proceed with the regulation of cannabis. “I’m in favor of it. I think it’s OK, I don’t think it’s going to happen in Georgia yet, but I think we can watch and see what happens in the state of Washington, […]

Indiana State Police Chief: If It Were Up To Me, I’d Legalize and Tax Marijuana

The scent of reform and rational marijuana policies must be drifting across the Rockies into distant areas of the country, as today the Indiana State Police Chief stated that he would tax and regulate marijuana. Speaking during a budget committee hearing, Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell was asked about marijuana, his answer was quite frank: “It’s here, it’s going to stay, there’s an awful lot of victimization that goes with it. If it were up to me, I do believe I would legalize it and tax it, particularly in […]

Two of the Largest American Newspapers Opine in Favor of Allowing States to Legalize Marijuana

In the wake of the historic votes for marijuana law reform on November 6th, there has been a renewed focus on the topic and a shift in tone amongst the mainstream media. While previously, many outlets have either covered our efforts with a wink and a nod (or didn’t cover them at all), now that two states have called for the end of marijuana prohibition, reporters are rushing to cover the story. Along the way it seems they are also getting a crash course education in the concepts of civil […]

MOMENTUM: Post Election, Marijuana Law Reform Bills to be Introduced at Both State and Federal Level

The message from our big wins on Election Day has already begun to reverberate around the nation. Right on the heels of the votes in Washington and Colorado, several other states (and countries!) are already beginning to consider similar measures in their legislature. Last week, representatives from Maine and Rhode Island announced their intentions to introduce legislation that would tax and regulate marijuana in their respective states. Rep. Diane Russell of Maine and Rep. Edit Ajello from Rhode Island will be submitting these bills soon. Reports from Marijuana Policy Project […]

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 […]

WA Governor-Elect Inslee: It is the Best Interest of State and Country to Allow Legalization to Move Forward

During a press conference today, the governor-elect for the state of Washington, Jay Inslee, defended his state’s recently approved marijuana legalization initiative. He stated that he believes it is the best interest “not only of our state, but in our country” for President Obama and the federal government to allow these recently approved measures to move forward. “My belief is Washington has worked its will. The voters have spoken,” Inslee stated, “I was not supportive of the initiative but I’m going to be fully supportive of protecting, defending, and implementing […]

POLL: Americans Evenly Split on Marijuana Legalization, But Overwhelmingly View It As State Issue

Polling data released Tuesday by Rasmussen Reports shows the American public is now evenly split on the issue of marijuana legalization, with 45% in support, 45% opposed, and 10% undecided. This is up 5 points from the previous time Rasmussen polled this language in 2009, when the issue received just 40% support to 46% opposition. However, an overwhelming amount believe the issue or marijuana legalization should be left to state governments. 60% of respondents replied that it was best left to the states, while only 27% thought it was an […]

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 […]

Oregon’s Measure 80 is Voted Down in a Tight Race

Despite trailing in the polls for most of the previous months, Oregon advocates and reformers were able to close the support gap for their marijuana legalization initiative to a respectable 45% in favor and 55% opposed (with 55% of the vote counted). Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to push Measure 80 over the top. What this effort did, however, was elevate the discourse in regards to marijuana legalization in Oregon and set the stage for future efforts. We would like to thank all of those who dedicated countless hours into supporting […]