Author: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Suit Before Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals Seeks To Halt Federal Actions Against California’s Medical Cannabis Providers

On Wednesday, October 24, a group of California dispensary operators, medical cannabis providers, and patients, as Plaintiffs, filed their Opening Brief before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, asking the Circuit Court to hold that Plaintiffs, in their continuing litigation against the Federal Government, have a constitutional Ninth Amendment and Substantive Due Process fundamental right to distribute, possess and use medical cannabis. The brief, filed by members of the NORML Legal Committee, also contends that the Federal Government’s criminal prohibition of medical cannabis has no rational basis […]

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 […]

End Criminal Sanctions For Growing And Possessing Cannabis, British Study Says

Possessing and cultivating personal use amounts of cannabis should no longer be a criminal offense, according to the recommendations of a six-year study released last week by a coalition of leading British drug policy experts, treatment specialists, and law enforcement. The study, commissioned by the UK Drug Policy Commission, argues that decriminalizing minor cannabis offenses will reduce police and prosecutorial costs without adversely impacting levels of illicit drug use. The UK Drug Policy Commission is an independent charity “that provides objective analysis of the evidence concerning drug policies and practice.” […]

Appeals Court To Review DEA’s Dismissal Of Cannabis Rescheduling Petition

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear opening arguments next week in a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s refusal to consider reclassifying cannabis as a schedule I prohibited substance under federal law. At issue in the case is whether the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) acted appropriately when the agency last year denied an administrative petition – initially filed by a coalition of public interest organizations, including NORML, in 2002 – that called on the agency to initiate hearings to reassess the present classification of cannabis. Under […]

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 […]

Connecticut’s Medical Cannabis Law Takes Effect Today

This morning Connecticut officially became the 17th state since 1996 to allow for the physician-authorized use of cannabis as a therapeutic option for qualified patients. House Bill 5389 — the Palliative Use of Marijuana Act — which was signed into law on by Democrat Gov. Dan Malloy on June 1, took effect today. Online registration for qualifying patients and their physicians is now available from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection here. Applicable qualifying medical conditions under the law include: cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired […]

Last Chance To Register For NORML’s 41st Annual National Conference

These are the last days to register online to attend NORML’s 2012 national conference, ‘The Final Days of Prohibition,’ taking place Thursday, October 4th through Saturday, October 6th at The Omni Los Angeles Hotel. Former CA Assemblyman and peace activist Tom Hayden will speak on Thursday morning. Best-selling travel author and TV host Rick Steves and NORML Founder Keith Stroup will address attendees at Friday’s Keynote luncheon, "Observations on the Final Days of Prohibition". Round-table sessions and plenary speeches at NORML’s 41st annual conference include: Pot-n-Politics 2012: A Review of […]

Most Statewide Marijuana Initiatives Lead Solidly In Polls

Four of the six statewide marijuana initiatives appearing on the November 2012 ballot are solidly favored among likely voters. Voters in six states – Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, Oregon, and Washington – will be deciding on marijuana-specific ballot measures this November. In Massachusetts, voters will decide on Question 3, a statewide proposal that seeks to allow for the physician-recommended possession and state-licensed distribution of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Arkansas voters will decide on a similar measure, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act of 2012. Montana voters will decide on Initiative Referendum […]

Montana: Supreme Court Says Patients Possess No Fundamental Right To Cannabis

Members of the Montana Supreme Court ruled 6 to 1 on Tuesday that patients do not possess a fundamental right to access and consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The decision reverses a District Court ruling enjoining the state from enforcing various provisions of a 2011 state law that limits the public’s access to medical marijuana. “In pursuing one’s health, an individual has a fundamental right to obtain and reject medical treatment,” Justice Michael Wheat opined for the majority. “But, this right does not extend to give a patient a fundamental […]

Michigan: Four Cities To Decide On Marijuana Depenalization Ordinances

Voters in four Michigan cities will decide this November on municipal ordinances seeking to legalize or depenalize local marijuana offenses. City officials in Flint, Michigan most recently approved a citizens initiative to amend the city code so that the possession on private property of up to one ounce of marijuana or cannabis paraphernalia by those age 19 or older is no longer a criminal offense. Proponents of the ordinance submitted over 1,000 signatures from registered Flint voters to place the proposal on the November ballot. Voters in Detroit will similarly […]