Category: drug war

Joseph McNamara RIP: Champion Against Cops Drug Warring

A genuinely early and respected voice against the war on some drugs passed away Friday, September 19 in California. Joe McNamara was a former police chief in Kansas City and San Jose who, in the late 1980s, started to both write and lecture about the need for substantive changes in law enforcement practices (and that the law enforcement community and establishment inherently should SUPPORT drug law policy reform, not reflexively oppose it). Joe is often credited with being the ‘father of community policing’. When I first arrived at NORML in […]

Philadelphia City Council Overwhelmingly Approves Decriminalization of Marijuana Possession

Today, the full Philadelphia City Council voted 13 to 3 in support of a measure that would lower the penalty for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a civil infraction, punishable by a $25 fine. All 13 of the Democratic members of the City Council voted for it and all three Republicans voted against. The measure now goes to Philadelphia Mayor Nutter’s desk for signature. NORML’s local chapter, Philly NORML, has been working hard on advancing these reforms for many years and those efforts seem to be […]

Majority of Law Enforcement Officers Want to Reform Marijuana Laws

A survey released this week by the publication Law Officer revealed that a majority of law enforcement officers want to see our country’s marijuana laws reformed. The poll, which questioned over 11,000 law enforcement officers regarding their opinions on drug policy, revealed that just over 64% believed our marijuana laws needed to be relaxed in some form. When asked “Do you believe possession of marijuana for personal use should…” and presented with several options, 35.68% of respondents stated that marijuana be legalized, regulated and taxed, 10.84% chose that it should […]

Governor Christie’s Marijuana Plan: Say One Thing, Do Another

During his second inaugural address, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had some harsh words for our War on Drugs: “We will end the failed war on drugs that believes that incarceration is the cure of every ill caused by drug abuse,” Governor Christie stated, “We will make drug treatment available to as many of our non-violent offenders as we can and we will partner with our citizens to create a society that understands that every life has value and no life is disposable.” While critiques of the War on Drugs […]

Marijuana Legalization Returns to Center Stage in Maine

Earlier this year, we came within just 4 votes on the floor of the Maine House of Representatives on legislation that would have put marijuana legalization before state voters this fall. While that effort fell short, voters in the city of Portland will still have the chance to vote on marijuana legalization this November. Question 1 will be on the Portland ballot and would legalize the adult possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. With just two weeks left, we can use all the help we can get to […]

California Lt. Governor to Chair Blue Ribbon Panel on Marijuana Legalization

Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California, will chair a blue ribbon committee tasked with studying marijuana legalization in the state. This was announced at a joint press conference held this morning with the ACLU of California. The panel will “engage in a multi-year research effort to help voters and policy makers as they consider proposals to enact a strict tax and regulation scheme that will enable California to benefit from billions of dollars of potential revenue annually while protecting the health and safety of our children and communities.” Joining Newsom […]

White House Drug Control Budget: Failed Drug War Tactics Prioritized Over Prevention and Treatment

The Obama Administration has released its National Drug Control Budget for the FY 2014 and despite their claims that “the war on drugs is over” and that they have “bigger fish to fry” the Office National Drug Control Policy is still prioritizing failed drug war tactics over prevention and treatment. The new budget calls for 9.6 billion dollars to be spent on domestic law enforcement, 3.7 billion for interdiction, and 1.4 billion for international drug control efforts. Prevention, in the form of education and outreach efforts, receives a paltry $1.4 […]

Most Americans Want Legal Marijuana

For the first time since they began polling the question four decades ago, Pew Research Polling has released new survey data that reveals 52% of Americans want marijuana to be legalized. Only 45% were opposed. This support is spread across demographics. The Baby Boomers (50%), Generation X (54%), and Millenials (65%) all have majority support for legalization. The only age demographic that remains opposed is the Silent Generation, those born before 1942, though support in this age group has also significantly increased. 32% of this age group now support legalization, […]

Marijuana Legalization Measure Introduced in Oregon

Legislation has been introduced in Oregon by the House Committee on Revenue that would legalize and regulate the adult use of marijuana. House Bill 3371 would establish a regulatory system, similar to the one in place in the state for alcohol, for the cultivation, production, and sale of cannabis to adults over 21. Adults would be allowed to possess up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana and grow up to six plants in their homes, in addition to purchasing it from regulated retail outlets. You can read the full text […]