Category: GOVERNMENT

Senator Leahy: After Spending Billions on the War on Drugs…Well, We’ve Lost

The Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the most senior member of the Senate, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) again spoke out against the War on Drugs today during a briefing on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s upcoming agenda. “The fact that so many people, especially young people, go to prison for a relatively minor thing, a drug offense. And then you ask, why can’t they get jobs afterward? Why do they have problems from then on? I think we have spent tens of billions, hundreds of billions of dollars on […]

NY Governor Cuomo Reaffirms Commitment to Marijuana Decriminalization

In his State of the State address, delivered this morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reaffirmed his commitment to reforming his state’s marijuana laws. The governor proposed decriminalizing the possession of 15 grams of marijuana in public view to a civil violation. Currently only possession of marijuana in private is decriminalized, possession in public view is still currently a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250 with a maximum sentence of 90 days. “These arrests stigmatize, they criminalize, they create a permanent record. It’s not fair, it’s not […]

White House: “We’re in the Midst of a Serious National Conversation on Marijuana”

In October of 2011, the White House issued an official response to a petition NORML submitted via their We the People outreach program on the topic of marijuana legalization. Despite being one of the most popular petitions at the site’s launch, the answer we received was far from satisfactory. Penned by Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, the response featured most of the typical government talking points. He stated that marijuana is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment and that its use is a concern to public health. “We also […]

NORMLIZE CONGRESS: Marijuana Law Reform Heating Up in 2013

The votes this past November in Colorado and Washington to regulate marijuana for adults have sparked a fire of change that seems to be spreading across the country. This month, both state and federal legislatures will return to work to kick off the 2013 legislative session and it is already shaping up to be one of the busiest in recent memory for marijuana reformers.

Tell Obama To ‘Just Say No’ to Joe

A White House online petition telling Obama to listen to the voters of Colorado and Washington about the future of cannabis legalization, not the famously anti-cannabis/pro drug war architect Vice President Joe Biden, only needs 7,000 more signatures to be brought to the president’s attention. The signatures are needed by Wednesday, January 9. If you’ve not yet taken a moment to let the White House know that you too support the voters of Colorado and Washington, please sign the online petition to put it over the top, and get the […]

2012: The Year In Review — NORML’s Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

#1 Colorado and Washington Vote To Legalize Marijuana Voters in Colorado and Washington made history by approving ballot measures allowing for the personal possession and consumption of cannabis by adults. Washington’s law, which removes criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use (as well as the possession of up to 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form), took effect on December 6. Colorado’s law, which allows for the legal possession of up to […]

Florida Attorney General ‘Just Says No’ To Medical Marijuana

Please find below a recent memo from Florida Attorney General’s office rejecting activist’s petition to reschedule marijuana for medical access. This is notable because Florida is a top five political bellwether state, with an aging population, NORML receives more requests from Florida residents than anywhere else in the country to reform local medical cannabis laws. Unfortunately, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office has rejected a petition from the Cannabis Action Network to reschedule cannabis so that sick, dying and sense-threatened medical patients with a doctor’s recommendation can possess and use […]

U.S. Law Enforcement Seeking To Use Drones For Domestic Policing

Electronic Freedom Foundation board member and drug policy reform activist John Gilmore memo: EFF.ORG (where I’m on the board) filed a Freedom of Information request to FAA about “drones” (Unmanned Aerial Systems, or UAS’s). It’s taken the FAA a long time to release info; they sent us another batch recently.  This includes several thousand pages of drone authorizations for law enforcement agencies, universities, and the military. View EFF-created map of law enforcement ‘drone’ projects here. Once again, we see in these records that law enforcement agencies want to use drones […]

Alternet: “Will Obama Go After Legal Pot In Washington And Colorado?”

It has been nearly seven weeks since voters in Colorado and Washington made history, enacting at the ballot box unprecedented measures legalizing the adult possession on cannabis. Yet during this time, federal officials have largely remained silent. One week ago, US Attorney General Eric Holder cryptically told Bloomberg News that the administration will formally announce its intentions “relatively soon,” but added no further details. Most recently, on Friday, President Obama told ABC News’ Barbara Walters: “It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after […]

Arizona Superior Court Judge: State-Licensed Dispensing Of Medical Cannabis Is Not Preempted By Federal Law

A 2010 voter-approved Arizona state law authorizing “the local cultivation, sale, and use, of medical marijuana” is not preempted by the federal Controlled Substances Act, according to the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County. The ruling, issued earlier this month by Superior Court Judge Michael Gordon, allows for the establishment of state-licensed medicinal cannabis dispensaries within Arizona — the first of which opened its doors last week. State-licensed medical marijuana facilities now operate in several states, including Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Maine. A majority of Arizona voters approved […]