Criminal marijuana prohibition is a failure. Over 20 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses since 1965. NORML believes that the time has come to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, taxation, regulation, and education.

Marijuana prohibition causes far more problems than it solves, and results in the needless arrest of hundreds of thousands of otherwise law abiding citizens each year. The NORML Legal Committee provides legal support and assistance to victims of the current marijuana laws.

Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans. According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. Our public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it.

The mission of the NORML Business Network [NBN] is to encourage the development of responsible, sustainable enterprises that seek to serve their community and set a positive example for the growing cannabis industry. The NBN highlights new and growing marijuana-related business partners that have shown a commitment to responsible consumer engagement, environmental protection, and to using their business as a platform for social change.

For 40 years, NORML has served as a clearinghouse for marijuana-related information. Much of this information is now available online in NORML's Library.

NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform »

Working to reform marijuana laws
  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Marijuana smoke exposure is not positively associated with the development of cancers of the head or neck, according to the results of a systematic literature review published online ahead of print in the journal Archives of Oral Biology. “The result of this study indicated no association between lifetime marijuana use and the risk for development of head and neck cancer,” authors concluded.

  • Read more by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel

    My continuing travels to some of the more interesting marijuana legalization events around the country (and one coming up in Jamaica) brought me this past weekend to Las Vegas to attend the 2nd Annual Las Vegas Hempfest on Saturday. The Las Vegas Hempfest, which licensed the name from the original Seattle Hempfest, was held outside the city’s convention center with two stages, lots of good music, and scores of industry exhibitors. Tommy Chong was the star of the show, and received a lifetime achievement award from the Hempfest organizers. Our […]

  • Read more by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Coordinator

    State and Local Excitement filled the air at this year’s Boston Freedom Rally as Massachusetts voters consider two initiatives aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana in 2016. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and Bay State Repeal are both working to collect the signatures needed to qualify for next November’s ballot. Bay State Repeal, a measure backed by MassCann NORML was a big hit at the Freedom Rally California NORML’s partnership with ReformCA will guarantee responsible marijuana consumers an opportunity to have their voices heard as stakeholders continue to weigh […]

  • Read more by Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director

    Marijuana law reform is a growing topic of discussion at the state and federal level. Below is this week’s edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up — a new post we’ll be sharing regularly where we spotlight pending marijuana law reform legislation from around the country.

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Regulations permitting state-licensed medical cannabis dispensaries to also engage in retail sales to those ages 21 or older take effect on Thursday, October 1. An estimated 200 facilities are anticipated to begin providing cannabis to adults.

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Patients who possess legal access to cannabis frequently substitute it in place of alcohol and prescription drugs, according to survey data published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review. “Substituting cannabis for one or more of alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription drugs was reported by 87 percent of respondents, with 80.3 percent reporting substitution for prescription drugs, 51.7 percent for alcohol, and 32.6 percent for illicit substances,” they reported.

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    According to the 2014 Uniform Crime Report, police made 700,993 arrests for marijuana-related offenses, some 7,500 more arrests than were reported in 2013. Of those arrested, 619,808 (over 88 percent) were charged with possession only -- a two percent increase since 2013.

  • Read more by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel

    I just returned last evening from the 26th annual Boston Freedom Rally on the historic Boston Common, a lovely event that has become more celebration than protest as Massachusetts moves ever closer to ending prohibition and fully legalizing marijuana. The weather this year was fabulous, with bright blue autumn New England skies and comfortable fall temperatures, the crowds were huge, especially on Saturday (the largest crow I recall experiencing in my twenty-plus years attending), and the overwhelming feeling was one of confident optimism at this latest Freedom Rally, as Massachusetts […]

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Self-reported use of marijuana by high-school students is significantly lower today than it was 15 years ago, according to an analysis of CDC data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. "People have been very quick to say that marijuana use is going up and up and up in this country, particularly now that marijuana has become more normalized," study leader Renee M. Johnson, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor in the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School said in a press release. "What we are seeing is that ... the rates of marijuana use have actually fallen."

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Chronic pain patients who use herbal cannabis daily for one-year report reduced discomfort and increased quality of life compared to controls, and do not experience an increased risk of serious side effects, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Pain. The study is one of the first ever to assess the long-term safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis.

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