Progress toward reforming our drug laws (especially with regards to establishing a government regulatory system for marijuana) has been undeniable, (the latest polls show support for marijuana legalization teetering around 50%), and according to recent national opinion polls by Pew Research Center, Gallup and others, the dramatic rise in public support for this issue is being driven primarily by an increase in support among America's women. Yet, despite this increase in support, almost every poll shows women lagging in support by an average of five to ten percentage points behind men.
Women are a significant voting demographic, and major stakeholders in the fight for marijuana law reform, but they continue to have reservations about changing the status quo. Further, for many women, even those who are supporters of reform, there also remains a stigma associated with the reform movement. Further, the cross-cutting pressures that women face when it comes to marijuana legalization make them less likely to speak out and educate those around them. Women have a very unique experience when it comes to marijuana and marijuana prohibition.
The NORML Foundation understands the importance of engaging this constituency and constructively addressing their unique concerns and [mis]conceptions surrounding this debate. We are committed to engaging women and closing the gender gap—both in women's support for reform and in their ability and willingness to participate publicly in the national marijuana debate. Through the dissemination of facts, charts, graphs, and statistics and personal stories, this section provides information on the negative effects of marijuana prohibition, with a focus on women and children as well as alternatives to the current policy such as government regulation. Currently, the Director of Women's Outreach coordinates and promotes this information by providing media interviews, publishing editorial pieces in news outlets, presenting at lectures and conferences and highlighting emerging research.