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NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform »

Working to reform marijuana laws
  • Read more by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

    In an interview with NPR released today, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens came out in support for marijuana legalization. When asked if he believed the federal government should legalize marijuana, the 94 year old former Justice replied: “Yes, I really think that that’s another instance of public opinion [that's] changed. And recognize that the distinction between marijuana and alcoholic beverages is really not much of a distinction. Alcohol, the prohibition against selling and dispensing alcoholic beverages has I think been generally, there’s a general consensus that it was […]

  • Read more by Mitch Earleywine

    A new study on marijuana appeared in Journal of the American Heart Association. These are interesting data, but we have to interpret them very carefully. Sure, we know cannabis can raise heart rate briefly, but most users develop tolerance to the effect. We’ve also seen (in a much larger sample) that it doesn’t increase mortality rates even among survivors of heart attacks. But the new study made the news anyway. Investigators specifically searched a French database where physicians are legally bound to report any drug-related case that they view as […]

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    The Arizona Supreme Court this week rejected a 1990 state law that classified the presence of inert THC metabolites in blood or urine as a per se traffic safety violation. The Court concluded: "Because the legislature intended to prevent impaired driving, we hold that the 'metabolite' reference in § 28-1381(A)(3) is limited to any of a proscribed substance’s metabolites that are capable of causing impairment. Accordingly, ... drivers cannot be convicted of the (A)(3) offense based merely on the presence of a non-impairing metabolite that may reflect the prior usage of marijuana."

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    The enactment of state laws legalizing the physician-recommended use of cannabis therapy is not associated with increased levels of marijuana use by young people, according to data published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Investigators concluded, “This study did not find increases in adolescent marijuana use related to legalization of medical marijuana. … This suggests that concerns about ‘sending the wrong message’ may have been overblown. … Our study … may provide some reassurance to policy makers who wish to balance compassion for individuals who have been unable to find relief from conventional medical therapies with the safety and well-being of youth.”

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Alaska voters will decide this November on a proposed initiative to regulate the production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. If enacted, Alaska will be the third US state to regulate the legal retail production and sale of cannabis to adults.

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    African Americans are arrested for marijuana possession offenses in Minnesota at a rate that is more than six-times higher than that of Caucasians, according to an analysis of 2011 FBI arrest data released today by the nonpartisan think-tank Minnesota 2020 and commissioned in part by Minnesota NORML. The report estimated that the collateral costs of a low-level marijuana arrest may total as much as $76,000 over the course of a decade, including attorney fees, fines, costs associated with attending mandatory drug treatment, lost income and job prospects, and barriers to public assistance and federal aid.

  • Read more by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director

    Dear NORML members and supporters, We all find ourselves this weekend at the precipice of the year’s most propitious date on the calendar for cannabis consumers and freedom lovers: April 20th. As always, there will be large public gatherings all around America (and other countries too) to celebrate the responsible adult use of cannabis. The day is a cultural phenomenon, with both substantial media output (some entire cable networks broadcast cannabis-centric programming and entertainment–like Comedy Central) and coverage of public celebrations (cities like Denver expect downtown public pot celebrations drawing […]

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Using high–resolution MRI imaging, scientists identified specific changes in particular regions of the brain that they inferred were likely due to marijuana exposure. Notably, however, these changes did not appear to be associated with any overt adverse effects in subjects’ actual cognition or behavior.

  • Read more by Sabrina Fendrick, Director of Women's Outreach

    Tampa, FL – On Sunday April 13th, people came from all parts of the sunshine state to the to attend the first statewide Florida NORML conference at the University of South Florida.   While the most  critical topic of the day was Question 2 (Florida’s medical marijuana ballot initiative) to be voted on in the November election, there was also a diverse range of information presented by conference speakers such as student rights on campus, organizing and social media outreach. Panelists consisted of a group of nationally recognized advocates and some of […]

  • Read more by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director

    By Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D State University of New York at Albany Chair, NORML board of directors A new study claims to show small deficits on neuropsychological tests in college students who started smoking marijuana early in life. It might get a lot of press. Prohibitionists love to bang the drum of marijuana-related cognitive deficits, so I’d like NORMLites to know how to make sense of this sort of research. The recurring themes in this literature involve several alternative explanations that never seem to dawn on journalists. These results often arise […]







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