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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

    Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal signed legislation late yesterday significantly reducing criminal penalties for marijuana possession offenses.

  • Read more by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel

    Without doubt, it is important that we begin to move forward with the legalization of lounges and social clubs that permit marijuana smokers to gather and enjoy their favorite strains. Marijuana smoking is a social activity, and most smokers would like the option of dropping by a local marijuana-friendly venue, to relax with friends and like-minded colleagues. Currently, none of the four states that have fully legalized marijuana allow for this option. Smoking in a public venue is prohibited, and the authorities have taken a needlessly restrictive view of what […]

  • Read more by Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director

    Members of the US Senate at a hearing yesterday expressed skepticism in regard to federal policies limiting the ability of investigators to engage in clinical studies of marijuana’s health benefits. Senators heard from representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and Project SAM on a variety of issues The hearing’s most noteworthy moment came when Nora Volkow, director of NIDA, acknowledged that the monopoly on marijuana cultivation for research purposes […]

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    It bears repeating that ample scientific research already exists to contradict cannabis’ federal, schedule I status as a substance without medical utility, lacking acceptable safety, and possessing a high potential of abuse. More clinical research is welcome, but unfortunately science has never driven marijuana policy. If it did, the United States would already have a very different policy in place.

  • Read more by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel

    Shona Banda suffers from Crohn’s disease, and has found, as have many Crohn’s sufferers, that medical marijuana provides her with effective relief and allows her to manage her illness and live a somewhat normal life. Specifically, Banda uses cannabis oil. The problem is she lives in, Garden City, Kansas, a state that does not yet recognize the medical uses of marijuana. And when her 11-year old son spoke up in his drug education class to challenge some of the anti-marijuana allegations being taught to the children – and shared the […]

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed legislation today decriminalizing minor marijuana possession offenses.

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Nearly six out of ten New Jersey adults favor legalizing the use and sale of marijuana, according to the results of a Rutgers-Eagleton poll. Support for legalization was highest among those age 18 to 34 (67 percent), Democrats (64 percent), and Independents (61 percent). Support was lowest among Republicans (41 percent) and those over the age of 65 (47 percent).

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    The enactment of state laws legalizing the use and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes has not caused an increase in marijuana use by adolescents, according to the results of a federally funded study published this week in Lancet Psychiatry. Investigators concluded, "[T]he results of this study showed no evidence for an increase in adolescent marijuana use after the passage of state laws permitting use of marijuana for medical purposes. ... [C]oncerns that increased marijuana use is an unintended effect of state marijuana laws seems unfounded."

  • Read more by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel

    Many observers were shocked and saddened when Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who is authorized to use medical marijuana under Colorado state law, was fired from his job with Dish Network in 2010 after a positive drug test. Dish failed to make an exception for Coats, who used marijuana while off duty to control his seizures, and the company insisted on his being fired, leaving Coats no choice but to challenge this issue in court. Specifically, Coats claimed that his conduct should have been permitted under the state’s Lawful Off-Duty Activities […]

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Members of the Colorado Supreme Court have unanimously affirmed lower courts' rulings that employers possess the authority to fire employees for their off-the-job use of marijuana. The Court found that the plant's legal status under state law does not make the act of consuming cannabis "lawful" under the state's Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute.