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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

    Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation today, Assembly Bill 258, to allow medical marijuana patients to receive organ transplants.

  • Read more by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel

    Oregon has now joined the growing list of states that have fully legalized marijuana. In November of 2014 the voters of Oregon approved Measure 91, with 56 percent of the vote, ending marijuana prohibition and legalizing recreational use. Under the terms of that initiative, marijuana officially became legal in Oregon last week, on July 1, 2015, allowing adults to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana in the home and up to one ounce outside the home; and to cultivate up to four plants per household, out of public view. […]

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Commissioners for Miami-Dade county voted 10 to 3 this week in favor of a countywide ordinance to treat marijuana possession offenses involving 20 grams or less as a civil infraction, punishable by a $100 fine -- no arrest, no criminal prosecution, no incarceration, and no criminal record. The new ordinance takes effect late next week.

  • Read more by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    Legislation takes effect at midnight tonight permitting adults to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use.

  • 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.