Update From NORML's 'A Different Kind Of Tea Party' Tax Day Protest

NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre presented a mock check to the U.S. Treasury Department in the sum of $14 billion this morning at a press conference on the steps of the General Post Office in New York City.
The $14 billion check total represents the combined savings and tax revenues that would be generated by regulating the sale and production of cannabis like alcohol, according to a 2005 analysis by Harvard University senior lecturer Jeffrey Miron and endorsed by over 500 distinguished economists.
Media representatives from CNN, Fox News, Sirius Satellite Radio, and other news outlets were on hand to cover the event.
“On a day when so many Americans lament having to pay state and federal income taxes, we’re representing America’s millions of otherwise law-abiding cannabis consumers, who are ready, willing, and able to contribute to our struggling economy — while providing truly ‘green’ jobs and allowing police to focus on more important priorities,” NORML told reporters. “All we ask in exchange for our $14 billion is the right to enjoy pot responsibly and in peace.”
Additional background information and photos from this morning’s event are available at The Huffington Post here, and at The Hill‘s Congress blog here. As always, NORML encourages you to leave your feedback in support of marijuana law reform at these to influential blog sites.
NORML is holding follow up, public protest later today at 4:20pm est. We hope to see you there!

0 thoughts


  2. i think the government would be dumb to turn down a chunk of money that big. the only prblem is that most of these old fogees in power right think that heroin and pot are the same thing, are they serious!!!! every time i hear a debat on pot it turns into a debate on hard drugs and pot gets cought up in the middle of it all!

  3. Is this in NY….man I wish I was there. Yo my ppl from NY go protest at NY city today. DO your part of the job let your bvoices be heard. Does anyone know about any protesting in DC or Northen Virginia?

  4. Guess Uncle Sam won’t be capitalizing on that big, fat check today! But maybe next year 😉

  5. Good to hear some news stations were there to report on it. Hopefully this makes some noise in the media. Great job guys!

  6. Wait a second? Were really not giving them 14 billion?? If not they will just ignore us once again like always..

  7. Well done, NORML! You got the message out there and you put forth all the facts to back it up. I applaud your efforts.
    How anyone cannot see legalization as a benefit to our society and economy now is beyond me.

  8. Ok, so they presented the check. Then what happened? Stop leaving me in suspense… i want to read about reactions!

  9. I hope this gets the message through….im starting to think the only way things will change is if we storm the WH and take our rights back..

  10. Only 14 billion!!!
    Does that take into account the savings from reduced prison costs, court costs, law enforcement costs? Or is it JUST the amount of tax revenue that could be generated?

  11. Print the check from previous article and enclose it with your tax paperwork , send one to all your friends and enemies .

  12. “All we ask in exchange for our $14 billion is the right to enjoy pot responsibly and in peace.”
    I love it!

  13. I think you guys are looking at 10% of the picture. There are millions of things that could be made from Marijuana and all of it could be taxed. Like skin therapy creams, clothes, ropes, foods and especially bio fuels. This will increase the value of Marijuana to the government. So just do me a favor do not just look at people smoking it because the government will just make a joke out of that you will have to show and prove the true capabilities of this miracle plant and how it can push us into the future.

  14. We need more!!! MORE protests, rallies/legalization fund raisers, Anti-prohibition marches……….keep up the good wok, NORML.

  15. Of course the 14 billion dollars that could be collected by this government are only one aspect of this. If cannabis were legal – as it should be – OUR Nation would also save an estimated 25 billion annually on criminal justice savings. Currently the US makes up slightly less than 5% of the world’s population, yet we have the sorry distinction of having over 25% of the world’s prison population. Close to half of those are locked up for non violent, victimless possession only charges, yet those of you elected to serve US, THE PEOPLE continue to pander to the special interests. Currently there are over 2.4 million human beings incarcerated in the US, which is fewer people locked up here than in Communist China with over 4 times our population.
    Whether independent, democrat or republican party affiliation, this issue transcends party politics. This is still OUR Nation you were elected to serve. Let US pay the taxes on cannabis and stop feeding the greedy and insatiable beast called the Prison Industrial Complex!
    After 37 years of miserable failure, fear mongering and lies to “prosecute” the war on drugs and the even longer war on cannabis (1914 or 1937, take your pick when this insanity started) it is time for those in government to admit that this folly can not and will never work. The time to legalize cannabis is now and we the voters will be watching. It is no longer viable to continue this failure at our expense, while simultaneously ignoring the potential in tax revenue, not to mention the fact that legalizing drug use will put a severe dampener into the insane amounts of money and US made weapons that fuel the war on our southern border. Arturo Sarukhan, the Mexican Ambassador was asked by Bob Schieffer whether marijuana should be legalized to eliminate one item from the drug cartels’ goods. While neither endorsing nor denying legalization he did make the point that both using and producing Nations need to address this openly and based on fact. Ambassador Sarukhan made the point that addressing this based on fact would benefit both Nations.
    How much longer will Congress continue this insane and never ending nonsense that only benefits special Interests, such as GEO corporation which rakes in obscene profits by locking up people for something most of the country believes shouldn’t be a crime in the first place. How much longer will Congress attempt to legislate so-called “moral standards” when the entire process of running our country is nothing more than an immoral failure by those currently and previously charged with administering OUR affairs as a Nation!

  16. Nice! This is the change that we need. Keep pressing the issue of marijuana; it is hot in the press

  17. 14 billion is a drop in the bucket compared to legal growing of hemp. If 6% of U.S. cropland were planted to hemp we would not import oil!!! We would not continue to cut down our trees for paper. We would have a booming industrial complex in textiles. It would create thousands of jobs.
    Legal marijuana would generate far more than 14 billion dollars. What would we save if over half of all prisoners were released?
    How big of an impact on tourism would we expect to see?
    How many other countries would follow our example?
    It is time for our elected officials to show some real leadreship and courage and stop this insane WAR ON DRUGS!!!
    In declaring war on drugs didn’t our government declare war on it’s own citizens? Ask the 20 million that have been prosecuted under this policy.

  18. I hope more people showed up than what these pictures show. I thought it was a good idea, and I would have gone to show support but I live on the west coast. I haven’t checked the other coverage yet so I hope there was a good turn out. It would suck if the Faux News inspired teabaggers out represented us today.

  19. So very tired of waiting for the ethical and right thing to be done. Legalize now. Government does not realize nor grasp the slippery slope they’re walking.
    The rein of terror is nearly over. Sit up and pay attention politicians, from Congress to the Senate to the President. Admit that you’ve lied about cannabis and correct your lies now. You just may be surprised by the results of your honesty.
    Anyway, thanks NORML for all your efforts.

  20. #17 charlie, I busted a gut laughing on your point. Your depressingly correct charlie! All focus should be on the Mexican meeting. Sending our troops would just mean more death to come. Prohibition is a strong medicine to cure America and third world countries.

  21. I see this morning, The Obama administration attorney arguing the case against medical marijuana, There is no medical use for marijuana, is the claim by the goverment attorney. I guess Obama must think all those people from the internet community who helped him get elected are dupes. Vote like a beast, the proof is in the pudding, no matter what states do big brother is always going to overrule

  22. Im new to this scene, and, I back mairjuana policy reform with all my heart. The only comment I have today is that it dissapoints me to see that there are only a couple supporters at this demonstration. I strongly believe that we are becoming a majority; And if every pot smoker stood up and demanded their freedom, we will soon have it.

  23. @18: Sure, you can turn it into food or plastics or paper or biofuel, but wouldn’t you rather smoke it?

  24. If anyone else has any ideas as to how to “be noiser than everyone else” im down for anything but is anyone liven around claremore ok?

  25. I wonder if US rep. Paul Broun (GA 10th) will work on this issue on our behalf, since his son was arrested for possession (ajc.com) I am sending him a letter in support of his son and family during this time of misfortune.
    This is a private family matter, but it is also part of a larger international incident. And whom better to help in the fight, but some one who will shortly learn about the imbalanced punishments vs the crime.

  26. Obummer said he was going to supply Mexico with more Apache helicopters to control drugs in Mexico.
    NORML, we’re not getting the message across, what are we to do ?

  27. Sorry Zippy, I not trying to make enemys’s of you or any body else, and yes the Fed is always going to overrule. That’s why almost all my post’s advocate pot smokers voting “as a block” the way the NRA and the AARP do and change the makeup of the Federal Congress. I still don’t understand why something as successful as the 2002 Incumbent Killer strategy (thought I invented it a couple of weeks ago only to find that it’s been tried, it worked, and has now been forgotten) has never been repeated. Any takers. You went way out of your way to insult Barney Frank and I responded that 1. There’s a couple of Republican’s who famously got caught with there pant’s down in the men’s room. And 2. He’s probably the best freind Norml has in the U.S. Congress. As for President Obama, I would be very very very suprised if he advocated much less did accomplish LEGALIZED MJ. Even the Netherlands cannot do that. WHY… Anyone wanting to read about the SINGLE CONVENTION ON NARCOTICS CAN DO SO HERE.
    Organized Crime DID learn some serious lessons from the failure of prohibition, this time they made it global.
    That being said, I do think Obama is going to be more of the Harm Reduction School of thought on this issue. I would say after only 3 months it’s too soon to tell and I would say the same no matter who was president. He will have to really outdo himself to NOT be an improvement over the last 4 Presidents (on MJ policy).

  28. 14 billion sure sounds like alot, however it would be much larger then that. Think of all the new jobs, there will be tax income there. Also when workers spend there pay check, there will be even more taxes. It just keeps going and going. the more money we keep here in the us, the more taxes they will collect. My guess is that once they do start taxing cannabis, they will see about $150 to $200 billion in new taxes.

  29. 14 billion seems low I have seen estimates that say the total cost of the war on drugs is closer to 100 billion!!
    This includes actions by the DEA like operation pipe dreams. They spent 12 million and jailed one bad ass gangster Tommy Chong… I know I feel safer with Tommy in jail and the 12 million well spent? NOT!!
    Cherokee Fred Jesus

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