The Importance of Permitting Consumers the Right to Cultivate Marijuana for Personal Use

For nearly 40 years, NORML has provided a voice in the public policy debate for the tens of millions of Americans who enjoy cannabis responsibly. NORML is and has always been the ‘marijuana’ consumers’ lobby.

In the short run, NORML favors the elimination of all criminal and/or civil penalties prohibiting the possession of cannabis for personal use, regardless of whether one is using it for medical purposes or for personal pleasure. Further, NORML opposes sanctions that presently prohibit the not-for-profit transfer of small amounts of cannabis between adults. This policy, called “decriminalization”, was the recommendation of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse in their groundbreaking 1972 report, Marijuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding. Versions of cannabis decriminalization have now been adopted in 13 states.
Cannabis consumers are ordinary Americans who work hard, raise families, pay taxes and contribute in a positive way to their communities. We are not criminals. Just as millions of Americans enjoy a beer or a glass of wine at the end of the day, we enjoy sharing a joint (or, for that matter, a vapor bag) when we relax in the evening. Of the nearly 900,000 marijuana arrests in America each year, about 90% are for possession of small amounts for personal use. Continuing with this Draconian policy makes no sense. That is why three out of four Americans now support decriminalizing the personal possession and use of cannabis.

NORML’s ultimate political goal is the establishment of a legally regulated market where consumers can obtain their cannabis in a safe and secure environment. This policy is generally called “legalization”. As our country discovered when we experimented with alcohol prohibition, it is only by providing a legally regulated market that we can significantly reduce the crime, corruption and violence associated with a criminal black market.

NORML supports the imposition of state and/or federal age and quality controls governing the commercial production, sale, and use of cannabis to assure public safety and to advise the consumer of the strength of the variety of cannabis being purchased.
And, importantly, we support the imposition of a reasonable tax on commercial cannabis sales that could raise substantial revenue for the various states, to be used for drug education and other programs to encourage responsible use and to discourage abuse. But as we work toward these goals, it is crucial that we underscore the importance of permitting consumers the option to grow their own cannabis.
Alcohol consumers possess the legal right to create their own home brew, free from government interference. Although the vast majority of alcohol drinkers never utilizes this freedom, and prefers the convenience of purchasing alcohol at a retail outlet, that option remains available to those who wish to use it. We believe that similar regulations should govern the non-retail production of cannabis.
The cultivation of cannabis for personal use is the single most important element of the NORML legalization proposal. Allowing for the legal, personal cultivation of cannabis provides consumers with the option to grow their own product should commercially available sources offer cannabis that fails to meet the consumers’ needs because it is excessively expensive, too heavily taxed, or of inferior quality. The mere threat of consumers exercising this option should be sufficient to assure that the legal market for cannabis will be responsive to the needs of consumers, and will not be exploitive.
So when any organization or any state or federal legislator proposes legalizing cannabis, either for medical use or for personal pleasure, but forbids the consumer from growing their own cannabis, those of us who lobby on this issue must insist on amendments to permit personal cultivation.
Otherwise we, cannabis law reformers, trade away our only leverage to keep the big corporations and the government honest and responsive to cannabis consumers.

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0 thoughts

  1. I have smoked marijuana for about 20 years now. I have never robbed anyone for it, killed anyone in a traffic accident, or had a gun stuck in my face while buying a sack from the “Friendly Neighborhood Grower.”
    9 out of 10 marijuana smokers are very hard working, laid back individuals. I believe that as a tax paying American Citizen we all have the right to come home after work and enjoy a relaxing bowl of some premo smoke.
    In recorded history there is not one case of a person overdosing on Marijuana – IT has been proved to be Medically IMPOSSIBLE. Although Butane; fluid in lighters, has over 127 deaths attributed to it every year. How many thousands of people are affected negatively by the use of Alcohol or Prescription pills? More than I would care to count!
    What’s up with the propaganda commercials on network television? I’m sure everyone remembers the one where a couple guys are sitting in a drive thru smoking a joint. The driver suddenly panics for whatever reason and runs over a little girl on a bicycle! Excuse me, but WTF is that all about? Has anyone here Ever heard of something so ludicris?
    An ex drug interdiction officer by the name of Barry Cooper has released a set of video’s that has really pissed off a lot of people. He was an officer for 8 years and had over 800 arrest. He now has two video’s out called “Never Get Busted Again” and the 2nd “Never Get Raided Again”. I strongly urge people to watch these vids, if you can’t afford to purchase them, then search for a torrent at:
    He goes over transporting personal amounts of weed in your vehicle w/o getting caught, how to act during a traffic stop, including what profilers look for. What constitutes probable cause, etc.
    Video #2 Never get raided covers, cultivation indoors/outdoors . How to spot an informant or undercover officer & how to sell or buy weed safely w/o attracting attention from the “Bacon Patrol”.
    For Growers – For every person you tell about your garden your chances of getting caught rise by 10%. Best advice I can give is grow your own & shut the fuck up about it. Share with your close friends, but tell no one where it came from.
    Don’t Criticize, Re-Legalize!
    HempKnight – weed aficionado for life

  2. I am opposed to taxing ANY medication. What next?
    Cancer patients taxed on chemo and radiation treatments
    would not be advocated by any organization. Why should
    we advocate or approve taxing medical use of Marijuana?
    It would be a BAD precedence to tax Marijuana when used
    as a medicine.
    Health care is a shambles in this country already. It doesn’t
    need to be taxed. Health care should be supported by taxes
    not used as a revenue source.
    Paul McCarthy

  3. I’m pretty positive that marijuana will be legalized at some point. When? Now that’s a different story. My only hope is that it happens in my lifetime. I’ve thought for years that it should be legalized for homegrown, personal use. I should be able to grow it in the garden with my tomatoes. It is a natural growing plant on our planet, why shouldn’t everyone be able to grow or use it without the fear of going to “The Big HOuse”?. But, I do believe that it will take HUGE action for Legalization. A Thunderous cloud of responsible marijuana users. We need a Mutiny!!!!

  4. Until ALL consumers, producers, and sellers of Marijuana register to vote and follow up with votes against any and all politicians who have supported enforcement it WILL NOT CHANGE. It’s time to register to vote and get rid of the oppressors.
    BTW BALLOTS are much cheaper than BULLETS. Get off the couch and go register to vote.

  5. How long is it going to take for the American public that never learned from Alcohol Prohabition that illigal marijuana only benifits the organazied crime? How long is it going to take for them to realize that gangsters of the 20s to 50s learned the way to rob the American public by paying off the Washington Bozos to impose harsh penalties for growing and sharing so you will have to buy the weed that they grow with protection of the government. It’s been over 40 years that I remember. U.S. Gov. has spent over 1.2 trillion dollars to protect the interest of organized crime. When is my faith going to be restored in American people? Probably never. Because no one has the time to learn, read or try to understand what is really going on.
    Please God, please bless this country with smarter people and a few honest polititions

  6. I think every adult should have their choice, to drink alcohol, smoke cigaretts. We should have the choice of smoking cannabis. Alot of us do not like to drink alcohol or smoke cigaretts, the hang over is not worth it. and the smoking of cigaretts stinks.
    I also believe cannabis smokers are more considerate.
    Cannabis is also better for you and your health.

  7. Only those greedy ones want this plant to be illegal so that they can get rich while the good people are being terrorized just like the alcohol prohibition!God created this plant to be grown and used freely by his beautiful people so go ahead and free God’s beautiful plant!Yes marijuana is a plant and needs to be freed and be used in so many ways to benefit us as intended=LEGALIZE THAT BEAUTIFUL AND USEFUL PLANT!!!!!!!!

  8. Why is a drug that is humanly impossible to die from a Schedule I Drug? It is really humanly impossible to overdose on tetrahydrocannibinol, it would require you to smoke 1500 pounds of marijuna within 14 minutes. I’ve smoked a lot of pot but I’d say that I couldn’t even do that, because it’s impossible.

  9. As long as big money is spent by the gangsters to keep pot illigal, there will be many less than honest politicians to run with it and bring the country to total ruins if need be.

  10. don said I’ve been growing 30 years and yes schizophrenia
    is influenced by drugs and alcohol schizophrenic should not smoke cannabis or drink alcohol law makes it impossible to educate the public about the lies
    being told yes we are paranoid you would be to if you live with neighbours dob you in to cops that destroy
    families and communities all in the prohibition
    serve and protect how I my self am pacified with nice
    smoke legalise it and have a BETTER world for us all
    it will hatten

  11. don said I’ve been growing 30 years and yes schizophrenia
    is influenced by drugs and alcohol schizophrenic should not smoke cannabis or drink alcohol law makes it impossible to educate the public about the lies
    being told yes we are paranoid you would be to if you live with neighbours dob you in to cops that destroy
    families and communities all in the prohibition
    serve and protect how I my self am pacified with nice
    smoke legalise it and have a BETTER world for us all
    it will hatten

    God designed the cannabisplant,
    a very beautifull creation.
    Man made whiskey and rum,
    which is poison-destillation.
    The devil invented the cigarette,
    and also heroine, crack and crystal-meth.
    So don”t be stupid lad.

  13. Just busted for cultivating four plants in Boise, Idaho. Not a place to get caught growing, my loser neighbor went out of his Morman-asses way to call the cops on me, dont you have something better to do. Anyway, I’m facing up to five years in prison for a couple ounces of personal weed. I;m not a dealer. I go to BSU and mind my own business. Now my financial assistance is at stake, and my voting rights, but this shit government expects to continue to pay taxes to a system that has turned its back on me. “Its still we the people right”

  14. Beautifu! Didn’t even know you guys existed till now. This leagalazation is long over do. Would solve many of this countries woe’s. Unfortunately, I think our government is so corrupt. I beleive there are too many people in the higher ups that are profiting big time with the laws just the way they are. Don’t think it’s gonna happen real soon but i think its inevidable.

  15. I’m all for the legalization of marijuana. its time to change the laws about smoking a plant that’s less harmful to you then alcohol and tobacco which are very much legal. i think we should be able to grow our own plants without any worry’s of being taken of to prison. It’s time to change history of marijuana in our country and change a law that was mad without any further research on the plant.

  16. Your body produces and stores the neurotransmitter ANANDAMIDE. The only way to release this natural “happiness-substance” is by using cannabis.
    The body seems to have a unlimited source of it.
    So to pursuit my happiness,its needed that cannabis can be grown -by myselves- and used.
    (The only other substance with -only a very little bit- of anandamide is cacao, but from this source it can not be stored.)

  17. The permittance for growing cannabis is often questioned by people who base their opinions on their interpretation of the biblebook GENESIS.
    They ‘see’ the apple (which the snake was offering to Eve)as a ‘forbidden fruit’ and as a way to divide -for that reason- the plants on planet earth in legal or illegal ones.
    But if I read well, the apple(tree)wasn’t the problem.
    Adam and Eve were sent away from paradise because God wouldn’t allow them to eat the fruit from the TREE OF LIFE anymore, after they have eaten from the appletree,to prevent them becomming ‘immortal’ and/or ‘equal to Him’.
    And this tree of life is only growing in paradise. Maybe with the exception to eat from it’s fruit for Methusalems family).
    Other trees in paradise are according to Genesis: the ‘tree with the 12 fruits’ and the figtree.
    Further up in that book it states that God give man all seedbearing plants to live from and that those seeds should be yielded after it’s kind.
    So hempplants with other hempplants, poppyseed should be sawn next to other poppyseeds.
    God has not outlawed any seed or plant on planet earth, but in contrarary gave instructions to grow them. The beloved cannabis/hempplant would be legal anyway in His vision, I think:
    For anybody who can handle this plant, but not for
    Adam and Eve, who were to eager to get another special plant and it’s fruits just for their own profit.).
    The cannabisplant (kaneh bosm or -bosh in the bible, which is not calamus!,a wrongly translation of it)is used for the OINTMENT (in oldgreek christos),a holy sacrament for Christians.
    1 gram of unpressed wet hasj with olive-oil rubbed in the skin of your underarms, already gives a light ointment-effect.
    This sacrament is ignored or refused to give, by most Christian religions, because of THEIR misinterpretations of the book Genesis and other books from the bibles.
    Because not many people read the bibles carefully.
    We (the cannabis-consumers and -growers, recreational and/or medical)have to suffer under their prohibitionistic ideas, based on their dogma’s. Pretending they have knowledge of ‘good and evil’.
    themselves(with or without Godgiven plants).
    Relegalize the hemp/cannabisplant now and get rid of misinterpretations of e.g.the book Genesis, which lead to unchristian laws against cannabis/hempplants and even to a ‘war on drugs-consumers’, who are Christians themselves too, a lot of times.
    And remember, when cannabis is legal again, don’t sell it in the tempel, because Jesus will probably send someone to get them sellers out, just as He did with the moneychangers overthere!
    And no taxation on cannabis used for ointments too.
    It’s a religious right.

  18. Martin Luther King wrote that their is 3 ways to handle these types of situations. First is a by Violence, second is Do Nothing, and the third is Non Violent. Why not let the people vote on this, put it on the ballot next Presedential Election, (I would definitely go door to door to solicit votes)we could make history with the biggest turnout ever. Everyone of us needs to send an email or make a phone call to every Elected Official in office and tell them we want to Legalize about every week. If we all do this, they will eventually be overwhelmed and tired of having to address the issue on a one to one basis. When they are tired of dealing with this, will be when they Legalize because they have had enough of aggravation. Let’s try it, Norml has the connections to our State and Federal Officials. Good Luck, I will be working on it from South GA.

  19. legalize, decriminalize, cultivate. they all work for me. I will be in contact with my senator.

  20. I agree with Buckle Post #123. However, I think that we should write in the words “Legalize Marijuana” on our ballots if it is not printed anywhere. We have the RIGHT to be counted.
    Spread the word and vote in Nov.

  21. As it seems ,’republican’ government is holding us back: (FAQ question 12; 161 ‘for’, 15 rep./128 dem.),yet I know republican voters that endulge regularly.I say call out to your rep. officers (before nov.) and threaten to vote democrate this election ,and tell them why. See if you dont turn some heads!
    Also, on the state by state chart it shows D.C. has legalized medical M.J.?? Isn’t this the home of the same F.D.L.E.that went to Calf. to over ride ‘their’ state law? Did i miss something!?

  22. I like pot. I need pot to eat. 33 years old 99lbs. would be less if it wernt for weed. all of wv politicians are drunks some with dui’s. wv will be the last state to do any reform. our elected officials spend millions bashing each other on tv to win a vote. It was so bad this time that i couldnt vote because I had no clue what their opinions are due to name calling. anyway wv politicians are really miseducated on pot and belive that it is a horrible plant and it is worse than alcohol. I never seen a man beat his wife for being stoned. but everyday you can see the evil alcohol unleashed on ppl. watching a family fall apart now cause of liquor. but weed is worse tenfold. I just want to not be ashamed or tell everyone I have allergies.

  23. Has anyone ever proposed (through initiative or otherwise) that every registered voter have the right to grow six marijuana plants at his/her registration address, and the right to use the fruits thereof at the registration address, without paying fees or taxes, with the understanding that such a measure does not grant the right to transport or sell marijuana, or to use marijuana at any other location?

  24. I have been smoking weed since I was 20 years old. I am now 32. I have earned a college degree, worked in corporate america, and now have had my own business for the past 5 years. I have never had a DUI or DWI…but have been driving while high and while possessing weed on a daily basis. I am so afraid that one day, I will be pulled over and busted for a joint and it will ruin my career, reputation, and marriage. I live in fear of this every day. Its so not fair. I have responisbly used weed for 12 years daily, yet any day I could be nailed. Just not fair. Please legalize it….I can be used as a case study.

  25. Here is something I found out not too long ago…….Marijuana is already legal as it was never lawfully prohibited.As evidenced by the 18th amendment ,government requires constitutional amendment to aquire the authority of prohibition ,as evidenced by the 21st amendment repealing the 18th,government has no authority to prohibit anything any longer.Alcohol was the only substance government sought to prohibit,while marijuana existed in 1919 just like it does today.It is the very unlawful prohibition of marijuana that is criminal and it is government that is guilty,not the people!!!

  26. I have been holding out hope for ten years, that NORML would succeed in providing a voice to the many responsible adults who long to indulge (with moderation) in marijuana use, without mistakenly being viewed as a detriment to the welfare of this great nation.
    Now I just want to ask of those who share my sentiment, to be cautious of the image put forth to others who might not have positive views on the use of marijuana. We are faced with a somewhat delicate situation and must take extra care to be recognized as upstanding citizens, lest we be viewed as being insensitive to the results of our actions.
    In other words, refraining from driving under the influence, and avoiding other situations that present an element of danger, isn’t always enough. We have to have our best foot forward if we are going to prove what we know to those who don’t see it.

  27. This is such an amazing entry and I love to read more of it so that I will be able to look over and have it as an inspiration for further articles to write about when it comes to updates on medical marijuana and other computer related stuffs and it’s pros and cons too. I do hope you will get to visit our official website and let us know what you think about it. Here is the link
    Thanks ahead 🙂

  28. im doin a public policy project for my participation in govt class and im doin it on the legalization of marijuana. my teacher sugested that i used this site to gain some ideas for my project and i hope it does help me out a bit. and with that easily said i do use marijuana usually and am all for the legalization of it.

  29. @ Roach-punch up marijuana legalization on your computer for other sources.Good luck and have fun collecting the knowledge -very happy to see you doing this!

  30. I believe that it is within our god given right to smoke what we want and when we want..I use it to ease my pain. and I shouldn’t be concerned at this point in time what the hell the government says I can and can’t do. So arrest me if you haven’t anything better to do..

  31. the freedom to grow for yourself is of the highest importance. while i would love to be able to go to the corner store and buy a pack of “greens”, i don’t like the idea of being forced to buy something i want and or need from the corporate structure. on that note, i am ASHAMED of the medical community in california who were ultimately responsible for voting down legalization for personal use in cali. by voting against personal use and manufacture they are saying that they want us to have to buy from them through the used and abused medical pot industry, meaning they have the monopoly. they are becoming the corporate greed mongers they used to despise. you should be ashamed of yourselves and we are ashamed of you. money ruins EVERYTHING.

  32. I am 64 years old and I think Cannabis is a poison,
    a poison to the powers that be because they do not fully know the consequences of legalization.
    The powers that be are afraid of it and so are the their corporate masters.
    Richard Lee of Oaksterdam University in Oakland Ca., the man resonsible for getting Cannabis on the CA.ballot to full legalization is in a wheelchair and his Republican mother who is a federal goverment official did not like him using Pot. However, when she saw the good it was doing him she was somewhat amazed and became pro-Cannibis. That is the answer people, educate the goverment and Congress first because the good people at DEA supression central will not agree to losing their tenure. We all know how deluded these officials are and that is I believe the path to enlightenment and change. God bless us all and God enlighten the knucleheads in Government.

  33. I am so excited about all these NORML,I will call you guys a peaceful Hero. All I can say about marijuana,it is a source of Peace for the normal people. These should be a big part of Democracy for the Country like USA!!! I believe Americans are united when it comes to bravery, but it should be united with Peace and Democracy. So, if we should march to the White House, I’ll be with you guys. Once again thank you a quadrople times for your efforts NORML !!!!!

  34. I now completely understand your mission statement. For years you’ve been there, but I never really knew what you did, what you stood for, goals, other than “legalize marijuana”.
    So well said and I sent in my first donation since several years ago. Only $35, but if we all do that, I know it will help you help us.
    Thanks for your help!

  35. The President had puffed, Some have puffed and lied. All the declaration of Independence signed it, (Must have been a stoner party or no one would have agreed their death Warrants. Stop the hypocrisy. Leave t grow free. All the argument is about how to tax it. STOP THE LIES. END THE WARS. LET IT GROW FREE !

  36. What i would like to know is how the hell can medical use be legail in some states and not every state? I live in ky and should have the same wrights as other states should also.So why are not ower states not letting us grow ower own like other states do. WE ARE BEING FUCKED OVER LET ALL STATES GROW OR SHOUT THEM ALL DOWN FOR WE WOUNT THE SAME WRIGHTS.WE all should quite ower jobs and take ower famileys and go to the closes state that lets you grow your own weed for medican and NOT WORK FOR 30 DAYS AND SINE UP ON EVERY FREE PROGRAM IN THAT STATE AND I BET IF WE DID THAT IN LESS THEN 30 DAYS EVERY STATE COULD GROW THERE OWN.long as we just talk about it and do nothing we will always get fucked while other states grow and laugh there ass off as us.look at the free cash them states are makeing while we starve and all we wount is to grow some to smoke.

  37. Its natural…. It was put on this earth By GOD….. Im gonna smoke it!!! with or without the governments permission…thank you NORML. Besides…. It truely helps my amputation nerve pain… and my fibromyalgia, It reduces stress which is the main reason for fibro flare ups!!! I am a responsible user… over 35 and I think Im old enuff to make my own decisions!!!!!!


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