Profiles in Cannabis: Rick Steves

NORML is proud to confirm that best-selling author and television personality Rick Steves will be speaking at the 2009 NORML National Conference in San Francisco, CA.
Mr. Steves is the host of the popular public television series, “Rick Steves’ Europe,” and author of over 30 European travel books.  For more than 30 years, he has helped American travelers connect more intimately with Europeans — often for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay.
Since joining NORML’s Advisory Board, Rick has been an outspoken advocate for marijuana law reform.  He hosted the recent television program Marijuana: It’s Time for a Conversation, and has spent countless hours lobbying politicians in his home state of Washington (and elsewhere) about the need to stop arresting responsible adults who consume marijuana.
“Like most of Europe, I believe marijuana is a soft drug (like alcohol and tobacco), not a hard drug,” he says.
Like alcohol and tobacco, it should be treated as a health rather than a criminal issue. Crime should only enter the equation if it is abused to the point where innocent people are harmed.”
He adds: “As a parent helping two children navigate their teen years, and as a travel writer who has seen firsthand how Europe deals with its drug problem, I’ve thought a lot about U.S. drug policy — particularly our criminalization of marijuana.  … The time has come to have an honest discussion about our marijuana laws and their effectiveness. We need to find a policy that is neither ‘hard on drugs’ nor ‘soft on drugs’ — but smart on drugs.”
Rick says, “Yes we cannabis” and so should you! Meet Rick and hundreds of other like-minded people at NORML’s 38th annual conference, taking place September 24-26 at the Grand Hyatt in downtown San Francisco. For registration information, please visit:
More about Rick Steves:
New York Times: Fresh Ideas for a Tired Crusade
Seattle Post Intelligencer: We need to get smart about marijuana
Listen to Rick Steves deliver the keynote speech at NORML’s 2005 national conference
Listen to Rick Steves interviews on the NORML Daily Audio Stash here and here and read more Rick Steves posts on the Stash Blog.

0 thoughts

  1. Thanks Rick for telling the truth. Now if we could only get our representatives off their addiction to the millions paid to them. The laws against cannabis are the only things to fear. Now we have a total industry built around making slaves of the back bone of America…

  2. Wow i dig this cat. I think ive even seen his show before i was a toker. More soldiers in the fight for truth!….OH yeah you ppl hear about the pastor who was shot in an apparent drug sting? Yeah they killed him… and didnt find any drugs. It was in Toccoa Georgia. Not sure if the drugs in question were weed tho.
    [Russ responds: The sting was for a woman who had been given a ride by the pastor. She was charged with cocaine possession. No drugs found on pastor. Video of the incident and story at the Stash.]

  3. I’m listening to the radio , a Station out of San Francisco , Ca. the other day when i hear a ” Mom ‘ telling her son that they are going to be ” drug testing ” at school and she proceeds to ask her son if he has ever tried , marijuana ? Immediately after asking about marijuana she says , cocaine , heroin , speedballs , etc . Whoever put out ( Drug Companies probally or Alcohol Companies ) this ad is trying to deceive you the public into believing marijuana is exactly like other hard drugs .This is another example of what The Drug , Alcohol and Tobacco companies do is mislead the people for their own financial greed . Not for their honesty .They don’t want you using marijuana . They want you to use their DEADLY , addictive drugs instead .
    [Paul Armentano responds: I believe that the ad in question is actually paid for by the Church of Scientology.]

  4. Every time…I mean every time…I see a commercial for a certain pharmaceutical, any pharmaceutical, I hear their “disclaimer.” What they are really saying, and what I’m really hearing is, Taking a pharmaceutical drug is like playing Russian Roulette.”
    What really makes me see red flags, and kindles the flames of anger within me is that they are “TRYING TO GET TO ME BEFORE MY DOCTOR PRESCRIBES IT.” They end run the doctor! They should be selling the doctor on its advantages, not the public. It’s “no wonder” why they support cannabis prohibition. Pfizer sure got their wings clipped! So should they all. Of course…we all know the ramifications of alcohol and tobacco. They all have to have loose screws to knock cannabis, especially after the government has announced that the Big Three are more dangerous than cannabis.

  5. Nice, im glad that he joind up with norml… i also liked his TV Talk show that he did on marijuana, hes a very smart guy nd a good person who has a heart to bring the truth out to everyone =)

  6. rick steves has been a trooper for the cause for a long time now… thank you for your common sense on marijuana legalization. president obama needs to listen to people like rick instead of those drug czars and other phoneys in washington. i can’t wait for the day when we won’t need this site anymore to reply about pot legalization it’s such a waste of time!!

  7. Thanks Steve, love your show. Thanks for speaking the truth. The US is falling further behind the rest of world. From Energy to Drug laws. We need to get our head out of the sand and see what is going on. If I did my job as poorly as congress or the DEA, i would be fired.
    Our tax dollars at work!!

  8. Rick Steves is a NORML person! I love hippies, and other cultural types that use marijuana. But like Steves, I have short business hair and dress totally normal. And I like marijuana too!
    The mainstream is normal. I still can’t figure out why big industry is not looking at cannabis like some huge new market potential. A brand new product that has the potential to be the new alcohol or tobacco. But the world is fooled into thinking it is some kind of demon that needs to be locked away… it is totally illogical like some huge conspiracy.
    Why is it that even Steves runs into resistance when he just wants to discuss it? What about the rest of us? I sure hope Steves plows on because he has the potential to be a major celebrity in the new, up in coming legal cannabis market.
    Marijuana is a sure thing. Sticky green buds of various potency, and the specific medicinal value printed on a fancy container with full disclosure will sell like the new peanut butter. Potentially the ‘new’ product release (read:innovation) of legal marijuana could be a new economy! Something like the release upon the market of the PC and how this has effected society. It is not a mater of if; it is a matter of when and where.

  9. Thank you Rick Steves. It would be my greatest hope at this moment if concrete and positive results transpire from this conference towards ending this war on cannabis.

  10. We sure appreciate what you are doing steve-definately a good man.We are so tired of the war against people for marijuana-god never intended for his beautiful people to get hurt from the police over a plant that he created to grow along side all other plants to be seen and used by all freely and not through a doctor but gotten freely as created to be.Too many people wind up in a heap of harassment by law thugs over misidentifying plants and seed carried onto their properties by weather,birds,and animalsand next these law thugs are busting the door down,tearing up their houses,cutting locks,slicing open clearly marked meat packages in their freezers,valuables come up missing,police calling places of employment causing loss of jobs before any charges are filed,helicopters constantly hovering over the victim’s house and over family and friend’s houses,and all this and so much more even after finding nothing in their search and the victim passing 9 panel hair tests.Oh yea making the victim’s life unbearable and then the police running their mouths saying the victims are druggies and drug ring leaders-Huge nightmare!!!!!!Horrible waste of tax money-horrible way to treat good people!!!God never intended for any of this to happen!!!!!!!!

  11. Rick Steves is one of cannabis’s best supports and advacates in my opinion. Repected, soft spoken, celeberty nice guy. Rick you the man. Love everything you do.

  12. comment#18 happened in douglas county in mountain grove missouri and so many things like that are happening in other counties-people need to start speaking up and stand up for themselves!!!!!!

  13. OH Ya’ll, there’s an election coming up. Are you registered? If you aren’t quit playin around, talks cheap. Get registered, and vote them ALL out of office, and vote people more friendly to us IN.

    For those who believe in a Creator…and the gift of Manna…”religious use” is a solid devotion to your Faith.
    For those who believe in your physician…”medicinal use” is a solid obligation to your health and well being.
    For those free adults who use cannabis responsibly
    …your solid oversight and conduct is to yourself as a responsible individual.
    For those who believe in our Constitution, and liberty
    …who still believe We the People are not absent influence…for those who still have a social conscience, and a solid desire to advance society
    Eletions are soon…let’s see what you’ve got. Our vote talks, and our abstention walks.”
    Take it from 21 Joseph “Ironman” Siler.
    If you can’t march on Washington, at least walk on the voting box. I quote Mr. Chong…”LET’S VOTE THESE FUCKERS OUT OF OFFICE.”
    Rebel with a Cause aka Manford Mantis

  15. Here the last thing I want to say:
    Lets place the legislation below against the ideas of the original draft of the Declaration of Independents written by Thomas Jefferson. Let see how these legislative acts create peace, respect, and honor in the relationship of the people with their elected government. Let see how these acts of legislation promote liberty and justice which is the very essence of the founding fathers’ spiritual dream for a country without tyranny and persecution. These legislative acts are known as the Harrison Narcotics Act of the 63rd US Congress (1914), the Marihuana Tax Act of the 75th US Congress (1937), and the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of the 91st US Congress (1970). VS. “We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government shall become destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, & to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles & organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety & happiness.”
    Does these acts of congress preserve the inherent & inalienable rights of the people? How are the inherent & inalienable rights preserved by the government for the people? Among those rights are the preservation of life, liberty itself, and the very pursuit of happiness as an equal and independent person / people. When has this elected government respected the preservation of life? Where is our liberty today? Are we free to pursuit our independent happiness as long as it does not step on the rights of others? To secure these ends, governments are in instituted among men, driving their just powers from the consent of the governed. The Governed want changes in the cannabis law not a negotiation with the hired help! It is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, which shall most likely to effect their safety and happiness. So how does the present cannabis prohibition laws effect our safety and happiness? Has the government become destructive in their Constructive Fraud upon the people? Who is destructive to the safety and welfare of the American People? Do we now have a right to alter and or abolish those elements of government that are destructive to the people as a whole? As we have learn and are better educated should the American people have to maintain the fraudulent information and practices of the early 1900s? Or will we be allowed our liberty to case off that which is untrue which creates hostilities between the American people and their elected employees – government?
    Can the American Government continue to unjustly defraud the American People of their inalienable rights to the cannabis plant even after their many lies are exposed? Why must we continue the fraudulent legislative acts? Why would the American People let this elected government, knowing there is no real safety issue with the health and welfare of the nation to continue to lock people up for the use the cannabis plant? Will we as American Juries allow another 800,000 plus fellow Americans be labeled as criminals? Can we change the law by Jury Nullification or Jury Lawlessness and put an end to these unlawful acts. If we, as the jury of peers refuse to convict our fellow American who use cannabis how will the government not hear our voice? Why will we Americans, the employer, let our government, the employees, spend billions of dollars, dollars we don’t have to spend, on incarcerating these cannabis plant users?(average cost of prisoner $23,500) How does taking Americans who have had their inalienable rights unjustly abrogated away from them, placed in prison, or placed on probation and forced to attend drug treatment, how does this make these folks a better person? Or for that matter where is the benefit to society? If we harden a person’s heart do we get a better citizen? Will it make for a better republic? Time for those called to jury duty to just say Not Guilty! We do not need the legislators to give us what is our already, it is time to just take it back, no negotiations, no legislation, just the American Juries putting government in it’s place, under the people not over them.
    Ya it is longwinded but we need to be on the attack instead of being attacked, in the legal sense.

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