NORML: Give Thanks And Praises!

December 24, 2010

Dear NORML Members and Supporters,

Social change doesn’t happen overnight – but it does happen. This is the message we took away from the November 2010 election, an election that will influence NORML’s work in 2011 and beyond.

California Legalization Initiative: Prop. 19
I’m sure that by now you know the news. Forty-seven percent of Californians voted in favor of Proposition 19, which made the possession, cultivation, and sale of cannabis lawful for adults. No legalization initiative in any state has ever received so much voter support, nor has any effort generated such positive national discourse. In fact, by the end of the campaign even our staunchest opponents had to concede that America’s present criminal prohibition is an unequivocal failure. They recognize that the question is no longer, ‘Should we legalize and regulate marijuana?’ but, ‘How should we legalize and regulate marijuana?’ This marks a monumental shift in the public and political debate over marijuana policy.

But that’s not all. Let us remember one of the tangible and significant victories of the campaign: The signing into law of Senate Bill 1449 reducing the adult possession of up to 28.5 grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a $100 fine—no court appearance, no court costs, and no criminal record. Passage of this law, which arguably would not have happened if it were not for advocates’ stepped up lobbying efforts regarding Prop. 19, will spare tens of thousands of Californians from criminal prosecution in 2011 and beyond.

Am I disappointed we failed to gain the support of 50 percent of California’s electorate?

Of course.

But I am proud of the progress we made, and of the broad coalition of political and civil rights organizations who endorsed our efforts, including the California NAACP, The Latino Voters League, the SEIU (one of America’s largest unions), and the Black Police Officers Association. That is why I remain confident that we can – and will – bring about the legalization and regulation of cannabis for adults in California in 2012, and that is why I believe that we can extend these same freedoms to the citizens of other states in the years to follow.

Elections Matter; Threats Ahead
Yet when I view the ever-changing political landscape nationwide, I recognize there are many significant hurdles before us. This fall’s resurgence of Republican-elected officials in both Washington, DC, and throughout the nation threatens to undermine many of our recent gains. As I write to you today, U.S. Senators are in the process of confirming Michele Leonhart – who has ordered more than thirty raids of state-sanctioned medical marijuana providers – to head the Drug Enforcement Administration, and House members are likely to promote Texas Republican Lamar Smith – arguably the most reefer-mad member of the U.S. Congress – to head the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives.

At the statewide level, New Mexico’s newly elected Gov. Susan Martinez has threatened to repeal the state’s three-year-old medical cannabis law, which so far has licensed 17 dispensaries to produce and provide marijuana to nearly 3,000 authorized patients. In Michigan, incoming Attorney General Bill Schuette has also pledged to roll back the state’s popular medical cannabis law, which voters overwhelmingly approved in 2008. And in Montana, lawmakers are planning an all assault upon the state’s six-year-old medical marijuana law, despite its passage with over 60 percent of the vote.

Drug warriors are emboldened by the statewide initiative defeats of medical cannabis proposals in Oregon (regarding the regulation of state-licensed dispensaries) and South Dakota (regarding the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes), and advocates’ razor thin margin of victory in Arizona (which became the fifteenth state to authorize the medical use of marijuana since 1996), but NORML remains unbowed. We will continue to forge ahead with our push for full legalization in states like Colorado, Washington, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Rhode Island. Rest assured, we have not lost our momentum, and we do not intend to let our opponents roll back even one of the many statewide victories that we – and all of you – have worked so hard to achieve.

“What Does Not Kill You Makes You Stronger”
In fact, according to the most recent Gallup national public opinion poll, momentum in favor of adult legalization and regulation has never been stronger. According to the October survey, a record 46 percent of voters nationwide now support making marijuana legal, and only 50 percent support prohibition (an all-time low.) To put these percentages in proper perspective, consider this. A decade ago, fewer than 30 percent of Americans said that they backed ending cannabis prohibition and a whopping 70 percent supported it.

This is why our opponents are running scared, and it is why they have targeted 2011 as the year they strike back. They have no other choice. They are aware, just as we are, that public opinion is moving exponentially in favor of marijuana law reform, and that this trend shows no signs of abating. We may have lost a battle in November, but we are clearly winning the war – and the drug warriors know it.

NORML: Putting The ‘Grass’ Into Grassroots Since 1970
As we approach 2011, our prohibitionist opponents are keenly aware that they have lost the hearts and minds of the electorate, and they are preparing to wage one final stand. We plan to meet them head on – and defeat them. Will you support our efforts? Your continued financial support will assure that we hold the line in 2011, and it will allow us to continue the national dialogue that is turning a record number of Americans toward cannabis liberation. Victory is at a hand, but only if we keep the pressure on – and only if we have the resources to fight back when necessary.

Supporting NORML and NORML Foundation is both simple and rewarding. If you want your donation to be employed for political purposes, such as for lobbying state and federal policy makers, please direct your donation to NORML. If you’d prefer a tax-deductible donation, which will be used for education, litigation, advertising and social organizing, please direct any cash or stock donations to the NORML Foundation.

Many of NORML’s members and supporters generously donate to both!

Social change doesn’t happen overnight – but it does happen, and it is happening. That is why NORML needs your support now more than ever. 2011 promises to be a battle, but with your continued financial contributions I know that we will emerge victorious.

NORML @ 40-Years-Young
Lastly, as the collective calendar is turned, NORML—a remarkably enduring and resilient hub for a now sprawling social justice movement and medical cannabis industry—embarks upon it’s 40th year of representing the interests of cannabis consumers by, among other services, providing legal assistance and moral support to the many tens of thousands of consumers, growers and sellers (our brothers and sisters) arrested and incarcerated annually because of our nation’s antiquated Cannabis Prohibition laws.

NORML provides both in-office and 24/7 online support services for medical cannabis patients; citizens facing drug testing concerns; the victims of civil forfeiture; students researching papers; also, NORML’s staff provides over 3,000 local, State, national and international media interviews annually. On the tightest budget in the drug policy reform movement, NORML produces the most popular cannabis-centric conferences, as well as the most popular cannabis-related webpage and daily podcast on the Internet.

None of this is possible without the support of thoughtful and engaged citizens like you!

Again, your end-of-the-year donations to either NORML or NORML Foundation is proof positive of your stakeholdership in a really important 40-year-old Washington, D.C. institution among public interest organizations.

Here’s to a safe and hemp-filled holiday and New Year to all! Thanks, as always, for caring and sharing!

Cannabem liberemus,

Allen St. Pierre
Executive Director
NORML / NORML Foundation

*Have you seen some of the unique ‘thank you’ gifts for members and donors?

27 thoughts

  1. Merry Christmas to all! Yes even those people who oppose Norml’s views. Unlike the prohibisionist’s, the greedy people who profit from unjust laws, and those too bigoted in their views to see the truth….everyone deserves to have a Merry Christmas!
    I hope Norml does a banner year in 2011. I even plan to donate if I find another job. Perhaps I should not have said that. The anti marijuana crowd will just say There goes another one of those pot smoking, lazy, good for nothing Hippie bums spouting off even when he has no job! The lazy bastard. They will conveniently forget that I just wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

  2. thanks norml for all you have done for the marajuana legalization movement,we wouldnt be close to any kind of legalization or public oppinion support without you.i do hope to see marajuana legalized in my lifetime but like you say the prohibitonists are not going to give up and i no longer see a way to beat them when they wont even admit to logic that the only way is to legalize thanks for all you do

  3. Let’s do put things in its proper prospectus. Let’s do that by asking one question. That is…”How many individuals have used or continue to use cannabis?” The answer is…”That’s how many individuals these prohibs have to do battle with!” If your percentages are anywhere near correct…it’s 46% or better nationwide, or 50/50. You can safely bet your ass that more than 50% have practical knowledge of cannabis. These pot-phobic prohibs are going to lose more than the hearts and minds of the nation. Their jobs are in jeopardy as we speak. They can bend over, grab their ankles, and kiss their reputations good bye. I guess they don’t mind being laughed at. They didn’t learn a damned thing from the elections, nor the fact that cannabis has always headed the concerns of the voting public – and – I don’t suggest that the concerns of the public lean their way. Oh well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. We (Mile High NORML) will be feeding homeless folks on the Colorado State Captital steps in Denver CO on Christmas Day…. We’re not only fighting to end marijuana prohibition…. We’re fighting hunger… come join us and help feed hungry folks on that most special of giving days

  5. God bless and merry Christmas to all..Santa you know what I want for Christmas….Legalization..

  6. Well said, Allen and we couldn’t of gotten this far without the fine & supportive staff of N.O.R.M.L. and people like myself who are brave enough to say ” Yes, i use Marijuana ” and its been a blessing .

    To you & the wonderful staff at N.O.R.M.L. ;

    Wishing you the best in the New Year.

    The truth doctor

  7. Please accept this greeting in the manner in which it was intended —
    Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! 😉

  8. Well said. I ran across a “California Marijuana Initiative” article on the comedy website Uncyclopedia that you may enjoy. Keep up the great work.

  9. Peace on earth, good will towards mankind.
    Todays CDXX Communion will include a special prayer for all those who can’t be with friends and family because they are incarcerated. They are our P.O.W’s. Our prayer says…”Set our brethren free.”

  10. We the People of these United States of America insist and demand that the present elected government employees return of our Country’s Constitution to and upon the American People FORTHWITH!
    1. “The Constitution is a written instrument, as such, its meaning does not alter. That which it meant when it was adopted, it means now.” South Carolina vs United States 199 U.S. 437, 448 (1905).
    2. “Every word appears to have been weighted with the utmost deliberation and its effect to have been fully understood.” Wright vs United States, 302 U.S. 583 (1938)
    3. “Where rights are secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda vs Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 491.
    4. “When any court violates the clean and unambiguous language of the Constitution, a FRAUD is perpetrated and no one is bound to obey it.” State vs Sutton Minn. (147, 65 NW 262, 30 L.R.A. 630 Am. St. 459)
    We as Citizens of these United States have an absolute U.S. Constitutional Right to invoke Jury Nullification upon the any Court in the union as the last line of defense against a tyrannical wayward government, it’s unjustly applied laws, and protection against a corrupt legislative body. It is every US Citizen’s duty to defend our liberty and freedom by the use of Article 9 of the United States Bill of Rights.
    How do We the People of this fine country take back our liberty and freedom from a tyrannical wayward government? How do We the People get fair representation when our Legislators have been bought by corp. lobbyist and corrupted away from our nation’s constitutional values and principles? How do We the People get justice or a redress of grievance from any court when the lawyers have destroyed and corrupted the very rule of law? We the People are left with only one intact last line of peaceful defense to protect ourselves from the tyrants, “Jury Nullification” which means that a jury finds a defendant innocent because the law itself is unjust, or is unjust in a particular application, and so should not be applied upon the Citizen.
    Dose the American Jury in criminal cases before the Court have the power and the Constitutional Right to nullify the law? Is Jury Nullification a violation of the principle of the rule of law? The Answer is both, yes, and no. While it is common today for court judges to tell their prospective jurors that they must apply the law as the court judge gives it to the jury and that jurors business is simple, it is to determine whether the defendant has broken the law or not. But that is not the founding father’s intention at all when they wrote the right to trial by jury clause in the 9th Article of the Bill of Rights. In 1782 Constitutional founding father Thomas Jefferson said,“…it is usual for the jurors to decide the fact, and to refer the law arising on it to the decision of the judges. But this division of the subject lies with their discretion only. And if the question relate to any point of public liberty, or if it be one of those in which the judges may be suspected of bias, the jury undertake to decide both law and fact.”
    Thomas Jefferson is not talking about nullification per se, but about the power the jury has by taking the interpretation of the law into its own hands at trail.
    We have this District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals case of the Unites States v. Dougherty, (1972), which said,
    “The jury has an unreviewable and irreversible power…to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by the trial judge…The pages of history shine on instances of the jury’s exercise of its prerogative to disregard uncontradicted evidence and instructions of the judge; for example, acquittals under the fugitive slave law.”Does Jury Nullification contribute to, rather than mitigate, such judicial misbehavior? No, because it is part of the system of checks and balances itself — a check against the bias of judges and the irrationality and corruption that creeps steadily into the law, as irresponsible legislators and judges think about things other than justice. Jury nullification is not a violation of the rule of law because it is part of the rule of law.
    The jury is the last line of defense, the last check and balance, against tyrannical government, if, that is, it is charged with determining the justice of a case and not just with blindly applying the law as given by a judge.

    The interpretation of the law cannot be trusted to those with the power to enforce it also. The separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive in the federal government was not sufficient to prevent this, as
    Jefferson’s maxim that only trial by jury can hold a government to the “principles of its Constitution.” Since, as a matter of fact, a jury can practice nullification even if the judge tells it that it can’t, because its deliberations are secret and unrecorded, trial by jury is still, as long as jurors are brave and informed, one of the most important protections for freedom. Most Americans on jury duty today blindly obey the court judge, but occasionally feelings run high enough in important cases for juries to ignore the judge and do the right thing.
    (4th Circuit Court of Appeals, United States v. Moylan, 1969)
    “If the jury feels the law is unjust, we recognize the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by a judge, and contrary to the evidence…If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision.”You as an American Juror are not obligated to enforce bad laws! You as an American Juror do not have to send your fellow citizens to jail or prison who you don’t think deserve to go there, regardless of what the prosecution says, regardless of the written law, and regardless of any court judge who tells you otherwise. You are not beholden to them, it is they who is beholden to you and every other citizens of American.

    “If the legislator clearly misinterprets a constitutional provision, the frequent repetition of the wrong will not create a right.” Amos vs Mosley, 74 Fla. 555; 77 So. 619. (Congress)

  11. Soilders From Iraq and Afghanstian

    We wish you best holidays norml you guys have supported and led this movement forward…despite prop 19 failing at least arnold signed a bill that would not make any worse than getting a speeding ticket…we hope this fight continues and legalization will happen before my kids lifetime.

    Merry Christams Norml and happy new years!!!!

  12. i know this is late but i hope you all enjoyed your christmas and the rest of your holidays.thank you norml for the awesome work you’ve done in 2010. my wish for all is some giant steps foward for legalization of cannabis in 2011 along with peace and health for all…..

  13. Post #13 is an excellent post, I would say for practical purposes the only way you are going to get on a jury is to lie. That’s right. If you answer the questions they ask you in a marijuana case they will ask you whether you believe the marijuana laws are just. If you tell them no or you favor changing the laws you will not be seated on the jury. Therefore you must lie to get on the jury. Then when you get on the jury…..hang the jury. The guy is guilty of selling small amounts of marijuana….sorry I have plausible doubt on the verarcity of the informant….nope, I don’t believe the prosecutors witnesses….Don’t even try to get into the wisdom of changing unjust unconstitutional laws. Just stand your ground, hang the jury, and blow the case right off of the dockets. If one person would hang the jury every two or three cases they would stop prosecuting minor marijuana charges….. You have the right to change unjust laws….hang the jury. In principal I am against lying. Marijuana enthusiasts have been lied to and persecuted for 70 years along with the general public. Lives have been ruined, property taken, taxes wasted, potential lost. I for one will lie to get on the jury to change unjust laws. I have done it before and I hope to be able to sit in on more cases. You can make a difference. One case at a time. Happy New Years! Marijuana. The only thing wrong with marijuana is the law. Change the Law!

  14. Yes Thank You NORML I want to give back. Lawyers do I(we) have a case? Hemp laws are treason against the Republic. Marijuana is the smoke screen that hides the hemp fields. Hemp answers almost all problems on the news. The motive is money. Their war crimes are many. They have no proof. 74 years of propaganda scare tactics lies they have never paraded out one body. How far do these crimes reach. We fund terrorism when we Have to buy their oil and the war on drugs greatly funds terrorism also. This this the greatest scam ever in the last 100 years? Who do we work for? Who do you want your children to work for.

  15. War on drugs my ass! Illegal pot absolutely funds the criminals, the terrorists, and the Justice Dept. If you abolish the prohibition, and control the cultivation and the distribution, you’ll find out just how many law abiding citizens there are in this great country. Eliminate the crime and you eliminate the criminal. Then – nobody will oppose law enforcement going after the criminal, the terrorist, or the Justice Dept. for their acts against humanity…amen.

  16. 22. twisted

    We are as free as “we allow” the government to allow us to be – just ask the Tea Party – or – the Teapot Party – or – the Green Tea Party. The day of Bully Pulpit is over. Timidity is a thing of the past. Damn the torpedos – full spead ahead!!!


    For a moment, I’d like to brethren with those who believe in God. Because I’m up on my soap box [see soapbox decision]. If one does not believe in God, I’d be greatful if one would join in. Your input is as important to me, as my output is to my brethren. I will learn from you. Than you!

    Genesis I:29,30,31
    CDXX Communion

    We are seeking, with full measure, the “Reformation of our belief, and the reaffirmation of our allegiance to it.”

    Our Sacrament has had long equaintance with history [its faiths and religions] since the beginning of time.
    But – now we are prohibited from its use. We are not “forming,” we are “reforming.” Religious Reformation is equally as recognizable as Marijuana Reform. They are the same. Our medicinal Sacrament is equally important as medical use.

    And that’s all I have to say about that!

  18. Hi. Happy Holidays 2011OK : means the SotoMoyor ruling
    about new cannabis legally smoked product will be the uh
    proper reguard : Obama’s not an idiot {peepl} . He saved
    5 major eco pacts at the end of the year [2010 A.D.] OK#
    I want to Esquire[2] cannabis legality activist document
    ready and sent .,. begin National Legality on about Jan.
    4th 2011OK .. it’s called : 2011OK Sotomayor and Holder
    Proper Regard to Begin Cannabis Legally Smoked Joints and
    “bongs” as soon as future report ,. Jan and Jun 4th 2011.
    Thanks . I’m a NORML associate activist without much uhm
    Communication Directory “clout” … Decrim and Taxes OK!!

  19. It’s January 4th : Leonhart , Jerry Brown and Interior
    regard of small extent drilling all accepted . . . . .
    I will know more tomorrow [Jan 5th 2011] with an email
    I expect and new accord Cannabis Legally Smoked Joints
    and bongs . Bong news gets more popular soon ., and I
    will want new Midwest Legal Cannabis OK. Thanks. Bryan

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