NORML@40: In the Beginning

NORML is pleased to announce the premiere of ‘NORML@40,’ a new video series on our YouTube channel NORMLtv. This retrospective video collection documents the trials, tribulations, and accomplishments of America’s marijuana consumer lobby from those who kept the movement going for the past four decades.
In the debut episode, founder and legal counsel Keith Stroup discusses how it all got started. Learn how his time with the Product Safety Commission provided the framework for what would become the longest running pro-marijuana organization in the country and how former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark influenced the acronym we all know and love.

Subscribe to NORMLtv and visit NORML’s Facebook page for announcements regarding future ‘NORML@40’ episodes. Also stay tuned to NORMLtv for periodic installments of ‘NORML Update’ and ‘Ask NORML.’
Get active; get NORML!

25 thoughts

  1. With all these state budget reductions now is the time to start the drumbeat for the federal government to get the fuck out of the way. Cannabis needs to be taxed. If the Feds don’t want to do it, then the local cops should just start issuing waivers like the Dutch gedoogbeleid that basically say that the bearers and those named will not be pursued, apprehended, raided or prosecuted by the police and that they have a say in who runs things and such as the Dutch Bibab testing procedure. You’ll get a vignet from the mayor or local government. You can read all about it, but you have to know Dutch. It’s not available in English. I don’t have time to translate it now. Sorry.
    Anyway, the police will collect their own taxes on it for the community.
    Here is the link:

  2. can someone please tell me if it is true that plastic companies have began making plastic that can “hide” marijuana grow ops from being able to be seen by police heli’s?

  3. I admire the amount of courage it must have taken to start such a wonderful organization. Even in this day and age I am hesitant to voice my support for Marijuana in certain circles because of the potential backlash. Kieth Stroup is a real American hero in my eyes. Thank You

  4. I still find it sad that a 40th Bday was needed.
    We all know this should have ended a long time ago, but keep up the fight!

  5. Hey BIg Brother:
    I just purchased some JWH-122 since you only banned three of about 400 versions.
    Turns out its even more potent cannabinoid than the 18, higher Ki affinity for CB receptors than Delta-9 you worry about, and it was cheap and the govt ships it to my door (with tracking).
    Good luck with that Drug War(tm). You are at war with yourself, and I can wait until you implode.
    A Synthetic Cannibinoid Consumer, growing more brain cells everyday because of cannibinoid use.

  6. I love history, and it is nice to get a little bit of the history of this organization.

  7. Happy Birthday Norml! I think all your effort and hard work is about to pay off. I thought I would never see the day Prohabition would be over. It is not here yet,but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
    Good luck and god bless you and yours,
    Nancy Lee Garrett

  8. I think NORML should have stuck with REPEAL! When they finally opted to re-legalize alcohol, I am sure no one was part of a group suggesting the “reform” of the 18th Amendment, but the REPEAL of it! The same must be done now with regard to all psychoactive substances. The drug war is a war of leisure. Meaning that it is an ideological battle being fought for fear-based, and frivolous reasons.
    One could argue, “what about the children”? What about them indeed? Aren’t you the parent? If so, be the PARENT, and quit expecting the federal or state government to do it for you! One could argue that they aren’t safe. Well a car really isn’t that safe when you think about it. The safety of a car comes from the safe practices of the driver, not from the car itself. As the driver of your own consciousness, the best the rest of society can do is educate you about safe and responsible use of it…and throw you in jail for driving it in unsafe and irresponsible ways. Meaning that if you are running down the street naked while frying balls on shrooms, you are using them irresponsibly and in an unsafe manner and should probably be detained in a place where you can come down without representing a further threat to yourself or others. If however you’ve completed your daily chores, have seen to the preparations for tomorrow, have centered yourself and set the mood for a good trip in the privacy of your own home, you are using shrooms in a responsible manner, and really shouldn’t be bothered….at least for 4 to 8 hours.
    Personally, I’d like to see NORML get more active in the effort to legalize. Hold more protests, be more strategic in where an when to confront the powers that be. Given the gravity of the situation, and our dwindling ability to afford continuing the status quo, I can think of no better time than now to become more aggressive in this pursuit!
    [Editor’s note: Unfortunately, in the early 1970s when NORML was founded very few citizens (and almost no elected policy makers) supported repealing cannabis laws. Arguably, today, a majority of citizens (and by extension their politicians) still do not support repealing cannabis laws. What do citizens support? Reform! Today, the ‘soft’ reforms of decriminalization and medicalization enjoy strong public support in the high 70s/low 80 percentile, which is awesomely high. Again, ‘repeal’ of Prohibition laws…has approximately 46% support (aka, a political loser).
    >Personally, I’d like to see NORML get more active in the effort to legalize. Hold more protests, be more strategic in where an when to >confront the powers that be.
    BTW, people who care and get personally involved reform bad laws, not non-profit organizations on K Street in Washington, D.C.
    If you care to see NORML even more active than it already is with 160 chapters, sponsoring the biggest public protests in the US, convening the largest conferences and legal seminars for reform, having very popular webpages and podcasts, active lobbying in almost every state and public education in the form of public service ads, the only thing that can make that happen is greater donated financial resources as the will and determination is well in place.
    The volunteer-based efforts of NORML has been doing it’s part for 40 years, hopefully you’re not part of the 99.99% of cannabis consumers who do NOTHING to advance cannabis law reforms–or Prohibition’s final repeal–except complain about wanting others to bring freedom to them with the ease and sacrifice of ordering a home delivered pizza.]

  9. Mr. Stroup,
    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the work you have done to help legalize marijuana. I know it has been a long hard journey and that most politicians have tended to ignore the will of the people in favor of the hard party line so it has been difficult. But, thanks to NORML, finally – legalization just might be in our near future (3 to 5 years).
    It seems that people are finally getting it; meaning that marijuana is not a dangerous drug that only criminals use. It has medical uses, and it is extremely safe for recreational use. I think that enough people are finally becoming educated enough on the subject to realize the insanity of locking up non-violent good American citizens because of possession of small amounts for personal use.
    Even though I am not in my mid-50s, I have often wondered if I’d ever be able to possess and consume marijuana legally in my lifetime. How wonderful it would be to experience a marijuana high without the fear that law-enforcement might come after me because of it. Like most other marijuana consumers, I am a good productive member of society. I pay taxes and I vote. I never cause anyone any trouble and served my country for 4 years in the Marines. There is no way that I am a criminal in any way shape or form. Our elected officials need to recognize that responsible adults should not be terrorized by our justice system any longer. It should be there to protect us!
    So, Mr. Stroup, thank you very very much for all you and NORML have done to right something that has been so incredibly unjust and even against the Constitution and Bill of Rights as I understand them! Truly, you are an American Hero.

  10. I like pizza! It bugs me that Ted Kennedy didn’t have to die the way he did. Surely he believed the propaganda and not taking the truth to his grave. The saying.
    Lawyers bar the door to the kingdom of heaven not letting any enter and not even entering themselves.
    Legal is the only answer. End the treason.

  11. I’d remember those years when I first heard about Keith Stroup and the founding organization called NORML. He was on a radio talk show debating with a narrow minded slow witted bully who was representing the Texas legislature. That guy who representing a district in Texas was embarassingly dumb.
    Keith Stroup helped battled against the infamous Nixon attack on the anti-war counter-culture when the “Control Substance Act of 1970” was quickly pass into law without any medical review. He also battled against the United States government during the mid and the late 1970’s who purposely allowed tainted marijuana into the country. Do you remember the taste of paraquat?

  12. I’m going to rephrase that last paragraph.
    Keith Stroup helped battled against the infamous Nixon attack on the anti-war counter culture when Nixon quickly passed the “Control Substance Act of 1970” without any medical review. Keith also battled against tainted marijuana that was allowed by our government.
    Oh by the way, paraquat tainted marijuana looked like a mass of oily brown dead vegetation that tasted like unsweeten root beer when smoked.

  13. Hello NORML ! where the hell have you been? Why have you not picked up on this story yet !
    Here’s the LP’s comment on darkcycle’s 2nd link:
    March 9, 2011
    Contact: Wes Benedict, Executive Director
    Phone: 202-333-0008 ext. 222
    War on Drugs leads to gun smuggling nightmare
    WASHINGTON – According to CBS, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has been involved in undercover operations to smuggle high-powered weapons into Mexico, probably as some sort of tracking operation. Now many of those weapons are in the hands of ruthless drug traffickers, which they are using to intimidate and kill people.
    Libertarian Party chair Mark Hinkle issued this statement today:
    “This is another sad chapter in the long story of the terribly destructive War on Drugs. Now our own government is apparently involved in smuggling weapons to drug lords in Mexico. This story is as bizarre as it is depressing.
    “The War on Drugs has caused far more death and destruction than it has prevented. The War on Drugs is a failure in almost every measurable way. The War on Drugs should end.
    “It’s becoming more and more unclear whether the U.S. government even wants the violence to decrease. More drug violence means more jobs for federal drug agents. More drug arrests mean more jobs for prison construction and management contractors. There are a lot of people whose income depends on a big, thriving, unsuccessful War on Drugs.
    “If the War on Drugs were halted, there would no longer be any such thing as ‘drug trafficking.’ Violence in Mexico would decrease very dramatically, as drug lords would quickly go out of business.
    “A lot of liberals and libertarians were hoping that President Obama and a Democratic Congress might at least tone down the War on Drugs, but they have done nothing of the kind. They have kept this war going as strong as ever.
    “It looks like those of us opposed to the War on Drugs can forget about help from the Democratic Party. Only the Libertarian Party will fight to end the misguided, wasteful, and destructive War on Drugs.
    “One of the things that saddens me is that our foolish and unjust drug laws are leading to the deaths of thousands of Mexican citizens. Those Mexicans can’t vote in our elections to change our drug laws — they just have to wait and hope they aren’t the drug lord’s next victim.
    “We Libertarians call for an end to the War on Drugs: an end to federal prohibition of the possession and sale of narcotics. Would that lead to increased drug abuse? It’s hard to know — probably not much — but nothing could be worse than the death and destruction our government has unleashed with its War on Drugs.”
    For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.
    The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.
    P.S. If you have not already done so, please join the Libertarian Party. We are the only political party dedicated to free markets and civil liberties. You can also renew your membership. Or, you can make a contribution separate from membership.

  14. I Have A Dream as Luther would say Lets Stop breaking familys up spending our tax money on putting people in Jail or prison for a medical issue they have with a particular drug or alcohol problem they may have. If someone gets caught without prescription or with any Legal, illegal drug or alcohol abuse . Lets use our prisons and tax money for medical treament drug awareness programs and get homeless people the training they need and off the streets give them shelter . Lets Really Make America a Free Country and give help to people that need it ! Just my thoughts

  15. What a long strange trip it’s been. When cannabis is legal NORML will have made a huge difference in millions of peoples lives. Thanks for all that you do.

  16. @ 20 Alex May GOD BLESS YOU Through Eternity.
    Alex you have wonderful thoughts, if you ever decide to run for President in The USA you can count on me.
    In that meantime

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