National and Philly NORML Turn Philadelphia Green on St. Patrick’s Day with Mid-Atlantic Conference

Last weekend, National and Philly NORML convened the first ever Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference in Philadelphia, PA. The gathering drew over a hundred activists from across the region who listened to a diverse line up of speakers ranging from academic researchers, to sitting politicians, to drug policy experts.

Leaders from numerous NORML chapters were present and addressed the crowd including Patrick Nightingale from Pittsburgh NORML, Evan Nison from NJ NORML, Kevin Clough and Joe Forte of Philly NORML, and Erik Williams of Connecticut NORML. They were joined by notable speakers including Gabriel Sayegh (DPA), Ken Wolski (CMMNJ), Rob Cantrell (Stand-up Comedian), Stacia Cosner (SSDP), Mike Liszewski (ASA), Marc Connuck (PA Farmers for Hemp), Jahan Marcu (PhD Candidate, Temple Medical School), Mallory Loflin (SUNY Albany), as well as Erik Altieri and Allen St. Pierre (National NORML). NORML Board of Directors members Rick Cusick and Diane Fornbacher also were on panels.

Attendees were treated to an engaging keynote address from State Senator Daylin Leach, the primary sponsor of Pennsylvania’s legalization bill. You can view highlights of the speech here and the full video here.

Also featured was Pennsylvania State Representative Mark Cohen, a long time supporter of marijuana law reform in the state, who gave those present advice on how they could best aid their lawmakers in their efforts.

The evening ended with a Private Fundraiser featuring entertainment from the likes of comedian Rob Cantrell and local Philadelphia reggae act, Cultureal.

You can read some coverage of the event below: – Philly420: Cannabis for St. Patrick’s in Philly
PhillyRecord – Leach: Pa. GOP Senators Support Legal Pot – On The QT
CannaCentral – NORML Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference
Live Illustrations of Panel Content by Jonny Goldstein

4 thoughts

  1. Looks like the law regarding cannabis is changing:

    the 1921 law will be changed to differentiate between cannabis and other illegal drugs such as herion, cocaine, etc. and the term use in a group used to outlaw opium dens will be scrapped.

    personal use not a criminal offense, won’t be pursued, there will be no record of evidence, no warrant.

    can’t possess more than needed for personal use.

    nothing’s changed for other illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, etc.

    That’s from my quick scan of it. Someone with more time can fill you in on the details. I’m not getting paid to translate it and got bills to pay so have to do work for my college courses. No time. Here’s the web site it’s from:

    From gezondheid dot be

    Het nieuwe drugsbeleid van de regering

    De federale regering zal een wetsontwerp schrijven waarin de drugwet van 1921 op twee punten wordt aangepast. Er wordt een onderscheid gemaakt tussen cannabis en de andere illegale drugs en het begrip “gebruik in groep” (oorspronkelijk bedoeld om de opiumhuizen te bestrijden) wordt geschrapt uit de drugwet.
    De modaliteiten voor het onderscheid tussen cannabis en de andere illegale drugs worden geregeld in een koninklijk besluit.
    Tot de nieuwe wet is goedgekeurd in het parlement en de Koninklijke Besluiten zijn gepubliceerd, wat zeker nog enkele maanden zal duren, blijft de richtlijn uit 1998 onverkort gehandhaafd.

    De principes zijn de volgende:
    1. Het persoonlijk gebruik van cannabis wordt niet langer vervolgd. Er wordt ook geen proces-verbaal meer opgesteld.
    – aanwijzingen van problematisch gebruik (een gebruikspatroon dat men niet langer onder controle heeft);
    – maatschappelijke overlast (gebruik in aanwezigheid van minderjarigen en openbare overlast, zoals gekend uit de nieuwe gemeentewet);
    2. Het invoeren, vervaardigen, vervoeren, bezitten van een hoeveelheid cannabis die niet bestemd is voor het persoonlijk gebruik en de drugsmisdrijven die gepleegd worden in het kader van de in de drugwet voorziene verzwarende omstandigheden (bijvoorbeeld gebruiken in de aanwezigheid van minderjarigen) worden bestraft. De opsporing zal zich prioritair richten op risicosituaties (cannabisgebruik in het verkeer, dealen in de buurt van scholen, concentraties van jongeren, …).

    3. Voor andere illegale drugs (zoals heroine, cocaine, XTC) verandert er niets, zij blijven verboden en er zal steeds een proces verbaal worden opgemaakt. De bruggen naar de hulpverlening worden wel verstevigd (via de justitiële case-managers).

    In elk parket zal een “referentiemagistraat drugs” aangeduid worden. Hij of zij zal eindverantwoordelijkheid dragen voor het gevoerde drugbeleid, uiteraard onder de leiding van de Procureur des Konings. Deze referentiemagistraten komen geregeld samen om hun beleid op elkaar af te stemmen en in te spelen op nieuwe evoluties. De lokale bestuurlijke overheden zullen, in overleg met de Procureur des Konings, een lokaal en geïntegreerd drugbeleid uitwerken.
    Het inschakelen van justitiële case-managers moet garant staan voor een betere samenwerking tussen de hulpverlening en justitie.
    Het therapeutisch advies (waarbij gebruikers onder toezicht van het parket in contact worden gebracht met de hulpverlening) zal worden veralgemeend en gefin

  2. Google Translate(Dutch to English):

    From health dot be

    The new drug policy of the Government

    The federal government will write a bill in which the drug law of 1921 on two points is adjusted. There is a distinction between cannabis and other illicit drugs’ use in group “(originally designed to combat the opium houses) is deleted from the drug law.
    The modalities for the distinction between cannabis and other illicit drugs are regulated by a Royal Decree.
    Until the new law is approved in parliament and the royal decrees are published, which surely will last several months, remains the 1998 directive remains unchanged.

    The principles are the following:
    1. The personal use of cannabis will no longer be prosecuted. There is also no record more prepared.
    – Evidence of problematic use (a use pattern that is no longer under control);
    – Social nuisance (use in the presence of minors and public nuisance, as known from the new municipal);
    2. The import, manufacture, transport, possession of a quantity of cannabis that is not intended for personal use and drug crimes committed in the context of drug law in the foreseeable aggravating circumstances (eg use in the presence of minors) are punished. The investigation will focus on priority risk situations (cannabis use in traffic, dealing near schools, concentrations of young people, …).

    3. For other illicit drugs (such as heroin, cocaine, ecstasy) nothing changes, they remain banned and there will always be drawn up in a process. The bridges to the assistance are to be reinforced (through judicial case managers).

    In each parquet, a “reference magistrate drugs” are indicated. He or she will have ultimate responsibility for the impact of drug policies, of course, under the leadership of the Public Prosecutor. This reference magistrates meet regularly to coordinate their policies in tune and to respond to new developments. The local administrative authorities will, in consultation with the public prosecutor, a local and integrated drug policy development.
    Enabling judicial case managers should guarantee a better cooperation between the treatment and criminal justice.
    The therapeutic advice (where users under the supervision of the public prosecutor brought into contact with the rescue) will be generalized and gefin

  3. am i reading this right,,over a hundred activist? should have been alot more than that attending if we are to get anywhere with legalization,,,due to my work schedule,i was unable to attend, but certainly would have,,

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