NORML Guest Column On CNN’s Frontpage

(CNN) — Despite decades of propaganda from marijuana prohibitionists, a majority of the American public has indeed said “enough” to the policies of cannabis criminalization. And no amount of fear-mongering is going to change this fact.

Writing in a just-published report by the Brookings Institute, “The New Politics of Legalization,” authors E.J. Dionne and William Galston conclude, “In less than a decade, public opinion has shifted dramatically toward support for the legalization of marijuana. … Demographic change and widespread public experience using marijuana imply that opposition to legalization will never again return to the levels seen in the 1980s. The strong consensus that formed the foundation for many of today’s stringent marijuana laws has crumbled.”

Read the rest of the essay here.



21 thoughts

  1. …i want more then damm near anything to be able to consume cannabis in a responsible manner , as i have for 32 years. being hair tested now for the last 4 years to hold a good job i cannot.what i really dont want is to support the wrong people while doing it. i also do wish for a small amount of regulation concerning the underage not being able to get a hold of it.cannabis has been a great asset to my well being as it brings me much peace and comfort in my daily life. and no, i do not have to use it before going to work and have not but, for those who consume a few beers after work, it works the same way. i know when i can consume it and when not to. i can make a little go a long way. i have been 4 years without its therapeutic effects and am quite miserable.cannabis is the BOMB for anxiety,mood swings,a.d.d….creativity is enhanced as well.i was able to ‘live in my own skin’ if you will. i have been this way pretty much all of my life growing up and found it a benefit at the age of 18 when i started consuming. actually it was a few years before i relized the true benefit….living without it leaves me close to empty and i know others feel the same…sure wish folks who do not consume it could take some time to understand it is a benefit to many in medical ways.all i want is my quality of life back.i am a productive part of society, i have worked for the same company for 35 years now,i live conservativly and have raised an awesome family..
    thank you norml for how far this has come and i wish you MUCH sucess in the coming few years!!!….good day!

  2. Congratulations, Norml! Thank you for all your hard work and perseverance!

    I hope this is a ratings gusher for CNN!

    Fox News has its own resident physicians who are their regulars, and they seem fairly prohibitionist to me. I hope they see the light and change their tunes to something pro-cannabis, however excellent research and fact-checking is something Fox is know for–more for lax fact-checking.

    MSNBC is just a big question mark for me when it comes to doing anything pro-cannabis, such as Trish Regan style specials: Eye candy moderator advocating legalization. Rachel Maddow maybe, the Eye Candy doesn’t have to be meant for heterosexual men, or does it?

  3. In the California Code, an attorney cannot appear ‘specially’ for the accused at Arraignment to challenge the tribunal proceeding upon a defective warrant that define cannabis flowers as a drug with high levels of abuse that has NO MEDICAL USE. However, attorneys DO appear specially in Civil Court to challenge jurisdiction and do so as a NORML practice at law. “What causes that?” the church lady was want to ask, “could it be Satan?”

  4. The front line of the drug war is in the workplace. Workplace drug testing is unconstional and needs to end.

  5. I can relate to him. Quality of life IS an issue for those who HAVE smoked, but now can’t. I know songs like Pink Floyd’s Quicksilver, DSOM and Astronomy Domine just aren’t as good when you’re out like me because of lack of green… backs, that is. And then to make things worse Rick James-Mary Jane will come on and it sounds like they’re taunting me with bliss. And then snoop dogg or lion or rat or whatever will come on saying, “This weed is mine! You can’t have it.” Geez. Well I need a fresh bowl of nugs right about now. Should stand on a corner with a sign that says, “Weedless, need love and some buds.” Ok

  6. People are finally realizing that basically the government has been lying to them. Sadly it has taken years of a badly run country/government (and I’m referring to Bush, not Obama) to realize that they’ve been forcing ill informed political rants on why marijuana is bad and should be illegal etc on the American people simply because they refuse to acknowledge the scientific fact. That and being run by republicans ran the country pretty greedy (on the side of government). Look at history and any one can see just how useful and harmless it really is.

    Even CNN’s Dr Gupta has changed his support when he finally came to realization.

  7. It is an organized attempt by the MEDICAL MAFFIA to influence the media and talk in favor of legalizing THE POT / MARIJUANA and keep our younger generation hooked up on it for the rest of their life and reap,huge profits. This will only help the civilized society to go back to MARDIGRASS, WOODWORK, HARE RAMA HARE KRISHNA AND THE HIPPY ERA , an era when people use anything to GET HIGH and spoil the life.

    Just like STEROIDS makes people DIABETICS AND EVENTUALLY HEART ATTACKS , this POT will create a plethora of problems in human life.

  8. I hope NORML keeps on getting interviewed and consulted with by main stream media. It is important that lawmakers are not getting bad information from the wrong people to ask. It seems many self appointed experts are crawling out of the woodwork these days. We need information from those who have years of experience on this subject like ALLEN ST.PIERRE. WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH JUNK SCIENCE. DR. GUPTA SPEAKING OUT IS MORE THAN COURAGEOUS ON HIS PART. Especially with him being a neurosurgeon and a reporter. It seems like forever that the media mocked and ridiculed those who wanted intelligent laws for marijuana use. I WAS STUNNED TO SEE NORML GET A FRONT PAGE REVIEW. GREAT JOB NORML!

  9. What, youre not posting my comments now? If it helps cannabis legality, fine. Remember, Im the one who emailed you just 3 words: Yes we cannabis. You now know it to be true!! Rofl

  10. Gawds that one man is an idiot. Where does he get his info from?, or should I say, missinfo?
    If the stats are so bad in California, then point us to some hard evidence of this. It’s clear to me, he’s just a prohibitionist, who would say anything against pot, just to keep it illegal.

  11. Just like STEROIDS makes people DIABETICS AND EVENTUALLY HEART ATTACKS this POT will create a plethora of problems in human life.

    How many centuries has cannabis been used? Well over 5 centuries. Within those 5 centuries, how many deaths, can you PROVE to have occurred, directly due to cannabis consumption?

    Within the past century, Those who would condemn patients for the sake of their monetary gain, have come up with alternatives that kill people on a daily basis. Every 15 minutes, a drunk driver causes an accident. Every 19 seconds, someone overdoses on prescription medicine prescribed by a certified health physician.Tobacco kills someone, every 6 seconds.

    Again, how many deaths have been caused by pure cannabis? So far, 0.

    Empty speculation should be left outside.

  12. I’ve been on this blog/website for about 6 years. For the longest time I couldn’t understand why we were justifying our cause to ourselves with facts, citations, links to studies etc. That being said, what gives me confidence of the eventual legality of cannabis consumption is the recent uptick in the number of Prohibitionist trolls that have appeared in some of the comment sections here. The last efforts of a dying breed of people who believe they somehow stand on higher moral ground. Make yourself another cocktail Jaytom.

  13. Yeah, jaytom. STFU! Were not fooled or fools like you. Its actually bad NOT to do it compared to how good it is to do. Its already here and not causing the problems you CLAIM to know “will” happen. Nice try. Maybe we can contact you on April fools day… =D

  14. Hey Jaytom, does a couple of joints short of an ounce mean anything to you? Go ahead Jayton have another hot dog, and feel free to crack a cold one the games on.

  15. About time Dr. Gupta educated himself and stopped spewing that gibberish he’s become all too well known for. When public opinion is swayed in favor of legalization, it’s no surprise to find individuals such as Sanjay changing their tune from anti to pro. Reminiscent of flip-flopping politicians riding popular ideas.

    Think for yourself.

  16. Congratulations Norml. You earned this.
    @Jon; Cruz is deep in the pockets of the DEA, much like Cornyn. But he’s slippery, and it looks as though industrial hemp is going to tear apart the unjust Texas Senate cannabis policy. Cruz and Cornyn are floundering over the hemp amendment to the Farm Bill pending in the Senate. Texas Senators won’t explain exactly why they voted down the first Senate Farm Bill, whereas Kentucky Senators told their state it was because the Senate hemp amendment wasn’t included in the Farm Bill. Cruz and Cornyn are up against their own party with the Republicans from Kentucky campaigning hard for hemp; (Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel and Senator Rand Paul).
    The rhetoric of the DEA not being able to “distinguish” hemp from marijuana in the field is a dying defense and they know it. That argument failed in the House of all places when the Congressman from North Dakota said there’s a way to add flourescent dye to the plants to “weed them out.” Even then, anyone in the cannabis growing industry knows that mixing hemp with marijuana will diminish the psychoativity of any resulting hybridization. Hemp contains anti-psychoactive CBDs.
    Hemp is a big contention in Texas where corn as a subsidy for cellulose ethanol has failed as a sustainable agricultural commodity due to this persistant drought. Meanwhile the EPA is increasing ethanol percentage requirements in fuel, ahead of the auto industry’s recalibration of ethanol engine production. Bottom line? Hemp uses less water than corn. Hemp requires no fertilizer or pesticides. Hemp is %80 cellulose, and a superior contender for cellulose ethanol production. Farmers know it. And the oil industry knows it. …And the oil industry remote controls Ted Cruz.
    In this way, Cruz will soon be like Governor Christie, flipping in the frying pan between pro-cannabis votes and the DEA lobby. I wish we could put them both in an oven full of cannibutter-brownies and see which one breaks first. EAT FAT BOY! EAT!!!

  17. While my state of Washington has passed full out legalization of marijuana, they still test for it when you apply for a job. Really????? They don’t test to see if you drank a glass of wine or beer the night before–so why are they testing for something that is legal by the state?

    It is so blatantly clear to me, and you too, that our government is running aamuck, and it is time for the people to take a stand and say “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH” We know the government Health and Human Services has known about the benefits of cannabis for eons.
    patent #6630507 spells it out clearly— “Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. seizures, and much more.

  18. @Deborah: I heard that was just because under federal lies–oops, I mean law–it’s still a “dangerous narcotic”. Once the federal law goes bye bye, so will workplace drug testing. Marijuana is the lynchpin to that particular violation of human rights.

  19. I’m…torn. I just saw this documentary on Youtube, and it looks like they’re struggling to find some way to “balance” the debate by scraping up something bad to say about marijuana. It feels like they’re only pushing medical marijuana, while pulling a slight “Reefer Madness” demonization in an attempt to discourage anyone getting any thought that full legalization would be a good idea. The “dangers” they bring up about marijuana seem…weak and contrived to me, especially in the few places where they bother to compare those dangers to those of legal drugs like alcohol. For example, I’d like to know how much marijuana will turn our children into the mentally disabled. Are they seriously suggesting that a few tokes before you’re 25 makes you have a low IQ and all the rest of that laundry list? I understand (from hearing, not from experience, as I do not use) that MJ comes in many strains with somewhat different properties–what kinds of MJ were they using to form that conclusion? Did they bother to adjust for the fact that those kids had to get their MJ from illegal sources, and so much of it might have been laced with…other substances? How certain are they that pure MJ is what lowers IQ, rather than other substances that could be introduced into illegal weed by the illegal sources? How did they get their info–by self-report? Lots of problems there, including the fact that a lot of people are simply not honest with self-reporting, especially when it comes to admitting to drug use. Plenty of adults with high IQ’s probably smoke, but won’t admit it to anyone, and that would skew the data.

    Bottom line: I have serious doubts as to the claim that mild to moderate MJ use before 20 years old makes for mentally stunted adults, any more than I buy the original prohibitionist claim sold to children in schools that a single drink–a single sip!–of alcohol will destroy your mind and body as if it was a poison. Perhaps someone who heavily smokes as their brain is developing might stunt their development, that I buy, but the same can be said for alcohol–which is one reason we have it legalized and regulated, to make it harder for kids to obtain!

    Were they just trying to stroke the egos of the prohibitionists, placating them that way? I don’t know. At least the overall conclusion seemed to be positive toward marijuana though, which is an overall good. There was a time not too long ago where any media attention toward marijuana was just full-on BS demonization propaganda. For that, I am grateful.

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