Marijuana is Winning – Help Us Keep Up the Momentum!

NORML has been fighting to legalize marijuana for more than forty years, and as we saw from this week’s midterm election results, our hard work is starting to pay off. Though we are a divided nation in many ways, voters across the political spectrum were largely united on Election Day in their near overwhelming support for marijuana law reform. NORML’s ability to educate and unite people behind this cause has largely been made possible by donations and contributions from people like you. Thanks to NORML’s outreach efforts, Americans are now aware that it makes no sense from any objective measure to perpetuate the prosecution and stigmatization of those adults who choose to responsibly consume a substance that is safer than either alcohol or tobacco. But we still need your support to keep up the momentum, and to continue bringing our winning message of legalization to the American people.

Two More States – and Washington DC – Legalize Marijuana: 

The two most significant victories of the night no doubt occurred in Oregon and Alaska – where both states passed measures legalizing and regulating the cannabis plant’s retail production and sale, as well as permitting adults to grow the plant for their own personal use. In Oregon, 56 percent of voters approved the measure – the highest percentage ever to endorse a statewide campaign to regulate adult marijuana sales. Alaska and Oregon are the third and fourth states to enact regulations regarding the retail production and sale of cannabis goods, joining Colorado and Washington.

Voters in the nation’s capitol provided arguably the most resounding victory on Election Day. An overwhelming 69 percent of District voters – yes, I said 69 percent – said ‘yes’ to Initiative 71, which removes criminal and civil penalties regarding the adult possession of up to two ounces of cannabis and/or the cultivation of up to three mature plants. Indeed, marijuana law reform has come to Washington, DC and there is no way for our federal officials to ignore it.

NORML Needs You Now More Than Ever!
There remains much work to be done – and this is why we still need your continued financial support. NORML’s outreach and media efforts in the coming months will be more important than ever, as we fight to maintain our historic gains and push forward for new ones. We can’t expect our prohibitionist opponents to take these victories lying down, and we still need the resources to move legalization across the country. Please donate $50 or whatever you can afford today and help ensure our victories become the foundation for progressive marijuana policy nationwide.

25 thoughts

  1. Well done!

    I certainly want to see the momentum snow ball keep getting bigger as it rolls across the country. First 2 states, then just now practically 3 states–DC should be a state, you know, taxation without representation.

    How does the legalization is okay meme move east? Will McConnell and Rand, the two prominent pols from Kentucky, orchestrate down the line to rank and file so that Kentucky legalizes adult recreational? Texas’ Governor Rick Perry was at the World Economic Forum in Davos advocating for legalization, that Colorado and Washington. You know, Perry’s in some deep shit right now, and he sure would like someone to call off the dogs. He may be receptive to it if you make his legal troubles trickle into nothing. If the Bilderbergers and Davos didn’t hear Texas Big Oil being channeled by Perry then they need to hear it again for Alaska, Oregon and DC again, and louder.

    You don’t get farther east than DC. It sets a precedent for a city on the east coast legalizing, a trend which other cities back east can follow. There is the one-upmanship game they can play. DC might be prevented from implementing by Congress, somehow. If the large cities in small states on the east coast want to legalize the whole state is more likely to legalize adult recreational. Will the legislature legalize it in states back east that do not have the ballot initiative? Methinks if stats on the east coast had ballot initiatives like western states you’d already have legal adult recreational on the east coast.

    It’s not just staunchly blue states anymore. States with less of a democrat majority than Washington or Oregon have legalized. States, I guess, more like Colorado and now Alaska. The red states will have to use the appeal to the libertarian streaks in their R bases, and count on the vote for the popularity of pot even though lots of people will have to say they are voting against it, but once they get in that voting booth, hey, we’ll see.

    So Big Apple, you gonna let DC legalize and not play the one-upmanship game, and for how long? DeBlasio is like that old Who song singing about the new boss same as the old boss, and shit, we got fooled again! He needs to come around to his senses. His cops got problems with overreach on the aggression.

    Anyway, if you subscribe to the notion that large numbers of illegal immigrants are in the US working jobs Americans refuse to do and driving down the cost of labor and can do that Only because they are supplementing their legal income with underground income from trafficking in marijuana, then such people will have to move out of states that have legalized. And where are they going to move into: states that haven’t legalized and thus have outsource the supply for the demand in their states to the cartels. Even if the people involved in the underground supply chain are Not illegal immigrants, where do you think they’re going to have to move to when their cash flow is cut off in states that have now legalized: to your backyard in states where it’s still illegal.

    That really sucks. Cannabis consumers will have to settle for whatever kind of no-name weed, shit weed or whatever. It sucks for medical marijuana patients in non-MMJ states, as well.

    I don’t want to wait until the 2016 election for major momentum on the east coast.

  2. Just donated $25. The most gratifying $25 i spent all year! (Besides the $50 membership!)
    Its $25 that says, “Ahhhh…take THAT prohibition!”

  3. A recent Gallup poll has shown that support for legalization has dropped. Pro legalization organizations need to conduct their own polls and find out why the naysayers do not want cannabis legalized and focus their campaign on those issues.

  4. @Oracle,
    While i enjoy your optimism with Texas, i wouldnt expect anything from Perry. There is a decriminalization measure thats due to hit the state legislature next year, which will undoubtably set us up for 2016 elections if Republicans dont snap to the opportunity. Republicans like the one from my district, Lamar Smith and Jason Isaac, are the face of prohibiion, DEEP in the pockets of the DEA. (Just look at Smith’s face; with that fake Devil smile he could crack your screen). This is why electing more Democrats in Texas like Beto Orourke are VITAL to ending prohibition here in Texas where the evil heart of the military-prison industrial drug complex yet lives. Texas doesnt have voter initiatives like the states that just legalized, so we are completely dependent on NORML PAC for funding the right candidates into office.
    As for the Kentucky Senators, expect some decrim. and perhaps a hemp bill, but dont hold your breath for descheduling from this Congress unless Holder forces them to it…

  5. What a great victory for us!

    I’m not even using currently and don’t plan to do so either, but I want the right to do it again in some distant future LEGALLY.

    I’m disappointed by how little attention this victory seems to be getting in the media. Compared to when Colorado and Washington legalized, there are very few news articles and not much attention is given to this achievement and what it means. Even blogs that are very pro-marijuana, that usually would go crazy on news like this, are awfully silent.

    I don’t get it. We shouldn’t forget how hard the road ahead will be and that’s why this VICTORY is so important and so significant.

    Florida is the wierdest story this time, because clearly the voters DID approve of the measure.
    But it’s reported as if they didn’t. They didn’t get the supermajority, but in what world is 58% not approving of something? I mean, they are making it sound like an outright rejection. Yes, they even use the word rejection.

    Nothing was rejected this time around. Florida is just a question of time now.

    NORML and the MMP are awesome. Please do more media interviews, because you totally rule.

    I think the media is faced with our success and they shifted their strategy from ridicule to mostly ignoring.
    Because they want to keep the momentum down.

    IF we had enough funding, it’s not impossible to see a half a dozen states legalizing in 2016.

    Btw. has anybody here seen the new documentary “The Culture High”. It’s absolutely awesome and should help our cause. I mean it will probably not reach the hardcore anti-marijuana people, but the people in the gray area can be easily influenced by a great movie putting it all together like this.

    Please promote this movie NORML.

    If we don’t keep the pressure and momentum up, I think it could happen that The Empire Strikes Back.
    I can imagine that they will work harder next time with more TV ads and more propaganda to stop more ballot initiatives.
    I can also see them killing our progress by eventually enforcing federal laws in the states that legalized, let’s say when the wrong Republican is elected or even Hillary (who is not progressive and very shady by the way…).

    This isn’t over yet, we won a few important battles. But when we now think that the wave is going to continue by itsself and its just a question of time, our failure is all but sure.

    You all know how many big interests are against this, pharmaceutical companies, dinosaur politicians, tobacco and alcohol corporations and on and on and on.

    This isn’t the time to lean back. We delivered a blow to them. And now they are pretending that they didn’t get a scratch. We have to hit them again and even harder.
    Next time they need to start tumbling.

    Don’t underestimate the power of the Dark Side.

  6. As if to answer my last point about Holder, look who President Obama is nominating behind him;

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/obama-expected-to-nominate-loretta-lynch-to-be-attorney-general-cnn/ar-AA71hLk?ocid=iehp

    CNN says the Obama administration wouldn’t confirm the nomination, but it leaked out anyway. A Democratic prosecutor representing Brooklyn and New York’s Eastern district, Loretta Lynch could ride in on a clean slate to deschedule marijuana. It hadn’t occured to me until now, but one of the reasons Holder may be retiring is that descheduling marijuana (especially under this Congress) would open him up to prohibitionist attacks from within Congress, meaning Congressional investigation. Eric Holder may still be the most supportive Attorney General for descheduling marijuana than any since Nixon signed the Controlled Substance Act; But he has been at the job for a while and had to sign off on a variety dirty jobs, including the Fast and Furious scandal from Obama’s first term where the ATF (who has exclusive right not to disclose serial tracking numbers of weapons sold in the U.S.) was caught selling weapons to both sides of the drug war in Mexico. That means former Mexican president Calderon was not being informed that the same weapons he was purchasing from the U.S. were also being supplied to the cartels he was at war with… by the same agencies in the U.S.D.O.J.
    The ATF is quoted as saying “We wanted to see where the weapons ended up.” They ended up killing lots of innocent people (usually poor immigrants who refuse to join the ranks) and a DEA agent on “vacation” wearing a bullet proof vest.
    Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State at that time, and having also had to sign off on these “tracer program” it took an act of executive privilege from President Obama to stop the investigation.
    But executive privilege doesn’t mean that a fully Republican Congress won’t try to sink their teeth into a new investigation to attack Obama for the next two years.
    These activities of selling weapons to all sides of contrived drug wars and then blaming it on another party are par for the course on Capitol Hill. It will take an attorney general with a clean record and a desire to testify repeatedly before Congress to get marijuana descheduled. From what I have lightly investigated of Loretta Lynch, I couldn’t find another nominee for attorney general with a better case to deschedule marijuana after serving years as a prosecutor representing disproportionately incarcerated African Americans in New York’s Eastern district.
    At this point, after pending majority Leader McConnel’s comments about “passing executive decisions” (mostly regarding immigration) will be “waving a red flag in the face of Congress,” I see President Obama’s response dressed up like a Matador wanting to follow through with descheduling marijuana just to see the look on the Koch-headed-Tea-Party and Mitch McConnel’s face.
    And all this starting 2015 with judge Mueller’s likely decision for the defense in the U.S. v. Pickard et al?
    2015 is shaping up to be a very intersting year. Game on.

  7. What a great victory for us!

    I’m not even using currently and don’t plan to do so either, but I want the right to do it again in some distant future LEGALLY.

    I’m disappointed by how little attention this victory seems to be getting in the media. Compared to when Colorado and Washington legalized, there are very few news articles and not much attention is given to this achievement and what it means. Even blogs that are very pro-marijuana, that usually would go crazy on news like this, are awfully silent.

    I don’t get it. We shouldn’t forget how hard the road ahead will be and that’s why this VICTORY is so important and so significant.

    Florida is the wierdest story this time, because clearly the voters DID approve of the measure.
    But it’s reported as if they didn’t. They didn’t get the supermajority, but in what world is 58% not approving of something? I mean, they are making it sound like an outright rejection. Yes, they even use the word rejection.

    Nothing was rejected this time around. Florida is just a question of time now.

    NORML and the MMP are awesome. Please do more media interviews, because you totally rule.

    I think the media is faced with our success and they shifted their strategy from ridicule to mostly ignoring.
    Because they want to keep the momentum down.

    IF we had enough funding, it’s not impossible to see a half a dozen states legalizing in 2016.

    Btw. has anybody here seen the new documentary “The Culture High”. It’s absolutely awesome and should help our cause. I mean it will probably not reach the hardcore anti-marijuana people, but the people in the gray area can be easily influenced by a great movie putting it all together like this.

    Please promote this movie NORML.

    If we don’t keep the pressure and momentum up, I think it could happen that The Empire Strikes Back.
    I can imagine that they will work harder next time with more TV ads and more propaganda to stop more ballot initiatives.
    I can also see them killing our progress by eventually enforcing federal laws in the states that legalized, let’s say when the wrong Republican is elected or even Hillary (who is not progressive and very shady by the way…).

    This isn’t over yet, we won a few important battles. But when we now think that the wave is going to continue by itsself and its just a question of time, our failure is all but certain.

    You all know how many big interests are against this, pharmaceutical companies, dinosaur politicians, tobacco and alcohol corporations and on and on and on.

    This isn’t the time to lean back. We delivered a blow to them. And now they are pretending that they didn’t get a scratch. We have to hit them again and even harder.
    Next time they need to start tumbling.

    Don’t underestimate the power of the Dark Side.

  8. You’d think that the republicans with their “get government out of personal lives” would be all over legalization as in keeping with their “small government” agenda, yet when it comes to marijuana, they seem to advocate big government and then some!

  9. Politics in D.C. are playing out like som morality play. However, nobody really knows what they discuss back in the “Green Room.” I understand the pesamism because things are moving so slowly. Or mabey not so slowly considering how long it took to get to this point. I never thought that I would see this in my lifetime.

  10. A County in Arkansas just finally allowed liquor to be sold there ….. It was a dry County for how many years since prohibition ….. Point is I do believe states like Texas, utah, idaho and a few others will be last to legalize, if they ever do.

  11. @Galileo Galilei – I’ve been considering moving to Colorado since they legalized the herb, but this guy, Sen. Gordon Klingenschmitt (R)is a Nazi monster! How did this creep get voted in?

    Damn! The people of Colorado need to count their blessings instead of taking them for granted and allowing this abomination to happen on their watch.

  12. @ Galileo, I went to the Kilngenschmitt web-site. What the hell! May I have the honor of placing the fruit
    basket on that nuts head?

  13. Yay! Tommy Chong has made it through another week of Dancing with the Stars 🙂

    At the age of 76, and after having used marijuana at least 2000 times (probably), he is doing great and there is no sign that his usage has hurt him in any way!

    I can only hope that the prohibitionists out there can appreciate this fact and take it to heart. The thing that has really hurt Tommy during his life is being incarcerated in prison for 3 years. That is what does real harm. Guess what, he didn’t have any withdrawal symptoms while in prison and wanted to enjoy his favorite herb as soon as he got out.

    Our Justice system is such a sham! It is simply a tool used by the rich and powerful to enforce their ignorant predjudices.

    Thank you very much Tommy for all that you have done for this righteous cause!

    I have to wonder if Michelle Leonhart (of the DEA) is truly stupid enough to believe that marijuana is just as dangerous as meth, heroin, or cocaine. What are the odds, after all, of someone using one of these drugs regularly even living to be 76; let alone being as healthy and fit as Tommy is…

  14. Winning a competition without a level playing field, equal access to scientific data, fighting propaganda illicited for emotional and fearfilled responses to blatantly discriminating depictions of a personal issue.

  15. @Julian: I would say the “last thought on the new AG’s mind would be the
    unlawful arrests of minority NYC youth and adults.” This woman has far more important duties on her mind; she does not have time for nonsense; such as “Health and Marijuana.”
    Mostly likely if this woman sees youth smoking MJ on someone’s porch she prob. calls the po-lice. I hope I am wrong;just my 2c.*

    Summary: Gov. has infiltrated our lives. AR

  16. @ Paul / NormL

    “Great news about “Endocannabinoids and GI tract issues. I use MJ all the time to “settle my stomach”; works every time. Say for example I drink too much Tea which has Tannin; the Marijuana neutralizes the Tannins.

  17. A Joke of the Day: Anne’s

    “Marijuana has no accepted medical or scientific use…”

    lol…”where do I come up with these (jokes)?”

  18. @Anne;
    The reviews on Lynch are out and they’re are some good facts, but one real bad fact, regarding Lynch’s career as a U.S. Attorney since being nominated by Clinton in 1999 and again by Obama in 2010.

    I googled “will Lorretta Lynch deschedule marijuana” and ironically the first link to pop up was my own post right here on this web page! Let THAT be a lesson for what we write on line…
    But after a link to a link I reached ABC news with an article publishing the “five most high profile cases” of attorney Lynch’s career.

    First, the bad news; #3 on the list:

    U.S. v. Sanderlin, Lynch prosecuted a suburban “housemom” who was growing a 1,000 plant 3 million dollar marijuana operation in Queens.

    While it is noted here that this was in a state that did not posess legalized marijuana law, it would be interesting to learn the racial identity of the defendent considering that Lynch’s more high profile cases, such as her defense of a brutally beaten and sodomized Hatian immigrant by NY city police, give Lynch a racial preference of defending disproportionately incarcerated and victimized African Americans. In this sense, her marijuana case may act more as a catalyst ruse for her nomination as it surepticiously defuses prohibitionists in Congress.

    And this could be the silver lining in Lynch’s nomination; The recent decision to end small marijuana arrests in NYC coinciding with Lynch’s nomination may be more consequence than coincidence. Lynch comes from a long line of southern Baptist pastors, was “carried on her father’s shoulders” to organize civil rights protests at her church growing up, and she is a staunch supporter of the law suit in North Carolina over voting rights laws where her brother is still now a pastor.

    In short, Loretta Lynch’s record views the disproportionate arrests among African Americans due to small posessions of marijuana as a civil rights issue, which bodes very well for our movement to legally regulate cannabis nation wide. Especially considering the reduction of arrests among minorities we are reading from states that have already legalized. And the crown jewel is Washington D.C., our nation’s capitol, that overwhelmingly voted for marijuana legalization, and is comprised of a population that is primarily African American.

    There are other reasons why disproportionate incarceration and violence lead the way on marijuana law reform, none the least of which were the President’s own comments in the wake of the Zimmerman trial. These are President Obama’s last two years in office. His legacy is at stake; Does he want to face his daughters after he is titled as having incarcerated more African Americans than any other previous president?
    Obama has shaped his last two years as one of executive action in the face of a Republican opposition. We all know that besides the Secratary of Health, the Attorney General or the Director of the DEA, the President has executive authority to deschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act.
    There is a deeper conundrum in American society regarding marijuana policy; (or as Ethan Nadleman from the DPA puts it, a “psychosis.”) Even in the face of scientific fact of medicinal use, or the pending decision of Judge Mueller in the U.S. v. Pickard over the medical efficacy of marijuana, it appears as though it will be the racial disparity and police violence against minorities that will ultimately determine whether executive decision will end the greatest civil rights issue of our time known as prohibition.

    It will take time, until at least after 2016 elections, when more than half the U.S. Population will have pro marijuana laws in their state, that the Supreme Court will hear a pro marijuana case like the U.S. v. Pickard. So we wait on the judicial branch as a fail safe for Democracy.

    Clearly, with a Republican controlled Congress, the goal post will be moved down the line, blaming Obama, no doubt, for our socioeconomic inequality. Ironically it was the failure of Congress to do their job and legislate marijuana policy and give to the executive branch in the DOJ that caused prohibition in the first place. Expecting marijuana policy reform from this Congress will be like fleecing a pig, ” lots of squeels; very little wool.”

    So for the next two years, we are left with one branch; the branch that has been unconstitutionally given the power to patent and prohibit marijuana; the branch that has been corrupted into trafficking, asset forfeiting and profiting from the drug trade itself; the executive branch. Obama is not only against his own Congress; to deschedule marijuana he is up against his own executive branch that is the primary cartel of the world, operating out of our own DOJ; Obama is forced to lead a government that has been corrupted to the core by prohibition; including the invite of prostitutes to the Secret Service by the DEA during the Summit of the America’s; that wasnt a funny Secret Service scandal; that was another DEA scandal in disguise, designed to distract the public from the drug war and undoubtably impose fear in the Presidency over a failed Secret Service; Except this time Obama isnt facing reelection…

    Conclusion and Political Prediction for Lynch Nomination & Marijuana Reform:

    Congress will try to label Lynch as “racially biased” but she will succeed in her nomination due to a clean record and her… Dare I say it… “Distance from Obama.”
    As the Drug War reaches its extinction burst tantrum in the spring of 2015, more child drug war refugees will exodus across our borders revealing the flawed conservative opinion of “border security” in the face of prohibition, and Obama ‘s executive decisions to further reform marijuana and immigration will then be justified.

  19. @ Julian: thanks for your writings: such as:

    We all know that besides the Secretary of Health, the Attorney General or the Director of the DEA, the President has executive authority to deschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act.

    comment: I thought the same; if Prez O’ does not “reschedule MMJ before the new AG is “approved” then Obama will not reschedule.
    I thought Obama would reschedule when elected!
    I see Obama’s true color which is not “Green”.

  20. The reason for poll numbers slipping is probably a misguided notion about what these legalization initiatives have done. They are probably imagining “pot for kids” and “a free pass for herion/marijuana dealers”. The reality is that a roach can still get you 5 years in Alaska, just for being near a rec center.

  21. This is what I think of the War on Drugs:

    “The blood’s on the wall, so you’d might as well just admit it
    And bleach out the stains, commit to forgetting it.
    You’re better off empty and blank, than left with a single pathetic trace of this
    Smother another failure, lay this to rest.
    Console yourself, you’re better alone”

    Wisdom from Lamb of God.

    For how long is this already dead bitch (The drug war) going to keep trying to get out of her grave??? We need to stop rewarding failures. We need to be smothering them.

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