2017: A NORML Year in America

revolutionbumperIn the wake of landmark cannabis victories in 2016, there was much momentum to build upon when state legislatures opened up at the beginning of 2017. With NORML chapters in nearly all 50 states, activists took the fight to the halls of state capitals and city councils from Florida to Washington State and everywhere in between. In all, lawmakers in 26 states have passed legislation to advance cannabis reform.

Victories include: Nevada expediting the implementation of adult distribution of legal marijuana, becoming the first of the newly legal states to respect the will of their voters and come online in 2017; New Hampshire becoming the 22nd state to decriminalize marijuana, making it so that an individual can be in any state in New England without fear of being arrested for a simple possession charge; West Virginia becoming the 30th state to pass a medical marijuana program, which will soon serve patients suffering from a range of conditions including cancer, HIV/AIDS, and chronic pain; In Ohio, the Athens Cannabis Ordinance (aptly named TACO) passed to completely de-penalize marijuana possession; among many other advancements and legislative tweaks around the country.

Nationwide, with public support for reforming marijuana laws at an all-time high, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) have formed the first-ever Congressional Cannabis Caucus to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform and ease the tension between federal and state governments. As of this writing, (December 2017) 96 members of the House of Representatives, or 22% of the legislative body, have either authored or co-sponsored legislation to reform our nation’s outdated marijuana laws.

This progress has come as a result of years of organizing and conversations with our fellow citizens about the role of government in relation to a plant. The tough conversations about the scope of the government’s right to stop, search, and incarcerate individuals for possessing or consuming marijuana for either personal or medical benefits may not always be easy, but they are necessary in order to advance reform efforts.

And all said, the public is now strongly with us. The national polling outfit, Gallup, recorded for the first time ever outright majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents supporting the legalization of marijuana, representing 64% of Americans. For context, in 1969, the year before NORML was founded, only 12% of Americans supported legalization.

2018 is going to be no different. With over two dozen states on the books with scheduled lobby days and more to come, now is the time to take action. To help increase the likelihood of success for these volunteer-led lobbying efforts, NORML has updated our citizen lobby guide, a comprehensive booklet that will assist activists in the planning and execution of a successful lobby day. It also provides organizational checklists and a legislative questionnaire so that marijuana activists, regardless of the state they’re located in, will be fully prepared to meet with state lawmakers to discuss meaningful marijuana law reforms and to most effectively communicate NORML’s message of ending the prohibition of marijuana on the local, state and federal level.

So use us as a resource – NORML.org has fact-sheets, talking points, and visit our Action Center at norml.org/act to track legislation moving in 2018 and to plug in with a chapter near you or start your own.

As we look toward an uncertain future, we know we must work to both sustain our existing gains and to win future victories. Thanks for all that you do.

Author: Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director

You can follow me on twitter @justinstrekal

0 thoughts

  1. 2017 was the year of the paradox for the marijuana legalization movement.

    On the one hand, our big state wins suggested America is coming to its senses. On the other hand, Donald Trump in the White House suggested that America is losing its mind.

    Regardless of how you explain this discrepancy, on thing is certain: the endgames for each of these movements are mutually exclusive. Fascism cannot coexist with legalization.

    Fuck Trump!

  2. Happy Weed Year! _\|/_ (continued)

    Number Six is for church pricks
    Tax-slicks and mix poly-tricks
    Washing money while Time ticks
    For the sick cant take their picks
    They just get pills and death quicks
    Given tythes like Netflix
    And the Bishops take back-kicks
    From Insys Therapuetics
    Tried stoppin Massachussets
    From gettin all our joints lits
    From the bricks to the sticks
    1milllion through church profits
    The tax exemption admits
    From where Archiocese sits
    I guess they did it for $#!*$
    But in their own eye they spits
    Cuz now theyre having their fits
    We legalizers dont quits
    Like Jesus showed the prophets
    He flipped the tables to bits
    When temples turned to markets
    Holy anointing our grits
    Poppin fake Churches like zits

    We know that Jesus took hits
    So tell them fake priests take splits
    Selah

  3. I live in Alabama and I am so sick of the minor poss laws here.
    I used to believe we would change the laws here before then I heard Miss had decriminalize it .
    I was sick.

  4. Happy Weed Year (5)

    Number Five is synthetic
    The pill mill is prosthetic
    A whole soul diahretic
    Anti-weed it’s pathetic
    If they’re selling fentanyl
    They leave you tied to a medic
    They prohibit weed and kill
    So many till it’s prophetic
    Even China’s blaming weed
    So much greed it’s kinetic
    Insys Therapuetics need
    It spelled out in phonetic
    If they all went to prison
    Freed the weed; copasetic
    Novo Nordisk makes poison;
    Weed treats a diabetic
    But Debbie Washerman Shultz
    Takes Novo stocks and spread it
    They invest in pills like cults
    Arrest weed, it’s genetic
    They can’t patent a plant
    But they would if we let it
    We don’t need a prescription
    Let it grow, there I said it,
    Happy Weed Year, NORML!

  5. Happy Weed Year (4)

    Number Four, we hit the floor
    When the Feds are at the door
    We may have to hide a pound
    But now with Cali in store
    Not sure they can anymore
    When the 19th rolls around
    The revenue’s gonna pour
    So Jeff, you Big Pharma whore
    You lie and whine while we roar
    Until our throat is so soar
    We smoke a joint and explore
    How to make Congress ignore
    Your lies and see what theyre for
    We’ll take these rights that we found
    And show them we’re voting more
    Like Alabama did Moore
    We’ll put the fear in your core
    Until we settle the score
    This revolution is lore
    You may not like how we sound
    We turn enforcement to your
    Drug Education Weed Tour
    Legislation you deplore
    We fight on capitol ground
    This Sessions over, drug war

  6. Taking a break in my weed-ryme marathon-countdown, since Im down here in Mexico for New Year’s, I thought I’d do a little follow up reporting on a previous post about Mexico legalizing medical marijuana this New Year;
    I speculated that Mexico would import their weed from Canada until they sorted out cultivation regulations. Internally I suspected that the flea-markets or “tiangis” that exist in every town in Mexico were going to take the “green light” with lack of enforcement.
    I admit I was pleasantly surprised this morning when the familiar waft of Mexican sativa smoke traveled up the beach. It’s been so long since I enjoyed the distinct smell since I partake of legal strain varieties back home to support our movement. Plus the smuggled stuff is always packed with perfumes or molds that I dont miss. I joined the fisherman in their morning bud circle for a while before wandering off to the tiangis later.
    Again, to my pleasant surprise, there was marijuana gel for sale. It’s under a brand called “Gel de Peyote.” The main ingredient? “Marihuana.” Also claims to contain peyote, lidocaine and dicoflenac, all anti-inflammatories. I put some on my hip where I struggle with meralgia paresthetica. I can’t say I’m trippin but the pain is gone. Before paying the 30 pesos (about a buck fifty) for the jar, I noticed cannabis oil with the marijuana leaf symbol behind the jars of gel. It is also recommended as a topical disinflammatory but as an oil, not a gel.
    Ive heard about this brand from Mexican friends back in Texas. I think it’s always been around but never seen a bold weed leaf on a label like that.
    Dont bring it on the plane with you but travelers should expect mire to come from Mexican medical marijuana.

  7. Follow up on the follow up: No way to confirm from the smell or the feel of the “Gel de Peyote” that it contains marijuana. Definitely had lidocaine and decoflenac. I spoke to a woman who says shes been vending the product with the weed leaf label for 2 years who admits that she has no way to confirm marijuana is in the product. Conclusion: Mexico needs labeling laws almost as badly as the US… with one exeption: in Mexico its possible to find healers or “curanderas” who make marijuana tinctures in alcohol or oil. I knew of one old indigenous Mexican woman who provided these remedies to a local church as healing oils. In this case one can see the marijuana still diluting in the glass jar, homemade. Thats one way to beat mislabeling.

  8. Medical disclaimer on the “Gel de Peyote”; I’m more certain there is no peyote in this common Mexican product than I am that it contains little to no marijuana. (At least not a psychoactive strain. Perhaps CBD oil?). I know the people who regularly post here could have figured that out from my previous post, but I felt obligated to clear this up since this stuff is real popular and found all over Mexico. Granted, I’ve never tried peyote (at least I’m pretty sure…). And I don’t recommend trying it without an experienced person to prepare the small desert cactus properly. I had a Navajo friend who tried it and explained it should be used in a spiritual context. Lidocaine and dicoflenac are effective for disinflammation but naturally shouldn’t be used excessively. Unfortunately, going back to what I was saying before, when it comes to non-psychoactive strains in marijuana gels or CBD oil and in a world of flea markets and rampant mislabeling the one sure way to know it’s real is see and smell the plant and with a little guidance, make it yourself.

  9. 2018! Time to punish Trump.

    To punish Trump, we must punish all Republicans, everywhere, in 2018. (And then again in 2020, it’s not as far off as it sounds.) The fascist Republicans are Trump’s enablers, and they are openly complicit in his crimes against America.

    Mueller can nail Trump to the wall; but it is we, the decent American people, who must move in for the kill. Indictments and convictions alone won’t do it. The 25th Amendment won’t do it (because: Pence. Duh.)

    Trump’s punishment will take place at the ballot box in 2018.

    Trump has been shitting on our heads for a solid year, and wiping his ass with taxpayer dollars. Our money. Our freedoms. Our Democracy.

    We protest; but Trump only mocks and threatens us. He is abusive, demented, and dangerous.

    This horrific insanity must end. But the Republicans charged with checking his power won’t stand up to him, no matter how vile or blatant his corruption is, and will inevitably become.

    There is only one way to stop this shit-show: Vote!

    1. Register to vote, do that now while you have time.
    2. Look up where you vote; Look up who’s running.
    3. On Election Day, Vote! Punish Trump and the Republicans!

    It’s payback time!

    1. Mark,
      Assuming Democratic turn out will be anything like what happened in Alabama…
      While the Mueller investigation drags on this year and Republicans scared of either getting implicated or nuked by a “bigger button” move for the 25th amendment, here are some very interesting and likely scenarios you might enjoy;

      1. Mueller probably already has Kushner talking which means Kushner turns on his own and throws “the princess and poppy in law off a cliff. Kersplatter.” (If you can say that in the voice of Gilbert Godfried it’s much more gratifying). Bitter betrayal, but then they should know all about that when they laundered money for Russian oligarchs for so many years.

      2). Since Mueller’s investigation is predicted to take another year, if Trump fires Rosenstein and every assistant AG until one fires Mueller, a Democratic minority report can preserve the administration’s impeachable… and indictable… offenses, which includes high treason from Pence for failing to notify authorities of felony treason by the administration with Russia to lift sanctions on hostile Russian launderers.

      3). Once a Democratic Congress is sworn in by next year, Trump and Pence can be indicted with the help of a %51 majority vote from a Democratic Congress after our marijuana-friendly Judicial Committee chair Nader hands off authority for the indictment. No 2/3 majority impeachment necessary if a Federal Judge has Congressional consent to indict the administration.

      4). With the President and VP gone, that leaves the Speaker of the House next in line, which by then, providing she doesn’t lose in a primary, would be Nancy Pelosi. Not the best outcome, but a hell of a lot better than what we got now! And the next Congress will be the most marijuana reforming to date, without exception.

  10. The day marijuana is legalized for adults is the day I will once again be proud to be an American!

    Until that day I consider this idiocy to be very embarrasing for a country that purports to be “The Land of the Free” and supports “The Will of the People”.

    I didn’t serve in the Marines only to live a lifetime of being considered a criminal by our Government for my choice to use cannabis!

  11. For awhile there I was scared that AG Jeff Sessions would roll back all of that hard work we all put in to making progress toward legalizing and decriminalizing cannabis. But boy was I wrong! I want to congratulate NORMAL, it’s donors, and all the active activists(me included) working together with NORMAL and each other for another successful year! May 2018 be THE year to end marijuana prohibition once and for all!

    1. Joseph,
      The Rohrabacher Blumenauer amendment which prevents our tax dollars from being spent by Jeff Sessions from being used to crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries expires on the 19th, unless we contact our Congressman to renew it. Please click on the ACT tab and let your Reps know youre registered to vote and who they work for.

  12. Happy Weed Year (3)

    Number three’s for companies
    Insurance hypocrisies
    Theyre predators for profit
    Charge what they please, these pharisees
    Are shills for pills and hidden fees
    Make us swallow it and cough it
    Till we can’t afford the peas
    and carrots Got us on our knees
    Like ferrets scratching off the fleas
    All drugged up looking for the keys
    Private Insurance hated plants
    Since back when the Cherokees
    Showed us homemade remedies
    Taught us to breathe the mountain breeze
    And heal with bark from off the trees.
    Canada may have to freeze
    But they have public policies
    Where health has legal guarantees
    Translated from legalese
    “Pass the marijuana, please!”

  13. Happy Weed Year (2)

    Number two is me and you
    Thinkin the Drug War is through
    We still got you know who
    Selling us to China, Few
    are chosen, so its true
    Rebel soul, the fight is new
    Dropping out will drop you too
    Not the best thing to do
    Why would you let them split our crew?
    We can still change our view
    Just like they regulate our brew
    And if not that’s when we sue
    Like Marvin Washington’s case grew
    Let’s teach the Fed to get a clue
    Take Action, take a toke or two
    Before they take it back from you

  14. Happy Weed Year (One, Final)

    Number One, Campaign Run;
    We vote down prohibition
    We think were done because they won
    But the fun has just begun
    Black Market/ politi-shun:
    “Do you support weed with a gun?”
    Or “Is recreation
    a form of medicunn?”
    Why so many rebels shun
    To ask them a hard question?
    Cops are not your Congressmun,
    If we don’t have taxation
    Then no representation
    Without an explanation
    There’s no legalization
    We’re turnin Drug Enforcement
    Into Education
    And sending our endorsement
    All across the nation
    In the darkest market
    We bring light from the sun
    If were hot, then we park it
    If were not, then I’m done

  15. After the latest move by Jeff Sessions to stifle the growing movement of America dealing with cannabis intelligently, I urge the legal staff at NORML to please draft a letter requesting congress to remove all federal restrictions against cannabis and make it strictly a matter of states rights. Follow by pasting it on every social media outlet so ALL Americans have an opportunity to voice their opinion to their congressional representitive.

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