This week marks another critical mile-marker on the road to ending marijuana prohibition in the United States. By the end of this week, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Virginia will all have abolished criminal penalties for marijuana possession.
That means that by week’s end, 14.3 million more Americans will live in a jurisdiction where the adult use of marijuana is legal. In all, 145 million Americans — or just shy of half of the US population — now reside in reformed states.
But we’re just getting started. Will you continue to stand with us?
Over 50 years ago, when NORML was initially founded, the fight for legalization was a much lonelier one. At that time, only 13 percent of the public endorsed our efforts. Nonetheless, even in the face of such seemingly insurmountable odds, we knew that legalizing marijuana and ending our nation’s war on cannabis consumers was the right thing to do. To quote Orwell, “Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”
As it was back then, the truth today is that prohibition is a failed, racist, and counterproductive policy that is a national embarrassment and deserves to be relegated to the dustbin of history. That is why NORML and our supporters across the country were never daunted by the odds. We knew that our hard work, our persistence, and our unwavering commitment to protecting the civil rights of those who choose to consume cannabis responsibly would eventually change public opinion, and ultimately, the law.
Now, nearly half of our fellow citizens (maybe you’re even lucky enough to be one of them) reside in states where it is legal for adults to purchase, possess, and consume marijuana. Unfortunately, this means that the other half of the population still lives under the oppressive yoke of prohibition. That is why we must not relent. Even in states that have passed legalization laws, the scope of our work continues to expand as we continue to fight for employment rights, access to home cultivation, fair treatment under the law for parents, and for the expungement of previous cannabis-related violations.
State by state, our team supports those who lead the fight for reform, and federally, we have ensured that a rational, pro-consumer voice is heard. And you can see the results.
There are many ways to support our work, but the easiest and best way is to sign up to be a sustaining member, with most giving just $15 dollars a month. When you become a sustaining member, it allows us to plan ahead and best prepare to make the long-term decisions needed to continue our advocacy until we ultimately win our rights and liberties as cannabis consumers under the law.
If you’re not in a position to commit to being a sustaining member, then make a one-time contribution and join the fight for freedom:
Together, we have moved American opinion and we have changed the laws. Together, we have brought justice and freedom to half of the country. Together, we will soldier onward and re-legalize marijuana nationwide.
The marijuana revolution continues,
NORML Executive Director