When NORML was founded in late 1970, only 12% of the country supported legalizing marijuana; 88% were opposed to our goals. After decades of hard work by thousands of committed advocates like you, we have gradually won the hearts and minds of a majority of the public. Today, over 60 percent of adults nationwide support ending marijuana prohibition and establishing a regulated market where consumers can obtain marijuana in a safe and secure setting.
We are certainly proud of the enormous progress we have made toward ending marijuana prohibition, especially the gains we have made over the last several years. Today, over 30 states and territories have legalized the medical use of marijuana; ten states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized the recreational use of marijuana. And we continue to add more victories each year.
But even as we celebrate these important victories, we must also be aware of the significant work that lies ahead. The goal at NORML is to achieve a policy under which responsible cannabis consumers are treated fairly in all aspects of their lives.
First and foremost, our mission is to reform state and federal marijuana laws to ensure no adult will ever face criminal or civil penalties for the responsible consumption of marijuana and that all Americans have the ability to access cannabis for medicinal use if recommended by their physician.
However, just because more states have begun to legalize adult and medicinal doesn't mean the fight is over, cannabis consumers are still being penalized and discriminated against in a number of ways.
We believe that:
It is wrong that consumers remain subject to job discrimination. Employers ought not to be able to fire employees solely for their off-job marijuana usage, just as employers are unable to sanction employees who consume alcohol after work or on the weekends.
Marijuana consumers must not be subject to over-regulation and excessive taxation. Marijuana consumers want a product that is safe, convenient and affordable. We want the marijuana to be tested in a state-certified lab to assure it is free of molds and harmful pesticides, and we want accurate labeling of the THC and CBD levels.
And parents all too often have to fight to maintain custody of their children. The mere fact that a parent chooses to consume marijuana must not be treated under the law as a presumption they are unfit parents.
And thousands of drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana, simply because they tested positive for some small amount of THC in their system, without the slightest evidence they were driving while impaired. NORML opposes the imposition of these zero-tolerance per se traffic safety laws and is lobbying for their repeal.
So, as you can see, we still have lots of work ahead of us -- even in those states that have enacted some form of marijuana legalization. Please join our fight today by becoming an official NORML member. To be considered a NORML member in good standing donate at least $35 annually or $5 monthly. Sustaining monthly supporters receive exclusive information about NORML's efforts and ensure that we have the resources needed to continue our work.