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The Changing Nature Of Marijuana Politics And How You Can Help


gop marijuana conservatives rand paul bryan fischerBy Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director

As I finish my first month as a NORML staff member, I am in awe of the incredible group of individuals that comprise NORML’s network; I’m also in awe of the political momentum that we presently enjoy.

NORML held a Legislative ‘Fly-In’/Lobby Day in Washington, DC just before I began my tenure here. Attendees visited with their US Senators and urged them to vote in favor of the Veterans Equal Access Amendment, permitting veterans the ability to utilize medical cannabis. The vote marked the first time the U.S. Senate had voted in favor of medical marijuana.

House members have also held important votes in recent weeks, including passing the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which limits the Justice Department’s ability to take criminal action against state-licensed operations that are acting in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states.

A couple weeks ago, Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA), often known for their opposition to marijuana law reform, held a hearing calling for expedited cannabis research. U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow testified at the hearing and acknowledged the need for systemic federal changes, including the allowance of non-government sources of cannabis for clinical research.

Significant changes in cannabis policy are also afoot at the state level. Oregon enacted their voter approved legalization measure on July 1st and became the fourth state to permit adults to legally possess limited quantities of marijuana for their own personal use. (Separate legislation recently enacted by the Oregon legislature also defelonizes various marijuana-related offenses and provides for the expungement of past marijuana convictions.) Delaware lawmakers recently elected to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses, while Louisiana lawmakers have just amended their toughest-in-the nation repeat offender laws. A marijuana decriminalization measure is awaiting approval from the Governor in Illinois, while legislation to permit medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii also awaits final passage. Florida’s largest county, Miami-Dade, also recently approved a civil citation program for minor marijuana offenses, becoming the first county to do so in the state.

I choose to highlight these recent successes because they were made possible, in part, by you and your donations to NORML’s Political Action Committee. As we head into election season, the role NORML PAC will play in electing politicians who support sensible marijuana law reform policies will grow to a record level. But we need your help getting there. Please donate $25 or more to the NORML PAC today and understand you have contributed to bringing an end to marijuana prohibition by helping to elect responsible, marijuana friendly politicians who will support legislation that you care about.

NORML is now receiving more requests for funding from elected officials and political hopefuls than ever before. By making a donation to the NORML PAC, you are strengthening our ability to help elect these cannabis friendly politicians and to support our allies at the local, state and federal level.

I’d like to thank you in advance for making your contribution to NORML PAC and I hope you continue to reflect on the importance of electing those who share in NORML’s goals of ending marijuana prohibition.

Source: NORML - make a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. PhDScientist on

    Kudos to NORML for their efforts but we need them to do more to get laws changed at the national level — especially with respect to Medical Marijuana. We need them to be more active in filing lawsuits to have Marijuana removed from Schedule 1. American kids with Dravet’s and other seizure disorders, and American Cancer Patients can’t wait. They’ll all suffering and kids with Dravet’s and other seizure disorders are dying because they’re being denied the medication that can save their lives.

  2. PhDScientist on

    We all need NORML to take the lead to file suit to get Marijuana removed from Schedule 1IMMEDIATELY. The question of whether Marijuana has accepted medical use is now “settled science”
    It does not quality for being on Schedule 1. It must be removed from Schedule 1 IMMEDIATELY, and its unmatched safety profile argues persuasively that it should not be on any schedule at all.

  3. Just to add. Remember that New York State Rep. that was the chairmen or speaker also on the Compassionate MMJ committee hearings that he voted an animate “NO”, no way, not here in NYS, never. Then a couple of weeks later he gets busted for speeding (State Police).They search his car because he appeared to be under some sort of impairment and “An Odd Odorous in the car”. Only to find his stash of Marijuana and paraphernalia. He later resigned. This is the type of politicians we are dealing with. He didn’t even get a suspended license, just a ticket for speeding, the possession was tossed. A concession he made because of who he knows and he’s resignation as speaker. I think he’s name was Silver or something. A very long standing politician in NYS and part of what’s called Cumo’s party of 3+ (R’s and D’s) of whom all have pending investigations of kickbacks and real estate scenes. All this burns the hell out of me, as many go to jail just for seeds. “An odd odorous” I want to meet the cop who came up with that term, it’s a new one I never heard before.

  4. Add one more to that number. We just lost a good friend to Hepatitis “C”, Hepatocellular carcinoma, this weekend. He (66 years old) died in a great deal of pain, not even knowing who he was (Hepatic related dementia). Not sure if cannabis would have helped his disease, but it is well documented that cannabis will enhance the pain meds he was given without any chance of an overdose. All that morphine, that would kill a horse and it still didn’t work to help his pain or his mind. A little cannabis would have enhanced the morphine, WITHOUT ANY DANGER AT ALL .
    But this is Florida, where you are not even sure what you are getting in that parking lot you get it from. People are finding additives like meth, heroin, that synthetic shit and assorted other whatnots in their purchase. Even getting him the pain meds was an issue. Here in Florida you practically need to show the body to get an Rx. They did not want to even give him Merinol, stating that it harms the liver, “WTF”. This is nuts, this is sycophantic reasoning. Something needs to be done now, today, yesterday, last month, 80 years ago. Just do it today. After seeing this, I as a free citizen have declared cannabis legal in Florida.
    How can a citizen of the United States be subject to different laws in different states just by crossing a crack in the road. Where is that EQUAL PROTECT UNDER THE LAW bullshit.
    But no, our Fl. state reps can go to D C, do their thing, vote, argue, go back to their condo, light up and then return to Florida with blessings. Remember our “Cocaine Congressmen” who got busted in D C w/ cocaine. He got probation in D C, in Florida he would have been sentenced to 5 years along with some concessions because of the “He knows this one and that one”. Again this is nuts, it must stop right now.
    Sorry for ranting, I thank you for listening.

  5. Anyone else see the senselessness of the Conservative idea of creating a new CSA class of Schedule 1R? It would still have the same criminal penalties, but allow some research. Still not open research and I do hope that other members of Congress see this. Any research that is restricted and only approved if there is possible negative outcome is where we are now. The Carers Bill would move the plant to S2. That would allow for research without any special permission from DEA. The most important thing we can do is get out the vote for a Marijuana friendly president. Not anyone who beats around the bush about it either. Jeb Bush did say he would do the ame thing at Ted Cruz, who said he would have everyone in the legal business sent to prison. Now Christie has taken that line, but Ted Cruz said it first January 2014. Rand Paul is the only candidate on the right who has already made moves to Reform. Hillary Clinton on the other side has side she would follow the course we have now. 2016 is huge election year. There is more money already pledged than has ever been spent before. Some people are expecting Jeb Bush to be the nominee on the Right. We can’t let someone like that become president. Remember that Ronald Reagan created the Drug Free Workplace by Executive Order. That administration quietly funded a propaganda campaign before they started invading Panama and Nicaragua. We went from seeing a few hundred arrests in each state to tens of thousands every year as the norm. What about Florida? 29 electoral votes. Only California and Texas have more, and we know they will be split Blue and Red. Swing states are Pennsylvania, 20 electoral vote, and Ohio with 18. Ohio has enough initiatives on the ballot to probably call the state for Hillary. The battle states are then Florida and Pennsylvania.

  6. PhDScientist on

    Where’s the sense of urgency? People are dying because they’re being denied medicine that can save their lives. The whole question of legalization has changed from “it would be a great idea” to “people are dying being denied the medicine that they need to save their lives”

    Like many Americans, I’m angry and frustrated by this.

    I’m a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer Research. I believe that there’s good reason to expect that High Dose Medical Marijuana Oil Therapy (HDMMOT) can lead to significant improvements in Cancer survival rates, especially when used as an adjunct to radiation and chemotherapy. I firmly believe that every single Cancer patient that wants to try adding it to their treatment regimen should have the right to safely and legally do so.

    How can we make this happen?

    Cancer Patients need NORML’s help on this.

    We need to get things changed IMMEDIATELY, no matter how much effort it takes.


    I believe HDMMOT can make a real dent in that number.

    We need to start large scale clinical trials IMMEDIATELY.






  7. Filing suit immediately sounds right to me. Maybe the courts will decide they have enough blood on their hands.

  8. PhDScientist on

    There’s an excellent case to be made that with the publication of the JAMA meta-analysis, the benefit of using Medical Marijuana for pain management is now “accepted science” and therefore, it is no longer possible to leave it on schedule 1. In that case, it must be immediately de-scheduled or rescheduled. Once it is moved to a schedule where it can be prescribed by Physicians, they would then have the same right they have with every other medication to prescribe it for off-label applications. I hope NORML or some other group immediately files suit on that basis — it seems like an irrefutable legal argument.

  9. PhDScientist on

    We need immediate action taken at the Federal level. Its unethical and immoral to leave Marijuana on schedule 1 for even one second longer.

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