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The Time For Marijuana Reform Action Is Now


hash bash michigan marijuanaBy Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Coordinator

With the Presidential election taking place this November, the majority of us are already being inundated with political propaganda from the political left and the right. In news cycle after news cycle, pundits can be heard offering their thoughts on the most recent poll numbers or political gaffes and rarely venture beyond hot button issues such as immigration or gun control. Some candidates have attempted to discuss drug policy reform, but most have avoided getting into any substantive discussions; ultimately offering a soundbite or two. In short, while most mainstream politicians acknowledge the problem, they by and large remain unwilling to address solutions. For those of us who have dedicated our lives to reforming America’s marijuana laws, this has been a bit frustrating to say the least.

Even with all the hoopla surrounding the upcoming election, it seem almost impossible to find a politician who is willing to have a meaningful conversation about reforming America’s archaic marijuana laws. Although the issue consistently holds the support of more than half of our country, most candidates continue to treat it as an afterthought. As we close in on the 80th year of marijuana prohibition in America, we can no longer wait for Washington to take action. The days of playing political hot potato with an issue that the majority of Americans support are over. Our time is now.

Change begins on the local level so be the catalyst for marijuana reform in your community. Start building relationships with city council members, county commissioners, judges and other elected officials. Explore opportunities to elevate the reform conversation through community forums and roundtable discussions. Even something as simple as writing a letter to your local paper will provide a chance to offer an enlightened perspective to a larger audience.

As marijuana activists, we must work hard to make sure we’re putting our best foot forward as we focus our attention on winning the hearts and minds of politicians and community leaders alike. With efforts to reform local and state marijuana laws ramping up across the country, NORML Affiliates and Chapters are committed to providing our members and activists with all the tools they need to work towards meaningful reforms. From developing helpful talking points and strategic messaging to working with our local organizations to create legislative scorecards, NORML’s national office is prepared to dedicate the necessary time and resources needed to ensure that 2016 is a historic year for marijuana reform.

If you haven’t already done so, please visit www.NORML.org to familiarize yourself with all of our available resources and other ways you can get involved. With over 160 Affiliates and Chapters worldwide, NORML will continue to be the leading voice for marijuana reform around the globe. For more information regarding NORML Affiliates and Chapters please email KevinM@NORML.org.

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Johnny Green


  1. Well written, can I use this on Facebook? I’m a volunteer for MI Legalize and would to give this out our volunteers.

  2. Elizabeth Rathbun on

    Will there be a Despenserory in Berkshire county MA anytime soon? I don’t drive and very hard to get to ones available so far away. Along with doctors in my area?

  3. Ya, WE IN CANADA should have been asking our candidates WAY smarter questions and not accepting the ” spin doctors “. On their word again. Don’t give up until you get a straight forward answer. Look where we Canada are at now. Eeeeerrrr ! Maddening. But on a high note I fart rainbows too and on a really great day my rainbows fart rainbows too.

  4. Now is not the time to try to coast through the elections if you use Marijuana for anything or know someone show your support send an email out, to your politicians and ask them how they stand. If you get any answers good or bad use your social media and post it. People need to see this.

  5. David Yoseph Schreiber on

    It is appropriate to ask the candidates for federal, state, and local offices what is their position on the legalization of cannabis. These positions should be publicized so that the voters can make an informed decision about the issues important to them.

  6. Lawrence Goodwin on

    Your article and call to action are well written, Kevin Mahmalji. For 16 years, though, I’ve been doing exactly what you recommend. I’ve written dozens of pro-cannabis letters and feature articles in newspapers, and reached out to many local officials here in backward New York. I may as well lobby brick walls to change New York’s prohibitive cannabis laws. I’m convinced that NOTHING will change, at the state or local level, until federal lawmakers make a move. As of January 21, 2016, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee, is single-handedly blocking ANY progress on the proposed Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act–the first piece of federal legislation in 45 years that would restore a level of justice for qualified medical cannabis patients in all 50 states. Grassley (note the bitter irony of his name) refuses to bring the CARERS Act up for debate, let alone a vote. Advocates everywhere must INUNDATE his offices with phone calls and old-fashioned, ink-on-paper letters (emails often generate nothing more than a response from a robot). The phone number of Grassley’s Washington, D.C. office is 202-224-3744. The fates of millions of Americans are at stake, literally hanging in the balance, so we must demand immediate action on the CARERS Act.

  7. Please call the White House Comment Line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that Marijuana be taken off of Schedule 1 IMMEDIATELY.

    You can also write the President by going to http://www.whitehouse.gov and clicking on “contact us”

    The range of Medical conditions it benefits is incredibly large.

    Its a “Wonder Drug” for Cancer Patients.

    It saves the lives of Children with Seizure disorders.

    Its a life-saver for Veterans and other Americans with PTSD.

    Its a “Gift from God” for Americans with Chronic Pain.

    It stops the progression of Alzheimer’s and helps protect patients from TBI and Concussions.
    It cuts the rate of migraine headache suffers in half.
    It even helps mend broken bones.

    Its vital that every American who can benefit from it have safe, legal, access to it, and it has an unmatched safety profile.

    This is a MEDICAL and MORAL issue.

    Its is wrong to stop patents who need it from having access to it as it would be to prevent patients who need Insulin, Antibiotics or Anti-retrovirals from having access to them, or any other medication that can heal them or save their lives.

    Please call and/or write every day and ask everyone you know to do the same.

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