Marijuana Legalization Making Major Progress

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Note: The first issue I worked on full time was ending the war on marijuana when I was in law school in 1979. I went on to become the chief counsel and national director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). At the time, the end of the Carter-era and the beginning of the Reagan-era, marijuana law reform was not a popular issue. Polls had our support in the mid-teens, Reagan was running the “Just Say No” campaign, there were “This is your brain on drugs” fried eggs commercials and we were receiving death threats in the mail. Now, we are making incredible progress. The article below gives a snapshot of the progress made in last two weeks. It is incredible. The political dialogue has changed and changes in laws are following.

Unraveling the war on marijuana is part of ending mass incarceration, the racially unjust criminal justice system, the drug war in Mexico and Colombia and other drug-related issues like the spread of disease, the opioid crisis and rights of workers to be free of drug testing and other intrusions.

Of course, there are pushbacks to progress, but people like Attorney General Jeff Sessions are now on the political fringe, laughed at by many even though he can do serious political damage. President Trump puts Sessions in the fringe box when he says he would sign a federal law reforming the marijuana laws. The work continues. If you’d like to support NORML you can do so here.

Can you smell it? It’s the smell of victory!

At a time when news comes fast and furious, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of it all. So we’d like to take a moment to remind you of some of the amazing events that have transpired over just the past two weeks.

June 16 The Texas GOP added marijuana decriminalization and medical cannabis planks to their party’s platform.

June 19  A new nationwide poll reported that 68 percent of US voters back legalizing marijuana — the highest percentage of support ever recorded!

June 20  Canada became the second country in the world to formally approve adult marijuana use, production, and sales and announced October 17, 2018, as the effective legalization date.

June 23  The Texas Democratic party added marijuana legalization as a plank to their party’s platform.

June 25  The FDA approved the first-ever plant-based marijuana medicine for the treatment of intractable pediatric epilepsy.

June 26  Oklahoma became the 31st state to legalize medical cannabis access, passing one of the most patient-centric medical marijuana programs ever.

June 27  The Senate’s leading Democrat introduced landmark legislation to deschedule cannabis and expunge past convictions.

Yes, indeed, we ARE winning — and with your continued support, we are not going to get “tired of winning” any time soon.

When NORML was founded in 1970, the deck was stacked against us and only 12% of Americans supported reform. Now, the dominos are falling in our favor, one by one — one city and one state at a time. That is because good folks like you are stepping up, speaking out, and demanding to be heard. Together, we are effectively pushing statewide reforms through ballot boxes and legislatures from coast to coast and nearly every state in between. Thank you for pledging your support for the end of federal prohibition by continuing to be an active part of NORML and the marijuana law reform movement.