May 1, 2019
Everyday NORML Chapters from around the country invest countless hours in advocating for meaningful marijuana law reforms on the local, state and federal level! Below is a brief rundown of some of their most recent accomplishments.
NORML Announces Plans for 2019 Conference and Lobby Day
“This September, we invite you to join NORML members from across America to learn effective strategies, hear the latest scientific and political advancements, and meet in person with influential members of Congress.”
Read more from NORML.org!
DFW NORML Builds Community Support for Upcoming Rally
“Shortly after the decision, East found new support in the DFW NORML group, which expressed interest in supporting the protest. East planned to officially join the group over the weekend, plus participate in their Marijuana March on May 11 to meet other members and get them involved in his own protest.”
Read more from the Statesman!
Southeastern Wisconsin NORML Rallies with State Lawmakers for 4/20
“The restaurant will also host speakers who advocate for the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, including state Sen. Lena Taylor and Eric Marsch, executive director of Southeastern Wisconsin’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.”
Read more from the Journal Sentinel!
Virginia NORML Hosts Marijuana Decriminalization Panel Discussion
“As advocates across the commonwealth push for the legalization of marijuana, officials are taking a look at what that could look like.”
Read more from NBC 29!
NORML Students at the University of Wyoming Hosted Mario Kart Fundraiser
“We hosted a super smash tournament back in February. It was a fun way to raise money, so the group decided to host another tournament based around a popular game,” she said. “We are trying to raise money for the club and awareness about our club.”
Read more from the Branding Iron!
NORML Leaders in the Media
Radio: Alan Robinson, Executive Director, Wisconsin NORML
Radio: Jax Finkle, Executive Director, Texas NORML
Radio: Jeff Reidy, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley NORML
Radio: Jenn Michelle Pedini, Executive Director, Virginia NORML
Radio: Mary Kruger, Executive Director, Rochester NORML
Video: Mary Kruger, Executive Director, Rochester NORML
Radio: Steve VanDeWalle, Deputy Director, Rochester NORML
Alan Robinson, Executive Director, Wisconsin NORML
“Alan Robinson, executive director of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said he uses cannabis to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and post-traumatic stress order.”
Read more from The Post-Crescent!
“When you meet somebody who has been an outstanding member of the community, who is an adult and who uses cannabis for their own purposes, and you find them getting prosecuted like violent criminals, you see that as a miscarriage of justice, and you must act.”
Read more from the Door County Pulse!
Dale Geringer, Executive Director, California NORML
“To invalidate home delivery of any legal product whatsoever is really well beyond the line,” he said. “I think they are stretching local authority to an outrageous and unprecedented extent.”
Read more from The Orange County Register!
“California is regulating and taxing the hell out of cannabis, which makes it hard for legal suppliers to compete with the state’s longstanding, extensive, and highly developed black market.”
Read more from Reason!
Dan Linn, Executive Director, Illinois NORML
“Allowing people to grow cannabis at home. If it is legal for adults to buy and consume, but not to grow, that is an injustice.”
Read more from Crain’s Chicago Business!
“Linn contends that studies show experienced marijuana users do not experience significant deterioration in driving skills after consuming pot.”
Read more from 98.7 WNNS!
“Prices are so high in Colorado that there’s more than enough room for a middle man. Don’t get me wrong, the weed man is gonna be grinding a little harder and charging less, but still.”
Read more from the Chicago Tribune!
David Phipps, Communications Director, Indiana NORML
“PTSD is not the only neurological disorder CBD can assist with. David Phipps, communications director of Indiana Norml, said CBD oil can help with epilepsy, noting cases where some child patients went from over 100 seizures a day to near zero when they started taking CBD.”
Read more from the Indianapolis Recorder!
Doug Green, Board Member, Empire State NORML
“Nassau will lose out on tax revenue and that many people will likely drive into Queens or other parts of New York City to buy marijuana, since he says the city “definitely” won’t opt out.”
Read more from News 12!
Edie Moore, Executive Director, Chicago NORML
“Chicago NORML supports a direct redistribution of cannabis tax dollars into the communities most impacted by the drug war, along with automatic expungement of all cannabis-related misdemeanors.”
Read more The Chicago Sun-Times!
“It really makes sense that you have a safe space to go and consume it. Now we’re talking about consumption lounges … like a cigar lounge or a hookah lounge.”
Read more from WTTW – Chicago PBS!
Frank Latta, Executive Director, Wyoming NORML
“Recent legislation at the federal and state levels, House Bill 171 in particular, has the two men excited for the future of hemp as an agricultural crop and product, particularly because of the potential it has to stimulate a state economy in need of diversification.”
Read more from PC Record Times!
Jax Finkle, Executive Director, Texas NORML
“We need to work out what issues there might be so that we can make sure we have some kind of quality policy that’s helping Texans right now, not in another two years.”
Read more from Fox 7!
Jenn Michelle Pedini, Executive Director, Virginia NORML
“It’s encouraging to see municipalities taking action in the absence of legislative progress from Richmond. We look forward to these municipalities including decriminalization in their legislative priorities and joining us in the General Assembly to lobby for the substantive marijuana policy reforms Virginians demand.”
Read more from WAVY TV 10!
“Virginia NORML said way too many lives have been severely altered just because you’re caught with a little weed, something that’s recreationally legal in eight states as well as Washington D.C.”
Read more from 13 News Now!
“The unfortunate thing is that investigation after investigation show that many of these products don’t contain the amount of CBD that they claim to,” Pedini explained. “Or they contain adulterants like dextromethorphan, melatonin, arsenic, heavy metals, or pesticide residue.”
Read more from 13 News Now!
John Conroy, Executive Director, Canada NORML
“The illicit market is still thriving in Canada.”
Read more from Newsweek!
Kebra Smith-Bolden, Executive Director, Connecticut NORML
“The cannabis nurse educator also takes time each week to speak to church groups and traditionally underserved communities – including people on probation and parole – about marijuana, its benefits and how to get access to it without breaking the law.”
Read more from News One!
Keith Fagan, Regional Director, Canada NORML
“You know, I was lied to when I was a kid and I believed the ‘reefer madness.’ But then when I saw for myself that it wasn’t true, well, everything else wasn’t true. I didn’t believe the government. I didn’t believe the teachers.”
Read more from the Calgary Herald!
Keith Caughran, Board Member, Charlotte NORML
“What’s going to get the Republicans to change their mind on this – I would say it would be a fiscal conservative argument that around North Carolina, a lot of the municipalities and counties, the police are spending tens of thousands of hours either on arresting people or issuing citations.”
Read more from ABC 11 WTVD!
Kevin Oliver, Executive Director, Washington NORML
“This measure is designed to protect larger local cannabis players who have violated regulations in the past, says Kevin Oliver, co-founder of Washington’s Finest Cannabis in Spokane and the director of the Washington chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).”
Read more from the Inlander!
Lee Otts, Executive Director, Memphis NORML
“You shouldn’t be locking people up for a plant,” Otts said. “It’s such a racial thing. Minorities are four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis use than non-minorities, despite the same statistical usage. That’s not right.”
Read more from WREG News!
Madeline Martinez, Board Member, Oregon NORML
“This is about equal rights, because whenever you pick a certain group and treat them differently, that is discrimination.”
Read more from Portland Mercury!
Mary Kruger, Executive Director, Rochester NORML
“These conversations have been happening and our allies are willing to negotiate with the governor, but he needs to do just that — negotiate.”
Read more from The Daily Star!
Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML
“We spoke with Detroit-based criminal defense lawyer Matthew Abel, one of 15 people to sit on the drafting committee for Proposal 1. Abel also serves as executive director of the Michigan chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.”
Read more from the Detroit Metro Times!
“To a great extent, I think their opting out is about fear. I think these boards are out of touch with the public they serve. But that’s nothing new.”
Read more from the Detroit Free Press!
“He said the government — both former Gov. Snyder and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, which has continued to change rules and first oversaw the medical marijuana licensing process — are to blame for the system’s continuing chaos.”
Read more from the Bridge!
Melissa Villars, Executive Director, NORML Tallahassee
“She said the measure would hike costs for medical-marijuana users and drive many of them to seek the drug on the black market.”
Read more from Florida Phoenix News!
Mikel Weisser, Executive Director, Arizona NORML
“He regularly receives calls from people who’ve been arrested for marijuana possession, he said. Many of them are patients, and more than a handful have been in Maricopa County.”
Read more from the Phoenix New Times!
Neal Smith, Executive Director, Indiana NORML
“The interim study commission was nothing more than a sham,” said Neal Smith, executive director of Indiana NORML. “The final result was, as this and the last General Assemblies have been, not accomplishing much in any area.”
Read more from the Pharos Tribune!
Patrick Nightingale, Executive Director, Pittsburgh NORML
“Patrick Nightingale, executive director of the Pittsburgh chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), said defendants often aren’t aware of expungement procedures and filing fees.”
Read more from the Observer-Reporter!
Rick Thompson, Board Member, Michigan NORML
“These extensive financial and background checks, exhaustive cannabis testing and transport procedures, seed-to-sale tracking and compliance protocols have extended the time needed to approve candidates for one of these businesses.”
Read more from Michigan Capitol Confidential!
“If your pricing is not in line with the typical price these patients are used to paying, stores will be empty and rooms full of pricey, unsold cannabis will be the norm. … Seducing those people into brick-and-mortar stores will take time, marketing money and high-quality, inexpensive cannabis.”
Read more from the Lansing City Post!
Roger Green, Executive Director, Hudson Valley NORML
“President Roger Green said that in the ten states that have legalized pot, there has been no significant increase in drug use by minors.”
Read more from Yonkers Times!
Steve VanDeWalle, Deputy Director, Rochester NORML
“There’s a lot of cannabis users, there’s a lot of people that use but are afraid to come out of the cannabis closet. Come out of the closet, be loud, be proud, because it’s coming.”
Read more from WXXI News!
Tom McCain, Executive Director, Peachtree NORML
“I see it as a step forward for the possibility of getting some type of cannabinoid medicine to patients in Georgia who have been authorized to have it since 2015 but have had no way to legally get it.”
Read more from the Daily Caller!
“We advocate for the freedom of adults in the United States to make their own decisions about cannabis,” said Tom McCain, executive director for the state group. “It’s not the dangerous thing that ‘Reefer Madness’ and all of the hype makes it out to be.”
Read more from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution!
For more than 45 years NORML chapters have been the driving force behind policy decisions on the local and state level. Have you connected with your local NORML chapter? If there isn’t one in your community, please email NORML Outreach Director Kevin Mahmalji at KevinM@NORML.org for help with starting your own!
Ready to start a NORML chapter in your hometown? Click here to find out how!