With multiple states and cities across the nation deciding upon adult-use legalization this fall , NORML is redoubling our efforts to inform, educate, and get voters to the ballot box. In many states voter registration deadlines are approaching and early voting is on the horizon. It is imperative that each of you have the tools to be an active and informed voter.
The post <strong>How to Prepare for the Upcoming Elections and State/Local Ballot Efforts</strong> appeared first on NORML.
Celebrate Cal NORML’s 50th Anniversary and commemorate the 1972 California Marijuana Initiative (Prop. 19), the country’s first cannabis legalization ballot measure, which lead to the decriminalization of marijuana possession in California (the 1975 Moscone Act), and so much more.
Leaders from the CMI initiative will share their reminiscences, live and via Zoom. Food and drinks will be served. All are welcome to attend!
Saturday, November 12
60 13th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Suggested donation is $50. Proceeds will benefit Cal NORML’s continued advocacy for cannabis consumers’ rights in California.
Sponsorship packages are available. Contact: Kharla@canorml.org.
The post Celebrate Cal NORML’s 50th Anniversary on November 12 in San Francisco appeared first on CaNorml.org.
“In order to rectify the state/federal conflict that currently exists over marijuana policy, and in order to best maintain the market controls that a majority of states have enacted to promote public health, prevent the distribution of marijuana to minors, ensure safe business practices, and improve public safety, cannabis must be descheduled — not rescheduled — from the Controlled Substances Act.”
The post Poll: Most Americans Support Forgiveness for Past Marijuana Crimes, Oppose Cannabis’ Schedule I Status appeared first on NORML.
Among those between 18 and 44 years of age, more than half say that Congress should prioritize the issue. Among registered Democrats, 54 percent of respondents said that lawmakers ought to prioritize legalization. One-quarter of Democrats said that it should be one of Congress’s “top” priorities.
The post NORML Op-Ed: Pardons Aren’t Enough: It’s Time to Prioritize Marijuana Legalization appeared first on NORML.
President Joe Biden announced he intends to pardon anyone with a federal conviction for marijuana possession, directing AG Garland to develop a procedure for clearing the records of an estimated 6500 Americans carrying past convictions. While the move will not release anyone currently in prison for federal marijuana sales or cultivation convictions, it will help remove barriers to employment, housing, or educational opportunities for those carrying past convictions on their records.
“The Justice Department will expeditiously administer the President’s proclamation, which pardons individuals who engaged in simple possession of marijuana, restoring political, civil, and other rights to those convicted of that offense,” the DOJ said in a statement. “In coming days, the Office of the Pardon Attorney will begin implementing a process to provide impacted individuals with certificates of pardon.”
The President in a series of tweets, a video, and a proclamation called on Governors to also pardon state marijuana offenses; North Carolina’s governor has already announced he plans to do so.
For nearly two years, NORML has called upon the Administration to fulfill the President’s campaign promise to provide relief to those stigmatized with a low-level cannabis conviction. We thank of our supporters who have taken action towards this important first step for justice.
HHS Review of Marijuana’s Scheduling Status Ordered
As part of his announcement, Biden called for former CA AG Xavier Becerra, now head of HHS, along with the Attorney General, to conduct a review of marijuana’s Schedule I status. “The federal government currently classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance, the same heroin and LSD, and more serious than fentanyl. It makes no sense,” Biden said.
“I think you’re going to find that we’re going to move as quickly as we can but, at the end of the day science is going to take us to a solution,” Becerra told reporters in Tampa. “The president was very clear—he wants this done as quickly as possible. It’s not new science, but there’s lot of information to gather because in many states marijuana has been legalized for either medical purposes or recreational purposes.” Becerra also tweeted, “Looking forward to working with Attorney General Garland to answer @POTUS’ call to action to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.” NORML has been calling for marijuana’s rescheduling for decades.
California Officials Respond
Several government officials from California responded to the news, many of them calling for further steps, including federal marijuana legalization. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-SF), issued a statement saying in part, “Today is a day of hope and healing, as President Biden takes historic steps to reform America’s approach to marijuana. These transformative actions are the latest manifestation of Democrats’ unyielding commitment to justice, especially for those unfairly harmed by cannabis criminalization.
CA Attorney General Rob Bonta tweeted, “In the Legislature, I worked to ensure Californians with outdated cannabis convictions would see their records cleared, and I’m proud to help fulfill that promise as AG.” While in the state legislature, Bonta successfully championed a bill, AB 1793, to automate the expungement and resentencing process for past marijuana crimes provided for in California’s Prop. 64. A 2022 bill from Mia Bonta set deadlines for county courts to act for record clearance, and establishes oversight for the process. Read more.
Other officials tweeting responses included Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Alex Becerra, plus Congresspersons Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Ro Khanna (D-San Jose), Nora Torres (D-Pomona), Sara Jacobs (D-Del Mar), Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), and John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove). State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-North Coast) and Assemblywoman Mia Bonta (D-Oakland) also tweeted their support. (See Cal NORML’s twitter feed to read the tweets.)
Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton issued a statement noting that two years ago she petitioned state court to withdraw guilty pleas or charges and dismiss the cases of 3,264 people in Contra Costa County for marijuana convictions. On October 1, Becton was presented with CoCo NORML˙s inaugural Cannabis Justice Award, acknowledging her leadership in expunging prior cannabis convictions in Contra Costa County.
Cal NORML Responds
Cal NORML’s Deputy Director Ellen Komp was interviewed on KNX radio in LA and CBS’s Channel 8 in San Diego about the Biden announcement.
California’s cannabis industry would receive a boost if marijuana were to be re-scheduled, as cannabis companies would be able to access interstate markets and no longer face steep federal tax penalties that can eat up profits, said cannabis industry consultant and Cal NORML board member Hirsh Jain told the Sacramento Bee.
The post Biden Announces He Will Pardon Marijuana Possession Offenses, Orders Review of Scheduling Status appeared first on CaNorml.org.
We must double down on our efforts encouraging Congressional leadership to finally repeal the federal prohibition of marijuana once and for all!
The post It’s Time to Legalize America appeared first on NORML.
“Moving forward, the Administration must work collaboratively with Congressional leadership to repeal America’s failed marijuana criminalization laws. Nearly half of voters now agree that legalizing marijuana ought to be a priority for Congress, and such action can only be taken by descheduling cannabis and repealing it from the US Controlled Substances Act — thereby regulating it in a manner similar to alcohol. Congress should be inspired by the Administration’s actions today to act quickly and send legislation to the President’s desk that would help close this dark chapter of our history.”
The post NORML Issues Statement Regarding President’s Plan to Pardon Those with Low-Level Marijuana Convictions appeared first on NORML.
“It remains clear from the limited data available that marijuana seizures and prosecutions remain the primary driver of drug war enforcement in the United States and that hundreds of thousands of Americans still continue to be arrested annually for these violations despite the reality that a majority of voters no longer believe that the adult-use of marijuana should be a crime.”
The post <strong>FBI: Nearly Half of All Drug Seizures in 2021 Involved Marijuana</strong> appeared first on NORML.
Voters’ support for legalization was strongest among African Americans (72 percent), Democrats (71 percent), those between the ages of 18 and 44 (70 percent), Hispanics (67 percent), and Independents (61 percent). Republicans (47 percent) and those over the age of 65 (45 percent) failed to express majority support legalization.
The post Poll: Three in Five Voters Say “Marijuana Should Be Legal Nationwide” appeared first on NORML.
By taking cannabis products off street corners and placing them behind the counter, lawmakers can provide consumers with a safer experience and greatly reduce their risk of being inadvertently exposed to contaminated products.
The post NORML Op-Ed: Claims of ‘Fentanyl-Laced Cannabis’ Are Common, But Are They Accurate? appeared first on NORML.