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National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, NORML
FounderKeith Stroup, Esq.
FocusLegalization or decriminalization of marijuana in the United States
  • Washington, D.C.
Area served
United States
Key people
Erik Altieri, Executive Director, Keith Stroup, Norm Kent, Paul Armentano, Justin Strekal, Political Director

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML /ˈnɔːrməl/ (About this soundlisten)) is an American non-profit organization based in Washington, DC whose aim is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the legalization of non-medical marijuana in the United States so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty. According to their website, NORML "supports the removal of all criminal penalties for the private possession and responsible use of marijuana by adults, including the cultivation for personal use, and the casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts", and "supports the development of a legally controlled market for cannabis".[1] NORML and the NORML Foundation support both those fighting prosecution under marijuana laws and those working to legalize marijuana. Similar affiliated organizations operate under the NORML banner in other countries, among them NORML New Zealand, NORML Ireland,[2] NORML Canada, NORML UK and NORML France.

In the 2006 United States midterm elections, NORML promoted several successful local initiatives that declared marijuana enforcement to be the lowest priority for local law enforcement, freeing up police resources to combat violent and serious crime.[3]

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
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  • ✪ Understand Marijuana Laws in 6 Minutes
  • ✪ Ask NORML: Viability of the Religious Use of Marijuana Defense
  • ✪ Be NORML: The End of Marijuana Prohibition Starts With You
  • ✪ David Bass of Texas NORML on Cannabis for Veterans
  • ✪ Ask NORML: Keith Stroup on Reforming Marijuana Laws at the Local Level


you might remember that there was an election recently not that people have talked much about it since then one thing that happened in this last election was several more states passed laws legalizing marijuana for medical use or making it completely legal that's on top of the 26 states plus DC which had already legalized it at least partially before we go any further let's all take a moment and get the pothead jokes out of our system I know I make them too, it's fun, but we'll never get anywhere if we don't skip the obvious jokes i have terrible not obvious ones instead and that's why we're calling it marijuana and not weed there feel better? alright let's go first the new 2016 laws all of these were passed through ballot measures which means they were voted on directly by everyone rather than being passed through the state legislature like a normal law if you're curious about ballots and ballot measures we have a video which explains more about them first we'll talk about California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada because they all completely legalized marijuana for adults all of them added taxes ranging from about 4%-15% and some states also applied the sales tax to marijuana California has a cultivation tax on the plants and leaves meanwhile Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota all legalized medical marijuana there was also a ballot measure in Arizona that didn't pass but they've already legalized medical marijuana beforehand here's the full list of states with legalized medical marijuana or completely legal marijuana there are too many states to cover each one individually so we'll talk about the general themes and what to look for from state to state obviously lawmakers are pleased to have a new source of money to draw on different states do different things with the tax money they get from marijuana sales some like Nevada, Arkansas, or Maine spend it on education or workforce training others spend it on the cost of regulating marijuana when marijuana has been legalized states also often have rules about where you can open a marijuana store or medical dispensary several states like Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington won't let you open one near schools, churches, or childcare facilities some states will only let people grow their own marijuana and other states will limit how much you can have and grow or what kinds of products you can make out of marijuana in that state and sell one question when you have medical marijuana is what kinds of illnesses and medical conditions are covered like cancer or glaucoma or even chronic pain laws don't cover everything but certain kinds of medical problems will allow your doctor to prescribe you marijuana some states will require you to also register and get an ID card before you get medical marijuana, so you will have to prove that you qualify in the first place some states that have totally legalized marijuana will still require you to register before you get it some states have much looser systems for medical marijuana and have been criticized for not requiring anything more than a simple prescription that might be as general as persistent back pain based on one complaint to the doctor generally the legal age of use for marijuana is 21 so no celebrations at your high school graduation and you can't get high during the commencement speech that's right I'm talking to you teachers most of the states that have legal marijuana make it a crime to drive with any marijuana in your system while a few you will have a legal limit like alcohol but many ban both marijuana chemicals and the chemicals that your body metabolizes marijuana into that second category includes things that take a while to exit your body after you ingest marijuana or smoke it so you could potentially be guilty of driving under the influence even it's been hours since you were high so what about the federal government? regardless what all these states are doing marijuana is still illegal under federal law that's bound to cause some confusion and complications the Obama administration still prosecuted people for marijuana crimes but they said they wanted to focus on specific issues and leave most of the policing to the states their big focus was keeping minors from getting marijuana, keeping criminal organizations from making money off marijuana sales (since they could bring marijuana in from other countries and sell it), stopping people from driving high, and keeping people away from using marijuana as a cover for shipping or selling other illegal drugs they were especially interested in keeping people from growing marijuana on public land like national parks which makes you wonder how many people were doing that you're also not allowed to use marijuana on federal property there was a criticism that even though they said they were focusing on other things the federal government was still raiding people with legal marijuana, which might include even Native American reservations, and seizing it or threatening them with prosecution some have even gone so far to say the Obama administration was having federal law enforcement seize marijuana illegally which means it doesn't matter what the state laws say, the federal government will still go after marijuana people have also complained that they started a marijuana business where it was legal but they couldn't use banks or investment because of federal banking regulations and some were afraid that as a result they'd get robbed because everything they had was in cash now what the Trump administration will do is kind of a big question mark right now on the one hand people point to his nominee for attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, and say that since he's against legalized marijuana even for medical uses that means the Trump administration will crack down on the other hand Donald Trump himself is man is known for enjoying a good time and not many people think he cares about marijuana personally or wants to fight the public over it time will tell but while you wait you can look up your state's laws on marijuana on these websites and there you have it



NORML was founded in 1970 by Keith Stroup funded by $5,000 from the Playboy Foundation. Since then, the organization has played a central role in the cannabis decriminalization movement. At the start of the 1970s, the premier decriminalization organizations were Legalize Marijuana, better known as LeMar, and Amorphia, the two of which merged in 1971.[4] The next year, Amorphia led the unsuccessful campaign for California's marijuana legalization initiative, Proposition 19.[5] In 1974, Amorphia merged with NORML.[4]

By the middle of the 1970s, Playboy owner Hugh Hefner's financial support through the Playboy Foundation set NORML apart from its predecessors, making it the premier decriminalization advocacy group. At one point, Hefner was donating $100,000 a year to NORML.[6]

The organization has a large grassroots network with 135 chapters and over 550 lawyers. NORML holds annual conferences and Continuing Legal Education (CLE)-accredited seminars. Its board of directors has, at times, included such prominent political figures as Senators Philip Hart, Jacob K. Javits, and Ross Mirkarimi.[7]

In 1989, Donald Fiedler succeeded Jon Gettman as the executive director of NORML. In August 1992, Richard Cowan became executive director of NORML. Keith Stroup became executive director once again in 1995 after Cowan stepped down. In 2016, Erik Altieri was selected by the NORML Board of Directors to become the organization's 7th Executive Director.

NORML Foundation

The NORML Foundation, the organization's tax-exempt unit, conducts educational and research activities. Examples of the NORML Foundation's advocacy work is a detailed 2006 report, Emerging Clinical Applications For Cannabis.[8] A comprehensive report with county-by-county marijuana arrest data, Crimes of Indiscretion: Marijuana Arrest in America, was published in 2005.[9]

In October 1998, NORML Foundation published the NORML Report on U.S. Domestic Marijuana Production that was widely cited in the mainstream media. The report methodically estimated the value and number of cannabis plants grown in 1997, finding that Drug Enforcement Administration, state and local law enforcement agencies seized 32% of domestic cannabis plants planted that year. According to the report, "Marijuana remains the fourth largest cash crop in America despite law enforcement spending an estimated $10 billion annually to pursue efforts to outlaw the plant."[10] Recent studies show that marijuana is larger than all other cash crops combined.[11] In 2002, the organization used ads containing New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg quotes on his past use of pot, saying "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it." The mayor said "I’m not thrilled they’re using my name. I suppose there’s that First Amendment that gets in the way of me stopping it," but maintained that the NYPD will continue to vigorously enforce the laws.[12]

Media and activism

Signs advertising NORML at the Twin Cities Pride Parade
Signs advertising NORML at the Twin Cities Pride Parade

As an advocacy group, NORML has been active in spreading its message to the public.

In early 2009, a petition to President Barack Obama was written asking that he appoint a "Drug Czar" who will treat drug abuse as a health issue rather than a criminal issue and will move away from a "War on Drugs" paradigm. NORML's goal for this petition was 100,000 signatures.

Also in early 2009, when the Kellogg Company dropped its contract with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps after pictures of him using a bong surfaced in the media, head members of NORML began boycotting Kellogg products and urging all members and supporters of NORML to boycott Kellogg, until the company reversed the decision. NORML also suggested that supporters of the cause send emails or letters to Kellogg explaining the boycott and the reasons behind it, even providing a template for emails and letters. Although Kellogg's profits did not suffer in the first quarter of 2009,[13] consumer ratings polls at Vanno[14] have been cited as indicating that Kellogg's reputation has suffered. Specifically, a small poll of Kellogg's brand reputation at Vanno showed a drop from its previous rank of 9 to 83 after Kellogg decided not to renew its contract with Michael Phelps.[15][16]

On February 15, 2010, a 15-second Flash animation from NORML discussing the potential economic and financial benefit of legalized marijuana was deemed by CBS to be "too political" to display on billboards in New York City's Times Square. This drew criticism in the blogosphere and accusations of hypocrisy on Twitter, since CBS had recently aired an anti-abortion television spot during the 2010 Super Bowl.[17] CBS reversed its decision and the ad was debuted on the CBS Times Square Superscreen on April 20, 2010.[18]

State and local chapters

International branches

See also


  1. ^ "NORML Policy on Personal Use". NORML. October 3, 2004. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
  2. ^ "NORML Ireland - REFORMING CANNABIS LAWS IN IRELAND". Archived from the original on April 3, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  3. ^ "NORML: Frequently Asked Questions". National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
  4. ^ a b Joshua Clark Davis. (November 6, 2014). The Long Marijuana-Rights Movement. Archived September 11, 2016, at the Wayback Machine The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  5. ^ Joshua Clark Davis, The Business of Getting High: Head Shops, Countercultural Capitalism, and the Marijuana Legalization Movement, The Sixties: A Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, Summer 2015
  6. ^ Joshua Clark Davis, The Business of Getting High: Head Shops, Countercultural Capitalism, and the Marijuana Legalization Movement, The Sixties: A Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, Summer 2015
  7. ^ Carlson, Peter (January 4, 2005). "Exhale, Stage Left". Washington Post. p. C01.
  8. ^ "Recent Research on Medical Marijuana". National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. February 3, 2007. Retrieved April 22, 2007.
  9. ^ "Crimes of Indiscretion". National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. March 7, 2005. Retrieved April 22, 2007.
  10. ^ "NORML Report on U.S. Domestic Marijuana Production". National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. March 7, 2005. Retrieved April 22, 2007.
  11. ^ Bailey, Eric (December 18, 2006). "Pot is called biggest cash crop". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 22, 2007.[dead link]
  12. ^ NYC Mayor Bloomberg's Pot Use is NORML: Archived June 22, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Scott Eden (April 30, 2009). "Kellogg Beats Targets Despite Weaker Sales". TheStreet. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  14. ^ [1] Archived May 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Dumping Phelps Over Bong Rip Damages Kellogg's Brand Reputation". The Business Insider. February 23, 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  16. ^ Graham, Nicholas (February 24, 2009). "Kellogg's Brand Damaged By Dumping Michael Phelps". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  17. ^ "CBS rejects NORML legalization billboard, but accepts "Black Children are an Endangered Species" anti-abortion billboard". NORML. February 15, 2010. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  18. ^ "Foundation To Launch Second NYC Times Square Billboard Campaign New Ad Debuts On April 20 On The CBS Super Screen". NORML. Retrieved August 21, 2010.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 11 November 2019, at 13:42
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