Monthly Archives: March 2018

Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/30/18

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

I first want to bring your attention to a key development at the federal level. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that he will introduce a bill to legalize industrial hemp next month. The legislation will not only change hemp’s status under the law but will also set aside federal funds to support its cultivation.

At the state level, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has made dramatic changes to the state’s regulatory program. Changes include: reduced cost of the medical marijuana registry for patients by 50%; reduced cost for veterans, seniors, and those on disability by 90%; expanded the qualifying conditions list to include Tourette syndrome, chronic pain, and other conditions; and other much needed technical fixes.

Also at the state level, Iowa regulators offered medical cannabis dispensary licenses to five businesses, and North Dakota activists say they’ve collected more than half the signatures they need to qualify a marijuana legalization ballot measure.

At a more local level, New Orleans, Louisiana marijuana arrests are dramatically down following the enactment of an ordinance that allows police to issues summonses for low-level possession.

Following are the bills from around the country that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check for legislation pending in your state.

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your …

Senate Leader McConnell to Introduce Hemp Legalization Bill

Left to right: Kentucky’s pro-hemp senators, Rand Paul (left) and Mitch McConnell.

Kentucky farmers have long been at the forefront of hemp cultivation in America. With records of it being planted there dating back to 1775, it’s fitting that nearly 250 years later a senator from Kentucky would spearhead efforts to separate hemp—at least agriculturally—from its psychoactive cousin.

On March 26, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that he plans to introduce the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. If passed by Congress, it would finally legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the Controlled Substances Act.

“Hemp has played a foundational role in Kentucky’s agricultural heritage,” McConnell explained at the state Department of Agriculture in Frankfort, where he was joined by Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. “I believe it can be an important part of our future. We’re ready to take the next step and build upon the successes we’ve seen with Kentucky’s hemp pilot program.”

Hemp farming in Kentucky has experienced a resurgence since the passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (a.k.a. the Farm Bill), which defined industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana, and authorized colleges, universities and the Agriculture Department to grow it for research under pilot programs. The amount of hemp planted in the Bluegrass State has increased from 33 acres to more than 3,200 since the pilot program was launched in 2015. As of February, the Agriculture Department had 248

[NORML France] Pétition – Cannabis : L’amende ne changera rien, il faut réguler d’urgence!

Le 17 mars 2018, NORML France a lancé une pétition à l’attention d’Emmanuel MACRON, Président de la République, et de Nicole BELLOUBET, Garde des Sceaux, Ministre de la Justice. Une semaine plus tard, ce texte a déjà recueilli près de 12.000 signatures. Une première en France pour une pétition portant sur le sujet du cannabis et de ses différents usages. 

Nous devons désormais promouvoir ce texte au-delà de nos cercles d’influence, en le partageant avec le plus grand nombre de nos contacts. À l’heure où de nombreux pays avancent sur des régulations plus compréhensives quant au cannabis, le gouvernement français propose en catimini une proposition d’amende forfaitaire délictuelle qui ne résoudra aucun des problèmes liés aux mésusages et aux trafics de ce produit.

Signer la pétition de NORML FranceÀ la vue des nombreux dérèglements générés par la prohibition du cannabis depuis plus de 45 ans, la régulation de la filière cannabicole dans son ensemble devient par dessus tout primordiale pour aller vers une société plus encline au respect des droits humains fondamentaux à travers l’accès à la santé, à l’emploi et à la justice sociale.

Nos revendications sont plus que jamais  légitimes, c’est pourquoi tous les citoyens français doivent se sentir concernés par cette question. La guerre aux drogues s’est transformé en une guerre aux personnes, à la santé mais aussi et surtout à la réalité scientifique.

Unis et nombreux, nos voix ne pourront être qu’entendues et respectées, c’est pourquoi nous vous …

Book Review: The Hunt for Timothy Leary

Ever see one of those action-adventure flicks where the writers try to stuff everything in, including the kitchen sink? You know, the big-budget buddy movie with exotic locales, international intrigue, improbable exploits, white-knuckle action sequences, witty dialogue, rapid-fire editing and lots of celebrity cameos? And then they blow your mind by insisting it’s based on a true story?

Authors Steven L. Davis and Bill Minutaglio

Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis’ The Most Dangerous Man in America: Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD (their previous book, Dallas 1963, received a PEN Center literary award for research nonfiction in 2014) doesn’t read like a nonfiction book as much as it feels like watching the film version of a book. It’s set in the circa-1970 era of antiwar protests, riots and terrorist attacks.

American society was fracturing as the unpopular war in Vietnam fueled dissent. The Weather Underground, the Black Panther Party and other revolutionary groups viewed violence as “by any means necessary.” In the middle of this commotion was a mild-mannered former Harvard professor turned psychedelic evangelist, Dr. Timothy Leary.

A consummate showman, Leary spent years promoting the use of psychedelics, in particular LSD, and free love to the outrage of establishment America. First at an estate in Millbrook in upstate New York, then in Laguna Beach, Calif., he offered a psychedelic-driven message with catchphrases like “turn on, tune in, drop out” and …

Governor Murphy Of New Jersey Expands Medical Marijuana Program

In his ongoing effort to expand the Garden State’s medical marijuana program to be more patient-oriented, Governor Phil Murphy (D-NJ) has made dramatic changes to the state’s regulatory program.

Changes include: reduced cost of the medical marijuana registry for patients by 50%; reduced cost for veterans, seniors, and those on disability by 90%; expanded the qualifying conditions list to include Tourette syndrome, chronic pain, and other conditions; and other much needed technical fixes.

These changes have been long advocated for by advocates in New Jersey, including South Jersey NORML leader, Temple University Professor, and contributor Chris Goldstein.

Click here to tweet at Gov. Murphy and thank him for his efforts.

New Jersey resident? Visit and get plugged into the Facebook organizing group by clicking here.


Join us this summer for the 2018 NORML Conference

CongressNORML is pleased to formally announce the dates for our 2018 National NORML Conference and Lobby Day. The conference will run from July 22nd – 24th in Washington, DC at the Capital Hilton. This year, we are excited to add an additional day of activities in addition to our traditional programming. Click here to register now!

July 22nd: NORML Activist Strategy Summit

For 2018, we’ve going to do a deep dive into grassroots organizing with the NORML Activist Strategy Summit. Attendees will be able to choose from a number of important areas of interest and engage in free-flowing, peer to peer strategizing on issues including running an effective chapter, communications strategy, social media and online activism, and more. Each topic area will be moderated by outstanding NORML activists from across the country paired with a member of the National staff and provide an outlet for individuals to share stories based on their advocacy experiences, exchange tips for best practices, and come up with new concepts to put into play to help push us closer to the end of prohibition.

Topics include: Organizing political candidate forums, “big organizing” for lobby days, personal narrative development, and more.

July 23rd: NORML Conference & Benefit Party

On Monday, July 23rd we will host our formal conference programming. There will be panels, debates, and individual speakers covering a wide range of topics including: marijuana and its impact on the opioid crisis, how to engage in …

NFL Hall of Famer Speaks Out at Cannabis Opportunity Summit

MCBA board chair Khavan Khalatbari and NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Davis at the Cannabis Opportunity Summit in Denver on March 23. (Photo by Wally Wallace)

Former NFL running back and Denver sports legend Terrell Davis showed off the Hall of Fame ring he received in 2017 to a crowd of 500 attendees at the Minority Cannabis Business Association’s Cannabis Opportunity Summit on March 23 at the University of Denver.

The Broncos’ all-time leading rusher doesn’t use marijuana for pain or any other lingering condition. But he remembers how the arrests of mostly young black men for marijuana damaged their lives when he grew up in San Diego. Davis thinks it’s time to change that cycle, and sees the development of minority-owned cannabis businesses as one way to accomplish that.

“As minorities, we’re always underdogs,” he pointed out. “We’ve always been labeled ‘can’t do it.’ That’s all we heard growing up. I’ve heard that since I was seven years old. That’s what you guys are now. You’re the underdogs. Embrace it. Take chances. It’s a risky business, and you take the risks. I like that.”

The summit was the brainchild of Kayvan Khalatbari, an Iranian-American entrepreneur who cofounded Denver Relief, Colorado’s second-oldest medical-marijuana dispensary. He’s also chair of the MCBA’s board and is running for mayor of Denver in the 2019 election. After 13 years in the cannabis industry, Khalatbari’s concerned about white males dominating it. “In new states …

Michigan NORML Releases Candidate Questionnaire

Michigan NORML is pleased to announce the launch of our 2018 Candidate Questionnaire. The survey asks nine questions relating to cannabis and provides an additional space for candidates to make a personal statement on this issue. The results are posted on our website and will be utilized by our visitors to inform them about each candidate’s views on cannabis. All candidates that respond will be featured on our Candidate Profiles page with their complete response and links to their websites.

The format asks yes or no questions but provides space for candidates to elaborate on their answers.

We asked tough questions and frankly, a simple yes or no seemed inadequate. We want candidates to participate, but we felt the “gotcha” yes or no format hindered them from doing so. We believe the written option enables candidates to articulate the nuances of their positions and that seemed fair to them and our visitors.”

Michigan NORML is a non-partisan organization and we welcome candidates regardless of party affiliation, seeking any office from Township Trustee to Governor, to give us an honest report of your views toward cannabis. This tool was created to highlight individuals, not parties, and the only mention we make of party is on our main profile page where each candidate is listed.

Part of our mission and education here is no better way to educate than to ask candidates directly and broadcast their unfiltered responses directly to the …

Mothers and Weed: Living, Parenting, and Smoking Weed

Mothers and Weed: Living, Parenting, and Smoking Weed #1 Reason why Moms Smoke: Another One of those Days… (Written by a mom who tokes up) Mothers and weed go together and for a day like this its like PB&J. Punching out at the office just meant clocking into my other job as mom. Another day where […]

The post Mothers and Weed: Living, Parenting, and Smoking Weed appeared first on Stoner | Pictures | Stoners Clothing | Blog | StonerDays.

from Stoner Blog – Stoner | Pictures | Stoners Clothing | Blog | StonerDays

Henry Rollins Calls AG Jeff Sessions ‘Pathetic’

Former rock star Henry Rollins has become a regular keynote speaker at the International Cannabis Business Conferences. He’ll make his Germany debut in Berlin on Apr. 12.

Noted for his “straight edge” antidrug stance when he fronted the hardcore band Black Flag in the ’80s, Rollins has embraced legalization despite the fact that he doesn’t use marijuana.

“Its illegal status has been a tool to incarcerate minority groups,” Rollins tells Freedom Leaf. “Many people have been injured or killed in the distribution, sales and profiting from illegal sale of cannabis. It’s a good time to turn this around.”

On Trump: “If he wants to hand out death penalties, there will be a lot of doctors getting killed.”

Toking Allowed in Homes but Few Other Places Under Proposed Manitoba Law

Smoking or vaping cannabis would not be allowed in most indoor, outdoor public spaces. Legalized cannabis users in Manitoba will be largely prohibited from consuming pot anywhere but in their own homes if a new bill introduced by the provincial government is passed into law. Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen introduced the bill proposing strict guidelines for recreational cannabis use, which is expected to be legalized later this year, on Tuesday. The province said it plans…


le Popsugar Fitness Personal Essay Personal Essay on Smoking Weed Every Day I Smoke Weed Every Night Before Bed, and I Don’t Care What You Think

Weed has long held a negative stereotype in popular culture. When someone says the words “smoke weed,” it conjures images of stoners doing nothing with their lives, sitting on the couch watching endless hours of television and ordering mountains of Taco Bell. Apart from a shared love of Taco Bell on occasion, I can assure you I am nothing like these stoners you imagine. (Not that there’s anything wrong with stoners!) I’m a college grad…


Trump’s Callous Call for Death to Drug Dealers

Donald Trump makes a point as China’s Xi Jinping looks on. (Courtesy of

“If we don’t get tough on the drug dealers, we’re wasting our time,” President Donald Trump told an audience in Manchester, N.H. on March 19. “And that toughness includes the death penalty… If we’re not going to get tough on the drug dealers who kill thousands of people and destroy so many peoples’ lives, we are just doing the wrong thing. We have got to get tough. This isn’t about nice anymore… This is about winning a very, very tough problem. If we don’t get very tough on these dealers, it’s not going to happen, folks. And I want to win this battle. I don’t want to leave at the end of seven years and have this problem, right?… We’re going to solve it with toughness. Because toughness is the thing they most fear.”

Aside from the fact that the death penalty may be unconstitutional—the Supreme Court in 2008, in Kennedy v. Louisiana, ruled it was cruel and unusual punishment when “the crime did not result, and was not intended to result in death of the victim”—the idea simply rehashes the futile tough-on-drugs policies promulgated by presidents for the last 50 years.

“Executing people for selling drugs is absolutely ridiculous,” Law Enforcement Action Partnership director Neill Franklin, a former Maryland state trooper, told reporters. “Education and treatment, with a mental health focus, are …

Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/23/18

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

I first want to bring your attention to a key development at the federal level. As a part of the newly proposed appropriations package known as an omnibus bill, a spending restriction upon the Department of Justice from prosecuting state-legal medical marijuana programs will remain in place through the end of September. Known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, it explicitly states that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

At the state level, lawmakers in Colorado have formed the first-ever statewide Cannabis Caucus to address issues such as social consumption, product testing, and the use of medical cannabis on public campuses. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill legalizing CBD sales into law. And Ohio regulators started accepting applications from physicians who want to be certified to recommend medical cannabis. Sales are expected to begin this fall.

Also at the state level, legalization bills died in committees in Connecticut and New Hampshire, as did a Maryland bill to let the voters decide on legalization.

At a more local level, voters in Cook County, Illinois — the nation’s second-most-populous county — overwhelmingly approved a marijuana legalization ballot measure. And Denver, Colorado is spending $1.2 million in marijuana tax revenue to repave roads.

Following are the bills from around the country that we’ve tracked …

Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment Safe Until September


Reps. Rohrabacher (right) and Blumenauer in 2014. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ORIGINALLY POSTED JAN. 17, UPDATED MAR. 22: With Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinding the Cole Memo on Jan. 4, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment (RBA) has been the only federal law standing in the way of a potential crackdown on medical marijuana. On Mar. 21, it was extended for another six months.

First passed in 2014, Rohrabacher-Blumenauer (then known as Rohrabacher-Farr) is an amendment to the annual appropriations bill that prohibits the Department of Justice from using federal funds to interfere with state-legal  medical marijuana programs. It’s the RBA’s third extension since December.

Rep. Blumenauer (D-Ore.) took the extension in stride, stating: “While I’m glad that our medical marijuana protections are included, there is nothing to celebrate since Congress only maintained the status quo. These protections have been law since 2014. This matter should be settled once and fort all.”

Several ongoing legal cases rest on RBA protections. Last August, a federal judge in San Francisco cited in a ruling that two California medical-marijuana growers who’d pleaded guilty to cultivation charges could not be sentenced to prison due to the RBA. On Oct. 18, federal prosecutors in Washington State admitted that it prohibited them from prosecuting a group of medical growers known as the Kettle Falls Five.

Is Vaping Cannabis Safe?

By Kathleen Richards for East Bay Express

So how can consumers stay safe? [Dr. Jahan] Marcu recommends looking for a third-party seal of approval on products (such as PFC, or Patient Focused Certification, of which he is the director), critically reviewing the label (beware of propylene glycol), and not being afraid to ask the company questions about its ingredients and testing. Also, don’t buy any product that doesn’t come with storage and usage guidelines. And when it comes to using the device, don’t inhale or hold down the button for too long because you may be smoking the concentrate. All that said, “true vaporizers are absolutely safe,” he noted.


House Passes Budget with Medical Cannabis Protection Amendment

Media Advisory for: March 22, 2018
Contact: David Mangone | | 202-618-6975

House Passes Budget with Medical Cannabis Protection Amendment

Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment will Protect Patients from AG Sessions until September

Washington, D.C. — Today, after months of debate and continuing resolutions, the House of Representatives passed its Appropriations package for the fiscal year of 2018. Unlike previous short term measures, this bill will fully fund the government through September 30, 2018. At over 2,200 pages the bill is a massive combination of funding outlays and policy. Due to the hard work of advocates the bill includes the text of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.


House Budget includes Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment!: Vote expected today!

After months of debate and continuing resolutions, the House of Representatives has finally unveiled its Appropriations package for the fiscal year of 2018. Unlike previous short term measures, this bill would fully fund the government through September 30, 2018. At over 2,200 pages the bill is a massive combination of funding outlays and policy. Due to the hard work of advocates like you, the bill includes the text of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment!