Washington, DC: Last Friday, Colorado Congressman Jared Polis (D) introduced HR 3483, Protecting Individual Liberties and States' Rights Act. The legislation was introduced in the wake of a federal memo to licensed gun dealers circulated nationwide last year warning them not to sell guns or ammunition to customers who legally use medical cannabis with their physician's recommendation, many of whom pay annual fees to be in state-run registries and receive state-issued identification cards.
The Federal Identification Card (FID), which allows citizens to purchase guns and ammunition from retail outlets, states that FID card holders can't, among other restrictions, use schedule I controlled substances, a legal classification created by the federal government in 1970 that cannabis was contentiously placed in.
HR 3483 seeks to remedy the discrimination of lawful, state-compliant medical cannabis patients of their inability to exercise their Second Amendment right to possess firearms for personal protection, sport and hunting.
NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre commented, "In a country where other medical patients don't lose their Second Amendment rights--even those that are prescribed potent narcotics--what reason can justify law-abiding medical patients who legally use cannabis as a therapeutic from being denied a sacredly held constitutional right?"
Denver, CO: A majority of Colorado voters have approved tax rates on the commercial production and retail sales of cannabis.
Voters in 2012 had previously approved a statewide ballot measure authorizing the establishment of state-licensed marijuana producers and retailers. Lawmakers this spring proposed tax rates on both licensed cannabis production and retail sales, both of which are set to begin early next year. Under state law, adults also have the option to grow up to six cannabis plants for their own personal use. Adults do not need to possess a state license to engage in personal cultivation.
On Tuesday, an estimated 65 percent of voters decided in favor of Proposition AA, which authorizes a 15 percent excise tax and a special sales tax of 10 percent on marijuana products sold by the state-licensed stores. Revenue derived from the taxes is intended to fund public school construction and to provide state oversight to cannabis businesses. Colorado NORML had opposed the proposed elevated taxation levels, opining, "It is our position that excessive taxation ... has the potential effect to keep a black market for marijuana alive in Colorado."
Voters in various Colorado cities, including Denver and Boulder, also backed separate local retail taxes on cannabis sales. Starting in January, over 100 licensed retail outlets are expected to begin selling cannabis to those ages 21 and older.
Under the new tax scheme, cannabis will be among the most heavily taxed consumer products in the state.
A collection of songs by 20 Ohio artists in support of the legalization efforts of Ohio NORML.
Various styles, from Folk to Funk, from Bluegrass to Rap, from Psychedelic to Punk, from Acoustic to Jazz.
Uniquely original songs for the cause.
Dear NORML members and supporters,
When the federal government announced that Washington and Colorado were free to legalize, tax, and regulate the sale and recreational use of marijuana, the term "Lower 48" took on a new meaning in my mind. Bit by bit, that Lower 48 will join the "Tokin' Two" and the USA will be finished with the war on pot. At least that's the challenge before us now.
When I joined NORML a decade ago, no politician I know would stand by our cause. Today I have a copy of a letter on my desk signed by both Washington State senators and nearly our entire congressional delegation asking President Obama to support the will of the people in our state. Just this morning I got a phone call from our governor, Jay Inslee, to thank me for the work the drug reform activists in our state have done and to say he was eager to work with us to make this new approach to marijuana work.
In other words, together--under the leadership of NORML--we, the people, are ending the US war on pot. With the last election and with this week's announcement from the attorney general in Washington DC, we are beautifully positioned to make sure a responsible, adult American citizen is never again arrested for enjoying the beauties of recreational marijuana.
But this doesn't just happen. Tens of millions of Americans enjoy marijuana. But only 'tens of hundreds' are actively involved in taking the crime out of its use with a substantial personal commitment of time or financial support. I've spent lots of time and money at this and, given our successes in the last year, it's been time and money brilliantly spent. It's a pure joy to be in this battle with others in the drug reform movement--especially my friends at NORML.
With this letter I'm challenging you to join me and my partners at NORML to empower our organization to build on our recent triumphs. In other words, if you care about legalizing pot in the USA, it's time for you to kick in some serious money.
We're all in this together. And we're doing what we can to defend the civil liberties of American pot smokers. Many give their time, talents, and money--depending on what they've got to give. Sadly, many more just toke away and watch from the sidelines while NORML fights their battle. My fellow NORML board member Justin Hartfield (of WeedMaps) and I have pledged $100,000 to challenge the huge family of NORML members and friends to get engaged and to match us.
This is an historic moment as people power is bringing down the US war on marijuana. And now is the time to help fund NORML's work. NORML is fighting for each of us, and it can't happen without our collective financial support. That's why Justin and I are challenging you to step up to the plate and be a contributing part of this winning team. Donate whatever you can, and--up to a total of $100,000--Justin and I will match you. That doubles the power of your gift.
Think of how far we've come. Think of the heroic contribution drug warriors on the NORML team have made over the decades. Think of how our country is ripe for progress in drug policy reform. And now it's time for a little heroism from you. Together we can make NORML $200,000 stronger. Dig deep and give a little bigger than normal for NORML… right now.
While I've been a marijuana law reform activist for over 35 years, this past week's Department of Justice memo allowing legalization to move forward in the states of Colorado and Washington, along with today's 25th anniversary of the momentous legal decision by DEA judge Francis Young in the seminal marijuana legal challenge known as 'NORML vs. DEA' (ruling in NORML's favor to reschedule marijuana for medicinal purposes) clearly demonstrate that American's long suffering war against marijuana consumers is drawing closer and closer to an end.