A Victory Over Some Illegal “Drug Courier Profile” Traffic Stops in Illinois

The test should be, “Is it better than Prohibition.” Does the proposal stop the arrest of smokers and establish a legal market where consumers can obtain their marijuana?

The Supreme Court of Illinois recently handed down a decision which found that some of the drug courier profile traffic stops in their state were illegal, and agreed with the lower courts that the drugs confiscated in five cases that had been combined for the court’s consideration, should be suppressed. The case was People v. Ringland, et al.

The criminal defense attorney bringing this legal challenge was NORML Legal Committee (NLC) Life Member Stephen M. Komie from Chicago.

The somewhat unique fact in all five of these cases, which arose in 2012 and 2013, was that the drivers were all stopped and searched by a “special investigator” of the La Salle County prosecutor’s office; not by state or local police. After carefully considering the statute that establishes and defines the powers of state prosecutors, the high court found that the prosecutor did not have the legal authority to hire their own people to drive up and down the highways, making traffic stops and searching vehicles for drugs.

Congratulations to attorney Stephen Komie for ending these illegal traffic stops in Illinois with a creative legal challenge.

 

Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/25/17

revolutionbumperWelcome to this week’s edition of the NORML legislative roundup!

As we prepare to for April and marijuana related attention that comes with 4/20, NORML has put up an action alert on the appointment process for new US Attorneys (If you didn’t know, Attorney Jeff Sessions fired the holdovers from Obama Administration). With so many issues swirling around in the political lexicon, it’s important that we not see a wave of Sessions-style prohibitions be installed throughout the country, so please email your Senators now and tell them to demand the the new US Attorney’s respect state marijuana laws.

Additionally, Representative Tulsi Gabbord went to the floor of the House of Representatives and spoke on behalf of her legislation entitled “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017 – HR 1227. You can watch the video by clicking here.

A very special shout-out for me to make is the success of having Virginia Governor McAuliffe signed into law SB 1027, to regulate the instate production of cannabis oil. Congrats Virginia NORML and your whole team!

Below are the bills from around the country that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check http://norml.org/act 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 home state legislature and at the federal level.

Thanks for all you do and keep fighting,
Justin

Priority Alerts

Federal
End Prohibition: Representatives Tom Garrett (R-VA) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) have introduced bipartisan legislation, HR 1227, to exclude marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus leaving states the authority to regulate the plant how best they see fit.

The “Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” eliminates federal criminal penalties for possessing and growing the plant. This legislation gives states the power and flexibility to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference.

Click here to email your Congressional Representative to urge them to support this crucial legislation.

Join The Caucus: With public support for reforming marijuana laws at an all time high, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) have formed the first-ever Congressional Cannabis Caucus to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform and work to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws.

Click here to email your Member of Congress to urge them to join the newly formed Cannabis Caucus

US Attorneys: Members of the Senate will now be asked to consider new appointments. Please contact your Senator and urge him/her to consider those US Attorneys who will respect statewide marijuana laws.

With 29 states having established medical marijuana programs and eight states having enacted adult-use regulatory laws, it is vital that those appointed to this prestigious position respect the will of the electorate.

US Attorneys possess broad authority when both interpreting the laws and prioritizing their enforcement. Under the past administration, US Attorneys largely took a ‘hands off’ approach in jurisdictions that had legalized the use of marijuana, as directed by the 2013 “Cole Memo.” Incoming US Attorneys ought to take a similar approach.

Click here to email your Senators to defend the majority of voters who reside in legal cannabis states and to reject those nominees who will not support state marijuana laws.

Connecticut
Multiple pieces of legislation to legalize the adult use of marijuana and to regulate its commercial distribution is pending in both the state House and Senate.

According to a March 2015 Quinnipiac University poll of Connecticut voters, 63 percent favor permitting adults to legally possess personal use quantities of cannabis.

Update: SB 11 had a hearing on March 22.

CT Resident? Click here to email your elected officials to support this effort.

Illinois
Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to legalize the adult use of marijuana and to regulate the commercial cannabis market.

The measures permits adults to legally possess personal or grow use quantities of marijuana in private.  Additional provisions establish a regulated market for the commercial production and retail sale of marijuana to adults.

IL Resident? Click here to email your elected officials to support this effort.

Massachusetts
On Election Day, 54 percent of voters decided in favor of Question 4: The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act – permitting adults to legally grow and to possess marijuana for personal use, while also establishing regulations governing commercial cannabis cultivation and capping taxes on retail sales.

But it has become apparent that some powerful politicians and bureaucrats wish to ignore voters’ will and rewrite history.

Update: Hearings on implementation will be:
March 27th at 4 pm at the West Springfield High School auditorium,
April 3rd at 11 am at the Statehouse,
April 10th at 4 pm at the Shrewsbury High School.

MA Resident? Click here to email your elected officials to implement Question 4 in a timely manner as passed.

New York
Legislation (A. 2142 and S. 3809) is before the Assembly and Senate to seal the records of those who have previously been convicted of the possession of marijuana in public view.

New York has historically had the highest marijuana-related arrest rate in the nation largely because of questionable arrests made under the ‘public view’ exception.

Passage of A. 2142 and S. 3809 will make it so these hundreds of thousands of minor offenders are no longer stigmatized by their arrest record.

Update: NORML is joining multiple organizations, including Empire State NORML and the Drug Policy Alliance in calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to include the language from A. 2142 and S. 3809 in his budget.

NY Resident? Click here to email your elected officials to support this effort.

Tennessee
Legislation is pending in the Tennessee House, HB 173, to nullify the enactment of citywide marijuana decriminalization ordinances and to prevent additional municipalities from enacting similar marijuana reform measures.

The intent of the bill is to override the passage of recent citywide measures in Nashville and Memphis — both of which passed local ordinances last year making minor marijuana possession offenses a non-arrestable citation.

By contrast, state law classifies marijuana possession as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a criminal record.

Update: Members of the House have passed HB 173 by a vote of 65 to 28 March 23. The measure now awaits action from the Senate.

TN Resident? Click here and email your Senators to oppose this effort.

Additional Actions To Take

Nebraska
LB622 will allow patients with conditions such as Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, opioid addictions and some types of cancer to obtain marijuana. Qualified patients would not be permitted to grow cannabis and would have to obtain non-smoked, cannabis-infused formulations from state-licensed providers. A version of this legislation debated last year was narrowly defeated by lawmakers.

Update: LB 622 has advanced out of committee by a vote of 6 – 1.

NE Resident? Click here to email your elected officials to support this effort.

New Mexico
An amended version of House Bill 527 amends state law so that qualified patients may not be denied organ transplants. It also expands the pool of qualifying conditions for which a physician may legally recommend cannabis therapy, to include indications such as Crohn’s disease, chronic pain, hepatitis C, neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, and post-traumatic stress, among other conditions. It also establishes reciprocity for non-residents.

Update: SB 177 was tabled in lieu of HB 527. An amended version of HB 527 is now before the Governor, having passed the House by a vote of 45 to 16 and the Senate by a vote of 28 to 9.

NM Resident? Click here to email your elected officials to support this effort.

Nevada
Legislation is pending, Assembly Bill 259, to vacate certain marijuana possession convictions that occurred prior to the plant’s legalization.

The measure would permit those with criminal convictions for offenses involving the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana prior to January 1, 2017 to have their convictions vacated.

NV Resident? Click here to email your elected officials to support this effort.

Tennessee
Several pieces of legislation are pending to amend marijuana possession penalties.

HB 831 and SB 1116 seek to decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.

Separate legislation is pending in the House and Senate — SB 265 and HB 297 — to reduce penalties associated with the possession of one-eighth of marijuana (3.544 grams) to a $50 fine-only offense. However, under these bills, simple possession would still remain classified as a misdemeanor.

Under present law, the possession of any amount of marijuana is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $250 fine.

Update: SB 1116 has a hearing scheduled for March 28.

TN Resident? Click here to email your elected officials to support this effort.

Vermont
Legislation is pending, H.170, to eliminate civil and criminal penalties specific to the possession and cultivation of personal use quantities of marijuana by adults.

If passed, the measure would legalize the possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana, up to ten grams of hashish, and/or the cultivation of two marijuana plants in a private residence.

Update: Members of the House Judiciary Committee advanced H. 170 on March 22 in an 8 to 3 vote. It now awaits action on the House floor. A new statewide Public Policy poll finds that Vermont residents favor this legislation by a margin of 57 percent to 39 percent.

VT Resident? Click here to email your elected officials to support this effort.

Chicago Suburb Decriminalizes Small Amounts of Marijuana

thumbs_upOfficials in the Village of Oswego, Illinois recently passed an ordinance that allows local law enforcement to issue tickets and fines to anyone found with small amounts of marijuana or certain drug paraphernalia. For example, if a person is in possession of drug paraphernalia and is convicted of possessing 10 grams or less of marijuana, the charge for the paraphernalia is now considered a civil law violation, punishable by a minimum fine of $100 and a maximum fine of $200.

Marijuana-related offenses became civil violations after the Illinois state legislature voted to amended the Cannabis Control Act in 2016, but it is up to local governments to amend their local marijuana laws to reflect the change at the state level.

“Oswego’s fines will begin at $100 for the first offense and $150 and $250 for second and third offenses. There is a maximum $750 penalty for repeat violators,” said Oswego Police Chief Jeff Burgner.

The City of Yorkville adopted a similar ordinance in October.

Read more here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/aurora-beacon-news/news/ct-abn-oswego-marijuana-st-0105-20170104-story.html

Illinois: Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Measure

thumbs_upRepublican Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation today amending the state’s marijuana possession penalties.

Senate Bill 2228 reduces the penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine) to a civil fine of no more than $200 — no arrest and no criminal record.

It also decriminalizes related offenses involving the possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Senate Bill 2228 also amends the state’s zero tolerance per se traffic safety law, stating that the presence of THC in blood at levels below 5ng/ml “shall not give rise to any presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of cannabis.”

The full text of the measure is available here.

According to the ACLU, Illinois police arrest some 50,000 individuals annually for marijuana possession offenses — ranking #5 in the nation in per capita marijuana possession arrests.

Illinois becomes the third largest state to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses.

NORML’s Legislative Round Up July 22nd, 2016

take_actionThe DEA announced that they will amend their quotas for 2017 regarding the cultivation of research-grade marijuana and hemp legalization bills in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island have been signed into law! We also have updates from Illinois, Florida, and Ohio. Keep reading to learn the latest in marijuana law reform news from around the country and to find out how you can #TakeAction!

Federal:

In a notice published in the Federal Register, Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg proposed amending the amount of marijuana that may be produced under federal license in 2017 to approximately 1,041 pounds. The agency alleges that this quantity will be sufficient to provide for the “estimated medical, scientific, research and industrial needs of the United States.”

The US Drug Enforcement Administration is also preparing to respond to an administrative petition calling for the reclassification of marijuana as a schedule I prohibited substance. Their determination was originally expected in the first half of 2016 but it has yet to be released.

State:

Florida: Next Tuesday, the state’s first state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary will open to the public. Trulieve, a licensed cannabis cultivator and distributor, will provide a high CBD, low THC strain of the plant to patients that are registered with the state. However, as of today not a single eligible patient is registered with the state to legally access the product. This is because Florida’s law, initially passed in 2014, is among the strictest in the country. Under the law, patients diagnosed with cancer, seizures, or intractable muscle spasms are eligible for CBD-dominant cannabis, while those diagnosed with a terminal illness are eligible for THC-dominant cannabis. To date, however, only 15 physicians in the state are participating in the program.

Illinois: Two months ago lawmakers voted in favor of Senate Bill 2228, legislation to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. But Governor Bruce Rauner has yet to sign the measure into law. The bill makes the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a fine of $100-$200 — no arrest and no criminal record. Currently, those caught possessing that amount could face up to six months of jail time and fines of up to $1,500. The bill also amends the state’s zero tolerance per se traffic safety law.

#TakeAction  and contact Governor Rauner to urge him to sign this legislation into law.

Ohio: Governor John Kasich has signed legislation so that certain drug offenses are no longer punishable by a mandatory loss of one’s driver’s license. Under previous law, any drug conviction carried a mandatory driver’s license suspension of at least six months, even in cases where the possession offense did not take place in a vehicle. Senate Bill 204 makes such suspensions discretionary rather than mandatory. The law will take effect September 13th, 2016.

industrial_hempPennsylvania: On Wednesday, July 20th, Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation, House Bill 967, to establish “a pilot program to study the growth, cultivation or marketing of industrial hemp.” The new law took immediate effect. Twenty-eight states have now enacted similar legislation.

Rhode Island: Governor Gina Raimondo has signed legislation, H8232, to establish rules for the commercial, licensed cultivation of hemp in the state. The legislation creates the “Hemp Growth Act” to treat hemp as an agricultural product that may be legally produced, possessed, distributed and commercially traded. The Department of Business Regulation will be responsible for establishing rules and regulations for the licensing and regulation of hemp growers and processors.

Get NORML on 4/20!

Freedom_is_NORML 1 LineGet NORML this 4/20 with one of the dozens of events being hosted across the country by our affiliate groups. There are events going on across the country including festivals, concerts, comedy shows, softball tournaments, and more. Check out some of these activities on the list below. If you don’t see your state listed below, visit our chapter directory here to find your local group and check out their websites for their latest activities.

Don’t have a chapter nearby? What better way to celebrate 4/20 than getting a group of committed friends together and forming your own. Click here for information on starting a NORML affiliate in your local area.

ARIZONA

Festival Of Education
When: 4/20 – 12pm until 6pm
Where: Tumbleweeds Health Center, 5301 E. Broadway Bjvd., Tucson, Arizona
About: 4/20 is upon us again and we encourage all our members to come out to Tumbleweeds Health Center, 5301 Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85711. 10am-6pm. Saturday April 20th 2013. There will be live music, information booths, vendors, food and our signature Cures not Wars, Marijuana March & Rally. 2013′s Festival of Education starts at 10am, at Tumbleweeds Health Center, 5301 Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85711. The Rally will begin at 1pm and at 3pm the March will head west to Rosemont crossing Broadway Blvd. then will turn East, and crossing Craycroft Ave., march to Park Mall crossing Broadway Blvd. again turning west, crossing Craycroft Ave, again and returning to Tumbleweeds Health Center, the circular nature of the march allows anyone who is unable to complete the planned route to participate can conveniently begin or end at their own discretion. Signs will be provided or bring your own! Don’t forget your hat and a bottle of water, sunscreen is advised. A continuous stationary rally will start at 12noon and continue till 5pm out in front of the 4/20 event at Tumbleweeds. This will allow our non-mobile patients to participate.

FLORIDA

Hitting for Hemp: Benefit Softball Tournament
When: 4/20 – Softball games will be starting at around 9AM.
Where: Mills Pond Park, 2201 NW 9th Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
About: Bring plenty of sunscreen. Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the softball field. Admission to the softball tournament is free but donations will be welcome. There will be T-shirts for sale for both the tournament and for NORML of Florida.

420 Nugfest
When: 4/20 – 2pm to 2am
Where: Fusse Studios, 327 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, FL
About: There will be live bands, vendors, food trucks, contests, giveaways, information and more. All that for $10 at the door. Admission limited to 18 and over.

ILLINOIS

IL NORML Monthly Meeting
When: 4/20 – 10am
Where: Whiskey Roadhouse, 3207 N Main St, Rockford, Illinois
About: We’ll go over updates on legislation in Springfield, local efforts and national bills that are being debated in Congress. General info on cannabis prohibition and ways to get involved in ILLINOIS NORML.

QFA Illinois NORML Benefit
When: 4/20 – 9pm until 2am
Where: Live Wire Lounge, 3394 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, Illinois
About: Join host and QFA CEO, Lair Scott, at Live Wire as we benefit IL NORML for the important work they do here in Illinois to pass positive cannabis laws. Bands are Seeso, Heroin Black, Catch A Fire, The Hello Freaks, Element Control, The Loudness War and MC Rota. Door Donation, 21+ w/ proper ID.

INDIANA:

Indiana NORML – 420 in the Park
When: 4/20 – 4:20pm
Where: Lynnville Park, 405 W SR 68 Lynnville, IN.

Indy Mojo’s 420 Tent Party
When: 4/20 – 7pm
Where: The Mousetrap, 5565 N Keystone Ave, Indianapolis, IN
About: IndyMojo’s 3rd annual 4.20 Tent Party @ The Mousetrap. 3 stages, Jam + EDM + Acoustic
Tickets are $7, ages 21+

MASSACHUSETTS

MassCann/NORML and UnRegular Radio Present: The 2013 Battle for the Rally
When: 4/20 – 8pm
Where: The Spotlight Tavern, 208 Rantoul St, Beverly, MA
About: Celebrating the passage of Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts and officially kicking off the campaign for FULL LEGALIZATION in 2016, this year people we are stepping it up for the 24th annual and first ever 2-day Boston Freedom Rally on September 14th and 15th 2013 on the Boston Common. To help us educate and rock the expected 50,000 plus crowds, MassCann with the help of Unregular Radio are kicking off the 2013 Battle for the Rally. This year over 36 bands will be competing for 3 spots on the Rally’s 2 Stages, with 3 bands winning the chance to play at the second largest PRO-Marijuana concert in the Country.

MICHIGAN

4/20 Celebration With MINORML Chapters
When: 4/19 – 4/21
Where: Archie Keil Residence, Rapid City, MI
About: Kalkaska, Antrim, Leelanau, Grand Traverse, and Benzie County NORML Chapters will join together to promote Michigan NORML at the Archie Keil residence in Rapid City, MI on April 19,20,& 21. Live music,camping,food,and fellowship are on the agenda. Open to the public. Contact Archie at 231-676-0123.

MINNESOTA

The 4/20 Show – A Fundraiser for Minnesota NORML
When: 4/20 – 8pm
Where: The Comedy Corner Underground, 1501 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, Minnesota
About: The Comedy Corner Underground (In basement of Corner Bar) is hosting a Fundraiser for Minnesota NORML! There are only 150 tickets available, 75 per show! The show times are 8PM and 10PM. We expect both of them to sell out quickly, so buy your tickets ahead of time here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/341804 – The 8PM show is 18+ and the 10PM show is 21+

NEBRASKA

4-20 Rally & Concert
When: 4/20 – 12pm until 5pm
Where: Grace Abbott Park, 601 State St. W, Grand Island, NE.
About: This is a free event hosted by NORML Nebraska! Come on down for the good times and great live music. Featuring Homemade Crazy and A Life Led Lucid!

NEW JERSEY

Greenfest 2013
When: 4/20 – 10am
Where: Ramapo College Band Shell Lawn
About: It’s almost that time of year again for NORML and 1STEP’s 4/20 celebration! This is easily Ramapo’s best Spring festival, so make sure you keep this weekend open! Invite your friends and stay up to date with event contests and announcements!There will be FREE FOOD, LIVE MUSIC, YOGA, GAMES, HIKES, INFLATABLE FUN, 30′ PARACHUTE, TIE DYE, BAKED GOODS AND MUCH MUCH MORE.

NEW YORK

Empire State NORML Meeting and Trivia
When: 4/24 – 6:30pm
Where: 9 Bleecker Street, New York, New York
About: Learn more about Empire State NORML, upcoming volunteer opportunities and exactly how YOU can help to legalize marijuana in New York. Followed at 8PM by a special ALL MARIJUANA Drug War Trivia Night sponsored by Empire State NORML.

NORTH CAROLINA

NCNORML 4/20 Event
When: 4/20 – Music starts at 9pm.
Where: Roux, 501 E 36th St, Charlotte, NC 28205
About: Music lineup includes The Fritz, Frankie Gene with Butter, Bubonik Funk, SpongeCake and the Fluff Ramblers. Tickets are $8 at the door.

Asheville NORML 420 Earth Day Event
When: 4/20 – 12pm
Where: 5th Annual Asheville Earth Day on Lexington Avenue, Asheville, North Carolina
About: Asheville NORML will be in full swing at the 5th Annual Asheville Earth Day Festival on 4-20. This is the perfect opportunity to educate the public on the benefits of Cannabis and to let everyone know about our new chapter! We will meet at 12:00 pm at Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville. We will have a brief chat and will supply our volunteers with flyers to pass out at the festival. If you would like to make your own signs with facts about Cannabis (especially facts that relate to “Earth Day”) and wear any clothing you have supporting Cannabis, we can have a bit of a parade as we leave from the park and head to the festival on Lexington. We also look forward to spending time with our new friends on 4-20! Please respond to this event so that we can plan on an appropriate amount of flyers. This will be our first community event and we want to make a respectful impression on the community! Come join us with peace in my mind and empower yourself with knowledge on the amazing plant we speak for CANNABIS! Keep Asheville NORML!!!

OHIO

Cleveland NORML – Dance with Mary Jane
When: 4:00pm
Where: Negative Space, 3820 Superior Ave. E, Second Floor, Cleveland, Ohio 44114
About: Negative Space & Cleveland NORML present Dance with Mary Jane. Come out on Saturday April 20, 2013 at 4pm @Negative Space in the Asian Town Center which is located at 38th St between Superior and Payne St in beautiful Cleveland Ohio. A truly unique event in the cannabis world! A holiday that surpasses all other events. You can if you want to come out you can see JustLikEdith and the feature of the event: Wanyama! There will be a 2 drinks with your $10 admission ticket and there will be a 2 ticket raffle prize drawing. There will be a finger snacks and a Cleveland NORML membership table.

Central Ohio NORML – 420 Party
When: 4:20pm
Where: Circus Club & Grub, 1227 N. High St, Columbus, Ohio 43201

Miami Valley NORML – Earth Day Celebration
When: Noon until 5pm
Where: Sawyer Point, 805 E Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Miami Valley NORML – 420 Earth Day Hemp Exhibit
When: Noon until 5pm
Where: Sawyer Point, 805 E Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Miami Valley NORML – 420 Earth Day Celebration
When: 6pm
Where: Fries Cafe, 3247 Jefferson Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220

Miami Valley NORML – Love ya Mother Earth
When: 8pm
Where: W.O. Wright’s Grill & Pub, 3979 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Beavercreek, OH 45324
About: Miami Valley NORML benefit, $5 Cover.

Miami Valley NORML – Wiley’s Comedy Club
When: 8:30pm & 10:30pm
Where: 101 Pine St, Dayton, Ohio 45402
About: Miami Valley NORML comedy show benefit, shows 8:30 + 10:30, cover charge is $10.

PENNSYLANIA

PhillyNORML/The Panic Hour – Smoke Down Prohibition IV
When: 4/20 – 3pm
Where: Independance Mall, Philadelphia, PA (by the Liberty Bell)
About: After three successful Smoke Down Events, The Panic Hour is back on the highest of stoner holidays, 4/20, to demand an end to cannabis prohibition! We will be playing a game show with fabulous prizes, signing cards of support for wrongly incarcerated drug war prisoners, and welcoming special surprise guests, possibly of an elected-official nature. There is absolutely no excuse for not spending the most important date on the marijuana calendar with us! Tell all your friends, roll a huge bone, and join The Panic Hour and Philly Norml as we have an absolute blast ending the LUNATIC INSANE FALSE TEACHINGS DRUG WAR.

Buds in the Burgh – 4/20 Smoke Down Event
When: 4/20 – 4pm until 5:30pm
Where: Point State Park, Pittsburgh, PA
About: This April 20th, 2013 come down to Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh and take your stand! We will be gathering together at 4:00 PM to let our voices be heard. Then promptly at 4:20 PM we will join together in a moment of cannabis reflection.

Pittsburgh NORML/Pittsburgh NORML Women’s Alliance – The Bong Show
When: 4/20 – 8pm
Where: Lava Lounge, 2204 E Carson St, South Side, Pittsburgh, PA
About: For this cannabis holiday, please come out to support NORML and the NORML Women’s Alliance of Pittsburgh at our 4/20 fundraiser! The long awaited return of the Bong Show, a talent show where the stakes are high, and so are the judges! Hosted by Phat Man Dee and Smokin’ McQueen, this high stakes gritty competition is judged off site by 3 very suggestible judges. These judges don’t have a Gong, but they have a Bong and are not afraid to use it! Don’t worry, no laws being broken here, the judges are shown live via satellite feed from the great state of Colorado! Live performances by musical groups Chai Baba, The Rusty Haywhackers and J Pad da Juggernaught! Prizes for the winner and raffle items provided by our generous sponsors: Slacker, Hot Rod Body Piercing, Jesters Court Tattoos, Krutch Rolling Papers, PKN Law, Element Skateboards.

TENNESSEE

TN NORML 4/20 Marijuana Education Day & Celebration
When: 4/20 – 4:20pm
Where: Performing Artist Co-Op, at 5-Points, East Nashville, TN
About: Come help educate & celebrate 4/20 with TN NORML! Wrapper’s Delight food truck will be there from 4:00 to 9:00!!! Entertainment includes comedy, music and poetry. We will have a table with information for the taking.

TEXAS

4/20 at the Green Elephant Presented by DFW NORML

When: 4/20 – 3pm until 2am
Where: The Green Elephant, 5627 Dyer St, Dallas, Texas
About: DFW NORML is back at the Green Elephant to celebrate everyone’s favorite hempy holiday, 4/20! As always, you can expect some of the finest live music DFW has to offer, as well as vendor booths, prizes, fire spinners, hoop dancers, live glass blowing, drink specials and more. RSVP and invite your friends and together we’ll continue ending cannabis prohibition one Texan at a time. 18+ Welcome.

VIRGINIA

First Annual NOVA NORML 4/20 Party
When: 4/20 – 6:30pm until 2am
Where: Lucy’s ARL. 2620 S Shirlington Rd, Arlington, Virginia
About: Can’t make it to Colorado for 4/20?! Come hang out with us! Join NOVA NORML on April 20th for our first ever social event! Join us for an evening of fun at Lucy’s in Arlington. We will have raffles with awesome prizes, drinks specials, good music and more.Your contribution will go to Virginia NORML to help end marijuana prohibition in VA! We are very pleased to announce that the Upton Blues Band and also Maple will be there performing live! It will surely be a night to remember! Invite your friends. No cover charge

WISCONSIN

Ben Masel Day at the Capital
When: 4/20 – 2pm
Where: State Capital Building, Madison, Wisconsin
About: In honor of Ben Masel, Madison’s proudest fighter for freedom, let’s meet at the Capitol to remember our missed friend and the ideas he stood up for. As April 20th has been officially deemed Ben Masel Day in Madison it seems only fitting. 2pm. Come ready to speak if you have words.

Cosmic Railroad at the Route 20 Outhouse
When: 4/20 – 9pm
Where: Route 20 Outhouse, 14001 Washington Ave, Racine, WI 53177
About: Show is 21+ – Tickets available online here.

Madison 4/20 Festival
When: 4/20 – 4:20pm until 2am
Where: High Noon Saloon and Brink Lounge, Madison, Wisconsin
About: Two music events that benefit Madison NORML. For more information click here.

British Citizenship – Medical Cannabis

In 2009 I was given the opportunity to take part in the BBC Citizenship project for British schools. I now finally qualify for Sativex. It’s actually wrongly advertised by British doctors as a complimentary medicine when it’s a ‘full on’ Disease Modifying Drug. It’s strange how slowly the law changes in the favour of the chronically ill. Some British patients are now traveling to the Netherlands for their cannabis medicine. Countries such as Germany and Denmark purchase Sativex, made by GW Pharmaceuticals, as pain and spasm relieving medicine. Sativex is a cannabis tincture that should be made more accessible to those in need. I am now the British representative for the the International Association of Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) and recently delivered a presentation at a convention in Bonn, Germany. Her interest lies in ‘whole plant’ cannabis research and medical use. British laws stand in the way of essential cannabinoid research and development. Put ‘cannabinoid’ in Google and inform yourselves, if you please. Thank you.

Pam has the hepatitis C virus. Some of its symptoms can be similar to those of HIV. Treatment for hepatitis C is similar to chemotherapy for cancer. Cannabis can help Pam manage both the symptoms of hepatitis C and the side effects of effective treatment. Please help Pam and support a medical cannabis law in Illinois.

Hashbar “olympics”part 2-World Championship Games-hashbartv

www.hashbar.tv Hashbar TV brings you the first ever Hashbar World Championship Games on Jan 10th 2011 hosted by Sean Kush and the Stingy Stoners from the web’s biggest Potcast. Medical Marijuana Patients in California go head to head to see who can take the biggest and longest Hash Bong Rip. In this video we reveal the winners! Tune in to Hashbar TV to learn when the next Hashbar World Championship Games is coming. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter Hashbar Olympics is coming. Do you have what it takes to be the Grand Champion? Go to http for more from Hashbar TV.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

In this episode: Michigan medical marijuana program starts, LAPD Chief: Looney TOONS!, CA dispensary closes before it opens, A look at Illinois medical marijuana, Minnesota Senate Bill moves to the floor for consideration, New Hampshire cops take on role of doctor, dispensary cash register-making company goes public
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Illinois Cannabis Patient Julie

It has been scientifically proven that cannabis has a wide range of therapeutic uses, including relieving nausea, increasing appetite, reducing muscle spasms, and relieving chronic pain. Two former surgeons general, Joycelyn Elders and Jesse L. Steinfeld, have supported the medical use of cannabis. Thousands of patients and their doctors have found cannabis to be useful in treating the symptoms of AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and other serious conditions. Please support our efforts to pass a medical cannabis law in the state of Illinois.

Will Illinois Become The 19th State To Allow For The Medical Use of Marijuana?

Illinois state lawmakers are expected in the coming days to once again consider legislation that seeks to allow for the limited use of cannabis by authorized patients.

During a special ‘veto session’ to be held later this month, House members are expected to vote on House Bill 30, which seeks to establish a pilot program to allow for the state-authorized distribution of cannabis to patients with qualifying medical conditions. Previous roll calls have demonstrated legislative support in the House to be just shy of a majority. That said, today’s political landscape is far different now than it was in 2011 — the last time Illinois House members debated this issue. If you reside in Illinois, you can view the 2011 roll call on HB 30 via the Marijuana Policy Project here. If your House member is among those voting ‘no’ on HB 30, then it is vital that you write or call him/her today and urge him/her to vote ‘yes’ on HB 30. House contact information, along with a prewritten letter in support of HB 30, is available from NORML here.

Eighteen states — Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington and the District of Columbia — have enacted laws qualified protecting medical marijuana patients from state prosecution. Seriously ill citizens in Illinois are only a handful of votes away from gaining this same protection.

NORML will continue to update you on the progress of HB 30 in Illinois. To receive legislative alerts regarding pending cannabis law reform measures in your state, sign up for NORML News Alerts here.

Federal Judge: Criminalization of Marijuana is “Absurd”

Judge Richard Posner serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, he also wants marijuana to be legalized.

During a September 6th speech at Elmhurst College, the federal judge lambasted the war on cannabis. “I don’t think we should have a fraction of the drug laws that we have,” proclaimed Posner to loud applause, “I think it’s really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana.”

Posner went on to state that our drug laws are “a waste of a lot of high quality legal minds, and it’s also a waste of people’s lives who could be as least moderately productive with having to spend year after year in prison. That is a serious problem.”

We here at NORML couldn’t agree more and applaud Judge Posner for having the courage to speak the truth from his high ranking position and for setting a bold example for his colleagues. You can view the entirety of his speech below:

Click here to view the embedded video.

(Comments pick up around the 53 minute mark)

Chicago’s Mayor Favors Marijuana Decriminalization

I’ve followed with more than a passing interest the entire arch of Rahm Emanuel’s substantive and influential career in American politics.

In fact, found in NORML’s extensive forty-two year archives are the hand-typed notes of an author who was working on a major profile of the history of America’s ‘drug war’ and what the then Clinton Administration was implementing as their drug ‘control’ policies.

The author was former Wall Street Journal reporter Dan Baum and the book he produced is called ‘Smoke and Mirrors’. Any serious student or activist of drug and cannabis policy must include this book on their short ‘must read’ bibliographic list.ReThink the Leaf

Baum interviewed Emanuel in 1994 in his White House office and, according to Baum’s notes, Emanuel was a tidal wave of expletives against cannabis, and most notably cannabis consumers, calling them ‘leftover hippies’ and medical patients as ‘stoners just looking for an excuse to get high’.

How far has Mayor Emanual come on the issue of cannabis law reform?

The significance of Rahm Emanuel’s progression on cannabis law reform can’t be understated as 1) he was the chief domestic policy advisor during the Clinton era that very actively opposed any medical cannabis reforms or decriminalization efforts at the state/federal level, 2) when he was first elected to Congress he voted against Hinchey Rohrabacher spending amendment bills which sought to limit medical cannabis law enforcement by the feds at the state level, 3) in his last years in Congress he changed positions and voted for the HR amendment, 4) during the last two years in Cook County and in other cities in IL, ‘decriminalization’ measures have either gone into effect or have been proposed without Mr. Emanuel saying “boo” and 5) now the political acknowledgement from Prague no less (talk about a city that can inspire decriminalization and personal freedom!) that he is keen on decriminalization.

Many political pontificators believe Emanual, one of the country’s most aspiring and capable political figures, has his eyes affixed on the presidency in 2016 or 2020, and like his potential rival New York Governor and fellow democrat Andrew Cuomo who recently moved to decriminalize cannabis in NY, might rightly see that being in favor of cannabis law reform is now a political asset, not a liability.

Update: Another clear demonstration that American society is moving towards embracing cannabis law reforms can be found in one of the least likely places on earth: The editorial board of the traditionally (almost reflexively) anti-cannabis Washington Post, who, finally, also now embraces decriminalization.

Hmmm….the pot prohibition plot thickens!

Emanuel backs decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana
Chicago Sun-Times

BY FRAN SPIELMAN and  FRANK MAIN
Staff Reporters
Last Modified: Jun 15, 2012 05:59AM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is throwing his formidable support behind a plan to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

If the City Council goes along, Chicago cops will be free to issue a ticket with a fine ranging from $100 to $500. The tickets would apply to people caught with 15 grams of pot or less.

Last fall, Ald. Danny Solis (25th) proposed a ticket carrying a $200 fine and a 10-gram trigger.

Currently, those caught with small amounts of pot face a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine.

In a press release, the mayor said writing pot tickets “allows us to observe the law while reducing the processing time for minor possession of marijuana — ultimately freeing up police officers for the street.”

Emanuel chose to wade in on the hot-button issue while in Prague for his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. That allows him to avoid questions about whether marijuana tickets would send the wrong message to kids about a drug that some consider a “gateway” to more dangerous substances.

In 2011, Chicago Police officers made 18,298 arrests for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana. Read the rest of this Chicago Sun Times article here.

 

 

Remember Pearl Harbor Day… and how it renewed Legal American Hemp Farming

Seventy years ago today, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, a day President Roosevelt said, “would live in infamy”. The next day, Congress declared war* and America, which had been reticent to get involved with foreign wars just a generation after “the Great War”, was at war in the Pacific, and days later, in Europe as well.

My grandfather was a part of that “Greatest Generation” and fought in the Pacific.  He’s passed on years ago, but I always remember him when this day comes around.  As a child, I saw his sergeant’s uniform, clean and pressed, hanging in a plastic bag in his closet.  That was as much as I knew about his involvement in World War II; unlike some men who never see war, he didn’t talk about it much.

My friends often kid me that I can find a marijuana angle in any news story.  Today is no different.  On December 7, 1941, cannabis had been federally prohibited for four years already.  Most states had begun eradicating and prohibiting cannabis even before 1937.  A nation founded by hemp farmers, whose first hemp plantations were sewn in 1611, had criminalized hemp farming for the first time in its history.  It hadn’t much effect; American farmers had long since switched to corn, wheat, soy, and other more profitable crops.  Hemp was cheap enough to get from overseas farmers and plenty of modern new synthetic fibers made from bountiful and cheap petroleum were too much competition for hemp in most cases.

Except warfare.  Ocean warfare require battleships and they require rigging that withstands rot, seawater, and is extremely strong, something only hemp robe and canvas can provide.  It was just a few months after Pearl Harbor that the Japanese had captured the Philippines, and with it, our primary source of illegal-to-produce-in-America hemp, so desperately needed for ships engaged in the Pacific theater.  So in the summer of 1942, America mustered up a little Hemp for Victory!

Click here to view the embedded video.

The tale of the first US Hemp for Victory mill in Polo, Illinois:

The hemp mill program was assigned to the Department of Agriculture. The program for planting and processing the hemp plant was directed by the Commodity Credit Corporation. There were to be forty-two mills in the Midwest, eleven of which were to be in Illinois. The plant in Polo, Illinois, was to be the pilot mill for the entire program. It was the first of its kind.

The Polo Hemp Mill, which began operation on November 20, 1943, consisted of mill buildings, a dryer, storage buildings, and a boiler house. The overall cost was $350,000.

At first, farmers were reluctant to raise hemp because they knew nothing about it. They feared a labor shortage at harvest time and also feared that hemp prices would be lower than those of corn prices. To acquaint the farmers with raising hemp, meetings were held at the Polo High School. The farmers were reassured that the necessary equipment would be provided for every one hundred acres of hemp. The farmers in the area then joined in the attempt to produce the fiber crop, something entirely new to the area’s agriculture.

The first carload of Kentucky hemp seed arrived in Polo in April 1943. Farmers were soon busy planting. The hemp seed was drilled into prepared ground between oats and corn planting. Soil which is suitable for growing corn is usually suitable for raising hemp.

Of course, after World War II, there was no more need for Hemp for Victory.  Oil was still cheap and plentiful and so was overseas hemp.  It’s sad that it takes something of the magnitude of a world war to return us to our hemp heritage.  Let’s hope it doesn’t take climate catastrophe to bring back the next return.

And thanks, Grandpa, for your service.

* Remember that quaint little part of the Constitution?

Chicago Moves to Ban Synthetic Marijuana After Mother’s Plea

Margaret Rios holds a photo of her grandson, Max Dobner,Margaret Rios holds a photo of her grandson, Max Dobner,An emotional plea from the mother of a 19-year-old who died in a high-speed crash after using synthetic marijuana on Monday convinced a City Council committee to ban the legal product in Chicago.

On June 14, Max Jacob Dobner went to the Fox Valley Mall and purchased a synthetic marijuana product known as Potpourri specifically marketed to get around a state law that was supposed to ban synthetic marijuana.

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Chicago Alderman Says Cash-Strapped City Could Make $7m By Changing Marijuana Possession Law

Some officials in cash-strapped Chicago believe they’ve found a way to bring in millions of desperately needed dollars while freeing up police: marijuana.

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