Saturday, August 24, 2019

What it means to be a marijuana consumers advocate

August 24, 2019


I wanted to drop you a note to personally thank you for signing-up for NORML's email alerts. These alerts will keep you up to date with current developments in the marijuana legalization movement, and will advise you when you can take action on pending state or federal legislative efforts.

It is a great time to be alive if you are a marijuana smoker. When we founded NORML in late 1970, only 12% of the country supported legalizing marijuana; 88% were opposed to our goals. After decades of hard work by thousands of committed advocates like you, we have gradually won the hearts and minds of a majority of the public. Today, over 65 percent of adults nationwide support ending marijuana prohibition and establishing a regulated market where consumers can obtain marijuana in a safe and secure setting.

We are certainly proud of the enormous progress we have made toward ending marijuana prohibition, especially the gains we have made over the last several years. Today, over 30 states have legalized the medical use of marijuana; and nine states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized the recreational use of marijuana. And we continue to add more victories each year.

But even as we celebrate these important victories, we must also be aware of the significant work that lies ahead. The goal at NORML is to achieve a policy under which responsible cannabis consumers are treated fairly in all aspects of their lives.

It is wrong that consumers remain subject to job discrimination. Employers ought not to be able to fire employees solely for their off-job marijuana usage, just as employers are unable to sanction employees who consume alcohol after work or on the weekends.

Marijuana consumers must not be subject to over-regulation and excessive taxation. Marijuana consumers want a product that is safe, convenient and affordable. We want the marijuana to be tested in a state-certified lab to assure it is free of molds and harmful pesticides, and we want accurate labeling of the THC and CBD levels.

Parents all too often have to fight to maintain custody of their children. The mere fact that a parent chooses to consume marijuana must not be treated under the law as a presumption they are unfit parents.

And thousands of drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana, simply because they tested positive for some small amount of THC in their system, without the slightest evidence they were driving while impaired. NORML opposes the imposition of these zero-tolerance per se traffic safety laws and is lobbying for their repeal.

So, as you can see, we still have lots of work ahead of us -- even in those states that have enacted some form of marijuana legalization. Please join our fight today by making either a one-time financial contribution or by signing-up to become a sustaining supporter on a monthly basis.

Frankly, I have been smoking marijuana for more than 50 years, beginning when I was a first-year law student at Georgetown Law School in 1965. I enjoy my marijuana when I am relaxing in the evening, just like millions of other Americans enjoy a beer or a glass of wine at the end of their workday. But this issue is only incidentally about marijuana; it is really about personal freedom.

Most Americans don't want the government intruding into their homes to learn what books we read, what music we listen to, or how we conduct ourselves in the privacy of our bedroom. Neither does the government have the right to know whether we consume marijuana or drink alcohol. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the responsible use of marijuana by adults and it is time our lawmakers recognize this reality.

With your support, NORML will continue to fight for your personal freedom. Join us in this struggle by finding or starting a chapter near you and/or signing up to be a sustaining supporter.

R. Keith Stroup, Esq.
NORML Founder and Legal Counsel

NORML and the NORML Foundation
1100 H Street NW, Suite 830, Washington DC, 20005
(202) 483-5500 •
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