Conquering the 7 Summits, 1 Edible at a Time

The 8,848 meter tip of Mount Everest is a far cry from the relatively flat plains of northern Indiana. It was probably an even further cry from the thought of then early-20s Tommy Danger. But as it happens, fate will often take you further than you ever dreamed.

Danger began his personal journey while setting up a 5K in his small town to raise money for a 14-year-old girl with cancer. She ultimately ended up losing her life, leaving Danger to wonder how this young girl could be taken away, while he remained as healthy as he had ever been. That pondering began a trek, beginning with a cross-country bike ride and ending with a mountain peak—with a little weed throw in too.

In Tommy’s own words:

Read more at High Times

Two Major Victories For Student Rights In Federal Courts

Dan Viets speaking at a NORML conference

Federal courts have recently rejected the actions of university and college administrators who sought to inflict suspicionless drug tests on students at a public college and to restrict the First Amendment rights of marijuana law reformers at a public university.  Both decisions have important national implications.

Linn Tech Student Drug Testing Case

Read more at NORML

Torture Victim Seeking U.S. Asylum Faces Deportation for Dropped Pot Charge

Marco Coello was 18 when he was arrested in Caracas Venezuela at a protest against the regime of Nicolás Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chavez.

Venezuelan police kicked and beat Marco with a golf club, fire extinguisher and tortured him with electric shocks.

After three months, he was released on bail and fled to the United States, where he sought political asylum.

Read more at High Times

REPRESENTATION MATTERS “I AM HER AND SHE IS ME AND THAT IS OKAY”: Reflection and Recognition this Pride Month

For many of us trying to define ourselves in a primarily binary world is uncomfortable, and in the end, impossible. Seeing ourselves in these polarized “male” or “female” versions of the societal “norms” is like attempting to fit a puzzle piece from one puzzle into another. It just won’t fit, no matter how badly someone else might hope that it will, no matter how angry someone gets because of it, it simply does not fit. I understood this at a young age but was unsure of how to articulate it, and in all honesty afraid of vocalizing it at all for fear of what my homophobic father and people at school would say or do. I clearly remember the first time I saw the movie that changed my perception of myself forever though, Set It Off.

I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. A city that is most widely known for The Strip and its tourist attractions. The Vegas I knew was a bit more volatile. It’s flashing lights consisted of the red white and blues of the local police harassing the people in my neighborhoods, so when I came across a movie with four leading woman of color, from neighborhoods similar to my own, with a character that I could relate to on so many levels, I was struck. Queen Latifah plays Cleo, a strong, proud, take no shit, lesbian. Finally, there was someone on screen who I felt mirrored my anger and shared my preferences. I was her and she was me and that was okay. 

Representation matters and although comfort with myself and understanding the spectrum of gender and sexuality didn’t come for a long time after, this was a turning point in the acceptance of my strength and my power. There was absolutely nothing wrong with me.

Read more at Dope Magazine

Empire State NORML in Albany with the Start SMART Campaign

Lobby Day

The Drug Policy Alliance, along with other campaign pillar groups Empire State NORML, VOCAL-NY, Cannabis Cultural Association, LatinoJustice and the Immigrant Defense Project, held a press conference and lobby day to announce the Start Sensible Marijuana Access through Regulated Trade (Start SMART) campaign to advocate for the substantially amended version of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) this past Monday, June 12th.

Dozens of activists from all around the state took buses, drove cars and rode trains to Albany to join the campaign in launching and lobbying for the legalization bill. After the excellent citizen lobby day training provided by the Drug Policy Alliance, the group split up to divide and conquer before the press conference hitting as many offices as they could as well as attending scheduled meetings.

Read more at NORML

Deputy AG: Marijuana is federally illegal and has no medical use

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was questioned about federal marijuana policy during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today and his responses were disconcerting to say the least.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) asked Rosenstein about the current tension between state and federal marijuana laws.

“We do have a conflict between federal law and the law in some states. It’s a difficult issue for parents like me, who have to provide guidance to our kids… I’ve talked to Chuck Rosenberg, the administrator of the DEA and we follow the law and the science,” said Rosenstein, “And from a legal and scientific perspective, marijuana is an unlawful drug. It’s properly scheduled under Schedule I. And therefore we have this conflict.”

Read more at NORML

Weekly Legislative Update 6/10/17

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

First off, apologies to weekly readers for skipping last week’s update. We held a NORML Legal Committee seminar in Colorado about tactics to continue the fight against prohibition and protect those facing jail and other adverse ramifications of prohibition. You can watch NORML’s Executive Director give the opening welcome HERE and click here to read a write up on it in The Denver Post’s Cannabist HERE.

In the last two weeks, four pieces of legislation that we are supportive of went into law:

Read more at NORML

Safe Streets Alliance et al. v. John Hickenlooper, et al. – Good News, Bad News

A ruling issued on June 7th by the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in response to a series of legal challenges to Colorado’s adult cannabis use regulations, includes both good news and bad news.

The Good News

Most importantly for the legalization movement nationwide, the appeals court rejected the argument raised by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma that Amendment 64 in Colorado, the voter initiative that legalized and regulated the adult use of marijuana, was preempted by the federal Controlled Substances Act. That argument, made by these neighboring states, if accepted by the court, would have voided Amendment 64.

Read more at NORML

Weekly Legislative Update 5/27/17

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

Republican Gov. Phil Scott rejected legislation earlier this week, Senate Bill 22, which sought to eliminate criminal and civil penalties for the adult use and possession of marijuana. The Governor said that he did not support the legislation as written, but remains open to working with lawmakers over the summer on ways to amend the state’s cannabis policies.

In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan has apparently chosen to not take action on legislation, House Bill 379 / Senate Bill 949 to permit those who received a criminal marijuana possession conviction prior to October 1, 2014, to seek expungement of their records, meaning the bills will go into effect.

Read more at NORML

Setting The Record Straight

 

One of NORML’s primary missions is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults. One of the ways we successfully achieve this goal is by debunking marijuana myths and half-truths via the publication of timely op-eds in online and print media. Since the mainstream media seldom casts a critical eye toward many of the more over-the-top claims about cannabis, we take it upon ourselves to set the record straight.

The majority of NORML’s rebuttals are penned by Deputy Director Paul Armentano. In the past few weeks, he has published numerous op-eds rebuking a litany of popular, but altogether specious claims about the cannabis plant – including the contentions that cannabis consumption is linked to heart attacks, psychosis, violence, and a rise in emergency room visits and traffic fatalities, among other allegations.

Read more at NORML