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.

Below are links to a sampling of his recent columns.:

Read more at NORML

WATCH: Marijuana in the Halls of Congress!

Yesterday, NORML moderated a Facebook Congressional Conversation on marijuana law reform with Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Tom Garrett, Beto O’Rourke, and Justin Amash.

We discussed a wide range of issues including the needless burden of the federal driver’s license suspension mandate, access to medical marijuana, racial injustice, and pending bipartisan legislation to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.

WATCH NOW:

Read more at NORML

CHECKING YOUR SEX AND CANNABIS ASSUMPTIONS AT THE DOOR

I’m a sex educator and a cannabis industry professional. By and large, most of my friends are colleagues and my colleagues are my friends. This means I spend a great deal of my time talking with other people who speak my language—who understand what I mean when I say internal condom or who don’t blink when I start waxing philosophical about cannabinoids and terpenes.

Sometimes I forget that the average person’s sex education was limited to “wear a condom or you’ll get chlamydia and die” and that a majority of people only know about cannabis through reefer madness or that one edible they did in college that made them wish for death. One of the reasons that I share so publicly and so transparently is to make people feel less alone—that they can point to another human having a similar experience and say “me too.” Another equally important component to me telling you all the details of my sex and cannabis adventures is that I’m trying to cultivate curiosity. Curiosity is the key to learning. If you’re not curious, you’ll never ask why or how, because it’s not of interest. So when I talk about threesomes or cool cannabis gadgets or new and innovative sex toys, I’m not just humble bragging—I’m trying to get you to ask “why would someone do that?” or “how does that work?” and then start searching for the answers.

The downside to that transparency is not everyone I’m trying to serve is comfortable hearing that level of detail. Some of the people I really want to help might consider my suggestion to masturbate in front of a partner unthinkably kinky. Others might hear non-monogamy and immediately shut down because it’s so divergent from their lived experience. The things I take for granted (spending $80-$150 on a sex toy) might be well outside of their socioeconomic reality.

Read more at Dope Magazine

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

First Meeting Of Trump’s Opioid Commission: Will It Be Effective?

Today, the Office of National Drug Control Policy convened it’s first meeting of President Trump’s “Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.”

The Commission is tasked with making recommendations for improving the Federal response to opioid misuse and abuse.

Best evidence informs us that medical marijuana access is associated with reduced levels of opioid-related abuse, hospitalization, and mortality. Nonetheless, this administration continues to express skepticism with regard to the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana.

Read more at NORML

Casualties of War: How Prohibition Affects Education

The devastating impact of the War on Drugs extends to higher education, as students caught with pot face losing out on federal financial aid and often, consequently, on an education. Drug offenses are the only crimes that must be reported on federal student-aid applications, and that’s unlikely to change under a new administration laden with drug warriors.

Christy Billett could be the poster child for exposing the enduring perniciousness of the Drug War’s attack on American college students. Her story also stands as a stark warning about what many students may face under the Trump administration with an Education Department headed by Betsy DeVos and a Justice Department led by Jeff Sessions.

Back in 2000, Billett—then a working-class young woman of 18—was a few courses shy of completing her associate’s degree at DuBois Business College in rural Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, where she was enrolled in a program that would have made her a medical-transcription administrator. But she found herself entrapped in a sting by a friend’s father, a man with cancer who had asked his son to find him a source of marijuana to ease his pain. Billett, who had some pot and occasionally sold some, offered to sell him two ounces, but it turned out he was setting her up. While closing the deal, Billett was arrested and, without an attorney, agreed to make a statement to police. She subsequently hired a lawyer who managed to get the court to change her plea to “no contest,” but the damage was done. A convicted drug felon under Pennsylvania law, when Billett filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in January 2001 to cover her final semester’s tuition, she discovered that she was permanently banned from receiving any federal tuition grants or student loans.

Read more at High Times

Here’s How to Get FREE Access to Last Weekend’s Cannabis Health Summit

Last weekend, over 25,000 people tuned in to watch the 2017 Cannabis Health Summit and were inspired to “drop their cannabis shame.” Over two days, 35 of the world’s top experts, doctors, scientists and celebrities delivered short talks and compelling panels about the most up-to-date information and wisdom surrounding cannabis and health.

Featuring everything from a look at modern cannabis with Steve DeAngelo, to a panel about athletes and pot with Eugene Monroe, Eben Britton and Bas Rutten, the Cannabis Health Summit—AKA the “Ted Talks of Weed”—delivered an incredible dose of cannabis education and expertise.

Missed it? Well, don’t worry because now’s your chance to gain unlimited access (a $97 value) to all the videos for free by becoming a Green Flower Insider today! Just click, HERE.

Read more at High Times

PISTIL POINT: Big Vision Based in Craft Quality

When Josh Schmidt saw the 300,000 square foot building Sid Gupta wanted for a Portland cannabis cultivation operation, his response was an automatic: “You’re crazy.” In all his years as a grower, Schmidt had never heard of an indoor facility that size. But Gupta was undeterred. Confident in his vision and his assessment of the rising potential in the Oregon market, he moved forward.

With a bit of coercion, Schmidt eventually came around to Gupta’s big idea—and he’s glad he did. Together the two have built what they believe to be the biggest indoor grow in the state.

Gupta, who honed his business acumen in New York’s restaurant scene, recognized an opportunity in Oregon cannabis that might have passed him by if he’d stuck to the East Coast. That’s when he enlisted Josh Schmidt, a veteran of California’s medical cannabis industry.

Read more at Dope Magazine

Weekly Legislative Update 4/22/17

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

What a week it has been! With our 4/20 Online Day of Action, we have blown past the goals we had set and have now driven over 35,000 messages to Congress on HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017. If you have not yet, do so RIGHT NOW by clicking here. 

This last week, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (D) signed into law the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act — a state-sponsored program that will permit qualified patients to obtain medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries. With the addition of WV, the United States will soon have 30 medical marijuana programs throughout the country.

Read more at NORML

‘Faces of Marijuana Prohibition’ Event Held on Capitol Hill

NORML held a ‘Faces of Marijuana Prohibition’ event on Capitol Hill on April 19th, in cooperation with the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, where congressional staff heard first-hand from those most adversely impacted by the criminalization of marijuana. 

Dozens of congressional staff attended, hearing from victims across the spectrum of marijuana criminalization. Perspectives included: a cancer survivor who broke the law by consuming marijuana to mitigate the effects of chemotherapy, a federal staffer who lost his job as a result of a positive drug test, and those who received criminal charges and had their lives put on hold while they had to overcome the onerous penalties imposed by the state for a simple possession charge, among others. 

This was yet another effort in our ongoing quest to educate our legislators on the need to to end the prohibition-industrial-complex and respect the basic rights of those who choose to consume marijuana, a substance safer than currently legal products like alcohol or cigarettes.

Read more at NORML