NORML’s National Marijuana Lobby Day
Ever want to join a group of fellow cannabis enthusiasts in lobbying Congress to end cannabis prohibition?
By Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director
Join us on May 20 and 21 when NORML convenes a Legislative Fly-in in Washington, D.C., to lobby members of the House and Senate on pending cannabis law reform legislation before the Congress. Unlike previous NORML Legislative Fly-ins, the current political, legal and economic landscapes have radically changed in favor of reform.
Buoyed by national polls indicating over 50% of the U.S. population now favors cannabis legalization—and the fact that 23 states have medical access, 16 states have decriminalized personal possession and four states have now voted in full legalization and taxation—there’s no better time in the last 50 years to be a citizen-advocate for ending cannabis prohibition.
The last time NORML held a Legislative Fly-in, in 2004, legalization was still an abstract concept in the minds of elected policymakers and their staffs. Today, because of the aforementioned positive developments, there is clear and obvious political pressure for legalization taking shape in Congress, to the point where NORML’s lobbying staff can now identify dozens of representatives and senators, who comprise a “cannabis caucus.” Not surprisingly, most of these members represent states where voters and/or state legislators have chosen to abandon some or all of the federal government’s anti-cannabis laws.
Thousands of cannabis-related businesses operate in these states (i.e., licensed and regulated cultivators, sellers, infusion and edible manufacturers and quality-control testers). More pointedly, the financial data from states like Colorado and Washington regarding the revenue derived from taxes and licensing fees on cannabis-related products and services are hardly abstract, with over $100 million in retail sales since the beginning of 2014. In Colorado and Washington, the implementation of tax-and-regulate cannabis commerce has gone extremely smoothly, raising few public-safety concerns, according to reports issued by the Brookings Institution and Drug Policy Alliance.
Most recently, because 70% of voters in Washington, D.C.’s 2014 elections favored cannabis legalization, the possession and private use of cannabis is no longer a criminal offense in the Capitol (except if one gets caught on federal property).
The Legislative Fly-in will convene a day of lobby training and political messaging, followed by a day on Capitol Hill meeting with elected policymakers and their staffs. Come to the nation’s capital to help NORML finish the job of cannabis legalization, once and for all.
So please hold May 20–21, and make plans now to join us in D.C. It costs $65 to register for the Fly-In at norml.org/conference.
Allen St. Pierre is the Executive Director of NORML.
May 20: Training (10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Speaker (12:30 p.m.), Polling and Messaging (2–4 p.m.). Location: Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University.
May 21: Morning Preparations (8–10 a.m.), Lobby Members of the House and Senate (10 a.m.–4 p.m.), Reconvene (4–6 p.m.), NORML Social Event (7–11 p.m.). Lobbying location: The Capitol.
Find out more at : http://norml.org/conference